When I first walked through the door I was a little afraid of what would come next. This small fear soon turned to boredom as the school wasn't in session so there were no computers to repair. They had me moving metal power strips around to make room for the construction workers who are building a new wing on.
So I did that for about an hour. Then I was told there was a problem with some of the printers. However, I didn't have an admin account on the servers, so I couldn't log in to investigate the problem, oh well, I suppose ill just do it in the future.
I was pretty much cut loose to do whatever I wanted to after that. They just want me to be there in case any computer troubles come up. I went down to the server room and hung out in there for the rest of my time, reading manuals for the equipment we have and reading the notes of the tech guy that came before me.
All in all, not too bad. The 1 hour long train ride gives me time to think before work and before school. Everyone that works at the place is cool, they are nice and leave me alone to do my own thing pretty much. Tomorrow I need to bring some sort of long lasting food to store in the fridge for future lunches.
Today was much different. I was introduced to my closet office. It is a computer desk, monitor and telephone jammed into a closet. Its not much, but it gives me a place to sit down and relax. After they put in the new wing I will get a real office, hopefully they will finish before I quit in one year.
Sue, the secretary suggested I bring my school books and homework to work every day so I can study in the times im not repairing something. This summer is supposed to be very slow. Thats good, perhaps I wont have to worry so much about doing work at home.
I got my first real service call today. One of the doctors was having trouble installing his contact list so the names autocomplete when he types e-mail. I wanted to mess around with his computer and fix it, but it seemed like he wanted me to just tell him what to do. It was hard, I know how to fix things, but only when im able to do it myself. When repairing something "second hand" I have to use a lot of brainpower to convey to the other person what to do and do have as much to think about the problem itsself. It turns problem solving into more of a chore than it really is.
I tried to convey to him to find the file with the contacts and use the outlook setup to add it to the contact list, but he seemed to not quite get it and after a while I just gave up. It was depressing, but I didnt know how else to handle it, I could tell he was starting to get frustrated and didnt want to get him yelling at it. So we tried some other stuff just for show, eventually he brought me to the "real" problem.
He was having trouble getting outlook to interface with his e-mail account and internet connection. So we messed around with it for a while. Eventually, at his request (unfortunatly) I called the main tech support people for information I really should have already gotten from them (address of e-mail servers, usernames, etc). After a while we found out his e-mail address was wrong, so we corrected it and everything worked fine. I felt bad afterwords, the doctor pretty much solved the problems himself, my presense helped little if any.
This call pointed out some problems in my own tech support skills:
1) I need to be nicer with the doctors, I need to address them properly and attempt small talk to get their minds off of the stress of the problem in front of them.
2) I need to cement a plan for solving every problem, a set of steps:
1) Greet doctor
2) Clearly identify the problem
3) Attempt to gain control of their computer to solve the problem, if this is not possible then talk them through it in a friendly manner.
4) After attempting various solutions to no avail use manuals/help files tutorials/internet messageboards for possible solutions
5) As a last resort or when there is no more possible action to take call the main tech guys
6) When problem is solved point it out to the user and kindly leave
3) I need to bring a notebook and pen to every call to record important information and any other notes that would help in the future.
4) I need to learn how to "act" enough to come across as to put a nice impression on people and put their minds at ease, I have a tendancy to put people off or scare people away.
I hope to change my ways in the future, I want to be the best tech their is. When people come to me with problems I want them to be happy I am solving it for them.
These are the kinds of situations I will be cutting my teeth on in the next few days, I need to keep this in consideration but strive to be the best I can be.
Nothing new. Studied all day. Tomorrow I get to proctor a grad students exam, yay. Still havent gotten log-in. They must be doing some hardcore stuff to get it, I heard from the secretary it took her 1 week to get hers.
A Few Days ago----
Wow work really takes a lot out of me. I found my-self struggling to stay awake through class because I was so tired. My body just wont cooperate. I hope this hardship will force me to be a stronger person. Eventually, my body will learn how to cope, I just need to fight through the physical stress for the time being, but soon it will be my best friend.
Wow, its sort of wierd updating like this isn't it. With work it feels like I have 2 lives. One begins the second I walk into work and ends the second I leave. My other life takes place in the remaining hours.
I suppose this is the typical human experience. So many lives in one life. It just seems more apparent now because the new life appeared only last week.
