The Diary of a Nobody/July 31

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Wednesday, July 31
Early on a kid and his sister came by needing a key for their room…Not completely unadorably, he asked if there was a charge for a new key…He asked it in such a way that I knew the classic Sparrow smarty-pants answer might well cause him to weep, so I played straight man and said no, but as I made the key I saw his room already had the max number of keys made…I told him this and said I’d make him four new keys which would replace the ones his family now had…This seemed to confuse him, so when I handed him the new keys I said he was in charge of making sure his family got the new keys and to bring the old ones back to the front desk and for Pete’s sake take care not to mix them up…Being put in charge of key distribution seemed to give the kid some confidence, tho he never did come back and return the old ones. 

Later, Mr Anderson called…We were expecting Mr Anderson and family and earlier he had called to say he would be arriving rather late, something we appreciate, tho it was unnecessary here because his stay is paid in advance in which case you can show up whenever the hell you want…This time he called to announce their flight had been diverted and he wouldn’t be arriving until mid-morning, at the earliest…This is good because we had trouble keeping his reservation for a room with two queen beds…Mark blamed some screw with the Halliburton crew and all we had was a room with two double beds, usually not a problem, but you never know…To help make this a bit easier to take, I made up four of the half-off breakfast vouchers for the restaurant with my compliments, tho Candace may well revoke those if their original room is ready.

I think we might be out of Choco-Tacos for a while, maybe permanently…That new iced lemon bread appears to be moving pretty well, why I don’t know, it sucks compared to a Choco-Taco – I’ve tried both, of course, as a courtesy to our guests – but shelf space in the sundry stand’s small freezer is limited and we’re here to move product, dammit, bottom line…If Choco-Tacos aren’t selling as well as some lousy iced lemon bread, well, you know, the sundry racket can be tuff at times. 

A moderately busy day at the Veteran Service Office (VS))…I did field a phone call from a lady who wanted to make an appointment for her veteran, so they are coming in Friday morning, and I had an email from a gentleman who I think has called me in the past, left a message, and didn’t take my return call…He said he’d “like to start the process” tho he didn’t indicate what we would be proceeding towards …That’s OK, I’m here to be of service and if he wants to keep the process a secret, that’s OK, eventually, he’ll get around to telling me.  

About noon I got a call from a lady at a national VSO helpline…She had the lady from last week on the line, the one whose husband had died last year and in whose name the VA had sent several thousand dollars in benefits he had earned, based on a favorable appeal earlier this year. 

Her husband dying, tho, threw a wrench in everything, and the girl – she actually sounded to be about twelve – suggested we fill out a couple of forms, for accrued benefits and a survivor’s pension, plus a form for reimbursement of her burial costs, up to $2,000 …Mrs W came in about 1300, tho we were not able to completely fill out the forms…Since she is applying for widow’s benefits, there was a financial statement to fill out and she needs the help of her financial planner for that, so I printed out the required forms and highlighted the information we need.

By the by, the existence of this VSO-exclusive helpline was news to me…The girl explained it was for hardworking VSOs – like ol’ Sparrow for instance – to call anytime they need assistance…Where in theeee hell has this number been the past four months???…I know I have VSOs here that will help me, but a national helpline is something that is right up my alley because sometimes I ask a question no one can answer. 

And Bryan came in for his appointment…Recall he is the one who wants to file an appeal with the VA who, in a huff, threw out all his paperwork after the VA denied his original claim…This was not the brightest move in the history of paperwork.

I did some checking, or rather Carissa in the state office did some checking, and while it would be possible to access his paperwork, his current power of attorney is with the Disabled American Veterans and I cannot do anything for him until power of attorney is made out to this office…So I filled out the form and had him sign it and I faxed it in.

Bryan was another veteran who wanted to unload so I sat and listened…He was a corpsman in the Navy who served with the Marines (the Navy provides medics for the Corps) and he’s fighting his share of battles…I’m paid to be of service to veterans and if one wants to close the door and chat, I listen…Eventually, we also got the request for his discharge papers filled out and signed, tho that has to be mailed in and we should have something in a few weeks.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: As usual, there was no sleep on Wednesday for Sparrow. 

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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