Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hand Jivers on the LIRR

Today I have been cursed with hand jivers during my commute.

I recently was asked to take up new duties involving Oracle Database administration, and so - my not having used Oracle since a small mountain fell into the water just off the Yucatan shore and having a boss who believes that training is something for other people than me to get - I have been hitting the books during my commute.

Many of these books are paper monsters, but the ones I was trying to use this morning are electronic and concern the most tediously uninteresting internal details of the software it is possible to imagine. I was staring at my laptop hard, trying to stay awake and alert while also trying to figure out what the author was blithering about and whether it was ever going to be important.

Working hard to prevent this was the woman sitting opposite me.

From Wyandanch to Mineola1 she held a loud and animated conversation with the woman sitting in the seat behind me. I donned headphones and dialed up Steve Hackett's Voyage of the Acolyte at volume 11 but she was still coming through clearly. Not only that, she was augmenting her side of the discussion with sweeping hand gestures of the kind normally used to direct aeroplanes on and off runways. Sometimes she grabbed a large book or her immense "smart" phone and waved that.

Every sweep of her hands brought them into my field of vision. Never before has a fellow traveler come so close to getting a bunch of fives in the kisser as she did this morning.

The day passed in a blur of excuses and blame-passing, as usual and I raced to the station and boarded my train home, which is as I type horribly overcrowded2.

I am trying to get to grips with the arcane science of resource locking in a high-concurrency database environment, something marginally less interesting than toothache.

And sitting opposite me is another idiot engaged in a lively conversation with the passengers across the aisle augmented by sweeping hand gestures.

  1. Or: From when I got on the train to where she got off it
  2. Probably due to the train having some large multiple of two cars missing from what would be required to carry its load of passengers. I'll know when we get to Wyandanch and get dropped off two miles up the platform3
  3. The short trains and off-peak ones stop at the far east end of the platform, which is doubly f*cktarded as they demolished most of the car park so just about everyone has parked at the west end