Watching people work


Here’s another day in the life post: Tuesday, March 26. For some reason, many of these are on Tuesdays. Reflecting on it, I spent a lot of time watching people work. The ones I watched for the longest time were the half-dozen people taking down that tree across the street from my house, especially looking out my middle bay window. It was better than television.

The process involved a guy in the cherry picker trimming the branches of two trees and tethering the damaged section with rope so it would not fall too quickly. The guys below were putting the small branches in the wood chipper – wood chippers always remind me of the movie Fargo. The chips flew into the back of a truck like the one pictured. A guy was running a tractor-like vehicle that carried logs to the chipper. One fellow was carefully controlling passing traffic in both directions.

It fascinated me because I would have had no idea how to take down the tree without potentially damaging a house or car. And the tree is gone; there aren’t even signs of the roots. I love Men At Work.


I helped facilitate the interview of author Ian Ross Singleton by educator Geri Walsh concerning his book The Two Differences, which is a lot about Detroit but especially Odessa, Ukraine.

They had invited the Ukraine Solidarity Capital District to table at the event. The group stands for the country’s “independence and territorial integrity.”

Kudos to reference librarian Susan, the new liaison with the FFAPL for Tuesday book reviews and author talks. Oddly, we went to library school simultaneously but only realized this a few months ago.

I saw the interim branch manager, Deanna, at the circulation desk. Librarians do it all.

Indian food

I agreed to order takeout from our nearby Indian restaurant. I usually order takeout to pick up around 5:30, and it’s relatively efficient. Because of my wife’s work schedule, I arranged for a slightly later slot. I called at 6 p.m. and was told it would take about 25 minutes.

When I arrived at the restaurant at 6:25, I was asked to sit at a table. People arriving after I got there were told the same thing.  There was some confusion; the guy at the register was not a native speaker, I gathered, and it became incumbent for me to explain to them that we were all in the same situation.

However, an increasingly impatient couple was there before I was. He said repeatedly, “How long will this take?” with an increasing edge in his voice. She counted up: “It’s been 35 minutes!” “It’s been 40 minutes!”

When the next order came out, the guy at the register asked them, “Is this your order? Aloo gobi, chicken tikka masala, and lamb saag?” Er, no, that was mine, which made them more disgusted. I wondered, in retrospect, if they were walk-ins. I understood their frustration, but their attitude made me uncomfortable.

Still, the usual manager or owner might have diffused the situation with free mango lassis or another strategy.

And finally

Our daughter complained online that her parents hadn’t gotten her anything for her birthday. “I didn’t know what you wanted.” “I made a list online on Saturday!” That would have been useful to have known.

So, some mail-order workers will get some items to our daughter soon.

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