Day Forty Three

Thursday, December 1, 2011:

First off, today marks the very first day of the best countdown of the year…25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Welcome to December, people! Tis’ the season to be jolly, holly, merry, joyful, thankful, and in a giving and cheerful mood! Can you tell that I am?!?! :) Anyways, welcome to the best month of the year. Not only do we get presents (yes, I’m still super excited about violently ripping wrapping paper), but we get to enjoy family, food, the spirit and the true meaning of Christmas, which is by far the best present of them all!

With that joyful paragraph above, I hate to totally pull a 180 degree turn, but here it goes: Today, I embarked on a journey to the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware to attend an autopsy. Yes, an autopsy. A medical miracle through a disturbing yet fascinating, interesting way. Let’s start from the beginning. My alarm woke me up at 545 AM (it was pitch black and not fun), where I proceeded to throw on some dressed-down clothes and drive to the Forensic Consultant’s house so we could carpool in the g-ride. Being the awesome person that she is, there was coffee waiting for me upon my arrival. :) 

The drive to the Dover Air Force Base was absolutely gorgeous. We took every back road you could imagine, passing through rich, luscious farmland, empty roads, and the cutest little towns. It was actually a very relaxing, scenic drive which was exactly what I needed before scrubbing up and heading into autopsy. 

Finally, we arrived! The building was quite impressive, actually. Filled with Christmas decorations, the calming sound of a waterfall, and beautiful brick. One of the Medical Examiners met us at the door, as she had arrived around the same time as we did. Then it became a game of follow the leader, and the ME took us back through automatic doors and passages to the set of desks where we would be keeping our stuff and meeting up with the other ME who would be conducting the autopsy for our case. I was informed that there was another autopsy scheduled during the time of our autopsy, so the party that arrived first would begin first. Our opponent? Army CID. A.K.A. Army Criminal Investigation Division. Who won? NCIS. Per usual. ;)

Our ME was on top of his game and wanted to start right away. Erin and I headed to the scrubs section and put on booties for our feet, gloves for our hands, and a gown was optional. If you must know, I opted out of the gown because I couldn’t find one that fit me. It’s tough for a 5”1 3/4 girl. 

The first step of an autopsy is security, photography, and identification. The body is sent through an x-ray machine to ensure that there are no weapons or anything stored with the body that could harm the medical personnel. Picture the x-ray machines at an airport that scan one’s luggage. Next step is photography. Basically, the photographer stands on top of a ladder and takes various pictures of the body, focusing on any wounds or marks of interest. Simultaneously, another photographer is taking pictures and analyzing any belongings that were found with the deceased individual. Following this phase, the body moves to the identification phase of the process: Fingerprinting. At this point, the deceased individual has already been fingerprinted, but it is imperative to confirm the identity of the individual and to have an extra set of prints on file. After this phase, Erin and I had about a a forty-five minute break due to the radiology and dental records part of the process. The ME conducts an MRI, X-ray, and Dental X-rays to add to the individual’s file. 

Finally, the autopsy is ready to commence. The body is put on a massive scale to be weighed, and all tools are prepped. The two Army CID guys kept me company during the autopsy while they waited for their deceased individual to get done the pre-autopsy process. The coolest part about the autopsy is that I was standing about 7-8 feet from the ME and his assistant. I literally was arm’s length away from the deceased, so everything was real. BEYOND real. Before the ME actually cuts into the body, more pictures are taken, measurements are noted, and a game plan is created. (Medical terminology was exchanged between the ME and his assistant, and I did my best to follow along!) 

My nerves were amping, and my head was feeling lighter as the ME began cutting the signature “Y” incision. I always knew knives were sharp, but I just found it to be amazing the way this individual’s body just opened up, and how quickly at that. It just didn’t seem real, even though the smell was a constant reminder that it indeed was real. Very real. I diligently watched as every organ was cut out, removed, weighed, and examined for any trauma. Following this, the Assistant whipped out the chainsaw and started cutting through the skull. I have never seen a real, live brain before. Very, very interesting. As the autopsy was going on, I just couldn’t believe how quickly it went by. The ME and the Assistant perform so many autopsies a day, I’m sure they have this process down like clockwork. 

