Saturday, February 12, 2005

Non-physics notes on the shift

Just a few details that didn't have a home in the usual notes.

"Aspen East" is a dorm/housing office that was made of two buildings put together, with the central wall taken out. Floors don't quite match everywhere, the stairways are exceedingly steep, and the walls have cracks here and there. The molding is large beautiful old work, though painted to within an inch of its life. The room I was in was nice and large, with its own shower--and was exposed to the outside on three sides. It got pretty cold in there by 1am.

The CDF trailers hold offices and a kitchen, and a couple of bathrooms. The toilet stall doors open inwards, and the door is four inches from the front of the toilet. When I was young and thin it took contortions to close and open the door. Now that I'm . . . . never mind.

CDF is alive with Italians. Which is fine; the folks I'm working with are quite sharp and careful workers, and the backbone of the experiment. But it can be a little embarrassing. On evening shift you have to worry up your own supper. Though they won't say no to chips and dip or cookies, I haven't seen an Italian yet who, come supper time, didn't put together a nice meal. It might not be complicated, but it was always complete and well-presented. Me: I'd dump a can of chili into a bowl and stuff it in the microwave. Individual seasonings: none. Presentation: glop. (Yes, I'd zap some veggies to go with, and eat a couple of apples for dessert. I try to get a few vitamins in me.) So I sit down to eat with a bowl-o-red and bowl of naked veggies, and across from me my colleague spreads out napkins and sprinkles cheese to melt on his pasta and sausage, with a few red beans tucked on the side. Funny thing: he didn't spend all that much longer in the kitchen than I did. Hmm.

Don't bother telling me about all your counterexamples--I don't doubt that they're out there. I'm talking about specific people I work with.

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