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Mighty MARTA Snoring

The last business trip I took requiring flight on a commercial airline was to Atlanta for a week of training learning all about the Weblogic application server. My room was at the Hyatt Regency which surprised me a bit because it was a state agency paying expenses and it was a really fine place to stay. I expected something a lot less expensive and a lot more gritty, but it was a short walk over to the MARTA train stop and I had no rental car so that's probably why a room was booked at the Hyatt. The weather was pretty horrible the entire time I was there with chilly rain and persistent fog all week long. Atlanta weather in January.

View From Hyatt Regency at Peach Tree & Baker Street January 2001

The training wasn't difficult. I could have easily learned all of the material back at the office in Santa Fe without any problem if I had had the proper hardware to use. My boss had thoughtfully planned ahead for this by requisitioning the server hardware and software before I left for training, and by the time I returned the server was sitting beside my desk, connected to the network ready for setup. It was the only time in my career that happened. So within a week I had the server configured, the application server installed and the machine secured to prevent unauthorized access with automated monitoring activated to alert me if someone tried to break into it. And someone did try.

I received the access attempt alert at lunchtime as I sat at my desk eating and immediately logged onto the server to investigate. It turned out to be some jerkoff in the agency secretary's office diddling around trying to learn how to become a hacker. I gathered all of the information on the hacking attempt and sent it to my manager who then alerted the agency secretary of the incident who flatly denied anyone in his office would do such a thing. We laughed at his lame denial since the evidence was incontrovertible. Every time I spotted the wannabe hacker in the hallways after that incident I enjoyed staring the dumb shit down as we passed each other. He knew I knew what he had tried to do, even if he and his dip shit agency boss denied it.

And every time I saw that lying jerkoff I recalled being on a MARTA train one evening after training class smiling and enjoying a large, very muscular construction worker still wearing his company hardhat clutching lunchbox in lap with huge hands, his head rocked back against the window snoring as loudly as anyone I had ever heard snore in my life. Everyone in the train car was smiling in appreciation of his performance. I heard someone comment on which skyscraper project he was working on and how understandable it was that he was so bushed. "He's probably catching a few Z's before going over to Buckhead to unwind," someone commented. Then a little old lady sitting beside the sleeping giant piped up in his defense and said "He is not! He's going straight home to his family in the same building I live in. He never goes out clubbing around!" which made everyone in the train car chuckle heartily.

I was struck by her statement of defense and having worked in steel construction, I understood what hard, exhausting work it was–and my experience came from doing piddling boat dock construction on a lake, not from building freaking skyscrapers in a metropolis. I imagine the snoring man's foreman depended heavily on him to get a significant amount of work done each and every day and that he deserved every moment of rest he managed to snag on the train ride home. It would have been an honor to work alongside such a person, but alas I was stuck working with jerkoff public service employees too damned sneaky, lazy and spoiled to know what an honest day's work entailed. I'll never forget that man's mighty MARTA snoring.

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