Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Random thoughts.

Nervous this morning.  First day off in a few.  If all things go right today, I'll be picking up a new (to me) car.  Test drove a 2011 Camry the other day, and liked it.  Would like to get this done to move past this particular chapter.

No word on my truck.  Or the checks that were stolen out of it.  That's sad.  Just sad.

2014 hasn't been my favorite.  I'm lucky I have family and a girlfriend to lean on.  Friends have been helpful, too.

I'm tired.  I'll say that.  I was supposed to start vacation this coming Friday, but backed it up a couple weeks to have the time off for a couple other things coming up.

Right now?  I wish to high heavens I'd just kept vacation where it was.


I'm going to take a day, on vacation, to just sleep.  And read.  And then I'll take a nap.

No funny.  Nothing smart to say.  I'm just tired, folks.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On feeling vengeful

Still thinking truck stuff.

I wonder if it would be any better in a world where we cut the thumbs off of thieves.

Or, failing that?  We had more hard labor camps out there.  

Bust up a few rocks.  

We have one of the largest prisoner populations in the world, per capita, in the U.S.  Why don't we have a few more things like the Pyramids, or Stonehenge, around these parts?

Failing that, instead of using taxpayer dollars, let's have a few convicts carry a few rocks to build some truly awesome stadiums?


Just hating people right now.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Truck Post

A couple days ago, my truck was stolen.

I woke up to go to work Friday morning.  I went outside to get into my truck, and it wasn't there.  I park roughly 12 feet from my door.  No truck.  Dumbfounding.  I think I even turned to make sure I was coming out of the right apartment.  Maybe to see if, perhaps, I'd left my truck on my couch.

There's an overflow parking lot behind the building, and on occasion I've parked back there.  I didn't remember parking back there, but it's been a busy week (maybe the busiest week in a while), so I wandered back that way to see if I'd parked back there but forgotten.

There was no truck behind the building, either.

Again.  Dumbfounding.

I called the police.  I called my boss to let him know what was going on, and that somebody else was going to need to open the store.  And I started to think of how this could happen.

I live in an apartment that is made from an old house that has been divided into multiple apartments.  I like it because it doesn't feel like an apartment, has high ceilings and is in what is typically a quiet neighborhood that is a combination of older folks and young families.

Sadly, a couple of bad neighbors have moved in lately.  Loud.  Lot of traffic in and out of the apartment.  And a tendency not to respect boundaries.  We have assigned parking spots.  These two neighbors in particular tend to ignore that.

A couple nights before my truck was stolen, I came home to find a black Kia parked in my spot.  It's a car I'd seen around, and one that's parked in my spot a couple times.  In the past when somebody's parked in my spot, I'd leave a note on the car, and generally it stopped.  That night, after I left a note, about 30 minutes later I heard a knock on my door.  I was preparing supper, at the time.  I turned down the stove, and answered the door.

"Hey, dude," said the guy who falls into every thuggable stereotype you can think of--medium height, buzzcut white guy with a black hoodie and pants around his ass, "are you Tommy?"


"Dude," which he said as if it were spelled dooood, "I was just carrying up groceries when I parked there."

"For 30 minutes?"

I receive "fuck yourself" looks on a daily basis.  Customers.  People who work for me.  I know what it is to get one, and I got one there.

He answers only: "Don't touch my car."

I answer:  "Don't park there, and I have no problem with that."

This conversation is the first thing I think of when I realize my truck is gone.

The Athens Police show up within a few minutes.  An officer gets out of her car, and before I can say too much, she asks "was it a tan Chevy pickup?"

"Yes, ma'am," I say, hopes up that, at the very least, they know where my truck is.  I was then afraid that somebody had had the truck towed for some reason (I should note, at this point that in the few minutes I waited for the cops, I also called my landlord to see if perhaps he'd had my truck towed).

She says that she'd happened to be driving up my street around 3 that morning, and and seen a guy outside my truck.  He was acting like he was fumbling with keys, so she didn't think anything of it.  Her description of the guy matches what I listed above.

I tell her that the last time I saw my truck was when I'd gone inside the night before.  I tell her of the conversation I'd had with the upstairs neighbor.  She takes all this down, and gets numbers for the landlords.

And here we are a couple days later.

It's a bummer.  On a lot of levels.

On the one?  This was my first weekend off in a while--the first not attached to a vacation since October.  In since August, I've had 1 weekend off.  I was excited.  In a good mood waking up for the first time I can remember in weeks.

A lot's been going on at work.  We've been working toward a re-launch since October.  In that time, we've also gone through an Inventory as well as the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays, each of those four involving increased workloads.  I've been putting in an average of 55 hours a week for 3 months, leading up to Wednesday's launch.  It wasn't all bad--I did get a vacation in December, but in the 24 days since that vacation, I'd worked 21 of them, with one of those days off being Christmas Day.  In a word, I was worn out, and looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

And I'll say that it's been that, still.  I have a temporary vehicle.  Monday, I'll call my bank and set up a time to talk about a car loan.  Wednesday is my day off, and I'll start car shopping.  I'm thankful for insurance, and thankful for my folks and my girlfriend who've helped more than I know how to say.  I'm thankful for co-workers, who were cool.  One lady, Evelyn, who works with me lives here in Athens, too.  She was on her way to work, but was nice enough to turn around to come get me.  Shyam came down to give me a ride home.

I feel especially bad for my boss.  As much as I've worked, he's worked more.  They've had him running all over creation, had him away from his family the week before Christmas.  For every bit of bullshit I've had to stomach in the past 3 months, he's had a double helping.  He was looking forward to his day off Friday (his first in several days) as much as I was my weekend off.  I hated calling him at 6 in the morning to tell him what was going on.

It was not without humor:  he says he took a minute at his house to decide whether I was messing with him or not.  He almost called me back to see, but decided against.

Anyway.  Thinking out loud?  I don't know if they'll find my truck.  I'm hopeful, because I like my truck.  I've taken good care of it for the past 8 years.  I'm hopeful that somebody just took it out and parked it in the middle of nowhere.  Thinking realistically?  I drive a truck that is the second-most stolen vehicle out there.  Even with near a quarter-million miles on it (yep...I hadn't checked in a while, but it was in the neighborhood of 240,000 miles), it's still a good work truck.  And if not that, I'd say it's still good for parts for some asshole who's willing to chop it.

Shyam came over last night, and I just went over the inventory of stuff I believe I've left in my truck.  Mostly small things.  I'd bought some fleece blankets that had gone on seasonal markdown last week, and there were two paper grocery bags full of them in the passenger side floorboard.  My red Yazoo beer hoodie, which I'd thrown in there as something to put on when the temperature wandered down to 3 degrees Tuesday.  A handful of plates--I have a bad habit of carrying breakfast out to my truck on a saucer or plate, and then putting the plate behind my seat to carry in when I get home.  They are typically forgotten, and they had been.  Various and sundry other items:  work nametags (which is something to take note of, because if my truck is found, my name is all over that truck in the form of nametags that have fallen between the seats), earbuds, phone chargers.  A had a few tools in there (nothing huge, but stuff like screwdrivers, pry bars and pliers), and the spotlight I was given as a gift several years back.

Eh.  Just writing to get this stuff out of my head.

I'll close that if anybody should see a silver-beige 2002 Chevrolet Silverado with McMinn County, TN plates wandering around--with a Decepticon Transformers decal in the back driver's side window, and a front driver-side directional  held in with speaker wire?  Call the Athens TN Police Department.  (423-745-3687)

I guess I should note that I don't write to accuse anybody.  I'm just writing what happened between a neighbor and me, and an odd coincidence that happened a day and a half later....