Day: February 14, 2018

Mischief Update: A Lot to Pack Into A Month, Part I—It’s All Falling Apart

In keeping with my resolution to be more diligent in providing updates on my mischief-making, I submit for your admiration my doings in January and the early part of February.

I have been reaping great satisfaction from the work of my minions with Slow, Silent, and Costly.  It’s really very simple—I fiddle with the faucets in the human female’s prep rooms, she calls the service people, and then I sit back and watch the fun.

Sink 1:  This was in the main prep room.  Lots of solutions to be made.  Lots of dishes to do.  Constantly in use.  Which is why, when it suddenly started spewing water out of the top of the faucet stack whenever it was turned on, the human female and her staff were more than a little annoyed.  They turned in a work order.  Nothing happened.  They waited, with dishes piling up.  A week later, the human female called to…nudge… Slow, Silent, and Costly into action.  “Oh,” they informed her cheerfully, “That job’s been assigned, but the person it was assigned to is out on leave.  Would you like us to expedite it?”

You know how in cartoons smoke comes out of people’s ears when they’re really angry?  It really does do that!  I had no idea!

Well, Slow, Silent, and Costly did send someone out at last.  It took him three minutes to disassemble the backflow preventer, adjust a tiny flexible plasticky part, and call it all good.

When S, S, & C sent a follow-up satisfaction survey, the human female raked them over the coals.  Later, though, she had to eat a humble potpie when she realized the survey was actually about a plumbing job from last November.  There’s nothing like timely feedback!

Then there was the other sink.  The one that’s sort of not there anymore.  I loosened up some epoxy and applied a rust spell to some brackets and the whole double sink just fell down inside its cabinet!  Well, the human and her staff wasted no time in turning in a work order.  One of them even attached a photo of the sink lying there with daylight streaming through its mounting hole.  Nothing happened.  Then more nothing happened.  The human female pulled up the work order, only to discover that–ping!–it was closed.   Several people had been out to look at the sink without ever speaking to staff.  The first pair had said, “Yup, it’s broken.  We’ll get the plumbers out here,” and submitted a bill.   The second pair had come and gone without consulting anyone.  They entered the room, saw a different sink with a teeny little drip, fixed it, and billed hourly rate for two plumbers.  The human female has complained over the phone and via email.  Despite assurances that someone would be right out, the sink is still in its little hidey-hole and somebody owes someone over $100.00.  Maybe next week….

Then there were the fume hoods.   The one in room 311 had a light that was out, but because a fume is Safety Equipment, the human female and her staff can’t simply go buy a glowy tube of the appropriate length and just bung it in there.  Oh, no no no no!  They must submit a work order.  The hood in room 313 was was too exhausted to exhaust.  No air movement at all.   There’s another work order, because it would make too much sense to be able to put both on one WO.  Well, one of the Prep Staff helpfully attached the billable account number to both requests.  Those requests bounced because hoods are attached so they fall under general maintenance.  I suggested to S, S, & C that it would be too confusing to just take the account numbers off.  Instead, I had them cancel those two WOs and make two new ones with different numbers.  It took another week or so for them to get fixed—on two separate trips by fixers, of course.

It’s a wonder the human female and her staff get anything done at all.  Take, for instance, the other week when a steam leak was discovered under the building.  That meant that the steam to several buildings had to be cut off.  No autoclave for you!  It doesn’t take long for waste to pile up, and there were sterile nutrient media plates to be made.  “No worries,” everyone was told.  “You can take your things over to the Pretty-New-But-Already-Falling-Apart Building and use their autoclave.”  Which was doable, though trying to transport liquid agar across campus without it cooling in the flasks and setting up into something no one will ever be able to get out held precious little appeal.  The steam jockeys had to wait a while for the lines to cool down (the steam is super-heated), but they did have the leak fixed the same day and folks just had to wait for the pressure to build up again.  Which it did.  Which it did so well that when it all went online again the next day, it blew out another leak.

And on the homefront, I’ve got two faucets  on…a…steady…drip.

And I’m just getting started.

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