The Diary of a Nobody/September 11

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Wednesday, September 11
I’ve had a lot of requests from guests working a front desk over the years: hygiene products, condiments, requests for sex, but tonight I had one I’d never fielded before…It happened right after I reported for duty…In fact, I was a bit early and Mark had already gone to the back office when this fat white guy about my age waddles up. 

I have a big favor to ask…

I longed stopped dreading these words; invariably such requests are rather reasonable, but the way he asked it annoyed me…He would annoy me further. 

How may I be of service, sir?
I’d like a plate of cookies…

I was almost speechless…A plate of cookies???…Where does he think he is, a Chips Ahoy factory???…Good gravy, word had obviously reached wherever the hell he came from that we have expanded our guest services lineup to include on-demand baked goods.

And not just a couple or a few cookies, either…A whole plate of them!!!…He was very clear: he’d like a plate of cookies…

Excuse me, sir???
A plate of cookies…

The way he said “cookies” also annoyed me and he mumbled, rather pathetically, something about Brandon always setting him up…He pointed to the table where the afternoon cookie ration is kept…I shrugged and said OK, I’ll be right back.

You’re a tubbo that wants a plate of cookies, you’re getting a plate of cookies, dammit…We have paper plates in the coffee room, where the cookies are kept, and there were some still on the tray, under a towel, from the afternoon and I threw those on the plate and there was an open package in the storage bin and I emptied that, too…I thought if I gave him enough cookies, maybe he’d die and stop breathing my air…Combined with the leftover fru-fru cookies – the ones named after European cities – there were, easily, 18 or so on the plate and maybe even two dozen…You want cookies, here’s a diabetic coma for you, my compliments…They aren’t that fresh but if you’re eating that many cookies you probably aren’t a connoisseur, you’re a devourer.

He was shuffling back to his room when Mark left and I pointed him out because I had told Mark about the request…Mark said he was the Greyhound driver which made me feel sort of bad…I mean, he’s a working man on the road earning his living…Still tho…Overall, he was, Officially, annoying. 

Other than that, it was very slow…We were sold out, but there weren’t a whole lot of departures and the night audit was done a bit before 0030, even with a tray to return to the restaurant…I was busy all night, tho, working projects, which conveniently wrapped up at 0500.

Before I left for training in the big city yours truly got his hands on VA Form 21, an application for accreditation as a Veteran Service Office (VSO)…A guy at the top-secret VSO helpline turned me on to it, saying accreditation was necessary if I ever needed a top-secret agent to delve into a veteran’s file…The form is one page but a couple of things aren’t immediately clear: One, who can sign it and two, where to send it. 

The first one I’m hoping Kelly, our department head, can sign…She is not a VSO, of course, but all the form requires is that she attests to my “good character and reputation” and I am qualified to be accredited “by ability and experience”. 

You might think that where to send it would be on the form, but you’d be wrong…There is an address, but it’s for – and this is why I love government service – a place to send comments on the form!!!…I am not making that up…Here’s my comment on the form: on future forms, please the address where you send the form to, thank you in advance. 

Accreditation is thru the VA’s Office of the General Counsel and I searched for a phone number for that, but regular readers of this crap know the futility of finding a working VA phone number…It’s as if Washington, D.C. never had phone service installed…Send it pony express…Every VA webpage does, as noted here, have a number to the veterans crisis line which, as the oft-told joke here goes, I am seriously considering calling after spending time in VA hell. 

Finally, I called the national VSO hotline that got me in this mess in the first place…After 23 minutes of being told how important my call was to the VA, I finally got a hold of someone who had some zero clue where to send…I wanted to ask where he sent his VA Form 21, but he was very nice and yours truly didn’t want to get sassy.

He transferred me to a number he had rustled up, where I was told to enter my PIN followed by the pound key…I dialed the number myself with the same result.

So I went back to the general counsel website and, in the Upset of the Year, further research yielded a fax number and email address in short order…I don’t know how I missed this the first time…All right, I sent an email introducing myself and asking where I send the form and, importantly, who can sign it…I ended up talking with a very helpful woman named Sharon, who said the state office would have to sign it and send it in…She even had Mr T’s and  Carissa’s names, so I emailed Carissa, but she didn’t respond by the time I left. 

I figured it out: of the 16 hours I spent on the clock, I worked for, maybe, five of them…And that’s being generous and rounding up…The actual total was probably closer to four.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: Par for the Wednesday course, there was no sleep to report today. 

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence. 

It was inspired by the 19th century British novel of the same name. 

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