hunky dory

I stayed up late Sunday reading from various books, taking breaks and playing my football video game in franchise mode (where I built the 2nd best defense from scratch), and basically thought. At bed at somewhere around 6 am and back up again at 10. I had to get a crack on finding a job. I was going to have to do laundry this week and not only am I somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 short for rent, but I don’t have the change to do laundry with (roughly $6). I would have to get something today. I had called all the temp agencies I have a file with at 4 am and left messages with them all saying that I was available for anything, one hour shifts, 24 hour shifts, shifts in the mud, shifts singing and dancing… whatever. I checked the want ads again (morning ritual now) and started to move. I only watched half of one episode of “Changing Rooms” this morning. I made a batch of black coffee and put one in my steel mug to keep it hot, and took the other half in a coffee mug into the shower. There I soaked up the hot water and drank my coffee. If I would have had a woman, some cheesecake, and Beethoven playing it would have been perfect.

Out the door and I toyed with the idea of going to a “tavern” in Springfield. I heard that they might be hiring, but the problem was getting there. If it was for a job I’d leave early and get there and so forth. But for the purpose of dropping off a resume it would chew up my entire day. Halfway to the bus station I changed direction and went to the Downtown Lounge to see if my bud Starla was working and if so to pick her brain for rumors of bars that might be hiring. Inside was nearly deserted. I passed by two guys at a table. One guy looked like a regular, the alternative set white guy. The other guy didn’t fit with the scene of the bar (which seems to cater to young punkers and goths) and was perhaps a 60 something year old black man wearing an American Legion hat and a blazer that looked like a mock navy costume. The old man said hello to me, said that he recognized another Christian by the power of the holy spirit in him. He was drunk. I was polite to them, turned and sat at the bar and waited for the bartender to ask if Starla was in. The old man sat next to me and struck up a conversation, though I can’t remember what it was about. I asked the bartender on his return if Starla was in, she wasn’t. I told the old man that he looked like he was prior navy. I couldn’t understand much from his mouth, a combination I believe of intoxication and generally poor speech habits to begin with, but I did catch the phrase “marine” from him. I told him Semper Fi and I held my hand out to him, introduced myself as Sgt Black, former active duty.

I asked the bar if he knew of any rumors of bars hiring. He didn’t. The old man says to me “I know for a fact that the Hilton, do you know what the Hilton is, is hiring a bartender.” I told the old man that I’ve been to the Hilton no less than a dozen times thus far and they had multiple copies of the same resume. He said “You’ve got to get in their face and talk to them.” Seemed like an idea.

I bid my farewell to the bar. The old man followed me outside. When we were outside the front door, he showed me a greyhound ticket, as well as a medical tag on his wrist and told me some story about having to get to Roseburg to see family and the hospital the night before and needing money and so forth and so on. I thought hard on the matter. The idea never crossed my mind to check his story for facts or to scrutinize the ticket for validity. The only thoughts were, “how much can I help”. I had a $150 check in my pocket to add to the other $150 in the bank. I asked the old man if he minded waiting for a couple minutes while I walked to the bank that was a block away (I didn’t really want to pay $1.50 in ATM fees). He said he’d come with me. So we walked together to the bank. He asked what church I went to and I said that I didn’t. I told him that creation was my church. I purposefully used vocabulary similar to his. I wasn’t seeking to pick a fight with him on religion, but I wasn’t going to outright lie.

At the bank we stood in line and he continued to say hello to people around us in line. I was cheerful and dressed nice (as I was looking for work) and he was cheerful but appeared as in costume. Plus he was drunk. In the line was a nurse, a college student, two women who’s profession I couldn’t discern, and all of them ignored him. I watched their reactions as he was very cordial to them and said “hello…. nurse”… looked at his watch and said “good afternoon”. She gave the most minimal answer she could and looked away. That’s right lady… if you ignore it the problem will go away. The old man seemed to pick up on this and sat down at some chairs and waited for me. I put my check in the bank and drew out $20. I kept $10 so that I might be able to do laundry, and I kept the other half in my hand, hidden from view. We both walked outside and I gave the old man the $10 and said that I was sorry that it wasn’t much, that I wished I could do more. In the middle of my apology he cut me off and said that I’d done more than I realized and he thanked me. He gave me a hug, which I accepted right in the front door of the bank on Broadway. Then we walked to the corner where he went to the bus station and I went to the Hilton.

