Things were not so good at work during the month of June. My former manager left, the current manager was supposed to start July first however she ended up not starting then because she had some vacation time coming from her previous job. This meant that one of my coworkers and I were the only two full time people running the show. At the end of June my district manager told me that if I stepped down from the assistant manager position she would make sure I had off every Tuesday and Thursday. That would save me daycare money and give me a chance to do things like swimming and piano lessons with my girls.

Initially I did not like my new manager. She came on strong, she came from an assistant manager position and she came from a store that I do not like or respect. One of the first things she told me was that I would not get Tuesday or Thursday off every week. I could have gone to my district manager and whined about that but I know how she thinks, she doesn't want to deal with my petty dramas and she's the kind of person who might give you what you ask for so you better be pretty darn sure you really want what you're requesting.

Unfortunately for my new manager she did not receive some of the training she thought that she would receive. It sounds to me like people built the store manager position up and I guess I'd be surprised if she ends up making what my former boss told her he paid taxes on last year. Formerly I would have said that my old boss and I got along for the most part however recently my new manager told me that someone recommended getting rid of me and that's one of the things I don't like about her. She tells people things that they are probably better off not knowing.

For a while my feelings were kind of hurt. The transition from old manager to new has not gone smoothly. My new manager told me that I had an attitude problem, she also told me that if I had worked for her when she first became a manager she would have fired me. To be fair to her she also told her that she's learned more from me than from anyone else and I was upset for a while before I decided that if someone doesn't have the balls to fire me themselves I'm not going to worry about what they no longer have the power to do.

The other day I was at work by myself. Previously a man had come in looking for some new shoes and he said he was going to come back later but a lot of people say that and never do. The other night he did come back and this time he brought his girlfriend along. Something that has always bothered me about this particular job is I don't always feel like I get credit for working with people the way that I do. At the end of almost two hours the man and his girlfriend walked out with less than two hundred dollars worth of products. That translates into a couple dollars of commission for me but what the company I work for never measures is how satisfied some of my customers and how much goodwill I spread.

I spend a lot of time reading up on things and I think I'm safe in making the claim that when it comes to technical knowledge I am the best sales person my company has in the state of Wisconsin. I might not know much about fashion but I'm good at identifying foot types. I'm able to work with difficult feet and sometimes they come attached to difficult people but the nice thing about my job is they can't stay in the store forever.

To switch gears for a minute I have to say that I still love my car. Recently I haven't been getting the miles per gallon I enjoyed previously but since my husband was out of town at a conference I did more in town driving than I normally do. Last Sunday I took the girls kayaking. We were out for about fifteen minutes and I thought it was going well when my youngest daughter's favorite Florida hat fell into the water. Lately I've been trying to spend more time engaged in outdoor pursuits. I spend so much time in the filthy mall that sunlight seems like the most precious commodity outside of my children's smiles.

My husband ended up having to work so I took the girls kayaking by myself. Ever since my oldest daughter was old enough to talk and look out the window she's been able to identify roads and where I was potentially going. On Sunday she was telling me how to get to the lake that I could see and not drive to. She was in the backseat yelling at me because I wasn't turning when she told me to. I told her that I couldn't drive down a bike path, we stopped at a small cafe and since the guy I spoke with told me it would be easier to cut through the zoo and walk to the lake that's what we did.

The girls complained about walking when we could have driven to the lake, a bug flew into my youngest daughter's eye and for a minute or two I thought something serious had happened. Then she started whimpering the way that kids do when they're really tired and forced into an activity when what they really need is food/sleep. When we passed an empty parking lot my oldest daughter explained that I should have listened to her, she was kind of snotty about it but she was right and the guy behind the counter had been wrong about the availability of parking near the lake.

After losing the Florida hat I decided we should cut the kayak trip short. The girls wanted to go swimming and I agreed before I thought to check my bag. Unfortunately I had forgotten to pack my suit so I had to stand on the beach and try to watch them through the crowds of other people. Both of the girls have been in swim lessons for the summer. My oldest daughter failed her last class because she couldn't swim the required distance without stopping. She has some problems with asthma which may contribute to her lack of lung capacity but we're trying to address that by taking her lap swimming as our schedules permit which hasn't been the easiest thing to manage.

Yesterday I had off so I thought the girls could swim laps with me. Just as we arrived a member of management herded us into the locker room because a tornado warning was in effect for our county. Since the pool was closed I told the girls we could climb the rock wall. We had just finished our first climb when my youngest daughter told me she was going to be late for swimming lessons. When she told me there were kids in the pool I looked and sure enough there were kids in the lap pool. She was nervous about missing the first day, I was annoyed that no one had told us swim lessons were still on and I had specifically asked an instructor about lessons being canceled so the girls missed almost half an hour of lessons through no fault of there own.

Another thing I've been working on lately is a training plan that comes with some shoes that I'd like to own. I made a private deal with myself that if I could follow the plan I could get the shoes. So far I'm almost a week into it and the first couple of days were okay but since I've been working on trying to change the way I run it has been tougher than I thought it would be. The other day my feet were really sore so I splurged on a pedicure mainly so I could sit down and have someone rub my feet for half an hour. The guy I went to did a great job and maybe this is a coincidence but Wednesday I wore a skirt to work, I wore some sandals I never wear to work and one of my last customers gave me his business card and told me I should forward my resume to him.

