Calling To Win

We were all getting settled in for the shift. It was that time of the day when all of the dayshift folks had finally left. Each of us had got the lowdown on what needed to be done from our counterparts. The usual idle chit-chat hadn’t begun yet. Things in the Closed Area were quiet, we were concentrating on the work in front of us at our test stations and work benches.

Richard is a mid-level manager at TDS. I don’t deal with him much as he’s my supervisor’s boss. He is all business. To the point, no fuss no muss. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile. Not once. To me, this makes him kind of spooky. I feel like whenever he’s speaking with me he’s constantly sizing me up. I’ve never had any problems with him but I know to stay clear of him when he’s around. Just to be on the safe side.

Today, Richard let himself into the Closed Area through the main double doors and walked over to the middle of the line where most of us were working at the time. I was walking around the benches in the middle of the room with a couple boxes of parts. As I was headed out of the room to the Environmental Lab, Richard asked everyone to stop what they were doing. He had something he wanted to talk to us about.

He said, “Who has been calling the radio station?”

I put my boxes of parts down on a table close to me and thought, this was strange. Nobody said anything in the room. You could almost hear the crickets chirping from the silence. Richard continued.

“We have a computer system here that monitors every call into the plant. Who the call is coming from, which extension the call is going to. It also monitors every single call to the outside, which phone is being used in here and where the call is going to out there. Management and security get updates real-time and if a red flag goes up, we get notified. Someone in this room has been calling a local radio station about twenty times in the last half hour. Who was it?” Richard gazed across the room at all of us and then fixed his stare on me. What the fuck are you looking at me for, guy? I hate local radio. Wasn’t me. Then Barney spoke up.

“Uh, it was me.” Barney said.
Richard looked at him. “What were you trying to do, win some tickets or something?”
Barney replied, “Yeah, I was trying to win some tickets.”
“OK well, don’t be doing that anymore.” Richard said. Then he smiled and left the room.

That was really weird. I didn’t know we had the sneaky computer sniffing on all the calls here. Good to know. A few of us were laughing at Barney. He seemed a little embarrassed about the incident. I asked Barney, “So what were you trying to win, man?” He looked up at me from where he was sitting and said, “I wasn’t trying to win anything. I just went with what Richard was talking about to make him go away. Actually I was trying to request a song.” Heh. Screwball. At least Richard was cool and didn’t bust Barney. I picked up my boxes of parts and got to work in the Lab.


~ by factorypeasant on December 24, 2004.

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