Friday, October 29, 2010

"Can Yuh Float?"

We're in full swing at work now, in the final stages of getting our end of the paperwork ready to open up a new waste processing facility. This is the third one I've been involved in, and it feels pretty good. I like the work. It's a challenge and, even when some of the guys tease me because I don't get mad when last-minute changes come up, I like it. I remind them that fire years ago I was stocking shelves at Target and answering phone calls at Center Partners. Even with the headache of last-minute changes, the place where I work now is paradise.

Now just have to make is through the next year. Layoffs. Up to 700 people gone. Not going to be fun.

But through it all, the only thing that comes to mind is Ed Norton from the Honeymooners.

Whenever I have job stress, I think of this episode, when Ralph comes home after nine years of loyal service to the Gotham Bus Company believing he's been fired. He sits down and dictates a nasty letter to his boss to Norton, who is inspired to say to Ralph that me might be able to get him a job in the sewers. "All ya gotta do is pass the test," Norton says. "What test?" Ralph asks. "Can yuh float?" Norton responds.

So I remind myself: I can float. I did it in 2005-06 when I was working at Target and CP. I didn't much like it, but I floated. Kept money coming into the house. And we got through it. So thanks, Ralph and Ed. I appreciate your help.

The best lines:

After Ralph spends a good minute complaining about all the rotten stuff he's had to do at work, working Sundays, holidays, filling in for sick drivers, Alice tells him to relax. "You'll get another job," she says. Ralph's response is akin to what I think now: "I'll get another job, sure, but not a good one like this one!"

Then, when Ed is trying to cheer Ralph up by making him smile, bigger, bigger and bigger, until Ed says: "That's the way I wanna see ya! Even if it takes a year to get a job! Even if you never get a job!" Ralph, of course, tells him to shut up.

They go on to my favorite part in any Honeymooners episode. Ed is inspired to offer helping Ralph to get a job:

"Don't take it rough, eh? Maybe I can get a job for you with me over in the sewer! All ya gotta do is pass the test."

"What test?"

"Can yuh float?"

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