Tag Archives: waiting

Everlasting Purgatory

13 Jul

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The space “in-between” isn’t supposed to suck. We are given to understand that it is merely a holding pattern…like a plane taxied out on the runway, waiting it’s turn to take off. You’ve already boarded, already departed from your last gate, and have moved on to the next part of your journey, but have yet to quite lift off into final assent.

….My entire life is in this holding pattern.

Office, Theatre, Life, Finances…everything I own or identify with, is in a metal tube just sitting on that fucking tarmac. And contrary to what we are told about purgatory: it really sucks.

Like…a lot.

At this point, I’ve done all I can do. I’ve chosen the destinations and booked the flights and now…because I’m only human, I gotta just sit here in suffocating stillness, wedged between this screaming infant with dirty diapers, and one of those too-much-cologne-smelling Insurance Salesmen…who never shuts the fuck up. I feel absolutely surrounded by an attack force zoned specifically at my nerves and their Achille’s heel, and because I already left the gate and bought the tickets, I’m stuck here at their total mercy.

I HATE having no control. HATE it.

…And so, the only thing which has benefited in this past month, has been the only thing I CAN control: this goddamn Fitbit.

I am currently 14lbs down, 3 weeks in, because that thing on my arm is now my BITCH. I can’t control a callback, but I can control if I eat a Milkyway. I can’t control if that job recruiter will call me in for an interview, but I can control if I down a whiskey (or ten.) I can be depressed on the couch right now, or flip it the bird and get the hell outside for a walk.

…I have inadvertently turned fitness, into a form of saying “fuck you!” to everything not working in my life. (And all the things which might at some point suddenly decided to maybe work out, whenever/if ever, they finally get their shit together.)

…I’ve considered it a new strategy. Something that will take all the fates by total surprise. Because anyone in the damn world would rather dissolve at the end of these nonstop shitty days-and-weeks, with a bucket of fried chicken, a Blizzard, and a fifth of booze. By NOT doing that, I psych them out… I pull a different hand I’ve never played before. I take my usual patterns I love, which comfort me, and toss them out the window with a Thelma and Louise abandon.

Screw you, purgatory! If I gotta be stuck in this hot tar-smelling, tube of a shit-fest, I’m gonna do it my own damn way!

ADAPTABILITY, BITCHES!!

(as inspired partly c/o OITNB, season 3…second time ’round.)

~D

The Infinity Waiting Game

12 Jun

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Powerlessness blows bum.

…Next to the work-up about an audition for a specific role that you really really want…the next worst feeling, is when the audition is over, and for whatever specified number of days, you are told that you have to await the decision for final casting.

…Wait for hours that seem like months, days that feel like years…with zero control or information.

This is like living in your own little fate and anxiety-filled episode of Burn Notice…where any good or bad decisions you made in the past, have equal power to haunt or help you, but you don’t get to know which it’ll be…until after the longest FUCKING commercial break, known to man.

…Least, that’s how I see it.

…That’s how it looks from here.

…On day four.

…Since first walking in the theatre door with my audition piece.

…The day after the final callback.

…With possibly two more to follow, before final announcement.

Being an actor ain’t for sissies.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

…Now: Back to more line-learning…

~D

Dear Customers Of The World

12 Mar

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We are in the middle of the beginning of a ridiculous sales year on the road. 

The builder bunnies are out in full force, the mass of product trucks are hitting nearly every day, our reps still haven’t figured out how to work a fax machine without shredding nearly every P.O.,  and The Boss is typically MIA.

…This time from an Ulna fracture.

…Because he fell over while playing basket ball with his kids.

Everyone knows that this totally incapacitates you from answering phones or logging into the internet…so it looks like we have 6-8 weeks of totally on our owness, here at the office.  This changes nothing really. It’s just a different excuse from the other ones.

Meanwhile, all those early purchasers who bought around the Holidays to take advantage of sales, are starting to pop up for install dates.  Put on hold of their OWN doing, it now exasperates them without end that they cannot cater-pick the EXACT date that they want to be built.  Because, “Didn’t you know we get first priority?  We bought this 5 months ago!”

…Explaining to these people that “first come first serve” means that people have meanwhile been booking up the calendar as they purchased THEIR buildings, (without putting them on “hold.”) This is a totally foreign concept to the leg-draggers.  Apparently we should have no customers other than themselves, leaving a wide-open range for any date of their choosing from now until June, whenever they get their shit together and finally prep their land.

…Also, we are apparently idiots for building in the rain.

…Though the climate lasts for nine months of the year and always has.  You’d think people would know this, owning land here, but it seems that they don’t.  Or rather, they just don’t care, as long as we don’t build in it, but still on the day they want, so we should not inconvenience them, by making sure that this happens.

…And don’t even get me started with the Bouncers.

