I have a simple life with a very simple job. I smile and I write down names, license plate numbers and the time in and time out. I can’t really imagine anything more simple. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the guys and we have an easy camaraderie.
This isn’t the first time I’ve complicated the simple.
The less attractive aspects of the job are more environmentally specific than job related. If you follow Fork you know about most of them.
There’s the southern Texas wind which is alternately relentless or completely absent, the ever famous caliche and record breaking heat (2nd hottest March-May in Texas history).
For me, personally, there have also been: frozen pipes and flowerpot facilities (5th coldest streak in Texas history); the door that won’t open because of a broken latch or a leaning cow and the same door that won’t shut because of the weird tilt of the RV. Zero phone and internet service and laundry mats where I’ve forgotten to inspect the washers and pulled out drowned cockroaches with my jeans.
There have been herds of wild hogs, rooting around the RV that scream when the guys snare them at 2 am. There have been multiple tarantulas on foot and delivered in a crock pots and cans, scorpions and snakes – but fewer than expected so far.
There’s been mysterious cigarette smoke from invisible people and other night-time visits from: the lost and inebriated, the cows, stray dogs, curious cable eating calves, raccoons, mad bulls, possums, a guard donkey, giant dive-bombing insects, armadillos, coyotes, skunks and ‘I’m not sure what just shook the bushes’…
It’s not the job, it’s the environment that’s challenging. Or so I thought.
When I take over the gate from Heidi, I scan the sheet to see who’s in and out and try to anticipate the traffic etc… I don’t think Heidi ever looks at my shift sheets. She’s more of a go with the flow, take it as it comes, type. And after all, it is a simple job. For 6 months, I’ve thought Heidi just wasn’t trying real hard. We were continually recording different plates for the same guys.
I didn’t say anything, but lately I’ve been double checking. To my great surprise, she’s been right every time!
I’ve been having some trouble with my eyes, which is part of why I’m posting less often. I’m headed in my freon-free Jeep to Seguin to the eye Dr tomorrow to see if he can give me a little more clarity.
But I don’t think it’s going to help. I never liked math. I got As and Bs, but I’m the only person I know that got all the way through Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trig and one semester of Calculus by memorizing every example and equation. And I’m a pretty poor speller, even though I was reading classics in junior high.
I’ve never been able to pick up the art of skimming. I read every is and the. I accepted all these things long, long ago as a sign I should be a Psych major. I’ve always been able to smile and nod. 🙂
The thing is, if I saw it and had to write it down quickly (which is what we do at the gate) I would probably write something like SAY ON TO SWAS!!!
I know my license plate, but if I saw it for the first time, I’m likely to write 577 YUE or any combination of those numbers and letters. How could I just be finding this out in my 54th year? I might have gotten some mileage out of it when I was younger. Maybe I could have gotten out of some of those math classes.
It’s would be a simple job if I could just turn off the transposition key.
At least I can still smile and nod…