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Beer EmergencyNovember 7, 2009

For the most part, in the abstract, I'm good with death (as good as anyone can be in the professional sense. Please to keep it far from my loved ones, thank you very much). I'm good at giving CPR instructions. I can give them all day long. But this week was just damn weird. Sad stories, long days, odd grief, audibly witnessed, and I find my compassion is pouring out of me to the ground, constantly, and it's refilling at a rate that I can absolutely keep up with, but my sleep is suffering. My eyes feel empty. Does that make any sense?

So I'm taking the next ten days off! The time was available on the books at work (and that never happens), and IT'S NOVEMBER, my favorite (writing) time of year, and Bethany just sent this to me, and after a really rough week at work, this made my day. It reminded me of the astonishing things that can happen on 911.

God bless that dispatcher.

(Aside: my coworker Janine just got a hairy-sounding call, so she was ready to go -- CPR? Baby drowning? No, it turned out to be just a guy having difficulty standing, but at the moment that his wife called, their dogs started chasing a rabbit. Result: Hilarious commotion. Heh.) 

You just never know, do you? I like that.


while you're at it, can you send someone to help me open my pickle jar? I've been a little lonely recently, and, well....

HIlarious! Thanks for sharing.

Oh, Rachel, thank you for posting these! I'm sitting home, sick, while my husband is off with our friends (yes, he offered to stay home with me, but I told him to go). So, I was feeling a little blue as well as yucky sick, and that helped *immensely*.

Enjoy your vacation! Get lots of writing done!

You know more than one person has commented on having a weird week, one that tops many. Good for you to have time off. I'm wrimo-ing with pen and paper, that's the way the universe wants it.

I cannot believe that call! That's hilarious. I also can't believe the calmness of that dispatcher when she wanted to "get the story straigt" and laid it all out. Wow. Thanks for sharing that!

My 911 center has been having a weird week to. Last night half the phone lines went down. What a nightmare.

Thanks for that. :)

Strange week indeed. Glad you get a good long time off! And see some daylight while you're writing.

Ah, it's almost like I'm still at work! (The accents were different, but otherwise...)

God Bless ALL our dispatchers! What would we do without you?

I love the way you can kind of hear the dispatcher going from "OMG, are you really calling me about beer bottles?" to "OMG, this is a bona fide beer emergency and this lady needs someone to help her."

So glad you're going to have 10 days off! Enjoy!

Compassion is a good thing. It is refreshing to hear a dispatcher, who is there to deal with LIFE and DEATH emergencies, totally stopped to connect with a small, human emergency when she was needed. Enjoy your time off to refuel.

Wait, she actually sent someone to open the beer???? Would you do that?

I would, to make sure she was okay living alone... some older people aren't. They haven't used toilet paper in days and their homes aren't safe to live in. It would be classified as a welfare check. And if she was okay and the cop opened her beer, then everyone wins.


10 days off .... perfection. Make it sing. My son is a paramedic and career firefighter, so we hear some real dandies .... but yours was right up there!

I hope the clicking in the background was that dispatcher ordering a PSYCH consult.

I would rather my 911 operators be knitting while waiting for a real emergency than be tied up with a call like that.

(Hmm. I might need a beer now)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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