By the time my dad was the age I am now, he was retired from his main job (with a pension), and pulling down big bucks from his part-time job as a mechanic. I’m still trying to find my way, and he was about done by this point. It’s one of those things I try not to think about.
But, the forbidden thoughts do creep in… because my life is a shambles. I feel like I’m constantly spinning plates, like some baggy-pants vaudeville performer. Ya know?
I don’t like to mention my job too much, because Big Brother is watching. But my counterpart, who worked Thur/Fri/Sat, turned in her notice about two months ago. There were a few internal interviews, but a replacement was not chosen. Now they’re in a holding pattern, the woman is gone, and there’s nobody to lead her team.
So… the inevitable meeting occurred, and I was asked if I’d be willing to adjust my schedule, to kinda-sorta cover both shifts. They wanted me to work Monday through Friday, eight hours per day. I told them I’d do it, but only if they’d let me work ten hours per day. At least I’d be guaranteed some overtime pay, in exchange for adding a day to my schedule. Currently, I’m supposed to work four 10-hour days per week.
They didn’t like that idea, even though I work a shitload of overtime, as it is. They were objecting to making it official, with built-in overtime every week. But, in the end, they relented.
I’m not thrilled about it, but will have every Saturday and Sunday off. And, if I were a betting man, I’d put money on them never replacing my former partner-in-crime. I have a feeling her shift is now my shift, in addition to my own. Oh well. I can handle it. Whatever. I’m too tired to stew about things.
Last night I was there, and everybody was abuzz about the weather. It was raining and sleeting, and the temperature was plunging by the hour. It was supposed to start snowing around ten, and the drive home promised to be a real sphincter-pincher.
Then the fire alarm went off. WTF??
We evacuated the building, and I was missing two people from my department. It took ten minutes of hollering into a walkie-talkie squawkbox to track them down. And it was raining balls of ice out there, on an almost horizontal slant. Good god!
A bunch of fire trucks showed up, and all of us were standing in the parking lot, shivering and drenched to our skeletons. My underwear was suctioned to my ass for hours.
After about thirty minutes we were given the all-clear, and were finally allowed back inside the building. And I’m telling ya… if our half-hour lunches lasted as long as that half-hour did last night, they would be the lunches of kings. Sweet sainted mother of Blue Moon Odom!
The good news: by the time I left there at 1:45 a.m., the roads had been cleared, and it was smoove sailing. If I’d jumped ship at 11:00, like some people did, it would’ve been much, much worse.
Today I got to take my younger son to get a haircut. He’s incredibly finicky about it, and Toney has him going to some nearby salon. It’s the only place that does it “right,” according to him. Who the hell knows?
Toney is working today, so I accompanied him to this joint, for the first time. Well, well. Fancy-pants, indeed! It was like a little slice o’ New York City, right here in Northeastern PA. While waiting, I decided the place should be renamed Scranhattan. Maybe I’ll send them an email about it?
I sat and observed, as is my nature. And apparently I should’ve been wearing yoga pants, and clutching a Starbucks cup. And I should’ve hugged everyone, talked real loud, and laughed uproariously at everything anyone said. Next time I’ll know. I’ll also need a HUGE shoulder bag of some sort.
There were no male customers, that I saw. But it was a big place, and the boy told me there was a “mountain man” in the chair next to him. He said the woman was trimming his giant beard. Blecch! Can you imagine? That thing was probably full of cheese and pork residue. No thank you. I believe I’d rather stand in a parking lot in the freezing rain.
After that expensive (what the?!) haircut, we went to McDonald’s for lunch. It was free, because I’m an “influencer” on Twitter. Whatever that means… I get gift cards in the mail. It’s weird, but I’ll take it.
It was really good, for some reason; it scratched some primal itch. And the boy and I had a fun time talking and laughing. His brother, who is 17, doesn’t engage too much these days. He’s off in his own world, and I miss him – even though he’s still physically here.
And there are other “complications,” which I’ll tell you about in time. Nothing too shocking, just normal life boolshit. I think I’m going to call it a day now, and go visit my good friends at the beer store.
Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ll try to do better. I need to adapt to the new normal. Did anything exciting happen in your world this week? Please bring us up to date on it, in the comments section below.
Before I go, I want to remind you – yet again – about the Amazon links here on the site. If you’re doing your holiday shopping online, which I heartily endorse, please enter the Amazon site through any of our links (like this one), and I’ll receive a small percentage of whatever you spend. It’s an easy and painless way to support the Surf Report.
Have yourselves a great day, my friends.
See ya next time!
Now playing in the bunker
Do your holiday shopping at Amazon!
Here’s the link for our Canadian friends
(And I read the post before commenting!)
Actually, neither of you commented on the post. I’m just saying.
Someone called my office on Thursday and asked to speak to Jeff Kay. For whatever reason, you’re apparently the head of our PR Department.
It was a weird – and amusing – part of my day.
I could do that job. My methods might be a bit unorthodox, but I think I could get results.
Lucie In Tampa says
nice to get the “official” overtime… 4th
Your Dad’s entire working life was during a growing economy. Our parents have no idea how good they had it. We now have more in common with our grandparents generation that lived through the depression than we do with our parents generation.
What you say is true, Kimberly. But I don’t want to take anything away from my dad. Nobody worked harder than him. The man had (and has) a work ethic I don’t see too much anymore.
