He'd hit the 'refresh' key so many times that the F and the 9 were worn away. Even for a relatively old desktop PC, with a juddering and humming tower, this had meant he'd been a bit heavy handed.

He was late on the update. 15 minutes at the last count. And this was the fifth time he had been late this month.

His was not the hardest of tasks, supplying information to the baying masses but he still managed to mess it up.


His school's careers advisor had been right, he'd not amount to much.

He'd schlep into the office bringing with him one of those auras that smacks of the 'stay aways', 'do not pet or feed this stray'.

He tried so hard to be nice and friendly but the more he tried the more people stayed away.

His task list was short and sweet, or rather few and not very interesting.

His desk was in the corner of the office. The one with very little natural light.

He hit refresh again.

The egg-timer came up. And a loading bar. And a 'critical storage low' warning message.

Maybe he should have emptied the recycle bin of the photos he'd snapped at the staff 'party'.

He'd not been invited but had gotten a bus to the venue anyway. Stood outside in the rain, he took snaps through the windows. The benefits of a long lens.

The 'team' looked so happy, drunk and drowning the resentments he heard in the corridors and by the water cooler. The lot of them pretending to be best pals and hiding the metaphorical knives they were mentally sharpening even though their mental faculties were dulled and diluted by the booze.

He maybe should have closed any number of the social media accounts he had opened as he ceaselessly trolled Irene from accounts, Bill from risk, Claude in billing, Janine from projects and Ivor from procurement.

But these were the small things he filled up his day with. Paid by the company to set the day's info bursts at regular intervals.

His daily tasks were normally complete by 7.45 am, before most of the office drones came in to work.

Weather, headlines, news, quizzes, LOLcats, scandal. All of these were steered from his terminal...normally.

Today though, as he hit refresh again, the people would just need to find the information out for themselves.

He called up Ivor's tab...began typing...

"You were so wrecked, man, how can you look at yourself. You're gross."