...slices of life in the Garden of Good & Evil

Friday, June 29, 2007

It Just Ain't Right

Turns out a good friend just quit a new executive director's job he started only two months ago. I spoke with him briefly, and he told a tale of vicious micromanagement and lack of support by the board that originally hired him. He could have been making all this up, but knowing this guy I doubt it.

Sadly, the rank and file of the organization (much less the public) will never know what went down and how a good man got the shaft.

That is unless someone tells the story....

I'm thinking about a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. I could simply decry the injustice on my blog - but then no one except the one or two of you who read this drivel would know about it.

I actually wrote a LTTE once in my adult life. And it was about a dangerous intersection with confusing traffic signs. Eventually, the problem was solved. Was it because of my letter? I'd like to think so, but probably not.

So, anyway, I've written a scathing expose' of the unfortunate twists of my friend's short time in his job. I'm letting it sit on my hard drive for at least the weekend to see if

1) My feelings change because I learn about new developments
2) I chicken out and just decide to let it slide
3) My friend takes his job back

Don't think #3 will happen because he told me he wants public apologies, etc. No way that'll go down.

Come Monday (assuming I'm still feeling foul about the establishment that perpetrated this mess) I'll send the letter. Will it change anything?

I'd like to think so, but probably not...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just Cut It Up - part II

So I wrote last week about an angry young customer service rep named Annette who had gotten really belligerent with me over a forgotten password for a business credit card. Imagine my surprise when Annette calls back a week later. I was a little smug at first, expecting some sort of apology for her hasty accusations the week before. You know - a little groveling after a good dressing down from her boss.


She informed me (somewhat gleefully) that she had pleaded her case to her manager, who had authorized a shutdown of my account. Here we go again. Only this time, she really pulled it off. I went online while we were talking and sho' nuff - my account was locked up tight.

I can imagine this person working for an entire week to get back at little ole me. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but that's how it came off. Anyway, Annette then accused me of impersonating someone else over the phone to the customer service rep who undid her shenanigans last week. I pretty much lost it at that point and started screaming into the phone like a maniac.

I think I scared her....

Her supervisor came on the line (after a loooong period of being on hold in which I had some cool down time). She and I talked through everything and now it looks like everything's golden again.

Maybe Annette will call again next Thursday. Now it's kinda like a sporting event...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

An Ode to Oby's

A bunch of us were eating lunch at Oby's after church last Sunday. Had a couple of revelations there.

1) MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury came in to pick up a to-go order and he looked awfully thin. In fact, most of the people at my table didn't recognize him. Must be good to not be recognized because you've lost a lot of weight. Don't see that happening for me - at least not because of diet & exercise. Disease, maybe.

2) I always, always, always get the muffaletta at Oby's. It's the only decent one in town, although it has slipped a tiny bit in recent years. Besides, Central Grocery in the French Quarter is just far to drive, even for a good muff. One day I'll try something else there - at Oby's, I mean. I don't know if Central Grocery even serves anything else.

3) Ellie Rupp is maybe the funniest two-year old I've ever run across. She's such a natural entertainer. Gummed a big dill slice to pieces while ignoring her chicken nuggets. I guess you had to be there.

It's always good to eat out...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just Cut It Up

My wife ( the lovely and talented Marquita) is always right. Even when I don't want to admit it immediately, her correctness will strike like a kick in the pants a few days later.

She says credit cards are evil. Not surprisingly, I have had not one but two horrific exchanges with credit card companies in the last 48 hours.

The first one involved an APR leap of almost ten percentage points from one statement to the next because of a bogus federal tax lien floated on my credit report. I really shouldn't care about the APR, because I rarely carry a balance on this card subject to a finance charge, but my good name had been assaulted!

After a few calls to a few people, the problem was rectified and my APR was actually reduced to a lower figure than before the big snafu. I guess that constitutes a happy ending.

