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 After Hours

 Your boss won't remember your name in 20 years—your kids will!

Florida, Hard Times, Wheezing Women.

by Southern Programmer

Sorry if this post seems like a bunch of random musings, I have been adding to it over the last few weeks during a hectic time at work.

I don't know about the rest of you but lately I just feel worn out.  I think I have had my fill of bad economic news and how Presidential Candidate (Insert Name Here) is going to turn things around if you would just give him a vote.

Right when I began feeling totally down for the count my wife and I received a call from a friend who generously offered to let us stay for a week at a Condo he owned in Juno Beach Florida for free!   

Naturally, we jumped at the offer and made the trek to Juno Beach with our two school age kids. The condo is located in a beautiful community and is very near the ocean,  there are various shops and stores nearby and Juno Beach is near JUPITER Florida which has attractions such as the Burt Reynolds museuem, where I suppose one goes to look at his various toupees....

For some reason, a lot of the condo's were deserted.   In fact a lot of the time we felt as if we were the only ones within the building where the condo is located!

I quickly became spoiled by the setup and location of this condo.   If I found we were low on milk or any other supplies it was easy to jump into the car (or Golf Cart) and cross the street to the store to get what you needed.   I also noticed there was a Doctors Office, Dental Office, Bank, Restaurant and any other thing you can imagine all across the street.  My favorite find was a WALGREENS, this may seem strange but Walgreens has an EXCELLENT soda they market that is made with 100% sugar (buzz) and comes in a glass bottle.  The soda usually sells for one dollar and is the best soda I have tasted to date.

Condo living was great!   Who needs a car!  Just get a golfcart and drive around in polyester shorts without a shirt and wear loafers while yelling at all the punk kids to quit riding their bikes on the sidewalk! Naturally, the kids weren't thrilled about stores or how excited Dad was to find a Walgreens across the street.  

So my wife and looked around for attractions to amuse the kids.   My wife located a place 30 minutes away which had the impressive name of Lion County Safari.    We put the address into
our GPS and headed out.   As luck would have it, we began having one of the worst rain storms I have seen in a very long time.   I could barely see in front of me but managed to make it to Lion County Safari right when the storm broke.

I must say, it looked to be an interesting place that spoke of the wonders of 'driving your car through an actual safari where lions roam free!'  I pulled up to the gate and asked "How Much!?" and was told the price would be over $100!   My wife and I glanced at each other, if it would have just been us I think I would have put the car in reverse and driven on to the Animal Kingdom Safari at Disney (I have been there, wonderful place!).   As it was, I did not want to disappoint the kids so I handed out my credit card and winced as the charge was applied to it.

We soon entered the Safari and it was an interesting place.   You could indeed drive your car on a long loop which allowed you to see animals roaming free.   What was disappointing was that the Lions were kept behind a gated area and were all lazing around.   They looked at my wifes smallish SUV with dis-interest as we drove by.   In the distance I heard Hyenea's laughing as they chuckled to the fact I had paid over $100 to watch some fat lazy lions sleep.

The whole visit took over an hour and it was entertaining, I'm not certain it was worth the price I paid and I will say that the place looked nothing like the pictures on the web site.  Perhaps I came at the wrong hour but I do prefer Disneys animal kingdom.

As quickly as all good things happen, the vacation ended and here I am back in my office.   The economy has caught up with my company and while we haven't had any downsizing they have certainly  cut back in many areas.   All airline travel has ceased, computer replacements have to wait until next year, they have even cut every third row of lights off in the office area and they have moved the cubicle dwellers around so that lights may be cut completely off in usused sections.    However, I am greatful to be gainfully employed as one of my good friends who is a manager at a car dealership shared with me that he is besieged every day by people looking for work doing menial tasks such as washing cars or sweeping floors.

