Saturday, February 26, 2011

What I Learned this week #2

I tell people that I learn something every day. Sometimes it is something that I may not have wanted to learn. This week was interesting, but every week is.

Sunday, I learned that it doesn't hurt to get input from others when making tough decisions. Thanks. I also learned that what you want to get out of your job at 57 is a lot different from what it was at 27.

Monday, I learned that there is some idiot calling himself Mr. Bernhart Smith running loose in Greensboro. Mr. Smith learned not to come into Tex & Shirley's and demand to speak to me.

Tuesday, I was reminded that there are two sides to everything. That ranges from who benefits from hiring new employees to who benefits when terminating employees.

Wednesday was a big day. Early in the morning I was reminded that sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary to keep your spouse happy. In the evening, I was reminded that church groups have a tendency to be our worst behaving customers. Hey guys! Try to listen to the sermon next time.

Thursday, I learned to buy gas before work and not after work. You can never tell when the oil companies will decide to screw Americans. I also found out that employees who have been told not to smoke at work want to smoke more than they want to have a job.

Friday, I was reminded that there are some employees who may not be able to work anywhere if they don't work for me. I was also reminded that there are people who actually read this blog and enjoy it. Thanks.

Saturday, I found that stupid people visit military surplus stores as well as restaurants. I also learned that at 4:30 A.M., I'm the only one who is going to walk the dog.

As I was writing this, I thought of one of the greatest lessons in my life. In the early 1970's, I worked for Ed Wolfe at the Waffle House. Ed was married to a woman considerably younger than he. One day, for some unknown reason, we were discussing marriage and the relationship between men and women. Ed told me, "There are only two words that a man needs to know to get married, "I do". There are only two words that a man needs to know to stay married, "I'm sorry". You need to know three words to leave, "It's all yours"."

I didn't need any part of that lesson this week, but I wrote it down because I haven't thought about that conversation in years.

How was your week??

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fueled Up On Friday

Anyone other than me feel raped at the gas station today?? When I went to work Thursday afternoon, gas was $3.12. When I left work ten hours later, gas was $3.29. What happened? According to the news, prices are up because of instability in the Middle East. When was the Middle East last considered stable?

Does anyone understand the Obama policy in regards to the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa? According to Obama, Mubarak had to go. Yet Gaddafi is okay to stay. Are you kidding me?? Is Gaddafi from Chicago?? {Update from 2/26. Obama has learned to pronounce Gaddafi, and has demanded that he leave Libya and come back home to Chicago.)

I am tired of talking heads on the television telling me that Americans are dependent on imported oil. Call me when you have news! Baruch Spinoza said something to the effect of "No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides." This is the case here. While Americans are dependent upon foreign oil, those countries are addicted to American money. They spend lavishly and depend on our money to finance their habits. We have forgotten how to negotiate.

Does the price of gas affect me? I burn between 125 and 150 gallons of gas a month in my minivan. You do the math.

This afternoon, I stopped for my colonoscopy at the gas station. While I was there, I ran into John Taylor. I haven't seen John in a couple of years. When I left the SCV, John was the first guy to follow me out of the group. I am not sure that I ever thanked John for his support. If I failed to do that, thanks John! Anyway, John was telling me that he reads my blog regularly. I was discussing my most recent post with him. I explained that I had told the story to a customer before deciding to post it. He asked "Was that customer the Queen?" Yes John, it was the Queen, but she's still afraid of becoming famous. I can't say anymore.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday's Incredible Trauma

After listening to my story about the "Thursday Night Incident", my friend in Greensboro told me, "If you are ever asked to describe your most embarrassing moment, you have it." I agreed.

Last Thursday evening at the restaurant, I was at the cash register when a woman got up from her table and headed towards the register. She appeared to be in her late 70's or early 80's. As she approached the register, I looked at her and noticed that her blouse on one side was pulled up three or four inches from the waistband of her pants. At that point, I realized that she was not wearing a bra, as part of her left breast was hanging out of her blouse. At that moment, I may have gone into shock. I could feel my ears and cheeks glowing red.

