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Archive for the ‘Office Window’ Category

Chapter Twenty Six – The Final Chapter

Posted by LOTGK on July 1, 2011

My Office Has A Window

It was 1980. A new decade. A new hope. Hopefully a new job. I was 20 years old and a Junior in college when the planets cosmically aligned thus setting me on a strange and bizarre sojourn as a newly hired employee at a little red pole barn in Columbiana. This sojourn is titled, “My Office Has A Window” even though in reality, there were no windows at all.

Chapter Twenty Six – This Is The End

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

1980's Sexy

There was just one thing left for me to do.

That same day, after I was somewhat settled in, I had to make my way back to the Columbiana warehouse, the little old red pole barn, to collect my belongings that were collecting dust. I needed to retrieve the UPS Postalia machine, weight scale, log book, truck bills of lading, stencils, radio, supplies,

And of course my poster of Heather Thomas in her hot pink wet bikini. You know, the important stuff.

The twenty-minute drive went by quickly and I was looking at the front gate of the Columbiana warehouse. I unlocked the gate and pushed it aside and jumped back in my car. Entering the compound, I drove slowly down the dirt road scattering dust behind me ever staying vigilant eluding the huge chuck holes in the road making my way to the entrance.

I parked the car just outside the doors of the warehouse where the shipping area was and got out of the car. Walking toward the warehouse, the wind was blowing slowly, lazily rustling the weeds and growth that had sprung up over the past summer and fall. Stopping, I could hear the wind against the door of the old mobile home office methodically bumping back and forth against its frame. The compound had the look and feel of a ghost town.

I closed my eyes to take it all in, to remember, and I felt all the memories of past years whistling by in the wind. A moment later I packed up all my belongings and was ready to leave.

I took one long last look around the compound and with the very same alarm keys that I had kicked under a pallet my first day of work, I turned the key, set the alarm, and closed the door.

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll

And she’s buying a stairway to heaven…

Addendum: Today, I have a new office. I reside in the same office my father worked in so many many years ago. It has an eight foot wide by twelve foot high window. Fate…

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LURKING, I NEED SOME WINDEX ON THE GRASSY KNOLL

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Chapter Twenty Five – When The Bullet Hits The Bone

Posted by LOTGK on June 30, 2011

My Office Has A Window

It was 1980. A new decade. A new hope. Hopefully a new job. I was 20 years old and a Junior in college when the planets cosmically aligned thus setting me on a strange and bizarre sojourn as a newly hired employee at a little red pole barn in Columbiana. This sojourn is titled, “My Office Has A Window” even though in reality, there were no windows at all.

Chapter Twenty Five – When The Bullet Hits The Bone

Help I’m steppin’ into the Twilight Zone
Place is a madhouse
Feels like being cloned
My beacons been moved
Under moon and star
Where am I to go Now that I’ve gone too far

As ordered, I made the trek to the new Youngstown, Ohio warehouse the next day. Everyone had already settled in to the new place, but there I was, a veteran and everything looked strange to me. I looked at all the office space, the big garages, and had a funny feeling that I was here before. It slowly dawned on me that my father had worked at this exact place a long, long time ago. Just a different name, a different company, a different time, a different generation.

Walking through the office I said hello to the folks I knew and found plenty of new people saying hello to me. Towards the back of the offices, I saw the executive staff including the new guy, Mr. Copasetic and waved and yelled out “Howdy” to them all. For just a moment, the executives (The brain trust) all stopped in their tracks, looked up from their work, and calmly smiled and said hello back.

I had arrived. Mr. Copasetic told me how much he liked the new items I had shrink wrapped for him in Columbiana. (He had them tacked on his office wall) Yatta yatta yatta. I really wasn’t paying a lot of attention. I wanted to see the huge warehouse and multi door dock. I wanted to see the new high tech modern operation of which I would now call home.

