Do I or Don’t I & Other Joyful News

Never a dull moment.

Is an understatement!

Fry’s Finito?

When asked by locals how my job at Fry’s Food is going, I reply: “I dunno whether I still work there.”

Some issues went down before Thanksgiving. Last I checked the Fry’s schedule after the holiday, I was OFF on my available days; presumably that continues to this day (haven’t gone in to check weekly schedules since).

Evidently in the eyes of Fry’s, either I don’t work there until we talk. Or I don’t work there at all.

Knowing which it is requires a pow-wow for me and management. I’m a worker. Have never in decades of working just walked off a job — though I’ve wanted to plenty! — left an employer hanging or just disappeared without a word.

I don’t really care whether I still work there as it wasn’t a job I desired to keep. I do, however, care that it end right, respectfully and without ill will. Thus in that spirit, I’ll need to make an appearance, hopefully when a top manager’s on shift, soon.

Joy!

My life took a sudden (though not wholly unexpected) turn for the better when this Fry’s “fiasco” went down.

I was given an extra shift at the radio station!!!! Yes! Yes! And Yes!

It’s one reason I’ve not rushed to meet with the market’s management. Things suddenly changed and got very busy, in a more meaningful and rewarding way.

A few months ago I was trained to run the board for our live afternoon show. The fellow with that shift was so busy with other commitments that he was needing a fill-in. And I was the “obvious” choice on our (small) staff.

Things so remained, me filling in time to time, joyfully, for some months. Was really only a matter of time until the busy fellow needed to let the shift go.

My boss knew I not only wanted it but was ready to move into it verrry quickly. That time officially arrived about a week ago. (Really should’ve blogged on it then!) So the Tuesday evening shift, steadily and weekly, is officially mine!

I looove working there, love being a part of the team, the station’s content, etc. and etc.!

It’s true, it’s still PT (around 20 hrs./week) and requires other employment (that may or may not involve Fry’s, haha).

Yet I’ve been wanting this for so long and am elated that it has come to pass!

I told myself that if I reach the 20 hours/week at the station, I’ll forever drop all Lame Crap Jobs (a decade-plus of those!) and do only what is my passion, purpose and career — writing. Or at the very least jobs I TRULY enjoy.

That time is come. That time is now.

(So makes sense that I’m not runnin’ back to Fry’s. ūüôā )

Lookin’ Back

Not so fast. It’s a tad early for The Year in Retrospect, neither am I prone to producing said.

What I will say is 2015’s been a helluva whopper!!

It began with a new residence — that ultimately became a nightmare with the upstairs neighbors. Still. It was a smidge better than the place prior.

I got a job. A Lame Crap Job, part-time; still a job after a year of looking. I am grateful.

I got trained, hence developed new skills, at the radio station! YES! That job’s grown from 5 hours a week to 11 to 19-20 in my year-plus there. YES! With the station, my answer’s always: a joyful YES!

I moved again. Into a far better situation than the last.

From that arrived other goodies. My health and sleep improved 1,000-fold, my peace of mind grew exponentially. For example.

There are other very personal matters, recent and very challenging developments taking place. So by no means is everything hunky-dory.

Next year looks poised to be verrrry interesting indeed.

Whether or not I still work at Fry’s! (haha)

Just wanted to touch blogging bases before those bases blew into my rear-view mirror. See y’all soon.

(Whether or not I still work at Fry’s. ūüôā )

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You’ll find fish but not fairness at Fry’s Food.

2.30 in the wee hours. Something’s gnawing at me. If I don’t write on it, a long night of insomnia awaits.

This small fiasco over scheduling & Thanksgiving at Fry’s (post prior) is illuminating something and it’s not sitting right with me on a deeper level.

Employee schedules are computer-generated. Schedules run week to week (Sun-Sat.).

A manager works on the scheduling via computer about 2 weeks in advance.

Any request for time off must be submitted to the manager in writing about 2 weeks in advance. If the request is not submitted in time, the computer will automatically slide an employee into a slot it needs to fill.

The new schedule for the coming week is posted Thursday. Thereby employees get only 72 hours’ advance notice of their coming week.

Fry’s demands 2 week’s notice for any change in your schedule.

Don’t give it and get scheduled on a day you can’t be there and there are burdens, even prices to pay. If you can’t find a fill-in — that’s the employee’s responsibility — then you’re written-up as a no-show. Perhaps even put on probation depending on your performance history. A punitive system.

On the flip side, an employee gets no more than 72 hours advance notice for his/her week ahead. Schedules are unpredictable in days and hours. (Forget trying to plan or commit to anything in your personal life!)

