Friday, December 9 – Friday, December 23

Getting into this vacation groove, slowly

One thing I’ve noticed in past years is that the first two weeks of my three-week break from my main job are generally more enjoyable than the last week. It’s not, as you might imagine, due to distress at my impending return to the workaday world. It’s more a matter of, well, time off is fun at first, but eventually gets a bit tedious. When you’re used to going into work every weekday, or every Monday through Thursday as in my case, it’s quite a change to have too much free time. Put differently, time off from work is rather better in the abstract than in reality.

The first of these weeks was busier than the second. On Friday the 9th we went into Manhattan to do some Christmas shopping at the Union Square holiday bazaar, something I’ve been doing for years. There’s always interesting stuff not found at most stores. Looking at all the stalls and their various offerings is much more enjoyable than the corporate-ized shopping experience. The weekend of the 10th and 11th wasn’t much of a vacation as I worked 8-hour shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer each day. Christmas tree sales were in full swing, and I spent most of the time out in the tree lot. Better than dealing with the “Do you have any more in the back room?” lights and ornament shoppers inside. I had a pretty good routine for handling trees and the shifts went by quickly.

During the week of the 12th through the 16th I didn’t work too many hours at the MHIR, just a couple of 4’s in the evening. Fine by me, I didn’t do much of anything, though I finally made it back to the gym. Of course there was a list of errands that I had to do, and of course I ended up postponing most of them. Funny how things work out that way. On the weekend of the 17th and 18th I worked two 6-hour MHIR shifts, the tree business had slowed down but not stopped, and on the evening of Sunday the 18th we had the company Christmas party. Much better food than at the past location, although the room was a bit on the small size for the number of people in attendance. Oh, I actually won a door prize, a $25 gift card to 7-11. Something that’ll definitely get put to good use.

The week of the 19th through the 23rd was very quiet. Other than some last-minute local Christmas shopping, one 4-hour MHIR shift, and more gym visits, the time was devoted to the fine art of doing very little. Just the way I wanted it.

Published in: on December 30, 2016 at 3:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, November 28 -Thursday, December 8

The compressed blur

I’ve compressed this time period into one entry because it’s basically just one big blur to me. It was the end of the year at my main job, prior to the 3-week seasonal break, and any hopes that it would have been an easy end soon were dashed on the metaphorical rocks of reality. It’s not that there was a huge amount of work on the schedule, especially for the second week, it’s that I had to play catch-up with tasks that I hadn’t had time to do over the past couple months. None of them were big tasks, they just added up. In truth, they were pretty easy in absolute terms, but as I was in winding-down mode they seemed to loom large. But eventually everything got done, and my much-anticipated break began.

As for the Major Home Improvement Retailer, suffice to say that I was less of a sentiment being and more of a programmed automaton during these two weeks. I did 8-hour shifts on each Saturday and Sunday, and two 5-hour evening shifts each week. Most of the time I was in the tree lot, which fortunately is the sort of work that I can do pretty much by rote. Greet the customers, ask if they want me to turn any trees around so they can get 360 views, trim the bases as requested, tie onto vehicles, rinse and repeat. And repeat. The work can be physically demanding, but I found that time seemed to go fairly fast. Still, there’s no getting around the fact that I worked very long hours these two weeks.

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 10:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27

What with Friday being my normal day off I was spared the dubious joys of having to work on Black Friday. Basically I had a do-nothing day, which suited me just fine. Now, Saturday and Sunday weren’t so easy, as I had to work 8-hours shifts each day at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Shoppers came out in droves, including the first customers in the tree lot. It kept me hopping, in particular I had forgotten from last year just how hard the lot can be. I find the part about tying them onto cars to be the most troublesome. And it didn’t help that all the time I had the next two weeks on my mind. They’re going to be tough weeks, what with going back to my regular job and with 26 hours at the MHIR each week. I am bursting with anticipation … okay, dread may be rather more accurate.

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday, November 21 – Thursday, November 24

A week off? Not quite.

Being it Thanksgiving week I had a week off from my main job. Normally, that would be a welcome break given all the work I’ve been doing, but unfortunately it really wasn’t. That’s because, as you’ve undoubtedly guessed by now, I was being worked halfway to death at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. As in 5-hour shifts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I know, a 5-hour shift isn’t anything like a full one, but the store was busy and there wasn’t as much staffing in the department as I would have expected. I got through it all right, but if I had been working at the regular job … that’s too ghastly to contemplate.

On a better note, Thanksgiving dinner went well, I was called upon the make the turkey and it actually came out fine.

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment