And I was Having *Such* A Good Week

January 25, 2009 at 9:44 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | 1 Comment
In the Style of "Up The Down Stair Case," if you please. 
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 12:50 PM
From: Chris
To: "ALL"
Subject: Lunch Room Wall
Not sure what happened to the wall in the lunch room.  Accidents happen.  I think by 1 PM the next day is more than enough time for said party to step forward.  I’d rather hear from the party involved as opposed to hear say from anyone else.   
Senior Vice President-Lending
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 12:54 PM
From: Bryan
To: Chris 
Subject: RE: Lunch Room Wall
…yeah, that was me…
I was shaking something loose from the vending machine for someone else–they always come to me to shake the machine.  I was trying to get leverage.  No leverage there.
Shipping Department
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 12:55 PM
From: Heather 
To: Bryan 
Subject: FW: Lunch Room Wall

You gonna tell him????
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 12:58 PM
From: Bryan
To: Heather
Subject: RE: Lunch Room Wall
I’m gonna pack a bag and skip town instead.
he wasnt in his office, so I emailed him.  I didnt mention your name.  my silence is worth a dollar.
Shipping Department
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 1:01 PM
From: Heather  
To: Bryan
Subject: FW: Lunch Room Wall

The next time I have a dollar, I’ll give you one.  Isn’t it funny how you can work at a bank, and never have cash???
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 12:50 PM
From: Chris
To: Bryan
Subject: Lunch Room Wall
I appreciate you stepping forward.  I wish that you would have come to me initially.
  So I went in and talked to him, and apologized in person.  I was just earlier–yesterday, when it happened–the Golden Boy.  I took on a new project, handled alot details, got the ball rolling, made things look good–
  And then this.  I remember one time I did get fired for damaging something, a forklift–many, many years ago.  I was a tad skittish, obviously.  Just my luck, just after being re-instated on full-time, to be fired for cracking the drywall doing something for someone else.  Irony is a dish best serve with salsa.
  But I know him, from back in the day at Domino’s.  He accepted my apology and explanation, and explained why he would need to know right away–if word got back across the street to the wrong person before he could explain that he knew about it–it would look bad on him. 
  We all have to answer to someone, I guess.  I said, "I’m going to try hard not to break anything else."
  The wall had less of a crack in it than a full-fledged breach, the shape of my body.  It looked like the Coyote hit the wall and left a Coyote-shaped dent.  But all is forgiven, and I get to keep my job.
  For now.


Is That North Of Miami?

January 21, 2009 at 1:39 AM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
  In Florida, Alligators are a protected species, but if you hit one with your car you can eat it.

