Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: Going Back; and also some good news.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Going Back; and also some good news.

From "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," a passage I'm always reminded of in situations like this:

I hung up and strolled out to the car. Well, I thought. This is how the world works. All energy flows according to the whims of the Great Magnet. What a fool I was to defy him. He knew. He knew all along. It was He who sacked me in Baker. I had run far enough, so He nailed me... closing off all my escape routes, hassling me first with the CHP and then with this filthy phantom hitchhiker... plunging me into fear and confusion.

Never cross the Great Magnet. I understood this now... and with understanding came a sense of almost terminal relief. Yes, I would go back to Vegas. Slip the Kid and confound the CHP by moving East again, instead of West. This would be the shrewdest move of my life. Back to Vegas and sign up for the Drugs and Narcotics conference; me and a thousand pigs. Why not? Move confidently into their midst. Register at the Flamingo and have the White Caddy sent over at once. Do it right; remember Horatio Alger...

I'm most likely going back to Carl's Jr. Every time I've managed to make it away from the place, something has either forced or drawn me back in. Unlike the previous times, and unlike Thompson there, this time I am returning of my own volition, not because I have no other choice. I haven't lost my other job, though I haven't been getting quite as many hours the last couple of weeks. This is just because business is slow the last month or so. Between the constant rising of the gas prices, and back to school shopping, people have hardly any money to spend on groceries this month, especially the poor, lowerclass families that make up 99% of Grider's customer base. No, I have put much thought into this the last week, and am going back because I want to, because I am currently trying to save up as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. I am not going to be working there full time, only on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. My two days off from my other job. I just went to Carl's to see if they wanted to hire me back, but Allen wasn't there, only Phillip, but Phillip said that Allen would probably want to hire me back, especially since some new girl they recently hired has called in the last three Saturdays and may not be working there for much longer.

Oh, I should warn you, this post is going to be quite long.

So, I haven't posted much lately at all, even less than usual. Not too much has happened, and most of the stuff that did happen was a couple of weeks ago and I've forgotten most of it already. A couple of weeks ago, my mom, my sister and I went to Dallas. They'd been planning for months to go sometime this Summer, but the original plan had been to be there for two or three days. They wanted me to take a couple of days off and go with them, but this was back when I was still working at Carl's and could take time off pretty much anytime I wanted, as long as I gave a couple week's notice. But now that I've got this new job, I can't take time off work, so they decided to make it just a day-and-a-half thing. They had originally wanted to go to one of the big malls in Dallas; the Sixth Floor Museum, the Kennedy assassination museum; and either Six Flags, or SeaWorld, or some place like that; and maybe the wax museum too. But since the trip was shortened, the main focus became the mall, and, if we had enough time, The Sixth Floor Museum. It was a sudden thing, I came home from work one Friday, and was sitting around planning what I would do on Saturday, since it's my day off. Then my mom called me and asked if I wanted to go to Dallas with them. We left Friday evening, go there about 9:00, and got a motel room. Then the next day we'd do our stuff, and then be home by Saturday night. We got up Saturday and ate at IHOP, and then went to the Galleria mall. A huge three story place that even has an indoor ice-skating rink. We weren't in there near as long as we expected, only a little over three hours, so we had plenty of time to go through the museum, and then look around Dealy Plaza and take a few pictures. That's the fourth or fifth time I've been there in just the last few years.

Not much as happened the last few weeks, other than work. Well, nothing that I've had to get offline for, but more on that later in the post.

Work. Ugh. It's been a roller-coaster ride. I loved the job when I started, even though I hated Dale, my semi-boss. He's not really our boss, he's just a normal employee like us, but he's been there the longest, and makes the most, so he's more-or-less our boss when Ben, the real boss isn't there. It's not like a job description thing, Ben doesn't come in and promote you to this new position or anything, he just gives you a couple extra responsibilities. This is important, because I think there's a chance I could be becoming the next person in this position sometime in the near future, but once again, I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

As I was saying, I loved the job when I started, but very soon, Dale, and even Ben, started to really get on my nerves, so much so that I hated the job even more than Carl's. I seriously almost quit a couple of times, much closer even than I ever came to quitting in the nine years I was at Carl's. Ben is super-annoying because he is an asshole. No matter how hard we work, he always comes in and bitches that we're not doing anything. He'll say something like "It looks like you guys have just been on break for the last two days." He'll point at a shelf that is missing two cans of product because a customer came in and bought it, and say that the entire aisle looks like shit and we just goof off all day and never work. He doesn't seem to understand that that's what happens in a store, people BUY THINGS. You don't just stock the shelves and then they stay that way. Also, he doesn't understand the concepts of time and space. We'll get a truck of like 15 pallets of product in, and he expects us to get it all up in one day. This is literally impossible for two reasons. First, unless we had about ten people working there instead of two or three, there is no way anyone in the world could do it that fast. Also, it's impossible because the shelves won't hold that much product! That's enough product to keep our shelves stocked for up to a week, it won't all go up at once, you stupid fucker.

