From my phone

I haven’t posted from my phone in a while. It is morning. I am still waking up and about to get ready for work. This is day 6 of 8. But my last closing produce shift in a while. The next two days I have to close deli. Then I am not scheduled to close deli either.
My cat keeps licking the blanket. And it drives me a bit nuts. It makes this soft, raspy, scraping sound. So, I nudge her to make her stop.
I don’t feel like I have words today. Then again, I have started with little before and produced something. Time is also in the lacking today – and energy.
I like to be able to sit and relax in my writing. Like going to the beach. You don’t want to have to rush to the beach. Sit for thirty minutes. Knowing the whole time you need to rush away when done. You want to rest in the sun and wind. Feeling it kiss your body. Like you’ve always been lovers. Like you always will be together. Even if you know in a part of your mind you won’t.
Back to reality. Tonight I will write something good. I am due to write about The Lovers I believe, and it is a house card for me today. I need to think about my choices, and where they are taking me.
This is shorter than a normal post. But it feels long because my screen is so small.
Happy Pi Day everyone!

Almost 3 a.m.

What a day. Too many holes in the dike and not enough fingers. I started out helping bakery/deli with stocking. Then I helped on the registers. Afterwards I covered a break in deli. Before I finally made it to produce. I worked a cart. And then another. But I had to cover a lunch in deli. I got off to my lunch late so I took a short one. After lunch I pulled dates, cleaned the backroom, dumped compost and helped dairy for a few moments. It was a day of running the whole time.

I watched a great movie tonight. Sex and Lucia. It is about a writer and his lover. Well, I guess it is about more. About love, and loss, and sex, and life. The movie is in Spanish, but with subtitles. It left me speechless. Still in fact and it has been a while. There was a lot of feeling in the movie. If you watch you, let me know.

Okay, now time for bed. It is late and while I can sleep in tomorrow. I should get to bed soon.

2015

It was a good year.
At the start of 2015 I lived with Michelle. I was working as an un-loader at Walmart. In fact I rang in the New Year at work.

In January I started to work IMS on weekend mornings. Which wasn’t a ton of fun. Most of all when I had to work until midnight. And then come back at 8 a.m. But it was a good experience. Good to be doing something other than nights. I had hoped to learn in the process. And I did about inventory. A system which has completely changed.

I didn’t learn much about the rest of the store.

In the spring I had some trouble with a co-worker. And it helped me to see something. Working in the backroom wasn’t getting me anywhere. So I agitated and got relocated in the store. I had talked to another store about a transfer. But they didn’t offer me anything better. I am glad I stayed with 5899.

The new job was in produce. It was Scott, Allen, David, Elias and I. At first I had a few shifts in produce and some in deli. Then for almost two months I worked in the deli. During this time the deli changed managers. At first Joe was manager of both bakery and deli. But they split the departments and added a manager. I thought for a moment I had a chance. But it went to Tammie. And it was a good choice.

Working in the deli was fun. A lot going on. Slicing meat, cooking food, checking times, making chickens and pizzas, discounting food, cleaning, stocking and pulling food. Closing isn’t hard. But it does take a while, at least for me. When I started the oven was dirty. You couldn’t see through the doors. I managed to get them clean enough to see through. Although each door took me about an hour. Now they are staying clean, so far. In the deli I worked with Justin, Rose, Ann, Barb, Carolyn, and Gregg. Of course some did more work than others.

My memories of the deli are of some of the great customers. There is a cute girl me and Justin find attractive. She comes and gets sliced meats. But she has a boyfriend. Also trying to learn to write on cakes. Being in deli is always moving. There is always something to do. Cook, CVP, pull, cook, CVP, pull. You have to stay ahead of the hungry masses. It is a challenge. And I like the challenge.

Eventually things changed. Daz joined the deli. And I got moved back to produce. At first I was working a few days in each department. But for a long while I was just working produce. Allen left and they hired a new Justin. Allen had been full-time, so now they needed me in produce. I worked two opens, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. and three closes. 1 -10 p.m.