  So…we went to Floridia.
  I’ve never been before, you know.  I have traveled, and I’ve been as far as North Georgia.  So, I was a little excited.  But, I’ve also read alot of Carl Hiassen and Tim Dorsey (I highly recommend Tim Dorsey–start at the beginning, read them in order.  Start with "Florida Roadkill."), so I was a little apprehensive about it.  From what I have read, Florida is filled with drug dealers, killers, briefcases full of cash, a variety of swindlers, and the Elderly.
  I only witnessed the latter.
  Being a fan of both Miami Vice and Burn Notice, I expected to see throngs of bikini-clad hot young chicks.  Nada.  Hell, I didn’t even see Bruce Campbell.  Popular media and fiction is just a big lie.  I bet Maine doesn’t have all the supernatural stuff going on that Stephen King writes about, either.
  It was 5 degrees in STL when we left, and we brought a bit of the cold with us.  Traveling through Kentucky and Tennessee it was still in the teens and twenties.  Going through most of Georgia it was in the thirties.  We rolled in to Mid-Floridia about 10 pm, and it was 50 degrees.  For the typical Florilander, that’s some cold shit.
  It was funny to see all the old people up early in the morning, on their bikes or golf carts or scooters or other bizarre Dr Seuss-like contraptions going about their business bundled up like it was Michigan.  It remained in the fifties for the most part during the day, so other than a few palm trees I had no real proof I was in Floridia.  It did warm up enough that on Saturday we drove to the Gulf coast to see the water.  I walked in the water bare-footed (cold) and we watched the sea gulls and Pteradactyls (they looked like them, whatever they were).  I picked up some sea shells.  She sells sea shells.  By the sea shore.  Because she’s a whore.
  Detroit’s mom lives in a little trailer/mobile home thing in a retirement community.  You must be 55 or older to ride this ride.  Hers is kind of older and dumpy–it needs work.  Almost all of them have a screened-in attached porch, or "Florida Room."  (I wonder, if we added one to our house, would it be a "Missoura Room"?)
  Her family arrived in a trickle, so I was able to meet them and process them and remember them much better.  We first got there it was her mom, Bonnie.  I like Detroit’s mom; she’s nice.  I see where Detroit gets alot of her attitude.  Spunk.
  Her mom’s brother Don and his girlfriend Ginny stopped by, but I didn’t meet them until later.  Detroit and I stayed spent the night at Sherri’s.  She is the widow of Bonnie’s brother Tom, who passed away right before Thanksgiving.  Sherri is nice.  Her trailer is real nice–so nice that when we arrived at night I had no idea it was a trailer.  It was very new and very clean–I get the impression that Sherri has to keep moving and keep busy, otherwise she will think too much.  She stays up late until she is too tired, then goes to sleep at one or two AM.  Then she wakes up early, like 7 AM.
  She was very helpful to Bonnie, but she never came over when there was alot of people there.  She seems to be reclusive that way, or she would just rather deal with people one or two at a time.  It occurs to me that I’m like that too–I just can’t enforce it.  Occasionally I get stuck dealing with a large group of people…like driving in a van with four other people to Floridia, for example.
  Friday night eventually Detroit’s Aunt Audrey showed up, driven by her son Rich and bringing with them Detroit’s brother Chuck.  Aunt Audrey was a hoot, and immediately she and Alex started to give each other crap.
  Rich was a good guy, too.  Funny.  At first I thought he was a little over-bearing–and then I thought I might come off that way sometimes also.  And then of course Chuck.  Chuck’s favorite pastime is to continually tease Brandon and Margret.  Eventually Margaret has a blow up, because she has a short fuse and Chuck knows which buttons to push.  I like Chuck, but he has some damn quirky ways about him.  I’d like to pull him aside, sit him down, and teach him how a man shakes hands.  Plus, like most people, he has the wrong opinion about politics and how the world works.
  The difference is, he shares them with everyone.
  Alex and I got to spend some time together, and talk about stuff.  We took a few rides in the club car together around the complex.  Sometimes that was the only time you could get a break from the crowd–I understood Sherri’s feelings.  Saturday we went to the Gulf, and when we came back, Detroit’s Aunt Sharon and Uncle Larry had arrived.
  We had met Sharon (and Aunt Darlene, all Bonnie’s sisters) in Bay City back in 07 when we brought Margaret down.  These three women, all sitting and talking, I could see the history of Detroit’s family.  They talked about their mother–Detroit’s grandma–and how she was a master bullshitter.  Things were becoming more clear to me now.
  Although–and no one knows except Detroit–I got one over on Aunt Audrey pretty bad.  We discussed the drive, and driving.  One of my standard lines:  "Well, I am a professional driver–"
  Aunt Audrey said, "Oh, really?  What have you done?"
  With a straight face I replied, "I drove steam-roller for construction building roads, and a dump truck cross-country delivering custom rock, and I was a courier for a company that delivered organs for transplant.  I still have the little cooler."
  She said, "Oh, that’s neat."  I nodded, then had to turn away to make her turn away.
  Master bullshitter, indeed.
  Uncle Larry, an apparent veteran of these gab-fests, sat quietly in the corner, nodded and smiled, and said very little, but paid attention–surely anything said in your presence can and will be held against you later.
  I like Detroit’s family–except her sister, whom I tolerate–and I can tell they like me.  They readily accept me, much as my family did her.  It’s times like these that the differences between this and my previous life are more obvious.  The Storm’s family, to be blunt, are a bunch of stuck-up, snooty, holier-than-thou assholes.
  And no fucking sense of humor, either.  You know, it may not be a coincidence that at many family gatherings in the past, I would sit on the couch, throw my head back, and sleep until my snoring woke me up. 
  I had a sense of sadness for Detroit–not having the group of sisters that can sit and gab and be this close like her mom and aunts are.  It seems like something she needs.