But, the last few days have been better, because Dale got suspended for a week, and I've basically been put in charge in his place. They aren't calling it a suspension, but Ben called him and yelled at him last Monday, and told him not to come back until this Monday. And he also said that "When you come back Monday, you can work 7 to 4 with an hour lunch break. A normal shift like everyone else, and if you don't like it, you can find another job." And everyone around the store, even people that don't work for Ben are talking about how Ben is trying to finally get rid of Dale. So, Dale may not come back, and even if he does, he probably won't last long. The last few days I've worked have been heaven without him. We all get much more work done without him there to annoy us, and slow us down by being an idiot and trying to tell us what to do even though we know what to do and what needs to be done, usually even better than him. Even Ben has noticed when he came in how much smoother things have been going, and how much more work we're getting done this week. He almost complimented us the other day, even.

Basically the crew besides me is my aunt Valorie, who started work there a week or two before me, and isn't very good at it; Gene, an old man, past retirement age, who is a good worker, but he had a heart-attack or stroke or something about a year ago, so he can't do any hard work now, he has to have someone bring the pallets and stuff out for him; and Dale, who may not be there much longer. Ben has employees that work in other stores in the area too, and there's a couple of guys from another store he sends in to help us occasionally, but they usually aren't there more than once a week. So, as long as I've worked there, anytime that Dale has been off, or just not come in that day, Valorie and Gene have made me the boss. They even call me "Boss." Even Gene, who has worked there for years, calls me boss, and asks me what he should do. And we always get twice as much work done when I'm in charge. They all like it when I'm in charge, and all think I should be in charge if Dale does quit or get fired. Unfortunately, there's one problem with me being put in charge in any sort of official manner: I may be moving in a few months. Which brings us, finally, to what I said I'd talk about later, and the reason I am saving up my money. It's also the other reason, besides Dale being gone, that I've been in such a good mood the past week.

This is something that's been going on for a while now, but I've never told anyone about, except for my parents, and I briefly mentioned it to Phillip when I was working at Carl's. I've not even told Chris, which will probably make him mad, because it's such an important thing. He will probably say, "I thought we were best friends? Why didn't you tell me?"

I'm moving to California, to be with Melissa.

I've known her for almost 8 years now, and we've been really good friends the entire time. We've known for years that we were perfect for each other, but there was the pesky problem of us living about 1500 miles apart. She didn't want to move to Oklahoma, and I would've hated for her to have done so, because Oklahoma sucks, and I don't even want to be here. I've always wanted to move to CA, or somewhere else on the west coast, even before I met her, but I couldn't move to CA because I was too poor, and CA is so expensive to live in. But a few months ago, shortly after she broke up with her last boyfriend, I brought up the idea of me finally moving to CA, and we started to seriously talk about it. I told my parent's and Phillip about it way back then, and I was going to tell Chris, but it was something I would've rather told him about in person than online, and every time he came to OK on leave, I just couldn't seem to find the right time or place to talk about it, I didn't really want to talk about it in front of his entire family, as I am a shy person, and don't really like talking about matters like this in public.

After a while though, the plan sort of fell through. Mostly because she was taking her last breakup really hard, and she also said she didn't want to force me to move halfway across the country and so far away from my family. So we stopped talking about it, and I had pretty much given up on the idea. But then a couple of weeks ago, she brought it up again, and since then we've been talking about it again, even more seriously than last time. Unless something unforeseen happens, it's going to finally happen this time. But we don't know when. Basically, as soon as I can save up enough money to feel comfortable doing it. CA is expensive, and I won't have a job when I get there. I'll be living with her, but I don't want to be a total dead-beat and have to mooch off of her. I don't really have a target goal on the money issue, but I'd like to at least make back the $1200 I had to spend on my car a while back. Then I also need to get some work done on my car first, nothing major, just a new set of tires, and before I attempt the drive I'd want to make sure I got a good tune-up and stuff like that. So, we don't know for sure when this will be happening, but I'm hoping two or three months at the most. She's got a vacation coming up in early October, and she's hoping I can get a week off from work to come stay with her for a few days first. I was really hoping to maybe be moving there by then, but she insists, and it is a good idea, that I should come stay with her for a week or so first, because for some reason, we may end up not getting along together in real life, though I don't see that happening at all. The main reason I don't really want to do this is because that's extra money I'll have to spend. I'll have to get a plane ticket, and take some spending money, and on top of that, I'd be missing a week of work. I may not even be able to get the time off from work though. I don't know for sure what the policy is on stuff like that.

I really hope it doesn't take too long. I would move out there today, if I could. We've already wasted so many years not being together even when we knew we should be, that I hate to waste even one more day.