"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
If you guys were paying me, this would be at least 2 tightly written, zippy columns. But since you're not, this is going to be a rambling, train of consciousness trainwreck.

I'm making a bedroom. But I didn't have as many 1 5/8" drywall screws as I thought I did. And I accidentally bought 2 1/2" screws instead of 2" screws last time I was at the hardware store. Amazingly, I was able to make the 2 1/2" screws work for most of the work, but for some of it they were just a touch too long. But there's a Wal*Mart about 3 blocks from me and Wal*Mart always has everything, so certainly, they would have 1 5/8" drywall screws. I resolved to buy the biggest box they had.

Unfortunately I've been thinking about my dog of late, and walking makes me think of her even more. I was thinking about the absolute joy she would have EVERY SINGLE TIME she realized she was about to go for a walk with me, and tearing up. Then, because it's early July and I live in the redneck part of town, a bomb went off. And I thought about how nervous it would've made her, but I'd have been able to calm her down. Then another. And another. And I realized at that point, as I was entering the Wal*Mart parking lot, I'd have had to turn around and take her home, because even if I could've got her to go one, she'd have been miserable tied up by the door. So I didn't feel quite so sad.

And it turns out Wal*Mart does NOT have 1 5/8" drywall screws. They have tiny expensive boxes of 1 1/4" and 2 1/2". After pondering this a bit, I got a box of the 1 1/4. Drywall is 3/8" thick, so that leaves 1 1/8" of screw to sink into the stud. Then it was time to check out. You'd think after 10pm, Wal*Mart would be less depressing, but it was still "The Raft of the Medusa"; 3rd class steerage passengers trying to get off the Titanic were less miserable than the people in line at Wal*Mart. The contingency plan was to just abandon my purchase, cut my losses, and go home, but then I saw it: The self check island. A sea of red lights. And one kiosk, flashing green with "OPEN" on the screen. There was no attendant there so it was clearly an oversight, but "fortune favors the bold" as a mentor once said. Or "rules are for little people," as a friend put it. I walked past the incompletely positioned tape barrier to the terminal.

I mentally considered things that would trigger an "ATTENDANT NEEDED" message and queer my plan. No booze. No spray paint. No age overrides needed. I was good to go. At first I failed (I should mention I had a few cocktails before beginning this adventure), but I focused. And I realized that it was on some kind of penultimate closeout screen. If you pushed any 5 of 6 buttons, the terminal would've shut down for the night. But if you pushed one, it would resume operation. I pushed it and the barcode scanner flashed back online.

Smugly zapped out my order made an extra point to be sure to have the receipt, and bopped off toward the exit. I felt compelled to joke with the security guard and the Wal*Mart Welcomer when I had to bop all the way back to my starting point because there was a trash can in front of the exit doors I'd planned to use. I guess I could've moved the can and tried to use the door anyway, but fortune only favors the bold so far and one shouldn't push one's luck more than necessary.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
The hot girl at work is also a genius. She had Chik-Fil-A tonight. She took a takeout tray of crosscut fries, tore up the fried chicken patty and spread it over the fries. Then she added the assorted sauces she had--which was already brilliant--but the icing on the cake was that she closed up the takeout container and then shook the crap out of it, spreading the sauces, chicken, and fries throughout. It looked delicious and I shall have to try it.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Just getting ready to start the 2.0 thread when I saw this forum was back up. I'm glad I "work" from home on this consulting gig, because most of my time is spent fucking off, playing solitaire, trying to schedule online meetings with people who constantly have fully double and triple booked schedules, and waiting around for someone to tell me what to do. Yesterday, after over a month, I think we've finally got the tool I'm working on working the way it's supposed to. This after a big boondoggle because a big chunk of records from one file wasn't matching up with another file and, after being told "all the records should match up," I was told "oh, yeah. Subledger records won't match up." So weeks wasted. And even that wouldn't have been resolved if a second person hadn't been in the call and pointed out the discrepancy a second time (after I'd said it: "So this is a manual entry..." "It says 'subledger.'..." "He said it says 'subledger.'" "Oh, if it's a subledger, it doesn't have to match up.") So yeah. Got that cleaned up. Then he sent me a problem he was stuck on. I figured it out (or at least I think I did) and sent it back to him. Didn't hear anything back. Fire up the computer today, wade through the 89 automated e-mails to scan the 10 or so that are kind of relevant, accepted a meeting request, and then checked my friend/boss' schedule to see if I could get some direction from him. He's out all day to go to the dentist. Now I could just fuck off all day and bill them for 8 hours, but I do have stuff I need to do, so I'll probably clock out at lunch to go Make Shit Happen in my own life.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
You know how they keep talking about how dogs are going to have a rough time with separation anxiety after the pandemic ends because they've gotten used to having their humans around all the time? Today I realized it's going to be hard on introverts too. Us introverts have had over a year to avoid other people, stay at home, and let our social skills atrophy.

