Steve at work

Steve at work

From September 2006.

Steve used to work as an EMT, which involved 24 hour shifts. At the station, there was a big room with six beds. One night, Steve ended up with the bed that was closest to the phone. The following is what he and his coworkers pieced together the next day:

3:30 am: The phone rings.

Steve reaches over, picks up the phone, and drops it on his pile of clothes, next to the bed.

Steve wakes up to the annoying beeping sound that phones make when they are off the hook, and the “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again” voice. He picks up the phone and puts it back on the hook. (He vaguely remembers this.)

3:33 am: The phone rings again. Steve picks it up and puts it to his ear. It is dispatch, calling to say that one of the units has a “Code 3,” which is an emergency (lights and sirens) call.

Steve hangs up the phone. A few seconds pass.

One of his coworkers asks, “So do we have a call?”

Steve lifts his head and says, “Yeah, you guys have a Code 3.”

Minor cursing as the two workers in that unit clamber out of bed to go run the call.

Steve goes back to sleep.

6:00 am: The phone rings. Steve picks it up. It is dispatch again. “This is the wake-up call for unit 707.” (Unit 707’s shift ends at 7 am, so the dispatch center gives a wake-up call so that they can be ready when the next shift comes on. In reality, though, they sleep as long as they possibly can, so they don’t actually get up when the wake-up call comes.)

Steve hangs up and says to the room, “707.” (He doesn’t remember this at all.)

The two employees think that this means that they have to run a call. They are both cursing up a storm because their shift ends in an hour, and running a call would put them past the end of their shift. As one of them is pulling on her jacket, she asks, “Hey, Steve, are we running a call?”

Steve wakes up briefly to say, “No, that was the wake-up call.”

Steve gets soundly cursed up the wall, across the ceiling, and down the other side, while he peacefully goes back to sleep.

His coworkers learned not to let Steve sleep near the phone anymore.

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