Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I left my uterus in San Francisco

Not Really. Actually I left it at the hospital. And while I can have no more children, I am more than happy with the two I have. Bette and The Blonde are more than enough for any person.

Have I ever told you that my children saved my life? No? Hmmm, lemme share a story with you.

I had been married for a few years when I became pregnant with the first-born. Now like most women I know, our own health care come last on a rather long list of things to do. I wasn't on any medications that required doctor visits. I had no medical issues at the time. Annual check-ups were things that just never happened.

With some sudden on-set nausea and a pee-stick confirmation, I made an OBGYN appointment and received confirmation that I was pregnant. Let the testing commence. Lord, the amount of tests ran on various body fluids for a pregnant woman is astounding. At any given appointment, I was apt to leave looking like a well-fed heroin addict. (I don't have great veins and seem to attract nervous phebotomists.)

To get to the point, at some point I was diagnosed with advanced cervial dysplasia. This is only one step away from cervical cancer. Now, it stands to reason that while pregnant, one's body is into growing things. Babies, hair, everything grows faster. I was a baby making machine, what with cells dividing and whatnot. Unfortunately, this also sped up the abnormal cells squatting on my cervix, like hobos moving in for the winter months. Chances are that the cells would have prgressed at a slower rate had I not been pregnant, and I would have ended up with undetected cervical cancer. Which could have spread to other places. Which could have ended me.

My child saved me before she was ever born. Post-birth, I had surgery. The hobos were removed and life went on. Three years later, the same doctor told me they were back. And yes, I was pregnant again. Post-second-birth, all offending female-ish parts were removed, and hobo-land was permantly removed from the map.

Moral of the story: Bette made me realize that I had something to lose. The Blonde made me lose it and live happier and healthier as a result. My children saved my life. I have a feeling that it was so they could make me crazy for the rest of it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't mess with my minions

I'm a people lover. No, really. I enjoy social interaction and just being around new and interesting people. But the fact is that I see the same old faces every day. This is the problem with working in a small town liquor store.

I don't drink like before. In my youth, I would drink myself stupid. Often. And with varying degrees of success. It's a known fact to all that I come from a family of alcoholics. I've been aware of this fact since early childhood. But that didn't stop me from forming a deep personal relationship with bourbon. And vodka. And occasionally rum. Chase those with a few beers and you have the recipe for my college years.

I've managed to temper myself in my old age and limit my drinking voluntarily. I really don't miss it. Now I still have a few drinks for occasions and sometimes just because, but it's now not a regular visitor to my days.

(Geez! Get to the point already. Enough drivel!)

My point (ahem*) is that I routinely come in contact with people that are much like myself in 1987. That is, drunk and disorderly and terribly annoying. Hell, they are how I make my living. These drunks (both professional and amateur) are for the most part affable and occasionally entertaining.

This past week (which shall be dubbed The Week That Crazy Ran Rampant In These Here Parts)was full of the annoying and obnoxious variety. We had a Seinfeldian Close-Talker, a Drama-Sharer (ummm, no thank you, you can have it all back) and assorted crybabies. And then the mother-of-all asshats. A total and complete fucktard.

A little backstory...the law recently changed in this state and now anyone purchasing liquor that appears to be under 50 years of age must show ID to purchase alcohol. The law here has always stated that you must be able to present ID at anytime that you wish to purchase alcohol. As part of some task force to reduce under-age drinking, these laws are now being more strictly monitored. And as a little incentive to make sure, the penalty for serving someone under-age or WITHOUT ID has changed from a fine to a Class B misdemeanor.

Now, I truly like my customers. Reallly, I do. Some of them are really good friends. But carding a fifty year old construction worker is not one of my favorite things to do. It has caused the bitching to commence, folks. Lordy, the whining that I have had to listen to lately. Grown men and women are dealing out a ration of shit to all my employees FOR FOLLOWING THE LAW. Cue last Friday night...

Loyal Employee: "Your total is $. And I need to see some ID, please."

Local Fucktard: "Are you f*cking kidding me? I've been coming in this store for 20 years and I'm not showing anything to some worthless c*** who doesn't know how to do her job. Just give my m-f'ing beer!"

Loyal Employee: "I'm sorry sir, but the law has changed and I must ask for ID now. I understand your inconvenience but I cannot risk losing my job."

Local Fucktard: "I'm calling your boss and telling her what a dumb*ss she hired.

Loyal Employee: "Would you like me to dial the number for you?"

At this point the asshat left the building and hasn't been heard from since. I have counciled the loyal employee on how to deal with insensitive bastards and identified the jackass from camera tapes. I WILL be dealing with this person, 'cause no one messes with my minions but me.

Round and round

Sometimes life can get a little...oddly complicated. Sometimes we get in our own way and our stubborness refuses to budge. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel that I have let myself fall into a rut that is all too familiar. It's a procrastination/avoidance/denial rut and it's one deep motherfucker. Like, gonna need a tow truck to pull myself out of this.

I have a bad habit of extremes. I can focus on the larger picture, and I can focus on the minute details. It's the middle part. The part that matters. The execution. The work. I blame my brain.

