We all know them. Its me me me, and they bore the sock off us all. Only retirement can make them more annoying, and yet somehow there is more…
We all know them. Its me me me, and they bore the sock off us all. Only retirement can make them more annoying, and yet somehow there is more…
DevelopDevelopErie, the agency set up to promote the economic revitalization of struggling DevelopErie, an agency set up to promote economic revitalization in struggling Erie County, has gone bankrupt, according to court documents filed yesterday. County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper issued a press release which, in its entirety, reads, “Swear to God, can’t catch a break.”
Erie SeaWolves mascot C. Wolf is resting comfortably tonight after being shot while making a promotional appearance in West Springfield. Mr. Wolf was posing for a photograph near a wooded area off Route 20 when a single shot, fired by hunter Hunter Danovitch, grazed his tail. Mr. Wolf immediately returned fire with his T-shirt gun, […]
Presque Isle Downs and Casino announced today that a blackjack dealer broke his leg during a game and had to be humanely euthanized. The dealer slipped on an errant ice cube and fractured his ankle, necessitating the on-call medical staff to erect a curtain behind which the employee was put down to end his suffering. […]
This conversation actually happened at a place where I worked, involving myself, a female supervisor, and a coworker named Bill who makes very questionable decisions.
Supervisor: I think I should go on a diet and shed a few pounds before summer.
Bill: You don’t need to lose weight; you’re pleasantly plump.
(Several moments of painfully awkward silence.)
Supervisor: I’m what?
Bill: you’re pleasantly plump.
Supervisor: I’m plump am I? Plump is what I am? I’m plump?
Bill: no, you’re pleasantly plump.
Me: (whispering discretely in Bill’s direction) stop saying the word plump, dude.
Supervisor: so my plumpness is pleasant to you?
Bill: I like a girl with meat on her bones.
(Another long and horrifying awkward silence.)
Me: wow, I can’t believe you thought the word meat would be helpful.
Supervisor: so I’m plump and meaty. (turning to address me) Do I look pleasantly plump to you?
Me: (frightened): pleasant is certainly not a word I would employ at the moment.
Supervisor: (growling) but am I plump?
Bill: There’s nothing wrong with having some junk in your trunk.
(She literally became so angry she couldn’t speak.)
Me: you really need to stop all of the words that are coming out of your mouth, Bill.
Bill: (holding his hands wide apart) but I like women who have…
I can only guess at how Bill was going to finish that sentence; I am certain it would have resulted in his homicide.
The supervisor tortured Bill for weeks, screaming “watch out, there’s fat coming through,” every time she walked past him.
It was funny–for me.
The moral of this story: don’t be a dumbass.
I was interrupted from my duties by Rat-Faced Guy, (not his actual name) who informed me that he needed my assistance.
He dragged me over to a line where juice was being packaged in small cans. As cases of these cans progressed down the line, a machine would lift every other case and then fling the cans into the air, spilling them across the floor. Evidently, that’s not how the machine was designed to operate.
Rat-Faced Guy (probably not his name) explained to me that the malfunctioning machine would be shut down, and I would step in to take its place. As the cases came down the line in pairs, it would be my job to pick up the first case of juice, and place it on top of the second case of juice. Then I would have to do that again and again, until the machine was operating properly again.
It was at point that Rat-Faced Guy (potentially his actual name, when I said Rat-Faced Guy, people seem to know to whom I was referring) asked me if I understood.
“So, you’re asking me if I understand putting one thing on top of another thing?” I asked him.
“Yeah.” He looked at me with his beady eyes, his wispy mustache twitching nervously.
“What if, instead of putting the first case on top of the second, I put the second case under the first case?” I proposed.
Rat-Faced Guy (probably his actual name) looked at me incredulously. “Why would you do that?”
“I’m a visionary,” I told him. “I’m like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, or Thomas Crapper.”
“Just do it the way I told you,” squeaked Rat-Faced Guy (almost certainly his actual name).
For the next two hours, I stood in one spot, and successfully put one thing on top of another thing.
Perhaps now they will trust me with something challenging such as putting one thing next to another thing.
The sky’s the limit–except for stacking things: two is the limit for stacking things.
This occurred while I was working as a quality control inspector at a steel coating plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was sitting at my desk filling out paperwork–paperwork that I’m sure was vital to the daily functioning of the plant, and not be interrupted–when the crane operator, Jim, burst into the office.
“We have a problem,” he barked.
