The Diary of a Nobody – April 7, 2018

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Saturday, April 7
One of the benefits to working at Hotel A is my relief only has to walk a few feet to get to work…There is an apartment immediately behind the front desk – it also has outside and hallway access so the night auditor can’t tell what time, and who with, the GM gets in – but Dave left a couple of weeks ago and Becky and Kathy, who work the desk here and at Hotel B moved in with their men.

And Becky was still late today!!!…I am not making that up!!!…At about 7:05 she pops her head out and advises her alarm had been set for the wrong time and she’d be right out…All right…And, actually, getting relieved 15 minutes is pretty close to right on time considering a wizard named Austin was sometimes two hours late, which really annoyed me.

At the retailer tonight I was putting some stuff away in automotive when I made the mistake of asking a gentleman if he needed help finding anything…He said yes, and proceeded to ask me questions about what fluids to put in his motorcycles to keep water out of the gas tank and whatnot…Or something like that…Regular readers of this crap know what I don’t know about cars and, needless to say, motorcycles, would make a good tech manual…He repeats his question and then points out a couple of additives, leading national brands that even an idiot like me recognizes and suggests they just might be exactly what they are looking for…I was relieved because this meant he was merely looking for reinforcement for what he had probably already decided to do…So I picked one of them up and read the label (a leading technique here at the retailer when you don’t know what the deal is with something) and the label claimed to do exactly what he needed so I nodded knowingly and immediately gave it the Sparrow seal of approval and urged him to buy several bottles just to be on the safe side…He thanked me profusely and I asked him if there was anything else I could do for him and fortunately, he said no and I fled before he could change his mind.

I got some time on my treasured Aisle 5 today…Recall this where you go when you want to tobacco stuff and one of the things we sell is a really gross plug tobacco product called Days Work…Well, we don’t actually sell it because we haven’t sold one in 14 months, but we offer it for sale…I know it’s been 14 months because I sold the last one and stocked the new shipment a bit later, which resulted in a new box plus a loose plug on the shelf…They are still there and they are all stale and hard as a rock and I should probably notify someone they should be sent back.

In other Aisle 5 news from tonight, a co-worker who had the night off came thru with a friend of hers…They are both Jamaican, tall and sturdy and the co-worker has a bosom that requires a separate introduction…I mention this because they were buying these really dainty panties that were on sale for a dollar and since I had to scrounge around to find the barcodes it was hard not to notice the word CHEEKY on the label and I was wondering, you know, who they were for because they would not fit these ladies…I think they might be sending them back to family in Jamaica…None of my underwear has cheeky on the label. 

Since I had time to kill, I went to the hotel early…Tho ski season is still going, conditions aren’t all that great and we are not busy…Nicole left me a slice of pizza…God bless this girl…I get left food at both hotels fairly regularly and everyone who leaves me stuff has their spot in heaven secured…She said Becky had actually left her some and she ate three pieces and left one for me…Later, she put some corn dogs out of her backback and transferred them to a plastic bag…Christ, I told her, I have no idea how she stays trim – she is really fit – because I gain weight merely looking at food like that

Nicole also reported she has a new house prospect…Recall she’s mad at her roommates because they keep stealing her deodorant and tomorrow she is going to look at a four-bedroom house downtown currently occupied by three other girls…I wished her luck because the rent was doable on what we make, rare for here because this is a ski resort town and sometimes it can be downright impossible for working people to find an affordable place to live.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 11am Saturday morning until 2:30ish Saturday afternoon…These are completely unsatisfactory numbers…I had been up for over 24 hours when I hit the sack and for some reason I could not fall asleep…I have some zero clue why…When I did fall asleep I was up three hours later to use the can because I’m old now and use the can constantly and I was unable to fall asleep again despite the fact I still a couple of hours before I had to get up.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

The Diary of a Nobody was inspired by the 18th century British novel of the same name.

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The Diary of a Nobody – Drivel From Sparrow!

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Friday, April 6
This really happened:

I’m courageously manning the service desk at the retailer and a guy comes up and presents a torn up payroll check for cashing…I am not making that up!!!…Well, actually he took the pieces out of a plastic bag and asked if he had any options…He didn’t demand to exchange it for cash…Good thing, too, because I would have had to’ve said no…Apparently, his employer had torn it up in front of him for reasons which were neither explained nor asked for…I like to think I have concern for my fellow humans, but the boss didn’t tear the rip the check up because the guy had just been named Employee of the Month and I didn’t really care anyway. 