  While we were there, Detroit proposed the idea–and I agreed–of her mom coming to live with us.  Her husband, Don, had taken care of her so much that she seemed helpless now.  I’m sure she could learn to cope and gain independence, so she would be okay except for one thing:  her health.  She has diabetes, they both have a history of frequent hospital visits, and she has fallen a few times and has a problem getting up.  That’s worrisome. 
  Right now, in the winter, the park is full of Snowbirds–old people from up north who come to Florida for the winter.  But come spring, this whole end of the park where she lives is going to be deserted.
  I immediately said of course she can come and stay with us.  However, I did hold some reservations, but they were all about Detroit.  She was going to have to give up her den–but she had thought of that already, putting it in the basement.  A minor inconvenience, but ultimately it may work out better.  The other thing–
  Well, you KNOW how well Detroit gets along with other women.  My sister.  Her sister.  She’s made it clear that if I ever have more than one wife, she’s going to be difficult about it.  She is just completely unreasonable…
  She said this would be different, this is her mom.  Ok*-ay-*
  I joked, asking–is Chuck going to move in with us too?  We have everyone else in her family here.  But really, it would be good for Bonnie as well as good for Detroit and her kids, who are Bonnie’s only grandkids.  I know that people up and move away all the time, but honestly, I’d rather be near family.  That’s why I didn’t hesitate for Detroit’s mom to live with us.  Family.  And that’s the only reason I wouldn’t want to move to Floridia, or Georgia, or Alabamia.
  Besides, Alabamia has no paved roads.  All dirt.  Honest.  Oh, and the interstate?  Gravel.

Once There Was A Way To Get Back Home

January 19, 2009 at 6:53 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
  The song is just in my head, you know? 
"Boy, you’re going to carry that weight,
Carry that weight, A long time…"
   I just checked Detroit’s blog, and she did have time before we left to briefly post what had happened:  Her father passed away.  Here I am, several days later, back to report what happened.  Detroit is still in Florida.
  After the week I had at work–brother.  Wednesday when she called me, early, to say that her father was very ill and we needed to find a way down there, I was already home, because there was a problem with the computers at work.  The situation sounded dire (Detroit’s, not the one at work) and I could tell by her voice that it was time now for me to pull a miracle out of my ass.  A miracle?  Well, yes.  We have no money, we are behind on bills and so forth, and still trying to get the situation straightened out from the move.  How are we going to go to Florida?  And certainly her sons are going to want to go, and her freakin sister was here (in town, not with us) also.
  I felt a real responsibility to make this happen no matter what.  I checked with my laughable credit card first.  Although in theory I should have some credit available on it, because I had been delinquent OVER A YEAR AGO they would not release any funds, saying their rules require that I pay off the entire balance first.  Well, I have some fucking news for them:  Once I have it paid off, I’m going to another company for a credit card if I decide to get one.  And that is one big mother fucking IF.
  I considered a title loan on the truck, since it was paid.  I drove down to the local title loan place and got some information.
  And walked out of there laughing.  Laughing and thinking "You have GOT to be fucking kidding."  Why would anyone sane submit to those terms?  The lady most definitely would not out-and-out tell me the APR, but she did tell me the figures.  If I borrowed, say, 1500 dollars, it would be paid back over 24 months at 209 per month.  How much is that, kiddies?  Five grand, that’s how much.  Thirty-five hundred in interest charges.  For two years.  At least when you sell your soul to Satan, he’s a little more up front about it.  I may have his number on speed dial.
  Meanwhile I had put in some calls, among them a call to Bunny.  She is my best friend, my source of knowledge, my go-to.  If there was a way, she would have an idea.  I had in mind possibly getting a bump up in my home equity loan.  All I was needing, really, was about a grand–in the big scheme of things, that is not that much.  I explained what I had done already, told her my idea, and asked her if she had any others that I hadn’t thought of.
  To simplify things, she would just loan me the money personally, from her home equity loan.  She had it available.  In fact, she was able to deposit the money in my account for me, right there from work (it helps that we both work in a bank and we both bank there).  She was going to charge me only what the loan itself charged–call it about five bucks per month.  However, she wants it paid back in four months.
  Bunny is looking out for me.  The gist if it is, she feels that all the freeloaders I am feeding need to chip in and help pay for this.  Detroit isn’t a freeloader, but in her view, everyone else is.  Of course Brandon is, but also Alex, if he isn’t contributing to the household.  She runs her house by different rules, but I feel that if he’s young and hasn’t technically left home yet, I can’t charge rent to him.  However…it did dawn on me that if Brandon was giving me a little each month and Alex gave a little each month, maybe I wouldn’t have to work three jobs.
  Alex said–and I agree–that he shouldn’t have to pay anything until the Freeloader does.  That’s fair.  And I don’t need alot from them.  But a little each month to help fill the hole in the groceries would keep me from looking for places to dump the bodies.

