Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tumbleweed Goes Down Hard

I had not yet signed the papers that would set in motion my departure from the paper but I would need to do so in the coming weeks. In the mean time Crystal and several others including Utha had accepted the offer. Crystal was tired of the politics at the paper and Utha had medical problems that she was sure to place her among the ones fired if she did not go voluntarily. She'd go and take the money.

As I sat down for work Gregorio looked over at me and he was trying to contain his joy. "The boy's gone." He said under his breath about information that was not meant for just anyone's ears. I assumed what Gregorio was talking about was Tumbleweed but just to verify he asked, "Tumbleweed?" Gregorio nodded and went back to work. About that time I see Tumbleweed walking across the floor. He sits down and I can hear him begin asking where his page dummies were for his sections. This was a sign of bad things to come. "Where's my dummies?" He mumbles several times. Then Costas taps Tumbleweed on his shoulder and says, "You want to step into my office." Tumbleweed replies weakly, "Do you know where my dummies are?" Again Costas disregards his questions and asks him into the office. I watche as Tumbleweed, Costas and another manager walk into the office and close the door behind them. That's never a good sign I thought.

I looks over at Gregorio. "What did he fuck up?" Gregorio replies obviously overjoyed, "He ran the wrong directory the other night. He's gone buddy…I'll tell you that." Gregorio went back to sorting through his papers with a smile remaining on his face. After about half an hour had passed the door to Costas' office opened and Tumbleweed emerged with one of the managers by his side. Tumbleweed was crying as he was led off the floor towards the elevators. As he was leaving he turned back looking at me. I looked back nodding as if to say, "see I told you so." Tumbleweed turned and left the paper for the last time.

After several days Gregorio came to me laughing then says, "You got to hear this one Tom. When Costas called Tumbleweed into his office he told him, 'I guess you know why we're calling you in here?' Then that idiot admits he's been online gambling at work and looking at porn. Well Costas told him that actually it was because he ran the wrong directory but thanks for the tip." Me and Gregorio both laugh. "Well I tried to warn the boy." I remark. "But the fool wouldn't listen."

It was the following weekend when Randy came over to my house to have me fix his windshield  wiper. What had happened was, In typical Randy fashion, he had pulled over to get gas but left his intermittent wipers on which he forgot about when he grabbed one of them lifting it off the glass so he could clean the windshield better. While gripped the blade the wipers engaged cause the one he wasn't holding onto to go through it normal motion. However, the blade he was hanging onto got out of sync. When he shut his wipers off from that time forward the blade in front of the driver side stuck straight up instead of returning to the normal resting position at the bottom of the windshield. It was driving Randy crazy. Randy was one of those people that should be banned from using tools. He just didn't have the patience for it. He had had Dave come by to help remove a flat on his boat that had been that way for a decade or more ending his cruising the bay for the most part. The condo association had finally gotten around to warning Randy to move it - or at least  see if the boat actually could be moved. The flat tire was by the curb so Randy could not get the four-way lug wrench on the nut unless he jacked up the tire so the four-way would clear the curb. However, when he jacked up the tire to get the wrench on the nut the tire would spin as he tried to remove the lug nut. He looked like a monkey trying to fuck a football hopelessly attempting to remove the tire. I got the wheel off using a socket wrench and a brain.

So I begin to work on removing the passenger side wiper of Randy's Chevy. I'm not paying Randy any notice as I work on the wiper. Randy is fiddling around with the other wiper and asks, "So what went down with Tumbleweed?" I shook my head thinking about it. "I warned the boy and everything I said would happen, did happen. IDIOT!" Randy continues working on the driver's side wiper. "I tried to talk some sense into the boy too but he obviously didn't listen to me either. I even had Paul called him." Randy says about their old boss who knew a thing or two about being forced out by the Post. "Well a lot of good that did." I remark as I pop the wiper blade off. I'm examining the mechanism to establish what might needed to be removed next. "Have you had any word from him?" Randy nods. "Yeah. About a week ago. He's putting in applications and he's still working that retail job he had when he was still at the paper.

I hear a cracking noise on the other side of the car that Randy is working on then I hear Randy curse, "Dammit!" I look up from my work noticing Randy is trying to pry off the driver side wiper blade using a big screwdriver. Sadly, he used his windshield to pry up on the blade sending a big crack running across the entire front of the glass. I look over the damage. "Good job, Randy. You just broke your own windshield. If you wanted me to fix your car you should have let me fix it. You know how dangerous you can be with tools."

This was more than Randy could take and the two called it a day. Randy headed home with a cracked windshield and the goofy wiper. The following week I signed the paper. However there were still two slots to be filled by volunteers or by two who would be picked. Moral continued to deteriorate in ad operations.

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