The room hadn't been particularly lively to begin with, but the whisper ground everything to freeze-frame pause. The volunteers were horrified. I looked over and saw a guy named Airk with whom I was partnered for several projects in the CICS class I took in 2001. I'm surprised he recognized me, since at that time I had long hair and a goatee, and I didn't spend much of that time hunched over and turned away from him.
Anyway, the ballot isn't numbered so there isn't actually a number seven, but that didn't make us any more popular with the staff, so we waited to talk until we were outside in the parking lot. Airk is working for one of those companies with a hyphenated name whose building I drive past without noticing every time I go to the West side. It's been less than an hour since I got back, and I can't even remember who he works for. He kept in better touch with our graduating class than I did, and informs me that everybody went on to maintain COBOL programs and VSAM databases for American Family Insurance, or they became DBAs and analysts for the UW system. Oh, and they're all apparently making a good twenty, thirty thousand dollars a year more than I am.
But I'm not bitter.
I'm sweet and tangy.