After leaving the trailer with the items Jack brought, and stepping into the eighty-degree California heat, Will, navigates through the maze of construction chaos that is the parking lot of the Byte Corporation. The loud noises of bulldozers, saws, drills, forklifts beeping as they backed up, and workers yelling at each other saturate the environment. Some people are wearing orange safety glasses, yellow vests, and hard hats. Some people are on top of ladders as well as walking and working on the roof.
He walks past someone, not wearing safety glasses, dumping a grey plastic trash can into a blue dumpster and then his ears are assaulted by the loud annoying sounds of heavy metal bits and pieces slamming into the bottom. He narrowly misses walking into a puddle of oil, then at the last second after noticing a huge gap between the main office building and the parking lot, he quickly leaps over the gap, avoiding injury. The same old route. Normally once a day, but today he has to do it twice.
Now in the building, William briskly walks past the bustling Parts department. Then past Shipping and Receiving with its loading up of products into diesel trucks, and quickly through the conveyor belt jungle of the Configuration department.
As he’s walking through Configuration, he witnesses Config Technicians rapidly receiving new desktops, laptops, monitors, scanners, printers, and tablets, then opening them up and removing video cards, network cards, and other individual components and either replacing them with upgraded versions, downgraded versions or simply leaving them out altogether. Then the techs re-assemble the workstations or laptops, tests their functionality, then wipes them down and applies bar code, QR code, warranty, and\or general info stickers to their cases.
A small sliver of envy comes over William, that gradually starts to build pressure into a giant shard. He knows he’s as good or better than any of these techs, but he must have been too late at getting a position like the ones they have.
After finally making it past Configuration he finds himself at the entrance of a heavily dusty and polluted construction zone that used to resemble a large office floor with many private offices and cubicles. He puts on the safety glasses after trying to clean them with his shirt, attaches on to his forehead the LED light headband, then pulls the yellow elastic strap of the painter’s mask and covers his nose and mouth while letting the strap grip the back of his head. For where he was going, the Data Server room, there was no electricity, except for one outlet across the hall from it, so he turns on the light attached to his forehead and marches on.
This zone was the heart of the rebuilding and adding of new and expanded office space for Byte Corporation’s main headquarters. He needs to walk past torn down cubicles and empty offices to reach a small hallway, where at the end, dwells a room that is unfortunately quite close to the newly remodeled restrooms. Workers were blaring death metal music while they hammered nails, sanded some walls and painted others.
The floors had a flurry of extension cords that were supplying energy from loud and noisy generators outside. There were stand up lamps spraying hot light on pinpoint areas of interest. Carpenters were electric sawing lumber on silver metal work horses, window guys were measuring the empty holes where windows go, door guys were measuring the empty spaces where doors would go, and plumbers were implementing new pipes in brand new black tiled floored restrooms with incredibly annoying white automatic toilets and sinks.
Since there was no central electricity, that meant that there was no central air conditioning blowing cool air from the ceiling or removing hot exhaust from the Data Server room. Once William finally got to the hallway that led to the server room, there was no door protecting the room. Instead, there was a giant human sized fan completely blocking the doorway blowing out 100 degree exhaust, and visibly inside the small dark and damp space the size of a public restroom, there were two portable rolling air conditioners pressed up close to the server rack blowing mildly cool air and liberally leaking water all over the floor. This effectively created yet another hazard because the puddle is currently approaching the orange extension cord that is halfway plugged into another orange extension cord that stretched all the way from the outlet across the hallway.
After noticing the water, Will searches for large towels to soak it up, but with no success. All he could find was six small red shop towels. He pushes the large fan slightly to the side to create an entry point in the doorway so he could slide his chubby I.T. Worker belly through. Then he applies the towels to at least temporarily postpone the disaster of short-circuiting.
Its completely dark with only his small head lamp to provide illumination. He finds the almost unplugged cord and plugs it in further completing the connection. Then he carefully ducks under hanging communications cabling and steps over power cords to make his way to the other side of the two sectioned server rack where he finds the portable battery powered leaf blower.
Even though he repeatedly advised the I.T. Director that not only should there be real air conditioning blowing clean fresh air in; but also sufficient lighting, a door, or at least a shower curtain or even beads protecting the room during the construction, or even removing the entire server rack and all the contents of the server room to a safe place, the I.T. Director always ignored his warnings and said that he was unable to convince the owner of these ideas, so therefore just leave it.
“You’ll just have to leaf blow it out once a day,” Richard Head, the very tall, wide, and currently physically injured from the workplace itself, I.T. Director would remark. Then he’d patronizingly accent his comment with an, “It’s an adventure Will!”
Will picks up the orange and black leaf blower, rolls the power dial forward to get it blowing. Storms of dust and particles drench the air as he blows over the DELL and CISCO Switches and Routers. There’s caked on gunk on the twelve terabyte SAN Redundancy Storage Unit. No matter how hard he tries to clear it off it doesn’t come off. He makes his way to the IBM Blade Servers and frees them of some dust, but not all. Then he finishes up with the ShoreTel VOIP Server and Switches.
After he’s done, he rolls the power switch back off, lays down the blower where he found it, exits out of the room and the construction zone, and stops for a moment outside in the parking lot. His clothes are now saturated with white and grey dust. He looks like a ceiling fell on him during an earthquake. He turns the headlight off and removes it, then he pats off all the particles on his clothes to a point where he at least looks semi “Office Professional.”
Returning to his seat at his desk he puts away the glasses, removes the mask and then begins to put his phone headset back on to take more calls. He notices the phone flashing and as he’s about to press the button to answer it, the dragon lady returned to his cubicle, “Ok Butler, you’re getting a write up for this one.”
“Why? What did I do wrong?” he asked with his hands puzzlingly gestured in the air.
“You disappeared. There was a barrage of calls and poor Jack got overwhelmed with them,” she replied.
“What?…but he said you wanted me to leaf blow the server room!” William tried to explain.
“You already did that earlier today William. You should be ashamed of yourself blaming poor Jack like that. Look, I know you just disappeared because you hate your job, but if you don’t want to work here, you can always quit. Amazon is hiring.”
Then she left his cubicle. He put his head on his desk and closed his eyes for a brief moment.
He asked himself, “Could it get any worse? Is this all my life will ever be about?”
He lifted his head back up and noticed that it was time to go. He ignored the flashing light on his desk phone, closed out his system, clocked out, and left for home.