Saturday, March 12, 2011

Moving forward

I knew it! I knew it! When I posted the news headline in my last post, I was going to open with : 'This story will disappear like a dog electrocuted on a NYC sidewalk', but thought better of it. Anyway, this kind of stuff happens all the time. Then again, time itself is a little wonky, you know? Sometimes I think that the shadow people simply exist in a slightly different tempo of time, but that's a story for another day. If time permits. For now, let it suffice to note that at 2AM tomorrow morning, time is going to fast forward an hour. It doesn't do this everywhere, check your local oracles.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And so it begins...

"CAIRO  (AP) — Eleven people died in overnight fighting between Christians and Muslims in the suburbs of Cairo... The clashes broke out during a protest by several hundred Christians over the burning of a church in the village of Soul last week ..."

It's a day off and the stew is slowly stewing, the coffee has just finished making, the laund'ry should be finished drying soon, and Dean Martin is singing on TV. I had forgotten daytime TV. I'm seeing it now as an accident of timing. Of course, like everything else that was once good and/or wonderful, you have to pay extra to get it even though it used to be free. Dewey Martin! Dewey Martin is in this movie! Wait. Dewey Martin in a suit and tie? That's sooo wrong. The wonderful thing about having this movie, whatever it is, running on tv is that it is in the proper frame ratio and has been excellently restored. Rich Technicolor colours. Most of the outdoor scenes seem to have been filmed on a sound stage. This was just an everyday picture. A little story (usually very little), a little romance, amazingly good looking people, an occasional song and dance. It is not special. I doubt that it won any accolades (including at the box office). Well now, those shots were definitely filmed outdoors in Rome. Yikes - that set is so tacky that it must have been borrowed from Universal. Sudden whoa! - Triumph of design and scene composition time. Sigh, you always could count on MGM.

Well, as it turns out, my clothes are still wet. I have to do another 2 hour drying cycle. Way my days go.

The thing about the movie on tv is that it is entertaining. And the star is an entertainer, not solely an actor. Which makes me wonder, where are the entertainers today? They seem to be few and far between. So much now is big bucks blow 'em up action adventure scifi fantasy (and gawd, how I love it) or low budget alleged reality. And in real reality, the Muslims and the Christians are at it again. In CinemaScope, Technicolor and Stereophonic Sound. Now That's Entertainment.

Carnevale Ashes

Carnevale ended yesterday.
Today, in Christian Rites, is Ash Wednesday - a day of fasting (or the start of 40 days of it for some), confession, penitence and/or repentance. As though we hadn't just been thru February.

Even in my  little world, the mask of yesterdays has had to come off. I have to be redeemed. I was "bad" at work again. I somehow ran the bill of two different customers together. (Customers often remove the divider between orders being processed via a "belt". When they do it, it is my fault for not catching it.) This incident was particularly embarrassing, as just two or three days earlier had been my annual "review". On all but two matters, I "meet expectations".  My attendance and not properly timed break time clock punches (you're bad if you're early, you're bad if you're late) "need work". And, I had called in sick a couple of times, not that catching colds is realted to management/ownsership not providing heat in winter. And, after being given work that just hit the border of my Orthopedists "no no" list, I had once gone home early in an  excelsius of pain: working 5 hours is too little to be considered a full day of work, so it counted as a sick day. I committed such sick day sin a total of 6 times within six months. I did not get the usual 6 written notices for this, all of which have to be signed. If not for two omissions, it would be 6-6-6. Not that that means anything. I'm just sayin'.

I was also found to "need work" on the handling of money. (Now I will have to watch a video before I can return to work.) I had been put on a "watch" list for a cash drawer which had been short of funds. I only found out when I noticed an audit and asked a bookkeeper about it. I was never informed via management. I was also one of several people who had been on that cash drawer that day - so we were all put on the watch list - except for the shift leaders who over assigned the drawer, that is.

And I sometimes don't give my full attention to the transaction finale - I forgot to give customers their stamps, or I didn't give them their coupons (which usually print out long after the customer has left), etc.

I protested having such nonsense in my file. I protested the use of such nonsense to restrict the amount of my raise - last year my raise was 14 cents "with their apologies ": due to the economy they couldn't afford more. Which made it rather silly of them to tell us in one of the news letters they send us how they turned a sizable profit last year.

It was also noted that my "rings per minute" were not up to company standard. My express line  rings were especially low. Of course, they send shopping carts well over half full to express now. There is no place to put everything, so one bags a customer's groceries as one goes. It takes time. And, of course, there was no mention that I am usually one of the fastest cashiers there on a month by month basis, and until work hours were cut back, I regularly handled more customers than anyone else.

So I protested the several items. I even noted that "I am a damn good cashier" at one point.


When I total a customer's order, I always announce the amount. When the customer hands me money, I always announce how much. I always count back the change. Somehow, in spite of my careful procedures, I ran two orders together. Management watched the camera tapes which monitor us to confirm that it was my mistake. I do not get to see the tapes. The receipt was shown to me, but I couldn't do more than give it a quick once over while both a manager and an assistant manager stood on either side of me: both playing bad cop. I felt like a bright light was being shined in my face. So, since today is my day off, within the next 15 minutes as I write, I have to call the front end's assistant manager of customer relations to tell them if I want to continue working there or not. If I do abase myself in this manner, then my next few months will be under extreme scrutiny. And I will have to sign letters about that.

During the three and a half years I've been working there, at least 2 bookkeepers, as well as a number of shift leaders, have found themselves in such position of scrutiny. Strangely enough, they had all filed complaints against the the front end managers. They are also all gone. Ashes to ashes. Both of the bookkeepers were somehow missing $100 at the end of their next to last day of employment.  I should be clear, in case anyone from my place of employment should discover this post, that I am in no way accusing any level of the store's management of any skulduggery, display of dispassionatee ill will, or situational malfeasance in employee disappearances. I'm just sayin', is all, I'm just sayin'.

Welcome to the days of penitence and repentance.

And hey, if I really behave myself, maybe I can get into that new company housing being built out back where they tore down that homeless camp!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I clipped this out of the newspaper almost 40 years ago.
It's another "just because" for austanspace.

Click to enlarge

Just because

Every time I start to write in this blog, something happens. A long phone call. Writer's block. The antidepressants kick in. The antianxietals kick in. The computer starts spinning its hidden drives and refuses to do my bidding -  I wonder what it's up to; paranoia kicks in. I start falling asleep from exhaustion. Something - anything - distracts. I open a  window and am seduced by ephemera. My dear friend over at austanspace spends most of an oxycleaned post hooked on Led Zep. I stumble on the following image. Synchronicity of events. I start to post it, but something - anything - distracts. Just now it was a problem at the radio station. I renew my pledge to myself to dust... Oops. Gotta get ready for work... so here, then, for austanspace- just because.

Go ahead and click on it !