Decompression sickness

Decompression sickness is what divers suffer when they climb too rapidly from their diving depth. What happens is that the nitrogen dissolved in your blood takes a while to dissolve in the blood. If you're under pressure, the nitrogen will gladly stay dissolved, the more pressure the better. But then, if you go up too fast, the nitrogen will start agglometaring and form bubbles. The first symptoms are dissorientation and a stoned-like attitude. Then muscle cramps, big bad ones. Eventually these bubbles are unleashed and go into your heart, you die of a heart attack.

I say this because as I emerged from traffic and got into another traffic jam, i started feeling like all that stuff above.

It was 9:30am and I had agreed with the purchasing guy from the school to go pick up some chemicals on the other side of the city. It had rained hard, tropical rainforest style. I got into my car and started driving and met the worse traffic jam i have ever seen in my entire life. A driving distance that usually takes about 15 minutes to drive without traffic took me ONE AND HALF HOUR to do. And all the while i was driving a standard transmission 1986 toyota land cruiser. My knees still hurt.

Aside from the fact that it took me 1.5h to get to that end of town, I didn't know exactly where the place was, because that particular area of town is a massive tangle of industrial complexes, streets, service roads and cars everywhere violating every traffic rule in existance. And, people can't drive in the rain, not here, not up north, i don't think anybody in the rain (well, come to think of it, perhaps the irish and the british). People become just stupid at the wheel and although they're trying to be careful, they try to drive so carefully that they become even more reckless because they're not paying enough attention to what's ON the road and all their attention is on the road conditions.

Say! if you drive slowly, wouldn't that allow you to pay attention to both the road and other drivers and pedestrians? jesus.

I found the building where the chemical suppliers are after passing in from of it a couple of times, granted, it was raining. BUT! You'd think that if you want people to know where your business is, you would have a big sign that indicates where your store is, right? But no! their sign was about 15 inches wide by 5 inches tall. Sons of bitches i say.

So i go in, wet of course. I ask for help and a nice older man tells me that the guy in charge of sales is in the washroom and will be back shortly to take my purchase order. So i sat in the waiting area.

45 minutes later the guy comes in with a smile on his face. Nobody said anything about him being an hour in the washroom. The older man pointed to me and told him he had a customer. He went into the employees only area and took his sweet time to get coffee, chat with some coworkers and finally get to his station to see what i wanted, which he asked in a very rude way.

I gave him my purchase order of 31 chemicals for my lab. He went to his computer for about 15 minutes and then came back to tell me that the prices on the list were no longer right, everything had gone up 5%. I said, ok, sure, i'll pay cash for the difference. So I handed him the company check that I had for the amount i was told on the phone by the sales department of the company.

He saw the check and flat out told me "we don't accept company checks unless the person or people that sign for the check are present with the stubs of the last 5 checks that were signes off this account". At least that didn't take him 20 minutes.

So i went back, endured another 1.5h of rain and traffic. After I got out of what looked like the worst part of the rain and traffic, the rain started again everything slowed down again to 2km/h.

I was pissed. The purchasing guy gave me this check and he probably knew that company checks couldn't be confirmed with the bank and sent me anyway. I ask myself right now why i had to go and not him, isn't that what he gets paid for? I'm sure he's busy but gettign the chemicals was not a life or death thing , i didn't need them until october. He said "i need to get all this done so it can be paid and included in this year's budget". Not being sure what the hell that meant, i went anyway.

I drove home and had lunch instead of having lunch at work, my mom made an excuisite pork tenderloin, the highlight of my day.

I went back to work and returned the check to the business office and went to talk to purchasing guy, who told me "you'll go back there tomorrow and pay with cash, i'll get you the cash". Jeez, great, $1000 worth of bills in my pocket... reassuring. And going back, yai!

When I enter my lab, exhausted and sweaty (5 floors up by the stairs, humid and tired, there's no elevator, you tell me) chemistry guy barges into my lab to get 2L beakers. I asked if they were for the colorimeter activation stuff and he said "yes, the 1L beakers are too small, they can't fit 2 100mL beakers".

"I know" I said, to which he replied rudely "you didn't tell me, you should have told me and i could have had the time to set up proper baths differently" and he walked into his lab.

Now here's the icing on the cake. He tells me off about something I TOLD HIM WOULD HAPPEN, VIA EMAIL, 2 DAYS AGO (i have both printed and electronic copies of this email).

So now i'm pissed. He owes me an apology i thought. But no! He gives me another work order, like nothing ever happened.

I think it's too soon to declare war on this guy, as i've only been here over 3 months, so i'll treat him nicely for the time being. Once i'm rooted more firmly in the structure of the place, i'll think of something.

So now, at 17:30 local time, as I finish writing this, my head is deflating and i'm turning back to my normal rather pinkish complection.

But before i go, I have one message for all bosses out there.

All bosses and employers be warned, you are only humans like your employees, just as fragile physically and mentally. There's plenty a man can do about about your constant abuse. You're no better than them. Treat your employees with kindess and respect or face the consequences.