My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.|
Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.
Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.
|Crazy title, I know. However, even though it's composed of created words, it fits the entry today, I should have, and I could have. But I didn't.
"Didn't what?" you ask.
"Write anything." is my honest answer.
I've been doing good at getting in here and checking my email, looking around a little, and jotting down a short entry for my journal. I still need to be more active, reading and reviewing as well as writing a bit for my own portfolio. But time seems to be making things more difficult.
Actually it's not all times fault, I still get the standard twenty-four hours in my day. Sure, some days twenty-six would help out immensely, but only if they are used wisely That right there, that's the problem, using my time wisely. There was a song some time ago by Carly Simon titled, Anticipation. The chorus to the song states:
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting"
Now, nothing against Carly Simon or her song, both of which are terrific. But in my personal case I think it should have been titled Procrastination, for that really is what's making me late and keeping me waiting. I reckon you could say, I've always been a bit of a procrastinator and I know it's not a good thing. I also know I should change this, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
That's where "Shoulda-Coulda" come in. I should have already managed my time so that I could do a bit of reading and reviewing, and I could have set aside some time to write a bit. Instead, I find excuses for not getting to things instead of changing things so that I can do those things I really need to do.
Now, instead of droning on and on, I'm going to end this entry, post it, and then work on some notes for the writing I want to do. I have a subject, but not sure yet what it will develop into. I'm thinking along the lines of a poem, but it may come out in a short prose instead.
|I'll be writing another short entry today, once again time has sped by faster than it should. But, today it was all good, restful, and enjoyable. I celebrated another birthday today. Well, am still celebrating, it's time for cake and ice cream as soon as I finish this entry. The whole day has been wonderful, and thanks go out to my wonderful wife for making the day so great. Also, for the birthday wishes I received here, from all of you.
I actually began celebrating a bit last night. Rhonda and I relaxed with some brandy while we listened, and sang along with, many of our favorite songs. Then it was off to bed; Rhonda was up before me and made sure I would get to sleep in. We had a wonderful morning together, starting with a wonderful gift she had ready for me. Nothing expensive or extravagant, but very wonderful gift, perhaps the best I have ever gotten.
She knows I have a difficult time finding a comfortable robe that fits well. She also knows I tend to get too warm in the heavy, snugly robes that are most common. Some years back, she had found a light, well fitting robe for me, and I wore it to shreds until there was no choice except to discard it. She wanted to replace it, but could not find another like it. But, she wasn't about to let that stop her, she purchased the items she needed and hand made a very comfortable, beautiful, and light robe for me.
We had steak cooked out on the new grill we picked up together a few days ago, after I assembled it. We have a big grill that has served us well for years, but it's just too big for the two of us. So we looked at a small table top style grill, just a simple charcoal type and found one for twelve dollars. It's the perfect size for us, and I was surprised at how well it cooked the steaks; much better than any I have ever cooked on our old one.
It's just been a wonderful day.
|Back to work today, but it was a slow day. That's alright, it gave me the opportunity to get caught up on some paperwork. It's nice not going in so blasted early, but it has it's one draw back, I get home much later. Even so, I'm making time to make an entry while dinner cooks; short but still, an entry.
Next on my list of things to do, is get some writing done other than just an entry here. I have a lot of stories that need to be revised and some that also need to have more content added. In fact, some of these are right proper material for a novel or two. That much writing may have to wait for a bit, I don't think my shoulder will handle that much typing. But, that still leaves a lot of revisions and adding on. Of course, I also want to get more active in the Power Reviewers Group again, too.
Slow and easy as I get back into things, but soon enough I hope to be back to reading and righting reviews as well as working on my own items. For right now, I may just focus on trying to write a poem or two, just to get my imagination and inspiration back into gear.
One last thought... It sure feels good to be back!
|Spring is the season of new beginnings, but this particular spring brings another new beginning...
My last journal entry was back in November, six months ago, but wait, it gets worse. My activity in here also began to diminish shortly after. Part of the reason I wasn't writing in my journal was because of all the writing I was doing for a contest. It was supposed to run a year, but things happen and it ended with the start of the new year, five months into the contest. Because I was writing a story a week for the contest, I was focusing most of my attention in that direction and let my journal fall by the wayside for a bit.
When the contest ended early, I was resolved to continue writing the new story each week, just to be able to complete the contest I had started. Vary good intentions, but unfortunately, some unpredictable incidents developed and my good intentions fell alongside my journal, by the wayside.
I was a bit frustrated when the contest ended, but I could understand the circumstances behind it and maintained a positive attitude and outlook. Shortly after, a very dear old friend took ill. To many, he may be thought of as just a pet, but to us, he was family, as close as any child. He was, as was his mate, one of my few best friends, and now his health was deteriorating and we knew that soon he would once again be joined with his mate who had left us two years before.
He had all my attention, and we did what we could for him. There was no cure, age had caught up with him. He also developed a tumor in his digestive system, which shortened his time even more. With medication he was able to stay with us one final week, then passed quickly to join his mate. Both my wife and I were filled with grief and we took some needed time to mourn his passing. For me, there would be an even longer adjustment to make. To sit at the writing table and write, as I do now, was more than I could do, for whenever I sat at the desk or the writing table, my friend would be right there, at my feet, under the structure.
Hyko had always been very close to me, warning me in advance of asthma attacks, comforting me when sick or injured, and in constant contact with at least one of my feet when I would write or do anything at the desk or the writing table. He had become a part of much that I did from day to day, and an even bigger part to my writing. I would often stop typing to reach down and give him a pat on the head or pet him, and when things didn't seem to flow correctly, I would read what I had written to him. He would look at me and lift his ears a bit as I read, but never offered any comments. Even so, it became a way for me to think things out and make corrections and changes.