My renters with the online bakery opened a brick and mortar bakery across the river in Indiana and they invited me to see it. I had some time today so I went over. Got hopelessly lost because the location was pretty simple to find so I didn't draw up a map (or actually remember the address). And my phone is tiny so using the map on it isn't fun. Anyway, I stopped in; thought I'd spend some money with them in exchange for a year of them sending me money (and delicious baked goods on more than a couple occasions). Of course they wouldn't take any money from me so then I felt bad about ordering a sandwich and a soda instead of just a muffin and coffee. Today the city functionary was stopping in for an official grand opening ribbon cutting and 2 of the local news networks were showing up. Had a nice time, but was exhausted from acting like a normal human for an extended period.

Then I realized my local real estate investment club was having a networking event tonight. Really wasn't up for it, but the timing was hard to beat (I mean, apart from that it was a good half hour away and I realized it was happening 9 minutes after it started) so I forced myself to go. It was game night and the board games they were playing had already started by the time I got there, so I sat at the end of a table with another introvert and we talked. Pretty much a failure as a networking event, but decent practice at going to places with groups of people and interacting. Now I just need to go to bed. I'm exhausted.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Just a quick, completely off-topic story: Back when I lived in Portland, Oregon, I was part of a fun, irreverent group of people who made horrible tasteless jokes. I'm still friends with 1 or 2 of them on Facebook. Apparently one of them has set up his property to use as a campground and a male Karen neighbor has started sending him harrassing NIMBY texts. He mentions making one more attempt at diplomatically resolving things before "escalating." So I say the obvious thing: "Burn down his house and spraypaint BLM on his car?" But this isn't 2004 Portland, it's 2021 Portland. So I get this patronizing butthurt SJW comment from one of his friends. ITS. A. JOKE. Lighten up, Francis. You ever see "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," where Spicoli and the kid wind up trashing his big brother's car so they act like it was done by a rival school? Same idea. But nothing can be funny anymore with Sensitive Liberals. Ah well.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
...and another friend from out there who is crying about how mean the Governor of South Dakota is for sharing a picture of someone's car with a message written on the back window about being glad to have escaped Communist California. Both of them are on their second strike before getting dropped from my feed.

[edit]Oh, and I'm hear right now because my second renter told me around the beginning of the month that he didn't need as many e-mails about rent. Apparently he got 4 emails from me in June. I apologized for this, said I'd see if he was somehow getting duplicate e-mails, and explained that he should get an invoice for the coming month on the 15th, a receipt for payment on the 1st, and since he'd had a couple close calls early on, where he'd forgotten the rent was due, I'd offered to send him a reminder a few days before the 1st and he said he wanted one. (This was all via text.) I did say that since the terms were covered in the lease and that his bank statement showing the cleared check could amount to receipt of payment, I would be glad to stop sending him e-mails if that was what he wanted. He quickly apologized "for being a dick" (I told him no apology was necessary) and said to just keep sending e-mails as before.

End result was that I held off on sending off receipts and invoices this month. I did meet with my other renters at their new bakery and they said the absolutely wanted to keep getting e-mails. So today I finally got around to doing up the new invoices and the July receipts and getting ready to send them out. But I'm working up the energy to send the one out for my second renter. I feel like he's one of those guys who, to some degree or another, is difficult and unpleasant in the hopes that people will just give him what he wants because it is easier. I mean, I like the guy, but he always kind of gives me the feel of a horse-trader, haggling over a used car.
 
