Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Skills I Hope To Never Acquire

Well, today goes down in the annals as one of the shittier I ever hope to experience:

"Hey RacerRick (not his real name), let's go have a chat."

As expected, stunned silence.

We walk upstairs, and this is the shittiest part, because the writing's been on the wall for the last three weeks. We've been cutting hours, mostly his. We sit down.

"I'm sorry. We don't have any more hours for you." For some reason this seems better than telling him he's no longer employed here, or that he's fired, or that his services are no longer required. If silence can attain another level of stunned, his does.

"I'm happy to explain the reasoning behind the decision if that's something you're interested in."

He is, so I explain that I appreciate his enthusiasm for the high-end and his involvement in racing, but that that will never be what we need him for, and that, too often, that same enthusiasm got in the way of the things we did need, like selling 7100s and 820s. There was more, and I tried to explain it to him as well as I could, but is there any way to make sense of that? I doubt it.

Thing is, it was the right thing to do. I mean, I started this fucking blog because I'd lost my patience with him one too many times. I feel like none of that really matters right now. Even when it's anonymous, it's uncomfortable to kick someone who's down.

And maybe, probably, I'm putting a lot of this on myself. I'm the service manager. Did I manage him properly? I try to recall if we ever discussed his shortcomings before it was as explanation for his termination. I'm pretty sure we did, but pretty sure is nowhere near adequate enough to make me feel better. Fuck it; its done.

On a lighter note, whats up with fruitcake triathletes? Had one come in today complaining of speed wobble. Now, I'm no expert on this (yet), but I've read enough to know it's a complex problem, one that uses terms like "harmonic oscillation" as explanation, and rarely is it easily resolved. I try to explain that to him. He encourages me to check the balance of the front wheel. I assure him that's the first thing I'll check. In the next ten minutes, through the course of discussion of other issues with his bike, he mentions the balance of the front wheel no less than three more times. Each time he's assured that's the first thing I'll check.

I'm no linguist, but I'm fairly certain we're both speaking English, but even as I write this, I know I'm wrong. I'm speaking English and he's speaking a little known dialect, Trigeek, and somewhere in the recesses of his aero helmet, or maybe in the space where the sleeves of his jersey might exist, the message is getting garbled. Frankly, I have neither the time nor inclination to learn Trigeek. To exacerbate the problem, I'm not the type of wrench to let anything go. If it's not the front wheel, I'll check the fork and then the frame alignment and the rear wheel and so on and on and on and on, and if I don't find a satisfactory explanation, it will gnaw at me. And, even if I do find a satisfactory explanation, I've still got to translate it into Trigeek.

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