That Last Bologna Sandwich

Posted: December 17, 2008 in The Roper Files
Tags: , ,

omax_waterjet

Twas the week before Christmas

And all through my house

Not a goddam thing is stirring

Not even a fucking mouse

Haven’t done any shopping

Not even a little bit

I haven’t spent a penny

I haven’t bought shit…

Okay seriously…but this isn’t really that far off the mark. But I’m sitting here in my chilly apartment sipping coffee pre-dawn and it’s absolutely quiet. Get up and put on a CD I’ve listened to a million times just to break the silence. I’ve woke up depressed which is nothing new; I wake up depressed most days I go to work. But today is different; shouldn’t have. Today is the last day of this fiscal year that I have to go to my job.

Didn’t take a vacation this year; couldn’t afford it, plain and simple. They’ve kept me just busy enough at work to keep me from pissing it away one day at a time like I’ve done in the past. So I have accumulated just enough use-it-or-lose-it vacation time to get the next two weeks off.

Two weeks? What in the hell am I going to do with two weeks? Especially on my budget; I just might go nuts.

Wanted to fly to the Great White North but a quick check on the Internet is quick to show me what a monumentally stupid idea that was. The Vancouver airport is like closed, eh? Don’t think I’ll be doing that trip before Memorial Day when everything up there thaws out. DAMN!

Including lunch and my white-knuckle commute it will all be over in eleven and a half hours. A single solitary ten-hour shift on my feet listening to a migrane-inducing mix of classic crap rock, rap, and what passes for country music these days on radios all over the dusty dirty stinky machine shop I work at.

But first I have to get there; I turn on the television. It’s twenty something degrees outside; wonder what the roads are like? They have local reporters on highway overpasses I drive underneath everyday reminding everyone to drive slow on the bridges and overpasses. It didn’t snow, but there is black ice on the roads. Great….go outside and check the pavement in front of my place. Not sliding on the driveway or street…hmmm. Got to get this one day over with; I don’t want to have to do this tomorrow.

The heater in my truck sort of works, so I bundle up for the drive making sure I have my gloves. Reluctantly back out of the driveway and off we go.

It’s early but still amazes me how many other drivers are on the road already. Cruise at the steadiest pace I can down the road. At the first bridge I come to, I see a car swerving unsteadily past me; great…ice already. Go slowly down the highway hugging the right lane. Cars stream past me as if it was a hot July afternoon. You morons.

Come to the big overpass south of downtown and I can see ice on the road. Go as steady as the traffic allows but the fucking idiots change lanes and cut in front of me as if the roads were dry. What do you want to bet they’re all talking on the phone to boot. God I would rather be doing something anything else but this…

Get almost to work when some dickless piece of shit driving a gold Pontiac Firebird changes two lanes and zips in between me and a rather large linen service truck as if neither of us were there. The fucking roads are frozen you stupid son of a bitch; I lean on the horn as I pull up behind him at the light. He runs it and then takes a quick right into a parking lot ringed with razor wire and a security guard shack at the gate.

Asshole. If they weren’t there you’d come out after work to find you were minus glass or inflatable tires. I wouldn’t care if you had a car alarm or how many horrified onlookers were watching, I’d turn your little yuppie Tonka Toy into so much scrap metal in mere seconds….

Pull into the gate where I work already pissed off, taking care to aim my wheels to deliberately run over my bosses Wall Street Journal in the driveway. Clock in and get to work; let’s get this over with.

Load a heavy sheet of aluminum into the water jet cutter I operate, bolt it down, hit the start button and … stand there in case something goes wrong. It run on a program pretty much by itself; not much for me to do. Sometimes I hide behind it and read a newspaper or a book while munching on chocolate donuts like Homer Simpson. Got the newest computer in the shop in front of me; can’t understand WHY they won’t hook me up to the Internet…huh huh. But it would be nice to have a diversion from all the nothing there is to do for the thirty to forty five minutes it can take to run a single sheet of material. The only thing that breaks the monotony is the tip of the cutter will occasionally make contact with a warp or blemish in the material and spray me with ice cold toxic water ( on a twenty-degree day I might add ) which is good only for keeping me awake.

Five and a half miserable hours later, it’s lunchtime. I fish the last bologna sandwich and a bag of Fritos out and park my weary ass in front of the shipping and receiving clerks desk and computer while she stands out front chain-smoking her lunch and ignoring the delivery people. I love waving them off while I surf the Net on her computer and telling them: ” I can’t sign for that; it’s not my job” ( which is true; I’m not allowed to )

The bologna sandwich I made six hours earlier tastes like cardboard despite the Jack Daniels spicy mustard I smeared on it. I take about six bites and toss it in the trash with a shot that would make a pro basketball player proud. A hole in one. A ringer. In the cup.

The last bologna sandwich of 2008. Ugh.

Hope 2009s taste better. In fact I hope I win the lottery over the holidays and I don’t have to come back.

Now THAT would make for a very Merry Christmas indeed.

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