Can’t come to work today

By Scott Anthony
 
For years I worked in a big printing plant in Tukwila. We had about 50 guys there, from all walks of life and of varying degrees of smarts. I learned a lot of things about human nature and working relationships there and one day I’ll probably use some of those lessons to write that book that I kid myself about.


Our foreman, Bill ‘Willy’ Blauvelt was a great mentor. Part disciplinarian and part drinking buddy, one of the best things he taught me was that even the most disagreeable, stick-in-the-mud individuals could still have something worthwhile to offer.

Because most of us worker bees were young and unencumbered by notions of punctuality and work ethic, we would frequently try to skip out on a day of work here and there. Willy, having done his own time calling in with the ‘beer bottle flu’ was on to us from the get-go, but he would make note of the best excuses and remind us of what worked and who, eventually, had to come to work. The following anecdotes are todays worthwhile offerings from me.
 
(Riiiiiiing)
Marty- 'Can't make it in to work today, Bill'
 
Bill: 'Why not Marty?'
 
Marty: 'Well, there's a tree that fell across mah driveway!'
 
Bill: 'Well heck, Marty, go out and get the chainsaw and hack it up!'
 
Marty: 'Aw Bill, the chainsaws outta gas.'
 
Bill: 'Well, go out to the shed and get the gas and gas it up, Marty!'
 
Marty: 'Shoot Bill, there's a BEAR out there...no way I'm goin' out to the shed!'
 
Bill: ‘Get your shotgun and scare the bear off, Marty.’
 
Marty: ‘S’pose I could get my shotgun, ahh….I’ll see you at work, dang it.’
 
 (From another clever fellow, before cell phones were available):
 
Dave: 'Bill, I can't make it in tonight'
 
Bill: 'How come, Dave?'
 
Dave: 'My Boat motor's broke, I'm stuck out in the lake!'
 
(He was late, but he came in..) -
 
(From animal lover, Tommy)
 
Tommy: ‘Willy..I can’t make it.. got an emergency!’
 
Bill: ‘What’s the problem Tom?’
 
Tommy: ‘The dog ate my car keys. We're going to hitchhike to the vet!’
 
(From a new guy, Bob):
 
Bob: ‘Sorry, I can’t come to work today- got jury duty’
 
Bill: ‘But Bob, you told me you just moved here and that you don’t vote.’
 
Bob: ‘Well I sure didn’t vote for this jury duty!’
 
(Bob worked that night).
 
My favorite one, however, was:
 
Scott: 'Bill, I won't be in tonight, my eyes are messed up.'
 
Bill: 'Well, what'd you do to your eyes, Scotty?'
 
Scott: 'Nothin'.. I just can't see myself comin' in to work.'
 
(That gag actually got me the night off.)

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