Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snyderman – A Halloween Tale

  Keystone Lighting was an old, dark, dirty, dank and dangerous place to work.  Though it appeared to be all one building, it was really a series of buildings that just had makeshift roofs built between individual buildings many years ago.  The roofs had large holes and leaked constantly.  The brick walls were crumbling and the floors were bumpy and uneven.  There were many dark corners where something or someone could hide and then spring out to ambush an unsuspecting worker.  Located in Bristol, Bucks County, PA it was also rumored to be haunted.

  I worked in the Press department where there lurked a creepy old man with a club foot named Frank Snyder.  He waddled like Batman’s nemeses The Penguin when he walked about the shop and he could always be heard saying in a W.C. Fields type voice “I been here 20 years, I seen em come and I seen em go”.  I don’t know what his real job was.   Frank was always annoying the other press operators by sticking his nose in everyone’s business and turning up the speed on the presses until the machines broke down.

  I was taught this little song sung to the tune of “Spiderman” in my first week in the Press department:

Snyderman Snyderman
Turns the press up as fast as he can
Jam it up, every time
He ain’t worth a stinkin dime
Look out! Here comes the Snyderman

Is he dumb
I suppose
If brains were Dynamite
he couldn't blow his nose
Look out! Here comes the Snyderman

  At first I didn’t have a problem working with creepy old Snyderman.  I’ve worked with all kinds of creeps before.  Then came the rainy shift that the foreman called out sick on and some fool put Snyder in charge.  Whoever made that decision could not have done worse.   The trouble started when I hurt my back reaching for something with the rake which is a regular part of my job.  As standard manufacturing practice goes, we were required to report any injury or accident immediately to the foreman.  I went to the office and told Snyder exactly what happened.  We were working the 3:30 to Midnight shift so, I told Snyder that I could finish out the shift but, I had to see a the company doctor the next day which again is standard procedure.   The next day, after visiting the company doctor, I was told by the foreman that I would have to pay for the visit because I failed to report the workplace injury.  Snyder was in the room when this happened and he denied that I had ever reported the incident.  I was furious!  Not only did I have to pay for the doctor’s visit but, this was a negative mark on my work record.  When I angrily questioned Snyder why he did this to me, he said “I don’t answer to you”  which only enraged me more.

  For days I stewed with back pain about the incident but, no matter how much I schemed, It always came out the same in the end.  Reality was that if I attempted any type of retaliation against the ugly old cripple, it would backfire on me 10 fold.  I would get fired and I would be criminally charged for sure.  The judge would look at Snyder the old cripple and me the young former Marine and Hockey player and he or she would throw the book at me.  I had no choice in reality.  I could do nothing.

  In fantasy however, well that’s a different story.  I thought of many ways to get even with Snyderman but, finally it came down to the simplest.  While operating the 12 ton press late on a dark night I would plug the safety light catch with a piece of scrap and then call old Frank over to take a look at a fake problem.  Once he bent over and put his head down to take a look, boom! I would kick him in the ass as hard as I could so his head would get wedged in the 12 ton press and then I would push the start button.  In less than a second his head would be squashed like a grape by a sledgehammer.  Brains and blood would spurt out all over the Press department and I would laugh.

  Hoo hoo, haa haa, hoo hoo I would laugh until I cried and bent over with stomach cramps.   But, as I rise, through watery eyes I see something waddling towards me.  No, no it can’t be.  I wipe my eyes and find myself backed up against two giant coils of steel and the chain-link fence of the tool crib.  It’s still coming.  This hideous mess of what used to be Snyderman was waddling, headless, ever closer.  Wait a minute!  This is my fantasy.  All I have to do is close my eyes for a couple of seconds and it would be gone.  1 second, 2 seconds, then open and Ahh! It’s right on me!  Somebody Hel………

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Long Lost Mittens and Gloves

Agent 54 at the Ice Palace
  Many years ago, Agent 54 played Ice Hockey in Pennsylvania.  My neighborhood Ice Rink was called The Ice Palace and it was a run-down old barn that was built before the war (I don’t know which war).  The boards were rickety, the locker-rooms were small and smelled of stale beer and mold but, it had the old ammonia cooling system for the ice so it was the best place to skate in the area.  The Ice Palace had an old-time feel to it and the Hockey players loved it.

  One other peculiar thing was the huge mound (15 ft tall) of reddish brown dirt that covered the entire west end of the rink and blocked foot traffic around the rink.  I’m talking about inside the building, just past the West end boards.  To make it even weirder, the dirt had 3ft tall fake Christmas trees planted every 5 or six feet.  It just didn’t look right, even with the Christmas lights turned on. 

One of the years that I played there, something happened at the rink, I don’t remember what, that inspired me to write the following.  I gave a copy of it to Ric, the owner and he had it pinned up on his corkboard for years before he sold the old barn and they turned it into a banquet facility.  Ric and I thought this was funny:

To Whom It May Concern:

  Four score and seven years ago, I first skated at the Ice Palace.  When I saw the mountain of real dirt impregnated with plastic trees I was amazed by the beauty of it all.

    But in the seasons since then a terrible problem has drawn my attention.  Lost mittens and Gloves Many a child has absent-mindedly stuffed their mittens between the glass and the boards.  Many gloves are abandoned in the penalty box.