Today, I forgot a newly assigned password to a business card account online access site. My bad - shoulda written the new password down somewhere. Tried to get some help from a customer service rep. He didn't sound like he was from around these parts. I got transferred to someone named Annette that tried to "help". Instead, the conversation became extremely accusatorial on her part and I got blamed for 9/11, Katrina, and all the great plagues of Europe. She deactivated my account.


I fretted for a while, sought counsel from a wise friend of mine, then called the credit card company again. This time I got handed off to a gentleman named Tim who listened to my story and agreed that Annette was a little hasty in her judgement and action. He got the problem solved - found my password and reactivated the account. Another happy ending.

All this grief, of course, could have been totally avoided by paying in cash. You're right again, dear...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Entomology 101

I'm looking at the clock in my office and it's 3:13 - on a Tuesday, no less. This means I'm sitting in front of a computer doing pretty much worthless junk in the middle of a workday afternoon.

I'm trying to feel guilty, but I know I got up pretty early, did a couple of miles (yes, I'm making a begrudging attempt at personal fitness), and got to work well before 8:00am. I wrote down a bunch of stuff on a "Things To Do Today" pad and managed to do them all. I got a whopping check in the mail that I'd been anxiously awaiting.

On top of all this, yesterday was bigtime productive in fieldwork and spec writing. Even got all the related bids/proposals emailed/faxed off to their respective parties.

The ant would the commit the rest of his workday to getting even farther ahead of schedule, because he might be in a crunch soon.

The grasshopper would blow off the rest of the day.


Monday, June 18, 2007

The Circle is Unbroken

Full family immersion for Fathers Day - Will & Meredith came up for the weekend, Cam was mostly around, Mom, Archie and Peg came for lunch...other than the Dawgs losing in baseball, it was a great day. I even got two new SWEET vintage silk Hawaiian shirts.

More and more, the presence of family is a major uplift to me. I guess I'm able to focus and enjoy it more than I could in my past years. Seems like relationships are about "soaking in" more so than "spewing out" all the time.

It's the new mellow me...in keeping with my New Year's resolution to be more accepting and gracious. This is not my natural behavior, or at least not yet. Maybe time will tell...

And there is a difference in mellow and boring, y'all...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Public Domain??

After posting a for couple of days, I decided to let a few people know about my new venture into blogging. Most of the exchanges went like this...

Me: I started a blog.
Friend: Really? You?

After that I didn't get any feedback one way or the other from them (and I know they all looked at the blog). Does this mean I should be embarrassed? proud? in hiding?

Starting up a MySpace page just didn't grab me, but the blog idea did - and still does for that matter. I'm not sure if anything of profundity will ever be posted here (profundity is a real word, right?), but it feels pretty good to be a published writer...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Zounds! Yet another 90+ degree day with no chance of rain. This makes about 60 in a row - at least the no rain part. Odd that you can really bum out over extended periods of rain (unless you get used to living in Seattle or London), but extended periods of no rain produce no emotional distress - just complaints...

We do need some dang rain, y'all. The lake in my neighborhood now has a beach. No kiddin'...

Plus, as of this writing (almost 5:00pm) I've changed shirts 4 times today. Sweated out two Tshirts, got another covered with plaster dust and have a meeting at 5:30. This is quite a nice balance to wearing the same pair of jeans for 4 days straight...

I guess the good part about my day job is that I'm not stuck doing one thing everyday/all day like some poor schumcks out there in the adult world. I have a little office time, a little field work and a bit of sales floor in a typical day - each in varying quantities.

Still 4 shirts is overkill. I will do better tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


It really feels a bit odd to do one of these blog thingys, but maybe the timing is good...

Time to get an appointment with my personal physician - not that I'm sick or anything. I just want a Q&A session about the dozen or so whacky human changes that have come up on me in the last few years. I didn't read the manual so I'm not sure what to expect here - long term anyway. I'll work on the list of questions and maybe call him next week. I did try last week, but he was on vacation. Waiting is not a strength for me.

When I was approaching 40 (a few years ago), my good friend J.D. said to "beware of the burning juice". Seemed really cryptic at the time, but now I think I know what he meant. And that's so strange.

One never thinks about immortality, but you can sure dwell on the downstroke...