Inside the Hilton I found the HR lady and told her I’d been there many times before, had filled out the applications, and I pointed to the posted jobs on the door and said that I was qualified for all of them. She looked up my name on the computer, yes my resume was still on file (they trash resumes after 30 days) and that she’d send it up to the hiring HR director for his judgment. Seems odd to me that if you have four jobs posted as open, and you have resumes on file, none of which are older than 30 days, then the HR hiring person should already be going through them for candidates. But I wasn’t here to split hairs, I was here to get a job. I pointed out items on my resume (which she remembered instantly… I designed my resume very well… everyone remembers it) and explained why I was the man to hire and so forth. She said that they’d contact me if something came up. Okie dokie.

I then went to Joggers across the street. Inside the bartender, who I can’t remember, said “hey… how are you doing… still pouring?” I said that I wasn’t, that I was looking for work and wanted to know if he heard any rumors. He pointed me to two bars that might be. I went to the first, Good Times, who already have three resumes of mine. The manager was in a business deal for thirty minutes and I sat at the bar and watched CNN. When it was over she came over to meet me while she was leaving to another apointment. In the middle of the bar floor I told her why I worked, why I would be a great addition for her, what I was looking for and so forth. She seemed really interested but had nothing. I pointed to the Divas portion and said that I felt that some people took this as a negative against my job history (that sort of environment) and she smiled and said that it wasn’t. I used the opportunity to explain my work ethic to her, leadership by example was a natural trait of mine and I had the work ethic that nobody works harder than me at a job. But again, she said that she had nothing, was going to do some shuffling around in the next week with her bar. I implored her that if she had only one shift come up, I’d take it.

I went to the other place, Tsunami, who already have five resumes of mine. Nobody there but one bartender and I gave her the resume and told her what to tell the manager, who has seen me several times before. Then I walked back home. I stopped by West Brothers, where an ad in the paper this morning said that they were looking for bartender/waiter for catering aspect of their business during the holidays and to ask for Liz. Inside I met a guy and asked for Liz. He took me to the back and soon a beautiful woman who seemed 30-35, with deep intelligence in her eyes, came out to talk to me. She explained that they were just collecting resumes and would go through them soon. I gave one to her and explained that because I worked management at a bar, it was because I naturally end up leading in an environment (and that I started out as a bartender at Divas) and that I did not view it as beneath me to mop a floor, clean up the bar, wait on tables. I explained my views on leadership and teamwork and in a reference to the Marines and other jobs on the other resume she asked for that one also (with construction work, van driving, etc…). She seemd very personable and open and I would love to go out on a date with her. On the way out of the restaurant I asked the waitress who was standing at host stand cleaning menus what the wonderful smell was. We went into the next room where she guessed that it was the bread. We chatted a bit. She said that it took her three months to find the job she had and she’s been in the industry for 6 years and even owned a restaurant. I told her I knew what she felt like and we both laughed at our mutual frustration at applying for a position, only to go back to it a week later to see a person who is hired and who is utterly clueless about anything and we are standing there thinking “I can do better than that with the flu and both hands tied behind my back… why didn’t you hire me????!!!!”. I bid her a good day and left.

At home at 3:10 I noted that I had a new phone message. It was from a temp service. The cabinet makers I was with last week want me back, as long as I want to stay. I called and got an order number from Kelly and they asked if I could be there tonight? Sure! I threw on some jeans and a shirt and grabbed two cans of mac/chees, a spoon and a can opener and took off, all in 8 minutes. It was a 35 minute walk and I had 42 minutes. I still hadn’t eaten today either. So I stopped on the way and grabbed two snickers bars.