The balance is heavily weighted in favor of Fry’s. You have to give them 2 weeks’ notice for ANY change in availability. And they give you: 72 hours.

It feels grossly disrespectful. Unfair. Because I’ve a very deep sense of fairness (reportedly like the grandfather I, sadly, barely knew), I feel the offense directly, pointedly. And can’t sleep.

Shit.

Now 3.37 in the a.m. Guess writing/rewriting didn’t spare me from insomnia after all! ‘Night now. Maybe.

A stretchy rubber band & sucky situation

It’s not that I have ADD.

Only feels like it! Go! Go! Go! Go here. Go there. Go to job A. Wait. What day am I scheduled? What time?

Go to that job, job B. Thankfully that’s a consistent schedule. Except when I’m filling in for someone. That’s almost as unpredictable as the schedule at Job A!

The move in August was productive, positive, unwanted in some ways yet overall a blessing in disguise. Drawback is I’m on the perimeter of town rather than in its heart, increasing drive time – and gas use – considerably.

When not leaping between two jobs and bountiful errands and tasks, I’m at home working. Unpaid work! Beautifying, repairing, creating, fixing — in short classing-up the place, a former grunge ghetto.

I love the creating! Don’t get me wrong. And being the source of shine and healing to a space that’s been subjected to a lot of sh*t. It’s who I am, it’s what I do. As natural as breathing.

All told, though, I’m a rubber band, pulled, stretched continuously. Might I snap? And what would that look like anyways? Who’s to say! And who’d want to?! ūüôā

Intensifying the stress is the latest development at Job A. Called Job A not for its relevance and connection to my soul and purpose but for wear-and-tear and high aggravations!

A computer determines our schedules. We, in the lower ranks that is, know our schedules Thursday for the week starting Sunday, 3 days later. Makes it impossible to plan or commit to anything week to week. That’s another “tensioner” in the rubber band and another topic.

On the flip side, any employee needing a day off must submit it weeks in advance. About 2-3 weeks. Knowing that deadline week to week’s like tracking a women’s menstrual cycle! The one manager who does scheduling herself has a wacko schedule. I never know when she’s in or will be in or is producing the schedule!

So, to the story.

I left B. a note requesting days off for Thanksgiving week, starting unofficially tomorrow. Thanksgiving’s Thursday for any Canadians reading ūüôā

They’ve always honored any request for a day off so I’ve no reason to suspect they ignored the request.

However, I was scheduled regardless. Whether it was because B. didn’t get my note in time — and I believed it was sufficient advance notice — or she didn’t act on it in time I don’t know.

Some possibility that she ignored it I suppose. This IS Thanksgiving week! Every day’s Black Friday at Fry’s Food! Even in the slowest of times, they’re woefully understaffed — Fry’s being a revolving door since they treat employees like disposable tools to its own benefits & gains.

So B. may’ve decided “no way is anyone getting time off in our busies week of the year.”

It’s all speculative. Fact is, I’m scheduled for 3 days, INCLUDING Thanksgiving, that I’d requested off.

An employee who can’t work as scheduled is responsible for finding his/her replacement. The how isn’t important. Let’s just say it’s an arduous task, time-consuming and in no way guarantees that you’ll land a replacement.

If for various reasons you can’t find a replacement — and are still unable to be present — then you’re written up as a no-show. Or I suppose fired, if you’ve a history of no-shows. They reportedly issue warnings and put you on probation before that point.

I think it’s safe to say that my chances of securing a replacement for 3 days in a row during the holiday week are slim — and zero on Thanksgiving.

Personally — and it’s hard for me to say this with my impeccable work ethics that too often are my prison bars — I am NOT WORKING AT FRY’S ON THANKSGIVING DAY.

I’ve a gathering to attend, a potluck feast arranged back in October.

And I am not working at a job I truly dislike and have been trying to drop for better for months on Thanksgiving for minimum wage.

It’s not because it’s the worst job I’ve ever had. It’s way down there but it ain’t the bottom of the pit.

Truly, it’s mostly because I want no part of the Fry’s/Kroger ingratitude. Not on Thanksgiving, the one day of the year dedicated to the Feast of Gratitude.

If I had any respect for Fry’s and its parent company Kroger, I’d feel differently but wouldn’t behave differently. I’d still attend the gathering. Historically, it’s extraordinarily rare for me to even share Thanksgiving with people! Normally I’m at some job. Hence my gratitude for the opportunity to simply share the day with others runneth over.

