For the uninitiated, the 99’s is a club started by none other than Amelia Earhart, the famous aviatrix lost on her way to Howland island in her attempt to be the first woman to circumnavigate the earth in an aeroplane. The club was founded in 1929, and originally had ninety-nine members, hence the name.
You have to be a woman to be a member, and you have to have a pilot’s licence, or at least a learner’s permit. Which makes it that much more special to me to be a member.
Anyway, the time came around to hold elections, and I got invited to run for a position. I showed up to the meeting and realized that the chapter’s membership had been flagging for years, the leadership long on the shoulders of only a few women, who’d carried their burden a long time. It was refreshing, for them, to see so many young women showing up for a leadership meeting, ready to carry the torch they passed on.
The elected individuals are named at the bottom of the Manitoba Chapter’s page, and as you can see, I’m their new web admin.
They’ve set me up with a login to the site now, and now that I have all the info, I’ve realized something. The Manitoba chapter’s page is just a child page to the national site. Which means they’ve given me write access to the national 99’s website.
I always get a little bit giddy when people give me that kind of power. I mean, if I was a complete bumbling idiot, I could click the wrong button and delete the entire website. Obviously I’m not that kind of idiot, but I do admit to a mischievous nature. My husband calls me his fox, after all.
Let me tell you a story.
This isn’t going to be nearly as funny as it was when it happened. It was one of those you-had-to-be-there moments. But at my previous job, I was part of the second level support team and we all had a chatroom to communicate efficiently, and one day one of the supervisors came in bragging about how he’d spent so long tracking down this guy who’d left us a voicemail with no info except what city he was located in, and after calling every company building in the city, he’d finally got in touch with the guy.
I commented that he’d spent way too much effort on this guy, and this was (company name detracted), not Myst.
Everybody laughed and Sean said, “That was awesome, now do one for Sim Ant.”
I may be dating myself here. I don’t care.
I told him I can’t just do them, you have to set them up for me, and we went back to work.
About a week later – you know, long enough that something’s not forefront in your mind, but recent enough to remember it – one of the team leads sent an email that was ambiguous in meaning, and I was getting after him about clarifying. And Sean started making fun of me, going “Can you explain that? Be more clarified? What does that mean?”
And I said “It means Sim Ant.”
Now, keep in mind that we were working long hours, we were stressed out and exhausted, every one of us, to the point that anything would have been funny. It was a classic you-had-to-be-there moment, but I shit you not, none of them could talk for five minutes, they were laughing so hard. I didn’t think it was going to be that funny either, but at the time, in that mindset, it was.
Fast-forward to my last day, when there was no IVR message to record (my plan for my last day was always to record an IVR outage notification and end it with “this message will self destruct in ten seconds.”) I had another job lined up and was working out the last of my notice days. My team leader gave me explicit orders to log out of my phone and do something unproductive.
I had write access to their knowledge base (internal website that stores all the info and processes for the employees to do their jobs). There is, in that knowledge base, and still is, as far as I’m aware, behind a link under the subject matter expert heading that says “hymenoptera simulation.” If you click on it, it leads to a screenshot of Sim Ant that reads “Your health is low, find some food!”
Now, I’m too professional to do something like that on the 99’s website, but temptation is there. Oh it’s there.
That said, I may or may not have planted an easter egg on my website from my favourite vintage Windows DOS game. I also may or may not have spent two hours trying to get the game to run on Windows 7 to get the screenshot I wanted. If you find it, send me an email through my contact form, and I will come up with some kind of prize!