As I click and right-click to sweep the mines, As I play, I fancy myself an Important Person, someone who rids the world of Evil, like many a Bush administration official. Every now and then I look to the side, to that URGENT package that arrived earlier. There's something inviting about a package you didn't expect sitting unopened over a pile of reports you don't care about.

A flash. A sad yellow face. Game Over. In a split-second of rage, I close the window. Luckily, my computer is state-of-the-art. Minesweeper loads fast in state-of-the-art machines.

But I don't reload the program. Instead, I slide across three feet of carpet on my chair to the other side of my L-shaped desk, and I pick up the package.

The label says: Operations and Analysis Division.

It's my division. I never understood why they call it a division. What this is is more like a piece, the result of a division. A piece, built of a few hundred people, or a respectable bodycount as They say.

After Operations and Analysis Division, the label says: c, slash, o, Ted Allen.

It's for my manager.

This is the third URGENT package I have received for him this week.

It's Tuesday.

Always, always these stupid games. I can never quite understand what is going on. This is similar to what Alice does, speaking on her cellphone in the hallway, but slightly more ridiculous. After all, there is a chain of command, sort of. I know that he's a step above me in the food chain. I have to obey. Whether I do or don't is beyond the point. But he doesn't want just that. He wants respect.

Well, we all have dreams.

I dump the package in the trash, and go back to my computer.