Monday, November 21, 2016

B365V3.56 - One is the loneliest number

Where do I begin?  Well let's see, when we last left off I was thinking about a second job, working evenings in the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Pittsburgh, (Crafton if you're nasty), but first came the orientation.  Now when I heard back from Amazon I was told I was hired for the shift I had applied for, which would constitute 5 evenings a week, from 6pm - 10 pm.  But first I had to find the place, since the cool kids don't hang out in Crafton, why should I?  So, before I could do orientation, I had to take a recon mission first to the neighborhood, just so I could see where what buses go to whichever sections would be close to my job.  As luck would have it, my recon turned out to be a success, but I had orientation on a Monday at 2pm, when I am usually at the real job, so I did as much stuff early as I could on Monday to better facilitate me getting out of work on time to go to this event. 

Given orientation was the Monday after Veteran's Day, that meant going into work early and getting sales numbers done for four days as opposed to three, as well as getting a grocery order together and sent in, so I was all kinds of on the spot, getting things done.  I made it to the gig, albeit about 15 minutes late, and when I sat down and they handed out sheets, my schedule said I would be working from Wednesday thru Sunday 8pm to 12am.  At some point between my clearing my background and drug test and my orientation they decided to do away with the 6pm to 10pm shift entirely.  That switch was not great, it limited my bus options home from work to one bus at 12:30 am at a bus stop that was better than a mile from where I was working.  They then proceeded to tell us, some nights we will be asked to work overtime, never more than an hour though, which we can't refuse.  Yes, but that hour turns into many more hours for me, I could either stay in the breakroom until buses started running again in the am, or I could hoof it back into town.  I lived that miserable existence in radio a while back, where I could spend the night at the station after I turned the signal off at 1am and wait until the first bus at 6am, or I could walk home.  East Pittsburgh to Squirrel Hill is not a fun walk, let me tell you, North Braddock and Rankin aren't places you want to visit in the daytime, let alone be walking through at night.  For those that want to know, it is about a three hour walk, but when your second job at the time has you in Lawrenceville at 10am, you do what you can.  But those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it, and I have lived the life of two jobs with one of them ending after the buses shut off for the night.

Still, I was thinking that as long as I had that one bus and I had not been trapped yet by the mandatory overtime rule, perhaps I could make this work.  I am told my first day will be Nov 20th, a Sunday.  Seemed kind of stupid to me, have me work a day, then two days off, then go back for Wednesday through Sunday.  But I am thinking cool enough, I will be working both my jobs on Thanksgiving, racking up the time and a half hours.  Money, money, money.   I get out of orientation, I am supposed to go back on Thursday for a training type day, we are to be shown the warehouse and where everything is.  Fair enough.  During this training day I am told to go wait in the breakroom, I am given my id badge so I can enter the building of my own accord and clock in and out on the time clocks.  The time clocks also hold the schedule in them, so you can tap your badge, press view schedule and your schedule pops up on the screen.  We are shown this on our training day, as well as where the utility dispensers are, you tap your badge for extra things you may need like work vests, gloves, box cutters, etc.  and they fall out, unlike George Costanza's Twix bar.  During our break during this walkabout kind of day, I go into the bathroom and above the urinal is a pee chart, to check your hydration level or some such thing.  The color and odor of your pee determines how hydrated you are.  Now I don't know about the ladies room, perhaps there are pee charts in there as well, but when I go to the bathroom I am not all investigative about my pee, nor am I sniffing the urinal for odor.  For me the process is all about ready, aim, fire.  There was also a sign in the breakroom about how many days they had been accident free, which was on like 6 or something.

Also during our walkabout, we are shown where to go at the beginning of the shift, we go to this area at the center of the warehouse and check the roster sign in sheet, it will tell us where to go and what we will be doing that particular day.  Not to worry though, we are going to have someone with us our first day on the warehouse floor, showing us what to do.  Cool enough, I have never worked in a warehouse before.

