MARCH OF THE CODES
Codes, codes, codes. The codes of my life have started an all out assault on my limited brain power. As I started to input the first code of my checking account on-line, my memory retaliated against me. Enough it screamed. Enough. Not another digit, not another buzzword, pet name, street name, coded abreviation would it accept. The codes had obliterated all reason and my mind had revolted by becoming frozen-up like antiquated dial-up-service. My mind was now in turmoil with all the different codes it has been exposed to. There are worded codes and number codes and now they have co-mingled and given birth to a mixed cocktail of numbers, letters and symbols to further cement their authority over you. I don’t worry about the mix-up of coding, because my fingers can rewhip out the correct sequence in lightening speed without hardly noticing the numbness and tingling in my fingers or the carpal tunnel syndrome that is reshaping my hand into a futuristic looking bent claw appendage.
No one is immune to Code-Overload. Codes do not care if you’re young or old and they present everyone an equal opportunity to be driven crazy. The younger you are, the longer the codes will have to infiltrate and dominate your life. As a further testament to the codes evolving strength I could not place when they had become so saturated in today’s culture. I tried to think about when The Codes had started their silent war. As with all numeric systems the codes ability is infinite. Soon the realization struck that The Codes are everywhere.
At first, I thought it was my exposure to today’s electronic, internet connected, frenetic, work environment. On my job I have two codes to enter before I’m allowed to enter the hallowed hall of the corporate jungle for another long, tortuous, depressed 8 hours of office fun. Once in, and seated at my desk, there are codes to log onto my computer. This seemingly simple task usually takes about 4 different codes and three different screens. Just when it becomes second nature to input the codes the sadistic M.I.S. administrator has a message pop up demanding you immediately create another password and you only have until tomorrow and you only have until tomorrow to memorize it or else. What is the “Or Else?” you ask. The “Or Else” occurs when you have to humble yourself before the Grand Poopah, alias M.I.S. Administrator, to state your pathetic plea for help that you have forgotten the new code and do not remember what you scribbled it on . You do receive help, but is always delivered in a voice that is barely hiding their icy disdain for you over the phone or internet. Without actually verbalizing it, you can almost hear them thinking in their benevolent, tolerant way, that you are sooo beneath them. The grin of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland springs to mind instantly. With that nightmare firmly etched in your eroding memory bank you would rather forget your mom’s birthday than to forget the new code again.
Phones at home, in the office, and cell present their own logger jam of codes. At my office I have to codes to place a long-distance call. Another two codes to get in my voicemail. A code to log into the work center to check in. Then there is the mother of all codes: the codes for my cell phone. Codes to turn it on. Codes so no one else can break into it to see my former calls. Codes to let in only certain people to pull up information. Codes have long been assigned as people. Your most significant person of the moment is code 1; code 2 might be a friend or your child. Isn’t it disturbing to know that people who you have elevated to the top of your call list, these same people have not even bothered to assign you a code at all. Do you see what is happening to us? We are upset that we are not a code. Hmmmmmmm.
The banking institution had better check to see who is really in charge of things. I bet they’ll be surprised to find out that it’s some giant Codehead sitting atop privileged info, which you can’t access because you have code burnout. Here the codes reign supreme and you will never feel lower than your feeble mind’s inability to access your personal banking information codes. The codes have several ways to get you to obey the Codes and none of them are pretty.
Now here is how they play mental torture with your mind. If you call the bank you will probably be whisked into their automated voice system. This is the bank’s way of saying “We will do everything possible not to speak to you directly.” Once you have pressed one of the coded buttons, which seemed to promise you immediate attention, they have you. Another prisoner of the banking code system has been captured. You are assaulted by enter your password , Enter your Account number, Enter your pin number. You want to give up ,but after entering code after code and wasting your time, your pride won’t let you give up, so you hang in there hoping for your own quick death or dare I say, it a live person who will ask you…..? You already know what they’ll ask for: your codes and then finally you hear the words that you longed to hear, almost to the degree of waiting to hear from a lover, “How can I help you”. At this point your jellied mind has entirely forgotten what you wanted in the first place and another customer has been neatly dismissed and sent on their way.
Of course one can always try the atm/debit card, which has a different personal identification number. Once you have imprinted that number to memory you have started on your way down the yellow brick road of no return. This is my own personal special addiction. With that number, a whole world of spending opens up for me immediately. I have instant cash so I reason with myself that this is way better than a charge card that is laden with exurbanite interest rates. This theory works very well until I arrive broke before the end of the month.
On-line banking can also make you gravel, like the lowly worm you are. When on line I have 2 codes to remember, I have to put in the account number and then a numeric code. I can’t remember if it’s the last 4 digits of my divorce lawyer telephone number or my dog’s tag number? The codes that bank use are longer than the actual money in my account. I suppose the tapping of alpha and numeric symbols on the keyboard is supposed to make you feel more secure. The number, the more official looking the screen seems. Sometimes the agony stops there, but sometimes King Code queries me as to the validity of who I am. Even with the aforementioned codes put in, the system now will ask one or two personal code questions such as what city did your grandmother live in when you were born or what was the name of your second grade teacher after your family moved for the second time? The insanity here is that you were the one who picked these so-called easy-to- remember questions and answers. You probably picked them as you drank a glass of wine to help with your code breakdown.
The lure of using one code for all evokes a special pleasure of anticipated peace without momentary lapse or pause of the memory. The only nagging thing about this is that I suspect someone, like the Super Codes Inspector, will tell you that you have run afoul of the codes law. Any law-abiding citizen knows you must have different codes to vanquish the identity theft criminals. My only consolation would be that if my identity were stolen the joke would be on the thieves, remember my aforementioned addiction to my debit card.
Upon arriving at home, I am now only minutes away from an inner domain of peace and tranquility. My jaw muscles relax and the tic in my face is just barely visible. I turn the key and voila!! The house alarm goes off. I rush to the panel, realizing I only have seconds to enter the secret codes. My fingers freeze in mid-air. My mind is a combination of codes on parade and the local mental sanitarium is looming before my eyes. Now the phone rings. You know who it is; it’s the operator from the expensive security system demanding to know my security CODE. At this point I give up. The codes have won. As I wait for the police to arrive, pounce on me and pin me to the ground, and try out their new tazer, I think I might make a quick getaway on my bike. But of course I cannot remember the code to unlock the chain. I am a statistical victim of Code Rage. Maybe a stay at the local mental sanitarium is not such a bad idea after all.