He was blabbing about this when his girlfriend stepped in, successfully warding off stroke…She said the bank told her if the routing number and account numbers could be made out they could do something…All right, I thought, go to the goddamned bank…I said well, that’s probably true, but we’re not able to that, we require the check to be in one piece so the scanner can read the routing and account numbers…Eventually, they went and bought some tape and the dude reported he called the bank again so he could verify what they’d already told him, and they were going to take it there.

Saw one of the three people on this planet I have some zero use for today…I saw him at the entrance and turned the other way hoping he was here to buy something and not bother me, but he made his way to the desk and I was the only one actually standing at the register and the best way to get him out of my hair quickly was to serve him…He wanted to return a box of light bulbs that were broken…All right…He then went to the light bulb section to get a replacement box and usually you wait for the person to come back but I did everything while he was gone, easy enough since he was getting an identical box…I scanned the broken light bulbs for the return, then scanned them again for the exchange because the barcode is identical and I even forged his signature and when he came back all I had to do was hand him his new receipt and tell him to have a good day even tho I didn’t really care if he had a good day or not…If, at the appropriate time, I was given a choice between heaven and hell I’d first ask where he was…The other two people I have no use for are lazy sports officials in another city.

Very early on in the shift, I bought a jar of peanuts for thru the day snacking in the breakroom…I had them at the service desk until I needed them and Mic asked if I was going to share them with him…I told him no, of course not, there were currently no plans to share my peanuts – dry roasted and salted – with him…We really shouldn’t be eating at the service desk, anyway, I told him and, besides, I didn’t really like him, which is untrue and made Mic laugh…Mic said he liked to eat peanuts, especially when they were dry roasted and salted, because they made him thirsty, which reminded him to drink his water…I told him with a straight face that I couldn’t really care less if he died of dehydration which was funny because, as noted, English is Mic’s seventh or eighth language and he may not have completely understood the dehydration concept.

I got recognized today too!!!…This is always good for morale…The service desk is right near the entrance and I happened to be facing it when this older gentleman walks in and grabs a cart, which a lot of people up here call a buggy…I said good morning and he did too, then he calls me by name and asks if I am running for office again this year!!!…I am not making that up!!!..Sparrow, recognized by the electorate!!!…I told him yes, that a couple weekends ago I’d earned the Minor Party nomination for Congress and he smiled and said that’s good…Few know this, however, because the papers in the district all ignored the media release I sent out on the matter the day I was nominated, in plenty of time for the next day’s papers. 

Got to Hotel A for the start of the week working graveyards 40 minutes early…Nicole was working and she is fun to talk with…She likes poetry and even does some writing…She also whined about her roommates, who are currently out of favor for a variety of reasons which don’t need to be sensationalized here. 

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 10:30 Thursday night to 6:30 Friday morning…I needed more sleep, frankly…I fought the alarm, which went off at 6am, hitting the snooze button three times.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

The Diary of a Nobody was inspired by the 18th century British novel of the same name.

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The Diary of a Nobody – April 5, 2018

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Thursday, April 5
The big decision today was Vitalis/Brylcreem.

I used to shave my head, but about a year ago, more or less, I started letting it grow out…Long-time readers of this crap know when I did have hair there wasn’t a whole lot on top…There still isn’t, but I was tired of the bald look and there is still enough on top to require some effort to make look good.

Anyway, for the longest time I put Brylcreem exclusively in my hair…It’s what Dad used and I used it from time to time, too when I was younger…A few weeks ago, simply because I’m a complete maniac, I picked up some Vitalis…I was curious…I had no complaints with Brylcreem and I felt somewhat guilty because they’re right next to each other at the store and I could feel the Brylcreem box glaring at me.

I was intrigued by their differences, tho…Brylcreem, as you might guess, is a cream and provides really good hold, even when I’m working a double and it even survives hat usage…Vitalis is a liquid and is almost as good…The big difference I noticed is the hold doesn’t last as long Brylcreem’s does…It will get you through a regular day, but on the really long ones it will wear out…But for today – wash and go and out the door for a day’s work – Vitalis is great…It holds up to the hat and my hair looks sharp all day.

