It’s a job. A mystery — but not on the bookshelves

I begin a new job today.

You’ll understand if I’m exuberantly jumping 10 feet into the air … hootin’ ‘n’ hollerin’ ‘n’ paintin’ the town read … beside myself with glee … or buyin’ all blog visitors a round of drinks!

Embarrassment and degrees of shame prevent me from revealing the job. At this time. I may eventually. For one reason and one reason alone: It’s fodder for blogging.

I can tell you what it’s *not.* It’s not:

* graveyard maintenance
* kennel assistant/upkeeper or other animals-related position
* mortuary attendant
* Costco employee
* bartender
* server in a finer establishment
* mystery shopping

Any of these, I’d be buyin’ y’all that round! Even two!

I can tell you again what it’s not:

* high-paying
* career-related in any sense, no matter how I spin it
* dream-job related in any sense, no matter how I spin it

I *am* willing to tell you:

* it’s minimum wage
* it’s service-industry
* it requires scant brain power
* it’s a job that I never had in my teens but MANY do

Period. For now.

{Sorry, guys, trying as I am, I just can’t bring myself to announce it. Embarrassment. Shame. Painful reminders of my dark past and traumas unresolved impede.}

So …

I *can* say this:

* it could be worse and has been
* it’s a throwaway; when something better surfaces, I’ve no qualms about letting this go
* it’s very mentally unchallenging; that’s not a desirable but the tradeoff is I’m not working in isolation that destroys me

The plusses … there are a few:

* it enables me to keep my radio job — on that I’m unyielding — AND maintain the late-shifts work- and lifestyles

* it allows me sooome say in my schedule so that I can protect not only my PT radio job but other commitments through the week

* it’s close to home. Ironic since now I have to move! Point is: If I’m making only minimum wage, I’m gonna need to draw a line at commute distances / gas costs & wear-and-tear. Ain’t gonna drive 40 miles a day for a job paying 8 bucks an hour!

* it’s not motel cleaning

Well, if this job mystery doesn’t compel you to stay tuned, I don’t know what more to say!

With some 45 until the start time, I see that only way I’ll be able to spill the beans … perhaps … eventually … is to make light of the situation. To see it for its value:

* It’s better than not working — and girl needs to work!

* It’s not the shittiest job I’ve ever taken; neither is it the best by any distortion of truth or stretch of imagination!

* It occupies some of my time and relieves boredom

* I may meet nice people. I’ll meet jerks for sure. They’re everywhere. But nice people, they’re gems in a world of coal!

* I *may* make casual acquaintances; I may even make a friend or two. Time will tell.

* I may even encounter someone who’ll tell me of an opportunity better aligned to my path, purpose and calling. Ya never know when an opportunity’ll fall from the sky into your lap!

* Even if that doesn’t occur, having an income, peanuts though it be and trust me, peanuts it is! — beats a figure of zero.

My challenge:

* stay optimistic.

* don’t get caught up in the pessimism or delusion that this is all that life will ever offer and all I can ever be

* keep doing my writing, my art therapy and working with The Artist’s Way for Work book

* keep doing my gratitude list every day

* keep exercising … swim! swim! swim!

* eat well, eat *regularly* {forever a challenge!} and drink beaucoup water

* Last but not least, do NOT take on the work of others. If they’re lazy, let them be lazy. Do *not* allow my strong working nature and impeccable work ethics DO the job that others are PAID TO DO.

If they fuck up, let them fuck up. If they’re stupid or inadequate, let them be stupid or inadequate. DO NOT FIX WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE INCAPABLE OF OR SIMPLY TOO LAZY TO DO.

Boy do I need that glorious reminder!!!

Off I go to Day 1 at the mystery job. I wish myself ease … lightness … fun … humor … and kindnesses.

Until next time, later, gators.

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Jumping into the cleanser with both feet

Ironic. I work in a place of rest and rest was anything but available to me yesterday!

