Friday, November 7, 2008

A Post From Newark International Airport, NJ

I found a man’s wallet today. I was looking for a power outlet in the B-Terminal of the Newark Airport in New Jersey. I found the wallet instead. It was on the floor under one of the chairs. An old man had been sitting in that general area and was making his way to the gate with his woman companion. I imagine she was his wife.

I picked up the wallet and popped open the two metal buttons holding it closed, hoping to confirm the identity of the owner. It was not the old man’s. I scanned the faces of the crowd, looking to match the face on the ID. No luck. I walked to the closest gate and nodded at the attendant behind the counter. She looked at me with something close to contempt and said in a very agitated tone, “Sir, you are going to have to get in line.”

I looked at the row of people all standing at the counter, probably stand-by ticket holders about to find out that all seats were booked. I smiled at them and waved my hand over the counter in front of me in a manner that I hoped dismissed the idea that I was cutting in line and replied, “Oh, no, no. I’m not, no. I just found this wallet over there.” Then I pointed in the direction I had come from.

The people in line for the gate and those at the counter suddenly responded with comments such as:

“Wow, that was so nice of you!”
“Oh goodness, how nice!”
and even “That sounds like someone should get an upgrade on their ticket!!!”

The woman behind the counter rolled her eyes, I smiled at the people around me and silently walked over to a bench and sat, resigned to the fate of a having a laptop without an outlet to charge from.

A few minutes later I resolved that I wouldn’t give up so easily and resumed my search. I was rewarded with a quiet corner and an outlet to charge my laptop and from there my iPod. Not too long after that I saw a girl wandering around, laptop in hand, looking earnestly for something along the walls and at the base of the columns circling the peculiar circular terminal structure. I waved my hand in her general direction and pointed at my outlet, one terminal open. She didn’t notice. I hope her search went well.

So, why am I in New Jersey, sitting in the airport?

I just finished an on-site for a large school here in Newark. It was a success, beautiful even. It was the kind of migration where you finish up and everything works much better than it had in the first place. It was an upgrade really, not a full migration. In the process though, I discovered there were a few things that hadn’t been set up right in the beginning by whoever performed the initial implementation. I corrected them and we moved on.

The people at the school were great, amazing to work with. So, even though I was in California last week and then New Jersey this week, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

I know I’ve been gone a long time, crazy really. Some of it has been my fault, some has been work. I’ve been saving the world one server and one wallet at a time.
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