(A “Bouncer” is a customer who calls repeatedly, swapping dates back and forth, inevitably getting pissed off when sometime ‘tween change 5 and 6, someone else takes the earlier slot they’d already given up, but now want back again. Mostly only because now, they can’t HAVE it.)

All of this just further proves that people (most especially “customers”) are by and large, hissyfit-throwing-assholes.

(Those of us who work in any kind of sales industry already know this.  But for those who don’t: here’s your little FYI.)

Everyone wants what they want, when they want it, and because we are a Capitalistic society…having all been taught that “the customer is always right,” will be thrown in your face no less than 700 times in any given week.

…But I am here to tell you, that this is a load of shit.  And let me tell you why:

Because no one person is the center of the universe.  Which is bad enough to negotiate on it’s own.  But in our societal frame of mind, we EACH think that we are that “one” person.

…So, apply that concept to the entire U.S. population, and you would have 315,480, 016 centers of the universe, just right now. (according to the U.S. and World Population clock.)

…Which is 315,480,016 people, too many.

In this mode of thinking: money and a hissyfit will buy you anything. And it won’t. It can’t. Guess what, even Bill fucking Gates has to wait for an Amazon box to arrive. Just…like…you.

…And when that Amazon box happens to be an entire building, (for instance)…sometimes that takes even more time to wait for.

BECAUSE IT’S A BUILDING.

We’re not constructing cardboard boxes here. We aren’t filling bottles with Coke products on an assembly line that we can FedEx out to you tomorrow. These are two-ton and more dwellings. They are made by hand. From wood. Cut from a tree. In a forest. And shipped here. To our warehouse. Where we then re-load it. And drive it out to you. And a contractor stands outside all day long. In the rain, and/or snow. To build it. With their hands. For you.

THIS TAKES TIME.

And when you have 549 orders on the books…and 7 contractors…that takes MORE time.

…If you can see what I’m saying.

…Which I’m frankly starting to think would be a bloody miracle, as seemingly not one of our customers seem to be able to.

We have 549 suns who all want individual orbits according to their own laws of physics, time, place and schedule.

Which is not possible. Ask anyone.

…So this is what I’d like to call an open letter to the customers of the world. (Most especially mine, but even your average restaurant-patron will do.)

Dear (Enter Your Name Here),

We know you bought this thing. We know you want it now. But your hotdog/dvd/motorcycle/carpet/computer/garage/Hummer/imported-cigar doesn’t grow on trees. (And even if it does, it still needs to be cut down or picked by someone first.) Someone has to cook/package/build/make/deliver this item to you. This takes “time.” “Time” is this thing which requires scheduling. A schedule, means booking product-per-customer. A customer is one of many people…who also have schedules and times…and…(not to blow your mind here)… but prob’ly customers of their OWN who have times and schedules, as well.

…Taking this into consideration: you all are just going to have to man-up like a 5-year-old, and wait in line, like everyone else. Stop pissing your pants with rage-fits. Be responsible enough to pre-plan your potty visits NOW. And when I tell you our lead times are 4 weeks out, when you tell me you want to “hold it for a couple of weeks”…consider that the equivalent of: “Do you have to go to the bathroom now? Cuz the next rest stop isn’t until: ___.”

If your child can do this, I have full confidence that you can to.

Signed,

A Contract-Processing Representative, in the Building Industry

~D

The Thousand-Mile Stare

23 Aug

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The day after school let out, workers started ripping up the road I take to work, just beside the High School.  A little over a month later, the entire block section was hazarded off with more cones than a gnome convention, and looked roughly like ten or twelve meteors crash landed there, laying waste to the entire area.

…I heard its cuz the ground is falling.

…An unusual circumstance, wherein a population living on the side of a hill begins to slowly slide into the ocean down below it.  I dunno how ripping up a street can possibly fix this problem, but apparently it can, or at least we’re all gonna agree that it will

…Anyway….

…It’s ongoing, and besides being an extra time suck on the commute because of the natural detour route, we are also blessed with occasional one-way street closures at random with no heads-up, as you cook in the car. A dump truck going approximately negative three miles an hour, lollips its way along the full length of the street, gets lined up by the road workers, dumps its entire payload, and travels back to the highway ramp again, before they let anyone move.

This has happened to me FIVE TIMES.  So I’m kinda expert at it now.

…It’s because of this that I have learned the joy of multitasking while in my car.  In these circumstances one is given plenty of time to eat a meal, reapply makeup, sing the “Bohemian Rhapsody,” update every social network you partake in, ten times…and at last: study the animal that is “The Sign Flagger.”

“The Sign Flagger.”

A State Worker to the extreme, in that they (at least our brand), do very little signing or flagging or working, but get paid twice what I do, to stand around wearing bright florescent bibs and hard hats all day long.

I could do that.