Yet Fry’s is dictating nuh-uh. You’ll be here (and for $8 an hour) and if you’re not, you’ll be punished. Unless you find a replacement.

And good luck with that on a major holiday! And the climate. (So many employees don’t like their job, don’t want to be there, are there only because of our Obama economy.)

The situation’s sucky. I’m screwed.

Today’s is my day off from Fry’s. And a MUCH-NEEDED and valued day off it is too. I’ve soooo much to do. Nonetheless, I’m going in — on my day off — to spend considerable time (unpaid) in the arduous attempt at a replacement for my 3 days that I’m scheduled (even though I requested them off).

If I can’t accomplish this, then I will be punished.

Nice position over the barrel. (Not.)

* * *

Dear God, bring me a better job. Please please please and please. I’d be so grateful to be free of Fry’s and working at a place that I enjoy. Doing work that I enjoy. Thank you, thank you so much Thanksgiving gods, whoever and wherever ye be.

Signed,
me

Fry’s Food: Where Inmates Truly Do Run the Asylum

I’m goin’ fucking crazy working at Fry’s Foods!

On second thought {she says confidently}, it’s not I who is crazy. It is they.

The incidences, the encounters with management and supervisors — always two or three at a time — seem to rarely abate. I’ve been told shit that’s patently untrue. Been told to do X by one person one day then Y by another person on another day.

Rules are in place with no particular rhyme or reason. They’re enforced one day and not the next. They’re enforced by certain people and not others. Above all, they’re broken by the very managers whose job it is, allegedly, to enforce those very polices!

It’s the Insane Asylum is Run by the Inmates phenomenon.

I could regale you with tale after tale of the sheer idiocies and stupidity that dominate Fry’s. It’d make your head spin. It does mine.

Though that’d make for good pulp fiction-meets-science fiction, honestly¬†the whole thing’s become tiresome.

I cannot win for losing at Fry’s Foods.

I will never be treated with basic respect¬†and neither will anyone else save those who keep their mouths shut and play the game or have drunk the Fry’s Kool-Aid.

Most certainly I shall not be appreciated or valued for … well, anything. Not my intelligence. Life experience. Work ethics. Zip zero nada. I’m a tool for their gains, nothing more.

There’s nothing new under the Corporate Sun that I’ve not encountered or experienced in decades of working. The anomaly here, at Fry’s Food, is that there is no fixing the utter chaos, mismanagement, hypocrisy, two-faced lying and more that prevail.

They’re not interested. They don’t care.

As a good person, an honest person, a hard hard hard-working individual with impeccable work ethics who’ll work as hard at minimum wage as $100 an hour, a THINKING person with abundant common sense, reason, thought and committed¬†to the highest quality work regardless of what’s thrown my way, after another bout in the ring with the managers today, I can only say:

I am defeated. {insert waving white flag here}

There is no place for my brain at Fry’s Food. No place for fairness or reason or truth — both remembering it and then telling it like it was when X Y or Z occurred.

Neither is there a place for my gifts, abilities,¬†experience or¬†efforts to do right and well. I am defeated. Like that old saying: “You can’t fight city hall.”

Or the Internal Revenue Service.

Fry’s Food is both.

I was just thinking: Am I down? Today was just¬†another round of debate in what’s becoming too common with two managers who fail to listen or see things AS THEY ARE.

No. I am defeated. Helpless against the monster who nibbles and claws at my brain tissue.

Helpless against prevailing forces of true stupidity. Genuine insanity.

What is a girl to do?!?!

In the immediate: Drink!

In the “longer term”: Drugs! Kidding of course but not entirely. Fry’s Food’s fucking with my brain. My profound sense of decency. Fairness. Impeccable work ethics.

And for what? So’s I earn a pass key into the secret chambers of the insane asylum?

I think not.

I want out. Need out. Am begging pleading praying for an exit. Another job to *save my sanity!*

In the meantime, Jersey Lilly Saloon, here I come!

S is for a storm, steel and a song

Gordon Lightfoot and I are soul mates. Momentarily.

Thick gray clouds were plundering the sunlit fields of sky when I rose this morning.

“Uh-oh,” I thought. Not for the storm itself. Or the snow it’s supposed to bring to the higher elevations nearby but won’t surprise if it hits the area.

Rather, at the promise¬†of working in it today. Of pushing some 400 pounds of steel — shopping carts — through¬†puddles and streams and cold winds.

Henry David Thoreau would make it sound all nature-y and romantic.

