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1:25 pm - Sun 4/25/04
At least there will be donuts

At Least There Will Be Donuts

Sun 4/25/04 (6:31 a.m.)

Up earlier than I want to be, and won't be going back to bed for at least the next four or five hours, cause there's a two-hour long store meeting coming up at 8:00 a.m.

(At least there'll be donuts...)

Well, a couple people emailed after my last entry, saying, in so many words, "Of course you should get an estimate from one or two more dentists, you dork!".

And obviously, this only makes sense: If spending a little more time and money could potentially save me hundreds of dollars--"thousands" is a bit much to hope for--then I need to spend a little more time and money.

And maybe just a little more time; Jane suggested that while other dentists would probably want to see me before guaranteeing how much they'd charge, there's no reason I can't call some places and say "If I need to get this, that, and the other thing done, how much would it all cost?".

I'm pretty sure about the diagnosis from the first dentist, at least the "cross bite with crowding" part–It's the same one I got from a dentist 15 or 20 years ago, when we worked on a show together back in Lansing (Though he said I'd probably need to have my jaw re-set as well, which would suggest that orthodontia has either made great strides since then, or else I have more unpleasant news in front of me). It's really just all about "Can I get this done any cheaper"?)

(Well, I thought I'd ride my bike to the meeting, but I'm feeling pretty wiped, so I think it's going to be a Toyota Corolla kind-of-morning...)

____________________

I've tried not to think about it too much, but it's unavoidable–My birthday is next month.

It's on a Saturday this year–A work day–and I've felt a pull in two different directions as to how to deal with it; There's no point in taking time off when I'll just be alone, with nothing to do and nobody to do it with, but I don't want to be at work either (It would suck to have it be just like any other day–I don't think anyone at work knows when my birthday is–but it would be even more pathetic to run around telling everyone "It's my birthday today...!").

So between two unsatisfying choices, I've decided to spend the day at home alone (I've actually applied for two personal days–my birthday, and the day before–so I can at least give myself the "gift" of a four-day weekend. They haven't been okayed yet, but I'm sure they will be). Just kind of "hunker down" and wait for it to blow over.

But more on this sad situation later on. It's off to the staff meeting I go...

(12:25 p.m.)

Just got back from having breakfast with some of my coworkers after the big staff meeting...

The meeting was more interesting than usual, though not so interesting I'm going to quote the minutes, or anything like that.

Thankfully, something I was afraid of didn't happen–there was not an announcement of a more stringent "dress code" (Apparently, a new dress code has come down from corporate that just applies to the managers).

And something I was hoping would happen didn't happen; I'd heard there might be an across-the-board raise in the pay scale (I should have known that was a pipe dream–Corporate resents having to pay us at all, and would replace us with book vending machines in a heartbeat if it were at all feasible).

But the most interesting thing that happened during the meeting was this tsunami of unhappiness that poured from the staff (I wasn't surprised there was "unhappiness"–I feel it myself at Borders, in matters large and small–but I was very surprised at the intensity).

John A. was visibly taken aback. And to be honest, I was surprised at his surprise–this is a guy I didn't meet personally till he'd been at the store for two weeks, and there wasn't as much as a note in the backroom till a week after that.

In other words, he's not "Mr Warm-and-Fuzzy". He's not the ogre rumors suggested he was going to be at the beginning, but he's not there to be your best friend either. I'm fine with him now–In fact, I was actually unhappy when I recently heard he's looking for something else (He's got a monster commute )–but I was put off at the beginning, and I can understand how other people, particularly the younger folks, are afraid of him, or think that he doesn't want to hear their questions/concerns).

But really, the main "issues" people had are basically the same issues that come up at every staff meeting, year after year–People are not doing the procedures right, information isn't getting out to everyone, we only hear about what's wrong (And not what we're doing well), etc and so on–and to be honest, I feel pretty cynical that most of this stuff is ever going to be worked out. It would require too much work, too many man-hours that Borders wouldn't want to spring for, and it's just not gonna happen.

So personally, I think my strategy is going to be, as much as possible, to just keep my head down till the day I can say "So long, Suckers...!"

____________________

Tomorrow's the big audition.

I expect it to go well, but by the same token, I think the advice in How To Act And Eat At The Same Time is quite sound; basically, he suggests that it's so unlikely you'll book any particular gig that you should just go in without any expectation of getting it, and instead, just look at it as an opportunity to perform, to meet new people, etc.

In short, to "just have fun with it".

There was a time where I would not have been able to "get" that. I would have wondered "How can I go in with the attitude that I'm beaten before I've begun? Why would I do that?".

But it's not about being beaten. It's about "taking the pressure off"; every audition can't be "make or break", because 99 times out of 100, you're not going to get it, and that's 99 times you're going to be "broken".

But I'm planning on having a positive experience, which I think is going to be helped by the fact that I'll have all the time in the world to get there (It's in North Hollywood, at 3:10), and I'll have enough time to come home, park, and ride my bike to work that evening. No muss, no fuss.

Well, I've made it longer than I planned to, but I really must try to get some more sleep. Nitey nite...

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