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Friday
Oct162009

Chaos, Power Tools, and Rampant Alien Species

I have been at my new post for one month now, and have had my hands full – too full to post an entry until tonight. So where shall I begin? Well, to start, when I arrived on Day One, I took a little while to look around and grasp the magnitude of the circumstances I had been dropped into. I had been given a sort of "fixer-upper". Like various movie scenes where the character(s) arrive at their hotel room in some backwoods locale – or the abandoned villa they just bought in Tuscany – and begin to inspect the doors, the appliances, the rusty water sputtering from the kitchen tap, I found a mounting despair and sense of anxiety. I had to get outside for some air.

Multiple invasive species strangle and trees and smother native plants.Now, while the plumbing was fine, and the building sound, the chaos and disorganization of certain areas was impressive. The existing office desk (a broken hand-me-down) was cluttered, filthy and had computer network cables and a CPU crammed under space where one's legs should fit. After my initial assessment I concluded that it must be removed and tossed in the dumpster immediately.

As I began removing desk drawers and looking for salvageable contents, I found several large mouse nests with attendant sunflower seed hulls packed into the drawers behind, in, and around the hanging file folders. Some of these folders were converted by industrious white-footed mice into shelter insulation material with a flagrant disregard for the important information contained in said folders. Typical rodent attitude.

Mouse hideaway in desk drawer.So that is the beginning. Even the simplest task requires 3-5 precursor steps before arriving at the original objective. Most of the power tools so critical for carrying out the duties of beating back the jungle of alien invasive plant growth were not working well, or at all. Not my idea of a good time.

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