Does anyone else wake in the morning with a clear plan of exactly how their day should go? I've done this every day for as long as I can remember. And not once has it happened the way my head thinks it should. Rarely my day turns out better than imagined. Mostly it doesn't live up to the plan rattling around between my ears. Sometimes it sucks way worse than I could have ever dreamed.

This however isn't the problem. I can handle change, go with the flow. The problem lies in the thinking. At the first sign of variation from my planned day, I must re-think the whole day. See the problem? As you can imagine these changes occur approximately 4,352,218 times a day.

Now on the surface it appears that I can make most (not all) decisions quickly and efficiently. I can delegate, administrate, and facilitate my ass off. In my head there are about a gadzillion scenarios spinning wildly out of control, each allowing for multiple variables.

The biggest problem with this whole mindset is that with each change comes a little disappointment. It's not what I wanted. (And yes, I realize that makes me sound like a conceited bitch.) But that's what happened and a little piece of my heart hardened with each change. By the end of most days I feel flat and weak, disheartened and shamed at my own ablility to make my world what I wanted.

This is affecting my life and I need to get off the hamster wheel. Is there a way? Does it require planning?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Queen for a day. Or Three

As the manager of 3/4ths of the town's liquor stores, I'm used to the over all red-neckyness that occurs on a daily basis. I speak fluent Pabst Blue Ribbon but occasionally (read:rarely) something a little fabulous and sparkley comes into my life.

I live in an area where there's more farm trucks than convertibles, more good ol' boys than techies. Although it's 2010 and Cletus has a Blackberry, this is not a cultural mecca. Some days I long for culture and art and decent Thai carry-out, but overall it's a decent trade off for less crime, congestion and college students.
On a recent hiring spree at the stores, I had the usual applicants. There was Officer Doofus, retired local policeman on a pension. Next up was Billy Ray Jim Bob, whose momma told him to git his sorry ass offa the sofa and finally git a job, 'cause she was not having no 31 year old bum in her house. There was also Betty Barfly, who did not believe that the 9 previous public intoxication arrests would influence her ability to do good hair... I mean, work. And then there was the Queen.

Lawdy, the Queen. Words cannot express my unbridled shock as a real live drag-queen, born and raised here in Hooterville, sashayed in the door. Now for the purposes of clarity, I shall refer to him as, yeah, him. Since he did not come into the store in full drag, I believe this is proper. I stood, stammering my "May I help yous" while this pudgy, 40 year old gay man with impeccablebly groomed eyebrows gave me the once over and announced that he was here to answer my prayers.

My prayers? Are you kidding me? I know I mentioned to the man a few weeks back that I needed a new gay man in my life for shopping and gossip purposes, but I really didn't think that he would custom order me one.

I soon discovered that he was not shipped to me from Drag Divas R Us, but was a friend of a current employee and overheard that there may be a job opening. The Queen was thinking about taking a break from the show circuit and all the travel that it requires. Lucky me.

Now, I never want to be one to show any bias against anyone diffently colored, oriented, or classier than me, so after checking his references and liquor license, I offered him the job. (Here's where you scream "What the hell are you thinking? and Do you know where you are?)

Day one: Due to lack of personnel, I'm working Friday night. Perfect time to try out the new employee and see how he fairs against the masses. Quite honestly, I thought it went great. He knew many of the customers and came off as affable and helpful. This naturally didn't stop the snarky comments after the door closed behind said customers, but the evening flew by. (In hindsight, it may have been because I was running my ass off due to the fact that it was Friday night and the locals need cold beer. Could be. Possibly.)

Day two: I scheduled the new employee to work with one of my longer-standing employees. Let's call him Ghetto. Think multiple piercings and many bad tattoos. Also think under-motivated and involved in baby-mama drama. How could this not work?
Needless to say, it did not go well. There were phone calls in the middle of my Saturday night. Multiple phone calls. There were also dueling rounds of finger-pointing and name-calling. *Sigh*

Day three: On one of the rarest of occasions, I called in sick. This has only happened a couple of times in the past ten years, but a migraine hit me that made me want to call the Grim Reaper and invite him over, and give him ammo. And a highly accurate weapon. So, I placed some calls, got someone to open the store that I should have been in. I also sent the new employee in so that he could get some more training.

Several hours and many, many ignored phone calls later, I decided to answer the damned phone, if for no other reason than to make the fucking thing stop ringing.

(Sorry for that, but if you KNOW that your boss is home sick, and you KNOW that that sickness is a migraine, and you KNOW that said migraine is sensitive to light, heat, noise and smell, would YOU call 4,873 times for someting that was not death, dismemberment, pestilence or wolverine attack? I'm just saying.)

I basically told the caller, which was neither of the above mentioned goofballs that I would speak to the owners and deal with the aftermath tomorrow. Yes, I was the Scarlett O'Hara of bosses. Then I crawled back to my miserable bed and commenced the moaning again.

So, basically, today was spent mopping up the blood and putting band-aids on hurt feelings. But alas, the Drag Queen is no more.