Cliche’s happen

So I was thinking about my job not too long ago. And how I prepared myself for it many moons ago and when I was a younger man. Now I wasn’t the smartest then, nor am I now…but I knew when good things were afoot and when the Sword of Damocles was above your head.

I’ve been fired more times than you can count on one hand. Someone like that is either, not suited for the job they are working in, or they are a radio personality. I’ve never cashed a check from a radio station or media giant. You can guess why I was fired. Hint: My mouth gets me into trouble in states that are blue.

So when I was recently promoted to a new position (not a real promotion, mind you), I was informed that at some point I will need to speak to M (names are initialed for a reason). M will be wanting to use me to start writing policy on chemical operators.

My response then and now is, can we just use the MSDS for guidelines on how to handle things? I would think that just the simple act of READING THE INSTRUCTIONS should be a fine enough deterrent to venture to aberrant behavior while under DOT law. Apparently not, as I’m still necessary to new policy being written.

I figure that in a right-to-work state, such as Texas, an employer shouldn’t really need to write policy just to fire shitty employees. In the handbook they give you in the first week of work, there should be a clause written in which simply states: If you are unable to use common sense in this vocation and you repeatedly screw up, we should be able to fire you without paying your unemployment. Please treat this employment like you would treat something you treasure and enjoy.

I figure in all honesty, work will not be on my blog for any reason because the reasons they were here to begin with were that I was popping up on google before they were. Kinda makes me want to go and re-edit my two published novels and see if they sell better. I guess next time I won’t be all Hemmingway’d out of my gourd when I try to edit.

Segway: I’m at a bar, trying to remain perpendicular to the floor. I’m aided by the barstool. And my ipad is waiting for me to punch in a respelling of the word ‘the’. Instead I take the last swig of scotch and promptly fall on the floor. Maybe I can rethink choices from here while the shitty techno music vibrates my skull on the tile.


Work sends me anywhere we decide to make an agreement. My crew is lucky enough to have a lot of work, and that I am thankful for. And I am also thankful for my parents for not forcing me off video games into cold-turkey land. I should say that many times I sat in front of the television (old school bulb-television Magnavox) playing some pixelated piece of shit, has prepared me for this job.

I’ll explain.

I work as a chemical operations supervisor. Which means out of all the people in my crew, it initially falls on me to train people should they have to use chemicals. I have to tell them common sense items because they don’t read the MSDS. “Wear your apron. Get your glasses on. Don’t refill your four ounce bottle of lube with this, it will cause a rash in the involved parties.”

So whenever we get something new to play with, I have to talk to people at my chem warehouse and see what they think of it. “Oh it smells. Oh, this stuff pours slow. Don’t let sunlight hit it for a month, it loses 60% of it’s potency and separates.” Usually they give me a good heads up on what I’m about to read.

Then it gets loaded onto my vehicle and I’m off.

Most of those years playing racing games on my computer or game console have prepared me for this. Jam the music and keep it within the yellow and white lines. After about six months, you develop tastes for talk radio. After a year you’re on iTunes looking for an audiobook from an author you want to keep up with. Your reptile brain (the instinctive one) takes over on long stretches. It’s important to keep your consciousness awake on any trip over an hour, otherwise you’re going to be too distracted trying to find a distraction to keep the tires between the ditches.

I will be the first person to say, calling your boss with a rolled-over tractor and trailer is not something you want to do at 5 am. I think I would rather tell mom and dad that I got a toothless, one-legged hooker pregnant on a layover in Kansas City at a Travel America center than call my boss and describe to him the circumstances of my termination. I will also add to this, that if you can find or rent out a chipper-shredder, you might not have to call your parents about Cinnamon Junior.

So on the road and just driving defensively is the name of the game. At the moment, I’m running loads for five hours just from the warehouse. So let the instinctive brain take over and don’t overthink things. My right foot naturally is flush with the floorboard with the accelerator smushed between them. That’s how I roll, Brotha.

I get to my jobsite. If I’m not quickly applying Monkey Butt powder to my ass in a skiddo can, then whatever the doctor gave me worked. But soon after I paraded the load and chemical information to my engineer, it’s time to push a different set of dexterity-based challenges to me. Once I figure out how the forklift handles, I get my truck unloaded and do what I can to satisfy other needs on the site. Unless your needs involve a chemical tote or my flatbed, you should call someone else.

Sometimes my boss gives me a time limit, just like video games. Or I get word that my tractor isn’t going to be used for hauling chemicals, so I get a number and among three yards to explore I have to find a matching tractor. I’ll find the tractor but there isn’t a key and my life turns into some shitty Squeenix RPG and I have to do a real-life key-hunt quest and puzzle.

on a bright note, I’ve never had to push a crate around to finish a job with multiple jumps

So I could say that the things you enjoy at a younger age, you will probably still find enjoyment out of them at an older age. You like to answer phones? You might be a receptionist or security guard. Like to blow up people that hate us? You might serve active military. Enjoy driving way too much and you’ll drive around a crappy Lake Decatur just because it doesn’t feel like the rest of Central Illinois.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have questions or comments, leave some love here or in my inbox. Everyone, have a great March.


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