47 Random Fragments of Unauthorised Hope and Despair


SHE HAD found a new loophole.

It hadn’t been a problem, to start with. Whenever she’d needed a break, she would take a walk around the offices - up to the fourth floor and back - carrying a stack of print-outs as a cover. Or linger longer than strictly necessary in the ladies’.

But then they had brought in the logging system and automatic dismissal for Dereliction of Desk Duty, so she’d had to make do with looking out of the window or doodling discreetly on scraps of paper while pretending to be talking on the phone.

The keystroke monitoring had put an end to that one. If you weren’t busy, you weren’t paid. If you slipped below a certain keystroke quota you even ended up owing the company money for the pleasure of having come in and not worked hard enough for nine hours.

They’d got her on that one, for a while at least.

But the headaches and the panic attacks had forced her to look hard for a way around it and now she’d succeeded.

For ten minutes every morning, another five or ten in the afternoon, she’d sit and type loads of lovely keystrokes - without thinking about or even looking at what she was writing.

It was nothing but gobbledegook. But that didn’t matter. She simply deleted the lot later on.

And in the meantime she had won back a precious time when her mind could drift, dream and again become her mind and only hers.

And they couldn’t stop her.

Not yet, anyway.