Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Junk At Work

Sooooo, I take the little truck up to the mountains.  I get there, it's on an Indian reservation - San Carlos to be precise and the name of the town is also San Carlos.  I meet up with the contractor, we unload the truck by hand.  We check every single item on all 3 orders.  That means going through each order, line by line and making sure it's there.  I'm there over an hour.

Nice drive, but that's not what I'm writing about here.

I go to our main branch in downtown Phoenix to give them back their truck and get our semi back.  Pretty much get everything done quickly and get out of there - I am 5 hours over for the week already.  On my way back, I stop at a vendor to pick up some small gas fittings.  That's when I get a phone call.  It's my manager.  He's asking about whether I left any pipe lube at the job site.  No, I reply - he knows full well - at least by guessing, that I haven't done any such thing.

It was a small quantity of pipe.  We have extremely limited amounts of free pipe lube that is given to us by the manufacturers.  They used to give us liberal quantities, but in the current economy, they tightened the belts on that stuff and do not give enough to cover a truckload.  They say it's enough, but go talk to any contractor; foreman or construction worker and you will hear a different story.

Regardless, on any amount of pipe sold that does not amount to  a full lift of pipe,  I do not give out the free stuff unless it is requested.  It has been this way for quite a long time now.  It is nothing new.  Jobsite foremen know this, they usually keep lube in their work vehicles to make sure they don't encounter a problem.  The salesmen all know this as well.  They have been informed - over and over - that we do not have a lot of the free lube and we will not be giving it out on small quantities of pipe. In other words, sell them the pay stuff, we have plenty of it, it doesn't cost that much, there are no options unless we are just going to give them the pay stuff and write it off.

Well, back to the story, the inside salesman had gone off on him - and me - over the phone.  His words for me were this: "What kind of f****** idiot would take a load of pipe all the way up to the mountains and not leave lube?"  My manager called me after that phone call and warned me that this guy was going to call me and go off on me.  No, I did not leave a quart of lube.  It was clearly not on the tickets that we went over painstakingly well, it was not noted to leave a free quart and the tickets themselves did not have any as a line item on them.  I have operated this way for quite a long time now.  It's nothing new.

If they run out of lube and it's an emergency, they can go buy grease, vaseline, all kinds of stuff to put on those gaskets to cause the pipe to glide into the bells of the pipe they are fitting it into.  This is NOT an emergency.  Just throwing that in there.

I waited for this phone call, I was ready to ram his s*** right back down his throat.  I don't call HIM when he makes mistakes - which are not far or few between.   Case in point:  He puts into our truck routing system a P.O. to be picked up at a vendor - in west Phoenix.  I drive all the way over there to find out it has already been picked up.  I get back to the main branch where this guy works and tell him that the order has been picked up already, but it's not here.  Meaning, it's not at the main branch either, what's going on?  Turns out HE sent the contractor to go pick up the stuff - not bothering to take it out of our TRI or let us know that it has been taken care of.  40 miles each way, in a semi truck, he doesn't even apologize.

That is one out of HUNDREDS of examples on an almost-daily basis.  Do I call him up and rip him a new one?  No, but if anyone had the right to be calling someone else an idiot.............

I get back to my branch.  I write this guy an email - he isn't going to go around calling people idiots without being confronted, at least not with me.  I wrote out a 7 point email that encapsules when and when we do not give out the free lube.  I then address him on the "idiot" statement.

He writes back and says I need to "tone it down a notch" without acknowledging anything I have stated.

I write him back and inform him he is the one that had a friggin' cow about a quart of lube, not me, perhaps he should tone it down several notches.

He writes back - tells me he talked to my manager, talk to him about it, that he never called me an idiot.  In other words, he is blowing me off, treating me like a dumb@$$ and not worth his time.

Hey, I can play this game.  I write him back.  Thank you for reading the reasons of when we do and when we don't give out free lube and the reasons why.  It would be prudent for you, from this point forth, to make sure that the contractor has plenty of it on hand and offer to add it to the ticket.  As for the statement you made (I inserted the same quotation here - about him calling me an f'ing idiot),  I believe your statement most certainly DOES quantify calling me an idiot.  I accept your apology and we can move on from here.

He write back, "Okay, Buddy".

I might have let this go a bit easier, but this guy has started more trouble with me than I care to go into here.  I didn't go anywhere NEAR where I wanted to go with it, that might have gotten me into trouble.

