Thanks Lightwave

Tonight I was walking back into the instrument line down by MI/EI when I rounded a corner from the main hallway to catch three of our production engineers standing around like cats with feathers stuck in their mouths. Dr. Fist was there, along with two other engineer guys that I didn’t know well but recognized. I suspected they were up to no good. One of them was clutching something small. All three of them were smiling like fiends. Curious, I stepped over to where they were and asked in a sarcastic tone, “What badness are you guys up to? What you got there?” One of the younger engineers held up a black cylinder with a pair of wires hanging off one end and he said, “Lasers.” My eyes got big as hubcaps.

“Where?” I asked.
“Out back between building 1 and 2, near the recycling center. They’ve been out there for days.”

Holy shit. That meant the company was ditching them. It had been raining hard all week. Any time they haul stuff outside and leave it to rot in the elements that means the stuff is being scrapped. Fuck yeah! I ran back to my desk, snagged a flashlight and a black cardboard ESD parts box. Then I jammed outside in the rain towards the recycling center. When I arrived, I saw a single line of pallets thirty feet long with cases piled on them up to my waist. Not knowing where to begin or what I would find inside I carefully opened up water logged boxes to find brand new precision lab standard HeNe lasers. There were thousands of them along with their high voltage power converters. I also discovered diffraction gratings, lenses, mirrors, and fiber optic cables. Very cool.

Like a kid in a candy store I started throwing a bunch of shit into my ESD box under my arm. Being careful not to make a mess and consumed with excitement I kept sorting interesting items out and tossing them into the box. I was a rational, yet crazed shopper. Then a voice startled me. It was Dr. Fist. “You can’t be ripping through stuff. Clean up after yourself or they’re going to know people were out here.” He was pointing to a pallet that someone had gone berzerk on and left packing material all over the ground. Offended that Dr. Fist would assume I’d be that careless I told him I didn’t do that crap. I know better. This is covert shit. Gotta keep it on the down low. Motion sensitive video cameras are everywhere. Dr. Fist hung out with me for a while. He explained that since Lightwave was exterminated like vermin during the layoffs all this brand new gear they bought over the last year or two is no longer needed. So that’s why they were jettisoning it. Interesting. Entirely wasteful.

Then it hit me: I had to spread the wealth. I can’t let the brothers in other departments go without an opportunity to score some goods. One-Eye was a hell of a scrounge around here and he’d be seriously into this. Almost running up to his department I found the dudes. All I said was, “Each of you grab a box and a flashlight. Don’t ask no questions, just do it.” I got some funny looks from them but they figured it was probably important so they went along with it. Five or six of us walked back outside in the rain to those pallets covered with soggy boxes. As soon as the guys realized what they were looking at they were stuffing all kinds of shit into containers. It was hilarious to watch. I’d already snaked what I wanted. I got my fill so I left them out there and went back inside to work.

I can’t wait to tell Autumn about this.

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~ by factorypeasant on July 25, 2006.

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