After the actual autopsy was completed, Erin informed me that it was our turn to work with body. After every autopsy, the Forensic Consultant is required to fingerprint the deceased one more time. I stood next to her and watched, and she showed me the correct way to fingerprint the deceased. Once she was done with the right hand, she asked me if I wanted to fingerprint the left hand. Woah. I wasn’t ready for that, but I said yes as I was eager to acquire the experience and actually contribute to a real case. So, I put my purple gloves on, set up the supplies, and mentally prepared myself for fingerprinting a deceased individual. I took a few minutes to get used to the idea, given that I have never touched a deceased person before. I knew from my Death Investigation class, however, that the body would be ice cold. I just didn’t know how it would feel to hold the hand of someone who wasn’t here, who was just lifeless. I tapped the fingers of the individual to get used to the coldness, and then I just dove in and began dusting his fingers. After I was done, I sort of had a Ducky moment. You know, that crazy ME from the show NCIS who talks to the deceased. Well, it’s really not too crazy, it’s just surreal. 

After cleaning up, I was given a tour of the rest of the building. The next stage after the autopsy is sewing the body up, and then it is brought to the embalming station to get disinfected and preserved, and then the body is brought to the cosmetic station where makeup is used to cover up any trauma to the body and prepare the body for a funeral, and finally the body is brought to the costume station where the body is dressed up to be given back to the family. 

After checking in with the ME, catching up with the Army CID guys, Erin and I said our good-byes and headed out to the car. Lunch time? Surprisingly, yes. We were both quite hungry. 

This day was big. I can honestly say that I have gained a new appreciation of this bittersweet life we have so freely been given, and I vow to never take it for granted ever again. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Embrace this people, embrace this. 

I cannot disclose details of the deceased individual, but I was extremely close in age to him, and it was scary to think that people my age can die. I always believed we had nothing but time, but the truth is, we don’t get a say in when that time runs out. I could be motivational all day, but I’ll spare you all the tears and regret. Just make the most of the time you have now, and never assume that you have plenty of it. 

 

Now go do something that you have been meaning to do or always have wanted to do. You’ll be really glad you did. 

 

I hope the new year has been treating everyone wonderfully!

 

Xoxo


Day Forty Two

Wednesday, November 30, 2011:

It seems as the week goes on, more work needs to be done. That only makes sense, right? I strongly agree. So today, I ambitiously centered my focus on the TechSubpoena spreadsheet until more work finally showed it’s sparkling face. Remember those pink warning sheets that pretty much body guard reports? Yeah, I did another handful of those before lunch, however ran into some printer problems. This isn’t the first time. So as you can imagine, this took a little bit longer to complete than anticipated. Don’t worry, I fixed it and completed making pink sheets!

After lunch, I ventured down to the media room which holds a stand-alone computer, otherwise known as a computer with no internet and no ability to be tracked down by any ingenious criminal hackers. What was I doing in there you ask? Secret, covert affairs? Nope. I was playing with ScenePD5, the awesome new software that lets you virtually create crime scenes from rough sketches for a more comprehensive, full recreation. I never got to finish creating my crime scene sketch from way back when we covered crime scene sketching at an MCRT training. So before I leave here next Thursday, I wanted a completed version for my records. 

This software is SO cool. There are tons of categories and shapes to pick from. For example, I click on ‘Home’ and ‘Inside,’ little tables come up, chairs, couches, and almost every other household item you can think of. Also, there are different views of these items too, depending on if you are re-creating a crime scene that you look down on or one that you look straight in on. For my mock crime scene, I was looking down at the crime scene. Get this, I got to pick a handgun to place in the center, just like at the real mock crime scene! It was cool, there were different models of handguns too, such as beretta’s and glocks. Oh and rifles and shotguns were options too. My next item to search for was a knife, where I found even more possibilities. It was so cool to find all these real-looking items and place them exactly where they were in my sketch, and to be able to see this crime scene come to life again is such an awesome tool and will really be useful out in the field. After all, capturing every prominent detail of a crime scene can be the difference between justice and no justice. What would you rather have?

