Happy people being happy. Working is fun when you can adjust your brain.

You’re looking a little too cheerful today, could you tone it down a bit? You’re disturbing the flow of the office, and productivity is down as a result.

Yes. I know you’ve only had the implant for a few days and the controls are a little hard to master. If you open up the app on your phone and set the buffer just a teeny tiny bit lower, we can suck the excessive spring out of your step and set efficiency back to nominal.

No! That’s too much. Stop crying or you’ll have corporate sending the techs down to check if the cortisol monitors are fucky.

You’ll be fine. Take a deep breath and I’ll use my supervisor override to adjust it for you.

There you go. All better now. Take five and then back to work

Wow. This is the latest model huh? I’m impressed. Mood, addictive tendencies, sex drive, AND hormonal adjustments.

I’d love to get the upgrade with the melatonin dump. Just set what time you want to nod off to sleep and what time you need to wake up, and you’ll never be late to work again.

No. Mine’s an old model. The company originally had it installed for depression - after the first implants worked so well, it made sense for industry to offer them pre-emptively. I asked management for some time off when I was going through a divorce, and they offered me this instead.

Well, offered isn’t quite the right word. They noticed that my numbers were down and said that if there was a medical cause then I had to get it treated. Or get fired.

Best decision I ever made.

No, it isn’t quite paid off yet. The company did subsidise it in the form of a loan against future earnings, but the balance never seems to go down.

I can never get the numbers straight in my head, and every time I try to do the maths, I start thing about something else. Human Resources says not to worry about it. And if HR is happy I’m happy too.

Oh. You have addictive tendencies? Had addictive tendencies. Sorry. What was it?

Cigarettes? It’s a good job you chose to get the implant. Those things will knock years off your life and play hell with productivity.

You didn’t choose to get it?

Oh! I didn’t know they were doing that. I admit it’s a great idea to to make it a condition of the intern program. Are they giving these new models to all of the new interns or just the ones with… problems.

No, no. Not everyone in the office has an implant yet. The cleaners don’t - although really, in my opinion their attitudes could certainly use some adjustment. All of the sales desk does though, James, for instance got his at university. It was after he was involved in leading a protest against something or other. The faculty sued, and an implant to help him master his more impulsive tendencies was a condition of them not financially driving him into oblivion.

It worked though. Just look at how content he is now

Ah. I see. It’s certainly very forward thinking of them to give you a loan - especially since, as an intern, you technically aren’t being paid yet. Is there a definite job offer after this period do you know?

That’s great! But they never told me how long this internship would last. They’ve used an actual plastic label on the serial number above your sleeping nook, so I just assumed you were permanent. My mistake.

You don’t know either? Hold on a moment, I just need to adjust my own settings. There’s a feeling I don’t quite recognise.

Yes, I’ll do yours as well.

Now back to work - There’s a rumour that the new models have negative reinforcement for repeated low productivity. We wouldn’t want you to have to find out for sure, would we?

Good chap.

Yes, We know it’s an overused cliche, and we loved Harrison Bergeron (both the written version and the film) but behaviour altering brain implants didn’t exist then. They exist now. This isn’t a dystopian science fiction tale. It’s just fiction. And poorly written derivative fiction at that. - The Crow

Image by CydCor | CC BY 2.0