5 Short Stories

My daughter moved out again.  I am excited for her.  I went to clean her bathroom after she left and when I turned on the shower to rinse it, all the water came crashing down on my head.  Yep, she took her shower head with her.  First of all, I have to ask if that is included in the “I’m taking all my stuff with me” and second of all, I am damn impressed that she took it off and put it in her apartment bathroom all by herself.  Now I know why she asked to borrow a wrench.

And then there is “the mop issue.”  Seems there is an argument over who has to purchase a mop for the apartment.  My daughter feels like her roommate should buy it since she has supplied the vacuum.  (And of course, the vacuum came from our house since we had an extra one).  A few issues here:

  • The area in their apartment is so tiny it would literally take her less than five minutes to hand mop it using a wet towel.
  • We have a mop and I graciously offered to let her have it.  Except it wasn’t THE MOP that was needed.  Evidently a self wringing mop isn’t going to work.  They want the auto squirt and disposable pad type mop.  Yeah, they can work this one out on their own.
  • My husband is going to get so tired of hearing about this mop issue that if she waits him out, he is going to go out and buy her one.  Unfortunately this is something my daughter knows as well.

You know, I didn’t think I would miss buying her stuff so much.

 

I literally had a Fried Green Tomatoes moment the other day. I was waiting and waiting for a parking spot with my blinker on and then this stupid car cut me off and turned right in front of me and stole my VFR (family abbreviation for Very Front Row). I was so pissed. Luckily I had a package of marshmallows with me so I opened them and threw them all over her car.  Yeah, I’m not proud but dammit I know I have better insurance.FGT Car

We have now reached a point where we have to purchase special hot dogs for Casey in order to get him to take his seizure medicine twice per day.  And we had to get a pill splitter to make them REALLY TINY so he doesn’t taste them.  If he can tell there is a pill in his food, he spits it out on the floor.  I know he is 16 years old and blind and deaf but damn is this getting to be high maintenance!  Not to mention that my husband and I argue about how long to heat the hot dog up in the microwave.

Stuck in an Elevator

My husband got stuck in an elevator this weekend.  And boy was he pissed.  It all started around 3:30 am when he was done playing black jack and coming up to our room in the casino.  As usual, I had quit hours earlier after losing my $40 in the penny slot machines (that now require a minimum .30 cents bet.  I would argue that it isn’t officially a “penny slot machine” because I would damn sure bet a lot less than that if I had the option but that is just me bitching).

All was well as he got into the elevator and pushed our floor.  When he reached it, the elevator stopped.  But the door would not open. At all.  After waiting a reasonable amount of time, my husband said he tried pushing all the buttons, he even pushed the emergency call button.  Which resulted in a very loud blast of ringing noises that could only be heard inside the elevator.  He then tried to McGyver his way out using a plastic wet floor sign, hotel door key and a credit card.  To no avail.

At this point he was getting pretty pissed.  Being the considerate husband that he is, he used his cell phone to try and call the front desk instead of me.  At first he did not get any service and then when he did no one answered. So then he did finally call me and yelled that he was “stuck in the fucking elevator for 30 minutes and I needed to call someone.”

I was sound asleep when he called (I feel like I should get kudos for answering, right?) but I did immediately call the front desk and informed them that my husband was stuck in the elevator.  And I got the response of: “Oh my goodness!  We’ll send someone right up!” I tried to call my husband back but it went to voicemail so I just texted him “they are sending someone.”  Pretty obvious this wasn’t the first time this had happened.

Then I hear pounding from the hall. Now, our room was about 10-12 rooms down the hall from the elevator so I am thinking if I can hear that, surely someone closer to the elevator would have heard as well and investigated, right?  I guess not.

So now here is my dilemma, should I get up and go down to the elevator?  This is a legit question but the barrier was that I was in my pajamas.  The bigger question was: Did I want to put on a bra?  Because there simply isn’t an option of not wearing one. While contemplating that, I heard a walkie talkie conversation in the hall and sighed in relief that I could climb back into bed.

Then I thought that was rather mean, since my husband had just experienced a rather traumatic event so I should at least stay up and pretend to be supportive and I promised myself I would not say “Well, that’s what you get for staying out until 4 am.”

I heard noise down the hall which consisted mostly of my husband saying the fuck word over and over again.  As the fucks became louder and closer to the hotel room, I went over and opened the door.

Yeah, pissed was a major understatement.  I swear I wanted to laugh because come on, getting stuck in an elevator in a rinky dink casino at 4 am would be a humor bloggers dream.  If it were me, I probably would have just curled up and gone to sleep. Except what would I do if I had to pee? And this would be the perfect test to see how much your spouse really cares.  I mean, you would definitely know based on how long it would take before they started looking for you, right?  Except it would suck for me because I don’t usually get up on weekends before 10 am.

