Ring, ring…

DISPATCH: 9-1-1, do you need police, fire or ambulance?

ME: Uh… I’m not sure… I think I just need someone to talk to.

DISPATCH: Sir, this is not a self-help line… this is 9-1-1!

ME: Yes… I know… can you help me?

DISPATCH: What is your emergency, sir?

ME: I’m having a very serious emergency… I can’t get up to go to work… and I think I’m dying.

DISPATCH: Sir, where are you?

ME: I’m at home still… on Brown Road… and I can’t get up to go to work.

DISPATCH: You can’t get up to go to work?

ME: Yes… I can’t get up to go to work… and I think I’m dying.

DISPATCH: Why do you think your dying… you sound okay?

ME: This whole situation, it’s killing me.

DISPATCH: What’s the situation, sir… are you in danger?

ME: Well, I need to get up to go to work… but I can’t… and I keep hearing a sucking sound.

DISPATCH: Sir, are you hurt?  Are you having any pain?

ME: No, I’m not hurt and no, I don’t have any pain… but all I can hear is that sucking sound.

DISPATCH: Sir, why can’t you get up for work?

ME: Well, I just don’t really feel like it… I just want to sit at home and drink coffee and work on my blog.  I love coffee.  Do you drink coffee? 

DISPATCH:  Yes, I drink coffee…

ME: Have you ever had to order a coffee at Starbucks?  It’s very difficult.

DISPATCH: Sir, you are wasting my time… and not wanting to go to work is not an emergency!

ME: Yes… I understand… but I think I’m dying.

DISPATCH: Sir… you are not dying… just get up and go to work.

ME: Yes, but can you hear that sucking sound?

DISPATCH: No sir, I don’t hear any sucking sound.

ME: Really?  You can’t hear that sound… it sounds like a vacuum… just sucking and sucking and sucking.

DISPATCH:  I am sorry sir, I don’t hear any sucking sound.

ME: Shhhhh… be very quiet and listen… see, hear that sucking sound?

DISPATCH: Okay… yes, yes, I can kind of hear it now.

ME: What is that sound? It’s very frightening… I’ve been hearing it a lot lately… and I think I might be dying.

DISPATCH: Well, sir I have heard that sound before, it’s something I’ve come across ocassionally.

ME: Oh… so you’ve heard it before… I’m terribly concerned… do you know what is it?

DISPATCH: Well, sir, there are different types of those sucking sounds, but that particular one… well, I’d have to say, I believe it’s your job.

ME: Uh… what do you mean it’s my job?

DISPATCH: Well, sir… it’s your job, it’s sucking the life out of you… that’s why you feel like you are dying.

ME: Oh my, I’m very worried… do you think you should send an ambulance?

DISPATCH: No sir, you don’t need an ambulance… but you might want to think about a different career. Is there anything else I can help you with?

ME: Yes, I mean no, I mean… I am already looking at some other possibilities… but what I really want to do is write children’s books. Have you read my blog… Brown Road Chronicles?

DISPATCH: No sir, I have not read your blog.

ME: Well it’s very funny… it’s about country living and other stuff… and I recently wrote a poem about my goats. A lot of people really liked it and thought it would make a good children’s book.

DISPATCH: Uh… excuse me?  Your goats?

ME:  Yes, my family has two goats… their names are Naughty and Heath… we’re their third owners!  They came pre-named and they’re adorable and sometimes they wear coats!

DISPATCH: Okay sir, that’s fascinating and all, but I am very busy, the dispatch lines are ringing off the hook… plus your chances of making a living writing children’s books is very slim. They say something like 5% of all authors make enough money to live on.  I think you need to look at some other options.

ME: Yes, yes I understand… but the goat story… well, it’s a rhyming poem. It’s very good. Can I e-mail it to you?

DISPATCH: No sir, I have lots of work to do… and the phones are ringing off the hook… but maybe you could just give me the address of your blog and I’ll take a look when I get home tonight. I am sure your story is very good… but you know, publishers hate rhyming stories. Don’t let me deter you from trying though.  I’m just a dispatcher… what do I know?

