Thursday, June 4, 2009

TOTALLY Unrelated to Marathon Training

(but interesting anyway):
When I'm not training (which, really is like 99% of my life, though I think about training way more often than that!), I spend a good bit of time (say, oh about 8 hours a day) sitting at my desk.

Yesterday I was doing just that, quietly working on comments on a land use plan. I heard a faint rustling from above. And, since anything can distract me when I'm trying to think hard, I took a moment to rhetorically ponder "What was that?" But I quickly re-focused, back to my work. Then I heard the rustling again-- little scratching noises from above. It became louder and more persistent, sounding like it was coming from the air vent that's above my desk. I looked up a few times, but saw nothing.

Then a few minutes later some debris floated down onto my keyboard and desk from above. I looked up once again, and there he was-- a squirrel!

Apparently he's trapped in the ducts of our central air system. I called our admin. assistant and said, "Hey Addi, who should I call if there's a squirrel in the air system?"

"Oh my gosh!," she replied, "A squirrel?! What are you going to do?"

"Uh, I called you," I said, stating the obvious. That was the extent of my plan.

So she called the building maintenance guy Larry, who apparently called Animal Control. This was yesterday afternoon.

A little while ago I returned to my office after being out for a few hours, and noticed paint chips, duct insulation-type material (probably asbestos, as this building is really old), and other non-manmade materials (if you get my drift) scattered about my desk. Apparently my visitor had returned.

My boss decided he should get involved, use his Department Head status to help expedite the action plan. So here's his letter to Maintenance:

The squirrels are, as we speak, shoving "stuff" through the ceiling vents onto Carly's computer and desk on the second floor. Her office is becoming uninhabitable to humans. Anything we can do to speed up Animal Control? Or should I just bring in a .45 automatic and ventilate the ceiling (after evacuating the third floor, of course)?

This could be an opportunity to show off my wildlife capture & handling techniques. Too bad most of my experience is in trapping large carnivores in remote mountainous settings.

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