The alternative

Well, look at that. Time marched on, just as it always does. It’s the thing you can count on. No matter what, you’ll be older tomorrow. Does this make us feel better or worse? I vote . . . . better. What is the alternative?

When we last spoke I was lamenting the busy season at my job. I still have that job, but only half a day or two each week because I saw a “Now Hiring” sign one Sunday in October, wondered what it would be like to work only a half a mile from my house, applied online using my phone that very night, had a “one-way interview” request the next day, submitted said interview Tuesday, (a self-taped series of answers to their questions), and scheduled an interview on Friday. A week or so later I had a job offer.

So, now I drive a half a mile to work every morning, come home for an hour at lunch time and then drive the half a mile back to work. I am home every night and work every third Saturday from 8 AM until noon. (And that week, I get an entire Wednesday off.)

Is it a fairly boring job? Um, that’s one way to look at it. But perhaps at this stage of life boring is not that bad. I like my co-workers which is good since there’s ample time for chatting. (I know. What is the job? Feel free to guess in the comments.)

I’ll continue working the other job through the holidays, then we’ll see. It’s a lot to work two jobs, even if one is very part-time.

Recently I’ve noticed that my automobile engine occasionally struggles to start. Not everyday, not even every other day, but occasionally enough that I worried maybe my battery was slowly dying. So I took the vehicle to an oil-change place (that also replaces batteries) on Sunday to check.

The guy tested my battery and said it was fine but said I needed a mechanic because the alternator was probably going bad. He explained engine things to me and so on Monday morning, I called the local mechanic to see if he could replace the alternator, if that, indeed, was the problem. My appointment was today.

Last night, after work, I entered my freezing cold car and pushed the button and nothing happened, other than a warning message telling me my remote something or another was not near enough. Oh no. I dug my key fob from my purse and held it next to the push button as if that would help and weirdly, it did.

The car started, so then based on my very sketchy understanding of the alternator, I decided it best to drive for awhile to get the battery recharged. I got on the freeway and my husband called (he’s out of town) and a car flashed it lights at me from behind (twice) and about that time that I realized I was driving without headlights because the battery-testing guy had me turn them off during the Sunday test.

I fumbled in the dark, managed to get them on and had the most distracted conversation with my husband ever as he asked me about my day.

Did I mention my headache? I had a headache all day yesterday and feared that I was finally catching whatever virus my co-worker has been struggling with since last week. Prior to that, my boss had COVID and the week before that, my son was sick (for a whole week) and the week before THAT, my husband was ill for an entire week. And yet, I have remained standing.

So, I gave my headache a hot bath and put it to bed by 9 PM and woke up early to take my car to the shop. (AND THE CAR STARTED. Also, I woke up to an unexpected 2-3 inches of snow.) My co-worker graciously agreed to pick me up from the mechanic’s on the way to work. We got to work and then she decided to go home because she is sicker today than yesterday. I still had yesterdays’ headache but ibuprofen and Diet Coke hushed it, so I declare myself healthy! and virus-free!

It’s my half-day today, so my son picked me up from work and I’m home, puttering around. I haven’t had time to putter in so long and there’s so much puttering to be done.

Oh, one last thing before I go.

Last Saturday, I was working a four-hour shift and halfway through, I counted the money in my drawer to make sure it was all correct and it was not. No siree. It was short by $67.50.

How could that be? I am meticulous about that sort of thing. I counted and recounted. I used my adding machine to add things up. I circled around and around, counting and counting and coming up short, over and over.

Dread circled me like a vulture. Dark clouds hovered over me like . . . um, dark clouds. I was quietly distraught. What happens when you are $67.50 short? How did this happen? Did I throw rolls of coins to members without realizing it?

My co-worker assured me that “they” expect this sort of thing and that a report would be made and all would be well. But protocol required her to count my money, too. (And she said once she was $300 short and that made me feel a little better.)

So after closing time, she counted and when she got to my coin drawer she said, “Melodee.”

Then she told me that my rolls of dimes were off because I had counted them as fifty cents each rather than five dollars each.

Come on. COME ON!

I was deeply embarrassed that I had counted wrong for two hours yet so overwhelmed with relief.

The dread vultures flew away.

The dark clouds lifted.

The angels sang.

And all the people rejoiced.

(The moral of this story is that sometimes we worry about things that were never wrong in the first place. I spent two hours fretting about my drawer totals which were one hundred percent correct the whole time. Will I ever stop worrying about things that are either 1) fine and dandy or 2) not in my control? Probably not but I’d like to think that I will at some point in my old age.)

Bye until next time!

5 thoughts on “The alternative

  1. Ok, I would love to know what you’re new job is? Can’t be Costco because that’s super busy with no time to talk to co-workers…. but you mentioned members and a cash drawer…… dang I need to know!! Lol


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