Wednesday, December 22, 2010

J-O-B: Day Fifteen

I'm too tired to blog.

For the last week or so, it seems I come home from work each evening with my mind rebelling ferociously against any activity that requires actual thought. Seriously. I'm having a really hard time right now just composing these few sentences.

It's about halfway through a straight ten-hour-plus shift (no breaks, mind you) that I begin to motivate myself with the thought that as soon as I get home I will crawl into bed with Netflix. Netflix and nachos. Definitely nachos.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wrap Wars

A few days ago, as I was passing by the family Christmas tree, I noticed that my sister Lindsay had already wrapped and placed a few packages 'neath its branches.

What? And Christmas still nearly two weeks away? I hadn't anticipated seeing her fall into formation so early. Armed with saved scraps of paper, yarn, and jingle bells, I immediately retaliated with a few maneuvers of my own.

After that, there was a long period of silence. No new parcels were placed under the tree. It seemed my tactics had prevailed. Then, without warning, Lindsay broke out the heavy artillery.

I threw up the white flag and retreated to my craft box...I mean, regroup for next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Little Bit of Christmas Spirit

The two weeks before Christmas are a hectic time in the life of this blog's author. I'm stretched thin enough as it is at my current job with UPS, and this week most of my free time is focused on preparing for my dramatic and musical roles in the upcoming Christmas program at my church. Unsurprisingly, the various demands of the season have left me feeling a bit...stressed.

Dear friend Ashley tipped me off to this lovely musical track the other day. As I listened to it, I was momentarily reunited with that "true spirit of Christmas" that all the Hallmark Channel original movies are striving so earnestly to put us back in touch with.

Light a candle and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

J-O-B: Day 5

My blisters have blisters.


Friday, December 3, 2010

J-O-B: Day 3

Phew. So ends my first week as a seasonal driver helper for UPS. I haven't worked this hard at a job since, well, ever. And I'm loving it!

I realized today that perhaps part of why I feel so amicably toward my job is that it reminds me in many ways of backpacking, which is an activity that I happen to enjoy more than just about anything else. The physical exertion required in this job each day is similar to that required during a day on a backpacking trip. Both on the trail and in the delivery truck, I keep my energy up by munching on CLIF bars. In both situations, I use a headlamp to see at night. In both situations, I get nasty blisters on my toes. Basically, my body thinks it's on a backpacking trip right now and that translates into happy feelings in my brain. Sure, there's no camp food or campfire, I don't get to sleep under the stars, and the scenery would never make it on a postcard; so, there are a few significant differences. But don't tell my body that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

J-O-B: Day 1

At 10:30 this morning, it seemed fair enough to assume that UPS wasn't going to call me in to start work today. Faced unexpectedly with the prospect of lots of free time, I decided to lie in my bed for a while to think about how best to spend my day. Thinking time naturally evolved into nap time, and when my ringing cell phone interrupted my dreams at 11:45, it felt as though the day had already progressed much later than it actually had.

On the phone was a someone from the UPS distribution center, offering me a job: at 12:45 I would meet a driver at a designated location on her route and assist her with the rest of her deliveries for the day.

I gobbled down lunch, pulled on my uniform, and drove to the meeting place. At 12:53, I was pulling out my cell phone to call the distribution center and make sure there was no misunderstanding, when a familiar brown delivery truck rolled up to the stop sign in front of me. I waved to the driver and she pointed me toward a place where I could leave my car for the day.

Upon boarding the UPS truck, I received a warm greeting from the driver, Carolina, a small, pretty Latina in her early thirties. Showing me the rear cargo area of the vehicle, she exclaimed, "I was able to clear a lot of space from my morning deliveries so now we have some dancing room!" She threw up a pair of enthusiastic jazz hands to emphasize her point. I knew then and there that we would get along perfectly.

My first day on the job was fun, educational, and completely exhausting. My body is in pain right now, and I'm not eager to find out how it's going to feel in the morning. But I am looking forward to another day of work. Despite the breakneck pace and a couple of minor mistakes made on my part, it was the best first day of a new job I've ever had.


At one stop, I had dropped a package by the front door and was heading back to the the truck when the resident opened the door. Continuing down the driveway, I waved to him and called out, "Thank you!" The man did not reply or return my wave, and something in his countenance indicated displeasure. He raised a finger, as to indicate that he wanted a word with me. Hurrying back toward the house, I apologized. He shook his head and pointed to the large black cat that was sitting on his shoulder. "No. You some people have a...a parrot that sits on their shoulder. Well, anyway, I was thinking that I was gonna scare you when I came to the door with this cat on my shoulder were already gone."

People are weird.

At another stop, a girl approached the truck, holding an envelope with a postage stamp on it and asked if she could give it to us. I kindly directed her to the nearby blue USPS box. Back on the road, I asked Carolina if that sort of thing happens often. She rolled her eyes dramatically, "Oh my god, girl, all the time!"