Friday, December 17, 2004

Goodbye, Skidmark

Our chemical applicator quit this morning. This is a good thing, don't worry, because he's one of two people here who consistently get on my nerves just by opening their mouths. He's mindbogglingly stupid, which is kind of scary considering you have to be certified by the state to spray pesticides.

Dude is dumb. I mean, wow. I can't stress this enough, I can only give examples:

Two months ago, we sent him to cut down and spray a vacant lot. "Take a weedeater," we said, "and cut everything down before you spray it with Roundup." Off he went, across town, and arrived at this vacant lot with very little issue (this is a point for him, actually, but I digress). Then, as if he's used up every single ounce of common sense that he had, he just sort of mentally shut down.

Skidmark: "Jeff, this gate is locked."

Me: "Are you sure it's locked? It's never been locked before."

Skidmark: "It's locked."

Me: "OK, go next door to the grocery store (which is actually a small Asian supermarket) and find Tri. He'll unlock it for you."

Skidmark: "..."

After about fifteen minutes of fruitless efforts to get him in the right door (really, folks, there are three things on that street: Tri's shop, Tri's lot, and a post office, in order from west to east. It's not rocket science.), I relented and called Tri.

Me: "Hi, Tri, would you mind stepping out and unlocking the gate for Skidmark?"

Tri: "Hi Jeff, it should be unlocked."

Me: "Well, our guy says there's a lock on it."

Tri: "Yes, there is a lock on it, but it's dummy locked."

Me: "That would explain it. Thanks!"

[dummy locked, incidentally, is a technical term for when a padlock -looks- locked, but isn't actually snapped shut. Effectively, it looks locked if you're driving by at 10 mph, or, as the name implies, a dummy.]

Me: "Cory, Tri says it's not locked. It looks locked, but it's really not."

Skidmark: "..."

Me: "Got that?"

Skidmark: "Oh yeah, man, it looked locked."

15 minutes passes.

Skidmark: "Hey Jeff, I, uh, I forgot my sprayer."


Two weeks later, he pulled out his spray hose about fifty feet, then got back in the truck to radio me that it was raining. Indeed, it was raining, so I told him to "pack it up and come in." He did the latter, but forgot to roll up his hose, resulting in the loss of a spray gun and fifty feet of high pressure spray hose.

A few days after that, he somehow got his spray hose wrapped around one of the side mirrors on the truck, pulled it off, and then drove over it when he left.

I could go on, but I won't.

Why am I calling him Skidmark? Why is he no longer here?

About a week ago, he called me on the phone, from his cellphone. This is not SOP, so I was already pissed at him because it meant, in his case, that he'd fucked up. Sure enough, he didn't want to talk to me, he wanted to talk to my boss, the owner. Now, while the Man was here, I wasn't about to turn the phone over (after all, I -am- the GM here. Anything you tell him you can tell me, right?), so after a little hemming and hawing, we had the following exchange:

Me: "What do you want, man? We're busy here."

Skidmark: "I, uh, I need to go home and change my, uh, underwear."

Me: "..."

Skidmark: "Don't tell anyone, OK? It's kinda embarrassing."

Me: "Yeah, definitely."

Well, shit (couldn't resist, sorry); I can not tell just about everyone, but there's no way in hell I can't tell the Man. I mean, it's his company, right? And it's not like I can actually not tell anyone, right? C'mon. I'm human.

Unfortunately, my boss's humor runs strong towards dick jokes and farting, so on Monday or Tuesday of this week, he replaced Cory's name on his daily list with "Hershey." Classy, huh? Hey, whatever--if it makes the guy easier to get along with, I'm all for it. Cory didn't bat an eye, all week.

Last night, I got the Man to change his name to "Skidmark." Again, I'm weak willed when it comes to this sort of stuff, especially when I can't stand the guy to begin with.

This morning, ol' Skidmark got extremely bent out of shape at me about the whole thing, called me a motherfucker, and gave his two weeks notice. The Man, who happened to be nearby, decided to play it to the hilt (I think he really feels bad when I get screamed at, for some reason) and basically terminated the guy on the spot. Sweet.

So sayonara, Skidmark. Take it on the heel and toe. Bring me back my spray boots (this guy couldn't even remember to change SHOES after a day of spraying), take yer goddamn headphones, and dangle. And if I get some sort of unemployment bullshit from yer ass, I'll make sure everyone at the agency knows your sphincter doesn't work.

As a result of this, all the other slackers we've got here (and there are many) have all been on their best behavior today, which unfortunately won't last through the end of next week. Ah well. Maybe I'll fire La Gallina, just to finish off the year right.


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