Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hey, Check It Out, I'm Not Dead!

Oh, where to start? Well, I'm not dead. Cool. Moving on...

The trip... was hell. I couldn't fit my plants in the Jeep, so I'm going to have to either 1) depend on the kindness of strangers (ie the movers) to move my plantlets or 2) fly back to Chicago and do the drive again. Oh the rapture. At least I won't have to deal with two screaming cats.

First leg of the trip: home to Ohio wasn't too bad, except for the screaming cat part. Then I actually broke my personal vow to myself and stayed at my parents' house. Yes, in the acid green formerly-mine room. It was lovely. But, mom was being, well, mom and frankly I didn't trust her alone with my cats. Isn't that a sad state of affairs? She's got three indoor/outdoor cats with claws. I have two indoor declawed cats. I saw no value in further stressing my furballs with an introduction. And I did NOT want my cats getting outside. And I wasn't thrilled with the idea of my cats being exposed to whatever strange wormy little cooties that her cats have. Mom ignored all that and kept yammering on about how great it would be to see them all playing together. So I stayed, and rode herd on my mother.

Second leg of the trip: My brain has protected me by making that day a twelve hour long haze of stress induced fogginess. I was on the road by 8:30 am. The drugs worked on the Peanut briefly. That was the best three hours of the trip. It poured rain the whole way, unless I had my own personal raincloud following me. In the mountains, it was so foggy that you couldn't see a car length in front of you. I narrowly avoided a nasty pileup at a toll booth. I arrived in North Carolina at 9 pm in a pounding thunderstorm, heading into hour 14 of my day to find the keys to the temporary housing... not where they were supposed to be. A friend helped me hunt down a phone number for the HR guy at home and he arranged for me to stay in a hotel for the night. At least this time, unlike the interview, I was settled in early enough to find delivery pizza open.

So, I didn't start on Monday 'cause my boss was out of town so the HR guy said to just get settled into the temp housing and relax and then start on Tuesday. So I did.

I may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Their supplier situation is even more convulted than my last company. Eek! And there's confusion over who I actually report to - HR and all the paperwork says one person, someone in my office is saying that I report to him. We'll see how that works out.

I'm adjusting to the South. Sorta. I've gotta say, y'all have more pork products in your grocery stores than I previously knew existed. This is a rhetorical question 'cause I do NOT want to know what it really is, but pork crackings? Ugh. As I expected, the traffic is making me nuts. Too slow!!!! Get outta my way! And for god's sake, when the light turns green, don't think about moving for several seconds, GO! There's a little pedal on the right. You should play with it and see what happens when you depress it. Gah.

This morning was exciting. I was walking down the outside stairs of my temp housing when an older pickup came screaming into the lot and stopped directly behind my Jeep. The driver jumped outta the truck, pounded up the stairs and started beating on my neighbor's door. "Open up you )(#*)@#$*%)@(*)$! I know you're in there, you )#*)#(%*)#@(." Good heavens. Ever willing to rush in where angels fear to tread, I yelled up at him to please move his truck. He snarled over the edge for me to do it myself. Since his keys were still in it, I did. Apparently he wasn't expecting that, 'cause the look on his face was priceless. I think he wanted to yell at me, but he just sputtered. I moved his heap back enough to escape, hopped out, smiled at him sunnily, wished him a nice day, jumped in the Jeep and took off.

I've got scads more to babble about (I know this shocks you) but it's almost closing time at the library. The new company is very strict about the internet. They've got all outside email, all blogs, all music and video, and all auction sites blocked. There's a bunch more too. I've GOT to get moved in and hooked up at home. Not seeing everyone's blogs every day is KILLING me.


Suldog said...

Well, good to hear from you again. Sounds like you had an... interesting trip. And, if I were you, I'd make sure Mr. Pick Up Truck doesn't come back someday and do something nasty. Just saying.

Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual said...

Welcome to the world of the Southern Fried Pick-Up Truck.
If anyone offers you anything with gravy, decline. It's white. It's lard. It's nasty.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm so glad you survived the trip! :)

First rule of survival in the south (aside from the whole "avoid the white gravy" thing) is very simply this:

Southerners live in a WHOLE different time zone. "In a minute" might mean anywhere from the next 10 seconds to the next 10 days. Just depends.

You should also know that at a green light, they really *are* waiting on an engraved invitation to move. It's only polite, you know.

Finally, with a true born-and-bred southerner, manners matter. You'll get way farther - way faster with some honey-coated words than you ever will any other way. Compliments, flattery, out-and-out ass kissing will move things along faster down south than any other form of coercion. Example: "Hun, don't you just look like a ray of sunshine today? Can you get this done for me before lunch? I sure do appreciate it! You are just the best!" will net much better results than this: "I need this before lunch; please call me when you have it ready."

And always remember - in some circles down south you will *always* be a damn yankee. Count on it, and don't be offended.

It takes time to catch the rhythm of life down there. Patience is your most important ally now...

Former Yankee resident of Alabama