I knew that it would be hard, as well as sorrowful to adjust to him not being there, but I also understood that I needed to keep on writing and stay focused. Of course, some time would need to pass for me to grieve and adjust. Again, unseen circumstance arose, and I found myself with first a painful shoulder, then a pretty useless one. It started out like a pulled muscle or a sprain, but soon the pain was so bad that I could not do much of anything with my left arm.
I knew I had to keep it moving and keep using it, or it would become even more stiff and sore, but despite my best efforts, I found I was losing more and more range of motion and use of the arm. As much as I dislike to, I had to see a doctor. My doctor had me describe my symptoms, looked at my limited range of motion, and referred me to a specialist. He also had to know all the details of what had taken place, had me go through my limited range of motion, and prescribed some medication for inflammation and pain, referred me to physical therapy, and injected the shoulder joint and surrounding tissue with a steroid.
The condition is called frozen shoulder syndrome and who knows how or why it comes on, it just does. I was lucky to still have some strength and limited motion left, even though it was very painful. Therapy is also very painful, but like the doc said, in this case, there is no gain without pain. The muscles in the shoulder froze up and tightened to the point of not being able to do much of anything. They just do not give much, and what little I do coax out of them is excruciating. I have gained back a lot of my range of motion, and am continuing to gain a bit more with continued therapy.
I've reached a point now I can actually type without being in pain, although with the writing I have done so far in this entry, I am feeling more and more discomfort. It will be a while before I can type away without any, but I've reached a point now that I can type and by so doing, gain more, as I am doing for my range of motion.
There have been other setbacks as well. Finances are in a mess and the wolves are howling at the door. It seems like we will lose medical insurance, and we are tightening our belts and cutting back in any way we can. I don't know if I will be able to keep my current membership or not, it's due in another month and a half. Yes, it's been a long and brutal winter, but spring is here, and with it, a new beginning emerges... perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
|It's been a while. Not much for time and a lot going on using up what little I seem to get. It seems at times, life kind of spins right out of control and all a person can do is hold on tight and try not to fall off.
Unfortunately, I seem to have lost my grip and fallen. I thought I had about hit bottom, but then yet another unpleasant surprise comes along and I find I landed on a sink-hole, not rock bottom. As of yet, I have no idea just how much of a setback this is going to be, or much of anything else.
That seems to be the worst, not knowing. Hopefully today will provide some answers---and some good news.
I just got a call to explain things and it's not quite as bad as it could have been, but it's still a good kick in the gut when a guys already down. I suspect there will be other repercussions as well, but I should be able to contact everyone and manage through the worst of it.
Without going too far into it, I'll provide a short explanation. We live from payday to payday, and with the new health insurance laws, aren't even managing that at times. Because of some medical problems, we ended up short on wages for half the summer and most of the fall, which has put us even further behind. Even so, we tried to stand fast and work our way through this, hoping that in time we could clear up our credit again and get back on our feet.
But, for the time being, there is no credit; we get paid every two weeks and we have to make do, no matter how difficult. Even if we could find credit, we are strapped and would have no means to make another payment. So, what happens? We end up owing the IRS for taxes, not enough was withheld. On top of that, a fine for not having medical insurance for the first three months of the year, which they conveniently tacked on to our amount due.
We arranged to make payments; while still fighting the fine, we figured it better to get things started and prevent further penalties. We were found to be exempt from the fine, but so far nothing from the IRS indicating any change in what we need to pay them. Hopefully soon.
With this added payment, we find ourselves in a situation where it's difficult to afford to eat and keep gas in our one running vehicle, but we have managed. We stretch each dollar as far as we can and keep as much money in our bank account as possible to last up to the next payday, just in case we need milk, bread, or gas. Monday, we had two-hundred bucks left to last the week, with only one payment set to come out, automatically.
Yesterday, I tried to use my debit card and it would not authorize. I knew there was still more than enough money in the account, but the bank was closed, so no way to find out what was wrong. Once I got home, I logged in to see the balance. -$17.00!
There was a transfer amount out that I had not made. My wife and I have a dual account; joint checking. So, not only did someone withdraw all available funds, they did it before a couple pending weekend transactions went through. If it had been done through one of our cards, we would have been able to recover the funds and everything would be fine. But, it was an electronic withdrawal and no way to recover anything until we find out who made it.
The bank was great in helping to get us information and is tracking the money to see who took it. For now, the account is locked, but with a negative amount, there will be overdraft fees unless we can get the balance over $0.00 by four this afternoon.
Our direct deposit comes on Friday, but with the account locked, we won't be able to access it except taking funds in person with our ID's. It's a mess and it's not over yet.
|It's been a few days so I reckon I better do just that. In fact, it's been three days, I haven't updated since Sunday. Part of it is on account of work, I haven't been getting out of there on time. But, that does not justify no entries all week. I've been working on another story for the last few days, and that does tend to interfere with my intent on writing in here. Today, it was a bunch of paperwork, forms needing filled and faxed, and memo's in need of writing that kept me busy, even though I am off work today.
Once I completed my work, I was set to get back to my story, but the phone rang and interrupted me. All my caller ID indicated was "Washington DC" and then the answering machine picked up. Yes, I screen my calls, just for such bogus calls as this one. The call was a robocall and informed me the IRS was filing a lawsuit against me and I needed to call a number for more information. There was no case or ID number, no reference number, and no contact information as to who I should be calling.
