May 30, 2009

Weekend update.

Where the heck have I been? Its been a while since I have sat down and put anything meaningful here, and I'm pretty sure I won't be putting much now either.
I wish I could sit here and tell grand tales of adventure or put to words deep and ponderous thoughts full of moral lessons learned. Sadly, this is not to be. I will however do a little bit of catching up.
Working night shift has put a serious cramp in my general life. It throws off my home life and generally any other portion of life I am involved in. But I have accomplished a few things.
I got the berry vines out from the side of the garage. This was no easy task. The over growth was well over my head and the section of the backyard they had infested was about 4 feet by 20 feet. Yeah, yikes. So I got the hedge trimmer and got to work last Sunday morning. I should really take a moment to reiterate the fact that I am not really fond of rodents, and was terrified I would find more than a few while tackling this monumental task. So I got on some boots, a pair of sweat pants covered by jeans, a long sleeve shirt covered by a sweatshirt. Yeah, that's right, I was sweating my arse off while getting to work on this task. Not only was I afraid of a frantic critter attacking me as I demolished his home, I was not looking forward to the thorns the vines have for no apparent good reason (other than to make me miserable). So I hacked a few feet in, stomped and raked. Hack, stomp and rake. A few times using this general method left the entire place free of debree and the offending vines. I even managed to muster up the determination to load everything in the truck and take it all to the dump.
Hooray for me.
So there was some work done. There was also some fishing done. Dean and Iver and I made our first fishing trip of the season. Conditions were sub-optimal, but we had a pretty good time none the less. We left out of Trinidad and attempted to cruise to our normal haunts around the Pacific Coast. Much to our dismay the swells were higher and steeper than we had hoped they would be. But, being the determined fellows we are, we fished anyway.
Iver is hard pressed to take a moment to look away from the watery depths of the ocean.
It was more work than recreation. No, we didn't get commercial fishing permits, we had to work hard to stand upright and not go overboard. Dean, however, is never scared of taking a moment for a photo op.

In the end, we had a decent amount of fish for the taking, and were pleased that they day was so warm and enjoyable, if not the fishing conditions. After the fishing was done it was time to dive. We had it in our heads to dive for scallops, which can be found anchored to rocks in our pacific waters. So we geared up, and got ourselves ready.

In the end, dive conditions were also sub-optimal. We were diving the low tide and clarity was horrible. It took about 3 seconds and I lost Iver. I found fairly quickly though, when he came crashing into me. I couldn't figure out what he was doing, as he was grabbing my head like a blind man until I noticed his mask was full of water. After he managed to fix that we stated scouring the rocks for the elusive scallop. Sadly, the scallop remained fairly elusive. Again, Iver disappeared after a few seconds, and the dive was spent mainly alone looking in nooks and crannies.
But we had a good time, and that's what matters.
So there is my update. Its been a long time coming, and I'm going to make a better effort of updating more as time moves on.

May 15, 2009

Separation Anxiety

For the past few months I have been seeing a councilor. This shouldn't come as any kind of surprise to anyone who regularly follows these posts, so I won't go into the details of it all again.
My Dr, Chuck I will call him (well, I should call him that, that's his name), is a quirky fellow. While I can't think of any immediate examples, he seems like a stereotypical councilor. He always wears a sport coat, and usually has a plaid shirt of some sort underneath. This plaid shirt is usually over a turtle neck shirt. He wears glasses, has a mustache, and seems to talk through only one side of his mouth. He uses a lot of hand gestures, which only animates this stereotypical image in my head even more.
I had a hard time, at first, connecting with Chuck. Indeed, I think I almost had a hard time taking him seriously at times. After all, he has a PhD. As as you all know (or at least should know), that stands for Piled Higher and Deeper. Right? Most of us in the common world, have known a Shrink or two. I was told a story by someone who is very close to me, and whom I hold in the highest regard, that he too once saw a shrink.
This Dr, however was the complete opposite of Chuck. He wore Hawaiian shirts and board shorts. He also wore no underwear, and had the bad habit of sitting just right (or in actuality, so horribly wrong) that you couldn't help but see his ball sack down the leg of his shorts. And of course, once you see something like that, its nearly impossible to look away. No matter how hard you try, you can't help but going back to it. Its like a train wreck. You know its going to be horrific, you know the scene will likely scar your psyche for life, but you still can't look away.
Fortunately for me, Chuck would always wear pants. And I never bothered to ask if he wore chonies, it just seemed the wrong thing to do. But for all of Chuck's quirkiness, he had a level of down-to-earthiness that I respected. I even grew to like.
At one point, we were talking about Wife. He asked me if there were things I did that annoy her. I promptly told him I was sure she could provide a list. He didn't want a list, just an example. So I told him the fact that I leave clothes in the bathroom after a shower, in particular my underwear, annoyed the crap out of her. After all, the hamper was about six feet away. He asked why I didn't pick up my clothes. My response was its an old habit. I have always left clothes in the bathroom and simply picked them up when the pile got too big.
Chuck was quick to point out the this was a passive-aggressive behavior. I kind of lost him in the psycho-babble that quickly followed, but was brought back on track when he said, "And besides, your wife will appreciate it. And who knows, it might even help you get laid."
Ah Chuck, apparently he knows how to get my attention back on track. Perhaps he and I have connected in more ways than I had originally thought.
Over the past few sessions, though, we have had less and less to talk about. At then end of our sessions, he always asked if I wanted to schedule another session. Of course, I thought, why else would I be here.
But today it was said. "Adam," he said, "I don't think we need to continue these sessions." Apparently, I have progressed. Which is really kind of a surprise. There have been times when I have walked out of his office and thought to myself, "What in the hell was the purpose of that whole hour in there? I think I just lost a whole hour of my life to a yuppie in a sport coat. Did we really accomplish anything? "
I guess the answer is, "Yes, you idiot." He should know. After all, he is the PhD, not me. He should know. So now, I am left wondering, "What do I do now?" Perhaps there is a whole separate issue of anxiety about to arise? What if I slip into a dark pit of psychosis driven madness? What if my world shatters and I am left all alone to slowly attempt to assemble the pieces, only to find it pieces no longer resemble my former life but a poorly constructed mosaic more reminiscent of Picasso paining?
OK, that might be a bit over dramatic. In the end, I am left to my own devices. And after all the time I spent with Chuck, it appears I have actually made some real progress; found some real inner understanding.
So why is it the only thing I can remember very clearly, is that if I pick up my underwear I might get laid?

