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So, Maralyn is this woman I work with.

She's a nice enough person, but she's maybe a little untrained in critical thinking skills. I'm trying to find a nice way to put it, and that's what I came up with.

She's also vaguely interested in Judaism, because her father was Jewish, and she never learned much about Judaism growing up. So she asks me questions sometimes, which I'm more than happy to answer.

"Hey, Ian," she called across the cafeteria at lunch yesterday, "I got a question about Jewish stuff."

"Sure, shoot, whaddya wanna know?"

"It's about sex with a sheep," I thought I heard her say.


"No, not a SHEEP -- a SHEET. With a hole in it."

"Oh. THAT thing. Yeah. It's not true."

"Whaddya mean it's not true?"

"That whole thing about how Orthodox men and women have sex through a sheet with a hole in it? Yeah, it's total bullshit. No truth to it at all."

"How do you know?"

"Whaddya mean 'how do I know?' I know. It's not true."

"Yeah, but I read it once somewhere."

"I don't care. It's not true."
"But you're not Orthodox, so how would you know for sure?"
"Because a lot of my friends are Orthodox, I hang out with rabbis, my mother's a religious leader, I teach Hebrew School, I study this stuff, and I learned about this one and why it's not true."

"I don't believe you."

"Why not? Why would I possibly lie about this? Look -- my theory is that people saw people doing their laundry, and there's this kind of undershirt thing that Jewish men wear which looks kind of like a poncho, so my theory is that other people saw those talitot katanot hanging up on the clothesline, and thought it looked like a sheet with a hole in it, and made up the story."

"I think you're wrong -- I read it somewhere that it's true. I mean, you knew what I was talking about when I said it, right? You'd heard of it!"

"Yeah, sure -- I'd heard of the fact that there was this lie going around. But I know it's bullshit."

"I think you're making that up."

At this point, of course, everybody else in the entire cafeteria is totally cracking up.
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How is it that I don't have a full time job and yet have trouble findng enough time to get everything done?

Today was full sing-through for Iolanthe. And I still haven't gotten all my parts down yet. Okay, I came into the process late; still, I'd hoped to be more caught up by now. And I had to leave early, because John decided that he needed me at 4 today to work the Grill Bar, which made it tough to attend all of a 2 to 5 rehersal session. I was able to attend Act I, but left before Act II.

I did make it to work on time, and found out that John had re-worked things so I wasn't working the 4-to-10 shift at the Grill bar, but was rather working a wedding shift. Which was a lot of fun, and I made good money in tips (although, because I kept the barbacks running pretty much constantly, I did a 2/3 - 1/3 split of the tip money, only keeping about $35, and dividing up about $65 to the barbacks). And I got to listen to music all night, and ogle drunk young women in short dresses, which is always nice. But I didn't get home until after 1.

And I still need to do class prep for tomorrow morning.
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Winter Rose: Hey, Uncle Ian -- I LOST MY FIRST TOOTH!!
Ian: That's awesome, Winter! What are you going to do with it?
Winter: I'm going to go home to Vermont, and, on Sunday, I'm going to put it under my pillow, and I'm going to go to sleep, and the Tooth Fairy will give me money for it!
[Winter had previously determined that, as Leila and I got 25 cents per tooth, and her friend in Vermont got $2, that the Tooth Fairy paid more money in Vermont than in the Boston area, so determined that, if her tooth DID fall out while she was visiting her grandparents here, she'd hang on to it and redeem it when she got back home.]
Ian: That's great. And then you can buy seeds with the money and plant them in your garden!
Winter: Yeah. . . are you coming over, Uncle Ian?
Ian: No, I'm sorry. I have to work tonight.
Winter: Oh. Why?
Ian: Because I need the money.
Winter: I have six dollars you can have if you want.
Ian: Thank you, Winter, but I need more than that.
Winter: What do you need it for?
Ian: Well, for one thing, the mortgage on the house.
Winter: How much is that?
Ian: One thousand, eight hundred dollars a month.
Winter: [beat] Okay, bye!
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originally written at 2:45 AM, not posted then due to LJ maintence

Lis went to bed at 11:00 PM, and said I could start reading the new Jasper Fforde book, Something Rotten, if I wasn't going to bed immediately.

