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8:35 pm - Weds 9/28/05
Continuing To Live

Continuing To Live

Last night at work, it struck me, rather matter-of-factly: I really don't have any compelling reason to be alive.

But I continue to live nevertheless.

Go figure...


Tim G. is on vacation for the next week, so right now, I don't know what's going to happen as a result of Saturday night's little adventure with the shoplifters.

David S. had a "talk" with Tim on Monday.

David's "passing the buck", basically--He didn't fire Tim outright, just said that his bosses wouldn't be happy about what happened, and there was likely to be some "fallout" as a result.

And when I think about it, David playing it that way makes perfect sense--What Tim did was against "Borders policy", but the kind of thing that makes you a hero with the "masses". So if Tim gets reprimanded--or even gets fired--for what he did, David can then throw up his hands and say, "Hey, it wasn't my decision...".

(For the record, I'm not in any trouble--Tim made it clear I was just "watching his back", a human concept even David S. can understand.)

Rob, who was up in the Multimedia section Saturday night when our bad guys were making off with half the store, actually quit...for all of a day; basically, he thought he was going to get reamed over what happened, and didn't want to deal.

But David likes Rob, and actually called him, asking him to reconsider.

And Rob, who bitches about David & Borders more than I ever have, came skipping back.

"The devil you know", I guess...

(Don't get me wrong: I like Rob--He's a "live wire", which is something to appreciate at a soul-killing place like Borders--but to be honest, I've lost a little respect for him now. And it seems a little "Bizarro World" that the guy who recovers hundreds of dollars of stolen merchandise gets in trouble, while the guy who didn't say "boo" as it was getting stolen gets a call from the boss pleading with him to come back).


(And now, we go back in time, all the way a day or two ago.)

Tim F., a friend from junior high through a good chunk of high school, emailed me back after I emailed my congratulations on Monkeyshine, a musical duo consisting of him and Cate D. (Who I knew, “back in the day”, as Cathi K.).

I hadn’t thought I’d hear back from him, truth to tell. Our friendship ended badly back in high school (My fault entirely), and if I’m remembering correctly, the last time I “touched base” with him was on the phone, in 1987 or thereabouts, when I was in a drunken, nostalgic haze while working at Thunder Bay Theater.

(For the record, “drinking and dialing”? Never a good idea.)

So anyway, if he’d just deleted my email and went on his merry way, that would have been quite understandable.

Since checking out the Monkeyshine website (And before, really, when I looked at his professional website), I’ve thought a lot about Tim: Married to his high school sweetheart, has a son (Keenan), makes a living with his art (He’s a freelance illustrator), and expresses himself through his other art (Music) with an enjoyable hobby.

From where I’m sitting, he seems to have gotten it all right.

(And yes–If you think I’m jealous, if you think that makes me wonder why I haven’t managed to get any of it right, you would be correct.)

Tues 9/27/05 (10:05 a.m.)

Just realized today is Tuesday, which means it’s “Trader Joes Application Day”.

(So now I’m writing this between various “getting ready” activities...)

Well, I did my very first notarization yesterday, for a woman on the top floor of my apartment building.

You know me–I always see “the black spot on the white piece of paper”–but while there were one or two “black spots” during the transaction (I forgot my stapler, and was momentarily flustered when I saw the document was not dated), it basically went fine.

I felt pretty “actor-ish” while I was doing it; I was very warm and friendly (Because in spite of being emotionally beat down by years of retail, that’s still basically “me”), and that “warmth” was sincere, but at the same time, I felt myself playing “Mr. Notary Public”, “acting out” the competence and professionalism I thought the role required.

So on the one hand, it seemed like something I could do, and be okay about doing. I can even see my "acting skills" coming into play.

On the other hand, I had a very simple document in front of me, had spoken with the client in advance, had called the NNA hotline with my questions, had gotten advice from Anita the night before, had checked through my Notary handbook, and in spite of all that preparation, still couldn’t get the job done without having to call the NNA hotline again during the actual notarization.

I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, and it isn’t. It just made me realize that I sort of don’t know what I’m doing here (I was actually glad, in a way, that my first notary gig wasn’t a loan signing. That would have been much more stressful).

