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Mouse Box 20 - Eek Versus Squeak

posted 7/29/2010 11:08:40 AM |
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  Wordsofwit

This is a true story of tax dollars at work in my personal experience that would be funnier if taxpayers didn't have to pay for it. As noted in the blog by Somnium, enforcing new laws and policies becomes problematic. I know from my time working for the City of Dallas and State of Texas that every new law, ordinance, policy, or directive meant more distractions and things to do that took valuable time away from things that were more important in fulfilling my job duties.

As an example (and I am not making this up) was when I was with the City of Dallas. There was a directive from the city mandating increased vigilance in eliminating mice from city buildings. Rumor had it that this all came about as a result of a small visitor sneaking into a closed city council meeting and disrupting the proceedings.

Shortly there after, dozens of humane mouse traps arrived. These things were about the size of a shoe box with a small tunnel running through it on one side. The mouse came in, stepped on a spring loaded plate that when triggered, flipped the trespasser into a containment area. You wound it up with a key and you could apprehend up to ten mice before rewinding.

At our weekly management meeting the executive director announced that the facilities would be divided up into areas and every department had various areas that they were responsible for.

The holding area of each mouse box (as they came to be called) was to be baited to attract the mice. It was decided that the bait would be an individual serving of breakfast cereal supplied by catering, at a rate of one package a day per mouse box. Usually this was Honey Nut Cheerios as that was the one catering put out for continental breakfasts that guests took a pass on. Some people later grumbled about the city offering free breakfast for mice, but not staff. I fudged and only put a third of a package in each of my three mouse boxes thereby giving me two free bowls of cereal per day.

The executive director went on to explain that, first thing in the morning, after checking email and phone messages, and getting the staff underway on their duties, we were to dispose of the mice. After a pause, a hand shot up.
"What are we supposed to do with them?"
The executive director seemed puzzled momentarily and replied, "Well, you can't kill them. They are to be removed from the property, but don't dump them on to somebody else's."
Another hand went up. "I have a suggestion, can we call animal control to come by daily in the morning and give the mice to them?"
"No, our mice, our problem. That idea was suggested in our city wide meeting and animal control does not have the resources to be going around the city picking them up."

Please don't have a cardiac arrest when I say this, but I kept quiet during the meeting. The executive director then moved on to other areas of business.

Mouse removable was problematic as our facility was downtown with no undeveloped property for miles. I opted for a privately owned pay parking lot across the street and on day one I gathered up my three mouse boxes containing eight or nine mice all together and away we went on my electric cart towards the end of the building for release. As I dumped them out, they went in different directions including some that ran across the street and were back in the building before I was.

While dumping mouse box number two I heard a shriek and looked up to see a horrified woman dancing as a couple of mice ran past her. Fortunately, management didn't hear from her.

Later that day, my immediate supervisor, one of the coolest guys I ever served under, caught up with me. He asked what I did with my mice. I told him what I did and what happened. He said that in the future to be very sure that nobody was around when releasing them.

He told me most people dumped their mice in the dumpster, but that later mice were seen heading back into the building as there wasn't anything to eat in most of the dumpsters.

Within a week I was catching more mice, not less, up to 20 a day. I began to suspect that somebody was off loading their mice into my area. I was told by a couple people that this one fat ass female housekeeping supervisor was seen driving her cart carrying mouse boxes into my area and stopping. I didn't put it past her, but I couldn't prove it.

I finally came up with the solution of where to deposit the unwanted visitors/residents, the storm drain if it wasn't raining.

Continued in comments.

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Comments:

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sugarnspice005

Jul 29 @ 11:28AM  
Please don't have a cardiac arrest when I say this, but I kept quiet during the meeting.



That ^^^^^^^^ is funny.

There is no easy solution to the immigration issue. I support Arizona's bill, and, as stated before, I wasn't in that judge's courtroom to hear her words on why she blocked parts of the bill. I know, the news channels are reporting it..but, as I've learned through the years....can't go by everything I hear on the news. One channel will make this judge look like the bad judge, one channel will treat the judge as a hero, blah blah blah.

I get it that new law makes for more distractions. And yes, there will be potential for officers in rural areas to "look the other way". Violence is escalating down there, and it shouldn't take an innocent loss of life to motivate elected officials to do something. It's great that more N.G. troops have been sent down to help, now hopefully more can be done.

I've said it before, I'm all for someone bettering their lives. Just do so legally with hard, honest work. I don't think that's too much to ask for.
Wordsofwit

Jul 29 @ 2:56PM  
Actually, there were a few other dimensions to this story down the road. Much of it involved curtailing the food supply as pigeons and rats could be a problem for the same reason. Though I didn't see it, a couple of people told me about a pigeon and mouse fighting over a sweet roll that somehow wound up on the floor of a back corridor.

Anyway, what happened after about a month of less than successful efforts mouse control, is that the powers that be determined that one big roll off dumpster (they look like small railroad box cars) used by catering containing a lot of food waste get picked up and replaced twice a week by the contractor. All food that was to be disposed of was to go there and the mice were to be released into it. There was plenty for them to eat before they rode off to their new home that Waste Management took them too. We soon got down to a mouse or two a day for my three mouse boxes, sometimes not even getting one for days.

For awhile, my crew got free breakfast in the form of Honey Nut Cheerios until catering scaled back the issuance of mouse bait.
sugarnspice005

Jul 29 @ 4:50PM  
That company is nicer than the hotel I work at. A mouse if spotted, they get pest control over with traps, catch it, then dispose of it.

Then again, with a hotel that charges at the lowest almost $300 a night....they're going to want to eliminate something like that fairly quick.
xquseme

Jul 29 @ 5:15PM  
Ah, yes. Leave it to WoW to post a picturesque metaphor! Substitute the office
building for the USA, the mice for Mexicans, and the "no kill" policy for our country's
lax immigration policy, and there you have it!

So, lesse...Mice....Mexicans...Bruce was chasing...Speedy Gonzales?!? Does
that make him...Sylvester???? Suffering succotash!!
ma47

Jul 29 @ 6:45PM  
Should just have called Obama and handed him a FLUTE.....
He'd handle it like everything else....................................

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Mouse Box 20 - Eek Versus Squeak