The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday...

I realize it's Wednesday.

Really I do.

It's taken me that long to get to this. Gee my life sure is excitin'!!

Monday morning, I was sitting back at my desk, typing up a storm, when something caught my eye...peripherally. The area in the back of my office (I sit in the VERY back) is pretty wide open...a cube farm...and we can all kinda see/hear each other fairly easily.

So...on first pass, I wasn't quite sure what the movement had been roughly 15 feet to my right. I just shrugged it off and kept typing. And then it came back into the same visual field. Everyone was pretty busy at their individual stations, so I looked up just in time to see a bird flying around the studio.

And I can tell you, you don't see that every day. Or ever, even.

So I shouted, "Hey! Do you guys see that bird flying all over the studio?" And, at that point it was. It was kind of doing laps from one end to the other. Up the right side of the studio, down the left. Over and over.

It was pretty weird for a Monday morning. Even around my office.

Of course, productivity came to a standstill as we all watched the bird and tried to figure out how a bird got in and how we'd get it out.

Then, my boss came back to the studio. And he completely ruined my day.

"That's not a bird," he said. "It's a bat."

The tires screeched in my head, complete with a visual. 'Cause it was kinda fun when it was a bird. Bats, on the other hand, are totally NOT fun. Not even a little.

So while I wanted to go back to my office, close the door and continue believing it was a bird. I had no door and, like I said, it was a damned bat.

Do I need to say that I hate the flying rodents? 'Cause I will, if need be.

Clinging to any hope, I asked my boss on what authority he spoke, because, while it was moving fast, it sure did look like a bird to me. Of course, while he was an architect by trade, he had, apparently, double-majored in flying nocturnal mammals. Who knew?

The entire tone of the studio changed after the announcement. Grown men were running and diving. Okay, that part was kinda fun...but I really couldn't enjoy it because I was panicking right there with 'em.

Several smaller factions split off from the main group, each one devising their own plan...independently. So, when the threesome who had opted to grab large cardboard box lids and try to guide the bat towards the fire escape door, where, presumably someone would open it and let him out. Another twosome, when the opportunity presented itself, opted to trap the bat in the conference room (where there are full glass doors), and call a professional to come collect the creature.

I would like to note that I was on neither team. My job, as I understood it, was to scream loudly and cover my head whenever the thing came anywhere near me and stampede anyone that got between me and the closest exit. And I was holding up my end just fine. Well enough, in fact, that I was inching up the hallway towards the conference room, when I witnessed the twosome succeed in trapping the bat in the conference room.



Through the glass doors of the conference room I could suddenly see the threesome with the box lids running for their lives. Trapped inside the conference room, and the twosome wouldn't open the doors for fear of letting the bat back out.

"You can't trap your own people in with that thing!", I shouted. They turned and looked at me as if I were mad, while our 19 year old receptionist was beating on the glass with a look of sheer horror on her face. When they turned back to watch what was unfolding in the room as the three of our employees ran circles around the conference room table fending off a diving bat and questioning future employment with the firm, finally one of them broke. He motioned for our receptionist to come to the door and as soon as he was sure the bat was across the room, he opened the door, yanked her out and closed it again.

And then there were two.

Well, or three, if you count the bat.

One, by one, the other two were similarly extracted and then we found some towels and covered the small opening at the bottom of the double doors.

At that point, it became somewhat like a zoo exhibit. People standing and watching the bat through the glass windows as it dipped and flew and it wasn't nearly as threatening anymore.

My team (you grabbed a phonebook and there they were...Ye Olde Undesirable Animal Removal Company (heretofore known as YOUARC). Eureka!!

At this point, it was about 10:30AM. Our ordeal had only been in progress for about 15-20 minutes, but it seemed like much longer. YOUARC said they could come along and collect our undesirable animal for a handsome fee of $148 (which seemed both exhorbitant...for an animal that was already trapped, and quite a opposed to me having to actually do it myself) sometime early afternoon.

And so, things calmed down as we awaited the arrival of the professionals. Around 2PM, my boss was back at my desk talking to me, when, something in my right periphery moved. Or more accurately, fluttered.

