Monday, June 22 – Wednesday, June 24


A new work cycle at my main job began on Monday, and it isn’t an easy one. No, it’s not like the next one will be, but that’s not saying much. What complicated things a bit is that I had to start the cycle at one of my busier sites. Normally I start each cycle at the least busy of the work sites, as a way of easing into the process, but due to some operational issues that wasn’t possible this time. I suppose there’s something to be said for starting out with a challenge. I was able to finish by my usual quitting time each day, which means that I didn’t have to go through the trouble of getting last-minute overtime authorization. But no leaving early, not a chance.

That pulled muscle was quite painful on Monday, painful enough that I didn’t go to the gym or yoga even though I wasn’t scheduled at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. On Tuesday, I made a gym trip before going in for my 8 to midnight shift. Just machine based upper-body work, enough to keep me from regressing too much but that’s about it. The shift itself wasn’t bad, mostly freight packout in the inside garden shelves. That’s much easier than outside packout as the products are lighter. Still, between work and the earlier gym trip my side was quite painful on Wednesday, putting an end to this idea I had about going to yoga at 6:30. Dang.

Published in: on June 27, 2015 at 3:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, June 20 – Sunday, June 21

Saturday was a pretty tough day. I worked from 1 to 9:30 at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Not bad hours, no need to set an alarm, but the shift seemed to last absolutely forever. I’d attribute that mainly to the fact that it wasn’t too busy. The peak season is winding down in the garden department, but for some reason the staffing level was quite high. Oh, and I managed to pull a muscle in my side while bending to get a heavy bag of topsoil.

Sunday was a bit different as I was working only from 8 to midnight. During the day we made a Father’s Day excursion to Briermere Farms in Riverhead, which makes absolutely the best pies anywhere. I mean it, there is no comparison. In my shift that evening I was assigned to help pack out a huge freight shipment in the electrical department. It was a change of pace, and worked out really well with my achy pulled muscle because most of the products in that department are pretty light. Nothing like garden, where it seems like everything is heavy.

Published in: on June 27, 2015 at 3:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, June 18 – Friday, June 19

Oh, they’re not that heavy 

Thursday was the last day of a two-week cycle at my main job. Usually, last days are pretty easy and I can knock off for the day an hour early or even more. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and this was one of those days. I couldn’t seem to get things finished and ended up staying a little past normal quitting time. And even that took a lot of scrambling. I’m hoping this was not a preview of the next cycle, which is going to be a very tough one.

I decided to make a quick gym visit before my 8 to midnight shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Lingering pain in my left foot made my original plan of deadlifting a no-go. Instead I just did one-arm dumbbell rows, 5 × 8 × 80/80. As things turned out, I got more than enough of a deadlifting substitute during my shift. I spent most of the four hours disassembling outdoor plant stands. Each consisted of steel grating or boards laid atop a base of cement blocks. Lifting of the gratings or boards and putting them on pallets was easy enough. What was definitely not so easy was doing the same with the cement blocks. Each one weighs about 30 pounds, which isn’t bad, but I ended up lifting at least 150 of them off the ground (with bending, of course). It  ranked very, very low on my list of favorite tasks!

Friday was a much-welcomed day off. After doing some chores in the morning, I walked for about five miles on the Setauket – Port Jefferson trail. I’ve been on it before and have always liked it. About the only downside is that my foot, which had been fine in the morning, went through a slight relapse as a result of all that walking. It wasn’t too bad, but was enough to make me decide that going to the evening hot yoga session was a bad idea.

Published in: on June 23, 2015 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, June 15 – Wednesday, June 17

My aching feet!

Monday was a change of pace at my regular job. About 15 minutes after arriving at my scheduled work site I got a call from the district manager asking me to go to another site to deal with some issues that had arisen there. It was about 10 minutes away and had been part of my regular rotation until last year. I hadn’t liked that location much when I had been there on a regular basis but figured that it would be okay for one day. I was right. In fact the day went quite well, and I was able to handle the issue that had led to my rerouting.

On Monday evening I was scheduled for the 8 to midnight shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. It wasn’t a difficult shift, way easier than Sunday had been, however my feet began to hurt, especially my right foot. They’ve been bothering me off and on for a while but this was particularly bad. What I probably should do is get another pair of sneakers for use at my regular job. The existing ones have been getting quite worn. The work shoes I wear at the MHIR are in better shape, though switching between two types for the two jobs probably doesn’t help.

