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Thoughts, Rants, and Musings


Jibralta
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This week, the resident engineer for my construction project had to fly to Romania unexpectedly. His mom died

 

She was quite old (87) but I know he is very sad about it.

 

It's a bad week for him to be out, because I promised my boss I'd be in the office all week this week to help meet a major report deadline. That meant I wouldn't be able to put much time into the construction project. With both me and the resident engineer out of service, the project manager for the construction project had to scramble to find someone to cover the resident engineer. Even though I planned to be in the office all week, I had to spend Monday and part of Tuesday on site with the new guy, to get him acclimated to the project.

 

Well, what a pain in the ass this guy is! Right from the beginning, he was challenging everything I said. Why? What's the point? I laughed to myself about it. Like, I'm not wrong, dude. I've been on this job since the beginning. I know all of the ins and outs. You can challenge me all you want, but you're just wasting both of our time.

 

I felt kind of bad for him because he was so busy arguing that he wasn't listening. Even after a day of work, he couldn't find his way around the site, and so he had no idea where the construction activities were taking place. He also arrived on the site at 9AM (which is absurd, since construction begins at 630-700 AM) and couldn't understand how so much work got accomplished in one day.

 

Right as I was leaving on Tuesday afternoon, New Guy decided there was a crisis with the rebar. The wall might not be built to spec.

 

He says, "Is the wall supposed to jog out by the admin building?"

 

I said, "I don't know. Look at the drawings."

 

He said, "Where are the details for the monoliths?"

 

I'm like, "They're in the drawing set. Look at the index."

 

I don't know why he couldn't navigate the drawing set, but I had to walk over to him and page through the drawings for him. Then he complained that he couldn't see where the details were taken, as if there was something wrong with the drawings. It was unbelievable.

 

In frustration, I said, "Listen, you need to read the drawings. There are call outs. There is an index. You need to use these things. If you are uncomfortable with the way something is being built, you need to talk to the contractor and make them stop working."

 

He was like, "But the work is all done."

 

I was like, "No is isn't. It's just rebar. There's no form. There's no concrete. If they poured concrete over it, then you can say it's done. But right now it's rebar and all they have to do is cut the wires holding it together. It's only a day's work."

 

He said, "No, that was built when I came in yesterday."

 

I was like, "No it wasn't. You came in at 9. Those guys start at 6:30 and they're fast."

 

He said, "They didn't build all that yesterday."

 

I said, "Yes, they did. But that's beside the point. The rebar form is not permanent and can be easily dismantled UNLESS you pour concrete over it, which is happening tomorrow. So, if you have a problem with the rebar, you need to tell the contractor now, because they're building the form. Or better yet, call the designer. I'll give you his phone number."

 

He said, "No, I don't even know if it's a problem. Look, here's a picture. Do you see what I mean?"

 

I said, "No, I can't tell. Let's go out and look at it."

 

We went out and looked at the monolith rebar. I could see what he was talking about: three or four bars bulged outward more than the rest. It was a small amount, but it caused the subcontractor to build the form out so that extra concrete would flow over it. It was a question of cover. I wasn't sure if it was a problem or not (it turned out not to be a problem).

 

The new guy said to me, "So can you call the designer and tell him?"

 

I was like, "No. You call the designer and you ask him. That's your job. That's why you're here."

 

He was like, "You're kind of throwing me into the fire."

 

I was like, "Yeah. This is the job that you're here to do. Good luck. The assistant project manager will be here to help you later today."

 

It was so frustrating. And then I felt guilty because I pretty much yelled at him. But it was like the only way to cut through the crap and make him listen.

Edited by Jibralta
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I just celebrated my 14th yr at my job. One of my responsibilities is to see that vendors insurance doc's are in order and submitted for access.

The requirements are pretty steep and because of this it limits who l can do business with. 9 out 10 docs are sent back for revision.

50% or more don't meet the requirements.

 

My boss (who's worked here for 30 yrs) circumvents me to get vendor on site. He pulls an outdated requirement list and sends it to the vendor. Mind you vendor needs to then go to their insurance provider to draw the docs.

