Hello E2,

How are you doing? It's nice to talk to you again. Yes, I know you don't recognize me. Last time we talked I had a different name with only a few nodes under my belt. The nodes were good, but I didn't like my name, so I made a new one. I hope you're not offended. I'm not going to make the traditional excuses that I "haven't had the time" to talk or that I've been "busy lately". I might have been somewhat busy, but I certainly could have spared some time by holding up on some of my other, less constructive activities. It's just that, at the time, I felt I couldn't hold a constructive conversation with you. I simply didn't have it in me, just didn't...feel it, you know?

You are a fantastic listener and will lend an ear to anyone who has anything to say. By this description, you are just like the rest of the internet. But you are different. You are more than that. And you deserve better. You deserve better than a couple random sentences thrown together in five minutes which lack any real thought or intent behind them. Right now, I feel I can deliver. Right now, I think I'm ready to start talking again.

Second day on the job. Things are a bit stressful, as should be expected. Having moved in less than a week ago, I am far from rooted in. Still got to visit the DMV. Still got to get a local phone number. Still got to get my own internet connection. At least I now have a kitchen table (sitting on the floor holding my hot hot dinner was starting to get uncomfortable).

The job has been a bit frustrating so far. Being a newcomer, I haven't yet any work to do. That alone makes me uptight. Without anything for my mind to crunch, I get upset, nervous. I start crunching things that don't need to be crunched and I end up just hurting my teeth. On top of that, people seem to act so strange, so awkward. It's absolutely PAINFUL. You know those kind of conversations that your mom and grandmom have over the check after eating out?

"I'll pay."
"No, let me."
"Mom, I have the money."
"No dear, I can cover it."


There are a lot of "conversations" like that at the workplace, but without the undertone of family familiarity. It makes me want to scream! People seem so AFRAID of each other. Afraid that they will somehow offend someone. Do you know what I mean, E2? This could just be part of the "warped glass" view I get of the world, the tinted and warped view we all experience that is shaped by our own unique pasts. But I don't think it's me this time.

And, of course, being a company that contracts out Uncle Sam, job security is high, so no one really has the motivation that comes out of the fear of losing their jobs. Therefore, execution times, at least appear to be, somewhat slow.

Because of this, you know what I did all day? I sat in my cube, with nothing to crunch. I ended up taking the initiative to get my car tag and my security badge myself, but that only kept me crunching for about a half hour (and that includes the time I spent wandering the unfamiliar cubical mazes).

On top of that, I was forgotten about. Ahh, lovely. See, Fridays are apparently "Taco Bell" days, so I was told by my boss that he would let me know when my team would go out to get Amer-Mexican food. I waited until 1:30 to stop by his office and ask when we'd be leaving:

"Oh sorry, I was just at a long meeting and decided not to have lunch. I should have had someone tell you when they were leaving."

Then, it was more awkwardness, because he really was sorry and he really wasn't sure what to do.

Him, Another Guy, and I ended up going to Subway together in Another Guy's pretty sweet convertible sports car. More awkwardness as to who gets shotgun. Of course, I would have preferred that he take the co-pilot's chair, since, you know, he's my superior and all, but he ended up taking the initiative to sit in the cramped back seat himself. I made a joke about it, just to show him that I knew where the lines of authority were drawn. More mind crunching. I'm probably making this more complicated than it actually was.

Lunch itself was alright:

Another Guy: "Do you want to eat here?"
Boss: makes an "ehhh" expression on his face
::short pause::
Boss: "Okay."

We eat, and make small-talk about the area and how I've progressed in terms of moving in. Another Guy has shifty eyes and a voice that trails off at the end of his sentences. My boss doesn't make eye contact much, but not in a negative or angry way.

When we return, I ask if I should just hang tight in my cube. He says yes. More hurting of the teeth. Yes, I have an internet connection, but I'm scared to use it for anything other than BBC News or Slashdot. Being a government building, all traffic is monitored and being a newbie myself, I don't know how strict they are in enforcing the internet surfing rules they laid out for me my first day.

I listened to you a bit, E2, but, as you know, you can be a little "riske" at times. I started with the daylogs which contained content which, if caught by some sort of filter that scans for keywords, could fairly easily label me as a pervert who can't wait for the end of the day to indulge in his adult fantasies. I visited some more neutral, factual nodes after that, just in case.

But I did find some very chewy gum written by a guy named Bart Kosko who has some interesting things to say about science and the big G. I think you'd find him very interesting, E2.

I hope tomorrow will present more opportunities to meet my co-workers and tune myself to the building's rhythm.

Thanks for listening, E2. I'm glad you're here.