I was excited. I really was. I was thinking, no more hand loading orders, hoisting countless boxes from the ground into the truck. No more circle of fear. We could load a truck in 10 minutes with the forklifts and floor jacks instead of it taking two hours. We could do 50 times the amount of business with little or no effort. I could have all the shipping papers and equipment stacked neatly and efficiently instead of on a folding card table that also doubled as the lunch table. And since we could produce so much more work, it meant less overtime. Just then, a little man in a white suit tapped me on the leg and exclaimed, “Where the hell do you think you are? Fantasy Island? Next fantasy, next fantasy!” Actually, it was Mac. He said he would give me the tour of the plant and show me where I would be working. Somehow this all seemed way to familiar to me. I was hoping he didn’t hand me any keys.

On the back wall of the dock, I saw my new home, the shipping office. I use the term “Office” loosely here. I should say shipping area. The office was a 15 foot by 15 foot area enclosed by chicken wire held down by several old truck tires and a few poles. It was a dusty dirty mess with old paper and scraps all over the floor. Incredibly, it was a huge improvement over Columbiana. Some major cleaning, a gallon of Ajax, pine sol, and a strong pair of wire cutters, and I would be in business. Still no office windows, but I was used to that.

Little did I know that the Youngstown warehouse was in a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. A middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. That lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.

The sign post up ahead. The next stop…..

But that’s another story, another legend, another time.

There was just one more thing left for me to do.

Read The Final Chapter 26 Here…

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LURKING, I NEED SOME WINDEX ON THE GRASSY KNOLL

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Chapter Twenty Four – Ventura Highway

Posted by LOTGK on June 29, 2011

My Office Has A Window

It was 1980. A new decade. A new hope. Hopefully a new job. I was 20 years old and a Junior in college when the planets cosmically aligned thus setting me on a strange and bizarre sojourn as a newly hired employee at a little red pole barn in Columbiana. This sojourn is titled, “My Office Has A Window” even though in reality, there were no windows at all.

Chapter Twenty Four – Ventura Highway

Chewin on a piece of grass walkin down the road
Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe?
Some people say this town don’t look good in snow
You don’t care, I know.

Ventura Highway, in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger than moonshine
You’re gonna go I know

The Columbiana warehouse where I was stationed was desolate. The Akron warehouse, the hotbed of activity for our company at the time was where everyone else was at. We were combining both warehouses, Columbiana and Akron to the new big warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio. Columbiana was now empty and we switched to Akron to complete the move. I was waiting patiently by the phone for the call from corporate to finally join them. There was nothing left to do but wait. And wait, and wait. Several weeks passed until the phone rang. Yes, it was the governor, and I had received my pardon. Onward to Akron I was to go to help in the move.

The next day I arrived at the rendezvous point and I was once again reunited with the old crew plus a new guy, Rick. Rick was a funny guy, and his famous line was. (Sung to the tune of the Steve Perry song, “Sherry”) Instead of singing shoulda been gone, Rick changed the lyrics to “Shoulda smoked a bong” in a screeching falsetto voice. (Think Tiny Tim on steroids) He also had us in stitches comparing his nose to other famous noses in history. Jimmy Durante didn’t have anything on him.

We all jumped in the van and drove to the Akron warehouse. Our job there was basic. We were to load all the merchandise we could and jam it into the semi trucks at the loading docks. Everyone knew what to do but me. This was my first day away from the red pole barn and I was a little bit out of my element. (And no, I don’t mean the symbol for boron!) I soon caught on very fast. I just stuffed everything in sight into the semi trailers backed up to the docks.

Then I saw them. Forklifts! Two of them. Guy and Hessie jumped on them and away they went. They would pick up all the pallets of merchandise that we had stacked and load them into the trucks. I wanted to drive the forklifts but Guy informed me that only he and Hessie knew how to operate them. (Bullshit!!)

I let that explanation satisfy me until Guy started getting a little too cocky and having a little too much fun on the forklifts. Guy would spin in little circles and do figure eight’s and all sorts of neat things. Then he made a crucial error. Guy started to load an empty trailer and drove the forklift all the way to the nose of the trailer. Seconds later the trailer started to tip and lift off the dock plate. In a heartbeat the trailer was fully tilted with guy still on the forklift. We used the other forklift to get the trailer righted and there was no injury to Guy except his ego. He also let out a little secret that he and Hessie didn’t know diddley squat about driving forklifts and everyone else was just as qualified to drive them as they were.

