Just finished my 19th consecutive night at work. If I can get through Sunday night, I'll actually get two days off. I plan to spend at least the first day in a coma.
I asked for this. One of my co-workers had her leg operated on earlier this month and needed time to recover, so I told the Boss to throw nights at me until I begged for a night off.
She believed me. And now I'll be grateful when my co-worker comes back Monday night. Or I would be grateful, but it would get in the way of my coma.
Not that this is a world record or anything, but it's a new record for me. I haven't worked this many days in a row in years. Five years or so back, the Afternoon Guy and I used to trade extra overtime-days every other week because we both needed the $$$. But I'm not the 35-year-old I used to be....
The extra $$$ is supposed to go toward a trip back home next summer. Assuming I don't get stupid and blow it all on music and books before then, which could happen.
It's been worth it, and I've learned a few things. I've learned how easy this job CAN be if you just KEEP UP WITH IT, do the work and don't put things off for someone else.
Also, I'm a LOT more relaxed when I'm tired. Back around night number 7 or 8 I was really starting to feel it and everything seemed like too much trouble. But since then I've been too tired to care. I don't have enough energy left to stress-out.
Stuff that would have put me in orbit normally I just laugh off now. A few nights ago a kind of scraggly, homeless middle-aged hippy couple came into the store and cooked their dinner in the microwave, then hung around eating it as if this was a snack bar. They never bought anything. And I just laughed and rolled with it.
I also make a lot of stupid mistakes when I'm tired. A couple nights ago I was $30 off -- the money was there, but I couldn't make it add up right. Two nights in a row I cashed-in $20-winning scratch tickets and rang them up as $2,000 -- normally I catch stuff like that right off, but both times I didn't notice the mistakes until after closing.
Of course the right music helps.Lately I've been playing the same old '60s/'70s Soul and R&B and old Motown stuff that I've been addicted to for the last couple of months. I started to get a little bored with it all a few days back, but nothing else works as well to keep me up and moving. And on weekends I've got KPLU's "All Blues," still doing great work.
New-to-me greats I've heard on "All Blues" in the last couple weeks include the Tedeschi-Trucks Band's "Made Up Mind," the Neville Brothers' "Hey-Pocky-a-Way," Joe Bonnamassa's new "I Gave Up Everything for You Except the Blues," Lowell George's "Two Trains," Irma Thomas's "The River is Waiting" and ... get this ... the Dixie Cups' "Iko Iko." KPLU "streams" over the Internet at kplu.org, and on Saturday and Sunday nights from 6 p.m. to midnight Pacific Time they are well worth your time.
The weather's helped, too. Summer's over. It's been chilly and rainy here, with highs in the 50s and rain almost daily, occasional gusty winds as the fall storms start rolling in. Good sleeping weather. My problem is, without the store's magical hot chocolate, I'd never wake up. And no amount of sleep seems to make much difference. The rain and storms have made some nights in the store pretty quiet.
I've been reading in the afternoons while downing pots of coffee and trying to wake up -- lots of Paul Theroux, and right now I'm reading Nicholas Shakespeare's biography of writer Bruce Chatwin. Non-fiction and travel writing seem to work best for me, these days.
Just feel in a fog, like I usually do when winter gets rolling here. Only this time I blame it on work.
Tonight was busier than normal -- wind and rain knocked down trees and power lines, lots of people with no lights or heat. Being at work was a good place to be tonight -- we usually don't lose power.
But now I've got to drive home in it. And come back tomorrow for one more night....