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Worthless Workforce by Ray Printer Friendly

There are all kinds of things I don’t like in the world, and I’d have to say that hippies are way up on the list. It’s not that I’m some ultra-rightwing conservative or anything. It’s just that hippies generally tend to get on my nerves. Enough of them have done this so that not only have I formed an opinion, but I’ve also allowed myself to group them all together. Stereotyping, I believe it’s called. And as far as hippies are concerned, I’m okay with that.

I was talking to a guy at work today, and after I told him that I really hated hippies, he confided that he used to be hippy. I got the impression he was a relatively tame hippy, and didn’t get all carried away with the whiny, slacker nonsense that entails what most of the hippies I’ve encountered are all about. In fact, I think the extent of his hippy phase might have been letting his hair grow out a little longer: “Not all the way to my shoulders or anything, but still pretty long,” he told me. I’ve seen this guy work, so I think he would make a terrible hippy—his work ethic is too strong.

What bugs me about hippies is that they choose to suck. Gangsta rappers have bling and bitches and fancy cars and guns. Metalheads have huge hair and guitars. Jocks have jock straps and footballs and cheerleaders. Preppies have Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Hippies have whiny-ass folk music. They have ratty, scum-coated hair. They have body odor. They have sandals and unwashed feet. They pretend to be nonjudgmental, all the while being members of one of the most prejudiced cliques on the planet. “Oh, you eat meat? Killer!” You’re damn right, hippy-boy. I’d kill and eat you, except you smell like rotten onion and charred skunk.


You might be wondering what sparked this hippy-hating rant, and even if you aren’t wondering, I’m going to tell you.

You remember me telling you about how I had to get up early this morning to accept a delivery at my job? Yeah, man, I was out of bed at 4:16 this morning. It was as stupid as it sounds, plus three dozen.

I staggered out to the kitchen, started the coffee, and flopped down at my desk. I turned on my monitor and about blinded myself because going from a blank screen to a white homepage is like turning on a lamp while you’re staring at the light bulb, and my eyes aren’t ready for that shit first thing in the morning.

I tried to get a bit of writing done while I waited for the coffee to kick in, and then I woke up my princess and we got ready for the day.

I arrive at work at six, and the truck is already there waiting. As I approach, I notice that he’s backed up to my loading dock at an angle, which means that the metal plate I lay down to drive my forklift across isn’t going to fit. Not a big deal—the drivers usually have to pull forward to open their back doors, and then when they back up again, they make sure everything is straight—that first parking job is just to ensure that they get a spot in the tiny parking lot amidst the morning rush.

The guy jumps out of his truck and tries to hand me some paperwork, even though my hands are full with the crap I bring with me to work. I manage to grab the papers, unlock the door, and open my warehouse up.

He follows me in, and his first question is, “Do you have any coffee?” I hate the guys that ask for coffee. Don’t get me wrong—I like coffee. And to tell you the truth, it’s a perfectly reasonable question—a lot of places like ours have a coffee maker sitting out in the entry, with paper cups and maybe even a little creamer or whatever.

In fact, we actually have a coffee maker upstairs in the break room. It’s all fancy, and I don’t know how to use it, even though there are only two buttons. According to the guy who trained me, if you push one of those buttons, it makes coffee. If you push the other one, it dumps water all over the floor—something about refilling the tank or something.

The second day I worked at this job, I saw the coffee maker hygiene and decided to bring my own caffeine to work, so I’ve never learned which button does what. But this isn’t really about coffee—it’s about the delivery guys that ask for it.

I have accepted numerous deliveries over the past seven months, and one pattern I have come to recognize is that the delivery guys that ask for coffee are pains in the ass. Pains in my ass.

They act like they know everything, they’re stubborn, and they stink of cheap cigarettes. And they’re inept. Everything’s a big deal to them, which means instead of a simple conversation, it’s got to be some sort of a lame soap opera starring Ray and Dipshit Trucker.

