Yesterday I got focused on getting the cabinets behind the reception desk clean and organized. By the time I left things were substantially better than they had been; but I was feeling significantly worse. Working on Saturday mornings is still tough; perhaps it will always be that way, I've thought about talking to someone about it, but I'm not sure if that is the best course of action. When I came in things were all over the place. Whoever closed Friday night left a bunch of stuff lying around; we have a mini-fridge that people are supposed to stock, it could have been that busy, but even so, it doesn't take long to replace a couple rows of drinks and tidy things up for the next person. It started my day off poorly, and I was already tired and crabby as a result of not getting enough sleep. Once I got going, I didn't stop until things were done, and I am proud of myself for that. I told one employee that nobody else can force me to lower my standards, of course this means I do a lot more work than some, but I also have to live with myself so there is that.
I was so mad at so many things; mad at coming into a mess, mad at management who said something that I completely disagree with and challenged, also probably not the smartest thing I have ever done, but I felt like it needed to be said. On Twitter I follow a large group of people who make fun of the Fox News types, I work with these people and I realize that I've been largely insulated from many of these types in real life. There's a screen behind me that plays things the manufacturer deems worthy, behind that there is a TV for our guests to view. Most of the time two people in management complain about me having sports on, and once again, it's an opinion thing. Their offices face the TV, but I'm closer to it from a distance perspective. Ideally we could come to some sort of a compromise. Sometimes we let me listen to what I'm interested in, and other times we let them have their way. It's frustrating to me since they can sit on their computers and see whatever they want as well as look up current news stories, I really have no idea what they do with all the downtime they have, nor do I totally care except when they use it in ways that harm others and the organization.
The main complaint on Saturday was that the lot people (by which they mean employees who work in the car wash) are somehow failing to work for the sales team. I completely disagree with this position and said so, but then someone came back with a rebuttal that they don't answer the pages and are sitting in back (they have a couple of folding chairs in the wash), when they could be doing things. While there are times when pages do not get answered, I feel as if the majority of the time they are, and I have also heard more than one person explain that it is impossible to hear the radios back in the wash which makes sense to me. Our main building is the length of a football field from end to end, the shop is behind it, and the wash and detail area are further to the east. It was very nice weather on Saturday consequently we had a steady stream of people wanting their vehicles washed. These are the people that are expected to hike all the way over to my side of the building whenever someone comes in to pick up their vehicle that was in for service. This has never made sense to me; but it's the way that the organization is structured, and considering all the running around these people do, it's shocking and surpising how well it actually does work for the most part.
I have no problem asking someone in sales or service to pull a vehicle around for a customer, it takes a couple of minutes at the most, and I was in sales so I know how much standing around and down time there is in that position. It makes way more sense to have people who aren't doing anything (I never ask if they are busy and of course they can always refuse) and are positioned closer to the vehicles that need to be moved than it does to have people who may be washing a line of cars stop what they are doing, or try to hurry up and finish so someone isn't irate over how long it took to get their vehicle back. Most of the time customers are pretty understanding even though we as employees routinely complain about them, sometimes with valid reasons, but there are times when people are in a huge hurry, and understandably so, even if the reasons are foolish, they are the person standing at the counter becoming madder by the minute so from my point of view it is much more expedient to get them out of the way ASAP. When I step back I feel as if I can see that management views departments are competing, and I view each employee and department as interdependent and connected rather than separate entities that seem to be constantly feuding and at odds with each other.
After work I was stressed out beyond belief (okay, it probably is believable, but I am surrending to the irresistable temptation to use hyperbole rather than simply let the facts speak for themselves); the rational part of my brain told me to stop and pick up some groceries, but the irrational emotional overwhelmed part of me wasn't having it. I did stop and grab several items, managing to forget both of the two items I had on my list. I drove to the mall thinking that I would really like to be buying art supplies, but wondering if a massage might serve me better. I turned this over in my mind as I drove, changing my mind as I switched from one lane to another. Finally I decided to go to the mall and see how I felt after a thirty minute massage. That was the plan, but when they said table or chair, I opted for table, and changed it to an hour instead. It was the right call, I felt so much better after I was done which led to another weak spot of mine, wandering around the mall without any real idea of what I needed or wanted. I've been in a bed and bath phase for a while now so I took the ancient escalator upstairs to see what I could find. There's a large bedding store across the street, but then I would have to drive there, and I felt as if I would for sure spend more money if I went there.
