A couple of months ago one of our IT guys left to find greener pastures. His replacement, we were told, would be NC.
“NC?” I asked. “I went to school with an NC.”
“This NC went to school in a neighboring community,” came the reply.
Since then, NC and I have been working together trying to fix some glitches in the system. In order for me to do my job and make my life easier, I need our system to talk to the state’s system with no misunderstanding. That’s where NC comes in. In this analogy, he’s the translator.
So, we’ve been working together. Could he be the same NC that I knew in school? That was over 20 years ago. With the exception of me, of course, a funny thing happens to people after 20 years. They morph into old people. Was he the same NC I knew? I have no idea. Possibly. We had a common friend and I knew NC more by name than by actual socializing.
Besides, I was told he didn’t go to school here.
On Friday, something came over me and I decided to ask.
“Where did you go to school?” I asked.
“Here,” he replied but seemed more anxious to find the current translation problem.
I should have stopped right there.
“Really?” I’m not that bright. “I went to school with an NC. When did you graduate?”
“I graduated in 1991. You are the NC I went to school with.”
Really? Was that necessary?
“I’m sorry, I don’t remember you.”
Let it drop, Lee. You see, because of all my anxieties I suffered from in high school I was one odd duck. It has taken me years to become the ultra-smooth, cool adult that I am now. And what I mean by ultra-smooth, cool adult is I no longer care that I’m an odd duck. At least, not as much as I used to.
So, I should have let it end with that. Somebody doesn’t remember me from high school? Hallelujah!
“You were friends with AP, right?” I pressed. Darn pride needs to know when to let it go.
“Oh yeah,” he said excited. “We were good friends. More in grade school though. We kind of drifted in high school.”
I nodded my head. The damage was done. I had nothing left to say.
“You know,” he continued, “I’m going to have to look you up in my yearbooks now.”
What?! Who still has their yearbooks as a ready reference 20 years after graduating? They should be lost or put away in an attic somewhere. Or burned.
Time to change the subject. I asked him about our work assignment.
I may have to avoid him for, like, forever now.