the asthmatic locksmith
Tuesday, February 08, 2005:
I found this GREAT article today. “Lock-picking world Championship”, just reading this headline made me salivate! This is a great little read and kind of gives you an idea of my trade.
I also had to quit my job with Gibson. What I thought was going to be the best gig ever turned into an asthmatic nightmare. These cats wouldn’t control the wood dust the saws and sanders were emitting and were making me sick. Very sick, I couldn’t breath some days. I guess they don’t care and I’m still feeling like my lungs are not fully recovered yet. Oh well, it’s a strange company anyway. They are betting their financial future on hat and t-shirts sale with Wal-Mart. Good luck, it’ll probably work out.
Friday, October 01, 2004:
I have been working at Gibson/Tobias for a little over two months. I typically eat once a day now. Mainly because my wife, who is almost as good a cook as my mommy, is not there to make my lunch. So I eat when I get home then usually go to sleep about 9p.m. I remember weighting myself after Leslie and I went on our cruise(ALL YOU CAN EAT ICE CREAM). I was about 270lb on Aug. 14th. Last year, May I think, I was over 280 and couldn't breath very well and wanted to loose some weight. So I didn't eat for almost a month. Got down to 260 which I thought was great. Almost my pre-meeting Leslie weight. Well after watching "Super Size Me" I took a trip to the scale and I am freaked. 255! After I ate dinner. This moving around thing is really great. I hope this will continue at least to my pre-Little Rock weight. 220. When I moved in with Nathan and Jroo for a few months adjusting I was 235. Before that I stayed a moms for 6 weeks. Can you say potato chips in bed. EVERY DAMN NIGHT!! I LOVE my mommy! Anyway, it turns out that all I needed was a job with no lunchroom. I don't expect any progress from Nov. 27th to Jan. 3rd.
Friday, July 30, 2004:
Great Locksmith call today!!
The fella calls me about 2:00 p.m. Says something unintelligible and I ask him to repeat it about five time. Finally I understand, "I'm locked in the trunk of my Cutless " My first thought was the guy was wiring some speakers or something and the lid closed. I told him that I can help him out and asked how he got in there. Wouldn't you? "I was robbed and they stuffed me in here". I told the guy to call the police and you will never guess what he said. "I can't man...I've got some weed on me! Can you help me!?!?!" I told the cat that he was on his own. I believe I said, "Well you really need to call the police because I will not help you". He kept on until I told him tuff shit and hung up. The caller ID showed a "private number" so I couldn't report it to the cops. I hope he call the cops or one of his cousin's to get his ass out. Strange shit like this happens every once-in-a-while. It's still fun.
Monday, July 12, 2004:
A strange timeline.
October 30th, 2003. Uncle Dan discovers that the Gibson Corporation has opened a factory in Conway, AR. This production facility, formerly Baldwin Piano Factory, now houses the Slingerland, Tobias division of Gibson Musical Instruments. Tobias bass guitars, bass guitars being one of my passions in life I decided to go and see if they needed any help. Oct. 31 I drove over and asked the secretary about applying for “any” position at the factory. She said it would be okay if I filled out an application. I had to go to the Conway Employment Office cause that’s who they hire from. Filled out all that stuff and waited. “Waited”, this word seem a bit diminutive considering what all has happened since.
November 15th. I decided it wouldn’t hurt anything to call and ask if they have received my application from the employment office. The voice on the other line said, “I don’t know. The old secretary quit and I’ll have to see if she filed it.” Great, fifteen days has gone by totally wasted. I could have been routing out bodies or doing a few dozen fret jobs. They asked me to come in for an interview the next day or so. Everything went very well. I expressed my lifelong passion for these instruments and wonderful knowledge of the musical instrument industry. The directory of the plant seemed very interested as well as the director of engineering for Tobias. A couple of days later they called me and asked some questions about my resume and other stuff. Finally around the first of December I was asked if I could start the employment process of the Gibson Corporation. It involved a day of testing, personality, critical thinking, problem solving and the like. Strange material but I was happy to submit myself if it meant I would be working around guitars. I also filled out a consent form for background/criminal information. No problem…
Around the first of January I emailed the head of engineering and wanted to know what was taking so long. He told me that they had to get approval from corporate in Nashville before I could be hired. Seems fair I guess. The plant director was becoming impatient and told me that he would speak to the C. E. O. directly at the annual NAMM trade show in California. As that date passed with no word I inquired again about my employment. I was told that they could not get approval because there was a “system wide” hiring freeze until the accounts could justify adding any new people to this immense instrument conglomerate.
