Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Snake, A Shower … Any More Surprises?

It’s been raining a lot here lately. It’s been raining so that much part of the river was sandbagged over the weekend. It’s been raining for so many days in a row that I started to think I was living in a rainforest. Well, a rainforest without the trees … oh, and it’s not exactly warm here considering we had the fireplace going four days ago … and we don’t have any tropical birds or monkeys or giant insects … but it HAS been raining a lot here lately.

During this rainy weather I took a couple of days off while my Dad was here visiting. This morning I went back to work. I walked into the office, headed toward my cubicle and saw this:

When I got to my cubicle I saw this:

You might think I was surprised, but I wasn’t. I have watched the wet spots on the ceiling tiles above me grow for many, many months. Every now and then some of us would pop our heads up out of our cubes and participate in a discussion about the wet spots.

“Do you think that spot is bigger? I think it’s bigger. I’m not sure if that one over there is bigger but I’m pretty sure that’s a new spot. We should draw a circle around them so we know if they’re growing. If we can prove they’re growing maybe somebody will believe us when we say the roof is still leaking and fix it.” I was pretty sure nothing was going to get fixed until the whole ceiling fell in. My only hope was that I wouldn’t be sitting at my computer when it happened. It didn’t completely fall in, but I wasn’t here when the bulging and cracking tiles reached the point of no return, so I guess I got my wish.

The motto for this office seems to be “Why Fix Something Before It’s An Emergency?” When people complained about dead bug body parts falling out of the ceiling vents a few years ago (I had so many on my counter one day I could write my name in them) nothing was done about it. I even started collecting those little bug bits and pieces.

I’d sit at my computer dreaming about having the nerve to sprinkle them all over the desk of WhoeverIsInChargeButWon’tDoAnythingAboutAnyBuildingProblems. It’s probably a good thing I never got up the nerve ... but boy……..what a rush of in-your-face-power that would have been ... even if I wasn't positive which desk I should pour them on.  I suppose we, the lowly worker bees, could have waited until the situation was dire and were all suffering from clogged-bug-lung. Maybe something would have been done then. But we were impatient. We “solved” the problem by stuffing the vents with furnace filter stuff. If that filter stuff is ever removed it’ll be a waterfall of bug parts and pieces. There will be bits up the nose, in your eyes, and floating through the air. I don’t want to be there that day either.

Anyway, since I neither saw nor heard any dripping water, my first action of the day (even before my first cup of coffee!) was to climb up on my countertop and pull off the plastic. Then I figured as long as everything had been moved I may as well clean the piles of dirt and surprise! bug parts that were on my window sill, so I climbed back up. After everything was nice and clean and had I started putting things back in their places, I noticed drips hit the counter so I was back up on the countertop to tape plastic over the hole.

After I had put all my belongings back in their places, I heard drops hitting the counter -- again. So I crawled back up once again to make sure all the edges of the plastic garbage bag were sealed with tape. By then I was an expert at climbing up and down from my counter so I figured I may as well grab a nice big black magic marker, climb up again and draw circles around the water stains (plus a few new ones) even though now we didn’t really need proof that they were expanding.

About an hour and a half later I finally poured my first cup of coffee and sat down to work.  Mid-morning, to my amazement and surprise, two guys actually showed up, climbed up onto the roof and walked around for a while.

All the walking around they did shifted the delicate water-dripping balance and it started again. I figured five times up on my countertop in one day was enough so I decided precisely placed garbage cans would just have to do. Then they left. Nobody ever came to tell me if they found the leak, fixed the leak, are coming back, or just gave up. To quote Gomer Pyle “sur-prise, sur-prise”. In the meantime, I spent my day listening to the slow plop … plop … plop of water hitting a plastic bag intermixed with the softer drip … drip … drip of water landing in a garbage can.

When I left at the end of the day I did this.

 Because in the skies there were these.

Maybe that furnace filter stuff up in the ceiling vent will let go tonight and it will be like a rainforest....insect parts all glued together into monster bugs, stuck to ceiling tiles ... floating down the hall ... into the warehouse ... picking up bull snakes along the way ...◦


Art Elser said...

Oh boy!! Not good conditions to try to work in. I believe the type of building management is called crisis management. It's also called "manana" management--should be a tilde on the first "n". When it stops raining it won't be leaking so they won't have to fix it. When it is raining, they can't fix it in the rain. Have you considered opening a bug museum?

And Dean is down in Durango with Al. Al said in an email that "Durango rocks" and is "a stunningly beautiful area." Somehow I feel Dean will pay for that trip.

Since Al sits on the other side of the cubie wall, what kind of surprises await him when he gets back?

Look on the bright side, all those trips up and down on the counter must count for a trip or two to the gym. And I'm sure you practiced some not-often-used vocabulary as you taped and retaped plastic and moved trash cans around to catch the major waterfalls.

Abby said...

Maybe tommorrow you should bring your raincoat.

Leslie said...

If it makes you feel better I have a pile of sand in the corner of my desk and I think I have ants. And yes someone came and looked and that's the last I heard.....