It's All Circular

Today Jennifer and I had our first meeting at Benthic Creatures, and I discovered how amazingly small our world can become at times. One of our co-workers is a former co-worker of Jennifer’s from her Company To Be Named Never, but we knew that was going to happen. We knew that was going to happen going in. But there were other surprises in store.

A few years ago, when I was first planning my trip to Europe, while I was still working as a clerical goon in the HR department of UC Davis, I took a part-time job as a video store to supplement my income. Despite the fact that it was an evening job and the pay was, well, minimum wage, I had a lot of fun at that job (well, of course, there were times when I couldn’t stand the thought of working, but every job has those moments); the co-workers were cool, and I got along great with the manager — who shall be referred hereinafter as Mr. Manta (no insult intended by this or any of the other names I’ll be using to refer to my co-workers; I like underwater creatures and benthic life forms, they’re so freakin’ cool!)

A few months back I heard that Mr. Manta was no longer working there. It was really too bad, because I liked him a lot and I enjoyed stopping by to chat with him even if I wasn’t going to rent a movie, long after I’d quit working there. I tracked him down and got in touch with him, learned that he was worried about finances and wasn’t sure what he was going to do job-wise. I was worried for him, of course, but our situation was such that I couldn’t really do anything to help him out financially.

So during the staff meeting at Benthic Creatures today, the door to our boss’s office opened and in stepped Mr. Manta.

For a moment, I didn’t even recognize him; he’d lost weight, cut his hair, shaved off most of his beard, and looked, for the first time in all the time that I’d known him, calm and relaxed. Energetic, even. I could tell that he was enjoying working for Benthic Creatures.

As Mr. Manta and I began reminiscing about the poker games we’d gone to and the movies we’d watched and the fun we’d had working at the video store, our boss — hereinafter referred to as King Squid — said something along the lines of, “Mental note: never put the two of them on the same project.”

It looks like it’s going to be a good crew to work with. Between Mr. Manta and the co-workers that Jennifer knew from her last company, it seemed that the only stranger in the room was King Squid. There was a good feeling in the room, relaxed yet focused.

I’m excited about this job. It’s very different from anything I’ve ever done before, but it’s also the first job I’ve ever had where I feel like I’m going to be doing something important. Contributing. Those mollusc handlers do important work, and we’re going to make their work easier and help all of the molluscs and the benthic bedrock as well.

Things are easy so far. Today, after the meeting, Jennifer and I came home and, well, sat around, casually poking at the manuals that we were given from time to time. Next week we’ll be traveling to Stanislaus County for some meetings, and in October we’re headed out to Chicago for “boot camp” (as King Squid calls it), and that’s likely to be tough. But I don’t expect that I’ll ever stress out too much over this job; and when I hopefully begin classes for library school in Spring, it shouldn’t be a problem to make my work schedule and my class schedule mesh.

So, yeah, that’s my news.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out how to set up a web interface to my mail on my computer here at home so that I can check my e-mail from Netscape while on the road. I’d like to do it without having to set up a POP server on my computer, or point a domain name at my IP address. Any suggestions on how to get started with this would be more than welcome.

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