BTW, a plastic poncho protects not¬†against those elements, contrary to claims by managers at Fry’s Food.

Upon first look out the window, the song “Rainy Day People” popped into my mind.

Then, per my morning ritual, I brewed the coffee and pulled up Pandora. I skimmed past two favorites, Dylan and Van Morrison.

“More in the mood for Gordon Lightfoot,” I thought.

With God as my witness, boom! First tune¬†up: “Rainy Day People.”

Mr. Lightfoot and I share more than rainy day sentiments. We resonate with ships and trains. Wonder whether he could get me on the next train departing the Fry’s Food station. ¬†Lord Gordon knows that when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.

To Be or Not to Be (cold, wet and sick)

I deserve what I’s gots.

And what I’s gots is a rocker¬†hangover.

Time to time it’s good to get your drink on. A planned drink-on¬†sloughs off detritus and dross and clears the pipes.

Last night was not one of those planned ventures.

It was my day at work I guess. If you can call one hour a day.

When It Rains (in Arizona), It Pours!

A sudden downpour greeted my scheduled hour of doing carts. Gathering them from all about the parking lot and pushing them into the Fry’s supermarket lobby.

The mind harked back to a mama monsoon some two weeks prior. The Big Dog (store manager) ordered me to grab a poncho and umbrella and escort customers holed up in the lobby to their cars.

I sloshed through puddles the size of little lakes and through gusts. The customers surely appreciated the help. Which is good.

When I resumed my duties indoors, I was chilled to the bone, shivering, dancing in place to generate heat in sopping wet shoes and pants. Before the next day, I fell sick. Not so sick as to stay home but certainly unwell.

I learned a valuable lesson that in my youth I would’ve shoved away as if it were a plate of cottage cheese — the grossest “food” ever! Cottage cheese’ll NEVER cross these lips, I promise!

That valuable lesson? To respect my health — pockmarked by sundry ailments, weaknesses and vulnerabilities — and say no to that which genuinely jeopardizes it.

So if I’m sent out into the pouring rain at the job, I’ll need to respectfully decline and allow a 22-year-old coworker — which is every coworker in my category! — of robust health to go in my stead.

Reasonable? Not so fast.

TRIED to Do the Right Thing Anyways

I handed off my carts shift to Zach, who accepted eagerly, and took over his indoor tasks.

Couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes when I was called into the office by not one but two supervisors/managers! (One I like, one I don’t respect at all but that’s neither here nor there.)

After an extraordinarily long discussion and debate, the gist was this:

  • I’m expected to do my duties regardless of weather. (Every shift includes at least an hour of retrieving carts.)
  • Trading with coworkers, even if they’re willing, is not allowed.
  • If I cannot — or will not, in my case, due to jeopardizing health — do every task, I¬†will be sent home.

Wow, this is Fry’s shooting itself in the foot. Fry’s needs every worker it can get its hands on. Fry’s is a revolving door. They can’t keep people because they treat ’em like tools and means to their own gains and pay quite poorly — minimum wage for the trench workers. The gap left by sending ANY worker home stresses a house constantly on the verge of imminent collapse.

Hey, I don’t make the rules!

  • If I cannot or will not perform every duty expected, it will be perceived¬†as insubordination by Fry’s and employment will be terminated.

So after a little work and a dialogue with one manager that went on too long, I was sent home. I didn’t refuse. Or cry. Or even wince. Face it. The¬†loss of three hours at minimum wage isn’t a bullet to the life raft.

BUT!

I left with something I gotta think about. Winter’s quick approaching. It’s gonna be a bad one, my farmer’s almanac bones know. A¬†wet one. A lotta¬†cold rains, snow, ice. Something about El Nino. I don’t pay attention or care what so-called authorities and experts say.

The question is:

  • Am I willing to endanger my health, pushing carts in winds and wetness and frigid conditions for the next several months, in the afternoons and late nights (as I often work closings lately)?
  • And am I willing to do so for minimum wage?
  • Am I willing to do so even if I suit up with waterproof boots — purchased at Walmart yesterday in preparation, (footwear I wouldn’t otherwise buy or wear)?

Line in the (Wet) Sand

Concerning health and risk, the line in the sand is pretty clear to me. It’s become so¬†gradually¬†through years ¬†of hard experience precisely because I endured far more than I should’ve. ¬†That inner Endure-All-Things Survivor who emerged in infancy has, yes, kept me alive.

But at costs.

So that’s where it’s at. I do as Fry’s says. Or I lose my job. A Lame Crap Job, granted, that took a year to get in this gawd-awful Obama-socialist economy. A Job is a Job. My father’s mantra beaten into me that I’m far from free of, it’s true.