After completing my sketch, I printed it out and added it to my portfolio of accomplishments at NCIS. 

Before I knew it, my work day was over! Happy Hump Day, all! :)

Day Forty One

Tuesday, November 29, 2011:

Click, type, tab, type, tab, type, click. The sequence of my morning. Any takers as to what I’m working on? Spreadsheet! That’s right. The Reporting Agent emailed me to figure out a time when we could touch base so I could hand the spreadsheet over to him and he could finish working on the investigation. Not gonna lie, I was getting a little worried that I wasn’t going to finish this on time, but I did not let that stop me.

Around lunchtime, I was asked to attempt the PDF to Excel transformation again for that ‘pertinent’ document, and this time is finally worked. *Excessive Cheering* However, there was a specific part of the document that did not transfer over, so I needed to type that one into the spreadsheet manually. It wasn’t a very big chunk of the document so fortunately, it did not take that long. Right as I was about to be done transferring the ENTIRE document, my computer shut off. *Gasp* In the midst of freaking out slightly losing my composure, I ran over to the SA who always fixes my computer problems. He came over and immediately said it smells like something was melting. Great, so now one of the ports in my computer was melting or atleast allegedly melting. Our computers are set up so that we have a laptop connected to a monitor, so lucky for me all I had to do was remove the laptop from the monitor. Now, I simply use the laptop which works out great. Oh and for all of your worry warts out there, my document was retrieved and everything was intact. Phew!

Before I left, I read the latest issue of TGI Forensics! newsletter which covered handwriting analysis and the new ways that USACIL can identify an individual from their handwriting. Just like DNA, no one person has the same style of handwriting. You can try to copy someone else’s, but it won’t be exactly the same. It’s just not possible. Also, paper and pens and even fax machines can be pinpointed based on the material, chemicals, and composition. Forensics is beyond amazing!

Have a wonderful night, all! Don’t forget to tune into NCIS tonight at 8:00 PM :P

Day Forty

Monday, November 28, 2011:

Today was pretty uneventful, as I had a lot of work left to do with my Subpoena spreadsheet, and I really wanted to get it all done before I leave here next Thursday. I don’t like not finishing tasks that I start. I started getting into some new types of documents, which required me to search a little harder for the key information. It’s amazing how I can complete a hundred of these documents and then all of a sudden it’s lunchtime. Today was just flying by!

A little bit after lunch, I was approached by one of the SAs whom asked me if I could write an Investigative Action for one of his contracts, which happened to be a couple hundred pages I might add. Don’t worry, most of the information is in first fifty pages, so I didn’t need to read every single one. This time around, there was a new form for writing an IA. There wasn’t a whole lot that was different, certain items were just placed in a different order. Nonetheless, it was something a little bit different, which is always a good thing to me. It took longer for me to type this IA up then I had planned, because there was two pieces of information that I just couldn’t find. After talking to the SA, turns out those two pieces of information are not in this particular contract and I was not to worry about it.

This coming Thursday, I am going to an autopsy with the Forensic Consultant. An au what? Yes, an autopsy. I am SO excited. That probably sounds bad because it’s a very sad occasion, but on the other hand, it is a medical miracle and a very interesting subject. So with that said, before I left for the afternoon I was briefed on the case, the medical facility we would be going to, and we also figured out the driving situation since our destination is an hour and a half away.

Happy Monday to you all! Tomorrow is just a day away.

