May 21, 2020

Today was my first day off since taking the pool supply store gig, six days of deep dive into the pool supply retail industry. It’s been a lot of fun – the guys I work with are fun to work with and very laid back. So far all the customers I’ve met have been quite nice and eager for assistance with maintaining the quality of their pool water. I must say that I’ve gotten pretty damned good at working the water testing machine. Right now I’m leaving the more difficult interpretations of the chemistry read-out to the veterans who have seen everything there is to see, but I can handle the most obvious ones – no chlorine, the pH needing to be tweaked with acid, the ones with phosphates through the roof needing an intervention to prevent an outbreak of algae. I can handle that. The same with stocking shelves, rotating inventory, helping with the weekly truck supply.

It’s not as if I went into this job a complete novice: I’ve been through cartridge, sand, and glass media filters over the past 16+ years. And, as a result of our “bee experience” a few years back I’m considered the store’s “bee expert”. But there are areas where I’m going to need a bit more experience, like when a customer needs his pool vacuum refurbished or repaired. When the store manager saw me take apart half of a vacuum to resolve an issue with a gear clogged with palm tree debris, he immediately assumed I could fix just about anything involving pool vacuums. Boy was he wrong! I fairly well butchered a vacuum repair a vacuum rebuild on Tuesday (had I chance to take it apart first it probably wouldn’t have gone so poorly, but the vacuum was already taken apart when I got in that morning and I had to figure out for myself what went where), but the lady didn’t come back complaining so I must have got it working in some fashion.

All in all it’s been a good experience. Once Memorial Day weekend is over I’ll start my normal Sunday through Wednesday schedule, which will be perfect. Any more than four days a week at approx. 25-28 hours is really all I’m interested in right now. But there’s still a bunch of training I have to complete as well as get more familiar with filters and filter parts in general, so the shakedown cruise continues. As I told my store manager, this is 180 degrees from what I used to do for a living, so it has been a hoot. It all still seems like a dream.


Arizona has opened up pretty much everything, so today being the twins’ birthday we all went out to a local Mexican restaurant for a sit-down dinner. The staff there all wore masks, but they were about the only ones in a restaurant that was surprisingly crowded for a Thursday afternoon. It felt great being out in public again. You hear so much negativity from the media, both local and national, that it is refreshing to talk with people who have been the most impacted by the lock-down and to hear their stories. In our server’s case, she and her husband came through fairly OK – she didn’t go on unemployment, but her husband did. Their mortgage company game them three month’s relief from having to make a mortgage payment and they both got stimulus checks, so they have been able to weather the storm OK. The food was great and she was nice, so we made sure she got a much larger tip than she normally would have.

I feel bad for people in “blue” states run by tyrranical governors intent on destroying people’s livelihoods simply out of spite, ignorance, or their power-hungry trip. They keep talking “science” but the overwhelming “science” says all states, “red” or “blue” need first to protect its elderly citizens in nursing homes and long-term care facilities from known killers and then open up for everyone else. To not do so is to deliberately sabotage their own economies. Why would anyone in their right mind do that? States survive on tax revenues; if you’re deliberately cutting off those revenue streams you’re cutting off the very tree limb you happen to be sitting on. And for what? To make sure Donald Trump doesn’t get re-elected? To impose your own authority over others? How stupid is that. Here in Arizona we have our own issues trying to convince our governor to take more bold steps, but we are open for business – good for us, good for California folks within driving distance of our own service industries. Maybe they’ll consider moving here and in doing so leaving their liberal politics behind!

But of course, not everyone is happy about our economy opening up. Conversation overheard between the Mexican restaurant’s hostess and one of the waiters:

She: So, are you glad to finally be back at work?

He: No.

You can’t please everyone!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:40 | Comments Off on Two Tales From Arizona
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