It started with well meaning insults. I called him Fat Lard — he asked when my baby was due. It wouldn’t have mattered much except we were at work having cake and ice cream for a co-worker’s birthday.
I fell for it when he asked if I was losing weight. “I don’t think so”, I said suspiciously wiping ice cream from the corner of my mouth. “I don’t think so either!!” he proudly rebuffed. That made the guy sitting between us laugh so hard ice cream came out his nose.
Another co-worker, a skinny, hard belly, in shape little snot, talked about how we ought to come build fence with him over the weekend so we’d lose weight. He smiled as big as a con man at a senior citizen’s home when he proclaimed he wouldn’t even charge us a gym fee. We both ignored the loudmouth and chalked up his demeanor and hard stomach to a bad case of pin worms. Continue reading Lunch Time Workout
“What’s da smell?”, the truck driver asked.
Our shipping guy was making a copy for the driver about to deliver an 18 wheeler load of lumber to Tulsa and answered, “It’s Scentsy! Vanilla Bean Buttercream with a bit of French Lavender!”
Amused, I looked up and commented how it smelled more like a Hallmark store than a sawmill shipping office.
“I know!! My wife is selling this stuff. I’m advertising for her! You need to buy a little bit for your Mrs. so when you come home all smellin’ and stinky like, it’ll take your bad smell away.” Winking he added, “It’ll give some class where you stay at!”
The big truck driver looked really uncomfortable. He started shifting side to side, looped one thumb through a strap of his blue jean overalls, and started rubbing his head with his other hand. Continue reading What’s That Smell?
One job, one hire. That’s all we needed. One more dependable person with a solid work ethic, steady employment history and preferably experience in our field. Easy peasy, right? Nope!
The first guy to finish his application charged up like a Tyrannosaurus Rex chasing Barney the dinosaur. We visited a minute or two. He’s been out of high school two years but never had a real job, although he counted mowing a neighbor’s yard. He graciously offered to do labor work, for now, but next year needs to move into a manager’s job like his dad has.
Uh, huh! Come see me in ten years. We’ll do lunch! Continue reading Job Fair Search
Each year a couple of bee swarms show up at work. Local beekeepers wanted to start charging to catch a swarm. Forget that.
Yet, employees and bees don’t mix well. In fact, a couple of folks are deadly allergic to bee stings. Besides, honey bees are nature’s Cupid and pollinate 75% of plant life, so instead of killing them, I decided to move them myself. The beekeepers had white suits, mesh hats, gloves and smokers. I didn’t have any of that, but I’d watched them before, so I’m an “expert”…
The swarm was about eye level on a beam right above a hydraulic unit.
Since I didn’t have beekeeper equipment, I buttoned my collar, cinched down jacket sleeves and put on gloves. Armed with a cardboard box and a lid, I started toward the clingy, hanging wad of live honey bees. After the first bee accidentally flew into my neck a good ways from the swarm, I pondered the consequences and wished for a meshed beekeeper hood. Continue reading Busy as a Bee
There used to be an old tire store up Main Street surrounded by properties that have all seen better days. Years ago it was a full-service gas station built in the late 40s or early 50s out of cinder blocks and mortar.
For the most part, however, the old building was insignificant. If it hadn’t been for the man outside, I would’ve never even noticed the place.
Years ago the tire store was painted white, but oil, grease and dirt make a dark entourage at the base of the walls up to a chalky, white at the top. The concrete around it was patchy and dark, stained with layers on layers of grease, dripped motor oil and a host of other dried automotive blood. Continue reading The Waving Man
We had a financial audit at work. Ronnie must have been worried. He dressed up. He even wore a tie for the auditor. That’s how it started. In a business where Sunday best is casual Friday attire to most, a tie is an anomaly.
He picked up on my sarcasm, grinned, and ignored me carrying on about how good he looked and how he brought up the class of the whole joint! He dismissed me with an amused smile and talked about how he used to wear a tie every day to work, 25 years ago, in another job. And after all, he was the company Accountant!
I droned on and on about how professional and competent he looked wearing a tie while the rest of us, the other 194 ragged, wretched employees, wore boots, old jeans and Carhart shirts. When I suggested he wear a tie the next Tuesday also, he pursed his lips and looked away, like he was deeply considering it. And why shouldn’t he? He was the Accountant and had garnered more attention from co-workers while wearing a tie for a day than he had the whole last year. Continue reading Tie Tuesday
Two questionable characters were loitering in front on the grocery store bench. I did what all concealed handgun licensed carriers do. I slipped a small pistol in my pocket before going in.
About the time I was in front of the bench, one of the men said, “Hey brother! Why don’t you hire me?”
That’s not the first time I’ve heard that line, so I knew at some time or another he had worked or interviewed for a job with me. I looked at the man who spoke and said, “I’m sorry. I recognize your face, but your name is slipping me.” Continue reading Rock Bottom Hope
His gloved hands grasped the reins of his horse. He gave Domino a gentle nudge with the heel of his boots. He knew what to do and began the long trek home with a gentle plod. There was still more fence to mend. He’d gone out on a limb and put his entire net worth into these acres and cows.
There was so much more work to do, but no more time, not today. The sun was going down. With each plod toward home, his mental checklist for tomorrow grew bigger, with more jobs, more tasks to do. Continue reading What Will He Do?
We had a blood drive at work recently. A co-worker is an avid donor and has donated blood, not just platelets or plasma, but whole blood, 126 times now! That’s 126 pints, 63 quarts, 15.75 gallons of his blood to help others! That’s incredible!
I’ve always asked why, but he just says he doesn’t do anything for anyone else and this is a way he can do his part, but it’s always seemed there was something more. The other day we talked about the blood drive and he shared the something more. Normally he’s a stoic, private guy, whose emotions swing little one way or the other, so it was a privilege to hear his story. Continue reading Coffee Kindness
Two and half months ago a lightening strike at work crashed our computer server and immediately brought us to our knees. Within an hour a couple of computer geeks who work for the IT Company we contract with showed up. One started on the main frame and one, Joe, began checking individual computers. I walked in my office to see Joe at my desk. Joe glanced up and asked if I was having problems. I told him I’d spilled a cup of coffee on the tower and it’s acted funny ever since. Slightly amused, he retorted that my computer was just low on gasoline and after he filled it up and left he wanted me to plug it back in.
I stood fumbling through some paperwork while Joe kept hacking and coughing. Half joking, half serious, I told Joe if he’d lay off the cigarettes his cough would go away. Without looking up from the keyboard he casually said, “Not this time. I found out last week I have stage 4 lung cancer. It only goes downhill from here.” Continue reading A Short Time To Live