The phone rang. It was 8:17 and it was my first phone call of the day. I picked up the phone.
“I need your help troubleshooting a computer problem,” began the teacher on the line. “I can’t get the projector to work.”
“Did you restart it?”
“Yeah, it didn’t fix it.”
I rubbed my temple, knowing a headache was on its way. The familiar beep of another call to my line chirruped in my ear. I ignored it. I knew the most likely solution would require me to do a bunch of simple, but fancy techno-geekery to fix the computer. I wanted to do it in my office. I almost asked the teacher to bring it to me. I didn’t.
“Where are you? I’ll come to you.”
I made a mental note of the teacher’s room and hung up. I looked at the computer in my lap, completely forgetting for the moment what I was doing with it. The door to my office opened and the police officer assigned to my building walked through. He needed information on two computers that had been reported stolen. I started to print them out for him.
The phone rang again.
Immediately, the “call waiting” chime went off in my ear again. I ignored it. Again.
The librarian on the line needed help getting someone connected to the Internet. I listened patiently and mapped a path through the building to the two separate destinations I needed to go. I hung up the phone.
I looked at the computer, no longer able to remember the names of the students whose computers were stolen.
“What were the kids names again?” I shouted to the officer next door. He gave them to me. I looked at the computer on my lap again. I remembered which software needed to be installed on it and grabbed the appropriate flash drive. I stood to go make my rounds when a student walked through the door. I expected the phone to ring any second. The officer came to pick up his printouts and told me the student had done her community service to pay for her computer. I directed her to the treasurer and left my office, laptop in hand.
As I left the office area, the front desk receptionist stopped me.
“They need you in the library.”
I let her know that they got a hold of me and I was on my way up there. She immediately turned to finish her conversation.
I installed the software as I walked. I arrived at the library first. The moment I walked in, I was informed that the issue had been fixed. Another teacher popped in and mentioned the same. Turns out, it wasn’t something I could have fixed anyway, and they simply chose to use a different machine. One down, one to go.
I ventured back into the hallway and toward the stairs back down to the ground floor. I trekked across the commons and down the hall to the teacher with the projector issue. I found him at the very back area of the art room. I made my way toward the laptop when I heard him speak.
“I fixed it.”
“I fixed it,” he said again. “I unhooked everything and hooked it all back up, and it worked.”
I suppressed a grimace, nodded to the teacher and said, “Okay.”
Secretly wondering why I bothered leaving my office, I left. I walked back across the building and sat down in my chair. The laptop was still installing software, so I set it down to finish. I looked at the clock. It was 8:26.
I took a deep breath and looked for my coffee mug.
The phone rang.