They Come and They Go

I was a young, green technician.  Leonard was a battle-scarred veteran, that hired on in the middle fifties.

Leonard had been around for a long time. Long enough to see many managers come and go.  Just a few years away from a full pension, he didn’t scare easily.

It seemed his workplace was the proving ground for new managers. New managers introduced ceremoniously by parades of other managers. “I love a parade,” Leo muttered under his breath.

In the military, newly commissioned officers were called “jet jobs.”  Would this newbie adhere to the script? Probably. Crack down at first, to show who was in charge, then slack off a bit.

New managers started by riding along with specially selected employees. The purpose was to get acquainted, also, to suggest more efficient ways to work.

Leonard was wise to such tactics. He’d listen to suggestions, then explain pros and cons, why these new methods wouldn’t work in the real world.

Wait long enough, this manager would be gone–just like the rest of them. Kicked upstairs, transferred, or sent wherever. Because managers came and went–you could count on it.

CONVERSATION WITH A FRIEND

“There seems to be a general decline in the “effimacaciousness” of this blog,” Floyd observed–stroking his chin.

“How you figure?”  I answered his question with a question.

“He who answers a question with a question is a fool,”  Floyd replied.

“Will you get to the point and knock off the pseudo-intellectual shtick.”

“You’re first and foremost, an imaginary character that exists only in my mind.  If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t be here.”

“Did I hurt your feelings?  Don’t get your shorts in a bunch.  Just listen.”

Floyd was attired for summer–bib overalls and slouchy railroad engineer’s cap.  At least this time he had on a t-shirt.  Customary brown chewing tobacco spittle stained the corners of his mouth.  He expounded homespun philosophy with one foot on the front bumper of his light blue Ford pickup.

“All I was trying to say–is you need to lighten things up a bit,” Floyd answered.  “Most people get &^*$%# tired of hearing the same negative @#%!&^ day after day.”  I failed to mention that Floyd’s vocabulary would make longshoremen blush.

“I glad to see you turned out smarter than your buddy Larry.  He’s “purt near” broke with three ex-wives.  Hasn’t got a pot to (*#$@ in.  He should have had enough &^*%$#%@ sense to quit after wife number two.”

I hadn’t thought about Floyd for a long time.  Something about unshaven, sweaty men in bibs I’d rather avoid–as a general rule.  He was a memorable character.  If one looked past the disheveled, gruff exterior–he always gave good advice.