Day Thirty Nine

Tuesday, November 22, 2011:

 Today is my last day for the week, as I will be heading back to Philadelphia to spend the holidays with my family. I love the holidays! Good food, good company, and good wine! :)

 After checking my email and organizing my ‘to-do’s,’ I did a little research on that radar system technology from awhile back to look for an experiment that I could report back to the Forensic Consultant with. I found out that this system is used to test the integrity and health of buildings to make sure there is no cancer or issues inside the foundation of the buildings. So, my plan was to use any building on the base to test this system out, preferably an older building. That way we could see the change in material overtime.

 Major project of the morning: Designing the foundation for the undercover website. Sounds pretty cool, right? It was. Basically, I was pulling parts of other websites to create a new website that could be used to blend in on the online world and hopefully catch the fraudulent activity. What kind of a website is this you ask? Electronic parts and ship building materials. I put everything into a PowerPoint with a picture of an aircraft landing on the USS Enterprise at the forefront. I wrote a tantalizing, exciting description of what our “business” is all about, and a few main services and guarantees that our “business” stands behind. Fake website made up, a job well done.

 Now onto the highlight of the day: NCIS Washington DC Field Office Potluck Feast! That’s right. Everyone made their own little dish or went out and purchased a dish or appetizer or what have you, and starting at 11:00 am, we all began stuffing our faces. Everyone came at different times, but it was cool to sit down and talk with agents and personnel whom I haven’t had the pleasure to interact with too much before. I ate lunch with both ASACs (Assistant Special Agent in Charge), the SAC (Special Agent in Charge), a few agents from the Fraud Squad, and a few Crim agents as well. Like I said earlier, good food and good company. :)

 After a long and filling lunch, I returned to my desk and worked some more on my Tech Subpoena spreadsheet and attempted to open up Adobe Acrobat to transform the PDF file into an Excel spreadsheet as I mentioned yesterday. Apparently, when I saved the file, I did not save it as a PDF but rather a text file. Silly me thinking saving a PDF file would transmit onto a CD as still a PDF file. Lesson learned.

 Towards the end of the day, I headed over to the next aisle to see if anyone needed help with anything, and to just say hi to everyone and take a little break from my work. New topic of discussion that turned into an argument with one of the male SAs: Mandatory height to be able to enter into a relationship. I have no idea how it started, but the rest of the agents chimed in throughout this debate as well. Considering I’m a little under 5”2, I guess I was just trying to stand up for the short girls out there, but this conversation dated back to the middle ages when love used to be who has the best genes and who will provide the most productive, quality children. Times have changed. Anyways, the details don’t matter but it ended up being really funny, because I realized that I didn’t have very much of an argument. Sometimes, peope just have personal perferences, including me. Anyways, I can tell you that I’ve learned a lot about arguing this semester due to all my time arguing with a very experienced lawyer.

 This is my last blog for the week, as I will be returning to Bucks County for some much needed family time and Turkey day. :)

 Safe travels to all of you who have to drive, fly, train, or any other mode of transportation this holiday & Happy Thanksgiving!

  

Day Thirty Eight

Monday, November 21, 2011:

Today is the first day of what will be a very short week. As you know, this Thursday is the day we give thanks for all that we have and Wednesday is madness day filled with crazy drivers and impatience, so I will only be working today and tomorrow 22NOV.

Now that’s out of the way, during the morning I scrambled to get done a sufficient amount on the DODIG Subpoena Spreadsheet, considering my time here at NCIS is winding down and I still had several hundred more documents to go through. 

