phil jacobsen


Hey Buddy, Got a Light?

(After the Storm: Photo by Deven Stross)

When I moved into my new dorm room, the overhead lights were burnt out. There really wasn’t a need for giant, overhead lights, since the sun was shining 24/7, so I just opened my blinds when I needed to see.

Since we’re losing more and more sunlight per day, I’ve been getting dressed in the dark, and figured it was time to get these lights fixed. I thought the only way to get a new light bulb in this town was to set up a work order and have one of the Utility Mechanics (UTs) install these giant fluorescent tubes. Last night, I learned where spare bulbs were kept in my dorm.

Simple enough. I made the light shine.

Cancelling the work order, though, that took some work:

From: Jacobsen, Philip (Contractor)
To: Teuscher, Barbara (Contractor)
Subject: Let there be light


Last night I was telling some people of the lack of light in my room, and they mentioned there were light bulbs in one of the Janitor closets—I did not know this. I was able to change my own light, so you can cancel that work order for me. 

Now that I have light, though, can I get a work order for someone to vacuum my room? I had no idea it was so dirty.


From: Teuscher, Barbara (Contractor)
To: Jacobsen, Philip (Contractor)
Subject: RE: Let there be light

OH NO! Now I’ll have to report you to Station Management Phil! Those staged light bulbs are for trained UT personnel only; you haven’t been properly trained by MSHA or OSHA for Ladder Safety or Scaffolding.  I’m sure you were precariously balanced on some old, wobbly, wooden chair - wearing sweaty gear-issued grey socks while touching the electrical components in the light fixture! Did you glow brightly when you made contact with the element?

Well, that said, I’m very happy to hear you have light, but you need to “see the light” and know that in order for me to cancel your work order request it’d take 1) approval from Al Martin; forget going to NSF Bill  2) an executive order from Obama and/or 3) a stiff $payoff$ from you, my friend. OH, I did go to that Ethics Training; I can’t accept more than $10 for my services. Now, go bribe some cute janitor to run that Kirby across your nasty carpet!  LOL ;-}

“this little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine” …sing along with me Phil … 

From: Jacobsen, Philip (Contractor)
To: Teuscher, Barbara (Contractor)
Subject: RE: Let there be light

Instead of replacing my lights, did the UTs install a camera in my room instead? If I would have died during this repair, it would have looked like a murder from the game of Clue: “In my dorm room; Falling from a wobbly, wooden chair; Wearing gray socks; By touching electrical components.”

However, it should really be no surprise that I fixed my own light. It was only written about in a book called The Bible:

Genesis Chapter 1 versus 1-5

  1. In the beginning UTs created the Dorms and the Galley.
  2. But McMurdo was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the dorms. And the UTs moved upon the face of Ross Island.
  3. And Barb said, Let there be light: but there was No light.
  4. Then Phil saw the light bulbs in the Janitor Closet, and it was good: and Phil removed the bad light bulb from his ceiling—while standing on a wobbly, wooden chair, and wearing gray socks
  5. And Phil turned on the light and he called it bright. And in the morning was the first day he saw his floor was dirty.

 The work order was cancelled.

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