Here’s a short play I wrote this morning:
Husband: What? A man’s not allowed to take a dump in his own house?!
Wife: Not in the foyer!
Copyright © 2015 Jeffrey S. Kay
Don’t steal it! If I see this little gem receiving a Tony Award next year, I’m gonna go full-Geragos on humanity.
I have an enormous amount of PTO that I need to use up before the end o’ the year. Well… it’s not quite as enormous as it was a month ago. But, it’s still a considerable amount.
Also: once November gets here, it’ll be somewhere between difficult and impossible to take time off. So, the clock is ticking. My boss told me to take Thursday, Friday, and Monday this week, and enjoy a big honkin’ five-day weekend. That’s not exactly how she put it, but it’s what I heard.
Then, she quickly rescinded Monday. But I’m approaching the midway point on a four-day weekend, and that ain’t too shabby.
I was talking to my mom on Wednesday, while driving to work. She knows I’m taking a lot of time off, and asked if I had anything scheduled for this upcoming weekend. I told her I’m off Thursday and Friday. And she said, in a semi-panicked tone, “You weren’t thinking about coming down here, were you?!”
Wow! That’s the kind of thing that could hurt a person’s feelings. You know, if they weren’t mostly dead inside.
Of course she didn’t mean anything by it; my parents are extremely nice and thoughtful people. I hit the parental lottery with my mom and dad. But, she’s getting to the point where she doesn’t always craft her sentences in a way that takes the other person’s feelings into account. Ya know?
Turns out, another couple is coming for a visit and staying at their house for a few days. That’s why she was concerned I might have plans for a visit. Not a problem. More power to ’em. Pass the beer nuts.
What’s your vacation time situation? Are you allowed to roll it over into the next year? Is there a limit? Do you ever get yourself into a situation where you’re forced to take a shitload of time off, for no other reason than to burn a bunch of hours? It’s crazy.
When I left Warner Home Video I had 500 hours of PTO. That’s where it capped-out. I probably had 700, in reality. Maybe 1000. Who the hell knows? They ended up paying me for all those hours. Then it got all screwed up and we found ourselves in trouble with the IRS, and had to make monthly payments for years on end. Good stuff.
A few minutes ago my phone lit up, all by itself, and there was a message on there about it being One Hit Wonder Day. What the? I’ve never heard of this, in my entire life. And I’m really old.
But it got me to thinking about so-called one hit wonders. People always say “My Sharona,” even though The Knack had another massive hit: “Good Girls Don’t.” Get your facts straight, people! Also, it pisses me off that Warren Zevon is a bonafide one hit wonder, even though he’s one of the greatest songwriters of all time. And that one hit was a novelty song that can sometimes be annoying, depending on how my brain chemicals are mixing when I hear it.
Anyway, I don’t want to get too deep into this thing. What I will do, however, is link to three songs from “one hit wonders” (mildly offensive) that don’t get mentioned too often. These are songs that were played on Top 40 radio, by bands that never had similar success with other songs. And they’re fairly obscure, from deep within the scar tissue of my brain. Check ’em out! You’ll dig them.
A few days ago I received a birthday notification from Facebook for a man who passed away a year or so ago. He was a guy I sorta knew from my hometown, a nice dude, a little older than me.
I clicked through to his page, to see what people were writing. And there were a couple dozen “Happy birthday!! I hope you have an awesome day!” kinds of messages. Obviously, they don’t know he’s gone. It made me feel sad. In fact, Facebook pages of dead people stir some kind of emotion in me, in general. They’re just super-sad. Probably because you can see them joking around and having fun there, and being just like you and me. And now they’re DEAD.
Any thoughts on this subject? I know it’s a little macabre, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
And I think I’m going to call it a day here, my friends. I have a to-do list that’s formidable. So, I’ll see you again on Monday.
Questions To Choose From: Feel free to write your own short plays and share them, tell us about your PTO situation, list your favorite one hit wonders, or let us know what you think about Facebook pages of the deceased.
