Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Nearly-Hearingless Nick

As I walked into the library building an hour before we opened for business last Saturday morning I noticed a car in our handicapped parking space out back. A closer look showed me it was our deaf, dumb, possibly blind and now apparently handicapped backup security guard, Nick. With an armful of books and my lunch and other crap, I was attempting to punch in the security code and enter the side door when our fearless protector wobbled out of his car and took a few steps before hollering, "I got a question for ya!!!" Knowing there was no way in hell he was going to hear me from approximately 20 feet away, I was forced to give the (hopefully) universal signal for, "Just hold on one g.d. minute while I go inside and put down all my crap before I answer your most likely inane question!"

As an aside, it seems like this is a common problem in the security guard community. I can't tell you how many times I've come in the door with armfuls of stuff at like 8.01 a.m. or 11.03 a.m. just trying to get my crap together for work when I'm immediately ambushed by our guard at the security desk with some amazingly trivial concern before I can even take two steps toward my desk. It's a thousand times worse for the library manager. She jumps him like she's a pajama-wearing Vietcong guerrilla about two-thirds of a second after he sneaks in the door in the morning, and I can tell he's post-traumatically stress-disorder rattled for like the next five hours.

Anyway, I soon learned that Nearly Hearing-less Nick was petrified that we might get a big FedEx or UPS delivery sometime Saturday because he had no idea how to open the garage door, nor is he in any condition to help unload anything larger than a shoebox full of styrofoam pebbles. I assured him that there would be no delivery on Saturday, and he looked as relieved as he would have if I'd granted him the gift of auditory competence.

By a quarter to eleven it had already been one hell of a morning for Nick and the Nearly-Security-Guard-less Library. I don't actually know what he'd been up to that exhausted him so, but when I glanced over at the Security Desk he was so deeply asleep that you'd think he'd been chasing rapscallions around the building for two and a half straight hours instead of just gazing cherubically at his shoes. He just looked like a little baby in a cradle over there sleeping away without a care in the world with those massive cheeks of his. When the regular US mail delivery came through the front door as I assured Nick it would, not even the rather loud *thud* of the big white box of mail rustled him from his quiet slumber. I was getting a little embarassed at the whole scene, so I attempted to rouse him by unloading the smaller packages and dropping them on the counter. Nope. He was out.

I was just going to wait until the tornado siren at noon kicked in, but something else shook him loose from the tender arms of sleep. I was carrying the big box of US mail to our back room when he cheerfully slurred to me, still halfway in a hypnogogic state, "I told you we'd get a delivery today!"

I could have stabbed him right there, but I'd just heard from our other security guard that it is time for security companies to make new bids on our library system's contract and that there are a couple of companies that will probably under-bid our current provider. Under-bid these Barney Fifes? The mind boggles at the majesty of the free enterprise capitalist system.


Blogger happy bunny said...

This cracks me up, DOOL! And yes, Nearly-Hearingless Nick is not only deaf and dumb, but it is a proven fact that he is close to blind. One morning he was asleep in his car, with the window rolled down when I walked by him. No response ... and I am not a quiet, tiny thing either, I looked in my purse and found part of a chocolate bar and waved it under Nick's nose. Again, no response. My scientifical theory is that not only has Nearly-Hearingless Nick lost 2 of his five sences, you can now add a third - smell.

2:25 PM  

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