Safety

I dismantled this page some time ago in respect to the suggestion of my friend, who said I should spend less time online. But I’m losing a lot of history by not keeping a web journal.

So, yesterday it snowed. I guess this is the first permanent snow of the year. It was fun to drive home in, until I got to the hill going up 39th past Highland, where I slipped a little bit. Nothing happened though.

This morning, my car door was frozen shut! I tried prying it open with my key… At last I was able to pry open the back door and then push open the other doors.

Today was a safety day…

There were some puddles of water down at the airport warehouse, where I’ve worked for a few weeks now. We handle packages between trucks and planes. Usually we have about 45 minutes in the middle of our two-hour shifts when we sit and do nothing and wait for the next planes… so I thought I would mop up those puddles of water. The supervisor saw me and told me I didn’t have to, since he was planning to slip and fall so he could sue the company and retire in peace. Twice he said it; I chuckled it off both times and kept mopping.

Today, though, I and a few others were made to watch a safety video and took a little test on it. After that, the planes came. One of the guys had me stay inside with him this time so we could sort packages; usually I go unload and load planes. The planes were late today… Finally I left for my crossing job. I left about ten minutes late. I didn’t have my watch because I lost it on Thanksgiving at the church last week, our extended-family dinner.

So, my real shift is from 5-8, but when I was getting the job, I was told I would surely be done by 7 or 7:30 each day, and would get paid anyway for the three hours. I told the guy that I DEFINITELY needed to be to another job by 7:30 EVERY day, and he still told me not to worry. So that’s why I took this job. So far, I’ve only been late about twice — the planes were too late on those days, but it was kind of my fault for losing track of time and not leaving earlier. There are enough guys that I could leave even if the job wasn’t done.

Anyway, at my intersection, one of the corners had a little bit of ice on the road, right in the underused right-turn lane. I noticed it and hoped it wasn’t too slick, but then I saw a car come in too fast for his right turn. He skidded a little, slid into the gutter, and bounced off of the curb before stopping. No damage was done… I gave him a thumbs-up as he (or she) left. But after that, I took one of my two orange cones and put it right in that lane, a bit before that icy spot, about a foot away from the curb. I was glad to see that more or less every driver got the hint and took that turn slowly.

Obviously, people are going to want to drive fast today, since they’ll be late from scraping the ice off their cars. One car, actually, entirely ran a red light because he had no confidence in being able to stop. That was fine; there was no danger. I hope people adjust quickly, though.

When I left, I had a hard time deciding whether I should take my cones with me, or leave one or both of them there as a warning (the left-turn lane in the same direction had ice on it, and I’d just seen a car abort their left turn because they couldn’t get into the lane without sliding). After some thought I chose to leave the drivers to themselves, reasoning that the risk of people’s unintelligence while driving was less than the risk of people’s untrustworthiness, that they might steal one of my cones; and then I’d be helpless until I replaced them.

Now, I see I should’ve left one in that spot, though. I was imagining leaving it overnight; but instead I would’ve just collected it at the afternoon shift. Nobody would’ve taken it before then. Oh well…

Well, days like today are one of the few that I actually feel needed at that crossing job. Mostly, the kids are adept at crossing the road, and rarely are there any very young children crossing alone. A few times, they’ve had bad judgment, though. And of course drivers are always potentially stupid, especially the dumb cellphone-chatting ladies. It was the dumbest thing in the world to not illegalize calling while driving. Cell phones practically make you drunk. About 8 out of 10 errors, lacks of awareness, or slownesses that I’ve seen have come from cell phones. The others are from old people, and just carelessness.

Then there are these two girls who intentionally go up the road a ways and cross by themselves, this big old six-to-seven-lane road, State Street. Not the best idea, but at least it will help them become more independent, if they survive. Actually, the younger sister called me "mean" once for not letting her hold my sign after I let her sister, who kept insisting. The older sister told me some time later, "You should get a better job." "I have a better job," I told her. "I work at the airport." She was quiet after that.

So cute… Cuter than the last school’s kids, Franklin. Those kids were more rude.

Anyway, I feel my point there is to teach the kids how to be safe themselves for when I’m not around; not to just give them mindless safety. It’s no real tragedy if they come early, as some do, or if they go and cross down the road — that’s a necessary experience. But it would merit some verbal instruction from me, I guess.

Anyway… great weather…

Wow, I got sad last night. We were shopping, my friends Inonge, Monde, Mable and I, and Mable said some harsh words to me, and I started thinking… well, I remembered my previous sadness, how I’ve felt abandoned by those I trusted. I feel fine now though… I had a really great dream last night which took my mind off of everything. I was in… Korea! I had a homestay there, ha ha… And my family was travelling with me, my parents. Then I saw some beautiful scenery there, forest landscapes and skies… and I met this nice fellow who was so helpful to me, who helped me explore. It was so fun.

-Steve

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