(I posted this once already but apparently Yahoo messed it up so I'm trying again) I'm major bummed - I could not fix the instrument I was sent to work on this week. My company spent around a thousand dollars to send me to Akron Ohio for a warranty repair - and I failed.
My company is known in our industry as being the exception when it comes to laying people off. When other companies in the Semiconductor industry are very quick to hire when things speed up, they are also very quick to lay off when things slow down. My company on the other hand, is very slow to hire, and (Thank God) very slow to lay people off. Despite that history and an obvious distaste for tossing people aside, my company has laid off about 40% of our people in the last 6 months. This is not the time that I want to be associated with failure. :(
Well, it started out nice enough, with my usual early morning getting ready and sneaking out of the house before my daughter wakes up. Just to give me something slightly different, I grabbed my pretty little Peavey Guitar for this pic:
Took a few pics and that was the only one I liked enough to keep. Headed to the airport pretty early for my flight, but that's kind of the way I have to do it because I have to be out of the house before my critter wakes up. Along the way, I passed a pretty little spot with trees, and I figured as long as I had the extra time, I may as well stop and take a pic out in the fresh air. As usual, I took several, but as with the above pic, this was the only one I cared to keep. The others were . . . .. . . . not nice . . .
In the Austin Airport, a young lady and I were both standing in line at the ATM when she spoke to me.
"Those shoes are cute!" she said with a huge smile. I returned her smile and winked!
"They are cute aren't they? They're one of my all time favorites!"
That was the last pleasant thing to happen on the trip. It seems that either I was broadcasting something I didn't want to, or people were just in a bad mood that day. On the flight out of Austin, I started out sitting next to a woman about my own age. I can't recall what I said to her, but she literally just grunted in reply, and as soon as the boarding process was over she started waving to someone in the front of the plane, and then bolted for an empty seat up there. Not sure if it was to get close to her Friend, or to get away from the ugly drag queen. :(
Got to Akron that night and just felt kind of bummed and so didn't do anything.
The next day, I spent 9 hours straight working on the instrument I was there to repair. No breaks, no lunch, just me, my test equipment, and an Infrared Mass Spectrometer that was kicking my backside. I fixed the problem I was told about before my visit, but then they snuck another problem in on me. I won't bore you (any more) with tech details, but it all boils down to the fact that the repair has to be accomplished using a very large test fixture/bench at the factory, so my trip was a complete waste. My pride would have made me upset about this any day, but with so many good people at my company loosing their jobs, this depressed the hell our of me. It was about 530PM by the time I got to the hotel. I was depressed, had found nothing to do that sounded terribly interesting, and was stomping to my room when a young lady called to me from the dining area.
"Sir? We are having a free happy hour - come on in!"
Hmmm . . . day sucked . . . nothing interesting to do . . . too late to bother dressing. . . why not?
Grabbed some munchies they were offering, had a long island Iced Tea, and then took out the PC. What do you know, I had two or three people that were interested in meeting. The more I thought about it though, I was just too damned depressed to go meet anyone, and besides, I was half way through my second Long Island and the bartender had not been stingy! lol I wrote this in the airport on the way home and it was going to end here, but a few things happened after that.
On the way home from the Austin airport a Texas State Trooper pulled me over. As i was doing almost 10 MPH UNDER the speed limit, this sort of surprised me. He walked up and told me my registration was expired. I'll be damned, but he was right and it expired in Feb. As I'm looking for my insurance he walks to the front of my truck and then back.
"You know your state inspection is even farther out of date?" he asks. I laughed.
"Well I do now and I'd sure appreciate it if you would quite looking for things to write me up on!"
"Well, that is my job you know!" he replied with a laugh of his own.
He saw all of my bags and tool box and asked me where I was coming from, what I do, etc.
In the end he gave me a warning! With sort of a huge smile on his face, he said that technically I wasn't required to have a state inspection unless the car is registered. LOL
So I got home and checked my mail, and what do ya know??!! My state ID is here at long last!