Yesterday was day 1 at the new job. Day 1 at any job is always the hardest. You know nothing. You’ve no knowledge base to draw from and no idea where tools are and no idea what to do or whom to contact when things go wrong or, simply, “not according to the perfect stress-free day.” Haha, like THAT ever happens!

Even the easiest job is made arduous by the nature of The First Day.

Once again, I am a hotel housekeeper because there are zero jobs in my field (writing/editing/communications/publishing here. Like food service, cleaning is my survival job. I’m deeply sorry that it’s come to this again … another round of menial minimum-wage labor to add to the 10 years of it (minus three years of the darkest chapter of unemployment in Washington state).

That said, it’s something productive and a way to be of service. It is not, however, the final stop on the train!

Soo, in addition to all the struggle and stress and unease and confusion of the first day, the workload size was exceptional. The gal training me who’s been there two months said she’d seen it like that only one other time! Along with X-number of stayovers, we had 20 checkouts! That is A LOT! We were so backed up at the that some five girls jumped in to help clear the deck!

A madhouse, it was, with rags flying, sprays spraying, towels folded and hung, furniture dusted, carpets vacuumed! By that time, I hit my wall. My brain was on overload. I could take in no more.

Mind you, by then, the physical fatigue of Go Go Go all day with no break or meals — and barely time to drink water in the hot day — didn’t help the cause. I was overwrought and ready to call it a day and head to my favorite pub for a gallon of cold craft beer!

Maybe a gallon is overstating.

Anyways, thanks to everyone pitching in, we got it done. However, there was no fun being had in Mudville. I left extremely tired and overwrought.

Talk about jumping into the ocean with both feet!

Or liquid cleanser as the case may be. 🙂

WHOOHOOO! Work, here I come!!!

Yesterday ’twas the local Sprouts store that sprouted! Today it’s I!

I Am Finally Employed!

Took nine months of efforts! — about half of ’em comprised of roundtrips of some 300 miles (483 km) between my former town/residence and here. Add another two months of actually living here and looking looking looking — ohmigawd so looking! — for employment.

And I don’t mean fucking 10 minutes on craigslist then calling it a day and kicking back on your lazy ass to collect unemployment or “disability” (the newfound unemployment trick and what a crock!) from our federal socialist government that ENCOURAGES takers! The new Americans.

I mean meticulously sifting through job sites and ads of all sorts … of hitting the pavement … driving here … filling out applications there … driving there … filling out more applications here … talking to people … networking … asking strangers in lines and baristas and pub mates whether they know of anyone who’s hiring.

I mean, I REALLY WORKED IT. There is not a thing I could’ve done better — or differently — to better the odds of getting employment. I say in humility: not a thing.

So all the more reason to lift my hands in triumph!

How it happened is an interesting tale but I’m not inclined to recount it. The excitement and the RELIEF — R-E-L-I-E-F — grab the spotlight!

I’m such a worker. I need to work, want to work, go insane when NOT working, contributing and serving. (Freak modern American, I know!)

So as excited as I am to have an income again — and relieved — I’m more excited to have something constructive to do with my time. Something to get up for in the morning that isn’t a tiring and tireless search for a job that ends up futile 99.999999999 percent of the time. I didn’t invent the word “discouragement” or “despair” or “dispirited” … but I could have!!

At the moment, I’m not inclined to say what the job is … only that it is NOT a career position. Has no relationship to writing and editing and crafting with words.

It’s a physical job in a service industry with minimum-wage pay. However, there are pluses (that can be cited another time).

I start tomorrow. Tomorrow! Tomorrow MORNING! 8:30. This night owl hasn’t risen at the 7 o’clock-ish hour in a loooong time! Time-zone shock ahead for sure!

Anyways, I wanted to put it out there! I’m employed again! (NO THANKS TO DARTH OBAMA AND HIS PROGRESSIVE MARXIST MINIONS!!!!! Seriously.)

Another step forward in my new town of two months, officially. Another achievement. Another landing of the feet in the town I love.

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.

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

Tiring.

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.

Evolve.

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 …