Saturday, August 4, 2012

"That's It. I Quit"

Horrible Texas drivers. The "150" is how many miles it will go without a problem.
Although I foresee myself saying those fateful words, I am too desperate at this point to put myself back on the job market. The job as a fleet mechanic assistant paid $10.14 which should make all parents quiver with fear. Absolute poverty wages for the person responsible for the oil in you child's school bus. No, I'm content where I am at, but my coworker Jose, finally had enough on Thursday and quit. What's funny is that I was told he would be fired on Friday but he didn't know that. Why they were keeping him around to totally mess up the tile job in the unit we were working on is testament to how disorganized they are at the park. Let's keep this guy around for one more day to milk him for weed eating and tiling that we won't be satisfied with. Uh, why not fire him yesterday? So, on Monday I was #3 of 3. By Friday I'm #1 of 1 since I further learn that another coworker is basically the housekeeper who has been forced into attempting repairs and actually doesn't know what a socket is. I thought she was just scatterbrained because I'm wondering why I was taking orders from someone who can't use a screwgun. Now I know. Jose wasn't happy at the job and they weren't happy with Jose.
But the beautiful drama was when he walked up, handed me the key to the unit and said, "I'm done. She can't talk to me that way. I won't work like this."
And he started to walk away and I shrugged (knowing they would fire him in one day)
"It's for the best, Jose. Good luck."
And Jose stopped in the brutal 107 degree sun and his shoulders sagged and the boss drove up in her shaded golf cart and too long fake fingernails. Jose's shirt was soaked with sweat and he had worn it three days in a row so it stank like the inside of a donated gym locker at the Salvation Army. He turned around and said softly, as though he were thinking out loud with the help of his better angels...
"No, I can't quit, I'm getting kicked out of my apartment...and my wife is sick..."
He had mentioned repeatedly that his wife had been denied disability and social security and that his landlord had lost his rental house to his own ex-wife in the divorce settlement and she was kicking everyone out (probably not legal without relocation fee). And now Jose realized that now was probably not the best time to be prideful. Believe me, I've bitten my own tongue a few times when the idiot manager insists we proceed with some totally inane time wasting non-strategy of crisis management. It's not her money since she is also a mere employee of the family who owns the land and in fact she lives in a trailer just like the other housekeeper who is pretending to be a maintenance person. Odd. So she must think that if I'm getting paid by the hour then I won't care about wasting my time but believe me I'll go hang out with JJ and listen to his prison stories rather than waste time looking for a toilet flapper that "might be in the number 4 shed" They can give their wasteful money to someone else.
Anyway, I've been tempted to say this but I believe my stubbornness and professional charade will win the day and they will trust me to organize everything and streamline the process of work orders and ultimately I'll have everyone fired. Jose, however, couldn't hold his tongue.
"I'm sorry. I can't quit." said Jose but the manager and the owner's daughter were there and they shook their heads. Jose didn't know that he was already on the auction block but he groveled a bit.
"I can't have this," said the manager.
"It's for the best," said Oggy.
"Go take a break," said the black sheep highly intelligent son of the owner who is periodically institutionalized and sometimes comes back in his flat tire trashed out van with hoarding problems to do odd jobs on the property but the daughter told me, "Ignore him. He's crazy."
"I'm sorry," said Jose as his voice trailed into futility. Jose's shoulders slumped in the pulverizing heat. The wind blew sand in our mouths from the Gulf. His face was wet with sweat. He had just quit a job he desperately needed. He didn't know that he was on his next to last day but I did and I shrugged. I'm sure he was a good Hot Shot truck driver but he was a piss poor handyman and 40 minutes before lunch time he'd say, "We'd better get cleaned up, go eat, I'm hungry," and the last time he said it I didn't look at him and I said, "Don't wait for me." because the last thing you'll do is order me to waste my time.
Maybe it's a defect but once I'm started on a job I'd rather work at it until it is done and I know where to go from there than stop half way through with a bunch of tile adhesive in my hair when I'm not even hungry. I've missed so many meals at this point, probably missed more meals than I've eaten, that I don't really care about lunch. I'm here to learn how to instal that cheap commercial tile that is total trash. I'll quit once I learn so please take your lazy ass and go strap on your feed bag and have a cigarette and waste some of your time with coffee breaks if that's what your time is worth. Pat yourself on the back that you dicked off and made $8 doing nothing. Congratulations. Work ethic has plummeted to nigger levels and I won't be a part of it. I'm not a horse with an alarm clock in my stomach. I'll eat when I'm hungry. This isn't bench electronics and you don't quit at certain hours if it means fucking the whole schedule up.

Who cares? Later on, I got a flux core wire welder out and practiced on a tractor bucket until I actually set the straw on fire with the sparks. I never did get a good bead of weld and the solar activated face shield turned completely black when I lit up the flux wire so I couldn't see anything except a bright beam of light. I lost all sense of perception. Never mind that it's a $200 Chinese crap Harbor Freight flux wire welder that is doomed to break and barely works brand new.

Then the housekeeper invited me to a wedding on the beach that made me feel like a snob. And I passed out in the van from heat exhaustion and fatigue and hunger.
Like an Urban Savannah. Puppies Everywhere.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.