Technically, I don’t start work until Monday, but I’ve been on campus (as they call it) for almost a week now. “Orientation” is pretty literal here. This place puts the “sprawling” in “sprawling secret quasi-military research base”, for real. We each have one of these little touch screen things that have a special nav app on them, but even with one of them it can be hard to find your way around. One wrong turn and suddenly you’re in a forgotten storage room with like three clips of ammo for a handgun, a battery, and a mop.
Seriously, that’s not even a made up example. That’s an actual room I found attached to the lab where I’m going to be working. I was looking for a single-occupancy bathroom, and I opened this door and it was mostly just empty boxes and metal shelves with a few miscellaneous machine parts on them. I would have closed the door, but something caught my eye: three little magazines just sitting there on a folding table. Not even strewn, just sort of spaced there like the world’s saddest stall at a gun show.
Obviously at some point in the dusky past this storeroom was used for ammunition, but when it got cleaned out they just randomly left three clips of nine millimeter bullets behind, artfully arranged in a tableau with like a 50s atomic-age-chic 6-volt lantern battery. That thing was weirder than the bullets. It had like diodes or vacuum tubes or something coming out of the top, but there was also the positive and negative contacts and a little lightning bolt symbol on the side just in case there was any doubt it was a battery.
I would have loved to get a picture of the whole thing, but they don’t allow cameras. I can’t even have my own phone. The pads they give us have telephone functions and IM capabilities, but they only work on the internal network. That’s why I’m not quite sure what to call them. They’re not really big enough to be a pad, but not enough of a phone to be a smartphone.