"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Friday, August 19, 2011

In a very dark place ...

... at the moment.

A little earlier today, I began constructing a draft post of "Death Sentence": a whine about how I felt that I wouldn't survive until the end of the year.

It got inadvertently (?) posted for a few seconds before I yanked it. But those few seconds were sufficient ot enshrine it on Google Reader.

Why the "(?)" after "inadvertently"?  On automatic-pilot it is easy to select "Publish Post" when you meant "Preview", but maybe I wanted to pop it up there.  Lashing out is all too human when you're in enough pain.

What brought that on is my current situation.  I am barely hanging on with the combination of early-retirement social security and a part-time job as a grocery cashier.  If I go under 20 hours in a week, I bleed because I have to hit my credit to squeeze by, and of course that ain't infinite.

I've had a lot of weeks like that lately, and seeing only 10  hours scheduled for this coming week sent me a bit over the edge.  If this is a sign of things to come;  not good!  Not good at all!!!  There's no escaping a total collapse down the line in that case.

Of course, maybe that ain't the case at all;  I've had spells of extreme depression before, and I could easily be over-reacting to a temporary setback instead of evaluating it objectively.

Maybe I just need to put on Philip Wesley's "Dark Night of the Soul" (actually quite peaceful and soothing, in spite of its title) and try to relax a bit.

I've been through these spells before, and will probably be again.  That I'm whining is probably a good clue that I'm still here.

So, if you've come across that post on RSS, Fuggedaboutit!!!

I'm going to try to.

To Greg: Thank you for your concern.  One way or another, I'll make it through this.  I'm 69 now; I think that says something about my survival skills.

Update - Sat night, 20 Aug 2011 - I have talked to the manager, mainly inquiring about the chances of more hours becoming available in the coming weeks.  She actually felt the chances were pretty good, because business nearly always picks up for them once kids are back in school.

I did question why we were taking on three new cashiers and clerks while we were having trouble providing hours for those we already had.  To that,  she replied that some of those we had were not available for some shifts, particularly weekends.

As I have not restricted myself that way, I may have some opportunities in the coming weeks (I am not real fond of coming in at 6 AM, because I usually have to be up at 3 AM to manage that, but I have done it, will do it, and they do know it.  So, there's hope there).

In her comment, blogger Webutante  asked how she could help, if I had a tip-jar, etc.?

Well, I do not, for several reasons.  First, I still have some pride left.  Second, as a practical matter, my blog simply doesn't draw that many people.

I would love to be interesting enough to be able to market some of my writing, but, my site-meter provides a very solid (and sobering) reality check.

More than anything in the world, I'd like to stir curiosity and cause others to check out various other things I've written, but only a very tiny handful of visitors here ever do that.  Most have arrived here because of the title I've given a post, or because of its subject matter, but after they've read the post (if they've even done that), BAM!; Hasta la vista, baby!!!

The bottom line there is that, whatever my dreams may be, I'm simply failing to hold their interest.  So, even if I tried panhandling with a tip-jar, there just ain't enough visitors here to make it work.

It's a moot point anyway, as the first reason I mentioned above overrides everything, and means it just ain't gonna happen.

The conversation with the manager raises some hope, so we'll just have to see how it goes.

Thanks, all, for putting up with me.  I really appreciate your support.

Yet another update - 22 Aug 2011 - Webutante  made another comment on my fixation on the site-meter, which I am answering here in case not all visitors via RSS see the comments.

Thank you, Web.

You're right about the site meter, but let me put my addiction in perspective ...

I've never gotten around to watching Danny Boyle's Trainspotting  (1996 - about the heroin culture in Edinburg), and don't know if I ever will; just not having any real interest in the subject.

But, I have seen a clip from it in which one of the characters, played by Ewan McGregor, explains ...

"People think it's all about misery and desperation and death and all that sh*t which is not to be ignored, but what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn't do it. After all, we're not f*cking stupid. At least, not that f*cking stupid."

I'm always curious about how a post is received, but this is the fix that I'm looking for. As I explained to another commenter on another post of mine ...

For me, blogging is a great way to occasionally vent, or just to share things I'm interested in.

In a comment to a post on another site, I confessed to being a slave to the site-meter, often frustrated by seeing some little trifle that I shot out in response to something that ticked me off getting hit after hit after hit, while something else that I poured my soul into sinks without a trace.

The most soul-killing thing for me is apathy.

On the other hand, the greatest turn-on for me is when I see evidence of curiosity;  people coming here for one thing and then exploring others.

To think I may have piqued someone's curiosity -- well, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Although depressingly rare, it actually does happen now and then.  So, I do believe there could be worse things to be addicted to. :-)

Lord! Talk about going all over the map!  I think I've just embarked on a world cruise here.


gcotharn said...

Thank goodness it is only money problems! :) I feared worse.

Maybe the person who sets the schedule is unaware of just how seriously you depend on working 20 hours per week? Maybe, if they were fully cognizant of your situation, they could help you out here and there?

Foxfier said...

You had me worried. >.<

Paul Gordon said...

Ain't nuthin' "only" about money problems; people have left their brain matter on living room walls over such. I figure your inclusion of the smiley is recognition of that.

I suspect the person(s) who set the schedules are somewhat cognizant (I have tried to get across just how desperate it is), but they have others to consider as well; I'm not the only one with problems.

I had me worried too; still do.

The situation is a work-in-progress and it will go where it goes.

Webutante said...

How can we help you, Paul? Do you have a tip jar or a mailing address we can contribute to?

And of course prayer for your survival and much more is job 1.

Webutante said...

All that sounds promising, Paul. I would like to add two things: First, there's nothing wrong with getting a little help from time to time and there are those who would gladly do it. And second, I find obsessing over one's site meter to be a complete waste of time and energy. Write what interests you and you want to put out there and leave the results up to God. You may care too much what other people think and do and that's totally out of your control.

We're rootin' for you!

Millyb said...

Hey Paul-have you considered looking for another job-now that you're coming at it from strength? Even if it's similar work, you might find something with more hours, better benefits, or more opportunities. You can always turn it down;-)!

Millyb said...

Ok this is the third time I've tried to post my comment. I'm giving up after this ;-)! Paul-have you considered looking for another job now that you're coming at it from strength? Even if it's similar, you might find something with more hours or more opportunities and you could always turn it down.

Paul Gordon said...

Millyb: Don't know what happened with one of them, but two got though.

I have Comment Moderation turned on because I get a lot of spam in my comments, particularly for whatever post is at the top of the list.

I haven't looked much, largely because of self-defeating depression about the odds of anything out there for people of my age (69 now), and from being so worn out when I get home from the hours I do pull.

And, along the lines of "Be careful what you wish for", they do have a few ideas in mind for shifts that they have trouble finding people available for (late nights on weekends, for example), so it's entirely possible that I might have something else to whine about soon. :-)


Millyb said...

Not sure what happened, but it wanted me to log in and then the comment window was blank, so I retyped the comment. Anyway, possible shifts sound good, but remember you're in a whole different place now looking for a job and it can't hurt to look around. I would have suggested Borders, but ...


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