Alien Abduction

Fri, Apr 27, 2012


 In case I failed to mention it before, I’ve taken a second job; aside from galloping horses here at Mountaineer Park, I am a janitorial employee in the Hancock county School system. It’s not a full-time job yet. What I find most significant about it is this; to be a “substitute custodian” in this system can be brutal.

When someone takes off, I get a call. I’m on a list; the list is however many custodians long; I’m somewhere on the list but I dont; know where, but as of last August, it was the very bottom. This list is referred to by an automated system; nobody seems to know what prompts the system, although I have a fairly educated self-orientation (based on experience); what all of this aounts to is that there is no predicting when one will be called, so one better be ready to be shaken awake at 5 a.m. to get ready to work beginning at 4 p.m., as well as being shaken awake at 5 a.m., to get to a job 20 miles away by 6 a.m..

It seems to me that I am still at the bottom of the list, since the most inconvenient engagements are making it all the way to me before they get accepted.

So this week, after waiting roughly 10 days for ANY calls, I gallop for 3-1/3 hours, arrive home to a big breakfast and to what I am hoping will be a restorative nap. I’m interrupted one-half hour into my restorative nap by the automated call-out system. The system tells me that there’s a job available and I need to be there in a half-hour. It’s O.K. to call in late – the rest of the staff understand, however, you are expected to put in 8 hours.

So I do. When I arrive home, about 10, I’m up till midnite catching up – doing little things like I am doing right now. Then I hit the sheets and the phone rings at 5:30 to assign me to a job beginning 4 p.m..

Well, I’m up now. And I’m not happy about it. Off to gallop another 3 hours, take a stressed-out, pissed-on-feeling nap, drag myself through the process of preparing to leave, go to the job with the splitter (headache) that began when the phone rang at 5. Work till midnite, slog home wired-and-tired, only to be out of bed at 6 on Saturday in time to gallop for 3 more hours. 

Followed by the third job; stocking shelves at Burkle Turf Supply. the order got there Thursday, but my presence has been pre-empted for two days, so it’s catch-up time there on Saturday.

This is what my uncle used to say: “you either have time, or you have money; but you never have both”.

It’s times like this, when I feel completely out of control and at the mercy of everyone else’s bidding, that I have to choose whether to sacrifice the money for the time. And none of us who trade our time for money can do that without wanting to stress out about the loss. Or else just work through it all and when you finally have a day of rest, can’t remember who you are or what you were up to before all the aliens abducted you how many days ago..

Leave a Reply