For instance, I noticed that the guy didn’t leave enough room for me to drop my metal plate, so I said, “Hey, man, could I get you to pull up just a little? Like two, maybe three inches?”

Most guys go, “Sure, no problem.” And then they go move the truck. The guy this morning goes, “Ooooh. I don’t know about that. I pull up too much, you won’t be able to reach.” He bends and looks carefully at the cement loading bay. “Yeah, not a lot of room here.”

“If you don’t pull up, I can’t get the plate down.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m just saying—not much room here.”

See, here’s the thing: until he moves his freakin’ truck up a little, there’s no way to unload the pallets. There are no other options, you know? There are two things that can happen: 1) He moves the truck and we can drop the plate and see where we go from there, or 2) He stands there like some bar-ashtray-smelling moron and wastes my life.

Guess which one he picked?

Here’s where this whole post ties together. The guys that ask for coffee are bad enough, but this guy was also a hippy. What this means is, he’s actually three times more inclined to dodge any actual work than a regular human being. So it’s a major ordeal to get him to do anything more than stand there like a lump of shit in a grocery store aisle.

Maybe you’re wondering how I knew he was a hippy. Was it the tie-dyed t-shirt? Or the goofy bandana on his head? Or possibly his sandals? To tell you the truth, it was all of those things. But there’s more to it than that. Something a bit more subtle. It’s like I have sixth sense for detecting the worthless dregs of society, and drawing them to me, so that they can get in my way and waste my life.

I finally get the guy to walk his dumb ass back out to his truck, and he inches it forward a bit, then let’s off the brake and rolls back to the exact same spot. He climbs out of the cab and walks back to the loading bay.

“That work right there?”

“No, man,” I tell him. “Needs to be up a little more. My plate still won’t fit.”

He peers in at the little bit of space between his truck and the building. “I think it will fit.”

“It won’t fit,” I tell him. “You rolled back, so it’s in the exact same spot.”

He walks away. I thought he was going to pull forward, but instead, he walks around to the front door and into my warehouse. “I think that’ll fit right there,” he says.

“It won’t.”

“Just try it.”

So I have to lower the plate into the crevice so I can watch it not fit all over again. This plate I keep mentioning, here’s what it is: it’s this huge piece of metal, probably about five feet by four feet, and about a quarter of an inch thick. I guess it weighs a little over two hundred pounds, but it may be even more than that—sometimes I underestimate weight because I’m so freakin’ tough.

It is not a fun thing to haul around, and if you try setting it down before you have your balance, you can end up doing a wicked-quick face-plant into the cement. I’ve never done this, but I got extremely close once. At the last instant, I dropped the plate completely and did a ninja-style dive roll out of the way. Either that, or I dropped it and screamed like a little girl as I tried to regain my balance. I can’t remember which.

My point is, in order to “just try it,” I had to squat down and lower this giant piece of steel until the little feet got stuck on the back of the guy’s truck. You know…because it didn’t fit.

“Yeah, that’ll fit,” he says, staring at the plate that is absolutely not fitting.

“It doesn’t fit,” I tell him.

“Yeah, just, uh, stand on it.”

And this is when I realize that he just doesn’t want to walk back up to the cab of his truck and climb up into it. He’s a lazy bastard that would rather have me “try it” again twenty more times before walking his slacker ass up and moving the damn vehicle.

I’m generally a pretty nice guy, I think. Sure, I have my dick moments, but for the most part, I’m a decent member of society. I don’t go around punching doctors or burning maternity wards. Heck, I don’t even stab people in the elevators any more. But I have my limit, you know?

“Move the truck,” I told the guy.

“Yeah, man, but-”

“Pull it up, straighten it out, back up here right.”

“Yeah, I suppose I could try that, but even if I get it a little st-”

“Thanks,” I said, and went over to get a drink of the coffee I had brought from home.

He just kind of stood there, and so did I, and we looked at each other for a few seconds and then he went and pulled his truck up. He backed up straight, I dropped the plate, and we were in business. I glanced at the clock on my phone and saw that it was almost seven. What should have taken ten minutes took almost a quarter of an hour.