These mittens then find their way to the lost and found box in the locker room where sweaty and drunken Hockey players use them to warm their beer drinking hand.  Beer is spilled on them and then they are usually stuffed into the drunkest players equipment bag or winged off to the farthest corner of the locker room, where they develop a disgusting stench, which renders them useless to children.  Hockey players use the mittens for other disgusting purposes that decency will not permit me to elaborate on.

  The solution it seems is to sell the parents one skate lace to attach to the mittens.  The skate lace is then strung through the arms of the child’s jacket, causing the mittens to dangle when not in use.

  As of now, no government funding is available for the research needed to fight this problem.  If we all work together we can make Washington hear our voice.  Let’s end the abuse of Lost mittens and Gloves in our life time.  Thank you.

                                                                           Not so Sincerely,
                                                                               Agent 54

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Working for a Living

  Did I ever tell you about the great job I had at with a defense contractor?  Oh, it was cool.  I was a Production Expeditor which means I was one of the X-Men.  It was great, I had a uniform with a  mask and my cape looked a lot like my blue Hawaiian shirt.  I had to dry clean it twice a month but, I really looked sharp.  I got “downsized” from that job and since then I’ve been “nervous eating” and I’ve gained some weight.  Now, I’m a Double X man as in XXL.

  Raise your hand if have had a rotten boss.   Sure, almost everyone has had at least one if you have been working for more than 2 weeks.  Currently my boss is great.  He’s very relaxed, has a sense of humor and he treats me with respect even though he is much younger than I am.  My boss is easy to work for and I’m not just kissing his butt because he might accidently read this. 

  I don’t want to go into details about some of my rotten former bosses.  I’m sure they are generally the same as everyone else’s rotten bosses.  Basically they humiliate you, make you feel worthless, tell other people you suck, accuse you, cheat you and take the credit for the good things you do.  Did I forget anything?  It always amazed me that a boss that treated me all of those ways would somehow expect me to give a shit and perform well at the job.  It just don’t happen.

I just want to know how many of you have had the exact same fantasy that I have had about getting even with a rotten boss.   It starts when you are working early or late or a Saturday and nobody else is around.  Maybe the boss is on vacation or a business trip but the coast is clear and the devil on your left shoulder has got your ear while the angel on the right is too tired to care.  You spot your opening.  His/her center drawer in his/her desk is open.  You carefully slide the center drawer all the way open and take the little keys from the pencil tray.  Next you climb up on top of the desk, drop your draws, squat and let loose the poop of the year right in the middle of that center drawer right on top of whatever was there.  After fully evacuating your bowels, you dress and then very carefully close the drawer and lock it.  The most important thing here is the message you are trying to send.  Leaving the desk drawer slightly open or unlocked could leave some of the dumber bosses to think, upon discovering the dirty deed that “maybe this was an accident”.  “Maybe somebody’s IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) kicked in just as they were passing by my desk and the drawer was they’re only option”.   Locking the drawer and hanging the keys carefully on the boss’s name plate on top of the desk will leave no doubt that this was NOT an accident. 

   I have fantasized about the confused look on the boss’s face when they find the drawer locked and then see the keys hanging from the name plate.  I have imagined watching from the corner of my eye as Mr./Ms. Knucklehead opens the drawer and discovers his/her karma in all its stinky glory, waiting there for them.  Ah, it would almost be worth it to get fired for that.

  Of course I’ve never actually done that to the 6 or 7 bosses that I’ve had that really deserved it but, oh, I’ve thought of it a thousand times.  I guess that fantasy helped get me through work those days when the boss thought it was his/her job to be SuperJerk!  I theorize that most of us working dogs have had this or a similar fantasy to help us cope with our days and keep on keepin on because that’s what a working man or woman does.  We keep on keepin on.

“They call me the working man, I guess that’s what I am.”  Rush

Early in Agent 54's Career

New Year's Party at the NSA

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Not a Great Week

  It started off okay.  I finished the photo challenge with a pic of me on a pony.  Then the Sinus virus hit.  I tried to fight it but, I lost and missed too much work.  Then my wife was in a car crash.  She was a passenger and their car was hit by the Ralph’s lunch truck.   Yes, she got run over by the same barf wagon that visits my workplace daily.  I teased her that she just wanted everyone I work with to eat healthier.  She is bruised but, not really injured and I told her that she made a brave sacrifice for my work buddies.  

  It is amazing to me that I can still be funny when I feel like crap.  Carol says about her bruises “it only hurts when I laugh”.  Oopppss!!!  She married the wrong guy.

  Missing work at my new job gave me some anxiety so I visited my friend Dr. Goldbloops.  Dr. Goldbloops told me an old joke of his that made me feel better.  Here it is:

Young polar bear comes home from school, this is a true story.

He asks his mom “Mom, Grandma and Grandpa were polar bears weren’t they?

His mother answers “Of course they were son.  Go get washed up for dinner.

At the dinner table the young polar bear asks his father “Dad, Nanny and Pappy were both polar bears weren’t they?

Father answers “Of course they were.  Why do you ask such a silly question?

Young polar bear answers “Cuz I’m freezing!”.

That’s the best I can do this week.  Next week I promise I’ll do better.