Wednesday, June 25 – Friday, June 27

Still recovering

It was on Wednesday that the effects of Tuesday’s 15-hour workday really hit me.  In many respects this is to be expected, as the adrenaline – or, more likely, sheer force of will – that had carried me through Tuesday had pretty much worn off by then.  Another factor, which in retrospect might have been even more important, is that Wednesday in and of itself was a tough day.  I spent just under seven hours at my regular job, and though the worksite was fairly close-by it was a more difficult day than usual.  No actual crises, just a series of low-level issues that demanded my attention almost nonstop. And then, no rest for the weary, it was back to the Major Home Improvement Retailer for yet another shift.  To be sure, it was from 8 to midnight, not another 3:30 to midnight marathon, but it still made for an 11-hour workday.

Thursday was my birthday, and thankfully I had to work only at my regular job.  It was at the most distant worksite, about a 30-minute drive to the east on the Sunrise Highway, but as is typical for that site the work went okay.  Later on, we had excellent chicken parmigiana, and went out for Italian ice.  By 9pm I was pretty well exhausted, no doubt from having worked 26 hours in the prior two days … or maybe I was just getting old 🙂

Friday was a day completely off from both jobs.  Thank God.  I really, really needed a break.  While I really should have gone to the gym, or maybe yoga, I was just too beat.  At least the day wasn’t a complete waste in physical terms, as I hiked for about an hour at Sans Souci park.  It would have been nice if there had been some hills, but it still was decent.  And I probably wasn’t yet in any frame of mind for rugged exercise.


Published in: on June 30, 2014 at 3:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, June 23 – Tuesday, June 24

Yes, I made it. Somehow.

Call Monday the proverbial calm before the storm. Or, more specifically, the easy day before the brutal day.  In a last-minute change, I got sent to a different workplace for my regular job, fortunately it was both closer and more organized than the one on the original schedule.  I was there for the full shift, no finishing up early, but that’s mainly because it was the first day of a new 2-week cycle and that’s always a bit complicated.  Learning curves, and all.

In the early evening, I went to the gym to do some bench pressing.  Naturally enough, both flat benches were taken, both by groups so it would be awkward at best to try to work in. Rather than wait, I decided to give the decline bench a try.  It’s been longer than I can remember since I last tried declines, so I started light and worked my way up: 6 x 135, 6 x 165, 6 x 185, 6 x 205, 3 x 4 x 225. Keep in mind that doing a particular weight on the decline bench is somewhat easier than on the flat bench. By the time I finished my last set at 225 a flat bench had opened up, so I went over to it for some cooldown work: 6 x 185, 10 x 135.  All I can say is that the first rep at 185 was really awkward after having used the decline bench!

Tuesday.  The day I’d been dreading for two weeks, since the Major Home Improvement Retailer’s schedule came out.  I was working  my regular job during the day, of course, but then was scheduled to work 3:30 to midnight at the MHIR, for a total workday of almost 16 hours. I had been quite surprised when I had seen this on my schedule, as I have indicated on the MHIR availability page that I’m not available before 5:30 on Monday through Thursday.  As complaining would have been in bad form, I figured the only alternative was just to deal with it.

My regular job went by fairly well, and it was in a close-by location, so I had about an hour’s break between jobs. This good note continued when I first arrived at the MHIR, as I did about an hour’s computer training and it looked as if the rest of the shift wouldn’t be bad.  If only.  Around 5pm word came out that a Big Boss would be making an inspection tour the next day, with particular attention to the garden department.  This of course necessitated all sorts of cleanup activities, and to make matters worse there weren’t many people scheduled and it was too late to call in any more.

My role in all this?  I was assigned to use a pallet jack to pull all of the fertilizer pallets out of their shelving bays, and then to clean the bays of any spills or other debris.  It was dirty, hot, and backbreaking work, and would have been a challenge even if I hadn’t already worked a full day at another job. Somehow, some way, I was able to summon enough energy  – from reserves I didn’t know I had – to stumble through the shift.  I must say that the bays actually looked quite clean!


Published in: on June 27, 2014 at 1:09 am  Comments (2)  

Friday, June 20 – Sunday, June 22

Friday marked a one-day return to something that used to be a regular part of my life but has been sporadic at best for the past several years.  That’s right, I rode the Long Island Rail Road.  With my car in for service, and therefore time on my hands, I got a ride to Ronkonkoma and took the 10:11 to Penn Station.  As a non-rush-hour train it was not particularly crowded, with no one occupying the seat next to me, but because of groups traveling together it was noisier than rush hour trains with their mostly solo riders.  It got to Penn right on schedule about 11:30, though the ride seemed longer what with all the stops along the way.