Working in produce was a bit slower. But I also got pulled more from produce. It was rare I worked a full shift in my department. Either I got pulled to the cashier, or carts or the backroom. But I love to be flexible. I love to do it all. Oh yeah, sometimes I got pulled to dairy, and deli too. Almost anywhere. One day they even asked me to sweep the floor.

The fun part about produce was putting product out. And changing things around. I never know if Scott likes what I do. But if I see an end cap low, and a bunch of product in the back. I take action and put the new product on the end cap. I’ve moved things around a lot when I had the time.

My weakness in produce is culling. I can break down three large pallets, fill the bananas and stock the floor. But culling is where I fail all the time. It is an area I continue to focus on improving. Working with Scott hasn’t been easy all the time. He does things differently than I would. But I think we respect each other. And I enjoy working with him.

One night I was pulled by Robin to help Dan. We were going to unload a trailer out back. And then the power blipped. It was enough to reset the registers and I thought I got out of going outside. But I didn’t. Once the lines were down, they sent me out back with Dan. It wasn’t too bad. It was good to work with Dan again.

On Black Friday I worked in Roberto. We were on a que line. Our product was tablets. And I thought about buying one. But by the time I got off work they were all gone. It was really a boring day. Wait and wait and wait. It was a slow day for me and for the store. After the event we started to condense items in the action alleys. I remember this from last year. We had a ton of stuff left over. But in the next few days most of it sold.

The period between Black Friday and Christmas was busy. But nothing extreme. Until Christmas Eve. The lines were busy all day. I was scheduled for produce but spent the entire day on registers. At one point Shannon closed my line. It slowed for a moment. She told me to go back to what I was doing. I took a break and then things were busy again so I got on register again.

At the end I went to talk to Produce Justin. He didn’t even know I had been there all day. Since then business has slowed a little. I still get called to the front. But more and more I spend time in my department.

For the last couple weeks my schedule has changed again. I’ve been working two opens in produce, and two closes and then a day in deli. Which is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Which is a fun schedule because it gets me out of produce one day a week. I like working with the deli people. Even Gregg who barely works, and Rose who is just a pain sometimes.

Deli Justin has moved to the front end as a CSM. I am sure he will do a good job up-front. It will take time to adjust to his not being in the deli. And I doubt anyone is going to clean like he did. A new girl is taking over his shifts, but it is yet to be seen if she will perform well.

Also there are other potential changes moving into the new year. A potential opening in Infants and Shoes. As well as a possible change within my department. I would like to move away from Walmart in 2016. But at the least I hope to grow to a better position with the company.

As for non-work news. I almost forgot. Which says something about me I guess. I lived with Michelle until the summer. Then I moved in with a friend. Now I have to pay rent, $300. But it is a good room. It is warm and I can use the bathroom indoors. Baby Girl seems to be happy here.

When I moved in it was just my friend and his girlfriend. But her sister also moved in. Which is okay, the house is big enough and we are all busy people. They are all friendly. In terms of space I’d love to move. But in terms of comfort and people, I like it here.

I haven’t done much with friends. A walking partner stopped talking to me this summer. I’m not sure why. And a co-worker I used to do things with too. She said my car was too hot. It bothers me a little I don’t have more friends. Some old friends have been hard to get together with because of time and space. I don’t hear much from Heather.

I did get to know a friend of Michelle’s. And I plan to visit her in a couple weeks. It will be good to see her. And good to see where things develop. Problem is she lives far away.

I am more glad this year I moved to Portland/Vancouver than I was last year. Though I do think about moving again from time to time. If there was a great job, or some other opportunity I would move in a moment. In a couple weeks I go back to California. And I’ll see friends, and there is a chance I could find a reason to move back.

