Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Friday, August 16, 2002


About three years ago this kid named Raoul was hired from a temp agency as a site technician. He was supposed to stop here at the office, grab a couple parts and be on his merry way. Raoul, however, wouldn't leave once he got his parts. He'd wander around the building, standing at various cubicle entrances, talking to people about the weather, or aliens, or guns. Raoul was a typical computer nerd stereotype. He never bathed, wore the clothes of a 50 year old man, and was covered in unpopped zits with greasy white knobs poking out of them. He had glasses a half an inch thick that magnified his black beetle eyes, enhancing their hapless, swirling, watery gaze.
He frequently would tell people, including me, about his progress in setting up a LAN network at his house. He had at least two computers in each room to hold gaming tournaments, he just couldn't find anybody to come over and play. Many mornings I'd get to my desk to find an empty software box on my desk, back up, with a screenshot circled and a post-it with a note like "this one's exactly like WWII!" stuck to it. (Raoul in about my age, born in the seventies sometime) Nothing he could say or do would entice me to make buddies with him, however. After a while he gave up, although he still would come tell me about his new frictionless power source, which created electricity from nothing, or about the evidence he had that aliens had invented the microchip, in hopes that humanity would mature and the aliens would have some peers to relax and chat with. During the last week of his employment, Raoul came in to work bragging about an assault rifle. The next day, he was bragging about his new armor-piercing bullets that would shred kevlar.

The crowning moment came on a Friday morning, when he came in, raccoon eyed and sad looking, and asked me if I was his friend. Naturally, I said "Of course! What's wrong? You look down." He replied that nothing was wrong, everything was just fine.I had him fired. I reported the guns, the ammo, and the troubling questions. While he was walking out that evening he was stopped, his keys and badge taken, and he was thanked for his work. He tried to come back on Monday morning to chat with his so called friends, but we didn't let him in. We were as kind as possible about it.

Alan works here in contract renewals, which is a desk job involving lots of paper, mail, and phone calls. Alan is an albino fellow with bloodshot eyes and a bride of Frankenstein harido. He looks like he stuck his hand in an outlet. Alan never uses the urinal, but pees standing up in one of the stalls. He collects cereal boxes and his cubicle is full of them. He keeps asking me about shampoo brands. He keeps a wide selection of natural foods in his trunk and brings in various types of oats and grains every day at 1:00 for lunch. I think From Kashi To Good Friends is manufactured for Alan and others like him.
6:55 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


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