Sometime in the near future, my work group is supposed to be moving into a new office trailer. Well, office modular unit to be more accurate. I’m actually pretty excited because it will mean that I will, for the first time ever, have my own office. With a door. And a lock.
I currently have 2 office mates, both of whom are just about the best people ever for sharing a 20×10 space with. One is a bit of a neat freak (she probably hates me) and is really funny when you’re least expecting it, and the other is my Chinese daily affirmation coach. Not really, he’s a Ph.D mathematician named Xinsheng, but you can call him Dr. X. Among the things I will miss about having Xinsheng (shin shing! say it really fast) in my office are his random phone calls with other, I’m assuming, Chinese scientists. These are completely indecipherable, except for the random English words that pop up, like “jellyfish assessment” and “chlorophyll.” Despite being in the US for 20 years, he still has a very thick accent and can be really difficult to understand at times. He and my Spanish boss have had some amusing conversations; yesterday Dr. X kept shouting a word at my boss while making “air quotes,” and my boss just kept shouting random sounds at him until finally realizing he was saying “factor.” That took about 20 seconds.
Dr. X is also constantly telling me how important I am, what good work I do, how I need to negotiate for a raise, and how great it is that I spend so much time mentoring our interns: hence the affirmation coach. But the main thing I will miss about him is this. About twice a week, after silently squinting at his computer screen for hours, he will suddenly pop upright and exclaim “Jesus Uhcoriiiiisht!”