I didn't answer, but listened until it was done. I had already opened my web browser and was typing in a search for just such a scam. I found one listed on numerous pages, including one that had the exact same recording as the one on my phone answering machine. I also found it listed on the IRS's website, so I did not report it there. I did, however, report it, along with all available information, to the Federal Trade Commission in hopes that they can track and arrest these scammers.
Even though it's a scam, it really upset me. I mean, at first I just heard IRS and lawsuit. That was enough to get my blood pressure up and my anxieties activated. Of course, that's the purpose. After I realized it was all bogus, it just got me riled. How many people actually fall for this? Too many. Why? Because they hear IRS, lawsuit, and they become frightened and panic. The nature of the message prevents them from thinking their way through this. Now, isn't that, by it's very nature, a form of terrorism as well as a scam?
Now, with that off my mind, I'm going to try and get some work done in my story.
|So far so good. I had my first day back to work yesterday and did a six hour shift. One of the guards I trained in earlier this year met me at the parking lot and stuck around just to make sure I didn't have any problems. No one had said anything, and I didn't expect anything, just something he decided to do on his own, to help me out.
After my shift ended, the guard who is leaving worked his last shift, but didn't have a name tag. I had to go track down a store manager to find out what happened. Instead of taking his badge after he finished, they had already taken it a day early. Nothing like pushing the poor guy out the door in the first place, then take his badge a day before he's even done. I couldn't say to him at work, the manager that is, but what an asshole. Of course I already knew this, he just continues to confirm it.
I didn't have any problems, but it was nice to have some help, just in case. Also, being out for about three months, it was good to have someone there in case I forgot anything. I surprised him and did my job great. Well, except I forgot one symbol in the password and couldn't log into the tablet. He did enjoy getting to tell me the password. He even got a laugh out of it. towards the end of the shift, it got pretty busy and it was nice he was there to assist a little. After, I ended up sticking around an hour longer to assist the guard who took over after me, since it was still busy. I will meet with him tomorrow to get his equipment and to bid him farewell.
Today I had off, so took some time to work on the Jimmy this afternoon. What a beast that thing is to work on; you can't do anything as a result of it being so packed in. It has been running real rough, missing, and flooding. I had already changed out the cap and rotor, hoping that would fix it, but it didn't do much at all. They are fairly easy to get at, just have to lie across the engine to reach. Since it wasn't running much better, I stopped after work and picked up spark-plugs for it, and changed them out today. I can get at the three on the passenger side with some difficulty from under the hood, but the driver's side you have to remove the front tire to change them. Only one on the driver side looked bad, and I was beginning to wonder.
Then, it was over to the left side, but because of the recent surgery, I was having a lot of difficulty trying to reach the plugs. I ended up pulling that tire, too. It was a lot easy to get at them from the wheel well, and I will do it that way in the future. All three looked bad on the left side of the engine, one wasn't even firing and was wet with gas. After we finished, Rhonda had helped out, we put things away and took it for a couple mile ride. It run great! I don't know why it burns the plugs out every six months, and I wasn't sure that was even the problem, but I do know it now. When it starts running rough again, I'll know to just change out the plugs and may even be able to use the old ones once they are cleaned up and re-gaped.
Besides work and vehicle repairs, we had a bit of excitement in our little town. It's very small and sits on a crossroad a block from where I live. The other side is about three blocks, so the whole town is four blacks wide and at it's widest, four blacks long. Even though it's almost rural, we had every exit out of town blocked off and four sheriff's vehicles driving around. There were another two that assisted with roadblocks as well as a firetruck that could pull forward and seal the highway that runs by our house. No idea what was going on, but it sure looked like they were driving around town looking for someone. We didn't venture out, except for a few minutes to walk out to the front and look around. Not knowing what was going down it may have not been safe, and no matter what the situation, I'm sure we would have only hampered the police activity by getting in their way. I still have not heard anything on the news but hope to soo,.
|All caught up in the challenge now. I wrote a thirty page story for the last prompt, but managed to get back down to twelve for this weeks. I had told myself to keep it short, since I had other things to do today, but I apparently didn't listen to myself and spent the entire day writing. Oh well, is there a better way to spend a day than reading a good story? Yeah, writing one.
It's back to work tomorrow, but we did get another person hired and trained. That means there is less chance of me having to pick up open hours when other's don't show up. More time to devote to writing and studying grammar so i can go back and revised all these stories one day.
Now, time for dinner and then a little TV time before going to bed. I'm going to have to make it an early night since I will have to get up around three or three-thirty. But, there is good news there, too. I'm finally sleeping at night again. I did get a prescription to help out and am directed to use the medication for a couple of weeks and then try without it. I also discovered the other medication I'm on also makes me drowsy and can be taken in the evenings, too.
It's been so long since I have slept good at night, and all night long that it feels weird not waking up or just lying there trying to get to sleep. I do still wake once in a while to go to the bathroom, but not very much. I feel more energetic, my stress levels are down, and I'm feeling better than I have for a long time. I'm even enjoying feeling tired in the evenings and looking forward to going to bed instead of dreading it.
|I just want to get a short entry in here before I go back to work on my latest story. It's been pretty hit and miss writing in here and I know if I work on the story, I'll likely forget to log in here for my journal. I'm getting close to the finish, but that doesn't mean much since it's developing while I write.
