Monday, August 12, 2013

Close Encounters of the Moldy Kind

So, at the beginning of July, they tried to kill me at work. 

It was a Thursday night that I was working alone and had been extremely busy. Then the 1st division Flex squad showed up with a search warrant. Warrants are fiddly, time-consuming, and usually a colossal pain in the ass because they collect everything they can get their hands on ESPECIALLY if it's a drug case...we've had furniture brought in because it "was probably bought with drug money."

This wasn't too bad as search warrants go...until I got to the money. I knew something wasn't right as soon as I touched it. A wave of sour, stale moldiness wafted up to assault my nose and the money was damp & sticky. "Was this in a basement or something?" The detective turning it in looked down and mumbled something about a safe.

Well, the bills were sticking together something awful and I kept having to recount them. The smell got worse with every recount and by the time I was done, I was a sneezing, wheezing, watery-eyed hot mess. AND my hands itched. (I tried wearing gloves but it's really hard to count money with them on, so I gave up)

It took 3 shots of my rescue inhaler, a double dose of antihistamines, and several applications of eye-drops to be able to breathe & see after I got everything packaged & put away. By the time I got home, it felt like there was a lead weight on my chest and my throat was on fire. Was I smart enough to go to the ER? No. However, I WAS smart enough to fill out the exposure forms and email my bosses about the issue before I left the office.

After a VERY bad night, I went into work the next day. Like an idiot. I told our "coordinator" that I was sick and needed to go home and/or see a doctor. Both the Sgt & Lt had taken vacation days and the useless wonder was left in charge. She called around to ask if anyone would come in and at least cover part of the shift. No, dummy, in a case like this, you are allowed to FORCE OT, which is what she would have had to do if I'd just been smart enough to call in sick in the first place. The problem was that she asked them all first (and was not surprisingly turned down), so when she called back to try to force someone in, nobody would answer their phones. (despite knowing that I was sick- my coworkers ARE asshats, in case you were wondering) So she said I'd just have to stay, but if it got too bad to call her and she'd try to come back and cover me herself. Gee, thanks.

Every officer that came in that night was horrified to see me. By 6 o'clock, I was back to wheezing/sneezing, my eyes were watery again, and I looked like someone had punched me in the nose and blackened both of them. Oh, and my relief for the night wandered in 15 minutes late to boot. (bitch)

Did I go to the ER then? Noooooo. (Yes, I am an idiot) I went home, crawled straight into bed and spent the night fighting a fever & chills. I spent most of the weekend in bed, sick as a dog. Monday, I called in sick and dared them to argue. Tuesday morning, I finally went to the doctor. She was horrified and gave me an antibiotic that I have forgotten the name of but was like germ napalm. Not only did it knock out the sinus/throat infection my allergic reaction turned into, it cleared up acne!

It took nearly two weeks for me to get back to what passes for normal in my life. In the meantime, my bosses quizzed the detective who finally, albeit reluctantly, admitted that the money hadn't been in a safe, but was hidden inside the gaps of cinder-blocks in the drug dealer's foundation."But none of us had a problem after WE handled it!" Yeah, well none of YOU has a compromised immune system AND major mold allergies. Asses were ripped, apologies were issued, and the tellers at the bank were NOT happy to get that moldy money.

Lessons learned:

1. When a detective gives you a sketchy answer, make THEM handle the evidence.


3. I will no longer answer my phone if it's the office. If they need someone to cover a 'sick' coworker, tough shit. I sucked up, they can too.

I'm on vacation for the next two weeks. Blog posts will continue to be sporadic.

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