Hello Again, John here.

I’m in a slightly better mood since I had a really awful day at good old Advance yesterday. The store here is quite interesting. Nice store, in a rotten neighborhood. Basically, I was put into this store to drive the commercial numbers up to where they were. Being, it is an inner city store, the store has a rather large customer base of underprivileged people (alright, I am trying hard to be nice, so all of you just quit laughing right now). In any case, Friday AM I was pretty busy, second sourcing a part for an account I have been trying to get my foot in the door for all week, and this “gentleman” steps up to my counter, seeing that I am busy on the phone starts asking me questions about a 1989 LTD fuel system. I told him nicely twice that I would be with him just as soon as I got off the phone. I finally found the part I needed for my other customer, and flagged over my driver who was also on a phone. I pulled the needed cash from my till to purchase the part and stuck it under my receipt printer so Lori could grab it when she was done and go get the part. I ran in back to grab this person’s fuel pump he has been hounding me about (yeah, every good tax paying citizen stinks of whiskey and marijuana at 10:00 in the AM…) It took me all of 15 seconds to grab the pump and get back to the counter. Showed him the pump, and of course he didn’t want it. 10 seconds after he left, Lori asks me for the cash. Great. Well, the “gentleman” can be seen clearly on the security tape, reaching over the counter and grabbing my cash. Lesson learned, and yes, I know I should know better, and yes, it came out of my pocket. I wasn’t happy, and yes, I had some really choice words for that creep, who looked me straight in the eye after the fact and told me he couldn’t afford the pump. So, my weekend started pretty crappy.

Then Martin, the manager comes in, while I am at lunch. Of course, Dale, the 2nd Assistant who thinks he is god’s gift to Auto Parts runs to tell him what happened before I am back to explain it myself. Damn, I had backstabber’s. In any case, Martin goes on to talk to me like I am a little kid, like I didn’t know what real issue was here. Now, mind you I didn’t have to replace the $65.00 that was stolen, but I felt it was the right thing to do. It was my mistake, and a dumb one at that. Martin goes on to tell me how this is a “Terminable” offense, and that he is going to go “easy” on me and just give me a written warning. For fuck’s sake, I have never been written up in my life, and now, after loosing $65.00 of my own money, he is gonna write me up? Yes, I was beyond livid. So then, at the end of the day he asks me what I think about my first week at 5016. (Big Moder Sigh)!

I explained to Martin that I needed some time to process the events of the week, and after today, I am not sure I am having a whole lot of fun here. I also explained that as soon as this job wasn’t fun, I wasn’t gonna be in it. I told him I wasn’t happy about the idea he is gonna write me up for the error, and I had every intention of speaking the the DM about it. His response was not to give up just yet. Ugh.

Anyhow, I did just get off the phone with Jeff, the DM, and I am in a better mood now. He was very understanding, and yet shared some interesting stories of growing up in Columbia in the ’70’s. He did state that “you guys from up north just don’t quite understand the culture in the south, and it is gonna take you some time to get used to how things are down here.” Ugh. It will be interesting to see how things pan out with Advance. I am trying to be optimistic, with a whole lot of caution in my future vision.


Big Shark

With that all said, Derek and I did have an interesting day. We went to see the South Carolina State Museum today. Very nicely done. It was $5.00 a head and an extra $3.00 to see the Alien Exhibit. The Alien Exhibit was awful, but the rest of the museum was very nice. They had exhibits ranging from local art, to archaeological digs, and even quite a bit of modern history. We did find it quite strange how little was in there about the civil war, and what was presented was very watered down and seemed very “Text” book. Little was said about the reason of the war. They did have one artifact, which was the succession document from the state of South Carolina. They also had a mock up of the H.L. Hunley, but we both decided it would be much better to go to Charleston to see the real one. I was a bit disturbed by the display of the confederate flag that last flew on the state house in 2000, and the two other confederate flags that were in the assembly and senate rooms. There was a notation that when the legislature (FINALLY) changed the law in 2000 to remove the flags, the law stated they must be displayed at this museum (Heritage, not Hate… Yeah, sure, right). I found the period scale model of the grounds of the Columbia Mills Company which is the building the museum is currently in, was very interesting and an neat example of the “company town”. I would say my favorite exhibits would be those that focused on the communications in the periods, they had awesome displays for both Radio and TV, and also included some amateur radio displays. I also really liked the exhibits with period auto’s and machinery. They had some perfect restorations of some very rare auto’s, including an Oldsmobile Curved Dash, and a couple Anderson Cars. There was a Model T that was donated that was 100% original with 16 miles on it. We could have spent much more time there, and it was well worth the $8.00 a piece.

Well, That’s all for now folks. Derek will edit this later with his comments and a picture we took of the Giant Shark. I am sure he will want to add his “Camping Tip of the Day”. (Sigh.)

Here’s Derek’s Camping Tip #2 –

2. Leave the drama at home – We don’t really want to listen to you and your partner bicker, fight and give off bad vibes all weekend. If you are not getting along, then perhaps you should stay home.

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