9-29-10 Wednesday (Wabbits)

I had today off.  Now whether or not I should have taken off today is up for debate.  It’s still just me and the consultant, Rob.  My boss, Mike, has been busy at the Rock Hill location getting a manager into place.  The week had been very slow so far so I took a risk and took my day off as planned.  We’ll find out tomorrow if I get yelled at or not.

I met up with Carl and Tim to get some sightseeing done.  Nothing major, just a drive through some neighborhoods.  We started with breakfast at Ikea.   We then took a drive to another trailer park for them to check out.  This particular park had rabbits hopping all over.  It was cute.

2010-09-29 002 2010-09-29 003 2010-09-29 004 2010-09-29 005

Then we saw these birds.  Carl and Tim knew exactly what they were.  Guinea-hens.  What?  I never heard of them and have never seen them either.  Well here they are:

2010-09-29 006

We even stopped at the airport and visited the observation lot.  It’s designed to park and watch the airplanes take off.

2010-09-29 007 2010-09-29 008 2010-09-29 009

Some more fall foliage:

2010-09-29 001

I’ve not mentioned Weight Watchers in a long time.  I haven’t been doing it.  I was prompted to admit it after Alix commented on the blog about how good I was looking.  I gained 3 pounds back.  I eat fine during the week but weekends are still my weakness.  I guess I just need to get back into the swing of things. 

9-25-10 Saturday & 9-26-10 Sunday

Work?  I miss retirement.

Jim, as typical, was off today.  The RV has been at Tom Johnson getting the roof patched, new shocks and whatever else we had done.  Carl & Tim assisted Jim with the pick up of the moho. 

We’re gonna hold off on getting a new RV.  After all, this one is paid for and it will be fine for trips.  We may put a new roof on in the future.  Facebooking friend, David, emailed me some advice:


Thanks David!

Meanwhile, after work I picked up Tim and took him to Trader Joe’s.  Tim enjoys organic food and so I was excited to introduce him to this place.  He was impressed with the selection and the pricing!  Score! 

Afterwards we met up with Carl and Jim at Cheddar’s.  Everyone seemed to enjoy their food.  Score!

It’s wonderful to recommend something and have it be as good as you hyped it to be.  We all have those times we tell someone a restaurant is fantastic and then later find out that the recommendee was very disappointed.  I hate when that happens.

Ahhhh, a day off.  The only problem is that I couldn’t sleep past 7:15 am.  I wasn’t the only one though.  Jim was up too.   We met up with Carl and Tim for breakfast at Ikea.  They had an awesome deal going for their Big Breakfast (pictured below).  Buy one at $1.99 and get another free.  That’s a frickin’ $1 for all that food.


Afterwards we walked off some breakfast calories at the Concord Mills Mall.  Jim wanted sunglasses and new shoes.  He ended up with a 40% off scratch and save card for the Guess store so naturally he bought a bunch of stuff there.  Next we bought 6 pairs of shoes at the Sketchers store.  4 for him, 2 for me.  What can I say?  Carl and Tim window shopped… patiently.  While we finished up shopping, they departed for BJs and then home.  We eventually made it to BJ’s and then to Walmart.


2010-09-23 001Above/Below: Views of the back yard.2010-09-23 002 

2010-09-25 003 Above/Below: Carl and Tim’s patio.2010-09-25 004 

2010-09-26 005 Above: Tim finds something at a dollar store in the mall.

2010-09-26 006 Above/Below:  Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Carly let Timmy and Garret play.2010-09-26 007 

2010-09-26 008 Above: Buzz Jim.

2010-09-26 009 Above: 1 pair of Jim’s new shoes.

2010-09-26 010 Above: We certainly shopped.

9-24-10 Friday (Another Fall Report)

Work has been fine.  I’m liking the facility and my employees.  Fantastic staff.  I still have issues with the company/corporation. 

We had dinner and then Carl and Tim came over for some wine and to watch the season premiere of Smallville. 

