Sleepless On A Work Night

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If I didn’t know any better, I would say that the overdraft fees from my bank have caused my peace of mind to be in a bit of an uproar. Now, what’s life without a few hassles here and there?

Of course, if I had paid more mind when I paid the bills before, I wouldn’t be in this mess. You see, what I do is simple: The morning of my direct deposit, I immediately go pay my phone, cable, gas, electric and some other bills online, while my coffee is brewing. The problem here is also simple: Some places will not take the funds until the following week. Hence, this is a bad thing that gets me almost every time. It had been several months since my last overdraft fee, but this time I think I took out a bit too much to pay for food. I mean, feeding people is kind of a good thing, right?

So, what does one do about it? Well, there’s nothing you CAN do, really. The banks won’t pay all of those overdraft fees back. They’ll give you half of it back, and come up with some lame excuse as to why they can’t refund the full charge. I called once and their response was, non-verbatim: “We have an overdraft fee because we provide online services for our members.” I can’t think of a more lame excuse.

If they have the capacity to render your bank almost $200 in the negative, they have the capacity to remove one hundred percent of their charges. Their outright willingness to avoid  doing so is only minimally outrageous.

I wonder how many of their corporate people would be willing to try to live within their current means on $1,240 a month. I bet some of them wouldn’t care much for that overdraft. I bet they would flinch hard if it was going to interrupt their already-funded trip for an anniversary.

I have to rant because of how stupid I believe the overdraft fees are. They can charge multiple times per day, and the rest of the month is totally readjusted and re-budgeted until you can catch yourself up, even after paying the same amount in bills that you need to. I don’t see how banks expect this to be a good thing at all, except where lining the pockets of corporate is concerned. The way I see it– working full time just isn’t enough. I pay $300 a month in rent (that’s half, as my fiancee pays the other half), and another $600+ in child support on my own. I work for my local city. I’m among the lowest paid, as well as one of a few who are worked the hardest, and those in charge of the child support agency still see everything I make before taxes as the go-to number to base my income for such numbers.

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Lots of things are broken in this world. Regulatory schemes are insane, and much against the will of the lowest paid and hardest workers. Some of you might be thinking that I’m just here to gripe. Maybe, but the point here is that I don’t believe overdraft is anything close to beneficial for those who use banks. It’s actually causing me a lot of stress, and that’s not what living is about. I’m doing multiple online things in an attempt to make money passively, but it turns out that writing a book takes a lot of time, much more so if you’re exhausted from working a full time job. It takes a lot of time to build up minuscule payments on Amazon Mechanical Turk. It’s taking a lot of my weekends to build and maintain a website, be an Amazon affiliate, as well as be an affiliate for Karatbars— I feel as if I’m plowing myself into the ground. All it takes is a second job, but who has time for that when they’re tired all the time?

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I suppose it’s my fault, but the general work environment doesn’t allow people to get out of the rat race. I recognize it for what it is– work hard, pay for electricity, rent a box to live in, pay for gas, pay your insurance, pay for car maintenance, pay for your car, pay taxes on your food, pay for clothing, pay for cable, pay for this, that, the other, everything else– all before you save that little bit of pocket change that is supposed to go towards retirement. I’m prepared to wait until some of those contracts expire, and those who wish to use certain features in the household will be responsible for paying for those luxuries. I don’t watch TV, but I use the internet heavily. I’ll take that bill. I use the gas for my stove top percolator, so I’ll pay that as well. I’ll pay for half of the electricity, I pay half the rent already, as I mentioned, so that’s not a problem.

Boy, does it suck being a military veteran to come home to this free country.

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It is morning time!

You know what that means, right? No? Well, I’ll tell you! I get to go to work! Not everyone gets to say they have a secure 9-5, and those of us who do have this option typically feel better off than the next person because their fast food job never treated them with retirement benefits, health benefits, vision care, and hourly wages of that type of magnitude! I mean, who doesn’t want to make more than $10 an hour? That extra bit of money in your hand by the next paycheck is always welcomed!

But, as you grow older, you begin to realize that things change. Your perspective begins to focus its shift away from buying extravagant items, such as an expensive pair of shoes to match your fashionable jeans which were made to look used, or another CD to add to your growing collection.. You begin instead to look forward to putting some away, what little is left after your child support is removed every paycheck. You put some here for retirement, some here for gas and electric bills, some here for diapers, most here for car payment, insurance, food, replacement socks and t-shirts, internet, phones. And then, you have to prepare for dinners, your personal breakfast foods (I like eggs, but once in a while it’s nice to just eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning).