Anyway, there are always people that are difficult to get along with at work.  I try to be amenable to everyone - but this guy I've had enough of.  His uncle?  Is the general manager.  That's not enough for me to stand by and be a doormat for some infantile's rantings because he, this salesman, is on an ego trip and mouths off, foul language and all, with extremely inciteful language, with seeming impunity, apparently because his uncle IS the general manager.  Well, I have never heard his uncle talking that way about or to anyone.

Regardless, let the chips fall where they may.  I will not allow myself to be verbally abused in the workplace, period.

I worked out after work, only got 5 hours of sleep last night - I am exhausted.  It's 7:15 pm, in about 45 minutes?

Off to bed.

ben

Wednesday 3/9/2011

Wednesday

I am speechless. I mean, what do you say about something like that? How does a person live for almost 3 decades and learn absolutely nothing about life?

I am referring to the 27 year old tenant. I came home yesterday to have my ears filled with a tale of his - inability to deal with even the simplest problems in life.

The story with him stuffing too much toilet paper into the toilet bowl, flushing the toilet and the toilet over-flowing onto the floor. Now, if the story stopped there, it wouldn't really be an issue, it happens. I mean, it should become obvious that if the entire bowl is filled up with toilet paper, you probably should have flushed the thing before it got to that point.

It doesn't stop there. He continues to flush the toilet. He does nothing to unplug the toilet. I have a conveniently placed plunger that sits behind the toilet and to the right of it. This guy didn't understand that flushing the toilet was why it continued to overflow onto the floor. So, to get it to stop overflowing, what did he do?

Takes the top off the tank. Reaches down into the tank, takes off the flapper/stopper. A simple problem turned into a mini-nightmare, now the toilet isn't GOING to stop overflowing since the valve inside the tank is hissing away, dumping water into the tank which is dumping water, unabated, into the bowl since the flapper has been removed.

He has NO clue what to do here. He ends up having to go outside, get Mark and ask him what to do. Mark is like, wow. Uhhh, dude, you don't take off the flapper to get the water to stop flowing. You don't have to do ANYTHING. Stop flushing the toilet, stop everything. Get the plunger, plunge the toilet.

Anonymous said...

He is attempting to explain what to do here, versus what not to do. I'm sure my jaw is about on the floor at this point, listening to this story being retold yesterday afternoon, in complete awe of a person that has learned absolutely NOTHING in life in terms of how to do every day tasks, how to cook, shut off lights, this that and the other thing.

Mark puts the toilet back together, basically. The floor is a lake. Now, this kid actually has to ask: How do I get the water up off of the floor? Apparently the word MOP is not in his vocabulary.

I was amazed. You see, I had NO clue what I was getting into when I let this guy move into my house, renting out a room. He asked the other day about how to microwave a Cup O' Noodles. Do you put water in it?

Well, while the other tenants were relaying this story, a truck with food boxes shows up. They actually will bring them to your house. I didn't order them, the trailer tenants and this kid did. At the kid's expense, albeit he wasn't there, someone was foraging through the box with all the food in it, wondering HOW he will ever use any of it, since he hasn't got any idea how to cook.

The things this kid doesn't even know I had learned at the age of 5. I just don't have any idea how parents can be that bad, really is what this boils down to. If you have kids that are in their 20's and they don't know how to make Ramen noodles, I can tell you that, probably, you haven't really done a very good job raising them, training them and getting them ready for adult life. Notwithstanding the fact that by the time you are this kid's age, you are WELL into adulthood. At least by age, if nothing else. The trailer tenants have much more patience than I do, especially Lynnette and they are sort of helping him learn some of this stuff. I have thrown my two cents in here and there as the situation comes up.

Such as running the dishwasher half full. In my house, that thing better be crammed full of dishes, silverware and glasses before anyone even thinks of turning it on. It has become the property of me, and me alone. Not to empty, I threw in there, but to turn it on.

Ummm, well whatever. I have a nice trip up into the mountains today, haven't had one of those runs in quite a while.

And, the work day approaches and I have hardly even delved into the news, so........

........outta here.

Good day.

ben

Tuesday 3/8/2011

Tuesday

Wow. That's all I can say about that. Some "dude" is getting out of prison - the guy killed and allegedly ate a 5 year old boy - a long time ago. The boy's father has proclaimed right to the press that if that man does, indeed, get out of prison and if he can find him, he is going to "murder" him. 

After reading the accounting of his son's death, I can't say that I blame the man. 

