Thursday, March 24 – Sunday, March 27

Thursday was the last day of my week off from my regular job. I’m not counting Friday because I don’t work on Fridays. I know, it was still a day off, but somehow it didn’t seem right to include it. Anyway, I spent most of the day on Thursday taking care of personal business, before going into the Major Home Improvement Retailer for a 7pm to 11pm shift. It went by pretty quickly, helped along by the fact that I was really busy, and as I had no work the next day I didn’t mind staying until 11. As for Friday, it was a fairly leisurely day, nothing pressing to do. I did some back work at the gym, played too many games of Doodle Jump, and delved further into the Unresolved Mysteries Reddit. Fun, huh?

Short MHIR shifts were the theme on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was 2 to 6:30, and what with it being the day before Easter the garden department was, ahem, hopping. Plants were selling at a fast and furious pace. It  was especially busy for me because many of the customers were obviously unfamiliar with buying plants and had many questions. I was mildly surprised to see that not everyone knows the difference between an annual and a perennial. The shift was over in a flash, and that evening we went out for a pre-Easter dinner. At a Pakistani restaurant, go figure.

Sunday was a 9:15 to 1:15 shift. I had thought it was going to be quiet, what with Easter and all, but it was at least moderately busy. Later on we had a pretty low-key holiday, getting a pizza – which, while hardly traditional, isn’t as strange as the previous day’s Pakistani meal.

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Published in: on March 31, 2016 at 1:51 am  Comments (1)  

Monday, March 21 – Wednesday March 23

Into the mist

Yes, I enjoyed these three days (mostly) off from work. Just the freedom from the tyranny of the alarm clock is to be savored. Though speaking of which, I was less than enthused to find out that on two upcoming Saturdays, April 2 and 9, I’m scheduled to start at the Major Home Improvement Retailer at the barbaric, inhuman hour of 5 am!! That is going to be horrible, just horrible. Especially on the ninth, as it’s the start of a full 8-hour shift (on the second it’s fortunately only a 4-hour one). What I cannot understand is the rationale behind having me start so ridiculously early. The employee who had started that early on weekends, who is now in a different department, was responsible for bringing in pallets of garden supplies such as mulch and topsoil from the outside storage area. To do so he used a large propane-powered forklift. As I’m certified to use only a smaller electric forklift I cannot do that task.

Anyway, I suppose I shouldn’t gripe too much about things not happening for a while. I had three nice leisurely days. The only work was on Tuesday, when I did an easy 4:30 to 8:30 stint at the MHIR, mostly freight packout. It was one of those shifts that was over practically before it began. Monday and Wednesday were gym trips, back on Monday and lower body on Wednesday. I almost didn’t go on Wednesday because of a headache but forced myself. That’s a good sign, maybe my determination isn’t all gone.

Lately I’ve been getting into the “Unresolved Mysteries” forum on Reddit. Mostly these are cases of people who’ve vanished into thin air without a trace. I have no interest in mystery fiction at all, but the true-life cases are a different story. It’s hard to believe that people can disappear these days, but it happens.

Published in: on March 25, 2016 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday, March 18 – Sunday, March 20

And so begins over a week of minimal work – a week off from my main job, and lighter shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Despite the temporary income reduction I really could use the break. It’s the “temporary” part that matters; I know that I’ll be going back to the main job after Easter, and that the MHIR hours will pick up as we get into spring. It’s much harder to enjoy leisure if you don’t know if or when your income will rise.  Having been in the straight commission life insurance pyramid scam I know that all too well.

Friday didn’t seem like a day off because of course it’s my normal day off. I didn’t do much of consequence for most of the day, though in the late afternoon I went to the gym. Not a bad bench-press session: 6 x 135, 6 x 165, 6 x 185, 4 x 205, 2 x 3 x 225, 6 x 185, 10 x 135. I thought that going when most people would still be at work would make for an uncrowded gym, but I was wrong. A large gym a few miles away is closing, that might be boosting membership at mine.

