Until grounds maintenance officer Bob Gibbert stopped before the door. Switching his lawnmower to idle, he pushed back his cap to better scratch his grizzled head and study the door. Call that art? He didn’t know how they had got the door to hover a clear eight inches above the ground and he didn’t wonder. His job was to mow the grass and that’s what he was doing.
As Bob mowed the grass around the door and bent over to mow under the door, his back twinged painfully. Admin never considered maintenance when they plonked a statue here, a fountain there. By all rights, they should have informed him they were putting something up on his lawn. Bob said as much to his friend, Joe Slurry, a security officer, as he passed on his rounds.
Joe expressed more concern than Bob. He hadn’t been told about the new addition to the lawn either, and like Bob, he should have been. Joe phoned his boss, Security Superintendent Greg Amber. Although Superintendent Amber knew nothing about a new art work on the lawn at the back of Building B and cared even less, he resented the interruption to his plans for sneaking off work early to play a round of golf. Joe was told in no uncertain terms to fill in an incident report at the end of his rounds and not bother his superiors about doors popping up on lawns.
Joe was dissatisfied with this response. He didn’t have the number of the head of security on his mobile, so he’d have to report in person. By going over his immediate boss’ head, he was putting his job on the line, but that door just hovering there was starting to make his flesh crawl. Meanwhile, he told Bob to stay away from the door.
After a moment of staring after Joe, Bob decided to do the same. NASA’s chief superintendent of ground maintenance, Gerry Ikers, was a smart young whipper snapper who deserved a headache. He often wondered why someone so smart had chosen gardening as a career. But Ikers was approachable, and Bob knew he could be relied on to take his concerns seriously.
He was right. Gerry Ikers didn’t mind having his morning coffee interrupted, or the muddy footprints that Joe trailed into his office, although his secretary was of a very different opinion. He waved Bob in and invited him to take a seat. A frown from the secretary decided Bob not to impose further. Besides, after less than a minute of explanation, Gerry had accompanied Joe back outside to the door.