I just read a message from NaNo about this kind of writing; if you use a laid out and organized outline and follow it, or if you just wing it and start writing, making it up as you go. Me, I'm a cross between the two it seems. I can't just start writing, I have to have a basic plan of action, the basic characters, and some kind of idea what the ending will be. I don't have to know for certain, just a general idea of the ending will do.
What kind of writer am I, then? Well, I need to know a basic story line, something I can usually store in my head with a few notes scratched into my notebook. But, other times I like to write up a couple paragraphs about the story plan, especially if I am not going to start writing right away. This is the case for my next story, I got a good idea yesterday but don't want to get into until after I finish this one, so I wrote out, scribble describes it better, a couple paragraphs of the most basic story outline. This time the outline includes how I want to start my story, the general plot of it, and a basic ending. From here I can just work on developing details so it makes sense and captures the reader.
Most often, however, I don't have as much when I start. I may have the general plot idea, but have to work up a beginning to get me there. Other times I may have a basic beginning and generalized plot, but no idea of what to end with. Yet other times, I may have the plot figured out and how it should end, or a beginning and end, but nothing to connect them. In these cases, whatever is missing just seems to develop while I write about what I do have. In fact, once I have the beginning started in detail and a general idea where I want to go, either by plot or ending, the rest is just made up while I write. In all cases, no matter how developed my idea is, it changes as I write and new ideas or changes to existing ones come along. Like everyone else, I also have those areas that seem good until they are put into the content of the rest of the story, then don't fit right. So, there is sometimes going back and changing something to make it all work together.
No matter how it works out, there is one thing that is always the same. Once I start writing I get lost within my own mind and forget to eat, get up and stretch, and am fully unaware of things around me. Of course, if the phone rings or the dogs bark, it will seep through after about a minute and pull me out. If I can get back to the story, even if it is just going over it in my head while I take the dogs out, I'm fine and right back into writing. But, if it requires me to focus on something else or goes on too long, I have difficulty getting back. Oh, and if there are too many int eruptions -- lets just say frustration only makes it more impossible to write.
When Gotham City called , Batman and Robin jumped into action. Quick, to the Bat Cave! They were suited up and ready to go do their thing. That's what I need, well something similar. When writing calls, "Quick, to the writing cave! Then I can suit up in my soft pj's and fuzzy slippers and hit the keypad.
|This week is starting out just backwards. Instead of working on a new story for Sunday's prompt, I'm trying to finish last weeks. I was supposed to return to work on Saturday and then work Monday again, but had to reschedule that for this week, so should be back on Saturday. Monday I was in to see the doctor and get a few things checked out and talk to her about a switch in my medications, as well as some sleep problems.
Other than that, it's been stuff for work, getting ready to let one person go and trying to get another hired and set to train. We are also down to one vehicle, an old one and it's been running terrible, so trying to get some work done on that. Today, if all works well, I will be going in to do the hire paperwork and get the new guy ready to start; that's if he's still interested in the job.
It all adds up to very little time for much of anything, excess stress, and one big headache. If things had been done right, all this could have been done much easier, without the problems, and over a longer period of time. But, nothing I had any control over, and that also adds to the stress. Looks like I am going to be going back to a lot of problems that should have never even manifested. Again, nothing to do with the company I work for, but as a result of the people we contract to for our service.
It's almost funny; they hold us to very strict rules and policy, and we hear about it if there is any discrepancy at all. But, they do not hold to their own policy and let things escalate until it's past fixing. I'm still wondering if going back is the right choice, but my bankbook indicates it's not really much of a choice right now. Still, if things do not change, I doubt I will be staying for very long. In the meantime, I need to find time to look around for other opportunistic. Only having one vehicle right now is going to make that a lot more difficult, but I don't see any other choice.
|It's after noon on Saturday and I'm still working on the story for this week's challenge. I have plans for the zoo with family this afternoon, then dinner with them, and once done, need to do a bit of shopping while in town, so I'm running out of time. I was going to get up with Rhonda this morning, around four, but that would have been too early and I wouldn't have managed much; too damn tired from that early of a morning.
But, I was up by eight, got my stuff done online and texting with Rhonda by nine, then worked on the story. This one is just going so slow and I have to work at getting the parts out and onto my screen. Not only is this one a bit harder to get out, but I can't seem to break away from distractions. The dogs started it this morning, wanting some time and attention. Then, once settled down, back to writing. Shortly after one gets sick; Hannah tried to come tell me, but didn't make it or she would have likely threw up on me. One pile by my computer on the floor and another in the kitchen on the way to the door. I got them cleaned up, then let the dogs back in. I checked on Hannah and she seemed to be feeling okay. I wrote a bit more then worked on lunch, being hungry and knowing they were, too.
I got a bit more writing in before Rhonda go done work, about a half hour, then called her at the same time she was calling me. We talked for a bit, then I let her go and got a few more minutes in at the computer. I needed to research a plant, so started my online search and was just reading up on the plant when the phone rang again.
This time it was Rene, a friend out in California. She and Rhonda are very close friends, having met online and built a long distance friendship. Of course, Rene and I are also friends, but not as close. I have not talked to her over the phone, but Rhonda does all the time. So, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to talk to her for a little while, and enjoyed the conversation until Rhonda got home. After I turned the phone over to Rhonda, i went back and did my research, and am now ready to get back to writing.
But, with Rhonda on the phone, it's very distracting for me to concentrate on the story. I usually can't write if I have music going with lyrics in it. I can and do use music, but just instrumentals. So now I wait for them to get off the phone so I can try and get back into the story. Having time running out also makes this more difficult, since we have to be in town by 4:00. We will need to get ready by 3:00 at the latest, and I still have a lot of writing left to go.