…But it appears that you have to be willing to die a little bit on the inside to achieve this position.  This is what I gather by their constant faces of morbid boredom that would give a Funeral Director a run for their money. And that thousand-mile stare at the great “nothing” in the distance which seems to always be absorbing their full attention. This “thing” is like a sailor’s siren, brainwashing them into believing that they are in fact frequenting an entirely different universe from everyone else…and no one can see them picking their wedgies (or noses) though we are all in a forced line-up, directly facing them doing so.

…Or maybe they just don’t care that we can.  I dunno.

All I DO know is that after over a month of travelling that scene, I have yet to see even one of them move from their apparent specifically directed spots, say anything at all to anyone, or make eye contact.  It’s like peopling the entire roadway with outfielders in a Little League team who are more interested in picking flowers and watching the bugs fly around, than participating in the event that they were actually signed up for.

…This afternoon’ s shift included a particularly sad individual looking off into oblivion, talking to himself.  ‘least I assume it was to himself. Maybe he had an invisible friend hanging out with him. And maybe that friend’s name was Bob. Again, I dunno.

…All I kept thinking as I watched the apparent one-sided conversation, was that it seemed a pretty fluid topic, only no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a grasp on what it might have been about.

See the thing was, there was zero change in his expression during the entirety of said conversation.

…And maybe cuz I’m an Actor (or even just a “human”) I kept trying to catch some kind of clue as to his thought process via the normal cues a human would give in these circumstances.  Like facial expressions.  Or posture changes.  Or hand movements.  But nothing.  As far as I could tell, the guy must have been reciting the phone book from memory, as an exercise to keep himself from going insane by standing there with no human contact while doing absolutely nothing, day-after-day-after-day.

…And so naturally I started to then think about my job, and the things that I do in order to “cope” and keep my sanity in tact…which might appear to the outsider as “frankly too late,” like our friend the Flagger here.

Because I’m “me,” I even made a list. It’s really short:

* I post signs. Everywhere.
(On the cork board, on the doors, on the Warehouse, the computers, the windows, the file cabinets…the Bosses desk, chair and monitor….the bathroom walls. I do this in hopes it will mean I have to repeat myself less often to the people who already know all the rules, which they continually break, directly-after claiming, “Well, I didn’t know…no one ever told me!” As if one needs to be told not to leave feces floating in the toilet, to close the door when you walk in or out of it, actually show up and do the job you were scheduled for, not fling cigarette butts into the half filled paint cans by the door, or ram the forklift forks literally through the walls.)

* I password protect and code everything.
(Because my office and the Boss’ are unlocked, people have access to anything at any time. Aside from the CLEARLY POSTED signs instructing no one, at any point to “touch” my shit, it is manhandled continually. They think they can get away with it, but because I’m OCD, I know the instant that any slight of change has taken place. So then I yell at them. But what I can’t just “yell away” are things like 5,000 pounds of missing product, horse-porn, emails to myself from myself, suggesting how I can give me a good time…the entire booking schedule and every shop tool going MIA, or the loss of the spare-spare keys for when Boss locks himself out again. Which it why password protection and coding is everywhere. The computers. The gates. The accessories room. The voicemail on the phone. If I could do it to my toilet even, believe me…I would.)

* I’m just plain mean.
(In my day-to-day life, I can certainly be a Diva at times, but at work, I’m often just plain mean. Its a necessary conditioning I’ve undergone. There is just too much shit to do in a day. If you aren’t to the point, then the Boss and gigolos think you’re “friends.” If you’re “friends” they want you to make “exceptions” for them. If you make “exceptions” for them, you turn into a “babysitter.” If you’re not their “babysitter,” you become their “mother.” If you become their “mother,” they want you to bend over backwards for them and do these “little extra things.” If you do these “little extra things” for ONE, you have to do them for ALL. And if you are doing hundreds of tiny exceptions…on top of the other five workloads you have to do in a day…they will never get their work done. And neither will you. Then, because you’re “friends” now, they just assume that means you’ll cover for them when Corporate calls, bitching about how shit is never getting done. So I avoid this ALL, by being mean and/or to-the-point, most of the time. They want as little as possible to do with me, they follow the rules that I tell them, and get an ear full when they don’t. Period.)

…These things may not seem like much, as necessary coping mechanisms, but they are. If I’m not sign and code obsessive, or if I ever pretended to be “one of the boys,” there would just be no repairing the damage that would accrue. I HAVE to do these things. Every day. Have to stick to them. Have to make it through with my head down and eyes focused with piercing gaze on the prize that is: “End Of The Day.” And then I take all the accumulated crap that has taken place, shuffle it around a bit and try to reclassify at least part , so I can laugh at it…reclaiming the power to shake it off, set the alarm clock, and attack it all over again tomorrow.

This is the true truth of it. Not the funny stuff you read in print.

…What I’m saying is: I totally understand that Flagger a hell of a lot more than I thought I did.

…Which is something to think about.

~D

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