twice the smartass, half the laughs
My Week On Part 1
Post Date: 08/07/2006

By the end of the day Tuesday, I had already walked a mile (at least) in Troy's shoes. I found them to be tight and uncomfortable, and at this point, sweaty and stinky too. But wait...I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me go back to the beginning...

Oh, hi, I'm Jimmy Gay. I'm back, did you miss me? Where've I been? What have I been up to? Well, I haven't been anywhere special. I had a blast at the Easterling family reunion. The food was delicious, the company was entertaining, the kids were cute, the girls were too, the pool was refreshing and the beer was ice cold. All in all, fun times abounded. It was a great opportunity for Allee to meet some cousins she had never seen (or hadn't seen in a while), and also for Shelley to catch up with her family, whom she sees far too infrequently. The trip home was fairly uneventful. We got held up on the Atchafalaya Basin bridge for about an hour and a half by what appeared to me to be, nothing at all. For those of you who don't know, the Atchafalaya Basin is a 20 mile bridge over mostly swamp, between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, and let me tell you, it is truly a joy to be stuck on it. We made it back to Ren and Gary's temporary abode in Hammond to pick up Shelley's car, then Shelley drove her car home while I drove Gator and I back to the house. Gator was kind enough to scream bloody murder at me the entire ride back (about 35 minutes). My baby girl's a sweetie huh? Anyway, what I didn't realize at the time was, as I sit here reflecting on my week, that car ride back would be the highlight of it.

My Monday started out as most of them do. I woke up and got everything ready, then gently woke up my sleeping beauty, lovingly coaxed her out of bed, tricked her into getting dressed and then tried to convince her that she really did want to go to daycare. All the while though, I had this deep sense of foreboding about the day. I was anxious about going in to work, and I knew exactly why.

For those of you who don't know, my buddy Troy and I work in the marketing department for a company that manufactures fire trucks. I basically do all of their graphic design work (ads, promotional brochures, yearly calendar layout, routine website maintenance, etc...), and Troy... well Troy doesn't really do anything but dick around on myspace all day and piss me off with the clickety clack of his keyboard when he's instant messaging people. (Ha ha, I'm kidding. I only wrote that for Troy. (I mean... I'm not kidding about that noisy ass keyboard of his.) My only regret is that I won't be there when he first reads it.) What Troy really does is, shoot the production line three days a week, and shoots two sets of photos of the trucks when they're done. Besides shooting the pictures, he also maintains the sections of the website that those pictures are for, and he helps me out with stuff whenever he gets some free time. Now, let me tell you specifically about what Troy's job entails, as I see it (feel free to ask him if I'm right or not).

Our company defines itself by its customer service. Where we work, if you're not willing to do what it takes (you know bend over backwards and shit) to give the customer what they want, then you're not gonna last very long (unless you're Ethan. You like that bro?). I have learned from my brief time here that, much to my surprise, the fire apparatus manufacturing business is highly competitive and very cut throat. You see, many manufacturers make quality vehicles, and many have great prices, so, it's up to our commitment to customer satisfaction to set us apart from the rest (Wow, when did this turn into a commercial for Ferrara? Did I mention that I work in marketing?). One of the coolest things (for our customers) that we offer is the "In Production" section of our website. This is a large part of Troy's responsibilities at Ferrara. Three days a week, he walks the production line and shoots between four to six pictures of every truck that is currently being built. So, if you buy a vehicle from us, you can see where it is in the production process. Pretty neat huh? And, pretty easy for Troy right? I mean, all he has to do is walk the production line once and he's pretty much done right? It's not like we have anywhere from 20 to 40 or more truck being built at any given time that are spread out over a 280,000 square foot facility, right? And, it's not like people want their trucks up on the site from the time that they're just frame rails and then call and complain when you haven't updated the pictures of their frame rails which are in the exact same spot and exact same stage of production that they were when you last took pictures of them. That never happens. Like I said, Troy's got it easy.

Until next time: Oh Peter. You tickle me in a way that if Loretta tickled me that way I'd say, "That's nice."
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