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There have been places throughout this book where I mentioned things that I might have heard certain things that I can't be 100% sure of. That's because if I don't mention them, there wouldn't be people searching for the evidence to find out if it was true or not. Well in this part of the book I don't have to wonder about things like that because I played a game just to prove to myself that the suspicion of how people are either bought off or set-up around me is not just a suspicion, but a fact. So here it is:
On the 19th of July I called on a help wanted add in the paper which was asking for a carpenter. I talked to the owner I'll call Lenny. We set up a time for an interview for the following Monday.
On Monday, as I stood on Lenny's front porch I noticed his yard was decked out with flowers and things which lead me to assume that a woman had had her hands in the decorating of the landscape. Once inside I noticed the interior of his house was all decorated but something told me there wasn't a woman living there.
On Tuesday the 23rd; Lenny set me up with a pair of his employees on a job in Summerland. When I showed up at the jobsite I felt that the young man there we'll call Geo, had a skateboard’s mentality. It was clear to me that he felt threatened for job security by any new employee showing up. After a few hours there I realized the Geo had problems thinking for himself because he laid out straps on the roof at six foot intervals when they should have been four. After the foreman we'll call Chili, showed up, he pointed out that Goe had just made me nail down the straps in the wrong order. Throughout the day discovered that Chili had to talk Geo through every task and was trying to do the same with me.
Chile looked as if he was a mixed race and shortly after his arrival he became interested in my personal life. I told him a quick spiel, but he showed no interest and didn’t seem to care. I had a feeling that he didn’t like the fact that a have a stand against Affirmative Action.
I felt Chili must have had to deal with a lot of idiots because he treated me as if I was one. He gave me the important chore of cleaning up the job site and it reinforced my impression of how silly it is to be working out of obsolete trucks by wheeling scraps and debris in a wheel barrel to the dumpster out back.
When it came to mounting joist hangers, he showed me how to place them flush with the bottom of the end joist. I told him that I'd been around awhile, but he said the last time he had Goe hang them; he hung them flush with the top.
Later when it came time to widen a window opening, he even drew lines on the wall using all the appropriate names for everything. I figured that if the person knew all the right names, they would already know how to frame the window in and the lines would be good for nothing but room for another mistake if his measurements were wrong. I walked over to another window they had installed already and measured a quarter inch gap on one side. I said to him, "It's not rocket science; you have the window sitting right there and you want a half inch play in it."
It wasn't the first time Chili insulted my intelligence that day, but I felt the pay was the same no matter what he thought of me. But when he insulted me personally, I knew are relation-ship wasn't going anywhere.
While Chili and Geo was outside attempting to install siding, I started talking to myself; "I did fifty million dollars worth of research and development and built the prototypes myself; I think I can put a damn window in; it’s only a bunch of two by fours." Needless to say, I knew when he told me to call the boss later that night I knew that the odds were, I wasn't going to be working with him the next day.
The next day I was dispatched to a job where I operated a chop saw most of the day. Though the day went by fairly well, it was bluntly obvious that Bear and Fickle were talking behind my back.
Lenny had stopped by the jobsite around lunch time and took some time to get to know me and a new roofer he'd hired a little better. Though he never asked about my truck we found ourselves talking about how we liked to live. Lenny mentioned he liked fixed up yards with waterfalls and everything and I said that I'd just be happy with a warehouse with a yard made of concrete and an apartment inside. Lenny asked whether I had any kids and said he didn't either, but he was thinking more about marriage and a raising a family, and that he was looking.
The following day, Bear and I worked together by ourselves and I found that he had me doing all his running for him. If he did anything, he was banging his head into it or something of that nature, so his job turned into being a backseat driver and he ran my ass off.
Bear felt he needed to explain everything to me and wanted me to explain every action I was undertaking. I felt he was having difficult time thinking and I felt that I just wanted to be able to think for myself and not have to explain everything to someone who would have a hell of a time understanding me.>
Bear belched out loud a lot and he wouldn’t quit belching out loud even though I said that it was gross. I asked him what his wife thought of it and he said that she does it too. “Even when you’re in public?” I asked.
