Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Today I honked my horn in anger for the first time ever. (Listen California license plate dude, in a double turn lane the vehicle on the left turns into the left lane, the vehicle on the right gets the right lane. Just like the stripes on the asphalt are painted. If you really wanted to be over in the right lane you should have decided that before you chose the leftmost of the two turn lanes. Cutting me off gets you honked at.)

Today I nearly cried in front of my staff when B_ showed them a slideshow on the history of the place they will be working (and I will not.)

Today I re-certified in CPR.

Today I packed two cases of frozen peas, two cases of frozen mixed veggies, one case of green beans, six top round beefs, six turkeys and two cases of pork chops into the smaller chest freezer and still got the lid closed.

Today I discovered I have one more damn problem to solve because my big freezer quit running.

Today I talked with a Florida guy who did not know what the electric plugs on the front of trucks are for.

Today I learned that my weekly delivery won't get here until after 7:00 PM.

Today I spent 12 hours on the job but only wrote eight on the timesheet because I cant afford to pay myself that much overtime.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


The alarm did its thing at 5:48, take some time to masturbate.

Hair in the mirror is in a crazy funk. Trim it now or it ain't getting done.

Hit the shower, eat some curds and fruit. Surf the web and read the news.

Print my Email, find my socks. Keys, phone and wallet fill my pockets.

Whadd-I-forget, wadd-I-forget? I'm not late yet. Whadd-I-forget, wadd-I-forget? I'm missing something it's a safe bet.

At the bank just as they open. Then I'm in my car doing the commutin'.

The post it says don't go straight there, swing by the store you need hardware.

Copy a key and get another lock, thankfully today this is my last stop.

At the office the staff is working, the phones are ringing the papers churning.

The morning meeting arrives in prompt fashion. So does the phone guy and the electrician.

Talking shop can be lots of fun but makes time fly, is it really time for lunch?

Go get food, give the next guy a break. Did that guy on the phone just say my business would be on Good Morning America on July 4 at a little past eight?

Call in the orders, need the supplies. Don't hang around to get the replies.

Off to Costco to do some shopping. 500 bucks later I still ain't stopping.

Damn rain, damn rain. My supplies are getting wet, this is such a pain.

Thankfully the warehouse still has space, but not for long at this pace.

The office is closing, but I'm not done. Replace the phone message for the next bit of fun.

Paper jam, fix the printer. Treat your stuff a little kinder.

Commuting home a little late, it would be nice to have some radio I don't hate.

Works not done, the phone is ringing. At least I like the news it's bringing.

Tomorrow, we add people to the team. But tonight I snack on some Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The coolest job in the world

My friend told me that I have the coolest job in the world. I pointed out some of my hassles; getting good staff, supply issues up the yang, last minute crises, lack of money in the checking account. My friend was still adamant, I have the coolest job in the world. Well appearances aren't everything, but I'm glad for the support.

After hemming and hawing about going on location vs. the million other chores before me I finally decided to just take the day and go do it. The time on the trail gives lots of time for thought. I thought about the money problems facing the business, I thought about the chores that were not getting done, I thought about the employees that were out of reach and still green at their jobs right now, I thought about how my partners ability to not ever stop talking is really annoying. Somehow I worked into a grumpy little funk.

When I got on location and looked around I found something that impressed me. My partner had the place in a flurry of activity. There was cleaning, repairing and all manner of organizing going on. After a rest and some food, (I was not expecting the soup, those people are doing good) my partner and I toured the place and talked business. We didn't discuss the neglected chores or the money problems or big issues. Instead we covered the little things, what was right there under our noses. I was very impressed with what I found. My partner was in her element there, doing the best work I have ever seen from her. Almost made me forget that I was mad at her for the way she handles our money.