And have yourselves a fine, fine weekend!
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Lee Harvey Ramone says
I had a nice long Fall vacation a couple of years ago when the Federal Government shut down. Problem was, as a contractor, I did not get paid for those days. I burned through all of the vacation leave I had, and even used some sick leave to obtain some income. I appreciate that Boehner has thrown himself under the bus to prevent another shut down next week. I have developed a sort of addiction to monetary income over the years.
My mom passed away last winter and some day I need to take care of her Facebook page. I don’t recall any of those songs you posted. I am sure I heard them at some point. I would go with Tony Carey – A Fine Fine Day, Danny Wilson – Mary’s Prayer, and Stories – Brother Louie.
Where I work we have a limit – 170 hours for me. And then they delete the time. I usually have to take a day or two every so often so I don’t lose time.
Facebook pages of the deceased are truly sad. Even worse is when FB prompts you to tell said dead friend about some new page/game/app. It’s a kick in the gut, every time.
Can’t roll over PTO anymore at my soon-to-be ex company. Use it or lose it became the mantra about 5 years ago. Also? 500 hours is a TON of PTO to carry around. What is that, 3 months of pay? Crazy.
Lawyers, Guns and Money
I have been a business guy for a long time and have never seen the acronym PTO. I assume from context it means paid time off. I guess that’s fine if you’re an hourly employee.
My last couple of gigs I had mostly salaried staff. I just did Karma Time: There’s work, you gotta work; nice day, go golf. As an IT guy, I was able to pay people enough money to not feel bad about their working sixty hour weeks. Yeah, my state has cracked down on that some, but I always worked harder and longer than anyone on the team, and rarely took a day off, although I was perfectly willing to spend a warm Wednesday on the golf course when the opportunity presented itself.
Also, I did everything I could to get parents to their kids’ plays and games. But when you sign up for IT, you’re signing up to miss some of your kids’ milestones. Christening was a particularly difficult one.
Having spent time in both Iraq and Afghanistan, it has become a fairly regular thing to find out that a former comrade was no longer able to fight off his demons and becomes one of the 22 veteran suicides a day. It is incredibly difficult to go to their Facebook page, which becomes a defacto memorial page, and see that he was joking around, posting silly memes and apparently being his normal self days before he ended his life…
Skippy in WV says
Thank you for your service, sir.
Same here, thank you for your service and commitment.
Surly Shawn says
As far as social media is concerned, I’m trying to write a program (or batch script) so that when I pass away, whoever has the code word, can run it for me. Deleting my email accounts, Facebook & other sites, personal info on my computer, scrubbing my porn collection, etc.
I don’t want people knowing what kinks I was in to, or that I was that asshole on FB that trolled them.
“Drivers Seat” is a great choice! I thought about mentioning the Tommy Tutone song, but their first two albums are so full of great songs I felt guilty calling them a one hit wonders. Even though they were.
We can’t roll over vacation days. I take lots of extended weekends. Which is nice, I can get shit done for a change. And I acrue time in lieu at a crazy rate. This particular lieu time is between me and the bossman, not officially recorded otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to do that either. Comes in handy for those mid-day appointments. Or pad a bit of time to stay away for an extra hour or two when needed.
“There’s an ice cream man in the kitchen.” She slurs drunkly as she falls onto the couch. He goes into the kitchen to find a three foot tall mound of ice cream in the middle of the floor, melting. It has a carrot nose, grapes for eyes, celery stalks for arms, and it’s wearing one of his ties. “What the fuck?” He rightfully says under his breath as he cleans up the mess.
-Jason Yepma 2015
This I like.
Sniff N The Tears did “Driver’s Seat”
Chilliwack did “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)”
Diesel did “Sausalito Summer Nights”
I had forgotten about the Salt In My Tears song. Great tune.
Well, of course this is cheating, because none of these is crap from the 80s, but, if you exclude the race charts they might all be one hit wonders. At the minimum, they’re wonders.
John Lee Hooker . . .
