Sometimes life is so mundane that people start looking for mystery and intrigue in all the wrong places. My coworker Dave must be watching too much TV and unlike me, he doesn’t have the ability to decipher the difference between fiction and real life. The following is as close to Alias as our work-life will ever get:
The other day he became convinced that one of the new international students, Irina, was a fraud. (Obviously, Irina is not a name that inspires trust.) See, Irina checked in twice because she was confused. She checked in on Friday on campus, and then again on Saturday (probably because she saw everyone else doing it). Since she checked in twice, we were missing a set of keys and had to get the apartment rekeyed. At that point we didn’t know if the keys were just misplaced or there was some grave clerical error. Later, Dave saw the two check-in forms with her signature and leaped to the wild conclusion that she had a double (just like Francie!) wandering around school posing as her, collecting a second set of keys, and forging her signature. He examined the two forms and determined that one must have been signed by an imposter because the signatures and numbers on the date were similar, but not an exact match. I suggested that the person was the same, but the signature and numbers looked different due to her vantage point—on Friday at check-in the students stood, and on Saturday the students sat. I’m sure Marshall could assign some values and apply some equation to the loops and lines of her writing and give us a sound answer. I felt that my surmise was based on reasonable deduction, but Dave clearly wanted to believe the more sinister possibility. Because who doesn’t want to deal with a doppelganger? He presented the case at our weekly meeting. He wanted to launch a full-scale investigation and charge the student for the rekey. He sent her a threatening e-mail and left specific instructions for Doris and me to detain her, should she come to the office for further questioning. It was like I worked at Credit Dauphine or something! I guess the poor gal came by eventually. She’s quite a doll, really. She’s an international girl (or international spy if you choose to see Dave’s side of the story), and though she speaks English just fine, she always has an air of utter confusion whenever I see her. It was all cleared up, but I suspect that Dave’s going to watch her like a hawk all year long. If she is a double, then I hope she’s killed off the original and hidden the evidence well!