After a couple hours I reversed course and hiked out, tossing thank you's at the people working as I departed. Without having lifted a finger to push a broom or carry water or shovel snow or clean a window I felt like everything getting done was my work. (Credit due to the partner of course.) It is a strange feeling to know that someone else's labor is my creation. My mind was much more peaceful now. The pack was lighter, the fields of glacier lilies were much more serene, the mountains looked a little more laid back than in the morning. As I hiked I started whistling and then singing. There were a few other people on the trail. A family stopped and asked me how much farther and I told them, I smiled and agreed with them that it was a beautiful place. As we parted it occurred to me that it was the work I was doing that allowed them to be there and enjoying themselves. It felt good to be the secret man behind the curtain for them. It is my job to hike this trail. It is my job to come to these mountains. I continued singing down the trail, humming to the trees and smelling the clean air. Okay, yeah. I have the coolest job in the world.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The most bizarre part of my day

The most bizarre part of my day could have been the grouse pecking at my hiking boots and chasing me up the trail. At least I think it was a grouse. The bird identification websites were a little tricky to figure out with all the dendragapus obscurus shit. Anyway the little fucker was mean and aggressive. He chased me a long way. I'm sure if it ever came down to it I could have stepped on him, like if that beak of his got in a lucky shot and drew blood I would have had to take him out. I like to be a nature lover and at peace with the wild creatures but the little fuck was picking on someone way bigger than he was. Survival of the fittest and biggest is supposed to be part of nature too. Gotta give him credit though, that little bird going after someone as big as me, that takes courage.

He was probably defending the nest is what it is. Sacrifice yourself for the babies. Stand your ground for the lady bird back at the nest. That is romance, true pure love right there. The women don't see it though. They don't think you are in love unless you are talking about your feelings. Any father on fathers day can talk about busting ass for ten hours a day doing damned stupid work getting treated like crap because the wife and kids back home need food and shoes and color teevee. According to some that's not romantic, that's not love, that's not talking about feelings. But again, it takes courage. Any successful father has had to chase after something way bigger than himself.

The most bizarre part of my day could have been breaking into my place of business with a leatherman. It is supposed to be government property with special coded keys going to numbered locks and I had to sign out my set of keys with a signature and everything. All that accountability crap and the maintenance people can't even get the bolt to line up with the doorframe. The whole thing was held closed with some bolts I could undo with a pair of pocket pliers. I suppose that puts me in the position of the little dude pecking at the big government. I suppose if I actually drew blood or money I would probably have gotten stepped on. My side of the story involves defending the nest.

The most bizarre part of my day could have been the girl inviting me to jack off with her in the woods. I wasn't expecting it. I figured she had meant it when she put down the no more sex, no more relationship ultimatum. I was trying to be cool about it. Doing things like talking about feelings, cooking dinner, going on hikes with her. Being romantic is easy when no one is relying on you. When being stable and solid and reliable is no longer required you can get away with the mushy shit. Women don't understand love. They think the ten hour work day doesn't count as love. Well it is all about self love now; my ten hour work days are for me, not her or anyone else. I've got the courage to take on a business, to risk getting stepped on.


She held up her end of the bargain, self love does not really count as sex according to some. So there we were, pant's around our hiking boots stroking ourselves. She will let me stand between her and the attacking grouse. She will watch me bust down a door I have a key to. She will let me stand alone as I shoulder the risks of business. For this I get to spread my jacket on the damp ground and look at her tits while fondling myself. She thought we were courageous for doing it outdoors.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Found in my inbox

Dear Friends,

Allow me to kvetsch for just a moment. CAN THE WORLD SHUT THE F**K UP ALREADY ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON, TERRY SHIVO, and TOM CRUIS/KATIE HOLMES? Jesus F**king Christ. I do my absolute best to avoid that shit by refusing to read, hear, or watch "news", but somehow I can't escape it because STUPID PEOPLE AT WORK HAVE TO DISCUSS IT (LOUDLY) EVERY DAY LIKE THEY'RE THE EXPERTS. For God's sake, why would someone want to fill their brains with the details about autopsies and strangers' alleged sexual behavior and the "official engagements" of egomaniacs? Is nothing sacred anymore? Can we all just mind our own goddamn business? I get so disgusted about it that I have to shut my office door and crank Rufus Wainwright, which makes me anti-social to the otherwise pleasant office revelry. And see, now I've burdened you with awful "news." GRR!

