Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Conversation with JJ

Last week, Bob whom is an employee of XX Engineering was in happy mood as he entered XX's office in Southern Maryland. He'd just come back from his site and updated the branch manager about the problems and happenings with his site.

After finishing with the branch manager, he began to walk through the main corridor, which by the way is the only corridor in the small office that resembles something of an over-sized walk-in closet. As he walked toward the concrete lab and the back parking lot, he heard a shout from the third office on the right side of the corridor.

"Bob," said the project manager named JJ.
"Hey, JJ" said Bob
"Bob, did you bring the mortar samples from your site?"
"No, JJ"
"Why not."
"I was in meetings all morning with the Navy and Nattahnam Construction. You know
chasing down RFIs and submitals."
"That is no excuse, how many mortar samples are left on your site?"
"The one's from yesterday and today."
" I am trying to keep the concrete lab open, so I need you to do a better job of getting
these samples down, here. Do you hear me!"

And with that, Bob exploded. He had never cussed out his boss before, but today he was bent on it. You see Bob makes 14 dollars an hour to perform all the masonry, concrete, rebar, and soils inspection and documentation for the grand total of 56 dollars a day, before taxes and gasoline expense for the vehicle and no benefits. What is even more absurd, is that he does this for the Navy; however, at such a great hourly rate, he does not give a f--- about it now, and JJ's about to grasp the full fury of a man so underpaid that he could care less about being fired, as a job waiting tables pays more money on a weekly basis.

"I heard you JJ, now hear me.""This job does not even feed my kid every other day, let alone daily." "Secondly, you and your office mate, Aftershock, need to knock it off. Because you haven't been able to get an American to perform this job in over a decade, you little F---." And so the blistering cussing went on, only to be interupted in mid-cuss by the owner and president of XX Engineering as he passed by the door on the way to the crapper. "Gentlemen," said the big shot, Luke Henry as he walked toward the rear bathroom.

The word,"Gentleman," was interpreted by Bob as office code for,"Yes, I realize that JJ needs cussing, but this is all that is allowable at this time." So with that one little word, "Gentlemen," Bob came to the same realization that Cervantes' hero had done 150 years prior, which is to say that nothing changes by chasing windmills. With aggravation and frustration setting in, Bob left through the back-door believing that he was still employed and JJ was still to be his immediate superior. An immediate superior who just minutes before was cowering in the corner of his office remarking, between Bob's ranted breaths, the phrase, "No Hitting, No Hitting!"