At any rate, I provided the normal supportive consolidation and totally agreed with him that if we had heard the elevator bell going off and kicking noises, we definitely would have left the room to investigate.  Well, he would have; I would still have the whole bra issue to deal with.

 

The Joys of Supervision

I have been supervising staff for a number of years.  Call me weird, but I enjoy it. Usually after a few years, I can look back and see that it is all good and we are better.   If not, I would feel like a failure.  And this is especially hard when you work for the state.  Any state. Because they all make supervising very difficult. Not impossible. But very difficult.

I loved the time that I had an employee tell me that I was “out to get her.”  First of all, I was flattered, but if I was out to get anyone, it would take a boat load of work and unless I have gobs of time on my hands (which a supervisor/manager usually does not) and a really, really bad employee, well, I am just not going to go there.  Because it takes soooooo much time. And Effort.  And documentation.  Besides, I believe I have perfected the “Expectation Theory” where I make the expectations quite high and (gasp) actually expect the employee to meet them.  For some reason, they usually quit after a period of time.

My favorite story is about one state employee that really had me challenged.  After three years I still could not make any progress on discipline.  As soon as I gave them a bad review, I was called on an EEOC complaint.  When I questioned FMLA, HR told me to back off.  A counseling session ended with a grievance filed against me. But I didn’t give up.  I mean, I have been a supervisor for a long time.  I knew the game. So the next fiscal year I just wrote their position out of the budget.

Another time I had an employee who had some real issues and behavior unbecoming of any employee.  I called them into my office, told them very clearly with concise and stern language that their behavior would no longer continue under any circumstances.  And then I went home and told my husband to sue the state if the employee came back the next day with a gun and killed me.  (Yes, that scary).

Then there was the counseling session where the employee said, “Usually I get upset when you talk to me, but I just came from my doctor and he gave me some new pills so I am feeling really good and you aren’t bothering me today.”

And you know you have a good employee when they willingly (and with just a little teasing) drove to the office at 10:00 pm because their boss (me) inadvertently locked myself into a hallway.  I am sure I looked so sad waiting through the glass door.  Trapped. That never happened again.

Once I was the building manager for a state building.  One of my many jobs was to “go find the fire.”  So when the fire alarm went off, everyone had to evacuate the building but I had to go to the fire alarm panel, locate where the alarm was going off and investigate.  If it was a false alarm I called the fire dept and cancelled the call, shut off the alarm and went outside to tell everyone “All Clear” so they could return.  I do have to admit that the power of making an entire building of people wait outside for me was rather nice. Even my boss couldn’t come inside until I said so.  I always thought this was a good comparison to “time to make the donuts.” But instead it was “time to go find the fire.”

I had to threaten to fire my facilities manager one time for continuing to wear beer t-shirts to work. How many times should a supervisor tell him a Heineken shirt is inappropriate. Evidently three times.  Because it took that many.

True Story:  I once tried to poach a floor polisher from Publix.  It is really hard to hire a good floor person.  Keeping floors clean and shiny is an art and should not be taken lightly.  I tried to talk him into working for me but it didn’t work.  Can’t say I didn’t try.

LWL Musings #91

Why is there a bicycle lane on the road leading to the airport?  I mean, where would one realistically put their luggage?  And is there a bicycle parking lot? Do you have to pay?  How would you pick someone up?

I have a friend who needs constant encouragement:

Friend: “Are you SURE this is a good decision for me?
Me: Yes.
Me: Yeppers
Me: Absolutely, mon.
Me: That’s a hard yes on my end.
Me: (That’s what she said)
Me: Of course you silly rabbit
Me: Sending positive thoughts your way!
Me: OMG this is so exhausting!
Friend: lol…I just peed myself laughing at your text.
Me: Then my job is done, thank you.

I was putting gas in my car and spilled some on my hand.  There wasn’t any way to wash it off so I took my berry scented sanitizing gel from my purse and used it. So then my hand smelled like gas berry juice.

I want my life to be as simple as Oreos and Sprite (from the Walmart check out lane).

Seriously - How can you drive with this distraction?

Seriously, how can you drive with this distraction?

Boca and his Rat Toys

Everyone knows that Boca is a fierce hunter.  At his age, I would hope he would start slowing down with all the hunting, but unfortunately that is not happening.

We just experienced Rat #3 incidence.  This is the third time in as many months that he has brought a rat into the house for his amusement.  If they are not already dead by the time we find them, they will be eventually.  And everyone knows his “I have a live critter somewhere in the house- shall we play?” behavior.

