The smoke clears

Eric's Journal
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78 degrees in March?!

So…what happened with the Harley-Davidson layoffs?  Well, in case you did not hear, Harley-Davidson made a company decision to lay off 1,100 workers last week.  They announced the layoff decision about a month or so ago, and everywhere around the workplace has been sweating since then.  I’m sure overall productivity was down.  There was this dark cloud hanging over everyone’s heads, each person thinking that they could very well be included in the 1,100 people.  Me, being one of the newest employees at the company, didn’t really have much time to prove myself to my co-workers, supervisors, and managers.  I had worked on a handful of projects and completed them all with flying colors, but I just wasn’t sure that it was going to be enough to keep my job.  After all, one thousand people is a lot of people.  How could I not be in serious consideration for getting axed?  I’ve spent the past six months or so doing my job to the best of my ability, surely in hopes that they would deem me as a valuable asset to my team and the company. 


No one knew who was going to get laid off until this last week.  On Monday the 16th, most of the conference rooms around the Juneau Ave. offices were booked up, presumably for the layoff meetings.  By Thursday, the layoffs were pretty much complete and I hadn’t been called into any of the conference rooms for a meeting.  Later in the morning on Thursday, our team had a meeting with one of the managers informing those of us that were attending that meeting had survived the layoffs and that an announcement would be made later that day that the layoff process has been completed.  Relieved that I was still going to have a job the next day, I kicked everything into high gear.  I’m not saying that I haven’t been working hard at work.  I’m just saying the feelings have been strange just knowing that I might not be working there in a week or two.  Well, because they’ve now communicated to me that I do still have a job at the Motor Company and that they do indeed value the work that I do there, I am going to make damn sure that they don’t regret it!


In other news, I have been quite sick lately.  I can’t seem to stay healthy for much more than a week.  I suppose my immune system is equivalent to that of a one year old.  All of my resistances are back to square one and my immunities are all gone as well.  So as most of you know, anytime I get sick, no matter how small you may think the virus is, or bacterial infection, or whatever…it totally kicks my ass!  I’ve had the most wonderfully yellow colored thick mucus spewing out of my nose and throat for the past 4-5 days.   It doesn’t help that my doctors keep me on immune suppression drugs either.  On one hand, they want to weaken my immune system even further to minimize the chances of contracting graft versus host disease, but on the other hand they don’t want me getting sick like this.  During this time of the year, however, it’s near impossible to avoid.  Around every corner, there is another person coughing or sneezing and wiping their germ infested pestilence ridden hands all over everything.  I carry hand sanitizer almost everywhere I go, but that’s just not enough.  Anyways, I’m doing my best to try to get better.  I’m getting plenty of rest, taking lots of cold/flu medicine, etc…I took a sick day on Friday, but really don’t want to have to take one tomorrow.   I’ve got some important things to get done at work, and I just can’t afford to spend another day out of the office.   


Okay…done with that segment.  What’s next….ahhh yes, Ava’s first birthday!  Yeah I know….she’s already one!  It took me awhile for that to sink in too!  She actually turned one last weekend, but Ashley had her party this weekend.  Of course, it would just happen to work out that we would get a horrific snowstorm on the day of her party, but everything worked out okay in the end.  Mike drove in from Madison, despite the weather, and picked up my grandmother along his way from Fon du Lac.  We had a great time!  Ava was pure smiles throughout the entire party! 



For awhile, I couldn’t think of what I was going to get her for her first birthday.  I really wanted it to be special.  Well, I have a good friend named Cari who owns a dance studio in Manitowoc where she teaches all types of dance to all ages of kids.  Ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, etc….  She’s been dancing her entire life.   Anyways, she showed me her website one day and I thought I could help her out a little bit.  I made her a new site ( for free and in return she gave Ava a year’s worth of dance lessons at her studio.  I ordered her the smallest pair of ballet and tap dance shoes that they make. 




After they came in, I went and bought her a pink leotard, a skirt, and some dance tights as well.  Steve and Ashley already tried them on her and took a couple of pictures.  Cari is starting up an 18-month old class this coming summer so it will be perfect timing.   Anyways, I wrapped up the gifts and gave them to Ava along with the gift certificate for the lessons.  Both Ashley and Steve were very excited at the prospect of Ava dancing.  



That’s about it for now.  I can’t really think of much else that is going on at the moment.   I’m just waiting for this snow to clear up and the weather to get a bit warmer…at which time I will walk (if I have to!) to Two Rivers to get my Harley!  Yes…that’s how eager I am to get out and ride right now!  I can’t wait to feel the wind in my hair, the cool lake breeze on my skin, the warm shining sun on my face…AND THE 1250CC, LIQUID-COOLED, AMERICAN MADE, V-TWIN, VROD MOTOR BETWEEN MY LEGS!!!!!!!!   ……….okay I’m done now – almost lost it there.  


Take care everyone!  The end of winter is just on the horizon!