I spent the next few hours walking around the Midtown South area, a pleasant outing thanks to the very nice weather.  What wasn’t so nice was the clot of shills for various sightseeing bus lines at many corners.  At some corners near Penn there were over five of them!  Even so, it was a nice way to spend some time. I took the 3:15 to Ronkonkoma, which is actually the second train to that destination in just eight minutes.  As far as I know the 3:07 and the 3:15 serve different connections at Jamaica, hence the close scheduling.  What it means is that while the 3:07 can be crowded, the 3:15 is usually pretty empty, or at least that was my recollection from years ago.  I was right. Later in the evening I worked 8 to midnight at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, a pretty easy shift as those things go.

Saturday was a day off. I did some errands, went to the gym for 30 minutes on the high-tech elliptical, but mostly did nothing.  Sunday I was back at the MHIR for a somewhat unusual 11 to 5:45 shift.  It was busy, with a more or less steady flow of customers, and that seemed to make the shift go by quickly.



Published in: on June 27, 2014 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, June 18 – Thursday, June 19

Hot, but I made it through

I’d have to say that these were two of my easier days at work.  I wasn’t scheduled at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, and both days at my regular job went very smoothly.  Wednesday was at a conveniently close location off of Sunrise Highway, and while Thursday’s was more distant, about 20 miles to the east, the lack of significant traffic and the fact that it was the last day of the workweek made the drive easily tolerable. As these days were at the end of my two-week work cycle, the tasks I had to accomplish were pretty much second nature.

After work on Wednesday I had to decide between the gym and yoga, and the gym won out.  Having done weights on Monday I decided to try the high-tech elliptical.  In a change from the usual, I went for a measured distance (three miles) rather than a set time.  It took me just under a half hour to complete the three miles.  On Thursday it was off to hot yoga at 8pm, just like the prior week.  The studio seemed even more oppressively hot than usual, which at first I attributed to the fact that it was quite hot outside and that just made the room seem especially hot.  In fact, as I found out after the session, the temperature actually was set hotter than usual, 105 degrees as opposed to the more customary 101 or 102.  At those extremes you really feel every additional degree.  Even so, I made it through the session without having to rest.

Published in: on June 22, 2014 at 3:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, June 16 – Tuesday, June 17

A “weighty” return

Two very ordinary, uneventful days at my main job.  There were a few complications on Tuesday, but nothing too much out of the ordinary and I still managed to leave at my usual time.  Monday there wasn’t even that minor bit of drama.  Actually, the most noteworthy thing about both days was that the worksites had very poor cell reception, which meant that my phone – fully charged when I arrived – was dead, or nearly so, eight hours later.  This was not attributable to heavy use, in fact because I was working I barely used the phone at all.  As I understand it, when a cell phone is in an area with a very weak signal it automatically searches for service, which drains the charge at a rapid pace.  What I’d really like to know is why Verizon Wireless has such spotty service in a densely populated suburban area.  If I were out in a very rural location it would be one thing, but I’m not.

I went to the gym on Monday evening, and after a couple weeks of using just the elliptical I decided to tiptoe (so to speak) back into weights.  What my idea is to alternate sessions between weights and the elliptical.  Monday was a back and biceps session, with relatively light weights.  T bar rows: 3 x 8 x 115.  Standing calf machine shrugs: 3 x 10 x 330.  Hoist moveable-seat row machine: 2 x 8 at resistance level 16 of 18.  Hoist moveable-seat biceps machine: 3 x 8 at level 11 of 18.

Tuesday night it was back to the Major Home Improvement Retailer, and like on Sunday I arrived an hour early for by 8 to midnight shift to complete some computer training.  I ran into a snag with one of the training sessions, and am literally one question away from completing a six-hour training module.  I’m not sure what the snag is all about, I might be reading the question wrong but I don’t think so.  If I can’t work this out next time I’ll have to speak with a manager.  The rest of the shift went by quickly, so I’m grateful for that.

Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 2:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, June 14 – Sunday, June 15

Not as busy a weekend in work terms as most of them.  I only worked four hours at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, on the 8 to midnight shift Sunday.  Actually it should be 7 to midnight, as I came in an hour early to do some computer training.  I’m coming up to some deadlines for completing the training, and in most areas including mine it can be done only on one of the computers at the MHIR.  It’s not always easy to find time, but at least I get paid for it.

Other than that, I didn’t do much over the weekend.  The usual errands on Saturday, with an early evening trip to the gym and 40 minutes on the high-tech elliptical.  On Sunday, I walked for a while at Sans Souci county park in Sayville, and then we had pizza for Father’s Day.  Maybe a bit unconventional, but enjoyable.

Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 2:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, June 11 – Friday, June 13

An uneventful Friday the 13th

Wednesday and Thursday were two fairly quiet days at my main job.  Both were spent at the same worksite, which is a conveniently close distance away.  It is, however, in a very downscale area, and various and sundry characters were wandering around the parking area as always.  Some look just a bit down on their luck, while others are, well, different.  Not that I really cared, what mattered to me is that both days were easy.

Wednesday is usually my hot yoga day, but due to some schedule issues I ended up going to the gym instead.  Once again I used the high-tech elliptical, this time for a solid 45 minutes though at a slightly lower resistance than last time.  On Thursday I went to yoga, to an 8 pm session for the first time ever. It went well.  My balance was decent, my flexibility reasonably good, and I made it through the entire session without having to rest.

