Secret Effin Society

When I was a kid, I distinctly remember at least once a week leaving Batman and Robin in the clutches of some super-villain. Egghead was rather lame, as was the Mad Hatter or whatever his name was, but let’s say Mr. Freeze had the Dynamic Duo deposited in giant milkshake containers so that they’d freeze to death.

It was of course in my vested interest to find out what became of them in this predicament. I planned on it, hell yes. As a reminder, though, the voice of William Dozier would queue up and tell me to “tune in, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!” Yes, yes I would. Got it.

I think that’s where I got spoiled.

You see, it goes something like this:

“DTs, what are you doing here?”

“I have come to test for Paramedic,” I reply.

“You have not jumped enough hoops. You may not.”

“Well, GD,” says DTs, who is enamored of acronyms. “I thank you for telling me this. Now, what hoops must I clear?”

“These here,” he is told.

Time passes. More importantly, time passes while DTs takes a leave-of-absence from the 911 system. No volunteer runs – hence, no interesting posts, but time enough to get lead-seat calls. DTs is required (as is everyone else) to submit his calls in Paper and Electronic forms, and does so.

Time passes. “Say,” asks DTs in an email, “About those hoops – by my count I believe I have jumped them, but since yours is the final say, have I done so? May I test? I ask for informational purposes only, because if in your opinion or by your count I have not hooped enough, I am prepared to do more.”

MUCH time passes without a response. So DTs asks again. And again. And again. And someone else. And again. Finally, someone responds: “You have passed lo these many hoops.”

Huzzah, thinks DTs. Sorry to be such a goddamn bother about it, but shit. Thanks for the response.

This is where The Voice of William Dozier might well have been expected to kick in. You know, something along the lines of, “Here’s the bat-time to tune in…” or “Congrats – now, send a check for X$ to us and be ready by this date…”

No. Nothing. Very reminiscent of the bypass proposal in Hitchhiker’s Guide:

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”

“I know these folks are busy with other things,” said DTs to himself in late December, “But surely the test is nigh, and one would expect a little teensy heads-up from them. I shall investigate.”

Send an email? Yeah right.

By casting about on the school’s website, I was able to eventually find no information whatsoever on when the test was to come about. Checking the NREMT website, I found that the next scheduled test was 5/25/07. “That,” thought DTs to himself, “Cannot be right.”

Looking through the VA OEMS website I find that the test is scheduled for Jan 12 with a deadline to sign up for the damned thing of December 12.

So “Good luck!” to all who, somehow, managed to grease a palm or otherwise gain that information in a timely enough fashion to make use of it. Stop messing about on the Intertubes and go study.

She Who Must Be Obeyed spent some time pointing out the, ah, how shall we say? procedural and coordinative inadequacies that have plagued not only this institution but other departments as well. “It’s a wonder,” She said, “that there are any friggin’ paramedics at all. Anywhere.”

Indeed. Must Stop Post Here before using the I-word (incompetence), which would I expect gather negative comments.

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