Woke up to the (new) alarm clock today, for the first time in a while…Despite the odd hours I am keeping right now and despite the fact I work an awful lot I am pleased to report I seldom need an alarm clock, which is good…I like my sleep and take care to get as much as I can…When I worked dayshift at the timeshare the alarm went off at 5 every morning so this is much better for morale, even if I do work graveyard five nights a week.

Anyway, the alarm clock is new!!!…I am not making that up!!!…The old alarm clock, which I stole from Mom’s house three years ago after she died, had a couple of intolerable flaws…One, it was one of those clocks where daylight savings time was already programmed in for the next thousand years and the dates of DST changed so it was always a week off…It sprung forward a week later and fell back a week sooner…Or maybe it was the other way around…I forget.

The other flaw that signed its death warrant was one of the buttons that moved the time broke…There were two of these buttons, one forward and one backward and these were NOT buttons for the hours and minutes so moving the alarm involved pressing the forward or backwards buttons and moving both hours and minutes at the same time…The backward button is the one that broke so if I needed to change the alarm from 7am to 9pm I had scroll all the forward, past noon, till I got to the desired time…This easily added 30-40 seconds (I timed it) to the alarm clock changing evolution.

The new alarm clock is rather modest – was not in the mood to spend top dollar here – but it does have seperate hour and minute buttons for changing the time and the alarm, so it only takes a few seconds to change the alarm even if the button only goes forward…It also has a port for charging your phone, tho I’ve learned it’s best to keep my phone in the office.

Customer of the Day at the service desk was this older gentleman who returned one of those 85-roll packages of toilet paper…He said it was evil single ply which he picked up inadvertantly because his ass has always demanded double ply…I wanted to tell him, you know, fold it over for Pete’s sake, but I didn’t want to seem too interested in the matter so I processed the return without making a fuss.

Return policies are pretty liberal here…Sometimes you have to say no when it’s plain they went through their attack looking for old radios and toasters and stuff, but there are times when I’ll take something when if it was my store I wouldn’t…I’ve taken a stand, tho…If you do not have a receipt and your refund is more than a few bucks you’re getting a gift card and not cash…Sorry…You want to return a used portable heater without a receipt because you broke it, you ain’t getting cash from ol’ Sparrow…Tough noogies.

You do feel empathy from time to time, though, because it’s the end of the month and it is plain they are returning things because they need the money…Sometimes they’re even unused with a receipt…Sometimes not, tho…One time I remember a guy came thru with all these used items…Clocks, utensils, clothing, it looked like he had just robbed a yard sale…He was young, and I’ve seen enough people short of money over the years to know he could use some cash…He was disheveled, hs clothes were dirty, he had the look: I need help…I felt sorry for him, and I stretched a policy here and there to return a few bucks worth of stuff, which I gave him cash for, but for most of it I was obliged to issue apologies and tell him no…Later I saw him in a checkout lane with some pasta and some canned sauce which he was probably able to get because of the few bucks I was able to refund him.

Sparrow Sleep Log: 9:30 Wednesday night to 6:00 Thursday morning, a solid 9.5 hours, exactly what I needed…I know all of you are looking forward to the weekly totals as much as I am.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

The Diary of a Nobody was inspired by the 18th century British novel of the same name.

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The Diary of a Nobody – Drivel From Sparrow 4/4/18

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Wednesday, April 4
Right after I reported to the trenches at 9am to experience the wonders of the service desk, Register 2 copped an attitude and stopped working completely properly…It would do most things, but sometimes when you pushed a button on the touch screen nothing happened…None of the usual high tech troubleshooting techniques worked, either: hitting it hard, hitting it consecutive times, hitting it hard consecutive times.

This is tuff because it left us with two registers at the service desk and we were not shorthanded…Key in this situation is to look busy because if you’re merely standing around scratching your nose during the day you’re liable to be snagged for some real work like stocking or, horror of horrors, cleaning…Eff that noise…I went and pretended to straighten up the bread aisle which had just been stocked and needed no attention whatsoever…This is all right though because you aren’t standing at the desk not doing anything…You are looking busy.

