Friday, November 15, 2013

Here’s Your Sign

  When Agent 54 was in high school my best buddy was Bob.  Bob was smarter than me, funnier than me, more devious and a better street Hockey player.  He could make me laugh so hard that I’d go home feeling like I had been beaten up because my ribs were so sore.

  After high school he went to work at Keystone Lighting (yes the same place where Snyderman worked) in the shipping warehouse as a fork truck operator.   I had another job but, things didn’t work out there, so I joined Keystone Lighting about a year and a half after Bob.

  The warehouse had many official policy signs that were white ovals with red letters and a red stripe around the edge of the oval.  They said things like:  No Smoking Please mgmt. and Use Handbrakes Please mgmt. or Safety Glasses Required Please mgmt..  These signs were always posted on the steel beams that went from the floor to the ceiling and always at eye level.

 I was sent to work temporarily in the warehouse one day with 3 other guys that I was kinda leading.  As we walked through the huge warehouse we took notice of the signs.  Upon first seeing the fourth or fifth sign, I knew immediately what had happened.  The sign read:  No Hard-ons Please mgmt..  Yeah, Bob had made a perfect copy of the company policy signs with his own policy  on it.  When I saw it, I said nothing but, I saw one of the other guys frown when he first read that sign.  I had to wonder if that guy had just decided that this wasn’t the place for him?

  I didn’t see Bob at work that day but after work when we got together for a few beers, the first thing I said was:  No Hard-ons Please.  We both cracked up laughing so hard it hurt.  Bob told me that he had made the sign his first week there and hung it and never said anything to anyone about it.  He told me that nobody ever said anything to him about it until I did.  That was that.  It was our secret at work that used to crack us up anywhere else.

  A little while later I joined the Marine Corps for 4 years.  When I came back I went back to work at Keystone Lighting (yes, in Snyderman’s department).   Bob had been fired at least 3 different times by then and had given up on the place.  I had to walk through the warehouse one day for whatever reason and to my surprise, there it was:  No Hard-ons Please mgmt..  Yup, right where Bob first put it.  This was 7 or 8 years after he first installed it.

  I had to wonder how many people had seen that sign over the years and thought “No Hard-ons Please” was official policy of Keystone Lighting?  I wondered if maybe it had become official policy of Keystone Lighting because some middle management idiot saw it and wrote it into policy?  I wondered if there was someone who was in charge of enforcing the “No Hard-ons Please” policy?  Were there written instructions as to exactly how to enforce that policy?

  I had to wonder how many new employees saw that sign and it became a straw, maybe the last straw, that broke the camel’s back and caused them to quit?  People quit Keystone Lightning constantly.  “No Hard-ons Please” could have been just enough to push some guys over the edge.

  Finally I had to wonder how many vendors and customers saw that sign and thought “gee, if “No Hard-ons Please” is official policy at Keystone Lighting, maybe it should be official policy where I work?  Did this bogus policy spread? 


  To this day whenever I’m in a warehouse anywhere I always find myself looking for that devious little sign:  No Hard-ons Please mgmt..  I hope I never find it but, you never know.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Old Marine Corps Joke

Gunnery Sgt Lee Ermey
  Agent 54 here again.  Today is November 10th, 2015, This is the 240th  Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  The Marine Corps was born in Tun’s Tavern in Philadelphia, PA in 1775 and we’ve been kicking ass ever since.  I first heard this old Marine joke when I was a Marine Recruit (maggot) in 1981.  I love this joke.  This is my version:

  A platoon of U.S. Army Soldiers was out hiking in formation when the Platoon Leader, a Lieutenant, spotted a Marine Gunnery Sergeant on top of a hill on the platoons left flank.   The Marine began to yell things at the platoon like “you pansies couldn’t fight your way out of a paper bag” and various other taunts and insults. 

  The obviously furious Lieutenant halted the platoon and barked out an order.  “Sergeant, pick your two best fighters and send them up the hill to teach that Marine a lesson”.  The Sergeant sent his two best up the hill.  When the men got near the top of the hill, the Marine disappeared over the top of the hill and the soldiers followed him.
 
Two minutes later the Marine GSGT. Was on top of the hill yelling again.  “Hey you dog faces, is that the best you got?  My grandmother could whip them. 

The obviously very furious Lieutenant bellowed again.  “Sergeant!  Send ten men up the hill to teach that Marine a lesson”.  The Sergeant sent ten men up the hill.  When the men got near the top of the hill, the Marine disappeared over the top of the hill and the soldiers followed him.

  Ten minutes went by and then, one soldier could be seen crawling over top of the hill back to the platoon. looking through his field glasses the Lieutenant could see the soldier was missing his cover and one boot.  His uniform was torn and dirty and he was bleeding from the mouth.