This time he brought the rat into the hall. We honestly thought it was dead. I mean I even had the thought that at least this was good timing because the trash would go out tomorrow.  I can pick up a dead vermin.  I only need a half roll of Bounty and three Wal-Mart bags.

Christina found Boca and the rat first and yelled for me. When I came out and saw it, I yelled for my husband. Who was watching a ball game on TV and wasn’t really interested and/or maybe thought by now we could manage these sorts of episodes on our own.  (And if that is the case, then what the hell is he thinking?)

So Christina and I are contemplating this new development while simultaneously saying “Bad Boca” and taking video for Christina’s snapchat.  Then Boca touched the rat with this paw.

And. It. Moved.

Boca and his rat toy

That was it for me and Christina. We screamed and proceeded to run into her bedroom stuffing a towel under the door to make sure the rat would not get in.

Shortly thereafter, we hear my husband cursing and yelling at me to “come here.”  My daughter pushed me toward the door stating “Your husband is calling you.” Totally not fair that I got the short end of the stick on this one, I s-l-o-w-l-y opened the door and checked for a rogue rat.

Hearing commotion in the dining room, my husband handed me a broom and told me to stop the rat from going into the living room and he would herd it out the front door.  I immediately knew where the rat was from Boca’s twitching tail/silent hunter stance next to the chair.

Except when that 12 pound, gross, creepy gray thing came at me, all I did was scream and throw the broom.  Which meant Mr. Rat was now in the living room. Somewhere.

At this point, my husband was pretty pissed off and I guess the curiosity got the better of Christina who came out of her room (not to help, of course but to send a follow up snapchat of the original video; the one where we originally thought the rat was dead).

Upturned furniture in the living room and then into the Florida Room.  Shoved furniture in the Florida Room and my husband was finally able to whack the rat out the back door onto the deck.  (I would guess his golfing skills came in handy for that part).

When it was all said and done, it looked like our house has been burglarized and ransacked. The lounge chair was upside down, as was the ottoman. All three couches were displaced and throw pillows randomly tossed all over on the floor.  Without saying a word, Christina and I started righting both rooms to normalcy.

But that wasn’t the end, of course.  We got the heated lecture (with profanity) of why the hell did we stand there and just look at it.  Because, according to my husband, how easy this would have been if we had just put a box over the rat as soon as we saw it?

“What? And not get video?” Christina whispered to me.  (I told her to stop before we got into more trouble).

So we failed yet again on being good rat hunters.  Boca, on the other hand, is doing real good.

Now all I have to do is get the rat blood out of the carpet before Michael’s sister comes to visit us next week.Boca3

A Speeding Ticket after 28 Years

I will immediately admit that it was totally my fault.  Saying that, let me quote my son: “Let’s take Hwy 19; it’s two lane, 55 mph all the way there.”

I got my first speeding ticket in over 28 years.  Dammit.  I was so pissed. Of course it was in this dinky ass town called Plummersville and the end of the month and blah, blah, blah. I had never been there before and trust me, will never go there again.

I was cited for going 52 in a 35.  Which I know was not true because there was the 45 mph and then BAM!  50 feet later was the sign for 35 mph.  (They may be a small town but not stupid in knowing ways to obtain money).

When I went online to look up my fine, it was $180.00. WTF!   Surely they jest.  Figuring that I could at least reduce the amount of the ticket, I duly put the date for traffic court on my Outlook calendar and planned on presenting my side of the story (not including my son’s stupid advice).

Used GPS to find the courthouse. Drove by the damn thing three times before finally rolling down my window and asking someone.  “This is it,” they told me.  I was dumbfounded.  Never would have even guessed.

Because this “courthouse” was definitely more like a community hall/fire station/employee lounge/after school program room.  Not kidding.  Because all I could see were metal folding chairs and tables, a microwave and fridge and several cheery religious signs on the wall.  When I walked in, I asked someone where I signed in.  They just looked at me.  “You don’t,” they said.  So I just sat down.

I seriously wanted to take a picture but with the many cops and a few other employees, I was definitely afraid of saying or doing anything other than sitting on that damn uncomfortable metal chair.  And checking my work email because I certainly had other things I could be doing.

Finally the “judge” (I have to use the term loosely here) got the rollie chairs from the lounge area and set up at the folding table at the front of the room.  As the court employee called out names, no one responded.  Finally, after several of these, the judge announced that everyone could just line in up in alphabetical order and he would speak with each person.

When my name was called, I went up the front and explained that I was “not going 52 in a 35; but would agree that I was going 52 in a 45.”