I’m looking for other work. Of course. Always looking. It’s become a lifestyle!

INDOOR work!

Go With the Gut & Heart

Listen to your gut and heart, they say. I’m good with the gut, the heart, less so when it comes to jobs. That darn Survivor gets in the way e-ver-y¬†time!

The Gut

The gut says: Winterize — suit up — to the max during your assigned shifts outdoors. You CAN do it. You endure whatever life throws at you. And btw, a lotta times it’s handfuls¬†of crap! Calling them cow pies merely romanticizes¬†them! Yet¬†it won’t be enough. Frigid air coursing through your respiratory system and lungs will NOT serve. That’s your greatest weakness and you know it! Though you’ll deny it by your Survivor’s Will to Endure. Think about it.

Roger that.

The Heart

The heart says: {name name name}, what are you doing?! Why in the world are you retreading ground, ground that you deeply dislike, ground that’s been trodden to death?! While your need to serve is very admirable, and your need to work extraordinarily admirable, your heart is not in this job. You’ve been trying to dump it for … how many months now? {two of the three there}

You can let this job go and find another that you will enjoy, that will pay more and not detrimentally affect your health (physical and mental, even leave you with illness through winter and do you REALLY need that given your icebox of your home?!)

Good point.

The Secret.

Not the famous one. “Secret” is, let the job go with gratitude. Thank Fry’s — and all its craziness and crazy-making, all chronic and endemic, all irreparable, it’s the nature of that beast — for supportive employment. For this short duration.

It’s NOT your career and you know it. It’s NOT where you want to be, you know that too. It’s far beneath your abilities and skills sets, duh! It’s a stop-gap measure.

Thank Fry’s for EVERYTHING, including yesterday’s extensive discussion, the time supervisor B. gave you and her offer to buy your boots (an offer that will be nixed by the store manager). Her kind gesture is indeed rare in any corporate world!

Be grateful for it all and let it go. And find yourself a job where you can be warm in winter. You will need it in your icebox mobile home.

Go with the Flow. Flow your way outta Fry’s.

With gratitude and the promise of better. On every level. You so need that now.

Last but by no means least, try to create space for the inner Artist to emerge alongside that inner Survivor who just never gives up in endurance of all {traumas and much more}.  That inner Artist is your ticket out.

Well, that’s quite a piece! Amazing what¬†writing can do!

Finally, deserving what I’s gots. A hangover. Last night, I overdrank just by a little; the typical dearth of food only worsened it.¬†It wasn’t a purging drink-on but emotions drummed up by the Fry’s thang.

Oh well. It happens.

Signing off and good on anyone who read this far! It’s a mouthful and evidence of a mind at work — even when saddled by a hangover! Bye for now.

Beware the Zombies Terrain at Fry’s!

You ever get up and not wanna go to work, pure ‘n’ simple?

Not referencing blue Mondays or those intermittent days when you’re tempted to call in sick. Unless you LOOOOOVE your job, it’s perfectly normal to not wanna be there some days.

Every day I wake up …¬†check¬†what day it is — usually mentally but sometimes admittedly I gotta check the calendar! … and proceed accordingly. I go to Fry’s supermarket. Or the radio station. Or wherever I need or wanna go because it’s a day off.¬†One thing’s certain — no ruts in my crazy schedule!

As I was saying …

On the days I hafta go to Fry’s, I do not want to go. Pure. And. Simple.

I do not want to go because:

I am bored. Bored before I even get there.

I’m bored driving there. Bored walking through automatic doors. Bored at the job. Bored. Bored bored bored bored bored and bored.

There are reasons for that. Good solid inarguably valid reasons. It’s a job that requires zero brain power. ¬†Now, I’ve never announced here what the job is. And I won’t. Well, after I leave, maaaaaybe. It’s a tossup between the celebration of leaving and self-induced amnesia that this job requires of me. Every single day!

I have a trait that doesn’t sit well with Fry’s. Intelligence. And smarts. Try as I have many times in many job¬†environments, I cannot dumb myself down. I just can’t.

So, because I’m so hungry for — nee needing — to engage¬†my brain, I will find ways to do that with even the most mundane and menial task.

Through reasoning, analysis, logic, discernment, intelligence and impeccable work ethics, I’ll find the way to perfect the task (again, no matter how menial). To do it to maximum perfection — an equation defined by efficiency and effectiveness and energy output.

Biiiiig mistake. Big fucking mistake at Fry’s! There is no place for such traits!