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Volpone

Zombie Hunter
It's interesting how much dress, posture, grooming, fitness and body language influence perceptions. 4 years as a Marine officer (along with many more years as an inactive Reservist, still required to maintain fitness and grooming standards). At this point I mostly carry myself like someone decisive and with authority just automatically. I mention this because the other day at the factory I was filling in on a new job where I wasn't fast enough to do all the steps. This is a pretty common thing because they have the line so optimized that it takes some practice to get fast enough on a station. So they had someone who was on light duty because of an injury sit behind me and prep the part I was installing. For the last hour or two they sent a different person over there. Cute young girl. Nice body. Dreadlocks. She spent a lot more time in my personal space than the woman who was prepping the part. More on that later. By this point we had a pretty nice rhythm going and the little cluster of people on the line around me were chatting and joking as we worked. Somehow the conversation came to heights. The guy across from me and the guy next to him said they were 5'10." The girl said that wasn't possible because she was 5'6." They countered that she was taller than 5'6," which I tended to agree with. So then she asks me how tall I am. I generally say I'm 5'10," but I haven't measured myself in years and years and the last time I did it was really more like 5'9.75" so I said "just a little under 5'10." The girl says "See? He's taller than you, so you can't be 5'10." Now I can't definitively say me and the guy across from me are the same height without standing back to back barefoot (or measuring us) but I've got a pretty good idea if someone is taller or shorter than me and we were pretty much the same height. But for some reason I apparently looked noticeably taller than this guy (who was more casually dressed, had dreadlocks, and wasn't as fit as me).

It's also interesting how much your personal perceptions can blind you to reality. This girl isn't the only person who's considered me "tall." And I absolutely do NOT consider myself tall. Partly because straight up, 5'10" is about average height for an American man. Actually it was 30 years ago. It's probably even taller today. And at this point I've probably shrunk a bit from my just under 5'10" height (I increasingly need reading glasses at this point too). But the other thing is, I was very small as a kid. I don't remember how tall, but I wrestled in high school so I specifically remember I was 79# at one point as a high school freshman. As late as my late 20s, I was still around 135#. So now, even though I'm pushing 175# harder than I'd like, I still think of myself as small and skinny. The other side of the coin is that I still think of myself as being in my 30s. So I'll look in the mirror and decide I'm looking especially good, snap a picture (which somehow seems to break the perception filter) and wonder who the hideously old man in the photo is.

Anyway, back to the girl. Cute. Kind of the just married to Lenny Kravitz Lisa Bonet look going on, but with glasses. Not as hot as Hot Girl, but definitely interesting. She had a milk crate sized box of plastic parts and it was her job to snap a door shut and put an O-ring on a stem. Then at my position on the line, I've got a rack with rollers. One row of the rack is for the crates of assemblies and the other row is for the empty crates as I use them up. The other girl wasn't allowed to lift anything above waist height, so she'd set them on the floor next to the rack and I'd have to load them up onto the rack when I got a chance. This girl was not only loading them onto the rack, she was monkeying about on the side of the rack where I work. Since I was having to stick this part on and do a few other tasks every 17 seconds, I didn't really see what she was doing or why she was spending so much time next to me, but my inclination (combined with the comment about how tall I was) made me think she was flirting with me. Hot early 20something her and old-ass me. That said, the truth of the matter is, if I think a girl is flirting with me, they probably aren't. And if I don't realize a girl is flirting with me, they probably are. The logic is, if a girl is really into me, they're going to be shyer and more self-conscious. If they don't think of me in any kind of sexual way, they will do things that might come across to me as flirting. Or maybe she really was flirting. I dunno.

I will mention that I had to take a pretty substantial break as I was typing this. I was drinking some water and felt some liquid running down my neck. Sweat? Did I spill some water? Red. Blood. I'd been absentmindedly scratching at a little zit thing on my cheek and somehow it started bleeding like a stuck hog. Since I didn't realize this until I found a mirror, I couldn't do much to stop the bleeding until I got to the bathroom. By that point I had blood on my shirt, blood dripping onto the floor from my chin, blood on my hands, blood everywhere. It was pretty easy to get the bleeding to stop, but a bit more work to get everything cleaned up. While I was doing this, I got to thinking about if I ever write an autobiography.

