Casino job ain’t a good bet

As hungry as I am for a job, and desperate, that’s a job I don’t wanna do — and shouldn’t do.

Just had an interview for a custodian at the big local casino with a panel of three. Yes, a panel for a custodian! Reportedly panel interviews are conducted even for the lowliest casino position. Tribal regulations I guess (unlike in Nevada and elsewhere, Arizona casinos are tribal owned).

Of the three ladies, I felt that only one and I connected. They read questions off a prepared list — questions like “when was a time at work when you had to make a decision quickly?” and “how do you think your coworkers perceive you and is it howe you perceive yourself?”

Questions like that: “Tell us about a time when X happened or when you did Y” require digging into the memory bank and extracting an answer from a plethora of jobs ranging from high-end editing and writing positions in Tokyo to gutter positions at the warehouse and food service.

{I actually used that word, “gutter.” Whoops! Didn’t mean them to misconstrue it as a WORTHLESS job, rather a job with some real low lifes, starting with the boss!!}

Anyhow, cleaning inside a smoke-filled casino eight hours a day five days a week isn’t a good move health-wise or for my respiratory system, my weakest area by far. In fact, the ladies mentioned that they’d hired people who quit after three days, unable to handle the smoke. It’s a toxic cloud for sure inside a very small casino (i.e., nothing close to Las Vegas humongous!).

Also, a casino’s hardly a good environment emotionally or mentally; I’ll say no more than that.

Last but not least, the hours SUCK! 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. As a night owl, I blanche. Even a late shift wouldn’t add appeal to this job. And the pay, well, it’s a low-end service cleaning job so you do the math …

If there’s an offer, there’s then a substantial background check, credit check, references check, drug check and licensing fee to pay (out of own pocket) … it’s a tribal casino, after all … and about a 3-week wait. So whoever gets the job won’t start for about another month, which is much too late for me.

After the half-hour interview, I drove away praying aloud NOT to get the job! (I’ll know soon enough as they intend to decide within days.) This just isn’t the job for me. Much as I need a job — lord knows I do! — all things taken into account, it’s just not a positive or healthful environment for me.

Summary: This casino job ain’t a good bet for moi. But glad for the interview and the practice at the panel version.

Better that it go to someone else — like a heavy smoker who won’t be diseased by the chemical cloud, for starters! On this one, dear universe, I have to pass and I pray that you bring me the right job and the good job. Please hurry! I’ve not much time until the money’s gone and I’m quote-unquote a flailing fish on the shore.


Red Bulls Can’t Make Me Bullish for That Job

In two days, I gained a new respect for hotel housekeepers.

For two days, I was one at a high-end historic hotel, which gave me an close-up look at what goes on behind closed doors, no pun intended.

With the charms, quaintness, details of an Old West hotel with history, the establishment demands much of its housekeepers. Meticulous attention to detail, an eye for presentation and (near) perfection and speed speed speed. Like 10 Red Bulls speed.

And did I mention speed?

Lemme make this clear: I’m no stranger to hard work. Not. At. All. Dirty work. Exhausting work. Mind-numbing work. Master-driven slave labor. Work that destroys health and well-being. All of that I’ve lived full tilt.

But this … this housekeeping job at the old downtown hotel did me in. After Day 1, I was exhausted. After Day 2, I was done.

“We just don’t think you’re a good fit for us and us for you,” said my supervisor. I couldn’t disagree. In fact, I was relieved. It was the kindest and most thoughtful bye-bye I’ve ever received!

Anyways, it wasn’t about the work. The WORK I could do. It was the speed. I LITERALLY couldn’t make my body move that fast. Those gals moved like dervishes, stripping beds, making and remaking them, cleaning bathrooms to a glistening shine, hauling stuff from the carts to the rooms, vacuuming.

Honestly, even those 10 cans of that Red Bull, which incidentally I’ve never tried but have heard plenty, couldn’t hype wind me up to the speed required.

And timing. Evidently housekeepers are supposed to clean each room in X-amount of time and go on to the next then the next in a nonstop Hurry! Hurry! Go! Go! Go! And if they don’t, they get dinged or reprimanded.

I didn’t inquire about the consequences of failing to meet the time limits. I just know, from having worked there for two days, that (a) those girls work their butts off and (b) no way in hell could I force my body to move like that.

