Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Coming to where I work is not cool
I've been working at my current job for almost two years. It's not the greatest job, but my supervisor accepts me for who and what I am. I never liked the interview process, and that was before I had to explain my science fictional life story to a human resources person who hadn't heard of anything like it before. Most of the folks I work with are cool about me, though I haven't made any close friends like I did at BioSoft. That's due in part to being a city-dweller taking a bus nine miles into the suburbs; when folks want to meet up for Happy Hour after work, I've got to examine bus schedules and either not come, leave early, or impose on someone to drive into the city (or to the nearest T stop, which makes both of us feel like jerks). It's a hassle, and I'm usually ready to just go home at the end of the day. Besides, I suspect this body's got a greater tendency to overindulge than my first.
Still, during my time there, folks have more or less come to think of me based upon who I am, as opposed to what. And the folks who have been hired since then, unless they're management types who need to know why I'll occasionally be absent because of weird drama stuff, don't get a big spiel on my history. You wouldn't bring the new hires in and start pointing out that George is gay, Diane's jewish, Mark's got a mentally retarded older sister, and Marti's had the contents of someone else's brain dumped into hers - that's for us to bring up if we feel its any of your damn business. I don't think people avoid bringing it up - fewer new co-workers in the typical age range try to hit on me than I'd expect, for instance, and when I miss a day, folks prod a whole heck of a lot less than I do when the shoe's on the other foot.
So. Anyway, I'm not particularly special most days at the office - I'm more likely to spend lunch discussing the previous night's episode of Heroes with the guys than gossiping with the girls, but that's not totally unusual in a tech environment, either. I'm just one of the guys.
Until the FBI comes in, flashing badges and stopping to get directions to where I sit every other cubicle.
I should have known this would happen - the Feds would have to be stupid not to be keeping tabs on this blog, just in case I mention something that seems trivial to me but fills in some missing puzzle piece for them. And I am cool with that - I want to know things about what has happened to me as much as anyone else. Anything I can do to help. And when I posted Thursday about convincing Amy to get some tests done, I'll bet everyone on the nanomachine invetigation started to feel a powerful hunger for knowledge. And if they'd just given me a phone call and said, hey, Marti, could you send me an email describing what went on, I'd have been totally happy to do so. As much as Amy doesn't trust them, she said I shouldn't jeopardize my generally good relationship with the authorities on her account.
But do they do that? No, they send a couple agents to bother her during class. And another couple to Maggie's job. And Agent Jones personally leads the charge to find out what I know. The idea, of course, is that people figure the Bureau wouldn't be visiting you without cause, and you must be somehow unsavory or suspicious to call their attention. So it's in your best interest to just try and make them as happy as possible, so that they might smile on the way out the door, say you've been very helpful, etc., etc. It's not quite as effective as leading you out of the building so that they can talk to you downtown, but when there's no crime they can link you to, it's the best they've got.
Of course, I told them what I knew, which wasn't a whole lot more than I said in the previous entry; I just included more numbers. At least it wasn't as bad as it was for Maggie's co-workers, who had to explain why there was an off-the-books project going on while keeping the agents from confiscating it. I imagine Maggie and her boyfriend must be catching a little heat for that.
I have to admit, I kind of don't get it. We're learning things, even if only what questions to ask, and not being shy about sharing it. There's no need to be so territorial