Dead Fish in a Box

The chronicles of a suburban fishpimp trying to keep it rural.

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Location: United States

Monday, June 28, 2004

Alternative Transportation

After tearing out my deck, removing the dog run, ripping out two hedges and a fence, washing & vacuuming 2 cars, cleaning out the garage, and selling my camera on eBay and enjoying one delicious beer I took the bike out for a spin. Having a bit of a headache, I thought I'd make it a short ride, 20 minutes perhaps. Then I found this bike trail that looked nice so I decided to roll it for a while, see where it went. An hour later and Holy Smokes! I'm within a couple miles of the Fishhouse! I can rejoin the ranks of the bike commuters! Of course that means I have to hit the road at 5:00 in the AM, but, hey, with increases in both the price of gas and the size of my gut, seems like a good alternative to me.

Of course the people around here have had some colorful responses to my excitement.

"Why would you do that?"

"How far it is?...15 miles, huh? Wow that's a long way"

"I hope you get hit by a car, I F***in' hate bikers!"

"How are going to deliver fish on your bike?"

Additionally, the company seems opposed to bike commuters. There is no bike rack, the shower lays in disrepair, & the warehouse manager won't let me have a locker in the locker room.

I guess we will add this to the long list of things that show how far behind the times the fish biz really is.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Norwegian

There’s a character I’d like to tell y’all about here at the Fishhouse. We’ll call him “the Norwegian”. He’s 32, single with no prospects, and works 7 days a week. He’s also one of the most stoic people on the planet – very Scandinavian. It has been said about him by many people that it’s easier to have a conversation with a brick wall. He seems to be about 5 to 10 seconds behind in any conversation he may be in. At times it can be aggravating, but more often than not it’s incredibly entertaining.
He’s also rather quirky. For example: he’s got incredibly thick skin, you can rip him all you want, he doesn’t care, but say anything about his mom and he’ll fly into a furious rage - also entertaining. Another example: he’ll eat anything. If he wasn’t so unemotional he’d make a great contestant on Fear Factor. It must come from all the lutefisk he ate as a child. Here’s a selected list of things we’ve seen him eat here: a 12 inch oyster, 2 whole baby flounders (aprox 3” each) we found in the stomach of a 100 Lb. halibut, a freakin’ huge spider, and a 9-shot grande mocha. The mocha episode was particularly humorous because he drank the entire cup before we told him it had 9 shots. In an effort to frustrate us he replied: “Dude, I’m gonna be, like, so stoic, man.” I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised.
And speaking of espresso, he’s got some strange theories about the coffee business as you can see from this proclamation he issued last week regarding the women who work at one of the local caffeine shacks:

“Dude – they are aliens! I saw this one barista, and her eyes blinked, like, sideways, and I started thinking about it. You think about it, man. It would be, like, the perfect plan! Aliens come down in their little flying-saucer espresso stands dressed up as hot chicks. We're doomed, dude! Doomed!”

Did I mention he’s got a voice deeper than Barry White?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Auto Pilot

In a page taken right out of “Office Space” we are required to read aloud from the company handbook every Monday morning. It’s usually rhetoric about how we need to improve communication or be more organized. After the reading one of the managers typically will wax philosophic about how we should be applying the subject mater to our daily tasks, about how important it is that we live the company philosophy every day. Generally speaking, it’s good stuff, but we all know that what is said and what is actually practiced are two different things, and during this time we occupy ourselves with other tasks: planning our sales calls, reading reports, daydreaming, etc.

But it is especially entertaining to see that the managers feel the same as we do. Yesterday, while the designated “team member” was reading aloud, Simon kept himself entertained by stacking the new set of dry-erase markers end to end. Then, admiring how tall the stack had become, attempted to balance it on one finger (with modest success), completely oblivious to the fact that he was still standing in front of the entire sales force. It’s as if the moment the reading commenced his mind entered a parallel universe while his body remained here, and when the reader finished and returned to his seat mind returned to body and the normal post-rhetoric pontification began.

I don’t mean to imply that I ever did, but I’m going to have a real hard time taking him seriously anymore.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Copper River Update

I hope that y'all don't think that because I haven't posted anything in the past few weeks doesn't mean that nothing is going on around the fishhouse. It's been a very exciting Copper River season. We've been working our tails off getting the fish to the people. We set an all-time branch record for sales last week. This week looks to be even bigger. The most outrageous part of the whole thing is that for the first time in anyone's memory the retail department (where I work) had a bigger week than the food service side. Simon (food service manager) is furious, the Duck (retail manager) is quacking. I am smug as a bug in a rug; see the thing is: food service has 6 sales reps, retail has 2.

And speaking of the Duck...

The fast paced nature of the seafood business tends to cause a lot of stress, so we try to keep it light around here. Each one of us does our part, one guy likes to hide people's chairs, another likes to rearrange the keys on people's keyboards, and we all chip in to make fun of the Norwegian's mom. My personal forte is changing the pictures on people's Microsoft Windows Desktop. Some of my best work include vomiting fratboys, 80's hairbands, Smurfs & Carebears, and Martina Navritalova. But I got the Duck real good the other day. I found a real nice montage of photos of Oregon's greatest sports hero. Here's his response:

OK, you got me good....where the HELL did you place that Tonya Harding wallpaper? Every time I boot up and/or shut down my computer I get another shot of that b@#$%!

How do I get rid of it?