Tuesday it was back to my usually scheduled work site at my regular job. It was an uneventful day at work. Although I wasn’t scheduled at the MHIR, I had to deal with other matters in the late afternoon and I wasn’t able to go to the gym. Later on that evening we went to Chili’s, where we had surprisingly good tacos. Who would have thunk it?

Wednesday was a fairly straightforward day at my regular job andni actually got out a bit early. My feet were really throbbing, however. Nonetheless I decided to take advantage of the nearly six hours before my 8 to midnight MHIR shift, instead of doing basically nothing like on Monday, and went to the gym. What with my sore feet I wasn’t in the mood to do much, but did some fairly light machine work: flies, triceps extensions, cable pulldowns. At least it was something.

My fears about not having done enough at the gym evaporated in short order when I got to the MHIR. Along with another worker I was assigned to disassemble several temporary plant display tables. Each one consisted of metal gratings or boards laid over cement blocks. Removing the boards and gratings, and putting them on pallets, was easy enough. The cement blocks? Not easy. Each one had to be picked up off the ground and put on a pallet. I probably did about 100 to 125 of them, at about 30 pounds each. It was just as exhausting as you think it sounds. Who needs some old gym?


Published in: on June 20, 2015 at 2:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, June 11 – Sunday, June 14

Energy? What’s that?

Thursday was the last day of the workweek at my regular job, and while I was hoping for an easy day I didn’t get one. Running around, one snag after another, it wasn’t the way I had end the week, that’s for sure. I’m hoping that next week is easier. But probably not, what with the same work cycle and all.

Friday through Sunday had all sorts of potential. Why, I’d be only working two 8 to midnight shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer during that span, I’d have ample time for the gym and yoga and errands and you name it! It should go without saying that none of that came to pass. At least not much of it. For most of the time I was rather run down with a lot of aches apains. Sort of like I was on the verge of getting sick but never did.  Friday was the least bad of the three and I actually made it to the gym. I was going to do T-bar rows but instead went back to an old favorite, one-arm  dumbbell rows. I did 6 × 8 × 75/75, keeping it light because it’s been so long. I also did Hammer Strength shoulder presses, 4 × 8 × 100 / 100, and some shrugs on the standing calf machine, 4 × 8 × 360.

Saturday I was able to run some errands during the day, but Sunday I just moped around. Had to save my energy for work. As for work at the MHIR, Saturday’s shift was easy, mostly just inside freight packout. Sunday was completely different, more or less constant running around with a million (or so it seemed) things to do.

Published in: on June 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday, June 8 – Wednesday, June 10

Me and my big mouth 

I may have worked only 4-hour shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer on the weekend, but you’d never guess based on what I was like on Monday. It’s hard to remember another time when I was so completely exhausted. It was the start of a new 2-week cycle at my regular job, and while not among the worst it was definitely harder than the last one. How I made it through the day is a mystery, I suppose  that with three years on the job I’ve developed an ability to plod through regardless. I made a few mistakes here and there but nothing too bad. One downside of my exhaustion is that there was not a chance in a million of going to the gym or hot yoga in the evening.

Tuesday’s laziness was another story. While it was a tough day at the regular job it wasn’t terrible by any means, and because I wasn’t going into the MHIR until 8pm there was an ample window for the gym. But of course I didn’t go. Looking back after a couple of days it’s not possible to say why. I was no longer exhausted, and there was nothing else of import going on. Plain old laziness is probably the winner (loser?) by default. As for the MHIR shift, it was much easier than Sunday’s shift had been. The garden department was in good shape, and there were two other people working until midnight. I had some trouble setting up the hoses for the sprinklers in the temporary garden display set up in the parking lot, and once I got them going one sprang such a leak I had to replace it. Still, it made the time go by quickly.

Wednesday … oh yes, me and my big mouth. My energy level was pretty low during the day, though not as bad as on Monday, and I was thankful that I wasn’t on the schedule at the MHIR. A restful evening would do me a world of good. But wait! When I was working on Sunday evening the manager had asked me if I could work 6pm  to midnight on Wednesday. I had agreed, figuring the extra money would come in handy. By the time Wednesday actually rolled around,  however, I was regretting my decision. I wanted to make a quick gym trip and then make it an early evening. Not a chance. About the only saving grace is that it was an easy shift, mostly just indoor  freight packout.

Published in: on June 12, 2015 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, June 6 -Sunday, June 7

I could have spent these days in a reasonably  productive manner. On each day I was scheduled to work at the Major Home Improvement Retailer just from 8pm to midnight. That left many hours each day to be useful and productive.