I told him originally that it wouldn't fly.

 

2 weeks later he sends me docs to file and asks after the fact if it will meet the requirements. My email response:

`Sorry, no - it doesn't meet the requirements. They left to field `description of op's' blank and hand wrote the wrong company into the field for `certificate holder' and you can't hand write on legal doc bytheway'

 

I am then cc'd in an email he sends to this vendor, securing the time and location, with the note that I will be in touch with them over some COI revisions??

I can bet my paycheck after I am done with this small company vendor they won't be speaking with us any longer.

Just a snap shot of my little world I suppose I have nothing better to do?

Ground hog day is the perfect description.

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Thanks

 

It's not the worst flu I've had, thankfully.

 

Unfortunately, I also have an upper respiratory infection. This is definitely my coworker's fault. We sat shoulder to shoulder at the same desk last week and he coughed all over my desk and keyboard. I was so aggravated. I didn't want to say anything, but finally I was like, "Are you sick?" (which isn't actually saying anything). He was like, "It's just this darned cough," and he got up to get some water or something. But right after that, I started to feel the twinge in my throat.

 

I think I will be able to return to work tomorrow.

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In reference to your work stuff.

 

Our structures are typically founded with very wide retaining walls and stuff so the rebar being bowed out some would make no difference because it can't be with 20% of the edge on either side. So you have to stick them in the middle 60%. For a 5 foot retaining wall with two rebar sets that is a good 3 feet of wiggle room on a 5 foot wall.

 

It is so annoying when people get worked up about something because they don't have enough information. Then try to get me to tell them what to do when I see no issue and they think it is a catastrophic one.

 

The worst part of my job is having to deal with the municipalitie's large discharges. I work mainly at a WWTP.

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It is so annoying when people get worked up about something because they don't have enough information. Then try to get me to tell them what to do when I see no issue and they think it is a catastrophic one.

 

That's exactly what happened, and it was indeed extremely annoying. He was too anxious to think straight. He demanded an answer and yet would accept no answer. He didn't even want to email the structural engineer! He just wanted to stress out about it. But he did finally email the structural engineer, and he did learn that it was not a major disaster.

 

Our structures are typically founded with very wide retaining walls and stuff so the rebar being bowed out some would make no difference because it can't be with 20% of the edge on either side. So you have to stick them in the middle 60%. For a 5 foot retaining wall with two rebar sets that is a good 3 feet of wiggle room on a 5 foot wall.

 

In this case, it was a flood wall, so above the footings the concrete structures are about about 16" wide, and the footings themselves are probably 5'-0" wide and 3'-0" deep (deep as in dimension, not as in buried under ground. The footings are poured over 10'-0 sheet piles that have been driven into the ground). As long as they have 3" cover, it is ok. 2" is actually fine for that small area.

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Years ago, I was leading a fully tacked horse out of the stable when he slyly grabbed a mouthful of hay from a nearby bale. I've always been told not to let a horse eat with his bit in his mouth, and furthermore, I didn't want him getting any ideas that it would be ok to do this when I was riding him. So I grabbed the hay that he had in his mouth with the idea that I would yank it out.

 

Well, the horse clamped his teeth down on the hay and said, "No." Up went his head, up went my arm, and up I went onto my toes before I thought to release the hay and let him eat it. I was amazed at this effortless strength, and it got me thinking.

 

Moments before this happened, this same horse let me put his bridle on. He let me put the bit in his mouth. He let me put the saddle on, and he was going to let me ride him and use the bit and bridle to control what he did for the next hour. I knew he would rather stand still than be ridden. I was sure that in general, he and the other horses would rather roam free than be kept in a corral and ridden. Yet he and the others never jumped the fence and ran away. And they always came back to the barn and let themselves be tacked for riding.

 

The fact that the little strands of leather that comprise a bridle could have so much influence over such a powerful animal seemed incongruous to me. And for many times afterward, I marveled at the fact that the horses allowed themselves to be subjugated in this way, that they never got smart and overpowered us.

