The Diary of a Nobody/May 20

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Monday, May 20
Nice and slow at the hotel this morning…There were three arrivals waiting for me when I reported for duty, all under the same name and all reserved by Quentin in the last ten minutes for some folks from the local rehab place…Q said if they didn’t show up, I might consider not billing them because they stay regularly…Regular readers of this crap know it is certainly not unprecedented for guests not to show up, however when someone makes a reservation at 2245 for arrival later that night they’re probably going to show up, so when it was time to do the audit, I checked them in and later billed them and they showed up right before I went to deliver folios to rooms.

For the record, the credit card the guy was an American Express platinum business card and good gravy it was heavy, made out of the same metal those black Centurion cards are made of….I don’t know if it’s titanium or kryptonite or what, but it had some good heft and probably could’ve been a weapon in the right hands.  

I managed not to be a failure as a Veteran Service Officer…Last week I got a call from a vet who needed a ride to the big city for an eye doctor’s appointment…OK, that is a service our Legion post provides…Stanko actually operates it tho as county VSO I am, naturally, the point man on this, and he farms some of the details out to me.

The only problem was our usual driver’s weren’t available, so when I talked to the veteran on Friday before I left I told him I didn’t have anybody yet but I was working on it…I made some contacts Saturday with no luck and Sunday morning I’m sitting at my desk scratching my ass wondering what the heck I am going to do when Stanko sends out a mass email to post members reminding everyone about Memorial Day activities…Well, heck, I am not a complete idiot and even I know to send a mass email to everyone on the list asking if anyone is available…At the last moment, I added Gary’s name from a post in a town a bit south of here, hit send and hoped for the best…Then I went to bed.

Well, good thing I added Gary’s name because he called while I was sleeping and left a message saying he was willing and able to provide chauffeur services…God bless Gary…I called and gave him the vet’s contact information and told him to fill up his tank both in the big city and when he returned to town and to bring me the receipts and we would pay him…He also gets a whopping $51, and all of this is paid for by a state grant….I was happy because you would hate to tell a vet no, I can’t help you…I’m paid to say yes to requests like these and not no.

Every Thursday the county has some space in the newspaper announcing assorted county events, meetings, and whatnot, and I managed to get some space for a blurb for the VSO. It’s not very big, but people read the paper so, perhaps, it will drum up some trade for ol’ Sparrow…Stephanie, who works in the child welfare office, helped me with it and she said she could probably get it in most weeks…Good, but I want to get even more exposure, so after visiting with Stephanie, I went over to Kris’s office…Kris is an economic security supervisor and is my immediate boss…No, I don’t know why Vet Services is attached to the Welfare Department and they aren’t either, frankly, because Kris has no idea what my job entails…Also, recall Kris lives in our small town, too, and she did not have any new information on anything regarding the old diner, except to say she and her kids were obliged to go to the bar for dinner one night, and she wasn’t pleased with that.

Anyway, I went to see Kris about doing some advertising in the paper and she said we did have some money for that, tho probably not enough for a half-page color ad on Sundays…But Tina, the department accountant, was in meetings until the afternoon, and Kris said she would have something for me when I came in Wednesday.

I took on a collateral duty, too, and ol’ Sparrow is now responsible for inventorying the monthly food stamp cards the Human Services Department issues…No, I’m not entirely sure how I become the go-to guy on this, but when Kris emailed me to see if I would I said sure….Denise ran me thru it this morning and it was pretty confusing, actually, but it will become easier…All it really involves is three spreadsheets and transferring some figures and then inventorying the actual cards…You’d see these cards all the time at the retailer and it was surprising to note who had them because sometimes it was 1) someone you know and/or 2) someone who appeared to make an OK living who you’d think would not require the 21st-century equivalent of food stamps.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 1430 Monday until 1900ish…4.5 hours, officially, but who really knows.

Good gravy, the Monday Rest Period (MRP) is really turning into a fiasco…On the one hand, if I sleep until 2130 or so, well, that’s seven hours, a good day’s sleep in anyone’s book…On the other hand, we established last week that much sleep that late makes it tuff to get to sleep on Tuesday, and I need sleep on Tuesday because I don’t get sleep again until Wednesday night.

On still another hand, too little sleep on Monday and, sure, it’s easy to get to sleep Tuesday morning, but you are tired when you go to work Monday night/Tuesday morning and you are too tired to work on projects during the idle hours in the middle of the night, and that time is wasted.

So today I compromised and in the process solved none of these problems: I set the alarm for 1900, but when it went off I was still tired and in no mood to get up…So I turned off the alarm and reset it for 45 minutes or so later and I did this a couple of more times, until I really had to get up…The theory, genius in conception, impractical in execution, was to not get up while ensuring I did not get enough sleep to be fully rested.

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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