Thursday, June 4, 2009
I've got to tell you a short funny story. Since it happened at work, I figure it's fodder for this blog. First, though...
Excellent Digital Announcers!
(That should keep our marketing guru satisfied. He told me, when I started this thing, that having links to our website was important. Usually, the links I include are legit, in that they're pertinent to the story I'm telling, but I can't figure out any other way to jam them into this, so there you go, Anthony.)
OK, the story.
I'm usually the first person into the office each morning. And the first thing I do each morning is disarm our alarm system. It's controlled by a keypad, and there are motion detectors throughout the office. As soon as anybody enters the office, it starts beeping - if it's armed. You then have about 15 seconds to enter the correct code. If you fail to do so, the alarm will go off in earnest, the alarm company will be notified of an intruder, police will come screeching up to our door, and all hell will generally break loose (but you won't, if you're a burglar.)
Now, as the first person into the office each morning, I'm generally among the first to leave, too. On occasion, however, I'll have a dinner date with MY WIFE later in the evening, or perhaps I'll be going to a Sox game with my cousin, or maybe even a concert with my good buddy and softball teammate, Fast Freddy Goodman (our faves are AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, just in case you have any extras.) On those nights, I might hang around the office after 5pm and do some extra work or (more likely) write a blog post, such as I'm doing now.
My boss, Rich Snider, tends to arrive to the office a half-hour or so following me, and will usually still be working hard when I say my good-byes.
Once, perhaps four or five years ago, I was in my studio around 6pm, an hour after my usual quitting time - actually doing some work, too, I might add - and the only other person remaining in the office was Rich. Unfortunately, he was unaware of my presence. He left for the evening. Thinking he was the last one out the door, he shut out the lights, locked the door behind him, and armed the alarm.
Now, my memory is a bit fuzzy as to how that situation resolved itself, but I seem to remember that what happened was that Rich got down the stairs and outside, but then saw my car in the parking lot. He returned upstairs, unlocked the door, disarmed the alarm, and we both had a good laugh. In any case, during the intervening years, every so often he's joked around about locking me in - pretending I've already gone home and then saying out loud, "I guess Jim isn't here! I'll lock up now!", at which point my part in the play is to give out with mock indignation and sputtering, and tell him "Hey! Don't do that again! I'm still here!" (or, perhaps, say, "I'm not dead!" like the guy in Monty Python's Holy Grail.)
Good clean office fun; we both laugh and then go about our business. Except...
This past Tuesday, I'm meeting MY WIFE in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, to attend a book reading by an author. The reading won't start until 7pm, so I'm hanging out at the office until 6:15 or so. By 5:30, Rich and I are the only two left in the office. I'm sitting in my studio, at the computer, and I hear the unmistakable sound of our front door lock clicking. I turn around and see that all of the office lights are out. He did it again, for real.
The thought came to mind, though, that perhaps he was just playing the joke again, this time adding the sound effects and lighting to really get me. So, I waited a few seconds, then said, "Hello?"
No answer. No giggle at my expense.
So, now I know it's not a joke. The next thing I think is, "Rich will see my car in the parking lot and come back up, unlock the door, disarm the alarm, and we'll both have a good laugh."
I waited a minute, then two. Nope. He's gone. Now what do I do?
Well, as I said, there's about a fifteen second delay between the motion detector sensing your presence and the alarm actually signaling the authorities, so I know I have that amount of time to go from my office, to the keypad, and then enter the security code to deactivate the alarm. My office is maybe 25 or 30 feet from the keypad, so I think I can cover that distance within 15 seconds! Just to be on the safe side, I run as quickly as my old catcher's knees will carry me. No problem. The alarm started beeping, but I entered the code, it was then no longer armed, and I returned to my office.
The next morning, I told Rich what had happened. He was shocked that he had done it again, but we had a decent laugh about it. And he thought that was that.
However, our office manager, Kim, had other ideas. She made the following poster and plastered it on our front door so that Rich would be sure to see it next time he went outside.
Rich saw it, he laughed, everybody else had a good laugh when they saw it, and that was the end of the ribbing we gave to Rich about the incident.
Except, of course, for broadcasting it to the world via this blog.
See you soon.