I expect to weather the storm well enough. Speaking of tempests, I've finally started a letter to Jos. Can't say at this point whether I'll have it finished before he concludes his treatment in a month or two, I've always been better at starting things than finishing them. Then again, my potential readership for that treatise comparing Adès' Tempest to Thomas Mann's concept of Life versus Art seems to be growing, so that might provide an additional impetus.
Work at the army base is... interesting. Hectic, definitely. I rather fear for our senior planner's blood pressure, in fact. All these people tugging at her with their impossible demands, and me hovering at her desk with some clueless newbie question. Poor woman.
Had a great laugh, today, though. See, people fax in requesting facilities on a certain date, and we deal with these requests, not in the order in which they come in, but according to the dates they pertain to. If you send in a request for December fifteenth today, and next week, you send in another request for the thirteenth, the latter will be dealt with before the former. At about four, with slightly less than an hour to go until the end of the working day, I got a call about a form sent in yesterday, requesting services for today, November 30th. Why had the caller not received a confirmation yet?
Me: "OK, so the location would be Leiden, and the date would be..."
Her: "30-12. Today."
Me: "You mean 30-11. November would be eleven."
Her: "Yeah, that's right."
Me: "Hang on - does it say 30-12 on the form you faxed us?"
Her: "Yeah, it does. I meant 30-11, though."
Me: *Rifles through stack of requests for next month* "I think I know what's happened... Here it is. It's on the pile for December, 30-12. That's why we haven't processed it for today."
Her: "But that's wrong! It has 2-12 for a wrap-up date, so that's impossible!"
Me: "That's how we sift out the more urgent ones from the long-term requests, by the initial date on the form. We don't look at the wrap-up date until we actually process the forms."
Her: "Well, you should have! You should have realised there was something wrong! Who in their right mind would send in a request for December 30th in late November?"
Me: "Someone with foresight? Many requests are filed several months in advance."
Her: "We have business to conclude in Leiden in less than an hour! What am I supposed to do now?"
Me: "I honestly don't know, ma'am."
Her: "Oh, aren't we being helpful today? Who's in charge over there? Put me through!"
Me: "I sincerely doubt they'll be able to make much of a difference. Requests need at least six hours to be processed. We could get things sorted by tomorrow, but not before noon, either."
Her: "But I need them today!"
Me: "Yes, but today will be over in about an hour. We can't fetch you your gear within the hour, especially not if it has to be driven all the way to Leiden."
Her: "What kind of service do you call this?"
Me: "Ma'am, you can't blame us for our inability to read your mind."
Her: "PUT ME THROUGH TO YOUR SUPERVISOR!!!"
Me: "Gladly, ma'am." *Hands receiver to boss-man and mouths "Good luck"*
I'd have stayed for the exchange that followed, but the sheer level of that woman's pissiness necessitated a loo break at that point. Anyway, comedy gold. I understand she must have felt horrible about such a silly mistake, but who was she trying to fool, pretending it was somehow our fault she'd stuck the wrong date on a form?
Never a dull moment. Ooh yeah.