I may need an extension...
|Just about ready to get back into my story -- not one I'm reading, the one I'm writing for the 52 Week Challenge. I got a good start on it yesterday despite repeated interruptions. I don't know about other writers, but for me, an interruption can completely stop the writing process, depending on how into the writing I am, how severe the interruption, and how long the interruption. It's kind of like a train moving down the tracks and having to contend with debris; a little and the train goes right over it, a bit more and it pushes it off the track, but has to slow to do it, too much and it derails the train.
If I'm really into my writing, I can deal with more and greater interruptions, but if I'm having a difficult time writing, it can bring me to a screeching stop and inability to get started again. I've had problems with this story right from the first when I seen the prompt. Not that it's a bad prompt, but it has people in it, and for me that kind of sets the characters right off. The problem with this is they are not my characters. Also, if the prompt displays items that set the genre, I seem to have more problems. I can write in many genres, but I don't tend to pick one to write in, I write and then look to see what genre the story took.
Even though this prompt had characters and had set the genre, it should not have been as difficult as it was to get started. But, a truckload of stress showed up from work and that also interfered with my story writing process. Now, that same truckload of stress is hanging in the air, until things are taken care of to remove it. The problem is, the source will continue on, even after the problem is solved. All this is like swimming against the current when it comes to writing and creativity; way too much resistance.
But I managed to put things aside and work on my story. I got started, but with all the interference going on, it just would not flow smoothly like it should. How to explain how it works in my brain is kind of difficult, but lets just say when a story develops and I begin to write, it's almost as if the story takes over and I just write it as it plays out in my mind. But when there are a lot of other things pressing for attention it cripples the process and instead of the story flowing out, I have to go in and hunt and dig for it. It moves so much slower, and it seems like I even take a wrong turn here and there an have to back-track to get back to the story line I'm using.
Four pages was all I managed, and I didn't even get to the actual story, just the lead into it. I have the two main characters introduced, and a good explanation of what's been taking place and what causes the problem the story is based upon. Now, today I hope to actually write the fun and exciting part and figure out a good ending for it. Hopefully no interruptions today and hopefully it moves a little smoother.
|Today is my wife's birthday, so first things first, "Happy Birthday to the greatest gal I know."
Of course, the way things work out, she's at work while I write this. It almost seems funny how we have people, some but not all, who insist on taking their birthdays off. Of course, I try and comply with their desires; I understand why they want to take the day off. But, when Rhonda's or my birthday comes around, there is no volunteers stepping up to say, "Hey, you should have the day off, too. I'll fill in for you."
On the same note, if I was to schedule one of us off, we could take the day off, but then I have to listen to the whining because the schedule changed and they have to work. It amazes me how self centered so many people are these days. Not all, but a lot of them. This also showed up in a much more serious situation with work quite recently. One that may still lead me to resign from my job, although I keep trying to convince myself that I should stick it out. Part of it is the stress, another part is, I cannot do my job as a supervisor under these conditions, and finally, there has been a breach of trust and respect that could have me going off on someone outside our company, but is employed by our client.
The situation is having to fire someone. This in itself doesn't bother me, and it has been suspected from the very start of his employment. He was not doing a very good job, and it was looking like I would have to terminate him and hire another. No problem, that's part of the job. But, since we do not all work at the same time, but individual shifts, I relay on the store where we are stationed to inform me of problems with any of the guards.
It has been a constant struggle to get the store we work a, who contracts our company for security services, to work with me and not try and enforce policy on people who do not even work directly for them. Very stressful, but it comes with the job. This summer, it started out with some information being passed on to me about this person having problems and needing to replace him. Then, when we hired another, I asked how this person was doing. The answer was, he's doing pretty good, but still having some problems. So, I talked with the manager and set this person up for a double coverage shift where he would work with another guard. That was all fine.
Then, I had some health issues and had to take some time off from work. My wife, who is also a security guard at this same site, took on the task of supervisor in my absence. Of course, I worked with her and assisted her as needed, and she did a great job. Because of the problems with this one guard, she continued to ask how he was doing through the summer and into the fall. She was told he was doing good, there were no problems.
When double coverage hours ended, she asked, if we need to let someone go, should it be the guard who is mentioned here, or another who seemed t be doing pretty good but had attendance problems. The manager replied, if it's a choice between these two, I would prefer you let the guard with the attendance problems go and keep the other. Of course, in the actual discussions, their first names were used. Even so, the other guard was still not showing by our indicators, that he was doing a very good job. Therefore, I continued to question whether he should be kept on or let go. Rhonda continued to voice this to the manager, who continued to tell us this person was doing alright; there were no problems.
So, on Saturday, when this manager confronted Rhonda and said the guard must be terminated as soon as possible, it came as a shock. Since he is not a general manager, we have to bring this request to his attention, as well. Even the general manager was unaware of any problems, but reviewed the guards file they keep on all of us and by the end of the day yesterday informed us that the guard has not been doing his job all summer and must be let go.
My stress now, is the manager I have to work with, lied to me about this problem. I'm not going to even talk about him keeping the information form his boss, that's not my problem, but it is my problem when he lies to me about the guards I supervise. For one thing, I cannot do my job if I do not know what is going on. Another problem is this situation can be repeated; letting a problem escalate until it means instant termination, instead of having time to try and correct the problem. It also means I am very angry at the manager who caused this to become a serious problem.
