Chapter 7. The Other World: A.K.A. Outside

We geeks just don’t get outside enough. After a while, “outside” begins to be defined as the carpeted hallway outside the main office where the rest-rooms are, or the food court emporium downstairs.

I once worked in a software house in a beautiful, historic seacoast community. People worked hard there and seemed to like the company and their jobs. The trouble was, no one went outside. People were so fond of their cushy positions, it was as if they were afraid to leave the environs after 9 AM rolled around. Even at lunch break, most of them would stay in their cubicles or repair to the cafeteria for the meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

What do you expect from a company that still held “casual Friday,” during which management wore jeans (they probably called them “dungarees”)?

Of course, it wasn’t exactly the company’s fault that no one was going outside (even though they were a little chintzy about vacation time). Everyone had simply forgotten their roots, or had been dissuaded by antisun dogma.

Outside the company were beautiful hilly walks that you could take in the sun. I took them every lunch break, and they made me forget about the somewhat dun-looking brick offices. A whole new world existed out there, including a coffee shop I’d hit up for a to-goer on the way back. The shop was partly managed by a former Sherpa for Mt. Everest expeditions, believe it or not (he was now working at about 50 feet above sea level). He would chat with me about ...

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