My wrist hurts so bad that i’m physically sick, and of course i decided that i ought to type about it; ironically, my mother just had surgery for her rapid onset Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ten days ago. I definitely have CTS, without a doubt in anyone’s mind, but so far it’s been a particularly ineffectual case of it. But, this morning i actually enjoyed my job for three whole hours, so now i’ve got to pay for it somehow, right?
My task for this morning was to make individual mounts for photos of everyone in our department (22 people) so that we can have a new staff board outside of the office. This involved heading across the street to the ECM Creative Group, whose office is totally surreal compared to mine. They have seven people crammed into one medium office space, and each one of them have an iMac or a G4 plus one hi-tech tool (scanner, digital camera, digital film scanner, digital scripting board…), and all of them are delightfully tech-headed in amusing and awing ways (as opposed to those other tech people i met last week). They all go out together in the morning for coffee (small black with shots of vanilla), they listen to 88.5xpn (“Hey, turn that up, that’s George Harrison!”), and they talk about fun things like digitally inserting a prettier color of sky into pictures of our lab building or about who gets to take home their extra registered copy of photoshop.
Their leader is Carole, who seems almost quiet and mousey when you first meet her, but who is really whacky and carries twizzlers on Fridays to get her through the day and rows crew in her spare time. Ally, one of the other office people, is a nationally ranked female rower. They also have a myriad of toys, both technological and for children. They do the university web page, our yearly viewbook (now on cdrom), and a myriad of other visible campus design work. Carole thought i was only an “arty kind of guy” and was surprised when i told her i might be interested in working for her part time and that my goal for the summer is learning PHP/mysql. She asked to look at my cross-curricular project once it’s done. I blushed a little and studiously ate my twizzler.
So, yes, today they gave me a job with a goal and a timeframe and nice company and i loved it. Use Quark to make the picture mounts, slice them into reality with a huge metal rule and an exacto blade, then mount the mounts onto heavy cardboard, and finally deftly place the picture into the mount using a mere two pieces of double-sided tape that do not let go of what they’re holding onto even if you only want to move it half a millimeter. The only problem was that to use the exacto blade, or to edge pieces of double-sided tape into the right place, my right hand kept being twisted every which possible way until finally it felt like the insides of my wrist ached and my fingers didn’t quite want to be cooperative. One of the other women in the office with CTS had a beautiful wrist-splint on to get used to her new keyboard, and i was biting my lip to keep myself from asking her if i could borrow it. We just talked a bit about her condition instead. At first it’s a lot like trying to move your arm when it’s totally numb from sleeping on it, and you know you can move it but it will feel strange and you’d really rather not. (And, i just wrote that without thinking about it, but that’s exactly how my mother described her CTS to me three months ago when it first started really getting to her. And, i’m in two high risk categories because i’ve typed regularly since age 7, and i play guitar every day. Fuck.)
So, ouch. But, a good morning, and i like being here, and i’m trying to contrive a way to get my ass back across the street to play with more Quark and art supplies. Yum.