Monday, August 23, 2004
Training Center Life - Part 2
An Investigative Report
A description for the uninitiated. X-er visits the Indianapolis Training Center and reports on his observations.
The Thirteenth Floor
On the scale of Undesirable Locations, the 13th ranks somewhere between Purgatory and Hell. It is considered the Haven of the Rebels and People Who Want to Avoid Being Seen by the Authorities. While the 360 degree view is fantastic, and the night skyline of Indianapolis is breath-taking, it is best to only enjoy this floor if you have the misfortune of being on the night security shift.
Students visiting local church are often placed in awkward situations while attending. What to do if the special music contains a backbeat? Does one subject himself to the damaging influence of the backbeat or does he offend the performer by walking out mid-song?
When ATI students mingle with the church members during the Walk Around and Shake Hands, they usually introduce themselves in this manner: "Hi, I'm X. I'm from the ITC," vaguely gesturing in the direction of the ITC bus. "I have no idea what you're talk about," responds the church member, "but welcome!"
Fun Activities at the TC consist of walking around the parking lot or looking out the window, watching people walk around the parking lot. Other Fun Activities are either unapproved, or not deemed beneficial, or both. Asking (as we were told to do) "does this make me a better Christian" before engaging in a Fun Activity eliminates all possible pastimes. Xer attempted to argue that working in the Dish Pit failed to make him a better Christian, but this line of argument was met with poor success.
ITC Security consists of sleepy guys dressed in khaki and sports coats. While there are cameras outside of prayer rooms, there are no cameras in elevators, as rumored. Alarms are placed in the stairwells to alert security of anyone coming or going. When the alarm goes off, the security guy in charge orders the other guy to "go check it out." People who move quickly can outrun aforementioned security guy.
Security officers are not as much of a problem as those we call Lurkers. Lurkers are usually staff fathers in a position of minimal authority who generally ignore curfew rules and drift around the training center for the purpose of accosting anyone else up. These lurkers are the real threat as they do not use flashlights or whistle loudly in the dark as the nervous security officers often do. Lurkers simply materialize next to you and ask in loud, harsh tones, "What are you doing up, young man?" The answer X-er found most useful was "I'm praying in an all night prayer vigil. Would you care to join me?"
Visits by The Outsiders
The Outsiders are immediately identifiable: they wear The Clothes We Don't Speak Of. You may see someone in jeans. Women sometimes appear in pants (or, if God decides to bless male ITC residents that day, in shorts).
...be sure to visit tomorrow when Xer reports on How to Survive the Training Center Life...