Monday, September 28, 2009
Lightin Up The Fireplace
Right outta college, I took this here job, with a up an commin retail chain. Now they specialized in fireplaces, an fireplace equipment. This company was outta Deetroit, Michigan, where it gets cold, has snow an all that there.
Now I applied for the job as a manager trainee, now I didn't know nuthin bout fireplaces, an even less bout managin peeple. But the dern fools hired me anyways. They hired me on the spot, told me I was goin to Columbus, Ohio, to train in one their best stores. Thet I, needed to go home and start packin enuff clothes for two weeks of training, lernin how to put these free standin fireplaces in homes an all.
This here company was a lot bigger that I could've ever dreamed. They sold fireplaces, an the stuff whut goes with em, hell, we never had nuthing like thet afore. Maybe, a pot belly stove, cause it never really ever got cold enuff to have no fireplace in our little ole house no way. Most the peeple in these parts didn't have a fireplace lessen you was rich, an all.
Anyways went to, Columbus, in this here aeroplane , and had never flown in one them things in my life. Man, I was scared like a rabbit being chased by coyotes, an sweatin like a ruptured water main, had to wring out my socks, afore I could stand up. The damned thing finally landed, an I dashed right off thet thing.
They had me go to werk as soon as they could catch me, they thought I was gonna run all the way back to Oklahoma. Yep, they took me right to the werk site, started me right out, cuttin holes in peeples roofs, an if thet wasn't scary enuff, they figgered I knew why I was a doin it. Hell, these here holes was eight inches round, now how we gonna keep the rain out, was whut I was wonderin. I'll be damned, we put this here shiny pipe on top of that fireplce thing, another thing on the roof, round the shingles, and it didn't leak at all. Man I was reall relieved, just knew these yankees was gonna blame ever thing on the red neck,(didn't know then they had got out of the war ginst the south long ago). Them yankees were real nice to me, even fed me lunch an all.
The next day we started back to the job when the big boss called. He told them boys to bring me back to the store, but to stop an git my things from the motel first. Man this don't sound good to me, hadn't done nuthin I could think of to lose the job thet quick.
The big boss was waitin for me at the store, he had this big smile on his face. He said hello there young man, I am Jim Buttmeister, the owner of this here operation, welcome aboard. Man, bout thet time I had passed enuff gas to fill one them flyin baloon things, eggsited I guess, didn't lose the job and all.
He went on to splain, the feller in the store in Oklahoma City, just walked out, quit. He found out I had been hired an was skeered I was his replacement, which I wasn't, but now I am. Sos, I got eight hours of a crash course on how to run this here store, thet I had only been in oncest, for about thirty minutes, taking an interview for this here job.
Good god almighty, all I learnt so far, is how to cut a hole in sumones roof, and they want me to run a store. Man I must be a really good hole cutter, or sumthin. Mr. Jim Buttmeister, says don't werry bout nuthin, your just a phone call away, hell, whut I wanted to know was, do I git a raise now. Sos I ask.
Mr. Jim, says well hell, yes, man Iwas happy as a pig in fresh mud. Werk two days, cut a hole, and git my salary doubled, and ain't done hardly nuthin other then thet.
Well, I git back to the store in Oklahoma City, an set up shop. Introduce my self to ever body an all.
Ask the folks whuts spose to be done. Come to find out, they install these here, fake gas log sets.
The ones thet look like a real burnin fire, but just the fire is real, the logs is fake. Now all I ever done is cut a hole in sum ones roof, never put these log things in. Sos I call Deetroit, they say not to worry, they would talk me through it over the phone. Hey now, that sounds easy enuff.
I git all these her tools together, and head out to install this gas log set. I open the box and see this thing looks like a pilot light for a hot water heater. Bout this time it hits me, I hope this here thing has sum kinda instruction sheet, whew, it did.
Now this little old lady was as sweet as she could be. She brought me tea, and cookies and just a jabberin away, while I was readin these here instructions. Well it don't look thet hard, the gas line is already there, just gotta take off thet gas starter thing and hook up the pilot light thing, I asked this lady where her phone was, thet I needed to check in and let the bosses know thet all the parts were there.
She says, well young man the phone ain't werkin right now, cause they're werkin on the lines. Holy shi...., now I gotta wing it. This poor lady got sum dam fool in her house, whut don't know how to do nuthin but cut holes in her roof, messin with her gas line.
This little lady takes a seat, in front of the fire place, an I'm still readin the instructions, while puttin these here things in. It says check the line for leaks with soap and water, sos the little lady gits me sum.
I put on the soap and water an don't see no bubbles. Next it says turn the button to pilot, and hold down to bleed the air outta the line. So far so good. Now I have lit pilot lights before so, I figger I'm in the clear now. I start smellin the gas now, the air is all bled out. Time to light the pilot light, I git sum them long matches, light it, put it down by the pilot light.........KA BOOM.
Thet thing sploded, in my face, threw me backkerds into they little lady, singed the hair on my arms, an singed the hair on my beard. Man, I was skeered that little ole lady was gonna have a heart attack, fretted over me. She weren't even worried I mighta blew up her house.
Then she asked me, should I call the fire department, I was skeered an all thet, but didn't want her to know how stoopid I was.
Sos, I said, Why no maam, ever thing is just fine, it's just a litlle of extra added service an I'm use to it, we always do thet to scare off any birds sos they wont git their feathers burnt off. She bought it, and it calmed her down and I left soons as I could pick up my tools.
I got back to the store, called the boss back in Deetroit, knowin I wuld be fired. He got on the phone and I splained whut had happened. Man, he burst out laughin, thought it was the funniest excuse he had ever heard of, the he splained to me, how a fire place has this damper thing, up inside and all, and it's spose to be open. Well, hell, I didn't never know thet, I said, it wasn't on the instruction sheet, he just started laffin again.
Damndest thing I ever heard of, cuttin holes in peeples roofs, blowin up their livin rooms almost, all in less then two weeks, and he gives me another raise. Thet was how it started, by the end of the year he had me runnin, thirtyfour of seventytwo stores, go figger.
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- ▼ September (9)