It is nearly 5am Sunday morning as I type these few words. I have completed my first evening at the dispatch centre of Operation Red Nose, Halifax.
Got there around 7 last night. Was told that they needed a Rudy for the night, so I agreed to put on the costume and be mauled by attractive, young, drunken, lonely women. The sacrifices I make for ORN should secure me a nice place in Heaven.
We went out (Team Rudy!) around 9-ish, returning to the headquarters around 10:30. For the most part, we were treated very well. I'd go into most bars and clap my hands (hooves?) together, and people would crack jokes about reindeer hunting season being over or whatever. But an awful lot of people applauded us as my colleagues gave out ORN contact information. Only one hotel was a little snooty with us, but it was the last place we visited, and I was just glad to be able to take off the Rudy head and gulp oxygen again.
We returned to the dispatch centre and waited for the pizza and the calls to come pouring in. Pizza came around 10:45; the calls came in earnest about an hour later. We took as many calls as we could, but people still left voice mails complaining about how they couldn't get through and they were relying on us to take them home, etc., etc.
Folks: We had 7 teams of 3 tonight. 21 people driving people home. Each team probably drove home an average of 4 or 5 sets of clients. One client might take an hour to pick up and drive home before returning to, say, the downtown to await the next call. But they probably got their next call half way through driving home a client.
All we can do, is all we can do.
I left the dispatch centre around 2:50 this morning, just over 2 hours ago. Got home around 3:20. Keyed up, I decided to begin cooking the chili, so I cooked the chicken breasts and boiled the beans. Opened up the cans of tomatoes and threw them in the crockpot before adding the cooked chicken and beans and chili powder and other things. Finished only a few minutes before 5.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that. Time to toddle off to bed. I hope that the aroma of the cooking chili doesn't wake me up.