Feels Like a Slap in the Face

August 31st began like every other workday. The morning crew did not set up the sort facility correctly with a specific type of air cargo container that we need. Of course management comes out and instructs us to swap out everything with larger containers to accommodate all of the volume going into a larger aircraft. After a brief conversation the supervisor nods his head and claims that he will send an email to the morning, notifying them of a new container line up. This is the very same conversation has been going on for the last month, a nod of the head, a promise of an email, and still no change to the correct air containers. Everyday is the same and we end up changing everything. The funny thing is that we are only given thirty minutes to do our set up job. For the type of work that we do and as far as we have to drive across the airport ramp, it’s simply not enough time to make the changes and be expected to keep up. The Job itself is very simple. Packages arrive to the facility, the packages are sorted, loaded into air containers, and then the air containers are loaded into an awaiting aircraft, and off they go to the next facility. My job is to take the loaded container off the sorting facility, weigh it, and drive it to the correct flight that it is going to fly on. In the summer it’s a long hot day of pulling and replacing heavy empty containers. The empty weights range from 200 pounds to upwards of 1,000 pounds, with no packages inside them!

The last few weeks have been nothing short of brutal. We have been receiving huge quantities of packages, which is great! The hours are very long. I’m thankful for the hours and the paychecks! Just like many other companies we have a management problem. I laugh as I’m writing because the man running things came from a different facility that did not involve airline operations and it was able to process way more volume than we were ever designed to run. Things are a real mess. A little over three weeks ago, this man told our supervisor that we were slow and inefficient in our jobs. I would love to know the basis of his claim because like I said, he has never done my job. Yes, the job is simple but there are things we can do and can’t do in the real world. This guy was screaming on the radio a few weeks ago saying we were slow but had no idea what the problem was. My co-worker pulled his set of dollies next to the container that was to be pulled. Dollies are basically little trailers that carry the air containers that we pull around the airport with the help of a tug. Per company policy we are only allowed to pull four of these dollies at a single time. My buddy pulls his last dolly up to the first position outside the building. A nice yellow pole that guards a fire hydrant protrudes past the edge of the rack that holds the container to the building. Because of this pole we have to turn away from the building to prevent running into it therefore dragging the dolly away from the rack holding the container. Often times there is a really big gap between the edge of the dolly and this rack, which translates to a heavy container crashing to the ground. Oops, too far! Well, we are not new employees and we know this. So instead of the thirty seconds to remove and replace a container, it takes a little longer than that because we have to find another tug to push the last dolly sideways into that slot. Driving away is fun because you will experience a jolt has that dolly makes contact with that damn pole. So Mr. New Manager is screaming on the radio and even mentions us by name caused me to finally snap. I marched in and gave him a piece of my mind. Yes, I even told him that he needed to march his butt out there and physically demonstrate with a tug and set of dollies “I’m not going to do that!” In my smart ass fashion I replied, “Of course not because you have never done it!” I told him we have a problem with that pole and if he is not willing to come out and show us how to do a more efficient job, then he needs to stop complaining.

Ok back to the 31st. We were working as usual. The sort was cranking packages out and we were pulling cans one after the other, with very little time in between. After the next day package window, things were at their flights we prepared for the less critical two-day volume to flow through. Every container was in place and empty, I had a few minutes to breathe. My co-worker and I drove into the building and saw a foldable table set up with a happy birthday banner attached to the front of it. There were paper plates and cake residue left on the inside of a plastic container. One of the guys who worked inside took his finger and ran it through the cake and proceeded to lick his finger clean. What is wrong with this picture? Nobody on the ramp was told anything about this celebration and as it turned out there was only enough cake for about 1/4th of the employees. Thinking about this made me upset. It felt like a slap in the face. Here we are busting our butts in the hot sun, with no shade, doing are best not to fall behind, and yet some people had time to stop and get cake? None of the ramp employees knew. We were all spread out loading planes, and pulling cans. Business lesson, don’t treat your employees like that.thumb_IMG_0699_1024

Roxy Pt. Two

I’ll never forget the first time we took Roxy over to Britni’s parent’s house. They fell in love with her. I guess Its because Roxy reminded them of a beloved dog named AJ. She was golden in color and was the first dog that they owned together. Britni’s dad loves to tell stories about AJ. Sadly they had to put her down when she became horribly Ill in the early 2000’s. That thought went through my mind as I drove Roxy to the animal hospital.

