Thursday, August 19, 2010

I tried to remember some of the Spanish I was taught.

I guy couldn't speak English all that well. He told me that he had been in the country for a month but then he said that he had been in his country for three months and then he said something about going back.

His son owns a moving company and his son set him in to pull permits. There was a potential problem with one of the permits and normally we will just send then down the hallway to try to figure things out but I was a bit worried that the people down that hallway might not have too much patience for a guy with broken English, so I walked down with him after he had me fill out the business check that his son's company was required to pay. And it was his first time in the place so I figured he could use the escort.

He read out loud the signs that direct people to where we were going. I turned and smiled and nodded to let him know that he was correct.

I liked the guy. It's got to be a little bit tough trying to function in a foreign city and working for you son to boot. The guy seemed to be making a large effort and if folks were to show him a little patience, he could get things done. You could see him learning. Or at least I could.

I stood with him at the desk and explained the issue. While that was being worked on, the head of the division walked out of her office. She didn't look happy. She knows me, she knows my sister, she knew the guy who retired and left me the job, she's been around for awhile and she is feared by most and respected by me.

She looked right at me like she had something to say.

I smiled and said, "Hi, Ann."

"Hey, listen. We've got to do something about people bumping phone calls down to us. It's getting out of hand. We're busy down her too and we can't be handing all of these phone calls. Someone keeps bumping them down here."

"I'll sent the calls down for bonds-"

"No it's not you that's doing it. It's someone else and it has to stop. I know it's not you. You're at least reasonable."

I think I might have cracked a slight grin when she said that I was reasonable. It was rather high praise from her. And I do try to be reasonable.

We have an incompetent person answering the phones and it's a major frustration for those workers who care about doing their jobs well but the bosses refuse to do anything about. They also refuse to properly staff the divisions.

Whatever. My job sucks at times but so what?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

tick tock

Things are running slow today. When things are slow or when I'm waiting on others. I'll pop around the internet; usually one by one I'll go down my bookmarks, unless one link gets noticed.

Ray got noticed today. Today is Ray's last blog post.

I left a comment on Ray's last post, or at least I tried to, when I hit publish, I was told that that service was not available or some such error message.

the comment was:

I hear ya. Posting is different when you're not writing for yourself.

Good fortune, Ray.

You, Melissa, King, Tracy, Radio, True, Anti, Angelina have made me have to reevaluate what I thought I believed at one point in time or another.

Or something not dissimiliar.

I miss my need to write. I've never had any great stories to tell but there was a time or two when I had something to say; something I had to get out of my head.

I think retreating inward has caused some change. Actually, retreating is not the correct word; it's not an active thing. It is inactive. I don't venture out.


He was calling my name from the stairs as he ascended. If you call out my name, I'll answer but if you try to continue a conversation with me by shouting, when shouting is unnecessary I will not respond. I will wait until we can speak normally.

He poked his head into my office and in a slight panic told me his problem.

Yeah, I can fix your problem but first you need to settle down and second you need to get me some information.

He needed an ad resized. Someone was trying to reduce the size of one of my ads but the text was getting too small which is what happens when you try to squeeze an 11x17 ad into a 6x8 frame. And he needed it done within minutes.

He stood over me while I did it. I wanted to tell him to go screw but I figured it was driving him crazy watching me adjust things minute amounts while time was ticking away.

I very rarely ever miss the opportunity to be a bastard.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh. Yeah.

He signed into work using Saturday’s sign-in sheet. There is only one person in the office that works on Saturday and it isn’t him and it was Monday.

When someone pointed it out to him he said, “I don’t even know what day it is anymore.”

Yeah, and you’re a dumbass.

This is the same guy that came back from two weeks of vacation and asked where the keys to his company car were. I pointed out that there were keys hanging up and he said he saw them but that they were to a Ford. He then asked if he drove a Ford. I said, “You drive a Taurus, don’t you?” because seven of the eight vehicles are Taurus’.

He said, “Oh, yeah.”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hand Job Security

Often there are things only I know or things only that I can do and my co-workers will suggest that I keep those secrets for job security but I think the Department runs better if more people know more things so I always share my knowledge.

I'll teach you everything I know to date because I know that I'm going to learn something new tomorrow.