How do you think it would have affected his work ethic if he had been laid off from his job because the work was outsourced to China? Our parents worked under a social contract that rewarded hard workers with steady employment. The incentive was there to have a good work ethic. I’ve known far too many people with good work ethics who lost their jobs anyway because the company could profit more by getting rid of them and either taking the work overseas, or hiring cheaper people to take their place. I do not agree that American workers lost their work ethic. What they lost is the promise it meant something.
After 8 looong months of unemployment I found out Wednesday that I have been chosen to be the new Deputy City Clerk for the City of Half Moon Bay, CA. Although this is fantastic news it does some with enough stress to make me want to curl in the fetal position rocking softly to Elton John’s soundtrack of the Lion King. First, we have to move. Which means we have to quickly sell our house. The problem with that is we were smack in the middle of remodeling, so our bathroom has a giant hole where the shower used to be and our newly laid flooring in the dining and living rooms needs to be sanded and stained. And my boyfriend is doing all this on his own (well, his dad does help once a week) so we can save money. I will be living alone in the new city for about two months, paying a whopping $2800/mth for a fully furnished cottage. I start on December 16th and totally expect a lonely meltdown by January 6th. We’ll see.
Stress or not, that sounds like a great job, Melissa. Congrats.
Oh yes! Congrats!
Phil Jett says
$2800 dollars a month? Holy shit, that is more than twice my mortgage payment on a 3400 sq ft house and that includes the escrow for insurance and tax.
Oh, and congrats on the new job.
Phil, tell me about it. My current mortgage payment is only $800/mth and my insurance is about $60/mth. I knew renting in the Bay Area would be extreme, but even that figure had me floored. But, it’s temporary (better be at least!) and hopefully in a few months I’ll be paying lower for a bigger space. Well, I’m hoping for that…
Jimbo here… long time, no comment.
It was an exciting week for me. I was at a work conference down in Florida, and I had the chance to give a presentation to some “industry big-wigs” on Tuesday. I was up until 3:30am the night before, creating the requisite PowerPoint and doing run-throughs of my planned script.
Then the day of the presentation… I absolutely nailed it! I ran through my script smoothly, the audience seemed happy with the content, and I didn’t run into any major hiccups. The rest of the week went well, and I went home on Thursday night feeling victorious.
Finally on Friday, I returned to work and spoke with my boss… and he fervently ripped me a new one! Apparently some of the audience members didn’t feel that I had created a “coherent scenario” for the presentation… specifically, 3 of the 20 audience members.
And I told him… fuck dat noise! I’m an engineer, and I thought I was being sent to give a technical presentation. It’s not my fault that they wanted me to use the product like I was an end user. If people want that, then they should bring in a sales & marketing team!
I’m still proud of myself. Don’t try to rain on my parade.
Buzz in Wheeling says
Bravo, Jimbo, that took stones.
Sometimes one reaches a breaking point where it’s clear the air or head will explode. Also, I never had a boss yet that didn’t need ‘managed’, either by direct confrontation or passive aggression.
The more arrows in your quiver, the better, I say.
Sounds like, as with the NFL officials in Seattle last Monday night, an employer is busy stretching your balls. I don’t think Ed Hochuli improved the situation much by upgrading the comment to “switching out balls.” It’s pretty clear that your employer is doing that as well.
I only hope that that fancy underwear-with-legs you wear for speed and endurance protects the family bangles during this time of change.
That sounds familiar to me. When people leave here where I work – they do away with their jobs.
Often, not much thought is put into who is going to do what they did. And a lot of times – the tasks are given to another person without any compensation.
I don’t understand the hate for facial hair. I suppose it depends on when and where you grew up.
I’m not much for haircuts – but I also go to what is mostly a place for women. I like the woman who owns the place – and she does not try to give me short hair cuts.
They’ve been doing the same thing at my work. The manager of programming (my boss) quit a while back, and nobody has been designated to do that job – I. the only remaining programmer, now report directly to the CTO. The same thing happened on the Install side: the manager quit, and now his former underlings report to that that same CTO. It would bother me less if I had any confidence in the CTO’s ability.
Buzz in Wheeling says
Sometimes, if you can safely pull it off, the situation may call for what we used to refer to as:
A Good Healthy Dose Of Incompetence
Properly carried out, this turns a managerial ‘good’ idea into one they won’t even think about bringing up again.
Used it a number of times – always worked. Enjoyed pulling this when the suits were feeling especially full of themselves.
They keep squeezing more and more and more out of us where I work. They just gave me this huge project because “I’m quick.” The dolt that did it before me was so slow that *I* get rewarded by doing even more work because I happen to be – I don’t know – adept? Able? And I won’t get recognized for this. It will just be part of my job.
Billy Joel says
Nothing new and exciting happening in my world. I survived one holiday, and am now slouching towards another.
I did, however run into this little blurb this morning in a back-issue of the Transactions of the American Geophysical Union:
“Carbon dioxide tops 400 ppm at Mauna Loa, HI: The daily mean concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, hit 400.03 parts per million on 9 May, marking the first time the concentration there has topped 400 ppm since measurements began in 1958.”
As a point of reference, the CO2 concentration was measured at about 315 ppm at this observatory back in 1958.
Welcome to the New World, everyone!