My son, changing the subject, has been asked to work at some sort of youth camp up in the White Mountains for the summer. I'm not sure all the details about this, yet, excepting that he is having a hard time deciding what to do: stay at his current job or quit and go for the experience. Well, I say nothing. From my point of view, that is, let him make up his own mind. His mother appears to be trying to make up his mind for him, which also means she bears partial blame for consequences ill if such occur. Not that I wish or foresee anything bad happening out of it, but, my boy is going to be 18 in May, a legal adult. I am backing off - he is going to have to make a LOT of decisions in life, coming soon, too, he should have the latitude to make those decisions, learn from whatever mistakes and move on. 

He will be in charge of - other kids, I guess. I mean, kids he knows from High School. He is already in such position as a commander in the JROTC. I am definitely optimistic about his career, life in general and the direction it is leading. He doesn't do drugs, he doesn't drink and he has no desire to start. At least for now. I have no idea what's going to happen in the future, the rest is in God's hands and that is where I leave it. 

However, I WILL be getting my car back. Lol. I have been driving the old thing for some time now - fortunately the break downs seem to have stopped. But, since he has been driving my newer car all this time, I have decided to let him finish out high school with it, after that, he can either have the old Buick or - he can go buy his own car, I guess. He doesn't really have the money to go buy his own car.

The problem with this old one is that the paint is badly faded, it is pretty much an eyesore. I am done, for now, spending money on it. 

Well, I am getting offa this one. I have some other news I would like to read before the work day starts.

ben

Monday 3/7/2011

Monday

So, I'm going around a sharpish curve, a transition from one freeway to another this morning and the car dies. My instant thought: here comes Monday. After getting through the curve, the car comes back on. I instantly knew what was going on: the car is almost out of fuel. Well that's a FAR cry better than having the stupid thing break down again. I don't know why I do it, procrastination I guess, but I always wait until the tank is almost bone dry before filling it back up again.

Fortunately, I made it to work without any problems. 

"In its February report, the World Bank noted “sharp increases” in the global prices of wheat, maize, sugar, and edible oils over the last six months, with an accompanying rise, albeit smaller, in the price of rice"

Now, I have heard a couple of the more or less popular - depending on what side of the aisle you stride in politics - talk show hosts predicting that the prices of food were going to go up, and up, and up, and that eventually, there will be worldwide food shortage. 

I didn't know whether to believe these people or not. I have enmassed a small amount of food, enough to last about 2 months. That's not eating a lot, but, it's surviving. I am stocking up my new freezer with chicken. I intend on buying another 20 pounds of it on the way home from work today, Basha's has boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale. 

Shall I panic and go out and start stuffing my pantry with all kinds of canned and dried foods? No, I am not going to panic, but, just in case these folks are correct? I am definitely going to get more. A few other things I want to add to the mix as well, but I won't go there. It's just me being me. I started eating through some of the food I started putting away last year just so the expiration dates weren't going to get too carried away. 

A crisis doesn't necessarily have to even mean a shortage of food, but, rather, the cost of food going up so high that it becomes unaffordable. 

Well, whatever. I intend on getting 100 pounds of chicken into that freezer and then some other meats as well, as much as I can stuff in there. 

I read this morning an email from our company announcing the hiring of some new folks to work in another region, yet still under the management here. I have wondered for some time now, while they are hiring new people, why they aren't reinstating full hours. I mean, I'm not talking overtime, I'm just talking 40 hours a week. They have hired a few people, here and there. I don't get it. 35 hours per week for hourly associates yet they are hiring new people.....I'm not trying to criticize my company, I am trying to get a handle on this hour situation. Corporate put out a survey last week, asking associates to input whatever questions they might have of upper management as they prepare to put out their yearly video. It is a video they do to give us the state of the company, the direction it is going in and where they want it to be at the end of the fiscal year. Yes, I put in my question: When, do you think, hourly associates will get their full hours reinstated? 

I HAD to ask and I hope they answer the question, regardless of whether it's what I want to hear or not, I would like to see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel, cause Mrs. Jones, it's all dark in there right now. I've been holding out because I like the company I am working for versus simply going out and finding a new job. In the trucking industry, finding management that treats you well isn't exactly a prevalent condition. 

So, I decided at the beginning of this year to stick it out another 6 months at least and then revisit the issue. If management would give us some kind of clue when, if ever, that would certainly help me. 

Anyway, work day is almost here and I'm offa this thing.

G'day.

ben

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