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Back to Looking

No DriverColor me fooled.  We talked at length during my interview with my current night job.  At no point was it ever said, “We aren’t looking for drivers.”.  Or anything similar to that statement.  The only thing the manager said was, “You know driving isn’t all that a driver does right?”.  No kidding.  I’ve done this job on and off for over 30 years at many different places.  Papa Johns (x3), Domino’s (x3), Chanello’s, Pizza Tonight, some small chain in Petoskey that’s no longer there and this place (x2).  That was on my application.  So yeah I know I will also have to take and make orders.  Prep food and clean.  It’s not my first run at this rodeo.  Nor was it said we need mid-day and morning people.

I also put on my application I am available to work nights and weekends.  That I work a day job.  All this was clear.  I even explained in person that I was looking for 3 – 4 nights.  Something like 4 or 5pm until close.  Which would give me 20 – 25 hours per week.  This manager however lives in an alternate reality.  The past two weeks I’ve been coming in at 1pm.  I figured it was for “training”.  So I’ve been rushing from the day job to the night job.  I thought this would change after the first two weeks.

When I looked at the new schedule, it was all 1pm shifts except one.  It was for 9am.  So immediately I queried about this.  Get this, they asked me to change my day shift schedule to fit theirs.  Not happening.  Homie is pissed.  On top of that, I’ve only taken a handful of deliveries since I started there.  Turns out I’m not a driver, but listed as one when they need someone to pick up the deliveries other drivers can’t handle on busy nights.  Oh yeah, let’s also mention I’ve been generally working from 1pm to 8pm or 11pm.  I’m likely to get overtime.  But standing on my knee for all those hours, hurts like hell.

So I, as politely as I could, said no.  I won’t switch my day job schedule.  I re-explained what I applied for.  So now it’s 5pm to whenever a few nights a week.  Still doesn’t fix the fact I’m not actually a driver.  What I applied to be.  I have never applied for a job before to be something other than what I applied.  I didn’t hire in at my day job to be a janitor.  I am a tech.  What I applied for.  Never have I applied to a pizza place to be an inside person.  I’ve always asked to be a driver.  I enjoy it.  Time to find a new job.  Even if it’s out of town again I guess.

The New Night Job

Denny PizzaWell I can’t say much about it or be specific.  NDA, hush-hush, super secret society bullshit.  Let’s just say I’ve worked at this company before.  They like to think of themselves as a big deal.  Whatever, they have a handful of stores.  The last chain I worked for had more stores than these folks have.  They weren’t all hoity toity about it.  Just as a comparison, this place is almost 30 years old.  They have a little over 30 stores.  That’s just over 1 store per year.  I worked for Domino’s and in 30 years they celebrated their 1000th store opening.  Now that’s a big deal.  For all their talk and manuals, a lot of the “rules” aren’t followed as strictly as they would like.

As I dig into the trenches, the crew is fairly decent.  They like to have fun and so far none of them have been a problem to work with.  They do work.  A lot…  Saturday I worked 10 hours with no breaks.  It was balls to the wall most of the time.  The only down side is in the first week I didn’t take many deliveries.  Hopefully once training is over, I get behind the wheel every time I work.  I didn’t hire in to be an inside person.  If they are thinking differently, I’ll move on quickly.

I still wear a knee brace, though more for stability now than anything else.  Several hours straight on my legs hurts like hell.  I’m not about to put myself back in medical care for that.

It’s not a bad job though, but I’d rather be back at Mancino’s.  That’s just not an option at the moment.  If I move more North Western as I want to do eventually.  Perhaps I can grab a job at Mancino’s in Petoskey or perhaps the Jets.  They also have more pizza places up there.  Though Boyne City is also looking like a nice place to land as well.  Anything to get me out of Gaylord.  We don’t just live in the snow belt.  We live in the fucking buckle.  Prized to having more snow than any other Michigan town in the lower peninsula.  Go in any direction out of town during winter and you can watch the level of snow go down greatly.  The year I did delivery in Petoskey, we’d have 2-3 feet of snow but get by Larry’s Bar and the snow was almost gone completely.  I’m all for less snow.

