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English Ex-pat living in USA (Connecticut)

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» The nicest thing someone's ever done for me

Falling on the employment sword.
Kind of a funny story which makes you think that what may not be a big deal for you looks like (or is) a big deal for others.

w a v y l i n e s

Twas a long time ago now but when I was in University I worked part time at a semiconductor factory doing things like backing up systems, fixing terminals, cleaning tapes, booting systems, running through the FAB floors checking on stuff etc. The work was fairly easy for the most part and it paid well.

As I was in the last few months of university and getting ready to get my degree and either get a full-time job there or get the hell out, it came to us that due to budgetary conditions there was going to be a layoff and of our group someone had to go.

There were people there with families and mortgages and such who got really worried, folks that had been there for years - good folk, nice folk, folks that I still keep in touch with.

We had a big meeting of just our department, about 15 of us where all this was laid out before us. There was a palpable feeling of sadness and worry in the room when it was over.

The more I thought about it the more I realized if there was going to be a layoff I damn sure wasn't going to get hired on full time whereupon I had a bit of an idea.

I went to my manager and said "I need a chat, I have an idea" and she had me sit down. "Well" I said "it's obvious that I'm not going to be getting a job here full time after I graduate, so what I was thinking is this. Once I have my degree I'm not going to be an hourly computer operator technician am I? so I was thinking, do you suppose if I offer up myself for the layoff that it would be enough to protect the rest?"

She looked at me for a bit and said "Do you mind doing that?" so I said "No, why would I mind? I'm not going to mount tapes for the rest of my life am I?" so she said she would see if I would do as the sacrificial lamb.

Well it turns out that I was acceptable as the head to roll and they took me out for drinks on my last day, I had some very touching thank-you's as we said our goodbyes and at that point I realized that what had been just a decision to leave on my part was looked upon by those that remained as a big gesture.

Funny how things work out eh?
(Thu 2nd Oct 2008, 18:03, More)

» Christmas Tales

Naughty children
When my kids were younger (one boy one girl) they fought like cats and dogs. I told them "if you don't stop being horrible to each other Santa is going to leave you coal in your stocking" the miserable little shits laughed! Right!... so I happened to have a small bag of coal in a crawlspace under the dining room so I went and got about 6 nice pieces. Dirty as hell as you can imagine so I washed them in the sink with dish soap after the kids had gone to bed and dried them nicely and put 3 pieces in each stocking with a note to the effect of if their behaviour hadn't improved by next Christmas this is all they would get.

Chrimbo morning rolls around and the kids are up on the hunt.. they get their stockings down and empty them out and find the note and the coal pieces along with some odds and sods. Now you'd think after a note from Santa and some coal samples they'd calm down a bit.. no not my kids.. one of them said "My piece looks like a gun!" and ran around shooting with it, the other kid wanted that... they were fighting over bits of coal!!!

We put the coal pieces on the mantle and they sit there to this day as a reminder of the fact that not even a gift of coal can calm down naughty children.

The eldest is off to college next year.
(Wed 25th Dec 2013, 0:44, More)

» Stupid Dares

Ohh another one!
Same village as listed below. It was Thursday evening and that meant Youth Club! Before the place opened up we were milling about nearby and someone found a dead rat. One chap was dared to take said rat (using two sticks, not his bare hands - we did have standards) and throw it onto the road at the bottom of the car park. The chap who was dared to do it walked carefully down the car park with the rat suspended on two sticks. I suppose he looked a bit like a rat-amplified dowser.

The rat was duly lobbed onto the road and as it happens landed with front facing the middle of the road and the tail facing the path. The chap that threw it stood still while we waited for something to come along and run it over. Well the next thing to come along was an articulated lorry with nice wide tyres. Lovely we thought, this should do the trick - and it did.

Now I'd guess the rat was about 4 feet away from the chaps location and when the lorry ran over the rat the guts shot out of the rats bum at speeds I can only guess at. The intestines piled up on his shins and looked a bit like toothpaste. He was jumping about and kicking trying to get the stuff off his leg/shoe and of course the rest of us were doubled up laughing. We did of course call him Ratty from then on.

So kids, if you're going to crush a rat, don't stand at either end to be safe.

Length? over 4 feet, but memories that lasted a lifetime!
(Mon 5th Nov 2007, 3:46, More)

» Stupid Dares

Cow pats and dares
I grew up in a little village in Buckinghamshire which were surrounded by fields and the like. some of these fields had cows in them, and unsurprisingly there were lots of cow pats in those fields.

A bunch of mates had been off roaming around and came across a string of crowscarers in a field. We cut them off the pole and put out the slow burning wick. Much louder than regular bangers (firecrackers). While going through a cow pasture with them we dared one of the lads to put a crowie in a cowpat and light it. I must have been good at physics because I saw it as a good idea to hide behind a tree while this was going on. Everyone else but the dare-ee was a respectable distance back when Andrew lit the device and retired to what he thought was a safe distance. One almighty boom later and we all ventured out to see the damage. The cowpat was gone, all that was left in its place was some yellowing wet grass. The removal was almost perfect.

Only then did we look at Andrew who was covered, head to toe in some sort of aerosol green paint. Only it wasn't paint was it!

I can only presume the whole pooh got vaporised and re-distributed all over and those that were close got painted.

After the shock wore off, we laughed like drains. Well all except for Andrew and he didn't know what to do.

Good times.

Length you ask? From where we were to Andrews house, about a mile and a half.. Time enough for the cowspray to dry. I don't know what his mum said.
(Mon 5th Nov 2007, 3:36, More)

» Karma

Vomit story
When I was a wee nipper in primary school there were always kids that were either more well off or just spoiled. One such girl in my school was Amanda, she always showed up at school with a bag of sweets. Did she share any? did she buggery!

Anyway one morning we were all standing in Assembly listening to our old headmaster talking about something or other and all of a sudden Amanda had this odd look about her, no doubt she knew exactly what was going to happen next but people around her didn't.

She put her hand up to her face and proceeded to spew between her fingers. It came out in rivulets of sweets and other syrupy liquid. The kids around her parted like the Red Sea and she was left standing in a ground zero of her own pukey goodness.

That, friends, is what you get for not sharing your sweeties with others!

Length? about 3 feet radius I'd guess.
(Thu 21st Feb 2008, 15:41, More)
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