Monday, January 15, 2007

Morning Faces

Morning Faces

I think morning faces are most important. Even though I may be half asleep when I get up, the faces I see the first thing in the morning are memorable.

For me, I see no faces until I walk into the Enterprise. The first morning face I see is the Security Guard. He's an old codger, balding on top and gray at the temples. He stands at the Security Entry Desk. I can see him from halfway down the hall. I smile and wave but he really doesn't respond. Maybe he's near-sighted? I don't know.

As I approach the cattle gates, he looks my way but still will not say anything. I'll swipe my security card across the cattle gate. That's what I call them because at key times of the day people go through single file in or out the narrow isles.

Anyway, I see the guard halfway down the isle and I say "hello" but he doesn't respond until I pass through the gate. The gate makes a bing noise and the light glows green. I'm through. Then he'll say "Good Morning." It's almost like he's somehow attached to the green light that gives me the go. Maybe somehow he's tethered to the gate's green light? Maybe he's not real. He may just be a manican. Come to think of it, I've never seen him actually move from behind the desk. He reminds me of one of those animatronics I've seen at a Disney theme park. He just smiles and waves and pivots at the waste as I pass. I really think there's a direct connection. He kind of lights up, like the gate, when I come through.

Then there is the guy that wands my cafeteria card. The Enterprise instituted a "cash-less" cafeteria. You receive a card with a chip on it. You charge up the chip from special machines in the lobby with bills you feed into a machine. As you purchase food in the cafeteria the special registers read your card and deduct the amount. Jimmy, the guy that's usually there in the morning when I come in, takes my card, stuffs it into the slot, pounds at the flat screen software buttons and returns my card. He resembles a robot. His movements are stiff, jerky, and metallic-like. He never smiles or says "hello." He just processes your transaction. It's so odd because I see him each and every day, each and every morning, but I can't seem to get him to smile or say anything out of his programmed announcement of the amount remaining on my card. It's my special challenge to get him to step out of character, to hack into his firmware and get him to do something he wasn't programmed for.

And then there's another co-worker or two that come over in the morning to ask what's new on the house or how was my weekend. Those are the morning faces I see each day.

I wonder what morning faces others see? Mine are kind of mechanical. I wonder if others have more human contacts in the morning?