Saturday, July 21, 2007

The almost perfect day and the much delayed update.

I haven't blogged in a while because honestly, I was a little depressed initially about our money situation along with the new job. But I'm a little better now.


Yesterday was our day off as a family together, when I had the day off and my wife takes the same day off in order to fill in for me or whatever. I always look forward to the Bite of Seattle, because, well, I'm a bloody glutton and I love food. Not enough to want to cook or am I particularly picky about what I put in my mouth, but I sure like good food once in a while.

So imagine my delight when I found out that Bite was this weekend, so we headed down to Seattle yesterday despite the constant rain the didn't seem like it was going to let up. Umbrella and raincoats in tow, we had devised a plan to get the most out of the Bite. We would only order one thing, and we would all share it - extending the maximum food exposure, instead of just filling up on one thing.

So crab cakes were the first, and they were delicious - even at the 5 dollar price for two of them. Then came the Ham and Cheese Crepes, the frosted sprinkled strawberries, BBQ rib tips, and roasted corn for me. There was a frozen banana incident as well, when the kids were sharing a frozen banana and I took a bite of it. I was cringing the bite because the kids weren't really biting it as licking/chewing/gumming/salivating on it, so that bite wasn't very pleasant. Anyway, I made a face while taking a bite, turned around, and then looked back at my wife. And it was gone.

"Where did it go?" My wife had thrown it away, thinking nobody was really eating it. Then Alex wanted the frozen banana too, and was a little upset that it had disappeared.

But anyway, we went to the Science Center and spent a bit of time there, looking at the exhibits when I ran into an employee I used to train with in Bellingham. We were training to fill in for the regular Time and Attendance person, and we weren't really going to take over, just fill in for vacations and whatnot. Anyway, she told me that the person who used to do it had indeed retired, so she was doing it now. So in my mind, I'm kicking myself again because I always seem to have the worst timing. That job could've been mine, and the receiving job that was mine I left because of the videography. Bah.

We came out of the Science Center a little beat, but ready for more action. We went to the arcade and the kids got on some of the rides - the outdoor rides weren't running because of the rain, so we did a couple kiddy rides and one very nervous frog ride. They went highish, and it hopped down and up on a relatively gentle jolt. But the look on our kids faces were just sheer nervousness. Alex looked pale and all the muscles in his face went limp, and Zoe just looked like she was paralyzed.

After that bout of child abuse, we went on the wet Ferris Wheel ride, which Alex wasn't particularly fond of. Even though I was sitting next to him, he just collapsed into himself. I'm not a big ride fan, but Ferris Wheels are pretty tame. But after that, we had just enough for food so it was back to the bite.

We got a couple Gyros and a hot brick of fries, followed by some yummy fudge, and then back to the Science Center for the Lazer Show. I was really looking forward to it because it was the Beatles, and it was an experience I wanted to share with the kids. Alex wasn't so sure at first, seeing all the other people lie down on the floor made him feel a bit suspicious of what was going to happen. Then the room went pitch black, and he went, "Too dark Daddy! Too dark!" I struggled to flip him around and then he saw the lights, and he was captivated. His hand reached up to feel it, and he was saying a bunch of stuff to me that I couldn't really hear, because either the music was too loud or I was singing along too loudly.

So we had spent a good day at the Seattle Center, and we went home just exhausted. The kids were having a snack before bedtime and I noticed something horrid. Two huge water stain on the ceiling, and one of the spots had actually split open to reveal the surface underneath the paint. It looked like the ceiling had ripped a hole. After my wife took a shower, the split got even bigger and it was actually dripping a bit too. So, that bummed me out for the rest of the night.

But otherwise it was a near perfect day. I wish I would've brought the camera but I think it would've been a logistical nightmare with the rain and all.


Okay, to catch up with the lost two weeks? I started my new job and for the first few days, it truly sucked. The first day we were to show up at 7, whereby we would meet this person. Well, there were four of us, and we sat there till 7, and there was nobody there. But we waited anyway, having signed in and checked in with security. At 7 there was a shift change, when the security went home and the world's dumbest receptionist came on. We waited and waited, and then at 7:30, I went up to the receptionist and told her we had a 7am appointment, and she called the person. So we waited more. Then at 7:45, someone finally came over. It wasn't who we were supposed to meet, but another receiver who showed us some training tapes. We ran into the person later, who said that nobody called her to let her know we were there. Hello? Four new contracters show up and you didn't know we were there?

Then we were skirted off to training, whereby we learned about the history of the company, the security, the policies, and all that jazz. When we were asked who our supervisor was, we had no idea. After that was over, we didn't even know where to go, so I hunted down the receiver who had escorted us earlier, and she told us to just "hang out" till 4 pm. I left feeling thoroughly unimpressed and frustrated.

The second day had a slightly better deal, though not much. At first they had forgotten that I was a receiver, not an assembler. I spoke up and they had to look it up. Another thing they confidently told us was that we were just numbers, and we don't use our names. Nice. Then I got recruited to help with the construction work going on, moving furniture, taking it apart, running to the dumpster... I was pissed. I wasn't sure I was going to last.

Since then, it's gotten a little better. I got placed in my applied position and got to know the two receivers there, who are pretty nice guys. The demographic there is seriously skewed - mostly Asians of different ethnicities, mostly immigrants, probably a median age of 42 or so. I was completely out of my element. To make things worse, the majority of cubicle employees and business employees were White. You can imagine how down I was with that. Even though there may not be any racism that I could see, the basic structure of the work environment was enough to make me uncomfortable.

Luckily, the two guys that I work with are pretty decent guys. A funny family man from Indonesia, and a 24 year old guy from Cambodia. They were relatively easy going, and fun to be around. There's a third guy, and even though he's not terrible to deal with, he does wear on you. He has conspiracies and theories about the police, 9/11, and the government that make him sound just misinformed and uneducated. He's the kind of guy just looking for validation from any kind of source to reinforce his prejudices and biases.

This last week, production on my line was halted due to a part shortage, so I've been sitting around with the guys, not doing anything. My repeated pleas with the higher ups for something to do has been largely ignored - seems like they don't know what to do with me either. Basically FDA has got this company halting domestic shipments, which account for 70% of orders, so we're basically doing overseas orders only. So this last week, I've just been sitting around, killing time, volunteering for projects. I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but the powers that be seem like they don't care.

On Thursday I was oddly assigned to deal with freight, which I don't mind, but I don't think I'll stick with it once receiving gets up to speed. I ain't doing that kind of heavy labor when I'm pulling in those wages with no medical. And the person in charge is a bit dodgy. He even looks dodgy. So for now, it's just going.


Taking it easy today. The kids are probably tired from yesterday, and I need to catch up on a lot of things, including blogging.