Jim tended to have problems more days than not. Urgent problems. Urgent problems of all varieties. (I could tell it was urgent because Jim was using his urgent voice. His urgent voice was similar to his whiny voice, but an octave higher.)
I looked around the office to discover I was the only one there. Crap.
“Houston,” I said to him.
“When you burst into a room to exclaim that you have a problem, you’re supposed to say, ‘Houston, we have a problem.'”
“But we’re not in Houston.”
Note: nobody gets me.
“Never mind. What’s the problem?” I asked with genuinely feigned interest.
“Look at this,” he said as he shoved his phone at me. It was a picture of some temp workers standing outside on a smoke break.
“It’s a picture of some temp workers standing outside on a smoke break.” I said.
“You don’t see the problem?” He was incredulous.
“The threat of emphysema?”
“Look closer.” He shoved the phone at me again.
“Okay. They’re all smoking cigarettes, except for that little guy who seems to be holding…a crack pipe.”
“So you understand the problem now?”
“He’s not sharing with the others?”
“This is serious,” he snapped.
“Selfishness is a serious problem, Jim,” I admonished him.
“I can’t be operating a crane out there with people running around all hopped up on drugs.”
“Do people still use the phrase hopped up?”
“Are you going to do something or not?”
“Where’s Rick?” I asked. “He’s loud and obnoxious and loves to yell at people.”
Rick was the foreman, he was loud and obnoxious and loved to yell at people.
“He called off today,” Jim told me.
Note: It’s so rare that you’re in want of a person who is loud and obnoxious and loves to yell at people, but the one time you are, he’s not around. I once asked the owner why he made Rick the foreman. He told me that Rick was too stupid to do anything useful, but he was good at yelling at people, so he made him the foreman. Just another reason the Pittsburgh steel industry is thriving–in Japan.
My immediate boss was also off that day. This was horrible luck for me since I mainly dealt with readings, measurements, recording data and that type of thing. What I didn’t deal with were problems that could lead to me being stabbed in the side of head.
I approached the person in question. He was a little guy with glasses. He looked like Mr. Peabody if Mr. Peabody were a crackhead and not a cartoon dog. He was sweating profusely and his eyes were darting back and forth.
“We won’t be needing you for the rest of the day, so you can go home now,” I told him, hoping that he would just acquiesce and leave.
“Why?” He demanded.
“We just don’t need you.”
He leaned into me, and growled in a slow deep voice, “is it because of the leprechauns?”
I gaped like an idiot.
“It’s the leprechauns isn’t it?” He persisted.
“No. It has nothing to do with the leprechauns.” I spoke slowly. “It’s more that you smoked crack on your break.” I felt at that point, honesty wasn’t going to make the situation any worse.
“Is that what the leprechauns told you?” He screamed. “The leprechauns lie!” Then he produced a razor blade from his pocket and held it to my face.
Evidently honesty could make things much worse.
He then gave me a very strange look and asked in a near whisper, “are you a leprechaun?”
You’re never really prepared for the first time someone asks you if you’re leprechaun. The public schools are woefully inadequate in such preparation. Knowing how to diagram a sentence or use the Pythagorean theorem are useless abilities when you’re about to be cut.
So I said the only thing my agile brain could produce: “I’m not even wearing green.”
Luckily for me (almost leprechaun lucky) Mr. Peabody became so fearful of leprechauns, he left on his own without incident.
But the next time someone asks me if I’m a leprechaun–I’ll be prepared.
This was an actual conversation I witnessed between a co-worker and a supervisor and the thoughts I had as I listened to the conversation.
It was our first week on a temporary job and my co-worker was keen to be hired in full time. So keen that he felt the need to explain in detail why he had called off the previous Friday.
Co-worker: I wanted to explain why I had to call off on Friday.
Co-worker: I was in jail.
Me thinking: Oh no, don’t tell him that.
Co-worker: But it wasn’t my fault. My buddy got pulled over for running a stop sign and the cop took both our licenses. I just happened to have a warrant out for my arrest.
Me Thinking: You just happened to have a warrant out for your arrest?
Supervisor: You just happened to have a warrant out for your arrest?
Co-worker: It was from like, four years ago. I still owed money on a fine.
Me thinking: Don’t tell him why you were arrested.
Co-worker: It was for cocaine possession.
Co-worker: But I don’t use illegal drugs anymore…
Me thinking: The first non-damaging thing you’ve said.
Co-worker: …very often.
Me thinking: Of course.
Co-worker: In fact, out of all the times I’ve been in jail, that’s the first time I didn’t know somebody in there.
Me thinking: Seriously? Why would you tell him that?