One of the things I do to make a pest of myself is to pretend to understand and take part in a conversation in a language I don’t understand, which is pretty much everything but English and a little Spanish…Today Mamadou came by the desk and called for Customer Service Sam to come over and chat with him…I was standing next to Mamadou at the time and Sam dutifully came over…They are both from Senegal and were speaking Senegal and I nodded and pursed my lips importantly and, of courses, laughed when they did…Of course, I had some zero clue what they were talking about…They could have been talking about seagulls or the homeland or even the GOP tax cut – which none of them think was big enough…At the end, I laughed significantly and said “you’re telling me” and even pointed knowingly at nothing in particular…Customer Service Sam is a rather serious sort and if my shenanigans brought him any joy whatsoever he brilliantly kept it to himself…Mamadou, tho, is pretty funny and pretended to smack me while continuing to talk to me in Senegal…It sounded like a question.  

One of my duties is to wire money…We use MoneyGram for this and today a mother and daughter came in looking to wire money to Nigeria…A supervisor named Maria actually pointed them out when the walked in saying they had tried to send money to Nigeria yesterday but MoneyGram said no and perhaps they were being scammed…So they tried again today with me and it went thru…Maybe I should have asked some questions…Their clothes were neither new nor clean and $600 is $600 for Pete’s sake…But I didn’t…It’s none of my business…If they are hell-bent on sending hard-earned money to some dude in Nigeria, more power to you…If they choose to ignore the voice inside them that is telling them this isn’t quite right, that’s their lookout.

Because those voices are there…One time we did talk a guy out of wiring money after he said something inside told him not to do this…I asked him the details and he said he was selling something in the classifieds – a sander, I think – and a guy from Ohio had made an offer…He sent the buyer a cashier’s check for $960 only $950 over the agreed-upon purchase price…The seller told the buyer to wire him the rest of the money and that’s what he was here to do and his bank had made half of the funds available…In fact, one of his first questions was how much could he wire, which always gets my attention anyway.

– You want my two cents?
– Yeah.
He really did, too, probably to confirm his suspicions.
– Wait until the entire check clears…When it’s all in your account go to the bank and personally triple check it…Make sure they can’t take it out…Don’t wire the money until every penny is in your account and the check has cleared.

I didn’t say “scam” or “fraud”, even though that’s what it probably was…The cashier’s check had to be forged because you don’t have to be Joe Friday to wonder who in the hell would be sending $960 to buy a $50 sander…Eventually, the guy trusted his instincts about something not being right and took the common sense advice of not wiring the money until the check had completely cleared and, sensibly, he put his money back in his pocket…He thanked me and reiterated his claim that this had seemed fishy from the start

Got to use one of my favorite lines today…It’s not a Line of the Year candidate or anything, but it is pretty funny and it never gets old…Or so I think…It might…At least if you’re not me because I think it’s always great fun…This young couple came up carrying their rugrat in a carrier…They also had some diapers and other baby stuff…Or it looked like baby stuff…I never reproduced so what do I know…Anyway, I had the scanner in my hand an after scanning a couple of items I reached across the counter as if to scan the kid, announcing, hilariously, that kids were 33 percent off today….Sometimes they’re half off…The parents laffed and the dad said it sounded like a pretty good deal.

No sleep log…I’ve been up since yesterday afternoon and I am going to bed now.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

The Diary of a Nobody was inspired by the 19th century British novel of the same name. 

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The Diary of a Nobody 3/3/18 – Drivel From Sparrow

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Tuesday, April 3
Shows what I know…Wore the winter coat into work last night…It was cold and windy and snowy, so my winter-is-over declaration turned out to be a crock, not for the first time because it’s human nature to embrace false springs.

The Wife is doing some house sitting in town so I went by for dinner tonight, before heading to the hotel…The Wife, as noted here in the past, is a brilliant improvisational cook and tonight she sauteed some chicken with some onions and orange beets and carrots and threw in some Asian seasoning…She’s never made for us before, it was really good and I will probably never see it again…I still remember the leftover navy bean/roast potato soup she made years ago…It was Soup of the Year and we haven’t had it since…On the plus side, the tofurkey we had one holiday years ago when we were both avoiding meat hasn’t been repeated yet, either, so it works both ways.

I was grateful for the home cooked meal…The Wife’s been gone for a while and I tend to eat sandwiches over the sink or convenience store hot dogs because they’re convenient.

Afterward, we watched the animal channel because who doesn’t want to see tigers attempt to copulate???…One if its commercials was for frozen pizza topped with pepperoni which made me laff because why would the animal channel carried ads for food products topped with seasoned animal meat???…That didn’t seem quite right and I thought if the animals featured on the channel knew they might well go on strike. 

