Anatomy of a Ridiculous Week

This has been a ridiculous week. How can I count the ways…

1. Sunday, one of my Computer Pages starts calling me while I’m at my parents house telling me that the Black and White printer is not working. For 2 hours, on my day off, I’m trading pages back and forth with him. It’s apparent the printer isn’t working. This doesn’t bode well.

2. Monday, I had a major disagreement with TLN. I seriously feel like I was underpaid for last week. I could use words like “screwed”, but whatever… I’m a tool, and I’m paying for it. Of course, due to the fact I can only do 8 hours a week of work for TLN, there’s now a backlog of work for me to do, that unfortunately can’t be done.

On the plus side I bought my new hearing aids on Monday. Phonak Supero 412. 100% Digital power, pumping the jam up to 140 decibels and beyond. You do realize that 140 decibels in the ear of someone other than me usually causes their eyes to bleed. The sound level is so high it creates a pressure imbalance in the inner ear. Your eardrums perforate and the pressure bursts into your occipital cavity. You feel the sound vibrating your eyeballs. You know you really need the hearing aids when you start bleeding red tears. Ha!

I should note: I wore the hearing aids to a Chinese restaurant. I switched on the “strong” noise filter, and was able to hear my dad talking in a crowded, loud restaurant. I have NEVER done that before.

3. Tuesday was actually decent. My only nice day of the week. Tech Comm meeting in Trenton. I am the Chair of the TLN Tech Committee. I’m not sure I’m enjoying it this time around. It’s my third time as Tech-Comm head, and it feels too effortless. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough.

Regardless of which… SearhPath is now reality.

Information Literacy Tutorial, that had been in development by Tech-Comm for over 2 years. We’ll start pushing it on other comittees soon…

4. Wednesday… Condo Association shows up and does the condo maintenance (ON TIME!) The process barely seemed to barely exist. The guy shows up, looks in the attic and says it looks fine, and then tells me he can’t do all that much because most of the “work” will be done when the finally put siding on the place in the spring. (only 22 months late!)

He did declare that all the “cracking” in my condo was normal weather “movement” and it was nothing to worry about. You heard it here first… Anyway, he caulked around the cracks in the bathroom, and spackled a good sized crack in the back bedroom. That was cool.

Then work was pretty much figuring out what will happen on Thursday, and trying to get as much done as possible.

Oh yeah… AND we’re tearing the Library apart to add more shelving, which means the lower level of the Library is extremely chaotic.

5. Thursday… Holy SH*+ Thursday… So. The Printer stuff turned out to be a nasty ass virus that destroyed the network stack the primary server for the public computers. It could network out fine, but it could accept nothing incoming. That’s bad because it served out Norton Corp, Deep Freeze AND acted at the B&W Printer server. Every attempted fix failed.

The ultimate Fix involved removing Deep Freeze for 19 public computers and removing Norton Corp from 14 public computers, SHUTTING DOWN ALL PUBLIC ACCESS FOR THE DAY, and rebuilding the Server from ground up starting from Windows XP SP1a.

Yeah… that means the installation took me 5 hours with getting it up to date. I hate Microsoft. In any case… Norton Corp reinstall to the server and 19 computers only took an hour and a half… then Deep Freeze 6 turned out to be a pain the ass, taking me and Brian about 3 and a half hours to install.

My day finished at 7:45pm, without food, rest, or break. I came home, ate, and tried to sleep but my mind was wired like a crack addict. I didn’t fall asleep until well into Friday around 2am.

6. Friday… I begged “Please let this day be easy and boring, yes?” But NoOoOoO…

I opened the day by finishing software installations (Office, Receipt Printer, etc). Everything was going well… I updated the Info Panel, Got Fantasy Baseball polished and online ( which will include statistics online after the season starts… and then Melissa tells me “Something is wrong with the toilets downstairs”.

“Did you try to plunge them?”

“It does nothing”

So I looked. Every toilet downstairs at the Library was nearly overflowed. I flushed the staff workroom bathroom, and it just went up. I figured there was a primary blockage in the sewage line and said we need to call a plumber, and probably the city too. If we didn’t, the blockage would rise and the toilets upstairs would exhibit the same behavior. At that point, we’d probably have raw sewage pouting out of the downstairs toilets.

SO… 20 minutes later, the city is out at the corner of Cady and Wing with one of those huge vacuum/sewage cleaner trucks. They’re going down the manhole… I go upstairs, look at blueprints with Judith trying to figure out where the cleanouts are… and I turned to Judith and said “Uh oh… something’s wrong. It smells like poo”. So I went downstairs to grab my jacket to go outside, come back up the stairs to go outside but I see Judith and some guy talking…. so I go see what they’re talking about and it’s one of the guys from the city… he’s telling us there was a plugged up sewer pipe that caused a “vacu-lock”. and they’d blown it out.

The guy says the problem is fixed, but we need to have a plumber snake everything out to make sure the vacu-lock didn’t cause internal pipe blockages or something. Anyhow… I go downstairs to check on the toilets, and sure enough, they’re normal… except for the men’s room toilet.

So let’s back up… After Melissa mentioned the toilets were not working correctly, I went into the mens room and found… a festering stew of feces and urine that had probably been baking in the toilet since the night before. It had an extremely robust “I’ve been sitting here for 24 hours” smell to it.

Back to the time line, as I went downstairs to check on the toilet, it became obvious as I went down the stairs that the smell was much worse. The ripeness was obvious to me in the upstairs atrium.

Sure enough.. the poo stew had been blasted out of the toilet by the released air pressure. There was a lovely shade of brown and yellow all over the bathroom stall walls.

Thank goodness it didn’t hit the ceiling, but the blast pattern was at least 5 feet high.

Of course… we didn’t have a hose to clean the bathroom with. Melissa was stuck to clean that.


Anyhow… 30 minutes later, I’m asked to move stuff from storage so the plumber can get to the downspout cleaner to snake everything out.

We start moving all this stuff, and I’m not thinking straight, and I picked up a huge bundle of fiberglass ceiling tiles while wearing a short sleeve T-shirt. My arms and hands started to hurt like hell, so I went into the staff workroom and washed my arms and hands.

At that point, I said the hell with this . Grabbed my jacket, wrote on the board “Michael left at 1:30pm”, went home, stripped naked, threw the clothes in the washer, and then took a shower… stupidly forgetting I had clothes in the washer, so it was a cold shower.

My arms still itch.

SO… this week has been something else. But you know what?

At least I’m not in Iraq.

Alive or Dead.
Heaven or Hell.
Without the pain
How can you tell?

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