Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Crappy Twilight Zone

I am really on a roll. Mostly because the person I am blabbing these ramblings to is not nodding off, or walking away or losing interest. That I can tell anyway.

I know most of us have had a surreal experience or two. I worked in a dental office for 10 years and we had our fair share of interesting times. But one sticks out.....can't believe it still.........

I should have known better when one day both offices happen to all take lunch at the same time. Everyone left the office except me. We had an office shaped like a giant U and the sides were mirror images of each other. My partner and I worked with 8 employees or so on one side, our landlord and his partner and his 8 employees worked on the other. I was basking in the glow of silence. No phones, no people, not even a sterilizer running. How much paperwork was I gonna get done?

Start paperwork while eating. Hear small rattling. Hear more rattling. What was that? Use my sonar to figure out it is coming from the bathroom. Open bathroom door and see the lid on the toilet rattling. OK, I don't know much about plumbing. Sure, I have stopped up a few toilets and jammed up a few disposals. But a toilet rattling all by itself is baffling. Lift up lid just in time to see the brown lava rising. Smelly lava oozes onto the floor and keeps oozing. CRAP!! (literally) The bathroom is about an inch higher than the rest of the office, which conveniently is carpeted. I throw open the cabinet with the surgical towels and smocks. Build a dam with the towels and smocks. Don't think they are sterile anymore. Trying to think of who to call?? No time as I hear the same noise over on Peter's side. Same story his toilet. Build new dam. Now I hear sputtering, splattering ALL OVER. Look- every single "operatory" (where each dental chair is) has a little sink, each lab (where you sterilize stuff) has a big sink. Each drain on combined 10 sinks is splattering crap water all over the place. I grab the instrument trays (look like cafeteria trays) and shove them in the sinks. Just about to catch my breath when I see the dams giving. Now, we do have mops and buckets. But of course they are across the courtyard in our other office suite. I run over and get them. On my way back I see Peter, who is not working today. He is dropping off some trash in the dumpster in the back of the parking lot. I yell as I run across the courtyard, in a dress, in heels, with a mop waving in one hand and a bucket in the other "Peter, emergency!! You have to come help now!!" In that split second, I can read his mind. That Marge has really lost her mind! And she seemed so normal!

He came over, the rest of the staff got back from lunch and we called ServiceMaster. Cancelled the rest of the days' patients. Turns out the city was working down the street and accidentally blocked the sewer line and it backed up into our office.

Now I want everyone to know this is probably the most heroic thing I have ever done. And no one really appreciated it at the time!!! Awww, the rantings of an unsung hero. Better luck next time Marge.

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