Ok, I feel better now. Thanks for reading. I hope you have a pleasant, celebrity-gossip-free Friday filled with happy, reality-based thoughts.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Why I don't blog politics

This is why I don't blog politics. Always ends in a dick swinging contest. Catch the beginning over in the MTpolitics blog. (Hi Craig, congrats, cute kid.)


This might suck, I fear a pissing contest coming, but I stepped in and then you asked a direct question so here goes.

Montana Jones, please define for me what the "interests of a community" are?

I'm afraid I can't do that. First reason is that the interests of a community will vary from community to community. For example a community with a large Quaker population will have a different set of priorities for their quality of life than a community of Mormons. Both of these will be different from the interests of, say, New York City or as referenced by the article, Bozeman Montana.

Second reason I can't make the definition is that it is not my job. Defining the interests of a community is the job of the government. More precisely it is the job of the communities elected representatives. I am sure you have heard of this democracy thing, it's all the rage these days. It works like this, people in a community vote for individuals who will help shape the laws and regulations in a way that they favor. This includes representatives like city council members, school board, county sheriff, and so on. These people then form the government and it is their job to sort out all the conflicting voices and opinions on what the people really want or need. This government in turn uses tools like zoning laws, noise ordinances, and economic incentives (or disincentives) to help the community prosper in a manner that the citizens desire. It's called the rule of law.

This is not a perfect system and I never even tried to imply that it is. The system is chock full of disagreement and conflict and majorities voting for things that appear economically stupid. In your example of southern communities wanting segregation, you are absolutely correct, segregation probably is in their interests (or at least was at one time.) In that particular instance a larger communities interests (the United States of America) overrode the interests of the smaller community for better or worse.

So should public interest trump the rights of property owners? Well, that is up to the government to decide. Often times it is decided that public interests DO trump the rights of property owners. Remember those zoning laws and noise ordinances? Those are the things that stop your neighbors from building noisy factories in residential neighborhoods or building toxic waste dumps next to, oh, maybe you. This does not make factories or waste dumps or box stores bad things, the community simply wants them to be in certain places and to be well behaved.

Now back to the article you linked. This article is not an example of big bad government thwarting economic growth because they can. This is about a community government (remember those elected representatives?) doing their job of trying to figure out what the interests of the community are and enacting the appropriate laws. According to the article they are being advised that they may indeed have stepped beyond their bounds of authority.

I don't know why Bozeman Montana decided that some box stores should have to pay $950,000 to do their business. Perhaps it was as you suggest a poor economic decision. Perhaps it was an emotional decision. Perhaps the people of Bozeman don't like shopping at Wal-Mart and would have preferred a Woolsworth. But the government has decided that it is in the interests of the community to charge the $9500,000 fee. It is apparent that you don't like the decision, and guess what. That is okay. You now have the option of voting for a different elected representative in the next election. Perhaps then the government will define the interests of the community a little differently and if you are lucky the next Wal-Mart Supercenter will be on the property right next to yours. We certainly wouldn't want to stop economic progress just because some do-gooder thinks box stores are unsightly now would we.

For what it is worth; I agree with you when you say "Has it occurred to anyone that 'luring' big business into town via incentives is unfair, and anticompetitive on its face, for local businesses?" All I really wanted to do was point out that your rant against the government was misplaced. It made you sound ignorant of why cities do things like this in the first place.

And as for your crack:

It's interesting that you, and many others, speak as if the government is above reproach - that somehow it is perfect.

You are obviously not aware of my full opinion on our government and I hope you choke on those words the next time some damn hippy criticizes a politician or policy that you happen to approve of.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Doing Business

"It has been an eventful half day. Do you want the bad news or the good news?"
blank look "It's all the same to me."
"Well the good news is that we will never have to do business with H__L again."

Like sunlight sneaking in a window a wry smile spreads across L_'s face.