After I got done a sufficient amount, the PSA asked me to help her out with making “pink sheets” because she was up to her eyeballs with work. Basically, a pink sheet is a memo that goes on top of a report stating that the following documents are classified under a certain section of the federal law and should not be tampered with or copied for any purpose not put forth by the law. I had a big stack of reports to pink sheet-ize, so I ended up working on it past lunch. Soon after I had finished making all the necessary pink sheets, one of the Fraud agents recruited me to help him transform a very important PDF file into a neat, searchable Excel spreadsheet. I gladly said no problem, and that it would be completed shortly. I guess I thought I was a pro with Excel by now, but apparently importing a document isn’t as easy as it sounds. No matter what tab I dropped down, what category I clicked, the document would enter into Excel all out of sorts. Easy fix: Google it. I found a way to transfer the document, but AdobeAcrobat was required and unfortunately, I didn’t have that on my computer. Luckily, one of the SAs had it installed on his stand-alone computer. I then saved the document onto a blank CD so I could open it up on the stand-alone.  Four o’clock was approaching, so I put the CD in my drawer until tomorrow. Before I left, I stopped over to the agent who sits in the cube on the other side of me (we share a wall), because she told me earlier that she needed my help with something. She was working on creating an outline and a basic foundation for a website to do some undercover work if you will and blend in online so she can monitor any fraudulent activity. The Cyber Division makes ‘fake websites’ all the time, so the plan was to hand over the outline after we finished so that they could make the website quickly. I was excited! This means that I could be creative, think outside the box, and make a smart, attractive website which will hopefully catch future fraudulent activity. I wrote down a few notes, attached them to the documents that I was given, and put them away for tomorrow. 

Time for a nap, per usual. Hope the start of your week went well! :)

Day Thirty Seven

Thursday, November 17, 2011:

"NCIS Washington DC Field Office, how may I help you?" These ten words perfectly describe today’s activities. There was a big Administration meeting today which required all Administrative personnel to attend. This included the Secretary at the front desk, which is where those ten words come in. I covered the front desk from 0800 until about 1400. There are two security cameras, a computer, and a big glass window with a microphone in my general view. The cameras cover all three doors that lead into the office at various sections. My morning consisted of being fed (during the meeting they had breakfast and lunch catered), catching up on my blog writing, reading the latest world news, greeting visitor’s and directing them to where they need to be, and answering phones. There were lots of visitors —the mail man, the cleaning crew, and a few NCIS personnel from Quantico. There were also a few people who were lost and meant to go to the 3rd floor. Most of the calls I received required me to hit the lovely transfer button, but not before looking up the name and number of the person whom I was transferring the call to. Lucky for me, there was a big handy dandy directory of agents and NCIS personnel all over the world, just in case someone called for an individual who was recently relocated. It was a pretty relaxed, easy-going day. Well that’s what I thought…

After my front office duty was over, I headed to Dunkin Donuts to pick up some coffee, considering I was not able to have any all morning. When I got there, a nice gentlement kindly told me that my tire was flat. Oh, and as I was leaving the office I didn’t bring my coat because I thought I would be right back. Before I go any deeper, I just want to get the facts straight. 1. I did not have my coat on. 2. I have a flat tire. Moving on, I filled the tire up with air at the gas station and proceeded to use my GPS to find me a place to either get the tire fixed or buy a new tire. Apparently, technology only works when you aren’t in crisis mode. I ended up getting lost in the middle of DC. At that point, I was beyond mad so I called AAA and waiting for an hour until help arrived. Adding onto my beloved list, 3. I got lost in the middle of DC. Finally, when AAA arrived I was told that my tire was fine and wasn’t flat. The air that I had filled it up with earlier was holding, so now I looked like an idiot. 4. I looked like an idiot. All I wanted to do was go back to PA so I told him to put my tire back on and I was gonna drive back home and get my tire looked at then. After heading back to the office to get my coat and my lunchbox, I was told by a few of the agents to put some fix-a-flat in my tire since I was going to be driving about 80 miles on it. I went back to the gas station, bought fix-a-flat, attempted to put it in my tire, it exploded on my car and on me. 5. I smell like a can of fix-a-flat and my car looks disgusting. I headed back to PA a little after getting back to MD and packing up my things. I made it home with no problem and everything was fine. Oh that’s right, it never is. The next day, I had my tire looked at. APPARENTLY fix-a-flat internally damages the tire, so I was not able to get my tire fixed which would have been FREE. No, I had to buy a whole new tire for $90.32. 6. I ruined my chances of getting my tire fixed for free and saving almost one hundred dollars.

