One of the less pleasant parts of renewing my familiarity with the world of work is joining the rush hour. When I worked in the library, I would head north when the flood of workers was going south and the inverse in the evening. Unfortunately, I now find myself going in the same direction as the workforce both morning and afternoon.
On Wednesday, I took the tube, knowing that this was the fastest way to travel. I almost didn’t manage to squeeze aboard the first train but I insisted on doing so for fear of being late. As I was pressed against the door, I had to get off at each station to let people off and then dive back on again before new passengers usurped my place. Getting off at my destination was a relief.
This morning I set off earlier and took the bus. As I left the house, I saw a 214 pull up on the other side of the street. I assumed that with the heavy traffic on the road I wouldn’t manage to get across before the bus left, so I didn’t hurry. A gap appeared in the traffic and I crossed. The bus was still waiting and I heaved myself aboard against the crush of people. It was almost as packed as the tube had been. I stayed aboard until the bus reached Liverpool Street Station where I changed to a 133. Because this was the terminus, the bus was empty so I rushed upstairs and got a front seat. Being an 8-year-old (according to Tigger), I always like the front seat.
When I arrived at work I settled down and started coding. Thus passed the day, except for an hour for lunch with Tigger. The work is boring but you have to give it your full attention, so you can’t entertain yourself by thinking about other things. Interpreting what people write and extracting a meaning that can be coded – without reading anything extra into it – can sometimes be difficult. It has given me some insight into how you should – and should not – write a letter of protest: write to the point; be precise; read the documentation so you understand the subject. Ranting vaguely, no matter how passionately you feel, is no good because insubstantial ramblings or insults cannot be coded and so your opinion will count for nothing.
There are possibly another 3 weeks of this work ahead of me. I prefer not to think about that. We are gradually getting onto speaking terms with the ladies of the coding department. There was some excitement this afternoon when a mouse was spotted. They thought they had it trapped in a box but when they looked, it had disappeared. Because of my hearing and the fact I was concentrating on my work, I missed the whole thing. Otherwise, I would have been rooting for the mouse.
Big old buildings always have mice because there are so many places to hide and build nests. The management calls in the pest control but this is pointless: remove the mouse and you create a vacancy that is soon filled by another. It’s an endless race without a finishing line. You might as well leave Mousey alone to get on with his life. Just don’t leave your sandwiches lying around.