My Stressful Job

Hmm.  In the last month I had exactly two posts about my life.  I tend to write longer posts, so I just felt I never had the time for such a post.  I’d like to say I will start writing more often with shorter posts, but knowing me if I make that commitment I will break it, so…we’ll see.  Last week was a terrible week, especially Friday.  One of the workers moved to Arizona, so we (myself and the two trainees) had to cover all his stores plus two more.  The first two days were really bad- Tuesday I had to work until 8:00 to appease an angry manager, causing me to miss rehearsal.  Friday was supposed to be a short day, then rest.  Except there was a crisis at another store.  Another photographer and I were supposed to cover for someone who had to take off for court, only he only was able to shoot two out of the dozen cars they had while the first store I was at had twenty cars (some disappeared so I didn’t actually have to shoot twenty, but what I had still took time) so I wasn’t able to make it there at all until after sunset.  The manager was furious and ready to fire us, but two of us (yep, me included) spent a few hours Saturday stickering cars.  Thankfully he didn’t want us taking photos, my guess because there were so many customers around, so it wasn’t an all-day affair.

This week, I am letting one of my trainees work two stores by herself, so that will remove most of the pressure this week.

Posted in Cars. 4 Comments »

The updated life of Mr. D

I have now closed comments on the one post that was getting a bunch of spam.  I’m not sure what I would do if one of those spambots latched onto a more recent post.  I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it I suppose.  Moving on now…

Musical:  Going well.  I went from using two canes as per script to just one.  A couple weeks ago I brought up the point of cane usage to the choreographer and almost got taken out of Facade for it as it would change how I move.  The only dance number I’m in.  As for the other big one at the start of act II, let’s just say there is a good reason I am not in it except for a short scene.  Tonight is a full run-through of act I, and given the rehearsal is four hours we will probably run through it more then once.  We’re supposed to be off book, but I think it will be reasonable to use my music for any off-stage singing, such as the background vocals in Alive.  I’ll soon find out if they feel the same.

Work:  The one I have been training is now out of training, so time to move on to other things.  What?  Another trainee?  Two trainees??  Sigh.   Just throw my quality control manager title out the window as it has been weeks since I have done any of that and seemingly weeks more before I can.  Well, as long as the company doesn’t mind then neither do I.  At least some pressure has been removed with the one former trainee taking over three stores I was training him at- no more trips to Naperville or St. Charles! Well, after tomorrow at any rate when I just have to watch over him at one of the stores in case of problems.  I still have the huge Elgin store for the time being and I can finally give it better attention, but then there are the new trainees.  Well, I’ll see how it goes.

Church:  Still working away serving two services for 4th and 5th grades.  A couple that started this year have sort of unofficially taken over one of the services with their ideas they are implementing.  While they don’t see themselves as the volunteer heads of the 4th/5th grade ministry, I am trying to take it in stride by thinking of them as such as the one we last had went and got himself married and so he has, shall we say, a new focus.  Interestingly enough, the one before him went and did the same thing, but it wasn’t his reason for moving on- he was graduating from Moody and got a (paid) position elsewhere if I recall correctly.

Books:  After reading a the Wheel of Time series for about five months straight, I am now on break from it for a short time.  I was all set to check out the next book which showed as one copy available last night only to be on the hold shelf this afternoon.  It’s just as well since rehearsal really picks up for the next few weeks so I won’t have enough time to read it anyway- I can hardly finish one of these 700-page tomes in a month as it is.  I am not even a third of the way through the series, and not yet where I left off way back when.  Mr. Jordan, you certainly wrote a good series.  I certainly hope you accepted Christ in your life so I can meet you one day on the other side.  Hopefully Brandon Sanderson completes the epic in a way that would please Robert Jordan.

Gaming: Nothing really to say at this time.  For a future post.

Getting behind

Ugh.  I ended up working late the last two days, no interest in blogging.  I guess I do need to write something though considering my last post was from before camp.  That turned out to be an enjoyable experience which I’ll write about shortly.  We left the morning of Sunday the 20th and returned last Friday.  I could have stayed another week had it been a two-week experience, but then again the possibility exists for a trip with my OH friends next winter so I wouldn’t have wanted to get in the way of it.  So this week we started work on two new stores.  There are actually four, but someone else is doing the other two.  In fact, I won’t be doing these stores for more than a couple months because I’m training someone to hopefully take them over if the two who have been training don’t snatch them up first.  In addition, I am now in charge of the equipment and so had to order some yesterday.  They attempted delivery today- that’s quite the service but too bad nobody was home.  I’ll have to call them tomorrow to find out how to proceed, whether they will try again or I’ll have to pick the packages up- I know nothing about this delivery company.  Today’s training went s-l-o-w by the way.  I started the morning with a technical glitch that cost me almost three hours to fix, and then was only able to do one store afterward.  Hopefully the other store won’t be too upset.  I wanted to call them but it seems that I have misplaced the business cards they gave me.  Sigh.

