Saturday, June 04, 2005

Cause It's a 5 (or 3, in my case) World...

When I first started summer break, the days weren’t really that important. They all sort of blended into one another, not that it’s necessarily a good or bad thing, you just have no sense of time. Sure, dates were important, like May 19th kept getting closer and the days when we had Pirate tickets had to be planned around, but when you could pretty much sleep in until whenever you wanted and all the TV shows had season finaled, days themselves were not that important.

Now that I’m working, that is no longer a problem. Monday sucks, Tuesday is only slightly better until you get to Thursday, which thanks to our Weekend Theorem is basically the weekend, despite the one more day of work. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are holy, and you must take the time to enjoy them as opposed to treating them like any other day.

Just like last summer, I’m working down in the PennDOT garage/office complex in Kittanning. I’m a near exact twenty minute drive from my house and a one minute walk from Sheetz should I choose not to pack a lunch or get a particular craving for a Code Red slushee during the day. I started on an 8-4 shift, which really dragged, but now we’re on 7-3, which is so much better I can’t even describe it. We take a fifteen minute 10:00 break and a 45-minute lunch at noon, so once lunch is over, you’ve got to keep busy for two hours and you’re done. That’s not remotely hard, especially with all the crap I manage to find to do.

Last year I would report to one of the garage bosses, Lynn and Russ, in the morning, and they would give whoever was in the garage that day a task. We would complete that, re-report, yada yada and so on. Well, now it’s just me, so after sitting at the picnic table talking with Scott, Anthony and Brett before they go out on their crew for a bit, I go find George, the handyman of the place, or talk to Susie Carson (Jamie’s mom) and Ed back in the supply room to find something to do. My mornings have been spent painting, installing a drop ceiling and lights, mopping, moving large pieces of steel around some of the storage rooms, connecting two large pieces of steel with bolts and nuts and empty trash. That usually gets me to the 10:00 break pretty easily, meaning the longest part of the day is done.

After break, I usually go into the office. (Notice, I haven’t really reported in to anybody yet, but I’m keeping busy, so they don’t really care.) That’s where I feel I should get some sort of pay-raise, as I’m not just a regular intern, I’m picking up the currently not-there IT Intern’s job. Spreadsheet isn’t working, who enters the new formulas multiple times? Yeah, this guy, and once you get past the ladies working in the office, everyone is pretty computer-handicapped around PennDOT. I also have what is essentially my own desk now, where I keep the accountancy papers I work on, as well as my travel mug I refill with water a few times a day. (I just realized that mug is going to be pretty nasty on Monday morning, and I best take another one in.)

That’ll get me to lunch, where after eating most of my meal at the 10:00 break, I usually take a 45 minute nap in my car. It’s a solid plan, as by noon I’m usually not that hungry having just eaten at 10:00 and I’m pretty tired from being up too late the night before. After lunch, I just try to find something time-consuming to do, then fill out my payroll and go home.

What I do doesn’t sound overly difficult, and it isn’t, or overly important, but that’s where the story I just told is inaccurate. Due to my ability to do everyone’s bitch work (no one around there wants to mop or move pieces of steel), the fact using me as a helper doesn’t really hurt any other operation and the fact I can both do said bitch work and be the IT/accountant guy for the afternoon means I’m well-versed enough to both be an effective garage and office worker. Take the last three days of this week, when Della, basically the janitor for the whole place, was sick. Who immediately stepped up to empty garbage and refill paper towel dispensers? You guessed it, and while no one really cared or noticed, I feel it’s that type of little things that make me earn my $10.31 an hour. (What, like I was going to go an entire PennDOT post without mentioning how much I earn – plus a raise in July! 11.59 extra a week, woo!)

And yeah, probably everyone reading this could easily replace me at what I do, but without the added benefit of your dad working there so you can make fun of him with everyone and then scream at him to get to work every time he stops by the garage or office, you wouldn’t have nearly as much fun.

That being said, I again reserve the right to start complaining about this stupid job at any and all times. Happy Weekending.

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