May 12, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
My weekend actually started days before but by Friday, I was rolling strong. After solving a few small problems, Judy and I jumped into the car and drove to Lowes to buy some of the hanging flower plants that they had on sale for $10 to put around the deck. The weather man had predicted a warm weekend and we figured that it would have its first good use of the year.
Tarris called to let us know that he was having an open house in the old house on Saturday and I thought that was great. With the weather nice and the mountains out, the house should present itself well. "We are going to sell this weekend.", I boldly stated.
As I drove, I called the post office. I still had not received any mail in my new house. It had just stopped a week or so before for no apparent reason. I had called on Wednesday and they had promised a call back on Thursday that had not happened. The uncaring government employee on the other side of the line said that he would put in another incident report and when I asked him about the first, just said that it was being worked on. I mumbled under my breath, "Is this really what this country really wants, more government which means more uncaring government employees.". I asked for a supervisor and was placed on hold for what seemed like days.
While on hold, Judy and I walked into Lowes and could not find the sale plants. I went to the register to ask about them. The register had a tarp over it to help block the sun and thus make it easier for the cashier to ring up the sale. The cashier, who was full inside her handmade tent, peeked out and told me that they were out of those plants. I found some girls putting out new items and asked them. "They are on the truck that we are working on right now. Come back in a couple of hours and we will have them for you." We walked back out past the tent lady who took no notice of us. I took note, however, that all she could of seen of us was the lower part of our bodies since that was all I could see of hers. I could have had my arms full of stuff and she would have never noticed.
By the time that I arrived back at the car, the supervisor had been found and I was off of hold. In the same uncaring tone, he told me that the only thing that he could do was put in another incident report. "How can I check on the first?". I asked. "You can't.", He returned. "And you don't care!", I challenged. A silence went out on the line. Finally he said that he could give me the number of the local Post Office to try and follow up myself.
I wrote down the number and dialed as we drove back to the diner for some lunch and a meeting with the People to People girls who were putting on a lunch buffet for Sunday. They had called me on Thursday to let me know that they had sold over 80 tickets for the event. I asked for the meeting knowing that we had needed to be better prepared to handle the event. After all, I only have around 130 seats in the entire restaurant. In the back of my mind, I was formulating how we could handle all of the people along with our normal customers. I had a plan B which was to just shut down the diner for the evening. After all, Sunday evening is the quietest with us closing normally at 7PM.
As I pulled into the diner lot, I finally got a person on the line only to be informed that they were not the ones responsible for delivery in my area. They were gracious, however, and gave me the number of the ones responsible. A quick call to them did not answer the question though. At first, they could not even find my address on their data base. Fortunately, my street is only a block or so long and they were able to at least find the man responsible for the area. They informed me that I should have my mail in my box that day.
I was informed by Lana, our cashier on the way in the door, that we had sold nearly all of the tickets for Sundays event that we had. I then began to wonder just how many tickets were out.
After a very quick lunch with Judy, Nancy from P2P arrived and let me know that the count was nearing a hundred. "We only have four tickets left here.", I told her. She seemed shocked so I asked her how many tickets she had made all together and she thought that there were around 130 out there. "We might want to stop selling them.", I informed her, since we are fast going beyond the capacity of the diner. I knew plan B was our only option now. We decided to close the diner at 3PM. Since the usual Sunday base slowed down by 2, they were going to begin coming in around that time to start decorating for the event.
Judy and I then jumped in the car and drove back up to Lowes. We walked by tent lady and over to the crew that was still putting out new product. When asked about the sale product, they informed me that what was left was on the end of an isle. I wondered just how many had been put out as I found only three of the plants remained. "I guess we will have to make up our own.". I said to Judy. "And just when to you intend to find time for that.", she coyly announced. Judy has the patience of Job. Between me working in the diner, handling paperwork, working on future projects, talking on the phone, and all the other things that I do, it must be kind of frustrating getting my attention. I recall purchasing something from the tool store last week and as we walked out, I found this really cool fold up hammock with a built in pillow and a slot for your drink. "This is so cool.", I announced. "And just when do you have the time to lay in it?", she questioned. She was right and I didn't even check the price.
We found a bunch of starter plants and placed all of our items in the cart. In my mind, I was going over all of the other things that we needed to handle along the way and noting that it was fast approaching the time to pick up Jay from school. I rolled up our cart and got in the long line at check out. As I got closer to the cashier, I took note that the people using the visa machine were having problems seeing the screen. Tent lady was shaded well inside her topping but they had left the customers machines out in the sun. As I rolled up for my turn, I made another observation. The tent Lady's covering was so low that you could not see what she was ringing up. I finally got to see the bored Lady's face as she leaned down to scan the items on my cart and I made a mental note of how much I was going to have to spend. "That will be $67." came the report from the now once again shaded face. Confident that she was right, I began my part of the transaction and found that I could not see a thing on the screen. Judy helped me as we blocked the sun just enough to make out where we I needed to sign. Tent lady had to lean out and help me push the OK button that I could not find and we finally were on our way.
While driving down to pick up Jay, we stopped at various spots along the way including Best Buy to drop off Judy's computer that still was not working properly. I wont get into that story as it would take chapters more but they promised to have it ready on Saturday. We also discovered that we still had not gotten mail at our new house.
Along the way, Casey called to let us know that he was in Anchorage and it was beautiful there. He sounded very happy and with his cell phone battery going fast, I quickly gave the phone to Judy knowing that she wanted to hear his voice.
We picked up Jay and stopped by a place on the way back to the diner that Judy had wanted to stop at. It was a outdoor place that had a sale on discontinued items such as deck equipment, statues, and fountains. Judy found just what she wanted in the "make an offer" area. Meanwhile, I am on the phone again with the post office while Judy is talking to them about the fountain. "How much do you want?", she asked. "Make me an offer.", he returns. "I wouldn't have a clue.", Judy responded. I was on hold at the time and barked out, "20 dollars". "Sold!" came the return and Judy smiled as we walked to the car with her new prize that I had seen in stores for well over $100. I finally got the post office guy on the phone and was informed that someone had placed a hold on my mail. "I assure you that you will receive it on Saturday." came the reply from a man named Mike. "If you don't, just call us. We are open until noon.". "My mail does not get delivered till afternoon.", I replied. "Well then, just call me on Monday but that wont be needed as you will receive your mail on Saturday." Mike informed me.
Arriving at Jake's, we began fixing up our hanging plants and realized that we would be out of potting soil. Judy was beat and headed home while Jayden and I headed back out shopping. While at Walmart, Jay found some monster trucks that he liked. "Are you ready to earn them." I asked. Jay was spending the night with us and would be going into to work with me early on Saturday. "Sure!", came the reply. On our way out, we picked up a vacuum for Judy and then headed to Bimart for more potting soil and a hook to put up Judy's fountain. I got the most heavy duty hook that they had and headed back to Jake's where I finished off the plants, hung them, watered them and then headed home. I then drove over to the old house and mowed the lawn for the open house before I headed home.
By now, it was dark and in the light of the porch, I prepared to hang the fountain. Judy wanted it in a particular spot. "Are you sure you don't want it higher?", I asked. "No, that is just right.", she replied. I got out my new heavy duty hook and began screwing it into the wall. The screw broke so I fished out the second hook only to have it break also. Giving up, I went back into the house and put together Judy's vacuum while watching monster truck videos on the TV with Jay. It was now after 10 and putting Jay to bed, I crawled over to mine. The first day of the long weekend was done.