January 16th, 2012

Berthold Run

Humbling; encouraging

"You're doing this the absolutely hardest way."

Ever hear that? Ever then get shown again an easier way to do it? I did, then I was. Meaning shown. I'm helping on a temp basis at a printing press; the slick parts of Fred Meyer deal-of-the-week inserts, among many other things, come from there. It's involved a lot of lifting, and sorting, and making sure that large sheets of paper have just enough air between them. This is more important a consideration than you'd think. Than *I* would've thought.

My supervisors are showing me the job, and showing me the tricks. They're being patient. They work with temps a lot, and they're good at working with temps. One result: today for the first time I used a powered pallet jack. Takes a subtle touch. I took a few minutes to achieve that subtle touch.

One supervisor even thanked me for admitting what I hadn't done before, like use a powered pallet jack. It bothers them more if someone's all fake-it-until-you-make-it, which they've seen translate into "fake it until you mess up and break something." One side willing to learn + one side willing to teach = PROFIT productivity. Which I contributed to.

And after the stresses and frustrations of the job I lost after two years -- which happened, by the way, only a month after the office had finally given me a nameplate -- I find out this way how much I appreciate being treated with patience. With a "you can figure this out, and we can show you how if you need more help." I'm a grown person and I still appreciate that.

Positive reinforcement. Some people still have time for it. It was good I found some of them.
Whale fluke

I'm allowed to go "Oh, well" here, after all

A little disappointment today was that I'd hoped to visit with someone I once found shiny enough to date, but the call to go to work trumped that.

Had I not gone to work today, I would have gone to the downtown Powell's and seen Alicia, my former girlfriend and still friend. She made one of her rare trips to Portland (this was one of her times, back in October 2005) so she and her mom could buy books. We'd planned to have lunch; I was figuring out places to recommend when I got called to work this morning.

Yes, I was a responsible adult and took a job when I would've liked to have hang-out times with someone really neat. A little "Oh, well." Not to mention brief worry because with Alicia on the road, I'd have trouble letting her know I couldn't make it. (She'd called from Hope's cell phone. Like me, Alicia does not have a cell. Also, I didn't have Hope's cell number.) If she hadn't called again soon after I'd committed to going to work, I was going to re-record my answering machine message -- "Hi, this is Chris. This is for Alicia. I'm really sorry..." -- and hope she'd at some point call. BUT IT WORKED OUT.

Alicia's almost certainly home by now; she was about 50 miles north of Eugene at 3:30, when I called her (having made sure to get the cell phone number) to see whether they were getting back. Another phew.