I’m definitely being treated differently at work since that last promotion, and I can’t say I mind it at all.
While Eric at the front desk has always been bright, cheerful, and quick with a friendly greeting when I arrive at the office, that greeting has been upgraded from a “Good morning, Edison” to a “Good morning, Mr. Poindexter.” While I’ve been trying to convince him that I’m perfectly fine with being on a first-name basis, I have to admit I don’t completely dislike the extra bit of respect the new greeting implies.
Ironically, while I’m being treated more formally by the non-scientific staff, things have been getting downright chummy with people like my boss, Mr. Seymour. My formerly stone-faced grump of a direct supervisor treats me as much like a friend as he does a colleague. When I first started at Omniscience, I could barely get two words out of the guy, and now he seems completely comfortable joking around, talking about the weekend’s big game, or any number of other non-work-related subjects. He’s still got a mean streak a mile wide, but most days it’s directed at people a bit lower on the totem pole.
As much as I’m enjoying my elevated status at work, I’m not letting it go to my head. I’ve been keeping my nose to the grindstone, and I think Mr. Seymour has taken notice of it. Recently, a new project was assigned to our department to develop a handheld refrigeration device, sort of like a hand-held welding torch, but instead of spewing out flames, it shoots cold. The practical applications are nearly endless, from keeping ice cream frozen on hot summer days to making little icebergs in the bathtub for impromptu Titanic reenactments. With enough power, it might even be helpful to law enforcement. They have been ordering people to freeze for decades but have never really had a way to make sure it happens.
Mr. Seymour assigned the project to me, which I’m taking as a sign that he’s got at least a small degree of confidence that I’m not a complete screw-up.
I’ve just finished building the first prototype. I call it “Cailleach.” It’s named after an ancient Gaelic goddess of winter, an old woman who walked with a staff that froze the ground beneath it while she walked. I fully expect the marketing guys to hate the name, but it’s my prototype and I can call it whatever I want. So far, testing has gone quite well. When the vending machine upstairs crapped out, I was able to keep all my co-workers’ drinks cold during our lunch break, and was even able to freeze a wart off Vivian Lewis’s left big toe.
Yes, things at work are going well, and they’re getting better at home, as well. I may not have a roof over my head yet, or even a front door, but what I do have now is my very own shower and a place I can sit when nature calls without getting thorns in my ass.
Life is good.