I am preparing myself mentally for the possibility of becoming homeless. I am surprisingly calm. If I do not find anything this week (and if I did, and if I made enough, I’d still be a week late in rent), I will have no other choice but to forfeit on my lease. The consequences are going to really set me back. It is hard to get into apartments in this college town as it is (must have first month, last month, plus security and cleaning deposits) to be added with this poor blight on my rental history.
But I am calm.
Today I bought an all day pass for the bus. Then I walked up Willamette and asked the lady at Safeway for an application. Whether I am correct or not, I thought I saw a flash of contempt in her eyes as I did so. Safeway is accepting applications for temp workers should the union go on strike. When I was a child the union went on strike at the paper mill that my dad worked at. He carried a grudge against the “scabs” for years. That was some 15 years ago and only last yeard did he finally shake a “scab’s” hand at church. I’ve not gone to Safeway for the past two months because of this feeling. I can rationalize my doing so now, desperation, etc… but still… I am not proud of myself in the slightest for doing so. I actually hope that I do not get the call from them. But, then again, I do not know what the disputes between the company and the union is, and I am not one that believes that a company is automatically evil and that a union is automatically noble. Witness the history of the rail road union for examples of both sides taking both sides of the good/bad coin.
While I was in the area I stopped by another temp agency. It is a bit more specialized than most, but still, I was there. Same as usual, nothing offered now. I came to the bus station and grabbed a bus to Centennial. I went to Flex Force. I’ve been there before last year. I filled out their paperwork and they said they’d call me in a day or two for a followup interview. I walked home, moving through Alton Baker park. The sun was bright and warm. The forecasted high for the day was only 58, but it felt like it was in the 60’s. That was the sunshine… I knew the temperature to be in the mid to high 50’s. I walked in peace and serenity, stopping briefly to stand near a tree on the bank and look at a blue heron sitting head level over the water. It didn’t seem to mind me and it preened its feathers. Not wanting to disturb the bird for too long, I continued home.
I drank a pepsi at home and caught an episode of Dragonball on t.v. Then I grabbed my master copies of my resumes, I had run out of both the office and the bar version. Then I walked to the library, turned in my past due library books, and continued on to Kinkos and made copies. Then I caught a bus to the UO. I had bought an all day pass, might as well use it.
Getting off at UO it was now about 5:30 pm and was well dark now. The full moon was low in the eastern sky and I walked across the campus. I took a less travelled path, in and out of the buildings, holding in one hand a cup of homemade mocha and in the other a folder with resumes and “First Things First”. I walked slowly enough to enjoy my walk. It was the most calm and beautiful of nights and walking across the campus, the slightly cool air, the scent of my coffee, the buildings and walking students, I could easily imagine myself as being a professor on campus, perhaps walking to a lab to continue research, or to a discussion group. Someday… someday.
I got to Mekalas thai restaurant. I had been hoping to hear from them last week concerning a job. No calls. I went to them since but was never able to catch a manager. I popped in the back door and sat down at the bar. It was mostly empty and I told the bartender that I’d like to see the manager. He wasn’t in yet. I read my book. I watched the bartender. Ah, she was the new bartender. I could tell. She still had the scent of training on her. Having trained many bartenders I can spot them easily. But taking nothing away from her, she has great personality and very good people skills. They chose well when they put her in the bar. After twenty minutes or so the manager came and talked to me. He remembered my last name. I told him that I saw the sign in the front window, help wanted, busboy. I told him that I wanted the job, that I really needed the work. He said that another manager does the hiring and firing, to come see him at 10 the next morning and tell him that he liked me. Okay.
I waited for the bus at UO, met my neighbor from two doors down, who graduates in June after five years of journalism school. I didn’t say so, but I wish her all the luck in the world after her degree. Back at the bus station I walked down the line, offering up my day pass for free. A guy asked for it, I gave it to him, and I continued on to Diablos. I met Devin, a former bouncer for me at Divas and chatted for a while. He told me the name of the bartender in the Samurai Duck and to tell her that I was a friend of his. I did. She is way, way, way, way hot. As usual, nothing available. I went the next block over to Diablos. Inside they were pretty empty. I asked the bartender, a very very very attractive brunette (my type) if Rocco was there. No, he nolonger worked there. I told her that it had been a while since I’ve been in, but that Rocco and an old GM of mine were usually cutting each other some sort of deal. I told her I was looking for work and gave her my resume. She said that she liked it, didn’t have any bar positions, just recently hired a cocktail who used to be from Divas. I said it was either Starla or so and so. She said that it was Starla. I told her that she had been my best bartender, she was a great worker, they got an all star in that one. I told her that I wanted to complete my degree. If no bar positions were open, no problem, show me the dishwasher. I’d do any of it. She said that they liked team players. That’s me! She said that she’d give my resume to Todd, the hiring/firing manager. I am not expecting anything from them since there are no jobs available at this time. Still, tomorrow she is training Starla. Since she knows Starla and me worked together maybe she’ll ask Starla for some scoop on me. That would be a boost. I want to call Starla up now and tell her congratulations on finding a job, but I don’t want to do so until after her first day of training. I don’t want to make her feel that she has to go batting for me to try and get me a job, no matter how badly I need the work.
