Saturday, October 4, 2008

Alarm Saga

So, the long awaited Alarm Story. I worry that I will have built this story up so much that now anyone who reads it will be seriously disappointed. Well, here goes.

So, Heart Walk. Yeah. Once upon a time, there was a girl with a job. Not just any job, but a job in which she had to plan an event for approximately 6000 people, including permits (of which there were many), production companies, audio/visual, coordinating with media sponsors, web site updating, money entry, email campaigns, matching gifts forms, banners, volunteers, donation, radios, parking, balloons, food ...and the list goes on 4.5 months instead of 12 months (the normal amount of time).

Anyway, I just wanted to give you the picture. Also, imagine more than a couple of weeks of 8 hours at work and then coming home to more hours of work, averaging 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Then, on Friday, we were at the office working on stuff until about 10pm. I went home, worked some more, and then got to bed in time to wake up at 5am to get some more work done before heading to the parking lot at 8am where set-up would begin for the event on Sunday.

There I am, Saturday morning, working on the computer at about 7am figuring I have about 15 more minutes before I need to get ready and head out to meet the company delivering the porta potties at 8am to the parking lot. I get a call on my cell with the delivery person telling me he will be arriving at the location in 15 minutes. Talk crazy rush! I ran, changed, pulled my stuff together, and arrived at the parking lot just 5 minutes after the delivery man. That pretty much set the tone for the day. I was in that parking lot, standing, from 7:30am until about 8:30pm when I went home and worked until 1:30am before getting up at 3am and heading back to the event site.

All of that is just to give you an idea of my exhaustion and state of mind. At about 4pm on Saturday, one of the 4 staff people assigned to the Heart Walk hurt her knee and had to be taken by one of the other staff members to the hospital. Down to 2. At this point we were very frantic thinking of all of the things the two of us had to get done before the next day. One of the things to get done was to put together signs for about 175 teams. As we went to the box of supplies to grab the staple gun, we realized that...there were no staple guns. They were left in the office about 20 minutes away.

I talked to my supervisor who informed me that the office would be locked but that the alarm would not be armed, and I jumped in my car to go get the staple guns. You can probably already see where this is heading.

I arrived at the office, ran from the car with just my phone and my keys, opened the office door, and stepped inside. At that moment, I looked at the alarm and realized that it was on and I had exactly 12 seconds to enter a code to disarm it before it went off. Mind you, I don't know my alarm code. It was sitting safely in my wallet in the car outside. I grabbed my cell and immediately called my supervisor, D, so that she could tell me her code. Almost immediately, I hear the phones in the office start to ring and I know that it is the alarm company checking (they always do a check-up call to see if it really is an emergency). Holding my cell in one hand, I sprint to D's office as it is closer than mine and grab the phone, still holding my cell up to my other ear waiting for D to answer. The thing was, there was nobody on the line when I picked up the office phone! This really freaked me out as I had visions of the alarm company calling and not being able to connect on the phone so they send out the fire trucks and police (believe me, it has happened before, though not to me).

I then run back to the alarm pad by the door and reach to grab the door to run out to the car. As I did that, the alarm pad started freaking out. I closed the door again and again tried to call D. on my cell. Again, the office phones started ringing. At this point, I am definitely freaking out. I run to grab the phone and, once again, I can't hear anything! I run back to the alarm pad with my cell at my ear and there is no sound - no ringing and no D's voicemail. WHAT is going on? I try to call again, standing there looking at the alarm pad. Once again, the general office phone starts to ring. I run to grab it. At this moment, I realize that as I am trying to speak into the office phone with no one answering me, my cell has picked up. I pick it up and say, "D?"

At this point I, so humorlessly, realize that I have actually been calling D's office number. Wow.

I know, I know, but I was flustered! I don't dwell on the fact that I had been running back and forth to answer my own phone calls, and immediately call D's work cell. Just as she answers, the office phones ring again. I pick it up and hold it on my left ear with my cell on my right so D can hear me as I tell them that I am her and then they ask me for my code. Unfortunately, it is really hard to hear the difference between a 9 and a 1 on the phone. As I gave the wrong code, there was only silence on the line. D, meanwhile is screaming in my other ear ,"ONE, not 9! ONE! O-N-E!" I quickly correct myself and give a flustered little laugh and excuse myself saying that I am just so flustered that I forgot my code.


Fortunately, with a couple of other little snafoos, everything else went pretty well. I had visions in my head of the firemen coming from across the street and the police taking me to the station because I can't explain who I am and why I don't know my code. Then I would have to stay all night at the police department and the Heart Walk would be a failure. Needless to say, I immediately wrote the code on the back of my hand in a black sharpie.

Even funnier is the fact that I had various people come up to me on Monday to hand me my office keys and bluetooth that had both gotten lost in the craziness as I dropped them in my craziness running from the phone to the door and back again.

Ah, one of those moments where I almost wish the office had security cameras so I could watch me call myself three times. Good times with the Heart Walk...