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» Friday, June 24, 2016The Living Daylights
Well, it was A Week. Got into my now "old office" on Monday morning to find some kind person (Katie) had taken care of my computer things for me, so there was nothing for me to do there (the monitor, dock, and laptop had needed to be labeled; that wasn't made clear in the instructions and I had run out of labels anyway). It was still moderately cool (well, as cool as it has been in the mornings, in the upper 70s, which isn't "cool" by anyone's definition), so I went to what was my "old" building (the original building I was in, Colgate) to hunt up my new cubicle. As I suspected, it was on the side of the building I had been once been in a cubicle for about a month, before they moved me to the cubicle I was in before they started this whole move-people-into-other-buildings-so-remodeling-can-happen business three years ago (yes, I moved from Colgate to Williams in March 2013 and then from Willams to Stanford late in 2013—keeping track of this still? oh, and no remodeling ever took place—we now rent the entire building but the equivalent of almost one whole floor is not being used). I am seated between two contract specialists both named Eric, and there is a honkin' three-fluorescent light setup right over my desk. After all these years, I know too well what happens if I am under fluorescents too long and I asked Katie to get someone from maintenance to unscrew one of the bulbs overhead and another in the three-light fixture at the entrance to the cubicle (that's six fluorescent tubes in a six by eight space). The guy came within an hour, which was nice.
Since it was still fairly "cool" I thought I would bring my own boxes (the ones with my calendar, James' pic, my flowers, my blotters, etc) before it became any hotter. I was lucky to be able to hunt up a cart (nicely lent to me by the lady supervising the Grants file room) and complete the procedure in only two trips, and finally I could unpack my HotShot and boil water so I could make my oatmeal and eat breakfast. I put my pantry stuff away and a few other things.
In the meantime, I had no computer until it got delivered between buildings, so I sat down with my little netbook and worked on a story until the delivery guys showed up and I could start arranging office things on my desk. No one came to set up my computer until lunchtime, so it wasn't until after lunch I could answer some e-mails and print out a purchase order that was awarded last week.
I thought I could bear up with the two fluorescents if I wore my visor, but by the time I left I was in terrible pain. I walked the dog when I got home and then took four ibuprofin and huddled up in the dark in the spare room until the pain went away.
However, I felt I had to give the lights a chance and worked under them all day Wednesday. I got a modification done as well as a purchase order and sent them off to Will for signature. My eyes were burning by lunchtime and I was glad to have my nap. By the time the day was over the letters on the computer screen were starting to dance and blur in front of my eyes, and I drove home with my eyes itching and painful again, so much that I couldn't even watch TV without hurting.
So this morning I contacted Katie immediately and asked if she could please have someone come unscrew the other two bulbs. This didn't happen until after lunch, so when I went outside for my nap my eyes were burning like crazy. It was much better when I got back and the whole fixture was off. I thought I would need a light at my desk, but there is so much reflected light coming from the two bulbs left behind me that I really didn't need any more illumination. I did put on one of the under-the-cabinet lights when I discovered it had a yellowish tint instead of one of those awful "natural light" bulbs that are supposed to be "better" for you but that still glare.
Oh, and someone came to install a new telephone this morning. These new phones now shunt through our computers so we can log on to Lync and Skype. It also means that if the network is down, we have no phone service. Right. Like that will be useful in an emergency. [eyeroll] (The new telephone base has a reflective portion in its mid-portion, and before lunch the lights were shining directly into that shiny area. I can't tell you how much that hurt!)
Anyway, by today I had everything set up in my cubicle, except I do not have my files put away. The file cabinet that was supposed to be mine is filled—lateral filing cabinet, at least 36 inches wide, with four drawers!—with one contract belonging to one of the Erics. Eric-on-the-right emptied out one of the drawers, but that won't be enough. And I've been talking with people I pretty much haven't seen in three years: Ed, my old supervisor; Jeff, who used to sign my purchase orders; Lisa, who I used to ask technical questions of; and a whole bunch of others. "Homecoming" wouldn't be bad except for the damn lights and the simply awful equipment. They are still using the same old scanners and copiers that they had when I left the building three years ago; the scanner jammed on me three times trying to scan a nine-page purchase order and the quality is terrible. I fiddled with it and found out that they had it set at only 200 dpi. Are you kidding me? No wonder it looks like a 1970s Xerox copy. Eric-on-the-left showed me another scanner at the other end of the building, but it doesn't seem to be connected to the internet. [eyeroll]
I do plan to put a small lamp on my desk; I still have one that I used in my old Colgate cubicle and it was in the trunk of my car. But it was 95°F outside and I wasn't going to walk back out to the car to get it. Between the lights this morning and the heat this afternoon, I was beat again when I got home. Once again I walked the dog, took some ibuprofin, and laid down.
It was too hot to go out again so we had supper delivered: wings for me and something spicy Chinese for James. I was so warm I turned down wonton soup.