09 July 2005

There's a Hole In My Bodkin, Dear Liza, Dear Liza

Message from Alabama - summary and prologue

So, how'd I come to be here, and what's with the disjoint continuity??

Kind reader, the fact is that I am lucky to have any access to media services beyond rudimentary telecommunication. When I suddenly achieved blog update capability, I felt it my duty to convey the most amusing tidbits available - in case this ability turned out to be fleeting. I have managed to configure an Outlook accout at work to receive e-mail from my personal accout, but it seems incapable of sending anything. I am, however, getting ahead of myself.

How did I come to be ejected out into tornado Alley?
Greed did play a large role. On June 28 or 29 (I forget which) my boss sauntered in awkwardly and sat down. [That sounds an odd, doesn't it? perhaps an awkward meander would be a better description?] The very fact that he was willing to remain in the hot room long enough to sit down was sufficient to gather my attention. He stammered something about how one of the other company facilities was experiencing difficulties and was significantly shorthanded; since our facility was relatively inert (sufficient for me to be concerned about being cast off for a month or so) would I be willing to willing to go down to Alabama for 2-4 weeks to help them out?

I thought for a moment. I realised that I was not on the verge of completing a major symphony. I did not recall any significant upcoming exams, probably due to my not being enrolled in any classes. Nor would I be leaving anyone of either sex at the altar if I was away over-long.

"Sure" I said.

My boss told me that I would be flying down there on Sunday, July 3, and then watched apologetically as I contemplated the best protocol for withdrawing my jaw from the floor.

The short version of the rest of the story is that the preparations for such a long away were relatively painless compared to the same endeavours as percieved in my mind's periscope. A minor hitch or three have occurred, but overall results have been positive - Yours Truly should bear no evidence of permanent scarring.

Positive ramifications are manifold.
One: I get to stay for free in a fancy home that the company took over in recent years.
Two: all my foodstuffs and related consumables will be reimbursed by said company.
Three: they even sprang for a rental car (this eliminates the need for a second person to act as a taxi service). Dashboard design aside, I am liking the 2005 Toyota Camry.
Four: (and not entirely foreseen) I am getting lotsa working hours. They generate the same products here as at the Chicago facility, but have all different customers. This mandates different tests to qualify the material for the customer's specifications. While there are similarities and differences between the procedures of the two facilities, the similar things are often done differently, and add to the completely foreign methods I must learn.
Five: while I am riding an ersatz gravy train here, I am not at home augmenting the sortfall of energies that must be supplied by the utilities.
Six: while being away for so long, my car will be idle for an unprecedented number of consecutive days. I took swift advantage of this by delivering it to my mechanics on July 1. At the time of this writing, a palpable drain on my finances indicates to me that their arcane manner of posturing around my horseless carriage has reached its climax. Hopefully that means that meine auto has regained its superb fuel economy. That will be most welcome for the imminent gasoline crisis that will materialize in approximately Q3 of 2006. If not sooner.

In short: Having a good time. Wish you were here sweating your balls off (instead of me). Suffering withdrawal for lack of unrestricted internet and e-mail access. Money and rental car good, weather ambivalent, tornadoes bad, don't whiz on the electric fence.

I have been told that I "talk like a Northerner, but ya dress like a Southroner."

Truthfully, I do like it here.

Now if only I could sleep for more than 5 hours a day....

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