I'm starting to really enjoy the train rides. It gives me lots of time to think. When I first go to work I am very edgy and tense, but when I ride home I feel more carefree and happy. I am starting to get used to this rythem.
On my ride to work today I saw a beautiful woman. She looked familiar for some reason, like an old friend or something. Once I saw her I never looked in her direction again even though she was only a few feet across from me. I don't want to get trapped by a woman again. Women will only distract me from my job and my future, right now I want to focus on work, I enjoy it. If I looked at her again something might have happened, I might have lost control and talked to her.
It is important for me to not be taken in by women. This morning I tried to just not think about her. As I was trying to distract myself with other things I felt random images of her appear in my mind. Of her smiling at me, laughing. Spending time with her in my house, maybe sharing the breakfast she made in my sun-room instead of being alone.
I was almost swayed by these emotions and visions to talk to her, but I was somehow able to maintain control of myself. I reminded myself of all the work I do. How I want to be the best at what I do. The distraction of a woman would only slow or even halt my progress. The road I have chosen may be difficult, but there is an inherent beauty I feel in it that would be taken away if a woman were to enter my life.
I am traveling down a small dirt road in the middle of a plain. Sometimes it gets hard to keep moving, but I take pleasure in the fact that I do so. Sometimes I see a beautiful cottage on the side of the road. I can smell the best foods coming from it, smells of flowers and women. I know that if I were to enter I would sleep like never before, my traveled bones would find a much needed rest. But I cannot let myself be tempted by these sensations, for if I were to enter the house I am not sure I could return to the pleasurable hardships of the road. I would lose the unattached spirit I cherish now. I just need to keep walking.
Wow, thus ends my first week of work as a Computer Support Technician. I feel
more alive than ever. When I am at work I am not the me I am now, my entire
perception of reality changes to focus on work. But now I am just me again,
work really brings out the contrast of me. Its like doing one thing for so long
you forget your doing it and then when you do something else and come back to
the other thing your like wow, I was doing this all along and didn't even
realize it before.
So I am about to get out of the house and buy some new anime and lots of groceries. Ive been living off sandwiches and cereal for the past few days and its starting to get old lol.
I'm gonna get some beer too, what a nice way to cap off the work week.
Ah, its Sunday again. I feel pretty peaceful and have an optimistic attitude
towards the future.
So what did I come here for?
At first I just thought this diary thing was good to use because its a lot easier than writing, all the entries are easy to access and everything looks neat.
But then, I got my first comment:
"hey, My name is bethany. I started reading your diary adn you sound like sucha sweetie. I feel sorry for the way your life is goin now but maybe we could like e-mail each other if ya wanted and we could talk about it? watcha think? i was in exactly the same place you were this time last year. i really think that i can help ya. If you want to we could just tell me and next time i'll leave my e-mail address. I'll check back in a few days to see if ya want it~! until then bunches of love~! bethany"
And realized that real people might actually read and digest what I type. It felt like a prize, if maybe I could make an intresting diary someone will pay attention to me and I will feel good about myself. Eventually, I lost touch with my reason for keeping a diary in the first place; to maintain contact with myself and collect events of my life. I began to focus more on appeasing an audience instead of staying true to my being. Even today, I observed some parts of reality as things to help attract an audience, its like viewing my life in the third person.
To summarize, I think this diary is hurting me more than helping me. It exists not as an accurate recording of the happenings of my life but merely as a way to feed my ego.
It takes the "real" factor out of life, it trivializes my existance. It is just another way for me to hide from my dread of the invisible bonds that form between people.
Here I can tell all you people about my life as if I was telling it to an intimate partner. What I am doing now satisfies me to the point of feeling no need to seek people in real life to exist intimately with.
I really don't know where I am going with this. I do not intend to end this thing, it brings me something I dont think I could find in "real life". It is just a mistake I keep making over and over again. But it is a mistake of my own will, it seems the best route to take given my situation.
So whats my point?
I guess there is no point, just some feelings about things. This is me, right?
Wow, today was a 'full' day. I feel really balanced now. Like i've done
everything I want to do. I have no regrets and reflect on todays events with a
smile. This day certainly needs recording.
I woke up at 6:50am today, it was strange, I rarely wake up before my alarm rings at 7am. But today some unseen force called me up early, it might have been the urge to piss, or perhaps something more profound.