Goodbye Mancino’s

Goodbye Mancino'sBefore I got injured, I was seriously considering making Mancino’s my full time job when my day job eventually goes away for whatever reason.  I really was.  I enjoyed working at Mancino’s.  Most of the crew was nice and fun.  I loved most of our customers and I’ll miss them.

Since I’ve been cleared to go back to work, it’s been nothing short of an epic struggle to get any kind of hours.  During the last week of August, I was scheduled 5 measly hours.  That’s it.  I had two weeks of good hours out of the past five weeks.  Another week, I only had 4 hours.  One week I had absolutely no hours at all.  I can’t live off of that.  Let alone pay my new debt to the insurance company that screwed me during the Workmen’s Comp time I had.

Do you know how I got injured?  I was called in to work on my night off.  It was Sunday, June 4th.  I clocked in at 4:14pm.  I rushed to get deliveries out that were getting old, because the scheduled driver had to leave.  By 4:40pm I twisted my knee.

While not my finest decision.  Once I got on my feet, I rushed home to get a knee brace and then continued to work the rest of the night.  To the point I could hardly walk at all.  That’s how dedicated I am to the job.  It wasn’t like I could visit the designated clinic for work injuries anyway.  It closed at 4pm that day.  Either way, I had to wait until Monday to go.

In the 19 months I’ve worked for Mancino’s, I never was late for work.  I can easily say that about 80% of the time I was at work an hour early.  In case our day driver (who is up in years), wanted to leave early.  I called out of work once.  Once.  For the stomach flu.  I even paid $50 to go to the clinic just for a doctor’s note.  Colds?  I take some Coricidin HBP and traipse my body to work.  We carry too much cash, I bought and installed a drop box.  This way we don’t need to do that anymore.  They probably will never use it.  That’s not on me.  I tried.  I cared.  I rarely declined when they called me in to cover for someone.  Generally the only time I declined extra hours was if I was out of town.  No one cleaned the floors like I did.  I was faithful to this job.

I get injured and they can’t even throw me a bone for hours.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was this statement, “I don’t know when or if ever you’ll get your hours back.”.  That and the lack of backing from the other folks who I thought cared.  I’m not about to sit by the phone every day waiting to get a call because someone called out.  I want a decent set of hours every week.

I see now that my efforts and faithfulness were in vain.  I’m sorry I got injured.  I’m sorry I was out seven weeks and three days.  I’m not sorry for being a good employee who the customers love.  I frequently asked about my performance, and was never given an unkind comment about my work from any of the management.

Suddenly I’m glad I didn’t go full time there.  I would’ve come back to nothing after my injury.  The people who filled my spot while I was gone know me.  They knew I was coming back.  Clearly neither of them are willing to lose a few hours for me.  That’s just a kick in the face to top all this off.

Goodbye Mancino’s 🙁

Incidentally, this month makes it officially 14 years I’ve been with my day job.  They still appreciate me 😋

My Thoughts On Life

Barney DrunkThis one may get a little too real.  So if you would like not to read my thoughts on subjects of Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse and Suicide…  Turn back now.

I think I understand finally.  I think I get why people turn to alcohol and hard drugs.  Even why people commit suicide.  Life is hard.  Sometimes so hard, you beg for some sort of escape.  Especially when you’re lonely.  I’ve been through my share of pain and hardship.  I can’t compare mine to the suffering of someone else though.  I’ve no idea what they’ve been through or are currently going through.

As for myself, I’ve had three divorces.  One of which was a fraud from the very start.  To try and screw me over for the rest of my life.  Long story, some know it.  I can’t ever once say through any of my marriages, that I’ve ever experienced love the way I think it should be.  It’s a long explanation, but the short of it is fidelity through the good and the bad.  And that it should be forever.