I tried to avoid making eye contact or even looking at her. I looked out the door, looked out the windows, tried to look into the dining room, anything to avoid looking at her. When she reached the cash register, I took her check and rang it up. Her bill was $8.78. Do you think that she gave me a twenty or a credit card? Of course she didn't do that. She started giving me exact change, placing the money down on the counter in front of her. I kept my head down while she counted the change, trying to see only the money. It didn't work, my field of vision was too wide. At this point, my ears and cheeks felt like they were on fire. She had to have noticed that my face was bright red. What I am saying? She couldn't notice that her breast was hanging out. I finally scooped up all of the money and threw it into the cash drawer. I thanked her and tried to see the ceiling as I waited for her to walk away. Did she walk away quickly? No, she wanted to talk to me about the beef tips. I responded and she finally walked away.

I headed to the back of the restaurant to try and wash my face to lose the bright red glow. A waitress stopped me and asked, "What's wrong Gilbert?" I gave her the quick version and told her, "I am going to the back and bleach out my eyes. Maybe I'll get lucky and go blind. At least, I'll never have to see that again." She asked me, "Did you tell her?" I quickly responded "Are you insane, woman? I'm a guy. We spend our whole lives trying to get women to show those to us. Nobody ever told me what to do if there was one you didn't want to see!!"

The idiot of the day was a waiter who asked, "Are you sure that it was a breast? Maybe it was a mole or a birthmark." I told him, "I'm 57 years old. I have seen a bunch of those live and pictures of thousands. Idiot boy, I'm telling you that it was a breast."

I have told this story to several people since and the responses are interesting. Women usually ask, "Did you tell her?" I don't understand that line of thinking.

My favorite response was from my friend in Greensboro. Last week when I mentioned in a post that I had an embarrassing moment on Thursday, I received an e-mail. "What happened Thursday? What happened Thursday? Tell! Tell!!" I replied that I would tell the story on Sunday morning. I can't decide which one of us laughed harder on Sunday, but I wasn't the one wiping tears from my eyes.

Rodney Carrington, the country singer and comedian has a song called "Show them to me". Yes. it is about breasts. If Rodney had been here Thursday. he would stop singing that song.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tuesday Topics

How old did I feel this morning?? The child who won the Daytona 500 on Sunday turned twenty years old the day before the race. He was born after I started at Tex & Shirley's.

What's going on with Egypt?? The revolutionaries there are happy that the military has taken "temporary" control of the government. Middle Eastern nation's military, there's a freedom loving group of guys. What kind of crap are those clowns smoking that makes them think that's a good idea?

How about Libya?? It looks like Gaddafi's time is about up. This is kind of like the old days. Forty years ago, the joke was that power in the Middle East changed hands when one Air Force Colonel shot another Air Force Colonel in the back.

The news tonight had a story about Jessica Hahn. You remember her,right? She was famous for sleeping with Jim Bakker. I was as shocked as anyone when that story came out. I had always thought that he was gay and his wife Tammy Faye was some kind of cover story. It turned out that he was a straight guy who had a thing for ugly women with horrible voices.

I don't know if Playboy has ever done a list of the ugliest women to appear in their magazine, but I figure that Jessica has got to be in the Top Ten in that category.

Ken Blitchington, the guy who claims to be my only friend, is a grandfather again. His younger daughter gave to a baby girl a few days ago. Since Ken blames me for his daughter's knowledge of profanity, I can't wait to meet his granddaughter.

More bad news for Ken. There is another person in North Carolina claiming to be my friend. More details on this at a future time. I'm waiting to see if I blow this before St. Patrick's Day. You can help me avoid any problems by sending me some Irish jokes. You can post them as comments, I'll take it from there.

Later this week, I will discuss the most embarrassing moment in my life. It happened last Thursday. Here's a hint, Rodney Carrington was wrong.

My wife is heading to Charlotte tomorrow to see the Clay Aiken concert. I would attend the concert but I have to work. Thank you, GOD!!

What's a nerd thinking at 3:30 A.M? Today it was Rain Jacket, I finally remembered the ##**## rain jacket.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's NAPSCAR Season!

First, NAPSCAR is not a mispelling. Tomorrow is the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the year, the Daytona 500. The last race will come sometime around Thanksgiving at Homestead in Florida. The season sometimes seems even longer than it is.

When I moved back to North Carolina 28 years ago, I was told by several people that I needed to pick a NASCAR driver to follow. My following skills are not good, I still haven't picked one. They also told me that I needed to pick a college basketball team to follow and I haven't done that either.