It's really good.

It's now quarter of three, which shows that Something Rotten takes approximately three and three quarters hours to read.
The rest of my recent life: )


Jul. 12th, 2004 02:21 pm
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I have no shifts this upcoming week. Not one. No work.

I shaved my head.

These actually aren't unrelated: I don't like going into work totally bald, but a week's growth is okay.

Also, I made sourdough bread, which came out okay; not as good as my first loaf, not as bad as my last loaf. And I made Welsh rarebit for lunch.

Want work. Want money. Want energy, too.
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Boopsie, our cat, appears to be on the Have an Annoying Kitten Eat All Your Food Before You Can Get To It Diet. On the other hand, her UTI seems a lot better than it was. They've now got a much better way to pill a cat -- they've got these little fish-flavored cat treats with a pocket in the center that you put the pill in. No trouble whatsoever giving the cat her antibiotics.

We've got most of a deck put up for Anna, our third-floor tenant. We had to take the old deck down in order to fix the roof under it, which was leaking, but the new one is going up fairly smoothly so far, avert the Evil Eye. (*spit* *spit* *spit*)

I'm trying to teach myself contact juggling.

On Friday, I dropped off five resumes at various bars and restaurants nearby, trying to get more jobs, since Lis is unemployed. I figured that going around at the 3 to 4 hour would be a good time, since it was after the lunch rush, but before the dinner rush.

I was right for four of the bars, but very, very wrong for the fifth.

See, I forgot: blue collar workers tend to work from 7 to 3 or 3:30 or so. Then go out for a drink, at least on Fridays. The Dockside restaurant in Wakefield was hopping. Absolutely no way to get in to talk to anyone. But I dropped off a resume.

It's unlikely any of these will pan out for jobs. I figure I should probably drop off about a hundred resumes in order to get four or five part-time gigs. Ninety-five more to go! I'm going to go again tomorrow: today is Memorial Day.

Father was supposed to be here to work on the deck about half an hour ago, but I expected him to be late, anyway.
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Good news: Lis no longer has a crappy, soul-sucking job that she hates.

Bad news: Lis no longer has a crappy, soul-sucking job that she hates.
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So, today, I finished work at 4, rested for a couple hours until I felt better, went to the hot foods party for a couple hours where I got to see lots of people I like (even if Lis wasn’t able to come with me, because she was feeling worser longer than I was), came home, wrote what looks to be about a five or seven minute play about shalach manot (basically about a guy who moved from the US to Israel and was totally boggled by kids coming to trick or treat and giving him stuff, which is something I’ve heard people talk about as something which took some getting used to), put together a worksheet on Important Purim Words That Start With Mem, just because, and corrected the spelling errors on the sheet I’d made last week, and printed it out so I can show my students that I take their criticisms seriously, and that it’s important to re-do things if you do them wrong.

And it’s only quarter past one in the morning! Go me!
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I was able to close up the bar and head out at 9:30, which meant I could get to Boskone in time to hang out at the con suite and play a card game or two in the gaming room.

I think I made a grand total of 13 drinks all shift. (And it says something about my habit of having low-probability events happen that I had to dig TWO rarely-used bottles out in order to make those thirteen drinks. . . and, in one case, I had to enter it into the computer as an "open item", because it's served so rarely that it doesn't even have an entry in the computer database.)

Anthony, the matre-d', came over and was talking about how completely dead it was -- they had about thirty people there all night. But he said it would be crazy the NEXT night; they had a hundred reservations. I asked why, and he looked at me kind of funny. "Valentine's Day."

"Oh," I said. "Right."

I'm not working in the Commenwealth Lounge, making drinks for the Boston Room tomorrow. I'm in the Grill Bar.

This may be . . . fun.

See, Palmer just quit, because she decided that she couldn't handle a job and the amount of schoolwork she has now. And John just got out of the hospital -- it's his liver. If he quits drinking now, he will make a full recovery. Eventually.