Roxy was spoiled from day one by Britni’s mom and dad. Her mom retrieved a small grey bowl from a cabinet and filled it with water and an old chew toy that the others didn’t play with. Roxy would get a huge gulp of water then waddled over to an oval blue rug and crashed. When Britni’s father emerged from his office she opened her eyes and began to wag her tail, for him that was enough to be in love with her forever. Shane, Britni’s younger brother would lay on the kitchen tile next to Roxy just to make sure she was still breathing. This little lady loved to sleep! We would damn near die laughing because she would just wake up as if someone flipped on a switch. Energetic would not even do her any justice. She would run around chasing her tail and bark at it. Other times she would find a toy and take to whoever was in the room. One afternoon she heard a barking noise come from the backyard. She just had to go investigate that. Making her way to the back sliding door, she poked her nose threw the closed blinds. All hell broke loose! Duke, that Basset Hound was barking, and the two Chocolate Labs were barking. Roxy withdrew her head from the blinds and pretty much fell on her butt. Not knowing what to do she figured that she would bark back, a tiny puppy “aarrfff” squeaked out.

The time came when she was large enough to be able to hold her own with the other dogs. She took one step out that back door and leapt for Daisy, the alpha female. Daisy would bark, growl, and snip. Roxy didn’t care, she would bark and would start going at Daisy. She would show Daisy whose boss. The funny thing is that those two became the best of friends.

thumb_IMG_0263_1024Once at the vet I carried Roxy in and she just lay on the floor by my feet with almost no life. She didn’t want to sniff or even look to see if there were other animals in the facility. She just didn’t care and that had me really scared as that was not at all like her. The assistant came over and placed her on a giant scale to record her weight, then led us in to a room to wait for the vet.

The vet walked in and began to notice that Roxy didn’t have a lot of energy to do much of anything. She tried to energize her by offering a doggie biscuit treat. Nope! She didn’t want it. The lady began to ask me questions about what was going on and I explained about the bottle of Ibuprofen I had found with the chew capsules strewn about the living room carpet. She asked if I knew about how many she had gotten a hold of. I had no idea but I brought the five capsules I found on the floor. The Doctor began to explain that Ibuprofen is toxic to animals and that they were going to give her a shot to induce vomiting. I gave my ok and off they went with her. Texting Britni, giving her updates, she was greatly concerned. I was too. She had just survived a close call with Parvo and $1200 worth of treatment and now we’re going to lose her to Ibuprofen. The vet and assistant came back and explained what they were doing and came up with a recommended treatment plan that included two nights of hospital care. When I saw the proposed costs, I almost fainted. After a brief call to my wife and a double check of our bank accounts we gave the staff the green light.

The drive home in the truck was painfully quiet on the outside; on the inside it was noisy, as my mind would not let up. This dog became our big part of our family and I admit that I love this little bundle. She’s expensive but I still love her.

 

To be continued…

 

 

Roxy

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Roxy Zzzzzzzz!

Back in February my wife decided that she wanted another dog. I admit that I cringed at the thought. We had just moved into our house in late October after we came back from our honeymoon. New carpets were installed and we cleaned the house inside and out. The thought of another dog just seemed wrong since we realistically have two dogs already. I really didn’t want another dog. They are expensive, get sick, and require a lot of care. I was not going to pick up doggy crap either! We couldn’t bring our dogs with to the new house so Britni’s parents agreed to take care of them provided that we buy the dog food when they need it. Duke is a white and black Basset Hound that loves Britni’s dad. He loves that dog too and even told my wife that she can’t take his buddy away. The two chocolate labs we hated to separate because they are sisters even though they don’t look like it. Wait I thought you said two? I did! The lighter colored lab is ours and the dark colored belongs to Britni’s brother. That’s it in a nutshell.

In February, I was working a ton of hours and was barely home. Britni was coming home to a new and empty house and was becoming lonely. She wanted something to come home to when I have to work a lot. I understood that.

One night while I was at work I got a text message saying she found a dog that she wanted and was waiting for my ok to go and pick up this cute bundle of fur. “ I don’t want to pick up dog crap.” Taking a few minutes to think it over, I gave in. She drove to a park where this guy agreed to meet her. I didn’t like that much especially since it was at night. Later that night I received a text message saying “we” are on our way home. Oh boy, what are we in for?

When I got home Britni and this little bundle of fur were waiting. I opened the door and saw this little golden thing creeping around the kitchen. Placing my lunchbox on the floor she got scared and ran. A few minutes later she appears from under the kitchen table. Crawling out from her hiding space she walked towards and began to sniff my lunch box. Surprisingly she let me pet her a little bit. She then decided that she had enough and waddled her way towards a white rocking chair in the corner of our living room. Looking at one another we wondered, where is she going? Ah, she was taking a dump on our brand new carpet.

