Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This is not a test

I've an odd job.
Yes I realize that to most of the people that know me, I don't have a job.
I generally come and go as I please. Showing up in strange places at seemingly random times.
I go to work at 4 am.
For those of you that lead normal, sunshine lives. 4 am is not the middle of the night, its just a while before the butt-crack of dawn.
I get emergency calls occasionally.
Sometimes, but very seldom actually are the emergencies real.
I have just had to broaden my view as to what, exactly, constitutes an emergency.
I wont use any names, I cant.
A day or so ago, I started getting calls at 3:30 am. An emergency in one of my buildings. Unspecified as to the nature of the crisis, but from the panicked tones and veiled nervousness on my voice-mail and carefully worded semi-literate pleas in the emails I was receiving I surmised it was something big.
A little background.
About a year ago I had a power failure in one of my buildings.
This particular building houses (among other things) a lab.
As in Laboratory.
They store things in this lab, in giant stainless steel locked refrigerators.
Things that if they got even a little thawed, even a little bit of exposure to humans, could make some very sick people.
A lot of very sick humans.
I got one call.
The other day I got 15 calls. From 15 different people. 36 emails.
All within an 8 hour window.
To say I rushed is a bit of an understatement.
I calmly sped to the building, calmly ran in, I calmly eschewed the elevator and sprinted up the stairs.
8 flights.
Opening the doors to a kicked termite mound of activity.
2 seconds.
That's how long it took for the lowing masses to recognize I was there and start clamoring.
One of those marvelous instances of mass hysteria where every single person is talking at the exact same time.
I picked the calmest looking of the bunch, a distinguished looking gent.
He had a sardonic tilt to one eyebrow that gave me a little hope for the survival of the entire floor. A little humorous gleam in his eye as he surveyed the crowds of cubicle lemmings milling about.
He walked me over to the emergency.
Briskly walked.
That was the emergency.
Last week one of the lemmings had gone on vacation.
He called one of his co-lemmings the day before the emergency to tell a sad tale.
A sordid tale.
A tale of woe and calamity.
See, he had left a bunch of bananas by accident locked in his cabinet.
Sardonic eyebrow and I, we stood there.
In front of the unlocked cabinet, and I reached in and removed the browned bunch.
The sigh of relief from the herd was audible.
This is when it gets weird.

I walked, mouldering fruit in my hand, to the nearest garbage pail and was just about to calmly chuck them in.
It seemed a good idea, after all, if you can simply dispose of the emergency, you really should.
I was stopped.
Mid chuck.
By 4, count them, four women and 2 men. That's a total of 6 (unless I miscalculate) humans.
All of whom wanted the fruit.
Is a banana a fruit?
Needless, these people, budding chefs all of them, wanted those blasted browned bananas to make bread.
Banana Bread.
no shit.
So I set them on a table.
With a conspiratorial glance at the sardonic eyebrow, I left.
Left them to go and type up my required 6 page emergency report.
Left them to cajole, plead, argue and possibly use the wisdom of Solomon to distribute the potassium packed delicacies on their own.
I've an odd Job.

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