I had to work this past Saturday, at 6 a.m., and once again… it was a fiasco. I work at night; I’m wired to be awake after midnight, performing my duties on company time. But every once in a while they deal us a wild card, and it screws me up, big-time. Six in the morning is a time of day I never see. It’s deep within my blind spot.
I live 40 miles away from work, so I set my cell phone alarm for 4 a.m. And I went to bed at 9:30, which felt like mid-afternoon. Couldn’t sleep… I started reading, hoping that would do the trick, and got caught up in a mystery novel — completely awake.
I remember 1 a.m., but must’ve drifted off shortly afterward. Then I was up at 4, feeling like I was having an out-of-body experience. I left the house, partially reanimated by coffee, around 5. And promptly got a flat tire.
It was dark, freezing cold, and I was in no mood for nonsense. I changed a tire on Toney’s car a few months ago, and it was a pain in the ass. The jack is junk, and kept tipping over. I have the same kind of dollar store jack in my car, so funk dat. I drove to Sheetz, which was only a block away, planning to put air in the tire. Then I’d continue to Monro Muffler, and let those guys change it.
However, someone had sliced off the end of the air hose. There was no nozzle, just a hose. Bastards! …I hope it wasn’t one of my kids that did it. Anyway, this infuriated me further. By this time I was shouting profanity into the dark of night. I checked out the tire, and there was a giant spike embedded in it, almost on the side. What the hell, man?
There was no saving the tire, so I just went to Monro. It wasn’t 100% flat yet, but getting close. It was only a quarter-mile journey, but excruciating. I got there, and checked their hours on the door. They opened at 7:30. Shit. Should I just change this bastard? I stood there contemplating it, and a sac-shriveling wind howled. Then my phone rang. It was Toney, and that tipped the scales.
“Can you come pick me up?” I asked her.
I called work and left a message: “Yeah, this Jeff. I’m having a shit morning already. I’ll try to be there later, but might not make it. …Yeah, that’s it. Bye.”
We went home, and I continued hammering mugs of coffee, getting all whipped-up. We watched the local news, and they repeated the same five stories, over and over and over. One was about a peacock that had inexplicably shown up in some neighborhood around here. It walks around, eats dog food on porches, and makes itself at home. This was a news story!
Finally 7:30 arrived, and we returned to Monro. The guy started to give me a lecture about driving on a flat tire, but I cut him off. “Man, I don’t want to hear it,” I said, and he dropped it.
I asked him to put the (brand new, full-sized) spare on. He told me it would be about 15 minutes, so I flopped down in a chair. There was a TV in there, and I immediately heard a reporter say, “The male peacock arrived without notice, and made himself quite comfortable…”
“Jesus Christ!” I shouted, and the Monro guy looked up from his clipboard, with a disapproving look on his face.
I stopped twice on my way to work. I bought two sausage, egg, and cheese croissants from Burger King, and used my $25 convenience store gift card for gas. I finally arrived at my job around 8:30.
There was an email that said we’d be receiving a UPS shipment sometime between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Some kind of super-hot merchandise, which required immediate attention… I didn’t think too much about it. I figured it would be a couple of boxes, no big deal.
And around 12:30 a full tractor trailer backed up to our receiving dock… “That’s not all for us, is it?” I asked the driver. “Yep, the whole thing,” he answered. WTF??
We had a skeleton crew in there, but I tracked someone down and asked him to unload the thing. But when they rolled open the door, we saw that there were no pallets underneath the product. The entire trailer was packed-out with cartons, and no pallets.
So, we unloaded it by hand. It was me, the driver, and another guy, and it took more than an hour. The boxes were heavy, and it sucked so bad it almost created a black hole. “Why are there no pallets??” I kept screaming at the guy. “I didn’t load this truck,” he repeated.
I don’t do much of that kind of work anymore, and it about killed me. I was huffing and puffing like a fat boy in lead shoes (obscure DEVO reference), and I’m still sore, four days later. The next morning I felt like I’d been run over by a street sweeper, and dragged a couple of blocks. It was bullshit.
Eventually I left that place, and struggled to stay awake while driving home. Toney was cooking when I got there, and the TV was on in the living room: “…the peacock flew over several miles of forest to wind up in this part of suburbia…”
“I hope we have plenty of beer!” I announced. But I was konked out, fifteen minutes after dinner. One Yuengling, getting warm on the table beside my sleepin’ chair…
And I hate to be a Nostrils-type fancy-lad, but my recovery time from those awful Saturdays is a full two days at this point. I didn’t feel halfway normal until Tuesday. They kick my ass, with gusto.
I’ll update again, as soon as possible. I’ll shoot for tomorrow, but it might not happen. I’ll try though, I always try.
Have a great day, my friends!