Day: May 27, 2020

What’s *Not* a Surprise is That I’m Still Making Mischief!

It has been quite some time since I made mention of all of the construction going on in the human female’s workplace.  Oh, she’s not in it, but that hasn’t stopped me!  I can cause havoc while sheltering in place.

First,though, I need to tell you about the surprise I left for her and her coworkers when they did the last walk-through before things started (which is right before the campus closed).

They were scavenging on the second floor, the floor where the construction will take place (mostly; more of that anon).  The previous occupants, members of the Kinesiology Department, appeared to have left in a terrible hurry.  There were books and papers and equipment and trash everywhere.  

In one maze of cubicles–SURPRISE!— they discovered these:


Cupcakes!  Delicious, delicious cupcakes!  Everybody loves cupcakes!  They must have had a going-away party!  But why leave any?

Then—-Great Frigga’s corset!—someone looked at the sell-by date…


December, January, February, March…

The ingredient label was torn, so they couldn’t read all of it, but I’m pretty sure there must have been some Thor-strength preservatives in them because, while they were hard as brightly-colored rocks, there wasn’t a speck of mold on them.  

Think about that for a minute.

So, that was a couple of months ago.  Construction has started, loudly, and this is what the second floor looks like:

2nd floor HELD

Just LOOK at all of the things I can make leak or short out or…

Why would I bother with a floor that the human female doesn’t work on?  Good question.  Behold my evil plans:

You see, everything is connected.  One of the courses the human female works with is moving down to this floor.  If the construction’s not finished, it can’t move, and the class that is going to be moving into its spot up on the third floor can’t move either, and then it will be Department heads and the Registrar and several professors and the human female and Prep Staff all trying to figure out what in Odin’s name they are going to do with seven sections of Biology 107.  The construction is already running behind, and everyone has been notified that one of the classrooms probably won’t have air conditioning when the fall semester starts, since the unit will have to be hoisted in through a window.  I’ll pause for a moment and let you picture that.  Teaching in a classroom.  In August.  In Texas.  With no AC.

Anyone want to start a betting pool on when I’ll actually let it get finished?  First day of the fall semester?  Third?  Second week?  Yule?

And once the construction’s done, there is still aaaaaalll the moving to do!  Not only does BIO 107 have to come down here and BIO 319 have to get set up in 107’s old room, a third course, currently housed in an entirely different building, will be moving onto this floor as well.  Worst case scenario, their room isn’t ready either.  Best case, everything is ready, but the human female and her Prep Staff have already been volunteeredtold that they are helping with the moving. In August.  In Texas. With possibly no AC.  Hmmm.  I think I’ll schedule an elevator outage for that day.

Until that day comes, I’m not sitting idly by.  No, not I!  Last week, the human female and her staff were advised that there is an upcoming building-wide power outage which will last “1 to 2 days” while new bits of wiring are tied into the existing bits.  This would not be a problem except for a few things:

  1. There are a LOT of plants and animals in the building which Prep Staff is still taking care of.  The fish rely on their bubblers not to die, and no power means no AC.  In summer.  In Texas.  Which means that things heat up pretty rapidly and the more delicate creatures commence to die.  Overheated fish tanks are not happy places.
  2.  Everyone is working remotely at least partially on their work computers.  No power, no computers.  No AC, no computers.
  3. There are freezers and cooling boxes full of nasty chemicals of various sorts which Do Not Work and Play Well With Others if they get too warm.  There are also quantities of DNA and bacterial cultures which, like ice cream (but not as tasty), are no good when melty.
  4. Anything plugged in has the potential to go “sparky-boom” when the power surges back on.
  5. All the door locks, inside and out, are electronic.

Hence the current mad scramble to make lists of things that need unplugging, computers that might need to be moved to a different building, aquaria that will almost certainly be going to another building, chemicals that need to be put in safe storage with an AC unit with its own power supply, rooms that will be all full of animals and need a portable AC unit with its own power supply, fridges that will need to be defrosted (the human female, curse her, suggested cleaning out and powering down the break-room fridge, drat her.  I was planning on making a huge, stinky mess in there!), and a dozen other things.

Concurrently or consecutively or at some yet-to-be-specified interval (I haven’t decided yet), there will also be a somewhat longer building-wide water outage.  Prep Staff has already filled some large carboys with the good reverse-osmosis water for the plants, and all would be well, except for the teensy fact that no chilled water means no AC.  In Texas.  In the summer.  See preceding for all the fun that is.

Oh, and do recall that whenever the rooms warm up beyond critical, the human female’s phone alarm goes off every five minutes until the alarm is silenced in the system or she chucks it out the window.

I am getting so. much. mileage. out of this whole thing, and the dates for all the moving parts haven’t even been announced yet!

What has been announced is that–SURPRISE!–the architects and engineers and other thinky individuals have let everyone know that–SURPRISE!— the construction can’t proceed as originally drawn because of all the conduits and piping and whatnot that need to start at the bottom and go all the way to the top.  This means that room 302, which is the plant and animal roomneeds to have a 5′ x 5′-ish chunk carved out of one corner, precisely where the microbes live.  The room will have to be rearranged—and all the living things have had to be temporarily removed to room 325 so as not to be teased, wrecked, and/or covered with dust.

Also–SURPRISE!–this same part of the project is also carving out a chunk of the Prep Staff office and out of the office of one of the Lecturers.  (That office is a glorified broom closet already!)  The computers there have already been removed to 314, the furniture has all been removed or shoved aside, and non-movable things have been dust-sheeted to a fare-thee-well.

I am having such fun with this!  The human female has not had to go back up on campus yet, but I think I can make it so she has to go.  The human male is getting to enjoy my surprises as well, since he and his will be responsible for all of the computers  (some of which, as I just related, have already been moved once–and remember that any time a computer is moved, someone has to file a location change report.  Eheheheheh.  I am so bad!)