punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Nostalgic sadness in the evening

So, last night, I went to pick up my AOL furniture that I bid on (with aksident and stodgycat). Two blue/green chairs and a trestle "training table," which is actually a desk. Chairs are awesome, slightly dingy, but that's not unexpected. They WORK, and have all their parts, which is good. One has teeth marks in the armrest, which look like a little child was biting it. stodgycat thought it might have been one of his old chairs that one of his kids had bitten into. Cute. The desk is exactly what I wanted, minus the shelf that went above it (computer folks, think a solid, massive version of the the old IKEA "Jerker" desk). I am very happy with my purchase. The auction staff (a guy and some young woman) were VERY friendly and helpful.

But going through the old Reston building? Hurt. Hurt more than I prepared for. The delivery was via the old cafeteria, which made sense because of the kitchen equipment they auctioned off. You know how when you moved out of a home you'd lived in through many years, and as you move the final stuff, you look back at some old room where your life changed a dozen times, and it seem so weird to see it empty? Like there are still remnants of pictures, poster tacks, a stain from a party, or whatever? Yeah. That (x10). I was so used to the crowds there, and all the offices with the funny and weird things outside of them. People walking back and forth, the hum of the massive computer rooms that surrounded you behind blank walls. The beeping of turnstyles and badge readers.

Like ghosts.

stodgycat wore his old "AOL 7.0!" promotional shirt. Even aksident said, "*I* remember this place! We [her, cheesy_reads and her younger sister] used to wait for dad in the lobby and run around. It was SO much fun!" That would have been the early 2000s, when she was 6 or 7. To her, half a lifetime away. And I can relate.

I started working there in 1999 with my NOC job that stodgycat got me. International Operations. The toughest job I ever loved. I used to wander the building at like 5am with a mobile phone tied to the desk trying to stay awake, looking out at the smoky windows at the duck pond in the early morning darkness.

I am glad I left AOL, but that doesn't mean I don't have many happy memories there.
Tags: aol, building, furniture, reston, work
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