I did enjoy getting my fee–$10 (Just the notarization fee, since there wasn't any travel involved)–which I then used to get a much-needed haircut.

I liked the “directness” of it–Get paid for something you do, which then covers something you need to get done.

Why isn't it always that simple?


(2:05 p.m.)

Applied at Trader Joes today.

What is it with me and employment applications? I mean, I’m a fairly bright guy, but I have a really hard time filling them out properly.

On the Trader Joes app, I accidently checked that I was “under 18", didn’t fill out the back page at all (Till the crew person who talked to me brought it to my attention), then when I did fill it out, admitted to my misdemeanor conviction back in ‘91, (Before reading the fine print that said in California, in my case--a crime more than ten years old, with probation satisfactorily completed--I didn’t have to disclose it, and crossed it out. Guess I should have asked for a new app at that point, but it seemed like we’d gotten past that point).

(You might think it's “subconscious sabotage” on my part, but if it is, it goes way back: Correctly filling out applications has always been a big “challenge” for me. Especially getting all the information they ask for into those tiny little boxes.)

Getting this job, were I to get it, might not be the solution to my problems I hoped it would be: The starting wage varies with experience, but is usually $9.00/hr (Which is better than I’m making at Borders, after over four years, but not by much), I guess everyone starts at “part-time”, and they don’t guarantee a specific number of hours.

But I like that it’s close (I got there on my bike in about 20 minutes, and could walk there in a pinch).

And as grocery stores go, it seems pretty cool.

And while I was filling out my application in the back room, one of the workers was walking around with a bag of pita bread, asking if any of her co-workers wanted to try the new humus (sp?).

And there’s a 10% discount on groceries (And their “Trader Joe” brands seem pretty reasonably priced, from what I saw while waiting to be taken into the back room).

The two people I dealt with–The guy who gave me the application, and the guy who talked to me briefly afterwards–were cool, and while I was in the back, I noticed everyone seemed pretty happy (Or at least not actively angry and resentful like at Borders).

I think it would be more actual work than I do at Borders–which gave me pause, to be honest–but there didn’t seem to be anything I couldn’t do.

And who knows? Maybe they’ll see something they like on the application–Hey, it could happen–and decide to start me at ten or eleven dollars an hour.

That would be sweet...

So I don’t know...I’m going to call back in a week, and see what’s what.

And I have to call Barnes & Noble back, to "follow up" on that application.

I'm not really comfortable with the "following up" part--I feel like I'm "bugging" people--but I guess that's what you have to do. Otherwise, you're just a sheet of paper to them.

And on paper, I'm not exactly dazzling...


(And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...)

Had a commercial casting on Monday, for Formula 409 (It's been years, but I still always want to call them "auditions". But anyway...).

I got a call from Joe (JS's second-in-command) at 1:00, for a 4:45 session, and I was not happy about that at all.

JS doesn't like people doing this, but in this case, fuck JS --I asked if I could go in earlier.

Joe called them, they said it was fine, and I went in earlier.

I really don't like "same day auditions", because it puts a ton of pressure on me. I think it's disrespectful. And I hate being put in a position where whatever I do, someone's going to be unhappy (Most likely me).

So afterwards, I thought about reiterating to JS that I really don't want to take "same day auditions".

But, if I get one on a day off, I'm likely to be quite happy about it.

And in my position, how do I say "Jon, I'd really like to pass on the opportunity to possibly make a couple thousand dollars, and maybe advance my career in the process..."?

(Man, this is going on forever, isn't it? I'm boring myself here...)

The casting was "direct-to-callback", for a fun spot (A janitor in a lab uncovers the top-secret "Formula 410", gives it a try, and blasts a hole in the wall. I guess suggesting that Formula 409 is the best you can get with the available technology).

After getting two "avails" earlier this month, suddenly "direct-to-callback" was just not enough. When nothing came of it, I was pretty deflated, thinking to myself, "What, no 'avail'? Man, I must have really stunk up the joint...".

Well, I've got enough "material" to go on for a couple more days here, but it's gotten late, and the aforementioned "material" is nothing that won't keep till tomorrow.


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