Saturday, January 10, 2009

Play-By-Play Saturday

For those just joining us, I work at a certain Bank of Food in Utah (referred to generically so as to prevent our PR girl from finding my blog. If it didn't work, Hi Jess!) I absolutely love my job. (And I'm not just saying that because I have PR girls potentially reading this.) My days are filled with people, and as most of you know, I love people. I'm at work on this Saturday morning, and since it's a somewhat slow day in our warehouse, I thought I'd give you a little log of what happens throughout my day, so you can maybe understand why I'm slowly becoming a workaholic.

7:45am - Arrive at work to find a group of boyscouts locked out of the parking lot, waiting out in the cold to come in and do their scheduled service. They offer me a donut while we wait. I silently curse the Saturday project managers and make a vow to campaign for my own set of keys on Monday.

8:05 - One of the boyscouts gets brave enough to scale the chain link fence and go alert someone inside to the fact that the gate was still locked. One of the project managers sheepishly comes outside and apologizes. My contempt is swept away.

8:15 - A handful of court-ordered community service workers straggle in. One (Short Squirrley Man) is sent to start building a fort of empty boxes in the sort room; another (Jerry Garcia) is sent to restock some stuff, and another (David Archuleta's evil twin) is sent to organize the supply closet. David seems insulted by the menial task he's assigned. I refrain from reminding him that he, only weighing 90 lbs, is not suited for our heavier work.

8:45 - A troubled youth work group shows up to do whatever we need them to. I tell them to go sweep. They inform me there are no brooms on the wall. I tell them to go on a super fun scavenger hunt in the warehouse to FIND all the brooms, and THEN proceed to sweep. They're not fooled by the words "super" and "fun".

9:00 - A family shows up to sort food, led by their father who resembles Mr. Magoo. One of the sons has long blonde hair topped with a beanie. I wonder how many Cousin It references he gets in any given day. I give them the food sorting song and dance: chili is a canned meal, olives are a condiment, refried beans are an ethnic food. They, as usual, don't listen, because how hard could sorting food be?

9:15 - I notice that the project manager has a dirt stripe across his face, most likely from moving pallets. I decide not to tell him. That'll teach him to leave me waiting in the cold with the gate locked. Looks like not ALL of my contempt was swept away.

10:00 - Mrs. Magoo comes to ask me what category chili belongs in. I want to tell her EXACTLY where she can stick it. Instead, I kindly remind her that it is a canned meal.

10:05 - An unscheduled family comes in and wants to help. I put them to work, but ask them to schedule in the future so we know they're coming. The mother is a little offended - her family comes in ALL the time unannounced and no one's given her a hassle before. I seriously doubt it. I soothe her ego by telling her we're actually really GLAD they did show because we truthfully needed their help a lot today. It's a lie, but it makes her happy.

10:10 - The Magoo daughter comes over to ask where chili goes. The Magoo family apparently aren't effective communicators. But at least they were on the schedule.

10:45 - Evil David Archuleta declares himself done organizing the closet, and asks for a print out of his hours completed so far. I ask what happened to the printout I gave him on Friday. He shrugs. I sigh and smile.

11:15 - A Spanish woman and her daughter come in, and the daughter asks, "Is this where we get food?" I pull out a list of pantries in the county and hand it over, referring them to their local agency, and send them away. It's the saddest part of my job... sending a hungry family away from a warehouse full of food. But that's how it goes.

11:20 - A dock door is opened, letting in a blast of arctic air. I shiver, and zip up my giant coat. One of the warehouse boys notices me and laughs. I throw a piece of Christmas candy at him. I'm then reminded that I should probably erase the caroling penguins off the white board behind me and draw something non-Christmas themed instead. I'm sad to see the penguins go... they took some doing to get up there in the first place.
... I'm also reminded that I should probably do my part to eat the rest of the Christmas candy.

11:35 - A father rolls a cart full of food boxes to be delivered past my desk. His 3 year old son is sitting on top of the boxes, enjoying the ride. From my seat behind the volunteer desk all I see is a blonde little boy's head giggling, floating past me. I offer them my Christmas candy as they leave, and decide to eat my apple and peanut butter instead.

11:43 - I make the mistake of going back to my office for a moment to retrieve some paperwork and see that there are 7 messages on my phone. I choose to pretend I didn't see them.

12:03 - I send another Spanish family away with a list of food pantries.

12:14 - Mr. Magoo and family want to be put on the schedule for next Saturday too. I tell them that, unfortunately, we're booked that day. They settle for the following two Saturdays. Cousin It hasn't smiled since he walked in the doors, and still looks grim upon leaving. His morning of fighting hunger seems to have had no effect on his cold, sad heart.

12:15 - I decide to stop blogging while working, because it seems to be taking priority over the data entry that needs to be done.

So there you have it. That's a nice sampling of what I do for a living. There are definitely days that are much more stress and chaos-filled (take, for instance, the forty 10-year-olds and their two leaders that were here on Friday), but for now, I'll happily take this quiet Saturday.

As long as Evil David doesn't give me any more attitude.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Shh! Quiet up there!

Despite what infrequent blog postings might indicate, my brain is actually quite noisy these days. But, like some other blogging friends have indicated, there are just too many people of consequence who check in on this blog for me to be very specific or candid about anything. Maybe I should set up a different blog for only specific subscribers to view--people who would be a great audience for my antics, but whose reach in my life is not close enough to interfere.

Don't get excited. It probably won't happen.

Recently I've been thinking about puzzles. Those 1000 piece suckers that cause you ridiculous amounts of frustration for being an inanimate object and a general waste of time. I love them, because in the midst of all the frustration of searching through pieces that DON'T fit, you get little injections of satisfaction and accomplishment every time you DO find a piece that fits. No matter how down, confused, disheartened, and intimidated by life's ups and downs you may be, in the moment you snap one of those pieces into its perfect and intended place, you are on top of the world and capable of anything.

But then moment passes, and you're on to your next piece.

And then there are those pieces... those pieces that, upon first look, seem to have found their rightful position in the puzzle. But you look closer to see the slightest amount of wiggle or resistance to the piece as you stick it in, and you know in your heart of hearts that the piece is not right. Still, you find yourself trying to pound the piece into place anyway or wiggling it over and over again in a vain effort to get that shot of satisfaction that only comes with true piece completion. You've been searching for that piece for the longest time, surely anything to fill the void at this point would be better than nothing. But you know it's not, and that it will only cause problems with future pieces if you were to continue to pretend the wrong piece was right.

So you begrudgingly remove the piece and go find a Caffeine-free Diet Dr. Pepper to drown your sorrows.

And then when you have several people working on puzzles, out of the corner of your eye you'll note them successfully clicking pieces into place with ease. If you're self conscious about your own puzzle-completing abilities, this might make you frustrated and want to abandon the puzzle for awhile. Or, their success can remind you that, with persistence, progress CAN be made on the puzzle, and can encourage you to keep at it, no matter what skills you lack in the spatial relations department.

I also find it helpful to look at the picture on the front of the box, provided by the puzzle's creator. Though it may not give much specific help as to individual pieces, it's great for general ideas of where pieces should go. And, the complete picture gives you an image of what you're striving for and makes you excited to get there.


I just really like puzzles, okay?

After all, I've never been one to be known for being figurative...