I’ve been homeless before.  It was for a few months, still it seemed like an eternity while I put my life back together.  I did and I did it on my own.  For each of my marriages, my finances had been ruined each time.  Leading to three bankruptcies.  My credit has been destroyed time and again.  I’m still working to rebuild it after the last disaster.  I’ve had some stumble points, but I can say my finances have never been more stable in my entire life.  Seems the only way to keep your money in check is to not let anyone else handle it.  Which just adds to my trust issues because every time I let someone else handle it, I get screwed.  It’s even harder when you’ve been hospitalized or been put out of work for an injury.  Especially if the injury ends up putting you in debt with the insurance company that was supposed to take care of you.

Speaking of trust issues.  I have a lot of them.  Loan someone something of value, they steal it or destroy it.  Give your heart away, and they break it.  Repeatedly.  In the beds of other men and women.  Lend someone your car, they do damage to it and all you get is a “man.. I’m so sorry”.  Give someone a compliment and they turn it against you.  Try to be nice and they take complete advantage of your kindness.  Make a mistake, and it’s held against you for all time.

Sometimes I think to myself, why bother trying?  But I try.  I hope that my efforts will someday be rewarded.  Some things I no longer do as I just can’t risk losing what I’ve gained.  It’s hard to rebuild your life after a cataclysmic event.  Once you finally attain some ground, you don’t want to give it up.  For me, $150 isn’t easy to come by sometimes.  So loaning out that tool I just bought to someone else is just not negotiable.  If it gets ruined, I don’t want to have to come up with the money again.

When I do find a good soul, it’s hard to let them in.  It’s hard to trust.  Even if you spend time with them, you tend to analyse everything about them.  In some cases they are good people with simple flaws.  Others, the flaws are too much to take and you can’t stay close to them.

Over all I’ve become so broken.  I spend almost all of my free time alone.  I feel I have so very few friends.  Two live nearby.  One is at work and the other I see every few years.  The one at work, we only talk at work.  We never talk much outside of that.  So are we really friends?  It’s hard for me to say.  The one I see once every few years is someone I knew in high school.  I have two online only friends.  They come and go with months of silence in between.  All the other online friends I once had, have stopped playing games.  They are all gone now.  One is facing prison and the reasons are too horrible to speak of.  So they are not my friend anymore.  Still, I don’t know what is wrong with me.  Why no one likes to be around me.

As an example, the other day I got quiet at work with my own thoughts.  Immediately people asked what was wrong.  Why I wasn’t my happy self.  If they think I’m a happy person, then why can’t we be friends?  I know I am somewhat opinionated.  Am I really that bad?  Something about me is off putting to others and I don’t know what it is.  Is it because I’m too shy?  Am I rude?  I swear I try so much to make people laugh.  I know I’m not very pretty to look at these days.  Not like I was years ago.

I’d ask a psychiatrist, but I can’t afford one and my insurance only allows me a suicide hotline.  I’m not about to commit suicide.  Though if all they want to do is medicate me more, I know that won’t be of much use.  Other than make me not care I’m in this state.  That’s not a solution.

So yeah.  I think I can get why folks turn to substance abuse and suicide.  I have my own laundry list as to why I could choose one of those options.  I question my life a lot lately.

Though I do not agree with turning to alcohol, drugs or suicide.  I am much stronger than that.  Even when I’ve lost everything.  None of those are options in my opinion.

I wouldn’t ever consider drugs above marijuana.  I can’t stand the smell of it anymore though.  Frankly as a person who has many thoughts going on all the time, it just magnifies that.  It’s not much fun for me.  So I don’t do any drugs outside of the ones prescribed for me.

I used to like to have a drink once in a while.  But the meds I’m on don’t allow for that without feeling ill.  I never did like being drunk though.  Loss of motor control actually makes me unhappy.  So why bother with that.

Both are too expensive.   Both form addictions I don’t want.  Neither is a solution.  Why would anyone purposely add more complications to their already insanely difficult life?

Suicide makes no sense to me.  Especially since I’m certain God saved me from death for a reason.  He has yet to let me know why.  Frustrating to be sure.  Still…  Why end your life?  Why be nothing?  I can’t say for sure if someone who has committed suicide would get into heaven or end up in hell.  But why risk losing out on heaven?  God will forgive your sins.  He’s the reason I’m still here.  Regardless of what anyone else thinks of me.  I’m still here.

