Friday, August 27, 2010

Hair - Left High and Dry

I called to set up a hair cut this morning and was greeted with the last bit of news I wanted to hear. My favorite hairdresser has retired.

I can't find the post, but I know I've written before about how Mae is the only person in this world who cuts my hair in a way that looks good despite my wash-and-wear hair attitude. My hair is thick and wavy. Someone who knows how to work hair would love to have hair like mine. I don't know how to work hair. I never have, so I've tussled with it all my life.

She owned her own shop for years, and when her hairdresser daughter entered another line of work, she sold the shop and went into retirement. I spent months wandering from shop to shop, limiting each haidresser to only trimming my bangs as a trial run before allowing their shears to touch the rest of my hair. In all those months, I couldn't find one person worthy of cutting beyond my bangs.

When Mae came out of retirement to work three days a week for a well-established shop, my follicles rejoiced, and I've been content with my hair for the last decade or so.

We know that all good things eventually come to an end. Mae has once again retired. My selfish heart hopes that it's a brief hiatus, but the information they gave me on the phone leads me to believe otherwise.

I'm very thankful that Mae was available for Her Nibs' first haircut last month. I've been meaning to post these pictures for quite a while.

No, she didn't have much to trim, but Mae says a baby's hair grows in better when it's evenly trimmed. None of my kids had much hair to start with, but the older two have really nice hair now.

Her Nibs was so good. She wasn't scared or the least bit fussy. She's such a good baby!

And this is the post-haircut lollipop. She is the first of my three kids to not chew through the stick before finishing the candy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hatin' on Verizon

I am forgetful. I think I may have mentioned that before..

Last month, I forgot to pay the Verizon bill. Yeah, I got letters and a phone call, and I put it off and forgot about it. They got nasty and restricted my services for the past-due payment.

With two kids living the tail end of summer vacation, I admit that I use the electronic baby-sitter a little too often when I hear whiny complaints of boredom. "Mom, I'm bored," was once effectively answered with, "Go clean your room," but they tired of that trick and so did I.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, I forgot to pay the bill, and on August 10, Verizon slapped me around for it by making sure I was trapped at home with whiny kids on a rainy day. In desperation, I paid the ransom.

Oh, hey... if you ever run into this situation, you need to pay the bill to the penny. There's no rounding of digits. If the bill is $179.48, rounding it up to $179.50 will make them put the money somewhere else and not restore your services. I still don't understand this flawed logic, but sometimes Verizon really sucks.

I rounded the pennies and got rewarded with an extra four hours of waiting for my services to come back.

And, now, the reason for this post.

I turn on the TV and nothing happens. The clock on the cable box isn't working, either. It turns out that I had another bill come due and they restricted me again. COME ON!! I just paid you boneheads a fat chunk of money two weeks ago! The woman on the phone gave me some highly-inaccurate song and dance about the bill spanning three months (bunch of snot, I tell you) and that I had to pay the full amount due.

Yeah, I paid them. But I'm really pissed about it. They're not my only utility!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Wake-Up Call

The last few days have been a little bit challenging. My FIL is going through some medical stuff that slammed home the issue of "what do we do with mom?" Fortunately, FIL's issues aren't life threatening, just very painful and require a fair amount of wait and see. It also meant spending a decent amount of time at my in-laws' house keeping grandma company.

Clearly, we need to have a backup plan when this kind of stuff comes about.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yeah, I'm here.

I just haven't had much of a desire to blog. I haven't had much time, either.

I miss my dog.

The convenience-store job is good. It's hard work, though, and timing is everything. I've never been much good with time management and that makes things difficult for me. Certain things need to be done at certain times. I think I'm going along just fine, but when something goes awry I'm scrambling.

As the third-shift food-service person, I not only make sandwiches, slice cold cuts, and fill hot-food orders on request, I have to check every scrap of food in my section to make sure it's within its codes for timely consumption. If something hot is going to expire or run out, I need to anticipate the need and get more going so I don't run out. The hot food comes premade and frozen, so it needs an hour in the rethermalizer to come to temperature before I can put it out. I suck at anticipating what I'm going to need. Customers use touch screens to place their orders, and I have to keep those menus current as well.

I rotate out all the stale rolls and put up fresh ones, not only in the loose-roll cases for customers, but in all the sandwich stations. Ditto for the doughnut case. I also have the absurd task of prepacking cookies and pretzels for impulse sale at the register. (I never get this done quickly. I start as soon as it's delivered, but I keep getting pulled away from it to fill customer orders or do other things on schedule. I hate those things!)

Coffee has to be made and kept fresh 'round the clock. We don't have every pot running; we keep roughly half of them going through the night. It doesn't take long, but it's a time suck all the same.

From the minute I walk in the door, I'm making food. I never knew how many people ate late at night. The after-hours cleaning service closes shop at midnight, and all those guys come in hungry. The bars close at 2:00, and there's a stampede of hungry drunks for the next thirty to forty minutes. Spattered throughout is a steady flow of emergency-services folks grabbing what they can when time allows.

By 3:15 a.m., all of the hot food for the start of the morning rush has to be in the rethermalizers and put up on the steam table an hour later.

By 4:30 a.m., every coffee pot has to be filled and ready to go.

By 5:00 a.m., breakfast sandwiches have to be cooked and boxed and in the cases. I have to keep that stuff replenished until the person who mans that station comes in at 6:00 a.m.

From 6:00 to the time I leave, I must not only keep doing all the stuff I listed above, I still need to sweep the floor, wash all my dishes, and clean the deli slicer.

Oh, and then there's spoilage. Everything I discard during my shift has to be logged and entered into their computer system. You can't just chuck a panful of chili. You have to count each measure you discard. Every roll, bagel, and croissant is counted and tallied.

I haven't clocked out on time yet. The Oracle hasn't been on time for work since I started.

And I thought staying awake all night would be difficult. Ha! The difficult thing is finding a minute to use the restroom.