Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some times I'm just so weary.

A gentleman that I worked with for the last ten years retired last June. He was highly intelligent and well read. He had a degree in music composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, a pretty high zoot school ranked right up there with Julliard in New York City. Through the course of living life, including two failed marriages, for aren't we all a product of the choices we make, he ended up working at a supermarket. Now I wouldn't call him live wire or the life of the party but he did posses a wickedly dry sense of humor. In the last couple of years I he became more and more surly. Yet out of work he was a more relaxed and personable person. I noticed this when I accompanied him to a local watering hole a few times after work. Trying to figure out his behavior I came to the conclusion that the drudgery of work was really getting to him. Let's face it what I do for a living is hardly stimulating to the brain. It has it's moments but mostly it's boring punctuated with moments of tedium. On the other hand it has provided me with a reasonably comfortable living. Thankfully I am on an old pay scale from the original company I joined which was a very desirable place to work around here. We were an upscale market before the term existed. It was an inovative company, at least in supermarket terms. You know the mesh bags that oranges come in. That was a result of my old company contacting Dow Chemicals. It spread across the industry. We had a bundle pick up. You would do your shopping, check out, your groceries would be put into a crate on a roller track and disapear into the floor of the store. You go to your car, drive around to bundle pick up and your groceries would magically appear and be put into your car. Ah the good old days. OK I'm off point here. Getting back to my former co worker and his attitude towards people, I can feel it creeping into my attitude. He retired at the age of 62. I am 3 years away from that. On April 1, 2011 I will be hitting my 40th anniversary and you know what? I'm begining to feel the same way. I am blessed with being healthy. I have called out sick only once in the last 30 years and that was because I had laryngitis, apart from that I felt fine. This was in 1999. Still I have to admit the job is getting to me. I am praying that I will have enough money in my retirement fund to make me feel comfortable enough to call it quits at 62. It's not just dealing with the public. For the most part they are ok and after all I am part of the public as well and I'm positive that I have had my share of brain cramps and stupidity. One time I was on my lunch break. I drove to a closeby McDonalds (My preference is Burger King but there wasn't one nearby. Oh do I love the Whopper with cheese, but that's history now.)  So I place my order in the kings mouth. That does sound a bit strange doesn't it? The king tells me it's something like $2.52. I drive to the window, pay the $2.52 and proceed to leave without my order. 

Getting back to my original point, I am approaching the point that Chuck hit. I am beginning to understand why he acted like he did. Last night I was supposed to work till 8p.m. We had a sick call. I ended up staying till 10. It was a long day,11:30 to 10 p.m. When I got home last night I was very weary. I was tired physically but that can be cured with some sleep. I am resiliant that way but mentally it was very draining. Having to ask each person who could not place a proper order what they wanted and having them tell me they wanted the turkey you use to make sandwiches just doesn't cut it when you have 32 turkeys to choose from. Asking for a half pound of the $8.99 doesn't cut it. I could feel myself slipping last night. I could feel myself wanting to grab some of these people by the throat and saying, "Just tell me what the hell you want!" Don't give me some cryptic order that I have to figure out through a process of elimination. A lot of this is the companies fault for having a bewildering assortment like items. We just don't need 8 different roasted turkeys and we don't need to put 3 of them on sale for the same price. I suspect that the manufacturers  pay for the shelf space. It has nothing to do with what the customers want though that's the way they would like to spin it. It's really just a real estate deal. Some of their "specials" are laughable. Presently the are promoting their "milk special". Buy 6 gallons of milk and get the 7th one free. They'll surely be busting down the doors over that one! And to top it off they charge $4.00 for a gallon. Milk can be had at two competitors for $2.79 and $3.29 respectively. At one time working for my original company was a feather in your cap around here. It was akin to working for Poloroid. Of course Poloroid  for all intents and purposes is gone. Only the name exists though their world headquarters still exists along a highway that rings the Boston area with the name emblasoned on the front, but it's just a building. What's this all mean? Well first of all I am ranting and blowing off steam. I am off today and tomorrow. It is a beautiful day outside. Oh sure there is plenty of snow and we have another storm coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday but I'm not going anywhere today. I am slobbing it up and shutting off the outside world except for the cyber world and more than likely watching the Boston Celtics vs the L.A. Lakers. It's Yankees/Red Sox only with a basket ball. As a casual sports it is so great to have these sports rivalries. I am not going to worry about the coming snow. I can't change it. It's the price you pay for living here. And as far as I'm concerned it's worth it. If I hit the lottery I would surely buy a home in a warmer climate but this will always be my home. I will always return.

OK. Rants and whines are done. Thanks for listening.
I'm outta here.


  1. When you speak, I always listen. Sick once in so many years says something. You are dependable and a loyal worker. You know your trade well and they count on you. You are one in a million Paul and don't forget how special you are. Do I sound like Mr. Rodgers?
    Soon Spring will be in the air and the sun shine will spill on your shoulders. As Chico would say "Whatsah Madda wit you?" Ok, maybe that's not the line I was thinking of... Hugs dear friend.

  2. Hey little bro, I know how you are feeling. I spent over 35 years of my life working. My last job was dealing with military officers. A good way to get ulcers which I did. If you can fit it in your budget do reire as soon as you can. I keep hoping for a lottery win too so I could go somewhere warm for the winter.
    If Toodie can hug you so can I, so there!! This too shall pass.

  3. I am not sure what reire means so I guess you know I meant to say retire.

  4. Hey let's go for a group hug. A hugoramma.

  5. Me too. But I'll stand beside you so I can have some man in the hugarama. :-)

    There can't be many of us who don't understand exactly how you feel. And the closer you get to it, the harder it is to stand the slings and arrows of silly customers. (better than battle axes and pikes, I guess) (maybe)

    Anyway, hang in there and me and Beth want to hear you talk. How about a video with your own Bostonian narration?

  6. HEY! Wait...can I still get in on the group hug? Hi Paul! I always like reading the thinks that you think.
    I hope Spring comes early for you.

  7. Every Sunday evenin' and Monday mornin' I have the same thoughts...could I survive okay on my retirement? What would I do the rest of my life? I'll be 54 in March and I've worked my job for 33 years. There are days when I think I can't bear it, other days when I don't think I could bear not having the job. Ugh! Others who have retired tell me I'll know when I'm ready. How? Hang in there. Count me in on the hug but if you feel a stray hand doing something inappropriate in the group hug...guess who?

  8. Thanks everyone. I am grateful to know a group of people such as you. You all make me smile laugh and think. The latter something that doesn't always come easy to me. And Angie a little inapropriateness is always welcome.

  9. This is not bad post Paul! sometime you wrote off on your point but all you said positive your retirement thats good news.
    I remember that you wrote in your blogs before over 30 years you worked and only few time had day off...
    not many people can do that Paul:-)

    Until your dream retirement untill that all your friends give you warms to hot hugs :-)
    Aren't you lucky man...
    You have relax day after long works.
    Thank you for visit.

  10. Hi Paul I do indeed know that feeling , back in 1998 I worked my butt off , my shifts consisted of 10 or 12 hours, early rising at 6am. I got so tired I think I almost lost the will to live, I had no fight left in me. After 7 years I finally had the means to leave and moved on. 12 years on I am now retired oh what bliss, can't afford lots of expensive things or go on holidays as such. but oh I have my piece of mind back. You will I'm sure will reapt the rewards of all your hard work one day. Sheila