Thursday, August 17, 2006

Inn Space Episode 3:

Dursten wonders, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"

Dursten finished his night duty shift which seemed to go off without any incidents, but he did feel quite tired. “Must have put on twenty miles tonight,” Dursten thought as he made his way back to his room. Once in his room he decided that he’d watch some old vid casts and unwind for he felt edgy still and thought that it’s all because of first day nerves, but his throbbing tired feet were telling him something else. Mindlessly flipping through one vid cast after another not really paying attention to anything shown, he just let his mind wander. He though about Buz’zee for a while and was quite impressed with her self confidence and sense of humour. He thought that he wouldn’t have made it through the night without her bright smile and bubbly laugh. She seemed to take every thing in stride and knew exactly how to respond to any situation that she came across. “I’ll learn a lot from her,” he thought as he was almost now drifting into sleep.

Just at that moment when consciousness gives way to sleep and you feel the most relaxed, Dursten was awoken by an alarm and heard the hotel intercom paging for the Night Manager to come to the front counter immediately. Disoriented from the state of near sleep he was in, Dursten found anything to throw on and ran down to the desk. On his way, he notices hotel guests coming out of their rooms and making their way to the elevators which were now disabled, and had to use the stairwells to get to the lobby. On arrival at the desk the night auditor waved him to come around into the back office. Once in the desk clerk handed him a red key tag and card and explained that the fire alarm has been activated. She told him that security has gone to check the location of the alarm, but hasn’t reported back as yet and that he needed to confirm a fire or false alarm within the next four minutes or the panel will activate the fire suppression system automatically. Only a manager on duty using the key card and his Id code can reset the system before suppression starts even if it is a false alarm. Dursten grabbed a hotel handset, and went immediately for the fire panel to locate the source of the alarm. The panel identified the second wing eighth floor pull switch had been tripped. Dursten started to make his way to that location, but wasn’t looking forward to the run up eight floors. Making his way through the lobby towards the second wing stairwell, security called in on Dursten’s handset. The guard confirmed a false alarm pulled by a young teenager, and had reset the switch confirming it was okay to reset the system and stop the alarms. Dursten answered the guard and confirmed that he would reset.

Dursten was relieved that it was just a false alarm and went to reset the panel. Although the panel was twice as large, Dursten was quite familiar with the system for it was very similar to the suppression system that was installed in his lab, it even used the same style of key card to use to reset.

Dursten went back to the desk to return the key-card and handset to the auditor. As he went back, he had noticed that the lobby was now filled with people, most wearing pyjamas and all looking tired and quite frustrated. Many of the people were also carrying their children who were sobbing in their parent’s arms. Dursten realized that he would have to tell all these people that it was a false alarm and it was okay to return to their rooms and that the system was reset and the elevators would be working now.

Most people started to return to their rooms, but now looked more frustrated because it was a false alarm. Some people made rude comments like ‘I hope you fry the little prick that pulled it.’ Still others said that they would want their money back and it was fucking bullshit to be disturbed like this. Dursten again apologized on behalf of the hotel, but mentioned that, “It’s unfortunate that a system that is design to saved lives in case of emergencies could be used by a prankster for a practical joke, but the hotel has no control if someone wants to pull this kind of prank.”

Dursten continued to go to the desk and waited for the clerk to finish the call that she was on. “I hope this doesn’t happen often,” he asked when she was done.

“No. Once in a while usually around the holidays when people are partying a little heavier, they will get boisterous and stupid thinking that pulling the alarm is a funny thing to do. You did quite well out there for your first time. Saying what you said to them was perfect because Que’nesh will not refund any money for a false alarm for exactly that reason. The system is there to save lives so get over it people.” the clerk said smiling.

“Thanks,” he said. “I was a little nervous though.”

“I know, so next time you might want to have your shirt on inside right and your nervousness might not show as much,” she said giggling.

“Shit,” he said now blushing and smiling to try to hide his embarrassment of his shirt and saying ‘shit’ at the desk, “I was in bed and startled by the alarm...oh never mind. Here’s the key-card and handset. I think I’ll try to get some sleep now. Good night.”

“Uhm, Dursten before you go you have to fill out an incident report for Que’nesh about the alarm and for the Fire Marshals department, I’ll get you the forms, Security does a different report as well.”

“Oh, okay, almost five a.m. and now I get paperwork,” he said laughing.

“There’s not much to the forms, but Que’nesh will have your hide if she didn’t get a report on this. Our last night manager was always forgetting to do incident reports, I swear there was permanent bite marks on his ass from Que’nesh chewing a strip off,” she said amazingly straight faced.

“Yeah, she looks like she can hold her own in a ring, I wouldn‘t want to be the one to cross her.” Dursten said smiling. “I guess you don’t become the G.M. of a hotel this size by dancing around a fight.”

“She’s tough if you cross her, but she can be a pussycat to work for if you don’t....Dursten there is a call coming in for you, where would you like it”

I’ll take it at the FYI pod, thanks and I’ll get the reports in right away,” Dursten said as he walked to the pod and pressed the privacy button on the panel and said hello.

“Hi Dursten, it’s Buz’zee, I heard you had a little excitement down there tonight. Security paged me when the alarm went off they thought I was on duty. Everything okay.”

“Yeah it was just a false alarm, but people were quite annoyed by it.”

