Bright and Early

There’s one Monday out of every month that I have to be up at 3:15 am for work.  Those are ‘Inventory Mondays’ and they’re a bitch as I get older.  I hate to say this, and believe me I knew eventually I would be saying this, as a matter of fact I’ve often thought about when I was younger saying this, but when I was younger, this was easier.  As I get older, it seems it’s harder to get up at odd times, I’m becoming more of a creature of habit, or preference if you will.  Working in retail, there are first, second and third shifts, though ‘night crew’ (overnight stocking) generally is something you ask to do, not be asked to do.  Since you’re going against your body’s normal circadian rhythms, there’s a reason that graveyard workers are paid a little better than their daytime counterparts.

I’ve spent the vast majority of my career working third shift.  12 years stocking shelves for three different companies, as well as another 12 years working in a bakery department for one of them.  So, 24 years of working nights, but I can say the bakery work was the most rewarding for me, even though at times it was the hardest.  Even now I have residual effects from that work, I have recurring wrist pain that might have something to do with carpal tunnel, since there were years and years of kneading countless rounds of dough for my job.  I never bothered to get the surgery, and about 3 years ago I lifted a case of chicken oddly and sprained (my thought) my right wrist and its never been the same since.  I wear a brace to bed at night, I’ve had physical therapy and even talked to a surgeon about it.  He said that he might be able to do something with it, but there are no guarantees, and since I work in a job with repetitive motion (as well as lifting boxes weighing 40-80 lbs) I could easily re-injure it just by working.

So for the time being, I work during the day, and one day a month I get up at the crack of 3:15 in order to be to work by 5.  Call it a necessary evil.  I know very well it could be a lot worse, because I’ve been in jobs where it’s been worse.  So I’m thankful right now it’s just that one day a month.  I’d rather not go back to working 3rd if I can help it.  I figure I have about 13 more years of work before I can retire.  Best I do it where I don’t have to drive an ungodly amount to get there, and its something that I want to be doing, as opposed to something I have to be doing.


Lost and Found

When you have a good amount of ‘stuff’, it’s easy to lose things.  Then months (or years) later they’re ‘found’ again when either you or your spouse/partner/SO decides it’s time to do some sorting/cleaning and stumbles upon them.

Sunday afternoon as I returned home from work, there was a shoebox on the table of the ‘addition’, the room of the house where coincidentally we seem to spend the majority of our time.  It’s the room that’s off the kitchen, where we eat our meals, watch television (the only tv in the house that’s connected to the cable box) and both of our main computers are.  Sometime in the history of the house (probably the 1950s or early 60s based on both the construction and design choices near as we can tell) this portion was ‘tacked on’ but coincidentally it wasn’t added to the heating system of the house.  It’s the only portion of the house that has insulation in the walls, though it also quirkily has a door to the outside, a stairway to the basement, and another door to the garage.  Probably the main reason we use the room so much is that it has two sizeable bay windows that point to the north and west, and it’s comfortable.  How it ended up not being a place that has a couch, an easy chair and some other function I’m not entirely sure, but it’s been this way for the past 20 years for us.

But of course, that’s not the point of this post, even though I tend to go off on tangents.

The shoebox that was on the dining table, that’s supposed to be the focus of all this, so let’s get back to it, shall we?  After going car shopping Sunday afternoon upon my return from work, I happened to notice it, and being curious, opened it to see what was inside.  Lo and behold, a treasure trove!  Pawing through the contents, I found a bundled CAT5 cable that had been put away some time ago, probably having been shipped with some doodad that required access to either my wife’s computer, or mine.  We have several of these laying about the house, they’re probably 3 ft long, and they don’t have homes.  In another part of the house somewhere there’s a box that has a 200 foot CAT5 cable, when I had a plan to relocate the computers to another elsewhere, so that we could make better use of the portions of the house that are heated in the wintertime, and save money by not using this room so much.  At least that was the plan.  Since the computers are still here, you can tell I didn’t actually DO it yet.  But I’m at least thinking about it.  So, points?

