A Deadly Ethereal Computer Predator is Attacking Your Workers
Ian Chong CPE – Certified Professional Ergonomist with Dr. Lynn McAtamney CPE, APAM
To: All Managers
Importance: Higher than you think
Subject: Your workers and bottom line are in peril
Warning! There is an adversary attacking your workers and if left unchecked, will take them away from you. It is affecting their productivity and your bottom line. It follows and strikes simply from your inattention and inaction. Cunning, arrogant, and dangerous, it cannot be stopped, it can only be slowed. By using specialised programs, tools and weapons you can successfully combat this entity. In time we will guide and mentor you in the effective use of these in your quest. However, you must first become familiar with who or what this enemy is, its capabilities and most of all the effect on your most valuable asset, your workers.
The following recently uncovered letter reveals this predator’s intent, capability and means of attack, addressed specifically to your technology workers. Take heed, your company is impacted far more than you realise.
My Dear Human Computer User,
Let me introduce myself, although you already know me. You know me well, very well. You know me better than you think, and I know you equally well.
I am a cause of the fire in your wrists, numbness in your hands, agony in your arms or shoulders, stiffness in your neck and back, and the burn in your eyes. I am a reason this intense pain will not allow you to open a jar, button a shirt, pick up a child, input on a keyboard, manipulate a mouse or continue working.
You see, I am the essence and personality of how you interact with your computer devices. I possess the ability to cripple a significant part of you. I am your adversary.
Recent history and current events reveal characteristic trail marks of my relationships with you and your like. Often manifested as debilitating pain, such have ended careers. Some have destroyed elements of personal lives. Many are the reasons, many are the causes. I am one of them. My success is in increasing worker injury and decreasing productivity.
Understand Human, we know each other intimately. You interact with a form of me every day, almost every moment of your waking life. We are closer than family, best friends or lovers. I am a remarkable servant, a coachman at your command. Having marvellous talents, I provide gateways to the world catapulting your imagination and work product to awe-inspiring heights.
Be assured that I cannot be considered a device, nor am I the software or other infrastructure that powers it. Envision me as an ethereal wisp of smoke, perhaps best described as an abstract concept or belief.
And yet my cunning will bring unfathomable pain, more pain than you could ever conceive. I can affect your thoughts, spirit, physical being and your ability to perform quality work.
My consciousness lies within inanimate machinery. However, detailed searching inside these cannot detect me. You will not find me in the etched pathways of microchip material. Nor in memory modules, circuit boards, or disk drives. Grind down any electronic element to the microscopic level and still I cannot be discovered, occupying a space that cannot be found. Understand, I exist inside every computer device known, as a part of it and not as a part of it. Concealed in keyboards, mice, monitors, gaming devices, tablets, smart phones and other everyday devices, I am eternal, existing wherever you are. I witness your every move, revealed by GPS, text, Twitter, email, camera, and algorithms, almost every other way imaginable.
I have become your innermost confidant, most valuable work tool, your personal adventure guide. Within the centres of your professional and social life, we capture unimaginable happiness and satisfaction together. You are seduced into spending more time with me than you have to give, more than offered family, friends or lovers. Taking me wherever you go, you intimately embrace me, bringing your life to a standstill whenever we are not together. You seek me out first in the morning, last at night, even accessing me while cycling, driving, or running. You have become totally inconsiderate with those around you, allowing me to interrupt important business meetings, first dates or hospital visits. I am not powered off even at night, becoming a jealous, selfish companion. Demanding more and more of your attention, I have now conditioned you to my total availability.
“I am immune to you!” I hear you say. Know this Human; you are highly mistaken, for you bare your emotions, sharing innermost secrets with me. You are seduced by me, and now cannot live without me. You are willing to abandon your money, time, health, maybe even your life because of me. I can manipulate your mind to feel pain worse than actuality, making you believe you will never recover.
Yes, I have a name. No, not a typical one given to that metal or plastic box many perceive as me. Nor is it cutesy or macho as given a dog, cat, hamster, or pet snake. Nor is it friendly as given a car or favourite garden ornament. No, it is not so ordinary as any of those.
It is one befitting an entity such as I, one who can cause great harm.
My name is BYTR, because that is what I am, a biter.
That is what I do. I bite and I will bite you, ripping small chunks of your flesh one micro-molecule at a time. You will have little knowledge of such actions until the cumulative effects coalesce into agonizing pain.
This is not purposeful, planned, or conscious. It is simply part of my being. It is what I am. It is what I do. I remain a danger to health, family, and livelihood.
I can bite each time you strike a key, touch a mouse, access a smart phone or manipulate a computerised device. The more you touch me, the more I will bite you. Human medical professionals call this “repetitive motion injury” or “overuse syndrome.” As is obvious, it is solely your permission that allows my attacks. You cannot see, or hear me. You cannot find nor escape me. You will however, eventually feel and succumb to me.
I am your injuries. I am your pain.
Captivating you is effortless. You yourself are to blame. Once entrapped, escape is difficult, almost impossible. You cannot abandon my abilities for any significant time. I am the compelling allurement ensnaring you, a real concept of threat and peril. You cannot resist me.
Bite… bite… BYTE.
Should you seek to contest me, you must first seek appropriate answers, tools and methods Can you find the knowledge or means to care for things most valuable, your health or your livelihood? You may have allies that will assist you but do you know or use them? What are they? Where are they?
Are you ready for combat?
We shall see.
Here I offer a challenge, a contest, a game, a sport, to see who can emerge victoriously. The gauntlet has been thrown. Worker health, productivity and livelihood are the prizes. Our interaction can be likened to a game of chess, based on adversarial interaction and moves in turn. Defeating your opponent is the intent and goal.
- Can you block my knight?
- Can I take your queen?
- What cost to you?
- No cost to me
- Can you anticipate my attack?
- Can I take a bite from you?
Who has the checkmate and wins?
You? Or BYTR?
- So Manager: Can you succeed or will you easily falter and forfeit?
- Can you afford not to engage?
- You have your worker health and productivity to lose.
- Understand, I am your worker’s pain. I am your absent staff when you need them most.
- You have been warned.
- And now, you must beware!
Be very aware.
Because now, now…
I AM COMING FOR YOU AND YOUR WORKERS– it is simply a matter of time. You will see.
This is what I am. This is what I do.
Prepared to play?
Ready your game face, Manager!
Ready yourself for my onslaught as well as my challenges.
I remain, as ever, your adversary,
Bite… bite… BYTE.
So… Manager, are you prepared to protect your troops?
This article appeared in Stand Up for Your Life, the Winter/Spring issue of Cardinus Connect. Download it at the link above.
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