The neighbors across the street are still moving in, tho the U-Haul was turned around, still parked parallel for some reason, but facing the other way…I thought about going over and showing him how to back the ass end into his driveway, but I didn’t…It’s his house.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 10am-4:30pm…6.5 hours, not as long as I was hoping for because I have a long day coming up, but I had get up to use the can and I was unable to get back to sleep.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence. 

It was inspired by the 18th century British novel of the same name. 

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The Diary of a Nobody – April 2, 2018

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Monday April 2
More neighborhood news!!!…New neighbors are moving in across the street!!!

I’m not sure how long they’d been at it, but when I woke up at 3:30pm there they were, youngish couple with a couple of rugrats…Why they didn’t back the U-Haul into their new driveway is a mystery that may never be explained, but they also have their pickup to unload, too…I didn’t want to bother them by going over and asking…I probably should…I mean, this is a small town and you’re expected to do things like that…Heck, there was probably a time when neighbors could have been counted on to bring some food over, too, and maybe even a six-pack or something, but then they’d want to talk and who the hell wants to talk to me???

The Wife and I both suspect the lot next door to The Shire has been sold, too…It’s pretty big, it’s where GG’s coffee shop used to be and the building was abandoned long before we moved here and the only activity we see there is when somebody comes by to cut the grass/weeds every few weeks during summer…There is also an equally-abandoned home on the site, which is pretty close to our fence.

Anyway, there has been activity here, too…Earlier this week there was a long, red trailer on site but that’s gone today, replaced by a long motorhome and a trailer that has contractor’s name and phone number on the side…The company that owns the convenience store in town owns the property and I don’t think it’s been sold, tho I don’t know for sure and don’t care enough to look it up…Either way, no one appears to be in any great rush to do anything, because we haven’t actually seen anyone do anything.

They’re been a lot of computer problems at Hotel B, where I’m the night auditor Sun/Mon/Tue nights…For a few weeks, the main one had the quaint habit of shutting down at random, blue screen of death and everything…Sometimes it would work again, sometimes it wouldn’t…Well, they replaced it but the scanner still doesn’t allow us to scan multiple documents which is a pain in the ass because I have a couple of dozen to scan and email out to assorted people…Kathy, the nice young girl who is the new assistant manager, swore this would be taken care of forthwith, but she was unable to provide a specific…When she told me this I sighed and put my hands on my hips, feigning exasperation, which was pretty funny and made she smile…Not laugh, or even chuckle, but I’ll take the smile.

The trash is already out…They don’t pick it up till Tuesday, however, I like to get it out when I get home Monday morning.

Sparrow Sleep Log: 8:30am to 3:30pm...I thought I’d get a little more in, frankly…I didn’t have the retailer tonight so there was no alarm clock, but we’ll take seven solid hours….I’ve been logging this on my desk calendar…The weeks start on Sunday, of course, so Saturday night I’ll have some figures for the week.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

It was inspired by the 19th-century British novel of the same name.

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The Diary of a Nobody – April 1, 2018

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Sunday, April 1
You know, I’ve come up with a good way to reckon when winter comes and goes: when ol’ Sparrow needs the winter coat for five (5) consecutive days, winter is here…When I don’t need it for five (5) consecutive days…So, according to Sparrow, Mr Equinox, winter is over…I haven’t put the winter coat away – it’s still hanging on the rocking chair – but it hasn’t been used in at least a week.

In fact, the weather is so nice the lawn will have to be mowed soon…I am not making that up!!!…The downside is The Wife and I didn’t get to raking up the leaves last fall, so that still has to be done.

The ugly blue house across the street is vacant again…I have no idea where the Freeman’s went, but the moving truck was there last week and I thought maybe they split up and only one was leaving, but no, the whole place is empty…There isn’t a For Sale sign either…The For Sale sign is down at the house next to the Freeman’s, the one on the right as you enter town…I checked and he got almost what he was asking for it, which was a lot, if you would have asked me, but he only came down a few thousand dollars from his original asking price…Some modest, mostly unscientific, research shows the value of The Shire is up considerably, too, not that we’re looking to sell cause we’re not, don’t even start.

