Monday, December 18, 2006

Silent Night

Graveyard shifts are creepy. You're working in a virtually abandoned office building, all alone, and all of a sudden everything becomes terrifying in its own "wow, you have an extremely over-active imagination" way. I'm jumpy by nature, but when you put me in an oh so quiet cubicle where the motion sensor lights seem to be triggered by everything but actual human motion and the computers make grumbling sounds when they receive email, it starts to make me nervous.

You do your best to suppress your fears: loud cheery music, raiding the cupboards, talking to yourself... It's like babysitting without kids to harass you about playing Monopoly Jr. every twelve seconds. But then you start thinking about babysitting, and about that story you heard where the girl was murdered, and that story about the man with the hook, and then you start to think about Scream, where everyone was murdered, and then you start thinking non-scary movies that could be scary if you applied the plot to your present situation... like Ghostbusters... maybe you shouldn't raid the fridge. Zoul might be in there... or Rick Moranis. Maybe you should put on headphones to block out the sounds... maybe not. If you do you won't hear the murderers approach. crap, maybe you should turn the music off all together. maybe you should hide quietly under a desk until daybreak!

But you eventually talk yourself off a ledge, get your work done as fast as humanly possible and get the hell out of the haunted office building.

It's always the same, and the job I'm working right now is following the graveyard shift formula to a T. Dark hallways, strange noises, fridge that could very well be growing the next Swamp Thing, but to give it it's own special set of terrifying characteristics, they've placed these life-sized gems in the hallway:

Now, those are illuminated by my flash, but in the dim natural light, they look like humans crouching outside the door waiting to either: A) beat me over the head with a guitar or B) smother me with a sheet. Every time I see them from the corner of my eye I jump about 50 feet.

So employers of the night shift I implore you, if we must work the vampire hours, could we at least do it without dead performers staring us down?


Katie P. said...

For those of us who do not know you that well, can you explain what work one does with cardboard cutouts in the middle of the night?

Ivan said...

see that's the thing, I DON'T usually work with cardboard cutouts in the middle of the night. That's why they're freakin' me out!

simon said...

wow. those are designed to frighten any time of day. but at least you don't have to wait in suspense to find out what arbitrary act will do them in -- do you have to put a stake in their hearts? do you have to dismember them? do you have to bury them, do a dance on their grave, turn three times, and spit? no. you just have to carry a concealed flamethrower.

omigosh i know what i'm getting you for christmas.

Katie P. said...

Why did the cardboard cutouts appear? What role do they have in your organization? (Other than freaking you out?)