At work everyone greeted me. I was taking somebody else’s place this time, someone who was currently in jail. The guy was nice to me the week prior, I wished him a speedy exit from jail (unless he deserves it rightly. If it was for somking pot or something… puhleeze… he shouldn’t be there at all). At the first break someone had a sandwhich in his hand and said there were free sandwhiches in the break room. It seems that the vendor of the sandwhich machine had lots of free sandwiches (why?) and I rushed to get some. The sandwiches are low grade gas station crap. But on the first break and the lunch that followed, I ate three sandwiches. Why? Because they are free. Now, 8 hours later and at home, they have hit me like the Prussian army against the French in 1867 (or sometime in that century). Ugh… I shouldn’t have eaten that crap.

I have a dilemna coming up. A foreman at the job asked if the temps called me. I said yes. He said “you didn’t know you were coming to work until today when the temp called you?” I said “I didn’t know until I got the phone message at 3:10 this afternoon (fifty minutes earlier). He said that I was to report to him every week unless otherwise told to do so. I said okay and he left. I turned to Pete and said “what the hell does that mean?” He said that I was their newest employee. The problem, however, is this. Kelly has assigned me a number for this job today and in all respects I am still working as a temp. I’ve not been given any Lanz employee card or w-2 form. Nothing says that I work for Lanz at all other than the attitude from the foreman. I am not sure, but I am relatively sure that the hourly pay from Lanz for the same job would be maybe a quarter to a dollar more per hour than what the temps are paying me now. I roughly guessed figures in my head and calculated that if I worked 50 hours a week, I’d take home $1,200. I need the money, true. But as I told Pete when he asked if I wanted to accept a full time position at the company, I’ve got a list of five or six bars that I am working to get into, and if I can get into those bars I am guessing that I can take home an average of $1,600 a month for less hours/week. Less hours of work means more free time and more free time is more time to do either temp jobs (more money) or college. Just because I am desperate for money and a mere 30 hours ago I was in the planning stages for packing all my crap and trying to find a friend to crash with when I become evicted from the apartment, doesn’t mean that I must sacrifice my honesty. I am not honest all the time, but I do make it a point to try to be.

I am going to continue to fill out my temp service card. When I get the information from the company about working for them instead of through a temp agency, I am likely to go to the temps and ask them what to do. I feel that they would possibly let me go easily without any of the 90 day contract stuff because they know how much I need the money. But regardless, they’ve helped me get work when nobody else has been able to do so thus far. I can’t turn my back on them so callously. It feels disloyal.

Now it is 4:00 am and I am tired. I’ve had little sleep yesterday and today I’m going to catch up. I missed Twin Peaks, but no biggie. Perhaps when I get a little caught up on bills I’ll rent all 24 episodes and the prequel movie and have a Twin Peaks weekend.

Speaking of weekend… I must get out to Mt Pisgah this weekend. I’ll see if I can find a friend to give me a ride, giving him/her instructions to drop me off early in the morning and to ring my cell phone when they leave their home to come get me, after it has gotten dark. I must be out there when the sun goes away. I have only 4 minutes left on my cell phone for the past 2 months, so I do not answer it, but it still recieves phone calls and so I’ll know when they leave the house to come get me. I want to take a walk for multiple reasons. But quickly, one of them is that the deadlines for submission to the Oregon Quarterly essay contest (first prize is $500) is January 31 (or is it Dec 31? Anyway… I’ve got an email with the dates on it) and I’ve got an idea to work on a past LJ entry of mine of a hike I did a year and a half ago out in the mountains. But before I can begin to edit some writing about hiking in nature, I’ve got to pay it a visit.

I’m pooped. Time for bed.

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