Supervisor: It sounds like you had a rough weekend.
Co-worker: Yeah. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t get hammered on the weekend.
Me thinking: He couldn’t possibly make this worse.
Co-worker: At least I didn’t get (at this point he crudely described being raped by another man) by a big guy named Bubba.
Me thinking: I stand corrected.
Co-worker: And they took all the cash I had and put it toward what I owed on the fine. I’ve had to bum smokes off everyone today…I mean cigarettes–not weed.
Me thinking: Good catch, that’ll save the day.
Supervisor: Well, try to stay out of trouble next weekend.
A few minutes later on the job.
Co-worker: I think that went really well.
Me: Really? You think that went well?
Co-worker: People appreciate honesty?
Me: I certainly appreciated it.
Two months later.
The co-worker was brought on full-time–I was not.
A few weeks later.
The co-worker arrived at work drunk out of his mind, fell asleep on the job, and was fired.
The moral to this little story: people are stupid and they suck.
In my previous post I detailed my first conversation with Bill, a coworker with one testicle.
Bill had described to me an unfortunate turn of events involving alcohol, a nail gun, a regrettable ricochet, and the subsequent loss of one of his testicles.
He described it with a level of detail that seemed completely unnecessary–it was disturbing.
Following the nail gun discussion, we navigated through several comparatively mundane topics of conversation, most of which had nothing to do with anybody’s testicles, damaged or otherwise.
Eventually he began to tell me about his ex-girlfriend. He described to me how much he adored her. He described to me how much she reciprocated his feelings. He told me with regret that they were forced to break-up.
“How is it that you were forced to break-up?” I asked him.
“Well, it turned out that she’s ‘kind of’ my sister,” he replied casually.
Then he stood there silently. For the first time all day–he stood there silently. He had jabbered on about his guns, his dog, his truck, and his testicles–the one he still had and one he didn’t. But now he stood there silently.
“Please explain,” I said.
“Explain what?” He replied innocently.
The man who thought it necessary to guide me through a graphically detailed journey of the loss of his testicle now had nothing say.
“Explain how she’s ‘kind of’ your sister.”
“We have the same father,” he again replied innocently.
I puzzled for a moment as I absorbed what I had just heard.
“That would make her less ‘kind of’ your sister and more ‘exactly’ your sister…it’s pretty much the text book definition of a sister.”
“Half-sister,” he corrected me. “We have different mothers.”
It seems the poor girl’s mother had never told her who her real father was until the circumstance of her dating her half-brother had forced the situation.
“It was really too bad we had to break-up,” he said with regret. “We had a lot in common.”
“Of course you had a lot in common,” I told him, “DNA for starters.”
Then he said something horrible.
Note: I know what you’re thinking: more horrible than the story about a nail piercing his testicle? Yes!
“We had great sex,” he proclaimed with an amount of pride that seemed wholly inappropriate.
“Stop it,” I yelled in a panic.
I didn’t need the mental image of a man with one testicle having sex with his sister. (Correction: half-sister.)
“I’d be more comfortable if we went back to talking about your lost testicle,” I said emphatically.
Just saying the words made me queasy; no man should ever have to utter that phrase.
His name was Bill, and I had just met him five minutes ago. It was my first day on the job, and I was helping him. We worked in silence for a few minutes before he turned to me and said with stunning nonchalance, “Yeah. I’ve only got one testicle.”
I gaped stupidly.
I prefer to know a person at least one full day before I work my testicles into a conversation.
He looked at me expectantly, as if he was waiting for me to say, “great, tell me more about your testicles, or lack of them. I’m keen to hear.”
As I gaped stupidly, several possible responses flipped through my mind:
I said none of those things. I replied by saying the stupidest thing my brain could conjure: “I have two of them?”
And yes, I said it as a question. I’m still not certain why I felt confused.
Perhaps I just didn’t want to appear as though I was bragging. If I had confidently told him, “I have two testicles–the proper amount,” that would have seemed grandiose.
He looked at me like I was an idiot. I felt like an idiot. There was that inevitable awkward silence that occurs when two men discuss their testicles for the first time.
Undeterred by my idiocy, he launched into the story “I was out in my garage having a few beers when I thought to myself: this would be a good time to try out my new nail gun.”
The next several minutes were horrifying. I will spare you details because…well…ick.
I did learn some things from Bill:
I can write one thing with relative certitude: it was not a good time to try out his new nail gun.
I spent the remainder of the night with one overriding thought in my mind: please don’t offer to show me a scar.