Bring your own fork

October 31, 2003 - Friday

 F.O. Fresno!

The Elvis tattoo has left the building!

Choke on it, Fresno.


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October 30, 2003 - Thursday

 Endless Night

8:00 p.m. here in the ongoing hell that is Fresno, with no end in sight. Well, that’s not true, it is in sight — we just can’t make it out clearly.

In a normal radio station traffic department, there is a logical workflow: You do A so you can complete B which allows you to then do C until you wrap it up with D. Not here. Here, they do a little B, then some A, then try to do C but realize they need some more B so they try D but that requires A… It’s maddening. And so we’re sitting here watching them chase their tails with about 30 minutes worth of work that has taken them two hours so far. When will they finish? Who knows.

Why don’t I step in and help out? I can’t. I’ve tried — multiple times — and they’re just not listening. Or hearing. Or they think they know better or… Who knows.

One incident from this morning highlights how impossible it is to work with these people: One of the women asked me how to do something, so as I looked over her shoulder and told her exactly what to click on and exactly what to type, she began madly click-click-clicking away everywhere except where I had told her to click. It was kind of scary, actually, this manic explosion of mouse-pilepsy. She ended up making several changes that were going to have very unfortunate results, and then when she tried to close the window (without my telling her to), the Save screen came up. Hit No! I said. Don’t save it!

She saved it.

I nearly went ballistic. Instead I just bit my tongue while my blood pressure went through the roof, turned around, and walked out of her office without saying another word. And that’s when I stopped caring about how well I’m doing my job here. I have a flight out of this shithole town at 12:55 tomorrow afternoon and my only goal now is to make it ’til then without completely losing it and taking someone’s head off. This last week on-site is all about babysitting the client while they do all the work anyway, so I’m just going to let them play with knives until 10 tomorrow morning, when I walk out the door and leave Fresno behind forever.

I’ve never watched a clock this closely before. And time has never moved so slowly.


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October 29, 2003 - Wednesday

 Acceleration

7:30 and we’re done for the night. They’re getting about an hour faster every day, so … they’re still really fucking slow.

But I’m out of here for the night now at 7:30. Woo. Happy Birthday to me.

Now if I can ditch my co-worker, maybe some gambling? We’ll see…


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 HBD2Me

Sigh… I turn 41 today. Um… yeah. So that’s all I have to say ’bout that.

The staff I’ve been working with here in Fresno gave me a card and each of them signed it with a personal comment. Given their speed, I figure they started on it sometime over the weekend.

I’ve been notifying anyone and everyone who’ll listen that the only proper gift for me this year is a black 2002 Harley Davidson Road King Classic, so my co-worker on site with me this trip gave me a Harley desk calendar. So a few times a year I can look at a picture of the Road King and dream.

Said co-worker also took me out to lunch just now. We went to a greasy spoon called Waffle Shop, apparently Fresno’s version of Waffle House. I ordered a McGriddles inspired meal: the Pecan Bacon Waffle. It was … well … wrong. It tasted like bacon — in a bad way. Lesson learned: Bacon does not belong inside a waffle, no matter how good an idea it may seem.

Possible game plan for tonight: hit one of the local casinos. Except my co-worker thinks she’s coming with me. And I hate everyone right now and just want to be alone. So the casino might have to survive a little longer without my money … so she can survive a little longer.

At this point I only have 46 hours and 23 minutes to go until I leave Fresno — but it feels like dog years. I was on the road for my birthday last year, too, but at least then I was in Memphis and could go to Graceland. Here in Fresno there’s just … Fresnonians. 46 hours and 21 minutes to go now.

Bleh.


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October 28, 2003 - Tuesday

 Tick……………tock…………

Oh. My. God.

These people in Fresno are so incredibly, unbelievably, inconceivably, unreasonably, improbably, impossibly, hyperbole slow. I am in awe of their sloth.

It’s 7:30 pm as I write this. In a normal market, they would have finished by 5:00. In a normal market, the work they have left would take about an hour. In a normal market, I would be back in my room watching Celebrity Justice by now.

Alas, I am in Fresno. Also: alack.


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 McGriddles

I’ve made a chilling breakfast discovery: McGriddles.

Oh, they’re nasty. And good. They’re nastygood. I keep ordering one every morning for breakfast. I hate myself for doing it, I swear to myself I’m not going to do it, and then the next thing I know I’m in the drive-thru and the words just tumble out of my mouth.

Oh my God they’re nasty. I love ’em.


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October 27, 2003 - Monday

 Death To Fresno

I hate everyone in Fresno, especially the Traffic Department of the radio stations I’m working in this week. It is 9:15 pm right now and they are still at least 30 minutes away from being finished for the day. I don’t know why; they don’t have that much work; they’re not that busy.

There’s an old adage that states that every job expands to fill the time allotted to it. That is truly the case here. I have seen markets with twice the work these people have complete it in half the time — and with a smile on their face. These people have a relatively light load, but they are stressed and crying (literally!) and grumpy and take hours to complete the simplest tasks. They have gotten into the habit of working until 8:00 or 9:00 every night, and so they do, even though they should be able to wrap it all up by 5:00.

I have never actively disliked the personnel at a radio market the way I do these people. I cannot wait to go home.


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 Guilt

Email from Zoe received here in Fresno this morning:

Dear daddy,I wish you never had this job.You go awy to much.happy HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oy.


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October 26, 2003 - Sunday

 Putz

Damn it. I missed an appointment this morning, one of few appointments I’ve had where I really wanted to be there.

As I’ve written before, I’m participating in the Love Ride again this year, and this time around I also volunteered to work the event. I figured they’d stick me in a booth giving out wristbands or something — I didn’t think it’d be much, but I thought I’d give my money and my time this year. Well, so much for that plan…

Volunteers are required to attend a mandatory training session prior to the event. There are three of them: next Monday and Wednesday nights, when I’ll be back in Fresno, and one at 10 a.m. this morning — when I was snoozing the day away in bed.

Damn it. I even put it into my PDA, but apparently they’re not much help if you don’t turn them on. 10 a.m. came and went without a peep out of it, but I turned it on a minute ago and the alarm chirped right up for me — 15 1/2 hours late. I needed a reminder to turn on the friggin’ reminder.

So I missed the session, which means I’m probably not going to be able to work the event. Now all I can give is money, but I’ve kicked in $50 already. Will you give them some of yours?


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October 25, 2003 - Saturday

 Just Say -no

To Fres-no, that is. Fresno, you’re on your own for the weekend.

We finally got Fresno’s nine radio stations running on our software at 8:15 Friday night and left the office for the weekend. Normally I’d hang out in my room or explore the local casinos, but this trip I’m close enough to drive 3 hours home for the weekend. Which is what I did, and where I am as I write this.

Plans for the weekend: Hang with the fam’, carve some pumpkins, whip up some dead bodies, create a graveyard in the front courtyard, and generally get this place into Halloween shape since I’m heading back up to Fresno tomorrow and won’t be home again until Halloween night.

Bonus plan: be “not in Fresno.”


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Ordained minister of the Universal Life Church.

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