Uncommon Syndromes, that I am afflicted with
1. Foreign Accent Syndrome
This syndrome happens when you suddenly start to speak with a different accent. It is most common after a head injury or stroke. I had a head injury when I was 4 years old, after I fell down the stairs. I never really thought much about my head injury until as I got older, people would ask me “What is your nationality?” I would tell them, I was Canadian and they would usually ask, “But where were you born?” I would tell them Canada and they would usually ask, “Where were your parents born?”, and I would tell them Canada. So, they would usually say, “Oh, so you’re Canadian.” Being a polite Canadian I would never tell them what I was thinking … “That’s what I said the first time, you moron!”
Numerous times this would happen to me and I started to wonder, what kind of accent do I have where people would question my nationality. When I heard about the Foreign Accent Syndrome, it hit me. “Of course, because of my head injury, I now speak with a foreign accent”. That is why people question my nationality. I didn’t know what foreign accent I was speaking with, but from then on, when people would ask me what nationality I was, I would reply that I was Polish. That usually shut them up as they would not know how to reply to that remark. If they did question my answer, by saying I didn’t look Polish or that my surname, “Tsukishima”, didn’t sound Polish, I would tell them that in the 13th century, the Mongol’s invaded Poland lead by Batu and Kadan Khan, both grandsons of Genghis Khan. Back then, some of the Mongol’s would ‘mate’ with some of the locals, so I probably have some Mongolian genes, so that is why I look Asian. Or, I would tell them that just my Mom was Polish, that is why my last name does not sound Polish. I told one of my friends that my Mom was Polish when I first met her. She just realized I had fabricated the whole story only a couple of years ago, so for 20 years, she believed my mother was Polish. She didn’t realize when she met me the first time that I also have another affliction that causes me to sometimes fabricate stories.
That brings us to my second disorder, which is described as a type of memory error in which gaps in a person’s memory are unconsciously filled in with fabricated or distorted information. This is sometimes caused by a brain trauma injury, which as I stated earlier, I had when I was four years old. As you can see, telling people I was Polish came from this disorder. This disorder also tended to show up at work. I used to be in IT, working for an Oil and Gas producer. I supported the Finance Department, and I would have to send out emails to the user community with updates on what was happening. In these emails, I would also add in stories, which were fabricated due to my condition.
Here are some examples of my emails that were sent out.
The first example is where I took a problem that had happened and spun a fabricated story around it.
There was a problem with last night’s backup/copy of sybprd1 to sybprd2. The phase conduction overflow valve failed, causing a breakdown of the warp injector cell cooling unit which caused a complete shutdown of the electro-magnetic accelerator processor.
In other words, the copy to sybprd2 failed which means the data on sybprd2 is a day old. Anyone needing up-to-date information should run their accounting system reports from sybprd1 for today. Mr. Scott and Mr. Spock are working on the problem and it should be fixed for tonight’s backups.
If you have any questions please call the helpdesk at 7248.
The next example is where I took a historic event and fabricated a story around it.
Dec 6, 2001
The Areacost Extract and Variance reports have been successfully run.
Tomorrow, Friday, December 7, 2001, marks the 60th anniversary of my ancestors, attack on Pearl Harbor. Most of you are probably unaware that some of my relatives took part in the attack, as a squadron of Tsukishima's were based on the Polish Aircraft Carrier Akagi. Of course, being Tsukishima's, they naturally messed up their assignment. They were supposed to bomb the fuel storage facilities at Pearl Harbor but ended up attacking a local tavern in Honolulu. They landed their planes and invaded the tavern and started drinking until they were totally bombed. In honor of this momentous occasion, I am planning my own, sneak attack on a local bar and getting bombed myself.
If you wish to join me on my kamikaze raid, the attack will start at 16:30 hours.
Roy Tsukishima M.L.D.
This next example is one where I explain to the user community, an IT lingo we used and fabricated a story around it.
July 28, 2004
The Fin Cube was rebuilt last night again and we fixed the problem with the JIB process and it was run successfully last night.