As the leaves continue to change, I’m excited about taking a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see it all in it’s glory.   On some news site I found an article that was kind enough to include a link to visitnc.com.  They have Weekly Fall Color Report.   What an awesome site.  An excerpt:

“So, how are the trees doing so far? In the Boone area, Red and Sugar maples started turning yellow/orange in late August, and many are well into their color displays. Flowering dogwoods are already peaking with their burgundy-red leaves. Some Tulip poplars and birches are turning yellow, which is early for them. Poison ivy and Virginia creeper are already brilliant orange and red. At higher elevations, beech leaves are turning a shiny brown while Sugar maples are showing yellow and orange colors. Viburnum leaves at Elk Knob State Park are turning a rich purple-red color in the understory, which is quite spectacular to see. However, the dominant color on the landscape is still green, with just a hint of orange/yellow and red at higher elevations.”

The report discusses specific areas of NC.  In the near future I think we’ll do a day trip with Carl and Tim.  I’d like to do something similar as the loop we did back in June from Asheville to Charlotte.   I’ve looked back at that June post and am in awe all over again.  To see all of it in the fall will be breathtaking once again but in a totally different way.

Time for bed.  Work tomorrow.  Gotta sleep off some wine…

9-20-10 Monday Thru 9-22-10 Wednesday

I mentioned that I told my boss I’d like to step down.  He has side stepped the issue.  Saturday, I sent him an email that I’d like to transfer to a store closer to home and step down into a consultant’s position.  Sunday night at 9pm my phone rings.  A few minutes later I listen to voice mail.  My boss wants to discuss the email.  I didn’t call him back.

Monday: While at work, my boss texts me to call him about the email.  I call him.  He doesn’t really want to listen to all I have to say but counters me with a transfer to Huntersville as a Facility Manager.  I told him I’d like to think about it.  Not as in days but maybe a few hours.  He tells me time’s up.  He wants me to try it out.  It’s a much much newer store.  I accepted. 

I mapquested it and found it’s only 20 minutes away!  Yay!  Later that night, Jim and I took a drive after dinner to check it out.  The place was closed but nothing looking through windows didn’t solve.  The place looked immaculate.  It’s a new facility.

Tuesday: We have a manager’s meeting in Charlotte at the corporate office.  I won’t go into specifics.  I’m sure it would bore you anyway.  After the meeting I went back to my store, Rock Hill, said my goodbyes and finished out the day.  I start the new place tomorrow.

Wednesday: I started my new facility today.  I like all of the employees and the facilities are awesome.  The service consultant, Rob, has only had 1 day off for the past 6 weeks.  His fiancĂ© miscarried the other day and he couldn’t take off.  Can you imagine?  Ugh.  This facility like so many others is short staffed so I’m on the hunt for a service consultant.

I won’t get my day off this week, only Sunday but I’m OK with that. 

9-18-10 Saturday and 9-19-10 Sunday

I worked on Saturday.  Surprising, I know.  We did get to go over to Carl and Tim’s for dinner.  It was good and I actually enjoy the peacefulness of their trailer park.  It’s well treed and for the most part quiet other than the banjos.  The weather has been perfect so sitting out on the broken concrete slab patio is nice.  Jim and I sat in the trailer while they prepared dinner.  They adjusted quickly to the itty bitty tight space very well.  We drank wine.  We socialized.  We ate dinner outside.  We had a great time.  I forgot my damn photo so I wasn’t able to document this historic event!

Sunday we decided to go to Ikea for breakfast and then we’d shop.  We met there at 9:30 but they didn’t open till 10:30.  None of us wanted to wait so we went to Golden Corral up the road.  I must say, they do offer a lot for breakfast.

2010-09-19 001

After breakfast we shopped at various places.  Carl and Tim were looking for recliners.

2010-09-19 002 Above: Big Lots.  It was humorous to see these peopel stuffing a tree into their truck.

We returned to Ikea for Carl & Tim’s virgin shopping trip.  All of the photos below are from our shopping trip:

2010-09-19 003 2010-09-19 004 2010-09-19 005 2010-09-19 006 2010-09-19 007 2010-09-19 008 2010-09-19 009 2010-09-19 010

For dinner we went to 1900 for Mexican.  Tim didn’t much care for his food but we enjoyed each other’s company.  I think.

