09 January 2009

Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta

Possibly the greatest sequence in the cinematic masterpiece Office Space features the song "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" by Geto Boys [sic]. I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I will warn you that its rapturous beauty may bring a tear to your eye.

I worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley for almost thirteen years, and I will always be grateful for my experiences there. They provided the foundation for my most recent novel (working title EndGame, still in first draft), and I'm planning to work even more of them into a screenplay for this year's Script Frenzy.

That said, there were plenty of unpleasant things as well. Even smart people can be stupid. Below is the start of my original draft for "Bachelor of Science," which I scrapped when I found a more interesting, skiffy premise:

Brandon's manager was approaching, making his way down the labyrinth of cubicles on the third floor.

Brandon started sweating. This was new. In his experience, there were two type of managers: either they were tech-savvy but clueless about people, or competent leaders but totally ignorant about technology. The first type were usually engineers who had been promoted out of the jobs they really wanted to do, and always itched to get back into coding instead of dealing with performance reviews and other paperwork. The second type knew how to handle the occasional interpersonal crises that broke out among the ranks, but were easily fooled when it came to work estimates and engineering details.

Brandon had, over the years, developed methods to deal with both types of managers so that his own work life would go smoother. But this new guy actually seemed to be both tech-savvy and a competent supervisor. How was Brandon supposed to pull the wool over his eyes? He didn't doubt that he could figure it out--any hacker worth his salt can use social engineering to great advantage--but he was a bit miffed that he'd have to spend the extra effort. At work. He had more important things to worry about.

No, this was not a Mary Sue story. I deny everything!

On another note, I've pretty much given up on Heroes. The second season was disappointing, and D and I both found the third season premiere vastly underwhelming. I've still got a few episodes which I already paid for on Amazon Unbox, and the rest are available through Netflix Watch Instantly, but I doubt I'll get to them anytime soon. I'll consider catching up when Bryan Fuller (late of Pushing Daisies) is back on the job and I start seeing better reviews.


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