I've pretty much settled on "Failure is Always an Option" as the title, but for some reason "That's a Lot of Urine" was in the running at one point. So I decided to use bodily fluids as chapter titles: "That's a Lot of Urine," "Nothing Gets Out Blood,"...I dunno, "But I Poop From There." I guess there aren't enough bodily fluids to really get the 12 or so chapters a book usually has.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
So tired. Partly because I'm old and had a pretty physically taxing job at the factory Monday night and now I'm remembering when I was young and used to lift weights, how you were more sore 2 days after lifting than you were the day after. And also because I'm an introvert but getting back into the flow of socializing.

The real estate investor group I'm in had their monthly meeting tonight. I don't really *need* to do any networking right now--I'm looking to buy another house but I don't have any financing lined up and with this side gig for my friend, I don't have any time to renovate a house. If an amazing deal fell in my lap, I'd take it, but I'm not out actively hunting right now. Still, it would be nice to get out, see a few people I know, and sit down for a nice buffet dinner. And the topic for the night was a double feature on "House Hacking" and the "BRRR" method.

House hacking is when you buy a house to live in and rent out a spare room or other creative, cost saving ways to get your foot in the door on real estate investing. BRRRR stands for Buy, Renovate, Rent, Refinance, Repeat. You buy a place, fix it up, put a renter in it, and then get a new loan based on the increased value you created by fixing the place up. Then you use that as the down payment on your next place. Both things I'm interested in. The content wasn't terrible, but it could've been better. The first presenter wasted a lot of time on irrelevant things when he already had more material than he had time for. And truth be told, he didn't know much more than I did. The other guy got stage fright and almost choked before he rallied and made it through. The one slide that really interested me, though, was what we call an "eye chart" in the Marine Corps--it was so full of stuff and the font was so small that you couldn't read any of it. I'll have to track down the slides later because even getting as close to the screen as I could discreetly, I couldn't read it. And I didn't think to take a picture with my phone and then zoom in on it until after he'd moved on to the next slide.

There were also some seasoned, long time investors, pitching their rackets. One guy who I respect was going to have tip sheets in the back of properties he was offering. When the presentation was winding down I spotted a couple of them on his table. He was nowhere to be seen, but I had a look at one. It was in about an 8 font and the information on it wasn't organized in any understandable way and didn't have any kind of headers to the fields to help you understand what was in them. Completely useless. A replay of another guy from before the Plague. He had a real estate Website of "hot deals." Tried using it a few times but it was buggy and crashed regularly. There weren't any deals that were even as good as you could find just going on Zillow or the MLS and anything approaching a decent deal, when I'd ask him about it, it would turn out it was already off the market. I mean, it still showed up on his site. It just wasn't for sale. And the site didn't actually *tell* you that.

In the Marines, we had to read the sci fi novel "Ender's Game." If you're not familiar with it, Earth has been under threat of annihilation by an alien race for hundreds of years (there's no FTL space travel_ and they've embarked on a eugenics program to produce the person who can lead the war that will defeat the aliens. The protagonist, a kid nicknamed "Ender," learns throughout the book that no one will ever help him or bail him out or solve his problems, he's entirely on his own in life. That's what it feels like to be smart. If you can't figure something out, you're probably screwed because you probably know more than 90% of the "experts" out there. Once in awhile someone will treat me like the fairly new investor I am and ask me if I'm going to the educational events and I just dodge the question because the answer is "I'll get 1, maybe 2 useful things out of the educational events, but the biggest thing I get is the Wizard of Oz, giving Scarecrow a diploma moment: I already know as much (more actually) as any of the 'experts,' so the big takeaway is 'don't waste your valuable time getting trapped at the educational sessions." I know it sounds arrogant, but it's the truth.

Shoot, even the guy in the group who is actually a legitimate guru. If you've read his book, you've got it. All he does is dredge up bits from his book.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Oh, and you know what else tires me out? When people tell me a problem, I come up with a solution for them, they ignore it, and then continue to bitch about their problem.

That's when I just smile to myself and think "Gee, that's too bad. Bummer, dude. Better luck next time."