"The bad news is we will have to shell out about $8,000 bucks for our own supply of widgets."
"That's not a bad thing. Taking control of our own supply can be a good thing. Like when we print our own fliers. You know that we can just print on demand and get exactly what we need. We Just shell out a bunch of money for ink is all. So what happened?"
"Well, I got a voicemail last night from W_ saying that they are declining our account. We just need too many damn widgets and they don't have the supply and we keep them out too long and our account is so small potatoes to them that they just don't want our business. They have turned down our account."
"Well you know that just saves us the trouble of shitcanning him. This is a good thing. They never could damned well figure out how our business works. We go through this with them every damn year and they are always saying how they could accommodate us and meet our needs and be so wonderful to us, just so long as we do it on their terms."


"I just wanted to let you know I got the widgets ordered."
"Ohh, thank you. That is such a load off."
"Pulled it off for less than $8,000 too."
"Sweet. You have no idea how much this has stressed me today. We are meeting with C_ from A in an hour or so to handle the servicing. This is going to be a little more expensive this year but in the long run I think we are better off for it."
"Yep. We should send W_ a thank you card. This is the nicest thing H__L has ever done for us. You know, it's not just W_, but J_ before him gave us the same problems. It's in the way they do business. Any way you want it so long as it's their way. Back in '96 when I started up with them I was dealing with C_ and he told me once he tried to get them to make some changes and move to a new facility. They are working out of that same tiny space they have been using since back in the day and it is so cramped and crowded, you can't move in there, and in the summer it gets so damn hot. They have so many widgets coming and going that they can't keep their stock and supply straight. God knows how they do their accounting and inventory. We would never get back what we sent them. Well C_ kept working on them and found a nice site in L* where they could build a new facility that they could grow into comfortably. But the old guard just said 'we don't need a new building, why should we change, this is the way we have always done it; why should we change?' C_ finally got so fed up that he just sold out. Sold out and left. He has been long gone for years now."
"Yeah, I believe it. I would love to have the time and capital to start another widget business around here. I could make a killing. Ever since I first came near H__L the other year they disappointed me. Now that I have dealt with them I know they have problems. That company smells like death."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

How to fix a blister

The Montana Jones guide to blisters.

Prevent them.

The first best way to deal with a blister is to not get one in the first place. Choose good footwear and avoid shoes that rub or pinch; that should be common sense. You also have to pick a good sock. A thick wooly sock can help sometimes but be careful, pressure causes blisters too. If your shoe has a tight fit thick layers of socks can sometimes aggravate the problem. If you have the comfiest boot in the world but the fit is snug, get a thinner sock. I have seen people hike with dress socks for the ultra thin feel. Personally I would just go and get a good pair of running socks. Sporting good stores sell some nice hiking socks but my personal favorite sock is the all purpose plain white tube sock. You know those ratty tube socks you wear in your day to day? Don't hike with those. For some serious footwork go and get a brand new pair that doesn't have the life trampled out of them. I typically get only two or three washings out of a sock before I retire it from hiking duty. Secret happy foot trick: wear them inside out with the smooth side next to your skin.

Tape on the heel can stop a blister before it starts.

When the footwear is as good as it's gonna get and there is still a chance of a blister I use this great stuff called 'Sports Tape.' This is all purpose cloth tape commonly used to tape up a sprained ankle. I keep a roll or two in my backpack all the time, it is the best blister preventative I know. About two inches across the heel is all it takes. If you get blisters on your toes or the sides of your feet be sure to tape there too. Once you are taped up you have to be careful putting the sock on or you will rip all your handiwork off. (footiework?) Roll the sock into a sock doughnut and starting from the toe unroll it onto your foot.

Stop it before it starts.

If you are out hiking, playing, having fun and you feel a hot spot on your foot you are in blister trouble. Either you are going to get a blister or you already have one. Stop right there. Sit down. Get that shoe off and check your foot. If you do nothing and keep walking you are doomed to blisterhood. Tape up that hot spot, and smooth out your sock before you keep going. If you didn't bring the roll of sports tape with you now is the time to improvise. A band-aid from the first aid kit will do the trick. Change socks if you can. You might even try using some of that cellophane you wrapped your lunch with as an improvised band-aid.

A minor blister.