So, I go in for my first day on the floor so to speak, I find my way back to the center station, There is no roster sheet, no one knows where the hell we are going, I am standing there with about 30 or so new hires and they broke us up by asking who wants to go where.  I head off with the pallet wrappers, which was probably a mistake on my part.  Revisit my history some day and my challenges with wrapping Chrstmas presents, then picture your purchase on a pallet with a bunch of other "presents" and leave it to my devices and see what happens.  We were given about 10 minutes worth of instruction on how to wrap pallets before we were sent off into the wilds of the Amazon warehouse to wrap things that weren't moving.  It is at ths part of a National Geographic special where you see a bunch of young animals dying, just cut loose into the wild, left to fend for themselves.  I get called over to lane H, to close pallets, which is where you finish wrapping full pallets so they can go on the truck.  I can't even being to tell you how much plastic I wasted on that effort.  I finished that project and was once again wandering the warehouse with no guidance to where to go next, eventually I just went wherever I saw a pallet that needed wrapped.  Spun my web of lies and deceipt around it, and then wandered off to find more pallets.  Finally the shift ends, I go to punch out and whle at the time clock I check my shedule, and the fuckers changed that on me too.  First they changed my shift, then they changed my workdays as well.  Now I am working Sat thru Wed with Thursday and Friday off.  Some I am losing the extra time I would pick up on Thanksgiving and they are changing the days for which I was hired.  (Not to mention the sign in the breakroom was down to 1 day since the last accident.)  So now I am pissed, and I take an angry 1 mile walk to the bus stop, thankfully I didn't miss the last bus but I start weighing the plusses ad minuses in my head.  The extra money would be good, but I could just work an extra couple hours a day at my current job and and make the same amount, and not have to deal with worrying about missing a bus or walking a mile to catch one, so for the time being I am back to being a one job person.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

B365V3.55 - November surprises

I had planned on writing before the results of the election, but just never found the initial inertia to put cursor to keyboard and bang something out.  It isn't as if nothing had happened prior to last night, in fact quite a few things did, but last night has left me with a malaise that as of this typing I have been unable to shake.

I have searched for something uplifting and i would like to thank those people who have tried to somehow shake me from my doldrums, but  it appears that it is easier said than done.  Instead I need to get some shit off of my chest, so if you are easily offended, by all means turn back now, the following words will not be pretty, but perhaps they will be therapeutic for me.

First off, I want to say that , no, I do not view all Trump voters as racists.  By the same token, those that voted Trump surely supported one.   Whether it be being brought up on charges of housing discrimination, calling for the death penalty after the initial verdict of the Central Park 5 via a full page ad in the NY Times, then when they were eventually exonerated, complained about the city's settlement with them, to embracing the nonsense of the Birther movement, trying to delegitimize Barack Obama's presidency, to suggesting that everyone who crosses the Mexico - United States border is a criminal and his thoughts on people of darker skin than his are readily apparent.  As are his views on women, through numerous interviews in the media in the past (do your own research here).

In fact, much of what Trump argued on the stump or suggested during the campaign can be filed in the "I know I am but what are you drawer" such as when he told everyone in a late night tweet to go looking for a porn tape that featured a fomer beauty pageant contest winner was in.  It turns out that tape doesn't exist, but one with Trump in it surely does.  Or his incessant clamoring about the criminality of Hillary Clinton and her pay for play schemes at the Clinton foundation.  Yet it was Trump's foundation that was stopped from collecting donations in the state of NY, after using foundation money to buy himself gifts and to bribe the Florida State's attorney general to stop investigating complaints about the Trump University scam.  His lie that Clinton was about to be indicted, when in fact it is Trump who has a pending court case over the very same Trump University scam.  Sorry if I am offending any graduates of Trump University, but how is that degree working out for you anyway?  But Trump is going to bring jobs back to America?  He has had multiple opportunities in the past to hire Americans and to use American manufacturing for his projects, he instead chose to ship those jobs overseas, use foreign workers in his projects in the states, use imported goods in many of his projects and screw contractors out of payments after doing work for him.  And now we find ourselves compromised, as he is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to foreign banks, including but not limited to the Bank of China and Deutche Bank.  The Deutche Bank loan has it's own problems, given the bank's tenuous fiscal standing, they may end up offering the loans of one Donald J Trump to the highest bidder in order to maintain their own solvency, and they are currently under investigation for their role in the previous global fiscal collapse.  Scream it from the highest rooftop, conflict of interest anyone?  But it is the Clinton Foundation you need to worry about.  And Hillary's emails of course.  Of course Trump has also destroyed and/or not turned over records in pending court cases against him, but don't you worry your pretty little heads about such things, they don't matter.  Chances are if Trump accused someone of something, he is guilty of the very same thing.  It is akin to the kid who denies taking the cookie from the cookie jar, while the crumbs are still all over his lips.

