Day in the Life of a Dinosaur Dispatcher (Part 2)
We followed Dina, dispatch agent, to find out what a typical day for her is like. Will dispatcher Dina get her lunch, or be someone else’s?
I was about to tuck into my soup and fish fingers when a guy in a hazmat suit stumbled in with a dog leash. He handed me a note from Don that identified him as the new intern, Russ. I ask why the yellow plastic getup. He gasps “dilophosaur delivery” through his mask. I sigh and tell him to go change, reminding him that dilophosaurs don’t actually spit and a German Shepherd leash won’t fit an animal 19ft long. Don was clearly playing some sort of prank on the newbie. Russ clumsily knocked my food to the floor as he waddled out.
No time for clean-up because Trey is in a panic again. He misread the kibble label – although our stegosaurs will be okay on the flight, our stegoceras, which have bony skulls 2 inches thick, are now full of steroids and might ram the fence with their heads. I’d better go take a look.
All good – I forgot we reinforced that pen after the ankylosaur breakout last year. Zuul ankylosaurs aren’t called the “shin-destroyers” for nothing. Their club tails are over seven feet long! No one actually knows if stegoceras head-butt their enclosures, but I’ve assigned Trey to keep watch of the new arrivals.
I came back to the canteen to find my food disappearing down the neck of a pteranodon that’s somehow on the loose. Thankfully it’s juvenile with an adorable 9ft wingspan, but it could still squeeze in the lunch room and snatch my fish fingers. The pteranodons love fried fish, but it is terrible for them. I don’t want to tranquilize it if we can avoid it, because it’s only 25kg. We’ll have to lasso its beak and throw a big blanket over it. It’s about the size of a German Shepherd, so maybe Russ can help after all!
The pteranodon has finally calmed down, but it took me, Sara, Don and Trey to pin its wings under the blanket. Russ looks pleased we used his leash, but I haven’t forgiven him for my lunch.
Good news! The warehouse next door has delivered scales for our brachiosaurus. It’s good for up to 80 tons, which is great because this one is only 65. We can now ship her on schedule!
Or not. Our sauropod crate is good for a 90ft by 13ft diplodocus, but our brachiosaurus is 82ft by 30ft. We’ll have to slide the lid back a little.
I took a call from a problem utahraptor customer in the Chicago suburbs. Because of previous shipments, his neighbor is wise to us and has placed an electric fence around his home. Don says we should go bigger. We’ve shipped our spinosaurus to an unsuspecting London office already, so that leaves the giganotosaurus. It’s 43ft long, loves to chew on sauropods, and can run up to 31mph. I have visions of it chasing the brachiosaurus shipment that’s finally left. Sara suggests we send them to the customer’s workplace, but it’s a kindergarten and puppy rescue. We’re not monsters.
Eureka! Russ has a genius idea. We’ll send lots of little dinos to fit through the fence. Swift, snappy compsognathus are one of the smallest, and at 5.5kg each they’ll be easier to ship. The customer says, “Perfect! That’ll show him for reporting me to the homeowner’s association.”
It’s a tough job, but happy customers make it all worthwhile.