If I never find the love I so badly seek.  God will love me.  He loves me no matter my opinion.  One day he will educate me on the things I find wrong in this life.  Until then, I have faith.  Even if you don’t believe in God, why risk hurting the ones you love with such actions?  Alcoholism, drug abuse or killing yourself only hurts those who love you.  If I considered one person would be hurt by that action, I would consider it a non-possibility.  Because I would never intentionally hurt a loved one or friend.

These are my opinions.  Not facts.  My views.  It’s perfectly fine if you don’t agree with them.  If you managed to read this and somehow got triggered.  Go to your safe space if all your going to do is blow up on me.  Foamy makes my disclaimer:

Paint Dot Truck

So I finally had a nice day today that was just a perfect day to get something done.  Weather-wise that is.  It wasn’t too windy.  It wasn’t too hot.  I can finally walk without a lot of pain now.

About three months ago, I took off my truck topper.

Truck with Topper

I’ve never been a fan of toppers and while it was perfectly matched to the truck, I still prefer to replace it with a Tonneau cover.  Which I hope to have on by winter.  However, the topper has been on the truck since it was originally manufactured.  Removing it had some repercussions.  Such as it took a lot of paint off the truck bed edge.  Some was gone already and rusted.  Plus there were some nasty rust spots inside the bed as well.  Just after the topper came off, I bought the matching primer, paint and clear coat.  Along with some paper and tape that supposedly the pros use.

Today I decided to fix it.  Keep in mind, I’ve never done this kind of thing before.  I’m not in the field of body work and paint, nor do I wish to be.  Though I do really want to keep this truck in good shape.

I had some help.  Though I can’t say for sure if it would’ve turned out better my way or their way.  First I sanded everything down.  I wished I could’ve done the whole truck box, but I didn’t have the funds but for what absolutely needed fixing.

I also taped off areas I didn’t want painted.  Now I wanted to keep the paint from getting to close to the tape.  This way I had hoped it would blend in better.  Plus any mishaps would be hidden when I put the Tonneau cover on.  So when I did the primer, it turned out like so.

The problem came in when I tried to do a wet sand.  Seems all I was doing was removing the primer again.  I didn’t take photos, but my help resprayed the primer and put a lot of it right up to the edge of the tape.

When I tried to put on the paint, I moved the taped edge down some.  In hopes that it would blend a little of the edge in as again, the wet sand only seemed to remove primer, not smooth it.  No such luck.  I’m not real thrilled with how it turned out.  Though I suppose it’s better than when I started.  After putting on two coats of paint, I tried to use a buffing wheel on my drill to sort of blend it in.  The wheel I bought simply started to fall apart on contact.  Spewing lint and threading all over the place.  I cleaned it up and since I was out of options, I put two coats of the clear coat on.  Here’s how it turned out.

The whole process took most of the day.  Started at 9am and finished around 7pm.  Once I got all the sanding done, it was an hour between each coat of primer, paint and clear coat.  So someday I hope to have someone better than me to blend it a bit in to remove the noticeable edge.  😕

Too Much Time On My Hands

The FutureFor those that will be paying any kind of attention, might see a few references in this one.  But hell…  I’ve had way too much time lately.  All because I wanted some time off, I got a whole lot more than I bargained for.  Most of it not so great.  Though I’ve done some minor things in the interim.

Changed web hosts.  Again.  Yes, this is the second time this year.  I switched because I wanted secure certificates for my sites.  Any site with a login, Google beats up now for being insecure.  I found a free way to get an SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt.  However, the original host (A2) I found was very slow, held all resources hostage unless you paid over double the basic rates to get more.  I moved to Dreamhost who has been fairly speedy so far and they aren’t nearly as greedy in both monthly cost and resources.  So saved a few dollars per month and get what I need.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

Started Playing WoW.  Again.  Yeah I know but I’m so freaking bored!  Not working as much, can’t afford new games.  Besides, I have that same old issue of new games just don’t appeal to me.  Even if Legion is broken.  There’s a ton of prior content I have yet to explore.