With in two weeks of Britni bringing Roxy home, she contracted parvo. For anyone that does not know, parvo is short for Canine Parvovirus. The virus apparently comes in two forms. It can either attack the muscles of the animal or the intestinal track. Sure enough she had the intestinal version. Watery stools and vomiting were very persistent. Great. A couple years ago Britni and I watched our other dogs, Daisy and Dutchess go through the same thing. That even was very difficult to watch as the dogs just lay in the backyard with the look of death in their faces. For them the emergency vet gave them about a fifty percent chance of living. The thing about it is that you have no idea were this virus is. It often times resides in droppings from other animals and can be carried by cats, mosquitos, and flies. Thankfully the two labs survived. At the vet’s office we were beginning to relive the same damn thing.

There was a blood test, antibiotics, and a three-day hospital stay, all of this for a 50/50 chance of survival. The day came for us to pick our little bundle up from the hospital. She didn’t look sluggish like when we took her in. Surprisingly, she was energetic with her mouth hanging open with white grinning teeth. Days passed and weeks passed by. I think she’s going to make it.

By now she is still growing like a weed and getting into everything. Our dirt backyard has a ton of holes and chew marks around. One fun morning I woke up to let a barking dog go outside to do her thing. Heading for the kitchen I happened to catch a glimpse of a white bottle lying under a coffee table. Picking it up, I realized that it was a bottle of Ibuprofen. In a panic I began to take a look around at the carpet and discover multiple pieces of blue capsules. I dialed Britni and told her that I was taking Roxy back to the vet. Naturally concerned, she asked why. I quickly explained and loaded her up in the truck.

To be continued……….

Twelve Months

Its has been a long while since I posted anything. I need to get back to writing on here. So far the year has been crazy. Well, the last twelve months have been crazy. I married Britni, my now wife, we moved into our new house, and my part time job has really turned into a fulltime job. Life is good and I can’t complain too much.

September 26th was a life-changing day. One that really forced me to mature even more so and really taught me that living with another person is not easy. I don’t care if you love them or not. Britni and I lived together at her parents for about a year before we even considered buying a house. I figured that since we lived in a cramped bedroom, moving into a house and living together would be about the same. Ha! Wishful thinking. Yes, things are fine and we have not yet set our house on fire so that’s a good thing.

After the house and wedding, we flew off to beautiful Oahu, Hawaii for our honeymoon. It was the best trip I have ever been on in my life. Britni also says the same thing. The best part was being able to dive in the clear blue water with sea turtles. I would go back right this instant if I could.

This year my job with the shipping company has exploded with more hours, which is wonderful! Sadly, management’s heads have also exploded and panic sets in. To compensate for the increased work, they scream at their employees. The good thing in all this is that it is forcing me to look at creating my own business. Things are getting to be very bad and one would not believe the employee turn over rate.

Live I mentioned above, I want to start my own business. I have a trillion different ideas and my wife is sick of them! Anymore that is the American dream. To be able to be your own boss, work from home if able, and not put up with anyone else’s BS!

Anyway, there is much more to come!!!!!

Fourth of July in the Backwoods

American Flag CabinHopefully everyone had a fun filled and safe Fourth of July! Britni and I headed off on a mini adventure of our own in Northern Arizona. We stayed with an aunt and uncle of mine, they have a cabin nestled in the woods of the White Mountains area. Every afternoon like clockwork the clouds opened up and it poured rained. So much rain in fact that the town we drove to canceled its fireworks display. On our first day there my uncle took me to this secluded place in the forest and we got in some target practice. We killed a few aluminum cans so those won’t be hurting us anytime soon! After an hour or so we cleaned up our targets and brass casings and went back to the cabin for lunch. My aunt loves to cook and with that said, our lunch was fairly large. There were things of barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, watermelon, and spice cake! After lunch, one of the neighbors was talking with my uncle as they nailed a large Elk on they way into the area. There was significant damage to the front of their Toyota.

Neighbor struck an elk on the highway.

Neighbor struck an elk on the highway.

The next morning my uncle and I hit a few yard sales in the area and sadly found the elk that was struck by the neighbor’s vehicle. Britni was able to sleep in and when she finally woke up she wanted to ride around on one of the quads my relatives own. It was fun. We drove around the neighborhood looking at animal tracks, other cabins, and exploring the forest around us. When we returned, my aunt and uncle wanted to drive around so they hopped on a second quad and led they way down a forest service road into the woods.