Soon we were all running the forklift obstacle course sometimes coming dangerously close to tipping them over on very tight corners. This lasted several days but alas, as all good things, it was now completed. The Akron warehouse was empty. That evening we were all told to report to the new Youngstown complex the following day.

Read Chapter 25 Here…

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LURKING, I NEED SOME WINDEX ON THE GRASSY KNOLL

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Chapter Twenty Three – Cruel Summer

Posted by LOTGK on June 28, 2011

My Office Has A Window

It was 1980. A new decade. A new hope. Hopefully a new job. I was 20 years old and a Junior in college when the planets cosmically aligned thus setting me on a strange and bizarre sojourn as a newly hired employee at a little red pole barn in Columbiana. This sojourn is titled, “My Office Has A Window” even though in reality, there were no windows at all.

Chapter Twenty Three – Cruel Summer

Hot summer streets
And the pavements are burning
I sit around
Trying to smile
But the air is so heavy and dry
Strange voices are saying
What did they say
Things I can’t understand
It’s too close for comfort
This heat has got right out of hand
It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me here on my own
It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Now you’ve gone

Winter had set in and Hessie and I were in for a long cold season. A bitter harvest indeed. Much like the grasshopper instead of the ant, I played all summer and would now pay for it dearly.

With the Christmas season over and sales just about dead, our work load was nil unless watching snow pile up was considered work related. And pile up it did. The lot had several feet of snow and drifts higher than six feet. With nothing else going on, we waited for the phone to ring from corporate to instruct us on our next venture. It felt like Ice Station Zebra. It was FN cold, no heat, the wind howling and blowing, and a white blanket of snow as far as the eye could see was our canvass. We were both glad we didn’t have to step outside in these frigid conditions. Then the phone rang.

It was corporate, and they wanted a sample of each of last year’s products so they could compare them to this years design. It sounded like a simple request, but with us being just south of Antarctica, several pitfalls were in our way.

For starters, we didn’t realize that last year’s product was at the top of the road and locked in trailers. We needed to go on a road trip. We stepped outside and quickly jumped into the white step van, fired it up, and set out for the top of the road. The snow was so deep; it took us twenty minutes and about 20,000 miles of wear and tear on the transmission to get there.

There was a certain driving technique we learned in Columbiana during winter. You would start out by jamming the gear shift down to low gear and then floor it. Hopefully you moved forward. In the event that you didn’t, we would proceed to step number two which incorporated step one but now you would slip the step van into reverse while still keeping your foot on the pedal. This back and forth motion would get sailors sick, but not us seasoned vets. Heesie had this technique down to a science. We pressed onward and forward, and backward, and forward.

We eventually arrived at the trailers and upon inspection, realized that they were butted up against each other, door to door. How the hell were we going to get in there and retrieve the samples? We also noticed that the keys we had didn’t match the keys to the trailers. (Remember the brain trust here folks) Abort the mission, abort the mission.

We went back down the drive to Ice Station Zebra, (Warehouse) and phoned in the problem. No keys, no entry, no samples. Kind of like the No shirt, no shoes, no service policy of many a fine eating establishments. (I wonder if those restaurants would seat me if I walked in with a shirt, shoes, but no pants) We were told Corporate would deliver the keys to us the next day and we were to sit tight until then. (What did they think we were doing, casing a jewelry store?)

As promised, the keys were delivered the next day, and we embarked again on our journey to the top of the road to procure last year’s product. Again we used the patented Columbiana driving technique and soon found us staring once again at the trailers. Using a road flare to melt the ice and snow around the lock, we were able to gain entrance. The trailer doors would only open about a foot and Hessie had to squeeze his body in the trailer.

He would then push through each one of the previous year’s samples one by one. I know, it sounds like I’m whining, but why did Corporate need the samples now, during the blizzard, and not earlier, or later. Did they forget what the samples looked like? But who was I to argue. (I was once told to work in the dark when the electricity went out in the warehouse one day. And there were no windows, only a single man door. And it was dark out, so that day absolutely nothing was accomplished.)

Anyway, we completed our task, locked the trailers and delivered the samples to Corporate. It was a long winter season indeed. But, it was getting closer to spring everyday. My time would be over here soon. Hessie was called to our warehouse in Akron and I was left alone again. All I could do was bide my time watching the wheels go round and round.

