19.11.08

Welcome to Labville.

My dear friends... yesterday I received an e-mail which made my dream come true.

Allow me to explain.

The e-mail was from my friend Joe in Edmonton, who's completing her psychology degree by interning at The Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury (a.k.a. The Ponoka Asylum).

The day began with a surprise morale meltdown/walkout in the office. As they're deciding how (and if) they should deal with this... the fire alarm goes off. Half the staff are trying to figure out whether the fire is on their unit or not and the other half are trying to figure out if they evacuate all the patients yet. Eventually, it's discovered that the fire is a minor one in a different wing, so things settle down. But not long after, an announcement on the PA comes on. 

"Attention, Code White, Violent Aggressor down at the Rendezvous *scream in background*"

And nothing else is heard.

Moving on, then...

Later still in the day, she's decking the halls for the Christmas season, but the decorations got stashed somewhere during the last clean-up... finally, housekeeping directs her to their (ahem) resting place: the morgue of the geriatric ward. Apparently, the morgue doubles as the storage room, so she and her supervisor had to spend an hour sorting through boxes in a morgue, trying to find the one with Christmas decorations. How jolly.

So, it was a very interesting day for her, and it certainly made for a good story, and it was very likely something I'm never going to see at my workplace, and perhaps discussing these things in an e-mail isn't technically forbidden, but their public relations department probably doesn't enjoy such stories escaping to the outside world. It kind of sounds like something I'd write.

And the best part? The very, very best part?

The e-mail's subject line was "Tales from Ponoka". (For those who came to this blog by other routes, its origins were in the "Tales from Labville" e-mails, which I'd send to all my friends. Imagine the above, but with sewage lagoons instead of morgues.)

I don't think she knew she was applying for the position, but: Congratulations, Joe! We're going to have you spuriously exaggerating the facts and documenting crazy misadventures in no time -- because you just became my protégé.

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About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.