to say about today, the blue sky, the green grass, the light in the
break room where I sat just minutes ago reading a book. Hm. I just want
to write and see what comes out. Since duty does not call, and I do
not know where Pete and Judy and Sandy have gone. Maybe they were just
bored and went somewhere to have coffee and gaze absently at old manuals.
Lets see if I can find Pete at the Inspex machine... All I found
was a new and artistic stack of FM wafer containers, covering a whole
wall. Reminds me of an especially featureless Andy Warhol painting.
No Pete. Bruce, the large man with the booming voice who works in the
next room, put forth the hypothesis that everyone went to lunch early
because there is nothing to do here. That would be VERY early, because
the cafeteria doesnt even open until 11:00. Its now 10:50.
But they probably brought lunches.
is still no work here. But now it is nearly twelve. I have a hunch that
my lunch break will be long enough to make the manager bug-eyed if she
ever learns of it. Of course, thats not likely, especially since
shes not here today and most everyone else seems to have scarpered
off already. Judy is still here. I cant imagine Judy EVER telling
tales on anyone.
came back from lunch. Feeling grumpy. The thunderclouds of a headache
are gathering in the distance. Five more hours before I can go home
for the weekend. Jack Jurgens is here now. He keeps looking up at the
screen of that Tencor, then peering down at his notebook and scribbling
there. I wonder what mischief he is doing and how long it will take
us to fix it. Dratted engineers.
sequence of notes from a Verlaines song keeps passing through my head.
It enters through the top of my skull, then dribbles out my mouth. Once
in a while its even on pitch. This must mean that I am entering
the non-verbal, mid-afternoon droning time. Maybe I ought to take a
nap. Ive discovered a wonderful way to catch zs by leaning
against the wire rack at the back of the aisle. Just wheel over there
in the chair, rest your head against the wall and one elbow on a shelf
and zap! youre out like a light. And since the rack is between
you and the main aisle, its nearly impossible for passers-by to
see that you are snoozing.
just came by, saw Jack Jurgens, and immediately asked accusingly, "Alright,
Jack, what did you do to that 500 tool?"
was a guy up on Saxon Hill whose last name was Schoonejongen. It was
too long to fit on his badge. So the badge read Schoonejonge. The woman
who trained me at Saxon Hill was named Alice, and she must have found
Georges last name interesting, because she always said it when
she referred to him, even though there was nobody else named George
- "I have to talk to George Schoonejongen about these new programs,
because he came around and screwed them up again the other day."
"All these manuals are out of date. As soon as a new one comes out,
George Schoonejongen comes around again and youre back to square
see, George Schoonejongen, like Jack Jurgens, is an engineer. I have
no fondness for engineers, but my real pet peeve is managers who dont
know anything about how things are on the line. Judy told me today that
some guy down in P1 Dep got fired when someone caught him playing a
computer game. If managers knew how boring it got, theyd cut people
a little more slack. At least with a computer game youre keeping
your mind alive and not turning into a vegetable.
Im back from break, and still grumpy and what is more, impatient
to get out of here. Its a beautiful day outside, the sun free
of clouds for the first time all week, and were stuck in this
sucking factory. With no work to do! And, I must admit that despite
my efforts to feel natural around people, this girl Heather makes me
feel weird. She introduced herself last night, and that was fine, but
during this last break she started going on and on about how shes
practically engaged to this guy named Dennis, but is still attracted
to her forty-year-old co-worker. Her voice was echoing around the room
as she told me how she doesnt want to get married to a guy who
isnt a virgin because shes a virgin too, and she doesnt
want to get AIDS or any other diseases, having enough to worry about
already. Meanwhile, I was thinking, strange, why is she telling me all
this? Is that woman in the corner looking this way because shes
staring into space or is she also trying to figure out why this girl
is telling me this?
then I grabbed a newspaper during one of her brief moments of silence
and she went off to the bathroom.
now Im back on the line with two hours to go. The computer says
that there is a lot Im supposed to be testing, but nobody has
brought it to me yet. I went looking for it, but lacked the energy to
conduct a search further than twenty yards from my station. Bruce, the
large man from the room next door, has gone in the shifting of the guard,
and in his place is Arlene, a fifty-ish, slightly distracted woman whom
I ask for advice once in a while. She helped me look for the lot briefly,
but soon gave up, saying someone would bring it to me eventually. Arlene
has a limp today. Cant remember if she had it yesterday as well.
never said what day this is. Its April 19. Tomorrow will be Earth
Day, which all the papers are predicting wont be 90% hoopla like
last year. Thank god! I had to be skeptical of the events integrity
when people were getting together in huge crowds and hobnobbing about
how recycling is sooo hep, then leaving piles of trash in their wake.
I hope this year things will be a little more serious, that the ideas
will really start flowing. Could be a good year for communes, dont
come to a conclusion about how to keep your writing fresh. Just spew
forth so much that you simply cant remember what your own style