"Yeah," he said, "They call me the 'Belching Bear.""
Following those two days with Bear, I was faced with an ordeal with the Lenny on the phone; telling me that none of the guys wanted to work with me. Bear had told him that I was beating up my truck with a stick and he wanted me to explain every- thing to him over the phone. I told him that during a lunch break while sitting on a curb, I tossed a stick or two at my truck and told Bear that I did it at least once a week because it made me feel good. (Actually I did it to see if it would annoy him.)
Then Lenny asked what the deal was with my truck and I said that it wasn’t a very good idea to try to talk about it over the phone. But Lenny kept prying so I told him that it was all about Affirmative Action. Then luckily my phone’s battery gave out.
I found myself getting ditched the next morning by the way of Lenny telling me to call him back minutes later and then he wouldn't answer.
The next morning he had a framing job to go to. It was for another contractor who needed some help and asked Lenny if he had a couple guys to sub-out. The day went pretty good and Boe, who was the guy from Lenny's company had even given me a few pointers. I told Joe, (the contractor's own employee) that it was more or less a crash refresher course for me since I'd been out of the trade for awhile.
Joe at one time asked me about my truck and I informed him that he was asking things about my personal life and that I made an agreement with Lenny that I wouldn’t talk about my personal life because other guys he had me working with before took things wrong and they tried to get me fired. But Joe seemed to be an intelligent man and seemed to understand my short spiel and things just when on without it interfering.
Lenny came by the job site and said he was going to be out of town the next week and made sure we knew to call his partner if there were any problems. Before leaving he noticed my truck without the bed on it and asked me about it. I said, "Yesterday I was getting 15 miles to a gallon and today I'm getting over 23." He seemed to be quite excited about it, but it was no time to do a spiel so I turned him onto an edition Tightwad.
That night I received a call from Dance Lonovan in Las Vegas. He asked if I could be there Monday to help install cabinets, but I told him about my new job and that I wanted to give it a try and see how it went.
The next day was a Saturday, the third of August. Boe said he wanted to train me on how to speed cut and wanted me to pick up the pace. He was quit helpful and seemed to be an alright guy to be working with. But the following Monday, things changed. Boe ran my ass off and treated me as if I was a moron. It’s my impression he was using me as a glorified labor with all the tools that he didn't have. He'd order me around by putting the word "please" on the end of his orders as a way of making the demands politically correct. When it came to wanting to use any of my tools, he wouldn’t even use the word, "please". After using my new chisel to scrape wood chips on the cement away, dropping my new nail gun onto the concrete just inches from setting it down, I just about had it with him even touching my tools.
Looking at Boe's tools I could see that they were beat and in lousy condition, that is if he had any at all. It was my chalk line, my four foot level, my string line, my compressor, my plumb bulb that was going to depreciate fast and it was a matter of how much damage to my tools I was going to have to live with or how much they were going to cost to replace – verses – how much I'd make. I've always kept all my tools and equipment in top notch condition and you came bet this upset me. It was a matter whether the damage he would do to my equipment was worth the money I was making compared to not having a job if he chose not to have me around. But I knew he needed my tools.
Then one day he helped himself to my brand new torpedo level I hadn't even had a chance to use yet. I paid the extra money for a good one so that it would be accurate and Boe was up in the rafters, holding my new torpedo level against a two by four and slamming the board with his hammer. I wondered what it was doing for the accuracy of the level I'd just bought. I was waiting for it to fly out of his hand and I said, "You know, I just bought that level and it’s one I've replaced for the second time. This is the third time I've had to buy all new tools in my life and I don't think having you pound on it is the kind of thing want to happen to it."
