Sunday, August 13, 2006


So I'm working now. I wrote about that right? Basically, it has sucked since I started, around the 15th. I've been putting things in boxes. So finally, last Wednesday, I got put back on the machines. I'd driven order pickers, forklifts, ect. the last two summers I worked there, so I know how everything works basically. The only difference now is that everything is done electronically. It actually makes the job harder to do, but I figured it out pretty quickly. Well last Monday, one of the permanent employees was sick and didn't come in, and the lead in the area I had been in, who goofs around a lot, was goofing around, and got demoted from his lead position the next day. The permanent employee who was gone that day, then took charge of that area for Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday though, he kind of blew up at the Somalian women who are working there after one hurt herself. He thought that she was faking it, and was ready to fire the whole lot of them.

So on Friday I came to work, hopped on my machine and drove down the the other end of the warehouse to start working, and the warehouse manager called me up and offered me the lead position. That meant that I had to deal with the aftermath of the previous day's events. So what was the first thing that two of the girls asked me? They wanted to leave at 4:45, one hour away. I told them that the management is not happy with the productivity of the packers, and that they're getting ready to fire some if it doesn't improve. There had been too much socializing rather than working, and tons of mistakes. And since they were in such a difficult position, asking to leave in only one hour would probably mean not coming back at all. I guess they didn't really think that they'd fire anyone because they still pressed the issue, so I referred them to the manager, who told them that it was fine to leave, but that he couldn't guarantee that their jobs would still be there on Monday. I think they got it that time, because for the rest of the night, I barely heard any talking that interfered with work, except for one girl, and another, afraid that one of the people I was talking about might be here, moved away from the other talking girls, and was fine the rest of the night.

The main problem was that the PIC (People In Charge) didn't give them any warnings, so they thought that they were doing fine. I think for at least one, it was a perceived language barrier or some other reason that he didn't want to give them a chance. On Monday my manager wants a list of all my people, and a ranking. If my lowest ranked people match the list of the guy who blew up, some heads may roll. I hope that I can prevent that though. I think that the problem was do to the old lead, who never told them when they were goofing off too much because he was always too busy goofing off himself, and the management, who would rather git rid of the whole group and start over.

So I had a bit of training today, and I'm coming in an hour early on Monday for some more training and a pay increase! That and an extra room at my friend Lyle's house means that I may be able to return to Tokyo a bit earlier than my last estimate.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dead Bike

I've been riding my CL350 Scrambler a lot recently, but it, as old bikes will, leaks. A lot. The first engine was leaking out of the head gasket after I put a few hundred miles on it, so I figured that I'd swap it with one of the other 6 engines I have laying around. The one I put in it was out of a bike that I payed $55 for, and was seized at the time. This one ran a lot better, and didn't leak out of the head gasket much for the first 1000 miles, but just after I fixed the leak in the crankcase, the head gasket sprung a leak, and it started smoking. On saturday is started smoking so bad, that I decided to swap the engine out again, this time with the engine from the bike that Mark Risvold, Sky's dad, gave me in exchange for working on his GoldWing. I spent the better part of the day on Sunday and Monday Morning working on this, and started it up about 3 hours before I had to head to work. It sounded a lot better than the engine I had been using, so I went on my first test ride.

About a mile down the road, I thought it was sounding pretty good, so I turned onto the highway, intending to take it up to speed. Half way through the corner, my rear wheel slipped. This could either be dirt, ice, or oil. There was no dirt on the road, and it's the middle of summer, so that leaves the last option. I proceeded slowly to the first place I could park, looked down and oil was pouring out of the engine onto the ground as if the drain plug had come out. I shut it off as quickly as I could, and the oil slowed to a trickle. I had my phone, so I called both mom and dad, who were just leaving for vacation, to come pick me up. Mark however, is always free, so I called him and he was able to come pick me up.

So this week, I'm riding granddad's GoldWing, which I've gotten a lot of comments on since it's in almost pristine condition except for the dents that Kelsey put in the tank a few years ago. It's also one of the few GoldWings without a fairing and saddlebags, which makes it cool, and the bike that I wish I was on when I bad ass Harley rider (or so he thought) challenged me to a race a few weeks ago. (It would have been fun to kick his ass, but I still probably wouldn't have raced him.)

In other news, I've been working for one and a half weeks now, and I'm trying to get a job at REI. It's part time, so ideally, I can work there in the mornings and at my current crappy job in the evenings, and easily make my November goal of returning to Tokyo.

Also, coffee helps get blogs posted. This is the second post today? I've had so much that I can't stand still.

Appointment with Nick

I think I finally have an appointment with Nick to see a bike that he told me about a month ago. It's a 1953 Triumph that's torn apart in his friend's basement. I think it might be a 650 Thunderbird like what Marlin Brando rode in "The Wild One". It's missing the tank, but I know where to get one. I just have to figure out how to keep dad from claiming it as his.