May 6, 2009

Night Shift Humor Abounds

You know you’re in trouble at work when your co-workers don’t talk to you. On the flip side, you know you’re part of the group when they get you in on their jokes, or when you sometimes become the brunt of them. Perhaps these two statements seem a little on the contradictory side. And in reality, they are, unless you work where I do.

The people I work with I spend a lot of time with each other, in a very close-quarters work environment. You add to that the night shift, even though working the night shift is exactly the same job, is almost a totally different environment than the day shift. So I, coming from day shift for the last two years, am a little bit of an outsider. At least that’s the way it feels. And relationships with people who I really haven’t seen in the past two years are approached with a little trepidation and even a little caution. But here am I am.

So we were at work, filing some paperwork. In this office we generate mountains of paperwork. It’s ridiculous really. Working with a computer system that was labeled as “paperless” has proven to be anything but that. So we are filing some paperwork and find that a file is missing. Now, we know this file as created the night before, by us, and there is no real reason for this file to be missing. So the search begins. There are 6 drawers worth of files to look through, and we searched every one of them. All through the process, one of my co-workers kept asking me, “Hey, is that file on your desk?” It was more of a joke, than anything else, but for the first couple of times I made a point of looking through the various places this elusive file might have been. After answering no the first couple of times, I sent some people on a little hunt for the missing file, and after that quite honestly I didn’t give it much more thought.

About an hour later, I was sitting at my desk, and noticed the errant paperwork still sitting on the desk. So I made the general comment that we would need to create a duplicate file, since the other had disappeared. About the same time, one of my co-workers had walked by, and made the off-hand comment about the file being right in front of my face. I looked in the file organizer in front of me, and sure enough, there it was.

So I had to fess up that I had completely overlooked it, had my people looking all over for it, and even sent them off to another part of the facility in order to attempt to find it. And after I made every attempt to apologize for my failure and their wasted time, every one started laughing. At first, I stood there, simply looking around and wondering what I was missing.

Finally, one of my peers explained that they had actually found the file in their travels, just as I had suggested. However, on their return to the general area they decided to play a little prank. And in a brilliant example of subterfuge, they slipped the file into my organizer when I wasn’t looking.

A good laugh was had by all. And I really must say, its nice to be the brunt of a light hearded joke. Thanks for welcoming me back to the group.

May 1, 2009

Supervisory Duty Strikes Again

Anyone who knows where I work should know I have my hands full as a supervisor. At any given time I am supervising anywhere from two to eight employees, or possibly up to 16 and a multi-million dollar facility. Add to that a population of 350-400 plus supervising my employees and it gets a little crazy at times.

Now, working where I do, everything thing we do is policy driven. Seriously, I mean everything. For example, there are policies that dictate how we are to feed people, shaving and haircuts, garbage removal and medical services. There is even a policy that describes how policies are to be written. I think we get the idea.

Now let’s talk about Liability; the reason why we have so many policies is to avoid Liability. Liability leads to law suits, which obviously cost the county money. So we look to avoid Liability by making sure we within our policies, which fall within the law the rights guaranteed to people who are housed in my facility.

So when an incident occurs, I expect my people to act accordingly. Most times (in fact, almost all times) my people do as they should. Of course, with any incident, we can always look back and judge it from the arm chair. But that’s not my point. I work with capable people, who do their jobs pretty well and generally make my life easier because it.
However, every now and then, someone doesn’t do their job correctly. And when I discover it 3 or 4 days later, I am forced to act on it. This situation is one I don’t like. I don’t like feeling like I am coming down on my people. I don’t like writing the paper that will eventually end up getting someone’s ass chewed. Even more so, though, I don’t like someone not doing their job right and leaving me to deal with the possible consequences.

So this is my annoyance today. I spent the better part of Monday working on a memo I really didn’t want to right. But I did. I don’t feel guilty. I am disappointed though in the fact the memo had to be written in the first place.

Liability. The L word. It affects us all in various ways. We simply work to avoid it. At least I do.
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