  The obviously very, very furious Lieutenant bellowed again.  “Sergeant!  Prepare the platoon to go up the hill and teach that Marine a lesson.  As they were preparing the crawling soldier tumbled down the hill stopping at the Lieutenant’s feet. 

The obviously very, very, very furious Lieutenant bellowed again.  Private! Report!  The poor Private gasped for air and gave his report the best he could.  “Don’t do it sir. (wheezing) Don’t go up the hill. (gasping) It’s a trap (wheezing) sir, there’s TWO of them!


Semper Fi and Happy Birthday to my band of brothers and sisters.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sandra Stuck in Space

Sandra Bullock
  Agent 54 here again.  I was working on a Saturday so, at lunch time I thought I’d call up Jimmy John’s and have a Gargantuan sandwich delivered.  Well, I must have dialed the wrong number but, due to our NSA internal routing and other secret technical stuff I had a very pleasant accident and I got to talk to one of my favorite people, Sandra Bullock who is aboard the International Space Station.  This was our conversation:

Sandra:  Hello, International Space Station, Sandra speaking.

Agent 54:  Uh, this is Agent 54.

Sandra:  Asian 54?

Agent 54:  No, Agent 54 and,,,

Sandra:  Asian 54 what?  Oh, you mean that hot new band.

Agent 54:  No, my name is Agent 54.

Sandra:  Wait a minute.  Okay, I forgot that I had cotton in my ears because I took a shower and you know, in space the water will get in your ears unless you use cotton and so now, Asian 54, what can I do for you.

Agent 54:  My name is Agent 54 and I’m with the NSA under the DORD.

Sandra:  Oh, I know who you guys are.  You’re the ones who spy on us all the time and turn our personal business into jokes.

Agent 54:  Right!  That’s us.

Sandra:  So why are you calling me?  I mean NASA and NSA don’t have anything in common.

Agent 54:  Oh you’d be so surprised.  Believe me, we’re involved in everything.  Anyway, I must have gotten the wrong number because I was just trying to order a sandwich for lunch from Jimmy John’s,,,

Sandra:  (interrupting)  Oh, I love Jimmy John’s sandwiches.  They’re so fresh and they deliver in no time.  I wish I could have one delivered now up here.  Wait!  Let me guess.  You were gonna order a Gargantuan.

Agent 54:  Yes I was.  Say, you’re Sandra Bullock aren’t you?

Sandra:  I knew it.  They’re the best.  I should have packed some in an extra suitcase before coming back here.  Oh yeah, it’s me.  Sandra stuck in space again.

Agent 54:  Yeah, your movie, Gravitivity is out now so why are you up there?

Sandra:  Oh, it’s Hollywood.  Sometimes they want to shoot the sequel right away before they even know if the first movie is going to be a hit.  Oh yeah, it’s called Gravity by the way.

Agent 54:  Yeah, I knew that.  Sometimes I’m a clown.  Hey! I got a great name for the second film. How about:  Too Much Gravity? Or Two Much Gravity?

Sandra:  Humm, not bad clown boy.

Agent 54:  So, you know I’ve been a big fan of yours since you made “Love Potion No. 9”.  And of course everyone loved you in “The Blind Side”.

Sandra:  Aww, that’s so sweet.

Agent 54:  So, well, I know your last husband was a jerk to you, so if you are still free, well, you know my wife and I discussed it and you know, if you want to hook- up with me, it’s okay with her and even if you want to hook- up with both of us, well, we’re cool with that.  I’m sure we can make some kind of special arrangement that works for all three of us.

Sandra:  Yeah, that’s a tempting offer there Agent 54 and I’m sure you’re a nice man and all but, I have a sweetheart waiting for me back on earth thank you.

Agent 54:  Oh, of course you do.  I knew you wouldn’t be on the market for very long.  Well, if that doesn’t work out.  Let me give you my number.

Sandra:  No, That’s okay.  I think it’s going to all work out with this guy.

Agent 54:  Sure, and if you want to get in touch with me for any reason you can do it through the NSA.  Just ask for Agent 54.  Everyone knows me here.  I’m kinda star in my own little universe.

Captain Kirk
Sandra:  Hey, since you’re with the NSA and you guys know everything, tell me, William Shatner, is that his real hair?

Agent 54:  Heck no!  I gotta tell ya, someday I hope to be half as cool as Captain Kirk’s toupee.

Sandra:  Oh yeah, me too.  I mean I love Star Trek.

Agent 54:  You already are as cool as Bill’s toupee.

Sandra:  Aww, you’re so sweet.  Well, it’s been nice chatting with you on this celestial wrong number.

Agent 54:  Yeah, very nice for me too.

Sandra:   Well, I gotta get back to work soon.

Agent 54:  Oh yeah, I gotta eat my lunch or I’ll be grumpy as a grizzly bear by 2:30.

Sandra:  Bye.

Agent 54:  Bye click, Bye.

