March 22, 2014

Makin' Copies

I work in a bank's office building. As you might imagine, pretty much everyone dresses like, well, a banker.

Except for the copier guy. The promise of the "paperless office" has still not arrived, so there are multifunction printer/copier/scanner/fax machines all over the place. The bank has a contract with the manufacturer– the bank pays a fixed fee every year, and the copier company provides all the hardware, maintenance, and supplies. We get an eighteen-wheeler full of paper every two weeks.

Anyway, the copier guy. Part of the supply contract is that there's a copier tech in the building every weekday from 9-5. He looks to be in his early twenties, and stands out from all the suits because his work attire is "skater casual", with sneakers, jeans, and flannels. He has a closet full of his supplies in the loading dock, but no actual office, so most of the time he can be found lounging in the lobby's waiting area, just playing with his smartphone and waiting for some work to do. I'm not sure if I pity him for his boring job, or envy him for getting paid to sit around 80% of the time.

The printers/copiers/etc are actually somewhat interesting from a technological standpoint. They are all networked together, so whatever computer you are on just prints to a central server. Then you walk up to whichever printer you want, wave your ID badge at a touch-pad so it can read the badge's RFID chip, and the pad will show "Two documents in queue. Print all?" (Or you can select copies, faxing, etc.) This means you never have to worry about stuff being accidentally printed somewhere across the building. Also, as banks have paranoid internal controls, I'm sure the central server keeps an audit log so they can investigate information leaks (e.g. insider trading and whatnot.)

Posted by: Boviate at 07:02 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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March 04, 2014

Deep Blue

I miss the sea.

Don't get me wrong, I don't miss riding in Navy equipment. Living conditions for officers were about equivalent to low-security prison, while enlisted got medium-security prison. The work schedule was twelve on/twelve off, except there was a forty-five minute passdown meeting at every shift change, so that's thirteen-and-a-half on/nine-and-a-half off.

But if I got a few minutes to steal, I could sit on the leading edge of the flight deck. The breeze riffled through my lack of hair, smelling of iodine. The ocean was a deep, mysterious cerulean, the sky a clear azure. On the horizon, a few small squalls added white and gray. If we were near shore, there might be dolphins playing in the bow wave; further out at sea, the flying fish would dance across the surface.

If I was a millionaire, I'd buy a yacht.

But Hil doesn't like the open ocean. I don't know if I'll ever again spend a week without seeing any land whatsoever. I guess I'm at that stage in my life, where constraints are more visible than they once were.

But I'll always remember that color, that smell, that feeling, of being on the sea far from shore.

Posted by: Boviate at 12:01 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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