Monday, August 18, 2008

The Day of Organization, Electrons



It started at 8 am with Jodie from TTC Communications (Springfield) to start working on Mrs Elliott's Samsung PBX equipment and six 5-line phones. Paul Spencer "The Computer Guy" (Bend) arrived shortly thereafter to get the office and household computers networked off the feed from the Bend Broadband modem. Shannon Russell from Tomco Electric (Bend) came by later to correct the incorrect job done by sellers' electrician to bring the three aluminum wire circuits up to code, which three circuit their electrician had done improperly with the wrong wire nuts; and to replace the five breakers in the panel which the sellers were to have replaced themselves because they had been identified during the home inspection as being the wrong type for the panel. Mark Grell of Hooker Creek Construction Materials (Bend) paid a visit to take a gander at where I need a driveway laid, but said the job was too small for them to be competitive on, and referred me to Dan at Benham Falls Asphalt Patching whom he said would be able to tackle a job this size at a good price. In the meantime I discovered that the three assembly benches that I had ordered from Nationwide Industrial which were meant to have been here last week, would not be here until tomorrow because the freight company that Nationwide had hired to bring them to me (Yellow Freight) didn't deliver to Bend--so they had handed the job to an interline carrier, Roadway. Thanks, guys.

Jodie was done by 4 pm, with some work not yet completed, Paul had to leave at around 5 -- they'll both be back.

During all this, Dai and Jim completed unloading the second truck and moving parts and supplies into the stock room (the bedroom the former owners had kept their cats in [I had the carpet removed because p-u cat pee in carpets is a little too tangy for my taste]). Of course, today's thundershowers and hailstorm meant that everything not in the house needed to be covered with tarps, and the front yard still looks like a Hooverville.

This evening Mrs Elliott and I drove out to OfficeMax and Home Depot and Staples for office supplies and furniture. Mrs Elliott had been unable to pack much of her office furniture because the trucks were so full, and now needs to replace desks and file cabinets and office chairs. While out there we stopped by Whole Foods to pick up some items, like marinated tofu, which I have not yet been able to find at closer stores. We walked out with one small bag of groceries. $70. Ouch. Not great values, there.

To add excitement to the mix, the technician which I had hired back in June after interviewing the best four prospects from the dozen or so who had responded to my ad in The Bulletin called to say that he had a better offer from Qwest, leaving me without anyone for my existing technician, Dai, to train before he heads back home to his wife in San Diego (Dai came with us to help set up the shop and train his replacement). So I called the paper and asked them to re-insert the ad. I need to find a good analog audio electronics tech for full time work, someone with lots of experience assembling, troubleshooting, and repairing audio electronics at the component level.

And Mrs Elliott had her own experience with a certain level of undependability from new hires: one of the two women that had been hired for phone answering didn't show up for her appointment at noon, and called at 12:15 to say that the thunderstorm had caused an electrical outage in Sisters. Mrs Elliott wondered whether the woman had a grid-powered car which might explain why a power outage could prevent someone from getting to her first day on the job on time, but otherwise couldn't understand how an electrical problem might cause a significant delay. She told the woman that the position required someone she could depend on to get here on time to answer the phones. The woman assured Mrs Elliott that she was not a flake and would be in shortly.

She never showed.

"Welcome to Central Oregon," said a longtime Bend resident with a sour laugh.

Tomorrow we have to drive the two Penske trucks to the lot in Eugene. We'll trailer Mellow Yellow behind one of the trucks and then return home in it.

That's it, we're tired.

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