I achieved the maximum on the learning curve there within the first month, easily.¬†Only reason it took that long is because I work part-time. More hours (that I don’t want) would’ve expedited it.

First comes the Learning Curve.

Then the Burnout.

Burnout is repeating the same tasks .. over and over and over again … with no promise of learning or achieving better. Mind you, these tasks are verrrrrrrrrry menial. No true need or requirement for application of intelligence, reasoning, etc. I’m not at a computer engaged with¬†spreadsheets — not that I’d want to or could! — or words — and those ARE up my alley!

I’m paid minimum wage to perform a service that a 16-year-old could provide. Actually that’s not true for today’s youth but that’s another post.

The POINT is:

I am bored when I have to go to Fry’s. I do not want to go to work. Because I’m bored. Frighteningly bored. Terribly bored. Bored beyond words. Bored bored bored bored bored and bored.

Oh to have work that engages my brain.

My interests.

My abilities.

A job that CHALLENGES me rather than puts me to sleep.

That ENGAGES my interests and passions and huge variety of skills and abilities.

I don’t want to be at Fry’s anymore. (I stopped “wanting” to be there once I’d successfully completed the learning curve.)

Yet I can’t just quit. Jobs (even the lame crap jobs) are soooo hard to come by. Took a year just to get this one! Better. There’s got to be better somewhere here. There’s gotta be.

Nearing Halloween and working at Fry’s “fits right in.” The zombies are eating my brain! Somehow it’s cuter in a movie than real life — haha!

 

 

 

GO! GO! GO! shifts toward slow slow slooow

Go go go go go go go!

Gee. Go! One more for good measure. ūüôā

Go! best describes life since July 1, when I received notice to vacate. Since then, it’s as the gate at the track were¬†lifted and the horses off!

Gallup! Gallup! Gallup! Go! Go! Go! Gooooooo!

An arduous search for new digs. A residence departure extraordinarily demanding of my time and energy. A new place begging for repairs and beautification including full-on interior painting.

Two jobs. One I like with a fairly consistent schedule. One I loathe with an unpredictable schedule plus all¬†physical in nature. ¬†There’s no sign stating “Please Leave Your Brain at the Door” at Fry’s. But there should be.

Gee. Go! Go! Go! I’ve not stopped moving — REALLY MOVING — since early July.

My fuel to maintain the pace? Adrenalin. Sheer adrenalin.

Will. Things need to get done, I do them. I do too what others should be doing and don’t due to laziness and lack of work ethic. Doing my job and that of 2-3 others is standard operating procedure.

Gees. I wish people would do their part! Maybe I could rest some. Maybe.

Despite early appearances, this post isn’t all doom ‘n’ gloom. On the contrary.

The move is done.

The new place painted.

Still have two (PT) jobs — the one¬†with as unpredictable a schedule as ever.

The Go! Go! Go! Load is lightening by virtue of completed projects and tasks. I’m beginning … just beginning … to slow down some. To rest as the cold reason requests of us.

But I’ll tell you the real reason for this shift toward slowing down. A not insignificant one.

It was a decision, mulled for some time, that took courage. A bold move (for me, not for most) and hopefully, ultimately a game-changer.

I quit the Saturday shift at Fry’s. (the job I’m chomping at the bit to dump, speaking of horses!)

Do not misunderstand. I’m grateful for employment in this gawd-awful Obama-designed economy of 94 million Americans who are not working/cannot find jobs.

It is menial work for minimum wage. I can do better. Should be doing better. Am capable of doing SO. MUCH. BETTER. HAVE DONE so much better, especially before Obama and his socialist regime took over in 2008.

The point? The point is I quit the Saturday shift at Fry’s. In doing so, released myself from the Double-Duty of shifts at two jobs that collectively made for around 12-hour Saturdays.

GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

No rest for the weary!

Very very very very rarely do I do positive for myself when it concerns work and jobs. I have so many slave / slave-river issues rooted in childhood and my father and past lives, it ain’t fucking funny!

The point?

Learning to choose good for myself, generally but most of all in work/jobs/labor, is an epic journey. So even the smallest step — like dropping the Saturdays at Fry’s because it was draining the life outta me and keeping me on that Go! Go! Go! hamster treadmill — is significant.

The mojo and magic of Halloween, my favorite holiday, is what most inspired me. What better day for casting off what chains?

I gotta admit, I LIKE this feeling. {sssssssssh, hope my dad’s not listening; he’d turn over in his grave if for a moment he perceived me not working myself to¬†the bone}

What feeling do I like? Liberation.  Shackle by shackle.