 

But as I got older, I came to understand it better and I know that people are the same way. It's not for lack of strength or ability that we become mindless. It's through our complacence, our desire to be told what to think, our desire to fit in and belong, that dissuades us from drawing independent conclusions. Critical thought is difficult. It requires effort. And it's rarely reinforced by conventional wisdom (or friends and family). In fact, it's usually criticized. Many people quail at the idea of exhibiting such mental independence, and yet deny that they do so. Instead, they passionately defend popular opinion as being the most reasonable. Only future generations (and other cultures) are emotionally distant enough to question those beliefs.

 

Imagine. An adventurous, trusting young woman who likes to take drugs and drink like a sailor, who is yet virginal, and not a closet sl-t, a girl who doesn't have any mental defects, and who is strong enough to deal with devastation at the hands of a predator (after getting her feet back under her). Impossible! say the masses. You might as well be describing a unicorn! And even if she does exist, she is the exception, not the rule! Female human beings aren't like that (at this point a chorus of women pop up and assert the truth of this statement. People always defend their stupidest beliefs with great ferocity. Interestingly, I notice that the majority of men remain silent on the matter).

 

Makes me shake my head, it does. Over-simplistic thinking. If you do this, say this, behave this way, then it means this. No gray. When I meet someone like this, I know I am in the presence of a true fool. Nothing for it, though.

 

Another example is the immense rash of political bigotry I am seeing in the media and online. It's never so bad in person, where people have to physically stand up for the stupid things that come out of their mouths. I think that mainstream media in the United States has left the realm of true journalism. A good rule of thumb is, Nothing is free. If you're getting free information, it's probably useless. Or propaganda designed to do your thinking for you. If you accept it as true, you are accepting shackles much like a bridle. Beware. People are so easily controlled.

 

For every towering monument of human intelligence and accomplishment, there is a black hole of total stupidity waiting to gobble it up. This keeps the human race bound to a status quo, no matter what technological advances happen around us. I no longer wonder these days at the strength of horses. They're cursed, just like we are. I hope that I can keep my mind clean of mean prejudices, but I know that I am as susceptible as any other human. I have to repeat to myself what Maya Angelou said, “I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life.”

Edited by Jibralta
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Last Tuesday, I forgot to eat dinner before I ran out to an orchid-growing class. Midway through the class, my stomach started rumbling, and I got the devious idea to stop for some fast food on my way home. After class, I rolled up to a Burger King drive-thru and ordered a Crispy Chicken Sandwich. I waited a minute or two in silence before the attendant said, in an exasperated voice, "Do you want anything else, ma'am." I said, "No," and thought that I must be very rusty at drive thru ordering, and that I'd probably thrown a wrench in the whole system by not adding, "and that's it" to the end of my order. Note to self: do that next time.

 

I rolled up to the window. There was one car ahead of me. I rummaged around for some cash while I waited. I usually pay for things with my debit card, but I knew I had two fives on me. I wondered if the Crispy Chicken Sandwich would be more than five dollars. I doubted it, but I took out the second five just in case. The woman at the window was wiry and tough-looking with a couple of tattoos on her neck. She had a spartan sort of prettiness that I admired. I felt like we could have been friends.

 

The Crispy Chicken Sandwich was $5.46. So, I gave the woman both fives. She gave me $0.54 cents back.

 

It took me a minute to realize, then I said, "Excuse me, I gave you two fives." I didn't say it rudely or anything, but I did look her straight in the face and mean business. It can be a tricky situation. One time, at Bed Bath and Beyond, something similar happened to me and the manager broke out the cash counting machine in front of everyone. I felt a little silly, but I got my eight bucks back.

 

The drive-thru woman got flustered. She started to say, "Ok, you don't have to--" and then she cut herself off and got the manager to open the cash register. She'd jumped to the conclusion that I was angry, but I really wasn't. For the record, I didn't think she was trying to steal my money, and I still feel that way. I think she probably just had a lot on her mind and customer service probably wasn't a good fit for her. I didn't blame her. I'm horrible with customer service. I've gotten into an embarrassing number of fights with rude customers. I once threw a knife at a lady. It was a plastic knife, but I now know my limits.

