Friday, June 24, 2005

Testing The Waters

I'm still not really sure WHY I decided to do this, but I thought it would be a good idea to come in a little later today. I intentionally took my time this morning and pulled into the parking lot around 8:20. That's approximately one hour later than I normally arrive. I think part of me wanted to arrive a little later to make sure all of the other caddies signed up before I did, giving my boss no choice but to send me home early.

Oh, take the day off you say? Well, SOMEBODY has to do it I guess. I hate to take a day off, but I need to rest.

I also wanted to see what would happen if I didn't come in when I normally did. I wanted to see everyone's reaction. Because from what I've observed thus far, everyone else comes in when they damn well please. There are only one or two other caddies that come in as consistently as I do. I'm not saying that's the way everyone should work; I'm just saying there aren't a lot of caddies’ that LIKE waking up that early. As funny as that sounds, it’s true.

So I pull into the parking lot this morning and sure enough, the caddie section was freakin' PACKED. Excellent. Just have to sign up, sit around for a few hours, listen to some more stories about sex and I'm home free.

I walk into the “caddie area” to sign up and almost IMMEDIATELY people are giving me shit.

"What? You get laid or something last night? Why are you late?"

"We thought you were dead."

"What gives Tom? You don't care about this job anymore?"

Ten minutes later my boss comes over to me and says, "All the caddies here are SHOCKED that you're not out on the course already. They can't believe you're waiting around like the rest of them."

Umm...sorry? He almost sounded a little pissed that he had to be telling me this. Or maybe he was just as shocked as the rest of the caddies at my arrival time. Yes people. Today, I arrived LATER than usual. It was a little ridiculous: my brief absence was actually UNSETTLING to the other caddies. Perhaps I'm the equivalent of a caddie "Dow Jones," and whenever I'm a “little off” people start wondering what the hell is going on with the world. That's all I can figure.

As soon as a chair became available, I grabbed it and propped it up near one of the walls. I immediately fell asleep. I don’t really think I was even tired. I guess I've developed a talent over the years to fall asleep on cue. I worked as a Webmaster for a school newspaper a while back, and the funny thing about the job was that I had absolutely NOTHING to do until the editorial staff told me that the print-version of the paper was good to go. Sometimes I'd be waiting around for 4-6 hours before I could even START working. So I slept. I found a spot on the couch in the back and I'd make it a point to sleep as much as I could. So I did the same thing in the caddie room today. I think I was able to sleep for a couple of hours before a towel hit me in the face.

Yes, thank you. Hope I’m not DISTURBING you guys.

Then, out of the blue, I'm assigned a loop. I mean sure, I waited around quite a while. But I felt like I was still going ahead of some of the other caddies who arrived a little earlier than I did, which of course made me feel like a shithead.

But whatever. I've been working hard and I'm reaping some of the rewards. Kind of like hookers with amicable pimps. Such a rare situation to be in, but oh those hookers. What a life.

So where was I? Ah yes. So I'm carrying two bags for this twosome and I've already caddied for one of these guys before. Not sure if everyone remembers, but it was the guy from the husband-wife post who couldn't stop cheating (in golf) and it was driving his wife CRAZY. I was a little nervous to caddie for him again because I had mistakenly put his lob wedge in his WIFE'S bag after the LAST round, and so when her bag went home and his bag stayed at the course, he was left without a lob wedge for a while.

But when I introduced myself, I received the same blank stare I had been given the FIRST time I worked with him. He had no CLUE who I was. Perfect.

The other guy said that I reminded him of his nephew right down to the GLASSES. I said, "Really?" and he said, "Yeah, really." Whoa dude. Tubular. He also liked to ask me questions about EVERY freakin' shot he wanted to hit. It was like he wished I was his regular caddie and knew exactly how far he hit all of his clubs.

"You think I should hit the 5-iron here?"

"Whatever you can carry 170."

"Okay. So...5-iron?"

Sir, do you actually LISTEN to me? Or do you just wait for the wind to PASS THROUGH YOUR EARS before you respond.

This guy also threw out the time-tested phrase "caddie error."

"If I miss this putt I'm attributing it to 'caddie error'."

Whatever helps you sleep at night. Bitch.

I'm not sure if it was a mistake, but I decided to take a stand on the first hole and put my nuts on the line right from the get-go. They both asked me on the first green: "can you read these greens?"

To which I responded: "I'm damn good at reading these greens."

That was verbatim. I guess I'm just shaking ALL KINDS of things up today. And for the most part, I WAS damn good at reading their putts. There was only one putt I can think of that did something OTHER than what I stated. And I think it was only because I misunderstood the question. Mr. Fearless-Husband said: "So which way does this ball go after this hill?"

