Archive | December, 2011

SDH Pt. 2

13 Dec

Day 3 sounds like it’s going to test my resolve when she rings on the drive home from Day 2 to ask me if I’m available at 7 a.m. and I know I have a deadline that same day with a client who actually keeps his deadlines. I’m self-employed and telling myself that this gig is just a temporary thing for the holidays, not a major career change. Why not? I say out loud and she tells me where to be and when and hangs up. I’m curious about a number of things at this point but just go with the flow. So does everyone else. The day turns out to be easy. Everyone shows up, gets their assignments by zip code, finds a uniform that isn’t too ill fitting and we watch some training/safety videos in-between. Three of us are asked outside and never return. Only 85259 and I seem to be curious about things like where we clock in and how we get paid. Our curiosity creates a bond, along with our neighboring zip codes. We are told that we are highly desirable and will most likely be called the next day if not that very afternoon. We exchange victorious glances.

By Day 4 I’m only slightly saddened that I haven’t gotten a call. It’s the day before Thanksgiving. My deadline has been met and the invoice sent. I spend the rest of the day pressing my new uniform and waiting by the phone so long I begin to feel like a jilted lover. Why hasn’t he called? Should I call him? Or would that be too presumptuous? The woman who was supposed to give us all the finer details and a test to make sure we were paying attention during the safety portions of the orientation has only been hired two weeks before and “Sorry, guys. I just don’t have the time to tell you anything right now.” We’ll call you. Don’t call us. 85259 and I are floored. We are shuttled out the door and the next group of 30 is ushered in. I won’t compare us to cattle but we did have to stay inside the yellow lines for our safety.

Day 5 is the day after Thanksgiving – a notoriously busy day for deliveries. I wake up at 5 a.m. to do my yoga, eat, shower and check work e-mail before I get geared up.  I sweep back every hair into a bun so tight a ballerina couldn’t leap, bend or spin a wisp loose. And I wait. No call. I’m kind of glad because I can work on my next publication and get ahead for what is sure to be a very busy month leading up to Christmas. My head hurts and my eyes are slanty.

Holidays and weekends off. Woohoo!

Seasonal Driver Helper Wanted Pt. 1

10 Dec

Day 1 of my experience with the company whose name shall never be spoken, but with which you are most likely intimately familiar is hopeful. I have chosen this company out of a list of “five top part-time jobs with full-time benefits”. Based on my desire to work for a company I can believe in or at the very least have no serious qualms with morally, philosophically or otherwise I chose to work here first and let’s be frank, they hire anyone during the holidays.

After filling out an extensive but not overly exhausting application online, I immediately receive an e-mail stating that I should show up for my interview on Monday at 1 p.m. It’s Friday at 5. The e-mail has sections like “What to Bring/What to Expect” and states that casual attire is appropriate as interviews can take up to two hours. No sandals, no jewelry and no cell phones. A wedding band and one form of identification is acceptable.

The directions are far from general and I suspect my GPS will not suffice in this scenario so I plan ahead for 40 minutes of travel and 10 minutes to get to the guard shack where I have been directed to proceed.  The place is so far south, I begin to fear that Day 2 of my adventure will end with confiscation of my driver’s license by an armed guard and abduction into human slavery across the very near border of Mexico.

There are big signs with the company brand all over so unless this is a really elaborate scheme, I think I’m safe. I disregard the no jewelry rule though and wear my mace on a red ribbon under my shirt just in case. Vaguely wishing I wore a wedding band to signify that someone would miss me if I never returned home, I joined the line of job-hungry middle-agers and twenty-somethings who obviously took casual attire to mean come as you are.

It’s a “ring the bell” type interview. You know the one where they tell you what most people hate about the job and then ask if everyone still wants to stay. Everyone stays. You will have to cut your hair if it is below the collar or wear a bun, no ponytails. Men included. You will have to wear work boots, not tennis shoes. The drivers will tell you it is okay to wear tennies. It’s not. You will have to show up for work every day. You will be working on a truck, outdoors. You will wear your seatbelt and stay in the jumpseat at all times. Do not let a driver take off if you are not belted in. They will try to. Do not let them. You will show up tomorrow looking like you are ready for work. You will not run, you will walk. The drivers will tell you it is okay to run. It is not. If you stay and do not follow all of these directions through-out the term of your employment, I will have no choice but to report you as terminated with no recommendation for rehire. None of this sounds heinous enough to anyone until the stern but petitely pretty human resources gal says, “Congratulations, you’re all hired and will report back here tomorrow for your orientation pending background checks.”

Socrates Cafe

2 Dec

I hunger, therefore I am

was my motto at 27

and long before that

I hungered

but knew not what

hunger was.

I satiated my appetite

with danger, lust and

worse, with pain.

I filled the void

like a child instinctively

fills a bucket with sand

and builds a castle.

But I built nothing.

I scratched and clawed

at reason

I bit, and hard

I gnawed at the truth

I swallowed passion like a tonic

and still I searched

for the cure

the meal that would finally

and forever satisfy my hungry

soul – and sometimes I found it

for a moment, with the lights off

on a winding desert road

for an hour in the full moon

face that lit my way

for a day or two

and a night and sometimes more

but as long as I sought

after it

it never lasted.

Dear Sister

2 Dec

it is a great accomplishment

in life

to have succeeded so

to have conquered fear

real or imagined

to be self-sufficient

and more

to be self-reliant

financially stable

and some days even

well-off

to be healthy and happy

and to have beautiful children

to share it with

and to watch grow

and to teach

and one day to set out

on their own.

What a privilege then

it will be

to have a chat on the phone

from far away

about absolutely nothing.

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