Feb. 9th, 2011

Some days this is remarkably like what I do for a living.


We sat around the conference table deep in the heart of the hospital, trying to strategize how to install a large piece of equipment. It wasn’t going well.

“How wide is the MRI barrel again?” I asked.

“If we remove the controller, the outer housing and the cleats for the patient support frame, it’s sixty-eight inches,” said Kimble, the vendor’s representative. “That’s the narrowest we can make it without voiding the warranty on a two million dollar piece of equipment.”

“We can get through most of the hospital corridors with something that wide,” Tamblyn said hopefully. “Usually those corridors are wide enough for a gurney to turn corners.” Tamblyn was a junior project engineer and not very experienced.

“It’s the exceptions to that rule that are the killer,” Oswald, the superintendant, pointed out. “We have two major pinch points between the loading dock and the project site where it won’t fit. Both occur in sensitive areas of the hospital where we can’t knock out walls. Then there’s the room it’s suppose to fit into; the doorway is too narrow, and cutting into any of the walls risks disturbing some asbestos. We can’t come in from below, because we’re at the lowest level of the hospital and we’re on top of hard rock; we can’t come in from above because we have the surgeries above us, and we’ve been told that the hospital loses one hundred thousand dollars every hour the surgical wing is compromised. We are completely landlocked on all sides.”

Mackey sighed. “Well, I didn’t want to have to do this,” the project manager said, “but there’s one way to get that MRI in. We did it in Phoenix. It was expensive and it was messy, but it worked.”

Oswald rubbed his chin and looked puzzled. “How are you going to do that?”

“We’ll bring it in through the Spirit Realm,” Mackey announced firmly.

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September 2012

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