Hell of a Guy
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life - Albert Camus

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Working Way too Hard?


I think not!  Just this week I let my boss know I will retire at the end of January 2012.  I will have had 29 years with this company at that time.  It has been simply a wonderful ride, but as with most things in ones life, there is a time when one must come to grips with their relevancy to it all, and I have reached it.  My mind works as if in the 80’s, and my company in a different century.  I am just not able to deal with today’s business model as I should and the reality of the times.  It is time I hung it up, as it were, and I have no regrets.

January 17, 1983, was my first day with this company.  Oh, how excited I was.  I made $33,000 that year; more than I had ever made in a single year.  I even won a 10-day vacation in Hawaii in a sales contest that included $500.00 cash, airfare for two, a rental car and hotel accommodations.  It was a fantabulous move for me to associate myself with the company and the good ride continued lo these many years. But it is definitely time for me to go. 

All but two of the sales reps that work me were born 30-years ago or less.  At sixty-eight, I have outlasted many of my peers by a number of years.  There only two people currently working with this company older than I.  Both of them are very likely to die at their desks one of these days, something I wish to avoid.

This is a bittersweet time for me, one I have always hope to avoid, but the reality of it all is that I am more than ready.  Ready because I believe it is right for me and more than right for my company.  I simply have lost my lust for the business and, moreover, my lust for working. This does not mean I won’t work as I always have, I am still being paid to do the job.

I really don’t have a clue as to what I will do in retirement, and, frankly, I don’t care.  I think I could sit in my favorite chair for hours and just meditate.  For some innocuous reason, I think about these days in about building bird houses from time to time.  Seems very odd to me since I have built but one in the whole of my life, and in the vernacular of the day all I can say, WTF.  What the hell do I have to look forward to?  Just the rest of my life full of The Best Days Evers, and a chance to live out the rest of it with The Nancy.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Placing the Blame…


A couple of years ago we had both heating systems in our house replaced.  One of the neat features of the new systems is a programmable thermostat.  The thermostats can be set so the temperature in the house can rise and fall as needed, or switch automatically from heating to cooling and visa-versa.  They are wonderful, as long as they are working properly.  One of ours did not, and thankfully it was still under warranty.

I noticed one was not changing from the cooling phase to the heating phase last November, and while it isn’t a big deal to touch the keypad on the thermostat to change it, I called my heating dude about the issue.  Since the days were rapidly turning cooler with each passing day, I told him there was no need for him to make a special trip to The Farm with a replacement.  He lives about thirty miles away, so I told him next time he was in the area to let me know and he could take care of it at that time.  Note to self: Give someone a task without a DDD and the task is not likely to be accomplish with any expediency.

Generally, here in Beautiful Downtown Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, population 624 (2010 Census), the warmer days come in April, not many, but they do happen, and they did.  We had a couple where the mercury flirted with the 80 mark.  While one system performed as advertised the other did not, forcing me to call my heating dude one more time.  This time I made arrangements with him to go pick up of the thermostat myself, it’s a plug-in gizmo and even someone as untalented as I can put in a plug.  All I needed to do was unplug the faulty unit and take it to the heating equipment distributor, ironically enough just 30 miles from my house, and trade it for the new one.  Simple, right? 

This past Thursday I made trip.  I arrived at the distributor’s store.  I went in.  I asked for the thermostat.  The guy asked me for the old one.  I forgot bring it.  He would not give me the new one.  I said I would mail it to him.  He would not accept that and still refused to give it to me.  I looked him and said “Kiss my ass!” and stormed out of the store.  I was pissed.

As I made the drive back to Berkeley Springs I ranted and railed.  I was pissed at me.  I took an oath to be “fully responsible for what happens to me in my life,” and it was time for me to live up to it.  Once I did that I was instantly and completely calmed; I could feel my blood pressure drop as my demeanor changed.  The trip back to The Farm and the subsequent drive back to the store was a pleasant one, though I still owed the guy at the store an apology which I made as I swapped the old thermostat for the new one.

Lesson learned: Practice what you preach, but do it before you do stupid shit.

And that is all I have to say about that…

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