Sunday, April 4, 2010

Time for Random Rants...

But first!  Happy Easter everyone!  And thanks for bearing with me during my pity party of the past week though I must say it was quite cathartic.  But now back to the usual nonsense around here - specifically my rants about things over which I have absolutely no control.  Except in my mind.  Which is a FABULOUS place to be, let me tell you.  Onward we go!

First up today:  PARENTS.  More to the point, parents of toddlers at a public Easter Egg hunt who bum rush the field so their children (who are confused and terrifed to the point of incoherency) can collect the most eggs.  SERIOUSLY.  I wish I was making that up.  We took the kids to a farm in Clarksville that had an egg hunt for 1-3 year olds with my best friend and her daughter and once the barrier rope was dropped, it was as if a swarm of locusts or the aliens from Independence Day (great movie BTW) descended on the field in an enormous wave of gluttony.  Noelle was TERRIFIED and refused to take one step in that direction.  Not that I blame her in the slightest.  Even Hannah who is a MASTER egg hunter only came away with 1.  Easter egg hunting is now a competitive sport.  Did you know that?  I was actually concerned that Noelle would be trampled and assumed the defensive position that I employed at nightclubs during the time when I didn't  fall asleep on the couch at 9:30 pm.  But the rest of the day at the farm was delightful.  They had a lot of the old attractions from the now-defunct Enchanted Forest and Noelle LOVED that part.  Noah didn't really have an opinion on it except that socks have no place on the chubber feet so off they must come.  So an overall grade for the visit was a C+.

Complete lack of personal responsibility.  I have a technician, let's call him 'Brandon', who is unable to take the fact that he is one of the lucky ones to actually have a job seriously.  The man (boy? teenager? social misfit?) is habitually late and comes up with pretty decent excuses as to why he missed work/was late.  Some of my personal favorites:
  1. A week after 'Snowmageddon:  Part the Third' - was unable to come to work as the howling winds and blizzard-like conditions blew all of the snow (about 3 inches) in southern PA into massive drifts blocking his driveway and was therefore trapped and reduced to chewing on the wildly waving branches of stripped trees for sustenance.  Even though all others who live in southern PA made it into work just fine. THE WINDS TARGETED HIM PEOPLE.
  2. Power failure.  This was just this week.  Apparently the power went out at his house.  Fine, it happens.  But then! He couldn't call to say that he was late due to the power being out since he doesn't have a landline and his girlfriend had the cell phone.  Um, what? 
Yes, he is my technician and I have *some* ability to inflict punishment but the whole disciplinary action thing where I work is extremely drawn out for attendence issues though we are trudging down that path currently.  I'm wondering whether using the Mallet of Excellence upside his head would have any positive effect....

Complete lack of an internal filter for my mouth.  Yeah, this one is all me.  The lab techs are a large group of overgrown preschoolers for whom 'time-outs' don't really work.  I observed at a meeting the other week that we are expecting them to demonstrate teamwork in moving to where the work is piling up rather than squatting at their assigned benches when they have 1. never been expected to do that before and 2. no one has ever modeled the behavior for them.  So what happens?  I get a new hat to wear:  traffic cop.  In addition to everything else that I have to do, I am now going to be gently redirecting their energies to the most important tasks to improve the flow of work through the lab.  Here is the kicker:  I am not a member of the Testing Team.  I lead the Materials Team and have no supervisory responsibilities for the Testing Team.  Why oh why can I not keep my mouth shut?  Yes, teamwork rah-rah but seriously?  Shouldn't the team manager BE DIRECTING THE ACTIVITIES OF HIS TEAM?  I am going to be asking for hazardous duty pay in addition to breaking out my catcher's gear because this is going to put me in the loony bin right quick.  Send the nice men in the white jackets and lots of wine please....

This was probably not the best topic for Easter Sunday so enjoy the beautiful weather and take a moment to reflect on what it is we are celebrating today.  I'll give you a hint:  it's not chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.  I wish you all a joyous and peaceful Easter.  He has risenThanks be to God.

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