Right away I saw a bright turquoise and navy combination that really appealed to me. The price wasn't horrible either, but then I noticed that the exterior was polyester, and I'm not a huge fan of how it smells after a while. I kept walking and thinking, I found pajamas and wanted those, then I went to housewares and saw all sorts of goodies that my brain told me I could put to good use at home. Fortunately; and this was incredible timing on his part even though I'm sure he has no idea what role he played in this drama, I received a follow up text from someone I work with replying to something I had sent when we were both still at work. I have no idea why we do this, because I am positive that this is someone else's actual job, but we save fuel receipts and tally them up at the end of the month. Since we just started doing this I didn't have a ton of data, but when I was cleaning I found another month's worth of receipts and added those to the spreadsheet, snapped a quick pic, and sent it to him. I wasn't expecting a response, but he averaged what we had, extrapolated, and then did some calcuations based on those projections, and concluded that we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on fuel over X period of time.
Right away I thought to myself; you had better get out of this place before you buy something you do not need or want that will make you regret an impulse buy later. I kept browsing, but did manage to make it out of the store without buying a single thing, and I am giving him credit with the timely text that so closely paralleled my own foolish expenditures. I do not need bedding. I want some, but I still have credit card debt that I need to clear before I spend on anything outside of my budget. I didn't tell him where I was or what I was doing; he couldn't tell me what to do regardless, but the main takeaway was that by showing me how stupidly the company was operating, I was able to take the lesson and apply it to my own life. I want to thank him for this; but will wait until a better time presents itself (for reasons that I can't really explain now doesn't feel right). By the time I came home I was in a much better frame of mind, to the point where I felt like painting something before bed. I took a piece I didn't like, poured a bunch of purple and shades of brown with a splash of white, and started something super cool. It was probably one of the best works I have ever done, right up to the point where I completely ruined it.
Attempting to fix it led to a canvas that looked like a small child had been given access to paints and left unattended, I ran out of paint which seemed like a sign, took a bath, and went to bed. While I was sleeping I dreamt about two parakeets we had as pets when I was an actual child, in the dream, as well as in real life, one of the birds died, but it was a happy time which seems like a false, yet true note. I woke up with tears in my eyes, grateful for the beauty of the dream corpse that seemed more lifelike than the body we discovered so many years ago. It led to me thoughts of a pet and what I would get and how I would manage to care for a bird if I did get another one. I still struggle with what to do with my place, and suspect that the answers include a lot of work that I don't want to do, but would be really satisfied with if I could get myself to do it. For as old as I am, the path of least resistance is still more compelling than doing the things I should even when I don't want to be doing them. Yesterday was simultaneously wonderful and horrible, the actual work day was difficult, but after work I entered a different world, and I feel blessed to still have access to that as more and more public places are shutting down or limiting access. Tomorrow is another day, and I'm excited to be as prepared for it as I feel while recognizing the need for continual improvement.
All my best,
P.S. I spent some time trying to group paintings and found that while a lot of what I do appears to be very similar, the differences stand out when placed next to each other. Not sure exactly what I am going to do with this information, just a surprise to myself.
- By now I expect Saturdays to be problematic,
- this one seemed especially so, a result of waking
- up in time, but lacking the refreshment of a
- good night's sleep, and any semblance
- of organization that would lead to me getting
- out of the door in a manner more acceptable
- to myself and others. My hair felt strange, and
- I realized I must have grabbed conditioner
- rather than shampoo. I wore an old sweater,
- no big deal at home, but it made me feel shabby
- and less than at work. I arrived on time, but
- walked in to see splattered counters and an
- utter lack of order. Consquently I felt rushed
- and behind for most of the morning. All day
- I was out of place, not in the zone, lacking
- chill, going through the motions, sabotaged,
- held hostage by emotions I could not escape,
- unwelcome visitors that the skilled massuese
- drove out, her soft body kneading the tenseness
- from my muscles while piano music played.
- I really shouldn't be here I thought to myself
- as I stepped into the decrepit department
- store, but there were things I needed, I told
- myself, lying to me has never been easier,
- I realized as I surveyed the price cuts and
- dreary flooring. Then I pulled out my phone,
- read about how much we as a company were
- spending, and had a cold reality check right
- in the middle of the alternative down section
- of the bedding. Somehow, it kept me warm that night.