5.16.1993

Things are going well for me at Bill and Dave’s, but our dayshift is causing some hectically shitty problems for us. They aren’t doing much work at all during their day. The quality as well as the quantity of work is poor. It’s frustrating on swingshift because I have more and more employees coming to us from the PC board lines complaining about the work they received. I suspect Retardo is the main culprit. In an eight hour day he gets five boxes of boards out. In comparison we get about 40 boxes out each night. I can’t imagine how someone could go that slow unless they were doing it on purpose. He’s lazy as hell and there’s nothing I hate more in this world than a fellow employee that fails to do his share of the workload. Everyone around him has to work harder to compensate for it and that’s not fair. This reminds me of a bagger I worked with at Petrini’s, named Damon.

Damon was a kid that never really fit in. He got a job at the store because his family personally knew the store director. Damon always had something about him that was off-center. He would show up for work and his bow tie would be all crooked. Or his shirt wouldn’t be tucked in all the way. Sometimes he looked as if he just woke up because his hair was stuck up on one side. He probably did just wake up. Every shift that Damon worked, he screwed something up. He would consistently fail to collect shopping carts from the parking lots in front of the store. He would bag customer’s groceries and always put the soft items on the bottom and pile cans into the top of the bag. Stuff got crushed. Instead of working, he would come up to you and say things out of the blue that didn’t make any sense. “HEY MAN YOU WANT TO BUY MY RADAR DETECTOR?” Damon would say shit like that to you as if he was an android with down syndrome. Every year at tax time he would say to each employee “HOW MUCH DID YOU GET BACK ON YOUR TAXES I HAD TO PAY.” Oh man, what a social albatross.

The thing that irritated me the most about Damon was he never dumped out the mop water at the end of the day. In the utility room right across from the milk box there were a bunch of supplies and tools for the baggers to use in cleaning and maintaining the store. It was our job to do “spot mops” every 15 to 30 minutes and there were two big industrial sized orange buckets that we rinsed the mops in. At the end of the day we had to dump the mangy mop water out and clean the mop heads. Well, he was the one guy on a closing shift that never did it. Not once. It was horrible stuff. In one afternoon the clean water in the bucket would turn black and stink. There would be floaters in it too, like dead flies. Dumping the filthy mop water out at the end of the day was a way to keep the stink down. If it was left for the next day the whole utility room would reek. I hated that.

One evening Damon did something that made me snap. I had enough of him. I conspired with one of the checkers, Greg, to exact my revenge upon the bane of my bagging existence. I took a dozen eggs in a carton and I smashed them against the floor of the utility room. I used a broom handle to push up and over one of the ceiling tiles in the roof of the room. Then I grabbed one of the mop buckets containing the putrid water and I climbed into the ceiling back by the meat freezers. I had to work my way back to the utility room. Once I got there and into position I used an overturned milk crate for a chair. I was ready for my hapless victim to teach him a lesson. I had time. I was off work for the day and I was willing to wait for hours, if need be.

Greg went out onto the salesfloor and found Damon. He told him there was a mess in the utility room that he needed to clean up, but he wasn’t going for it. Greg came back into the utility room and whispered up at me “He thinks it’s a practical joke, man. He won’t come back here to clean it up.” I was disappointed. I thought for a second and said, “Well I don’t care what you have to do to get him back here. Keep working on him.” Greg shrugged and left. A few minutes later I heard The Colonel, Damon, and Greg just outside the hallway. They were arguing. The Colonel burst through the double doors and popped into the utility room. He saw the eggs on the floor but he didn’t look up into the ceiling or anything. He had no idea I was there. The Colonel went back out to where Damon and Greg were and said, “Nothing is going to happen to you. There are eggs on the floor. Clean them up now.” This was an unfortunate complication. Now that my boss was involved I had to decide to commit or not. I would commit and take the consequences.

Damon sheepishly walked into the utility room and turned on the light. As he stooped over to pick up the egg carton, I struck. I heaved the entire bucket of disgusting mop water onto him. Vengeance was mine! I quickly grabbed the mop bucket and fled the scene back to the ladder I put up by the meat freezers. Just as I was about to put my foot on the first rung of the ladder, The Colonel popped up, spotted me, and shouted “YOU!” I was caught.

The Colonel dragged me down the hallway to the men’s bathroom. Damon walked out and The Colonel said to him, “Here he is. What do you think I should do with him?” Damon was drenched and smelled like dirty mop water. He had covered his shoulders with paper towels and they were soaking into the fabric of his shirt. Damon thought for a few seconds and said in his dumb-guy voice “I THINK HE SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR WHAT HE DID.” Yeah, right genius. The Colonel looked at me and said, “You heard him. I’m writing you up. Come with me upstairs to the office.” Bummer.

When we got into the office The Colonel sat me down, and I watched him fill out a form. When he was done with it he handed it to me and told me to read it. It said:

Written Warning
The following is an outline of a specified problem discussed with the above mentioned employee. Facts: As Damon entered the utility room to clean up some eggs he was doused by water from a fellow employee. He was up in the ceiling when he poured water upon Damon.

Ways To Improve: Do not throw water on employees who are performing a job duty. Due to safety hazards, and the respect of the other employee. Signed, The Colonel.

Yeah, yeah. Whatever. I still hate that guy. The Colonel looked at me and started laughing. He had been right outside of the door to the utility room loading up cases of sodas to take out on the salesfloor when all of a sudden he heard this WHOOSH noise and he saw a wave of water rush out the doorway and across the hall into the milkbox. Damon came out into the hallway, stunned. Because The Colonel had inadvertently helped get Damon snared into my diabolocial plan he felt at the very least he had to write me up for it. But, on the side he thought it was awesome. The write up wouldn’t have done much anyway.

In the weeks following this incident Damon started changing out the mop water. At least he finally got the message…

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~ by factorypeasant on September 6, 2004.

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