Saturday, November 27, 2021

That Was Interesting

     So I went back to the main campus of the Skunk Workings yesterday afternoon and evening, helping to fill in for a vacationing co-worker.  My old desk was buried under nineteen months of trade journals, which I promptly threw away.  My spare fountain pen was still there, along with a few hastily-abandoned projects.  Most of them had been made moot by subsequent changes. (And I just realized I left one that I had intended to pick up.  Well, later.)

     One of the strangest things was walking in the formerly somewhat dingy employee entrance and finding the walls shouting at me!  There's an ongoing construction project on the second floor, with the usual mess, mud and clutter behind the building.  Perhaps in an effort to make up for it, the corridors just inside the employee entrance have been brightened up with colorful wallpaper and giant-sized encouraging slogans.  It's cheerful enough, but if you're expecting well-scuffed neutral tan walls, it's something of a shock.

     The one-way halls of the early pandemic seem to have been forgotten.  Mask-wearing is required in shared areas and people were generally diligent about it.  Water coolers and several doors have foot controls -- a simple (but clever) handle for the doors and nice dentist office type pedals for water.  The pandemic capper was when I visited the washroom, to find this sign on every other door:

     It's good to see the Department of Ambiguity is still on the job!

     Still pretty much the same old place,  though emptier and a little sadder these days.  I started my career in a part of my line of work which had been much larger, and facilities showed it.  I moved to a different segment of the industry, which was bustling at the time.  It appears I'll reach retirement much as I began, in the grand remains of a prior age.  Here's hoping it lasts long enough for a graceful exit.

     The changes in my workplace make writing I Work On A Starship stories a bit more of a challenge.  Increasing automation and improved equipment will tend to shrink the technical and operating crew of the USAS Lupine, too -- not as much or as quickly, of course, thanks to the sheer size of the starship and the essential nature of the geekery, but it's still inevitable.


Cop Car said...

I had to do a double-take on the sign ; )

Robert said...

I would be the one irritating my co-workers about the ambiguity of the stall sign- assuming they even got it.

Roberta X is the God of the Lupine's universe; automation will never completely replace the ship's techs because of (here the creative writer makes up a creative reason).