Thursday, November 8, 2012

Days like this make furloughs so worth it

Yesterday was far from boring at work. Working at a newspaper the day after an election like that is full of excited energy and good spirits. Plus good food. Pam and I went into Mission Impossible mode and scored ourselves some yummy breakfast burritos and the day was just generally good.

Then the afternoon hit. And it got exponentially better.

Cop cars
Here’s the layout of my little neck of the woods: My “office” sits against a row of windows. So does Pam’s (right next to mine). I was typing away, wondering how fast the rest of my day would drag by when she came into my cubie office and told me to look out the window.

Across the street from the newspaper is a government building--The Bureau of Reclamation. My father-in-law works there. Anyway, sitting in the street and their parking lot, blocking off the ENTIRE street, were four marked cop cars, a K-9 unit, and an undercover cop car. Their lights were flashing, they’d brought out the orange cones, and they were all standing, bouncer style, in the road, refusing any car that tried to go down that road.

Before I knew it, pretty much the entire news department (as well as advertising and finance) were crammed around our windows trying to get an idea of what was going on.

Now, the first thing you need to know about me in situations like this is that I get excited. I mean, EXCITED, excited. I jump around like a sugar-hyped toddler and get kind of obnoxious and out of control. But I don’t care when I’m in this state. The only thing that matters is that I find out what’s going on; and I can be pretty dang resourceful.

I called my father-in-law to ask him what was up, but he was out of town on business so didn't know. Dang. Strike one. Then I saw a buddy of mine out there talking to the cross-armed cop. “Logan will tell me!” I cried out and then ran out into the parking lot--barefoot--to see what he’d found out.

“The cop was pretty tight-lipped,” Logan said. “But he did tell me that Homeland Security called them in.”

Homeland freaking Security?!?!?!

It’s days like these that make coming into work worth it. “This is so exciting!” I said. Followed promptly by, “It makes all the furloughs worth it!” (At this point I’m literally jumping up and down in the parking lot, punching the air. See, told ya, obnoxious. But in the cutest way possible, promise).

So, back into the building I scampered, remembering that I have another contact in the quarantined building. I sent her an email.

Me: Is everything okay???

My friend: Yes, why??

My "artistic photo
Me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, WHY???? :) There are 4 cops outside in your parking lot, blocking off the street. Homeland Security called them in!!!! We want details! :)

To which I received no response. So, we were all freaking out (in a good way) trying to see what’s going on. One guy was tweeting about Homeland Security trying to get a response, we were listening to the scanners, texting and calling and emailing everyone under the sun.

Finally, one of my bosses got a text from a friend that works over there, too: “Suspicious package in a car in the parking lot. They brought in a drug dog who found something that warrants a bomb robot to come in.”

Holy $&%*!!!  This is getting exciting!!

A few of our diligent employees
We joked around that it was a disgruntled voter who wasn't happy with last night’s election results and the closest government building was the Bureau.

Logan and I went outside to take pictures when we saw the robot enter the scene. We sneaked up, making sure we stayed on the newspaper’s property, and got the okay from the cop to take pictures and commenced photo taking.

Joe showed up, one of our awesome photographers, with his $10,000 camera and telephoto lens straight off the Hubble telescope. We tried to talk him into climbing a tree for a better vantage but he didn't buy it. 
Joe's photo of the robot
There wasn't much going on other than the robot occasionally rolling or moving his arm, but he was pretty cute. A lot like the robot from Short Circuit. Things started to die down. I was getting hungry and cold, so we meandered back inside.

Where I finally got an email from my friend.

Friend: Here's a picture of Rover. So apparently it is a package that's been left on the passenger tire (inside the well) of a Tahoe. The fellow who drove it last is in training somewhere off-site. They're trying to get a hold of him to see if he left his half-eaten lunch or whatever it is on the tire. Personally, I think it's probably his dirty laundry!

My friend's photo of the rover making
it's appearance
We continued to watch out our windows and the bouncer packed up the cones, the fire truck left, the street opened up, and it was like nothing happened at all. Then I got another email explaining what triggered the panic.

Friend: Turns out the suspicious package contained. . . Cheetos.

Great. Now the poor dog’s probably going to get fired and all he was was hungry.

Happy Thursday, my friends!

The bomb scare


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