The judge’s response was; “Hon, it doesn’t matter how fast you were going, if you plead guilty you will pay the fine.”

“I respectfully request that you do not call me ‘hon’ and to clarify—it wouldn’t matter if I were in a 35 or 45 mph zone, the fine would be the same?”

“No, if you were going 20 mph over the speed limit, you would also have been cited for reckless driving.  How do you plead?”

“Guilty and do you take credit cards?”

“Yes, pay the clerk $180.00.” (Wait, this gets better)

So I go to the cop-clerk and hand him my ticket and credit card. He looks at me and then says he isn’t sure he can process the credit card because “the last time I tried to do it, the entire card was ruined.”

“But I was told you could take a credit card.”

“Well, we can but Doris has to do it.”

“And where is Doris?”

“Up there with the judge so you’ll have to wait until she is done.”

Now, mind you my last name is at the beginning of the alpha so I REALLY did not want to hang around for another 30 minutes.  And I didn’t bring my Jimmy Dean frozen sausage biscuit to cook in the microwave.

“Now,” the cop-clerk continued.  “You could go to the Country Store and use the ATM to get cash.  I can take that.”

“You have to be bloody kidding me,” I muttered as I left the room, got in my car and drove to the Country Store and used their ATM.

I returned to the courthouse/after school center/church fellowship hall with my cash and proceeded to the cop-clerk again. By this time “Doris” was free and could have taken my credit card but since I now had cash, this wasn’t an issue. I did feel obligated to tell Doris that cop-clerk needed to obviously have training on taking credit card payments. She didn’t care.

Here is a picture of the outside of the courthouse.  If I had waited 10 minutes, I could have included the judge smoking a cigarette next to the vending machine.

If you look really close, you can see the paper “Court House” sign taped to the door.

 

 

Waiting on an Egg McMuffin

I love going through McDonald’s drive thru and getting my $1.00 large drink.  I am especially happy when I reach the pay window and some really smart McDonald’s worker has my drink ready so I don’t have to drive to the second window.  That is definitely some forward thinking for a fast food employee!  Those are probably the ones who get promoted to Pizza Hut.

Lately I have been on an Egg McMuffin kick.  But when I order it at 7:00 pm, they never have one ready to go.  Which, if one thinks about it, is probably a good thing, right?

So today I jump in the first drive thru lane and wait my turn.  And wait.  And wait a bit more.  You know, I think there is a fast food conspiracy going on lately.  What happens is that it is your turn and you roll up to the order speaker.  And wait.  No one says in a sweet chipper voice: “Welcome to McDonald’s!  May I take your order please?”

No, you don’t get that because all the fast food workers have banded together and said “Hey! Let’s wait and see how long a customer will sit and wait before telling us their order.” (The stupid part was implied, of course)

I don’t wait very long. Probably 3 nano-seconds. And then I’m all “HELLO!”  I guess that is all it takes to make them behave again.   As an aside, did you know that the way they can tell which car has which order is because a picture of your car shows up on the screen with your order?  I didn’t either!  So how cool would it be to get about 10 blue Rav4 Toyota SUV’s and everyone line up at the drive thru at the same time and have the exact same order with a couple of variations?  I mean, who doesn’t like messing with fast food workers, right?

At any rate, I order my drink and Egg McMuffin and invariably I am told I have to go park in DRIVE THRU SPACE #1 and they will bring out my Egg McMuffin. I am rather glad about that because at least you know you will be getting a freshly made one.

egg mcmuffin

So I park in my designated special fast food parking spot and sip on my drink.  And wait.  And wait.  Still waiting.  Finally, after one Katy and 2 Beiber songs, I am starting to get a bit pissed.  Time to take action.

I pick up my phone: “McDonald’s near me.” Up pops a McDonald’s – and it’s 11 feet away!  So I dial.  When my cheery fast food worker answers the phone, I calmly and politely ask if she has forgotten the car in drive thru spot #1 waiting on an Egg McMuffin.  There is a pause and then I hear this whole conversation in the background:

“I already gave it to her.”

“Well, she says she never got it and has been waiting  a long time.”

“I swear I did it.”

“Wait, did you give it to the other car in spot 2?”

“Well, maybe.  Probably.”

Suddenly remembering I was still on the phone, I get an apology and told my order will be out ASAP.

So I finally got my Egg McMuffin. And I wasn’t even pissy to the little girl who brought it to me (and I got a refund as well – totally didn’t expect that).  I told the girl to please keep an eye on the cars in Drive thru spots 1, 2 & 3. If any car is there longer than 3 minutes, she should follow up on their order.

And maybe, just maybe she can work at Pizza Hut one day.