2010-09-19 012 Above: Tim enjoys the drink special.  Sunrise.

9-17-10 Friday (Write Me Up!)

Jim took today off to help Carl and Tim out with whatever they needed.  They all went out to breakfast and lunch as well as some sightseeing.

Meanwhile for me it was another miserable day at work.  On 3rd Thursday’s of the month it’s inventory time.  95% of my inventory is in that lube pit.  It’s greasy.  It’s grimy and in most of it, I can’t stand up all the way.  Since I was off Thursday and worked by myself Wednesday, inventory never got done.  Corporate wanted it done Wednesday or Thursday.  I did some on Tuesday.  I warned my boss about it.  On Thursday while helping Carl & Tim, he texted me several times asking about inventory and eventually telling me it must get done tomorrow.  That brings us to today.   Boss man Mike was there today.  Mostly to get in the way.  He decided to tell me about all the things my place does wrong.  Things he observed yesterday.  I decided to let him have it.  I told him I’m thinking I’d like to step down.  We got interrupted.  The conversation never got finished.

Some time later in the day while I was doing more inventory, my boss’s boss comes in.  It was a surprise.  I had never met the guy.  I threw some attitude.  I over heard his name.  I recognized that he was up the ladder.  I didn’t care. 

As the day progressed, I found a paper face down on the counter behind me.  I flipped it over and saw that it was a write-up form.  I hoped it was for me.  I think I wanted the nudge to quit or step down or tell them to shove it.  I’m not sure.  Eventually toward the end of the day, Mr. Big Boss left.  My boss Mike confided he had gotten written up.  Apparently in my absence, such poor sales.  Ya know, I feel for the guy.  I hate some of what he’s about.  Afterall, he’s the one who threatened my pay (along with other managers) for each “infraction”.  I had a ha-ha moment in my head.  What came out of my mouth was a “geez, I’m sorry about that.”  Why’d he get written up?  Well, during my day off, his sales at my store were so shamefully low.  He’s a district manager – does it really need to be that high?  He’s also been with the company for only a couple of weeks.  Sheesh.  I guess he’s got his own problems.  Unfortunately it’s not about him.  It’s about me.  Me.  Me.  Me.

With the day already sucking, it ended with me leaving work 45 minutes late.  Ugh.

9-16-10 Thursday (Success Story)

Jim worked today while I had off.  Carl & Tim had to meet up at the trailer park with the trailer transport people at 8:30am.  While they worked on getting the trailer into place, I went to a doctor's appointment to have my blood pressure checked. 

Even though I had had a bloody nose, headaches and even an elevated reading at one of those cuff machines near the pharmacy, the doctor said I checked out fine.  My blood pressure was OK and he suspects it was stress.  Surprise.

I went over to the trailer park and met up with Carl and Tim.  The transport people couldn’t get it exactly where they wanted it because of the size of their truck and their dually wheels not fitting where they needed to go.  The boys were able to move it with their own truck.

2010-09-16 004Above: Gizmo supervises.

 2010-09-16 005Above: Tim shows his “success”.

 2010-09-16 006Above/below: Tim says, “ya wanna see the inside?”  Carl chuckles. 2010-09-16 007

I was so excited to see the interior.

2010-09-16 008 2010-09-16 010

Hmmmmm.  How do I get to see the back of the trailer?  Huh?  I have to help move stuff out of the way?  Sounds like work.

Tim's cushions

2010-09-16 012Above: Something doesn’t fit in to the whole trailer look.

 2010-09-16 009Above: The big unexpected bonus was that this lot had a storage shed on it!  It’s huge and will be a great help seeing how Carl & Tim over packed.

 2010-09-16 011 Above: “Whadja say about me?  Quit slacking and get back to work.”

Let’s check on the inside:

2010-09-16 013Above: “Don’t worry, I’ll find a place for it.”

2010-09-16 014 Above: Typical trailer trash decor.

2010-09-16 015 Above: Carl takes a break.

2010-09-16 016 

2010-09-16 020 Above: Almost!

