Saturday, March 30, 2013

Changing of the bulb... a day in the life.

I didn't write this, I think Klank - the screen-name of a very-funny EMS pilot who used to post on the Just Helicopters bulletin-board site to everyone's delight - wrote this about life in the world of HEMS. Enjoy.

(Klaaannnk, come baaack.....)

Our monthly base meetings are not the only thing that bleeds once a month and doesn’t die. Man how I despise the hours of talking about nothing and the endless gossip and rumor hashing that goes on. During one fine cycle the topic turned to the light bulb in the nurse’s bathroom, it burned out a week ago and was still out.

Looking for a way out, I stand up and flex my muscles and state “I’ll go change it right now, were are the bulbs?” “Well that’s part of the problem” one nurse replies. “We don’t have any, I told Booboo (the medic) to get some and she still hasn’t”

Booboo chimes in with “I can only order medical supplies, it’s the leads job to get supplies for the quarters” Wilfred, our stoic base lead (a man that will give you a twenty minute dissertation on how too pee) “Well I analyzed the situation and doing a scene survey I observed that the bulb in question is well out of the reach of a person of average height and some sort of elevation device will be needed to change the bulb. I therefore contacted maintenance to supply a properly equipped and trained individual to carry out the task at hand”

As we all sit there with our eyes glazed over wonder what in the hell is that guy talking about the area manager (Stan the Worm) trying to move the meeting along states “Well then, the mechanic will get your bulb changed, anything else” Greta the Hun as we call her barks out “Well it’s been a week and I think it’s a SAFETY ISSUE, I have to go in there in the dark and I don’t feel we should be subjected to such unsafe working conditions, what the hell is the matter with this company anyway and” It goes dark for sometime as she rambles on endlessly on how screwed up everybody and thing on the planet is and on and on.

As I come back from my happy place deep in my mind our mechanic Lenny (The Loser) walks in. (have you ever heard of someone so sharp that the phrase is “he forgot more than you will ever know” well Lenny forgot it all) “Lenny” Stan the Worm calls out “Can you give us an update on the status of the light bulb?” “What bulb” our not to bright coworker replies. Wilfred interjects “I sent an email to the Director of Maintenance with a attachment to the Chief Pilot and the Director of Operations that we were not properly equipped to safely pursue this issue to it’s conclusion” Another pause as we look at each other like deer in the headlights.

“Lenny, could you change the light bulb in the bathroom?” I ask, as I now understand the purpose of the five-day waiting period on the purchase of a handgun. “Sure” as he wanders down the hall, can this meeting finally end I pray to the big guy up there. “Hell it works fine,” Lenny yells from the hall, “The other bathroom” several of us yell in unison as our eyes roll in our heads.

“I guess that should about do it” Stan and states as the prelude to the end of our misery. Lenny appears with the burned out bulb proud of his accomplishment. “Ok were is the new bulb?” “I sent in the proper request to accounting with attachments and a summary to the Director of Operations and the Procurement Supervisor inquiring as to the feasibility of a local purchase or if it would be more economically sound for a purchasing agent to secure the supplies in question”

“Wilfred” I ask in somewhat of a puzzled manner “Have you gotten any replies to your emails?” “As the lead here it is indicative for me to keep management informed on all issues concerning the operations of this facility” “and” I ask again as he stopped talking satisfied with hearing his own voice. “I send about six or seven emails a day and I have yet to receive one reply on any issue”

“Lenny, take the bulb out of the lamp on the pilot desk and put it in the nurses bathroom please” I direct as I just can’t take it anymore. Finally the monthly meeting from hell has ended, as we all start getting up and placing our different chairs and cups and such to the appropriate places we here a loud crash followed by running water.

Lenny limping down the hall, soaking wet states that while standing on toilet to change the bulb, well you can figure out the rest.

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