Installed my new headlights on my truck (that I ordered prior to getting hurt).  Oddly was about the same as spending time and money on a restore kit.  Just over $50 on Amazon.  Though everything you do on crutches takes three times longer.

About two weeks prior to the injury I also installed a new taillight.  Just under $50 on Amazon.  Besides, this was a crack, with water and sand inside it.  There’s really no repairing that easily.

Sadly my parking brake broke.  Yes, I actually like to use it.  I’m sure many folks don’t, but I do.  Though I thought perhaps I would put off fixing it and confirmed with my cousin that in most cases it’s OK to do so.  However, something must be lose in the brake drum, it almost got me stuck in the car wash yesterday.  Trying to find someone to fix it now before I hit the roads again.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.  In this case good working legs.  In between Physical Therapy sessions, Chiropractic visits, MRI’s, X-Rays and just waiting in doctors offices, I’ve also been thinking about where my life is going.  Which honestly is no where at all.  Though looking back, I’ve done more before I was 30 than a lot of people do with their lives.  So I’m not upset that’s not much going on now.

Weirdly I don’t really expect to change it much.  These (going on 7) weeks have put me back months and possibly years from getting my own house.  But I’ve grown weary of my living situation and once my mom finds a house, I won’t be moving with her.  I’ll stay here.  Even if it means working my ass off to pay for it myself.  Unless by some miracle I can find a decent roommate.  I’ve never had any luck finding a good roommate.  Unless it’s via a girlfriend.  Though I have my sincere doubts about finding either of those.

Let’s face it.  I’ve grown comfortable with my jobs.  Try as I might I can’t think of any new career to replace my IT job.  Delivery work isn’t bad.  Makes decent money and to be honest, even through all of this they have treated me good.  A bit slow on the initial workmen’s comp thing, but I’m alright.  Can’t say Gaylord is where I want to be, but where else is there?  Petoskey is too expensive, so is Boyne City.  Everywhere else in this area is too small and Traverse City is just too far away from my kids.  Although getting out of Gaylord would put an ease on the freaking snow.  We always get the worst and it lasts the longest here.  I hate snow.

References:

Still Mending

Denny CrutchI’m not sure when this will end.  It’s been well over 5 weeks that I’ve been out.  Everything is taking so damned long to accomplish.  As of 3 days ago I finally got my MRI done and managed to finally get some income from Workmen’s Comp.  I did everything I was supposed to do the first day.  When I received any paperwork, I had it done in an hour, scanned to PDF and emailed.  Yet when it comes to the response of others, it’s been nothing short of painfully slow.  So much so, that my claim was put in dispute because of someone not doing their part in a timely manner.  So here’s where I sit waiting.  I’m sure it can be argued that I have nothing better to do.  Whereas they have to work.  To that I say, priorities.  Want me back on the job?  Make it happen Captain Tight Pants!

Hopefully today I get news of my MRI scan and find out what is next.  While I pray for not needing surgery, I fear it may be necessary.  As my knee seems to be at a point where it doesn’t want to get any better than it has.  I’m down to one crutch to take some of the weight off.  However, I’m only good for about an hour before it’s on fire.  So mostly what I do is sit, ice it and take anti-inflammatory pain medications.  Which I’ve been cutting back on because I don’t want to get dependent upon them.

If I need surgery, I fear it may restart my healing process from zero and be out several more weeks.  Putting me off work for the entire summer.  NOT COOL.  All because folks drag their feet.  Mostly the medical and insurance company I hold accountable.  Everyone at work has been doing all they can for me.  Except for one very important person who almost cost me having to get outside help to get things done.  They don’t work in the store, so I had to deal with them via proxy.

I just wonder when I will be good enough to go back to work.  I’m over this whole thing.  I just want to get things back to normal.

Camping

CampingCamping is just not for me.  Not anymore that is.  It’s been years since I went camping.  I used to love it as a kid.  Though roughly in my early 30’s when I started having back problems.  So sleeping on the ground was no longer fun.  Just painful.  Air mattresses would deflate over night.  Unless you bought a nice one.