Slow at the retailer, tho I did get to use a fave technique today…This guy waddled up to the service and said he wanted to buy four bags of mulch…They’re big, too big to lug into the store and he asked what he should do…I went outside with him so he could show me exactly what he wanted and, get this, I took a picture of the barcode!!!…This way I could scan the barcode without having to bring a bag in and the gentleman could pull his truck up…I would to take credit for this splendid innovation, but a customer actually showed this team a year or so ago.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 8:30ish to 3:28…I add the exact minute because the it was five (5) minutes before the alarm was scheduled to go off…Seven hours is pretty good.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

It was inspired by the 19th-century British novel of the same name.

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The Diary of a Nobody – March 31, 2018

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Saturday, March 31
You’re probably wondering about the status of winter here…It’s all but over and it wasn’t real tough to begin with.

Maybe there is something to global warming…The Wife and I just finished our seventh winter up here and maybe two of them have been tough…Our first one was the easiest of them all, so easy one guy told me at the time it was a good starter winter because long-time readers of this crap know that was my first real winter and the first in a long time for The Wife…This winter wasn’t too tough at all…There were bare spots on the lawn most the time and we didn’t have to put the drop the lights under the car to keep the oil warm at all.

A couple of years ago I was scraping three feet of snow off the top of the carport, but most winters have been tolerable.

Did a four-hour shift at the retailer before reporting to the hotel…We get lots of returns and it’s our job to restock them (called go-backs in the trade) and there were a lot of health and beauty go-backs and I was favored with being allowed to restock them…Good gravy, that was a fiasco because if customers see you handling health and beauty stuff in the health and beauty section they naturally assume you know a lot about health and beauty crap – which I don’t – and they ask you lots of questions about it…And not only where something is, either…One lady wanted specific recommendations about how best to treat her sunburn…Hell,I don’t know…I don’t even particularly care how you treat your lousy sunburn or how you got it in the first place…But there I was playing pharmacist, reading the labels so I could, maybe, sound like I knew what I was talking about.

Doing health and beauty go-backs took so long I was obliged to make closing pages from telephones in the field, either at the phone in the photo lab or in the garden center…Let me tell you something, the phone in the garden center is DIRECTLY under a speaker…It would have been nice to know this in advance so I didn’t wet my pants out of fright, but no matter…It plays havoc with you though, if you’re not careful cause there you are talking and there is your voice, loud in your ear and it is the slightest delay, too, more than enough to completely screw you up because if you’ve never been in this situation hearing yourself at the same time you’re talking in this situation really throws you off.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 8:30am-2:30pm, 6 hours…Starting time, of course, is approximate…I got relieved on time, not a given at either hotel, and I was back at The Shire and in bed before 8am…Some people who work graveyards stay up a while and wake up an hour or two before work, but I’ve worked a lot of graveyard over the years and I’ve always preferred to go to right when I get home.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

It was inspired by the 19th-century British novel of the same name.

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The Diary of a Nobody – Friday March 30, 2018

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Friday, March 30
For reasons I am not prepared to explain some of the Africans at the retailer trust me to translate important emails and letters they get…Usually, they’re pretty easy, good for them because one time Ba came to me anxiously because all he recognized was the word ‘Immigration’ on the letterhead and he was worried he was going to be deported…I read it and I forget what it was, but it was something routine and our shorthand is I nod and say OK if it is a good letter, and shake my head and say bad if it is not a good letter…The problem, tho, is I don’t speak Senegal and sometimes it is rather difficult to translate exactly what the thrust of the letter or email is.

Take today…Mamadou showed me an email from his credit card company…It was merely an offer for another credit card…I asked Mamadou if he already had a card with this company – it appeared he had – and he took out his wallet and showed me…I tried to explain it was a new offer with an exciting cash back offer but I might as well have tried to sing Dancing Queen to him for all the good it did…I finally got very basic with him, asking him if he had a credit card, which was stupid because he just showed it to me, and I asked him he wanted another one and he shook his head so I told him no, bad, he doesn’t need this email, which he more or less understood.

When I close at the retailer, as I did tonight, I do the closing pages announcing the store’s imminent closure to our valued customers…I usually start at 9:30, tho sometimes Zach, a graveyard assistant manager, has me start them earlier, but that’s completely whack if you ask me.

Anyway, I’m pretty good at it…I did some radio back in another life and stuff like this easy…One kid named Sergio asked what the secret was and he did this with the same reverence a novitiate might ask a revered monk.