Read Chapter 24 Here…

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LURKING, I NEED SOME WINDEX ON THE GRASSY KNOLL

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Chapter Twenty Two – Taking Care Of Business

Posted by LOTGK on June 27, 2011

My Office Has A Window

It was 1980. A new decade. A new hope. Hopefully a new job. I was 20 years old and a Junior in college when the planets cosmically aligned thus setting me on a strange and bizarre sojourn as a newly hired employee at a little red pole barn in Columbiana. This sojourn is titled, “My Office Has A Window” even though in reality, there were no windows at all.

Chapter Twenty Two – Taking Care Of Business

And I’ll be…
Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way
I’ve been taking care of business, it’s all mine
Taking care of business and working overtime
Work out!

All the inventory trailers were gone and only a few stock ones were left. No more company. I was alone, I was bored. it would be several brutally boring weeks later when the Hessie arrived. Much like the swallows returning to Capistrano, so do all past employees make it back to the commune. Hessie was there to help me get the retail and wholesale orders done for Christmas and also help me run the new vacuum sealer machine. This machine was at the back of a trailer butted up against the warehouse with a huge extension cord running out of the wall and down the trailer floor. The sealer was high tech stuff with computerized heat gauges, precision dye cutter blades, automatic timers, bells, whistles, buzzers, and beepers. Even an am/fm stereo 8-track. (Just kidding on the 8-track)

And here was Hessie and I, two boobs who knew nothing about running this machine and the office wanted 50 cases a day produced. To add insult to injury, it was freezing cold out and it took 45 minutes to warm the machine up. So we had to stand around turning into snowmen waiting for this thing to energize.

Finally, the machine warmed up and we were ready to produce. On the first pass the plastic film didn’t melt quite enough and an effective seal did not occur leaving the product hanging out of the package. We dialed the heat up a little. The second attempt failed as the film was still sticky and the vacuum didn’t adhere it to the package. I dialed up more heat and adjusted the vacuum. This went on for almost 20 attempts before I became agitated with the whole scenario.

On the next (And last) attempt, I cranked the heat up to maximum and the vacuum to 100 percent. I pushed the red start button and watched. The heating element turned on and started to melt the plastic and I could hear the compressor kick in waiting for the cycle to begin. When the machine arm came down lowering the plastic film, I could see that the film was almost dripping it was so hot. The arm cut the film and then the vacuum cycle kicked in effectively crushing the boxes and product inside. The items being packaged were about three inches tall, but not when I was through with them. They looked like inedible pancakes as the vacuum sucked all the air out of the packages and flattened them.

We decided to call in to the office and explain our predicament to my boss. We were going to tell him that despite our valiant efforts we could not get the sealer to work properly and we suspected it was broken from the get go. Usually we would get transferred to Dave, a bigwig executive of the company, but this time they transferred me to the new guy.

His first words to me were, “Is everything copasetic?” I answered back “Yes” because I didn’t know what the hell copasetic meant. He wanted me to explain the scenario to him and what the exact problem was. I was thinking, who the hell is this guy? I went through the whole deal, about the sealer not warming up, the film melting, the vacuum crushing, and we really didn’t know how to use this $50,000 dollar machine and didn’t want to break it any further.

There, now he knew the situation and I waited for instructions. There was a short pause on the other end and then he asked me if I could vacuum seal the new items for Christmas on a white poster board for him so he could showcase them in his office. I could only assume that he didn’t understand what I just told him, that the machine was broken, and not only wasn’t he getting the 50 cases of product, he wasn’t going to get his precious little white cardboard vacuum sealed display either.

Now I was puzzled and dumbfounded. I paused on the line for several seconds to gather my wits and then asked him if everything was copasetic back where he was. The line went silent, not even breathing, and then the conversation ended with Mr. Copasetic saying to carry on and it was nice talking to me. (A new member to the brain trust indeed)

Read Chapter 23 Here…

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LURKING, I NEED SOME WINDEX ON THE GRASSY KNOLL

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Sladewilson: The War Journal Vol. 2

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