Saturday, September 10, 2005

Far Out Man!

Without much thought, I wore flare (aka bell-bottom) jeans to work today accompanied by boots with a bit of a platform and a knit pullover that is striped (white, light blue, tan, brown, and black) that ties with a leather band. During our managers meeting, my boss started a "bead challenge" contest that consists of our teams trying to get Mardi Gras beads from the other teams. A bunch of the supervisors were joking around with the beads and we were creating headbands made of them. My long, straight blonde hair was down. Putting on the sunglasses that are gradually tint from top to bottom, I was a complete and utter hippie.

I was never so interested in the drugs of the 60s, but I've been fascinated with the era. I always felt I was born at the wrong time. The rock 'n roll of the era has always been some of my favorite music and the bands today that are influenced by the bands of the 60s and 70s are my favorites.

I think I might go as a hippie for Halloween.

My day at work was fun. I love my job, but sometimes I just don't feel like it's all fun. It can be work. That might just be the definition of a job. And then there are days where it is just enjoyable.

Today was Andy's last day as a supervisor on our side. I was Andy's team lead for almost a year and I really enjoy his company. He calls DM "D-Money" and she hates it, but she still enjoys his company.

Andy and I have so many stories that we can joke about together. There was the banker who always spoke about herself in third person. "Sheila needs to think about Sheila. Sheila does what is best for Sheila. If Sheila wants to make a big bonus, Sheila needs to not take many calls."

There was the kid who was a pathological liar. Great banker and lost his job because of an idiot move, but full of stories that were never quite true. Here's the kid who made up stories about locking his keys in his car but magically someone else had the same car and that guy's keys worked. Then the kid told us about how his mother decided when he was 8 that she didn't like his name anymore and renamed him.

And when Char started we had our conversation about her.
Andy: She's crazy.
Me: She's awesome. She's going to be a top performer.
It turns out we were both right. And that's Char's charm!

Then we messed with Kelly. Kelly is a banker who laughs whenever someone falls down. It's a nervous reaction. She should have never shared this fact with us. Every once in awhile one of us would trip in front of her intentionally while she was trying to take calls. Brilliant! We were called some dirty names.

How often are you comfortable enough with your boss/employee to use the word "panties"?

Since it was Andy's last night, we went out to dinner. He and I had a great time at a local restaurant (we both arrived early for a meeting and decided to take that extra 1/2 hour for an extended lunch). Andy is still going to be in the call center, but it will be a different department. He won't be at the supervisor meetings any more and I'm going to miss him.

We both hired team leads at the same time. It was so much fun doing the joint interviews, even if it was a stressful time trying to find the perfect matches. I was looking for someone like him and he was looking for someone like me.

After work, we went to the pool hall. It has been a Friday tradition. The evening was not the same without Char there, but we still had a good time. Luke, a guy I've worked with for over five years now, joined us and Mary, Andy's team lead, was also there. We laughed and shared more memories.

I'm going to miss Andy. He makes work fun.

I'm going to leave you with two Andy stories. They are classic and I've been meaning to post them for months now.

Did you ever know you're my hero?

Andy arrives at work one day and tells me, "I was a hero. Respect me. I am awesome." Then he proceeds to tell me this story:

One Saturday night, just as winter was ending, Andy was driving home from a night of spending time at a bar with friends. He was alone and nearing his place. On a side street, an old man, with a thick Italian accent, ran out into the street and flagged Andy down. Weary, Andy pulled over and rolled down the window to see what the emergency was.

"Help! Ah! I'm having a heart attack! Ah! Help! Ah!!" The man weaved back and forth, clutching his chest.

Being the concerned citizen, Andy asked, "Do you want me to call 9-1-1?"

"Yeeeesssss!" The man cried.

As Andy is calling the authorities, the man opens the passenger door and parks himself in Andy's car. This is when Andy gets a whiff of the man and realizes he is completely hammered. He still phones the medics and they ask him to stay with the man. "No problem. He's in my car." Obviously, Andy is thrilled with the situation he has found himself in.

"Ah! Ah! Heart attack." The man keeps mumbling. The slurring is more and more evident and Andy shakes his head in disbelief.

The man is now rumaging around in Andy's car and finds a water bottle under the seat with some H2O still inside. Andy has noticed this and is about to mention that the bottle has been there for at least 9 months when the man opens it and pours the water all over himself, trying to find his mouth.

'Please don't throw up. Please don't vomit in my car.' Andy is thinking.

The medics and police show up and Andy is a bit weary. He is not drunk, but he did have a couple of beers at the bar. The police do not even blink about this and question Andy about what is going on. "This guy flagged me down, claiming to have a heart attack, and asked me to call for help. I'm pretty sure he's just drunk."

The police and medics check out the man and Andy wants to get home. The man calls to him, "You're going to visit me tomorrow at the hospital! You have to."

Andy, being the smart-ass he truly is, says, "Sure. No problem." He salutes the man and leaves the scene, never intending to visit the hospital. And now he calls himself a hero.

"I almost died."

In the spring, our call center decided a reward for high quality assurance performers to hold a B-B-Q. The day time event went off without any problems and the management staff was quite confident in Andy's grilling abilities to put him in charge of the evening shift. I had gone on break with some friends and was standing outside chatting with everyone, Char included, when we noticed the wind kicking up and a storm rolling in.

In the mean time, Andy was setting up the grill. He noticed that he didn't have a lighter for the gas grill and headed out to where Char and I were talking to others (many people from work just gather in the smoking area during the warmer months because there are more people there). Andy figured someone would have a lighter and asked to borrow one. He heads back to the grilling area and Char and I continue talking.

Just as Andy enters the area, the grill topples over in the storm. This is when he notices the matches sitting nearby. His thought is, "If I had noticed those, I would have had that lit and I'd have died." This where the phrase, "I almost died," was born within our call center.

As Andy is picking up the grill, the garbage can flies over. He goes for that and the grill topples over again. He looks up and sees Char and I heading back towards the building.

"GET BETH!" He yells to Char. At this moment, a large piece of cardboard flies up and smacks him squarely in the forehead. He is furious and Char and I bust out laughing.

Char goes into work and starts answering calls while I go out and help Andy secure the grill, garbage can, and the large pieces of cardboard we use to keep grease from staining the cement. As the story has grown, people think that Andy was hanging onto a tree in 100 mile per hour straight winds. It's a little bit of a stretch, but the winds were pretty fierce.

Once we get everything inside, we try to figure out how we're going to cook the hamburgers and hot dogs for this event. I have a crock-pot at my desk that we can use for the hot dogs (we have a lot of potlucks at work and it is easier to leave the crock-pot at work than bring it back and forth each time). There is also an electric griddle of mine at work (pancake contest and I was too lazy to bring it home).

Hmmm, griddle + hamburgers. Sounds like a good equation, right? We now have Andy, our manager (I was promoted by this time but not quite in the job yet), and the center manager standing around a coffee station, and myself looking at the griddle and the hamburgers. Andy puts one on the hot surface and turns to us saying, "Is this going to smoke?"

Plan defeated. Oops. The center manager is looking out the window this entire time and keeps saying, "I think it's clearing up outside." Andy just glares at him.

Our administrative assistant calls from home to give Andy a message. "There's an umbrella under my desk you can use." Andy does not find this helpful.

The event went well with the hot dogs and the hamburgers were saved for the next event and we had a good story to tell.

I'm going to miss Andy's antics.