368- All Work Must Have A Work Order


You've been working for public works for a month and now your city-issued vehicle is in need of repairs - the natural monthly consequence of driving on city roads. You park on the wait line and make your way toward the bay.

A white-washed brick wall marks the separation between a small administration room and the repair bay proper. The soft hum of hydraulic lifts and sharp buzz of pneumatic wrenches escape through the open rollup doors of the garage and bounce back against the closed door to the admin room, filling both your ears.

Plain black lettering on a simple white sign is the only adornment on the entire wall. GO TO OFFICE FOR WORK ORDERS, it commands.

You take a left and enter the administration area.

The middle aged woman behind the desk raises her head as the bell over the door rings upon your entry. "Can I help you?" she asks, extending no apparent effort to mask her annoyance at your presence.

"Um," you mumble and throw a thumb back towards the way you came, "the sign said...I need a work order I guess?"

"Office," she says bruskly.

"Yes?" you half-answer, half-ask.

"You need to go to the office to get a work order."

"Yes, ma'am. That's why I'm here."

"This is the help desk," she says in a long, drawn-out tone, obviously meant to facilitate what she perceives as your heavily limited mental faculties.

"Okay. Where-"

"The office is by the maintenance building," she snaps before you can finish.

You glance behind you to the source of the whirs and buzzes, the garage you parked in front of. You cast a finger in the direction of the open bay and turn back toward the help lady, completely befuddled. "Isn't that the maintenance building."

"No, honey," she says, condescension positively dripping from her tongue, "that's the repair garage. Maintenance building's in the back."

"Okay," you say as you walk out. "Thank you."

"That's why we're here," she says, completely devoid of sincerity.

You wander toward the back of the lot and find an almost identical garage building attached to an almost identical administration room.

Timidly, you open the door. An older gentleman smacks loudly on chewing gum and gives you a nod as you enter, then looks back down at the newspaper on the desk in front of him.

"Is this the office?" you ask with no small amount of trepidation.

The man does not look up again. Instead he points directly at a sign posted on the white wall to his left. In plain black lettering on a simple whit background it advises: SEE HELP DESK FOR QUESTIONS.