Well, I told him, first you must have an idea what you want to say…You don’t need a script, but have an idea what you are going to say and the order in which you are going to say it…For example, a typical Sparrow page will start with a greeting, an invitation to bring your goddamned purchases up front for checkout and immediate egress, followed by an invitation to return tomorrow when we’ll re-open at 6am…Sometimes I might mix up the order and add wishes for a fabulous rest of their evening…But you’ve got to individualize it, I told Sergio, you can’t copy me…You gotta be yourself…For his part, Sergio said he did a closing page while I was gone last weekend and he said he needed work.

After the shift at the retailer, I went to the hotel…I generally have an hour to kill and I usually go to the convenience store on the other side of town for a couple of low-cal hot dogs and I usually get to the hotel around 10:30 or so…This gives me time to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee.

I actually work at two hotels, both under the same owners and both more or less next door…Friday and Saturday nights I’m at Hotel A and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at Hotel B.

Just for funsies I’ve begun tracking my sleep…I’m seldom tired even tho I work graveyards five (5) nights a week and 25 hours at the retailer because I schedule my availability at the retailer very carefully, but I am curious how many hours I sleep a week because I only get six sleeps a week and not seven…Last night I got off the retailer at 10pm and was asleep around midnight and I woke up at 8:30, so that’s eight-and-a-half hours.

Snuck lunch in at the Mexican joint in the next county today, too…Before reporting for duty at the retailer at 2pm…I went to go and get the cat some canned yummies and kitty litter and reasons to not have lunch at the Mexican joint did not present themselves.

I don’t even have to order anymore…They know…A quesadilla and a chorizo burrito…It doesn’t change because no one loves routine more than ol’ Sparrow…The day is probably coming when they’ll start my order when my car pulls up instead of when I actually open the front door, saving everybody 15 seconds.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

It was inspired by the 19th-century British novel of the same name.

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The Diary of a Nobody – Thursday March 29, 2018

Thursday March 29
I do not work the hotel Wednesday and Thursday night and when I go to bed Wednesday night I sometimes sleep upwards of 14 hours but I was up early today, about 6:30ish, after only ten or so hours…I got some work done on my book. It’s about some issues facing our country and what I would do about them…It’s non-partisan, too, so if you are looking for some ramblings from a minor party whack job candidate, you won’t find it here…I even talked to a guy about ways to charge for it on the Sparrow For Congress site because we are not going to make any noise this election relying on my debit card.

On the days I don’t work at the hotel I generally put in full days at the retailer…I was obliged to take some computer training today and it was really easy because of the three modules due I actually only completed one…Of the two I didn’t do I got full credit for, however…When I clicked on both of them they took me to a screen that asked me if I had completed the training yet…Well, no, had I completed it, it wouldn’t have been on my goddamn to-do list and I wouldn’t have clicked on the goddamned START button…When I clicked no it took me back to the original training screen…After a couple of times of this I got bored and clicked yes, I had completed this training and voila, it was gone and I hadn’t actually done anything!!!…I have no idea what either training module was so who knows if it was something I already knew or something I really needed.

It was the 100th anniversary of the birth of the retailer’s founder – he’s known as Mr Sam in the company – and they had a regular party for him…There was cake for the customers at the exit and cake in the breakroom for us…They even made a card out of a display board for us to sign but I didn’t because it seemed creepy to sign a birthday card for someone who was dead and would never read it because not even the retailer has a creepy enough culture to believe the dead founder is actually still with us.

Before my shift, I was making a couple of Sparrow Specials, a tortilla, with some baloney and cheese on it…I had two, actually, one for the microwave and one to throw some mayonnaise on and eat while the other was heating up…Anyway, Carol, a department manager, noticed it and said she had never seen that before and I advised her she was witnessing a classic from the Sparrow Bachelor Days (SBDs)…Especially when I didn’t want to bother with bread…Carol is a chatty, older lady, a widow, and she got started on what she used to eat and we would make good siblings because she likes fried baloney and braunschweiger, just like I do…She grew up in Minnesota and I asked if she was Lutheran cause that’s the Lutheran promised land and I had 13 years of Lutheran schooling but she said no, she grew up Catholic, though she was mostly over it.

We haven’t had much snow this winter and ski season is winding down anyway, so we weren’t too busy…No matter, tho, I still wear my half-glasses at the edge of my nose while working the service desk, which I think makes me look distinguished.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

It was inspired by the 19th-century British novel of the same name.

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