Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I love those 4 AM phone calls

I've worked in data processing, or as we abbreviate it, "IT", since 1981. I'm used to those middle of the night wake up calls. I've actually gotten pretty good with the one's that happen between 2 AM and 4 AM. Before 2 AM, I've only been asleep about 2 hours, so my brain says "OK....Now that I have your attention with that phone call, lets wake UP". I have trouble getting back to sleep after that. After 4 AM, the problem is usually the old brain saying "OK, Look, you're up now. That alarm will go off at 6 AM to go to work. You won't get back to sleep now anyway, just get up". So, this past Monday night, Tuesday morning, the phone rings at 4 AM. I bail out of bed and grab it, expecting to hear the usual data center voices. Instead, I hear some back ground noise and the person goes "Darrel? Is that you?". My brain immediately goes to full alert. The brain recalls some old Bob Newhart show and I hear myself saying "Hi......I'm Larry. This is my brother Darrel and this is my other brother Darrel........". I mumble out, "I'm sorry, who do you need?". The voice on the phone, at 4 AM, says "Ummmm.. I was trying to call Darrel back. Is this the Indianapolis bus station?" Brain again starts processing this new bit of information. I realise that this isn't going anywhere, so I simply reply "No, this isn't the bus station". The voice says how sorry he is for waking me up and says a very polite "good Night". That was very decent of him. I head to the bathroom, the wife is now awake also. I finish up, look at the clock, and start trying to convince the old brain that it is only 4:10 AM, that we can get 2 more hours of sleep. I lay down. The brain starts playing banjo music. I realise that in Indianapolis, there is a Darrel waiting for a call-back. I'm laying odds that there is a Chevy El Camino involved, it's raining, there is a mullet. Come on brain, lets go back to sleep.

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