There are a couple teen summer students helping out at the sawmill. I was passing by one who was stacking lumber and noticed a couple of small knots on the outside of one of his stacks. I came over and flipped the boards around so the knots couldn’t be seen from the outside and explained that we should always try to stack our lumber with the good faces on top and the good edges on the outside of the stack so it looks as nice as possible.
I said that his parents and teachers probably taught him that inner beauty is what mattered, and I said that it was true…except for the lumber business. In a lumber stack outer beauty is what matters. I added that this wasn’t deceitful because the lumber quality is determined by a grade, or specification, and THAT was the level of quality we promised. Stacking the boards so no defects are visible is just a way of putting our best foot forward.
I often shop at the Dollarama in Port Place Mall in Nanaimo. I find it a handy stop for an inexpensive snack or any knickknacks I might need while downtown or heading over to Gabriola Island but they have all kinds of things for sale.
There are a lot of substance abusers, homeless, and poor people in the area and I see a lot of them in and around Dollarama and it made me think: It’s a good store if you’re chronically broke. It’s not usually the greatest deal for groceries on a per-pound basis but if you scrounge a few dollars you can buy something. It’s retail shopping that fits with living moment to moment as many of these people do.
I was frying schnitzel for supper tonight and thought about a guy I know who had a fish and chips shop in greater Victoria.
Have you ever realised that the person you’re talking to doesn’t know what they claim to know and you just shut down rather than call them out?
He had talked about offering authentic British chippie fare so when I visited his shop I asked for sausage and chips (my personal favourite) he said, “uh, we only do British stuff here.” I didn’t say anything but I didn’t really listen to anything he had to say about the food after that.
…buy his fish was OK.
I was talking with a friend about a former colleague being razzed because he wasn’t nearly as decorated as his peers and in that conversation my friend said that he didn’t do anything awesome to get his medals…he just did what he was “effing” told. That’s something I really respect. Guys like him make the world run smoothly.
It made me think of another man, call him R, in the village where I grew up who didn’t do what he was supposed to and has a medal of his own because of it:
In the mill where nearly everybody in the village worked an electrician was in the often fatal position of being the bridge between a couple bus bars in an MCC(motor control centre). What you’re supposed to do when this happens is wait until the power has been turned off; by then the poor guy being lit up is usually beyond saving.
What R did instead was rush into the MCC and take a running jump at the man being electrocuted. Both men were thrown clear of the bus and both lived; R could have died in there too but it worked out that day.
R is a good natured fellow (like most people are) who saw a colleague dying and jumped in without thinking. That is something I respect too.
I was talking with a friend and in his shop and it happened he had a few old medals in a display case and it made me think of the joke about winning them at the battle of eBay…
Anyway..I commented on the medals in the case and since he’s a veteran with medals of his own I told him a story about all the warrant officers in my company office many years ago:
All of them were retired regular forces who were working as class B reservists and they all had long eventful careers…except for one, we’ll call him X, and he had been a reservist who had never gotten too far from home during his career. When they were in dress uniform there were a lot of medals hanging on their chests…except for X who had his CD for long service but nothing else.
The razzing was along the lines of this: “Hey, how come X doesn’t have anything but a CD?” “I think it’s because you have to leave Vancouver Island to get anything else!” “Hey X, how come you have nothing else? The company clerk has a Queen’s Medal for goodness sake!”
I bumped into one of my former colleagues while buying gas years ago and apparently X went to Afghanistan so he has something to go with his CD now. Good for him.
Something my friend said in that conversation will be the topic of another post.
There was only ever one cat who lost all nine lives to curiosity. He was doing research to find a cure. We can’t talk to our cats about him or they’ll try to learn more…
Today we received a productivity pep-talk from the owner of the mill where I work and it made me think of other such talks I’ve received and given over the years and it made me think of this one basic truth I’ve learned: If you’re reasonable about your expectations and polite in how you do it then the easiest way to get results is to simply state what you expect.
Most of the time that’s all you need to do.