Almost all the stories in that collection were inspired by jobs I held myself. This one came from the short stint I had as a technical writer for a software development company. I didn’t work in tech support, but heaven knows I called over there often enough. How they expected me to write a manual for software that didn’t do what it was supposed to do because they hadn’t yet worked all the bugs out yet was beyond me.
The references to Star Wars throughout the story came straight from the office — we called the development team the “Dark Side” for some obscure reason. They were all a bunch of big nerds, to be honest, and loved the geeky connection. I remember the day a new Austin Powers movie came out, the head of development closed his department and took his entire staff to the theater to see it! If I’d worked on the Dark Side instead of on writing the manual, I might have stayed a little longer at the position.
Noah works in tech support at a software firm. He gets a frantic call from Becky, the receptionist in Development, asking him to assist a new employee tackle his network problems. Jared is having a bad first day at work, and sounds unbearably cute over the phone, but Noah’s been disappointed before.
To get away from the phones, he takes smoke breaks with his buddy Joel, Becky’s boyfriend. When Noah sees a cute new employee, Joel’s only too happy to help them hook up. Still, Noah doesn’t want to write Jared out of the picture completely …