Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Standard Operating Procedure here in the Nikiverse is to follow the 5P's - Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance - and then be ready for all heck to break lose anyway. I feel like i am perpetually ready for excellence and then life throws a slider just to see if i'll swing or jump out of the batter's box. Understand that i'm not complaining here - the variety keeps life interesting - but at some point you have to just laugh at the absurdity. Case in point : after 6 months of sitting on the money upstairs finally allows us to buy a new van for the team. YES! But we need to do all of the research and legwork ourselves. BOO! Team member AJ finds 27 different choices for me. YES! They are all either just over or just under our price range. BOO! After whittling the choices down to three which we present to the COO and CEO we all agree on a top pick. YES! At the eleventh hour there are questions about our tax status that have me running around faxing documents well after everyone else has gone home and threaten our ability to get the van. BOO! The dealer works with us so that we can still afford to buy the van and have a little money for graphics. YES! Did i mention that the van is gold? BOO! The check is cut, we are going to pick it up and AJ is getting the tags off of the old van. YES! The last bolt of the second tag is rusted on. really. Rusted so badly that even with screwdriver and pliers we can't get it off. Rusted so badly that WD40 doesn't help. Rusted so badly that it bends the screwdriver. AJ and i are working on it, working on it and it starts to rain. really. We are standing in the rain with a pile of tools at our feet, he's streaked with rust, grease and parking lot goo, it is 3:30 and i have to be back to work by 5:00 for my Friday night shift. There was only one call to make : rip the whole licence plate holder off of the bumper Don't screw with me universe : i have places to go and people to see. I figured the dealership could cut through the bolt or something. You see i needed not only the tag, but the black EZ-Pass transponder (unlike commuters, business customers have to buy their transponder; that little chunk of plastic is $150) as well, plus i really wanted the plate holder left intact so that we can figure out how to reattach it to the bumper it came from. AJ took the whole mess to the service center to explain our dillema while i proceeded to sign nearly a thousand pieces of paper with both my name and title. When he returned successful AJ just turned the holder over to me and said, "I'm not sure how they did it, but i think it involved melting." Wow. I wish i could have watched whatever they did instead of doing paperwork. I bet it was impressive and cool; i image it involved an over-sized industrial dremel tool and a mini blowtorch. Anyhoo, we made it back to work in time with a new van with legal license plates. Now we just need to find a REALLY strong epoxy to fix the other bumper. I'll post pics of the new van once it isn't covered in snow and/or salty road gack.