Another item that I discovered was an enclosure that has SONY emblazoned on it.  What could it be?  Why it’s a camera!  Not just any camera mind you, but a SONY Cyber-Shot that I don’t even remember buying, let alone getting an enclosure for.  I looked it up on the ‘Net and it’s about 11 years old.  Unfortunately I can’t turn it on, as it uses a Li-on block battery instead of AA or AAA batts.  It does have 2 memory cards with it, but they’re not the current ‘style’, they’re larger than SD cards.  But they do have adaptors, which I just discovered don’t work with my computer’s multi-memory card reader.  Huh.  Looks like a little more research is going to be in order to get to figure this one out.  Before going to bed, I remembered to look up a picture to see what sort of charger it used, and I remember vaguely the type, so I know what to look for when sorting through my cables and charger boxes upstairs.  I know I’ve seen the type before, just have to relocate it again.  So it will live again!  Muahahaha!  Ahem.

The last two items were ones that I remember having, but for whatever reason were set aside in that box for safe keeping.  One is an ergonomic Logitech computer mouse, the other is a OneTouch™ meter for checking blood sugar.  It has a vial of test strips, that expired in 2012.  So that gives me a time frame for when the box was set aside.  Either late 2011 or early 2012.  7 or 8 years ago.  Which makes sense when you consider how we put things aside around here.  Probably someone was coming to visit, we had things on one table or another and piled them in the box, intending to bring them back out when the visit was over and (as is the case around here a lot of the time) didn’t.  It got lost to the history of this place, and then found when someone got ambitious.

Believe me when I say there are many more boxes of this type hanging around the house.  As I get older, I’m more inclined to seek them out and see what’s inside.  I’ve been thinking more about it lately, in that we have a great deal of stuff, and generally don’t make use of it.  Matter of fact, both my wife and I have storage bins that we pay monthly fees for that are chock full of items from each of our respective parents’ houses, and haven’t made use of, or gone through in 20-30 years now.  We just keep them for sentimental reasons.  So long as we continue to pay the monthly fees, they’re safe.  Once we don’t, well people make tv shows about the adventures of people who buy abandoned storage units.  I don’t think I want my items exposed on television.  So perhaps it’s best that I continue to pay the fee.  Though it might be a good idea one day to go through my items and pare things down a bit.  So someone else doesn’t have to.  Someday.


It may have not been the first day of summer, but man did it feel like it.  Sunday mornings are busy to begin with, what with the new ad breaking, and there is inevitably someone shopping early.  Of course that morning was the eve of a day that was forecast to be in the 80s, with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Perfect day for grilling, so we were going to need to have as much product in the displays as possible to offset the hungry hordes.

Except the fact that the person entrusted with ordering a lot of the sale items, forgot to.  Can we say “oops”?  Yes, we can.  Though that didn’t help the people later in the afternoon who were irate and unhappy and making it known not only to myself, but my manager, HIS manager and so on.  It was just a miasma from 6:30 am to 3 pm and I was literally running my behind off for the majority of it.

As a rule I don’t take breaks in my job.  When I was with another company and worked in their bakery, I didn’t take breaks then either.  There were actually times (too many to mention as I recall) I went to the time-clock, punched for lunch, and went back to work, setting a timer in the department so I’d know when to go back to the time-clock to punch back in for the ‘official’ continuation of my shift.  Highly illegal from a labor rules standpoint, but oftentimes when you’re pressed for time, you have zero help, you do what you have to do and hang the consequences.  My department manager knew about it, but she just shook her head and let me.  Because she knew if I took my required breaks during the day, the work wouldn’t get done every night.

Now that I’m with this company, I take my required lunch break every day.  Because I’m required to.  Only because in this job, I’d get terminated if I chose to repeat the above history.  Breaks are a different manner, at least in my labor contract.  They’re optional.  If I don’t wish to, I don’t have to take them.  By and large, the vast majority of my co-workers do.  Seeing as they’re younger, and usually of a different generation, they seem compelled to take them.  And by all rights would take more of them if they could, I suppose.

I was very glad when the end of my shift happened to roll around.  Even so, as I’m writing this, there were a couple of things I didn’t get to.  And I know, (boy, do I know) no one else in the department did them after I left.  So they’ll be there waiting for me when I get back there Monday morning.  Seeing as this is going to be posted on Tuesday, this will be technically ‘yesterday’ for those keeping score.  Scheduling posts is a wonderful thing, but it does make you have to think about what time frame you’re referring to.  Tomorrow is yesterday, a penny saved is a penny earned.  Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the ‘present’.

Yup, I’m getting punchy.  Time for bed.