The Diary of a Nobody/October 9

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Wednesday, October 9
A bit after I finished the audit a walk-in wandered in…I put him in 258 and a few minutes later he calls to advise me the bathroom door is locked…Well, heck, a private can is one of the things you pay for here, so I head up to investigate…I have some keys on me and, as a specific against not being able to open the door, I have keys to 239 with me. 

Good foresight, because none of the keys I possessed worked and I didn’t then know you could turn the lock with just about anything – paper clip, coin, a human hair – because Gloria the Head Housekeeper hadn’t told me yet…I gave the guests the keys to the new room and made a note to have Maintenance open the bathroom door later. 

(This reminded me of the time many years ago I went to New York City…I was not made of money and was looking for a deal but the only deal rooms were hostels and other dives where you were obliged to share a can…I am not making that up…I don’t want to share a can with strangers and the only place that wasn’t in Yonkers that didn’t cost ten grand a night were some guest rooms at a seminary on Broadway just past the north end of Central Park.)

There was one arrival when I reported for duty…Usually, this isn’t news, even for this crap, but the reservation wasn’t guaranteed because the phone connection was bad and Mark wasn’t able to get a credit card number…Mark had also noted the guest would be here about midnight…This would likely be after the audit was done, meaning I had to decide whether to cancel the reservation or check him in without the guarantee.

I’m a gutsy night auditor who trusted his instincts on this one: I rolled the dice and checked him in…My courage was vindicated when he showed up, more or less on time, about 20 minutes after midnight and it was a simple matter to swipe his credit card and get approval for the stay. 

The cook who opens the restaurant, whose name I don’t know, is still waltzing in in his usual shorts and a t-shirt…I asked when he planned to start wearing a jacket and he said he probably wouldn’t, yeah it’s cold, but it doesn’t really bother him…Damn…Either he deserves homage or a (lined) straight jacket because I’ve been bundling up for two weeks and a cold front is coming in tonight and I’ll be breaking the really warm winter coat soon enough. 

After the hotel, I went to visit The Wife at the retailer, where I lodged an official complaint to Assistant Managers Wes and Zach about them not carrying the 32-ounce sack of my fave donut shop knock off coffee…They were both stocking something near the entrance when I walked in and, after morning greetings, I said I’d like to file a complaint…Both looked at me rather seriously…They thought I was going to complain about a co-worker which for some reason scared the crap out of them…I told them about my MIA coffee…Since I was there as a customer and not a treasured former co-worker I prattled a bit about why I liked it because they had to listen to me…Wes nodded and said none of the house brand knockoffs – donut shop, breakfast blend, Colombian – were selling as well as the Seattle’s Best crap that replaced it…Zach added space is pretty limited, too, our coffee aisle being about a quarter the size of other stores and about half of that is taken by those infernal K cups….Then Wes noted the convenience of online ordering and how I’m here every goddamn day anyway…Wes is pretty funny and I found myself laughing.

At the Veteran Service Office (VSO), there was a message from a vet, left on Tuesday, saying he needed a ride to the VA clinic in the next county today…Crap…The only driver available on ten seconds notice was ol’ Sparrow, so I called him back and made arrangements…I don’t like being away from the office at times I’m normally expected to be there, but VA appointments aren’t always easy to get and you don’t want to leave a vet hanging, even when they call you at the last minute…As it was, he was a pleasant, quiet kid who had been an MP in the Marine Corps who naturally transitioned into a career as a sous chef. 

This is where ol’ Sparrow can be a scamp sometimes…I declined to bother either Kelly or Julie – the department head and her assistant – about me being out of the office for what turned out to be three hours or so…They have better things to worry about…I did put a note on the door saying I was transporting a vet on short notice – and I updated the county VSO website – but that was it.

I would like to say while out in the next county I indulged in lunch at the Mexican joint – it’s right next door for Pete’s sake – but, tragedies of tragedies, I wasn’t hungry!!!…As usual for Wednesday, I’d had a couple of sandwiches when I got to the office and hardly needed more calories…I did go to the retailer out there, tho, for a can of the donut shop knockoff coffee and my mouthwash…I also got some 5×8 index cards for my desk, too, the ones I write notes on…I was back in the office by 1330. 

The big news is I finally got my county expense check from my trip to the big city for VSO training in August…I had submitted the travel claim form as soon as I got back, but for some reason I never got the check…I’d forgotten about it until The Wife reminded me last week and I made some inquiries and no one knows what happened to it, but it was in the VSO mailbox in the main county office…It was dated 9/20, so maybe it got buried in a pile somewhere. 

In other news from the Payroll Desk, I’ve been here six months today and my vacation time has kicked and yours truly now has 47 hours of PTO between vacation time, sick time, personal time and holiday time…God, I love county employment…I know you do, too. 

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: Per tradition, there was not any sleep to report today. 

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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