So, it's Thursday. and Bennie's assigned me to work Pre-Registration. Pre-Reg is quite distant from New Reg- located this year upstairs just outside Appleby's (pronounced Apple-Buys. Not Apple-bee's, which is a national chain of no relation despite similar logo. But, I digress.) We're set up, ready to go, I'm in charge of a platoon of volunteers.. and Bennie passes me a walkie-talkie, with a "Here you go.", then strides off downstairs to take care of new reg. Leaving me in charge.
Leaving me with a walkie-talkie, which i do not know how to use.
Naturally, after there's a moment of lull, I attempt to use the walkie-talkie to test it. Some study of the device shows two dials on the top, and a series of buttons on the side, one of them quite large. "Ah,", I say to myself, "This must be the talk button." So, I test it with a press, and a "Pre-reg, testing." spoken into it.
The Walkie-talkie immediately begins emitting a squawk of a dying bird, at about an alto F-sharp. It continues emitting said sound, despite a press of every button and a twist of every dial.. so the walkie-talkie goes into the coatroom to squeal on its own for a while, where it dies out after a few minutes. Pre-registration proceeds.
Then unclekage appears to check on things. Ah! Kage's always walkie-connected. He'll know what's going on. I retrieve the walkie-talkie and relate to him the troubles of me being handed a device without being also given instructions. "Oh, let's see.. ah, you're on the wrong channel! Set this dial back to 1.." which I do. "Then you just push the talk button to talk, and release it when you're done. Here, let's test it.", he says, and steps about 5 meters away to avoid feedback. I push the button and speak.. and nothing happens. He speaks into his.. and no sound comes through on mine.
Kage steps back over.
"Your radio doesn't work.", he summarizes neatly. "Send a runner to swap it in at Con-Ops."
Well, I've been managing well without communication so far... so I don't get around to swapping the radio out until pre-reg closes for the night. In the morning when I go to open pre-reg again, I pick up a fresh radio from Con-Ops. This one is relaying messages merrily even as I walk out from Con-Ops, and I feel quite relieved.
For the next few hours, I listen to the chatter on the radio.. and without anything substantive to say, I keep clear of speaking on it, aside from a few potentially witty comments.. which garner no reply. Hmmm. Perhaps I'm not funny as the coffee makes me think I am, that or other people are obeying more strict policy on the radio.
Then, Bennie's voice comes on. "Bennie to Pre-reg." "Pre-reg here." Pause. "Pre-reg.. here." "Bennie to Pre-reg?" Dammit. I've been given a radio which receives clearly.. but cannnot reply.
Thankfully, Bennie and I managed to swap cell numbers earlier, and I text him off a quick summary of the situation.. then hustle downstairs to fill him in. We're about to collapses Pre-reg into the same room as Sponsor/Super-Sponsor, so I head back upsta- "Super-Sponsor room to Pre-Reg." and back to new-reg, answer quickly on Bennie's Walkie-Talkie, let them know we're moving down, hustle back upstairs, finish moving pre-reg downstairs.
The radio now goes back to Con-Ops. And, before further misadventures occur, I go off-duty.