Sunday, July 19, 2009

I almost wish life really was a beach.

As I type this, it is now two days since Angela and I returned to Phoenix from our three day excursion to San Diego. We took our 2-year anniversary a month early because it was the only way we could still use my floating holiday at ATS before it goes belly up when Delta officially takes over operations at the airport. We decided on San Diego for a vacation spot because it was within driving distance and it was the closest beach we'd be able to get to from here.

And ohhhh... boy, was it worth it.

The trip wasn't nearly long enough. I almost wish we'd have just called off an extra day and not worried about getting paid for the time off. It was so relaxing... and so needed. Ang and I have been getting pretty burnt out lately, at times quite literally (it is, after all, 115 degrees out there these days), and we definitely were in need of a recharge.

San Diego didn't fail to please. Like, if it wasn't further West, I'd really want to consider moving out there. I don't, however, want to move any further West than we already are, and in fact I'd prefer it if we'd make our way closer East in the future so we'd actually be a reasonable distance from the majority of people we miss and care about.

But yes, San Diego was awesome. The weather was gorgeous, the beaches were sandy and superb (virtually trash-free, I couldn't believe it), and every restaurant we tried was excellent (particularly this one burger lounge called, aptly, "The Burger Lounge," with the absolute best burgers I've ever tasted and some tasty onion rings to boot).

We also checked out Balboa Park for a bit on Thursday, which is like San Diego's version of Central Park, sort of. It's actually kind of better. It's basically a little cultural hub, with a bunch of museums and gardens and theatres and restaurants and such, all surrounded by your basic parkland and such. We checked out the San Diego Museum of Art, which was pretty cool, and in particular an exhibit showcasing various photos taken by the late Richard Avedon, who, if you don't know, spent his life taking pictures of various celebrities and political figures, mostly against blank white or gray backgrounds. He also took this famous photo of Bob Dylan, if perhaps you recognize that:

Anyway, yeah, his exhibit was pretty powerful, particularly a piece entitled "The Family," a collection of 69 members of the political, entertainment, and social elite in 1976, the year of America's bicentennial. It basically showed just about everyone who ran the American world three and a half decades ago. Pretty telling.

All in all, it was a very fulfilling trip. I find myself actually likening my enjoyment of San Diego to my enjoyment of Pittsburgh, oddly enough. Like... if I was to move to San Diego, I think I would be able to come to like the city itself. The skyline's pretty cool, the sites to see are many, varied, and interesting, and the people (at least from what we were able to see) seemed pretty friendly. Perhaps I'm biased, but that's what I think of when I think of Pittsburgh.

*shrugs* Whatever the case, it's dinner time now, so I must away with me. Baked BBQ chicken tonight with steamed rice and carrots. Mmmm...

Song stuck in my head: El Scorcho - Weezer

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Aches and bruises.

I'm pretty much blogging right now to ensure that I get a blog in this week and don't just let this go by the wayside. Today was a really long day. I woke up at 3:30 to my second alarm, never heard the first, so I quick hopped out of bed and munched down some Lucky Charms, kissed Ang goodbye, dressed, and ran out the door, barely awake. The day itself was so freakin' long... and it didn't help that it was about 115 degrees out there today.

I've gotten very used to living with aches and pains, though. My left wrist just perpetually hurts, which probably isn't a good thing. My neck and back get randomly tight from time to time. I don't even know how many little cuts and scars I've acquired since taking this job.

It's funny; I'm almost proud of this. It's like... I kind of feel a little superior knowing that I, tiny little Joel, am doing such a grueling work for a living. It almost makes me want to work in a factory somewhere. I'm sure the pay would probably be better.

But then, the steadiness of such a job would probably be horrendous in this economy. Let's just be glad I have a job. Heh.

Anyway, it's 8:40 now, which means I've been up about an hour later than I probably should've. So I'mma go sleep it up. Night.

Song stuck in my head: Get a Clue - Prozzak

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Why I hate my job (sometimes).

I'm not going to beat around the bush here. There are days when I really do despise my job. Not because of the work itself, really. I can deal with mundane repetition pretty well, and this is the best exercise routine I've ever had in my life. It's not even the heat. I've come to get used to the oppression of hundred degree weather pretty well. Not that I'm really okay with it (I still miss cold weather like the dickens), but I can deal with it okay enough.

No, what makes me really despise my job some days... is my coworkers.

