October 17, 2007

Good Mourning!

Whining below the fold...

Yesterday started out so damn beautifully. It was in the mid fifties when I stepped outside, the ground wet from early morning showers. The rainclouds had moved off to the east and covered the Sierras, but they were no match for the sun. The sky was shades of blue, purple and red as the shadows of the mountains were projected against the clouds overhead. I drove off to work a happy man.

I got to the first set of tracks. I had beaten the damned train... it's light still off in the distance as it made its way towards blocking off other folks on their way to work.

Oddly, there was hardly any traffic at all as I made my way over to Golden State Boulevard. At the tracks running parallel, all was clear. Once on the boulevard, traffic did manage to pick up, but it wasn't bad enough to keep me from watching as a brilliant orange sun worked its way through the clouds. I can't wait for cooler days so that I can bring my camera in the car with me, without worry that the heat will damage it. You folks missed a great sunrise.

Smooth sailing all of the way down to 99, where I got on, got in the far left lane, and cranked it up. Up ahead, I see brake lights flash, but it appeared traffic was moving. Right then, I saw a pickup on the righ hand side of the highway, a flashing sign suggesting that we slow, traffic may stop ahead.

Yeah. Standstill. There was a wreck somewhere ahead, and we weren't going anywhere.

As we slowly inched forward, I started to get pissed. Not at traffic. Well, a little at traffic. I was more pissed that I was going to be late.

I hate being late to work. If I get there five minutes early, I'm late, in my book. Ten minutes early is safe, but fifteen is desirable. Just the way I am.

Anyway, I'm looking for a ramp to exit, where I might have some idea of how to get to work. Remember, I've only been here for a little over a month... I'm not that familiar with the area. I can drive 'til it looks right, but I've got to have a rough idea of how things are set up. On the north side of town, there are alot of north/south, east/west roads. Closer to downtown, you get a lot of diagonal streets courtesy of the railways.

So I spotted another exit for the GSBoulevard (it runs parallel to 99, for the most part), but I can't get over there because of the damn semis. I only made it to the center lane, and there I stayed, as the "Left Lane Closed Ahead" warning came out.

What lane was the only one moving? Yeah... the left lane. Cars would whip down there, and the nice folks in the center lane pretty much parked so that the left lane could make it into their lane. Pretty damned nice, if you ask me.

And the sun crept higher.

I tossed in Iowa, and turned the volume up to eleven. It helped a bit with the anger, but unfortunately the surrounding feebs were still there.

I was ten minutes late to work. Still in a probationary period. The newest new guy. Doesn't look good at all.

Oh, I know... things like that happen. I know it. I also know that they won't hold it against me. (That they'll admit.) But I hold it against me. I don't know why, but I do. And try as I may, excuse legit and all, I can't get past being late. It fuckin' irks me.

Hey, did you know that it's not a good thing to move parts while your head is down? Yeah. Not a good fuckin' idea. About knocked myself out...

Did you also know that a handful of metal slivers will royally fuck up your day? No? Trust me on that one.

And the stupid question, to cap the day off, was asked by my boss. And, no, I did not bitch slap him. I don't think, so anyway.

If you've never worked around springwire, you may not know what a mess it can be if you do not handle or store it properly. The stuff can go everywhere, if you let it. And with a thickness of .306 inches, it's going to go with great speed and violence.

We had a coil of bad wire, and we need to send it back to the distributor. So I cut it, rewound it, and am in the process of banding it (and not doing too well with the piece of shit bander they gave me) when the boss man walks up and tells me to go home. It's now five minutes after my shift officially ends. He asked me, "Don't you realize there is plenty of time for you to finish this tomorrow? You wait. Finish it then." So after I regained my cool, I let him know that if I let go of the wire, it is soon going to be all over the floor. It needs to be done today, unless they can get someone to hold it in place all night.

I banded it.

I've never seen a place that wants you out so soon after the bell rings. It's not that the office folk need to get out. They're around for another hour. I don't know what it is. Possibly insurance...

My other places of work let you finish up. Five or ten minutes over hurts no one. You don't get paid, but you don't end up leaving things halfassed. These guys are almost too chill. "The bell rings, finish tomorrow. Leave the job here." Totally new to me, and I'm not sure how that's going to work out.

So this morning, I step outside, and it's again in the mid fifties. There are puddles on the ground from an early morning shower, and the eastern sky is beginning to glow with purple and orange. I admire it's beauty, and I cringe...

Not that I'm always looking for the sour lining in everything, but I've better get out on the road. As of now, I've only got fifty minutes to traverse 12 miles.

Hope this ain't a repeat...

Posted by That 1 Guy at October 17, 2007 08:39 AM | TrackBack

I found myself nodding cause I know that stuff drives you BATTY! especially the being late part. And I'm not so stupid as to say a word about that. Really. I'm not.

But the sour lining? Cracks me up....that is just SO you.

Here's hopin' the traffic gods were with you today......

Posted by: Tammi at October 17, 2007 09:44 AM

Hoo boy...

::leaves more Guinness - and some really good gloves::

Hope today was better, Big Guy.

Posted by: Richmond at October 17, 2007 10:08 AM

So, like, are our mothers related or something? Assuming that's where you got the dislike for being late from. I never could understand that ideal when I was little (five minutes early is late), but as I got older I realized I, like so many other human babies, had grown up only to turn into my mother.

The very threat of lateness will have me hyperventilating, gnashing my teeth and with a white-knuckle grip on the wheel. As if the stress vibes humming down my forearms will part the seas of early morning congestion. Many times I have managed to pull over to an off ramp and squeal with delight, "I'm free I'm free!" until I realize that half the people on the freeway thought the same thing and I end up just as late.

Posted by: Mink at October 17, 2007 10:45 AM

Ok - I'll be nice today. So how's that Slipknot? I didn't realize they had another cd out - must check it out.

Posted by: Carmen at October 17, 2007 10:46 AM

Hmmmmmm.... Give me a couple of days and I bet I can come up with a fast alternate route for you.....

Posted by: caltechgirl at October 17, 2007 02:26 PM

Remember to breathe... Heh.

I am chronically early - I get everywhere at least 15 minutes early if possible, more if I can manage it. And yes, being late makes me go into a tailspin for the rest of the day.

As for the end of work day thing... I guess you aren't in the midwest anymore. Sounds more like France or Germany. LOL.

Posted by: Teresa at October 17, 2007 05:06 PM

... hang in there, Joe.... you are cutting a new swath..... and you are doing just fine.....

Posted by: Eric at October 17, 2007 07:58 PM

Welcome to Californifican traffic! Wait until it rains. People seriously freak and drive like complete idiots.

Posted by: Maeve at October 17, 2007 10:33 PM

I see Californy hasn't mellowed you much....yet. You? High blood pressure? It's all making sense now. You've got to learn how to relax, Dude.

Posted by: Jerry at October 17, 2007 11:13 PM