Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Your Day Goes The Way of Disney

I'm helping fill in around the office since part of the office has team building next week. That means I get trained this week in mail distribution, check logging, adding postage to envelopes, etc. All I could dream of, and more!

Some things that you should know:
  1. I work in a courthouse.
  2. We receive lots of mail.
  3. Prisoners and other crazies write us. A lot.
So, in my "training", I was opening a letter that was a little weird. It was on a piece of notebook and paper and in Spanish. Neither are too off putting here, but the part that was nasty was the little baggies filled with an unknown substance. Our response is to put the materials into a biohazard bag, call the U.S. Marshalls and move on. But that would be too easy, right? Right.

In the world of bioterrorism, I have to have the hazmat response to make sure that we weren't dealing with something I would be in quarantine for...So, enter the person scan, the tests, etc. All of this is BEFORE they translate the letter and see what's in the baggies.

Think of Monster's Inc. and yelling "23-19!!! We have a 23-19!!!" Yeah, not as dramatic as that, but still, there were latex gloves, face masks, and a lot of touching.

Come to find, the baggies contain cheek swabs on Q-tips for DNA testing so that the individual can be exonorated.

On the upside, I don't have to wear the collar of shame, I didn't have a scalding shower or a delousing.

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