A minor blister. So you have a sore spot on your foot, it's red, tender, and possibly even starting to fill with fluid. There is almost nothing you can do about this blister. Clean it, tape it, protect it, and live with it. I like to clean the foot with wet naps for dirt and alcohol wipes for germs. There are some pretty good off the shelf blister band-aids that work well on this sort of blister. If it is super painful, try treating it with a dab of pain relieving Neosporin. For serious pain, try my secret weapon: Preparation H. Get out of those shoes the first chance you get. If you go easy on your feet this will heal on it's own in a day or two. If you keep hiking it won't heal until after the irritation stops.

A big blister.

A puffy fluid filled blister.

So that blister got all big and now it is a puffy blob of fluid filled skin. If it is small or only loose skin without a lot of fluid you can tape it just like the minor blisters. I actually prefer to do this whenever I can because as soon as you lance the blister and break the skin you have created an open wound. Your shoes and your stinky feet can be host to all sorts of interesting bacteria and fungus. Your feet will be happier if there were no open wounds in your shoe. But sometimes the blister is so big and nasty that the fluid will create more pressure or putting your shoe back on will break the blister. A needle is the best tool for lancing that bad daddy. In a perfect world your needle would be sterilized in an autoclave before you used it. In our imperfect world clean the needle the best you can with alcohol and be ready to treat the foot with Neosporin or other antibacterial ointment. First clean the blister and surrounding area with alcohol wipes and have some paper towels ready. Make only one small hole in the outer skin to drain the fluid. Don't tear or cut the skin off, your own skin is the best possible band aid so keep it intact. You may have to press on the blister with the paper towels to encourage it to drain. After you have drained it to the best of your ability clean and dry the blister again, apply the antibiotic ointment and cover it with a blister band aid.

A broken blister.

A broken blister. The blister got out of hand and broke before you could treat it. Take extra care with these blisters, you have an open wound on your foot and you need to worry about infections. If you are treating someone else's blister you should be wearing rubber gloves. Those bodily fluids can contain nasties like Hepatitis or HIV. First step again is to clean the blister. When the skin is broken I pass on the alcohol wipes and use a medicated wipe instead; they tend to sting less than the alcohol. Treat this blister with the antibiotic ointment and cover it with a blister band aid. Clean the wound and replace the band aid regularly until it heals.

About blister band aids.

I learned all my blister craft from my grandmother who treated hundreds of blisters in her day. She didn't have the luxury of modern band aids so she used ointment, plastic food wrap and lots of tape. Worked pretty good too. The object of the game is to stop the friction. Make the shoe rub something other than the skin. Nowadays there are several band aids available off the shelf specifically designed for blisters. They are made very thin, shaped for the heel of a foot and sometimes come treated with a pain killer. Modern technology has trumped grandma.

There are various brands of blister band aids and they can be hard to find even in a well stocked drug store. I tend to rely on the Band-Aid brand, get the larger size the small ones are useless with real world blisters. If you can't find the blister band aids look for the "Advanced Healing gel strips" as far as I can tell these are the same product in a different box. Dr. Scholl's also makes a pretty sweet blister band aid. I like to keep a variety of brands around because not all band aids stick to all people. Some peoples skin simply wont let a band aid stick. The different brands will use different adhesives so sometimes one brand will stick while another wont. Find what works for you. I have even gone so far as to hold a band aid in place with complete wraps of sports tape. A hiker once introduced me to a product called "Spyroflex" It was a rubbery material that came in sheets that could be cut to size and would stretch to the contours of the foot. That was some sweet blister treatment stuff but I have never been able to find it again.


I think Moleskin is overrated and I generally avoid it. It is supposed to be an all purpose blister treatment but it does not work as well or as often as I would like. First of all Moleskin is a thick pad. If your blister is a pressure blister this stuff will only make it worse. Sometimes the padding of moleskin is all it takes to create a pressure blister. Secondly the stuff is not sterile. If the blister breaks or you need to lance it, Moleskin will not protect you from bacteria or infection. The only time Moleskin is ever useful is if pressure is definitely not a problem, the friction is extreme and there is no chance of getting out of those shoes anytime soon. Clean and bandage the blister as you normally would and then cut the Moleskin into a doughnut shape with the inner hole slightly larger than the blister. Apply the Moleskin around the blister with the blister showing through the hole. This is the trick that everyone seems to know and it is not all that useful in most situations.

