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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Groundhog Day

I think most of us that work for Cal Fire feel as though we are living in the movie "Groundhog Day". This is Day 18 straight for me. Before that I had a day off here and a day off there. Most have had no days off at all.

The alarm goes off, hopefully not to the upbeat Sunny and Cher tune of "I've got you Babe", you roll over and turn it off and think "here we go again". You get up, shower and put on that all too familiar blue uniform and get back to the daily grind. Word on the street is that this "days off cancelled" will continue until atleast August 1st. Gee, thanks for the good news.

My saving grace is my new partner at night. Until recently, the night shifters were by themselves in the command center. Well, not totally alone.. the US Forest Service dispatcher is there also. Thankfully on Mondays and Tuesdays I worked with my buddy Ashley and we always have a fun time. Starting last week we added another element of fun to Mon/Tues.. her name is Ali. She is fantastic! Ali, Ashley and I have non-stop fun when we work together. That is until things started going bump in the night...

A few nights ago we had the lights turned super low and we were all at our own consoles, doing our own thing. The radio was quiet and we had no calls going. Then we heard it.. something in the hallway. Maybe something getting bumped into or knocked over. I was leaning back in my chair and couldn't see the other two. I assumed one of them had gone down to the bathroom and bumped into the wall because the lights were off in the hallway. So, I stand up.. low and behold.. ashley and ali are STILL at their own consoles. UH... did anyone else here that? They both said yes and that they thought it was one of us. Can we say creepy????!!! We keep the lights on in the hallway now.

When you have three women in one room there will always be girl-talk. Laughing, crying, embaressment.. it has all happened in the last couple weeks. There are multiple radios in the command center and you have to be careful where you put your feet and hands because you can key up the Mic w/ the foot pedal or mouse. So there we are.. chitty chatting. Ali is telling us a pretty personal but funny story when someone says on the radio "what did you just say?". We froze.. Ali and I both jump up and check the radios. Were we transmitting on an open Mic? How many people heard that story and how much of it? Thankfully we have a "play back" button and we used it. No personal info went out over the air. Just another coinsidence! Whew!

An open Mic has only happened to me one time. That blasted foot pedal is so touchy! I was working with Beth and she happens to know my ex sister-in-law Cindie. Beth was telling me how Cindie called her sister Liz. I was saying how dumb it was and something along the lines of "my skanky ex sister in law" came out of my mouth. Then the phone rang. It was another agency.. "Hey Monte Vista, you have an open Mic on Fire CC".... oops...

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