Snark and gratitude

Yesterday when I arrived at work, one of my assistant managers saw me and waved me over to the store manager’s office, which is always a great way to start of the day. She then handed me a small envelope in which a Starbucks gift card and a thank you card had been placed. It was a simple thank you for my hard work getting the store ready for inventory.

The amusing part is when she handed me the card, she begged me not to write a review of the thank you card. It cracked me up, but I immediately scanned the card for spelling and grammatical errors. I found none. Damn it! Well, I appreciate the gesture and the accompanying snark.

A few more small steps towards life

Work on my project is slow, but I’m happy to report there has been some progress. I’ve been working on a truck, a ’93 Chevy 1500 to be precise. It’s an old beat-up work truck in need of a little TLC, which my brothers have provided with yours truly providing some back-up. They have more expertise with cars in general, and I happily admit it.

We are now slowly putting the vehicle back together, though we might need to take off the hood and fenders to reinstall them since they are not lining up correctly That’s only a slight setback. Hope to have that corrected soon. Next, I need to have a windshield installed, which I’m hoping to have done next week. Also, the interior needs to be reinstalled.

Seems like a lot of work, and it is, but it’s not as much as it seems. I already have the registration for the vehicle, along with the license plates and registration sticker. As soon as the windshield is in place, I will finally take out insurance on it and have it inspected  then I will finally have a working vehicle to call my own. Oh, happy days!

Here’s the reason I can’t wait; I hate my job. I haven’t groused about my employment for a while, so here I go again. I find myself stuck in a job beneath my experience and educational level would seem to dictate. I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation and work my way up, but I realized I’m doing so only half-heartedly. I hate my job, and though it’s familiar and I can do great things for the company, I really don’t want to. Hence my reticence and my inability to move up.

I’m working for a management team that’s young and inexperienced, and if they had worked for me back when I was in a management position, I probably would have fired for incompetence. We have a store manager who cares nothing for his employees, refusing to build relationships with his hourly workers, assistants who are too busy imbibing from the well of power their new positions grant them. That amount of power is intoxicating, and having a store full of people who are subordinate to you, many who are eager to kiss up to get on your good graces, can easily make you believe in your non-existent infallibility.

Add to that many hourly supervisors who have been there so long they believe they are untouchable and treat everyone else with condescension. I’m truly amazed at the spectacle, and I wonder how the company manages to function with this level of dysfunction! If you thought Walmart was bad, my current employers are far worse.

But I offer this little nugget, is my perception fueled by my dislike for the industry as a whole or is it a fair assessment? I can’t answer that, but I suspect that it’s little of both. Maybe if I were a little more motivated and excited I could become someone there. What is clear, this is the first time I have been unable to impress my superiors and work my way up. The environment is toxic for me and I need out.

Which brings me back to my project. Once I am done, I will have the freedom to do what is necessary to get out of my current funk. The time I have spent here has been beneficial, affording me the opportunity to earn my Bachelor’s Degree last summer, and to get my health back, especially my mental and emotional health. Looking back, I can’t believe how bad I truly was!

So I’m back and better that I was before. Life is good, though there a few opportunities to improve my life which I will tackle soon. I would have said that it all depends on how quick I am getting the truck back together, but the truth is far more complex. The projects of the past couple of years, my truck, my parent’s house, and graduating college have been indispensable steps in my progress to find happiness. I have found some small measure off happiness, and I’m not letting a shitty job take that away.

My belated night out

I celebrated my birthday last week by working until midnight. How did that happen? Where were my friends and the partying and the booze and the loose women…? Oh right, I’m getting old and I’ve never had friends and parties with booze and loose women. But on the bright side, I’ve never had to go to the doctor to check out a weird “rash”.

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Enjoying a Heffeweisen at Crush Wine Bar & Deli. Sorry, my phone takes crappy pictures. ~Joe~

I’m not being entirely honest. The anniversary of my expulsion from the womb was indeed spent at work, and I was scheduled until midnight. However, I finished my work early, begged to leave an hour early, and shamelessly exploited the fact that it was my birthday to get the hell out of that hell hole. And it worked fantastically.

My girlfriend took me out a couple of days later on Saturday to celebrate, which was nice. Went to mass first, before going to a little place in downtown Amarillo called Crush Wine Bar & Deli. I liked the atmosphere, and they had a great selection of beers but an unimpressive selection of food. I had a burger, which tasted okay, but it was dense, dry, and hard to eat. I think the guy next to me would disagree since he was practically orgasming over his burger. Made me feel all icky they way he gushed to his server. The truffle fries, however, were exquisite. I’d go back for those fries. Also the beer and wine.

Next, after a brief layover at her apartment to wait for the night to fall, we headed out to Skooterz. Before I go on, I don’t go to clubs. I hate clubs. They’re noisy and filled with people, oft times people who make poor choices, and I just don’t like crowds, but since it was my birthday and my girlfriend wanted to see a band, we went.

Finding the place was a nightmare, but eventually we did. We got inside a little before ten, found a place to sit, and the nice server brought us a couple of beers, which they made me pay for. The band, Feed the Machine, did an outstanding job rocking the kind of music I actually listen to. After a couple of drinks I began to mellow out and I found myself actually enjoying myself, but since I drove I had to limit my consumption. Ah, the joys of being a responsible adult.

Finished off the night at IHOP for some pancakes before making the hour drive home. So maybe I didn’t have the crowds of friends, and the obligatory party with drinks and girls, but I did have a great time with a fantastic person who laughs at my stupid jokes and generally puts up with my idiocy. All in all, Saturday has to be one of my better birthday celebrations, belated observed. Though next time, I want to go with a group of people, and have them drive, so I can sit back, mellow out, without having to worry about driving. Oh, I and forgot to eat some cake. Damn!

Busy April

I’m about halfway through beta-reading this book and I’m beginning to stress. I have six days to get to the end of the book and report back to the author what my thoughts are regarding his novel. No pressure.

I envy those people with a critical eye for writing. You know the people, the ones who can pick at loose threads in a story, the eagle-eyed readers who can pick out spelling and grammatical errors with relative ease, the type of person I’m endeavoring to become.

Like most people, I’m more critical about myself than I am others. I question my word choices, the direction my plot is going, and countless other things. I’m embarrassed by every little error, fearing that someone out in the ether is ready to pounce and mock each and every mistake. It hasn’t happened yet, at least the mocking. I make way too many mistakes.

My priority for the last week of April is to concentrate fully on what I’m reading, and I’ll set aside my own works, which have temporarily stalled anyway. I can’t quite figure out how to resolve the dilemma I’ve created for my character, but more on that in a future post.

There’s my job I’m juggling at the moment, but how many of us are free of the employment obligation? I’m not going to pretend I’m the only one who has to work, but the commute, a two-hour round trip, is a killer.

What’s really taking a lot of time is my truck. For those of you who don’t know, which should be most of you, I’m trying to clean up an old 93 Chevy pick-up.

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Here’s the before picture from February.

We’ve been taking it apart, cleaning things up, pulling dents, etc. Rear brakes have been replaced, as has the exhaust. It’s been tuned up, and I need to replace the entire A/C system. To make it even more fun, I decided to paint it. Here are a few more pictures, just to give you an idea.

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So I’ve been busy, all the while I’m trying to improve my golf swing. That isn’t going all to well, but I can’t complain. I have a lot going on, but it feels good. Beats lying around all day doing nothing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m sure I should be doing something at the moment, I just wish I knew what!

In case you were wondering…

Today’s Agenda


  1. Finish painting pickup frame
  2. Take truckload of trash to the city container for City Clean-up Day
  3. Write, write, write!
  4. Hit around some golf balls in the backyard.
  5. Laundry.
  6. Maybe write some more.
  7. When in doubt, see number 6.

At least I did two of them. Yay me! Time for a nap.