My company is behind me, but because we are contracted, we must keep the store happy or we are all out of a job. If the general manager cannot even keep his subordinates in line to know what's going on, I cannot see him being able to enforce the policy of them keeping me informed about my guards. So, nothing will change; except now instead of just being a bit upset and stressed, I'm down right pissed off and want to put this jerk in his place. I do not know if I can restrain myself from not telling him if he confronts me about anything. Finally, I cannot, knowing he ignores me, has no respect for my position, and even lies to me about my guards, work with this man. I refuse to interact with him about anything, and that is a conflict with my company.
I'm giving this a few days; I need to cool down, and I need to think this through. I'm so stressed currently over this breach and disrespect that I cannot even sleep. Now, with a few hours of shut-eye, and not quality sleep for them few hours, I'm tired, stressed, and pissed... not a good combination.
To top it off, I wasn't even scheduled to return until Saturday, but already my week has been hell. I should be writing a story for the challenge, I need to make Rhonda's day special, and I've spent my morning conferring with my boss and the office, filling our paperwork, and sending faxes.
|It's been a couple of days so I reckon I better write a bit. Not that there's nothing to write about, I have plenty, but I just haven't been motivated to write about these things. Even so, writing about it always helps me put it in perspective.
The new prompt is out for the 52 Week Challenge and is fitting for Halloween, but that makes it difficult to write about since the genre is already kind of picked. Even so, I'm sure I can come up with some good story and if needed, find a way to tie it to the prompt, no matter what genre I write in. Also, I shouldn't have any trouble coming up with a good spook story that works with the prompt and the time of year;it should be kind of fun. I have to ask myself, then, what's the malfunction.
I already know, stress and anxiety over work, and I'm technically not even back until Saturday. But, it's started already, and I've had to spend part of the last three days thinking about solutions. Also, since the office is closed on the weekends, I've been waiting until today to e-mail my boss over the current problem.
Rhonda has been dealing with things while I've been out for medical problems, and doing a good job. But, now that I'm again on the schedule, unseen problems are getting presented to her to pass on to me. The biggest is the termination of one of the guards. She was told on Saturday that the store wants this guard gone as soon as we can find someone to replace him.
This was the problem when we hired this person in the spring, then it seemed to get better and I didn't hear anymore about it. The guard in question does have some problems, but since nothing was brought to my attention by the store, I thought things had gotten better. Then, I'm out for medical problems and Rhonda is holding down the fort. She directly asked about this guard and another quite frequently and was told they are doing fine, there is no problem. When it looked like we may be downsizing for the winter, she asked if the store had any preference which guard was let go A or B. The answer was, if one has to go, it would be better if it was A who left and B was kept on.
So, when out of the blue on Saturday this same person from the store told her at work that B wasn't doing their job, that he, the store person, had talked to this guard numerous times about this, and since the problem is ongoing, we need to get rid of B as soon as possible, we were both surprised.
Rhonda talked to me, and I, of course, notified the office. No warning, no communication of any problem, and when asked, everything is fine with this person, then wham, get rid of him. Apparently, this so-tore person was just waiting for me to return to my duties to drop this bomb on us.
The other person in question for letting go is very limited on what few days he can work, and is very unreliable. Saturday while discussing this, he text my work phone shortly before his shift, "I have a temp of 110 and can't work."
Policy is four hours minimum to call in, so Rhonda returned his text with a call, either get to work or you gone. He made it in on time, but since this is an ongoing problem, he likely will pull it again, and if so, he may well be on his way out. At the same time, this is the person the store said to get rid of, and keep the other guard who they now want me to fire. Crazy, to say the least.
So, stress on Saturday, lots to think about on Sunday, e-mail and talk with my director today, and like I said, I'm not even back officially until Saturday. What to do? I need to find out from a general manager what the situation is, then possibly fire a dependable, but lacking in performance employee, while having another I cannot count on that very likely will also get canned. On top of that, this not being informed of things on site, as well as the person from the store over stepping his limits on talking to guards not even implored by his company has me pretty pissed. I talked to my boss over it and have opened another can of worms about this.
Someplace in all this, there has to be some kind of silver lining, right? I say no, three years of this crap and I'm ready to throw in the towel if it isn't fixed. I know for sure, if it continues, I will give my notice and letter of resignation before I will suffer more health problems over my job.
So, not the best entry, but I needed to vent.
|Saturday already, and one week until I go back to work, but we have it scheduled for just two days a week. Now, I find out today, we have to let one person go for lack of doing his job. This means my schedule is already going to have to change. Crazy is all I can say. I've been out of work for a couple of months and it's been pretty good as far as the schedule. Now, the first week I'm back on it, and it needs to change, already. At least the company is willing to keep him on until we can find someone to fill his position. Well, at least for now, although it could change quickly.
Other than this, it's been a nice day. I slept in today, since it's likely the last Saturday I will get to. Also, Rhonda will be home anytime now, since she worked early. I'm sure she will want to nap a bit, but that will give me time to get us some lunch done and then wake her to eat. It's also a very pretty day, but kind of chilly. Lots of sunshine and maybe a good day to get some stuff done outside. To top it off, Rhonda has the next two days off, so we get some quality time to share.
Yesterday went pretty good. I spent the most time working on my latest story for the 52 Week Challenge, and finished the story. I started it on Wednesday and was hoping to get more done on Thursday, but just didn't have time in the morning and was socializing most of the afternoon with family, celebrating a fiftieth birthday.