Jim will be home soon.  We head to our house from dinner.

2010-09-16 021 Above: A toast to Carl & Tim’s welcomed arrival!

Tomorrow I go to work.  Jim has off.

9-15-10 Wednesday (Government Cheese)

It’s been another interesting week at unnamed car care place.  An email earlier on in the week stated that “Director of Operations” was no longer employed with our company.  I have no idea if it was a voluntary or involuntary thing.  This was the guy who called me on a Friday night and asked if I could start on a Saturday morning. 

More changes came up later in the week.  Although no email was sent out, my former supervisor James and Tom were now facility managers (what I am).  Voluntary demotion or what – I don’t know.  Oddly I heard about this from one of my techs who heard it from another employee. 

My newest boss, Mike, is over all the stores.  Originally as a group manager, he’s now higher than that and I think he’s called a regional manager.  Dunno, hard to keep up lately.

Angela, the lube pit faller, stopped in with a note yesterday stating she was under a doctor’s care still.  We figured.  No surgery as of yet but her arm is broken in 2 places and they’re using a sling rather than a cast to heal it.  She has to go in often and have the harness contraption tightened up here and there to help align the bones.  She says her hip hurts even though they don’t see anything wrong with it.  She seems miserable and pretty doped up.  I can only assure her that we miss her and can’t wait for her to come back. 

Our company sent her a fruit arrangement from Edible Arrangements:


I worked alone today (Bob was off).  We were slow this morning and then I was go-go-go for the remainder of the day.  It made for a fast day but kinda wiped me out.  It was a challenge eating and even getting to the bathroom from time to time.  Ugh.

So, I get an email from my boss.  It’s addressed to all the care care managers.  Here’s the blurb that matters:


I really really really wanted to reply, “I’d like to see you try that.”  I was so pissed.  I immediately forwarded the email for Deanna to look at.  She offered a lot of solutions and guidance.  Deanna is an HR Goddess.  She offers great advice to employees here.  Oh, and while I’m talking about her, a few entries ago I mentioned that she came over for dinner, we played trivia.  I mentioned that on a previous visit we worked on her new company logo but I couldn’t share it until it was registered and legal.  Well, here it is:


We played with the logo.  She had a vision, I helped her with it and in the end, she made something different than what we made together.  That’s her final logo.  Cool, eh?  I’ll find out and mention her website and Facebook fan page in the future.

Anyway, so I called HR and just ranted about everything I could think of.  She agreed that it’s illegal to dock pay for infractions.  She says she kept it anonymous and let Mike know that someone complained. 

This place is hostile and negative.  A little later I get another email from someone else.

Business cards Above: Click to enlarge

So I’m thinking: 1- No names on the cards because of too much turn over?  I wonder why?  2- Another threat. 

It’s possibly legal to charge someone for the cards but shouldn’t it just be enough to tell people not to do it?  Am I your child?  Does everything have to be negative and have consequences?  I forwarded that email to HR stating “our company is a ball of negativity.  Why does everything have a consequence?”   I didn’t get a reply but I wasn’t expecting one.  Oddly enough, our in-house intranet website has a link to order business cards and after clicking on it, prompts come up to personalize it.  I did this about 3 weeks ago.  I have business cards with my name on it.  I ordered some for my advisor about a week ago.  Oh well.

Carl and Tim departed Cape Coral, Florida this afternoon.  Their trailer was being transported by a company.  They made it to our house at about 11:30pm.  Jim was in bed since he had to work Thursday.  I’m off tomorrow!  Yay! 

For their welcome to their new home gift, we got them a cookbook and gift basket.  No trailer is complete without a copy of Ruby Ann’s Down Home Trailer Park Cookbook.  Just look at the recipes.  Mmmmmmm.  Any recipe that has an ingredient of “government cheese” is swell by me:

2010-09-12 005

2010-09-12 004Above: All the ingredients needed to make a down home trailer park meal.

2010-09-12 008   Above: The finished product.  Inside a Walmart bag.

The funny thing is that they like 99% of the ingredients in the “basket”.  Yes, that includes the Spam and Vienna Sausage.  I love my friends.