Lately As I have been driving to work I've noticed a good many people piloting scooters or riding bikes.   The other day I turned a corner at a stop light only to pull behind a large man wearing
greasy mechanic overalls furiously pumping a bike down the road while smoking a cigarette.   I followed him for a few blocks until he pulled into a corner gas station and plopped off the bike
only to sit on a bench and pull out a cigarette carton from his overalls.   I don't think Southerners are cut out for biking....

I was robbed today!   Fortunately it was not at gunpoint.

As I was leaving work I noticed that my car only had a 1/2 tank of gas.   Being a type A personality I decided to top the tank off and treat myself to an 'Icee' on this hot summer morning.    I pulled into the gas station / 'Quicky Mart' and pulled up to a pump.   I started the gas pumping and clicked the metal tab to allow the pump to work unattended and strolled in to get my Icee.   When I came out the pump had stopped and I noticed exactly 10 gallons had been pumped.  

This puzzled me because of two reasons:

#1:  The beast I was driving has a 25 gallon tank (but it gets 24 MPG) and with only 1/2 a tank I should have pumped 12 plus gallons.

#2:  The figure was EXACTLY 10 gallons, not 10.1 but 10 gallons.

I shrugged, returned the pump and got into my car.  When I cranked the car I noticed the gas needle had not budged and then it hit me like a bolt out of the blue!


This really ticked me off!   I went into the store to speak to the clerk.

Me:  "Hey, do you have security cameras?"

Clerk (waking up from zombie like state):  "Huh?  Uh do you want the powerball option with that ticket?"

Me:  "No no no, someone just stole my gas and I wonder if we can rewind you security tape and get the license number of the car."

Clerk (scratching head):  "Uh, I guess we have that but I only know how to work the register"

At this point a heavy breathing woman came wheezing from the back wearing a 'Quicky Mart' shirt.   Without so much as an introduction she said "You ain't supposed to leave the pumps unattended!  It sez sew on the pump!"

Sure enough, when I went back to the pump and pulled out my magnifying glass I found a statement that you should not leave your vehicle unattended.

With a sigh I started a new transaction and began filling up again.

Times are rough right now people, but lets not steal from one another!


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anonymous (07/18/2008)
Welcome back refreshed to the real world. Vacations are nice but going back to work can be scary. You never know what you are going to find. You are very courageous SP. Taking vacations nowadays is only for the very brave.

I feel just as worn out by the news. As a matter of fact it was so bad that I watched the old all dogs go to heaven movie with the little ones.

Didn't somebody else just write about gas theft at the pump? Sorry it happened. For your sake and mine I hope this person was really desperate and on his way to a job interview, but somehow I doubt it.
If you really feel like it arm yourself with whatever picture taking gadget you own and wait for the thief to return and tape him in action, his license # too.

Corporate Ladder Rung: CEOSouthernProgrammer (07/19/2008)
Thanks Anon.

Didn't somebody else just write about gas theft at the pump?

To tell you the truth, I might have posted about this earlier because I am ashamed to say it has happened to me TWICE.

I have learned my lesson and do not leave my pump unattended anymore...

maryl130 (08/03/2008)
Hey $100 is not bad for Lion Country Safari - $25 each. You will pay about $50+ each to go to Animal Kingdom and extra for the "safari" part.

Corporate Ladder Rung: CEOSouthernProgrammer (08/04/2008)
I guess you are correct Maryl, $25 apiece isn't SO bad. But I felt like I was paying $100 to drive through a few fields looking at sleeping animals. Truthfully, I would have paid $50 apiece to see Animal Kingdom instead. I think my timing was probably bad at Lion Kingdom, it had just stormed and the animals were sleepy....

Corporate Ladder Rung: Associateprinting fool (09/27/2010)
Your story reminded me of when my friend kept having his gas siphoned. This was long before they came out with locking gas caps. He was so fed up with it that he managed to put some broken razor blades around the rim under the gas cap, you guessed it, someone got a nasty surprise that he totally earned! Problem solved, it didn't happen again, he probably wondered if something worse would happen next time, knowing my friend it would have. Still cracks me up after all these years! People who steal deserve what they get, every job has it's hazards!


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