VBC

Mischief Update: Set Chaos to Maximum

The contractors swear by all they hold holy that the second floor of the human female’s workplace will be finished on time.  Well, except for the air conditioning.  And the stools.  And maybe the electrical.  Or the water.  Or the phones.  But finished!

The New! and Improved! second floor is going to have multiple fume hoods, safe enclosures where scientists can work with nasty chemicals, DNA, and other cooties.  Evacuating so much air in a steady flow requires a VLF (Very Large Fan), and there’s no place those fans can go except the roof.  So a delivery was scheduled and a massive crane procured, and all the building’s inhabitants were told to stay home for a day and not approach the premises at all, to eliminate the chance of a) a  VLF landing on their pointy head, or b) a VBC (Very Big Crane) toppling over and making a pancake of someone or someone’s car.

The VLFs arrived, oh yes they did! But I had a word or two with the Purveyor of VLFs and they made their appearance sans the bolts required to actually attach them to the building.  So it was deferred until the following weekend when, once again, everyone was invited to stay very, very far away.

The old internet wiring in the part of the second floor that is going to become Biology and Chemistry teaching lab rooms was meant to have been stripped out, to make room for bigger/better/faster connections, and the contractors took this charge very much to heart and set to with a will, encouraged by myself.  So eager were they to accomplish the ripping and stripping that their zeal quite got away from them and they removed all the internet wiring from the part of the floor that is supposed to remain offices.  Ehehehehe.  Oopsie!  There is, unfortunately, no provision in the builders’ remit or room in their timetable for replacing what they took out–and no budget, either.  All parties involved are having a fine squabble and a round of finger-pointing about who’s to replace it.  And, more to the point, who’s to pay.

Water remains an iffy prospect.  There has been spotty low water pressure, a drip that doesn’t drip when the plumber comes, and hot water that takes for. ev. er to arrive once summoned.  The human female, having forgotten her water bottle at home, poured herself a mug from the break room tap.  Imagine her revulsion (and my glee!) when what she ended up with was pale yellow in color, with a fine black sediment and a rather disagreeable taste.  That will teach her to look before she sips.

The workman have created such a clutter outside the door that needs to be utilized for the annual Dead Cat Ballet that there is no way for the delivery truck to access the alley and no way for a pallet jack to approach the door. The human female, having made all the arrangements for delivery, removal of door posts, etc., was forced to do a little something I like to call “grovel and backtrack,” cancelling the door work order, arranging future delivery (at some as yet to be determined date) of the shipment with Central Receiving, and notifying the Purveyor of Dead Things that their payment will be tardy, since she cannot pay for what she has not received and checked.  Of course, I will make sure the person she spoke to in customer service at the PODT doesn’t tell the Bean Counters at the PODT, and there will be a nice dunning letter in the post for her, you mark my words.

The human female and her coworkers were told week before last that the phone lines were going to be cut at some unspecified date and be out for a while.  Another outage!  It has come to light, however, that there is no plan to replace the land lines and that the entire building is being switched to something called VOIP.  I was, I admit, confused.   Is not “voip!” the sound it makes when one wraps a piece of hot dog bun wrapper around a stick and lights it in a campfire, causing drips of molten plastic to fall with a very characteristic “Vvvoip!  Vvvoip!” ?  Apparently, though, no pyromania is involved, merely Voice Over Internet Protocol.  I am not dismayed, however, because I am fully capable of causing mischief with computers, so expect some good fun there!   (At a yet to be determined date, of course.)

The human male has not been exempt from my mischief.  He had ordered a number of Spanish language computer keyboards for a new faculty member arriving from Chile.  They did not come and they did not come and they did not come.  When he called to find out why, he was told that they were out of stock for educational customers.  When the male pursued it further, he talked with another person, who took a look around at the simply massive pile of Spanish language keyboards in the warehouse and said they would ship them out.  We will just see about that…

Another order, comprising some dozens of laptops, was dispatched to the human male by a carrier I had not previously meddled with.  But I adore making a new business connection, so I had a little chat with the good folks at Doin’ Hella Little, who subsequently informed the human male that they were completely unable to parse the delivery address (the University does not use street names and numbers but internal mail stops, building names, and room numbers) and that the laptops were going to rest comfortably in a warehouse at their distribution center in Humble, a small town rather closer to the Big City to the South than to here.  When the human male asked whether they could not reroute the delivery to Central Receiving, which does have something that is recognizably a street address, he was told that they could not do that and, if he didn’t want to drive an hour or more each way, he could take it up with the vendor.  Which he has done, and the vendor has supposedly Explained Things to Doin’ Hella Little, but we shall see if the laptops materialize.  

In the meantime. the human male was contacted by another shipper, inquiring about his shipment of over 100 tablet computers.  A bit of detective work uncovered that these were, in fact, not his at all but destined for some establishment in a town about two hours and more from here.

Recently, an old friend sent the humans a photo taken of them a decade and a half or so ago.  They were thinner then, and not so gray, and there’s a light in their eyes that is lacking now.  I simply can’t imagine why, can you?

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