Just to put to rest any cynical suspicions that the HoliBlog is intended to be a sweet, puffy, sugary, cotton-candy cog in my magical PR spin machine… I’m about to pull my hair out!
And it’s all about numbers.
Now, I’m not a math genius, but I can hold my own.
I balance my checkbook. I don’t go over my budget.
I can even count to 20 in French. (Vraiment!)
But when people are assigned specific numbers as part of their identity, and then all those numbers are changed…well, let’s just say it interrupts the smooth passage of my day.
When I was hired in 1991, I was assigned a 2-way radio number: Forty.
Several years later we had added enough staff that it was time to organize the numbers to coordinate with departments. I became twenty-one. I was pleased. Sort of a compliment, don’t you think?
And this week, due to additional growth, we’ve moved on to three-digit numbers. I am now 160.
One-sixty. (Oh, excuse me, did you call for one-sixteen? My mistake!)
We’re a month from opening, so I’m not yet using my radio much, but it’s on in the background as the construction, maintenance and cleaning crews communicate out in the park.
They’re making a valiant effort, throwing all those big numbers around. Not everyone answers right away. Sometimes it takes two or three tries. And once in a while a two-digit number sneaks through. Even, in desperation, an occasional name.
But far be it for me to be resistant to change! (The fact that I already lost my tiny cheat sheet out in the park, notwithstanding.) It’s time to start memorizing all those new numbers; chant them under my breath; put a face with a…number.
For decades, we had just one person with a three-digit 2-way number. The rest of us existed happily with two digits, while Mr. Koch (Will’s dad, Mrs. Koch’s husband) stood alone with three.
I loved to hear Mr. Koch on the 2-way as he identified himself: 007.
That dear man passed away in September of 2001 at the age of 86. At the start of the funeral mass, his wife, children and grandchildren carried special objects to the altar. These objects represented many aspects of Bill Koch’s life: his family, the town of Santa Claus, his family’s theme and water parks, highway development, Lincoln’s boyhood home, and more. I had to grin when among all the gifts at the altar; a small placard caught my eye.
On it were three simple numbers: 007.