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“Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil, they throw flowers at you. In Argentina, they throw themselves." -- Marlene Dietrich

Busted at work for playing Minesweeper

Everyone’s been there: you’re bored at work, you’re not paying attention to a valuable training course on Microsoft Access, so you play Minesweeper on your computer, never thinking you could get caught.

Well, I got caught. In front of the whole training class. On a giant projection screen.

I hadn’t been this embarrassed since Mr. Jorjorian caught me cheating on a Geometry test in 10th grade. Algebra? I was a genius at it. Givens, hypotenuses, and obtuse angles? No clue.

Here’s what happened. During Day 2 of a three-day training course on Access yesterday, I had to leave for half an hour for a meeting. When I got back to training, I was a bit behind and had trouble catching up. We were close to breaking for the day so I thought, “Oh well, I’ll figure it out later. I hope this computer has Minesweeper!”

Sure enough, it did. Being positioned in the second-to-last row of the classroom, I opened the game and started playing. After a few minutes, my buddy Brewey’s Chewies, who was sitting next to me, asks the instructor a question. Meanwhile, I’m off in my own digital minefield world, completely oblivious to what’s going on.

The instructor, who was guiding the class on a giant screen, had trouble understanding Chewie so she decided to access his computer and project his screen for the whole class to see. She takes control of his computer. Only it wasn’t his computer. It was mine, so to speak.

I look up to find my Minesweeper game looming 20 times larger against the front screen. Panicking, I try to close the program but my mouse has no control over the cursor since the instructor mistakenly took over MY computer.

She looks at the screen and says, “What the…?”

Chewie, ever the great friend, says, “That’s not my screen,” at which point EVERY SINGLE STUDENT looks at me.

Timidly and unsure of what to do, I reply, “Yeah, um, that’s MY Minesweeper game.”

Everyone busts out laughing, especially Chewie, and I can feel blood flushing my face. Even the instructor was amused.

After finally getting control of my computer, I close out the program and cower into my seat as the final minutes of the class tick off. Chewie, unable to stifle his laughing for 10 minutes, turns to me and says, “At least it wasn’t porn.”

Chewie also decided to tell a couple of our co-workers, and the information of the Great Minesweeper Fiasco of 2006 spread through the office like it was Amway. So today I come into the office and my boss greets me, “Hey Minesweeper.”

I get to my cubicle, which is littered with screen shots of the controversial game on my computer, on the walls, on my phone. I check my e-mail to find that Stormin’ Norman has written the ENTIRE OFFICE the following missive:

“Let it be known to all across the land, [Arjewtino] shall be dubbed "Sir Minesweeper"!!! You may refer to him as "Minesweeper". If you have any questions regarding the origination of this order, see [Chewie] or the Microsoft Access instructor. If these folks are all unavailable, you can see Sir Minesweeper himself.”

Another co-worker sent an e-mail urging me to enter the 2006 Vienna International Minesweeper Meeting. And yet another is already talking about creating a shot called Minesweeper, which I will be required to drink at every office happy hour.

By the way, my best score in Minesweeper was 22 seconds.
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