Case in point. This week, I have been in charge of the bag room at work. There is a reason for this, which I will get to in a moment, but for now let's just focus on the situation at hand. Today was the third day of this, and as I was looking at a bag to see where it was supposed to go, I noticed a coworker of mine exiting the elevator from downstairs and heading in for work. So, as I'm prone to do, I waved and said hi. He looked at me a little funny and nodded slightly.

"How's it going?" I asked.

He gave me a quizzical look. "Huh?" he asked, as though he had not heard. This is something I'm used to. I have a tendency to mumble without realizing it, so I'm often repeating myself.

"I said, how's it going?" I repeated.

Having realized what I'd asked him, he gets this silly grin on his face and proclaims rather proudly:


*fumes for a moment*

Okay. So. Yeah. I basically work with a bunch of drunken slacker idiots, half of which would actually be fairly intelligent people if they weren't drunken slacker idiots. (The other half would merely be idiots. I'm being kind.) The theme of the week, really, has been that of drunken slacked-off idiocy. I'm going to start talking about coworkers now, but I don't want to mention any names for the sake of fairness (although how any of this can be classified as fair I really don't know), so I'm going to start referring to Coworker A and Coworker B. I'm hoping this won't be too confusing.

It started on Friday, which for the work-week is my Monday. I see that I'm in the bagroom and that Coworker A will be running the bag room. I find this interesting. The guy who normally runs the bag room is apparently on vacation, which is why the task has fallen to Coworker A. Okay, whatever, I figure, and head to the bag room to start my day.

As the day rolls on, it becomes evident that Coworker A is not going to show up. He never calls in to let us know why he isn't there, either. Apparently someone called in, but it was not him, and they had to do this for him because he was, quote, "incoherent."

Well gee. I wonder what that means. Whatever the case, the day rolls on, things go generally smoothly, and my supervisor asks me if I'd be willing to run the bagroom for the remainder of the week. I'm more than willing; AICs (agents in charge) get an extra fifteen cents on their paycheck for days they AIC. I'll take an extra few bucks for the week, sure.

Meanwhile, over the course of the day, I end up learning something from yet another of my coworkers.

"So, did you hear about Coworker B?" he asks.

"No, what about him?" I ask.

"Oh, dude. He got fired."

This rather floors me. Coworker B is/was what I would describe as a near-model employee. He was always on time, he gave above and beyond for his job, helped out his coworkers whenever he could, certainly helped me out a ton... except that he had a little problem with authority. Not that he couldn't take orders or anything like that. It was really one boss in particular that he had issues with (but then, we all do). Anyways, I can't for the life of me figure out why Coworker B would've been fired, so I ask what he did.

"Came to work pretty drunk."

This is when I really start to hate my job. Coworker A has come to work drunk many times before. So have several of my other coworkers (including the one I first mentioned at the beginning, who was not, in fact, Coworkers A or B). They've all been very obviously drunk, actually stank of alcohol, and in fact admitted to it when supervisors weren't around. It's seriously a pretty common thing, probably happens at least once every two weeks. And it infuriates me.

Even moreso now. Because Coworker B, who was the upstanding employee, is the one who got called on it.

What the hell. Seriously.

Now, I'm not an idiot. I understand that if they were to fire everyone who's done this over the course of working here, we'd be down about five guys right now. That can't happen all at once. What bothers me is that this Coworker B guy is basically taking the rap that every one of them should've been taking over the course of my working at this job. It's not like we didn't know this was going on. They could've easily weeded people out gradually as these incidents happened.

But noooooooooo. See, all these guys that do this? Nearly all of them are the real workhorses at this job. They pull their weight. They get things done. They understand the ins and outs of the job better than most of us. So management has pretty much just turned the other way because, quite frankly, they probably figure they can't afford to lose them.

Can't afford to lose them. These same guys that come into work wasted, then end up not coming into work five days out of the month sometimes. And I know they're staying home because they either have a hangover or they just don't feel like coming in. And because they know they can get away with it. I know this because they talk about it.

It makes me wonder why I bother taking such care to go to work every friggin' day, even when I am feeling a bit under the weather. I've taken two sick days in the past year. Two. There's probably a month's worth of "sick" days between these five guys.


All right. I needed to vent that. I'm okay now.

Unrelatedly, I think I'm going to try to update regularly at least on Sundays. I might update more, but I think Sunday will probably be a pretty good update day for me. Granted, that means it'll be Sunday afternoon, and that's Arizona Time (which, for the next few months, coincides with Pacific Standard Time, after which it will revert to Mountain Standard Time), so it'll probably end up pretty late on Sunday for most of you, but hey! At least it'll be regular.

That's what I've decided, anyway.

Song stuck in my head: Paralyzer - Finger Eleven