Saturday and Sunday were workdays at the MHIR. But not full workdays: five and a half hours on Saturday, four on Sunday. Even though the store was quite busy, with many people getting an early jump on gardening season, the shifts were easy enough. What I’ve figured out is that full shifts don’t really start to drag until the last couple of hours.  The reverse of which is that a shift of up to six hours is almost always tolerable. Fine by me.

Published in: on March 25, 2016 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday, March 13 – Thursday, March 17

I knew the easy times couldn’t last

Monday began a new work cycle at my main job, and any hopes I might have harbored that it would be as easy and low-pressure as the last cycle got dashed in short order. Okay, I shouldn’t complain, I’ve had worse, much worse, but given the contrast to the last one it was a jarring dose of reality. On Monday and Tuesday I had to stay about a half hour past normal quitting time even with cutting my lunch break short. Both days were pretty close to overwhelming. Wednesday and Thursday were more tolerable. I took my normal allotted breaks and still was able to leave on time, though I had to work pretty fast.

Working extra time on Monday and Tuesday was tough because I also had to work from 4:30 to 8:30 both days at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. That gave me very little time in which to rush from one job to another. I don’t much like that, though it’s a fact of life for many, many people, including more than a few fellow MHIR employees. Anyway, I shouldn’t complain too much because the shifts were only 4-hour ones, and as I’ve previously stated the not-all-your-eggs-in-one-basket aspect of working two jobs is a big plus.

I recently stumbled into new interest that’s becoming a real time-suck: the Unresolved Mysteries forum on Reddit. It’s a compendium of strange disappearances, unclaimed bodies, and other mysteries that have defied all solution. Some cases I’ve heard of before, most I haven’t, but they’re all fascinating. Even better, the comments aren’t subject to pre-posting moderation, so there can be a very active give and take on new threads. Now, if I could just figure out how to stop spending so much time on it …

Published in: on March 21, 2016 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, March 9 – Sunday, March 12

Back into the heat!

After a remarkably easy day at my main job on Thursday, thanks to the very low-pressure work cycle, I decided to do something truly groundbreaking/revolutionary/paradigm changing … okay, that’s maybe a bit exaggerated, but it was something I haven’t done in at least a couple of months: yes, I went to hot yoga. After not going for so long I finally decided to stop procrastinating and just do it.

Given that it’s been so long, I decided to go for a 60-minute “express” session rather than the standard 90 minutes. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all that much easier, as there’s a faster pace with fewer and shorter breaks. Yet somehow, someway, I made it through. To my pleasant surprise my balance and flexibility did not deteriorate anywhere near as much I had I feared. Now, I’ll just have to keep this resolve.

Friday was a day off as usual, but in an extension of the newfound resolve that led to hot yoga the prior day I actually made it to the gym. What I’ve decided, tentatively at least, is to stick to the Big Three exercises – bench presses, squats, and deadlifts. It’s too easy to lose focus while selecting among the multitude of auxiliary exercises and trying to keep track of progress. I might add some upper-back work, but that’s about it. Anyway, I did bench presses, 6 x 135, 6 x 155, 6 x 185, 4 x 205, 2 x 2 x 225, 4 x 205, 6 x 185, 6 x 155, 6 x 135.

Not much to add about Saturday and Sunday. I worked both days at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, but they weren’t quite full shifts – 5 hours 45 minutes on Saturday, 5 hours 30 minutes on Sunday. Both days were pretty busy, that’s for sure, with a seemingly nonstop customer flow.

Published in: on March 15, 2016 at 1:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, March 7 – Wednesday, March 9

That was easy

I’m not trying to plagiarize from Staples or anything, but these days were easy. Absurdly so, if I may say. The current work cycle at my main job was easy last week, and now this week it’s gotten even easier as I’m more accustomed to it. I was able to leave an hour early on Monday and Wednesday, nearly two hours early on Tuesday. Slightly tempering my elation is the knowledge that the next cycle will be more difficult, but it should be more or less manageable. It will be interrupted, as I’m not working at my main job the week of the 21st.