I’m the tortoise, not the hare. In sports, I’m built for endurance, not speed. I think fast but my body doesn’t move fast. Not 10 Red Bulls fast anyhow.

Then there was the cleaning spray, one that proved such the toxic irritant to my (weakened) respiratory system that it triggered coughing fits and chest pain. Felt like the desert was on fire in there. A mask helped but didn’t eliminate the aggravation and painful breathing.

I’m guessing the hotel wouldn’t want the health liability. Anyhow, in the end, it wasn’t a good fit. However, it was a great goodbye and learning experience. Those timed Go! Go! Go! slavish-type cleaning jobs aren’t for me. It takes a special type of a person to do ’em and to do ’em well.

And I really did gain an appreciation and respect for those who can do that work. With or without 10 Red Bulls.

Thanks for the memories, hotel. That’s just what they’ll remain: memories. I’ve permanently washed super-speedy cleaning jobs outta my hair. Not a strand left in the drain catch. The gals and I saw to that.

My oh my, the migraine returns

I’ve got a migraine.

Been a while since I’ve had one. I used to get ’em regularly. So frequently that they became a lifestyle. A lifestyle unwanted, mind you.

The “aura” common among migraineurs struck last night. Had hoped sleep might spare me the migraine’s pqin, discomfort, disorientation and overall debilitation.

It didn’t.

Rather than recount even an abbreviated history of lengthy years with migraines, the search for their roots/triggers and effective relief, I want only to note that it’s baaaaaaaaack after a considerable absence. Its onset is no more decipherable now than before.

As if migraines aren’t tortuous enough! Their triggers have gotta be nigh impossible to figure out! Wouldn’t wish ’em on anyone. Well, perhaps a couple individuals — former bosses, both. {teasing}

Eventually this migraine will work its way through. I only hope that today’s is a fluke and not a re-emergence of migraines that made a recent years of my life downright miserable.

A migraine … arrests the thinking process — mildly to extremely so. Normal comprehension ceases to be. Even the simplest tasks, like tying shoes or driving or drying dishes, become taxing. Retrieving basic data, like one’s name or address, is an uncomfortable to gargantuan effort depending on the migraine’s severity.

Migraines aren’t super super super bad headaches. They’re an entity unto themselves, rife with mystery and for some so debilitating that Life Stops for days. It all stops — activity, brain functioning; even running on auto-pilot ceases to be an option. Migraines are unique to the individual, which is what makes them so damn elusive in terms of triggers and relief.

Today’s migraine is not the worst I’ve ever had but as any migraineur will tell you, even a mild one can ruin your day and lay you up across all levels, mentally, emotionally and physically. Will know soon enough whether this is that “fluke” … say, nine hours after my head hits the pillow tonight. My migrained head, that is.

Day 2 at the new job & I was ready for bed(s) when I woke up!

I’m happy it’s a new day. And I’m tired.

I’m tired from the pace of yesterday’s first day at the job. Then, et again, I didn’t sleep well for ongoing bed issues (severely so since last November). Relatedly, my unhealed neck injury is “springing back to life.”

I lay away for a coupla hours in the middle of the night, unable to sleep. Knowing well that I needed to be up in a matter of hours for the new job, I refused to look at the clock. Until I had to, after deciding to add 20 minutes to the wake-up time to somehow “compensate” for the two hours lost in the wee hours! Yeah, right.

Today’s a new day, however, and it brings new tasks to learn at the new job, unofficially — which is to say this is still a tryout stage. Frankly, I hope that it involves making beds — a serious art in the finer hotels like this. That the old-coot owner is particularly picky in a crazy way, from all reports, doubles the pressure

I love making beds with the tight military corners, fluffing and arranging the pillows so they look nice and all that.

I’ll prefer that to cleaning bathrooms at a 4 Red Bulls speed, in no small part because my lungs strongly reacted to the cleaning spray. Inhaling the spray really aggravated my respiratory system — my weakest area in a long history of pneumonia, bronchitis and so on. My chest is tight and painful today; it became so while working and I thought “uh oh. I’m gonna have to find a way to be very conservative with the spray while still achieving the high level of cleanliness.”

Could be tricky, especially when zipping through 10 bathrooms a day! So beds-making here I come! I hope.

Speaking of beds and rest, I gotta run. The job calls. Will be interesting to see how Day 2 goes. Toodles.

Day 1 at the new job: Go go go! And go some more!


In a good way and a potentially quick burnout way.