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Sorry- more positive ramblings next post I hope!

Busy Weekend

I will blog about that soon, but I will just say for now I was in Southern Illinois the entire weekend, or driving there or back.  Monday I had my usual busy day.  I tried to blog yesterday but the allergy pills I took for my headache just zonked me out.  I must say, for a new position with higher pay I certainly don’t feel those newfound funds.  I guess another $500 car bill last month and $300 for an eye doctor visit and contacts will do that.  That in addition to the medical insurance I finally purchased and the property tax bill I am trying to save for.  None of this will keep me away this weekend, or keep me from spending money, mind you!  I have plenty for that.

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So what has been going on?  Well, my boss has been taking some time off because her brother was critically injured in a motorcycle accident (or some sort of motorized scooter I’m told, as if that makes a difference.  Last I heard he was in a coma and they were going to take him off the pain medication to see if that would shock his system enough to wake him up.  Yikes.  In addition, her father was admitted to another hospital shortly after, though I forget why.  So I am covering for her as best I can as far as technical things go.  I was on the phone for awhile this morning trying to get a couple of our people in Florida up and running- this while training someone on the handheld computer who is back with us after leaving some months ago before his training was complete.  Oh, and I just learned today another employee of our company was involved in a motorcycle accident, and her father had a medical problem (a heart attack in his case) happen at the same time as well. 😯

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Now I have learned my brother is extremely upset about some damage to the classic Mustang sitting in our garage.  Apparently someone, probably me I suppose, put a ladder in the wrong place and some boxes just happened to fall on the ladder, causing it to fall on the car.  My brother was ranting on the phone yesterday and today with my mother.  One of the unfair things he brought into play were our Christian values, as if we were purposely trying to cover it up.  Really?  Christian values?  How about not making an idol of worldly possessions to a point where you yell at your mother for over a half-hour in three calls (which she had the grace to not just hang up on) and threaten to “disown us” if we don’t fix it?  My nephew, who is the actual owner of the car mind you, has made an assessment of his own that it can’t be fixed for less than many thousands of dollars due to the tiny dent (I couldn’t even find it) being in a bad spot.  He said he won’t make us pay for it, but I asked him to find out some time how much it really would be.  Lovely, we need our roof reshingled and new windows, but now we might have to pay to have a tiny dent fixed.

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So…  In more positive news, I have made an appointment to audition at our local professional theatre.  My day to go is June 12.  I need to get a new headshot done somewhere (hopefully they don’t cost too much) and I need to write a new résumé.  More importantly, I need to come up with a monologue.  I expect I will sing a selection from my usual song from the Secret Garden, Race you to the Top of the Morning, but I’m not sure about the monologue.  Someone has recommended I do something from Oliver! since I played Fagin a few years ago.  A site, musicaltheatreaudition.com, says I should not use an accent unless specifically asked to and I couldn’t imagine playing Fagin without one, so I don’t know.  I do know that since the song is dramatic the monologue should be comedic.  Many other tips involve knowing what one is actually trying out for, but I am trying out for an entire season, and one show is even listed as “unknown musical.”  The song and the monologue have to total no more than three minutes, so I have my work cut out for me- but at least I have a couple of weeks.  Any recommendations anyone?

Looked Big to Me

Oh come on, don’t you like quizzes?  I know all of you loved quizzes in school [dodges tomato].  Seriously though, only one taker?  Come on lurkers, you don’t have to comment, just check out the videos two posts below and take the easy quiz.  No grades here, nothing to go on permanent records if you answer wrong.  Just step right up and give it a try!  Answers in one of the next couple posts. 🙂

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This week someone from Florida flew down to train with me on the use of the handheld computer, something that the office there was apparently never trained on for some reason.  He was placed in a hotel near me, right across from my church in fact, and is riding with me all week wherever I go.  I have to tell you, this guy is on fire for Jesus.  Like me, he serves in children’s ministry at his church which is apparently set up slightly different from mine (and many others) so he has kids from ages 6-11.  Perhaps he was sent not just to learn from me, but the other way around too.  I invited him to my small group last night and when there, he didn’t just sit back and listen, but was actively engaged in the discussion.  It was interesting to learn that like another in my group, he is an Annihilationist, one who believes that there is no active eternal torment for those who don’t accept God’s offer of  salvation through Jesus, but instead they are simply destroyed.  His children, of course, still have eternal life in Heaven.  Myself, I would love for this to be true but I know I must be careful to not try to read this into the scripture if and when I study this topic in detail.  One of the things I have thought is that *if* God has chosen ahead of time those He is going to save (part of the Calvinist doctrine, I’m not sure about this interpretation of Scripture), that is we can only come to Christ if God calls us, and if He calls us we cannot fail to come, if this is true then it would seem to be wholly unfair, and seemingly against the nature of God to not just deny us eternal life in heaven (more than fair for our rejection of Him) but to purposefully send us to be actively tortured by the one who was given the boot from Heaven for his rejection of God’s authority.  Of course, if we do have any say in the matter as Scripture *also* seems to say, then this argument falls flat- we deserve what we chose.

