What do these two things have in common?
While you’re thinking about that, I’ll tell you some non-sexual (SO SORRY) work stories from my glory days, then come back for a closing thought on what I just asked you.
I used to work at a call center for people who bought those swing set kits and had trouble putting them together. They’d call, I’d answer and I would, I shit you not, READ THEM THE DIRECTIONS, VERBATIM. Usually, it went something like this:
Customer: “Hi. I’m putting together set #324JBSlide. I can’t seem to figure out from the directions how to attach the slide to the top of the platform.”
Me (Reading from instruction manual): “Attach the slide with the bolts provided through the pre-drilled holes in the mounting flange.”
Customer: “Oh! That’s perfect. Thank you so much. You’re the best!”
I worked at Taco Bell for 4 hours in high school in the 80s. I walked out after being burned on the giant meat vat and the manager wouldn’t let me have five minutes to clean it up and put something on it. Ass. I called them up and told them I wouldn’t be back.
About 2 months later that same manager called me at home and asked, “Can you cover for Dan today? He’s out sick.” Of course I said, “sure!”, hung up and got in the car, headed to Alpine Valley for the Monsters of Rock concert. I’m not sure who had the idea to call someone who didn’t even work there to cover a shift. Even funnier – I got a letter of termination in the mail a week later. Seriously.
I worked at a gas station/truck stop when I was in college. I called in drunk one time. It was St. Patrick’s Day and the bars…the bars opened at 3:30am man! How could I not go? I’d been 21 for not even a month and this was my chance to go and enjoy some green beer and laughter. Besides, I didn’t need to be at work until 3 in the afternoon, so I had plenty of time! I know there was way too much beer and way too many shots, and there was sumo wrestling…you know, where you put on the big sumo wrestler suit and run into each other and laugh because you’re drunk? Yeah, there was that. I also know that at some point I phoned in and let them know I’d be unable to come to work at all that day. I also know that at around 1pm, I was paged IN THE BAR – while on the floor in the big ole’ sumo suit. – there was a phone call for me. Someone managed to help me up, I got to the phone, still in the sumo suit, and my manager was screaming. It was so loud. I was so wasted. I remember shouting into the phone, “I can’t get out of the suit and I can’t drive and I can’t even count right now!” The response was, “I’ll come get you.”
I might have said “OK”. I might have just laughed. What I do know is that I got out of that suit and left the bar only after joining in with the crowd on a rousing chorus of “Fishing in the Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I went to a different bar, to avoid being found by whoever was coming to get me. Two days later, I walked into the gas station like nothing ever happened. No discussion, no write up, no nothing. Just me and the truckers. Hey, at least I was sober.
Is there a moral to my story? Maybe that people are stupid? I don’t really know. What do I know? I know what those two pictures up there have in common.
- A whole lot of people are interested in somehow regulating (or not) both of those things.
- I’m concerned about who is touching either one of them.
- They can both kill you.