Foggy Forest Road

About a mile or so into the quiet forest, there were quite a few tracks left behind from elk and a few deer. The dirt roads were nothing but thick mud as the rains were just relentless on the landscape. We were grateful though because the chance of a large-scale forest fire is greatly reduced. Everywhere we went there were butterflies. Darn things would just fly in front of the quad so I was doing my best not to plow into them. As we pressed in we came to a stop, as there was a log in the middle of the road lying across the width. Someone had intentionally placed it there with a no trespassing sign affixed on top of it.

Scratching our heads on why this was there, we talked about what we should do. There are other cabins down this road but it was still a road of the forest service and was illegally blockaded. We ended up driving around it and continued down the road looking at the cabins. As we approached a cabin near the end an elderly man approached us and asked my uncle if he had not seen the sign on the log lying in the middle of the road. Looking to his right he saw an old 1950’s Willy’s Jeep Truck with a for sale sign in the windshield. He responded, “ yes, but I’m here to look at that truck that’s for sale.” The man then nodded his head and motioned for us to look come look at it, as he was the owner. I wish I had taken a picture of it but I felt as if I was being impolite if I did at that moment.

The man had explained that he had placed the log there with the sign because it was a holiday of the holiday weekend. “People like to come up here and race though these roads on their quads and dirt bikes; we had a ten year old girl race through here, lose control of her quad, and slam into our fence. Her mother is threatening to sue us, so I had to do something”, the man explained. My uncle introduced himself and the rest of us. He told the man where the live just across the hill and that he has been driving these backwoods for decades and even hunted deer in this area. To my surprise the man smiled and began talking about hunting with my uncle. Fifteen minutes later we left and my uncle made a new friend. My uncle looked at my aunt and smiled. She asked if he really came over to look at the truck. He chuckled, “I had to come up with something!” The clouds became thick and dark with moisture. We decided that it was time to head back and get ready to leave for Winslow.

Every year the town has a fireworks show for the fourth of July. Our plan was to have dinner in town then drive over to the local high school where the display was usually held. Sitting in Pizza Hut we watched as the dark clouds rolled across town and released bolts of lightning and a never-ending rain. We sat in the car for a good hour and monitoring an aviation weather app on my phone to see if the weather would ever let up. The rains became worse and with that we decided that we better make the hour long drive back to the cabin.

By the time we reached my aunt and uncle’s place it was dark. Animals lined the roads feeding of the tall grass. Britni even called off saying she saw something black and about the size of a large dog dart across the road. I said that I why I never speed on the highways or on the roads. You just never know what is behind a bush or tree. Something can always jump out in front of you.

Building Storm

The next morning we had to return home and trade the seventy-degree weather back for the one hundred degree weather. Traffic on the highway was bumper to bumper as people are in a hurry and end up causing accidents that back up the road or worse, shut it down. When we arrived home, there was news of a young kid that had strapped a mortar firecracker to his head and lit the fuse. Sadly, his stupidity was fatal. The sad part is when this dummy will end up ruining owning fireworks for the rest of the us. Hope everyone had a good holiday!                       JoeJoe

One Million Dollars

There is not a day that goes by when I hear someone talk about if they had a million dollars. Some would buy a nice car, a nice house, or something along those lines. Others dream of investing it in to the stock market or possibly their own business. My question is this, what would you do with the money and why? I’m expecting to hear many people state “retire” for some reason!

When I’m at work, my co-workers and I always ponder this question. In the break room the amount of different answers are dizzying, and very few are the same. On the same token, their answers tell me quite a bit about them and the stage that they are at in their lives. A man in his mid-sixties states that he would retire. Another guy says that he would have his vehicle repaired. My close friend at work says that he would start his own business and keep working the job we have because of our free benefits. What would I do you may ask? I would keep working at my current place of employment because of the benefits and I would use the money to go back to college.

As most of you know from my previous posts, my early life was not an easy one. The upside of a hard life is that it gives one motivation and determination to have something better. It’s about taking something that is negative and creating a life that is positive. That is what I want. With that being said here is the rest of the story and my goals for the future. With or without one million dollars. In order my plan is this: College (B.S. Accounting), Full-Accounting position and work my other job of possible, create my own business, earn my pilot’s license, be able to retire in my mid-sixties if I want to. That’s it! In reality, there is no way I will ever receive one million dollars by means of donation or something of that nature. Early on I realize that one million dollars or more comes by way of working for it. If you want to have one million dollars, get out there and earn it!                                                                                                             JoeJoe

Me

Happy *Absent* Father’s Day

This is a very good read. There are many people who have gone through this including myself.

