The fiber optic cable for our internet connection is now underground. The AT&T tech finally came out and buried it. Apparently, they use a contraption that shoots the cable under the concrete so that sidewalks do not have to be cut, like in the old days. However they did it, I don’t care. I’m just happy we no longer have a trip hazard in front of our gate and Debbie’s gate. She’s our neighbor and was rightly pissed

My knee replacement surgery is scheduled for December 31st. I am nervous. I have no idea what I am going to live on while I recover for about two months. I have no disability insurance and getting disability from Social Security can take years. Almost everyone is denied the first few times they apply. Somehow, I’m getting the surgery done. I have no cartilage in my left knee; it is bone on bone. I can’t keep limping and tolerating the pain, which is often so horrible while I’m working  sometimes I have to retreat into the restroom and cry.

The car is working out pretty good. My check engine light is stuck on and the warning that I should check the gas cap comes and goes. Tara, who sold me the car, bought me a new gas cap from Advance Auto Parts the day I received the car from her. It’s a generic cap; I think my car wants a genuine Pontiac cap. I did get it checked. The code indicated that it probably was the gas cap. The car runs fine. But, GAWD, I miss my VW Beetle fuel mileage: 40-50 MPG. I think I spent no more that thirty bucks a month on fuel. But, I am very grateful I have a car.

Work is….work is….just a paycheck. I’ve been getting almost exclusively night shifts. So, I am working till 10 pm. I loathe it. I’m an extrovert. That means I get energy from being around people. My job is all about customer service. So all during my shift I am soaking in energy from everyone around me. I get home at 10:45 pm and I’m hungry and have to eat a late dinner and then take a shower and spend the next three to four hours de-compressing. I end up going to bed at 3-4 am. Then I sleep late and get nothing done. This makes me resent my job.

Anyone who has worked retail knows that asking for a regular, steady schedule of the same or similar shifts usually results in getting a sparse amount of hours. Managers want everyone to have, “open availability.” That means you are open to taking their abuse. Often you will get scheduled to work till 10 or 11 pm and have to return to work the next morning at 7 or 8 am. It’s bullshit. The restaurant business gets a bad rap for abusing employees but, even management in that employment sector has figured out how to have day, afternoon, evening and overnight crews. I never had the scheduling issues in any of the restaurants I worked in for over twenty years that I have had working in retail. Even when I worked in the coffee business, in Portland, when I worked for a local company called Coffee People, we had different crews. I was a PIC (Person in charge) and had to be at work at 5:30 am to unlock the doors, set up tills, start coffee brewing, pull shots through the espresso machine to clear out any Puro Caffe (machine cleaner) residue and set up the pastry case. Every one of my shifts started at the same time. I loved it.

On Thursday I decided to try my luck. I’ve been trying to talk to my front end managers for a couple of weeks about this issue. We haven’t been able to connect because of scheduling! So, I left them a note explaining that I was thinking of changing my availability to 8 am to 6:30 pm because of the reasons I listed above. I asked if I could do that and still get at least 30 hours a week. Even if the chance is not good, I am thinking of altering my availability anyway. I’m trying to be a writer and am sick of not being able to do it because of a meaningless but necessary job.

I have to figure out how to do this because I am miserable. I want to work on the novel I started writing and, re-writing, years ago. I have an idea for a children’s book I have outlined and am checking out how to self publish it.

I have to improve my life; I am sick of being up this late. Right now it is 1:21 am Friday October 5th. In my dream world, I am asleep by 11:30 pm and I get up no later than 9:30 am and get paid to write all day. I gotta make that happen.




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