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The Information Superhallway

Aaaaaaaaaand nowwwwwwww...

The STUPIDEST (...upidest ...upidest ...upidest)


*long pause*

IN THE WORLD!!! (...ORLD! ...ORLD! ...ORLD!)

Here's the set-up.  I'm working as a receptionist/admin for a wireless company, which has recently taken over the fourth floor of a new office building.  The place is mostly vacant, many of the forty or so offices and cubicles on the floor are empty and there's not a whole lot of furniture.  As a matter of fact, I sit at a lunch table in the hallway.

Yes, a lunch table.  Remember the tables they had in the cafeteria in middle-school?  Or the kind you see in flea markets?  Those horribly ugly dark brown particle-board things on wobbly metal folding legs?  I sit at one of those.

In the hallway.

Did I mention there are forty or so empty offices and cubicles?  I thought so.

Best of all, the lobby, where a receptionist would normally sit, is completely empty, and, it being a lobby, it's considerably roomier than a hallway.  Which is where I'm sitting.  In a hallway.  At a lunch table.

This alone means I spend most of the day wanting to kill myself, and hey!  We haven't even gotten to the stupid part yet!

Since the lobby is empty, the company doesn't want visitors coming up in the elevator and wandering around the building, which they would have to do since there is no one in the lobby to greet and/or direct them.  So, and here's where the fun begins, they have it set up so visitors can't get to the fourth floor of the building without someone to help them.  See, the elevator is locked off, and only someone with a special magnetic ID card to swipe past the sensor can get the elevator to go to the fourth floor.  Visitors naturally don't have a magnetic card; I do.  So, the procedure is this:

The visitors reach the door to the building, where a sign tells them to press the intercom, which buzzes incredibly loudly at my stupid table in the hallway, which gives me a fatal heart attack.  When I recover, I press my intercom button, and ask if I can help them.  They say something like "I'm here to see Bob" or "I have a delivery" or "I'm here about the hyena's penis" or whatever.  It doesn't really matter what they say, because through the intercom, it sounds like "GZZZKZTTTT HTZTHHZGGHHHTT ZHZTZTHZTZTZ."  They could be saying "I'm here to fix the elevator, because it keeps plummeting into the basement, killing all the passengers," and I'd respond with "I'll be right down in the elevator!"

And right down I go.  I get into the slow-moving elevator, ride it down, go through the downstairs lobby to the door, let the visitors in, and ride up in the elevator with them, engaging in awkward conversation and using my magic card to allow us up to the fourth floor.  Most of the conversation directed at me, I should add, revolves around what a stupid set-up this is, and it's delivered in a tone that implies it's all my fault.

This morning, all I did was ride the elevator, because we had separate visits from 1) FedEx, 2) Airborne, 3) UPS, 4) USPS, 5) Office Depot, and 6) about a half-dozen other assorted vendors and visitors.

Naturally, I can't sit there all day waiting for the intercom to buzz, so what happens when someone downstairs pushes the button and I'm not at my table?  Does the stupidity fail?  Nope!  A great deal of thought, incredibly stupid thought, has been put into this stupidity, and they came up with this:  give the temp a special pager that will vibrate when the intercom goes off!  He can clip this to his belt and carry it around with him, so no matter where he goes in the building, if someone needs to be let in, he can run back to his lunch table and yell into the intercom and then run to the elevator again!

This pager is about the size of a mass-market copy of Stephen King's bestseller, The Tommyknockers, and vibrates with enough force to bruise anyone in the vicinity.  It goes off at the same time the intercom buzzer does, so if I'm at my table, I'm both startled into unconsciousness by the noisy buzzer, while, at the same time, my pelvis is rattled into splinters by the pager's vibrations.

So, if you happen to stop by an office building tomorrow, and you see a miserable dip sitting at a lunch table in a hallway or dashing towards an elevator while vibrating so hard he's a blur, that's probably me.  Maybe, and I'm just tossing out ideas here, that instead of using the current stupid plan, they adopt a new plan, known as the Less Stupid Plan, where they simply move my ridiculous lunch table into the lobby, unlock the elevator, deep-six the intercom, and put the pager somewhere it can't do anyone any harm.  Mars, maybe.

I might suggest this myself, but I've had several fear-induced heart attacks and all the teeth have been rattled out of my skull, so it would probably just come out as "GZZZKZTTTT HTZTHHZGGHHHTT ZHZTZTHZTZTZ."