So I took it upon myself to go to the source directly. Write the CEO a letter stating my wish to work for his company. I’m sure he has nothing better to do it will be great. My best friend Nathan offered to help me draft an appropriate solicitation. This wonderful letter went out on February 6th 2004. I’ll let you read it and let me know if it was good.
Dear Chairman Juszkiewicz:
I am writing in reference to a position at Gibson, Tobias Guitars. I applied for employment at the Gibson Piano Ventures Factory in Conway, Arkansas on October 31, 2003. I have completed all pre-employment requirements offered by your Conway affiliate. Since it has been over three months, I have decided to take the extreme measure of writing directly to express my desire to work for your company, and tell you why I think I can be an asset.
I have been a musician for eighteen years and a bass guitarist for sixteen. Throughout my experience learning the craft of music I have also become acquainted with luthiery. I have designed and supervised the building of several basses as well as having constructed my own. Additionally I have performed many upgrades and repairs on my own instruments, and the instruments of others.
Not only am I experienced in playing and building bass guitars; I have worked in many other facets of the instrument industry. I have been involved in retail sales, both as a floor salesman and in store management. I have attended NAMM and other trade shows as a representative, a buyer, and as a hobbyist. Through these endeavors and the opportunity to own or play on hundreds of world-class bass guitars I feel that my assessment of quality is second to none. I have discovered through talking with musicians and luthiers from around the world that people who buy basses at the price level of the Tobias line want unparalleled craftsmanship and service to back that up. I can provide superb craftsmanship and expert quality control when the instruments are being built. Also, through consulting with players and storeowners on a competent, professional level I can also deliver the customer service these valued clients demand.
I consider playing and working with these instruments not just a job but my life’s work. Please consider my application for Tobias Guitars.
Daniel B. Schoultz
M-kay I thought.
On to February 13th. I emailed again wondering of my status. Response;
Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2004 7:20 AM
To: 'Leslie and Dan'
Subject: RE: purpleheart 5string
The latest is ...Don Kremer promised me he'd get you in last week. Well
.... The last I heard, The VP of human resources has all the paperwork and
is supposed to see the CEO for approval. I heard the VP said getting you
approved shouldn't be a problem, but ... WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG!!!
Hope to see you next week!
I must say that through all this the people at the plant have been nothing but supportive of me and really want to get me on.
March 27th. Got another email of hope. Something about Baldwin and sneaking me on through that or something, nothing came of that.
April 14th. An email was forwarded to me stated that the human resources VP approved some new people for the plant. It’s just a matter of time. lol
The 22nd of April was the last I heard from anyone. I really gave up on the notion. It seemed to good to be true, you know? Anyway last Friday I was trying to sleep late when my phone kept ringing. First a credit card solicitor, then another one on my cell phone and another call to the hard line came about ten minutes after that. I really didn’t want to answer it but it will ring like 20 times if it’s one of those computer caller thingys.
“May I speak to Dan Schoultz”?
“Hey this is Tony at Tobias, we got approval from corporate and want you to come down and take a drug test and all.”
“Yes really can you call Virginia?”
“Really, they approved me for hire?”
“How weird, I had giving up on the idea”
“As soon as the drug screen comes back you should be in”
“Okay I’ll call her right now”
I went and urinated for them and filled out another consent form and now I am “waiting” to see what happens. It really does not matter if they call me back or not. I am not excited at all. I literally “waited” by the phone for four months expecting THE call. So I am not letting myself get excited. I mean it’s like the dream job for me but if this falls through then that’s cool. What can you do about life other than ride?
Daniel B. Schoultz
Monday, March 15, 2004:
This Friday I was privy to a word. Chode. I'll make this short.
Chode--"Hair which grows from the male Taint"
Taint---"The area of skin between the anus and the scrotum"
Tain't here tain't there...you know!!
Tuesday, February 17, 2004:
I will now NEVER lose weight!! Thank God.
Sunday, January 25, 2004:
Fun with toothpicks
My all time favorite lock-sticker is the toothpick. There are tons of ways to make a lock malfunction. Superglue, dirt, break a key off, screwdriver... but the toothpick has to be the best. It is my fav because the perpetrator is not totally at fault for screwing the lock up. You see, all you have to do is break a toothpick in half in a keyhole. The person using the lock does the real work. Once someone puts a key in a lock and is met with some resistance what do they do? They jam that key into the lock until it works. Well in this case all that does is wedge the toothpick in tighter making it impossible for the key to work the lock!! Man I love it. I also point that out to my customers who have had this problem. They never really want to hear me tell them how funny it is. Well I have to enjoy my job a little.