He said, "Well, everyone has problems." That was something I've heard many times before and I came back with, "Yeah, but most people’s problems are just spilled milk. Most of the problems people face every day are just like the problems others deal with every day. But most people don't have firemen burn down their house, and most people don't have to walk around in pain from a heel having arthritis after several attempts on their life. But I'm not complaining, because I'm still alive, it's the other inventors I'm worried about." Boe came back stating that he didn't want to know about the stuff he doesn't understand. I wrote it off as if my story was way over his head, but I had the feeling he had been conditioned by someone.
The only time Boe treated me with any respect at all was when Joe was around. I found it hard to tolerate Boe, but I knew it was the money that was keeping me around until something else came along. I could only hope that Lenny would someday set me up with a guy who had more than a half of a brain and things would be alright because Lenny seemed to be a pretty good guy to work for.
Once while Boe was talking to Joe he mentioned the fact that he had not worked for about three weeks and was uncertain about his job security. I realized that it was in his best interest to make me look bad. Once while he was sitting in his truck talking on a cell phone, I heard him say, "He seems to know what he's doing, but he's a little slow."
Well, I'd rather be a little bit slower than him than having to redo so much. I happen to like my shit tight and fitting together right the first time. Boe slams things together, then slams things into place and then slams again just to make them fit. Everything gets busted up and looks like shit if you know what I mean.
I didn't know if it was jealousy or just the fact that the pain from his back was making him grouchy. One thing I did learn was that he was taking what he called, "horse pills." It made me realize why he couldn't concentrate with a radio on and I'd always be way ahead of him when we were about to do a certain task. All I know is that he would stand there watching me struggle with fetching a wall partition and not even lend a hand. He moved in slow motion while he expected me to be on the gun and do all the hard physical work. All I knew was that he was screwing up every half hour or so and any idea I'd come up with -- no matter what I wanted to do -- he wanted me to do something else. I came to a realization that he was trying to make me to quit, and if I wouldn’t quit, I thought he would eventually get me fired. I had a dilemma; I was either going to have to quit so that it would look better to Lenny because he would ask me why I'd quit, and it would look better if I told him that it was because the way Boe was treating me. The problem with that would have been my word against Boe’s.
Regardless, I knew I would end up getting fired if the third work situation Lenny set-up me up with didn't work out. (After my third day on the job when I told Lenny to check my references, he said he didn't want to go by my references; he just goes by what the other guys say about me on the jobs.)
Because of the "other" guys, I felt I was bound to be fired sooner or later and I wanted to quit. I realized that if Lenny was in town, he would ask why I was quitting and my reason would most likely sound like an excuse to him. I needed something to back me up, but the tool I would need would be hard to get without the conspiracy getting word to Boe about what I had planned. I knew I would have a mole and I didn't know which route the culprits would take. I knew that Boe and Joe had been talking behind my back, but I wasn’t sure which one was being informed and whether Joe would be loyal to me or not.
Joe truly seemed like a nice guy and is a good carpenter with skills I admire. Therefore, if I had an ally, Joe had to be the one, but whether he would be loyal to me was the question.
I figured that if I set Joe strait, he would know what I was up against with Boe, so Wednesday night after work I expressed to Joe the disappointment I had with Boe. I said, “When you’re not around, Boe orders me around, runs my ass off, and treats me as if I were a moron. Whether Joe would care or not, I figured that I would at least find out if he was an ally of mine or Boe’s. I was entering arena of politics on the job site once again and I knew the end was near. Setting things strait was about all I could do.
The idea of picking up one of those miniature tape-recorders had come to mind, but I realized the conspirators would probably find out; just like the time I bought a miniature transmitter from Radio Shack years before. Therefore it wouldn't be any secrete because I knew a mole was evident.
So the fallowing night, I told Jay I was planning to call the guy who the boss had running the show while he was out of town to tell him that the next day was going to be my last. I'd bring my bed the next day to fetch my ladders and that I could only put up with one more day of the reticule Boe dishes out. I told Joe that I thought it would be the thing to do, to get a miniature tape recorder and record just how Boe was treating me so Lenny would understand why I'd quit because it was obvious I would get fired. I said, "But Boe isn't worth the $25.00."