Muddy Waters . . .
Howlin Wolf . . .
Big Mama Thorton (and friends) . . .
I’ve been on vacation since February. Holy hopping shit if I don’t find a job soon I may go batshit crazy. But, prior to that, I had 4 weeks of vacation and 3 or 4 personal choice holidays (depending on the paid vacation days there were in a calendar year). And it was use em or lose em.
Brownsville Station “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” always got my toes a tapping!
I can roll over 440 hours of annual leave, and I try to stay close to that every year since I accumulated that many hours. Last check stub shows another 1220 hours of sick leave, those don’t go away unless I use them. I’m off this week for a 9 day weekend. And I still have to take off a week or so before the end of the year. And after next week back at work I head to Las Vegas for a few days for a work related convention, so week after next is at least not at my regular job. But I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday, and every Thursday Mrs. SVS and I have to head down to the armpit of the world, LA, to check on my aunt. She’s not doing so well after a small stroke, and we’re the only family west of the Mississippi. Plus I have a bunch of crap to get done around here, not the least of which looks like I’ll be pulling the transmission out of the garden tractor/lawn mower to see where that godawful noise is coming from. So no going to the coast with the paragliders this week off. Oh well.
We can carry over up to two weeks worth of vacation time, for up to 3 months, and the rest goes buh-bye. So many one-hit wonders of the 70’s hard to pick one. Spirit in the Sky is awesome though. And finally, it’s a shame that people don’t go in and delete their loved ones fb account when they pass on – most may not even have the password to do so. You’d think there would still be a way to do it though. I think I’ll put together a “good-bye” message to all my friends and have my wife or brother post it when I’m gone, then close my account a week later. Sad that I’m thinking that FAR ahead now, lol.
I don’t know why I remember this, but Spirit in the Sky was #100 on WABC’s Heavy Hundred list for 1970.
I work 2 part time jobs and accrue PTO at a full time rate at one. At the full time one I get 2 weeks PTO and a week of sick time. Sick time goes away Dec 31 and I can roll 40 hours PTO into the next year. It works out to 160 hours per year and I might use half of it.
The other job I accrue slowly and when I get close to maxing out I just take a vacation day on a Saturday and just get an extra days pay for the week.
If I get fired from or quit either job I lose all of it.
Phil Jett says
I can roll over a maximum of 80 hours including the hours rolled over in previous years. Previously we were able to bank vacation to get paid when you left/retired but they got rid of that during our last merger. We don’t have a set number of sick days, it is manager’s descretion except that is only good up to three days in a row. Once you have to take a fourth you go on short term disability which is a paperwork nightmare.
Laborer: What? A guy’s not allowed to take a dump while he is at work?!
Boss: Not on my desk!
Copyright © 2015 Phillip William Jett
Root 66 says
Careful, now–you know how skittish this crowd is about taking a dump at work! 🙂
Back when I worked a different arm of the AOL Time Warner juggernaut than Jeff did, I could only roll over 40 hours at the end of the year. That was rough. Got laid off, found a new place to work where I can roll over 320 hours. Quite the luxury.
Song number 2 used to play every single Friday on KUPD up in Phoenix. It is now forever associated with the start of the weekend for me.
I received a friend request from one Dave boso who is/was the owner of Dave’s marine in Belpre ohio. Dave died a month or two ago and was my former high school art teacher. From the grave he is trying to get me the 200 grand that Zuckerberg owes me.
PTO… at first I was thinking “power take off.” At my job we call it “vacation time.” Whatever the name, we can carry 80 hours over to the following calendar year. If you have more than that accrued, you get paid for half of the excess. Some years -like this past – I’ve had an overage but not been allowed to take vacation, due to being busy. When that happens, it feels like I’m being stolen from.
Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks. I’m too lazy to dig up a youtube link.
“Seasons in the Sun” is an English-language adaptation of the song “Le Moribond” by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel with lyrics by American singer-poet Rod McKuen. It became a worldwide hit in 1974 for Canadian singer Terry Jacks. Jacks’ version is one of the fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million copies worldwide.