Friday was Friday the 13th, but it was a decent enough day.  I didn’t do all that much during the day, and went in to the Major Home Improvement Retailer at 7 pm.  Although my shift started at 8, running to midnight as usual, I had gotten permission to clock in an hour early to complete some online training.  It has to be done at a computer at the MHIR, not from one’s home computer.  I went through training on pesticides and herbicides, and started on outdoor power equipment but couldn’t complete it by 8.

Published in: on June 16, 2014 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, June 9 – Tuesday, June 10

I’ll pass on the oysters, thank you

Monday marked yet another week of a different worksite rotation on my main job.  I’ll be on this rotation at least until the Fourth of July and, possibly, on a permanent basis.  It really doesn’t matter to me, as the work (and the pay) are the same.  Both rotations have some good worksites and some not so good ones.  Monday was one of the not so good ones, it always seems to feature various obstacles to my work, but at least it was close-by and I finished up on time.  Guess that doesn’t give me any real reason to complain, does it?

On Monday evening I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the high-tech elliptical.  We then went out to one of those all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets (yeah, I know, it completely negated my efforts on the elliptical).  AYCE buffets often have a less-than-favorable reputation, but the food at this one is always quite good.  Not that I would tempt fate too much, mind you; raw oysters were among the offerings, but I decided discretion is the better part of valor and stayed away from them.

Tuesday was off to a smaller worksite, the smallest on my rotation, though it was a more difficult day than I would have expected as “smaller” is not synonymous with “well organized.” Later on it was back to the MHIR for the 8 to midnight shift.  I spent much of the time watering the plants in the outdoor display areas.  This may sound like an easy task, but it’s not.  There are a lot of plants, and getting them all involves setting up a network of connected hoses.  These were the industrial-grade garden hoses which (supposedly) are kink-free. Yeah, right.  On a better note, the MHIR provided ice cream and topping during the break.


Published in: on June 12, 2014 at 1:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, June 7 – Sunday, June 8

Saturday was an unusual day for me as I worked from 9 to 5:30 at the Major Home Improvement Retailer.  In the six months I’ve worked there it was the first time I’ve ever started in the morning, as far as I can tell.  Working these hours was interesting because it gave me a chance to see a different aspect of weekend traffic patters in the garden department.  The first hour or two weren’t particularly busy, but then there was a nonstop influx of customers that didn’t begin to let up until around 3, which is normally about when I start. It made for some very hectic times, hustling back and forth with multiple people seeking my attention.  If you’d asked me in advance I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be able to cope with such an influx with any degree of competency, but somehow I managed.

Saturday evening we went to the monthly poetry reading at Roast coffeehouse in downtown Patchogue and then had a late dinner nearby.  Just a few years ago downtown Patchogue was pretty much a dump, but now it’s definitely a hopping place in the evening.  There are several big municipal parking lots just off the main street, that used to be mostly empty, now it’s hard to find a spot on the weekend.

Sunday was much more conventional.  After doing not much of anything in the early part of the day, I went to the MHIR at 3:30 and worked until midnight.  The first four hours, when the store was open for business, consisted mainly of conventional customer-service work.  It was fairly busy but nothing at all like early Saturday afternoon.  For the last four hours of my shift I worked on packing out deliveries that had come in over the past few days.  Mostly I concentrated on the cleaning-products aisle. Physically packout duty can be rather tough, when it involved humping products up ladders in the overhead storage area, but I’m usually able to get into a rhythm that makes the time pass fairly quickly.  Tonight, fortunately, was no exception.

Published in: on June 12, 2014 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, June 4 – Friday, June 6

Yoga went well

Wednesday and Thursday were two uneventful days at work.  By which I mean my main job, as my next scheduled day at the Major Home Improvement Retailer isn’t until Saturday.  I spent both days at the same worksite, it being considered large enough to require two days’ attention rather than the usual one day.  Maybe that’s true some times, I don’t know for sure as I’m still on a different rotation than my usual one, but it certainly wasn’t true now.  On Wednesday I pretty much completed everything I had to do, working at a normal pace, so on Thursday I had to find other, generally nonessential tasks to fill my time.  Now, it might seem than an obvious solution would have been to work at a slower pace on Wednesday so as to leave more things for Thursday, but that’s not something I really can do, not easily.  It’s quite hard not to work at my usual steady pace.

Wednesday evening it was off to hot yoga.  The regular instructor wasn’t there, although the substitute is pretty good herself.  Each one has a different way of leading the session, though neither one is better than the other. It was a crowded session, which made the room seem even hotter.  I made it through fine, though my balance left something to be desired.

Friday was a day off from work, time to catch up on various errands.  I went to the gym in the late afternoon and used the high-tech elliptical once again.  I spent 30 minutes on the contraption, and kept the resistance levels higher than before.  One more week of this and I plan to get back to weights.


Published in: on June 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment