A Magickal Working for those days when you're feeling overwhelemed by your circumstances.
Like most retail jobs the hours for part time employees take a drastic plunge following the three month long shopping spree that is known as the holiday season. Surprisingly enough, that doesn't stop people from giving up their shifts, which is why you will always find me scouring the swap board for extra hours.
My eagerness to grab an extra shift (usually a cashier shift) which sometimes involves working double shifts, has earned me the reputation of being a “hard worker”, or “team player”. More applicable terms would be “dirt poor”, “flat broke”, or to be straight forward about it; “In debt”. But most people at the corporate level have forgotten what it's like to have to choose between paying the rent or eating at least once a month, so I'm forced to accept whatever label they wish to apply, so long as it keeps me paid.
Unfortunately the reputation doesn't end with words of endearment and flowery bits of encouragement written on a comment card. No, there is a dark side to the schedule of a retail employee who becomes too good at his job. One of many aspects of that side is the closepin shift.
If you are an adult who works in retail, you have very likely worked one of these shifts. For those of you who can't comprehend a schedule beyond Dolly Parton's recommendation, a closepin shift is when you work a closing shift the night before and are expected to open the very next day. In my case, a closepin can be particularly harrowing because I don't drive and the commute from home to work can take up to an hour and a half both ways, if I'm lucky. So if I can't get a ride, or afford a cab, the most amount of sleep I can look forward to is a few hours. And that's just assuming I have a couple of ibuprofen on hand to deal with the pain associated with busting my ass all evening.
One Thursday, when the new schedule had been posted, my heart sank at the sight of the dreaded closepin shift rearing its ugly head on my schedule. It had been quite some time since I had to work such a shift, but the person who normally did the schedule had transferred to another store and the responsibility fell on the shoulders of someone who has had plenty of time to get to know everyone, but hasn't quite caught on to the subtle nuances of everyone's availability.
For example, there is another cart pusher who was hired from the pool of seasonal employees and is currently still in high school. He had been scheduled to start one Friday afternoon literally right at the time the final bell would have rung. It's a simple enough thing to fix and I'm sure this new person will get the hang of the schedule eventually. But in the meantime I had this and possibly many other closepin shifts to contend with.
There was no getting out of it. My availability and the fact that I was trained as both a cart pusher and a cashier meant that I was offered more hours than both positions combined. If I complained about this shift, or tried to duck out of it, I would have no one to blame but myself if those hours suddenly dropped.
On the day before the closepin shift, I was sitting in the break room on my first fifteen minute break. My eyes drifted from the Morning Show on the flat screen above the microwave to the punch clock near the door. It was exactly 11:10 AM.
I looked away and thought of one perfect wish.
I need to be able to fall asleep, I thought. Tomorrow I need to work straight through my shift. When I get home I need to fall straight to sleep and I need to be awake in time to have some breakfast and catch the bus. Then I need the next shift to go smoothly and quickly.
The wish fully formed in my mind, I glanced at the punch clock's little green screen to see 11:11 AM. I did not take my eyes of the clock for the whole minute, repeating the wish in my mind over and over again until it clicked over to 11:12.
The very next day, out of the blue, a coworker offered me a ride. It was someone I barely ever spoke to, but graciously accepted the ride as they informed me that my place was on the way to theirs. They must have learned where I lived from one of the other people who regularly offered me a ride. And since those people weren't working that night, I chose to accept it as a part of the wish coming true, since I would not have asked anyone for a ride unless they had offered me one on a previous occasion.
Not only did I get home in time, but I practically fell asleep before my head even hit the pillow and I didn't wake up until well before the bus arrived, with enough time for a hearty breakfast. And during that whole morning shift I was able to get all of my tasks done on top of keeping the corrals full of carts and keeping the front end in order without being asked to do a million other things.
* * *
I don’t know when I began doing this, or for how long, but whenever I just happen to catch a glimpse of the clock at this time, almost any wish I make that has the net effect of balancing me out with the rest of the world has come to fruition. Not instantaneously, of course, because that only happens in fiction. However it has happened with enough consistency that I have termed this the 11:11 Wish.
Like with any magickal* working, there is a certain amount of effort required on your part in the area of wish fulfillment. If your desire is to have more money but you’re not willing to work to earn it, than the 11:11 wish is not for you, as that would create imbalance. It is the need to balance out a situation that makes the 11:11 Wish significant.
In my case, I needed sleep. I was willing to fulfill my end of the bargain by accepting the ride home and actually going to bed as soon as I got the chance. If you ask for extra money so you can pay a bill on time, but you wind up blowing it on Doctor Who merchandise, then it’s no different than taking a loan from an investor for your business and then absconding with it to an island getaway.
It can be AM or PM, but the time of 11:11 is significant. It is doubly helpful if you aren’t simply sitting around the clock waiting for the time, but just happen to catch a glimpse of it as it occurs. Think of your wish and hold it in your thoughts. Do not speak it out loud. As stated before, wishes rarely come true at the moment they are made. Like all wishes, the 11:11 Wish comes in its own time or not at all. At 11:12, mentally release your wish into the ether and trust that your spiritual guides will act in your best interests.
*Before you hit the comments section, “magickal” and “magick” are both recognized spellings. They are used to distinguish the spiritual practice of magick from staged magic.