  The situation with how many people we have made the decision for our mode of travel.  If it was just two people-Detroit and I–it would be a toss up between driving and flying.  But four people (or five, because of Detroit’s sister) dumped the math in the equation to driving.  So, we rented a mini-van and drove down.  We got the van Wednesday evening, picked up Detroit’s sister and came home.  We packed, we rested–I slept–And drove out about 3 AM St Louis time Thursday morning.
  Mapquested, the directions said 1150 miles, but since we were going fast, it was only 1050.  No, seriously, we did cut a hundred miles off.  I drove the first six hours, then Detroit drove about four hours while I slept about two, then I drove the rest of the way.  We got in about 9 PM St Louis time.  Now we are back.  As I said, Detroit is going to stay with her mother about a week, so I drove home with all the miscreants.  What’s today?  Monday?  We left about 6 PM (St Louis time) on Sunday after I had a nap and then we ate dinner with everyone.  I was the driver.  I drove till 3 AM, which put us north of Atlanta, and I pulled into a rest area and slept for about an hour and twenty minutes.  Thusly refreshed, we continued.  Until maybe 8 AM, and I started to get tired, so I pulled over again, this time for about 40 minutes.  It was cold and snowing.  Everyone was bundled up, and the windows were closed–and I didn’t mind.  By that time we were pretty far into Tennessee.  From there I drove straight through.  I originally estimated getting home around 1 PM.  It was actually 2.  We dropped off The Sister at her group home, although if I had to take her any further I would have left her on the side of the fucking road like a goddamn dog.  Then me and the boys came home.  I slept for about 3 hours, and then we cleaned out the van.  We’ll be taking it back soon (the rental place is at the airport, so it’s open late), after rush hour traffic.
  And that–
  That was just the trip.