(Spoken with a strong, pissed off teenaged girl voice) “Jesus M_F_god how I Fucking hate this song.” (Wait a minute, that’s me today too. I STILL hate that fucking song.)
I have hated that song for decades, since the first time I heard it. Fortunately it was short-lived.
John, thanks for confirming what I’ve long suspected. With the song playing on the school bus radio EVERY FUCKING DAY, I had plenty of time for analysis. Even at the tender age of high school, the lyrics sounded as if they’d been translated from the French; something about the way the sentences and phrases were wrapped around the music. At the time I thought it was originally Canadian – er, I mean Quebecois.
Me too!! Stuck on the damn bus with that song playing “Goodbye Papa…” I’d make a retching sound that would make the little girls mad. Oh shit now I remembered Billy don’t be a Hero. Thanks guys now you ruined another day.
Miss Q says
Great. TWO crappy-ass songs in my head now.
Got room for, “Me and You and a Dog named Boo”?
How about Lou Christy and, “Lightning Striking Again”??
My friend had Dog named Boo on 45 and we’d play it at 33 1/3 and laugh till our sides hurt. At 78 speed we saw God.
CHILL . . .
JUST A DAMN MINUTE. YOUR SCHOOL BUS HAD A RADIO? OURS BARELY HAD TIRES. YOU WENT TO SCHOOL IN MARTHA’S VINEYARD?
Congrats on getting your horse back, and your fine “s”. Jacques Brel died in 1979 at age 49; Rod McKuen died in January of this year at age 81 (127 in poet years). Maybe it’s time to let go of the song. Click the link one last time and say adieu.
(this is some fine European socialism at work but) A company I used to work for, if you were ill on a PTO day, you could claim it back and stash it in your PTO pile again.
If corporations cared about their employees’ welfare they’d make it mandatory to use all your PTO. Instead, they have made unused PTO a Badge Of Honor for employees. They’ll still ship your job to India, you’ll have just been played like a fool who missed some vacations.
Yeah, there’s tons of studies that’ve determined that people who use all of their vacation time every year are more engaged, more dependable and healthier. Any company worth spit should encourage all their employees to take every last hour. Americans now work more hours than almost every other country…even Japan! WTF?????
Jeff, I love you. LOVE you. But I think once your parents are gone you are going to regret not making time to visit. Live life in such a way that when you reach the finish line, lying on your deathbed, dying from high levels of grease in your blood- you don’t regret certain things. 🙂
Uncle Wedgie says
Jeff, were you in New Mexico?
I lose no pto mine caps at 18 months and any that goes over I get a check
Mrs. L. Bangs says
For the Foyer: http://www.amazon.com/Poo-Pourri-Before-You-Go-Toilet-2-Ounce-Original/dp/B0014DP9Y4
I keep it in the hall bathroom, and I couldn’t believe it, but even Lester’s foul stank doesn’t penetrate. That is, when Lester actually chooses to keep the stank down.
Wisey in Ttown says
this next one is pretty damn close to a one hit wonder.
Pride in not taking vacation days is a curiously American thing.
I don’t know anybody up here who brags about all the vacations they didn’t take. And time off is super-generous up here. I worked for a lady who had, like 30 years in at the same company and she had more than 8 weeks of vacation a year. She had a difficult time using it up, but who wouldn’t?
I almost always use up all my vacation. I may carry a week over, but I’ll use it the next year and be back to zero.
American corporations have their employees wound so tight, so anxious, the employees are scared to take more vacation time than their peers, even if that PTO is part of their negotiated compensation package. I know several corporate workers who are terrified of losing their jobs because their health care is tied to it – and what if little Timmy gets leukemia?! – so no I don’t want any PTO and yes I’ll work the weekend and answer emails at 11PM.
John S says
Maybe it’s just because I’m Canadian, but I hear the Kings’ track(or tracks?) at least once a month on the classic rock station here in Edmonton.