I’ve spoken here before about the ongoing con/destruction in the human female’s workplace. I’ve been working with Slow, Silent, and Costly and all the contractors to make sure it is the biggest headache possible. I’m proud to say that my hard work is bearing fruit!
This is what the Prep Staff’s office looks like right now.
I believe that’s the ceiling sitting in a pile on the floor, there.
And then there are the Outages.
The human female and her techs knew there were going to be numerous outages, as bits of the remodeled second floor utilities are tied into the remainder of the system.
Every time there’s a scheduled outage, there are a million texts and emails beforehand, clarifying just what is and isn’t going to be affected. Precious plants, animals, and perishable chemicals have to be protected with backup power. Sometimes I think EVERYTHING on the floor needs to be hot, cold, or wet!
The inbox overfloweth.
All the computers on the floor need to be shut down ahead of a power outage, because a) they don’t like to run when it gets to be 90 indoors and b) there’s always the chance that the power will spike when it comes back on. (Nobody trusts their UPS.) Since people are logged in remotely, this means no one can do anything on their work system during an outage and all the computers need to be switched on again afterwards. They’ve been scheduling outages for Saturdays, but nobody goes in to turn things on until Monday, so it’s a nice little “break” from work. (But see below.)
The power and chilled water/AC outage at the beginning of the month went more or less as planned. Backup power went where it was needed and nothing died. But many of the rooms are on automatic temperature monitoring, and when they get warm the human female gets a nice little text notification. Bing! Every minute or so for every room that edges up over 78.2 F. She got to delete one hundred and twenty-two messages! All day Saturday! Then there were the accompanying emails…
Then there was an unscheduled water outage. That was fun. More email! Does the building proctor know about this? How about the facilities coordinator? What’s affected? Is it fixed yet? With every text and every email, the crease in the human female’s forehead got just a little deeper.
Then I made a water leak.
The next week, I scheduled a two-day outage of the hot and cold water, the RO water, the forced air, and the vacuum lines.
Then a two-day outage for natural gas.
The vaccum is something that never gets used, gas wasn’t needed those days, and the forced air is only used for blowing up sheep lungs in what has to be the grossest demo in the whole Lower Division Instruction Program. (The human female and her techs keep trying to write this out of the lesson plan, but it keeps being put back in.)
The water, however, was a pain. No water fountains, no faucets, no potties.
The human female is still working from home, so she was minimally inconvenienced. I just had to make sure she got all her notifications.
The most recent outage was supposed to be a power outage. Then everyone heard that it was only supposed to be for the north end of the building–which is where most of the offices are. Something about “volts” and “buses” and blah blah blah.
Today, Prep Staff discovered that, while the lights and such were back on, there was no power in many of the wall outlets! More fun! More email! This is part of the best one, from one of the contractors:
Apparently the “more information” was this:
Now, you’ll recall that only the north end of the building was supposed to be affected, but Behold! The outlet in room 302, down at the other end of the hall, went out as well, the one the ultra-cold freezer (-80F) is plugged into.
Cue a hundred more texts and emails
An unplugged freezer doesn’t freeze very well, so everything started to…t…h…a…w. A poor Prep Staffer had to move everything into a regular freezer, with plans to move things to alternate storage in another building once it was all frozen again.
Nice try, but the things in that freezer are very, shall we say, finicky, so they will probably need to be replaced. The human female drew up a list to present to the nice contractors, in hopes that they can be prevailed upon to make good the loss:
More email: Were there other primers? Is that all the ONPG that was spoiled? Was some of it not mixed up and in the freezer? The bacterial cultures aren’t replaceable, are they? Just how much Sybr Green did we really have? While all of this unscheduled swapping and counting and price-looking up was going on, someone noticed also that the water and RO water was off.
MORE TEXTS! MORE EMAILS!
All while the human female was dealing with the flurry of activity and paper that vetting and interviewing applicants for the vacant tech position, put together a fall purchase list, and deal with a ton of other paperwork.
Out of all of this, I have confirmed one Biological Fact: The human female is part chameleon. No, really, I can prove it! Her face definitely can change color, and her eyes can swivel to look in two directions at once.
And she’s going to be bald before all of this is over…