 

The manager opened the drawer and the woman handed me a five back. I sat there for a moment. Now it was too much money. I didn't want to take it. This lady obviously hated her job. She might be doing it only because she had to. I didn't want her to be short at the end of the night and then lose a job that she needed. I said, "Excuse me, but you gave me back a five and you only needed to give me back four singles."

 

The woman looked pissed and then said, "Come to think of it, you gave me a five and a one. Because I only had one five here and I accidentally put it in the ones' slot."

 

I was like, "No, you had two fives."

 

She said, "No, I saw you going through your wallet. You took out a five and a one."

 

I said, "No you did not. I rolled up holding two fives."

 

I could see her getting more upset. She said, "Well I know I wouldn't have taken two fives and given you change for a five and a one."

 

I said, "Well, you did."

 

She pulled out another five and said, "See? I put this in the fives' slot and your one in the ones' slot."

 

I said, "No, you put that five in the fives' slot and the other five in the ones' slot."

 

This was ridiculous. I knew I could pull away and be done. I had the five in my hand. There was nothing she could do about it. But still part of me wanted to resolve the situation properly.

 

I said, "Lady."

 

She got all twisted up and said, "Do not call me "Lady." You ask me my name first and call me by it."

 

This made me laugh out loud without thinking. I said, "Alright. I am very sorry. I hope you have a wonderful night. I am truly very sorry." Then I pulled away and went home. The sandwich was dry and I wished I'd gotten a coke as well. I just felt like it was the stupidest, silliest argument and I was sorry that she was sooo keyed up that she had her head on backwards.

Edited by Jibralta
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Imagine. An adventurous, trusting young woman who likes to take drugs and drink like a sailor, who is yet virginal, and not a closet sl-t, a girl who doesn't have any mental defects, and who is strong enough to deal with devastation at the hands of a predator (after getting her feet back under her). Impossible! say the masses. You might as well be describing a unicorn! And even if she does exist, she is the exception, not the rule! Female human beings aren't like that (at this point a chorus of women pop up and assert the truth of this statement. People always defend their stupidest beliefs with great ferocity. Interestingly, I notice that the majority of men remain silent on the matter).

 

I know I am nosy but are you referring to yourself at this point?

 

Remain silent about the fact that females can change?( I lost it here)

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You have a wonderful way of writing.

Has anyone ever mentioned that to you before?

 

The drive thru debacle made me laugh.

 

Reminds me of when I was 18, working at a small fast food place in a mall. Our practice was to put all 20's under the tray in the drawer.

Right before closing a shifty looking young man bought some popcorn and gave me a 5. I in turn gave him change. He created a scene that he had given me 20 and

I was short changing him on purpose. First and foremost his aggressive response didn't fit the moment.

Secondly, I was the night manager and had cleared all the 20's out of drawer only moments prior.

 

Bad luck and bad timing on his part because I called security, who in turn called the police.

He didn't call me a Lady, either :)

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I got a sht raise, and I'm pissed.

 

Objectively speaking, it is a decent raise because it exceeds the cost of living. But it falls FAR short of my expectations and I was quite clear about that when my boss gave me the figure on Thursday. In retrospect, I feel a little bad about my reaction. I don't think I was rude by any means, but I wasn't appreciative at all and I regret that. When I saw the increase I didn't believe how low it was and was actually waiting for him to hand me an additional figure. When I realized I was looking at the final number, I blurted out with something like, "This is not ok."

 

This year, I received a high performance rating, which is almost impossible to get. But my increase rate is actually lower than it was last year, when my performance was merely "Strong." Apparently there were sht raises across the board this year, and mine was comparatively high. But in the realm of reality it's like a slap in the face.

