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The Human Interface

“No, no, no, no! Don’t say that! Those aren’t the words I chose, damn it! You’re supposed to curse at him for the crappy service! I’ve lost control again. Where’s that tech support number? Here it is: 888-777-…

“Good, no busy signal. One ring. Two rings. Three rings. Come on, pick up, will you. Hell-o-o-o?”

“Please listen to all options before making a selection, as some menu options may have changed. For The Human Interface, press or say one.”

“One.”

“Sorry, I did not understand your response. Please listen to all options before making a selection, as some menu options may have changed. For The Human Interface, press or say one. Press or say two for all other interfaces.”

“Now?

“Sorry, I did not understand your response. Please listen to all options before making a selection, as some menu options may have changed. For The Human Interface, press or say one. Press or say two for all other interfaces.”

“One!”

“Thank you for choosing The Human Interface. Your call is very important to us. Please hold for the next available customer service representative.”

“Damn it, I hate this stupid harp music! I hope this doesn’t take as long as the last time I called. What’s wrong with you guys? I know even you’re not perfect, but you’d think you could make a controller package that wasn’t so buggy. Do it right the first time. Last time I had to…”

“Thank you for choosing The Human Interface. Your call is very important to us. Please hold for the next available customer service representative.”

“I’m holding, already, here in customer service hell. I know the routine! Last time I had to go through an entire reinstall on my own. After all the time it took me to get to where I was…”

“Thank you for choosing The Human Interface. My name is Gabriel. How may I assist you today?”

“Of course, that doesn’t matter to you people at all, does it. All you care is that we keep using your software. I don’t know why…”

“Hello, this is Gabriel. How may I assist you today?”

“Oh, it’s a person. I’m having problems with your crappy software.”

“I’m sorry that you are experiencing difficulties, but please try to keep the language clean.”

“Language! I damn well have a right to-“

“If you continue to be unpleasant, I will put you on hold so you can collect yourself.”

“On hold? No, not that again. I’ll be… good.”

“Thank you. And again, I am sorry you are experiencing difficulties with our software. Rest assured, we will try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Your name, please.”

“Daemon.”

“Thank you, Damon. Could you please describe the problem?”

“It’s not letting me stay in control. I try to get the body to do one thing, and sometimes it works fine, but other times it’s like someone else is controlling it, and it does things I didn’t tell it to do.“

“What kind of things?”

“Like just now, I was at this taco bar, and I tried to get it to say… something about how bad the service was, and instead it said ‘Have a blessed day.’”

“Well, that sounds pleasant enough.”

“It wasn’t what I was trying to say. It does crap -“

“Damon.”

“Stuff like that all the time.”

“I see; unintentional language. Anything else?”

“Yeah, sometimes I’ll be trying to stay totally still talking to someone, and my arm will jerk up and touch them.”

“Not inappropriately, I hope?”

“Uh, no, more like their shoulder or hand.”

“And you didn’t want to do this?”

“Heh… No.”

“So, involuntary movements. I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll try running a diagnostic. Just be aware that the problem may not be with the software. Your body may have a form of Tourette’s.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a neuropsychiatric disorder that causes tics, like sudden uncontrolled movements, and sometimes even inappropriate speech.”

“Wait. You mean you guys put souls in bodies without any guarantee about their condition? Like I might have total control of a vegetable? That’s a Hell of a thing to do.”

“Not at all, Damon. We are not responsible for the condition of the body and other peripherals. Our function is to allow a smooth interface between the soul and that body. Beyond that, the experience is what you make of it.”

“That just doesn’t seem fair.”

“That’s life. It’s not permanent; it’s just one part of your personal development plan. Now, I’m going to run that diagnostic. A window will pop up on your display asking for permission for me to connect. Please press ‘OK’.”

“Okay.”

“One moment please. You’ll be on hold.”

“Hold? No! That damn harp music again. How long it’ll be this time? I can’t believe…”

“I’m back, Damon; sorry for the delay. There are two instances of the software installed; there should only be one. I’ll need to have your authorization key, please.”

“Authorization key?”

“A seven character code you were given with the software.”

“I wasn’t given a code.”

“That can’t be, Damon. Every authorized copy has a key code. Where did you get your copy?”

“I found it.”

“Now Damon, we have very strict procedures here. You don’t just find the package; they are only released for immediate install in a very specific body. Wait. Is your name D-a-m-o-n, or D-a-e-m-o-n?

“D-a-e-m-o-n.”

“Oh. You’re using a stolen copy, Daemon, aren’t you?”

“I wouldn’t call it stolen; I just borrowed it.”

“Perhaps we can agree on pirated?”

“Well, okay. So?”

“You haven’t been given authority to install the software, or to be in that body. Excuse me while I boot you and your illegal copy from the system. Have a blessed day!”

“Hey! Quit with the damn harp music, already! You can’t boot me! Possession is nine-tenths of The Law! You’ve got no right to…”

“Daemon? Are you there, Daemon? Good, that’s over. Next call.

“Thank you for choosing The Human Interface. My name is Gabriel. How may I assist you today?”

“I don’t know who to turn to. Either something’s wrong with me or with the software.”

“I’m sorry you’re experiencing difficulties. Rest assured, we will try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Your name, please?”

“Hugh.”

“What seems to be the problem, Hugh?”

“Look, I keep doing weird things that just aren’t like me.”

“Such as?”

“Well, just now I had dinner at this taco bar, and when the manager came by and asked how things were, I almost cursed at him for no reason. It was all I could do to say ‘Have a blessed day’.”

“A taco bar?”

“Yes. I don’t understand what’s happening. I almost feel like someone else is trying to control me. Am I losing my mind?”

“Not at all, Hugh; this type of thing has been known to happen. Do you see an authorization window on your display?”

“Yeah, I think another one of those popped up a while ago.”

“Please press OK.”

“Done.

“Thank you. One moment please.”

“Nice harp music.”

“I’m back, Hugh. I’ve removed a duplicate install in your system, and I’ve also installed our latest anti-malware. You shouldn’t have any further problems, but if you do, please don’t hesitate to call. Thank you for using The Human Interface. Have a blessed day!”

*****

You can connect with William Mangieri, see the full list of his works, his writing blog, and links to his current promotions on his WordPress writing page at https://williammangieri.wordpress.com/    

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Satire

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