I think the waitstaff are going to be Alex, Sarah, and Margaret, plus me. Which should be . . . possible. They're probably the three best waitstaff there. I mean, John, Samantha, and Margaret are probably all on about a par. But Alex and Sarah are really, really good. And, while Louis is clearly a better bartender than I am, I work better with the waitstaff than he does, so it's probably about as good a team as you could hope for.

But it's going to be Valentine's Day.

Okay. I just want to say: I've heard people griping about Valentine's Day for a long time. About how, either, they're not in a relationship, and it's so sad, or they ARE in a relationship, and V-Day creates all these obligations that aren't realistic, or how it's so commercialized. . .

I am hereby declaring that restaurant staff, and probably hotel staff too, get dibs on complaining about Valentine's Day.

My day.

Feb. 9th, 2004 11:41 pm
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So, Mondays are the day that I set up stuff for the week at the bar -- making all fresh garnishes, and stuff like that. Saturday nights, I throw out all the old stuff, Monday mornings, I set up all new stuff.

It's not really that bad, generally.

Then there was a phone call. One of the waitressess was sick, and couldn't come in for the evening shift. Not a big problem, there were three people scheduled, and, besides, that's the EVENING shift, so it wouldn't be my problem, anyway. And two people could handle it just fine.

Then the second person called in sick.

Okay. It just wouldn't be fair to stick one person by herself for the entire room, so they tried to figure out how to get at LEAST one more person in.

"Hey, Ian -- can you stay late?"

Um. Okay.

"It's okay -- we only need you for the dinner rush, and then you can go home as soon at it eases off, and Sam can hold the room for the rest of the night. After 7:30 or so, it'll be quiet, and you can go home."

Um. Okay. I got there at 10:30 in the morning, and I was going to stay until 7:30 or so. Must call Lis and let her know not to expect me. Gee, it would be a good idea to sometime LEARN Lis's phone number at work. Hmm. I wonder if anyone around here has AOL Instant Messenger, which is how I usually call Lis at work.

Oh. As long as I'm here, see if I can't get time off for Boskone this weekend, since we already bought memberships and all.

Hmm. They actually are UNDERSTAFFED for Saturday night. And can't spare me. Oh. And they need me Friday night, too. And Thursday night.

Hmm. I've got a membership to a weekend con, and I'm working Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday morning. Hmm.

Maybe I'll just leave a message on our home phone to let Lis know that I'm not going to be home.

No problem.

Anyway, Monday nights are always pretty quiet, so it should be just fine that it's just Samantha and me working tonight -- Sam's a good worker, anyway. (This, of course, is a DIFFERENT Samantha than the one who lives upstairs from us. Just in case you were wondering. I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] marquisedea in particular will be glad to have this cleared up.) So it won't be a problem.

Someone comes in and wants to know if I can make a milkshake. I think about this. There's ice cream in the kitchen, I have milk, Hershey's syrup, milk, and a blender. It comes out well. Of course, there's no "chocolate milkshake" in the computer. So I have to make up a price. I charge $3.25 for it.

Hmm. I seem to have ripped my finger open on a door. That's annoying. It's actually just a scratch, but I need a bandaid. Not a problem, but it does mean that I'm now wearing a bandaid for the rest of the night.

Four o'clock rolls around, I hand over the bar to Louis, and become a waiter. I've never actually waited tables before, but, okay.

The first couple hours are as slow as expected. Then. . .

Hmm. These four people are celebrating a birthday. And they want the four meals split among two checks, and one of them has a card for a free birthday meal, and he likes the idea of the pasta special, but could the chef make something completely different? I ask. Yes, in fact, the chef can, and she doesn't particularly mind.

See, that's 'cause it's EARLY in the evening. The FIRST special order isn't a problem.

Then we get into the Blurry Times. I don't remember all of it. But I do remember bringing cookies and coffee up to a different floor. Which was for those people with the birthday.


And then there was That Table.

