Monday, July 30, 2007

What is it About Summer?

A few weeks ago, I realized that it's the (gulp) ninth anniversary of the Summer o' Drama.

Which can only be truly appreciated by those who lived through it. The thought of the POKmobile still sends chills up and down my spine sometimes, and I often keep half an eye out for it as I drive around school. This, of course, means that the ninth anniversary of the You Didn't Know I Cried Myself to Sleep Locked in My Room Alone Drama is nigh as well.

Anyhow, it seems like the summer months invite drama -- or, in fandom terms, wank.

Wank is brewing in my family right now, and I find myself with a distinct feeling of "meh."

My grandfather started an electronics company in the 1960s with a friend and named it after both their wives. Wank ensued, and I never met the friend -- or the wife for whom the company was half named.

By the 1990s, the comany was struggling. They sold the consistently profitable part of the business (a calibration and repair lab -- all electronics test equipment requires yearly or better calibration). They hired an engineer to help them design a fabulous New Unit that would save the company.

While the new engineer did have a core of goodness (after the '94 earthquake, he drove all the way up from San Diego and brought us -- who had been living on bread, crackers, and the supplies from my dad's office's 'vending machine' (a box with a "please pay for your stuff" coffee can) McDonald's in Anaheim) and while he did tell good stories about his other job as a Disney Imagineer (there was a reason I never rode Rocket Rods, suffice it to say), he was a big blowhard who never accomplished anything.

By 2000, my grandpa was actively seeking people to buy the company. He eventually sold it to a company back east owned by a friend of his. The fabulous New Unit did not yet exist, but it was Only Weeks Away.

(Let the random capitalization assure you that these were oft-repeated mantras.)

Things started out well, but the company back east soon decided that the New Unit was not Only Weeks Away and hired an engineer to help.

That was an unqualified disaster. He was, also, a big blowhard who never met self-imposed deadlines and loved to make himself sound more important than he was.

When my grandpa decided to semi-retire, the company back east asked him his opinion about hiring the engineer as general manager.

And, in a move that still baffles me, my grandpa said he'd be fine.

Thus putting all that happened afterwards in the category of: "You made your bed, now for frell's sake just shut up and lie in it."

That was two (I think) years ago. The Fabulous New Unit remains Only Weeks Away! The manager is actively looking for new jobs on the one hand while having fun engaging in power plays with the office back east and also looking for a completely pointless new location for the business so his office will have a frelling window.

Meanwhile, he's convinced that just because he's a smarmy politician, so is everybody else. Because he's a Ferengi in disguise and only interested in money and glory, so must everybody else be.

Okay, so I'm slightly more irked than "meh" but go with me here.

We must now backtrack to fill in the other gap in the story: my oldest cousin.

My oldest cousin has...well, issues. He's just not able to work unsupervised. He gets easily frustrated and while he's good at starting projects, his follow-through is not great, and as soon as something goes wrong, he'd rather start another project. Don't get me wrong -- he's a nice guy, and he's been faithfully helping out my grandpa's business since he was doing it for chump change at the age of 13.

(I think it was a rite of passage for my cousins and myself to attempt to do an inventory of the place, which was like Sisyphus rolling his stone uphill, because nobody kept track of what they took out of the bins, and the inventory was incorrect within hours of you starting.)

Anyhow, he got other seasonal jobs here and there but was never able to keep them for a variety of reasons. When my grandpa was more involved and kept on him better, he actually did a good job. He does do a good job when someone keeps on top of him. But left to his own devices...not so much.

The problem is the manager has become convinced that my cousin, like him, is a smarmy politician who is deliberately trying to Sabotage the Fabulous New Unit which is Only Weeks Away.

My cousin may be a lot of things, but for one thing, he's not socially aware enough of anything to do that.

He's also been known to fudge his timesheet...which he did for this past weekend. He filled it out Friday or Saturday intending to come in on Sunday and never came, then talked around that fact and made it sound like he had been.

So my mom announces in this grave voice that M is probably fired.

And I'm left with three very conflicting feelings, which combine to a self-preservatory "meh."

1. Dude, how dumb can you be? You know he's out to get you and you do something that boneheaded?

2. And we're shocked by this because...?

3. You all hired the idiot manager in the first place. You had the opportunity to be rid of him and chose not to. You made your bed, and all that.

I can imagine that the whole family is poised to erupt in wank. None of it will be M's fault -- while some of it unquestionably is. People will wring their hands about how the new manager could do this -- forgetting that this has been coming for a while. People will wonder how he could actually fire M -- except that everybody -- my mom included -- knew that M can't work unsupervised and no one got off their butts to...I dunno...supervise him.

One thing the Summer o' Drama taught me, though -- is to rant about it on my blog and keep my big fat mouth shut. :-)


Amie said...

At least you're going to Disneyworld!!

SpooWriter said...

Heh heh.

And here's to no almost-broken noses or 2nd degree sunburns! ;-)

amie said...

wow, that worked...I would've been leaving all sorts of comments if I had known it was that easy...

SpooWriter said...

To be fair, it wasn't always. I got a lot of comment spam during my extended absence and I had comments moderated for a month or two once I started again. :-)