The J’Accuse!

I’m not sure why I haven’t written about this yet. It should have been one of the first posts I wrote. Basically, I did my job, did a good deed for the day, got spit on, and didn’t kill anyone.

Let’s dive in.

Gallup, NM. The dead of winter. Strong wind, snow, 6 degrees, and hard work. I have 4-foot manhole covers open, large orange cones everywhere, I’m a large guy in a bright orange work shirt, jacket, and safety vest. All fuel dispensers are bagged off in bright yellow caution bags that say “OUT OF SERVICE.”

Enter Karen. I’m using the name Karen because everyone knows a Karen, and knows that Karen is a terrible person. Karen drives a white 2016 Honda Civic. Karen has a “let me speak to your manager” haircut. Karen is roughly 65 years old. Karen hates the world, specifically, hard workers named Michael.

Michael, the hero of our story, is diligently working in terrible weather and trying to stay positive. All of a sudden, a white 2016 Honda Civic speeds through a section of large orange cones that are surrounding 4-foot manholes.

Any vehicle, especially small, white 2o16 Honda Civics, don’t do well when driven through 4-foot manhole covers. In fact, they do so poorly that they can even get a flat tire.

Karen now has a flat tire.

This is very clearly my fault, as my large, brightly-clothed frame and large orange cones don’t scream “DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH HERE, YOU MORON.”

Karen decides that the only way to diffuse and correct this situation is to get out and yell at Michael. “You don’t have the right to shut down a whole gas station! I’m on empty, and now I have a flat tire! I want your name, company name and phone number, and your boss’s name!! I’m going to call and report this!”

Naturally, Michael gives her all the information she wants, knowing full well that this is entirely her fault. The cones, cameras, and witnesses were proof enough.

In an effort to calm Karen down, Michael offers to change her tire for her and apologized for the travesty she has experienced, because Michael is a nice fucking guy. Changing a tire is easy enough, but still a frustrating task. Added insults and rants from bitchy old women like Karen don’t help.

The tire is changed, all is well, and Karen is back in her white 2016 Honda Civic without so much as a “thanks.” The store employees and manager even come out to offer help and ask what happened. Karen very eagerly explains in full detail what transpired and why she is so upset. The store employees and manager, who witnessed everything from inside the store, have been on the side of our hero from the beginning and just shake their heads in disbelief.

Karen, either exhausted from this catastrophe she has experienced or anxious to berate some other poor human being at another location, decides it’s time to race off and test that new tire.

Our favorite 65 year old degenerate circles back around the fuel pumps to find an exit and pulls back around next to me as I’m kneeling down besides a 4-foot manhole to yell at me one last time and remind me that I must not know who she is, she can’t wait to call my office first thing Monday morning, and that she’s glad she doesn’t to do such a lowly job and work with the likes of me.

Then, the climax of our story occurs. Karen musters up a tiny bit of spit from her dusty, wrinkly old mouth, and launches it right into the side of my head.

Michael, the super heroic and hard-working man that he is, is ready to lose his shit. This is the first job of the day, he hates the cold and snow, New Mexico is one of his least-favorite states, and he has a low tolerance for rudeness, especially since he almost always respects his elders.

Karen speeds off immediately after her display of emotion, never to be seen again. The store manager watches this go down and comes back out to see if Michael is okay after what Karen did.

Honestly, this is a fairly normal day in Michael’s life. People are rude, have bad days, want to take frustration out on the guy messing up their routine, and are usually not awful people. Michael drinks a coffee and goes on about his day, and cut it a couple hours short to find a hotel.

Don’t be like Karen.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Heroes

Sorry for the super late post, everyone. I promised at least one a day, so here we are.

I spent most of the driving around Brownsville, Tx testing diesel tanks at fire stations. And eating tacos, but that’s not anything we need to get into right now. As I tested a tank at the second fire station of the day, dispatch came over the intercom system. Firefighters came out of the station and piled into a truck to head off and save the day. As I lost a little bit more of my hearing due to the sirens on the truck, I thought about firefighters and what they do.

Of course, anyone mentions firefighters and your mind goes straight to 9-11 or calendars. My mind was in awe. A group of guys was just sitting around together, shooting the shit, and enjoying the lovely humid weather. All of a sudden there’s an emergency, and, in seconds, every man there was ready to face death to stop a fire and/or save lives. All of that for a very small amount of pay.

The men and women who protect us and our homes deserve every ounce of respect we can muster, and then some. They are brave, committed, admirable, and heroic. That’s all I have to say about that, and that’s all that should ever need to be said. So I’m going to leave it at that.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.