It was no secret to anyone that Caroline loved organization. Her desk was always set so that if one staple was stolen from her, she’d know instantly. Everything was in its place. Everything in her boss’s office was in its place. Her drive for perfection and penchant for a clean and clear life was what made her an exceptional assistant, after all. It gave her the ability to do everything from countering her boss’s impulsiveness, to removing evidence of entire lives, to making a perfect cup of coffee. She was a scientist even as an assistant, and a damn good one, too. Therefore, it really wasn’t all that strange that her idea of treasure was the walls of filing cabinets that detailed ...view middle of the document...
Caroline cared about all of that, of course, but that wasn’t why she kept her filing system purely corporeal.
The truth was that she hated computers.
She understood their value. She used one every day, and she had no trouble operating it. She knew machines were the height of science and that of course computers could be trusted. Nevertheless, she couldn’t bring herself to trust her files to something that seemed so fragile and impermanent, even if logically she knew data’s perpetuity had the potential to rival everything she’d ever touched. So when employees did want to computerize the filing system, she refused. It didn’t matter how many iron-strength firewalls there were. Every document would be held in her perfect cabinets, ready for her at a moment’s notice, protected and trustworthy. Most importantly, they couldn’t be shared. They were hers alone.
For years, her coworkers hinted that she ought to move the files onto the computer system. It would be beautiful. Each file could have a specific code, documents placed into folders inside folders inside folders. It would be even cleaner than her filing cabinets, the pinnacle of organization!
They went to her boss. He didn’t care either way; filing certainly wasn’t his priority, and he mostly used the computer for FreeCell. “Just leave the girl alone and let her do what she wants. She knows what she’s doing.” She was grateful to him for that. Of course, it didn’t stop them from needling her for a while, but eventually they gave up. She clearly wasn’t going to budge, no matter how hard they tried.
Maybe she’d picked up on some of her boss’s stubbornness after all these years. Maybe she liked the control. Maybe she just knew what was important to her.
Aperture aged, began to disintegrate, and so in turn did she. It wasn’t that she was unhealthy; it was just that her body had finished growing and now ached to return to the earth. Reaching her files became difficult. Digging them out from their specific corners required more thinking than it once had. Everything was in...