Monday, July 17, 2017
A BLESSING AND A CURSE
A good memory is sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse.
Awhile back, Gerald and I were shopping and I saw one of my former workers and the worker yelled, "Suzy Jo!" I responded, "Ronnie Jo!" Of course my name is not "Jo" and neither is Ronnie's. It was from an old "inside" joke from work because we had had a woman named "Jo" come into the department and Ronnie had to train her to take his place. She was given three days to learn the job but she could not grasp the sequence of elements of the job. The second day, Jo brought a piece of chalk and tried to mark the panel to show the sequence but the chalk rubbed off; next, she returned from break with a piece of cardboard and took string and attached it to the control panel and had written down the sequence but each time she would forget to weld or forget to push the buttons in the correct sequence. Ronnie would have to run and catch up her errors.
On the third day Ronnie told Jo just to stand there and let me disqualify her. She said, "No, I can learn this job." I thought, "Oh, Hell, I don't want another fight about a disqualification!" Ronnie put in a call for the Steward and said, "My three days of Hell must end!" After talking to Ronnie, the Steward came to me and I told him he needed to talk to Jo to accept the disqualification. The Steward replied, "You know I have to represent her too; it'll just look like he wants to stay in the Department and you're favoring him." I took out my documentation to show him that she had made absolutely no progress in learning the job and it was my judgment and not Ronnie's. With fifteen minutes left on the shift, I called the Steward back and disqualified Jo, and fortunately, she did not fight it.
After that, if anyone in the crew made a mistake, he was immediately branded "JO"! There was David Jo, Roger Jo, etc.
That day at the Mall, Ronnie started to introduce me to his wife and I said, "It's Judy, isn't it?" Ronnie let out a joyful yelp and said, "Tell her my clock number!" I said, "14399." I continued, "Your wedding anniversary is June 19." Judy asked, "Oh, my God! How do you know that?" I said, "Well, that's OUR wedding anniversary too!" Ronnie said, "I told Judy you never forget anything!" I said, "I can't remember logarithms but I can remember clock numbers." It also helped that Ronnie was one of my all-time favorite workers and I would be more inclined to recall things about him.
Gerald was standing by, very amused, and he told them the reason he married me was because I could keep all of his nieces and nephews names straight!
Later, telling this story at home, Les remarked, "You're lucky he was STILL married to the same woman!"