Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tommy Keene 'Based On Happy Times'

Last Saturday, I had to take the Rock 92 van down to Randleman (or “Randle-Tucky” as some of the natives call it) for NASCAR Days. And the first thing that struck me as “odd” with NASCAR Days is the fact that it only takes place on one day. When did “days” become a day?

I was at the station at 6:30 Saturday morning to meet Goat so that he could drive the white van and follow me down there. We also had to set up a television from Steele & Vaughan that the guys from EB Games could use. We were going to leave it for them and pick it up later that evening.

We got there around 7:15 and we were to park in front of the First National Bank there on Main Street. From what the directions told me, our spaces would be on the left hand side just after turning right onto Main Street. I looked and looked and did not find the bank. So, I turned around and backtracked this time and paid close attention to the numbers that I saw spray-painted on the pavement just in front of the curbing.

I found our two of our spaces and noticed that our third space was across the street. Luckily, the truck could fit into the two on one side in front of the unmarked bank building. Yes, that’s right! The bank was unmarked. Nowhere did Goat and I find any markings telling us who the tenant was. Crazy, but that’s totally expected in small towns.

You’d think that finding something in a small town would be easy, but often times it’s not. I remember a time when I had to deliver an office chair to some place in Thomasville on Main Street. I drove up and down the street several times until I called my office to find out where in the hell the place was. My boss (who I saw at “NASCAR Days” and is still just as irritating as she ever was) told me “it’s on Main Street”. Again, I explained my dilemma. Then she decided to call the place that ordered the chair and get directions from them. It turned out that Thomasville, the genius of small towns, has TWO Main Streets.

The old boss was a woman with the build, grace, and personality of a bulldog. When I saw her in Randleman, I thought that I’d strike up a conversation and find out how everyone there was doing. Of course, I wanted to see if the company was still treading water. I was one of three employees that were laid-off not soon after the economy went south 6 months after 9/11. They lost the state contract and things weren’t looking too hopeful.

I stepped off the back step of the truck and saw “bulldog” coming down the street. I used her name when I said “hey”. She just kept walking and looked forward once again. I said, “Hey (bulldog), its Eugene.”

“I know,” she said, as she seemed to pick up steam.

And on that note, I decided that “bulldog” was out of my life for good. There’s no reason to ever talk to this woman again. Hell, I never really liked her in the first place. She had a knack for pissing you off 3.6 seconds after opening her mouth and she barked and barked orders at everyone. My other boss wasn’t so great either. I didn’t talk to him unless it was about business in my last three months that I worked there.

I had to make a delivery to the City of Thomasville. The building that houses the city government there didn’t have an elevator where it counts. So, every time that they ordered from us, we would have to carry the enormous amount of supplies up three flights of stairs.

Usually, there would be 20 to 25 cases of paper weighing 50 lbs. each to carry up along with 10 to 20 other cases filled with miscellaneous items weighing anywhere from 5 to 50 lbs. All of this was to be lifted and carried up those stairs and placed in the supply closet.

The first time that I went on this glorious assignment, I asked for help and received it from the furniture guys. We were always helping them with their deliveries and “bulldog” seemed all right with it since they didn’t have much going on that day.

This time was different.

I first asked the salesman if he could help, but he had a hernia and his operation was just around the corner. Then I asked “bulldog” if the furniture guys could help, but they were too busy. Then I asked the same salesman if I could break it up into 2 deliveries so that I wouldn’t hurt myself doing it all at once. He seemed cool with that and said that he’d let me know.

I went on about my business waiting for the salesman’s reply when all of a sudden Mr. Jackass (the other boss) burst through the door and got within inches of my face. He started yelling right into skull and I took two steps back. Then he closed up the gap with two of his own steps. Knowing that there were two other employees there, I stepped back into their view. Mr. Jackass followed in order to get back into my face.

“Scott tells me that you don’t want to make the delivery, Eugene,” he yelled into every pore of my overactive T-zone.

“I didn’t…”

He kept on yelling like a crazy person and to be quite honest, I was worried that he was going to hit me.

“Are you going to do the job or not, Eugene?” he asked.

I answered with a “yes”.

“Can you do the job?” he asked.

“Yes, I’ll do it.” I said with anger welling up inside me.

I started to explain my point and Mr. Jackass wanted nothing to do with it. He said, “Just do your job,” and he left.

I knew what he was doing. He was trying to fire me on an insubordination rap and I would have nothing to do with that because that will not help you get unemployment benefits.

The two other employees were aghast with what they saw and heard. They gave me their support and told me not to let Mr. Jackass get to me.

So, right then and there, I decided to do my job. And to do it as described in the employee handbook. No longer did I work through lunch and my other two breaks in order to make those deliveries. No! I took time to take my fifteen minutes by parking off the highway and turning the engine off whenever break time arrived. I took my lunch hour no matter how full the truck was. Before, it was standard that if you have to skip lunch and eat on the fly, then you could take a two-hour lunch the next day.

Well, that wasn’t going to work for me anymore. I was going to go by the book. And no matter how many deliveries had to be made, I would turn my truck around at 4:30 pm and head back to the office. No overtime was allowed and you had to be punched-out at 5 sharp. I would unload the entire undelivered product for the driver the next day. I didn’t like passing it off onto Alan, but the line had been drawn in the sand and he understood.

And that delivery, it took a good three hours to make by myself. I made sure not to injure myself. I could strain my back and fall down those stairs if I didn’t take plenty of rests while making that excessive delivery.

I also made a document of what happened along with the two names of the people who had witnessed the incident and presented the owner with his own copy. Of course, being the impotent weenie that he was, he did nothing about it.

You know, I didn’t mean to get way off the subject. Oh well, there wasn’t much to say about NASCAR Days to be honest. But, I will tell you about a guy that really got to Goat and me tomorrow.

The views expressed in this blog are purely my own and do not represent those of Rock 92.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:55 PM

    So, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman survived after all and is living in these parts. Who knew? You probably reminded him of Leonard. I'm sure it was nothing personal.