  Wow, wasn’t Sandra just the nicest.  You know I feel bad for her because the men in her life haven’t always treated her the way she deserves to be treated.  She really deserves someone like me.  Life can be unfair.



  Hey! The kid from Jimmy John’s is here and he’s got my sandwich.  Somehow they were listening in on my conversation with the beautiful and talented Sandra Bullock.  Wow, this is my lucky day.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Photogenic Memory

Taylor Swift is Photogenic.
  Agent 54 here again.  Let’s talk about another one of my former co-workers.  Why not?  After all, what good is it to work with so many weirdoes, geeks, creeps and jerks if you can’t make fun of them later?

  Shirley Whistlebottom wasn’t an imposing figure at four foot nothing but she had a weapon.  It wouldn’t be accurate to say her mouth was big.  It was probably regular size for her body but, boy was it active.  I don’t think you could shut Shirley up with a pair of vice grips and she had an opinion on absolutely everything and she never hesitated to tell you exactly what she thought.  I guess the true term for Shirley would be to say “she had no internal filter”.

  Shirley worked in the Plateroom at Moore Business Forms for over 26 years and she was sure that she knew more about printing than anyone else ever.  She probably did have a wealth of knowledge about printing but, nobody would ever ask for her help or advice because it would come with that mean, sharp tongued mouth of hers.  Shirley wasn’t above calling a co-worker an idiot or moron to their faces.  If you made a mistake, watch out!  Shirley made sure that everybody knew about it.

  Being %100 Pennsylvania Dutch, Shirley could never admit to making a mistake or being wrong in any way what so ever.   As our current President does, whenever anything Shirley was working on went wrong, she immediately blamed someone else for the error.

  I was working in the Press department and I decided to transfer into the Plateroom to learn something new and work second shift so I could play Ice Hockey or Golf during the day.  My friend Debbie worked there and I knew we would get along well at work.  Shirley worked Days and after a week of training I really wouldn’t have to deal with her much so I went for it.

  When the transfer became official Debbie gave me the low-down on Shirley.  She said one thing to me that I’ll never forget.  Debbie told me that Shirley would tell me that she was gifted with a “Photogenic Memory”. 

  There is something called a “Photographic Memory” or “Eidetic Memory”  Wikipedia: Eidetic memory /aɪˈdɛtɪk/ Commonly referred to as photographic memory or total recall, is the ability to recall images, sounds or objects in memory with great precision, and is not acquired through mnemonics.

  Of course, if you can’t remember the common term for a Photographic Memory then you don’t have one.  A Photographic Memory is very rare and people who have them are usually genius’s or savants.  Shirley was neither.  Not by a long shot.

  My first day in the Plateroom came and my supervisor Pete escorted me to the room to introduce me to everyone just before shift change.  Shirley started her mouth.  In a minute I learned exactly how Shirley was God’s gift to printing and then she dropped the bomb.  In front of me, Pete, Debbie, John and 4 other co-workers and with her hands on her hips and a look of pride on her face she said “I was gifted with a Photogenic Memory and I never forget anything”. 

  What was so hilarious to me was that nobody reacted.  Nobody flinched.  I know that most, if not all (possible exception of Pete) of us knew there was no such thing as a “Photogenic Memory” but, we also knew that Shirley was the kind of self-righteous know it all, asshole that you could never win an argument with ever because in the end she would get angry and call you a moron or an idiot and hold it against you forever. 

  So we said nothing, until break time.  I looked at Debbie and she cracked up and John went too.  It was our own little inside joke.  All you had to do was say “I forgot” or “is that tape Memorex” or anything involving memory and we would burst out laughing.  Laughing that is, when Shirley wasn’t there.

  From time to time we would get visitors in the Plateroom.  Sometimes it was a new VP of the entire company, coming in from Canada and Pete would always bring them in to see the Plateroom.  What was so funny to me was that every time to every visitor Shirley repeated her “I was gifted with a Photogenic Memory and I never forget anything” claim. Never, not once did anyone challenge her on it.  Debbie, John and I never said anything because we thought it was hysterical how she made a fool of herself every time.  Pete didn’t say anything because he probably didn’t know any better and everyone else who knew Shirley just didn’t want to confront her.

   I had to wonder though, what did those VPs think?  Could they tell what kind of shrew they were dealing with after only meeting her one time?  Did they decide, like the rest of us, to just let it go or did they think Shirley was an idiot and that she represented all of us in the plant?  We never knew and we didn’t care.  It was just funny.
Further I had to wonder why nobody outside of work ever challenged her on that statement that she must have made with pride to everyone else she had ever met.  I could imagine an eight year old grand kid trying to tell Nanny that she was wrong.  The kid probably got a spanking they’ll never forget.


  Eventually she retired but, I’ll never forget Shirley Whistlebottom and her “Photogenic Memory”.