I enjoy watching NASCAR racing, for about ten minutes. My attention span is simply not set up for watching 43 cars speeding into several hundred left hand turns. Actually cars is almost a misnomer, they are all rolling billboards.

Why pick a driver? They all appear to be about the same. Some guy wins the race, hops out of the car, and starts some spiel that goes something like this, "The Tex & Shirley's Chevrolet ran really good today. It was an awesome performance by our awesome crew in front of all these awesome fans to help our awesome sponsors pay their awesome bills."

So how do I really feel about NASCAR? NASCAR is video Sominex. Turn the television to the NASCAR race and in ten minutes I will be asleep. I can nod off during an eight car pileup. Hence the term NAPSCAR. I haven't had a good Sunday afternoon nap since the last race of 2010 and I won't get one this Sunday. The Daytona 500 starts at 1:00 and I won't get home before 5:00. It will hopefully be over by then. Maybe I could find a replay and nap during it.

Gentlemen, start your engines!! Gilbert, get your pillow out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Full Moon Friday

It's been a strange week, even by my standards.

I had to post tonight, my pride is at stake. I helped Jesse Bledsoe at Buffalo Presbyterian Church set up a blog for the church. I told my Scoutmaster that I had helped Jesse set up the blog. He asked if Jesse had read my blog. I told him that I thought that he had read it. His response was "Wow! Presbyterians must be more liberal than I thought!"

Back to Jesse and the church blog. After a couple of weeks of inactivity, Jesse posted three items this week. The first two I expected, the third one sneaked up on me. I looked a couple of hours ago and found that he had posted yesterday. I was stunned. After my e-mailing him urging him to post regularly, I am now forced to take my own advice.

This week at work, I had to fire an employee for petty theft. Despite what most people think, one of the toughest jobs in management is terminating employees. I have terminated hundreds of people over the last 36 years and it is never easy. The reality of life is that some people must go so that the business can prosper and the rest of us remain employed. The truth is that most employees make the decisions to get themselves fired, I just do the paperwork.

Thursday night, something happened to me at the restaurant that is too embarrassing to discuss here. This one will take a while. Look for it next month!! Maybe!!

Wednesday morning, Ginger asked me about the employee termination. I told her that I had been able to terminate the gentleman without using a single profane word. She walked away repeating, "Going to church must be working!!" Maybe, maybe not.

The recruiter from Buffalo (That's humor, TQ) has shifted her approach from "If you join our church" to "When you join our church". I'll let you know!!

Wednesday evening, I attended the weekly dinner and program at Buffalo. The meatballs were good and if you're the person who made the German Chocolate cake, it was good. I don't get cake often. The speaker was Emily Wilson, who spoke about her 14 months at the South Pole. As a long time science geek, I really enjoyed it. The last discussion that I heard about the South Pole was in 1970. The situation has changed a lot since then. Thanks for the update, Emily.

At the dinner, I sat at the same table with the Queen and her sidekick, the Princess. WOW!! Talking to royalty and having cake all in the same night. Dear Diary..........

Valentine's Day was Monday. Valentine's Day affords me the opportunity to work late. I arrived at work at 4:45 A.M. and left at 8:00 P.M. That's barely half a day. My wife was asleep when I left for work and was asleep when I returned home. I think that Valentine's Day is some sort of female conspiracy. I noticed on Monday that about 50% of our female customers were wearing red to celebrate the day. I wore black in protest.

I have two great stories about Valentine's Day and my personal experiences. One story I have told a bunch of people, the other I have told three people and only two of those people are still alive. If you are one of those two, you are free to tell that story at my funeral. To hear the other story, just ask. It's not as funny or humiliating, but it's still a good story.

Do you think that all or any of that lingerie sold for Valentine's Day actually gets used?? It would probably more economical to rent that stuff than to purchase it. It's kind of like a wedding dress or tuxedo. You only need it for a few minutes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You can't make this stuff up!!

Sunday morning at Tex and Shirley's and all's well?? Not a chance!!

Today's moment to remember came fairly early. I had a young man scheduled to host at 8:30. When I returned from a banana run to Harris Teeter, I was told that he had called in at 8:40. He told us that he had car trouble and could not get to work.