It’s really funny how when one thing goes wrong during your day, so many other things follow that horrible trend and go wrong. The light at the end of this tunnel: it’s the weekend. Hallelujah. *insert angels singing here*

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Day Thirty Six

Wednesday, November 16, 2011:

Quantico, it sure has been a long time since I’ve seen you! As you can tell, I was working down in Quantico today, finishing up this Child Pornography case. Always finish what you start. If you recall, I had finished sorting through the pictures and had moved on to the video portion of the hard-drive. The old rule used to be that if you had a certain number of pictures and movies, then the prosecution could go forward on the case. Now, DOD has implemented a new law that states that every single file whether it be a picture or a video needs to be analyzed to determine if any of the children can be identified through a Child Indentification Software Program. DOD believies that the victim has a right to know if any picture or video of them has been released to the online world. Unfortunately, a lot of these victims have not been previously violated before and therefore cannot be properly identified. It’s very sad to have to do this particular work, but like I said before, we’re here to find Justice and hopefully give these victims some sort of constellation for what they had to go through. Restitution is great for monetary loss, but when it comes to loss of innocence or a loss in quality of life, there is no amount of restitution that could ever fill that void.

During all this analyzing, one of the agents asked me if I wanted to go observe an interview of a witness for a Domestic Violence case with him on the other side of the Marine Corps Base. Gathering information from witnesses can be a great help and is a key part of an investigation, so I happily agreed to go even if all I could do was observe. I cannot give you any details of the case, but the interview was pretty easy and painless. Witnesses are a third party and usually have no personal ties to the case, so it is pretty easy to get a truthful representation of what events occurred.

I came back from the interview, ate lunch, and continued sorting through all the viedos. I went through about 30 and it felt like I had been there for hours and hours, and it had only been about a half hour. NCISRA in Quantico recently hired an Arlington, VA Detective and today he saved me. He needed to drive up to Heywood, VA to collect some evidence, and he asked if I would like to go with him and observe how it was done. Another field trip? Of course!

I grabbed my coat and we were off. First of all, I had an hour drive there and an hour drive back to pick his brain about his Law Enforcement experience and to network some more! We talked about a lot, and I was given some great advice. Upon arriving at the Victim’s house, I was briefed about the case and the purpose of our visit today. This is a marital rape case and is being handled by NCIS out in Italy. The Investigator was just collecting the evidence due to the issue of location with the Reporting Agent. I was told by the Investigator I was with that it is crucial that I am present observing, especially being a woman. I learned that any male Detective or Agent who is dealing with a case involving rape, never goes without a female Detective or Agent as back-up and a witness, should any allegations or accusations be made. I exited the vehicle wearing my pea coat and feeling like Agent Prentiss or JJ from Criminal Minds. :)

The Investigator was able to seize the evidence and after talking to the victim for a little bit, we headed back to Quantico. Before making our way on base, we hit up BP for some coffee as our inner coffee clocks were going off.

I needed to return the g-ride back to Washington, so I took off as soon as we got back. Today was fun for the most part, and difficult for the rest. I’ve learned pretty quickly that you can’t lose your focus and you can’t get distracted when in this line of work. Trying to get in the habit now, I left my work at the office.

Half-way there people, the weekend is right around the corner!

Day Thirty Five

Tuesday, November 15, 2011:

With all the excitement from yesterday, I made sure that I got right to work this morning. It turns out that I needed to add a few things to the previous IAs I wrote and also make a few changes. I’m becoming a pro IA writer. After I finished everything IA, I sent them off to the appropriate individual and continued with the Subpoena spreadsheet. Before lunch, the Crim intern came over to my desk to ask me a question and noticed my awesome new chair and asked how on earth I got such a great chair. I informed him of the free for all scavenger hunt downstairs, and he wanted to check it out. Here goes round three, let’s see what else I can find!

