Thursday, December 3, 2015

Firewall

       I woke up fairly late into the night. By that time—a little after ten, there about—I was able to eat. I enjoy a ham sandwich and a Shasta. I still felt drained from the day and probably everything leading up to the day, but as a post modern kind of guy, I was compelled to post the news of the feeding tube's removal on social media. After posting on Twitter/Facebook, I passed out again.
       The next morning began as a mercifully normal day. I ate breakfast and cranked up the laptop to check my social media. I was curious what anyone might have to say about the news my feeding tube was gone. The response capturing my attention was from Jackie. I have written abut her before. She worked part-time at Oakhaven. We formed a strong bond which still exists as I write this. At this time, she believed I was going to appeal the discharge agreement, so removing the feeding tube was the last thing she expected me to do. I responded to her comment by telling her Oakhaven was a hostile environment I simply could not live in safely. .
       I check my social media quite obsessively throughout the day. Do not judge. You do, too. I exercised the self-restraint to wait thirty minutes this particular morning. But when I tried to access Facebook, I got a message declaring my attempted connection to the site had been interrupted. I tried two more times in the vain hope my suspicions were not true. I typed Facebook's URL into the Down For Everyone or Just Me website. Yes, Facebook was up for everyone. The last thing to do would be the ultimate proof I was being blocked. I had discovered the deep web by this point, so I opened the tor browser. If you are not aware of Tor, it is software that hides your location via relays so no one can see the websites you visit. I was able to sign onto Facebook with no problem.
       I was already suspicious my internet access was blocked the previous week to prevent me from emailing the consent letter for removing the feeding tube. There was now more evidence to think that was true. But Wilson Senior Care/Oakhaven were now violating my right of free speech by blocking my communication. In layman’s terms...they done screwed up now.
       I stormed out of my room on the hunt for Marlie. A with last time, I encountered Paulette first. She asked if I was looking for her. I was not eager to deal with her, but you take opportunities when they come.
       “I have been blocked from Facebook,” I said.
       We went into her office and I explained everything, down to the motivation for blocking me. Paulette called Brock of all people, but she claimed to not even know what a firewall was. Next, Paulette called in Marlie. At least I got who I was looking for in the first place. I explained everything to her.
       “I have to be careful,” she said. “They got on me for working on your computer last week.”
       So corporate did not want me emailing m consent letter. Big surprise. We brought my laptop into Paulette's office anyway. I tried connecting to Facebook so Marlie could see the message and confirm I was deliberately being blocked. I opted not to demonstrate Tor. I wanted to keep that ace in the hole. It might come in handy later. People who do not understand new technology think it is magic. Let them believe I was a wizard.
       Paulette called Chrystal next. She was on the road somewhere. She put Chrystal on speaker phone. I tried to explain everything as I had to everyone else, but she interrupted me.
       “Look in the bottom right hand corner. There are some bars there. Make sure you're on the right network,' she said.
       I wanted to bang my head against the desk. Why did these people think I was so incredibly stupid? “Chrystal, I just bypassed your firewall to access a site you've blocked me from from thirty minutes after I posted this is a hostile environment. Give me some credit for brains”
       She was silent for a couple beats. “Can you still access Twitter?”
    This was an interesting question. I do not often make post directly to Facebook. I post on Twitter and those publish on Facebook as status updates. I could go on twitter all day long and still talk about being blocked from Facebook, so if the plan was to keep me from posting, all they really succeeded in doing was keeping me from reading the potential comments. Or I could be reading too much into it. Who knows? These dingalings were no good at the cloak and dagger shtick.
       “No, you haven't gotten to that yet,' I said.
       Chrystal let out a deep sigh. “Let me see what I can find out.”
    After Chrystal hung up, Paulette, Marlie, and I all hung out a moment to deflate. They could tell I was getting fired up/” Marlie then noticed someone—probably Laura—was accessing my laptop through Team Viewer.
       “Laura has access to my laptop? How often have you been looking at my stuff?” I typed “What re you doing?' into the chat box, and whoever as on the other end signed off with no response. It seemed like a good idea at thai point t go back to my room to cool down and wait for Chrystal. Marlie followed me back.
       “So have they really gone and blocked me for saying Oakhaven is a hostile environment?' I asked.
       "Of course, they did. They don't want to be sued. I don't want to be sued! I haven't had a raise in six years!” she said.
        'Who is more likely to sue you than I am/”
       My question went unanswered. Th first thing I did upon settling back in was delete Team Viewer. Laura was not going to pull that stunt again.  It was about an hour before Victoria came to see me. I was sure this was going to be a fascinating conversation. 
        “I know this will sound like a heck of a coincidence--'
       “Oh, I'm sure it will,” I interrupted.
       “--but sometime in the last 24-48 hours, you posted a pornographic image to Facebook, so the network blocked it.”
       I was floored. I even tried to read Victoria's demeanor to see if she believed a claim so stupid.
       “I have not posted anything pornographic on Facebook. Facebook does not even allow pornography to be posted!' I said.
       "It doesn't have to be actual pornography. It can be something from a site that has been flagged,” Victoria said. “They have lifted the block to give you the opportunity to delete the photo.”
       There was no photo from the last 24-48 hours that could be misconstrued as pornographic. Red flagged sites could not be accessed in the first place. But those two points were irrelevant because I had enjoyed free rein on the internet from the beginning. Nothing was ever off limits. So was this code for me to delete my response to Jackie? I was not certain, but I was going to stand my ground.
       “Would you mind asking the Puritans which photo is the offending culprit?”
       “Okay. I'll ask.”
       While Victoria was gone, I took the opportunity to compose myself and then compose an email to Michelle explaining everything that was happening. I had enough time to write one to Dr. Hiatt explaining things, too. He had been amused by the ongoing soap opera. Victoria returned shortly thereafter with news they had no idea which was the offending photo. Just that it was posted in the last 24-48 hours. So if I would be so kind as to delete it, that would be great.
       “So corporate is morally offended by a photo even though they don't know which photo it is?” I had to laugh. “Well, I am not deleting anything. I have already contacted Michelle about all this. Did you know I caught Laura spying on me with Team Viewer?”
       “Every employee computer has Team viewer,” Victoria said.
       “I am not an employee. It does not matter. Team Viewer I had no problem deleting.”
        It amazed me how, when I assumed Wilson Senior Care/Oakhaven could not get any more blatant with their unethical behavior, they managed to stoop even lower. While under increased regulatory scrutiny, no less. The irony of attempting to halt a Facebook post declaring them to be hostile appeared lost on them.

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