Yesterday, when I was a work (part-time; I’m pretty much retired), and trying to help a lady from India pick out a wedding present for the daughter of an aquaintance (that she hadn’t seen in about 20 years), my manager approached me and said that she needed a favor. Apparently, the new guy, (insert generic employee name here … _____ ), who was supposed to be unboxing the new products and organizing the stockroom, just left without checking with the manager. She said that she needed for me to put a ‘band-aid’ on his work. I guess that means that his work wasn’t up to par. So, I left the sales floor and went to take a look.
Hmmmm… interesting. “It kind of looks like the aftermath of the Joplin tornado”, I said.
She didn’t get it. That’s okay. They never do.
Again, she asked, “So, can you put a band-aid on it”? (In other words, fix another employee’s mess)
“A BAND-AID? Honey, this shit needs Dr. Victor Frankenstein and about one million volts of electricity to bring it back to life!”
Again, the puzzled look.
“Yeah, I can do it”
“Thanks, you’re the best”! *She puts up her hand for the high five*
I spent the next 2 1/2 hours breaking down boxes, trying to find a way to put them into an already overloaded dumpster (vaguely commensurate with trying to solve a Chinese Linking Ring puzzle), carefully taking broken glass out of an overly-heaped ‘broken glass only!’ trash can and transferring it to a dumpster that is not the one designated for ‘boxes only’ (which other employees totally ignore), trying NOT to slice my wrists with the box cutter, listening to the incessant honking from the cars at the car wash next door (a cacophony of sounds reminiscent of a Edgard Varese composition), smelling the not-really-that-up-to-par Mexican food from the food truck that is located in the car wash parking lot (I would equate it with a Smell-O-Rama version of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair), jumping into the trash dumpster and trying to squish the boxes down just ONE more inch so that I could close the lid (which would have been much easier if I hadn’t lost that 50 lbs. last spring), reorganizing the area of the stockroom known as the cage (which I have stated in another post could double as a torture room set in one of those SAW movies), sweeping the floor with a broom about the size of one that you would find in a Barbie Dream House ( because somebody broke the big, long, ‘covers a lot of area at once’ broom)… and about 10 other tasks that, when accomplished, would get me at least to the final 5 on a season of Survivor.
Of course, during all of that I hear “Bob, how’s it coming?”, every five minutes.
aside: Now quit bugging me.
So, I was finally finished. It looked neat and orderly and like I had spent time in the Military (which I haven’t).
So, what did I get for all of that?
Well, I got another high five.
I got, “OMG, you’re so great. It looks fabulous. I love you”
I got… drumroll please…”Now I know who to go to whenever we need messes fixed”.
That’s right, just call me Bob, the factotum. I fix the messes of the lackadaisical and dilatory. Just ask any of my past employers and co-workers.
There is a lesson in there, you know. A lesson that quite a few people learn early in life, but here it is 55 years later and I still haven’t learned it.
If you don’t want to spend your life doing prosaic and pedestrian tasks, then do them half-assed the first time. That way you don’t become the go-to-guy when other lazy-asses screw the shit up.
Of course, my 9th grade Civics teacher would be proud of my efforts. He always said that I was a ‘good citizen’ (yay me).
P.S. Don’t get me wrong. I was satisfied with my efforts and final results. Doing your best should always be what you strive for.)