Friday, November 21, 2008

Not the most graceful transiton.

I applied at my place of employment with the hope of working in the paint department. The thing is, they needed cashiers and I needed a job. I told them I was flexible. Silly me. They had me behind a till within 48 hours of receiving my resume and that is where I remained for the next two months. Early last week, my zone manager stopped me as I was heading out for a break.

ZM: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have some paint experience, don't you?"

I held my smart tongue (neglecting to point out that my most recent job experience, right there on my resume which she has in her office, was as a professional painter) and simply answered in the affirmative.

ZM: "You have experience tinting paint." She stated this, her voice and demeanour both unsure.

Me: "No. I have experience prepping, sealing/priming and painting/staining most surfaces. I have experience with the clean-up of a myriad of paint/stain products."

ZM: "Are you interested in learning how to tint?"

Me: "Very interested!" I have to work on my poker face.

At that point, she walked away with nothing more than a "Hmm." Such is her way. Such is the way of the whole freakin' company!! But that's not the point of this telling.

Yesterday, as I looked at our front-end break schedule, I noticed that I had a half-hour in the paint dept, immediately before our Yard Tour. The paint training was great! The yard tour never happened. But that's more of the 'not this telling' stuff. The paint training let me know that I was beginning the transition, even if no one else deemed in necessary to tell me.

Last night, I went to sleep at about 10:30. It was a late bedtime for my scheduled 6:30 am start today but Supernatural was on. You' know how it is? I knew something was wrong before I awoke. I was dreaming about working, typing a list of numbers into the computer. I was feeling really ill and it was messing with my concentration. As the feeling passed, the dream would fade to black, only to return a bit later. Typing. Feeling sick. Mixing up the numbers. Fade out. That cycle continued until, during a semi-lucid moment, my consciousness clicked and I woke fully. Sure enough, I had to camp out in the bathroom for a while. I don't know what it was but I threw up. I never throw up! I guzzled water to aid in my body's betrayal. I took my temperature, twice, but had no fever. What the hell!? And then I went back to bed.

Today, I got up when my alarm went off and dragged my feet through my morning routine, leaving a few things out due to sheer exhaustion. My belly felt okay enough but I was really weak and shaky. I couldn't risk eating anything as I can't afford to miss a day of work. I did, however, drink a few sips of coffee - maybe a quarter mug.

Opening cash means pushing open the automatic, sliding doors, walking to the back of the store, climbing 21 steps to the staff room, swiping in, descending the same 21 steps back to the main floor, trudging back to the front doors but turning to the management office stairs. Up 21 more stairs (but these ones have a landing!) to get to the safe-room.

I was cashing in the first of two tills and my co-opener (and good friend Bou) cashed in the first of her two, when a third cashier (SM) walked in. Bou and I both asked SM why she was there, the answer to which was "to open." And then it hit me.

I left Bou and SM to their open and went to seek out the paint dept schedule. It turns out that I wasn't scheduled to begin shift until 9 am. In fact, I was there and punched in a half hour before my new team lead arrived.

Let me just tell you how much I heart my new team lead. She told it was perfectly alright if I continued my shift as I though it was scheduled. She was awesome about my lack of vigor and didn't once ask me if I had to go home. It's nice to work with another grown up. I was out of there at three, which was wonderful because I don't think I'd have made it to 5:30, and in the time I was there I tinted several gallons and one pint of paint. I learned how to change formula for tinting a 20L pail so it works in a one gallon tin (and vice versa). All in all a productive day considering the productive night before.

Let me tell you, also, that I now have 3.5 days per week in the paint dept. I have both pertinent schedules and I can no longer keep my horrible dyslexia under control... someday I'm going to type out an entry without touching the backspace key. That'll be funny... kind of.

Oh Lord, please let me sleep, tonight!

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