Such is the first day at the job. Go-go-go describes this cleaning job at the hotel.

Bypassing specifics,it’s highly-physical and demanding work with a high bar. This ain’t Motel 6. No offense Motel 6, I love ya!!

Since it’s a higher-end historic property, details are all-important and SPEED SPEED SPEED! There’s deep cleaning and stayovers and checkouts and vacuuming the long hallways and hauling out numerous bags of trash and laundry and getting rooms prepped for check-ins b the check-in time and hastening here to get this and hurrying there to get the housekeeping carts back into the closet before our 15-minute breaks because the owner doesn’t care for them left in the hallways.

The list goes on but I’m too tired to recount it!! haha (?)

The work pace is tiring. That we get only two 15-minute breaks per shift, regardless of its length, be it 6 hours or 9, is taxing. No break to eat or rest or replenish briefly.

I hesitate to use the word “slavedriver” because at least upon initial impression none of my supervisors fits that description. However, the owner, an old man in his 70s or thereabouts, sounds like someone who has his finger in every pie and if there ain’t a pie, he’ll bake one up to nitpick and demand things that aren’t really realistic or efficient or helpful to the employees.

Just my early take.

Also, I’m no spring chicken so the go-go-go pace with no real rest or as I mentioned even time to take a meal possibly portends rapid burnout.

Time’ll tell and soon enough.

Meanwhile, on this, my first day of work, I got a phone message/response to an application also for cleaning at another establishment. Of course!

Feeling neither yay nor nay, I’m gonna keep goin’ with the flow … follow up on leads or invitations to interview if the jobs seems worthy of pursing.

Moving forward is integral to this new chapter.

So are eating well, sleeping and taking care of myself at this job. It’s a wringer — as in wringing a wet towel — and the accompanying demands for self-care can’t be overlooked without consequence.

All in all, it feels great to be working again, to be making money again (addendum: it’s underpaid work for what it involves) and to have something productive to do.

Even if I am tired — and I am and this is only my Monday! — it’s good to come home and EAT this evening (since I had no time or opportunity for a meal all day). The feeling of accomplishment is good.*

*the typical modern American has NO concept of this and would vehemently disagree, preferring the lack of personal contribution and achievement of a life as a ward of the state, aka socialism, aka Obama and his progressive minions.

(Not gonna talk politics! A sidebar worthy of mention …)

Time will reveal how Day 2 at the new job, unofficially, goes.

First day at the new job, unofficially!

I’m an hour away from starting a new job.

Unofficially. Meaning today and possibly tomorrow are trial runs (paid – wheew!). Do they like me, do I like them, can I do the work. Of course I can do the work. Like I’ve oft said, including in interviews: Never met a job I couldn’t do or learn!

{Boy, I really do need a WA 12-step program … Workaholics Anonymous.}

In this case, I could do the work in my sleep. Not that I would! My work ethics compel me work with diligence and alertness even if I’m bored out of my mind and wishing I COULD sleep through it!

I digress. I couldn’t say I’m excited about returning to cleaning. Especially after having quote-unquote made a living as a freelance writer, specifically a features writer / reporter / editor / photographer for a little weekly paper. That really suited me. Well, it’s my calling so I guess it would!

The pay, however, was another matter, not to mention the shady behaviors from “the powers that be” … all of which signaled that it wasn’t just time to move on but essential if I hoped to keep living and paying my bills.

No regrets save those shady behaviors and being taken advantage of.

It’s a new day and a new town and a new chapter and in some minutes a new job. Or about to be.

I was getting around to saying that I’m not excited to be cleaning again — especially after writing for a living. Like food service, cleaning is my go-to industry when I need to survive.

I would like this to be about more than survival this round. I’d like this job to, yes, get me back into action and to open doors to better. Better money.

Opportunities unforeseen to advance my life down the path intended by destiny and the divine. A better lifestyle (i.e., one that doesn’t involve getting up at my crack of dawn!).

I would like this job to bring opportunities to meet people and grow into community involvement. I would like this job, survivor job that it is, to hasten my personal evolution and relationships with others. So long have I survived in darkness and isolation. I know that the time to come out from under the rock is overdue.

So in that aspect, in simplicity, I’d like this job to be supportive of my present, certainly, and equally importantly my future.

These are my prayerful thoughts poised some 40 minutes from the start of a new job — unofficially (haha, have I already said that?).

