The RentedMule Virus

It’s difficult for me to come off of a long frantic run (of work) like the one I was recently on. The habit of running on adrenaline and self-sacrificing drive comes on quickly and easily but leaves slowly and reluctantly. I’m about two weeks behind in my work because of the crisis, and there’s a part of my brain that wants to spur me on to get caught up by the top of the hour. It’s like a computer virus, in that it was installed against my will by another in order to serve that other’s ends, and is detrimental to me. I call it the RentedMule virus because that’s how it makes me treat myself.


I’ve mostly rid myself of all of the vestiges of having been the child of pathological narcissists, but that damned RentedMule virus is persistent and pernicious. One day last week I found myself on the telephone with a client at about 9AM explaining that I’d been working on his problem since three o’clock the previous afternoon and just couldn’t go any longer — but I’d be back in three hours after catching a nap. I’d already explained that it was pretty damned pointless as we couldn’t solve his problem without the data center’s involvement so until their reluctance was overcome we were just wasting our time and effort… But three and a half hours later I was no better off for having taken a nap and was back on the phone with the guy.

The tech support drones at the data center? When quitting time comes they’re gone and there is nothing that can prevent it. Your silly little problems will just have to wait until Monday morning. And though it might leave some people unhappy, it’s accepted. It’s just the way things are. I don’t know how anyone would feel about me doing the same because I never have — my personal record is 75.5 straight hours at work without even a lunch break after the first day. And I was on salary at the time, too.

I think I’ll have to work on that. Sorry dude, I know your server is down and you’re losing thousands of dollars per hour, but it’s quitting time and I really must get high and pet my cat.

Oh, hey, it’s quitting time. I really must go now. I have to get high and pet my cat.


3 thoughts on “The RentedMule Virus

  1. girlforgetful

    “Oh, hey, it’s quitting time. I really must go now. I have to get high and pet my cat.” This, all day long.

  2. Roadkill Spatula

    I once fixed a broken water line at a client’s house very late in the evening, hanging upside down in a muddy ditch I had just dug and installing a compression fitting to join the two loose ends of the pipe. I didn’t charge her nearly enough.

    1. happierheathen Post author

      That’s a job that really should pay well. I spent an entire Colorado winter working on a big water line project, for some definition of big. The pipe was 36″ – 48″ in diameter, not huge, but it ran something like 60 miles as the first phase of this project:

      It paid well, inspecting the welds every 40 feet or so, but the work was dangerous and the conditions unpleasant. I narrowly escaped death several times and finally took the hints and shut that business down. I contemplated staying in it and just turning down the dangerous jobs, but the dangerous jobs pay much better and I was married to a woman who loved the money more than she did me and I loved my life more than I loved her so that was that.


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