Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 329

HEADLINE:
"$300,000 OF TAXPAYERS MONEY SPENT ON RETRIEVING RABBIT FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUILDING"

The above headline is not real, but may very well have been. It was those words I saw printed on my mind as I ran up and down the corridors looking for my dwarf lop. Let me explain ...

My previous career was that of the Executive Officer of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO). When I first started working for him I still had my wonderful house rabbit "Gizmo". You can read about Gizmo here in my post dedicated to the celebration of pets past and present.

Gizmo and I lived in my first home together. He was my "watch bunny". He'd thump loud and clear if ever someone was around the house. Derek was on the scene but it was all very new. Anyway, I was money poor and took any free opportunity I could, including free veterinary consultations from the Government "desk vets" within the Department. Just because they were now policy vets didn't mean they couldn't give good treatment, did it?

I was in a panic. Rabbit Calicivirus had just "escaped" from a quarantine station. Rabbits across the outback were dying. Gizmo Thumper Bunny Rabbit was in grave danger. I had to save him. So I took him into the office to get him jabbed with the vaccination. What's the point of working for the CVO if you can't get some up front top of the line service!! I ask you ...

Anyway, he had his jab and all was good. So I locked him in my office while I went about my business out in the work place. I was a little alarmed when I came back from a meeting to find him looking at me through the glass wall paneling from my boss's office. How did he get in there? He must have jiggled the sliding door and got through. So I put him safely back in my office and sat at my desk to work. Next thing you know he is outside my office looking in through the glass paneling at me. How did he get out there?!! Clearly the Houdini of the Oryctolagus Cuniculus world. The alarm bells started to ring but what could I do? It was only lunch time and I was still at work for another few hours. I was on a teleconference and was quite involved. I don't know how long he had been missing but he was gone. He was not outside my office. He was not inside my office. I got on my hands and knees and went cold with fear. That's when I discovered the air conditioning ducts along the walls were hollow and had entry/exit points. He was in the air conditioning. He could be anywhere. F*&^. Visions of massive air conditioning plants seen in movies went through my mind with the big fans and helicopter blades. My rabbit was going to be minced. I was sure of it.

I started walking the corridors getting down on my hands and knees between people's desks (in my short skirt and high heels). I was crawling. People were frowning and asking odd questions. Like "what have you lost?", "are you ok?", "can I help you?", "are you pretending to be a cow?". I just grunted and kept going. I was starting to sweat. The tears were welling. Panic set in. I had to fess up. "Ummm ... has anyone seen a rabbit?"

My suit was too hot. I was feeling faint. Sweat was dropping from my brow and it was also running down my legs. That was sweat wasn't it? Where the hell was Gizmo. Oh shit. GIZMOOOOOOO!!! I started calling him. People were coming out of offices. There was lots of frowning and whispering. A few people tried to help me find him. Men in suits were clearing their throats. By now I was in the Executive Director's office trying to stay calm. He had someone in there ... the Chilean Ambassador perhaps? But he could also have my rabbit.
I squeaked something inaudible to his Secretary. The Executive Assistant raised her eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

"Um, sorry to interrupt, but has anyone seen a rabbit?"

A throat clearing. A giggle. A cough. "Ahh, no, no rabbit."

"Ok, thanks anyway". And then I was running back up the hallway. What if the airconditioning ducts opened out in to the lift well at the end of the hall? What if there was a big shute that would send Gizmo hurtling down 5 storeys? What if that big fan slicing thingimo was around here somewhere? It was time. I had to ring the maintenance guys and demand they shut down the aircon. There were going to be repercussions. There would be national headlines. But there would also be Gizmo ...

As I sat at my desk and dialed the maintenance area, I started to think about how I would word my resignation. Perhaps a resignation wouldn't be needed. Maybe I'd be fired and end up in front of a Senate Committee. That's when my boss walked through the door holding my bunny. "Lose something?"

OMG!!! "where did you find him?"

"In my bin, chomping on an apple core".

Someone finally answered the phone. "Departmental maintenance, Brian speaking".

"Oh, hi Brian, any chance you could do something about the air temps in here, I am sweating like a pig".

"Sure Leanne. Will look into it."

"Thanks."

I never brought him back to the office. All further veterinary consultations were done via the suburban vet near my home. But the legend of the wayward bunny still lives on. Yes Gizmo, you were a legend my little fluffy friend. I hope you are avoiding those aircons up in bunny Heaven ....

1 comment :

  1. Great story, I think you told me a shorter version of it before, but was fun to read.

    ReplyDelete

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