I mean, part of me wants to try again, but the older, wiser part of me just says "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
The neighbor... How to put it? I got this place last November. Moved in for good in February. After a spring and summer of hard work I've just about got the back pasture under control. Penultimate moment was cutting down an ever-expanding blackberry thicket. Having done this, now I can see the neighbors behind me. A little bit "country." They've got an assortment of vehicles (including a couple short trucks like U-Hauls and, IIRC, a boat), goats, a dog, and chickens. Today I'm talking to the neighbor and she's like "can you do a bit of investigating because I hear multiple roosters behind us and I wonder if they're raising them for cockfighting. That's wrong and it's illegal. I'm thinking about calling the cops on them."

OK. It *is* wrong. And illegal. And maybe someone *should* call the cops on them. Hell, maybe they *are* raising them for cockfighting. But geez, I *just* moved here. I've got my hands full with my stuff. If she calls the cops on these guys 3 weeks after I cut down the bush that kept me from seeing into their yard, and the next day the cops show up, guess who they're going to think called them. Hell, *I'd* think I called the cops on them if I were them. Maybe that makes me a monster. But I also eat chicken. And eggs. Does *that* make me a monster? Are the lives of chickens that are raised for food really that much better than ones that are raised for fighting?

She's angry at another neighbor because he has a motorcycle with loud pipes and she says he rides it around in the middle of the night. My other neighbor says he's caught her shoveling her horse manure into his yard when her horses used to be pastured on my land and I've caught her throwing it into my back pasture, back before I got the place cleared. The other night as I was winding down with a cocktail and getting ready for bed there was a knock at the front door. It usually takes me awhile to answer the front door because I don't usually realize someone's there. I think a pipe is knocking in the basement or a branch is banging on some siding or something. And I certainly don't expect any visitors in the middle of the night. So I discreetly tucked a pistol into the small of my back before answering the door. It was the cops. Someone had called them to report they'd heard screaming. I was like "I haven't heard anything. And I haven't even been watching any television that someone would mistake for screaming." They asked if it took me so long to answer the door because I'd been getting my gun and I admitted it was--and because I'd been enjoying the aforementioned cocktail. At the time it was a mystery who could've called the cops on me--it isn't like I'm in an apartment with thin walls. The neighbors aren't that close. I just chalked it up to some kind of odd mixup. But now I kind of wonder.

These are the things that come into my head when I wake up before 5am. That and that I need to have a productive day tomorrow/today. The washing machine seems to have crapped out (the sensor that tells it to stop filling with water has apparently died) so in addition to everything else I need to get from the hardware store when I have some time, a new washing machine just bumped itself to the top of the list. So does that mean I shouldn't get a stainless gas range to replace the white electric one? Or, since I've got some cash flow right now, just go ahead and get them both? Why is it so hard for me to find a girl? Am I looking in the wrong places? Just not looking hard enough? Do I even want a girl? Should I focus on finding another rental property? Or finish cleaning up the shed so I can rent out storage space? Do I have to fix the leaks in the shed roof before I rent it out or is the fact that people can park stuff out of the elements and secure from prowlers enough? Why do I never have any time? Why am I always tired?

Maybe because I wake up in the middle of the night to worry about things I can't do anything about in the middle of the night instead of getting some rest so I can actually do something about them during the day, when I can.

PS: Apparently eastern Kentucky *is* kind of a hotbed for fighting cock breeding so now I've got that to think about. At first I was like "maybe there's some perfectly logical reason they're raising roosters." Now I'm not as sure. Still, Sgt Shultz on "Hogan's Heroes" had a point--life is a lot simpler and goes more smoothly if you don't notice some things that are happening around you.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I really wish they hadn't screwed up Portland. Louisville isn't a terrible second choice, but the humidity is brutal. And getting old is no fun either. But I see I'm getting way ahead of myself. I can't believe it doesn't look like I've talked about the 3rd bedroom in awhile.

