Monthly Archives: May 2008

Calamity avoided

I very nearly had to write Lesli out of my will.

Three days past after my birthday, and I still hadn’t received a card from her. If you’ve never gotten a birthday card from Lesli, you must not be very special. She hand-crafts some of the most darling birthday cards ever, and sends them off to the most special people in the world, which includes me and my kids. And I think it includes Becky too, I just don’t remember if she got on back in February, that was too long ago.

So anyway, birthday came and went, and no card.

Until today!

And not just a card for me, but one for Amy too! And it wasn’t just the same old boring card for the both of us, we each got a unique creation!

That’s the best. And this was now officially the best birthday ever. I don’t even care that she misspelled our last names.

Policy trumps experience

Today I had to ship out two servers. Each one weighs 90 lbs, and gets packed into a box 32″ square, and strapped to a pallet.

Since the front door is too narrow for a pallet, and the back door where the loading dock is blocked off by construction, the shipping guy has to park way out in the parking lot, and bring a pallet jack in through the side door and down a long hallway to where the packages are.

For the past three years, he’s been using an electric pallet jack to do all his pick ups and deliveries. However today, he rolled in on an old-fashioned completely manual pallet jack.

I asked about it, and he said that his department had just bought a bunch of new electric jacks, and then made a policy decision that they could only be used by people who have been trained in how to use the jacks.

And no one in Shipping has had the training.

So all the new jacks, and all the old electric jacks they’ve been using for years, now sit idle in the warehouse, while the shipping guys struggle pushing manual jacks all through the buildings and across the parking lots.

That’s corporate for you!

Justice for Janitors!

Today, as I walked across campus on the way to my building for work, I noticed a hightened quantity of security folk wandering around. There were clusters of Safety and Security guys in the parking lot, and a security guy in front of every building. I began to wonder if a Person of Significance was coming to visit, but then I noticed all the Hispanics huddled on the street corner.

Most of them were carrying signs, and a few held poles supporting banners, but they were standing too close together, so I couldn’t tell what the banners said, and I was too far to read the signs. There was one guy with a snare drum beating out an erratic rhythm, and one pudgy lady with a voice-amplifying boombox speaker system shouting in Spanish.

Occasionally, a Hispanic in a beat-up car would cruise past, honking wildly, and they’d all cheer and shout triumphantly.

Suddenly, the group started trickling into the parking lot in a single file line, with the woman leading the protest shouting into the microphone:

Whan do yhou whant?
– unintelligible shout from the crowd –
When do yhou whant it?
– unintelligible shout from the crowd –
Justice for Janitors!!!

And then they wandered all around the parking lot, shouting unintelligibly, banners drooping, choppy beat sounding from the drum. Quite the spectacle!

I got into my building after being double-checked by the security guy out front, and bumped into the Fat Old Hag. I told her about it, and she said they aren’t very good janitors anyway, and should be glad they even have jobs. She went and looked out from the balcony, and came back chuckling.