This weekend has been pretty crazy, with a lot of little things going wrong. First of all, a couple of our Friday night fundraisers were canceled because of predicted thunderstorms, while a third indoor fundraiser proceeded as usual. Our outdoor events wouldn't be fun if someone were fried by a lightning strike or creamed by a falling tree limb. What's with the culinary metaphors?
I popped by my primary jobsite to get the company cell phone from my co-worker before working the overnight at another site. When I arrived he told me that he had gotten into confrontations with two belligerent groups of people who hadn't received confirmation of the cancellation. The first was with a family of New Jersey cafoni, a foul-mouthed woman and her college-aged phony Soprano son. From what I heard, they were using profane, abusive language in front of families with small children and sonny-boy was making threats. One of our shop attendants, a nice, genteel woman, was ready to press the store panic button to summon the local constabulary, but my co-worker was able to convey to them the fact that the police would love nothing better than to arrest them. The second confrontation was with a guy who was somehow able to buy tickets to the event after it had been canceled, but he backed down from his initial angry stance when my co-worker, keyed up from the first confrontation, told him not to cause trouble, and that he would get his refund processed automatically. Most guys don't want anything more than a pissing contest- the fact that my larger co-worker clearly wasn't impressed by this guy's aggressive stance disarmed the guy, and he left without escalating. Another fact, most dudes don't want to get decked in front of their girlfriends, especially when the police will probably take the side of the guy who decked them.
After hearing of his woes, I told him that I could take over if he wanted to go to the site I was originally heading to so he could take a breather. The site is closer to his home, and all that needed to be done was locking up the buildings and arming the alarm system. We had a couple of contract security guys on site, but they don't have the keys and codes necessary for shutting the place. I had a couple of people showing up to find that our event had been canceled, but everybody was polite.
I then received a call from the co-worker I had relieved- one of the IT guys managed to get his key stuck in the lock of one of the buildings, one housing critically important equipment. After locking up the site I was working at, I had to travel up there to attempt to extract the key. I was unable to do so, and I ceased my efforts with PB Blaster and pliers because I didn't want to snap the key off in the lock. Because the building couldn't be properly locked, I remained there until shortly before the end of the shift, then returned to my primary jobsite to return phone and pliers, and to feed the cats. Yeah, you know who the real bosses are. One of the guys on the day shift was able to extract the thing.
I finally got home around a quarter to seven and decided that going to sleep really wasn't a good idea, so I showered, drank a large cup of coffee, and headed down to NYC for my volunteer coaching gig. When I got to the 238th St Station on the "1" line, there was no service- it was weird, they were giving out "Service Block" vouchers, which I had never seen before. I decided that my best option would be to walk down to the end of the "A" train line, which is 207th St. It was a gorgeous morning, so I really didn't mind the 31 block walk, but I arrived late, about midway between our first class. We had two other classes, including our huge (forty students) six-to-eight year old girls' group. They are a very fun group to work with, and I still crack up whenever a particular girl, a very serious looking bespectacled six-year old, insists that she wants to fight me. These kids are not timorous around the big toughs at all, and they are well-behaved and competent enough to actually throw each other with o soto gari already- we have them do five uchikomi and let them throw on the fifth one. Needless to say, I'm very proud of this particular class.
I didn't get an opportunity to nap before returning to work on Saturday afternoon, but after closing up everything, I caught two-hours of shuteye before heading over to work another site for the overnight. For the most part, things went smoothly, but some knucklehead locked the cover of one of the rented tower lights that we use in our parking areas (for some reason, the padlocks are left open, which drives me up a tree because some idiot can lock them or, worse, walk off with them), so, not having a key to the rented unit, I was forced to leave the damn thing running all night, after texting my department head about the situation at a quarter-to-one in the morning. Yeah, I try to avoid that sort of thing, but CYA is an important motto to have in mind.
I was finally able to get some sleep today, but the drive to the afternoon shift was a hassle- two idiots got into a fender bender on the highway and, even though their cars didn't look too banged up, they didn't pull over to the shoulder- instead they were positioned diagonally across two lanes of traffic. Idiots. To compound matters, my temperature gauge started to climb while I was sitting in traffic, which is not the best feeling in the world. I was able to top off the coolant in the radiator after everybody else left this evening, I'm hoping there's no additional problem... my mechanic is a good guy, I just don't want to hand all of my overtime pay to him.
In a short while, I have to head over to the other jobsite to cover the overnight shift. While the hours are a bit jacked up, it's great to see all of my co-workers. Last night, I was happy to hear one of the guys on the day shift (the guy who extracted the IT guy's key) call me "part of the bedrock" of the organization. It's the little things that have been going wrong, but in the grand scheme of things, I can't really complain. Hopefully, tonight will be free of minor annoyances.
At any rate, the theme song for this weekend is by one of my favorite bands, Manchester's Buzzcocks:
I've always loved this song, it so perfectly captures the everyday muff-ups that are so vexing, and it's funny as hell: Nothing ever happens to people like us, 'cept we miss the bus. Yeah, I know the feeling.