Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't Worry About It

My boss, and for the purposes of this blog I'll simply call him Boss, has many pet phrases. One of them, one of his favorites (and so the one we dread hearing the most) is “Don't worry about it.”

For example:
The rear lift door of my mail truck was starting to break. I filled out a vehicle repair tag and informed Boss.
We'll get it fixed right away. Don't worry about it.”
Time went by. It was not repaired. In fact, through constant use the door broke even more. Eventually the bottom panel of the door was no longer in the tracks the rest of the door was rolling in. Whenever the door was open and I was leaning in to do my work, that loose panel was hanging over me like the Sword of Damocles.
It's not safe,” I said.
Well get it fixed,” Boss replied. “Don't worry about it.”
More time passed, and my truck went in for it's regularly scheduled annual maintenance.
What the heck is this? they said, when they saw the back door.
You were using it like this? This is totally unsafe!”
Good thing I didn't worry about it.

Another time my starter began to fail.
I told Boss.
We'll get that looked at,” he said. “Don't worry about it.”
It wasn't looked at. It got worse and worse until the starter failed entirely, with the truck loaded and full of mail, right there in the postal parking lot. I had to use one of the vans for the day, and my route isn't designed to be done in a van. I had a miserable day.
Good thing I didn't worry about it.

Recently a woman I work with, LR, noticed her oil gauge was reading close to zero.She told Boss about it and that she was going on vacation for a week, so he had that long to handle it. He, of course, told her “Don’t worry about it.”
A week passed.
LR came back to work.
Her oil gauge, she found, now read zero. Flat, dead, zero.
“Just take it down to get some gas and put some oil in it,” Boss said.
“No,” she said. “I’m not supposed to do that, and if anything goes wrong I don;t want you to blame me!”
She was quite correct in what she said. We are not supposed to, are actually forbidden to open the hood of a mail truck. We are not Federally approved mechanics, so for us to do that could be considered ‘tampering with federal property’.

LR used the truck that day, but the next morning she refused.

“It’s been two weeks or more, and you haven’t done anything about it. The gauge says zero, so I’m considering it unsafe, and I refuse to use it.”
“Fine,” Boss said. “I’ll get someone to go down and put oil in it. Don’t worry about it.”
So he talked another of my co-workers, DL, into stopping his own work and taking LR’s truck to the gas station and putting oil in it. DL took the keys and left
He was back about 30 minutes later. He had the keys, but not the truck.
“I got about half-way to the gas station, DL said, dropping the keys into Boss’s palm. “Then the engine seized. It’s done.”
DL went back to work, and Boss was left walking around wht the keys to the dead truck in his hand.
“That’s great!” he said. “We’re already short on vehicles, and now we’re down another one! What am I going to do now?”
“Don’t worry about it,” I said.
Then I went back to sorting my mail.

But I was smiling.

I was smiling big.

Talk to you later!

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