A day in the life of a Mythic Beasts employee after David Cameron bans secure encryption he can’t intercept

January 15th, 2015 by

8:30 : Wake up and get out of bed. Open the curtains to see the sun shining, put a dressing gown on and go downstairs to make some coffee.

8:40 : Take coffee to the home office and open up the laptop to start some work.

8:41 : Laptop does not ask for a password to decrypt the encrypted filesystem and refuses to work.

8:42 : Sip coffee and wait for desktop to boot.

8:43 : Log into desktop machine.
this wouldn’t actually work either, but we’re going to lie for narrative structure

8:45 : Open up web browser, default homepage is our support queue which displays message ‘I’m afraid this uses illegal encryption technology and you are not allowed to access this page’.

8:50 : Drink some more coffee.

8:55 : Realise there’s a copy of the customer support tickets in email, turn on email client.

8:56 : Wonder why email client gives strange connection errors that the mail server is refusing to allow it to connect with SSL turned on.

9:00 : Give up on email entirely, hurrah!

9:01 : Look at empty coffee cup, go downstairs to the kitchen to refill the coffee cup.

9:10 : Log on to company chat-room which fails to work with a connection error.

9:15 : Think this is all a bit bizarre so phone colleague on mobile, she answers to say that she’s having lots of problems too.

Spilled Coffee by Kenny Smith

9:20 : Conclude that the winning plan is clearly to spend the day updating some documentation while drinking coffee.

9:25 : Company wiki fails to load. Secure connection error.

9:30 : Decide to check the mrtg monitoring graphs to see if the network is working. Connection fails.

9:35 : Probably best to start fixing the mrtg monitoring server, first step, log into our bastion host which manages the access controls for servers on our network. Connection fails.

9:40 : This is getting really weird, probably best to go off and feed the cat who’s been miaowing for the last fifteen minutes demanding breakfast.

9:45 : Examine coffee carefully to check it’s not been tampered with and had hallucinogenic drugs added. Realise that if hallucinating could be hallicinating that no drugs were added when they were and how would you tell anyway. Conclude this is about to turn into a long, complex and ultimately nugatory philosophy problem.

10:00 : Return to desk, decide that the best plan is to audit our assets database and resolve some discrepancies between reality and the database by visiting the data centre.

10:05 : Unable to book visit to data centre, the data centre portal doesn’t work, connection errors.

10:10 : Unable to load the assets database, secure connection error.

10:11 : Unable to book car, Zipcar is down.

10:12 : Unable to look at map, Google Maps is down.

10:15 : Decide that the winning plan is to just give up, drink coffee and watch cat videos on youtube. Youtube fails to load with a secure connection error.

10:17 : Skim the news which has some article about a new government and some encryption technology. Click on a link in the forum which surprisingly fails to rick-roll.

10:20 : Now really very annoyed, going to have to waste time on facebook. Facebook refuses to load with a secure connection error.

10:30 : Phone company conference number for conference call to organise the day. Connection error.

10:35 : Really running out of ideas now of what to do. Go for a walk outside to a coffee shop. Mildly surprised that the sunshine is still working.

10:55 : Arrive in coffee shop to be greeted as Arthur Dent. Realise still wearing dressing gown, and for forms sake must now try and order a cup of tea.

11:00 : Order tea, coffee shop tells us that the credit card payment machine isn’t working and we’ll have to pay in cash. Observe that our wallet is empty. Leave coffee shop to go to cash machine.

11:10 : Cash machine is out of order.

11:30 : Return home and get dressed. Then collect cheque book, return to coffee shop. Persuade them that they can accept a cheque and order tea.

12:30 : Reflect that todays achievements so far consist of buying a cup of brown liquid that was almost but not quite entirely unlike tea. Go back home to face the afternoon.

13:00 : Decide that this is pointless and book tomorrow off. Holiday booking system doesn’t work, connection error.

13:10 : Decide this is lunacy and want to resign. Go to Linked In to update CV and find new job. Connection error.

13:20 : New job will probably be as crap as this one. Just resign. Fire up word processor, write resignation letter and email to boss.

13:30 : Email doesn’t work. Print it out.

13:40 : Printing doesn’t print either. Give up and copy it off the screen with a pen onto a piece of paper ready to post to boss. Realise there’s no stamps and with no cash it’s going to be hard to buy one.

13:45 : That’s it! Game over man! Game over! What the **** are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do? Maybe we could build a fire and sing a couple of songs? Why don’t we try that?

13:50 : Stop panicking and hit upon a cunning plan, steal all the money from the company and flee to a more sensible country than this one.

14:00 : Try to book a flight to Athens. Shopping cart fails with a connection error.

14:10 : Try to go to the bank website to withdraw all the money. Fails with a connection error.

14:20 : Visit the bank in person to steal all the money. Bank has a massive queue of people complaining because they can’t withdraw their money, apparently there’s ‘computer problems’.

14:30 : Give up on humanity entirely and go and find a park bench on which to live, in the vague hope that someone has a gold brick with which to wrap around a slice of lemon for brain smashing purposes.

The new Mythic Beasts Offices (public domain)