Here I am in sunny California.

When I’m out here I sit in the lab on the seventh floor of a particular building. The California parts of my team work on the fifth floor of this building. I’ve always resisted sitting on the fifth floor as the seventh floor lab gives me lots of privacy.

The lab is located interior to the building and has no windows. The windowless door is always locked and you have to get special access added to your badge to get in, requiring a VP admin to request the access from corporate security. This means that no one can come and visit without calling. Two years ago or so when I started using the lab there would be someone else in it from time to time, but no longer. I get the strong impression that I am the only person who ever uses it anymore, despite the fact that the lab contains nineteen PCs.

There is a woman’s jacket by one of the machines that has been here for well over a year, along with some papers, a few unopened bottles of Calistoga and two cans of Mountain Dew, and some ‘Bay Crossings’ newspapers from spring 2002. It’s as though she went downstairs for lunch and was abducted by aliens.

There are also quite a few old coffee cups that have been here for as long as I can remember, having attained fossil status.

It’s been three and a half months since I’ve been here and nothing has changed. Frankly, I think this is the forgotten lab. I must admit I like it like that.

I have a usual spot in the lab. I used to unplug a monitor, keyboard, and mouse from a PC and use them with my monitor. Now I just leave them unplugged and hook up my laptop when I arrive. I also have a keyboard, mouse, and flatscreen monitor downstairs somewhere in a box in a coworker’s office, although I haven’t used them in years.

There was a small cardboard box on the shelf over my usual monitor and keyboard. I didn’t recognize it, so I picked it up. In my handwriting it said ‘Do not remove’ along with my email ID and the lab room number. I opened it up and found it contained a stapler… Major office booty. Then I remembered that I had hijacked it from an empty cube on this floor last time I was out. Staplers are hard to come by around here. I feel no guilt.

My first planned order of business was to update all of the printer status screens on my floor with a bit of Eminem lyrics (‘Guess who’s back…’). Unfortunately I seem to have thrown away the script in some frenzy of filer housekeeping. Drat.

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