Empty Pizza Boxes

So today was the first day of training for my new position behind the tech support desk in the IT department of the business college. I survived. I also feel understaffed and ignorant. Frighteningly so. My supervisor and coworkers speak the speak very fluently. I imagined a few startled expressions when I admitted that I didn’t have much (actually none) Unix experience as most of the computers virtualize a Windows desktop on Unix machines. The building has hundreds of computers and thin clients that must be 100% dependable, so everything is documented and done in an orderly fashion. My task for today was cleaning overhead projectors in all of the first and second floor classrooms. And I got to listen to staff tell horror tales of computer illiterate people and heckled professors and eat lemon bars the kind ladies of the dean’s office brought over.

I turned down an invitation to go bowling tonight with 5 friends by using the excuse that I had to get up at 6 tomorrow morning. I vowed to be mostly awake by the time of morning when I must traverse the big hill in the icy morn on the way to the business building. This morning I slipped and fell three times but got up quickly and managed to not make eye contact with concerned passersby. The days are well above freezing and there is still ample snow to melt, then at sundown all the water turns to ice as temps drop down to the low teens. This phenomenon also explains why the freeways are often closed at dusk, as one was tonight, from accidents. Last winter, they tell me, there was a 200-car pileup just outside of town.

Campus is empty and I can finally park my car within a short walk of my apartment without circling on the off chance that someone will decide to vacate a space at the precise moment I am driving past. The Facebook news feed tells me that the people I normally associate with are scattered far and wide: California, Disney Land, Germany, Norway, China, New York City—leaving nothing behind but empty pizza boxes and me.