The worst thing I could do is slide back into the mire of depression and slavery, in mind, thought and action, and accept being a cleaner or dishwasher or some other version of a menial laborer as my fate.

It’s easy to believe that it is because of my past and childhood.

Internal growth is hard. Personal change is challenging. I doubt it comes easily to anyone. However, I feel the forces of life and the universe in my favor and supporting me HERE. In this town of Prescott. Specifically.

Let things happen.


Go with the flow.

The message from the universe as I start my new job, unofficially. 😉 … in 34 minutes. Not that I’m counting or anything …

A good egg for a good egg.

Happy Easter to all!

Whether you be Christian, Buddhist, atheist or anything else under the sun, I wish everyone a Hoppy Easter! Yeah, I said it. 😉

+ + +

Interesting how things shook down from my last post.

I didn’t hear back from the lady at the nice chain hotel (re: bringing me in on a higher wage) and am “waiting” for her response to my phone message.

Because he was busy, I also didn’t meet the executive chef for the dishwashing interview but one of his subordinates, a young dude who wouldn’t stop talking!! This is an INTERVIEW, eh?!

Fortunately the head housekeeper at the historic hotel and I hit it off plus she was very impressed with my cleaning experience (not really bragging about that, I’D RATHER BE WRITING FOR A LIVING!!!).

Nonetheless, that interview went well enough that I was invited in tomorrow for a trial run & see whether they like me and I like them. I’m not worried. I’m ready to work and get my body moving and begin the next stage of my new & reinvented life here. If all goes well, I’ll be brought on officially.

I still can’t believe that in three short weeks, I’ve found a place to live (room to rent, got moved in — and everything that entails, including MASSIVE cleaning and organizing! — AND after numerous interviews landed a job!

The stars are aligned and the forces with me because this just doesn’t happen to me!! I quiver saying that, expecting the good to be ripped out from under my feet. I shouldn’t say that. Nonetheless, I do to best illustrate this positive change in the tide.

Tomorrow morning. 10 o’clock. At the historic downtown hotel wearing my working clothes. The mission: Deep cleaning a cordoned-off section of the hotel.

Let the adventure unfold!

The Easter bunny deposited a good egg (a job) for a good egg (me). 🙂

Rolling toward a job — somewhere.

I’m excited.

Not an original start to a post yet true. In a mere hour, I’ve a second interview at an historic hotel downtown’s Whiskey Row, smack dab in the action past, present and future. A prime piece of real estate they’d say.

After clearing interview 1 with the manager, I today meet the housekeeping supervisor, who’d be my direct boss. Having been self-employed and effectively my own boss, I cringe at the concept of working under someone else’s authority and dictates and simultaneously being forced to relinquish my own. Like my dad and sister, I’m cut out for working for myself.

That acknowledged, fact is I still need a job and employer at this time, I love historic buildings, the details and craftsmanship of the old wood, the interior smells, the tales they tell.

They need a housekeeper “yesterday,” I’m told, so I shouldn’t be kept waiting on pins and needles too long.

In other (related) news on this Friday morning of April 18, I’ve still not heard back from the very nice big chain hotel (on top of the hill by Costco) about a wage offer.

There, too I had two interviews, the second with the manager in the housekeeping supervisor’s effort to bring me in on a higher wage.

I cringed visibly when she’d announced the wage of about a dime over minimum! For tough high-paced meticulous cleaning at a high-end property and with my years of experience in it!

Hence she turned it over to her boss, who has final say on wages. That was kind of her to go to bat for me.

It’s in my best interest to hold my cards close to my chest and await the outcome of the job I favor (at the historic hotel). Should there be no offer, I’ll move forward with the chain hotel … though this time delay returns risk. I don’t know whether their offer (albeit at a too-low wage) still stands!

I also have at 2 p.m. an interview at the convention center/hotel for a dishwasher. Not a glamorous job, THAT IS FOR SURE! I’ve done it — the real high-volume stuff, greasy and groddy and gross and gunky — and man ya break a sweat! It’s demanding work.

Coincidentally, that pay’s equal to the high-end cleaning at the hotel chain so go figure! One job’s all gross and groddy and the other pristine and immaculate-making.

I write this not for the artistry of the writing, rather to record this moment, time and day.

It’s April 18. I’m just over two weeks living officially in my new town and I have three irons in the job fires! That just blows me away (especially after the misery of Tacoma not so very long ago)!

