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Positions

The usual dance at my workplace is the waltz: one step forward, two steps sideways. Today I was finally supposed to start formal training for one of my new positions, the back-up check-in person. I'd already job-shadowed the Check-In Princess and the Cute Geek Super to see how I'd do, and today was to have been my first day actually training in earnest.

I scrambled in two minutes behind schedule, and then got to watch the Check-In Princess shuffle the seating chart. The seating charts for the phone center are done up automatically by the office, but are shuffled afterwards by the check-in person and supervisor request, so people wind up on jobs they're good at, and off jobs they do poorly at, and (theoretically) sitting away from people who damage their productivity. Even after the chart is saved and printed, there's more shuffling done, with the kind help of eradicator tape and neat, tiny handwriting.

The Pink Shirt Guy was in charge of the whole zoo today, and began the shift with a rousing speech about administrative things. (He was wearing a yellow shirt today.) He made a claim that I've heard a number of people with hearing problems say: sometimes he prefers the things that he hears, because they're so much more interesting than what was actually said. Whatever it was that the Walker Boss didn't say, it was evidently hysterically funny.

There was a new job, it transpired, a bit of an urgent case because there were some survey goons in malls with clipboards who'd mis-administered a survey, and we had to go and telephone up all the random mall people who'd done the survey and get the last missed questions out of them. It was a delicate and sensitive and tricky survey, and the Pink Shirt Guy wanted the best people on it. In this way, my training for today was canceled, and I was plopped onto the seating chart right next to Motley. I held a sarcastic little impromptu mini-briefing before the shift started.

I was hyper the whole shift. Not only had I recently consumed caffeine (Sis found some Dew Livewire while shopping), but recent household/friends events had conspired to make me so expansively and extravagantly hyper that, in a grand gesture to illustrate to Figment the enormity of the situation, I knocked over my cup of the ambrosia almost directly on top of tomb_of_osiris and othercat.

I managed to explain the concept of "virtual memory" to the Trader Joe's Queen Monitor, the most astoundingly non-technical woman I've ever run into, using the analogy of a little notebook that you use to scribble what you need to remember down when you're trying to think about fifteen things at once and only have enough brain to think about five of them. And when the little notebook fills up, you can't do anything until you get another one. And that's enough for the non-geek to understand the general concept of virtual memory. (There was a panic when her computer brought up a virtual memory error. My first explanation of it to her was, "It's a geek thing you don't need to understand," which had the desired calming effect.) She's very bright, but she's got a bit of a block about technical things. I'm able to explain around it, so she's very delighted to finally understand some of this stuff.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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