It has come to my attention that some of you out there don't know what the Fin Cube is, so I will try to explain it to you. Fin is short for Finnish which refers to a person from Finland or is a descendant from Finland. Cube is short for cubicle which is a module in an open-area office. So, the Fin Cube is a cubicle where we keep all of our Finnish Employees. The Fins are a messy bunch so once in a while, we have to rebuild their entire cubicle. I hope this little explanation clears up all of your questions.
Sorry, I have been told I am a little misguided in my understanding of the Fin Cube. The Fin Cube is actually the Finance Essbase Cube which some of you in the Finance Department have had training on. When we rebuild the cube at night, it is getting reloaded with current data from various sources including Qbyte FM and users can then run various reports off of it.
Roy Tsukishima M.L.D.
This next example is where I took a news clipping and added a fabricated story around it. In this example, the first sentence about researchers at McMaster’s University was from a news story. The rest is all fiction.
Aug 5, 2004
The Areacost Extract and Variance reports have been run again and the Fin Cube has also been rebuilt.
Researchers at McMaster's University have developed a gun-like device that fires an electromagnetic pulse into the brain and stops a migraine before it even starts. They plan on marketing this device to all married males who will be able to use the device any time their wives use the excuse 'Not tonight dear, I have a headache.’
Researchers have also developed another gun-like device that wives will be able to use to stop their husband’s sex drive. This device fires a .38 caliber metal projectile into the skulls of their husbands that instantly stops their sex drive. Unfortunately, there is one major side effect, as the test subjects have all ended up dead. Researchers may still try to market this device as they think women will buy these devices in droves even with the side effect.
Roy Tsukishima M.L.D.
One final example is where I talk about a co-worker and fabricate a story around them. For some reason, I liked to pick on one of my friends. I don’t want to use her real name, so lets just call her Gertrude. Gertrude was the supervisor of Accounts Payable. The following emails were a series of emails, where Gertrude was the person I was picking on. To understand the inside joke in these emails, Gertrude is a smoker and she likes her Rum and Cokes.
Feb 2, 2004
I hope everyone had a Great Weekend.
We have completed the major steps of January's Month end processing and the Areacost Extract and Variance reports have been run.
The MRSR117 report has been loaded into Powervision but we had problems with the JIB statements and are currently rerunning them.
Well now that we are in February, Gertrude thinks I should try again at my attempts to be nice to her. For those of you who lost money yesterday betting on the Super Bowl, here is a way for you to make your money back. Vegas has placed the following odds on whether or not I can keep my resolution to be nice to Gertrude.
A) Will make it through Monday – 2 to 1
B) Won't make it through Monday – Even odds
C) Will make it through the Week - 5 to 1
D) Won't make it through the Week – 2 to 5
E) Will make it through the Month - 100 to 1
F) Won't make it through the Month – 2 to 20
G) Will make it through the rest of the year - 1000 to 1
Vegas is not accepting bets on not making it through the entire year.
Roy Tsukishima M.L.D.
Feb 3, 2004
The Area Cost Extract and Variance Reports have been run successfully. We have also completed the JIB statements and they have been loaded into Powervision.
Well, I made it through Monday without insulting Gertrude, but it was tough. So, to help me through the process I have decided to use the patch. I now have a picture of Gertrude pasted to my butt. I sure hope this works.
Roy Tsukishima M.L.D.
Feb 3, 2004
We ran the Area Cost Extract and Variance reports again and Jim checked the one area that Don had said did not balance and it now looks ok. Some entries were posted after we started the extract so there could still be some discrepancies.
Oh, and Yes, I do have to change my Gertrude patch every day and I have noticed a small side effect. I now have a craving for a Rum and Coke, not sure if it is the patch or all the stress from the problems this morning.
Roy Tsukishima M.L.D.
Feb 4, 2004
The Area Cost Extract and Variance Reports were run again last night. There was a problem in one Area but we have corrected it and Jim has reloaded the Area.
I'm not sure if I can continue with this Gertrude patch, as the side effects seem to be getting worse. I now want to have a smoke while drinking my rum and cokes. I also have this uncontrollable urge to gamble and moon everyone (OK, maybe I had these urges before I put on the patch).
