Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Routine.....we don't need no stinkin' routine.....

Just when one might think things had settled into a routine you get a day like Monday.  It began innocently enough.....I woke up around 5 am when I heard the coffee maker begin its daily routine producing that amazing elixir I look forward to each morning.  It takes just short of 20 minutes from beginning to end for our Corning Ware percolator to finish its task, and then I will lie there for about 10 minutes as the evidence of the finished product wafts back into the bedroom.  I really enjoy that last 10 minutes slowly awaking to a new day.  If you know me at all you know for a certainty that I perform best within the confines of a set routine.  Of course, it goes without saying, I must adjust my routine when we work.  Here at TVC as I go to work with TLE about 7:20 to help her open up the office/store for the day.  In order for me to get through my morning routine which has been pretty set for about 4 years now I need to be awake at least 2 hours before we start our day.  Here at TVC that means I get up at 5:30.....when we are not working I get up anywhere from 7 am to 8:30, but the routine is the same.

So, TLE and I began our walk over to the TVC office at 7:20......as TLE began counting out the money for the cash register I moved the office golf cart outside, and began sweeping out the office area, then the sidewalk that fronts the store.....that is my routine which I follow every work day here.  By the time I finished sweeping TLE had my reports and I got ready to start my first site check round of the day.  This is where things began to deviate from the norm.....Miguel, our head ranger, asked if he could ride along with me again, and I acceded to his request....he was interested in making sure he was following my routine when he makes rounds on the days I do not work.  As happens every day I noted things that needed attention.....a hole near a fireplace which needed filling in, a missing lid from one of the dumpsters that needed a temporary plywood cover to keep the crows from dragging out trash.....they really make a mess, a leaky faucet, etc.  About that time we had finished our rounds we got a call on the two way radio asking if we could turn on the water and electricity for the three park model cabins in Section E.....they had been winterized last October and we had customers coming to rent them in a week, or so.

This seemed a simple enough request......I use the word 'seemed' advisedly.......since the folks who winterized them are no working here this summer we had no idea what their routine had been some 7 months ago, and that is where things went off the 'routine' track.  First I turned on power at the pedestal, then at the service panel for the first cabin.....all was good.  Then I opened up the gate valve for the water.....at this time I was outside, and Miguel was inside......all of a sudden I heard him yell...."Turn off the water!!!!", which I did.  I went inside to find water all over the floor......what the.....as it turns out those who did the winterizing unscrewed the water supply lines to the kitchen sink, bathroom since, and toilet when draining the water out of the system and never reconnected them when done.  Additionally, when they drained the water heater (access is from a panel on the outside of the cabin) they left the valve wide open.   Well, obviously, we had to mop up all the water so I went to one of the janitor closets to retrieve a mop, and a wringer and a couple of towels.  

On a positive note we didn't make the same mistake on the remaining cabins.....so, a simple 15 minute job turned into an hour job.  By the time we finished with the cabins it was getting close to lunch time so I made my second round of the day to check on those whose names appeared on the 'Departure' list, and found that most of them were already departed, with a few in the process of departing.  I then picked up TLE in the Ranger cart and headed home for our 30 minute lunch (we can take an hour lunch if we wish, but I prefer to finish my shift by 2 pm, which gives me a lot of daylight left in the day. TLE changes it up from time to time taking a 60 minute lunch on occasion, but I'm pretty set in my 'routine').

I say all that to add this....I went back to work after lunch at 1 pm fully intending to clock out one hour later at 2 pm....when I came out of the employee room after clocking back in I saw that Bob Sumner, our Thousand Trails salesman, had arrived for the summer....why is that a big deal?  Well, ever since we arrived back on April 30th and I noted that his personal Yamaha golf cart, which was new just 9 months ago, had 6 dead batteries due to improper winterization,  I knew that we needed to get that cart working again before Bob arrived....we still had no new batteries for his cart, so now I had another non-routine job to get done on Monday.  I went down to the maintenance yard and with the help of Alex moved Bob's cart out of the shed into the light of day to begin trying to figure out how to breath life into dead batteries.  We had spent some time 10 days ago using a large truck charger on those six 6 volt batteries to see if they would, or could hold any kind of a charge, but were unsuccessful.  I had noted that we had a pallet covered with 6 volt batteries reclaimed from the three very old golf carts no longer in service so I began testing them and found 8 batteries which tested "Good", so I began the laborious process of removing the six dead batteries and then installing the 6 used, but still good batteries.  After connecting the last terminal I flipped the switch from the "Tow" setting to the "Drive" setting and heard that 'CLICK' you need to hear, and then heard the backup alarm beeping......good!  At least we have enough power in the batteries to hookup the battery charger provided by Yamaha.  This was the next test....if there is not enough charge in the batteries the charger will not begin charging.....I waited expectantly for about 10 seconds before the tell tale lights lit up and it went into charging mode.....good...one more hurdle cleared.  The next hurdle will be Tuesday morning when we return to see if the cart will now move under its own power.....fingers crossed!

By the time I finished with Bob's cart it was after 3 pm......sigh....but it's all good!  Why?  Because since we are limited to 30 hours per week right now and I am officially 1.5 hours over the 18 I am allotted for 3 days of work I will have a short day coming!

TLE was home a little after 2 pm and I arrived home about 3:15 one tired puppy!  I sat down and took a nap for about 30 minutes, which revived me enough to continue on with the afternoon.  At 6 I turned on the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Golden State Warriors.  You will recall that Golden State set an NBA record winning 73 games this past regular season verses just 9 losses, and are heavily favored to win the NBA championship this year again.  However, after leading the Thunder by 13 points at half time, and by as many as 14 in the second half they only scored 14 points in the 3rd quarter, and by the beginning of the 4th quarter the Thunder were only behind by 3.  The Thunder ended up winning game one by 6......a perfect ending to what was a totally non-routine Monday!

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