I’ve no idea what my immediate (or distant) future holds. It’s reasonable to say, I think, that one of these three jobs that are simultaneously converging into an apex today will come through … and have me working again a week from today.

The mystery’s where! Excited to see how it all shakes down.

From poverty to promise in a “short” (not really) six years.

Location, location, location!

For the love of location, I’m in (a) Arizona and (b) Prescott!

The hows would make for interesting reading. Another time perhaps.

Today, I’m celebrating the opportunities that’ve come my way in very short time of officially living here — about two weeks. (Prior, a number of visits were made over nine months with the intent of moving here, which excluded Prescott from the not-uncommon mode of “move there sight unseen.”)

My current luck — more on that in a moment — isn’t without past tribulations, stresses, disappointments and failures of others to reciprocate or even respond to my housing and employment efforts.

Getting to Prescott was difficult, yes, with every defeat and failed effort amplified by the core of desire, yearning and need to be here.

Now, I’ve been around and moved A LOT. Around 48 times though I’ve lost count in the past couple years so don’t hold me to that. None of it related to the military (I get asked that all the time).

Point being, I’m in the truly unique and well-grounded position to know about places and spaces.

And the simple fact that I’ve had five job interviews (two at one workplace) in two weeks and am scheduled for two more in the morrow (one a second interview) speaks to …

… well, a part of me wants to say miracle but I know better. It’s the resonance between me and the town. It’s a reflection of harmony … of rightness … of a good match and a divine one. It’s that kind of a place: for me.

I don’t want to weigh this post down with comparisons between this town and Tacoma, Washington, which very nearly destroyed my life and would’ve killed me within a few short years had I not gotten myself out.

I bring Tacoma up only as a comparison to present circumstances. I’ve had more interviews in two weeks here than I did in two years in Tacoma. *Where I applied for ANYTHING — A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G — and EVERYTHING. Including the lowest of the lowest of the lowest of the low jobs requiring use of 2 brain cells.

And I and still couldn’t get a job to save my life.


There are other differences between Prescott and Tacoma that aren’t pertinent to this post. The pertinent point, as I wrote, lies in the pudding, like the proof. 🙂 Half a dozen interviews in two weeks compared to the same amount in two years.

True, these aren’t career interviews. They’re service industry jobs (cleaning and food service) that pay little.

However, whatever the outcome, it’s a start. It puts me back in action and money into my account. And, not to be overlooked, enables me to live in the town that makes me smile … makes my heart sing, even through the tears of past disappointments and failures.

I’m in awe at how quickly things have unfolded and the infusion of well-being in general. This infant new chapter promises to be unlike any other. In a positive and uplifting and growing way (not ruination and despair and deathly way of Tacoma).

What different worlds and worlds of differences six years can make. So grateful not to be there.

So grateful to be here.

Cliched but true: a blue Monday

My heart is heavy.

It’d been more than a week waiting for Heather, with a local startup magazine on parenting preparing to launch, to respond in our extended communications.

It’s not like I was a teenager sitting by the phone waiting for him to call. She said she would call last week. And she didn’t.

So I telephoned her and left messages. She didn’t respond. The only remaining course was email, which I did. I didn’t hear from her and I didn’t hear from her.

And then I did, this morning.

Sorry but I’ve brought everyone on board now, she says. I’ll call you when opportunity to contribute arises again.

What a blowoff, albeit a nicely-worded one. And a ripoff. We’d been moving forward toward meeting/interviewing for some time now. I’ve had this opportunity at the forefront and as a priority as I get moved in and set up in a new town (meaning there’s been a LOT on my plate, first and foremost finding a place to live).

I’ve remained in touch and communicated through the process. I’ve been professional, proactive and patient.

We were on the same page. Then Heather dropped the ball. Out of the blue.

I sensed something amiss in her silence and abrupt lack of communication recently. My heart felt heavy and I’ve been depressed.

Now I know why. I’m sad and disappointed that she didn’t carry through or even call like she promised. I’m disgruntled that she shoved me, and our mutual opportunity, off the stovetop. And I’m upset that she did it in favor of others before we even met.

Though a nice person I’m sure, her dropping the ball and lack off responsiveness do not impress; they are unprofessional and unkind.

I don’t think I’ll be writing or contributing to Prescott parent magazine. I do however wish her luck and the publication success.