I woke up, yes I slept all night, from about 8 or so on. Maybe earlier, I'm not sure, but I'm still sleepy. Odd. Sorry, I digress. I woke up to two things this morning. One started last night. The water heater died. Seems like nothing lasts more than 10 years anymore. Ten years in Midland water is about double the life expectancy. Water softener, YAY! The other was my old friend bleeding throat and mouth.
It's strange, isn't it, the things we get used to seeing and are concerning to us when they aren't happening. I mean good or bad, humans get used to routine. We relish in the fact that something is a constant. The times I've quit smoking for more than a couple of weeks at a pop. Once for two years. I could show you every location I lit a cigarette at while I was at work. I paid attention. I'd leave Location X, my right hand would hit my left shirt pocket looking for a smoke, two years after I quit. Pavlov, you say you've got a dog? We're all like that. In our daily lives, how screwed up do we get if things are exactly in the order they normally go? Especially first thing in the AM. Talk about a Chinese Fire Drill. Knock one of the first things you do in the morning out of whack and it's the rest of the day trying to make sense out of our own mentally induced chaos. The human race is at the top of the food chain because we have the intelligence to build tools that level the playing field. But for God sake why can't we stand having our routine shaken up a bit? It's almost hilarious. I'd laugh at myself when I caught myself in a small quandary as what to do next if my routine got pestered a little. We are far less adaptable than people in the mid to late 1800's, I'm sure. Daily life then may have had a routine, but failure to adapt to sudden change could be fatal then, not just upsetting. You know, like having to skip your morning Latte because some unexpected traffic problem put you 15 minutes behind.
That's the way I was about my throat and mouth bleeding. It wasn't that I was upset I wasn't bleeding. It was more, "I'll be damned, I've not bled for a couple of days. Now what?". And it's not like I'm the kinda guy that waits for the other shoe to drop, I'm usually ready mentally for that, even if it's something unexpected. I changed little things in my routine once in a while. Time and order, mostly. The one constant, unless I was called out early, was coffee at 5 AM. Had to have my Joe. Almost 11 months later, I still miss my cup of mud in the morning. So, I purposely made myself a little more adaptable. That was a year ago. This week a year ago I went on Short Term Disability to care for the cancer that ultimately is killing me. Damn stuff anyway. A guy I know a bit from the Highland Games thought I may have known in May it was killing me. In fact, in May I had high hopes of throwing in that Game the next May. But again, I digress. So, some things that were once not routine are now routine, a year later. Like not sleeping all night. I slept really well, got plenty of rest on five or six hours of sleep. Not anymore. I can't buy a straight night sleep. I did last night, but I forced myself not to sleep all day. I'd been up almost 24 hours when I finally went out. Got about 8 straight, but my God was I hacking up shit this morning. Including a little blood. Even had it trickle out of my non swallowing mouth and onto my chin. Looked like I'd been in a fist fight, with out the split fat lip. Cool, kinda.
See, finding blood in my lung oysters got to be part of my routine. I knew it was going to be there every few days, and it was getting more frequent, if not increasing in volume as well. So, when in the last few days I'd not seen any, I wondered, WTF now? Where's it going? Or did it quit? Who the fuck knew. I only knew it was out of my routine and that, on some level bothered me. Not enough to sweat it, it was nice not seeing the lovely pink stuff every time I had to cough, or suction out my mouth. It was a nice reprieve, yet not, since it wasn't routine anymore. I have gotten so routine ridden, that I put my feed and drug times on the phone alarm. Heaven Forbid that I don't get my two cans of fucking formula exactly at 6, 10, 2 and 6, or that I get my drugs in at 4 and 4. Oh yeah, and working in Keflex now as well. That tossed me a curve last week. Oh God!!! How am I ever going to get this taken 3 times a day???? No, not quite that bad, but a curve none the less.
Why are we this way? Nearly all of us get hung up in routine. Is it comforting to know that things will be the same way every day? Have we lost the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing paradigm to the point we are lost if something unexpected hits? If that's the case, mores the shame on us. Routine is good, and in some people's cases it's needed. But for the majority of us, don't you think we should be more readily adaptable? I had help in being more able to adapt than some. I was on call from 1990 until until 2011. On any given night, I was liable to be woken up from a dead sleep, and on my way to work in the dark. All so I could figure out what the problem was, find a fix, or shut it down until we could get things fixed. It's the oil field, 99.99% of the time it was fix it. There was no shutting it down. Especially the injection system. That meant shutting down the entire field. That shit wasn't happening. So, I had help learning to adapt. So did some of the folks that played team sports. It's often adapt or lose. Right guys? I wrestled a little, and later in life threw heavy shit in the Highland Games. Both of those are individual sports. More my speed, I lost it was on me, not a team effort, or someone else's fault, all mine. I like that better. All that said, I did learn to adapt a bit better, I had to in order to do my job even halfway correctly. So why is it so hard in our personal life to have a daily routine shaken up even a little. If there's an answer on the other side of the door at the time I reach Critical Mass, I'll text and let someone know. Don't be stingy, share.
Book Of Rock: If you're not willing to work harder than anyone else to prove your own hype wasn't just bullshit, shut up and let someone who's willing to do that take over.
I busted my ass after telling my boss I could do the Tech job. That I'd make him glad he'd put me in that position. That meant being at work an hour before the pumpers got there. I checked the status of the POC's we had on telemetry. I knew before they did if they had problems. That also meant staying late getting reports out to them on fluid levels. Generally on Friday night, but they got them every week, by pumper not just willy nilly.
The young man that took my spot, and later left to go into sales, and I hope he's very successful. If it's better for him, that's great. Well, for months he complained he didn't like relief pumping. I'd make sure I had all my tests finished and nothing in test for him to mess with. I cleaned meters and had as many of the well heads as I could get to cleaned. He really only had to check tanks and keep things running.
So, he gets my route to pump full time. Bitched about that being so much work. Why aren't the tester meters working? Well, bud, because I had to clean them nearly every time I put a well in test. You didn't have to dick with that, remember? Damn, there's a lot of stuffing boxes leaking. Yep, they'll do that, gotta take care of it every day, but I made sure they weren't before I left them for you. You wanted it, welcome to full time pumping. Stop bitching and do your job.
So often these days the squeaky wheel does get the grease. If they can do what they say they can, then fine, that shut up the bitching. If they can't, it means most of us are going to have to step up to cover the short fall of the bitching person. Don't be me, be civil. When you're asked, and inevitably you will be asked about a promoted person's ability. Be nice, be soft in your speech, but mostly be honest. If they suck, find some diplomatic way to say so. Remember the boss that's asking is the same one that promoted, so they won't want to look at themselves as foolish. I, on the other hand, took years to figure out that saying things like "That dense bastard couldn't find his ass with both hands, a map and fucking compass". All that accomplished was make the head honcho look like an idiot for promoting Captain Complainer. Things like "Well, there are places he really needs improvement." Then have those places in a list. And be specific about what changes YOU'D make to do the job better. If that means sending them off to a school or two, so be it. Now, there's a method to that madness. The more you ask the Squeaky Wheel to take on as a responsibility, the less they can generally handle. They'll self implode. Honest ones, and there are a few, will step back on their own. The others will fuck up so badly they'll get demoted. Seen it happen, never had the sense to lay it out in the terms I mentioned earlier. I was too blunt. Turns out blunt works sometimes, not always.
Be good today, and make yourself proud. After all, if you're proud of yourself, chances are you've made someone else proud of you as well.
For fun, torpedo run a crowd of folks at Wal-Mart. If you have to ask what that is, chances are you better not do it! HA!!!