Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cement or Concrete: What's the Difference?

Just one of the many new facts and concepts I've had to absorb these last two weeks, along with "what is slurry" and "what is a skid loader." And I'm learning all these new things at such a dizzying speed that sometimes when I leave the office I just sit in my car staring forward while my brain just turns off. It's a pleasant kind of numbness, though... like the fatigue after a good workout.

Incidentally: cement is an ingredient in concrete, concrete is made of cement and some kind of sand or stone or gravel, and cement cannot be used by itself but the words are frequently used interchangeably; slurry is a mixture of water and some kind of solid, which in the case of concrete is the liquid form that comes out of the concrete-mixer; and a skid loader is one of those shiny yellow machines one sees around construction sites, kind of like a big snow-shovel with a truck behind it.

So anyway, this work experience has been a bit of a surprise. After the first week, I finally understood how the accounting program works and what, exactly, it is that I'm entering into said program. The program is so old that it has to run in a virtual DOS environment, and the entire Accounts Payable/Accounts Recievable system is so byzantine and complicated by this elderly software that if they updated it they wouldn't need a second employee in the office.

But I have picked up the system at a pretty good speed, and they were so impressed that they asked me to stay for another month while they looked for a permanent employee to put in the job. They probably would have just given me the job if I'd indicated any desire to stay... but while I am enjoying the job to a certain extent, it's not what I want to do for the long term... all those straight guys, I just don't feel as comfortable as I'd like (there is a woman who works there, but I've only seen her once in two weeks; and if any of these guys is gay, he's so straight-acting that he might just as well be straight).

The downside of all this is that it's keeping me so busy, I hardly have any time to keep up with my communications... I'm stealing precious grooming time right now to write this, and I actually started writing it on Saturday and never finished. Though I sometimes have enough idle time at the office to read a blog or an email here or there, I really don't have the time to write anything.

So anyway, blog updates will be spotty for the next month... though not as spotty as they've been for the last month, I hope. And Worst Luck is starting to simmer a bit around the edges of my mind, I have great hopes that it'll come boiling over sometime pretty soon. Once I get used to this farm-hand sleep schedule (I actually go to bed at nine p.m. so I can be asleep by ten and get my eight hours in before I have to get up at 6), I hope to be able to make better use of my off-time.

Well, I have to be dashing... shower shave and shine! Have a super day, and I'll try to do the same. And thanks, guys, for sticking with me during this weird transition period... though I haven't been responding to your kind comments and emails, I do appreciate them. Love you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Just Checking In...

Hey, kids! Forgive the absence, but I got to a point where I couldn't keep up with things for a while there. The ennui and stasis of unemployment really got me down for a while, and I simply didn't have anything to write about. But now I do!

See, I signed on with this temp agency, and after some initial mishaps about my assessment interview (I came down with a nasty flu on the day I was scheduled, and it took a week and a half to reconnect), I tested well on all the assessment exams, and was plugged in and set to work right away.

Aside from the relief of knowing that money is coming in shortly, I am also inspired to do some shopping... I haven't shopped in months, and oi did I miss it! But after a brief discussion with my temping agent, I realized I was going to need more items of clothing in the "professional" category... I had plenty of "office casual" and even more of at-home casual, but not so much in the really snazzy-dressy realm. Also I'm still carrying around that extra weight, and I already needed new pants. So I've been buying slacks and dress-shirts and ties wherever I can find them, and it's very soothing and exciting at once.

So now I'm up at the ass-crack of dawn, getting ready to jet off to my fabulous and exciting new assignment! It isn't as glamorous (or well-paying) as I would have liked, I'm doing data entry and filing for a cement pumping concern (who knew cement could be pumped?) out in the industrial wastelands of Berkeley; but it's only for two weeks, it's something different to do, and it will get most of this month's bills paid. Besides, the people are nice (a bunch of very manly men, as one might expect, but quite friendly), and the office is pretty nice, the office-manager is pleasant to work for, and the work itself is fairly easy.

Unfortunately, I have to be there at 8 a.m. and work for eight hours, with an hour lunch in the middle (remember at my last job I worked from tennish to fiveish and ate whenever I felt like it). So I went to bed last night at 9 with a melatonin and a volume of Proust so that I could be asleep by 10, giving myself a good night's sleep before getting up at 6. And here I am awake before the sun is up, and it's very disconcerting.

But now I'm off to shit-shower-and-shave, get myself all dolled up in some Office Casual duds, and get down to the jobsite for another thrilling day of processing invoices! Yay!

I hope you're having a great day, too! Hugs!