Still no gym motivation, unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of things during my week off, but then again I shouldn’t wait that long. I was reasonably active after work each day, the highlight being a trip to Shake Shack on Monday. No shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer until Saturday.

Published in: on March 10, 2016 at 3:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday, March 4 – Sunday, March 6

Wow. An actual, for real, two-day weekend. I’m so used to having just Fridays off that it was almost surrealistic to have Saturday off as well. Yes, I know, fewer hours working at the Major Home Improvement Retailer means less money, but I consider this a much-needed break. In any event, my hours will pick up soon enough as we get into the spring planting season.

Now, I’d like to say that I used my days off wisely, instead of just goofing off, but of course that’s entirely untrue. What sort of bothers me is that I did not go to the gym at all. I’m definitely suffering from a lack of motivation. Still, it’s no cause for panic, I’ve been un-motivated before and have always returned to the fold, so to speak.

Sunday was a workday at the MHIR, a full 8-hour day in fact. Friday’s and Saturday’s idleness gave way to some fairly hectic activity. The store was busy, there was some freight to pack out, the outside garden area had to be prepped for the season, yet for all that I was one of only two people on duty in the department for much of the shift. At least it made for a fast eight hours.

Next up on the Kindle reading list is 13 Hours by Mitchell Zukoff, an account of the 2012 Benghazi consulate attack that’s of course become a major political football. It focuses not on the political and policy aspects of the attack, but on the actual fighting as experienced by the security forces on-scene. Quite gripping, and a surprisingly fast read.

Published in: on March 10, 2016 at 2:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, February 29 – Thursday, March 3

Leap Year Day’s the start of something good

Relief, at long last. After going through some very tough work cycles at my main job, the one which started on Monday – Leap Year Day – is as easy as pie (and what’s with that expression, pies aren’t always easy to make). Instead of being in the “It’s an hour until quitting time and I still have a mountain of work to do” situation, it was more like “I’ve only been here a couple hours and most of my work is done.” As there’s a limit on how early I can skedaddle, I tried to work at a slower pace each day (easier said than done) and made sure to take my allotted breaks. It’s a nice reprieve, after the tough cycles I’ve had, albeit a temporary one. The next cycle, starting in two weeks, won’t be anywhere near as easy.

Complementing the easy pace at my main job is the seasonal slowdown at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Wednesday was my only shift during this stretch, and it was a 6pm to 10pm shift. These 4-hour shifts are like nothing, they seem to breeze by and are over quickly. For some reason, the five and a half hour ones like I’ve had recently seem far longer. There’s something about four hours that sets out a sharp boundary between “easy” and “hard.” Your guess is as good as mine.

Published in: on March 5, 2016 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday, February 26 – Sunday, February 28

Fleeting energy

Friday was, as usual, a day off from work, and believe me I really needed it. After those long double-shift days on Wednesday and Thursday my energy supplies were at very low levels.  If worldwide energy supplies were that low people would be burning their furniture to keep warm and the roads would be littered with cars abandoned for lack of fuel. Get the idea? It should come as no surprise that I did very little all day.

Saturday and Sunday both were workdays at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, but they weren’t full days – four hours on Saturday, five and a half on Sunday. For the next month or so my hours should be on the light side, now that some new workers have completed their training and the busy season is still some ways off. Just as well, I can only take so much. Making a bit less money for a month is a decent tradeoff. These weren’t bad workdays, a typical weekend of waiting on customers and trying to keep the displays stocked.

I finished reading, via Kindle, The Most Dangerous Animal of All, by Gary Stewart. It’s about a man, adopted as an infant, who went on a multi-year quest to find his father’s identity, and was shocked to find out that Dad may have been the never-captured Zodiac Killer who terrorized San Francisco in the late 1960’s. It was interesting, don’t get me wrong, but I thought that the case was a weak one, based mainly on conjecture. It was still worth reading.

Published in: on March 5, 2016 at 3:15 am  Leave a Comment