Whats in Montana Jones' blister kit.

My blister kit
  • Moist Towelettes - Used for cleaning dirt, grime, toe jam and sweat off the feet.
  • Alcohol Swabs - Used for cleaning nasty germs off the feet.
  • Gold Bond Medicated Wipes - Used for cleaning and sanitizing when the skin is broken.
  • Sports Tape - Two sizes for all sorts of interesting uses.
  • Blister Band-Aids - I usually try to keep both large and small sizes and a variety of brands.
  • Moleskin - Just in case that one in a hundred Moleskin treatment is needed.
  • Neosporin - Antibiotic ointment. Use it anytime the skin is broken.
  • Preparation H - A super duper pain killer for those ultra sucky blisters.
  • Cute little scissors - Useful for cutting tape, Moleskin

What ought to be in the blister kit but not shown here

  • A needle - Used for lancing those big blisters, preferably sterilized.
  • Hand Sanitizer - Always wash your hands before and after doing blister treatment.
  • Rubber Gloves - Unless you intimately know the patient you have to assume their bodily fluids are carrying hepatitis. Protect yourself.


  • Prevent the blister. If you get a hot spot it may already be too late.
  • Clean the blister. Alcohol when the skin is not broken, medicated wipes when the skin is torn. And wash your hands too.
  • Cover the blister. Use thin band aids, tape, whatever it takes to stop the friction without adding pressure.
  • Treat open wounds to avoid infection.
  • Get out of those shoes and rest your feet. The healing won't start until the irritation stops.
Eeew! Ouch! Icky!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Things I am not going to blog about

My rant on Montana telephone numbers and why it always takes me three tries to dial the phone correctly here. Summary: Ten digit dialing is good.

My recent attempts at online socializing. Summary: Online ads are fun, but without time for follow through pen pals are boring.

How much I have been enjoying springtime in Montana. Summary: Rain is not so bad, daylight is good.

Glacier National Park. Summary: Magical place, I like it.

How I've gotten really busy with work and won't have much time for blogging this summer. Summary: Blah, blah, narcissism, blah, blah, real life/blog conflict, blah, blah, please don't morn for me, blah, blah, oh how I want to be wanted by my blog reading minions, blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Being Montanan

I have paid income tax in Montana for the past two years? Does this make me Montanan? My mother and grandmother and great grandmother were all born and raised in Montana. I have Montanan blood. Does this make me Montanan? I have had a Montana mailing address since January, a Montana drivers license since February, Montana license plates on my car since May. Is this all it takes to be Montanan? Does being Montanan come from the love of wide spaces and freedom, from independence, from respect for our neighbors and our land? Is there a secret Montanan handshake? (I'm not sure but I think it may be saluting your neighbor with your coffee cup first thing in the morning.)

I don't know exactly when I will make the transition from transplant to Montanan, but I got a phone call inviting me to a barbecue this weekend. The first time since my move that someone has invited me to a social event. That has made me feel more Montanan than anything else I have done.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


"I think Montana should be different. Montana should have an 18 drinking age and a 100 speed limit."

Spoken by an overweight, homely, and pertinacious woman on the occasion of her son's 18th birthday celebration.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Waking up tired

The morning was filled with a soft haze as I pulled myself from bed to bath to kitchen to desk. Sleep was slow to rub from my eyes, my brain had a cloud in it. The empty beer bottle count told me it was not a hangover. Just tired. Up way too late last night doing, uh, oh yeah, doing her. A memory cracks open in the haze of images I never saw and sounds I never heard. I smile to myself and look to the recent documents on my computer. There it is; a text file. I scan through it, a transcript. A lengthy transcript of last nights IM conversation. It all comes back to me. The reckless flirting, suggestive banter. Scroll down farther, there it is, the erotic descriptions and the fuck me's. I stop reading, the incident painted a picture in my mind that is much nicer than the plain text. In my mind I revisit the sounds of breath and moan and the visions of skin that never actually happened. It was all fantasy. Somehow richer, deeper, more erotic than a real encounter could be. I can picture her naked as though she were actually in this room last night. An odd and powerful construct of imagination. I have never actually seen her naked and yet the memory is there now. Vivid and beautiful. The only thing missing would be the smell of her on my pillow.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