Well, the overall break of the putt would move the ball right, so I said that the putt would be moving right about 4 balls.

Oh no. What he REALLY meant was: "In which direction will THIS HILL move the ball?"

Well, the HILL kicks the ball to the LEFT. The ENTIRE putt was a double-breaker. I knew this, HE knew this and even your MOM knew this. But when he struck the putt, he was dumbfounded when the putt veered to the left off of the hill.

“Wow. You were really wrong on that read Tom.”

Fine, I’m WRONG. I apologize. But it didn't seem to faze him. I don't really think a lot of things fazed him now that I think about it. He had that wide stare on his face all freakin’ day. It was like he was staring at a pile of cocaine with arms and legs and an intense desire to blaze a trail into the innermost regions of his rectum. But you know what? That’s another story.

And WHAT was WITH the freakin' HEAD COVERS today. They each had 5-6 clubs in their bag with head covers. I made it a little easier on myself by taking off the head covers on their drivers, but the rest just kept PILING UP. It was insane. I felt like that freakin' teddy bear on the Quilted Northern TP commercials. Or whatever that little bastard stands for. I was puffed OUT every time I was even close to the green because I had two Scotty Cameron head covers’ stuck in my bib, I was juggling two towels because Mr. Fearless-Husband determined he wanted to be as random as possible as to WHEN he’d want to wipe off his face (his randomness was awe-inspiring) and for some reason his guest had an UMBRELLA on his bag. An UMBRELLA. It’s 85 and there aren’t any clouds in the sky. WHYYYYYY?

And GOD FORBID they stroke a putt without my say-so. One of them stood over a putt for 2 minutes while I ran over to give him the line. No wonder he jacked it by the hole. Waiting two minutes while standing over a ball? Talk about a TENSION build up.

They also played faster than the speed of sound. No wait. I farted on the 3rd fairway and I definitely heard it IMMEDIATELY. So that isn't right. Maybe it was more like the speed of that gopher on "Caddyshack" on Red Balls (cocaine in a can...come on people...you HAVE to watch Dave Chappelle). It was FAST. I've never caddied for ANYBODY before where I've had to leave a bunker un-raked (temporarily) just to run onto the green and tend to their putts. Then I'd hand them their drivers' for the next hole, run back to the bunker and rake it, then run up the next fairway JUST as they hit their tee shots. It was a race the whole round. Sometimes they would walk ALL OVER the freakin' bunker and then haul ass up to the next tee. It was like they were TRYING to get rid of me. But I think overall this was just a great test. Juggling the head covers, dealing with wise-cracks, consistently hustling, reading putts, etc. It was all there. The whole package. Everything I had learned in training and everything I had learned on the job. I had to be on top of my shit to keep things running smoothly. And honestly, I think I'm getting there. It was a nice assessment. I think I just need to learn a few more shortcuts to make sure I can comfortably be on the green with enough time to fix all ball marks, clean all balls and read all of the putts without having to skip a step just to get to the FLAGSTICK in time. Perhaps if the players' I worked with today were a part of a foursome and there was another caddie involved, the job would've been a little easier because I wouldn't have to worry so much about doing EVERYTHING. Sharing the load is a good thing. Much like dropping a load. That feels great too.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You continue to amuse me with your humor and insight. I have to say that I am MUCH more aware of how I treat our caddys now. Especially careful in what I say.

Great Stuff, keep it up!

Jonny Tarr said...

First of all, I just want to thank you for the time and effort you take in making a conscious (sometimes subconscious) effort in posting as frequently as possible. I took a summer job at a course in Michigan (land of immaculate and pristine bankrupt golf courses) this year as I finish up another round of college and although I have casually golfed for about 5 years, I was completely unaware of “club golfer behavior” (i.e. ridiculing and belittlement of the staff). My boss told me about your postings and it has been the best comic relief I have had in quite some time! Your posts are genuine and so highly creative that I find myself laughing ridiculously when I read them! See, I am the idiot pro-shop guy that enjoys golfing for the beer and the cart-girl, and tend to be oblivious to course or green conditions. But I love being in the sun, wandering through nature (if you golf like me, you tend to be more in the woods than fairways), drinking beer, hanging with friends, and hitting on silly hot chicks driving around in oversized carts with funny colored canopies on them. What more can a guy ask for in life?!? Anyway, keep up the great work!

golfing-girls said...

Are you good at golf? I need lessons!! come play with me tomorrow! get tee times here tee times for golf see you on the first hold ;-)

mandy

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