- By Corey Brown - By Corey Brown

Severed the book

© 2019 Corey Brown

Take one for the Team

After several attempts, I parked my car. It’s the little things that trip me up. I can fix an elongated mouse cord or correct a deviated system format, even perform a triple-bypass root memory analysis. But parking the car? Forget it. Hey now, just opening a can of tuna can turn me around, like its difficult or something.

So I climbed out of my now parked car and stubbed my toe on the curb. Why was the front tire so far up on the grass? Oh well, no time for trivialities, there were computers that needed last rites, exorcisms, and extra megahertz.


My name is Spinner. Rick Spinner. I’m a PC technician, a consultant, I wear an ID badge and there’s not one darn thing you can do about it.


At my desk, I logged on, started up our call tracking software and studied myself in a handheld mirror. In my line of work appearances matter; heads are kept cool with a cool presence. So I had to keep an eagle eye on personal grooming.

I knew the distribution and density of nose and ear were adequate, but what about the head.

“Nacho,” I said. “Do you think I’m losing my hair?”

My partner, Nacho Flaherty, turned away from the underwear for Eskimos website he was studying so he could study me. The expression on his face was serious, intent.

“Well,” Nacho said. “What kind of hair? Arm, leg, chest?”


I gave him a look. He gave it right back. I narrowed my eyes, he narrowed his eyes. I demonstrated a slick hand signal and made a comment implicating his mother in an extra-marital affair that resulted in his birth. He called Human Resources and filed a formal complaint.


A week later, after a two day suspension and having completed the mandatory training course on sensitivity and general niceness, I was back at my desk. I logged on and started up our call tracking software.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s try this again.”

Nacho narrowed his eyes and pulled his desk phone a little closer.

“Do you think I’m losing my hair?”

“What kind of hair? Arm, leg, chest?”


The smarty britches just couldn’t leave it alone.


“Head,” I said, speaking slowly. “Am I losing the hair on my head?”

“What? You couldn’t have said that last week?” Nacho’s eyes seemed to grow moist.

I sighed, pulled open a desk drawer and slammed it on my thumb. I didn’t want to call him another name and the stabbing pain in my right digit seemed like a good diversion.


“So,” I said, gritting my teeth, but smiling. The sensitivity manual they gave me encourages smiling. “What do you think?”

“Well, that depends,” Nacho said. “Has your hairline always started behind your ears? If not, I’d have to say you are definitely losing your hair...or not…maybe.

Good old Nacho, always a kind word. I felt better and rubbed my head, gently twisting a few strands of hair around my finger. Then the phone rang.


This marked a sad moment in my life, a real low point. As I reached for the handset, my index finger became entangled with one particular strand—I couldn’t untwist it and answer the phone at the same time.

I felt trapped. The phone was ringing, someone might be in the computer equivalent of dire straits and I don’t mean the rock band---but my index finger was wound in a python’s grip by that prized hair, a golden child; one of last things separating me from the true chrome domes.


What could I do? I had but one choice: answer the call no matter the consequences. I had to take one for the team. I reached for the phone, plucking free that one magnificent hair.

“Rick Spinner”, I said, swallowing the emotions welling up inside. “Talk to me.”

“Rick Spinner?” The caller said. “This isn’t Ron Spangler, with the IRS?”

“No Sir. This isn’t the IRS. I’m a consultant. I wear an ID---.”

“Sorry, wrong number.”

Rick Spinner

After replacing the handset, I held up my index finger and stared at the lonely strand coiled around it.

“Dude,” Nacho said. “Why didn’t you just pick up the phone with your other hand?”


A week later, after a three day suspension and having completed the mandatory training course on sensitivity and general niceness, I was back at my desk. I logged on and started up our call tracking software.