Lost And Found Update

January 13, 2009 at 9:47 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
  Since we moved right before Christmas, I haven’t been able to find my alarm clock.  I thought that was the only thing missing, the only casualty of war.
  As it turns out, however, the alarm clock was *NOT* the only thing missing. It was just the only thing I was looking for.  Of course we found the alarm clock (Detroit did, it was in the basement in her son’s room in stuff he had yet to unpack).  Now that the alarm clock has been found, I’ve been on another quest.  My laptop.
  I have a real computer–actually Detroit’s old one.  I got her a laptop for her birthday one year, which was just as much a gift for me as it was for her.  It useta be, in the olden days, one computer was enough for a whole family.  Hell, one computer used to be enough for a whole college campus.
  So I have her old desktop, to which I have added more RAM and a shiny DVD burner, plus some new speakers, a big-ass monitor and lots of cookies from porn sites.  But I have a laptop, also.  It’s a crappy little thing that I bought used from somebody I worked with at Scooter’s many a year ago.  The guy was a dick, and a Wiccan.  I don’t think being a Wiccan made him a dick, but the fact that he was a dick made him a dick about being a Wiccan, because he was a dick about everything.
  He shows me the laptop, let’s me turn it on, try it out, look through the settings to see the specs and so forth.  Then he says that it’s not actually THIS one, but another one, exactly like it.  I said okay.  He brings it in, and then I go through the process of discovery over the course of a few days while he quits and moves away.
  This laptop is the exact same make and model and everything, but there is a problem:  the socket to add RAM is not working.  It takes a while to figure it out as I try different RAM sticks.  Nothing.  So all the RAM it has is 32 MB.  For those of you not tech savvy, most computers nowadays have the equivalent of 1000 or 2000 MB.
  Your XP and vista and other Operating systems won’t run on 32 MB.  Hell, they won’t even install with this little RAM.  But I have Win 2000.  W2K will run on 32 megs of RAM.  It runs slowly–you can see the curtain come down on the screen as it pages through memory–but it runs.  So what can I do with it?  Not a whole helluva lot.  Not to mention that like most laptops of a certain age the battery went south long ago, so what good is it?
  I can do some word processing on it.
  Hey, idn’t dat what I be doin now?  Yes, yes it is.
  It occurred to me recently that with all of the down time I have at Domino’s (generally two or three hours out of an eight-hour shift), instead of reading a book like I have been doing, I should be writing books.  Hey, I have a laptop I could bring in, so let’s get this party started–
  Oh, shit.  Where’s the laptop?
  I’m sure it’ll turnip sooner or later.  In the meantime, I’m also looking for a few other things:  I found my drive but misplaced my creativity.  I broke my purpose but I ordered a new one off eBay; I hope I don’t get a defective one…My desire was in the bottom of the closet underneath a pile of dirty clothes, so I have it but it’s all wrinkled and smelly.  Isn’t that dry-clean only?

Deja Vu All Over Again. Again.

January 6, 2009 at 1:38 AM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  Look back at January of last year, and there, in print on this blog is where I reluctantly paddled up shit creek and into Domino’s Pizza yet again.  Now for something completely different.
  I’m not leaving Domino’s, at least not yet.  But I am going to do what I did last year, temporarily–I’m picking up another second job, for a total of three.
  Logically, one might question the necessity.  This option is not really a necessity, it’s just the way I’ve approached the problem.  I *could* have just picked up more hours at Domino’s–but I can barely stand to work there as much as I do now.  Also, it’s a matter of money:  they are paying me a pittance.
