did you order one?

there's this old man who works in i.t. and he's grouchy all the time. he's quite a miserable man. "reminds me of harvey pekar," i told my co-worker, emily. she laughed. "yeah, but not as entertaining," she said. he walks around the school always looking annoyed. he might just have to do a small task - like set up a projector or something - and it seems to kill him every time. in december, he won a staff award. i suppose he won because he's been here for so long, or maybe it's because no one else received a single nomination.

i try to steer clear of all tech folk in general. they seem to have formed some sort of impenetrable clique, and they look down upon non-tech-savvy newbies like myself. "do the people in i.t. freak you out?" i asked emily. "yeah," she said, "but they're probably more scared of you than you are of them." i mean, i'm a pretty anti-social guy here at the school. i don't make an effort to visit other people at their desks or stop to chit-chat in the hallway. hell, i didn't even go to my own birthday party (it's a monthly thing, so not really a big deal).

but still, i have the decency to say, "hello," rather than just start something off mid-sentence. i smile, and even if the smile is phony, i do it. i look people in the eye, nod my head, do whatever needs to be done to recognize another person's existence. but it seems that those basic common courtesies and societal standards don't apply to people who play with red and yellow wires all day long. they are exempt from having to interact with other human beings at a normal level.

today, i had to set up some pizzas and sodas for an event. i noticed that the table which is normally at the back of the room wasn't there. "umm, is there gonna be a table?" i asked the i.t. guy. "you order one? did you order one?" the i.t. guy snorted. he seemed to be laughing to himself, as if to say, how in the hell did you expect a table to appear if you didn't order one? what are you, some kind of a retard? i couldn't wait to get out of there. "i don't remember," i said. the fact of the matter is, there's no specifications for ordering extra tables on the new online form. event staff already knows that if there's gonna be a shitload of food in the courtroom, there'd better be a goddamn table there to host that shitload of food, too.

i went to the elevator, and the events guy was already standing there with the table. "is that going to the courtroom?" i asked. "yeah," he said. what a good guy. even though he, too, hates his job, he doesn't use it as an excuse to treat other people like idiots.

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