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Karma Cleanser 

Dear Karma Cleanser:

The person who sits in the cubicle next to mine might be the most irritating co-worker I've ever had. He listens to his iPod all day, which would be fine: Except that he hums along, and sometimes even beat-boxes with the music.

People in the office have jokingly asked him to stop. He refuses. We'll get one or two days of quiet, then the beat-boxing starts right back up again.

I'm asking the Karma Cleanser: What did I do to deserve this?

--Hummer Bummer

Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? We avoided the hype for as long as we could, but finally caved in to the pressure. And boy, what a tear-jerker! Anyway, to quote Ennis Del Mar: "If you can't fix it, then you've got to stand it." Sounds like your musical cube-mate has a song that just can't be kept inside. How about you buy an iPod yourself and begin your own, um, Beat-box Mountin'?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

Help! My company employs three astoundingly inept tech-support workers, guys who are supposed to fix our computers. However, they usually end up fucking them up worse. Upper management does not trust the "low-level" workers with the passwords to our computers, so we can't try and do any fixes ourselves. In fact, my computer has frozen up twice during the time I've been writing this letter!

I know you have advised previous people to take their "career karma" into their own hands, and better their own situations. How do I do that if I can't even type up a new résumé without my PC crashing?

--This Job Blows

Yikes -- if we really advised a previous letter writer to seize control of their own "career karma," we didn't necessarily mean for them to spend company time working on their job searches (or, worse yet, to hammer out missives to the Karma Cleanser). Maybe the technology really is the problem here, but it sounds to us like you're looking for someone else to blame for a bad situation. Be your own tech-support guy and ask the client -- yourself -- what's the real root of the job problem.

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