Roy Tsukishima M.L.D. (_!_)
3. Oppositional Defiant Disorder
This disorder is usually a childhood disorder, but I still have it since I never grew up. One of the symptoms of this disorder, the one that I have, is deliberately being annoying to other people.
This would happen in both my professional and personal life. I have a friend from Newfoundland, that I always have to torment. I know I have tormented her when she called me “Bastard”, or “Asshole.” You would think once I reached my goal of getting her to call me those names, I would stop tormenting her. But I would not stop, I would continue to be a bastard and continue to torment her.
At work, I used to annoy my friend who was the Helpdesk Lady. Actually, I was annoying to many of my co-workers, but for this example, I will only talk about how I was annoying to the Helpdesk Lady. She worked in an open area, which was close to my office, so I had to pass by her desk numerous times during the day. I couldn’t just walk by her and say “Hello”, I had to do something to annoy her. One of my favorite pranks was to sneak up behind her, when her back was to me, and then swing my arm over her head just missing by a few inches. She would always yell at me when I did that. My annoying behavior, became so bad, that she would hit me every morning because she knew I was going to be bad. She would tell me to come around to her side of the desk and she would hit me in the shoulder. On some days, she would give me a double whammy, a hit to both shoulders.
On one particular day, I was annoying as usual, although I can’t remember what I did. She then turned to me and called me a “Miserable Little Dweeb.” I went back to my office and thought, “Miserable Little Dweeb”, I like that. I went back to her desk and told her I liked that name and I asked her if it was ok if I started using that as my designation. She thought it was a good idea, so I called up my friend in the printshop and asked her to create new business cards for me, one that had the initials M.L.D. after my name. She did not question my motives and told me sure, she would print new business cards with that designation. As you can see in my prior example, I used the designation in my company emails.
4. Histrionic Personality Disorder
This disorder causes people to have an overwhelming desire to be noticed, and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention.
This disorder has again popped up in both my professional and personal life. I had this problem, in my younger days, where I would have the uncontrollable desire to moon people, usually, alcohol was involved. It got so bad, that one time, when my slo-pitch team was at a ball tournament in Revelstoke, BC, my team, unbeknown to me, had a pool where my teammates would guess how many times, I would moon people during the 3-day weekend. At the end of the ball tournament, my teammates told me what they were betting on. In case you are wondering, the winning number was 13. I am not sure who the official counter was for the pool. Because of my uncontrollable desire to moon people, my friends also gave me a personalized license plate for my 40th birthday, “FULMOON.” I still have those plates on my vehicle.
At work, this disorder would pop up at various times. Back in 2001, the company I was working for was taken over by another company. Before the takeover, the Manager of IT and one of the Vice-Presidents came over to meet our IT group. I think our whole IT department was around 30 people. So, at this meeting, I showed up wearing rabbit ears. The whole time during this meeting, the Manager and the VP would not comment on my headgear and they would not make eye contact with me. During the meeting, the Manager said he would be meeting with each of us individually, with a person from HR, to discuss what our job functions were. At my meeting, I showed up again with my rabbit ears, but the Manager of IT decided not to show up. At this meeting, there was just the HR person, myself, and my rabbit ears. The first thing the HR person said to me was, “I have to ask, what is it with those rabbit ears?” I informed him I was going for my ‘section eight’. For those of you who don’t know the term ‘section eight’, it is a US military term when someone is discharged from the Army when they are judged mentally unfit for service. Anyone who grew up in the ‘80s and watched the TV show MASH knows this term, as one of the characters on the show, Klinger, was trying to get his ‘section eight’, by dressing up in women’s clothing. Surprisingly, I was not given my ‘section eight’, after these encounters. Since my rabbit ears didn’t work, I did occasionally come to work in women’s clothing, but most of the time it was for Halloween. But my Halloween costumes are another story, one that I might tell at a later date.
Those are the four, uncommon syndromes that I am afflicted with. It is amazing, I lasted 29 years at the company I worked for with these ailments.