The story was kind of hard to get started, the image not spurring anything but then Rhonda had an idea and although I didn't actually follow her idea as it was presented, it did trigger another idea that was similar. This one ended up going for twenty pages, the longest one yet. It was fun to to write, took a good deal of research, and has a terrific ending.
Not sure what the rest of today will hold, but I may be back to write about it, later.
|I was hoping to finish my story for the Challenge yesterday, but that didn't pan out. I had a productive day, just not in the writing department. In fact, it was a very enjoyable day as well as productive; it just wasn't long enough. During a conversation, I may have stumbled upon the truth of why this, too short of day, is happening. unfolded.
I got up early, spent a little time with Rhonda before she went to work, then made up some peanut butter cookies and took care of the dogs. Next was lunch, then it was time for Rhonda to get home so we could get ready to go out for dinner with my sister from Minnesota. She came for a surprise visit for my brother's birthday, the reason we were all going out to eat. After a nice dinner we went to his place for cake and ice cream and more conversation before coming home.
So much for the day -- it was over and I didn't get to my writing project. But, during conversation at dinner, my sister mentioned my brother should not be as old as he is. I, in humor, offered a suggestion as to why he was older than he should be:
It's a conspiracy to keep us in the dark. Not just in our own country, but a global conspiracy, in fact. For some reason, maybe a volcano or an earthquake, who knows...? Anyway, something about twenty to thirty years ago caused the planet to speed up. Not only is it spinning faster and faster, making each day shorter than the one before, likely just seconds, but the whole orbit has also sped up, shortening our solar year.
None of this is noticeable, just a few seconds gone from the day each month, and a few hours shorter for the year, but over the course of twenty to thirty years, we are now trying to pack in twenty-four hours of activities in a twenty-two hour day. Or at least a less than twenty-four hour day. And, we are trying to live three hundred and sixty five days a year with only three hundred and sixty, or something similar.
Since we have never been informed of any of this, it's difficult to determine how much time we have lost, but it's enough to notice and probably the reason for daylight savings time, although that hasn't worked. I'm sure you have noticed the change, there are never enough hours in the day anymore, nor are there enough days in the year; not like when we were young and the day went on forever, and it took so long for Christmas or your favorite holiday to arrive. Now, it's time for bed before dinner is ready and the next holiday just passed!
|Edited on October 16.
I think it's time to do this a little difference. Not the journal entry, that seems to work pretty well, although maybe a bit boring to read at times. No, I'm going to continue writing about my day, or what's going on, maybe even ideas or just to blow off steam. After all, that's kind of the idea for a daily diary, and my journal doubles as my diary. It's nice to look back and see where I've come from over a period of time.
The change will be in the title above. I started this more on the idea of a diary for my thoughts and ideas, but it has become more of a journal of my passage through life, a place to write about what's going on, a place to vent, and a place to unleash my thoughts to see if a change in direction is in order.
I started out just listing the day I wrote as the title. It was quick, easy, and served the purpose. But, just as the title of my blog has changed because it didn't reflect properly what I wanted it to reflect, so goes the title of the entries therein. Now, that's a mouthful... anyway, I am going to try and pick a more fitting title for my daily entries. It will aid in referencing back for ideas or to find something specific that I wrote about, and it will be easier for you, the reader, to see if there is anything of interest to read.
Currently, you would have to read in a ways to even grasp what I'm writing about for the day, although it may start out with one subject and then change; random writing often does. Now, however, you will see by the title what lies within. Of course, since this is a type of free-write for me, it may be anyplace within the contents of the entry, but at least you will know it's in there. Now, on to my day...
It's been a pretty good day, and I managed to get a good start on my story for the 52 Week Challenge. I started doing some research yesterday and even wrote out a brief story line. Not a lot of sense in getting too involved in the story line, since it will have many changes as the story transpires. I don't know if that's normal or not, but it is normal for me to have a general idea of the story, but as it unfolds in my mind, there are many changes that take place. Sometimes the final outcome isn't even the one I first had in mind.
So, a couple of pages of notes typed up, a page of handwritten notes on the general story, and then seven pages written today. It's a fun story and I'm enjoying it. I was having a tough time with the prompt, and Rhonda mentioned an idea she thought might help and I commented with the first thought that came to mind, a bit of humor about where her idea was leading. We shared a laugh over this and I was thinking about what she had mentioned for an idea.
That was it, her idea was the right direction and what I replied for a giggle for both of us was the rest of it, only not in humor. I told her yesterday when she got home from work that I had a story line and shared it with her. Sure, it's not quite what she had mentioned, but the general idea is the same.
The prompt is a boat on a river, but it's a fantasy river. She had suggested it lead to another dimension or world. I told her it was a good idea, but since I had recently written something along this line, I jokingly said, yes, it's the river Styx and he's headed for Hades. We both laughed, knowing the reference was my own version of Hades that forms when I want to write and cannot get any ideas.
But, as it turned out, it was a great idea and now I have the poor soul, yes that is a pun, just reaching the underworld and walking with Hades to his palace. This is where the story takes a twist from mythology and gives it a nice new ending. I'm looking forward to finishing it, and would have written more, but I was getting tired of sitting and needed a break. So, hopefully tomorrow I get it finished before we gather for for dinner.
Yes, I said that right, Rhonda will be home early and we will meet my sister from Minnesota and my younger brother someplace, he hasn't decided yet, for dinner. It's his birthday and she is coming just to surprise him, as far as I know. No matter, we will enjoy a nice evening.
|Up around seven thirty this morning and feeling pretty good. I got a fair night of sleep Saturday night, with the aid of a generic brand of Benadryl. Since I sometimes have difficulty sleeping, I talked to my doctor about taking something to help me get to sleep. I had a cold at the time, and was using Tylenol PM and it not only helped with the symptoms but helped me get to sleep, too. Instead of prescribing something she informed me that the active ingredient in Benadryl is the same thing used in Tylenol PM. Since I only needed something once in a while, just take Benadryl.
