Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The good, bad, and ugly of having everybody looking out for me

The Good
  Late last week my boss called me and asked what intentions I had for my unused personal days since he was making sure our assignments would be covered until the end of the year. While our vacation days can carry over, personal time is on a yearly ‘use it or lose it’ basis. I was glad to get the call because I hadn’t even thought about the unused personal days. Most companies discourage the use of personal time unless you are sick. I scheduled my unused days around my co-workers days off and with Christmas and New Year’s Day, I’ll have 3 day work weeks till the end of the year.

The Bad

  2 weeks ago, I came home from work on Thursday to pick up my chess clocks for our weekly chess club and I saw the local heating company’s truck on the street. I figured it was for the house next door that was being remodeled, but my wife told me she called them because she smelled gas. I went off to the chess club and the Salvation Army also smelled like gas. It turned out that the gas company put an overdose of the smell they add to the natural gas so people will smell a leak. The furnace guy came the next day to run a pressure test and told us we had a hole in some part that is not under warranty that they don’t make any more and it was leaking carbon monoxide and a new furnace was needed. He also said that they got at least a dozen calls for gas leaks. The furnace is at least 30 years old so maybe it was time, but my brother (who fixes furnaces in New Jersey for a living for about 35 years) told me that running a pressure test on the furnace would likely put a hole in that part even if it didn’t have one before. If I owned a furnace company, I’d be bribing the gas company to spike the gas every year.

...and the Ugly

  Today, I went to Theisens to get 2 new tires for my car. The car is not even a year old and I only have 22 thousand miles on it, but the front tires are bald. The back tires are fine, though. It wasn’t a problem until the past weekend’s ice storm. When I went to get the new tires, they asked me what tires I wanted replaced. When I said the front, I was told that they weren’t allowed to put 2 new tires on the front and that they’d move the back tires to the front and the front tires to the back because they weren’t allowed to put new tires on the front unless I were to buy 4 tires. This sounded pretty weird to me and I asked why that was. The tire guy told me that somebody at a different Theisens got 2 new tires put on the front and when they left the store and got on the highway, one of the new front tires blew, people were killed in the ensuing accident, and Theisens and the tire company lost a 17 million dollar lawsuit, and that is why Theisens won’t put 2 new tires on the front of the car. I'd like to think a store would discontinue selling tires that are prone to blowing out instead of changing some procedures. I didn’t want know if I was buying the same exact tires that were in the infamous blowout, but I have to admit that I did thought about getting the 4 tires so I would have a chance at the ‘blowout jackpot’.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Hank! Thanks for the belly laughs and the jeesh-I-don't-understand-the-chess-thing-at-all-but-I-like-the-pictures blogs. All very good!


HankAnzis said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Monica. You need to play some chess so you can start understanding some of it!