By most accounts — and not all of them mine either — I am an emotional wreck.

Does this surprise you? It doesn't surprise me. Really, I can't imagine how it could possibly surprise anyone at this point. And the dominant emotion, actually running slightly ahead of anger and frustration this week, is, of all things, shame. Now this surprises me.

Or maybe it doesn't. Most people perceive a gap between what they are and what they'd like to be; the chasm between what I am and what I feel I need to be is so wide that what I'd like to be, mostly, is somebody else. And while I was fairly good at that for a while, it's a tremendous strain to maintain a second persona — especially when it seems that no one has much use for the first.

This is not to say that I'm not being used, mind you. In my guise as an "IT Professional", whatever that buzzword means this week, I am expected to know why it is Mrs Putzweiler from Shelbyville can't read an Acrobat document, how come something that takes two hours to print can't be printed just this once in forty-five minutes, and whether it's too early in the morning to call someone in the Yukon Territory who turned in an unreadable submission three minutes before the deadline — and that's just the first sixty seconds of the morning. Any delusions I may have had that I was performing any kind of service to mankind have long since vanished; if anything, I have become a facilitator of stupidity, a person who makes it possible for a bunch of people with more money than brains (and, with two dozen cred