Just Stay Home

I have worked at a few different places and made several friends at these different jobs.  I have also had a variety of bosses; some I liked very much, a couple I didn’t like at all and a couple that were just weird.  One thing about leaving a job, you eventually cut ties with all the friends you made while working there, and you forget how bad the job could be at times.  I am an accountant, so every job I have held for the last 20 years has been basically the same.  The one thing that made my jobs different from the other one was the people I worked with.

My first full-time accounting job was as an assistant controller.  My boss really liked me and we got along just fine for the first two months.  Day after day he trained me on all the aspects of the company, so I sat in his office and watched him make journal entries, reconcile accounts, and do all the other daily duties of an accountant.  It got to the point where I could make those journal entries in my sleep and I was getting so bored with just watching him work everyday that it took all I had to stay awake.  Occasionally he would ask me to make a photo copy of a journal entry or something, and I was happy to stand up and walk around for a few minutes.  So, every time I made a photo copy for him, I would bring the original back and then give him the copy.  He would always look at the copy I had just made, and every time there would be something wrong with the copy.  It was either too dark, not dark enough, or something.

One day he asked me to make a copy and I took the original from him and went to the copy machine.  I laid the paper on the copier and made sure the tone and brightness were correct and I made the copy.  When I gave him the copy, I will be damn if he didn’t say, “Well, it’s not quite centered.”  I thought to myself, “Well, the damn original is not centered so how the hell is the copy going to be centered?”  I didn’t say anything ; I took the original back to the copy room and made another copy.  I made five trips to the copier that day, and each time there was something wrong with it.  Now, I am not stupid and I know how to make a copy of something, so  I came to the conclusion that if he was going to be that picky, then he would have to make his own copies.  So, I said, “Well, apparently I don’t know how to make a good copy, so it would probably be best if you made them from now on.”

After my third month of training, he felt confident that I had learned enough about his job, so he finally let me go back to my own office and work.  My office was huge!  I mean it was a 16 X 20 room huge, and there was nothing in my office except my desk, my chair, and my radio.  I liked being away from him because I was so bored just watching him work and listening to him talking to himself.  But, I was still bored because I didn’t have any work to do.  I honestly don’t know why they needed an assistant controller.  I may have actually worked two hours out of the week.  Every now and then, I would go talk to the payroll person or the accounts payable person  just to pass the time.  But, they had work to do, so they couldn’t talk nearly as much as I could.

Day after day, I found myself watching the clock and pacing the floor just waiting for the time I got off work.  One day, I did find a pretty good way to entertain myself.  I placed a trash can across the room from my desk, and I grabbed a bag of rubber bands and I started shooting these rubber bands across the room to see if I could hit the trash can.  Believe it or not, I got really good at it.  I even found a co-worker to compete with me and we even kept score on who could hit the most shots; he got pretty good too.

After six months, I was so bored that I confronted my boss and told him if he didn’t have any work for me to do, I was going home.  He told me he would find something for me to do, but he never did.  A few days later, I gave my two weeks notice and that is the only time I have ever quite a job because I was bored.

A couple of weeks after I had quit that job, I took a job in another city about 35 miles from my house.  I had to drive on a two lane highway and through a  small town to get to work.  It took me about 45 minutes to get to work each day and most times it took longer than that to get home.  This company was run by a husband and wife team.  The wife was very polite and nice, but the husband wasn’t nearly as likable.  After a few weeks of working there, I knew that I had made the wrong job choice because the husband was mean and rude and at nine o’clock in the morning, you could smell liquor on his breath.  I began sending out resumes and interviewing for other jobs about two months after I had started working there.

It started snowing about three o’clock one Wednesday afternoon.  At four thirty, the wife came in and told us all to go home because the snow was getting deep and the roads were getting very slick.  I went outside to start my car to warm it up and to get the snow off my car and noticed it was getting dark.   When I grabbed the car door handle and tried to open the door, it was frozen shut. I went around to the passenger’s side and tried to open the door and it was frozen shut too.  One of the guys who worked there saw me having problems opening my car doors, so he came over to help.  He started with the driver’s side door and he pulled and pulled, but it was no use; the door wouldn’t open.  He came around to the passenger’s side and pulled and pulled on the door, but it wouldn’t open either.   He suggested that maybe I should stay at a local hotel and then we would be able to get the car door open tomorrow.

Did I tell you I hated that job?  Well, I did, and I wasn’t very fond of that city either, so I was determined to get into my car so I could get home.  The only other option I had, was to try to open the hatchback.  I went to the back of my car; placed the key in the lock, unlocked it and it opened.  After I lifted up the hatch, I crawled into the car and up to the driver’s seat and started my engine.  Since the car doors were frozen I couldn’t get back out of the car, so I sat there in the dark and the cold for almost thirty minutes before the car was warm enough to drive.  It was almost 5:30 now and the snow was coming down so hard I could barely see the road.