The only problem is, I tend to wake up after four or five hours and sometimes cannot get back to sleep. So, next Monday I will be going back in to talk to her about trying something else, that will work longer. It was some years ago that I was told about Benadryl, and it helped a lot. Now, however, since my surgery, it seems I have even more trouble sleeping. I'll doze right off, in minutes, but also wake in just minutes, too. I'll be awake for an hour, maybe two, then doze off and wake. This repeats through the night. The following day, I'm so tired I can't think straight, but once I get to bed, it starts all over.
Whereas in the past, I slept pretty good most nights and had the occasional sleeplessness, now it seems I have insomnia most nights with the occasional sleep filled night. I don't know what changed, and that's why I want to talk to the doctor. Well and to get something to knock me out.
After I had my medical problems flare this summer, the pain often woke me. Then it was medical tests and no answers, which also kept me from sleeping at night. More tests and more good news over the summer and into the fall, but no answers to what was wrong. I tend to have some anxiety issues anyway, but usually can manage them just fine. But, in the dark of night, when sleep shuts down the conscious mind, they flare and wake me, usually with a lot of sweating, rapid heart rate, and of course, continued anxiety. It takes a bit to get things back into perspective, then calm enough to sleep again, only to wake to another anxiety attack.
Then, we found answers, we scheduled surgery, and the worst of the ordeal was about over. Sure, there was some anxiety over the surgery, but most of all, I was eager to get it over with and end the problems. Still, it was enough to keep me from sleeping much up to the actual day of surgery. The night before I barely slept at all. Then I was in the surgical center, the procedure was done and I was in recovery, everything went well, and I would be heading home later that morning or afternoon at the latest. I needed to be able to eat and keep food down, drink water, and have it pass through my system, and of course, have the incision sites checked over and over, along with my vital signs.
I was pretty sore, but considering everything involved, felt better than I had expected. The medical team was great, the nurses awesome, and soon Rhonda was driving me home and putting me down in my own bed. They didn't know if I would be able to sleep in a regular bed for the first few days, but I did pretty good. Moving was the worst, but I managed pretty well, and of course, Rhonda was there to help. We had arranged for the worst, just in case we couldn't share the bed, but she was great at not bumping or nudging in her sleep, and we did fine. Of course, I was taking a lot of pain medications, and sleeping about twelve hours a night.
Within a few days I had tapered off the medications, only using half the dose at night unless the pain was bothering, then it was a full dose. But, unlike the first few days when I would sleep twelve hours through the night, maybe waking once to use the bathroom, I wasn't sleeping hardly at all. At first I thought it was because I had been sleeping so much, but it has not changed, unless it has gotten a bit worse; it's difficult to tell.
Last night I took a medication I was on some years ago. It was to help ease anxiety attacks, and was taken as needed. After a while, I managed to gain more and more control over the anxiety and eventually wasn't taking them anymore. In fact, even when it was at it's worst, I seldom needed them, except at night to get to sleep. I had forgotten about them until I was cleaning out the medication container yesterday and throwing out a bunch of medications I no longer need after the surgery. I decided I'd try the medication again, since it was prescribed to be taken as needed for anxiety and difficulty sleeping. I felt nice and relaxed, and fell asleep very quickly last night.
But, I still woke up throughout the night. It was nice to be able to fall back to sleep quickly, but I still had about four or five times of waking up, going to the bathroom, and then back to bed. I feel pretty good, but not like a person should after a good night sleep. In fact, I'm not sure how that would feel any more. tonight I will make sure I'm not drinking anything much at all before bed, I'm sure the late evening coffee had a lot to do with my waking through the night. Then we will see how things are tonight, when I go to bed. If needed, I'll try this medication again and hopefully get better results. I just don't remember how well it worked in the past, but it's worth a try. At least until I talk to the doctor on Monday.
|The weekend is over and it's time to get going on things again; best to start with a short entry for tonight and see where things are at.
Of course our, Rhonda's and mine, weekend is kind of up in the air if you think of the weekend as the two days off. It varies on if or who can work on Saturday and Sunday, Rhonda is back to working Saturdays. Once I'm back to work, in just less than two weeks now, I'll work Saturday and Rhonda will again have the typical weekend off. Of course, if we have plans for a weekend, I will be scheduling someone to work for me.
So, she worked Saturday early, then home for a nap. The rest of the day was spent together, relaxing. Sunday we had off together and again spent a quiet day together, and then today, her second day off, we worked on moving a few things around and some other issues that are in need of attention.
One of these is a serious issue involving three wonderful little children who have been living a very unfit life. it is uncertain if their mother will do the required things to get these children back, and although both Rhonda and I think that would be the best solution of all, in the meantime the children need a home. We have been contacted about providing foster care fore them and are going over the details.
It is a big decision and one we never expected. But, if we can help these children live a normal life and provide for them what they need most, how could we not give it very serious consideration. We have, and today we talked to the people involved, letting them know we have decided that we would be willing to do what is needed for the best interest and well-being of these children.
There are some other issues that must be resolved, and there is still a possibility of the parents getting custody of the children, so now we wait and see what comes. Of course there is much to do in this time, and more we will learn as the situation is revealed to us.