2:04 am - Wed 9/03/03
Sat 8/30/03 (5:15 pm)
Have to go off to work in a matter of minutes...
Feel like shit.
(Emotionally, I feel like shit; Physically, I don't feel that much worse than usual, though I wish I'd gotten some more sleep by now.)
Got a flat tire on the way to work yesterday. For a brief, wildly optimistic moment, I thought I could fix it on the fly, but then reason prevailed; I walked it over to 3rd street, then when I got to the Ralphs on LaBrea, I called the store and told them what the deal was (I got John A. on the phone, whose response was so cut-and-dried that I somehow interpreted it as annoyance; I think John O. or one of the supervisors might have been more...sympathetic to my plight).
It was another example of how much I want to be "a good boy"; I was really upset initially that I was going to be late, having to tell myself "There's nothing to be done, Jim. You'll get there when you get there...".
But speaking of "Getting there"...I gots to go.
Tues 9/2/03 (10:55 a.m.)
Got "written up" at work yesterday, for the first time in the almost two-and-a-half years I've been there.
Here, I think, is all the explanation you need to understand what I'm about to go on about: The disciplinary process at Borders involves "occurences" for various employee crimes against the store . But it's mostly about being late; You get five minutes, then after that, it's a "half-occurrence" for anything from 6 minutes to half-an-hour. Then it's a full "occurrence" for anything from a half-hour to not coming in at all. When you get three "occurences", you get a talking -to and have to sign a paper saying you know you've been bad. From there, the process goes on (Basically, get enough "occurrences" in a set amount of time, and eventually, you get fired).
So John O. called me into the office (Why is that never a good thing...?). And when he showed me my list of infractions, I was very angry; In addition to getting a full "occurrence" for the flat tire I had recently on the way to work, I had a total of five "half-occurrences" for being six minutes late four times, and seven minutes late once, in the past month
I was very angry at the "nit-picky"-ness involved here–that's not been the way this store has operated up till now-- and went from "very angry" to "furious" when I checked the time clock against the actual time and saw it was three minutes fast.
So, in "real world time", I was actually being reprimanded for being three and four minutes late, five times over the past month (Again, according to Borders rules, up to five minutes late is permissible).
I didn't handle it well. I needed to be seriously "handled", and it still didn't really "take", cause it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning.
But after all the anger about "nit-picking" or "hair-splitting" or whatever you want to call it, after the annoyance of being told that if I didn't want to be late, I should just set my watch three minutes fast (I wanted to say "Why the fuck should I have to do that?"), after the frustration of being told that I could talk to John A. if I wanted to, but it probably wouldn't do any good, it came down, as it always does, to me; I have made enough mistakes in my life, enough wrong turns, that here I am, a talented, capable, middle-aged man, being treated like a fucking child, all for the right to earn peanuts.
What the hell's wrong with me, that this is the existence I've created for myself...?
Weds 9/3/03 (12:39 a.m.)
L. told me recently that she finds it "tedious" when I write about work, and skips past that stuff. I was wounded initially–"You mean every detail of my life isn't utterly fascinating?"–until I remembered that I think my writing about work is "tedious" too.
I think my writing about a lot of things is tedious, but what are you gonna do? I'd like my life to be more like an exciting action movie, or a great comic novel, but this is what I've got.
I did call John A. this morning. Kept my emotions in check as much as possible, and worked to stay "on point" (There was nothing to be gained in complaining about "nitpicking", for example, when he probably sees that as a virtue). Instead of complaining about the policy, which won't change, or letting him know what a major morale killer he's been so far (He could care less), I stuck to the fact that the time clock is three minutes fast (Basically, I said I wanted the five half-occurrences erased).And I think it's a very valid issue; If I'm going to live or die by the time clock, I sure as shit expect the time clock to be accurate!
I wasn't nuts about his attitude–He obviously wanted to argue the point with me, then tried to make it seem like he was going to be a big guy and "let me slide" this time–but in the end, I got what I wanted; The five occurrences are going away, the time clock is being set to the right time, and justice has prevailed.
I don't like this guy...
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