Keepers of the house

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It’s not often I get called out. I do like the call outs cause it’s a challenge to test how well you handle under pressure. Today I was at church assembling bookshelves when I got the call. There were reports of a fire and I had to go assist with 2 other techs on route. In my 10 years of service this is my first call on a fire in progress. When I finally get to the service center to get the company van, I started driving towards the smoke I see in the distance. When I got closer to the job site emergency responders completely closed off all the streets going to the job site. Great… When I find a smaller street, I was able to drive around the police car and get somewhat closer. We normally don’t staff on the weekend and we rely on call outs to handle trouble. When I got out all the employees from other departments were there waiting on me. “There he is.” “Bout time you showed up.” Those were the comments I got. Apparently in emergency situations even when our equipment is in flames no one’s allowed to touch any of our equipment until we make it safe for others. It’s THAT serious that the fire department won’t attempt to try to put out the fire until the electricity is shut off and grounded. It took another hour when I arrived at the scene before the fire department started putting out the fire. By that time the fire was close to burning itself out.

Difficult

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Here’s proof that we are one of the most difficult shops to deal with in the company. Today we go to another service center for a safety meeting. After the safety meeting we are allowed to discuss topics without management (for obvious reasons). One of the perks (I guess) of the job is that since most of us work outside in the heat, the company has decided to purchase sports drinks to keep us hydrated. Here are the suggestions out of our shop: Gatorade, Gatorade G2, Smart Water, Vitamin Water, Propel. Here are the suggestions out of the other shop: (nothing). Sometimes being difficult cracks me up.

Drop

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On a normal uninteresting day I stumble into something post worthy.

I’m working overtime 6:00pm and after eating dinner I head back to the jobsite when it happened. On the way back I see Mr. cool dude riding a custom fat boy motorcycle. If I’m not mistaken a fat boy is defined as a bike with a skinny tire in the front and a huge wide tire in the back. So Mr. cool dude dressed to the T helmet, handkerchief over the mouth button up shirt and jeans. His bike is totally custom (I know from watching American Choppers) with a custom paint job, suicide shifter, heck even the handlebar grips were custom. We pull up to a stoplight and Mr. cool dude evidently was either a) on drugs b) enjoying the weather but not c) paying attention when he love tapped the car in front of him. Once he tapped the car in front of him he drops the bike. He stands up and opens up his arms as to say, “What were you doing?” to the car in front of him. As I’m watching this I’m in shock. The car in front barely notices and drives off as Mr. cool dude starts his bike and tries to drive off. We pull up closer and I notice some bolts and spacers lying on the ground from where he dropped the bike. That will cost him I said to myself as I started laughing. My coworker notices the Mr. cool dude and after I continued to laugh he said:

“Why are you laughing?”

“Hahahaha. What was that guy thinking? Seriously, he has no one to blame but himself. I don’t even know why he thought the guy in front of him was at fault.”

As it turned out Mr. cool dude dropping his bike somehow messed up his ability to shift his bike out of neutral. Mr. cool dude had to walk the bike probably to the parking lot as we drove off. It’s good to have a laugh every once in a while.

Unemployed

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During the tech burst around 2002 most of my friends weren’t working. At the worst part I saw on the news the unemployment rate but still did not know anyone who lost his or her job. This time around, the financial crisis of 2008, the worst is not yet over (or so the news reports) and already 3 of my friends have lost their jobs. To me it seems like Houston hasn’t been hit hard by this recession. Try getting a parking spot on the weekends at the movie theater. It’s still as tough as ever. Try going to a semi popular restaurant on the weekends. It’s still as tough as ever. Houston’s not recession proof but it seems like it hasn’t slowed down enough to notice; yet 3 have lost their jobs. This recession has definitely hit closer to home.

Fiberglass

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Have I ever mentioned I hated fiberglass insulation? With all the technology out there and as smart as mankind is, can’t someone invent something that doesn’t irritate the skin? Sheesh, it’s like that stuff gets on you and next thing you know you feel it for the next 3 days until it finally goes away. BTW, hanging ceilings don’t rate too high on my list either. Someone please invent something that doesn’t come down on you when you take the ceiling tiles down. Everytime we have to do some ceiling work all of it comes down and once you start breathing that stuff it makes you cough. I’m glad I don’t do this type of work everyday. If I did I would probably get fiberglasstosis. Yeah I made that up and I have no medical proof, but I hope one day it’ll be used to describe cancer you get from breathing dust and fiberglass insulation.

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