Saturday, April 28, 2012

Edward, The Brooklyn High School of Sciences, IBM and the National Weather Service

by Quinton D. Chastain

A couple times a week when I’m out on my front stoop smoking a cigarette I encounter a gentleman we’ll call Ed.
Ed is very talkative, and very intelligent. And every time we bump into each other he uses my phone to call the National Weather Service in San Francisco.
Today he put it on speakerphone. Hey says “Hey, this is Ed over by…”
The guy at the other end of the phone cuts him off “…over by the Bay Bridge?”
Ed laughs and laughs, “Do I call that often?”
“I recognize your voice.”
“Well, in case they’re recording this call to monitor performance and customer satisfaction just let me say, uh, what’s your name again, sir?”
“Steve,” the voice says.
“You’re doing a good job, Steven. If this is being recorded give Steve a raise. He deserves it. Steve, tell me, you know about this train that runs up the west coast, it’s an Amtrak, uh, the Coast Starlight, goes from Los Angeles up to Seattle?”
“Yes, sir.”
“You ever been on it?” Ed asks.
“Once, just from Santa Barbara to San Francisco.”
“Uh huh, uh huh. Well, I met this young lady at the Amtrak station the other day, and she worked for NOAA. Do you work for NOAA? Which department are they under? I used to work for the Parks Department, but they’re the Interior, and me and this young lady were trying to figure out which department NOAA is governed by.”
“Well, I work for the National Weather Service. Which is a branch of NOAA which is a part of the Department of Commerce.”
Ed is relieved to finally have solved this riddle. “Commerce! Well then. This lady who worked in Antarctica, do you know what she did down there, Steve? I’m gonna tell you, and I want you to laugh. Do you know what this young lady’s job was in Antarctica working for the Department of Commerce?”
“She… shoveled… SNOW!!!”
Steve laughs, “Well I guess there’s plenty of work.”
“Alright, Steve. Now what can you tell me about my commute today? I saw some clouds, and I misplaced my umbrella this morning, so hopefully it’s good news.”
“Tonight is going to be clear, maybe a little cooler than last night, and tomorrow is going to be in the mid-sixties. Remaining clear until the evening when we might get a little fog and some mist.”
“Well, thank you, Steve. I’m gonna keep pushin’ for that raise.”
Ed hung up the phone and we talked for just a while longer about just about everything.
No Bio.

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