The Light Brigade

It was a long day at work. Someone called in and I ended up basically closing two departments. It is good to be dependable. And I am glad to be a good worker. But I wonder at times if they really appreciate me. I leave you with some Tennyson.

1.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

2.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

3.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

4.
Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

5.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

6.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,

Today

Work went well today. Another day of running around filling multiple roles.
It started off in produce. Naturally enough, since I was scheduled in produce. I put brown sugar and marshmallows on the farmer’s market table.After I pulled most of the gourds off the table. I also moved the small pumpkins from one end cap to another.
Then I worked some juice which had been sitting in the coolers for weeks. It would probably be sitting there still if I hadn’t pushed for something to be done. There are a lot of things it seems like don’t happen until I push to get them done.
Afterwards I pushed some carts. Took a break.
After break I stocked a cart. I removed the rest of the gourds. Brenda asked me to refill the helium balloons. I stocked the bananas and worked the register for a few minutes.
Then I took lunch.
After lunch I covered deli and did some work in produce. For the deli I only CVPed a few things. I watered my herbs. Then I pushed carts again for a while. I stocked dairy and eggs. Also I had to get back on the register again. Afterwards I dumped my compost. And cleaned the floor.
The last thing I did was check dates. Then pull my cardboard from the cooler.

Day 9 of 9

Morning came early. Earlier than he wanted it to come. A tune was singing from his phone. It brought him back from his dreams.

Alarm, snooze. Alarm, snooze. Alarm, snooze. Alarm.

Half awake and half alive. He rolls over and sits up in bed. On most morning he weighs himself. This morning his scale is broken. He strips and dresses in his work clothes. A white T-shirt, blue polo shirt and black pants. On top of it all he pulls on a Colorado sweatshirt. The one without a front pouch. And he forgets and goes to put keys into a missing pocket.

He kisses the kitty. Leaves his bedroom, door closed behind him. The next stop is the bathroom. After brushing his teeth he is out the front door. He backs out of the driveway. He watches for traffic, it is a busy street.

Driving down his street, at the corner is a green light. He takes a left, and continues to a red light. Then forward to the freeway on-ramp. It is early for him, but the normal commute time for many. The highway is full of traffic. The SR 500 is full but moving at a steady pace. Once he gets to I-5 traffic slows, and stops.

Traffic going over the river is always jammed in the morning. This morning is no exception. Stop, and go, and stop, and go. But the traffic is moving, and he has time to spare.

At work, he gets out of the car. He park in his spot. The one he always parks in at work. One of the furthest from the store. Walking into the store he makes a left turn. He picks up a butter bar and some orzo. And hits the cash register.

Eating in the break room, his manager arrives. She talks about plans for the day. Stocking from the freezer. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds. It is working freight to the sales floor, and not in the freezer.

After eating and relaxing he clocks in for the day. He is 10 minutes late to cut time. But there is still more to cut. He can’t work more than 40 hours, or he will be coached.

Walking to the deli he meets his other manager. He shows him the cart to work. After a brief search for a printer, he borrows his manager’s and starts stocking. He needs a printer to put dates on the product.

For about two hours he stocks. He works his cart, and finishes his managers. Who went on a lunch break. It is about his break time. When he goes back to throw the cardboard in the baler, he chats with the backroom associate. A truck is arriving. The backroom associate says he is going to call for help.

He offers to help unload the truck. Figuring it shouldn’t take too long. The associate expresses surprise when learning he had worked in the backroom. And further surprise on learning he can use the power lifting equipment. At Walmart, you need to be certified.

He unloads nine pallets. Then finds his manager. He tells his manager he is taking a break. And says he was unloading the truck. After his break he starts to cook. There is an associate in the kitchen. He and her cannot take lunch at the same time. He agrees to go at 12:30. And she can go at 1:30. Another associate arrives at 2.