How is there ever enough time to enjoy life with all these requirements? Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I know there is no way that my life is intended to work for someone else while begging for a higher wage. At the same time, I’m glad I’m not working in fast food or part time anymore because those types of jobs were not exactly within the realm of “desirable” when it came to what began to matter most in my household. I needed something bigger for myself, and for my fiancee and her daughter. (And my dog. He’s a family member too, even if he does poo indoors BAD DOG!)

I’ve been searching for solutions to my particular set of financial problems and this blog is helping just a little bit. It gets my mind off of life for the little bit of time I’m able to come to write or make updates. At this time, I must begin to prepare for work, but if anything changes for financial betterment, then I should let you know here. I know I need to start a website, but that’s a first-of-the-month thing (which approaches rapidly).

If you have something you would like to suggest, I’m an open book! Speaking of which, please check out my book here.

If you just want to say you enjoyed it, that’s cool too. I like feedback, and critique. See you all later!

I Can Writing Poem?

Flat upon the rounded earth, still in the midst of partial sanity
Revealed within the spectrum of conscious thought
Lie a simple shell of a human, planted among hundreds in a cemetary
Below the surface of this cold reality, yet freedom a body has not
Doth one become free upon burial or a higher risk of
Purgatory doth he risk upon this anchor?

Dealing With the Grieving Process

Ever have that grieving period that you just couldn’t seem to shake for the first day after the tragic occurrence? I am going through that right now. My grandmother passed away one hour after I arrived at her side on her deathbed. Her final breath, a deep gasp, occurred at 2:24 p.m., February 17th. This is a very sad day for me indeed. In fact, all of my family are very negatively affected. I seem to have developed a very strong grief in this moment, because it was such a difficult sight to see someone I love pass away right before my eyes.

So, what have I done to deal with it? Last night, we all met at my parents’ house. There was pizza and poker and TV being eaten and played. I whipped out a few cigars as a final respect to her long life (she was 93). My fiancee joined in, and the kids had all been playing games and tag.

This, I feel, was the best way to counteract the grieving process. Being with those you love is the strongest bond, in my opinion.

However, when I went to bed, it was a different story altogether. I had a bad dream, I kept getting cold, and trembled beneath my blanket for a few hours. When I finally did get to sleep, this dream was just really scary to me at the time. It finally panned out, in the end. I woke up crying, and did so for about a half hour. My dog sensed a problem and curled up in my lap.

I realized that I was very hungry, so I wound up going to the store to grab some eggs and milk. But it felt surreal. It was as if no one was really there, but at the same time I was just kind of trudging through other people, who were totally unaware of my pain. It was the weirdest thing. Other people shopping and the store employees stocking shelves with goods. No one made eye contact with me at all. Maybe they did detect something amiss.

I got home and once again began bawling. It’s been a very rough day and I have been awake no more than two hours. It is a terrible thing to wake up and a big part of your life, a backbone to the family, will no longer be there to sing, smile, and laugh with you at dinner. To give you another hug and a kiss during holidays. To give her a heartfelt gift on her birthday. I’ve become deeply saddened by this process.

As such, I’m not quite sure I’ve experienced a grief of this magnitude before. Yes, I have lost relatives in the past. In fact, this last December we just lost my uncle, who had been suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease after a bout of lead poisoning. Yes, of course I grieved then, too. But this feels very different for some reason. It feels like a huge loss on me and everyone.

There have been several books on the subject, but as I haven’t read any of them, I couldn’t say for sure whether they’re helpful or not. I can say, however, that books sometimes help with comforting people. This book, as a matter of fact, came up in a search on Amazon. It might be helpful to you.

Allow me to take the time now to end this post. I’m going to probably look around for something to occupy my mind. I could definitely use a lot of help right now.

Esoteric in Definitive Existence

I am surprisingly unmotivated to write these days. Many people close to me throughout my life, to some extent, has said that I write very well. That is to say, from the time I was in grammar school, I possessed a unique quality of mastering English for the age I was (I forget now when, but perhaps around second grade– yes, it was second grade. I remember the teacher making comments on my writing now that I think back). Unfortunately, I do not remember what I had written, and this piece of personal literature was not suspended in a suitable catalyst for the purposes of preservation back then. It must not have mattered much, anyhow.

