Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Different Tone

Admittedly, when I am tired, I don't tend to be the rosiest person on the face of the planet.
I might even misread something that someone says in passing and take it wrongly - but usually I keep my mouth shut about such things because I know what frame of mind I am in at the moment.
Today I had such an encounter with a certain person at my employer's - I had to think about that person's statement for a long, long time and came to absolutely NO clear conclusion.
I go to work, and when the work's there, I work my @$$ off. Period. I have no other work ethic. I don't know any other way of doing things at work, I must strive to do the best possible job in the least amount of time while maintaining accuracy and efficiency. I have always driven myself to such, I cannot see a day when I will change that way of doing things.

It's simply a part of who I am. There are always, of course, areas that can be improved. Whatever my work failings may be, no one will ever be able to say that "that guy is a lazy ASS looking for NOTHING to do". To the contrary, I HATE a slow day. I FAR prefer being busy, and quite busy at that. Since my boss has been gone, I have - dipped my feet - into things I hadn't done before. Nothing bad about what I did, it's stuff the boss usually does to keep his store ratings up. I had never done it because he always does it, every single day.

None of what I do at work guarantees that I will have a job tomorrow. I can only do my best and strive to go beyond my best and hope that tomorrow, when I arrive at work, and tomorrow afternoon, when I leave, I won't have to confront any bad news.

My home? I love my home! It's not just a place to hang a hat, it's a place to live. Here is MY place, the place that I don't have to succumb to anyone for any reason about anything. At least, not in relative terms. Always there is something, but - I deal with it. I ALWAYS deal with it, and usually almost immediately unless prudence dictates something else. I love what's happening to my home - it's transforming from a bland, same-o same-o place to the place of my dreams. Really. It will get there.

And then? I will sell it - when the economy comes back and housing prices go back up - and I find a point where I can make a profit off of it - and go buy another diamond in the rough. Or - if I can somehow swing it - rent the place out AND go get another diamond in the rough.

This is not a guess. I am not making statements that won't happen. If I die, it won't happen. Otherwise, I will see it happen. There is so much more to be done to this house and property before it is sold - but it isn't a negative outview. I LOVE the challenge of getting things to where I want them, especially something as large a project as an entire house and it's property.

Life isn't all about a bad economy - or even a good one. You meet people where they are at. It isn't about a whole lot of anything, really, except the people that are involved in your personal life. And the Lord, of course.

Now for my negative rant. I check my checking account balance every day - every single day, online. I check it because I used to be so TERRIBLY bad about a checking account. Checking accounts and credit are the reason I went for some 3 years without a checking account or credit cards. On purpose. I had to pay for everything by cash. I forced that upon myself and I never want to forget the lessons I learned during that period of time.

Anyway, today, I was surprised to see my checking account $25 in the NEGATIVE. It is NEVER in the negative. What did I do? Forgot about a check I had written that the person it was issued to hadn't deposited. Now, this morning, I was in the black. It was about 4:00pm when I checked it yet again and found that in there. I immediately went out to my car and drove on down to the nearest Compass bank.

Guess what? Compass bank closes at 4:00pm! R U Serious? What happened to banker's hours: 9 to 5? The bank was closed, not even the drive-thru was opened. The only thing I could do was make a deposit in the ATM. So I did - almost. The screen popped up and told me that deposits made before 3:00 pm would be posted that day, deposits made after 3:00 pm would be posted the next business day.

I'm getting panicked - I HATE giving banks money for over-draft fees. It's just money down the drain. Poof, it's gone and didn't do you a DAMNED bit of good. You didn't buy anything with it, it didn't help your credit, it's just plain GONE. I thought that maybe because it was south-central Phoenix - not a nice area - they close earlier. So, I'm heading back towards the east valley and attempting to call Compass on the 800 line.

I push the buttons on the phone for the options presented. I get to the point of talking to a person and a recording comes on that says something about being open until 7:00 pm, thanks for calling and it hangs up! 7:00 pm MOUNTAIN time. I'm IN Mountain time, and it's 4:30 pm! I got that recording fully 7 times before I FINALLY got through to someone, who said I was not in the right "department" and HUNG UP on me!

I called back yet again, this time, I had just pulled into a Circle K. I was going to see if the bank I normally use is open by looking up their phone number, getting one of the tellers on the phone that I normally deal with, and at least get an opportunity to plead my cause. Well, I got through to an agent on the 800 line in the RIGHT department this time. I tell this guy the story - went there, trying to advert an overdraft fee, can I pay the difference with a credit card over the phone? No, you can't. Well is there a Compass bank around somewhere that is opened until 5:00? No, sir, there isn't.

I didn't know what to think. I've had that account opened for - a year and a half. I that time, I have had one overdraft. That was another mistake, not dissimilar to today, only today, I thought I had caught the error in-time to rectify it. So, after my options were exhausted, I simply stated the following: So, what you're saying is there is nothing I can do about this and tomorrow, I'm going to see a huge overdraft fee on my account.

