Perhaps two months ago, some of my coworkers and I took a day to accomplish various chores at work’s new location. After lunch, Erebus declared that it was time to learn to install security cameras, so Tyro — the new hire (even newer than me!) — and I trailed along to be educated. Erebus explained how to pick a good location, then demonstrated the procedure for us:
“Drill the guide hole first, then switch the drill to a low setting so you don’t strip the plastic, and put in the plaster anchor. Then you can mount the base; two screws are usually good . . .”
Camera installed, he handed us each a box with a camera and a couple of screws and anchors, and left us with the ladder.
Now, I don’t like ladders. I’m not especially fond of heights at the best of times, and ladders, even durable, sturdy, not-terribly-tall ladders like the ones we use at work have not historically fallen into my category of “the best of times.” Nevertheless, Erebus expected us to get up on that wobbly thing and drill holes in the wall, and I wasn’t about to be a wimpy terrified girl, not in front of my all-male tech gang. But I let Tyro go up to do the first camera.
He climbed up three rungs, and I handed him the drill. “Now,” he said, “I’ll just have to pretend I’m you.”
“Me?” I said, flabbergasted. A thousand objections clamored through my mind, racing past each other so fast none of them made it out my mouth. But I don’t like heights. But you know I’ve never installed a camera before. But I’m wearing a skirt! (In my defense, I hadn’t known it was installing-cameras day. And I was also wearing a perfectly respectable set of leggings.)
“Of course,” said he, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “You’re an intensely competent human being.”
And, well, after that, I couldn’t show weakness, could I?
I will add that the camera installation was uneventful; I didn’t even need the spare screws. And I’ve become a lot more comfortable up on ladders, between installing and maintaining cameras, and running ethernet cables above ceiling tiles, and searching for “biscuit drops,” ceiling-based ethernet ports. I’m even in charge of the camera system now (though of course Erebus still knows more about it than I do).