lilmissswitz

**Disclaimer:  I am not writing this to make anyone feel sorry for me.  I am writing this because for me, being able to write out how I’m feeling brings healing.  I am not looking for anyone to try to “fix” anything.  Nor am I looking for the well-intentioned to quote Scripture at me and tell me that I am not alone.  This post has nothing to do with my Heavenly Father…for whom I am overwhelmingly grateful and eternally indebted to.  I love Him more than words can express.  Without Him I would be nothing.  So, please understand that this post is about my earthly father.  It took me a long while to be able separate how I view my earthly father from how I see my Heavenly one.  Honestly, sometimes I still struggle.  But, if you decide to continue reading, please keep in mind that for this post, I have…

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Abandoning Responsibility

So today is Father’s Day and there are tons of posts on Facebook about how daughters and sons celebrate their fathers. Today is one of the most difficult times of the year because for me it is a painful day. For those of you that don’t know me personally, I don’t have a father. Well, one that has ever been in my life. I don’t have any stories to share of how my father taught me about cars, taught me to fish, or how to be a better man. Nope, I never had that. It was all my mother, whom has a lot of problems. That is for another day. At times I wish someone could explain something to me that I can’t even begin to comprehend. How can a person take part in creating a life then vanish? How can someone simply not care about their partner or their own child?

There are days when I’m taken back to my childhood. Back to the park where my mother would take me to get out of our apartment for a while. My mother loved going to the park because she thought she was doing the right thing, and because she thought it made me happy. It didn’t. For me it was rather painful. So many times I would sit on a swing or a piece of equipment and watch others around me. It seemed like all the other children had mothers and fathers. I will forever remember the time watch a dad play with his two kids in the grass. Rolling, rough-housing, and laughing. In elementary school all of my classmates would notice my mother or my grandmother always picking me up after school. “Where is your dad?” It’s a question that I always heard and it’s a question that I never really knew how to answer. He’s gone. He left. I don’t have one. I never knew how to respond.

Beer

As I grew older the effects of not having a father around really began to show. Things would break or something would happen and I would have no idea of how to fix it. My mom would always call one of her brothers to fix a broken pipe or something of that nature. He would always look and speak to me as if I was illiterate. His manner would indicate that he was ashamed of me or that I was even his nephew. Luckily, I took an interest in aviation and that it what in a way saved me. I had found something to love and dream about. Being a pilot became a goal and is something I have wanted since the age of two. Things were very difficult on my mother. So many times she would be in her room screaming or crying, “I can’t do this anymore.” Suffering from severe depression, this situation exacerbated things to the point where she didn’t want to live. Forever etched into memory is the image and sounds of her crying, saying that I was better off without her.  She almost gave me up for adoption, she wanted me to live with another aunt and uncle in the family. To this day I don’t think they know this information.

Believe it or not this subject even affected me going to college. As most of you know college is very expensive and being very young, I had no money. Struggling to pay her bills I had to put a higher education on hold just to keep my mother afloat. It even cost me giving up my pilot’s license on multiple occasions. A series of health issues, depression, and some bad financial decisions led to her problems. Unfortunately, because of the previous reasons, the relationship between my mother and I have been stressed to the breaking point. Looking back I wonder how things would have been different if my biological father would have just stood up like a man and took care of his responsibilities. I have no way of knowing.

On the bright side of things I have a new life. When Britni came into my life, the world changed. I have things that I never had before. Britni’s dad is the best man that anyone could ever hope to have. In a way he adopted me from the moment I began dating his daughter. He loved me even more when I asked to marry his daughter. I also gained something else, a sibling. Well, in-law. My future mother in law is an awesome lady. Tough, but a wonderful person nevertheless! With all of this being said, I can’t wait until we have children. I want two and Britni wants four! Hey, I don’t mind if we end up with that many. I’m dreaming of the day when I can take them to the park, teach them how to fish, play with them in the grass, and hopefully share my love of aviation with them. With a pilot’s license, the world would be complete! Thankfully my future wife supports my dream. I saw this meme on Facebook describing what a father is. It went something like this. You are not a father by simply having a child. You are a father by raising your child. I couldn’t agree more. There are worse ways to grow up and things could have been much worse. People out there have suffered a worse life. I just hope that people read this and really think about what they are doing in life. A single decision can affect more than one person and the results can be positive or negative. If you have a father that is in your life and has always been there for you, make sure you give him an extra hug, or at the very least an extra thank you. Your life could be very different.                                                            JoeJoe

Flying into Tucson

Thought of the Day ( June 21, 2015 )

On this this Father’s Day I would like to take a moment to thank all the “real men” out there who stayed with their families. Too often in today’s   society there are t handle responsibility and sadly disappear. For those of you who have a father in your life, be greatful and never take it for granted. Enjoy those simple moments in life with your father.Beer

Joe Joe