But, the problem I have is simply this: I was recently watching these videos on TEDx Talks on YouTube, and one woman in particular had an attention-grabbing headline to a speech she gave regarding the typical human’s capacity to sustain a particular career choice with relative ease, and how they differ from her. She used a not-very-well-known (in fact, perhaps as of yet unheard of) idiom to describe such individuals. It was “multipotentialites.” Broken down into three roots, “multi-” is obvious, as it refers to many. “Potential” is a bit more obfuscatory, yet simultaneously directly descriptive term. And “-ite,” meaning that people who relate to the combined two prior subsections of the word (ex: Mennonite). To conclude this ever-growing paragraph, and to somewhat summarize her video, it means “people who do not belong to the applied norm of societal expectations.”

What do I mean by that? I mean, people like myself. I’m a severe case of this multipotentialite personality. Over time, I’ve become somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to random trivial information. One of the few things I have been able to consistently do without boring myself after a few months would happen to be writing. I’ve never really been able to sit down and write a book because– well, that takes time. I like to try to master [read: learn]  things quickly and efficiently, but plopping down and coming up with something breath-taking for readers to behold is something which, in theory, is quite simple; but it’s also exceedingly difficult to do because I always block myself with random questions about suitable subject matter [read: no creative endeavor]. I always try to make things sound textbook-ish, which is boring. Who wants to read something that sounds like it came from a college reading requirement? I know of zero people who ever would.

But then, I also sit down to think about WHAT to write, only to become distracted for a few weeks, and then the entire thing is lost in my endless thoughts about life in general. I think this multipotentialite thing is the closest description to ADHD, sans medical terminology. I’m even distracted for an hour (which has happened since I started this article) and can lose my train of thought, as well as the entire point of my message. I then attempt to become motivated to write, then I start (similarly to how you would see my posts here on WordPress begin, and end), and then that’s the end of the thing I was writing. I don’t have to worry about thinking about it for a very long time once I have published my random article.

During which I sit down and start reading random articles (recently, cast iron and entrepreneurship and bacon), browse the internet to learn anything and everything I can about what it is I’m reading… Some of you know what this type of psychological slavery feels like. Some of us know how to harness the power of this condition of existence. I am not one of these people. I have a steady job (for how long, I do not yet know, as I am still within the probationary period) but I have quickly become bored with that too. But to pay bills, yeah, I must keep it. I bore so easily after such a short time frame, and it is confusing, irritating, and above all, one of the other things with has remained as a constant to my otherwise hectic mind and wild thoughts.

I’ve tried meditation, handwriting three pages of random notes a day for a few months to boost my creativity, read about quantum theory and quantum physics knowing full well that my mathematical understanding is capped at basic algebra, looked at multiple videos on Vsauce to kind of glimpse at the scientific perspective of the universe (and learned quite a lot), and multitudes of other things to read and learn between actually posting. I rarely ever type during these periods except to enter search terms. In other words, I bore VERY QUICKLY of everything.

In this video I’ll be linking shortly, the woman about whom I am writing expresses her ideas and explanations regarding multipotentialite characteristics. It makes sense, because I believe that a good portion of college dropouts simply couldn’t stay in school because of this condition of existence. Here it is. Make sure to consider someone that you think is weird who just might have these qualities. You never know if they’re just bored to death or otherwise just feeling s if they’re trying to fit in where they don’t belong.

It’s helpful to know that there are people out there who are actually making strides in their fields to explain certain personality types. The DSM-IV can only explain so much from a third-person perspective. The world from the first person perspective is vastly greater than the sum of all literary parts, and this is something that is far more difficult to describe than one may think. In a way, though, it could be just over-thinking which is getting in the way of practically everything.

