Hey there. Sorry for the delays.
Celebrated NINE YEARS working at the gas station on Nov. 7 -- the longest I've ever worked for any employer other than the Air Force, and the longest I've worked in one location EVER.
So, how's it going? Glad you asked.
Things seem a little easier lately. WAY easier since new electronics for the gas pumps were installed this past July.
Doesn't mean the job isn't occasionally stressful, but there's half as much to stress about now as there used to be.
I do occasionally get a little wound-up, but usually as long as I can keep my cool, the customers keep theirs. Maybe I've mellowed a bit -- or maybe the customers have. Not sure which. But most nights seem way less trouble lately.
Course part of that's because Winter is coming on strong and it's getting seriously colder at night -- fewer people want to mess around at night if it's 35 degrees and raining.
Still have some busy nights -- Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays seem to be the best bets for business. Other nights of my work week seem practically dead compared to days past.
The fact that gas prices have been dropping helps a little bit. When I left work Sunday night we were at $3.49 for a gallon of Regular gas -- $3.39 if you've got enough discount points piled-up -- the cheapest prices we've had for awhile.
A month or so back, I was hearing "experts" on the national news talking about $3-per-gallon gas by the end of the year, and I'm hoping for that. It would do the economy good.
And I'm in favor of anything that means less screaming and yelling.
Lately, the biggest thing on my mind has been the fact that I'm one of only TWO employees who actually WORK at my store -- stock the coolers, clean up, mop floors, empty garbage cans, clean the bathroom, etc. Everybody else just seems to take money, chat a lot, and pick up a paycheck.
I've been fighting against this for years, but it's becoming more and more obvious that my main job is just to PICK UP AFTER EVERYONE ELSE. Make everyone else Look Good.
When I come in to work on Wednesday evening -- my Monday -- the place is usually a wreck and it's usually abundantly clear that nobody has stocked the beer or soda coolers since I went home Sunday night.
I wonder how stupid management thinks I am...? "We don't have to work very hard -- let's let the balding, high-strung, stressed-out 53-year-old do the job! He'll do anything! He'll clean up after anybody! He'll make us all look good! And we won't REALLY have to do SHIT!"
That's what I get paid for.
Shit, I get worked up just WRITING ABOUT IT.
I've been trying to figure out for years how to approach this topic with my boss so that she won't immediately turn me off. But there's no way to win this discussion because SHE'S PART OF THE PROBLEM. Any time I try to address this issue, she starts up with "Everybody here works hard, we all put in long days, we all have things that make us crazy...." And that may be true.
But I do everything I can to make my co-workers' jobs EASIER, so they hardly have to THINK about what they're doing. And I hardly see anybody doing anything to make my job easier.
And I know from past experience that if I choose NOT to do certain things at work, to save time or stress or overwork, all that'll get me is a big ugly yellow note from the boss.
And then I'll still have to do the work....
Anyway, I guess I shouldn't bitch. These days, any paying job is a good job. And at least I can keep up with my bills. And I've survived 9 years and reached the point where it's almost all automatic now. I can almost go through a whole evening's shift without thinking.
And that's got to be good, right?
I just wish it were easier. I feel like I run my ass off EVERY NIGHT.
And maybe that's what they pay me for. But I don't see ANYBODY ELSE doing it.
Maybe I'm getting too old for this.
But I can't quit.