“Fuckin’ hippies,” I muttered as I cranked up my forklift. And I already knew that this rant was getting posted.

Sometimes the delivery guys will back up, wait for your thumbs-up, and then go back and get into their trucks, where they either go back to sleep or watch TV while you unload. The guys that ask for coffee don’t do this. They stand there and watch you unload, and they get in your way. I don’t know why—it’s just something they do.

So every time I pull a pallet out of the truck, I have to be careful not to hit this guy that’s standing right in the way of everything.

He finally goes out to smoke one of his cheap-ass cigarettes, and I get most of the truck unloaded while he’s out there—without him standing in my way, I’m about a thousand times faster.

He comes back in, and that’s when I notice his t-shirt.

Up until this point, I’ve mostly been thinking thoughts like, “Stupid hippies,” and “Man, I hate hippies.” I had been thinking about irony.

See, one of the more cliché things to yell at a hippy goes something like, “Lousy hippy! Get a job!”

The thing is, these silly bastards are actually more of a menace once they enter the workforce. I am growing old with a generation who measures success by actual success instead of a pile of bullshit ideals and dumpster funk, which means that at some point, I’m sure I’ll be hearing, “Lousy hippy, quit your job!”

That was the irony I was thinking of when I noticed this guy’s shirt.

I mentioned before that it was tie-dyed, right? I got no problem with tie-dye. In fact, I actually like it. But when I first saw this guy’s, it was still too early to be looking at that kind of thing. So I didn’t realize that his shirt actually had words on it.

He’s lucky I was on my forklift when I saw it. “Roll me in granola and feed me to hippie girls,” it read.

Roll me in granola and feed me to hippie girls.

My first reaction was to question the way that I’ve always spelled hippy. I checked when I got home tonight and found that both spellings are correct, but in the plural, you must use the “ie.”

My second reaction was to hit him with my forklift. I acted like I needed to correct my direction, and swerved towards him. He dodged, and I realized I could have saved valuable minutes had I just ignored the issue of his safety the whole time.

I wanted to knee him in the throat because of that shirt. I don’t know why—it rubbed me the wrong way, you know?

I didn’t impale him with my forklift or anything, I just finished unloading the truck, trying to rid myself of this worthless sack of dumbass as soon as possible. But when I finished up, he didn’t go away.

Instead, he asked me to make him copies of the paperwork that he was supposed to take with him (valuable hippy lesson: never do anything yourself if you can get someone else to do it for you). I made the copies, hoping that that would get him gone, but then he came back inside.

“Listen,” he said. “I’m gonna need you to move your truck.”

“What?”

“Your truck. I need you to move it, so that I can get out.”

“You’ll clear it,” I said. I felt secure in saying this as every delivery driver so far has cleared my truck.

“Nah, man. When I turn, my back end will swing around and hit it.”

The thing with big single-axle trucks is, when they turn one direction, their back-end swings out in the other direction. With trailers, you have to especially watch out for this kind of thing, so I understood his argument.

But also, he was being a complete dumbass, as my truck was parked ten feet away, and in no danger of being hit by him unless he was aiming (and considering his intelligence, I figured my truck was safe even if he aimed directly for it).

“Are you serious?” I asked. Because at this point, I thought maybe my boss was just playing a trick on me: show up at six in the morning, and this jackass hippy will pretend to be a complete moron for the next hour and a half! Like a TV show or something.

Sadly, it was only real life. I moved my truck, and the hippy eventually went away.

“I hate hippies, man,” I said to my coworker.

I used to be a hippy,” he said.

“People that used to be hippies are fine. It’s the current ones that piss me off.”

“You shouldn’t judge him as a hippy, but as a person. I mean, I think that’s more of an individual thing. Some people are worthless—they just want handouts, and it’s all ‘me, me, me’ all the time—hippy or not.”

“Look at you, man—sticking up for your people.”

“No, it’s not that, it’s jus-”

“Lousy hippy! Quit your job!”


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