"Nah, Bob isn’t worth it," Joe said in return.
However, Joe told me that he would probably be there most of the next day, and I said, "Cool, I can handle him if you are around."
One thing I knew was that I'd sure find out if he would tell Boe behind my back, (which I expected). At that time I wasn't sure if I was going to actually buy the recorder or not because I knew the conspirators would be use the privacy laws they break all the time just to make me look bad. Either way, I was about to lose a job or quit and I knew I could only succeed at the new job if Boe would only let me.
On my way home I stopped by the Circuit City store to see how much I'd have to spend on such a recorder. The salesman there was as good as another mole to me so I explained what I was interested in one for. I was going to pass on the expense because I realized Joe would probably tell Boe about my idea and Boe would act like a co-worker should therefore it would be a waste of money. Since a mole was inevitable I realized how things would change at work if I did buy one and I realized that it was just the result I wanted. If Boe to knew I wasn't about to take any more of his shit; he would straighten up his act and I could possibly keep my job.
Then the salesman mentioned that I could always bring it back within thirty days, and I realized that if I didn't pick one up, the game might not work if they knew I hadn't bought one. The recorder became my weapon and it was a tool I needed to avoid conflict, and without one, I’d surely become a victim.
That night I played around with the tape recorder in my truck and trailer so that the conspirators would surely know I had one. And the game was on.
To make the game realistic at work the next day a serious placement was key, so instead of keeping my cell phone in my tin sniper's pouch, I placed it out of sight in the bottom of my nail pouch. The reasoning for the placement of these two devices was just to get them talking because I knew that the sight of the tape recorder in my pants pocket would be an issue to them. I wanted them to be guessing whether it was my cell phone or the recorder just to get them to talk about it.
Sure enough, Joe informed Boe that I had a tape recorder and Boe acted accordingly by being so sweet he even asked me what I was going to do over the weekend. No doubt, it was his way of buttering the bread, but he was only charming the sweet air.
When it came to the end of the day, Boe said that he was broke and had to chase down his paycheck. He asked me if I was going to chase down mine, but I just told him, "I'll get mine some-time next week. I still have another paycheck to cash."
Now the question of whether Joe was loyal to me or not had been answered, but there was still the question of whether either one of them had a connection to the conspirators. That question was to be answered with a little help from a phone call to my old Boss in Nevada the next evening. I began to explain to him about my round and about way of setting up a game to achieve my goal and he jumped to conclusions a few times, but after placing things in order, I disclosed the results by saying, "I didn't even have to turn it on. It taught Boe to be as sweet a baby. He was lovey dovey all day." There was a roar of laughter over the phone and I said, "There wasn't an unpleasant word out of him. I got the results I wanted and I didn't have to quit my job or lose any money over it. It didn't cost a dime because I can take the recorder back for a refund any time within thirty days."
On the following Monday morning, Boe mentioned how he still needed to chase his paycheck down and that he didn’t think he had the gas to make it to the other side of town.
Later on that morning, when Boe said to Joe, "He never turned it on," I got the answer to the question as to whether outside conspirators had been in contact with Boe.
Boe would always leave for lunch and I thought it was so he could get high, but I come to believe he had other things on his mind other than food or pot. Because later that afternoon Boe said that he really didn’t need to chase his paycheck down because he still had some money to get by with. The thing I would say to him is: Get your lies strait!
Before the day was out, Boe and Joe informed me that we were pretty much caught up and they wouldn't need me the next day. Joe said he’d let me know in a day or two if they would need me again. Needless to say, I saw it coming.
So I called Dance Lonovan in Las Vegas and we had a few laughs about it. Dance said that the punch list on the Brandel Hall job had just arrived and asked me to work on it for him. Also was the addition of trim work in the coffee shop, gift shop, beauty parlor and commons room was needed to be done too, so the rest of the week I went back to work for Dance and never received a call from Joe or Lenny.