This time around, I found a stationary leather chair that I was thinking could replace the other chair I have in my cubicle for visitors. WIN. We ran into some guys from the Fire Department snooping around for furniture too, so I kept startling myself whenever I would run into someone new. Oh, and I was going through a dark set of rooms looking for the light switch when all of a sudden the phone rang. Holy. Crap. I almost fell over, it felt like I was in a scary movie and the serial killer was calling me to let me know that I was doomed. Fun stuff.

Lunch time brought me to Dunkin Donuts for a pumpkin pie latte. Yum!

After lunch, the Crim intern asked if I could look over a Cold Case involving a Homicide he was working on and making a case summary for. He had one main suspect who was accusing two other individuals of aiding in his actions, however, there was very little information on these two other suspects and their names kept changing throught the case as well. There was never enough evidence to convict the suspect of Murder, but this individual was charged for other crimes and is currently incarcerated. Basically, my job was to review all the case notes, reports, exhibits, pictures, statements, and all other documents to look for these other two suspects ‘names’ in order to try and paint a picture of who these two individuals were and what their role in the murder was. I found a few statements and reports where both names were mentioned and a few other key pieces of information to add to the summary. When dealing with a cold case, there are enumerate amounts of information and documents that must be reviewed and processed so that other leads can be found. The easiest way to do this is to create a timeline or an outline to view the case in its entirety so one can figure out what the next step will be. Cold cases are very difficult, exhausting, and require a great deal of time and effort but when that case is finally closed, I can imagine it is a feeling unlike any other.

I think I’m getting too used to this napping thing.

Happy Tuesday!

Day Thirty Four

Monday, November 14, 2011:

Today included a little adventure amidst all the dedicated work that was being done. Of course I have to talk about the fun part before I go into my crime solving, world saving activities.

On the first floor of this building is where the Department of Defense housed their Defense Media Activity Division until recently when they moved to a different location. Anyways, the people who used to work down there took everything of importance and anything else they wanted to keep with them. This leaves the rest of the furniture and random fun items up for grabs. Needless to say, almost everyone at some point in the day was down there roaming the halls and looking through rooms to find new furniture or new desk chairs or anything else to decorate and improve their cubicles. One of the SSAs in Crim actually moved all her old office furniture out and took a beautiful desk set from downstairs and now has a new and improved office. It’s a pretty good deal. Not to mention, the first floor is HUGE. There were so many rooms connected to other rooms and other hallways that seemed like a neverending maze. It actually sort of had an abandon feeling to it, like I was walking into a crime scene or something. Anyways, me and the PSA ventured downstairs during the morning to look for new desk drawers for her and a new chair for me. I was on the hunt for something leather and squishy for my last two and a half weeks here. :) Unfortunately, the only leather chairs I found were broken, which explains why they were left there. I got a pretty good feel for the first floor, or so I thought. The drawers that the PSA wanted were missing and might possibly have been taken by the National Guard.

After returning to my desk, I was given another Contract to write an Investigative Action on. In the midst of my investigating and writing, I overheard the SA whom beat me at bowling talk about his new “cube decorations” and got too curious to continue writing. I headed over to the next aisle to view these mysterious decorations and to my surprise, I found two lifesize missiles about four feet tall each. They were decorations on the first floor as you first walk through the building, and now are the new mascots of the Economic Crimes Unit. Just for the record, I saw these earlier that day when I was searching for my chair but was told that they weren’t allowed to leave the first floor. Apparently, they can and I didn’t act soon enough!

Suddenly, me and the SA were in a feng shui mood and decided to go back downstairs to look for more decorative items left behind. I found a whole new area that I never saw the first time I was down there. I guess that’s why they tell you to watch a movie a couple of times because you always pick up different things the second or even third time around. Good news: I found a chair! It was in this office that was in a secret little doorway that required walking up three little curved steps. Pretty cool.

Back to work. my adventurous side was done for the day or otherwise I wouldn’t be very productive. I continued on to finish the last IA and worked a little more on the spreadsheet.

Time flies when you’re having fun. Hello 4 o’clock!

Mondays = National Take a Nap Day.

Goodnight, All!