I wasn't angry, cynical or inflecting any tones. I had simply come to the point of accepting that I wasn't going to win this one, oh well. "No sir, I'm not saying that at all. As a one-time only courtesy, we are going to defer the over-draft fee. Just come in tomorrow morning with the money and you will not incur the fee." I was rather astounded, to be quite honest, to hear this coming from this guy and his company. Banks are notorious for NOT giving up the fees. You get one, you pay it.

So, in the end, it isn't a negative thing anyway. I thanked the man for his understanding and - well really, they didn't have to do any such thing and I didn't even ask them for it, nor did I expect it, AT ALL - for giving me the opportunity, wished him a good afternoon and hung up. Note that I would have wished him a good afternoon if I had NOT received such. A company's policies are not going to be able to be deferred by the dude or dudette that answers the phone in an incoming 800 call center. You ALWAYS have to go beyond that person. I wasn't even going to do that, to be honest. I usually have thoughts of going hog-wild and doing whatever, but in reality, I caused this problem myself, oversight or not - so, give it good effort, but don't go too far with it. My only real reason to call the bank was to find out if I could just pay in advance with a credit card.

To end this, again, I know I'm not being "myself" lately and I have no good answer for it. I don't know what's going on inside of me, only to say that I will come out of whatever it is and - whatever "it" did to me, that's what will reflect in my demeanor. Aging is an interesting phenomenon and I don't wonder if whatever "it" is is a part of it. I think not on a mid-life crisis. I didn't say I'm going through a BAD thing, just - different.

Hope you all have a great evening.
ben

Wednesday

Well at least the work-week is halfway over. Today marks the last day that the counter-sales guy from downtown helps run our store. My boss is in-town today, coming back to work tomorrow. We did quite well keeping the store running without any outside help - once you learn how to run a store, it isn't terribly difficult.

Tomorrow morning, I'm getting up early for an early delivery. It's at an elementary school and we have to have the truck there and unloaded before 7:00 pm. If we don't - I have to sit there an hour while all the kids come to school, get into class and are out of harm's way before getting unloaded. Most definitely, there is a LOT of harm that can come to anyone on a construction site. I've seen it first-hand a hundred times over and certainly would not want to see some kid getting run over by a front-end loader or getting into something that is potentially - well even deadly.

I actually feel pretty good right now - though a bit tired. I zonked out at 8:30 last night only to wake up again at midnite-thirty.

I've also been having some pretty incredibly crazy, wild and even disturbing dreams lately, of which I have no explanation for and wonder why I'm having them. I don't think I'm all that stressed out right now - though there are things that are bugging at me, nothing too terribly grandiose. Just for a small example, I was in a dream where I was driving a pickup truck (I think) that was pulling some sort of small trailer. I had pulled up from a side-street to try and make a left turn onto a very busy highway. Before traffic was clear, I pulled out and realized my mistake. I stopped - the lanes I was attempting to enter were too full of cars, but there were also cars coming at me at high speeds in the opposite bound lanes. All the cars slowed down and stopped except one particular vehicle in the slow lane - which never even hit it's brakes and plowed right through the trailer.

That one woke me up. I would NEVER pull out in front of traffic like that. The trailer was destroyed, the vehicle that plowed through it had minimal damage and the person driving the car was okay. Still, it was an incredible scene to watch play out, even if unreal. I thought maybe it was a warning of something to come, and it was right at the top of my mind - that was last week, and sure enough, a situation arose in traffic - though not caused by me - that I was able to avoid only because I was looking for such a thing because of that dream.

Crazy stuff. Anyway, the high temps are coming back down - and the low temps at night are quite bearable without AC on. I found an ad on Craigslist with a person that is going out of business who is selling out all their sunscreen material - for windows and doors and such - at unbelievably low prices. I have priced that stuff at Home Depot, they are selling it for pennies on the dollar. I did not have time to go over there today, I'm afraid it's going to be gone before I get a chance to do so, but - maybe I will have opportunity tomorrow. It's perfect for the trellises in the rear of the house. I want to line the back of the trellises with something to blot out the sun's direct rays until vines grow all over the trellises. Since that little process could take even years, certainly I need a quick-fix for right now.

My dad wrote me and asked about Caleb and I coming down for a visit. I replied that I would like to visit after Caleb gets out of school, which is at the beginning of June. That's only - a month and a half away. I am thinking of asking for a week off of work since I have plenty of hours saved up and take 2 or 3 days visiting my dad and the rest - doing nothing. : )

Nothing else around here - really. Michael's gone for the week - apparently anyway - he hasn't been here meaning his mother is making him go home after school everyday. Mary - still working outside. The other tenants - nothing new there, either.

And with that, I'm done, as I haven't had anything to eat today except a couple handfuls of popcorn at work - it's now almost 4:00 pm - and yes, I'm quite hungry.
C'ya later.
ben

 So yesterday, I write a professionally worded intent to terminate employment, here is the advance notice you requested email to the manager...