Things are far from perfect. But they’re better. They’re improving, starting¬†with an unplanned move to Arizona in 2013.

Know I shouldn’t want this* but I want to be free.

(*neither of my parents would desire, support or allow this for me)

One less day at Fry’s … one less shift … one less simple 4-hour shift on Saturday … is making all the difference. In my efforts toward stepping off the Go! Go! Go! train¬†… toward recovering health … toward restoring my energy rather than depleting it.

By casting off one simple Saturday shift, I created just a little more room to breathe. To rest. To contemplate and create. To just be.

And maaaaaybe maaaaaaybe down the road begin having fun again! {shhhhhhh, don’t let my dad hear, it’d mean the whip!}

G is for Go! Go! Go!  And for Goodness that I surreptitiously seek behind the backs of forces who would seek to refuse, reject and destroy it.

I live in interesting changing times. Not because of but certainly assisted¬†by one small choice, one seemingly innocuous choice: Dropping the Saturday shifts at Fry’s.

I invite better and better into my life so that I may be free. Free to be. Me.

A boooooooootiful day to cast away

It’s just¬†around the corner, my favorite holiday of all. Halloweeeeeeeeen!

The time¬†of year when the veil’s between Here and There’s paper thin. The time when goblins, ghosts, witches, wizards can come out and play and mingle with (mere) mortals without fear of reprisals like hangings and fires.

It’s the time to dress up and be whoEVER you wanna be for a day and a night. To channel your buried inner self ¬†or perhaps a self from a previous incarnation.

Halloween is the time of folklore and fantasy. Of spirit and spookiness. Of mojo and magic and mystery.

Sooooo, for the past month or so, I’ve had my eye — not of¬†a newt — on this beloved day.

This year it falls on a Saturday. Great for the trick-or-treaters and parents and partying — if that’s how you roll — conjuring, casting spells or staring silently into a single¬†candle flame and stating¬†your prayers.

I’ll be at work that evening. Though part of me’s sad to be missing the celebration, I’m OK with that. I like that job. I’d be there double my 11 hours a week if I could!

The holiday¬†won’t entirely pass me by. There IS a station cat who keeps me company! Not black. Still, I’ll take it. ūüôā

However, I’ve also got a second PT job, like most Americans, those lucky enough to have employment, that is.

I fairly detest that job. No need to articulate the many reasons why. I’d drop it in a heartbeat — less than! — if something better came along. (I am looking …)

Saturdays are my double shifts. I go from the job I detest to the job I love. Makes Saturdays loo0ong — about 12 hours in committed time to both.

Fine when you’re 23. At 58, it’s a bit harder.

More importantly, the job I detest sucks the life outta me. Not in good vampire style. Despite the ill effects, I’ve consented to work the double Saturday shifts because I need the money. And the work.

After going back and forth back and forth back and forth, weighing the benefits and detriments of the double Saturdays … after consulting with a very gifted intuitive on my¬†tentative¬†decision¬†to drop Saturdays at the shit job … and after having that non-newt eye on the approaching Halloween … I decided:

No more.

No more Saturdays at the yuck job. Starting on Halloween, officially.

To an average person, this decision would be hardly newsworthy.

However, I’m far (far far!) from average. I’m an incredibly hard worker, by nature, with slave issues. And endurance issues. Poverty issues and value (as in personal value and worth) issues.

Most of all, I have survival issues. It’s complicated but part of why I hang onto things I hate or are no good for me. When the alternative (death) is worse, you keep what you have and do WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO SURVIVE.

Without creating bad karma.

Hence the loathsome Fry’s job.

Halloween is HAPPINESS! Halloween is joy. If you’re going to release that which shackles you, if you’re going to stretch for shapeshifting — for me, that means a little more freedom and creativity in life — what better day than … Halloweeeeeeeennnnnn?!?

So yes, that night, you won’t see¬†me howling at the moon (rather, running a radio board). However, my heart will be howling! Reaching for a treat –one liberating step away from that which I tolerate (barely!) — and casting off the (double-shift) trick.

Hallelujah, Halloween!

A boooooootiful day to cast away … and to pray.

Off With Their Heads(wear)!

Tales from the crypt. The Fry’s Food crypt.

So the other week I’m called into the office by the day manager, “Joan.” Name’s been altered (slightly)¬†to protect the (so-called) innocent.

Also called in is a young pert coworker “Lisa.”