But he isn't from Washington, so he can clean out the corruption.  He can fix things.  Yes, if by fixing you mean that your home has a cockroach infestation so you call an arsonist to fix the problem.  Sure, the roaches are gone at the end of the day, but so is the house.

Okay, enough ranting.  This isn't very therapeutic at all, in fact it is spoiling my Squirrel cage dinner, so on to other things.   Not that the guy sitting at the end of the bar arguing politics wasn't bad enough, thankfully the bartender stopped than nonsense. 

Still, while I was away, at least as away from the blog as I can be, I have still been posting hockey videos, little highlight packages from the Pen's games this season, with my own brief synopsis.  It is a yearly thing around this blog, especially since I started doing in, many moons ago, we have won 2 Stanley Cups.  Not to be superstitious or anything, but why mess with what works?

The other day, if by other day I mean like a month ago or some such nonsense, I saw on Facebook that Amazon was doing some hiring locally for their fulfillment center here.  I didn't even know they had one to be honest, but I think I had come back from the bar and was reading my news feed when I stumbled across their hiring ad.  I filled it out in my blurry haze, only to get an email a couple of days later inviting me to a hiring event, where you went and basically filled out a job application online.  I was told when I showed up at the event that over 200 people had signed up, yet I was #25 (can I deport lazy Americans and replace them with hard working Mexicans, please?) so I filled out my application and waited to hear back,  About three days later I was invited to an orientation event, where they did the drug test thing and went over a description of what the job entails.  The best thing about this event was I was hired for the shift I wanted (6pm-10pm, five nights a week) simply because that shift works best around my existing schedule.  Not trying to lose the current job, just trying to supplement the income, which in Trump's America, seems like a good thing if the post election markets are any indicator of where we are headed.  And then I waited.  And waited. and waited.  And so on, and so on and so on.  After about 10 days of waiting and seeing online that I was still in the screening process, I finally found an email to contact someone in human resources at amazon, so I fired off a quick missive asking what was what.  I had passed the drug screen 9no surprise there, i am to dull a person in real life to be on anything) but the background screening still wasn't complete.  Not that I was worried, I am too boring to have anything pop up there either.  About two days later, I got confirmation that I meet the standards to be an Amazon employee.  So it looks like I will be starting the new gig on Friday with some good old fashioned orientation action.

The bartender just came over to give me my check and say that my fingers are going a mile a minute.  that means I have probably left a dozen of so typos in my wake.  Go go gadget fingers.

lastly, I haven't given anyone a fantasy football update in a while, in the league with some of my former coworkers I am 4-5, but in the Pittsburgh Bloggers league I am 7-2, best record off anyone.  I am scared of jinxing it by typing that out loud, but I just did, so bring on the suckage.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Penguins @ Sharks 11/05/2016

Pittsburgh 5  San Jose 0

Carl Hagelin - 3 A

Sidney Crosby - (2 G) now leads the NHL  with 8 G

Penguins @ Kings 11/03/2016

Los Angeles 3  Pittsburgh 2  OT

Sidney Crosby - 2 G

Crosby has 6 goals in 5 games so far this year

Penguins @ Ducks 11/02/2016

Pittsburgh 5  Anaheim 1

Kris Letang - G, A

13 different Penguins recorded a point

Our inspiration (the title for this blog)

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Where we've been