The Diary of a Nobody/June 3

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Monday, June 3
At about 0138 this morning I’m in the back office when I hear what appears to be some grunting coming from the front desk…Peeved, half of me wants to wait until whoever it is reads the sign providing instruction on how to get my attention and rings the bell…I mean, the sign’s pretty clear: it says Ring Bell For Service not Please Grunt Like A Neanderthal For Service…But I’m not paid to make guests wait, I’m paid to take care of them in a timely manner, so I head out in moderately good spirits.

It’s a guy, probably a few years older than me, short, muscular with a biker shirt and biker hat on who looks like grunting might well be his preferred form of social interaction…However, he’s able to form the words required to ask me if I had any smokes lying around…He added he didn’t bring any this trip because he didn’t think he would need them, but his goddamned old lady was pissing him the f*ck off…He nodded knowingly at me, too, adding that I probably knew exactly what he was going thru…I shrugged and nodded in solidarity.

I told him the news wasn’t good…One, I wasn’t a smoker and, two, the gas station sort of across the highway was closed, save for the gas pumps, and the only place open was the Kum & Go across town…Go thru downtown, go thru the light at the community center and then you’ll see it at the next light, on the left…He nodded and while he didn’t say anything you could literally see him weighing the pros and cons in his mind…After a few seconds, he issued a mild oath and said it wasn’t worth it.

The next thing I know 0545 rolls around and aside from making coffee I hadn’t done any other of the late morning things: stock the sundry stand – which needed it – print and generate a couple of credit card reports, fill out the housekeeping report and print registration cards for the day’s arrivals…This wouldn’t have been too bad except there are 55 arrivals today and you just don’t print out the registration cards and toss them aside…All of them are folded into thirds and the arrivals that are reward club members, generally about two-thirds to three-fourths, have their club level and point balance written on their key folder…Those figures just don’t appear by magic, ol’ Sparrow goes in and looks them up…Plus, we’re at 96% occupancy so there’s some modest action at the front desk…I worked pretty quickly and managed to get everything done by 0630, which was good cause people really started to show up then, so I shifted operations from the back office to the front desk.

The big news at the Veteran Service Office (VSO) is that the VA is rolling out a new program Thursday…It’s called the MISSION Act, an acronym for something or other, and is designed to give us vets easier access to care the VA is unable to provide, either at all or in a timely manner, meaning we can see civilian doctors, at VA expense, without having to fill a ream of forms and having it approved by the secretary of defense…I’ve been getting some calls about it and without exception every vet in town is standing by to see how the government will screw this up, not a completely unreasonable attitude, under the circumstances…It also provides for urgent care visits, the only downside being the facility has to be enrolled with the VA and good luck finding one of those in a pinch, especially up here.

Last week I had a vet call me saying he had been fired from his job because he had PTSD…He added there was no misconduct of any sort, he merely had an episode at work where he more or less completely withdrew into himself for a while and he was fired the next day…Well, I called a lawyer friend of mine in town looking for a pro bono referral and he said the best employment attorney was in the big city and later he wrote me to say one of his partners would like to talk to the vet.

I called the vet this morning and told him…He was grateful, tho I added the attorney merely wanted to talk with him, which was not a guarantee she’d take the case, but it’s a foot in the door and better than no referral at all…I told him to keep me posted.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 1400 Monday until 1900 Monday…5.0 hours, tho that is cheating somewhat because, as planned, I turned off the alarm and reset it for 30 minutes later and kept doing that until 2130, when it was time to get ready for my shift at the hotel…I did this because if I slept straight thru until 2130 I might have trouble getting to sleep for the all-important Tuesday Sleep Session (TSS) however if I wake up at 1900 and sort of sleep/not sleep for a couple of hours, well, falling asleep Tuesday shouldn’t be a problem…This is completely whack.

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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