It has been almost two weeks since I was last able to post. Most of the time I didn't have a wifi internet connection up to the task. The good source has been gone long enough that it has become logical to assume that it is gone, period. I can no longer convince myself that it is simply on vacation, unless it is, perhaps, off on an extended tour of the continent. The bad connection seems to have heard my cries and whimpers in the night and has gotten a bit better over the last few days. Hopefully this portal to the world at large will continue. Although to be honest, I'm not sure it is worth it. The news either produces incredible angst, agitation, or despair. Perhaps it is an effect of the heat. My studio has been in the upper 90 degree Fahrenheit range. One night, back around July the 4th, I passed out from it.
Work hasn't been much better. The air conditioning, under the control of the corporate overlords, is only cool when one first comes into the store from the heat. Those of us working at the registers have been sweating in all the really uncomfortable places that don't show. We've been very busy most of the time, but the reduced staffing levels have meant that we work harder to keep up. Management no longer opens a sufficient number of "lanes". By this method, the "extra" cashiers are assigned to bag groceries so that management no longer has to hire "front end associates" for such tasks - or the rounding up of shopping carts and etcetera.
The customers have been bad in the bad heat. Last week, one woman actually adressed me as "boy". Another, having a bag of free ice from the fish counter, was extraordinarily specific about what she wanted placed in the same bag as the ice. Then she ripped into me for not putting the same items into two bags to make it easier for her to lift. I did not point out that the four items in the bag weighed no more than two pounds. Another woman constantly complains about the weight of her bags, even though I generally end up giving her one item per bag. She exhales grunting noises as she lifts a small cardboard tube of peanuts, but she can easily sling a 24 pack of beer around. One man pushed his cart into my back "to get (my) attention". I was off duty and purchasing my lunch at the time. Another man walked away from his almost two hundred dollar purchase because his driver's license had expired and he was refused the sale of a can of beer.
My hours at work have been reduced again. My work "category", which I don't think exists any longer, is set to provide a minimum of 28 hours and that is all I have been getting for several weeks. I get two days of 8 and a half hours, and three days of 4 hours. And most of my time is now spent on night shifts. After standing for a number of hours, what with the arthritis and all, I can no longer walk properly after my shift. I limp home, leaning heavily upon my cane as I traverse a major highway populated by speeding yahoos, heartless yuppies, other walkers, and a few very nice people who give rides to not quite strangers. If I restrict my hours to those for which bus service exists, I would be moved to the next category down. That group can only get up to 20 hours a week. People in that category, especially those who, like myself, are a bit older, have been getting four hours. A week.
So if my posts are few and far between, please don't worry (well, maybe a little). It's the job, and the heat. I'm cranky and out of sorts. All I'd do is bitch, bitch, and bitch some more.