Fry’s doesn’t call someone¬†into the office to praise or appreciate or thank. “What did Lisa and I do wrong?” I wonder.

We quickly learn.

“You are not allowed to wear scarves or bandanas.”

What?!

FYI aside, I’m a “head-dresser.” Baseball hats, scarves, caps. Long time back I got this pretty little scarf from the Goodwill. I love it. At Fry’s, I fold and tie it — with a small square knot, if you must know — at the back crook of the neck.

Bad Bandana! Bad!!!

Bad Bandana! Bad!!

Customers love it. Their positive comments are plentiful. It cheers them up. It cheers me up.

Although Fry’s thinks¬†otherwise, I am not a robot or a simpleton tool for their gains. In their drab (and depressing) world, I like and need to express myself. Just a smidge. To peep out from under the rock. Just a tad. To express my light. If not for a blip of a moment. To bring color and a smile to the customers.

Befitting¬†the Fry’s Food motto: Friendly Customer Service.

“Lisa” too, wears a simple headscarf. Hers aren’t quite as¬†boldly floral.¬†A¬†splash of red or black or such against her dark hair. They suit her. They convey a creativity and cheeriness that, truth told, are absent at Fry’s.

When we’re told¬†scarves or bandanas are not allowed, our jaws drop and eyes roll.

How utterly ridiculous. Stupid. Small-minded. Petty. I say¬†so to “Julie.”

Especially in light of the GINORMOUS sea of problems Fry’s Food has. Starting with¬†no carts for customers (see prior entry). I don’t¬†say that.

“You can wear a headband or bows or ribbons or hairclips from a store. But no scarves or bandanas.”

I debate manager Julie on this inane “policy”¬†while Lisa sits¬†silently. Her eyes, however, convey concurrence. The manager could not argue for the policy on grounds of sanity or reason. She acknowledges lameness, to a point. She’s a kiss-ass. A lap dog to the Big Store Manager¬†“Tom.”

She likes her job. She wants to keep her job. She¬†would not rock the boat if her life depended on it. If Fry’s Food changed its¬†dress code from black pants and white shirts to bikinis (eeewwwww!), Julie would abide. ¬†That’s who she is.

So while I offer¬†inarguably sound and intelligent response to the No Scarves or Bandanas policy — knowing full well too that it’s within Julie’s discretionary power to enforce or not policies based on grades of ridiculousness and productiveness, she chooses to abide nonetheless — my points stand¬†no chance of survival in the muck, mire and seamless sea of insanity that ARE¬†Fry’s Food.

So Lisa and I are stripped of our scarves.

Alas, that’s neither the point nor end of the story.

You see, those blips of color on our heads were looooved by the customers.. Appreciated. Enjoyed. Valued.

Moreover, a mere 24 hours earlier, both manager Julie and Big Store Manager Tom are¬†admiring Lisa’s scarf, telling her how lovely it is!

I am not making this up.

For months our scarves were enjoyed by management and coworkers and customers alike.

Then BOOOM! One day. Outta nowhere. The axe falls. Or scissors, as the case may be.

What changed?

Absolutely nothing except the opinion of one man.

The Big Store Manager Tom.

He’s¬†there on the daily. He’s seen our scarves many¬†a time.

But this one particular day, just before we’re called into the office, he stood at the sidelines, with arms folded, surveying the store action with the stern countenance of a sheriff deciding whether the ruffian should be hanged or permanently jailed.

Big Store Manager Tom chose the gallows. For me and Lisa and any employee who might dare headwear.

So.

To the story’s end.

Nowhere in the company handbook is it written that scarves or bandanas are prohibited.

It DOES explicitly state that no liquids may be drunk during shifts except CLEAR WATER.

It DOES explicitly state the color of our pants (black or khaki) and shirt (white or black).

It DOES state that no more than two earrings in one ear are allowed.

Big Store Manager Tom hasn’t a leg to stand on, in truth.

Yet here’s a fairly universal¬†Truth About Managers:

  • They like to throw their weight around. Just because they can.
  • They have egos and arrogance bigger than half the size of America. That’s how they get ahead. And stay ahead.
  • They like to issue edicts and dictates, regardless of soundness, reason, logic or sanity or lack thereof. Just because they can.
  • They like to mark their territory, like a hound. Just because they can.

So¬†there ya have it. The customers’ loss is Tom’s gain.

So hat’s off — scarves or bandanas too! — to Tom and Julie and Fry’s Food for upholding those¬†little insignificant yet uplifting personal touches¬†and pleasures amongst customers. Y’all wear the Friendly Customer Service motto so very well.