It’s not like I can afford a camper that I’d make monthly payments on to use maybe twice a year at most.  I don’t get vacation time these days, so taking any time off hurts the income to bill ratio.  Though let’s not forget all the costs needed to camp in a tent.  The tent, cooler, sleeping bags, good air mattresses, bags for clothing and food.  Oh and items for cooking, possibly fishing if you’re into that and many other items that you inevitably have to lug about.  If I have to buy a bunch of stuff, just to make myself halfway comfortable, I may as well just use that money on a hotel/motel room instead.  Sure once you use it, you can store it and use it again in camping.  Well mostly.  More than once I pulled camping equipment from storage, just to find it molded or found holes in the tent.

Especially in campgrounds.  This became very evident this past Memorial Day Weekend when I took a delivery to the County Park.  It was packed with people.  Kids and adults walking and riding bikes and it could be compared to a mall on Black Friday.  I almost gave up trying to make the delivery and tell the customer to come get the food at the park office.  It was all I could do to not run over people.  Took me longer to travel the park, than to drive there and back to the store again.

Why would you travel just to ride bikes and walk in tight quarters?  You can do that in your own neighborhood.

I wouldn’t enjoy camping like that at all.  People all on top of each other.  Folks who will certainly be disrespectful of others who want quiet time to sleep at night.  Fighting to get a shower the next morning.  Sleeping in paper thin tents while having to hear every little thing going on around you.  Or hearing Uncle Buck taking a pee behind the tent because he couldn’t hold it to go to the rest rooms.

With my health these days, I wouldn’t want to camp in a secluded place in the woods like I used to do.  I’d be afraid of just never coming back.

My Old Friend…

InsomniaDear Insomnia,

Hello my old friend.  Of course you and I both know that’s simply the euphemism we use.  We only kid ourselves with what we know to be true.  We are one another’s archenemy.  We have been for many years.  So long in fact I forget why we became unfriendly with each other.

I propose strike an accord.  I think we should work together.

Hear me out.  You help me break the secret of creating Flying Monkeys.  We train them to attack the stupid and the environmentally inhospitable.  You can prey on those you find despicable as well.  As the sleep deprived are much easier to conquer.  Our strengths combined we will be able to reduce the human population while keeping those who would save our way of life and the planet of which we inhabit.  Once we accomplish that, we can then rule the world!!  [insert evil laugh here]

What do you say old friend?  You give me peace and I give you an equal share in world domination 😈

Turning in my Gamer Card

Gamer CardI think it’s time to finally turn in my Gamer Card.  I don’t think I can call myself a Gamer anymore.  I’ve spent the last 2 years or so struggling to find a game I want to play.  Quitting and starting new and old games.  There is just no joy left in it for me.  Especially since all my previous gamer friends have moved on as well.

It was such a blast to play games.  At first it was fun to try new games.  Then when I started to play games with friends and with my children, that’s when it became an absolute, mind blowing, time of my life experience.  Playing Unreal Tournament and Carmageddon 2 against my family across the house.  Sitting watching my kids play Grand Theft Auto for hours on end.  Days and weeks spent with friends online fighting horrifically huge monsters go get the loot.  The loot though paled in comparison to the hilarious adventures trying to overcome the challenges.  Things most serious players never really like to do.  For them it’s do it right the first try or rage quit.  We, however, would spend countless hours dying and trying again and laughing it up.

I guess it’s time to move on though.  I can’t really say, time to grow up.  We are the Gamer generation.  Playing games on a tablet or phone is nothing compared to gaming on a PC or console.  I always thought I’d still be doing dungeons and raids while in retirement.  But the games have changed, the friends are gone.  I’ve gotten to know some amazing people along the way.  Some who have overcome life threatening medical problems, doctors and even good old rednecks.  Some of them from overseas.  Memories I’ll cherish forever.

Without them, it’s a very boring lonely place.  Even in a virtual world filled with other players to choose from.  I can’t log on anymore without being bored within a few minutes.  While I will never totally stop playing games, I won’t play them all that much anymore.  I can’t be called a Gamer anymore either.  Now I’m just a Geek.  A proud Geek, but a Geek none-the-less.

As I’ve said before, I was Geek long before it was cool.

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