The ductwork dilemma

Tom, a maintenance technician in a large office building, received a work order to clean the HVAC ductwork.

Although he had never done this task before, he thought it would be a cakewalk.

Tom began his work by climbing up to the ceiling and opening the ductwork access panels. As he gazed inside the labyrinthine HVAC ductwork, he broke out in a cold sweat, realizing that he had no idea where to begin. Tom was in a fix. Just then, he saw a small mouse peeking out of one of the ducts. The mouse looked at Tom, twitched its nose, and then darted away into the maze of pipes. Tom had a brilliant idea. He would follow the mouse through the HVAC ductwork to see where it led. Without wasting any more time, Tom crawled into the duct and started to follow the mouse. The duct was so cramped that he had to crawl on his belly. He crawled and crawled, tailing the mouse as it zigzagged through the HVAC ductwork. Tom was so engrossed in following the mouse that he didn’t realize he had crawled past the point of no return. Suddenly, he heard a loud noise behind him. He turned around to see that the access panel had closed behind him. He was trapped in the HVAC ductwork! Tom started to panic. He yelled for help, but no one could hear him. He was stuck in the ductwork for hours until a team of firefighters came to his rescue. They had to cut through the duct to free him. From that day on, Tom made sure to double-check the access panels before crawling into the HVAC ductwork. As for the mouse, it was never seen again.

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