Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sugar Beet Harvest - Day # 12 - Not!

Just after I wrote yesterday's blog entry we called the Factory employee hotline and found out both the day and night shift for Friday had been cancelled.....YAY!!!  Of course, by 5 o'clock it was still raining, and it seemed fairly obvious we would not be working, but still, you never know.  The "day" off we had hoped for had materialized.

But, once again, I get ahead of myself.  On the day (September 26th) we drove up to Sugar Valley (our original work site) the check engine light on the T-Bird had come on.  Last January when this happened it was two bad coils, but then it was obvious there was a problem as the engine was misfiring.  This time the car was, seemingly, running just fine.  Well, after we had completed our first 4.5 hour training shift we stopped off at the local Ford Dealership on Main Street in downtown Sidney to see if we could get the car "plugged in" to have the "code" read telling us what the problem was.  As it turns out here in Sidney virtually all of the service work they do is on Ford trucks, and they are so busy we had to make an appointment for two weeks later, October 11th.   They told us as long as the "check engine" light was not blinking, but still a solid light, we were okay.

Of course, when we got the news of our transfer to the Sidney factory site just 1.8 miles away that made us feel better that we would not be piling up 24 miles of driving every day for 2 weeks....instead we were only putting on less than 4 miles per day.  Well, October 11th came on Friday, so after we ended our shift Friday morning at 7 am, TLE took me home, and then took the car back to drop it off so we could get it checked out.  The parts manager kindly brought her back to the RV ghetto here at Richland County Fairgrounds, and we went to bed just after 8 am.

I got up at 3 pm and called the dealership to find out what they had found out.  It turns out the code generated by the "check engine" light refers to a "catalytic deficiency", which in layman's terminology means our catalytic converter is going bad.  Cost to replace the converter?   $14o0.......not as bad as I thought, but then that begs the next question.....in a place where 90% of the service they do is on trucks, how long would it take to get a catalytic converter shipped in for the 'Bird?  The answer.....more than a week.  We will only be here a week, but since we are doing very little driving, and in fact, in the next week will drive it less than 28 miles the service technician thought it would be okay to wait until we get back to SoCal.  Once we leave here we will not be doing much, if any driving in the 'Bird.  Just on hunch, though, I called the local Avis car rental place over at the airport....and that is the only car rental service in town...to see if they had a car we could rent for a week......answer......all their cars are rented for the next 2 weeks.

Just after I got off the phone with the Ford Dealership I called the employee hotline and found out the great news that our night shift starting at 7 pm on Friday had been cancelled, which only confirmed our suspicion based on the fact it was still raining after almost 12 hours.  My body really needed a night off, so to describe my feelings as EXCITED would be an understatement.

Since we didn't want to change our sleeping schedule we decided to stay up watching a bunch of recorded shows we hadn't been able to watch for the past 11 days since we have been otherwise engaged at night.  Around 1:30 am I was ready for a nap, and so was TLE, so we turned off the "boob tube" and took a nap......my nap lasted until almost 5 am.....TLE managed to take a couple of cat naps, and read in between.

Just as we were starting our TV marathon I caught this sunset.....it was still raining, so it was kind of cool.  I also caught the reflection of the show we were watching at the time...."Top Chef"

At 6 am we will be calling the employee hotline again to find out our fate for Saturday.  The wind has been blowing quite hard now for almost 12 hours, and the rain stopped around 9 pm last night so I would think the night shift would be back on for Saturday, but we won't know until the message is updated at 6 am.

To describe our "day off" as delightful, delicious, and delectable would be an understatement of gallatic proportions.  It was just what we needed in preparation for the last 7 day sprint to the finish line.  Added to the pleasure of a day off Friday night was checking our bank account and finding quite a substantial contribution made by our employer to our bottom line....more than we were expecting for just 5.75 days of work in that pay period.  Since we got a day off in the middle of the current pay period our payday next Friday will be just slightly higher accounting for 6 days worked.  The knowledge of that has made our experience a little more palatable, reminding us of why we took this job in the first place......a lot of bux for very short time period. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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