I went to visit my friend at the beach Thursday.
I took a vacation day. I also needed to repair my wife's pickup.
It has a squeak coming from the serpentine belt. The reason it is called a serpentine belt because it is of the devil.
First I tried realigning the alternator and a/c pump. The bolt holes going through the alternator and a/c pump are oversized so you can adjust them to line up the belt. It was quiet for like five seconds and then the squeak came back with a vengeance.
Next I took a 3/4' steel bar that was a foot or so long and put one end up against the idler bearings and the other to my ear, almost successfully avoiding the rotating fan. The bearings were not making noise.
Finally, I soaped each edge of the belt with a bar of soap to see if the belt was riding up on the shoulders of the pulleys. No change in noise. Then I soaped the bottom of the belt. Instant quiet.
So I took off for the coast.
The squeak came back. Now it was squeaking at all rpm and quite loudly. I stopped at a CarQuest along the way to get a new belt. They did not have one in stock.
It took me an hour to get to Lincoln City. The belt was squeaking so much I started listening to the radio. That certainly harshed my mellow. I tried more hemp products but that just makes me jumpy.
It was another hour to Seal Rock were my friend lives so I waited to text my friend until I was at Newport which is half way.
They said there was an accident on Hwy 101, south of Newport, that was going to close the highway for two hours. I just pulled over and worked on my pickup.
I was digging around in the back of the truck and I found another belt. It was 1/4" too short. Story of my life...
I squeaked my way on down the highway.
My friend was not doing as well as the previous visit. His wife needed to go to town so she fixed us a Cuba Libre and took off. We were sitting and watching "Monk" on the TV and not talking. After half the Cuba Libre went down he perked right up and we were able to talk. He asked me if I had my passport ready because he wanted to get out of here and go back to Costa Rica. And stay....
This seems like an excellent plan.
Especially if we have hit on the magic formula to cure Parkinsons disease. The humble Cuba Libre, (limes must be properly muddled) seems to do the trick. I wonder if insurance will cover the cost of Rum. Although that lime I bought was pretty spendy. (actually I stole it from my wife)
I came back to COVID controversy. While I was assured by the head of the Facilities department and member of the University COVID response team that I would not be fired if I failed to turn in my proof of vaccination by 2 p.m. Monday, my fellow resistance friend was not. His supervisor told him he would be fired if he didn't get the booster.
He was pretty upset.
Then I found my job listed on the University Website. I used this to get the hispanic section of the grounds department quite riled up. They are prone to conspiracy theories anyway so they are on the case. After some consultation they were torn between me being promoted (cause I am an old white dude and that is what happens to old white farmer dudes) or my supervisor found out I have applied for other jobs. They then rushed to turn in their Wu-Flu cards. So I guess that was option number three.
I (of course) started a text message argument with the president of the Uni.
This did not go well. Over the course of two days I have come to believe that he is actually behind the do or die mandates. I could not get him to actually state that those who resist should be fired. He noted that our Uni was, "not a democracy," and if people didn't/wouldn't follow the policies they should find a new job.
He also said if I wanted to change things I should be on the COVID team so that implies policies can be changed. Perhaps it is a representative republic.
I was going to suggest that I suspect it is more of a Tin Horn Dictatorship at this point, but that would be pretty offensive towards the President and not really true. Also, the term I was looking for was not "Tin Horn," it is "Tin Pot," which is the offensive part. "Tin Horn," refers to the idea of pretending to me much more important than you really are. This is how I tend to view local small colleges and the "intellectual" class the goes with them. I kind of feel that the board of trustees and the leadership group of my Uni would fall into this category.
I am disappointed because a positive solution to the problem is so simple. The people who don't want to get the booster were very loyal employees. The loyal opposition, which otherwise does not seem to exist at my Uni. At this point the people who are not boosted are very serious in their opposition and many don't have other good options for employment. I don't think you should push people too far.
Taking this into consideration, you announce the goal is 100 percent vaccination. You give an out to those not boosted by requiring N95 masks and harass them by making them test frequently. Then you declare 100 percent compliance.
But this has become a religion to crazy COVID people. If you are not vaccinated you are infecting the world and you must comply. Mostly, you must comply. The irony is that no one in regular life wears the mask and many people I know don't have booster. But, we are not all dead. We are not all dying. Meanwhile people who got the booster seem to be dropping like flies from heart ailments.
I am pretty disappointed I was unable to convince my president to avoid do or die mandates and really disappointed that I am in serious disagreement with his leadership style. I did not want to believe certain things about him and so I made excuses. But it is not up to me to promote conflict resolution at LU. I am but a groundskeeper and all I have to do is look moderately busy for the next year and a half. I also need to look for other jobs so I have a backup. If I have raised the ire of middle management I will know as I will be slapped with a safety violation. That is how you get fired here. I have seen the pattern.
This is me mowing the baseball field in the cold. I am wondering why, as I have repeatedly been reminded over the course of at the last month that I can quit or be fired at any time. But, I do like the baseball coach and one of the players work for Grounds so I am actually working for their approval, not necessarily because I have a future at my job or because I will ever get a raise.
Edit: After talking with several people who have been involved in the COVID resistance the best course of action is to get fired and then pursue legal action. It doesn't matter if you have a slim chance of winning. The college doesn't want the publicity. The problem with this course of action is no one wants to hurt the entity that you have invested much of your life into. We work for each other and for the students. The administration blunders around and screws things up and we just do our jobs. Also, there are a number of students and potential students which oppose the strict mandate. The college needs another 100 students to break even. The President has been talking to Private Christian schools in an attempt to recruit students. It rather ironic that this absolute mandate is the sort of thing that has caused private schools to have record enrollments. Those students are not going to attend a college that forces vaccinations if there are any other options.
I just think this is such an incredibly stupid mountain out of a mole hill event that I can hardly believe it. If this college can't handle such a basic human relations type of event, how could I possibly recommend it to a potential student? Insanity...