ME: Okay, the address is… https://brownroadchronicles.wordpress.com. It’s an excellent blog… you can subscribe to it if you want.

DISPATCH:  I am sure it is… is there anything else I can help you with today?  I really must go.

ME:  No, no… but thank you so very much, I am feeling much better now… I think I just needed someone to talk to. I guess I better get up and go to work. I hope I didn’t keep you too long.

DISPATCH:  You’re welcome… glad I could be of help… but next time may I suggest calling a career counselor!


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12 responses to “9-1-1

  1. Steve, good stuff. Love the dialogue, a favorite medium for me as well. I am in the same position as you right now. In fact, I’m at work reading and commenting on your blog when I should be correcting papers or helping kids write their stories. But I don’t want to! That’s why I have put my notice in and am moving careers. I’m going to be a writer. What kind of job am I going to get? Who the fuck knows? Maybe I’ll be unemployed and write my blog for a (non) living. I AM seeing a career counselor, though, to help me avoid that fate. She’s really good, and you should use her, although it might be a bit of a commute. . . 🙂


    • Brown Road Chronicles

      Jared, I envy you having the cajones to do all that. I know it will work for you, you seem very talented. I look forward to reading about your successes!

  2. That was great once again. I think I read (on nakedbokkie’s site) where you are in a family business didn’t I? You need to find something to kick you back in on it if that’s the case….So many people would kill to be in that spot. Find something to spice it up but keep writing too…you are one hell of a writer…you should be able to grab something on the side from it before too long.

    • Brown Road Chronicles

      Jason, yes I work in a family business and you make a good point about the value of that. I won’t lie, its been a great gig, but I’ve done it for 18 years… that’s a long time. A few years back I had to make this decision; Steve you’ve got another 20+ years to work, is this what you want? I’ve decided to move on and thankfully have had some time to try to figure out what’s next. I’m not sure I’ve figured it out yet… I can tell you this, I am a firm believer that no amount of money, responsibility, power, etc. is worth it if you’re not happy and fulfilled. I was fulfilled for a long time but I’ve reached burnout stage, I’m not getting any younger and I have a lot of productive years ahead. I do like writing although I don’t think it will ever be a full time career. In fact I’m not sure I want it to be my career… that has a way of taking the joy out of things! Lastly, my wife always says I’m a dreamer and she’s right! I have a hard time separating work from the rest of my life, and if work isn’t pulling its weight on the happiness scale, regardless of income or job autonomy, both of which I have been blessed to have, then its time to move on. So that’s where I’m coming from. Does that make sense? Anyway this comment is now so long it could have been post!!

      • Yes buddy…it makes perfect sense….I’m with you, you have to enjoy what you are doing…none of the rest should matter. Your really creative so I figured you could find a way to bring the new back to your job!

  3. This made my day. You made how I feel about going to my job (especially on Mondays) instead of writing all day FUNNY, and reminded me that I’m so not alone in that feeling. Thank you!

    • Brown Road Chronicles

      Thanks Hawley for the nice comments! Glad I could make you smile! Seems to be lots of folks in a similar mindset… not sure what the answers are???

  4. Too funny! You are very imaginative. Great post!

  5. Steve- I am sorry- we all feel like this at times. Things wont change if you keep doing the same thing everyday. Why dont you employ someone to take over half your day- a student or something? Someone that you dont need to pay enough to “support a family on”. Then take those hours and start some serious brain storming. Find a hobbie for those hours.
    I am quick to say that- but I haven’t done it yet. (I am a bad delegator). If my knight took a few hours everyday to ride his bike i would be a little peeved as well. What would your wife say?
    The fact is that you need to provide. People can say continually that you need to enjoy what you do- great, but what if it doesnot provide for your kids?
    Rock and a hard place!!

  6. Monster in My Truck was good, but this one is even better.

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