How hard is it really. I need someone to do work I can't do myself. Someone does that work in exchange for my money. The problem is that employment can be an emotional issue. I understand that. I have quit jobs over petty little things like satisfaction, challenge, timing, happiness, the people I am required to work around. I want to be sensitive to these things as I transition from employee to employer.

Being the employer is as much a commitment as being an employee. When I agreed to hire I believe I was also agreeing to support and nurture along with agreeing to pay. When employee S_ called expressing doubt about the upcoming summer season I dropped all and had a lengthy and candid heart to heart on the rewards and challenges of the work. There was a several day cooling off period and when I heard from S_ again I was given the verdict. No thank you. Fair enough, in the end I don't want to fight for an employee that won't be happy and productive. We parted amiably, the applications came back out and the position was filled again within a day. Then the grapevine spoke and I heard that the no may not be final. There was still vacillation and could I please grant some more time for S_ to decide. S_ would have been a great employee and it saddens me but what is done is done. Support and nurture is good and all but I have a business to run and there is only so much 'I dunno what I want' that I can tolerate.

I have been working toward filling a different position as well. Seasonal, temporary, needs local help. I shelled out 200 clams to run a freakin' dead tree classified. I would prefer an online ad but I don't think the online ads have as much reach around here. In return I got a nice stack of resumes to consider. The position doesn't start for a while so I took my time with the considering. I narrowed down to my favorite three and then spent time with phone interviews. It took a couple days of phone tag to get back to my first choice. Can't do it, already has another job commitment. A day later the next one declined because of schedule conflicts late in the season. A holiday weekend and another day of phone tag I finally reach the final selection and they took up another job just the day before. Damn. Missed by a day. My turn to pay the price for procrastination. This setback could really set me back. I pull another resume out of the folder and call the number. Can't do it, already has another job. I'm starting to worry. Too much time has slipped since collecting these resumes in the first place. These things have cost me $200 and they may already be worthless. Timing is everything. I still have a couple more resumes in the stack that might work out, but they are still in the pile because they failed to impress me. A few days ago I was feeling on top of the world, organized and ready for the season. But now the world is atop me. I guess this is just one of those things, one of those problems that business people are supposed to be able to snap their fingers and solve. I just don't want to shell out another $200 to solve it.

(Note to self: in the future always finish your summer hiring before Memorial Day.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Doing Business

Conference tables arranges in a big circle, projector in the center aimed at the screen on one wall. Neat trays with coffee, muffins, cookies, veggie platters in the corner.

"Jones, have you met P_(name you will never remember)?"
"No, Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Montana Jones, I'm with __."
"Hi, I'm P_. I do X for higher power."

It took less that five minutes before I was stifling a yawn. Sit up straight Jones, lean forward on the table, it makes you look interested. Take notes about something.

"Jones, have you met &_(name you will never remember)?"
"No, Hi, I'm Montana Jones, I'm with __."
"Hi, &_. I'm with C&D."

Damn, my mind wandered. Who is this speaking? What do they do again? This meeting agenda lists speakers by last name and he was introduced by first name. Who the hell is this guy? Is this the part that's important to me? Damn.

"Jones, you should meet J_(name you will never remember)."
"Hi, I'm Montana Jones, I'm with __."

This is a horrible group for playing the 'pretend everyone is naked' game. I wonder who else here is not paying attention? That guy over there just stifled a yawn. I can't be alone. Is anyone else pretending everyone is naked? There are only two cute girls in the whole room. Don't stare, don't stare. Dammit Jones, this is a business meeting not a social club. Whoa, did she just look at me? Don't stare.

"Hi, I'm S_(name you will never remember). What do you do?"
"Hi, I'm Montana Jones, I'm with __."