Steph's Friend

Monday, February 20, 2006

Duty

At first I was nervous. I've never done it before and I am suppose to do it today. If I make any mistakes, it may mean more of it. No one likes it but yet there are some who need it. For me, I guess I need it too. It's something that we call "duty".

I am suppose to learn from Benjamin the basics of doing duty, but due to some unforeseen events, my friend, Evan, called me last night, asking me whether I could take his place for today's duty. He sounded like he had something urgent. He was planning to take urgent leave today. But I have never done it before. It was too risky. If anything happens, it's the duty personnel (which in this case is me) who would get into trouble. I tried contacting one more person, Daryl, to see if he's free to do duty. Sadly, he isn't. Alas, I have no choice but to take that risky offer. I did it not because of folly, but because my friend needed my help.

The next day, I sought the advice of my fellow friends: Alan, Benjamin, Bryan, Daryl and Wee Yen (sorted in alphabetical order...must be the excel-spreadsheet effect). They taught me a lot of stuff. But it's not the theory that I am afraid of. It's the practical, which will take place on the same day at 5.00pm. I tried my best to absorb as much as I could...

Duty for us all is basically being the scapegoat should something goes missing. We are in charge of keeping the keys and making sure that none is lost. Switching off the lights, locking the doors, keeping the place clean...we do mundane stuff such as these.

It was 5.00pm, I was still doing Ms Teng's work. She needed it very urgently. But I have my duty to do! In the end, I went for my duty as taking it was already a risk and I don't want anything bad to happen. Call me selfish or whatever but in the end, I still completed her work.

After 6.00pm, the keys started to pour in. I was busy running (okay, it isn't exactly running, but you get my point) here and there, keeping track of the various keys. I am thankful to the people who helped me during my duty time. They are Benjamin and Evan. They helped me by answering my calls and SMSes. I was particularly touched when my fellow NSF, Wee Yen, called me. He asked whether I was doing fine and whether I needed help. It's nice to know that you have friends who care and help you out in times of need.

Then at around 9.00pm, the place is left with me, one officer and one Big Boss. Okay, the Big Boss is really BIG, so it's like I won't go to his room to check whether he is there. Instead I will stand at one corner and listen to the typing sounds of the keyboard. I was being tactical, pressing my ears against the wall, concentrating on the keys pressed...(okay I am getting a bit overboard here).

Anyway, as I was saying, he's BIG. Not in terms of size, but position and rank. At 9.40pm, the officer left, leaving me with the Big Boss. His office lights was still on and the doors open, so I waited for him to finish whatever he's doing (if he ever finishes it in the first place) before closing the doors and switching off the lights.

I waited until around 10.15pm. It was too long. Normally a no-rank guy like me will be ignored by a high-ranked guy like him. But it was too late. I wanted to go home. So I went to the side door and tried to pick up any signs of life that maybe coming from that room, be it typing or a cough or SMSes. I leaned sideways towards his door, trying to see if he is there. It's so difficult! I even thought of taking out my shoes (as they were creaking so loudly, which isn't tactical at all) and walk to his office. But it's all too troublesome. So in the end, I just walked to the front of his office...

He isn't there. He isn't there! Oh man...he must have left without telling me! Argh...I guess it's something that newbies go through (or is it just me?). I switched of all the lights, locked the doors, returned the keys, took a cab back home (I am going to claim my cab fare) and switched on the computer.

Hopefully, everything turns out fine...

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