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.
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.