More of Hylo's Poetry

>>This poem is one I wrote about a previous job, so a bit of explanation is in order for those of you who don't know about where I worked. I worked in a medical reference lab (that means I ran people's blood and serum through machines, it does NOT mean I mutilated animals all day) called Biggs and Barnett. Two of the machines we used were the ARDIA and the CYMTAR. Recently, the CYMTAR had been the bane of my existence, breaking down frequently and giving random errors (which it signals with a red screen). The people on my shift and I worked Monday through Wednesday, twelve hour shifts from noon to midnight. On Wednesday nights, if we actually got out at Midnight as we were supposed to (which hadn't happened very often at the time I wrote this), we would go out to a bar called PT's, where Bryce was the bartender. The bar is just a little ways down the road from our lab. Usually it was Jonny and myself who'd go, and we met Marcy at the bar. Those are some of the names you'll encounter in the poem and the background...anyone else mentioned by name is another coworker, and Ellen is the evil supervisor from a different shift who liked to torment those of us on the Monday to Wednesday shift. And yes, all the names (including those of the machines and the bar) have been changed to protect Hylo from lawsuits.<<

Wednesday Night at the Lab

Twas an hour before midnight, and all through Chemistry
Employees scurried about, working furiously.
Their lab-coats hung from their shoulders, blood-stained.
Their feet ached, and their faces were etched with pain.
But a faint glimmer of hope could be seen in their eyes,
For tonight was Wednesday, and they were focused on the prize.
A night of drinking and revelry awaited,
And their lust for beer and peanuts would soon be sated.
On the ARDIA all the patients had been run.
Jonny checked a pending to make sure everything was done.
Roschelle was just finishing up on the TLA,
And she smiled as she heard Bonita say,
"All we have left is that last sed-rate,
For the first time all month we won't be here late!"

When from across the lab, there arose such a clatter,
Clancy looked up and said, "Hylo, what's the matter?"
But Hylo stood silently, staring in horror
At another red screen on the god-damned CYMTAR.
"No, please no," the dejected worker pleaded,
For ten more minutes were all that he needed.
Despite three reboots and six RBC's Folate,
He'd been poised to be finished by 11:58.
But now he stepped to the machine, his heart full of dread,
And, checking the error log, cried out "Oh I wish I were dead!"
Turning to his coworkers, he explained in a whine,
"Whatever the hell a luminometer is, the damn thing's off-line!"

Jonny offered to help; he said "I'll stay late."
But Hylo said, "No, Marcy can't wait.
You go on ahead, and I'll be close behind.
Once I reboot yet again, I should be just fine."
For he only had two more tests to run,
So even with the shitty machine, he soon would be done.
And at half-past midnight, the end was in sight,
When Ellen appeared, filling Hylo's heart with fright.
Just as he'd thought his night was near through,
She said "There's one more thing that I need you to do."
And producing eight specimen and some saline solution,
She said "rerun each one of these at a one to ten dilution.

Just then, across town, Jonny looked up from his beer,
And said, "I wonder what happened, Hylo should be here."
But it was after 1:00 before Hylo'd finished the task.
Whether he could leave or not, he didn't even ask,
He just stormed out the door and up to his car,
Knowing it was too late to meet his friends at the bar.
And as Bryce ushered everyone out of PT's to go,
Hylo zipped by in his little, purple Metro.
They didn't see him go past, and he didn't dare stop,
For Hylo was so enraged, he felt he would pop,
But they heard him exlaim as he drove out of sight,
Screaming his fury into the cold, dark night:
"I've had all I can take of Biggs and Barnett's shit,
They can kiss my ass, because I fucking quit!"

(c)Hylo Bates, 2002

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