Looking out the window, it was so dark due to the immenent storm. If there were no watches one might think it was still night, but no. On my deck the faintest crimson tone, almost invisible.
As I jumped into the shower I began to think about today. The main tech guys from Amarillo, Dexter and Shawn were going to come down today and teach me what I need to know about my branch of their system to keep it up and running. I felt a ping of uneasyness, uncertainty. I was not sure if I would be able to hang with them, tech people are notoriously hard to get along with. In addition all that hand shaking and greeting makes me feel uneasy.
I ran out to get the newspaper, wierdest thing. Just as I grabbed the paper the rain poured down violently for just a moment and then stopped as I reached the doorway.
Everything else went as usual, ate breakfast, hopped on the train and proceeded to zone out as usual.
When I reached mockingbird station for the transfer the clouds were nice enough to open up and let some warm sun through. It felt good. I love this station, it is a rectangle about 30 feet below street level, open air, with train tunnels on the short sides and terraced gardens on the long sides. It feels otherworldly, it is so quiet and peaceful.
So I was just standing there waiting for the other train. I noticed a small, wet, mockingbird on one of the train cables. It noticed me and jumped down onto the platform and began hopping towards me, rotating its head as if to say what the hell is this thing in front of me all the while staring right into my eyes. It was like a small child, I felt connected to it somehow. Suddenly, the train came and broke our staring contest, the bird flew off.
I got on the other train and sat down. I had this strange feeling of warmth, I couldnt stop thinking about that bird for some reason.
Nothing else of note happened until I arrived at work. Upon entering I met Mr. Watson, the person responsable for me, nice guy. The secratary said that the tech guys were down in the server room, figures right. So I walked down there and met them, they were pretty nice. They were a lot older than I expected, about 40 or so I would guess, one of them had a grey beard.
Basically, we just hung out for a while. I learned so much, I wrote it down in my red book. Then for lunch Shawn took us down to the best place to eat within 10 miles, Long John Silvers. It was kind of scary, I work in a very bad part of town, I often hear a new story of how so and so shot this other guy on my train ride through these parts. Not to be racist, but it is a poor black suburb, Oak Cliff, most of the people Ive run into down there are pretty nice though. Lunch was pretty uneventful in spite of my fears.
After that not much else happened till I went to the station to go home. A begger came up to me and asked for money. I gave him 3 dollars. He seemed pretty happy about it and he told me about his situation until the train came. He was a 37 year old with a massive leg injury, he could still walk though. He just had "mental problems", his parents wanted to keep him in a hospital, but he was too proud so he left them and is trying to live alone. Pretty sad. I think givin circumstances like his anyone would ultimately end up in the same situation. If I didn't get these lucky breaks I could easily see myself in the same position. I give money to beggers the same way people feed bread to geese or popcorn to birds. I figure 3 dollars to them means a hell of a lot more than it means to me, I have no regrets in parting with my money like that.
I was stormy on the ride home. So much rain, darkness. When passing through the downtown area some of the buildings pierced through clouds, an eerie sight. I wonder if the people in offices above the clouds get to see the sunshine or if there is just more clouds above them. Very strange.
I sat next to some wierd lady. She kept mumbling some things, I think she was trying to start a conversation or something. I remember her saying "You must have something under your belly-button", I didnt know what to make of her so I just kept making little grunts of acknowlegement. When I was about to get off at Mockingbird station I looked over at her for the first time. She was in her 50s, maybe a secretary or something, I wasn't sure. But she had these eyes that pierced to my soul, they seemed well traveled and all-knowing, yet comforting at the same time. As I was leaving she said "Watch your step, the floor is slippery", I turned and said thanks, but im not sure if she heard me. At first I thought she was crazy or something, but that one sentence comforted me.
All the beings I have met today. It feels like I have seen god in them for some reason, the bird, the begger, the woman. I can't help but feel warm inside when I think of their eyes. A feeling of utter satisfaction I have never felt before.
Anyway, eventually, I got to my car and drove home. To my surprise my parents were there. They were just home to get some more of their stuff they left behind, but since we hadent seen each other in so long we decided to eat out. It was good seeing them again. They live very simple lives, no jobs, they just do chores all day mostly and relax in the evening. No neighbors for miles. It must be nice to be away from all the traffic and mess of the city, but I dont think I could do it.