She asked me to design the letter. She typed the text. After I was finished with Thank You letter that was going to be from her son, the Candidate, she asked my opinion. I told her, "It seems needy." So, she had me change some things. I would have changed a lot more but then it would have been my letter and I didn't feel like lending my voice.


The Owner said that when she spoke to the printer, the boss said that she just needed my application file. The Owner inquired as to which application was preferred and it was stated that any application would do.

I had my doubts. I can produce a file in the format of the most common applications. I purchased $1200 worth of Adobe products to be able to do such but I like using CorelDRAW. I've been using it for over a dozen years.

I doubted but I sent my Corel file anyway. I got an email back that the printer couldn't open it.

Yeah, I didn't think so.

She also wanted me to tell her what fonts I used in the design. I've been around long enough to know that unless all your fonts are super standard, you have to convert your text to curves before it leaves your computer.

I doubted her skills.


I apologize that this post didn't live up to the title.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The space before the exclamation point is how it was written

I couldn’t remember making the file and I couldn’t remember saving the file, so I opened it.

There was a phrase written twice.

The power behind you is stronger
than the fear in front of you !

The power behind you is stronger
than the fear in front of you !

I couldn’t remember whose file it was but it was a short list of whose it could be. I thought it was a co-op's but then I looked at the file's properties and found out who authored it. It was my predecessor, and that struck me as odd.

He didn’t seem like the type of guy that would have to give himself a little pep talk.

Maybe he wrote the note for someone else.

I wondered way I saved it. I think it’s a bit silly, which could be why I saved it, and if I were to try to convey that message, I would say: “The power within you is stronger than the power in front of you.” I know that it looses some of its poetry but I think it’s a stronger statement and it puts you more in control of the situation. When I hear about the power behind me I want to look behind me to see what that power is.

Both the power and the fear ultimately lie within, you get to choose which is more powerful.

Fear's probably a more common companion for most.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

"Hope for the best," I was told - I was hoping for something better

I've been away even though I haven't been anywhere different. I'll drop by the old places when I get a moment and everyone asks what I've been up to; "Nothing much. Just busy," is the usual answer that I give.

You would figure that being busy would afford me some stories to tell; but anything that I can think up is usually more boring than usual. I seem to be racing with the rats more.

I can't speak of the political things I do to my associates because those things are contrary to what the boss of the city wishes and whether I like it or not the city and me have the same boss. I often try not to make things difficult on me.


The owner told me that the postcards have brought in some business. I think she said it to encourage me but it just made things worse. It cost me time and effort to help her make money and I will not see any of it. I'm a sucker for staying.

If she were ugly, I would have left a long time ago.

As I was leaving, I nearly ran into her mother, who lives across the street from the office. She asked about whether or not the checks her daughter gave her were any or or not. I said, "The gas is off," as I motioned to across the street, "So I'm guessing, No."

There was so little life left in her mother's eyes; more life gone than having a pig's heart value put into your chest would take.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Nine o'clock on a Saturday morning was an odd time for my cell phone to ring. I didn't recognize the number but I flipped it open anyway.

It was the Candidate. At first I thought, "What the fuck are you doing calling me? You need to be seen with the troops."

The piece I did earlier in the week was being dropped to the whole of the voting district. It takes a lot of volunteers to drop the whole district and the Candidate, the one they are doing the favor for, needs to be seen.

But it's not my race. I don't even live in the district. I'm only in the game because of a mutual friend.

"Yeah, Tim. I just wanted to say thanks. I have a lot of volunteers dropping your piece, and I just wanted to say thanks. I couldn't have done it without you."

I was a little quiet. I didn't know what to say. The last that I heard was that he wanted some design changes so I didn't know where he was coming from, and I still thought he should be spending his time with the troops and not phoning to thank me. Me, I'm safe as house, until the campaign is over or until our mutual friend stops helping him.

I told him that he was welcome and that it wasn't a problem. I had sent the piece to the printers three days prior. I had already moved on, mostly. There were some things that did cross my mind to say but I didn't feel that it was the right time.

I wished him luck.

The next day I was with our mutual friend. I wanted to know if she knew anything about what motivated the Candidate to call me.

"The Candidate called my yesterday to thank me for the piece."

"Aww, that was nice of him."

"Yeah but last I heard he didn't like it; he wanted to change the inside."

"No. He likes it. But that was after he was told to trust our design instincts."

I still think someone put him up to calling me.

I think it was his mother.