I dream for a day….

…..it won’t matter that I am up till 4:30 in the morning writing or goofing around getting creative juices going.

It matters now because I have to go to work tomorrow-later today-and toil at a job that is so far removed from the soul and the spirit that is me, I sometimes can’t stand it. Don’t mistake this attitude for one of selfishness or ungratefulness, because that is not the case. I am very grateful to have employment and to be physically and mentally able to work.

I just long for the day when my schedule is one that I control. The funny thing is that when that day comes-and I’m working on getting there-I won’t choose to stay up past 11:30pm. I want to rise pretty early and go to bed pretty early. It’s the constant fluctuation of my work schedule that messes up my hours badly enough that it spills into my days off. It’s inherent in the retail business. I could fix this by working overnights; my work schedule would basically be the same. But, it would suck horribly.

I’ve worked overnights (used to be called graveyard. I never hear that term anymore. I guess it insults the dead) for brief sprints in my employment history and I loathed those shifts every time. During one summer when I waited tables at one of those mostly breakfast type restaurants, during my St. Pete Jr. College years, I worked graveyard at a Country Kitchen. One of the regular graveyard waitresses was on vacation. I covered her for two weeks.

The restaurant was in my hometown of Seminole and it was across the street from a bar that had live music. It was the end of the seventies. The bands did a lot of current rock snd roll covers. Think seventies male-female attitudes of the era plus alcohol and cocaine, early morning hours on the weekends and slender long legged twenty-something waitresses and you get the idea of how humiliating that was for some of us. Gross drunk guys ordering cum milkshakes for us girls to drink for them. Wow. When I think of that now, it blows my mind. Today those drunken losers would be tossed out onto the busy boulevard. But, that’s the crap that went on. I never did another graveyard shift waiting tables again once my co-worker returned.

After I graduated SPJC and transferred to USF in Tampa, I briefly worked in another restaurant on graveyard. This time I was a cashier-hostess and it was temporary. Graveyard was only on Friday and Saturday. It was another busy place on Dale Mabry-the Village Inn. Since I wasn’t waiting tables I didn’t have to tolerate too many sexual comments from disgusting drunken male customers. I think I only worked there for a couple of months before I got a regular waitressing job at a People’s Restaurant on Busch Boulevard. It was down the street from Busch Gardens and close to USF. About 90 percent of the waitstaff attended USF. It turned out to be a very fun job and where I really honed my serving skills and started making lots of tips. Back then I could earn an entire semester’s tuition in a week.

Another time I worked graveyard was as an overnight fill-in night auditor at a Holiday Inn Express in Daytona. My friend, Chelle, got me that job. It was a second job. I worked it for about two months during the relatively recent period after my financial meltdown. This was in September and October of 2009- maybe part of August.

I didn’t have to tolerate obnoxious drunks or sexual comments and by that point in my life I would have decked the scumbags who behaved that way.

This job stands out mostly for the weirdness of my first solo shifts-after training. The lobby doors were locked overnight and when someone wanted to enter to check in they had to buzz a doorbell. Then I would use a remote control to open the sliding doors. On my first night I had to go outside for some reason and when I did a huge green Florida tree frog jumped into my blouse and got comfy in my bra. Luckily I’m not too spooked by wildlife. I scooped it out and put it in the adjacent bushes. Later that evening I got a call from a lady who wanted to pay for her room with a psychic reading. She sounded like she wouldn’t pass the Cassadaga test.The second night I had to go in search of a snake that was loose in the elevator area. Never did catch that critter. It slithered off into a crevice before I could get something to scoop it up with. It was small-a baby or teenager. I think it was a young black racer which are harmless.

Yeah, I would love to be divorced from the scheduling whims of employers. I can’t wait until I am…writing and doing my own

creative thing on my own time clock.

A recent record of hours I worked at my current job at the Oviedo Walmart where I work a short shift from 3pm -7pm…today. This is one of our time clocks.

########## Note:

If you want to check out the little spiritualist community of Cassadaga please go to http://www.cassadaga.org/

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