He helps the kitchen associate mark down some foods. Does some cooking. And goes to lunch. Lunch starts with tea and a nap. Nine days in a row is hard. Later in his lunch he buys some hummus and a candy bar. He already has bread to go with the hummus. It is a little stale but edible.

After lunch he works in the kitchen. Cooking, cleaning and helping customers. He starts pizzas cooking.

At 2 another associate arrives. He also starts cooking. Both his managers aren’t sure what they want him to do. He stays in the kitchen to cook for a while.

Then one of his managers comes over. When are you getting out of the kitchen, she asks. Right now, if you want. But the other associate wants a break.

After covering the break he goes and works so product to the 97 wall. He finishes one cart with his manager. Then pulls a second from the cooler. He works on this one alone.

In about an hour, the other associate wants his lunch break. He puts his cart away, throws his cardboard. Then goes to the kitchen to cover the lunch. He has less than an hour.

Someone wants chicken strips. It will be about 10 minutes. He makes her some chicken strips. Someone wants popcorn shrimp. The customer agrees to wait the three minutes for the shrimp. More cooking, and putting food in the hot case.

The morning kitchen associate returns from a break. She is also a cake decorator and has been working on cakes. He asks her about staying a little late. He has to leave at 10 to 6 and the other associate won’t finish lunch until 10 after. She agrees.

Time to go home. He walks to the break room and sits for a little while. When he gets off, sometimes he likes to rest. Just a few moments before leaving. Today he shops for a new scale and cookies. He doesn’t find the right scale. But he does buy some good cookies. Reese’s peanut butter cookies.

After work, due to the time, he hits traffic again. For most of the day there is traffic going over the bridge. First one way and then the other.

Driving through traffic he makes it home. He chats with his roommates. Tells them he is tired and wants to rest. But offers to help with their printer in a couple hours. He goes to his room.

In his room he sits on his bed. Eats some of the cookies and watches M*A*S*H. Then takes a nap. There  is some overlap. One of the episodes he watches a few segments of a couple times.

Feeling rested he goes to set up his roommates printer. She doesn’t have paper. He thinks he does somewhere, but where. The printer is set-up and ready. But the paper is not found. He looks and thinks a whole tote is missing.

His other roommate comes home. They talk about the missing crate. But then he spots what he is looking for, and the paper isn’t in the box. He feels like his stuff is a mess. He thinks about getting a storage unit. To keep it safe and organized.

After helping with the printer he watches videos on YouTube. It is a funny show, Chad Vader. But time to clean has arrived. He takes blanket and comforter to the washer. He washes them with some clothes. Meanwhile he picks up the floor, straightens his bed.

The clothes aren’t done. So he watches more M*A*SH. It is a great show. Reminds him of younger days. But it is getting late. His comforter isn’t 100 percent dry, but close enough. He makes his bed, puts blanket back in dryer.  After more cleaning and Netflix he gets his blanket from the dryer.

Now it is almost bed time. But first he wants to write about his day. To really talk about what he did. Tell a story about his day.

Day 8 of 9 (Almost Done)

I started the day off cooking. Got the hot case filled, made some chickens and pizza. I was happy about getting pizza out because I have spaced on it the last couple times I was cooking in the deli. I noticed when you put things on discount they sell off fast and I end up throwing out less food. Less waste and more money for the store.

At two another person came in and also was cooking in the deli. Which really there didn’t need to be two people. So after a while I talked to the manager and got sent somewhere else. I helped the meat manager do some inventory preparation. I had to return to the deli at 5 to cover my co-workers lunch. During the time I was gone, he had done basically nothing in terms of cooking. He had put out some food I had started and discounted a few items. If I hadn’t gotten cooking right away, the hot case would have been empty at 6 p.m. Normally we stop cooking at 5 p.m. because there should be enough food ready to last until close.

It was a good day. I am tired. My Aria scale died today. If I don’t hear back from the company tomorrow via email, I will probably just buy another one. It lasted me a good three years almost, so I guess I should be happy.