Friday, February 22, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Semi-retired Man

What a day! Yesterday was “one of them!” I am mostly retired but do some Safety Consulting work from time to time. I had done a Safety Walk through Audit on some contractors doing construction work at a chemical plant on Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoons and evenings are a normal busy time, especially at my church. I keep the church’s Prayer List updated and we review this list each Wednesday during our Prayer Meeting, then we have a time of prayer for these people and their needs. I need it to be at the church by noon on Wednesday so copies can be made for distribution that evening. Well, I had done my updated list and dropped it off with the church secretary on my way to do the safety audit. When I got back home, I discovered that I had to add some and take some off the list. So, I just jumped into the computer while viewing a printed list that I thought was the one I’d done that morning. I rushed it down to the church and made the copies myself and distributed them to the tables in the Fellowship Hall. The list I hurriedly updated was a week old and I didn’t make the changes that should have been made last week. We finally made it through scratching out the ones who should have come off the list last week, scratched some more this week and added quite a few to the list. There are a lot of sicknesses and deaths in our area at the current time.

Well, I delayed assembling my notes of the audit until Yesterday morning. I needed to send them in to my company’s office for the person who was with me on the audit so her notes could be blended in with mine. No problem! I decided to check my emails before getting to the report. Several required immediate answers, so I was about to answer the first one when Jo told me that there was a calf outside the pasture by the highway. I went down, got behind it and walked it up through the yard to where Jo had the pasture gate open and the calf went back in the pasture.

Back to the emails. I almost got the ones that needed attention and was to start on the report. “Jim, there’s a cow outside the pasture by the road. Walk back, drive the cow back to the yard, opened the gate and let her back in the pasture. I finally finished the emails and had 3 different phone calls regarding 3 different deaths in our community. During the time that I was assembling my notes and researching the applicable OSHA Regulation numbers each item pertained to, I had two more cows out, three more phone calls that demanded some time and two visits and what little hair I had left ready to pull out! I thought the cow problem was over, but I got another phone call at dusk dark telling me that a bunch of cows were out. I had called the guy that is leasing our pastures and told him that there was some problems with the fences and I knew that about half of his 45 cow herd was out somewhere in the woods. This was that bunch. I had gotten around them and headed them for the yard and pasture when the guy came up and we got the cows back in the pasture. He had brought a load of hay and one of his tractors to unload it with. We decided that he would put the hay out in one pasture and get the cows over there and shut off the area that the fence was bad. Well, when we opened a gate that had been closed for a couple of months between the pastures, the cows would not go up to that gate as a temporary electric fence wire had been stretched in front of that gate where we were keeping extra rolls of hay away from the cows. Finally, I managed the get them into the barn lot from the pasture they were in, then drove them on through the lot until they smelled the hay that he’d set outside the lot to get their attention. All this unloading and cow transferring took a couple of hours.

The final straw came when we decided to load my tractor for him to haul to Lucedale, MS to have new fuel lines installed. It would not start due to air getting into the fuel lines. I had a heavy box blade attached to the back of my tractor. We removed it and moved it away from the tractor shed. Then we were talking about a way to get the front loader raised up enough to pull the tractor up on his trailer.

Finally, I asked him what the tractor repairman said they would charge to come here to do the repairs. He said about $120. I told him that it would cost more for fuel in his truck to haul it down there, come back and go back and bring the tractor back. So, I told him to just tell the man to come here and do it.

Here’s the latest thing. After lunch today, I got a call from the lady that is blending the audit. She said that I’d sent her a copy of an audit report that we did in November. So, I called the correct one up and emailed it to her.

When it rains, it pours!

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