« on: April 23, 2014, 11:09:41 pm »
I still couldn't get the figures right. Sketches and drawings would come back to me, and the maps on the computer kept being wrong. The field people were getting more and more agitated, but not so much at me, really. Just being on the lot seemed to drain people's energy and patience like nothing else. They'd get a recharge every Wednesday when we got paid, of course, but eventually they started dropping out. Sick days, requested transfers to other projects, and one guy even took a leave of absence. Ms LaCroix reminded us every week how pleased the client was with our work, but not to forget the deadline.
When was the deadline?
Eventually, I had to go out there myself. A shortage of field personell and a need to finally get the maps right meant I had to get off my ass and onto The Lot. I was going to measure everything my damn self, and check all the sampling wells while I was at it. Simple enough work, and I couldn't imagine what was throwing everyone of their rocker about this job.
I took measurements around the outside of The Lot, a basic rectangle. Next, I decided to gauge the wells. I should explain to you what this means. We use a device called an interface probe, a moderately awful device that has a sensor at the end of a long measuring tape. When the sensor is in oil or something similar, it makes a shrill, continuous tone. When the sensor is in water, it makes a similarly shrill beeping sound. No off button or volume control, either. Anyway, this is how we determine if there is some kind of substance contaminating the groundwater.
I dropped the interface probe down the well, expecting to hear the ear-piercing tone after a few dozen feet. As it went down, however, I heard something altogether different. A deep, resonating hum that felt like it came from the air around me, getting louder as I sent it deeper. After a hundred feet, the sound had become a deafening, thrumming song that brought tears to my eyes. I should have wound up the probe and left right then, but I didn't. I kept sending it deeper, until the spool ran out at five hundred feet and the sound was shaking my teeth and I could hear and see and smell and taste the sound but I couldn't feel anything and the small hole in the earth gaped wider and wider and I knew that all I had to do was let it happen and everything would be fine, for the low, low price...
I fell backwards, and felt the coin, cold as ice in my pocket. Ms LaCroix had paid me three times, but I still just had the one coin. But I knew that I had been paid, and been paid well. I just didn't quite know how to spend it, until now.
The sound had stopped. I wound up the spool, made a very unprofessional note in my field journal, and stormed off The Lot. I would get those stupid maps done, one way or another.
-to be even more continued-