  They are paying me to show up, and nothing else.  Barely that, in fact.  Any work I do is extra.  So picking up more hours from them I liken to sticking the index finger of my left hand into the planer to shave it off bit by bit for the purpose of making it even with the index finger of my right hand that I cut off with the table saw.  I’d be moving backwards, not progressing.  And it would be painful and very, very stupid.
  What the hell can I do?
  Saturday my friend Bunny and her husband, the Big Lebowski, stopped by with my Christmas present.  The Big L and I talked a bit, and he mentioned his part time job.  Ever since he closed the restaurant, he had been looking for work.  After a fashion, he did find something. He does have a day job now, with good potential, but before he nailed that down, he got another job, which is his part time gig:
  Pizza delivery.
  Wait, Bryan, didn’t you do that already?  And with the car you drive, you didn’t want to do it?  And if you did, couldn’t you just do it where you are currently?
  Well, Denise Richards, it’s complicated.
  If I go back to just delivering here, I can’t get as many hours as I want, or the specific hours I want.  Plus, to make any money, I have to work till close, which I already do.  Why bother?
  I’m tied into running shifts.  They aren’t going to want to let me go to delivery that easily.  Once they suck you in, they don’t want to let you go.
  The big thing is the money and the hours.
  The place The Big L works is a local company, but big.  They are responsible for the "St Louis Style" pizza being a thin crust.  Kind of a laid back place–I seem to find those places rather handily, don’t you think?
  They don’t pay the drivers by the hour.  They get a bank of twenty bucks, which they get to keep, and they get the delivery charge (2.50, I think) and they get tips.  Even in the semi-crappy area that The Big L works in, he manages to knock down some decent cash.
  Not being paid by the hour means that you don’t have to do anything in the store.  NOTHING.  I can hang with that.
  They also close earlier, too.  There’s a big difference between 11pm and midnight, especially when the difference between getting home is 11:20 and 1 AM.
  As for the car, I realized driving home one night that, while it is a Mercedes, it is ten years old.  I looked around the dirty and trashed interior, and the indicator that shows how far past due I am on an oil change.  Trust me, you don’t want to know.  Me driving a luxury car is like John Holmes with a virgin:
  It’s painful and harsh, and there’s no way to recover from it.
  So why not deliver in it?  It gets good mileage, and I’d rather do that than anything else, really.
  But wait, Bryan–this does sound good.  Why not just go there, and quit Domino’s?
  That–is an excellent question.  There are a couple o’ reasons:
  Firstly, and most logically, I want to try it out before I full commit.  I want to make sure I can make some decent money there.
  Also, they may not be able to give me the hours I need just yet.  I want to stick my toes in the pizza before I dive into the sauce, if you know what I mean.
  I have been at Domino’s (this time around) for what will be one year on January 16th.  That means that I can count this income on a loan app for this complicated refinance deal I’m working on.  I could squeak by on my first job income, but it’s nice to have some back-up power.  Makes it look better.
  And finally–sadly, pathetically–I have a loyalty, a kinship.  Not with the big Domino’s mega-complex, but with the people I work.  They are going to need to replace me, and it won’t be easy.  The manager works days, and closes on the weekends.  She has her kids during the week, so she rolls out early during the week.  Me and Stan close during the week, and while Stan is a nice guy, he puts the funk in dysfunctional.  The guys would rather close with me because I’m not a basket case that you have to tiptoe around.  If I am, they haven’t told me.  I wonder…?
  But while the money is shitty, I like the people.  I’m going to have quit it eventually, and when the final papers are signed on the final loan, that’s when my days at Domino’s will be numbered.  I want to give them plenty of time to find someone.  I worry about them.
  Or, what if I don’t like the other gig?  I’m not telling anyone, in case it doesn’t work out.

