Thursday, October 19, 2006

Epistle From a Wet Blanket

Hi, everybody! I felt bad leaving you in the "lurch"! So before I go to the symposium to speak on my panel, here is one last dispatch for the "road," this one courtesy of Jeff McNeil, who drives a truck for a large U.S. delivery service. Jeff reports: 5pm: I stop off at this place that's like a Mail Boxes Etc, but they have a name that sounds like a sandwich shop so nobody ever goes in there so, consequently, there's hardly ever anything for me to pick up - which is great! I walk in and ask them about the plane crash. (this is the day the plane crashed into the apt building in NYC) The father and son who work the joint just look at me. -- You guys should get a TV or radio in here or something. -- Then we wouldn't get any work done. I thought they were joking. I've never seen them get off their stools. -- I'm serious. Was that a terrorist plane? Can't you look it up on the internet? -- Well, I'm on the Post Office site right now. -- But did you sign a contract to be on there forever? Can't you open a new window? The son looked at his dad and screwed his face up. The dad shrugged. -- So you don't know anything about the plane crash? -- Somebody said something about it when they came in earlier. The dad said. -- Yeah? Like what? -- Just that a plane hit a building. -- Wow. Okay. So do you have anything for me today? -- Nope. Not today. -- Alright. Well, thanks for all the great information. Ha ha ha. They smiled. I adjusted my suspenders with a snap and left. I'm the only driver at this particular delivery company allowed to wear suspenders because of my accident - which happened on the job - and it's part of the 'reasonable accommodation' clause my lawyer got me as part of my compensation package. They're special suspenders that hold my hips in place, since the accident left me without hip joints. Without the suspenders my hips swivel more freely than Big E's and it freaks people out. NEXT STOP: a distribution warehouse for a large grocery store chain. It's just me and the security guard and a couple of employees passing through on their way out once in a while. First thing I notice is a big pile of boxes and letters, and all of them need labels. I hate that. The security guard comes over. Tells me how tired she is. I tell her that's not a good trait in a security guard. She says she wants to retire. She wants to win the lottery so she won't have to work anymore, or at least get a job at an elementary school in SC, which would be the same thing. I said, uh-huh. Then she walks over to her desk and comes back with a paper in her hand. -- Look at this. -- What? -- Just look at it. My water bill. $195.00. -- That sounds kinda high. -- About $175.00 too high! The toilet was running all month. All month the toilet was running. Can you believe it? -- You didn't hear it? -- We weren't there. We bought the house and then left and didn't go back with our stuff for another month and when we walked in the toilet was running full blast. She walked back to her desk despondent as all get out. -- Now I'll have to go out and buy a bunch of lottery tickets just to try to pay it. Then she started telling me about how she spent $25.00 on scratch-offs and one of them paid $10.00. She called that 'winning'. I loaded up the packages after that and left. Hey, it ain't Rome or Hollywood, but it's America, and it's real, and it's on my route until I get fired. POSTSCRIPT FROM THE "BLOGMASTER": According to Jeff, he explained to the woman that she hadn't really won anything, mathematically speaking, and she called him a "wet blanket."