Just when I was ready to leave, the guy who had tried to help earlier came over and I rolled down the car window to talk to him.  He asked me if I could get the door open now.  I tried, but I couldn’t.  He tried and he opened the driver’s side door just enough to make my interior light come on, and that was as far as it would open.  He tried to push the door shut so the light would go off, but without holding the door shut, the light kept coming on.

Well, I certainly couldn’t see to drive with the interior light on, and I wasn’t about to stay there, so I asked him if he had some rope.  He brought me some rope and I tied one end of the rope to the passenger’s side arm rest located on the door and then I put the other end of the rope behind my back; pulled it around my back and tied that end to the driver’s side arm rest on the door.  It worked!  My interior light went off.  I put the car in first gear; pressed in the clutch with my left foot and press on the accelerator with my right  foot and took off sliding sideways into the street.

The company was on the other side of the city, so I had to go through about seven traffic lights before I would reach the main highway.  Cars were getting stuck on hills and sliding into other cars making me nervous as hell.   After a few minutes of driving and dodging other vehicles, the damn interior light came on again.  I tugged on the rope and the light went off. I finally made it to the main highway and thought, “Ah, home free now.”  The road was getting worse each second and there were cars in the ditch on the left and right side of the highway.  Then, that damn light came on again, so I tugged on the rope again and it went off.  Within three miles and I had counted 48 cars in ditches.  Then the damn light came on again, so I finally reached my hand around my back and pulled the rope and put it under my butt.  As long as I didn’t wiggle around this worked pretty well.

This was the worse snow storm I had ever seen in my life, and I was still 25 miles from home.  I was so nervous driving, I couldn’t even listen to my radio, so I just sang to myself.  Once I was completely out-of-town, I was the only one left on the road.  However, the other cars had left me a gift of splattered slush and dirt on my windshield.  I continued to use the windshield wipers until the fluid ran out.  Once the wiper fluid was empty, I could barely see out of the windshield.  When I met car lights coming in my direction, I couldn’t see a damn thing, so I would slow down to almost a complete stop and try to stay on my side of the road.  I knew if I could make it about 10 more miles I would reach another town where I could stop and clean my windshield.

By then my butt was hurting from sitting on that rope and that damn interior light was driving me crazy because every time I moved, it came on.   I kept adjusting my butt and every time that damn light would come on, then it would go off.  Off and on, off and on, off and on so many times I felt like I had a strobe light in my car. When I reached the small town, I was a bit relieved because at least I would be able to get my windshield clean so I could see where the hell I was going.

The town was pretty much deserted, however I did find one little gas station that was still open.  When I pulled in, they were turning off the inside lights and locking up for the evening.  I rolled down my window and asked the guy if he could clean my windshield.  He said he was sorry but they were closed.  He said that even if they were open,  he couldn’t clean it because the water was frozen.  I told him I was only 20 minutes from home and all I needed was just a small clean spot on my windshield to see out.  He told me he was sorry but he couldn’t help me.  I said, “No.  You don’t understand!  I have been driving in this mess for damn near two hours; I am almost home, but I can’t see out of my windshield.  I can’t get out of my car because my door is frozen shut and to beat it all, I am sitting on a rope that is tied from one door handle to the other to keep my dome light from coming on and my butt is killing me.  If I could get out of my car, I swear I would spit on the windshield to get it clean.  Now, please help me because I have got to get home.”  He just stood there grinning and looking at me like I had lost my mind.

I noticed a soda machine next to the garage door, so I reached into my purse and grabbed some change and said, “Here, buy a soda and just pour a little bit on my windshield, then take one of your paper towels hanging there in the box and wipe off  it off.  Not much, just the driver’s side, that’s all I need.”  He did it and the whole time he was grinning.  As I drove off I thought, “Damn, the things you have to do to get your windshield cleaned these days.”  After about another hour,  I finally made it home.

After I turned my car off, I pulled that rope out from under my butt and untied it from the driver’s side arm rest.  And, guess what?  Yep, the door had thawed and opened and shut freely.  I never will forget the snow or the drive home that night, nor my butt being so sore.  A drive that normally took me less than an hour,took me nearly three hours.  But, I believe I could have done it in two hours if I hadn’t had to use the rope to keep the door shut or stop and buy the soda to clean my windshield.  So, my advice to you is, “If you don’t like your job and if it snows, then just stay home because you might not be as lucky as I was.”


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