Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pulling the Plug

A little while ago, my boss asked me to upgrade some software on a piece of equipment that we have. I went to the station where it was and started looking at it. I figured that I needed to move the machine to my desk so that I could hook it up to my computer. I got underneath the table to unplug it. I finally found the right plug, and pulled it out.

As soon as I pulled the plug, I hear an alarm go off and see a light start blinking. I thought "Oh my gosh, what did I do? All I did was unplug a power cord!" I immediately plugged the cord back into the socket hoping to stop the alarm before anyone noticed. "Oh man, I'm in trouble. What is my boss gonna do to me?" After another couple of seconds (I'm really quick some days), I thought about what was going on. Fire drill. The timing of the alarm going off couldn't have been more perfect. Someone must have been watching me that day trying to think of ways to freak me out. It worked.

For some reason it reminded me of an experience I had when I was a kid. I was probably about 11, and my family and I were at the local K-Mart. (Being from Star Valley, Wyoming, the local K-Mart is a 70 mile drive away. Not that that's important in any way.) I was looking at the cameras in the electronics section, doing stupid stuff that kids do like pushing every button and zooming in on my hand so I could see my fingerprints.

Because I was super observant, I noticed that the cameras were attached to the counter by a telephone cord. Because I was a stupid kid, I thought to myself "I wonder what will happen if I unplug one of those." Because I was a super stupid kid, I unplugged one. As soon as I did, an alarm started going off. "Oh crap!"I immediately plugged the cord back into the socket hoping to stop the alarm before anyone noticed. (Is it bad that I have the same thought process that I had when I was eleven?) Someone did notice the loud obnoxious alarm blaring because some idiot kid had unplugged a camera. The K-Mart electronics worker was nearby and came over to investigate what was going on.

Some kids in that predicament might have run. I was frozen in my tracks, unable to move. Being eleven years old, I was unaware of how the penal system worked. I thought the K-mart man was going to come over and throw me in a jail cell in back of the store. "No, K-Mart man! I didn't mean to! No!" Instead, K-Mart man just turned off the alarm and gave me a look, then went about his business.

I guess it was a good thing that I didn't unplug the camera and run away with it, then I might have gotten in some trouble.