Of overtime and Work Ethics 

Sleep, shower, cook, eat, work, cook, eat, sleep – rinse and repeat.  This pay period is going to go a long way in easing some of my financial stress at least.  We’re incredibly busy and they opened the gates for overtime for pretty much as many hours as I decide I want to work!

And so if there’s a shift I have taken it, it’s been 10-14 hour days since Tuesday and I’m scheduled through the weekend and Monday I will most likely grab shifts for the rest of the week this weekend.  Sure I’m a bit tired and I need to get some time for homework but I’m grabbing the hours while I can.

I’m taking Tuesday off to do laundry and general homework not to mention catch up on sleep and some self care.  All told however I really don’t mind these long hours, keeps me out of trouble. Yesterday was supposed to be a short day (8 hours) with me scheduled to start at 3 the morning felt like I had a day off!!

Well, until they called me at 9:30 to see if I could go in “as soon as possible”.  Today?? 11-7 but of course all day yesterday they kept asking and hoping I would go in closer to 8 this morning, I might but I’m not sure yet.  It’s 5:30 and I’m not able to get back to sleep so perhaps after I’ve read my beloved paper I’ll meander in.

With my life being so bumpy the last few years its been a while since I’ve “been great” at something and honestly I’m enjoying that feeling again.  Granted it is a crap job, minimum wage in a call center a temporary solution for immediate need but I still have pride in my work again.  I’ve been top closer every day this week and by a good margin at that getting me pretty much a golden ticket to work whenever and however I want.  

They simply leave me alone to rock my phone and I enjoy that, I feel sorry for the other poor saps who line the isles with coaches constantly walking up and down looking over shoulders giving corrections and cutting those that are having a bad day.  I think that it would drive me mad!  The conversations in the break room are all the same “they won’t give me hours, I’m not making any money!! Waaaah”.

Simple bit of advice guyzos, maybe if you worked the dialer on a consistent basis instead of reading and coloring waiting for the dialed to work you, you might just get more accomplished.  I don’t like to sit and wait for my next call, I drop the dialer into manual mode and slam calls 100% of the time I’m at that desk.  It’s a numbers game, if I can fire off 1500 calls in a shift I’m going to close some surveys, even with bad data full of disconnected numbers.

I digress, it seems work ethic is lost on the generations after mine (I’ve been feeling a tad old lately realizing generation X hasn’t been a thing for a long while now).  The good majority of my coworkers are young kids and those that are older are there because much like me hard on luck.  News flash, your going to continue to be hard on your luck as long as you prioritize getting stoned above getting ahead!  Just because pots legal here doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to smoke up before your shift at during break!  It slows you down and kills productivity, don’t space out and then bitch when you get cut!! Thicken your skin, suck it up, and do your job!

I suppose this has turned complete rant this morning, hah!  I honestly am feeling much better about myself today though.  Being able to take pride in my work again regardless of how menial that work may be.  And knowing it won’t always be this call center.

In the coming days I meet with an old friend to talk about going back to the tech industry.  This decision I did not take lightly as there is a risk I burn out and go off the rails again, I debated with myself for weeks over the possibilities and deliberately chose this particular friend to work for to protect myself and have no interest in a high level position, I’ve simply outgrown the complex rat race life.

And so, for today I will have the breakfast I am currently cooking, read my paper, call my friend, and I think I will go in at 11.

No matter what you do, take pride in it as it makes the work easier!

~J

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Cleaning House

Realizing How Much Baggage I Carry

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Sometimes it’s good to take out the trash!

Like most people during a transitional period I have been recently going through my possessions, boxes and tubs of things I have pack ratted away over a period of time. Granted not all of my stuff is with me and is stored at another location and I must wait to go through that, I am still able to go through what I do have with me. I started this process on a whim as something to pass the days as I wait to hear back from potential employers and it’s becoming an incredible experience thus far.

I’ve always had two habits when it comes to “stuff”:

  1. I collect it
  2. I randomly jam it in tubs and boxes and forget about it

 

 

Sometimes I’ll need something and start going through tub after tub looking for what I needed (often never finding it) and pulling out other trinkets and baubles along the way to mess with “later”. This cycle results in things lying around in stacks until eventually I shift it to…. You guessed it another tub, hah!!! Going through every so often and actually discarding items that I do not, and will not ever need is one thing. Going through and realizing that the cost of keeping something around that I may need sometime in the distant future is a whole new ballgame altogether!

our emotional well-being is often impacted negatively by clutter, disorganization, confusion, and the sense of being overwhelmed when trying to clean up

I suppose I should explain what I am intending to relay when I mention the word cost; from my experience in various warehouse and business settings I have come to learn that inventory has costs that are not directly tied to the purchase price of an item. These costs are the time to move items from one shelf to another, the time spent finding an item, and of course the cost of space where the item resides. Add to those an emotional cost that is often connected to the negative aspects of clutter and disorganization as it relates to personal possessions. Quite simply, our emotional well-being is often impacted negatively by clutter, disorganization, confusion, and the sense of being overwhelmed when trying to clean up.

Initially I had no idea where to start, the first tub had me pulling things out willy-nilly thinking “wow I forgot about this!!” and slipping into my cycle of pulling things out only to create more clutter and disorganization. Eventually I started looking at the items I had spread out over the floor; I stood up and grabbed a trash bag. Quietly and thoughtfully taking each item and focusing my thoughts on the cost of each item and how important it really was to me. As I began judging each item carefully and deciding whether to keep it, throw it away, or give it away things slowly began to change for me emotionally.

