Shimoniac Jones

I didn't lose my mind – it fled in terror.

Archive for the category “origin story”

More About Me

Well, perhaps I should tell you a little more about me. I work for an injection-moulded plastics company, the name of which I’m going to omit, so that a co-worker who might stumble on this blog won’t be able to definitively point fingers. The term I’m going for is plausible deniability. I’ve worked there about five years now, after losing my previous job at which I’d also worked for five years.
I don’t know why we say we’ve lost our jobs. We either know where they are, they just aren’t ours anymore, or they’ve gone elsewhere and someone else is doing them.
When I started here, I had no previous experience in plastics, or in injection moulding. I’ve worked in factories before, I’ve worked as a security guard, I even did some janitorial work in high school, but working in plastics was new to me. Thankfully, I’m reasonably intelligent and fairly dedicated, so I was able to learn and adapt. Although, I was told later, that there was doubt that I’d make the cut, being so ignorant about the type of work.
I work on the night shift; have done so for ten years or more, mostly by preference. For those of you familiar with shift work, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you not familiar with shift work here’s a quick rundown. On the twenty-four hour clock, day shift runs from 0700 – 1500, afternoon/evening shift runs from 1500 – 2300, and night/midnight shift runs from 2300 – 0700.
On days, the bosses are always around and everything is uptight. On afternoons, the bosses are still there until 1730 – 1830. Night shift, however, the bosses are long gone, or, if present, there’s a catastrophe of some sort and their presence is unusual. Night shift generally has a looser, more laid-back vibe; we get the work done, but we’re not frantic about it. In point of fact, at my company, night shift consistently has a lower scrap rate, and higher production figures than either of the other shifts.
Since I’ve been working here for five years, I technically qualify as the senior machine operator on my shift. There are two other employees on the shift who’ve been there 8 or more years, but they’ve moved to Quality Control. Then there’s a guy who started a month before I did, quit a couple years ago, then asked for his job back a couple months later, when the relationship he went chasing wound up not working out; more on him later. (Moron, how appropriate.) Therefore, I’m senior.
Since, I’m the senior machine operator; I get a strange blend of perks and bullshit. I’m the go-to guy when there’s a new or difficult job to do; on the other hand, I’m sometimes used as an assistant material handler, a trainer, or a utility infielder. Friday night, for example, I trained a temporary employee on a job (it’s so cute destroying their hopes), kept an eye on two other temps doing two different jobs, helped the material handler by hand wrapping skids of finished product and making up cartons, helped the QC guy by labelling some cartons, covered for breaks on multiple machines, trained another temp on a different job from the first, did a quality audit of a bin of twenty thousand small parts, reconfigured a work cell for a new job, and collected and disposed of big lumps of plastic called “purges”, putting them in the appropriate recycling bins by type.
Now, reading the list, I realize that it may sound busy, but at no time did I feel pushed or rushed; the trick is to do the next thing and not obsess about any one of them.
That advice works for life too, I suppose.

The origin of Shimoniac

 

The reasons I chose Shimoniac Jones as my pseudonym are multiple and various.  My father chose as a pseudonym the name Archon; this was back in the days of CB radios when no one was known by their real names.  For those of you younger than 30 or 35 who don’t know what a CB is, wiki it.  So, as I grew, I wanted a cool nom de guerre.  I started with Archon Jr., Archon II, etc; but I wasn’t satisfied with that.  I wanted something that was mine and cool.  I read, a lot, and I tried adopting some of the names and concepts from books that I particularly liked.

None of them worked.  None were what I considered me.

So, there I was, without a nom de plume that I liked.  I worked/volunteered at a community radio station back in the late ‘80s and we received music tapes from various sources, from people hopeful that we would put them on the air, make them famous.  This was wayyy before YouTube, Justin Bieber, and PSY.  One of the tapes we got was from the Canadian radio station CFNY, which is located in Toronto.  CFNY was, and maybe still, is an alternative music broadcaster that specialized in breaking out new acts and artists; perhaps one of their most successful successes is the group Barenaked Ladies.

The station I worked at received from them a cassette tape called Modern Music 1990, after listening to it a few times and playing it on the station, the music director asked me if I wanted it.  I’m always interested in free things, so I said yes.  The tape included probably the earliest recorded version of the aforementioned Barenaked Ladies’, `Be My Yoko Ono’.  However, aside from that, there was a Band called Electronic Dream Factory, and they had a song called, `So, What of Tomorrow?’.  In the song, as a chorus, are listed various sinners which can be condemned to Hell.  Most of the sins mentioned were ones whose definitions were ones that I already knew; so I went to a dictionary and looked up the definitions to the ones I didn’t.  You’ve guessed it; one sinner mentioned was `simoniac’, another was `barrator’.

A Barrator is one who is always at odds with others; a disturber of the peace.  That wasn’t me, the other one, however, was interesting and interested me.  Simony is the buying and selling of ecumenical offices, preferments, benefices, emoluments, etc.  That appealed to the junior iconoclast in me.

You may have noticed that I’ve added an `h’ to the word; if you didn’t, don’t worry.  I added that `h’ because I was interested in history and wanted to invoke the old Hebraic pronunciation of the name.  Scroll forward a few years to the invention of the Internet and the development of message boards.  Then, as now, probably 99.9% of posters used some sort of nom de plume, showing their interests, history, or whatever.  Some message boards wanted people to use their first and last names.

My own natural surname is Smith, but I didn’t want to use anything that was actually mine, so I added `Jones’ as a surname; Jones being the second-most common English-language surname.  When I go anonymous, I really go anonymous.

So, there you have it.  That’s the origin of another random, anonymous blogger’s name on the Internet.  Aren’t you glad you asked?

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