The Diary of a Nobody/Saturday, September 8

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Saturday, September 8
Slow at Hotel A this morning, at least until breakfast started…There were a couple of hunters, dressed as shrubbery, of course, looking for a room at around 0100 or so, and some drunk at 0330 looking for a place to sleep it off, but we were sold out and otherwise I wasn’t bothered. 

There were a couple of older gents down for breakfast who were rather poignant to watch…They plainly had years, probably decades, of familiarity and I suspect they were brothers-in-law who had been married to sisters for ages because they didn’t really have the physical similarities to be brothers, but what do I know.

Anyway, one was starting to lose his marbles…He would stand in the middle of the breakfast area looking blindly at nothing in particular, like Pa Sparrow did toward the end, and the other gent would help with things like negotiating the coffee dispenser and salt and pepper application, as well as offering advice on what could and could not be eaten with the hands…It was pretty cute. 

Regular readers of this crap may – or they may not – recall the hilarious episode a while back when I overslept and missed a shift at the retailer because power outage mucked up my alarm clock…I immediately purchased a 9-volt battery for backup, too late, of course, but solid insurance for the future because as Senior Chief Haugland liked to say at Submarine QM School once is a mistake, twice is a habit and ol’ Sparrow oversleeping cannot turn into a habit.

Well, today that investment in a 9-volt battery paid dividends…Big time…I didn’t know it at first, of course, but after the alarm went off I waddled into the kitchen to make coffee and the clock on the stove was blinking, a sure sign power had gone out…Based on the time that was flashing, it had happened an hour-and-a-half ago, too, because the clock resets to 1200…My alarm clock, tho, now with battery backup, kept keeping the correct time and the alarm went off as scheduled, ensuring ol’ Sparrow made his scheduled shift at the retailer and American commerce didn’t completely shut down.

With The Wife off visiting the kids not only are the clean clothes back on the kitchen table, but hot dogs have returned to the Sparrow Dining Hall Menu…Recall I bought a pack of eight hot dogs at the local market on my day off Thursday, but they were out of buns, so I made do with bread…Well, I bought buns at the retailer last night so now I have four hot dogs and eight buns and, because hot dogs and buns come in packs of eight, I will be stuck with more buns than hot dogs forever and ever…I don’t know what to do…I could buy a pack of hot dogs and double up, I suppose…All is lost.

Lot’s of temporary help from another retailer showed up tonight, just like The Wife did in the big city for a while earlier this year…We could use it, too, because a good portion of the Puerto Ricans moved to Michigan for some reason and some of the Senegalese who populate graveyard are off on their infrequent leaves of absence to visit the homeland.

Right after I got there this kid comes up and asks where the potatoes are, his tone indicating it is obvious to even the most casual observer that we are Potato Central…I shook my head:

We don’t have potatoes, Sir.
Oh…Where are the ribs???
We don’t have ribs, either.

Look, we are not one of those supercenters that have their own zip codes…We are one of the smallest retailers in the country – we’ve heard anywhere between 2nd and 5th smallest – and we do not have fresh veggies or meat…Sorry…We don’t have soy sauce, either, which surprises me, but we never get asked for it, so it doesn’t matter.

Usually, people who ask for refunds without a receipt or the original box are, for lack of a better word, losers…Today I had a pretty status quo middle-aged woman come up with what I think was a popcorn air popper she said wasn’t working…I got the whole spiel, too…She had bought it a while ago, didn’t use it, returned to their other home for a while, came back and voila, it wasn’t working!!!…I told her I couldn’t do anything without either the receipt or the original barcode…She suggested going to get a box with a barcode and I smiled and said no, we are not allowed to do that…Then she started to get annoyed, again noting how she merely wanted an exchange as if we wouldn’t lose money on an exchange…Finally, she left in a mild huff, leaving the popper for me to throw away.

Puja was nowhere to be found when I reported for duty at Hotel A tonight…It didn’t really matter, the place was still standing and everybody was in save for an 0300 arrival and we were sold out…Still tho, it is normal for the person you’re relieving to be there when you arrive.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 0830 Saturday until 1530 Saturday, the full seven hours available when there’s a shift at the retailer that night…Slept well, too, with only one bathroom break – around 1030 or so – and without a PM or a melatonin.

Despite finishing strong – 27 hours in the final three sleep sessions – the weekly total is an anemic 43.5 hours, a total that should have all of reaching for a pillow…Some research shows this isn’t the lowest total this year, but it’s pretty close…The outlook for the coming week is strong, tho…I’m getting new teeth, of course, on Thursday and I have literally nothing to do from the time I get off work at 0700 Wednesday until the following Monday evening.

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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