Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another Day In Paradise

To paraphrase what a great person said about great things, With a new job comes new responsibilities. No, that's not quite right. A little research reveals that the original quote, "with great power comes great responsibilities", while made famous by spiderman, probably originated with Voltaire. I know my place. I am no where near that level; spiderman or Voltaire.

I have just transitioned from peering into screen in a cubicle buried someone in a bunker in an unnammed location near the beltway, muttering "that program shouldn't be doing that", to sitting at home, looking at openings on Monster, thinking,  "I should be doing that", to sitting in a cubicle, staring at a guy (at least I think it's a guy) climbing one of the cranes hovering over the big hole next door that will eventually will be an impressive office tower, thinking alternatively "I could do that" or, depending on the weather,  "thank God I don't have to do that".

Of course, despite their nonchalance while pirouetting tons of metal at great heights,  those guys don't take chances. This was brought home to me yesterday. I was sitting at Yoda's Ye Ode Auto Repair Shop waiting for yet another doodad on the jeep to be replaced, broken, or fixed, and this kind of scruffy guy walks in. What got my attention was, under his ball cap,  I could see that he had dreadlocks.  This was unusual, since you rarely see 'dreds on a white guy, especially since in all other respects and in certain snobby circles he would be called redneck.

That's a funny word, "redneck". Like most words, its offensiveness depends on context. Imagine you are a certain older lady of high breeding, at the club, where Charles has just brought you a carafe of Earl Grey and a tray of the inevitable cucumber sandwiches, which,  like sushi, simply everyone pretends to enjoy. In secret you loath them, to the point of periodically excusing yourself so you can visit the facilities and purge yourself of them. You do this not because you have a problem, like that poor Mrs Underwoody in the next stall, bless her heart. She hocks up her guts every 5 minutes trying to remain svelte for her handsome yet hardworking husband who is obviously carrying on with that tramp who parks cars at the Perkin's droll Wednesday night affairs. You are therefore sitting there on this wonderous spring day, sipping tea discreetly spiked with a shot of Absolut you carry in a very ladylike flask. You see it helps burn away the taste of cucumber sandwiches and vomit. You spy a ball cap wearing cad drive up in a Mercedes (how gauche - the car, being a particularly offensive shade of chartreuse), and remark to the other hens gathered around you, "my, look at that redneck", causing a titter of giggles. That's just racist!

But Yoda's Ye Ode Auto Repair Shop is none of that, amd the guy is unremarkable, well, except for the dreadlocks. When asked if he was off today, he casually noted that he was a steel worker and they won't risk going up there in the rain. Yup, the last place you want you be if your a steel worker is on the steel in the middle of a rain / thunderstorm.

Of couse, my responsibilities while working for the new company come rather slowly.  Not that I am complaining.  The initial slower pace gives me a chance to learn and adapt. But, here in paradise I do have to wonder if I have been ushered into a gilded cage.

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