Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Flaming Dod

Carolyn here.
So I love my job. I enjoy working and I think I am at a place that is a good fit. My boss was willing to move my hours around to conform with Stewart's, which is good since we still share a car (possible only because we work the same hours and are only a mile apart.) I even enjoy the drama that is an inevitable part of working. Sure there are a good amount of uneventful days, I'll call these productive days. Then there are days that just beg to be posted about. Like the time I was told that I look like the Shaquille O'Neal of Ewoks or the day I was told that I have the tongue of an adder. Still trying to figure that one out. There are the horribly dramatic days like when one of my coworkers died of a heart attack three doors away from work on his way in.
And the days like yesterday when a few of us watched out the front window as police men and fire men blocked off the road facing our front door. When we stuck our heads out the door to see what was going on, they yelled at us to "get right back inside now." Wow. I haven't been yelled at like that since I hit my little sister in the mouth with a grapefruit spoon. Her gums are fine. So half an hour later, when the same sheriff burst through the door and ordered us to vacate the premises immediately, we started to get worried. We all got outside and proceeded to stand around in the street, waiting to find out what was going on. We finally found out that there was possible radiation seeping into the area. I started to get worried about my unborn children (for the aforementioned nursery) so we all called it a day and left.
Then there are workdays like the beautiful day in April of last year when I was returning from a business trip in Manhattan with four coworkers. I had drunk a liter of water with lunch and didn't think to use the bathroom before we left. The company van was one of those old Dodges. The radio worked ok and one of the guys had just got the clock set on our way down to the city two days earlier. This van was known for breaking down but I had not as yet had the pleasure of being broken down on the side of the road in the middle of winter. On the front end where it usually says DODGE, the G and the E were missing so I called it the DOD. After several miles I begged my boss to stop at the next rest stop and he relented, much to my joy and comfort. As I walk into the rest stop I noticed a Cinnabon kiosk and think to myself, "Self, maybe on the way out." But no, we all head back out to the DOD only to notice smoke coming from it's front end. I run back inside and quickly ask the two teenage boys working the hotdog stand where's the pay phone because our van is on fire in the parking lot. Their looks told me that this was not an every day occurrence for them. By the time I get back outside to await the fire department, the guys have gotten all of our personal belongings and the office equipment out of the DOD. Well, almost all of it. Then we wait and watch. Along with everyone else in the parking lot. I will always remember watching the headlights simply pop out of the front of the DOD. That was kind of anticlimactic. It was around this point that a man came up to us with a little fire extinguisher from his trunk and sprays the van, accomplishing nothing. Then he yells at everyone to get back, that with all of his years of experience fighting fires he knew that she was gonna blow. So I duck back behind the two tech guys from my office and think of how brave they are. Or that I just got behind them before they could get behind me. I was so relieved when the fire department showed up and put the fire out without it blowing up, but in retrospect, that would have been way cooler of a blog story.
This all happened during the few weeks when Stewart and I had only one cellphone and no home phone and he was gone from work for the day. I had the cellphone. I had to call friends from downtown Albany to drive out to my house and tell him not to pick me up at the before agreed upon time. They delivered the message that I would be home late, that the van caught on fire but that I was fine and I would just get a ride home with one of those brave tech guys. So while we waited for another ride to take us further along our journey, I finally got that Cinnabon I'd been craving earlier. I ate it in the rainy drizzle while trying to keep the equipment safe.
And that is why Stewart and I each have our own cellphones and why they are camera phones. And why I try not to go on business trips anymore.


Alissa said...

i read this the other day, laughed, and failed to comment. then yesterday, we were looking at cell phones at Cingular... they were regailing the cell phones with a camera and we were ignoring them... then suddenly, i thought of you... and the flaming dod. we didn't get a phone, but i had a good laugh with everyone looking at me like i was nuts.

The Cope Family said...

But I like when you come on a business trip- it means free food for me!

Panini said...

carolyn, you are hilarious! And I love your details--the part where the lights just popped out, ya--that was special.

La Yen said...

Where on earth can you find a rest stop with Cinnabons? Most of the ones I know just have creepy pedophiles. Lucky.
You have a great job.