I stopped by Joes and asked Dannielle if she knew of any rumors. She said she heard some distant rumor, but coulnd’t think of it at the moment, when she remembered she’d call me.
Now I am back home, drinking the rest of the mocha that I made up (heated it in a micro) and trying to gear up my brain to continue writing on the NANOWRIMO project.
Two things… one, I got a phone call from ARC (a mental health clinic) thinking I was someone else and asking for donations of clothing and stuff. I told them I was me and not the other person but I’d be happy to donate. I’m sure I could rid myself of lots of stuff. Another phone call was from a local chevy dealer. The message was from an actual person who said “Eddie, you are preapproved for a new or used car…. blah blah blah”. I thought it was very funny. I have a stack of bills that is three inches deep (I just measured) and will likely have to leave my apartment at the end of this month, and they are telling me that I am approved to buy a car. What a hoot.
Every great now and then a thought will cross my mind about Phil. But quickly I’ll let it go. I realize that he isn’t worth any thought on my part. I am behind in bills, I am looking at having to find someplace to live fast, I am unemployed, but I do not disagree with what I did. I came across this statement in “First Things First” today…
“If we’re duplicitious or dishonest in any role, it affects every role in our lives.” page 203.
I enjoyed seeing my staff improve, I enjoyed working through problems.. it was deeply rewarding to watch a person grow before my eyes and achieve more. But the job itself, working in a strip club… I had disagreements about it at a core level. I enjoy the female form, and I do my share of gawking… believe me. But the business is founded on only one principle and I fought that notion every day. It became painfully obvious to me when “the humper” would come in. The humper is an old man, bald on top with gray hair around the sides, who likes to move his pelvis as if he is humping an invisible whatever. He often rubs himself through his jeans and I have to constantly be onto him, threaten to kick him out. No, I am no saint, and there are a couple girls that I were not a manager and the chance came up I’d definitely have sex with them (given that there were no emotional tones to it, if it was only and purely just sex). But this is much less of a thought than helping the staff, being professional, setting the example. No, I am no saint and I have my share of vices… but I do try. Everyone in the company is crooked, there is no integrity at all anywhere. I miss the people I worked with, but that is all. I do not regret my actions and I am glad that I left the way that I did, calling Phil for what he was and leaving of my own accord.
Okay… tomorrow, call the temp agency and tell them all that I am available for today. Then it is off to Mekalas and try to get the busboy job. Then off to Valley River Center to place applications every damn where. I’d probably be their most overqualified busboy they ever had. Still, I don’t really care. My concern is the same as when I think of someday buying a scooter. It isn’t macho to ride one, but right now I don’t really care. A scooter would get me back and forth from campus to home, to just outside of town to Mt Pisgah (where I’ve not gone hiking in a long time), and would be transportation until I finish my degree. After a degree, a better job, better pay, and better transportation. If a woman cannot appreciate me for riding a bicycle or a scooter, then I know that I couldn’t be happy with a person like that for the rest of my life. So it is okay. The same with the job. It isn’t glamorous, but if I can do it until I get a better job, no problem. I’ll do it. Something has got to come open sometime in this town. Somebody somewhere is going to need a bartender or bar manager. If I get nothing for work for tomorrow, there is a free lecture at the honors college at UO on Chaos at 7:30 pm. I plan on being there if possible. Again, Friday, if I have no work available and cannot think of anyone to place a resume with, there are two lectures, both free, I’d like to attend. One is “men are from earth, women are from earth, a meta-analysis of gender differences in psychology” (now that’s more like it, research backed psychology instead of that men/mars women/venus crap) and then there is “the coffeehouse and the Ashram”, something to do with Gandhi and society and non-violence and something or other. I don’t know. The notes have “coffeehouse” and “Gandhi” in it… good enough for me.
I wonder who I can disperse my stuff with. Of course I could probably bounce back quite easily on a psychological level if I lost everything. What do things matter anyway? Except for my two cats… they’re worth lots to me. But most important to me are the books, pots/pans, and a few clothes. Everything else can pretty much be donated or something. I suppose that I could crash at one person’s house a bit, then another’s, then anothers. The two cats make things a bit difficult though. Hmmm….
I think back to the walk across the campus tonight, how good it felt to be there and be walking to research, or my office, or to a lecture. Yes… that will happen someday.
Tomorrow’s weather, foggy, then sunny, high of 58, overnight low of 39.