Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just Call Me "Sparky"

I am currently sitting next to our open door.  Hasn't the weather just been fabulous today?  (At least for us Arizona desert rats--don't worry, a coworker and I have already had this discussion twice.)  I love it.

Moving on.

So, I have a story for all of you!  (I know, get excited.)  First, you need some background:

Background Item #1: A lot of the doors in my office require a key card to unlock.  It's just a little box/number pad thing on the side of the door, you hold your card up to it, and voila!  It opens.

Background Item #2: For some reason, I am always static-y (there's really no good way to spell that) at work.  Whenever I get out of my chair, the first piece of grounded metal I touch will inevitably shock me.  I've just accepted that fact.  Consequently, I have gotten into the habit of tapping the metal wall of my cubicle with my forearm every time I leave it.  (Why my forearm, you ask?  Because zapping your fingers every time hurts.  I have learned by experience.)  I realized the other day that it makes me feel like a clownfish--my cubicle is my anemone, making me immune to other shocks.  (Yeah, so my only knowledge of this subject comes from "Finding Nemo"--don't judge.)  Now back to the story already in progress...

So, last Wednesday it was pretty quiet at the office.  A lot of the actual office people were gone at some big meeting, so it was just me and a select few there.  I decided that I needed to go back to the lab to ask someone a question.  So, I left my cubicle {critical mistake #1: I did not tap} and headed on back.  When I got to the key pad, I committed {critical mistake #2: I actually touched my card to the box.}  Guess what happened?

A huge spark shot out from me (I'm assuming--weird) straight through my card and to the box.  Instead of blinking green and unlocking the door, the little box made a weird noise, the light turned red, and it didn't unlock.  My initial thought: "Maybe it was just a fluke.  Let's just try it again."  I tried it again.  "Hmm...nope, not a fluke.  Well, crap, I think I shorted out my card!"

After standing there for a minute deciding just how dumb I wanted/was going to look, I finally turned to the guys next to me and said, "Umm, can one of you open the door for me?  I think I broke my card..."  One guy tried it--it still didn't work.  Another tried his card--didn't work for him either.  (Now I'm thinking "I broke the door, not my card!!")  So, we frantically set about to find a manual or something that would get the stupid thing to work again.  Enter Miss T (as I will call her), the office manager and One Who Knows Everything (or just about).  She called our cable/electrical guy and told him the problem.  Here is pretty much the conversation that I heard:

"Hey, [person], we have a bit of an emergency here.  The doors aren't working and the only thing we can correlate it with is that Jenny was walking around and had a bit of static and she kind-of shocked the box.  {Bless her, she wasn't blaming me outright.}  Can you come and fix it?"

Meanwhile, we found out that not only was the main lab door not working, but all doors locked with this box were not working--even the ones outside our building (on the gates).  Sheesh!  Luckily, our guy was just finishing up another job and got over to us pretty quickly.  While he was working, I made signs for the doors ("Currently out of order--use another one instead") and had to keep telling people what was going on ("Um, I had a build-up of static electricity and when I touched the box it shocked it and stopped working.")  Yeah, good times.  I got razzed and told that I needed to attach a grounding wire to my pant leg.  Haha.  Actually, I really was laughing because it was ridiculously funny (even though I felt totally guilty).  He got it all fixed pretty quickly--like 15 minutes or so--and everything was back to normal.

As he was leaving, I just had to ask: "Did I really break all the doors?"

Mr. Fix-It: Well, it was some sort of static...something.  I don't really know what it was.

Me: I DID break all the doors!

MFI: It looked like kind-of a freak thing.  Like the sort of thing you couldn't do again if you tried.

Miss T: Oh, don't tell her that, that's a challenge!

I guess it's one way to break the ice with a new office full of people....


Diana said...

I am still laughing about this story! Love it. I guess we Carpenter Girls are just too shocking (I always shock myself at the gas station. Every. Time.).

Linda and Rhonda said...

Oh my gracious!! This is the best story I have ever heard! Jenny, you crack me up :)