The Plan to buy my 3rd rental is to get a VA loan mortgage on my free-and-clear home I'm living in. But since I took this consulting gig for my friend, along with my Monday and Friday job, I don't have a lot of time for house hunting--and zero time for renovating a place to get it ready to rent. Also, it occurred to me that my place could get appraised for more if it had a 3rd bedroom. And my "for later" project of framing off the dining room(?) into a bedroom and a hallway would be fairly simple and inexpensive, so I bumped it up on my list. As it stands right now, I'm ready to paint. I've left the trim off to simplify painting. I'll paint the trim in the garage and then tack that into place. Then I just need the double barn doors I plan on putting in. And the false wardrobe for the closet.

Now renovating houses, it's OK to put in interesting unique features. A fish pond. Bold (but tasteful colors). Just don't put in eccentric things--like an exact replica of the Star Trek bridge. By building code, a bedroom doesn't *need* to have a closet. But most people think it does. Even most realtors think you can't call something a bedroom unless it has a closet. The way the wall is set up, I've got this weird little triangle on one end. So I just left a hole in the drywall there and technically I could call it a closet. Maybe hang a curtain over it if I want to get really fancy. But it is a bit on the small side. And I've got about a foot of space in front of it (I'm constrained by windows on both sides of the new wall). But what I'm going to do is fashion a Narnia wardrobe, where there is no back on it so you can step through into the closet behind the wardrobe, making it actually bigger on the inside. It should look pretty cool and not turn off too many buyers.

But while I was working on this, my washing machine died last weekend. Rather than turn off the water once it was full, it proceeded to fill the basement. Since it was old and crappy and I had money anyway, I just ordered a new one. And since I was on the subject, I splurged and got the stainless gas range I coveted to replace the white electric one that came with the place. Everything showed up yesterday so I spent the day hooking up the washer, pulling the old stove, connecting up the old gas line and doing the last touch-up on the plaster for the bedroom wall. This morning I mowed the lawn and cut up a downed limb as much as the battery on my electric chainsaw would allow. Only 82 degrees, but with the sun and the humidity, by the time I was done I was pretty wiped out. Time for a few beverages to rehydrate and then on to a late lunch. Except, once I got in and sat down, I saw that each of my tenants had put out their rent checks.

Now "best practices" is to NOT run around collecting rent checks. But since I only have 2 tenants and they're both closer to my than my mailbox is, it's simpler to just swing by and pick up the check than to wait around for it to get to my "office" mailbox.

So yeah. I'm hot. I'm tired. I'm hungry. But when someone says they have money for you, you don't wait around. You go get that money before something happens to it. You chase that money down and guard it so you don't lose it. So I hopped in the car and headed out.

You're always 1 idiot away from having a real bad day. It's a quick drive unless someone piles up a wreck on the only road you can take. Luckily it was the other direction, but that meant having to take an alternate route back. And there really aren't any good alternate routes. If I felt like running my errands of the day it would've worked pretty well, but since I'm over 3 hours behind on lunch, I headed straight home. Time to put food in my belly, have a quick nap, and then run out and get groceries and a couple strips of trim because my calculations were off. I think I had enough lineal feet, but the trim around the doorway (and you need it on both sides) is long enough that you can't get another piece of trim out of that board. So I had a decent amount of waste, unfortunately.

Well, gotta go. Don't feel like cooking, but I also don't feel like starving soo....
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
GE. Well, Hotpoint for the washer. But it's GE. Chinese, but made in America. GE Appliance is one of the big employers in town. Don't know if either was made here though.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I have had this post in my head for a bit--but haven't had much interest in posting it. It's snarky and negative and condescending. But I'm stuck at my desk with literally nothing else to do. I guess I could read e-mails. Or go get a book. Or a magazine. But I digress.

The point is to bitch about my part time factory job. I'm there Mondays and Fridays because you can't make a single item on an assembly line if you don't have enough people for all the stations. Since people are more likely to be out Mondays and Fridays, they hire people like me to cover for them. It's OK. I don't have to think (much), I have no actual responsibility, and I get to do new and different things most days. And the pay is OK for unskilled labor. But I don't get 401K or health insurance or any of the benefits the full time people do. And I'll never get promoted within the factory. Because they don't really need a team lead on Mondays and Fridays. If a team lead is out, their assistant will run things and a full time person will learn the assistant job. They don't need a Monday and Friday parts restocker or forklift operator.

