Shanna’s not… WRONG about Ferris, really, but I found him a refreshing change of pace. Both Shanna and HR are Type A, high-ambition types, and even Carol is starting to act like one as she becomes more and more HR’s earthly surrogate. Ferris is happy and content just doing his job well and being part of something.

Shanna probably– not definitely, but probably– could have kept her cool if she’d just seen Carol passing in the hall or something. But when you’re on the lookout for something out of the ordinary and a giant clue gets dropped right in front of you, it’s really hard not to stare for the first few seconds.

But even if she kept her cool throughout, it wouldn’t matter all that much. As we’ll see, Carol is paranoid enough already that any unauthorized presence in her building is cause for deep suspicion.

By the bye, I think most readers missed the important aspect of Carol once being a member of a (fictional) “moderate-conservative-independent” political group in a traditionally very liberal college, though maybe that’s on me and I should’ve gone into further detail. Young Carol, while an idealist, resisted just identifying with one particular cult of thought and calling it a day, something I also try to do, which makes her current circumstances resonate with me more. (But remember as well that this story was published in the Obama era, when there was a lot more talk from numerous idealists about bridging political divides.)