About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Look and you will find it--what is unsought will go undetected.

— Sophocles



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 1/15/2018

Totals
Posts - 2475
Comments - 2570
Hits - 2,015,535

Averages
Entries/day - 0.47
Comments/entry - 1.04
Hits/day - 379

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 5:23 AM Pacific


  11:03 PM

Last Wednesday I ran up to Bellingham to fetch the lad back from his higher educatin' -- it was his last day of finals, and it was time to clear out the dorm room and call it a year. Somewhat to our surprise, we managed to pack what remained of his room into the back of my car (a station-wagon like vehicle), and heck, we could probably have stuck a few more ballpoint pens in there, too, had that been necessary.

So now our future sophomore faces a summer at home. Since his sister shall be moving off to far Indiana -- by aeroplane -- Zack is casting a covetous eye on the 1995 Toyota Corolla that she currently pilots about the city to her various gigs and social occasions, and oh yeah school. I have no problem with him taking the car (it's in my name), but I won't pay for the insurance. So he's motivated to labor this summer and save up some wages against this future expense.

He put in applications around the area and the first and/or most alacritous response came from the local Jiffy Lube. Zack did a semester of Auto Tech aka auto shop, but what seemed to interest his potential employer most was that Zack was available to work full time. This somewhat confirmed my somewhat low opinion of the emporium; I have long thought that they were staffed by, let us say, technicians who might not be fully certified for all manner of car repair. Then again, I've never paid anyone to change the oil in my car, so what the heck do I know?

His employment was settled last week after he took a "UA test", which proved not to be something mechanical, as Zack very briefly thought, but rather the old pee-in-the-cup test. Flying colors. He was told to show up on Monday morning at the corporate facility in Woodinville for an orientation, and to bring all his paperwork, which included his social security card.

Over the weekend, though, no social security card could be located, in spite of a thorough ransacking both houses. Dang. They'd been quite insistent that he was to bring in his actual card -- no copies please. So Plan B was proposed, which was that I would escort Zack to a Social Security Administration office, where he would apply for a replacement and hope that they gave him a receipt or something proving his good intentions. So that's what we did this morning, arriving at the office about 25 minutes before it opened, which put us second in line. (By the time the office actually opened, there were 12 people in line.)

That all went smoothly; they issued him some sort of letter and told him the card would be sent to him in 2 weeks or 11 months or I don't know; not immediately, anyway. Still sans his "social" card, we drove way up to Woodinville to the corporate office, which turned out to be tucked away in a nondescript buiding not far from the Red Hook Brewery and the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery.[1]

That was the last I saw of him today. Whatever paperwork he had was apparently ok (as we'd suspected), and he was processed in. Then he found a ride to Bellevue, and from there to downtown Seattle, where he lunched with the mom. Then he reported for duty, the day before his official starting day. Along the way he collected a hard hat of some sort and was advised to acquire a set of boots with oil-resistant soles. They seem to have put him to work vacuuming out cars, which was exactly what someone at (my) work had predicted would be the case. So it seems he has to work his way up to being an oil-change technician.

This evening he came home and announced that "Manual work is hard!" This might have made an excellent Parenting Moment, but it seems a bit early yet to say "Better keep at that college thing, then."

Hopefully this will all work out. It doesn't seem like a bad summer job to me; I worked my share of grunt jobs as a yoof, and it made me into who I am today, namely a person who does not want to work grunt jobs any more. And thus we pass the baton on to the next generation, heh.


[1] Ain't nuthin like seeing a quasi-gothic faux French manor off Highway 202.

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