“I know, there’s always a few with an attitude. But listen, I don’t think I will be able to make it in tonight there has been an accident with Tolby and Mel’lonza. I’m at the hospital now,” Buz’zee said almost breathless.

“Really what happened.”

“Tolby was trying to impress Mel’lonza, from what I gather. Did you ever see that old Mother vid, I think it was called Dumb and Dumber?”

“Yes, we had to study that vid in Mother history class studying culture in the late era before the colonies”

“Yea, I saw it in one of my classes too. Do you remember the part where the guy tries to light his own flatulence?”

“Yeah, you mean Tolby tried it?”

“Well, he did try it while he was jumping Mel’lonza home. His scoot-jumper was not equipped with a BTV drive, but had ran on an old hydrocarbon plasma unit. It seems that there was a coolant leak so when he lit his fart he blew the shit out of his scoot jumper too. We don’t know if either of them will make it,” Buz’zee said trying to smother the laughter while she told the story even though you could hear in her voice she was genuinely upset about the accident.

“Do you need me to come down there?” Dursten said also trying to suppress laughter.

“No, that’s fine for now. You try to get some sleep and I’ll let Que’nesh know what’s happening. I’d rather you stay there in case I don’t make it in tonight. I want to stay with these kids as long as it takes.”

Dursten said good night to Buz’zee, and then proceeded to fill in the incident reports with great effort because by being overtired now, he kept breaking into fits of giggles over Tolby’s attempt to impress Mel’lonza. He couldn’t help but think “What sort of place have I gotten myself into?”


Reality File:

Yes, even one fire alarm is too many, but false alarms or system failures do happen.
One recent fire alarm was due to an electrical problem and happened in the early afternoon. The funny part was that in our banquet facilities a wedding was in progress. The pastor was just about at the part where if anyone objects, when the bells started to ring. The bride and groom thought it was funny and were relieved that it was a false alarm. I'm not joking here this did happen this year.
I had to rewrite this episode of inn space, it seems that we our bellman was terminated just before I returned to work from holidays. So now I had two characters to kill off in the story.

Real Correspondences: Really!

email one:

Subject: You weren't late for the meeting, are you sick?


I am glad to see you showed up for our high level commander's meeting
Now that we are are all involved, there will be no room for error!
All i have to do now is figure out what the hell we have gotten involved in????
We must figure out what K is talking about ???
She has also somehow involved Zoot in this mystery.
I suspect foul play. We must not let K. re organize our equipment.....
I also discovered the pod vehicle that connected with Tolby, and there has been extensive damage. His head must have taken quite an impact.. ? We cannot find the driver anywhere. But, there was someone sitting all over the cave last P.M. so you may start looking there... This person has to be stopped, as other patron's of the shift's may be affected in the future. He seem's to be attracted to blonde's !!!


end email one

email two...

Subject: What do ya mean am I sick?

Hi Mugs,

Yeah, try as I might, nothing came together for me and I actually showed up on time. YOU know my luck. (And it had to be scheduled for the last day of my holidays. Evil, I say. Just plain Evil).

Error pshaw, there's always room for error, and then some, but not by us night crawlers. We don't make mistakes. It's those pale sundwellers that just can't figure out the correct procedures (ours of course, what were you thinking!). And, what have we gotten ourselves into, well, an old mentor of mine used to say that it's a sad proffesion we have chosen, but at least we're not fighting the elements.

K. just talks, Sugar sweet and candy coated. I'm sure that Zoot has more on the ball, (unless that's what he's thinking with at the moment), and he will see that all that sucrose will rot teeth. (Thank god we have a dental plan)

I don't think Tolby would notice his head taking an impact. I mean really. I don't think he's noticed the change in seasons yet. The last night before my holidays started, I had him load the empties onto palates for the order. I showed him the proper pattern of making a big 'T' with the cases lengthwise and filling the cases around the T with the cases widthwise, and told him to alternate the pattern after every second row. I had to go back and get him to redo the palates because he had only made the 'T' and went straight up the rows. It looked like a lego letter made out of beer cases seven rows high! He said that he didn't notice that he had gotten so far up, evethough he had started a second palate.

And, yes he is attracted to blonds, but does he notice gender or even species?

Oh, yeah. Let Mel'lonza know that I'll be back before her notice runs out. I have sweet revenge in order for her last sabotage prank in the dining room.


End email two....

My Vents

Just one vent about false alarms. When they do occur especially in the early morning hours, I understand how disturbing they can be for guests, especially if someone pulled it as a prank. But, if I were the guest at the time, I'd at least be thankful that the system worked properly, disturbed me to get out of bed and out of the hotel. That is its purpose, bottom line, it's designed to save lives period, no matter what set it off. I would never demand from a hotel clerk my money refunded because the alarm woke me. It did it's job, it worked properly. If a prankster was the cause, and if caught and authorities, make penalties as harsh as the fear that I see in little childrens eyes when they are crying and clutching at their parents because they don't know what is happening while the alarms are ringing. Or the panic in the face of an elderly lady or gentleman that have difficulty using stairs, or stress and panic attacks due health, and the stress about the uncertainty of the situation, or all of the above. Children and the elderly are real victims of a horrible and definately not funny prank.

Notes to Readers.

Sorry, this post took a while, but after my return to work from holidays. Someone hit the staff revovling door again and put it in hyperdrive. Worked way too long this past couple of weeks, but hey, the new bellman seems good and capable.

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