Monday, May 08, 2006

Yes, you CAN recover from insanity. Surprisingly quickly.

Anyone who works in an office, where pass-cards are required to open doors into protected areas, are familiar with the high-pitched whine that starts when you leave a door open too long. I’ve had countless conversations where I was in the middle of going into or out of a protected section of the office, and then someone started talking to me, and I continued the conversation until the door started doing its whine, so that I had to pick one side of the door and get on it, and close it quickly to avoid annoying all of my colleagues. (I’ve learned to avoid that, now, and when such a conversation starts I close the door ASAP; I don’t bother continuing on my way until the conversation is over. Not everyone has learned that lesson, though, so it still happens on a regular basis.)

At work, this morning, they were doing some kind of maintenance on one of the doors, and something went horribly wrong, and the high-pitched whine started. And continued. And then continued some more. And then, finally, continued to continue.

Every minute that it stayed on I stepped one step closer to murderous insanity. After 15 minutes, I was choosing the sharpest pens in my drawer, for stabbing. After 30 minutes, I was making a list of people who should be first, on my rampage. Luckily, the list didn’t get very long, because with all of that noise, jabbing directly into my brain, I couldn’t really concentrate.

After an hour, I couldn’t even remember my own name. I couldn’t see straight. In fact, I couldn’t see anything, because my vision was clouded over by visions of blood. (Rose coloured glasses indeed!) I was getting ready to bludgeon the guy beside me—which would have worked out, because he was at the top of my list anyway—with whatever I could find. Which, at the time, was the monitor for my computer. (I’m glad I didn’t, because it would have been embarrassing to have to request a new monitor, for that reason.)

Luckily, somewhere around an hour and 5 minutes or so, the whine stopped, and my sanity instantly returned. I was surprised how quickly calming the silence was.

However, I believe they’re still doing their maintenance, so I’ve decided to keep the list handy.