Thursday, March 03, 2005

My Happy Journal Entry
My wife and I went out to eat this past weekend with her aunt, uncle, cousins, and their husbands. The food was great, the wine was plentiful, and many great conversations were had. At some point during dinner, one my my wifes cousins brought up their late grandmothers journals. Aparently, Tess had filled quite a few journals in her lifetime always documenting her day. She said the journals were very repetitive, often just spoke of the weather, the dog, gardening, etc. But it seems every entry was a positive outlook. As if, she were her own source of inspiration. She spoke of how she admired such a quality. To always find something kind to say at the end of her day. Her cousin then went on to say "I've written some of the things I put in my journals, and they're all negative!". I couldn't say I disagreed. Looking back at some of the things I have written you would think I walked around miserable all the time.

It's strange how we use our journals to vent, isn't it? And so we concluded that we could all learn from Tess. Her positive outlook on life, in death, has had us all questioning the words we leave for others to stumble upon. What will they say about me when I am gone? Probably nothing nice. In fact, here I go abusing this journal once again ...

Where Has My Career Gone?
It must have been about 10:45PM when it occurred to me. I have hit an all time low in my carreer (if you can even call it that). Here I was driving home to my angry wife who had decided not to wait up for me. No wait, I need to take the scene back further ... say, 8:00PM. Like any other night, I was at the counter wearing my dirty blue shirt. Having been on the job since 5:20 or so, I had probably only speant 10 minutes or so working on computers. The entire time I had been on the job I was answering phones, checking returned items, sending vacuums to service, having customers yell at me about cell phones .. the usual. I was about at the end of my patience when the computer department manager came hopping up the desk.

The computer manager asks that I come back to the computer department and help a few customers. I was quite against the idea, which he was not happy with. I questioned why I should leave a full load of work (around 15 PC's waiting to be fixed) to go stand around the computer department. He said "my guys need help, just keep the customers busy for 7 minutes between sales!". I, am not a salesperson. I guess he wasn't aware. So I told him I was not a salesperson. That didn't seem to matter. "I know nothing about what we're selling, I don't think its a good idea", said I. "You can read the tags, can't you?" he asked. By this time, my disobedient nature had set him off. His eyes were popping out of his head, and his nostrils flaired a little. "So you want me to read the tags to customers? I don't think thats a good idea". To make a long argument short, I finally agreed to help out. My blood pressure was much higher than normal today, and I'm sure it was starting to show.

As I waltzed in and out of the aisles of the computer department, there wasn's a single person to help. I approached a couple of asian gentlemen, who didn't really want any assistance and hurried away when they saw me coming. I was done. I headed back to my bench to prepare for a new set of idiotic chores that don't involve actual PC repair. "Thanks!", he says, "was that so bad?". I knew it wouldn't end there. I knew I had angered the manager of my corner of Blue-Shirt-Topia.

About the time my co-worker and I were scheduled to leave, the angry sexually frustrated manager returned. He had decided that this would be the night that we were to clean the floors! Not the usual sweeping. We would MOP tonight! It seemed to be strange timing. Since I had been employed, the floors had never been mopped. And when I say "never", I'm talking several years. I gladly headed to the warehouse, filled a bucket, and got right to work. Playing mind games has never really bothered me, and this would certainly not be the night that I had a nervous mental brakedown. I decided that this would be the cleanest floor this store has ever seen.

Over the period of the next hour and a half, I slowly moved items long, restacking all of the customer repair items, pulling out buckets of cables, and removing shelves. Having done half of the area, I returned to the warehouse and refilled my bucket with clean water to do the other half. I felt a bit bad for my cohort, who was stranded with me. He probably could have left. It seemed strange that he had to hang around and watch me mop a floor. But then, if he went home, it would seem as if I were being punished in some silly fit of hostility from the manager. This was clearly not the case! This floor simply had to be cleaned, and it had to be tonight!

After finishing the floor, and admiring our good work, we headed into the parking lot. That floor mopping had cost the department about $28 of labor expenses in all. I think we made it worth their dollar. As I climbed into my car I remembered that I had needed a jump to get my car started earlier and so I hollared to my cohort to wait around and make sure I got away okay. Thankfully, I re-hooked my battery and started up no problem.

As I drove home this evening, I took a good long hard look at this mess I have put myself into. Every day, I go to work to a job that I will never advance in. Making pay that will never increase. When I am done there, I slap on a blue shirt so that my coworkers can make fun of me, and then head out to my second job where I choke down sinus pills and aspirin to make it through a night. I think that brings me to mopping floors.

Who am I doing this for? It's not for my family. They don't see me. I'm a stranger to my children, and my wife has practically given up on spending time with me. I am a run down, miserable, mess. A heart attack waiting to happen. An involuntary muscle in a blue shirt. I have abandoned all sense of pride, and my esteem disappeared a long time ago. This cycle has got to end.

It's time to find a new job. One job. One that I enjoy, and one where I only work 8 hours a day and then come home. I need to catch up with my family. I need to take time out and do something fun. I need to get a hold of my life.

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