Thursday morning the HR woman called me to set up an interview and I hated to say no to a job interview that day but I had already scheduled haircuts and lunch with my hair stylist. My oldest daughter had been complaining about ear pain and she laid around with a pinched look on her face so I took her in to the doctor that afternoon just to rule out an infection. Both of my children had tubes in their ears when they were babies. When our insurance changed we had to go to another set of doctors and seeing some of the people who helped us out and worked with us when the girls were new to me was really a very heartwarming experience.

Back in June I had a bad allergic reaction to a bite of cereal. Monday was better but Tuesday was horrible. Wednesday I called in sick to work and since my car was stuck in the garage I had to borrow my neighbor's station wagon to go to urgent care. Outside of the room I could hear people talking, later on I realized they were talking about me and I have to say that I was impressed by the way they handled things although I realize that if someone shows up wearing jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt they slept in and the temperature outside is in the upper eighties they might actually be in so much pain they don't care what they look like.

My new doctor told me that I have to go see an allergist to rule out any other food allergies I may or may not have. The celiac panel came back negative however having a wheat allergy is about as much fun as you'd think it would be. At work people eat sandwiches on the counter so I can't put my food there. I have my own butter at home since toast crumbs are now a deadly threat to me and that's the thing that really sucks about all of this. I want to tell the people in my family not to eat anything that has wheat in it or has been exposed to wheat but I know my husband won't agree to this and I guess part of me does feel like it isn't fair to them that their diets should be restricted if I can't have something.

In my former life cooking was fun for me. When I was at urgent care this super nice nurse who was taking care of me was talking about some of the things she went through when she thought she had food allergies. It turned out she was having seizures so her problem is neurological but she was talking about being afraid of food and maybe that sounds crazy if you've never been through a traumatic allergic reaction but after you go through something like that you start weighing food in terms of how long you have to live after you take a bite. Living like that saps a lot of your enjoyment out of sitting down with a group of people. The nodermeet went well in terms of food but I think I would have had a lot more fun and been a lot more fun to hang out with had my fear of food not been with me most of the time.

This is getting a lot longer than I thought it would be however it is mostly things I've wanted to write about for a while. Writing has been therapeutic for me periodically however like almost anything it can be too much of a good thing. I have this thing with my hands that is something I have to discuss with my doctor. When I was sick and lying around the house the internet was down for over a week. I thought I'd really miss E2 and there were times when I wished I could log on and chat with people I know but I did better without than I would have earlier which is probably a good thing.

Normally I have fictional characters in my head that kind of keep me company whenever real life is something I don't want to be dealing with. I think I might have lost my ability to work with these people so that's been something I've been struggling with. Writing about shoes and feet is mainly for my own personal benefit. My theory is that if I can write things out maybe I'll be able to explain concepts better when I'm at work. My entire job can be summed up in three words and you might not think that telling people that support drives comfort would be that difficult but people come in wanting a certain color or type of shoe and others don't want to spend the time or money investing in their feet. The work is frustrating, it does not pay well but for now it's a job with benefits so I guess I'm going to take that cloud and focus on the rising cost of silver linings.

A Lexus LX450 sat in front of me at the stoplight earlier. Amongst the typical, banal conservative bumper-stickers was the holy grail of sociopolitical musings:

I'll take my cash, my guns and my freedom... You can keep the change

Best fucking deal I've heard in months...

We interrupt this daylog for the following public service announcement: People, even people who work in the field, don't generally realize what it means to be a person with a disability who depends on support workers for damn near everything.

Take right now. I'm sitting here with a dry mouth, dry throat, and the beginning of a dehydration headache. There was a sub today instead of the usual person. Her shift was shorter than usual. Nobody told her to give me anything to drink. I'm waiting for the next person now. Imagine this happening with nearly every body function: Dry mouth. Extreme thirst. Empty stomach. Nausea from empty stomach. Full bladder. You get the picture.

This isn't some kind of bid for pity, which is useless to any of us. It's in the hopes that if someone actually reads the daylogs who has any occasion to work with disabled people of any kind in any capacity, then maybe they'll remember those supposedly little things. Oh, and another thing. Never make the mistake of assuming that someone will be able to do these things themselves. I've seen people assume that in friends who ranged from completely bedridden to seemingly (but not really) extremely mobile and capable. Just. Never. Assume. It. Period. If your paperwork says they can do something and the person says they can't, trust the person. Presuming they're not too beaten down by authority to assert themselves in that manner.

And if we happen to be incredibly grouchy by the time you finally do show up, just grit your teeth and imagine it was you up all night trying not to piss yourself while growing increasingly weak and dehydrated. Generally we are used to such things and don't get grouchy nearly as fast as the average person would be under the circumstances. (I'm not grouchy now after nine hours since I last had any water. I wouldn't be grouchy if this went on till morning. I've had much worse.) If we are grouchy it's generally because something is, in fact, wrong. And generally it's these seemingly little things that cause the biggest problems, because most people have this reality distortion field in their head where they don't think about doing these things for someone else, because they are so trivial to do for themselves. News flash: They're not trivial when you can't do them.

This concludes the public service announcement, we now return you to your regularly scheduled daylogs.

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