Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stop the Madness

As Jimmy Buffet said it in "Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude": If we all couldn't laugh we would go insane.

That pretty much sums up yesterday. Admittedly, there was some pretty hysterical, not quite sane laughing going on, but I was able to laugh.

I had to be onsite by 7. I manage to get there a little before 7. This is morning rush for everyone coming into the site. At least here, they're smart and have a separate line for visitor cars so they don't hold up the badged people. I sat there until just about 7:40 waiting for them to figure out that, no, my contact isn't there today and no one has a clue. (Of course, this isn't aided by the fact that my license still has my maiden name on it... keep that in mind.)
Well, I drive the 19 miles back to the hotel and start tying to make phone calls and checking the email to make sure I didn't miss anything. Nope, nothing in the emails. I tried calling the engineer, but he's on the road too. My buddy in service with all the numbers for this company isn't answering either and the number I want isn't in the database. I have my boss on instant messenger. The first words he types after I tell him the synopsis of what's going on is "you've got to be kidding". I told him I wished I was. Eventually my buddy calls me back and I explain to him what's going on. He says he'll track the numbers down for me and IM them to me. At this point my boss is called away on a call, so can't help me. I get the numbers from my service friend and start calling. I then get a call back from the plant in about 15 minutes. The guy I was in contact with had been called away on Monday to a different plant and no one really had a clue as to what was going on. They want me back if I haven't gone too far. I tell them I'll be back in 30-60 minutes.
Now comes my second wait at security.
Remember, my license doesn't have my married name on it. (I was too cheep to spend the $10 on a new photo card 2 years ago, figuring that I was moving in a year anyhow, so I'd get one then. Of course, I'd forgotten that PA doesn't give you the option of a new photo card for a address change, but a little yellow card to keep with it. Luckily in November, my license is due for renewal.) Well, first off, I end up with Mr. Cranky Guard. (Mind you, the guards carry guns, I mean rifles not sidearms, at this plant, which is prety intimidating.) He says that there's no paperwork for an Addey Katz. I tell him that's my maiden name and Brady is my married name. He then comes back saying nope, try again. I give him my new contact's number and name, telling him I'd just talked to him about 45 minutes ago. Then he comes back because he spelled my name wrong on the paperwork he faxed over. I show him my work badge and tell him I can get out my passport as well if he wants. He grudgingly lets me through the gate, but doesn't know where I'm supposed to go. Neither do I. I go just inside the gate and call my contact. He tells me where I'm supposed to go. It is now 10 am. It took me 3 hours, 1.5 of which included sitting in a hot car in the Florida sun. (I'd turned off the engine to save some gas since I knew I was going to be sitting for a few... I didn't realize it was going to be 45 minutes!)
It turns out that I won't be teaching the course I thought I was, but something else instead to different people. There was absolutely NO communication at this plant. Luckily when I ran out for lunch (10 miles back to the main road) I dealt with Ms. Happy Guard and there were no problems. After working with the guys I was given and making sure they were happy, I talked with the site manager. It turns out he wasn't in the loop on this at all for some reason and that if he'd had his say, it would have been 2 days, 2 shifts each day of about 3 or 4 hours to train the shift people. I said that made more sense to me anyhow.

OK. I really didn't mean to give you this long of a story on this. I don't normally give this much information about work here. (To protect me, the company and the customers I guess... although, if you know me or the industry, you might be able to guess a lot more than I type...)

The good part about yesterday is that I finally did get to the beach. Well, not a nice sandy beach, but a mangrove/coral beach. One of the guys I had suggested I go to the John Pennekamp State Park just down in Key Largo. He is a native here and says the best way to deal with the heat is to stay in the water. (I agree, but when I was little mom thought I was part fish...) I made it down there by about 4:00 and the park closed at 8. Admission was only $3.5o and that's what I would have paid in parking at least at any 'public' beach anywhere else that I can think of. It's a small little park and somewhat pretty. There are a few trails and a few beaches. You can rent kayaks, canoes, boats and go on snorkeling or dive trips. I opted to just walk along one of the little spits of beach. Well, more like pounded coral. I called my Gram, as is tradition when I go to the beach. I always think of her and the wonderful summers we had together in Delaware. She wished she was on the beach with me. I wish she was too.
I also called my mom and talked to her for a bit. She didn't go down to DE. She spent two days doing absolutely nothing and loving every minute of it. I agree, you need weekends like that from time to time. Especially with how busy she's been with Gram and everything else.
I tried walking along the trails for a bit, and while it was cooler than in the sun, it was very muggy and the mosquitoes were there in full force. I found about 7 on me at one time and decided to retreat to the car for a few. I would have some pictures, but my camera wasn't cooperating. I thought it was dead batteries because it wouldn't turn on (and the spares were in my work bag at the hotel). Nope, the mode selection switch was halfway between two options so it wouldn't turn on. Oh well. Maybe today I'll get some. The one above is of Sam at the beach we did go to. I took it with my cell, I had to have something. (Sam decided he was sick of sitting in hotel rooms and wanted out. I think the drives in California gave him a case of wanderlust again. Although, it could be that we were going to the beach, one of his favorite places to just hang out.)

I'm about to finish throwing my stuff together and heading out. I've got an afternoon flight and maybe I'll see if I can find a beach closer to the airport. They have much sandier beaches up on the 'mainland' than down on the keys.

Well, peace to all and may you be able to laugh at the troubles and find some relaxation where you can!


Chelsea said...

Wow, that was a pretty beach. In Florida, I've only ever been to Cocoa Beach, and I really don't like it much. The visitors treat it like a giant ashtray, so the sand is quite nasty to walk on. :(

Addey said...

This part of the 'beach' was actualy quite tiny and mostly large coral rocks. The other side of the trees had a bit more of a 'beach' but again, mostly fine coral poweder, not 'real' sand. It was pretty and relaxing, and over too quick...