Of course, never missing a beat, our team (or, you know, me) sprung into action and let go a studio-length scream, thus alerting all the players that we were all in for another round of fun.

Some of the players (the ones that had been trapped last time) weren't as game. And one player retreated to an office with an actual door and opted to sit this round out.

A couple headed for the conference room to see if bat #1 (which he had now become) was still within, or if he had (somehow) managed to escape. The horror that this was now bat #2 we were dealing with, was only marginally worse than thinking bat #1 could phase through walls.

No sign of bat #1 in the conference room, the two brave souls opened the door and took a closer look. True enough, he'd managed to escape. (Given the large industrial duct system throughout our office, the assumption is that he flew into one of the large vents in the conference room and out through a similar one in the studio.)

Evil AND genius. Damn!!

In any event, the one and only bat made several more passes through the studio (perhaps mocking our inferiority), and then he seemed to disappear.

I was dialing YOUARC to get their ETA while all of that was going on. Only, see, I got a voicemail box instead of a live person.

Drat! Drat! Drat!!!!

The nervous tension as we all tried to go back to our work, nearly constantly casting a glance upward toward the ceiling, made it quite difficult to concentrate. I called my husband, who was trying to be supportive but could see the comedy far too easily. So, I checked in with the kids…who became excited and begged me to bring the little fella home as a new pet.


I’d nearly given up hope of a resolution I could live with (and was already planning what I’d be doing on my “sick day”), when the YOUARC representative arrived. He looked nearly exactly like I would have expected…if I’d expected anything specific. He was in his mid to late thirties and bald. With his right eye cocked in towards his nose and some of his front teeth missing. He carried with him a well-worn pillowcase (that reeked of skunk spray) and nothing else. At that point, I became even more skeptical of a conclusion to the bat saga.

Walking him around the office, I told him the long tale and we ended up at the last place anyone had seen the bat before he vanished. I’m sure I sounded disheartened, as, at that point, I’d resigned myself to believing the bat had gone back into an air duct and would hide there until the most opportune time to get me. But the YOUARC guy said, simply, “Do you have a ladder?” I stammered a little and said, “I think so.” And he said, “The bat’s right there,” and pointed up at the ductwork above our heads.

I still couldn’t see it…which was actually better for me anyway…but I hurried to get the ladder in the hopes that he could do something to end this ordeal. Permanently.

When I got back, he’d donned a pair of black gloves…rhinoceros hide, I think…which must have been in a pocket, and had his pillowcase at the ready. He cautiously and quietly climbed the ladder and then, with a smooth stroke, he scooped up the bat from his nap. Exhausted from the activities of the day, he’d been resting there. The bat was then dropped into the odoriferous pillowcase and it was knotted at the top.

One hundred and forty eight dollars and five hours after the ordeal had begun, the bat was gone.


On Wednesday, I'm nearly recovered.


Blogger Doc Nebula said...

Baby, there are Big Chatty Professional Housewife/Humor Writers With Book Contract Bloggers who could not have written that episode up as wittily. It is not fair that nobody is offering you a contract to do this professionally.

And I was SO supportive. But it was pretty funny, yeah.

6/11/2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Forget the book thing. I think the clue is learning how to overcome our fears of flying rodents and disgusting animals, and learn how to capture the damn things! Damn! That's more money then I make in a week and a half in my retail gig!

6/12/2008 10:32 AM  
Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Hey, I oughta get onto this gig! My plan is simple: wait until the critter flies into something, then get a guy to dispose of it for me.

Yes, it's pulling the "Helpless Female" card, but it works....

Great post, too.

6/13/2008 4:26 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

This was easily as funny, and probably even funnier, than the recap I got orally.

I've had similar experiences, except that my role was to chase the little bugger down and toss a shallow cardboard box over him, slide a piece of stiff paper underneath, and voila! One batch of Winged Terror Surprise, which I simply brought to a door and released into the wild... campus.

Saved his life too, maintenance's 'capture kit' was a long pole with a small frame attached, and a piece of flypaper or carpet tape.

7/19/2008 12:56 AM  

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