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Ron Nagasawa

No More Screeching

Even though as publisher of MidWeek, I’m technically the boss, in my office I’m more like the opposite of boss. I’m the opposite of boss because most times around here I’m kind of a loser.

Take, for instance, last week. MidWeek has a really nice office set-up. There is an outer entry door, a foyer and a short corridor directly to my office. My executive assistant sits outside my office, so she answers the doorbell when someone wants to come in.

Recently, the outer door started to have an incredibly agonizing scrape/squeak. Whenever it opened, there was metal scraping on metal and had the sound equivalent of aluminum fingernails dragged on a chalkboard. Since that door is on one end of the hall that leads to my office, the set-up acts like a funnel sound amplifier. My ears were practically bleeding.

With the traffic in and out of this place, the constant scraping noise was driving my assistant and me crazy. I had her call building maintenance to fix it. As luck would have it, they showed up when she was out to lunch. So when the doorbell rang, I gladly went to greet our repair guys. They asked me what the problem was.

I explained about the excruciating screeching noise and then tried to demonstrate. I opened the door, and it didn’t make a single sound. I started pumping the door open and shut, but it simply would not make the noise that was driving me nuts.

The two maintenance guys looked at each other and then at me. Then in a patronizing way, they said, “Maybe this is the wrong door. We’ll come back if it starts up again.” I let them out and I watched them walk away when as the door closed, it screeched as though saying, “In your face, boss man!”

When my assistant returned, she asked me why they didn’t fix it. Rather than explain my total fail, I went back into my office echo chamber. I later found out the door only made that noise when you let it close freely and not hold on to it like I did. It got repaired, and I happily returned to my work. That’s when the bathroom located along the same corridor started emitting a loud whistling noise every time the toilet was flushed.

rnagasawa@midweek.com

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