 

My boss said that he agreed that it was unfair but his hands were tied. When the amounts came in from upper management, they were not able to contest them. He asked me to wait until midyear for him to get me a better raise, but I was not amenable. I said, "That was the strategy last year. Now it's going to be another half a year??" Last July, when I officially received my license, I asked him for a raise and he agreed, but suggested we wait until year end, because he felt the increase would be higher. Now we were both staring at the unhappy increase that resulted from waiting.

 

We talked about it for another couple of minutes. But basically I just argued every point and refused to give ground. I couldn't help it. I just kept opening my mouth and speaking my mind. Finally, he said to give him a month. Get together what I think I should rate. I agreed.

 

I returned to my desk livid, but also feeling a sense of freedom. This shtty raise meant that I could look elsewhere for a job. That meant other options for living and commuting, which would be a relief. But that sort of move would still take time to plan. Plus, I am literally midway through a two-year project that I want to see through to the end. Another year at this company seems inevitable, either way. With this g-damned horrible raise.

 

Yesterday was quiet and I spent the last half of the day designing a budget for next year. I am also going to have to do a lot of research about the kind of job I want to target, and find a practical place to live. I also have to get my resume into shape, and put together a portfolio. There's a lot of work to be done this year. I'd hoped to take some art classes in my new-found free time, but it looks like I'll be needing to push recreation aside for a while.

 

I want to believe that my boss is on my side, but after this incident, I wonder. That makes me feel bad. But how can I know what really happened?

 

I don't know. I really do like him, and the other people that I work with. I feel like I am learning A LOT. Much more than I would learn elsewhere. It would be a risk to leave. I'd planned to stay for another two or three years, just because the experience is so good. But the company SUCKS. I hate this company. I hated it before the raise, and now I hate it more than ever. It's run by idiots who have no appreciation for their employees. They pinch pennies and lose dollars. There was a coup after the merger, and now clowns are running this place instead of competent people like my boss.

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I'm snagging this and putting it here as a bookmark so that I can reflect upon it later. I don't want to derail the original thread. But it's funny how priorities change over time.

 

We didn't have social media 25-30 years ago when I was in my 20s but I was way too intense about what others were doing over the holidays and worked way too hard to have "cool" plans.

Alone can be great and has nothing to do with "lonely". Hanging out at a bar can be lonely.

 

This too:

 

The comments about Trump supporters here are outstanding. Some of you guys are so tolerant!

 

supporting Trump is essentially supporting racism and sexism, and alot of his loyal following ARE white supremacist. That is not a simple disagreement in politics, that is a human rights issue. Donald Trump is a pompous bigot And no, dating outside your race or having a black friend doesn't = you aren't racist.

 

Oh this comment is rich! I'm a Hispanic woman who voted for Trump. I know other Hispanic blacks, and Asians who also voted for the guy. To call every Trump support a "white supremacist" is absolutely ridiculous. I've seen some bigots who support the Democrat party (Antifa, BLM) - including the chair person of the DNC calling Hispanics "Taco Bowl Voters" in an email -but that doesn't define the whole party, right?

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By the sounds of it you are still committed to a project for at least another year. As frustrating as it may be, this may be a gift. As you already pointed out there are somethings about the company you don't care about to begin.

This sounds like the push you may need. Now you have time to find the a better fitting job with the pay to match.

Now. . you just have to endure the next few months.

Eye on the prize!

 

I had a great Christmas a couple years ago. After having a house full of family Christmas eve, I went to friends house for a breakfast after waking up home alone the next morning. 4 single women drinking mimosas walked over to a local bar.

The place was packed with I referred to as misfits. We fit in perfectly. Ha, ha. It was sort of an out of body experience. Things are definitely different at this point in my life.

Weirdest thing was man in there with his two small children running around. I kept wondering why they weren't home in their pj's playing with their train sets?

It was fun and really odd at the same time.

Ho ho ho.

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Thanks, reinventmyself and dias. Yes, I have become disenchanted with the corporate world. It's the people who are keeping me here at this point. This year, I am going to position myself to move on. I don't know if I will or not, but intend to be able to do so by year-end.

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