It was either December 1989 or, more likely, January 1990. I was on a leave of absence from CMU having barely escaped academic suspension. My folks had decided that enough was enough and that I could damn well pay for my own education if I wasn't going to attend classes, do homework, or pass tests. (Only once did I ever actually miss a test, but I did sleep halfway through my 15-312 final.)
After a pathetic job search, I was offered a job with the Center for Design of Educational Computing (CDEC) working on cT (formerly cmuTutor). Hey, it was the only offer I got. Money first, self-respect later. I started in December, and I was grateful, dammit! The alternative had been moving back to California to live with my parents and probably never returning to CMU.
At that time, CDEC was housed in two different buildings, Bureau of Mines Building B (Smith Hall) and Hamburg Hall. The bulk of CDEC including administration was in Smith Hall, but I and the rest of the cT crew were in Hamburg. There were a few others in Hamburg, too, including my officemate whose name I've forgotten.
The Hamburg Hall offices were on the third floor and shared space with Academic Computing. My office was outside the reception area. Coming out of the elevator, you went forward, turned right, and then I was the last door on the left. I had a lovely view of Wean Hall, especially at night when I could see into the fifth floor 520x cluster. Later, I had an office in the same corridor as Chris Thyberg and Gordon Lucht.
So, one day I'm sitting at my desk trying to figure out what's expected of you in a Real Job(TM) and failing. The best I could think of was: read lots of bboards and don't let on that you're playing nethack.
Suddenly, a student with long, dark hair rushes to the open door of my office. She seemed to have just run up the western staircase at full speed and was apparently out of breath. Pausing only to draw in some air, she said, "Hi!I'mFleurDragan.Sorry I'm late."
I looked at her funny for a moment and then parsed what she'd said, but it didn't do me much good. Not only did I not ever schedule appointments, I never got office visitors at all. Finally, it dawned on me and I replied, "Oh, Gary Aulfinger's office is two doors down on the right." Fleur's eyes widened in an "Oh, shit!" and then she vanished as quickly as she'd arrived.
Not only is this story notable because I met Fleur, but it's also the only time I've ever been confused for Gary.