After eating they dropped me off at home and headed back to theirs. And now here I am.
Today feels special somehow, I met so many faces, talked to so many people. I feel as if I am coming out of my shell or something, as if I am maturing into a proper adult or something. It feels good.
So I have this training trip to Amarillo on Friday. Unfortunatly, I will have
to fly to get there on time. It is cool cause they are paying for everything:
the flight, rental car, food. Sort of like a mini-vacation, except I get to
learn more stuff about how everything works around here.
Oh and one more problem. I am very afraid of flying. Its only an hour trip. But it will be hell, when I get in those metal tubes I feel my fate go to the airplane and the pilot. There is no escape, trapped for an hour.
I just need to go limp and turn my mind off once on board. If bad things happen, they happen and in the moments of the situation I will have a chance to react. My reactions will determine if I live or die.
I suppose this is the way of life. Passing through it, moment by moment actions determine your fate. Some moments are vital, others are trivial.
Its scary, but this fear is to keep me from going in the first place. Its my body saying, "No Ben, don't do it, you put your life in unecessary danger". But, the way my life is, I dont really have a choice. My mind wants to go, but my body raises a natural defense I will ultimately overcome.
Fear seems meaningless sometimes, doesn't it?
At least I have to get up at 4am to get to the airport on time. Sleep depraived, perhaps I will just pass out once on board, or be too tired to care.
The monk found himself on the edge of a great chasm. The other side promised delicious fruit he had only tasted long ago in a distant dream. However, crossing this chasm was no trivial matter. Its bottom was hardly visible and the only way across was to navigate a rotting wooden bridge.
His mind filled with fear. The more he tried to push it out of his mind the more it gripped his feet in a dark freeze. For many hours he remained on the edge in absolute terror.
First, he tried coaxing his mind with logic: The bridge might not hold his weight, but people often crossed it, it should be safe. This line of thought did not help move his legs, the fear remained on his legs.
Next, he tried emotion. Excitement of the things on the other side, anger at his inability to move. This didnt help either. His feet were solidly planted.
In all this torment the sun had moved without him even being aware of it. Now, it was so low in the sky the ground was a dark crimson color, barely visible. If he did not move soon, he would not be able to find his way back home due to the darkness.
The monk realized how this would play out. For a moment he simply admired the beauty of the sunset; no bridge, no ground, no feet, no fear, no self. The monk's eyes became almost closed, as if gravity had pulled them down. The monk took a deep breath and released it like wind lazily leaking out of an open knitted bag.
Without anything else the monk lifted his legs and began crossing the bridge.
Such a nice breeze.
Yay, im safely on the ground again. Yesterday was cool, had a big adventure,
saw a lot of things, did a bunch of stuff, etc..
I would type it all out, but it wouldn't do it justice. I wish there was some way to take all the events of yesterday and be able to relive them and let other people live them as me. Kinda a wierd thought, but there is no way to keep events of ones life in a pure sense. You only live the events once, and then you just have memories.
Kinda depressing I guess, but this makes great motivation to go out and do things.
On that note, time to go get some groceries, I could probably live a few days with the food I have now, but I wouldn't want to. Ramen, chili, crackers, hot links, Lucky Charms. Those would be the main dishes for the next few days, not very appetising.
It would be cool to have a wife or something to get groceries while I just BS around the house and maybe mow the lawn. But, to have a wife I would have to make a bunch of other sacrifices Im not ready to make yet.
So, off to the grocery store we go
Ah, I dont know why, but I feel super drunk now.
Perhaps, it is this schlitz malt liquer. All those other pricy beers like Asahi and Bud Light are just weak. Yes, I am starting to think that Schlitz has some special ingredients that those other beers dont have.
Ah, I have a swig, maybe 2 left before the bottle is empty, my last bottle, beer stores close in 5 minuites. Thats not good, just like death.
I suddenly awake on the train I take to work everyday. The car is empty, only me, in the middle row, left side, alone.
I look out the window with wide open eyes. I see blue shadows streaking by swiftly. They give me the same feeling as cloudy rain.
I realize this train is not headed anywhere. I am not going to work even though I am on the train that usually takes me to work. My eyes become small and glaze over with a white mist. My mind is not active. Somehow I am alive by emotions.