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Tales from the Wellington commute: Do robots have to deal with ‘Hump Day?’

The moaning woman from work now catches the same train  as me. She waits for me at the station, like a lion stalking its prey, to regale me of tales about our other workmates.


I’ve only been there a few months and she’s already managed to dissect and analyse the worst aspects of everyone’s character – and I work for a government department. There are a lot of people to talk about. She has even informed me of some quite dark secrets about the courier. She knows everything about everyone – she knows all about you, too.

No amount of politely explaining that I’m not interested changes her incessant machine gun rapid fire of vitriol about our workmates, our bosses, the company and the city itself. This is all in earshot of our manager, but I think he is also scared of her.

It amazes me the number of times I’ve been accused of having ‘caught a yawn,’ when I’m genuinely just open-mouthed in amazement that she is still talking about a workmate who left eight years previously and ‘was a real bitch.’

We’ve always finished at the same time, but now she catches the same line as me because she’s staying most of the week with her ‘new man’ in the Hutt. I believe she wore out the old one. It beggars belief that these people are never single, yet I get dumped after one date for having a mole in the wrong place. In any case, every day now we trudge together down Lambton Quay with the other worker drones to catch our transportation back to the gulags.

Last week I learned even more about her, because after tiring of complaining about our workmates on our long commute, she’s started on her exes and her family.

She slagged them all off one by one, listing her nieces and nephews in descending order of unattractiveness, but at least I didn’t personally know (or are friends with) any of the people she was talking about.

When I made my ‘pretend listening grunts’ at the wrong time she spun around and attacked me.

“Don’t you say that about my sister! You don’t know us!”

There’s simply no winning.

This week the topic has changed and there’ve been many conversations about being tired. And being ill. People who are tired and ill all the time always seem to complain about being tired and ill all the time. It’s their raison d’être. I’m sorry you’re ill, really I am – but how can you be so monotonously sick all the time? Do you sleep on a pillow made entirely out of viruses?
I wish they could instead tell me when they’re feeling sprightly and energetic so we can have some light to balance out all the darkness.

What was once a light and relaxing journey has turned into something dark and horrible. We get on the train and I’m immediately enveloped by the wings of something black. All of a sudden my fellow passengers have gone from smiling fellow commuters and turned into menacing strangers with frightening secrets.

It’s mad how one person can be so delighted when public transport breaks down. She’s the one at the front of the angry mob, leading the charge down the platform like George Washington facing the British – demanding answers from hapless ticket collectors.

So it’s now Tuesday and I’ve been furious all week just thinking about the commute to work tomorrow. It haunts me and taunts me.

The only thing I can think to do is to start out-moaning her, but I fear that’s a game she would handily win. It would be like playing a ‘friendly’ against Rafael Nadal. I only have about sixty or seventy things that really annoy me, but this woman has endless complaints!

Now we are commuting together, everyone at work thinks we are good friends. They think I am an annoying moaner too, and perhaps now I am! I’ve been suckered in. I’m tainted. Green meat. I walk up and down the office ringing my little bell ‘unclean! unclean!’ before writing ‘helpful reminder hints’ on the staff whiteboard and putting little notes on my pen container with smiley faces warning people not to touch.

My only real hope to escape the clutches of moaning-ness is to encourage the moaning woman to spend more time with a lovely woman that I refer to in my mind as: ‘The Only Positive Person at Work.’ She’s brilliantly, endlessly over the top mega positive about everything.

Cup of tea gone cold? Never mind I’ll make another one, I like making tea.

Raining outside? Never mind, it’s nice and cosy in here.

Too much work to do? Never mind, just get busy and before you know it, it will be home time.

Cat died? Never mind, it was actually a possum anyway.

How do they do it? Day in, day out…I’m quite aware that this is why all our jobs will soon be automated. Humans simply cannot be trusted.

Future A.I robot families will one day be able to visit replicas of our human workplaces in special zoos. We will probably all still be there, us worker bees, still all bitching and moaning at each other…

I wonder if robots will ever suffer from Hump Day?

Flat Earthers, bath salts, and the Beatles never existed

Usually the commute home goes well, I do it often enough and have rarely had trouble – the worst that happens is someone might be a bit smelly, or there might be a tut if someone is listening to something too loudly . But the other night my seat-mate had some interesting theories to share and he espoused them for the entire trip back to Waikanae.

His brain seemed fully functioning in other ways, so he wasn’t a complete loony. He was just a fan of many different conspiracy theories, and the flat earth one was the one he was most insistent on talking about.

His exuberance in explaining that the sun and the moon are also ‘flat circles’ led him to sweat profusely. His face ended up so shiny I could see my own horrified reflection staring back at me for the entire trip.

Wikipedia explains:

“The flat Earth model is an archaic conception of Earth’s shape as a plane or disk. Many ancient cultures subscribed to a flat Earth cosmography, including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period (early centuries AD), and China until the 17th century. That paradigm was also typically held in the aboriginal cultures of the Americas, and the notion of a flat Earth domed by the firmament in the shape of an inverted bowl was common in pre-scientific societies.”

Pre-scientific societies.

Yet, his argument was based around an experiment some like-minded nutter did in the twentieth century – and also the fact that NASA is a fraud and in with ‘the government.’

Which government?

“All of them.”

The unanswerable question to all this is why?

Why flat earth when there are clearly so many real conspiracies happening all around us that we all just keep to ourselves? (The Royals for example. Look into it.)

Maybe it’s to hide how easy it is to actually get into space. Once you realise the earth is flat it becomes obvious that all you really need to do to get into space is jump – you don’t need to escape velocity or anything. But *They* don’t want any old prole with a few step ladders getting into space and getting in the way of all the communication satellites and space brothels up there. It would be chaos!

So is this flat earth spinning through space like a frisbee?  Presumably something stops us shooting off it from centrifugal force, but what?  What law of gravity works with a flat disc? So many unanswered questions.

The same fellow, after exhausting the topic of the earth’s flatness, continued on to explain that he knew the man who had ‘invented’ the Beatles.

Yup, he had knowledge alright, and his Magical Mystery moustache and John Lennon glasses apparently ought to have been enough to convince me of that.

He let me into a little secret; there wasn’t just ‘Faul’ (a fake Paul introduced to replace the real Paul some time in the sixties and alluded to through secret signs, cover albums and song lyrics) but actually every single member of the Beatles were replaced (‘upgraded’ was the word he used) at one time or another, and Ringo and Paul continue to be upgraded to this very day!

After arriving home from the extremely long train journey, a little voice called out from the insane part of my mind. What if the guy strung out on P was right? What if the Beatles never really even existed? We’ve all been taken on a ride, and I for one wanted to get to the bottom of it.

My inquiries (drunken googling) led me to the site:

I well recommend you have a look around, as there is some overwhelming evidence of clonery going on and as user ‘cmsahe’ suggests, possibly even ‘shape shifting gaurdians.’ (sic)

They write:

“Is it possible that by inviting this pact with the devil into existence, each Beatle was in turn taken over by by a shape shifting gaurdian? A representative of Satan who gave them their skills and writing abilities…. However the demons are not here so they continually morph and lose the original image and then regain it… It happens so quickly that only videos or cameras catch it…..”

It all makes you think, doesn’t it?