A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 25 – Into the Abyss

A(nother) Year in Seattle

Sunday – December 14, 2059 – Scheduling Mayhem

I spent the morning working out the schedule for the rest of the holiday season. We needed to cover the holiday caseloads and still keep our people fresh. I matched up people’s holiday requests and tried to make it work.

It took me several tried before I came up with something. If anybody wants to change, they can post their request at the office and we’ll see what we can do.

Hopefully, we’ll get through this in one piece. Otherwise, I have to cancel everybody’s leave, and nobody wants it to come to that.

Especially me. I love running the program– as long as I don’t have to lay down the law on my medics.

Monday – December 15, 2059 – No win scenario

I got in early– finished the minimal paperwork and hit the streets. The weekdays aren’t too bad yet– at least not between the hours of oh… 0200 and 0400. The rest of the time we have increased and secondary rush hours– tie-ups at lunchtime and then an early rush as the shoppers try and get home before the regular rush begins…

There’s no winning. Tempers are short and lines are long. I’m not sure I can take another ten days of this “love” people are expressing towards their fellow man.

During those rushes, we have the usual short tempers and accidents. I really don’t get it, but I can’t help to notice that as things get more crowded the insanity increases exponentially.

I guess on one hand I should be happy– it guarantees I have a job. I just don’t want it to be like this. Sure I could quit… but where could I go? Besides, my not being there doesn’t change the fact that people need someone like me.

Tuesday – December 16, 2059 – Losing Focus.

Where do we go wrong? Where do we lose sight of what’s really important?

We had a jumper today. By the time I got there, he’d already jumped… I did what I could for him, which wasn’t really all that much. He’ll live, but– if he wasn’t happy with his life the way it was, what will he think now?

The neurosurgeons are with him now– trying to undo the damage the fall has done. They’re talking about cyber and or bio-ware, so he’s done a pretty good number on himself.

His wife and their little girl are out in the waiting room.

Maybe if he could see what it’s doing to them. That they really love him… I mean from what I can see he has everything– loving family, a good job…

Higgins from the star was there on follow-up, told me why he’d jumped.

It seems he was passed over for a promotion. According to the note, he’d left… he felt he was a complete failure– that he wouldn’t meet his goals of being the youngest Jr. Partner in his firm’s history.

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I do know this– my family is here, and I love them. They don’t care about awards or prestige– they care about me, and I care about them.

I hope I never lose sight of that. They are my greatest treasures.

When I got home– I made sure they knew it too.

Wednesday – December 17, 2059 – Family

I’m not sure which of us looked worse for wear when Jenny got off the plane. She’d logged 9 hours on a plane with a cold, I had 14 on a motorcycle.

We both agreed that the other looked terrible and left it at that. Case picked up her bags while Bri and I led her to the SUV. She looked at it and then at me, knowing that it didn’t quite fit.

I laughed. “The car was pretty much totaled– but we’re still waiting for the settlement.”

Jenny nodded then sneezed.

“Let’s get you some hot tea, and then off to bed with you.”

She thought about it and then nodded. “Maybe you should just drop me off at the hotel.”

I looked at her. “Non-sense. We have the guest room all set up for you.”

“But Bri…”

I smiled and shook my head. She’s a mom through and through. I finally gave in and we took her to a hotel where she’d already made reservations. I made her tea while she unpacked. Then we headed home.

With a good day’s rest, she should be fine.

Thursday – December 18, 2059 – A change of plans.

Jenny wasn’t feeling any better by the end of the day if anything she was feeling worse. She kept apologizing, and I kept telling her not to worry about it. I mean she’s here for a few days, and an extra day’s rest would probably do her some good.

Yeah, I wanted to take her shopping and show her around– but that can wait till she’s feeling better. To be honest tomorrow night is the first night of the light parade and the Arcology is probably going to be at maximum capacity.

I mean, the marketing people are smart– the Arcology is still a novelty right now, but they aren’t relying on that to keep people interested. They keep coming up with more and more things to do and to bring in revenue. If they keep that up, they’ve got a great future ahead of them.

There will be other times.

Jenny was feeling a little better until she realized that I’d taken time off to be with her.

I told her not to worry– I mean it’s not like I can’t find somebody to trade shifts with. Let’s be serious here– a chance to get a Friday off this close to Christmas?

We can always go on Saturday, or Sunday– or just visit. Being together is what matters.

Friday – December 19, 2059 – On the run

I’ve been on duty since 0600 this morning. With less than a week till Christmas, it’s like everybody’s come out of the woodwork. There are just too many people not to need our services. I think we’ve had the most calls today than we have since the program began.

Right now I’m too tired for the bike, so I’ve paired off with Dwight on an ambulance. I’m practically dead on my feet right now and I’ve got another 5 hours and then this nightmare will be over– until tomorrow.

This is the first break I’ve had

Me and my big mouth got a call at the Arcology– more later.

Saturday – December 20, 2059 – Trapped…

The doors are closed and we’re trapped like rats… I keep hearing screams. I’m not sure if it’s in my head or…. head… no…

Copyright 2000 M.T. Decker

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