Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Sampling of Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving. A day to spend with your family and to remember what you're thankful for.

Unless you're working retail. Because then it pretty much sucks.

I, for one, refuse to shop on Thanksgiving. Black Friday beginning at 3am was enough. But Black Friday on Thanksgiving? What is happening to society? 

Anyway, here's a list of things I'm thankful for - in no particular order:

For the roof over my head.

To have not one, but three jobs to help keep that roof over my head, even if some days I still have nothing in the bank account.

My family.

My friends.

 To have Boyfriend at my side.

The three kitties that enjoy snuggling (when they're not being giant pains in the ass).

For excedrin when I have a headache.

That I already owned a set of studded tires for this winter (it also allows me to save up for new regular tires next spring).

For my parents instilling a good work ethic and morals in me.

To those who teach me things.

For the really super nice IRS guy on the phone the other day. He took the time to help me figure out what I feared was a huge problem. Turned out to be nothing. (whew!)

That I love reading. I could have a much worse addiction.

No offense to Ferguson, MO, but I'm very thankful I live 2,000 miles from your city.

That none of my three jobs include working in retail or being a telemarketer.

That Mockingjay is in theaters. Because I cannot wait to see it!

And many, many more things.

Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Bad, Part II

(I know, I know . . . I took another hiatus! Shame on me!)

In part one I kind of introduced you to The Villagers (that's usually how we refer to them) and their sheer hatred of meters. And also their belief that we are fixing all the wrong things first. Case in point, I just had a gentleman in the office who was on the Board a few years ago who wanted to know "what hell was wrong with the generator" and why we have to spend money to fix it because "there's nothing wrong with it - change the oil and put a new battery in it". The generator in question hasn't run in a number of years and needs several things fixed. But I politely told the gentleman that I personally have no idea what may or may not be wrong with it, but that the guys would look it more in depth before winter hits and figure out what it needs.
That seems to have placated him for the moment.

As he left, another Villager called and spent the next 20 minutes telling me exactly who started one of the many rumors about those of us that work for the water company. We apparently need to make sure to wear our suits of armor because one of them is a "midget (I think the PC term is Little Person) with severe mental illness, who carries around a sword and a nigger-beater" and that her "husband/current boyfriend is a murderer" and that "they are both drug addicts". She believes that they've killed her cats because they accused her of doping their dogs when she took care of them after they over dosed on whatever drug of choice.
This has been my Friday afternoon.
And believe me, this is far from the worst of anything.
It began slowly, with Boyfriend talking to people about wasting water and issuing fines for doing so. A couple people started spouting off that Boyfriend has a bad attitude and he's menacing and harassing customers.
We took that with a  grain of salt. I mean, seriously, Boyfriend comes to town in the middle of the worst drought on record and tells people they no longer have "unlimited" water and that they can't wash their car in the street or water the road or drain their pool because they thought it looked crooked (yes, someone actually did that) or flood alley ways. Of course some people aren't going to like him. Duh.

The Board of Director's continued to tell Boyfriend to do his job and that if any customer gave him shit, to tell that customer that they could talk to the Board.

Part of this begins in May, when one Board Member resigned. According to our By-Laws, should a vacancy occur on the Board within 90 days of the annual shareholder meeting, then we have to hold an election. BUT, if the vacancy happens to occur more than 90 days from the meeting, then the two remaining Board Members can appoint someone to fill the empty seat. The appointed person would be confirmed at the next annual shareholder meeting.

One Villager expressed interest in being on the Board. The Board Members discovered that they lived outside of the subdivision and cannot be on the Board. In the end they appointed someone else. So this Villager comes to a meeting of the other water company and accosts us when we leave. He kept telling us we "can't do this to an American citizen". I think he thought that one of the reasons he didn't get on the Board was that he's a Cuban immigrant. We kept trying to tell him that the we had nothing to do with the decision and that he can come to our Board Meeting the following week and bring it up to the Board. Finally this Villager tried to push Boyfriend; when he didn't budge, the Villager then flopped himself against the wall and fell on the floor and claimed that Boyfriend assaulted him.

We both stood there like, "WTF? Are you serious??"

I lost my cool and said, "This . . . this here, is bullshit." And we left. And called the sheriff's department.

Later in June, Boyfriend and our other employee tell me that about 20 empty chemical buckets were stolen from the company. And not just from any part of the company - the wastewater treatment plant. My first question is, who in their right mind breaks into a wastewater treatment plant??? Boyfriend had kept the empty bleach tablet buckets to use for random things - carrying tools, hauling soil, or covered tomato plants so they wouldn't freeze. He had looked all over and couldn't find any evidence of forced entry to the treatment plant, which meant that someone must have either scaled the fence and made it over the razor wire or they had a key.

Of course, we're still dealing with the typical "you can't shut me off, so I won't pay my bill" customers; the "I pay my water bill so I can use as much water as I want" customers; the "You're gouging us customers to put money in your own pocket" customers; and my personal favorite, the "we're not in a drought" customers. You know, typical.

To be continued.....