“Hey.” Jane recognized Gary’s voice as Crasob’s lead engineer walked into the CAD room. She turned, saw his broad oval face smile as he approached her desk. “Wanted to ask you something.” He stopped just short of her desk, and rested his left hand on an open area of the beige desktop. She noted he resumed a habit she had only seen in him, of extending only three fingers down onto the surface — thumb, index, pinky. He curled the middle and ring fingers up into his palm, forming a small fist . She straigtened in her chair, recognizing that Gary only formed his tripod of fingers when he had something important to say.
She pointed to her computer monitor. “Think I’m ready to start working on the Route 20 files. Arjie looked at the test drawings I’ve been working on, says they look good.”
Gary nodded. “He showed them to me, and yes — nice job.” He patted her shoulder with his right hand, the tripod of fingers on his left now tapping the desktop. “But I actually didn’t come here to talk about CAD.”
Jane drew back in her chair, studied Gary’s face. She recognized the same look of eagerness he displayed three years ago, when he offered her the position of CAD room manager. Her eyes widened, her right hand shot up and waved in Gary’s face. “You’re not going to ask me about the PE exam again, are you?”
The tripod rapped the destkop audibly, as Gary pointed with his right hand towards the CAD room doorway. “Jane, you know twice as much about drainage than half my staff out there! When you came in last Monday, with . . . ” He clearly did not know what to say next.
“All right, your condition. When I saw you weren’t able to continue working on the drawings, I knew I still had to have you review them once they got plotted, so you could catch any errors.”
“They’re not errors.” Gary turned, looked with Jane towards the doorway, through which walked Arjie, his goatee neatly trimmed. “I keep telling you, Gary, they’re not errors, they’re alternatives.”