Friday, September 15, 2006


Sing to the tune of Smoke on the Water:
With a few red lights and a few "Oh Shits"
We make a place to sweat
No matter what we get out of this
I know we'll never forget
Smoke in the control room, Freon in the air

Jo-Jo and I were sitting in the control room, just cruising along having a good day and counting down to lunch time, when suddenly thick gray smoke that looked like a scene in "The Fog" started pouring down from the air-conditioner vents!! Talk about somebody's feet hitting the floor and heart rate speeding up, thinking that you're fixing to be incinerated will wake you up in a hurry.

The wall mounted fire-alarm light started to strobe like a bad 60's flashback and in minutes visibility was almost gone. About that time several Maintenance men ran out of the rack room next door to check and see if we were in the same shape as them, they were getting smoked out too!

Everyone's first thought was "FIRE". The Maintenance men left in a hurry to try and track down the problem (at least that's why they said they were leaving us behind!). Jo-Jo and I both jumped up in a panic, turning round and round in circles frantically trying to figure out what to do.

I felt a little better when Jo-Jo turned to me and said with a totally straight face: "This don't look good! You know if we burn the control room down we'll have to work overtime". There's nothing like a good co-pilot to keep you in the proper frame of mind.

The Maintenance guys finally come back and tell us it's not smoke, it's Freon leaking into the ductwork. By this time the room is thick with greasy Freon fumes and our eyes and throats are burning from inhaling the nasty stuff. But we can't leave (we asked the foreman to let us but nada) because control room operators are like the Captain of a ship, you go down with the vessel while the crew is allowed to abandon you like rats jumping off a sinking ship in those old pirate movies.

So we flung all the doors open (the room is supposed to be sealed with a positive air pressure to keep the 'puters healthy) and scrounged up some box fans to help clear out the room. It took awhile but finally things were back to normal and the day slowed down again. Ever notice how time drags and the clock stops when you're waiting for something?

So that's my excitement for the day, what did you do that made your heart go "PITTY-PAT"?

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