A mother and a father and a daughter having a Discussion about their wedding. I am almost CERTAIN that we didn't do that to Lis's parents. I mean, I'm pretty sure that the words "But WHY do we have to invite family to the wedding?" never crossed my lips. Or brain.


So, the mother asks if she can have the halibut puttinesca without anchovies or black olives. I do NOT say, what part of "puttinesca" was unclear. Instead, I ask the chef, who says that, sure, she could do a halibut marinara instead.

The daughter orders the schrod. Which, considering what the parents were ordering, went a long way towards redeeming her in my mind -- although I'm still glad not to be related to her.

Her father says, "Can I have just some endive with tuna fish on top of it, and some mayonaise on the side, and maybe some cucumbers?"

At least, that's what I wrote down that he said. When I brought it, he said he'd asked for hearts of romaine. So I started to take it back, but he said he was hungry, so could I just bring a bowl of romaine hearts? Which we don't have. So I brought romaine lettuce, which he wanted put into a bigger bowl, so I put it into a bigger bowl, which he wanted put into a bigger bowl, so he wanted more tuna fish.

At no time during the evening did I shove a steak knife into his nostrils even a little bit.

There was the person who ordered the crab casserole, and, when I brought it to her, her face just fell. She'd actually wanted the crab timbale which was taken off the menu last month. I actually did feel sorry for her, because she really looked close to tears about not getting the dish she'd been thinking about for days.

And we did get to eat the crab casserole that she sent back.

She ended up getting shimp tempura instead.

One person was ordering things like, "just one macaroon" and "a bowl of blueberries, with a dish of skim milk on the side, and another dish of honey." Again, not particularly difficult to put together. But not terribly simple to do when it's busy, either. . . .

Anyway. I look up. It's 9:30. The kitchen is closing. I go around to the people that are still there, and ask them if there's anything else I can get them before I go home, and I go home.
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It's the slow season at work. So slow that I've got zero hours for next week. They had to give my two regular shifts to Union people. And there's no Hebrew School next week.

Which means that I'm going to be making $0.00 next week.

On the other hand, I don't need to take any time off of work for Arisia.
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Last night, I was scheduled to work as a barback, which is basically a general go-fer, factotum, man-of-all-work for a bar or beverage department. Barbacks make sure that bartenders don't run out of anything they need (that's the main job), take out the trash, polish the carts, recieve deliveries, stuff like that.

If there's ANYTHING going on that the beverage department is involved with, they try to have a manager on duty, to resolve any significant problems, and a barback, to handle, well, all the simple things. So they had me on duty. Even though nothing, really, was happening.
So, what was happening? Or wasn't? )
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If my managers were actually my superiors in the military, and they sent me on a dangerous mission to take a strategic point, and I was the sole survivor, and had managed to barely take and hold the point, running out of ammo, and finally resorting to knife work to survive, but managed to actually take and hold the point and accomplish the mission, my managers would feel awful, blame themselves for giving us insuffient air support, pay generous benefits for the dead, give me lots of time off with pay to recuperate, and pin lots of medals on me.

If Lis's managers were actually her superiors in the military, and they sent her on a dangerous mission to take a strategic point, and she was the sole survivor, and had managed to barely take and hold the point, running out of ammo, and finally resorting to knife work to survive, but managed to actually take and hold the point and accomplish the mission, they would look at the situation, and say, "Hmm. In the final analyis, Lis held the point on her own, without any other people around, and using only a knife," and, the next day, there would be a memo sent out that they'd determined that guns and ammuninition were superfluous, and would no longer be provided.
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So, we found out why we were off so much money that first shift I worked. Mainly, it's because the lottery tickets are packed in two chunks: tickets 300-150, and 149-1. So, if you start out at ticket number 150, and you sell 1 ticket, you're at an empty ticket bin. So, going from 150 to blank is 1 ticket, not 150 tickets. That's $745, which was the vast, vast majority of it.

Then there was the $20 scratch ticket that the machine couldn't read, but, because my co-worker was the one who damaged it, we felt we had to cash anyway, and the $10 in gas that someone paid for, but my co-worker put on the wrong pump, so that somebody else pumped that gas, noticed that it was paid for, and left . . . and the $20 that my former co-worker, according to the video camera, took out of the register and put in her pocket while I was in the other part of the store cleaning stuff.