Now I know Boe had an informant, but who in hell were they? That’s what I’d like to know.
On the 16th before I stopped by Lenny's place to pick up my pay check; I had already made the decision to find another job elsewhere because I didn't want to work alongside of people who were working for the crooks who’d try to make my life miserable.
When he answered the door he was chipper and asked about how things were going. I asked him if he had read my book yet and he said, "Some of it."
With a smile as if it was no surprise I said, "Some of it?"
I asked him if he was aware that I hadn't worked since Monday. He looked back at me as if he was searching for an answer. I said, "There wasn't much to do – we're pretty much squared up." Lenny mentioned that he had received a call from the contractor who we were working for but didn't say anything about it. I figured that he had not returned the call and he didn't know anything about the problems with me and Boe working together.
I knew Lenny was one who wouldn't be interested and didn't want to know. Since I knew my days working for him were probably over, I decided to go ahead and shock him before he found out from other sources so I said, "Boe got bought."
"What do you mean, Boe got bought?"
"He got bought."
"Gee, just when I thought my life was getting boring, something happens to me like this. I wrote it all out. Come out to my truck and I'll let you read it." Lenny followed me out to my truck and stood on the side of the road and read it in its entirety.
When he finished, I asked, "What do you think?"
"You're a good writer."
"Thanks, that's only the second draft."
He said, "But there isn't any conspiracy around here. I don't like you going to the customer with it like you did. My employees are supposed to nurture each other and I’m not into any of that negative stuff. I stay positive."
I said, "I understand what you mean."
He said, "I don't need this crap and I don't want it around."
I said, "I don't blame you, I wouldn't want it either, but I've had to live with it for the past nine years. It's all a game and I've just had to learn to live with it and this time I was able to prove that it happened."
He said, "Well, things are slowing down right now and I don't think I'll be needing you for a while. I wish you luck."
"Well, thanks for the work."
There was a day when I was down at Haskel's Beach and I overheard the things this older man was saying to his date. It appeared he must have worked for the GM Delco Defense contractor in Goleta. He said, "They want to make a deal with him, but he’s crazy."
It made sense to me that the problem for me in the area was that there are two defense contractors there and I was battling the things that they would tell their employees. Hell I was camped out across the street from one of them and it was obvious they knew I was there. It turned out to be the only reason I wasn't getting anywhere in that area, so when the job was finished at the retirement community and Lonovan asked for my mailing address so he could send me a check, I told him I was on my way to Las Vegas and I'd pick it up when I arrived.
Somehow I thought that if I didn't go to Vegas, the check would always be in the mail.
Before leaving for Vegas, I painted the top of the cab of my truck white to help keep the temperature down a few degrees inside. I also replaced the funky seal on the transmission cooling line with a couple O-rings and changed the oil in the engine.
Even before I left, I was able to off a Tightwad onto a reporter of a talk radio station AM 990. She said, "I pick the news I report." Her name is Catherne Remak at 805-897-8300 ext.250
I also left an older copy of my book along with an edition Tightwad on the lunch table of the main SB fire station. The fire department in Summerland got the same setup.
It was hard for me to leave the coast, because the surf is a part of me and the thought of leaving it behind made me homesick. But I thought that a larger city would be more intellectually stimulating and I was prepared to take on the challenges of trying to support myself in a larger community. I thought I could at least expand the public awareness about what is going on with the selective breading of the human race.
Before I left Goleta, I managed to put the name SUNNYSIDE up one the sign out in front of the theater and took a few video pictures of it. There’s was nothing closer to seeing my name in lights. I did the same at a theater in Palmdale. There I even gave it an “R” rating. It was funny how at both places, the cops and security folks were on to what I was doing, but did nothing to stop me.
The thing I liked about Palmdale was that there was a lack of speed bumps; I never saw one the whole time I was there. The quite place comes alive at night.
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