December 1st, 2003

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Ok, well, here I go to my first first-day-at-work in nearly 7 years.

(Yes, I am working at AOL. No, I'm not working at the job I interviewed for on my last day at RCN. Yes, I like the sound of this job more. No, I'm not working at the main AOL campus. Yes, I'm working at AOL/Reston.)

Assuming I don't die of heart failure before I get there.
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I survived!

Good lord, I'm tired. But, given my track record for updating of late, I figured that if I didn't do this now, I wouldn't do it at all, so.

Got up at 5:45 (!) and did the shower / dry hair / find clothes thing. Procured coffee. Poked around on the net. Around 7, I was getting ready to do a final sync of my PDA, and it wouldn't, so I argued with that for a little bit, and finally, around 7:15, I ventured forth into the world.

Traffic to AOL/Dulles was not terrible, and I got to HQ with time to spare. I wandered in to the receptionist, and was instructed to join the milling throngs of people. In an effort to comply, I milled, throngly.

At 8:20 (orientation was supposed to start at 8!), someone came and fetched us, and we wandered downstairs to Geneva. (Yes. AOL really is Just That Big. They keep Geneva in the basement. No. In reality, it's a lecture hall conference room thingie. But, I am kind of amused by the idea of Switzerland being stashed underneath Dulles, VA. Anyway.)

Then, time passed. Slowly. Really slowly. The sands in the hourglass were being formed at roughly the speed they were falling. Did I mention things were going slowly? Orientation was... boring. (Apropos of nothing, if you send people to orientation, shouldn't you get Asians back? I mean, really.) Orientation served to remind the 40 or so of us there that AOL is a Big Company, with Lots of Stuff. Towards the end of this, I got a badge, having had my picture taken 40 or 50 years ago, shortly after I arrived that morning. My badge photo isn't atrocious, though it does lack the pigtails I was pondering, since I was harried this morning, and failed to pigtailify. And! AND! My Offical AOL Employee Badge says... "MERI" on it, under my picture. This amuses me to no end. (Hey, they had a 'nickname' field. I used it.)

When I escaped Geneva (oh, the imagery), my new boss Al met me outside, and we had lunch in one of the four or five cafeterias on the AOL/Dulles campus. Then, he and I drove to AOL/Reston, which is where we both actually work. (Along the way, I called Vger to let him know I was still alive. <meri> I'm driving to Reston now. <Vger> You're driving to Austin? <meri> RESTON. <Vger> Oh, ok. Good. I thought that orientation might have been really rough, and you decided to hightail it to Texas.)

Once at AOL/Reston, Al scurried me around the office, introducing me to people, though I had met a few before... some ealier than others.

See, I have to make a little aside here. A couple of days after I interviewed, fuzzichi was sitting in my living room, and suddenly asked me, "What school did you go to in Japan?" I looked wary, and said, "MC Perry." fuzzichi then laughed, and said, "You're going to be working with someone you went to the 6th grade with."

Yes. That's right. The world really is just that small. It seems that the person in question (Chris) saw that his team was hiring a "Mary Alderdice" and went to find out if it was the same one. <fuzzichi> Well, she did live in Japan... <Chris> The Mary I'm thinking of skipped the 7th grade. <fuzzichi> That's her!

It seems that Chris used to have a beard. He didn't, today. He said that he shaved so that I would recognize him. I think he was taller than he was 18 years ago...


So, yeah, running around the office, and found where my temporary office is, since I'm moving to a different office once this weird domino-effect chain of people moving happens. Then, fuzzichi kidnapped me, and we drove back to AOL/Dulles (though fuzzichi pointed out illspoken's office as we fled the building, and I sat in on a meeting about spam (aaaaaaagh!), and then we came home.

And I am freezing, but am slowly getting warmer, thanks to the wonders of footie fleece pajamas. No. Seriously. Target has footie pajamas in real people sizes. Right now. Go get some. You know you want to.

I think that I shall go to bed soon, since I have run out of adrenaline, and I am tired, and I have to do this "going to work" thing again tomorrow. Goodness.

Thank you all for the kind thoughts and the crossed fingers and the well wishing. You're all pretty nifty.
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