A point of advice for those folks on my friends list who may be too young to have learned this themselves: I think that many young people don't learn this until too late.

If you're going to steal, make sure to steal enough money to cover your lawyers and your escape to another country. Don't steal $20. It's DUMB to steal $20. If you're going to steal, steal $20,000,000. Hey, if you get caught stealing $200, you go to high-security prison and spent 15 or 20 years there. If you're caught stealing $200,000, you get sent to minimum security prison, and spent 2 or 3 years there. If you're caught stealing $200,000,000, you get invited to help make economic policy for your country.
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So: I'm thinking that the reason I didn't get the security guard postition I went out for is because the dates of employment I put down for myself were probably inaccurate, since I was doing it from memory. Since they verify employment history and all, if those dates were flaky, it wouldn't have looked good.

So I've been phoning up places I've worked to get the dates I was there, and getting things more accurate.

My work history looks even worse than I remember it. It's a couple months here and there, and really nothing else.

Now, I'm pretty sure that some of you reading this have done hiring.

If you were in HR, and someone had an incredibly spotty and fleeting work record, what would you want to hear from them to reassure you that they were someone you wanted to hire? How should I explain this, should I explain this, how do I make this less damaging to myself?
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Because I have to drive Lis to work tomorrow!

This is a HUGE "yay." See, it's her job to make most of the money in the family, and she's been out of work for about a year. She now has a job. It's a much lower level of responsibility than what she was doing a year ago, (she's back doing what she did right out of college) for a much, much smaller company (going from IBM last year to a something like fifty-person shop), for (obviously) less money. But it's a job. And it's in her field. Which is high-tech. Where there aren't any jobs. But she has one.

Also: the seferot to meditate on for this day of the omer -- it's the day of netzach in the week of chesed, so today is netzach b'chesed, or the "victory of compassion." Something like that, anyway.
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Someone's building a new restaurant, called "The Blues Diner", in downtown Melrose. I wrote up a letter, which I reproduce behind this cut tag, to hand to them.

the letter )

So, the owner was, in fact, there when I showed up, and I handed him my letter, and he read it, and said he'd pass it along to the guy doing the bar hiring.

I mean, I wouldn't be able to get work until they, like, finish the restaurant -- they're in the "just finished putting drywall and now putting up things that will be area dividers" stages, so, if I'm any judge, they're probably still a month or more away from opening. And his reaction gives me NO data as to whether I made a good or bad impression. But, well, I did actually get out there and give him the letter.
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"Hmm," she says, looking through the want ads. "Donut finisher. There's a job for which I want the job description."

I imagine some guy walking around the donut shop, walking up to customers, "Hey, buddy, you gonna finish that donut?"

Unfortunately, they want two years experience. How the hell to you get two years experience doing that without someone punching out all your teeth?
xiphias: (Default)
Okay. This is insane. But maybe insane in a good way.

So, I need a job. I need a way to make money. I make $85/week, but that doesn't really make a dent in the amount of money we're hemmoraging each month since Lis lost her job.

We also go to a coach. Life coaching, job coaching -- someone who helps us plan priorities and make goals and follow through on them. And coaching got pretty . . . intense today. And Carol pointed out that I'd make a hell of a coach myself, since that's pretty much what I do anyway. I've already got all the skills.

So, here's the question: those of you reading this journal:

Would you pay me $30 a week for me to help you get your life together?

I'm serious. I'm offering. For $30, you'd get an hour of my time a week, plus extra phone calls and so forth, in which we'd work out what it is you want to do and how to do it, and I'd keep you on track in doing so.

How is this different from what I do with my friends now? I don't push with my friends. I listen. I don't offer advice, except very rarely. I support, I listen. But I don't advise or guide. Because I don't belive I can do those things unless I am asked to directly. And being paid to do that would count as being invited into that position.

I've only once or twice in my life been invited into that position with someone. And I did well.

September 2017

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