When I went up from to tell the rest of the host/hostess staff that we would be a person short, they were all surprised. It seems that the young man had come in about 8:30 to check his schedule. He then went outside and called in on his cell phone. I was stunned that anyone was that stupid, so I called him and left a message.

He called back a few minutes later. I asked him why he couldn't work. He told me that he didn't have a way to get to work. I pointed out that he had come in and checked his schedule. I asked why he didn't just stay at work when he came in to check his schedule. He told me that he wasn't dressed properly. Then why come down here?? His friend apparently could drive him to T&S to check his schedule but could not drive him to T&S to work. He then started to tell me that he was going to turn in his notice this week. At that point, I turned on the charm and explained that there was no need for him to work out any notice. I just couldn't bring myself to pay anyone this stupid to hang around another week. Another day, another idiot!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

When smart people say stupid stuff

No, that is not the working title of my upcoming autobiography. However, it does describe an incident on Tuesday. Those who know me are familiar with my ability to say the wrong thing at exactly the right time. Tuesday was just a reminder that those types of incidents happen way too often for me.

I was standing in the lobby talking to a regular customer. I can't remember the exact question or statement that preceded my incredibly stupid response, but my answer was "I'm just waiting for the perfect 20 year old girl." As the last syllable left my lips, I realized that I had uttered another Gilbertism. A Gilbertism being one of those statements that bypasses the filter between my brain and mouth and comes straight out.

In less than a nanosecond came her response, "What would you even talk about to a twenty year old?" I tried to change the subject since I had no answer for that question. Mercifully, about that time the person she was waiting for arrived.

"What would I talk to a twenty year old about?" There's a verbal shot between the eyes. Let's be honest. I can't communicate with twenty year olds at work about work. Any other attempts at communication would be doomed to failure. Times like this remind me of how old I am. Twenty somethings think that George W. Bush may have been our second or third President. They don't realize that the World Wide Web did not come with the Creation. And yes, we had radio and television when I was a child.

Do you want to know how the dinosaurs felt? Work with a group of young people. Last Saturday, we lost our newest manager at the restaurant. About fifteen minutes before her scheduled shift, she sent a text message to the day shift manager. She told him that she would not be coming in to work that day. He called me to tell me this, and since we were out of managers, I had to abandon my projects for the day and go in to work. When I arrived at work, I sent our now former manager a text message terminating her. When word got out to the staff that she had been terminated, what do you think their response was? "You sent a text message??" Apparently, firing a manager is not news. Gilbert knowing how to send a text message is news!

I even have trouble communicating with my sons. They are 21 and 24. The other day Walter and his friend Daniel were at our store still trying to clean and organize. I said something to Dan and he responded with several statements, none of which I understood. I asked Dan what the #@#@# he was talking about. About that time, Walter saved the day by telling Dan, "Dad doesn't understand movie references." The next day Walter stopped at the restaurant to talk to me. At some point he said something that I couldn't grasp. I asked him what he was talking about. He replied, "That's from Blazing Saddles. I thought that it was old enough for you to know." I still don't do movie references.

When other guys tell me about how beautiful some woman is that they are dating, I always tell them the same thing. I tell them that sooner or later, you are going to have to sit at the table and talk to each other. Good conversation is critical. You have to be able to converse, there's an expiration date on the wild sex!

So another old guy's fantasy is down the tubes. It didn't really matter. I wasn't interested in twenty year old girls when I was twenty. I guess it took that verbal shot between the eyes to reinforce reality. Thanks.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

First, Buy a Barbie!!

What's the biggest problem facing America today?? If you guessed Obama, I'm sorry, but you are wrong. My choice for biggest problem is the destruction of the family unit caused by exploding rates of illegitimate births.

Why would this be a problem?? For starters, we are inundated with children having children. Mothers who can't take care of themselves are having children that they can't take care of properly. The big problem there is that the children of children are going to repeat the same mistake in a few years. If you are a young girl, born out of wedlock, to a mother who dropped out of school, the odds are stacked against you. You are more than likely going to repeat the same scenario.

When I was in high school, the couple of girls who got pregnant left school. Today, I think they throw them out if they don't get pregnant. Incidentally, I was in high school during the big "Sexual Revolution" of the 1960's and 1970's. I had to read about it in a magazine like everyone else. Either "The Revolution" wasn't happening anywhere near where I was or I didn't know any women who were participating.

