Thanking the People Who Made This Possible, Or At Least Plausible

by pjmcbride

Today marks my 27th anniversary in Dispatch, which is longer than SOME PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ALIVE. I remember going for my interview (going across the hall from Records, which is where I worked at the time), carefully dressed in a long-sleeved shirt to hide my tattoo, even though the people in Radio obviously knew I had it, since they walked by Records every day on their way in. (And I continued wearing long sleeves for my entire probationary period of, get this, ONE MONTH. And no psychological test! Gabba gabba hey!) When I worked in Records, I’d noticed 2 things about the dispatchers;

1. They were obsessed with their schedule,

2. They were, um, strong-willed and assertive. (“Don’t turn into a bitch like they are,” said an officer, and no, I don’t remember which officer it was.)

And both of those things still hold true!

So I came here, where I, um, get paid to think. After I’d been here a few months, someone told me, “You know, they almost didn’t hire you. Because of something someone said.” And then wouldn’t tell me who it was or what they’d said, which ought to be illegal. And no, I don’t remember who told me, either. They’re probably retired anyway, or even dead. There was a police officer who worked in Records who hated me for some reason (I can say that now, since both she and her officer husband are long-retired), so maybe she warned them about me, but the only thing I can remember her saying was that I could ride a motorcycle while wearing white clothes and not show a speck of dirt, and she did not mean it as a compliment. I don’t know if that’s true, and I’m not about to get on a motorcycle to find out.

It is a truism here that everyone cries at some point during training. I never did, but I do remember once, when I’d been here a few weeks and asked my trainer how to do something, she looked at me and said, “Figure it out yourself.” And I became VERY ANGRY, but I didn’t say anything (learning impulse control! a valuable job skill!), and I did figure it out. See? The job builds character! I didn’t say what kind of character. I know it can be said that I don’t have this job, it has me. And that’s pretty much true of everyone here. As Supervisor S. once said, it’s like the Hotel California–you can check out, but you can never leave.

We have super-powers! I was having my hearing checked once, and the doctor said, “You can hear and understand different things from each ear. I’ve never seen anything like it.” I know that’s true of everyone who’s been here for any length of time. So it CAUSES CHANGES IN OUR BRAINS! (Be careful, or they’ll use us for experiments.)

Enough Stab From the Past. In real time, and on this really self-indulgent blog, I would like to express appreciation for the Chinese food brought by the shameless yet thrilling Nick (his words, not mine). My fortune was “Good things come to those who wait. Be patient.” Yawn. I would also like to welcome new FanBaser C.S., and hope not to disappoint her–this blog comes with a money-back guarantee! (Wait a minute, they say, as they remember how much they paid to get in…)

P.S. Description of a suspect: “Just put on a multi-colored T-shirt with Bob Marley on it.” Uh, if you plan on becoming a suspect in something, I wouldn’t recommend this fashion choice.

The Harriman Dispatch Center

The Harriman Dispatch Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)