The Diary of a Nobody/July 17

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Wednesday, July 17
About midnight two guys came in looking for a room and based on the way they were dressed – more or less in their jammies – their story about their condo flooding was believable…We had plenty of rooms available and I quoted them a rate of $129, plus tax, not too bad and a full $30 off what the system was asking…That wasn’t good enuff, tho, for the dude who was paying. 

Can you do any better than that???

Oh, good gravy…Regular readers of this crap well know that I certainly could have done better…I have that kind of power…So does every other night auditor on the planet with rooms to rent…Heck, I could have given him the room had I felt like it…I didn’t want to, tho…$129, plus tax isn’t too bad for summer, especially since the guy is probably going to get reimbursed from his landlord anyway…I apologized and lied and said that was the best I could do.  

Every morning we get a call from a guy in Philippines who works for a company that books rooms for an airline…He’s calling to confirm we have rooms at $109, before taxes, for distressed passengers…This is almost funny because the airline only flies in and out of town in the winter…There are not any distressed passengers in the summer…And he always asks if he have a shuttle from the airport and I always tell him no, we don’t…You think he’d get the message that we don’t,  but he asks every time…He used to bother Tammy with this nonsense, but lately he’s been bothering me, calling around 0620 or so, I guess to liven up his day – or night, whatever – in the South Pacific. 

Perhaps not too surprisingly, my stomach was a bit tender this morning, probably from the mixed signals of Monday’s calzone orgy and Tuesday’s workout and good nutrition…I wasn’t nauseous or anything, but it was a very mild ache that really didn’t go away until mid-afternoon athe Veteran Service Office (VSO)…I half-think it was a plea from my stomach never to eat that much melted cheese again, and I have half a mind to grant that request…Good gravy, I don’t think I could have felt worse had I eaten dog food laced with a pesticide. 

The good nutrition continued today…I had my usual oatmeal at the hotel, and for the  VSO I brought two almond butter sandwiches (with peach jam) and some chicken The Wife had made in a crockpot earlier in the week…Plus I had power bars for thru-the-day snacking…I ate the sandwiches before I opened the office, actually, and had the chicken about noon. 

There was one phone message at the VSO this morning, from Dee in the state office calling about our August conference…She said she noticed I had booked my room, but the state office hadn’t received my registration fee ($250 for four days of training, and this includes breakfast and lunch. Hotel meals of this sort usually suck, but it is convenient)…So I emailed Dee and said I’d submitted my registration form and check request to the treasurer last week and they should have it this week…Also in state conference news, I filled out the credit card authorization form…Recall the county credit card has Stephanie in Infant Services name on it and she needs to sign the form, so after filling it out I put it in her box…Later, she brought it by the office and I scanned everything in and emailed it to the hotel. 

There were no emails of substance waiting for me.

Friends, when utilizing the services of a, your, VSO, please bring your DD-214 to your initial visit…(These are a veteran’s discharge papers….They’re important documents.)…If you are a dependent of a deceased veteran, bring his DD-214 and your marriage certificate…I can’t really do anything without it…This isn’t akin to working a hotel where I have some leeway with room rates…I have none…I have to establish you’re a veteran with something other than a dishonorable discharge and I can’t take your word for it you were married to the veteran…Now, we can request these forms, but this takes time, at least two months, six weeks if you are very lucky…Please come prepared and do NOT get snitty with me when I more or less do nothing without them. 

(Dishonorable discharges, by the by, are difficult to get and are not issued for general misconduct or on the whim of your CO…You have to earn it, by killing someone or something similarly dastardly, and it can only be issued by a general court-martial…It is generally part of the sentence handed down.

About the only thing I did today was help a lady who is helping a veteran…She’s the rather tedious sort who was in a couple of weeks ago and her vet is doesn’t travel well and the VA keeps trying to make appointments that her vet can’t make…Well, the VA contracts with third parties to make civilian doctor appointments…Party 1 does not have a doctor contracted here in town…Party 2 does, but they’re not the ones making appointments, Party 1 is…She wanted to know if I could help…I sure can try…I called the patient advocate at the hospital south of here and left a message, and I emailed Pat, the VSO in a county south of here who has been a big help in the past but nobody got back to me before I left. 

Then an office manager with a local doctor called, wondering how her office could get on the VA’s approved vendor list…I really don’t know and I can’t do it myself, of course, so I gave her the number to the main switchboard at the hospital south of here…I hated to do that, to introduce a civilian to the living hell that can be the VA phone system, but it was really the best optionn because it will be good training for when she is obliged to deal with the VA bureaucracy…I also got a call from a fellow Navy vet who wanted to drive for us…Good…My last call for drivers fell mainly on deaf ears until I ran into Jack at the gym…I told him we don’t need drivers too often, but with his open availability I put him at the top of the list. 

I stopped by the market in our small town on the way home…I needed post-workout ground beef and I didn’t want to schlep the other way to the grocery store in town and then fight traffic on the way back…Good choice…I got to the market, found the ground beef (93% lean), and then down the aisle was the bread section…We need bread and it turned out they had my all-time fave, Farm Bread Rye, Farm Bread being the house brand there…They seldom have rye and they had four loaves and I debated whether or not to get all four…They freeze well…I actually had all four in my hands but I put two back…You don’t want to be greedy…Someone else probably likes Farm Bread Rye, too, and I didn’t want to take theirs. 

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: As usual, there was not any sleep on Wednesday. 

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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