Last Stand

January 1, 2009 at 2:14 AM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
   Well, crap, I didn’t get this posted in time to be on New Years’ Eve, so it’s oddly the first post of the new year.  Rife with irony.

  It’s New Year’s Eve, and I have to work all day–both jobs.  So, let’s bitch about work, okay?
  Here at the bank, I took a gamble and went down to part-time so I could take time off to finish the move and what-have-you.  And indeed it was a gamble, because when I was done I emailed my boss to say, "Okay, let me back on full-time now"

  –And the whole reason I had to do it that way–I tried several ways to negotiate around the corporate rule structure–was that I was out of PTO (paid time off).  Yes, in addition to a bucket-full of bank holidays, another perk to working here is 11.25 hours of PTO I accrue each month.  Per year, that’s over 17 additional days of time off I can take for vacation, or sick days, or pretty much whatever the hell I want.  Poor planning and lack of foresight caused me to use ALL of my accrued PTO.  Where it all went I have no idea.  I know I took an actual vacation (five days’ worth) back in June when we went to Michigan for Al’s graduation.  Other than that…Shit, I need to save some in case I need time off while I sit in jail waiting for someone to come up with bail money.
  Since I had no time off I could take, I was theoretically stuck working 40 hours.  I *HAD* to work the 40.  The only way to get out of it, I was told, was to be part time.  That also cuts my benefits.  I get about 5 hours per month PTO, and only half a day paid for holidays like the all-important MLK day–
  and she said that *her* boss said we have to wait until March to "re-evaluate" the situation.  So I’m fucked, and I’m stuck on part-time.  I need to work as close as I can to 40, so let’s try for 39 hours.
  My friend Kim who works here says when things get slow, the part timers are the first to be laid off.  She also said there could have been another way for me to do this.  I wish I had known all this shit sooner.
  Should I worry about being laid off?  Well, I do work in the mortgage division of a bank.  We are told reassuring things every other day.  On the days between, a desk is left inexplicably empty.  Actually not–we are in pretty fair shape.  First of all, we’re a small bank, not one of the big ones that are dropping like flies.  Second, we are the best in the mortgage arena in the St Louis area.  Not kidding.  Our numbers put us at the top.  That’s funny considering we don’t advertise–or not much–while on TV and radio we are bombarded with commercials from these various little "mortgage experts."  Puh-leaze.
  Towards the end of November, in hopes of stirring the stagnation a bit, the Fed dropped interest rates again.  This fueled a refi frenzy that started slowly and has begun to build.  Now we are really cooking, because people want to refi.  So I have that going for me, which is nice.
  You know, I thought I was making good money here, and I guess I am, for what I do.  I mean, I know that my job isn’t worth that much, and I’m paid several dollars an hour more than it is worth.
  Unlike my job at Domino’s.  I like Domino’s, I do.  But I had been increasingly unsatisfied with…everything.  And the hourly rate is just insulting.  I got a call Monday from our supervisor, Tom.
  And Tom may be a nice guy.  All indicators seem to point to that.  Nonetheless, as supervisor he is in the nominal position generically described as "the enemy."  One of the reasons I decided to take this job as a part time assistant is that it was understood that I would not have to see him.  Seeing a person is the supervisory capacity is off-putting and unnecessarily stressful.  I just don’t need that.
  Luckily, as a supervisor, Tom works only days.  By five pm, he is done and gone for the day.  You would think.  Since I started last January, I had seen Tom a total of two times by October.  I saw him twice in November and was ready to quit over it.  I don’t need a boss harshing my mellow, man.
  I had also talked to him once or twice on the phone, each time a disaster.  So Monday he calls, and explains a fairly inside thing to me, but it’s important to the story that I’m going to get around to telling, or perhaps it is the story I’m going to get around to telling.
  He explains that as of Monday, minimum wage went up.  In fact, it may go up on the 1st, but for payroll purposes, start it when the new payroll period starts–makes sense.  Currently drivers make 5.65 per hour, and minimum is 6.55.  Therefore they have to declare at least a dollar per hour in tips.  Minimum went up to 7.05, so now they have to claim 1.40 per hour in tips.  Of course this is cheating.  In several ways.  The best for the company, of course, is, they don’t have to pay that.  All they have to do is match the FICA and SUTA and so forth.
  Well, were is *MY* raise?  I mean, Minimum is 7.05, and I’m making a little over a dollar more than that.  You mean to tell me that my 20 years’ worth of experience in this business is with 1.45 over minimum wage?  If that indeed is their philosophy, they should never doubt or be surprised by the fact that, FUCK NO, I am not giving 100%. 
  And they for damned sure better not be surprised when I get myself a new job doing less that pays more.  I could be a line cook for 10 an hour, for chrissake.  I may be repeating myself, but what I want is a job where I can work ONE job, and make–
  Well, that doesn’t even matter.  Here is what I want.  After I refi the house, I’m going to begin looking.  Yeah, I know the market is tough.  But I’m gonna look.
  This is what I want:
  Currently I work about 70 hours per week.  I sure would love to work less than that.  Sixty, or even fifty-five.  I’ll take that in one job or two.
  I’d like to make slightly more money than I make right now.  An extra two hundred per month.  That’s an extra fifty per week.  I know what my nut is. 
  For working the shorter hours, I’d like to be able to not work as long into the evening.  Hell, getting out at 11 pm is a big difference compared to midnight or later.
  A little bit of job security would be nice.  Knowing my job is going to be there, knowing I won’t be let go or laid off at the drop of a hat…That would be nice.  I’ll settle for not having to constantly live in fear.
  Along with that, I guess as part of a New Year’s Resolution, I’m going to try to budget a little better.  Maybe I don’t need more.  Maybe I need to spend less.  I could grow a garden, plant some vegetables, get a cow, a goat and a pig in the back yard, and some chickens…And a hydroponics setup and grow a few pot plants.  Not to smoke. 
  It’s a cash crop.

  Did you know that if you replace the word "mandatory" with the word "bullshit" in any corporate memo, it makes more sense?  Try it sometime.

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