I was talking with a friend about crazy things that have happened to us. I had a story about the time I spent in a haunted building (and later injured myself in that building). I guess that counts as two stories, but my friend topped me with her one story. First, my stories:
I worked for a company that had the brokerage contract for a major shipping/transport company. My job was to run training classes for employees. The employees worked at one site and the training was done in an off-site building where we had a classroom, an HR office, and a small team of technical workers. There was a warehouse attached to the building. We used it for storing the thousands of paper files we had to keep on hand for 5 years.
At the time, I was younger and more energetic. One of the things I liked most about my job was the freedom to be creative and the need for a crazy schedule. I might work a two-week classroom schedule from 9 to 5 - am or pm - it all depended on the schedule of the employees being trained. Usually, there would be two weeks of classes, then a two-week lull. The "lull" was when I'd put together materials for other classes and I could work any hours I wanted.
For the lull time, I preferred working graveyard because I'd have the building (and copier, office supply closet and break room) to myself. The only downside was that the building was supposed to be haunted.
Now, I don't believe in ghosts. I believe that when you're dead, you're dead til Judgement Day. I believe that I have more to worry about from the living. That said, I do believe in hauntings. I've lived in a house that had some crazy things happen that couldn't be explained by The Amazing Randy. And I worked in that building that was either haunted or just caused people to hallucinate.
One time (and this is before I knew the building was supposed to be creepy), I was working alone, putting together materials for a class. The classroom was huge, with about 12 sets of tables and chairs so that four people could be seated together at each table. Along three walls we had set up computers on other long tables. That was for Data Entry training. My desk was at the front and off to the side, I had a a tall standing fan set up. I kept the fan unplugged when not in use. The door to the classroom opened up to a hallway running straight southward. Another hall to the left of the classroom ran north to the rear of the building where there was an office for a staff of auditors. Outside the classroom, A couple of feet into the hall was the doorway into a small office that I shared with another trainer. Across from that office was a tiny bathroom. Further down from the trainers' office was a small alcove with a copier and fax machine. Stairs leading down the to first floor were at the end of this hall.
I was inside the classroom collating material into several notebooks that would be given to each of the 10 trainees I expected for the next class. If I looked up, I could see part of the north hall because there was a small window above one of the computer tables. I wasn't looking because I was concentrating on gathering the next set of material I needed to copy for the notebooks.
Do you know how it sounds when kids are running down a carpeted hallway? Out of nowhere, that's what I heard. At around 2 in the morning. In an empty building.
I looked over at the window that showed the north hallway. Nothing.
When something weird happens, the mind tries to un-weird things.
Because other workers would come in to finish up tasks, I thought that someone from one of the other offices was in the building. Then, I heard that running again. It was as if a couple of kids were running partway up the hall toward the classroom, then back toward the rear of the building. (I don''t know why I thought it would be kids.)
To un-weird things even more, I pretended that I must be hearing kids that had come in with their parents and they were just goofing off. At two o'clock in the freaking morning.
You know what, I just kept right on working. My mind was wonderful at un-weirding things.
Until I left the room to make some copies.
When I'd left the classroom, I'd left nice, neat stacks of papers next to each of the notebooks I was preparing. Maybe 80 pages of material for each notebook. I was almost done for the night. When I came back into the classroom, I saw papers wafting a little, like in a mild breeze. Then I noticed that the fan was on, blowing at the lowest speed.
I walked over and looked at that fan. I knew that it had been unplugged.
My mind went into protective mode for real now. It wouldn't let me think about why that fan was plugged in and turned on. My mind told me to just turn it off, unplug it, and don't even think. At all. I unplugged the fan and made sure the dial was turned to the Off position.
There was just a little bit more work to do, then I could leave, so I got on with it. I did secure all the loose papers into each notebook before I went back out to the copy machine. I refused to even look toward the other hallway. I went straight to the copier, ran it, collected the last of the papers and went back to the classroom.
And that damn fan was blowing full blast.
I was done. I got purse and keys and sailed. I still don't remember shutting off lights and setting the building's alarm. I do know that I was halfway home before I realized I had all those last copies I'd made sitting on my passenger seat.
So, no, I don't believe in ghosts, but I believe in things that turn on fans and run down empty hallways.
When I told everyone else who worked in the building about what had happened, they weren't even surprised. I found out that there was one lady who would not be in the building alone. It didn't bother me too much. I took enough crap from the living. I was damned if I was going to let the invisible push me around.
My other story is about the night I was working alone in that building and hurt myself. No, nothing invisible pushed me or anything like that. Like everyone I worked with, I was suffering from a really bad cold. While I was working one night to make up for time I'd lost when I was first sick, I sneezed and fractured a rib.
The pain was so bad that I could barely breathe. I called over to the hub and one of the other supervisors came and drove me to the ER. Nothing could be done to fix my rib (except let it heal on its own), but I was prescribed something to help me not cough for a few days. End of story.
There you go. I had a "ghost" story and an injury story. When I finished, I told my friend that I'd been scared to sneeze hard for a couple of years. She said she knew what I meant. Then she told me her story.
She said that she was at a restaurant with a friend. She had just forked in a mouthful of pancakes when she felt a sneeze coming on. Of course, she held in the sneeze. A real bad idea, it turns out.
"I felt something inside me pop," she told me.
"What do you mean?" I asked her. "What popped?"
"My a*s, apparently."
My friend went to the doctor and found out that she had "popped" out a hemorrhoid.
"Talk about blowing out your behind," she said, "I've never tried to hold in a sneeze since then.."
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