And it can be frustrating because I'm smarter than a lot of the supervisory people (to say nothing of the line workers). They pack enough stuff into each workstation so that you've got to get fairly fast in order to do everything during your 17 seconds. So when someone's learning a new job, a lot of the time they'll stick someone like me in there to do part of the job. Other week I was in a position where you: Twist a spring clip onto a plastic post, drop a plastic ball into a valve housing, drop a screen over another cavity, and then screw a pulley wheel in place on a felt washer. On Friday the guy they were training was installing the pulley and I was doing everything else. Monday they had me doing the same thing although the team lead would periodically circle by and try to convince the other guy to add some of the things I was doing.

That said, he never talked to me. Or came up with a decisive plan. He could've said "Fox, stop dropping the little plastic ball in the valve housing so Joe Blow can do that." And he could've told Joe Blow that was now his job. And later he could've said "Fox, stop putting the screen in place" and told Joe to do that. And by the end of the night he could've had Joe doing the whole job. Or he could've moved me *behind* Joe so I could get anything he missed. OR! At some point in the night, he could've switched us up and had Joe learn to get fast at the other half of the job. I'd have been fast enough to do anything he missed--as long as he didn't miss everything every time. I tried to catch the guy to float this to him but he never stopped to check up on me during the night. The one time I had a chance to catch him discreetly was just before lunch. But he disappeared to lunch before the line stopped so I didn't get to talk to him.

Other day I was working next to a woman who is the reason I hate Facebook. All the things that annoy me--the "Suggested for you", etc--are things she thinks are great. There were a few other things that annoyed the crap out of me about her but they were more nagging sensations than anything finite. I will say we got to talking about homes. She's rented a house for 17 years. And she mentioned the insulation wasn't that good in the walls so after the first year, because natural gas is so expensive, she's heated the house with kerosene.

Now I don't know. Maybe kerosene *is* more economical. My quick Google research couldn't find anything definitive. That doesn't make sense to me, but maybe. To me it feels more like the time Charlie on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" decided to save on the electric bill by running a gas generator in the basement, but that's just me.

Well, I'm free now. I can tackle some other stuff so I'll get going.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Oooh. Pellet stoves. Forgot about them.

Anyways, on a semi-related note, other day I worked for a female team lead. And I worked with a woman. The line woman was on medical. Repetitive motion injuries are a big thing where you do the same thing every 17 seconds for 8 hours straight. I was not remotely fast enough to do the whole job so she did the prep work part of assembling the part and I'd install it. Hose with a valve on the end, held in place with a spring clamp. There's a foot-pedal machine that opens up the spring clamp.

When they've got trained people they also rotate out positions. So you've got 2 periods with a break between, lunch, and 2 more work periods. Ideally there's a 3 position rotation so you do a different thing every 2 hours and then finish up the night the way you started. But when you've got a replacement in, they often skip the rotations.

But Monday night they worked up a mongrel rotation. And it was fine. Except when the injured woman was in. She was there first shift. And she'd be building up a box of parts. When she got it full she'd start another box. If I needed parts, I'd take them out of her box. Except this bothered her. So instead she started a second box for me to take parts out of. None of the other people building parts for me wanted to monkey with the second box and it was in the way so I got rid of it. So at the end of the night, when she was back, she got pissy about me taking parts out of the box she was filling. So instead of me just taking parts when I needed them, I had to wait until she realized I needed parts and would stick them in front of me, building up my stockpile while I was trying to do my job every 17 seconds. But you don't argue with a woman.

Meanwhile at some point the woman running the team and this chick got to talking at some point. I'd like to tell you what they were talking about, but it was so many syllables, happening so fast and so constantly, without a gap for air-"yipypipyoippyuipyipypuyipyi[yipyipyip.""yipuyiphyipyipuopyipyipyipyipyipyipyip..." This went on for like, ten minutes.

I remember when I got my first house and first met the neighbor across the street (the husband, of course): "I see you're painting the house. What are you going to do?" "I'm thinking the same color--maybe a bit darker." "It's a good color." "Well, see you." "You too." Guy conversations are so much simpler.

[Oh, the conversation was about a "hot water heater" that her son was having installed.]
 
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