Unsure if I will be working on anything when it’s still this side of midnight, but it looks like it’ll be a long night, so I may be doing some writing after midnight, and then more during the day.
Late this afternoon was the first day of the Bexley Public Library’s annual book sale. The members of the Friends of the Bexley Library had first bite at the apple last night, but the sale officially opened this afternoon.
An attorney from the office and I left work at 4 and went to it. We only had 15 minutes before the sale closed, but I managed to fill a bag and a half (Giant Eagle shopping bags) with books. A lot of them were thick volumes (Gore Vidal’s Burr, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, among others), so it wasn’t so much that I bought a lot of books overall. (I’m just thankful they charge by number of books, not by weight.) And I’ll be back on Sunday, the final day of the sale, once everything is marked down 50%.
One of my other purchases was the 1997 edition of the Merck Manual of Medical Information, a thick red volume. I used to have a copy of this very edition (essential for the library of a borderline hypochondriac), and it came to my home during a rather turbulent period.
I was still working for the IRS as an appointment clerk in the summer of 1997, when Steph was pregnant with Susie. I was moonlighting as a data entry typist at Merck-Medco at the same time (which would become a full-time job the following spring). The data entry operators, technicians, and support people went out on strike when their contract expired. Since I was part-time, I was not a member of the union, but I walked out as well. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off that ol’ Lone Ranger, and you don’t cross picket lines.
My supervisor fired me when I told her I would not be back until the strike was settled and everyone was back at work. Besides missing the additional income, I thought that there was something wrong with my firing.
I spent a few nights in OSU’s law library, and gave myself a crash course in labor law. And I learned that you cannot fire a non-bargaining unit employee merely for honoring a strike. So, once the strike was settled, I took the matter to the National Labor Relations Board. They took an affidavit from me, and agreed to go to bat for me.
After I took my case to the NLRB, a package from Merck was waiting for me when I came home from work. Steph and I wondered–not entirely in jest–whether we should have the bomb squad open it. I finally took a knife and opened the package, and there was the new Merck Manual, which they mailed out gratis to all employees.
(The end of the story is that the NLRB and Merck settled, and I was allowed back to work. My claim to fame in Merck history is that I was the only person to get back pay from the strike.)
The mercury has slipped into the 20s here in Columbus, and I looked out the window during the work day and saw snow flurries. I had planned to ride in the Second Annual Cycling Friends Tweed Ride tomorrow morning, but it will just be too cold. And it’s too bad, because I borrowed a tweed jacket from an attorney who works in my office.
Possibly, cleaning my living space would be a good project for the weekend. If anything else, I may bear down and chain myself to the laptop as a reasonable reason not to work on this place. I’ll need a snow shovel if it gets much worse.