I’ve spent upwards of approximately three to five months studying something in the greatest depth, to learn every aspect of the very thing. After a while, I’ve become somewhat decent at it, and so my learning curve is usually good enough to prevent me from being hopelessly incompetent in that field, even if it is something I’ll never do partly or fully in my life, or read about ever again. That is probably a curse as much as a gift, to read nearly infinitely or perpetually to just have the information and basic skill tucked away into the reserves of my memory. I mean, it is true that I can utilize my skills quite well when I have the motivation to do so. I still have a difficult time sustaining that skill for a period of time without becoming severely bored. The last couple things I wrote here, I had someone respond, inviting me to write out posts for a forum which he is a part of. I never did visit that site, because I left to do something else. I miss out on opportunities.

I think that, if I were to actually focus for long enough on mastering writing, I should put it toward poetry for the specific utilization as lyrics for heavy metal bands. Some of the greatest lyricists I can think of are in Cradle of Filth, Woods of Ypres, and Dimmu Borgir. Some dark, fantastic stories of demons, witches, and bloodletting; sad songs of mourning and death… These are the subjects most worthy of my time. It’s not as if I have let everything else go, no… I can’t say I’m devoid of practically every other feeling within the spectrum of human emotion. I also feel rage and anger, jealousy, sadness, happiness, pure enjoyment and appreciation, relaxation, love, hunger, motivation and demotivation. I prefer to concentrate of heavy metal as my choice of music because it is, in my opinion, likened to what hippies were to acid rock. It is the new socio-political platform.

I suppose it is just blabber-mouthing at this point of the article. I feel as if I have reached the climactic point of my story here already, and now there’s nothing left to say. There is always much more to tell, that is true. There is always more to say after the semicolon has been added. Each time I write something, it is recorded somewhere, and there it will remain until it is dug out of the deepest of the caverns of electrons that is the internet, cloud, or whatever else technology may have in the years to come. But as to adding anything relevant to this article, I must say that it is time for me to sequester from any further explanation of anything here. Good night to you.

Life, And Related Stuff

Doesn’t it ever seem that the more work you put into something, the higher the benchmark is set for your achievements? I feel that this is what is happening to me at work. I’ve managed to become one of the most diligent workers at my workplace, and although people who work with me also have the capacity to do what I do, I don’t see anyone else actually doing it– so I don’t know if whether I’m conceited about my work or I just happen to generate a lot of comments from the customer base. Maybe I put way too much passion into what others would consider a terrible job.

I remember one day, my shift supervisor was having a hard day, or a bad day– you never can tell with this person. Anyhow, s/he tells me that if I don’t pick up the pace of my work that I’ll get written up. The next day, I amped my speed up and the shift supervisor took notice about it. Later on, at the next “bread bash” (what used to be a quarterly meeting regarding up-and-coming menu items and recognizing employees for their achievements, et al [which I’ll not go into]) I was presented with a WOW! pin to tack to my hat. The reason for it was “fastest improvement of an employee.” It seems one can get a WOW! pin for just about anything, but perhaps it was more to not let me feel left out because all the coworkers whom had been hired alongside me also got themselves some WOW! pins. From that day, I continually worked my way into a routine which was befitting me, and now I’m really able to enjoy speaking with the customers for a bit regarding their meals and even shoot a breeze or two with some regulars because I’ve mastered my particular position.

Well, it seems that the hard work I was putting in wasn’t going noticed because I was beginning to feel myself in a rut from which there was no escape. Washing hundreds of dishes in a day while cleaning 31 tables (7 of which are dedicated booths, 5 of which are combination booths and free-standing chairs, and the remaining 19 solely tables, arranged meticulously at 45-degree angles with chairs turned at 45 degrees to allow for maximum walking space)(Yes, I’ve been there too long. This is what the post is about, after all), re-stocking condiments and dry goods to include small, medium, and large-sized lids, three sugar substitutes, two different types of packet sugars, salt, pepper, mayonnaise with olive oil, mustard, spicy mustard, Tabasco sauce, butter, honey and lemons for tea, straws, napkins, drink stirring sticks, coffee lids, and coffee sleeves– as well as brewing four different coffees once per hour, two at a time only, three different iced teas and one iced coffee– and topping off with actually filling a sink with the water that you need to wash four different sizes of bowls (two dedicated to soups and two dedicated to salads, one of the salad bowls being used for broth bowls), large trays, small yellow trays dedicated to pastries, knives, forks, spoons, and a plethora of pans provided by the line people, silicone or rubber spatulas, scoops with the little swingy arm thingy, souffle pans, cookie sheets, whisks, and and assortment of non-serrated chef knives and serrated knives– seems like a lot to memorize for a 6-hour shift and can easily lead to burnout, exhaustion, and irritable moods. But hey, $Dollars an hour seems like it’s worth all the while. This last “bread bash” they recognized my achievements with dining room etiquette, customer service, and I suppose a whole host of comments in favor of my working habits by customers. And it does hang on the wall at this moment.