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Anyway, I have gotten far beyond the point of this post.  So today, we joined my coworker Rene again, and we practiced with the cars Rene and our other trainee were working on.  He is slowly learning, but is enthusiastic about it.  In fact, he is enthusiastic about everything- a very positive outlook.  Well, on our way home, when about to turn on route 14, we noticed a thick plume of black smoke rising.  I didn’t think to much about it, but as we drove, an ambulance and a fire truck headed in that direction.  About 15 minutes later we passed it just outside (I think) Barrington- I didn’t think it would be that far away and the area the smoke, now worse, was coming from looked really big.  However, we still couldn’t see what was actually happening.  We drove through the thin layer of smoke that reached the road, but that was it.  I figured it would be in the news, but so far I couldn’t find anything.  Well, it looked big enough for news to me.  I just pray for all involved.

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I also pray that my car does not need an expensive repair.  The “service engine soon” light just went on today and it is in the shop now to be looked at tomorrow.

Life Update

Whew. Okay, I have now gone through my junior high yearbooks and will soon have a post or two on that topic. Several memories, some forgotten mysteries, and general strangeness. More on that to come. I still have four high school band yearbooks (yes, the band had its own yearbook) and my one surviving yearbrickbook from my freshman year, but I won’t wait on those books- they will be a post or two all by themselves.

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So what have I been up to?  More of the same, really.  A couple days a week are dedicated to just looking at and fixing photos online, usually adjusting the color when they are too blue or brightening dim or dark photos.  I also report photo problems I cannot fix like photos taken at bad angles or ones so dark (or bright) that they can’t be properly fixed.  The other days I am still out in the field taking pictures at my own stores (soon to be given away so I can be free to fly out at any time) or helping another photographer who has been inundated as of late.  Just Tuesday, she did over 50 cars with the assistance of the co-owner.  She wants to give up some of the stores, but the owners like her too much apparently- for good reason as she is a very good photographer.

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Besides that I have been rehearsing for Easter choir.  I finally got the music I need to practice at home.  For some reason they thought it would be a great idea to distribute the private link to the music over facebook instead of just emailing it to everyone, so when I realized an email was not forthcoming, I had to finally ask someone in the choir for the music.  No, not everyone uses facebook and I have no intentions of ever signing up, especially after hearing about what’s happening with Myspace and a company called Infochimps right now.

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As for now, it’s a weekend of rest.  Two days off from work, no choir until next week, and no 4th/5th grade ministry.  I do enjoy what I do most of the time (even if fixing photos is a bit tedious), but it’s nice to have a rest now and then.

Drivin’ a Porsche

I think I spelled that right.  This job of mine allows me to drive all sorts of interesting vehicles.  Before this, I had never driven a Mercedes, BMW, ‘Vette, Mustang, or Lamborghini.  Wait, I still haven’t driven a Lamborghini.  Oh, well.  I haven’t driven a Jaguar either, but our company serves two Jaguar dealers, so you never know…  Today it was a Porsche.  It must have been a low-end Porsche because the dealer was trying to sell it, a 2002 Boxter, for just 16 grand, though they might change the price because they removed it from the windshield while I was there.  In any event, it really doesn’t matter what cars I drive since I don’t really get to drive them as they are meant to be driven.  If I were to drive them that way through their parking lot, or take them out onto the street, I would shortly be out of a job… 😉

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But how about that training I mentioned?  Well, the Florida team hired someone from around here, and so he started training here.  Normal training takes several weeks, but he’s to go to Florida next week, so we’re trying to cram as much info and practice into him as we can in the few short weeks he has.  He has actually been doing a pretty good job learning.  Though it doesn’t help him to have to miss days like today due to another job, like today.  Too bad- he missed out on the Porsche…  😯

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I started him off on the handheld a week ago, though another trainer gave him the rundown on it first.  I was actually the first one who he followed around, and on his first day of training I did teach him the basics of the job, but then I worked from home for the next two days so he went with someone else- the one who trained me in fact.  So back to the handheld- he did make mistakes, but surprisingly not a lot.  When he last went with me Monday, I only had to correct a couple of things.  He has really picked up on the photography too.  At this point he essentially does one of the jobs (handheld or camera), I then look over his work and let him know what he missed.  Then I do the other part.  All he is going to miss is the practice, practice, practice I went through before getting my first store.  But still, he should do well in Florida, though it is yet an emerging market so I hope he can find other work too to sustain him in the meantime.  If not, well the warm season is starting and the town is on the coast, so…

Posted in Cars. 7 Comments »