Of course I did nothing of the sort. I mostly just diddled around each day doing nothing useful. Okay, I went to the gym on Sunday for some upper-body work. It started with bench presses: 6 × 135, 6 × 165, 6 × 185, 4 × 205, 3 × 3 × 225, 8 × 185, 10 × 135. Then I did some Hammer Strength shoulder presses: 3 × 8 × 90/90.

As for my MHIR shifts, Saturday was easy, Sunday was not. The people who had been working in the garden department during the day on Saturday had done a very good job keeping it neat and well stocked, they’d even kept on top of returns. Sunday’s day crew? Well, let’s just say I had my work cut out for me in the evening.

Published in: on June 12, 2015 at 12:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, June 3 – Friday, June 5

Not used to this idleness

Three days with no work at the Major Home Improvement Retailer is an unusual thing for me. Next week will be the same, so I’d better get used to it. Still, I can’t say that the break isn’t appreciated, in fact necessary. In any event, when the schedule for the week of June 15 came out on Wednesday, I found out to my surprise that I’m going back up to 24 hours. That leaves me puzzled as to why I got two 12-hours in a row. It might be a way of getting me back to my long-term average of 16 hours a week. 12 + 12 + 2= ÷ 3 = 16.

My regular job was pretty easy on Wednesday and Thursday.  The work cycle that ended on Thursday was one of the easier ones I’ve had, though the one starting Monday should be more challenging. There’s a new record keeping requirement that’s been added, and while not difficult it may be slightly time consuming at first. My main objection is that it appears totally pointless, no matter how hard I try I just can’t think of what it’s supposed to accomplish. Not that my thoughts on the subject actually matter.

I went to the gym on Wednesday and did back and shoulder work. T-bar rows : 3 × 8 × 125, 2 × 8 × 105. Hammer Strength shoulder presses : 4 × 8 × 90/90. Friday it was hot yoga, and despite missing a week I still did fairly well.

Published in: on June 7, 2015 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday, June 1 – Tuesday, June 2

Four hours is nothing

Monday was my tenth consecutive workday without a day off. While that’s not the sort of thing that can ever be pleasant, thankfully it was an easy day at my regular job with no unexpected issues. My energy level was low, very low, but somehow I was able to muddle through. I made a couple of stupid mistakes, no doubt on account of my addled state of mind, but fortunately my mind was (just) clear enough to correct the mistakes. I was too achy for yoga or the gym, but we made a trip to the Roosevelt Field Mall. For ha has I counted the traffic lights: 30 of them, which is absurd given that most of the trip is on the Long Island Expressway. Once you get off at at Exit 40 there is just light after light after light in the five miles or so to the mall.

I had quite a bit more energy on Tuesday and made it through my regular job very easily. Speaking of easy things, my 8 to midnight shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer was one of my easiest. Like Monday, Tuesday was a cool and rainy day, so there was nothing much going on in the outside garden area. I spent most of the shift indoors doing freight packout. In any event, it was really hammered home that a 4-hour shift is nothing at all compared to an 8-hour.  It may be half the length but feels like a quarter the length or even less.

Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 2:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, May 30 – Sunday, May 31

May ended in pretty much of a blur for me. I worked two 8-hour shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, noon to 8:30 on Saturday and 3:30 to midnight on Sunday. Coming at the end of a 58-hour workweek between both of my jobs, and after more than a week without a day off, I was pretty much ground down to nothing.

It did not help that these were two very busy days. Saturday had a nonstop customer flow for almost all of the shift. Only in the last 90 minutes or so did I have any slow stretches. Sunday was not as busy in customer terms, but I had a considerable amount of freight packout.  One particularly distasteful task was cutting the plastic wrap off pallets of mulch and topsoil. There are several overlapping layers, and because the pallets have been stored outside for weeks or even months water can get trapped between the layers. When I cut into the plastic I can (and often do) get drenched with a flood of stagnant water. Lovely.

Still, I shouldn’t complain too much. I won’t be working as many hours at the MHIR in the next couple weeks …. which means that I’ll instead be complaining about too little pay. And I went to the gym before work on Sunday and did some reasonably decent bench pressing, given my lack of recent activity: 6 × 135, 6 × 165, 6 × 185, 4 × 205, 4 × 225, 4 × 205, 6 × 185.

Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 2:21 am  Leave a Comment