May 27, 2011

Somebody stop the beeping....

I think i am going to kill someone. I can't seem to lift my head out of my hands where i rest it in despair at the realisation that i am slowly losing my mind. For the last two days i have been forced to listen to erratic high pitched beeping at the hands of the fire alarm system at my work. So that you can understand the true extent of what i have been through, i have recorded the events and my emotions. I warn you, it's not pretty.

First let me set the scene. I'm temping in a reception of a classical music society. I answer phones, greet people and watch funny videos on YouTube. That has been the extent of my days for the last two weeks. Until yesterday....

2:00pm - Something's beeping. I'll ignore it and it'll go away.

2:23pm - Probably should tell someone about that beeping seeing as it seems to be coming from serious looking alarm. Nah - important admin to do (Facebook).

2:30 - Guilt takes over. Peer round corner of reception at alarm and urge it to be quiet.

2:31 - Shushing it doesn't work. Man...going to have to call someone.

2:35 - Work out who to call. Ask her whether anything is on fire. She confirms that it isnt. Am relieved - don't want any casualties on my hands especially as i have been pretty flakey with signing visitors in and out.

2:50 - Lady confirms that there is a fault but no-one can come out to fix it until tomorrow morning. Brilliant. She laughs about it. I dont.

2:51 - Figure i should be positive about it seeing as we are going to be in each others company for the next three hours. Try and locate a beat in the beeping. No beat identified, just erratic screeching. Begin to rock back and forth in my chair.

3:00 - Come to the realisation that classical waiting room music (especially jazz flute) does NOT compliment alarm noises.

3:15 - Frantically search behind reception for cd player - need silence, need silence. Kick locked cupboard containing cd player, it doesn't open and i hurt my foot. Man sat in waiting room doesn't look impressed. Whatever.

4:15 - Last hour has been the slowest of my life. Have taken frequent breaks from behind the desk to just glare at the alarm urging it to stop. Its green light just blinks back at me mockingly as it continues its high pitched assault on my ear drums and my brain.

4:25 - Imagine what would happen if i kung-fu kicked the alarm. Imagine electrocution and after much debate decide that it probably isn't worth it.

4:37: No Mrs Fletcher, i do not know what a 'vibraphone' is. In fact, i think that you just created it to play with my mind and you are in fact the evil alarm gremlin who is watching my mental breakdown with glee and who has managed to get his hands on a mobile to continue my mental torment.

5:00 - One hour to go, begin a tally of minutes to have something else to focus on. Realise that i am shaking in fury.

5:09 - Snap pencil in half. It feels good.

5:17 - Go and stand in the pouring rain for a bit.

5:30 - Try and claw my way in to alarm box - no way in. Tap on glass for a bit just in case. Try putting my cup on it and drawing around it with a very sharp pencil in the effort to get through the glass. It doesn't work. Kick the wall.

5:31 - 29 minutes til home time.

5:33 - Decide to pace a bit to kill some time.

5:34 - Departing office workers look at the pacing receptionist with concern. Want to hurt them, they dont know what i've been through.

5:35 - 25 minutes until home time.

5:40 - 5:47 - Stare at nothing but clock. Realise that it must be the longest amount of time that i have ever looked at a clock for. Wonder whether i have broken some kind of record for clock watching. That would be cool.

5:48 - Google it and i haven't beaten any record. Spend about a minute being gutted.

5:49 - Realise that there is more to life than a world record for clock watching.

5:53 - Enough is enough. I pack my stuff and leave. Stick both my middle fingers up at alarm - makes me feel better but realise i'm swearing at an inanimate object and that it might be too late to save my mind.

What a day. It got to the stage where if any actual human had looked at me wrong i would have flipped out and smashed stuff up. when recalling the tale to my housemates they were most amused. The hilarity that ensued when a car alaram started going off on our street and didnt stop for about 2 hours only added to their fun and games.

I came to work this morning and there was a blissful silence filling the reception. I breathed a sigh of relief and settled down at my desk with a cuppa and a gossip website. Even the persistent phone calls weren't going to affect my positive mood.

And then, the beeping began again.

It was like a bad dream. The workman was busy trying to figure out what was going on and the repair process appeared to be a system of trial and error. He would try some things that would emit even louder noises and then something else which would result in the beeps taking on a chirping quality that caused me to wince.

The workman eventually informed me that he had done what he could but that as it was faulty he couldn't promise that it wouldn't start again. I practically ran at him as he attempted to make his escape.

"Please tell me there is something that i can do to shut it up. Please"

He looked at me, slightly confused, and guided me by the arm over to the alarm. I didn't want to look directly at it. This monster of torment who had haunted my dreams, made me chew all my nails off and made me snap my favourite pencil. I was like a petulent child forced to face their enemy who they had earlier kicked in the playground.

The kind chap informed me that all i needed to do was open the hatch (evidently very easy to do if you notice the fact that there is a key) and press the 'silence' button.

Now wouldn't that have been nice.


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