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Upgrade by Niles Reddick

One of our IT people did a company-wide upgrade to software I’ve never used. Someone had loaded it on everyone’s computers, and now nothing works on mine. My email signature disappeared, I can’t open PDF files or JPEG photos, and my mouse quit working; it’s new. One of my two speakers stopped working and sound is coming out of the tower. My greatest concern, however, was whether my files were still on the hard drive, and I was tickled to find them.

By the time our building’s technician made it to my office, he tossed gasoline onto my raging fire: “You know they’re saying it wasn’t the upgrade that screwed everything up. Said it’s user error.”

“What? How can they say that when I’ve never used the software?” I barked. “Just trying to pass the buck, blame someone else, a bunch of good-for-nothings. Tearing things up for job security.”

“Have you tried logging off, turning the power off, and then turning it back on?”

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“No, try that.”

I couldn’t believe the company paid someone fifty thousand dollars plus benefits to tell me to turn it off and back on, but I followed directions, and when the pc came on, it was as if I had made up the whole story. My mouse and speakers were both working, my email signature was back, and I could even open PDF files and JPEG photos. “What the hell?”

He shrugged. “Who knows?”


Niles Reddick is author of a novel, two collections, and a novella. His work has been featured in nineteen anthologies, twenty-one countries, and in over four hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, BlazeVox, New Reader Magazine, Forth Magazine, Citron Review, and The Boston Literary Magazine. Website: Twitter: @niles_reddick

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