But if it wasn’t making me feel an eternal sense of entrapment in time, where all of the same exact routine-driven drivel seems to always await me every time I clock in, and impending doom every time I see an irate manager or shift supervisor seems to surge from within on a nearly daily basis, then I would not be sitting here talking about it. For you see, I’m what they call a “human being.” We’re a species that has limits! Recently, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to– nay, today I was HIRED. Screw it, it’s out on the plate now. I am going to my orientation this Monday and Tuesday. They called me after an intensive background check (military base jobs for civilians can be very thorough) showed that I am as clean as a whistle and ready to be trained. What I’m going to do is ensure that I balance working between the two places. Anyhow, back to my human comment– I’m always scheduled to do the exact same job. I’ve reached the limits of all that is exciting in that area of expertise. Whenever they do have me work somewhere else, the manager always says, “You did a good job today. Why don’t you do this more often?” Oh, well maybe if you talked to the schedule-writing person I could. They won’t even let me train for cashier even though I always beat everyone at counting change before they have a chance to push their buttons to give me the purchase total for lunches (Hey, 65% discount! Can’t really beat that perk).

I know I may be getting into a bit of exhaustive life changes by sacrificing a weekend, but at least I’ll be doing something with myself– but ultimately, I’m aiming my perspective towards a greater-paying job that is less physically stressful and more mentally stressful. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about how things are turning out for me, and a low-paying job without benefits is not a future. That is not a sustainable way of life. Knowing my skills in typing were at least enough to submit my typing test to a recent job opening as an Office Assistant, I went ahead and applied for that job last week. The day before the position closed, I took my state typing test and scored 50 WPM at 95% accuracy. Their minimum was 35 WPM.

Some of you may be shaming employees in the workforce who are in menial grunt jobs and always feel that they’re not motivated enough to do anything else. This can’t necessarily be true because I have an image to keep up, and although I work in the restaurant business at the lowest pay for my region and have worked these types of jobs in the past for a majority of my life, I’ve always known that I am far too intelligent for such degrading work– but until recently, I never really saw where my greatest potential lie until I started my Morning Pages routine a couple of weeks ago. It’s not a matter of intelligence, it’s about providing a working environment for many different walks of life. I’m not suited for engineering work and somehow my ASVAB scored me strongest in engineering. Years later I would find out that I don’t have knowledge of advanced mathematics (read: algebra), and this would get in the way of my access to even an Associate’s Degree.

I sometimes wonder why we even have schooling when none of it pertains to actual education in financial matters, business, or arts and music, unless it’s an “elective” class or you go out of your way to find educational institutions which specialize in this type of work. Go to school and get a job? It’s far too generalized when we don’t even always know the best way to teach a child because they don’t know the style of learning they know. I blame television, games, and instant gratification practices. That’s just me and my opinion, but those who agree would be on what I feel is the right track towards reforming the education system.

So, wrapping things up here– not everyone in the lowly fast food job sector looks forward to staying there forever. Because our education system is so screwy, I find that many people simply stay put out of sheer fear for difficulty, or wish to remain in their comfort zones for an extended period of time. I’m only waiting until a new, higher-paying job opportunity comes along, and feel that many are also awaiting the same things. Some people are naturally suited for business ownership, teaching, music, writing, video editing, typist work, philosophy– and some people are naturally suited to accepting what’s given to them and stick to it just because it’s a job. I don’t know about you guys, but I feel that my time for food working has come to an end. I need a more meaningful job, and I’m searching around until it comes along. But I’ll also not stop and settle either. I’m needing access to more money to pay for bills and make it easier for me to discover a hobby which I can turn into a specialization. I feel that a handcrafted item for Christmas is better than anything made in China purchased at a chain store, and that I can actually benefit from creativity– not in the financial sense, but in the sense of well-being and goodwill.

Right. Now go out and celebrate Halloween if I don’t see you here before! And as always, until the next time I show up to write here,

Peach cobbler.