I began to feel a strange freedom from a lot of possessions that ordinarily I would never part with. I began to feel more at peace in my surroundings and lighter overall. The idea that when I am done I will know what I have and where it is has overcome my annoyance with how time consuming and tedious this process has become in comparison to my original “tub stuffing” method.   I will wholeheartedly admit however, I had to force myself the first few hours to think slowly and carefully about each item and what to do with it and this was no easy task at first.

I’ve found an amazing goldmine of items (some still sealed in the box!) that I will be in need of in a couple of months when I make my move to a new home. I also managed to consolidate and empty two tubs within just half a day! Two tubs!! Overall I haven’t put much of a dent in all of the stuff I have collected throughout my adult life but I have made a good dent in the possessions that I have with me during this transition. I have also found a number of items I didn’t realize I had that I will need soon thus avoiding additional unnecessary cost, and of course a few items of great emotional value to put in my little treasure boxes (I use cigar boxes for my treasures).

I feel featherweight right now emotionally, light and agile, no longer encumbered

Today’s start was a good one and I hope to keep the momentum, I didn’t think it would feel so good and expected it to be more of a tedious task that I would drop only an hour or so in. I’m actually excited to go and get a few more tubs and continue the process, it’s been rewarding knowing I can let go of a lot of things I no longer need to drag around. Almost like dumping emotional baggage at times! I feel featherweight right now emotionally, light and agile, no longer encumbered by so much stuff.

Chang Tsu once told of a story about a deaf, mute man whom many went to see to learn. (I’m going to paraphrase this as I do not remember the actual text) The student was confused as to how such a man could be so sought a teacher to which Chang Tsu replied “heaven and earth could collapse and he will not be moved, to this man losing his speech and awareness of trivial external things is like throwing away so much dirt”. I used to try and wrap my head around this thought and now I think I might have a little bit more understanding.

It’s invigorating to realize that I can part with things I no longer need or want, and to know that if I need or want something I still have the ability to put in the efforts to achieve should I simply decide to. Today was a good day!

Happy housecleaning,

~Joe

The Value of Self Determination

Accomplishments despite contrary influence

Authors note: Today is Saturday, I have decided to try and make Saturday a two post day (because it’s my blog and I can!).  Be sure and scroll down to read todays other post “Coping with Societal Negativity” and of course input is always welcome! ~J

So interestingly, the last two days have given themselves up to a very excellent stream of positive consciousness for me as well as an awareness of how strong people can be. I have two stories to relay in this article, both popping up over the last couple of days and both I have found to be quite inspirational to me. The first story had me in such a good mood I can only classify it as an emotional high even though the achievement in the story had absolutely no impact on me directly. The second story while, not actually so much of a “feel good” tale illustrates a long-term determination to succeed and how our failures might assist us over the long term. So, let’s dig in:

Story one comes from a member of my favorite HipChat group (I have mentioned them in prior posts) A Farewell to Recovery. I will note that any stories that I relay in my articles are done with permission and unless requested otherwise I keep the person anonymous.

Our subject recently had a very big announcement, the achievement of a GED or General Education Diploma which is an alternative to a high school diploma here in the United States. You might think “well what’s so special about that many people have GED’s or high school diploma’s, heck that Joe guy has his GED”. What makes this story so positively refreshing to me is that this person was told throughout life that it could never be done! In fact, some of the exact words were harsh enough to include the term “retarded”. Imagine going through your early life being told what you can’t do at every turn and not hearing much about what you can accomplish.

Over the course of about a year and a half this person exhibited the drive and perseverance that most people rarely tap. A fundamentally raw persistence to accomplish what according to the surrounding environment could not be done. What I find even more inspirational about this is that a year and a half is not a particularly long time to study for a GED. Add to that the continuing conversations about the next steps, aspirations to possibly become a Veterinarian Technician or possibly something else. Someone who had nothing but “bound to fail” reinforced over and over, and now quite successfully on a forward track that many “normal” people lack the stones to achieve. This story made my day, and inspired me to work just a little harder on my aspirations as well, thank you for that!

wow must be some socks!

Story two is a little bit different and close to home it involves a family member, my mother who is an avid weaver (don’t ask). She apparently has a “sock machine” which is some strange loom used for weaving circular deal for knitting socks (again don’t ask) which from our conversations is incredibly difficult to use. I had a conversation with her very recently about a pair of socks she was trying to make, in her words she calls them her “F***ety F*** F*** socks” wow must be some socks!

In my mind, mistakes are nothing more than learning opportunities that begin with a negative consequence.

She has been trying to make this pair of socks for what I think is several weeks now (just go buy socks!) at one point having finished the pair but not being happy with them taking the pair apart back to yarn and starting over. Something happens here or there with the loom…. Tear down and start over…. Full moon…. Tear down and start over. At the time of this article posting, the socks are not complete and I’m willing to bet are either in a state of tear down or a state of start over. The endgame is decided in this case, there will be socks! While the idea of toiling so much for a simple pair of socks might not be a positive thought, the side effects are of a very positive nature. With the continued use of the machine, and the continued identification and fixing of mistakes my mother has been able to better master the use of her beloved sock machine! In my mind, mistakes are nothing more than learning opportunities that begin with a negative consequence. (you can quote that).

May your feet stay warm,

~Joe