Episode One: Tom Doell vs. The Storm
It was a typical Tuesday afternoon at Parts Town.
Of course, “typical” is a relative term. On this particular afternoon, we’d already had to cope with a few curveballs. Matt Duffy had had to contend with a spider roughly the size of our new warehouse (big). Emanuela and Maureen had carefully positioned several dozen sheets of printer paper on the wall, affixing them with painters’ tape – these would be replaced by the framed customer comments that make up our “Wall of Fame.” And I had drunk my first-ever cup of tea, thanks to Jeanne Chanthavong, who had gotten tired of listening to me cough. (I’d also learned to spell “Chanthavong,” which means it’s her turn to learn to spell “Gasikowski.”)
So it was an interesting day already, but nothing unusual for Parts Town. But just as we were about to enter the three o’clock hour, which we all know as the last leg of the workday, the lights went out.
This wasn’t the first time Parts Town had experienced a massive power loss. Only a few months ago, we underwent a total system failure that left us without phones, computer systems, or raptor fences…no wait, sorry, that’s Jurassic Park. We don’t have any velociraptors here.
Although Matt might be willing to exchange for the spiders.
But I digress. Parts Town has experienced power loss in the past, and while we are always determined to remain open for business as long as humanly possible, it’s been challenging. We’ve had to use our iPods to access web orders. We’ve found ourselves entering orders on laptops by flashlight and rerouting customer calls through the manager’s cell phone. Fortunately, after the last incident, someone had the common sense to acquire a backup generator.
So the lights go off, and the first thing I notice is that Chris Reynolds still has power. Instantly, like the last fighter pilot to fire his missiles, Chris became the most important person in the office. In our hour of darkness, we were able to keep entering orders because Chris has a cool head and an external power supply.
But that wasn’t a long term solution. Chris is pretty good, but he’s not good enough to carry the entire company for more than a few minutes. And, in fact, the call had already gone up for the man of the hour – “TOM! YOU’RE ON!”
Faster than a speeding bullet, Tom Doell raced…well, I didn’t actually see where he went, but I know it was something to do with the power, because less than fifteen minutes later the lights were on, the phones were ringing, and Tom was being clapped on the back like a proud papa. We all know him as our tech support guy for Scotsman, and Nieco, but today Tom applied his vast knowledge and superior skills to a technical issue a little closer to home.
– Kat Gasikowski