Throwback Thursday: Urgent, redefined

Pilot fish has the on-call pager for the weekend, but he wants to spend some time with a friend having some problems, so he arranges for a co-worker to cover for him.

"Pager goes off at 6 a.m. Saturday," groans fish. "While I'm at this friend's place. Three hours' drive from the office. Having had a lot to drink on Friday night."

But fish answers the page. It's from his boss, who wants him there right away to supervise an engineer that the vendor is sending to fix an urgent problem. Nobody else can make it in time, boss tells fish; the guy who's covering for fish can't make it in until 2 p.m., which will be too late.

Fish is feeling a little guilty about having handed off his on-call duties, so he doesn't argue. He climbs on his motorcycle and very carefully makes his way back to the office.

He gets there around 9:30 a.m. No vendor tech.

At 11 a.m., fish's boss shows up to make sure everything is running smoothly. No tech.

At 2 p.m., the person who's supposed to be covering for fish shows up. No tech.

Just before 3 p.m., fish asks boss if he can go home. By the time he leaves, there's still no tech.

"Found out Monday that the tech didn't get there until 6 p.m.," fish says.

"The emergency? The vendor had delayed a routine maintenance call until the weekend, and asked if someone could be there -- something that could easily have been rescheduled for the following week if someone, namely me, had objected.

"I deserved that hangover."

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