I was pleasantly surprised to spend the night posted at Eddie – 1, the employee parking lot. It was just what the doctor ordered. Today was Monday for me, and I usually get a nap in before heading in but when I laid down around 1800 I didn’t sleep well at all and I wasn’t looking forward to killing time standing around the casino all night. The only downside was since I didn’t know about the assignment in advance, I couldn’t wear my outside uniform, but this is a matter of no particular consequence, though that didn’t stop me from whining about it constantly in briefing.
The key to killing eight hours at Eddie – 1 is to break it down into hour-long segments and give yourself a task for each hour. It doesn’t have to be a particularly long or arduous task, but it does have to be something that actually needs to be done. And you actually have to do it.
For example, I like to spend the first hour tidying up, getting acclimated and whatnot. I got to the shack about 2310, a little later than normal but I had to go to wardrobe and check out a jacket because it was cold and windy. The shack has a heater, but you do have to walk to and from the casino and you never know when duties might take you outside and I do not like to be cold.
The first thing I do is check supplies. Are there cups? Is there creamer and sugar? Is there hot chocolate? As it is, there are sufficient cups, creamer and sugar for the night, but we are all out of hot chocolate. I make a mental note to have an outside unit bring some.
That done, it’s time to tidy up, to make sure the trash is thrown out and whatnot. Then it’s time to make the first pot of coffee for the night. Even though Eddie – 1 now has the same commercial coffee maker the rest of the employee areas at Monte Carlo have, the kind where you only have to put a pre-measured packet of coffee into the filter and add water, years of Eddie – 1 tradition are hard to break and these packets – for reasons which I’m sure were explained to me – are still opened and poured into a Maxwell House can and measured into the filter. I have no idea why; this habit was broken at Eddie – 2, more or less out of necessity because Eddie – 2 used to produce the worst coffee on the planet.
There is a running, bitter dispute between Guy and myself about how much coffee to put in. Guy says two and a half scoops is sufficient but Guy is high; this produces a weak pot of coffee and that isn’t just my opinion, that is the opinion of Judy as well. Hell, I can piss a stronger beverage than a pot of two-and-half scoop Eddie – 1 coffee. On the other hand, three scoops will put hair on your palms, so I use a scientifically blended 2.75 scoop pot, which gets rave reviews from everyone except Guy, but we’ve already noted he’s high. Soon the smell of 2.75 scoop coffee overtakes the Eddie – 1 shack.
It is now 2320.
I forget what my plan for the midnight hour was. 0100 called for another pot of coffee to be made and during the 0200 hour I enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate using – and this is what makes me a complete maniac – two packets instead of one.
Judy and I actually moved on a call during this time. She was patrolling the employee lot when she got on the horn.
– Gaylon, did this gold van just pull in?
I had had my feet up and had no clue what the hell she was talking about. I tried to sound like I did, though.
– I’m not entirely sure.
Turns out it was a van parked nearby that had its back window missing, and, Judy thought, someone sleeping in it. So I rolled out of the shack and joined her.
I have my jacket on.
We approach the van and there’s a man sleeping on the back seat and a kid sleeping on the front seat. We roust them and the man asks if we noticed the employee parking sticker on the windshield, as if this were a pass to do whatever the hell he wanted in the employee parking lot. It does not. It’s certainly all right to park and wait for someone, but you can’t sleep. We mention this and he says OK and promptly goes back to sleep. Figuring his wife is getting off work soon enough, Judy and I decide this is a battle not worth fighting and we leave him be. Ted, watching this whole episode from dispatch, concurs.
I was late being relieved for 482. The Charlie unit assigned this momentous task was off doing something or another, so about 0310 I radio Ted on channel 2 and say “Hey?”. A few minutes later Spike trots out to relieve me and after eating I retire to PBX. Silvia is on her weekend, but Princess Maria is there, as is James. I’m in the mood for a nap and PBX is a great place for this. Maria is also sleeping and James is a quiet sort content to let the weary sleep, so I leave a wakeup call for 0405.
Something happened while I was napping, though. I am not entirely sure what. When I got back to the shack Guy had relieved Spike and people were running around the casino but it didn’t appear to be all that major and I had my 0400 task to perform, so I got busy.
In briefing I had been given a list of former employees who needed to have their parking permits pulled. These cards are kept in the shack and it is the responsibility of the Eddie – 1 officer to pull these cards and return them to the security office. Rich suggested I do one here and one there and space them out through the night.
“The next thing you know,” he said. “It’s ten to seven and you can leave the rest to day shift.”
I like to do them all at once, though. It’s a great way to construct an hour. Unfortunately, there are only four to pull and I was done in less than sixty seconds, but still, the 0400 task had been completed and I was free to sit and listen to Jack FM.
About 0550 I make a pot of coffee, so the day shifters that come on at 0600 will have a fresh pot. After that, I declare a General Holiday. I open the window to enjoy both the fresh air and the sunrise and sit at leisure until Brad comes to relieve me at 0650.
Here is your Henry lineup for tonight:
Henry 1 – moi
Henry 2 – Lee
Henry 3 – X-Ray
The International Henry Units stand by, asking only to serve. God bless all of you.