Is the government responsible for any of this? Of course, they are partly to blame. How?? Social programs that help all of the single mothers feed and care for the children help to perpetuate the problem. One of the simplest rules of human behavior is "Any actions that are rewarded are reinforced." Yes, that means that if we give people money for having babies, they will have more babies. Can anyone really be surprised at the results??

The rates of illegitimate births are skyrocketing among minorities and immigrants. These numbers are available online, check for yourself. One of the real problems here is long term inbreeding. Stop for just a minute before you fire off that e-mail accusing me of being a racist! If you don't know who your father is, then you don't know who your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins are. You could be having sex with a half brother or sister and not know it. That will produce some fine offspring.

In my last post I wrote about a young man who has fathered a multitude of children by a number of women. He didn't do it by himself. It required the participation of an equally promiscuous girl or girls. Let's not put all of the blame in his lap. There's probably not any room there anyway.

Young single mothers rarely have support systems. They depend upon the state to furnish many of their needs. They want to be mothers or so they claim, but why?? Are their maternal instincts that strong? Or are they just too lazy to use some kind of birth control? Do they want a baby for the meager financial benefits furnished unwillingly by the taxpayers?? Before they have a real baby, let's start them off with a Barbie. Then they can move up to a live small animal, a goldfish or something easily handled. After showing signs of responsibility, they could be considered for motherhood.

A woman customer told me this evening that she was in favor of involuntary sterilization. We will discuss that on another day. What is certain is that our society cannot survive on this course.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

We have a new record!!

You know that it's going to be a tough day when the first thing that you have to do in the morning is move a dead animal. Yeah, dead animal. This morning, when I headed down the road for my morning run, jog, walk, crawl, I saw something on my side of the road. As I got closer, I realized that it was a dead doe. Apparently, it had been dead for a couple of hours. It was cold to the touch. (Those with queasy stomachs should have just vomited.) To prevent more cars from hitting it, I pulled it over to the ditch beside the road. Then I headed down the road to finish exercising. I know that this wasn't quite the story of the Good Samaritan, but I didn't have a lot to work with in this case.

I have been working on a post about an issue that irritates me on a regular basis, but I tossed it aside for a day when the mail came in this afternoon. The mailman, postal carrier, mail person, whatever term you want to use, delivered a stack of mail today at the restaurant. As I looked through it, I realized that the bulk of it was from the Guilford County Child Support Enforcement Department. That's always good reading!! In addition, it creates more work for me. What's the big deal?? I had fifteen minutes I wasn't using.

There were seven letters from Child Support. ALL were in regards to the same employee. One was a request for earnings information and SIX were child support withholding orders. SIX withholding orders for one employee in one day is a new record. The old record for a single day was four.

The all time record for withholding orders for a single employee is seven, but they were received over a month's time. That guy had eight children by five different women, none of whom shared his last name. I always like to look at the birth dates of the children when I read the withholding orders. That particular man had two children born a day apart, obviously from two different women. There must have been some real tension in that hospital nursery!!

Let's get back to my current employee. He has five children by four different women in about a twelve year period. Here's a few thoughts, Pal. Those things that they are giving away at the Health Department are called condoms. If shyness prevents you from going to the Health Department, they are also sold at convenience stores, drugstores, and finer truck stop restrooms. They are probably available at other places, but I haven't been in the market for any in a long time. You probably want to check out the free ones because your potential usage sounds pretty high.

What else can you do? Go to a computer, Google "vasectomy". It will only hurt for a little while. I would suggest that you Google "abstinence", but I'm guessing that's not even a possibility.

Why did this bother me today?? I was working on my income tax return. First, this guy's hobby is costing me money, lots of money. It's costing all taxpayers a lot of money. You want to have a baby? No problem. You want me to pay for it?? Wait! We need to talk first. Second, as a man, I am offended by the image people like this create. Men are going from being fathers and husbands to being sperm donors and "baby's Daddy".

So what's the bottom line? If you are a man and don't want to raise children while supporting them financially, here's a few pointers. First, keep it holstered or covered. Second, one word, vasectomy. Third, if all else fails, play Solitaire. Anything would be better than the mess that we have now.