Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Flying J-erk Around

Lately it seems that there are more problems at work than there are in the negotiations for the Mayweahter/Pacquiao bout.

With fifteen minutes being cut from our work day (Turning an 8 hour day into a 7 hour and forty-five minute day) for some reason that I don't fully understand it has now come to my attention that they are now cutting our hours back so now we work a 7 hour work day (Work day is now 6:45).

There hasn't been any real explination as to why this is happening, how long it is happening for but I must say that I'm kind of pissed off about this. Also keep in mind that we have to clock out for our twenty minute lunch which cuts me down to 6:25. And this is before deductions by the way.

I'm going to bring this up tomorrow because at the moment they keep throwing more responsabilities my way (Am I ever going to complete my training?) and if I'm working only 6 hours and twenty five minutes a day then shouldn't I get a raise? I know some people might be thinking, "Just who do you think you are?"

Well, I'm 23, renting a room for $500 a month, have to pay bills, buy groceries, clothing (though its mostly socks) and occasionally buy a taxi (about 25 bucks to get to work) should I be running late or public transit isn't operating that day they call me in.

And I've also heard that I'm not entitled to double-time-and-a-half because I haven't been at Flying J for a certain amount of time (I believe it's 3 or 4 months) which has really got me pissed off if that turns out to be true. I think it is time to start looking for another job.

Oh and they got me on the afternoon shift which sucks balls.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas and all that

I've been up since 4AM and for some reason am not the least bit fatigued.

First off let me just say that I adore scallops. While most people were pigging out on turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, I abandoned the traditional Christmas dinner for my own unique twist-sirloin steak cooked medium (something I pulled off with Ramsay-esque perfection) and roasted sea scallops.

My landlady almost wanted to stay home on the 24th when she saw the scallops. I was glad that I was able to pull them off especially since it seems that there pans are not non-stick however I was able to pull off that nice golden brown sear and have them nice and medium on the inside. Normally I would have done mushrooms with a red wine vinegar reduction but I decided to pass on that. Scallops aren't something I get very often and I decided that I would treat myself since the last time I had consumed them was in the summer.

Working on Christmas...sort of felt like any other work day to me, just with a lot less customers. Seriously, I don't know why we needed three cashiers in the morning but I'm not in charge of making the schedule. Donna decided to give us a little treat and gave us all a free slice of pizza. Now normally I would have jumped at the chance for that but my mind was on one thing: Pancakes.

I love pancakes. When I was working out five times a week with Aaron I would make myself a batch of about eight chocolate chip pancakes (big ones) and finish them down with a big glass of chocolate milk and still maintained my 147 pound figure. I've probably had them once in the past year and I really wanted some today.

However, whoever did the scheduling decided that there needed to be more people doing nothing at the fuel desk than there needed to be waitresses doing actual work in the dinning room. One waitress and the poor restaurant manager had to help serving tables. Pancakes would have to wait for another day...

Presents were opened as soon as I got home. The usual clothing was appreciated and the Muhammad Ali calendar from my sister was a nice touch (I thought it was either a Family Guy or South Park calendar) but I must say that top prize went to my mother who gave me a creme brulee torch with 4 ramekins.

The landlords will be gone all next week...should be an interesting time to play with my newest toy.

I think that now that I'm not there, I actually do miss those family get-togethers that use to drive me nuts. I miss the food, the people and I hope that next year I will be able to make it home instead of working at Flying J. Sorry, Double-Time-And a half...you're nice but, you're not worth it

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year...?

Since the beginning of the month, despite the cycle of songs on the radio throughout the Flying J, I cannot seem to get into the Christmas spirit. Even more shocking to me is how quickly the month has been flying by when in comparison to November. The days just seemed to drip through time like syrup whereas now I feel like there are never enough hours in the day either to do some shopping for my family (and myself) or to sleep.

I found out today that I will be working Christmas day which did not come as too much of a surprise to me. I'm one of the newest recruits and it's also on one of my regular work days. While I'm promised double time (double time and a half, maybe?), I'm expecting it to be a slow day. The odd Jewish or Muslim truck driver will come in for a coffee and there might be a fair share of drivers coming in to make the long weekend holiday trek to a relative's house. Hopefully it will be a quick day without too many assholes being a Scrooge about the prepay system.

Right now I don't have any major plans for Christmas day after I get home from work (I start work at 6:45) since my landlords will be at their family's house that day. I've thought about preparing a sort of different, unorthodox Christmas dinner consisting of roasted scallops and sirloin steak. Not sure what dessert will be but I think it'll be something already made, since I don't want to do a lot of cooking that day. Granted a lot of cooking is Christmas day but those people aren't working eight hours and dealing with potential assholes.

Speaking off the assholes, I think they're noticing a trend. If they bitch long and hard enough and if a manager is present, the manager will wilt and allow us to override the prepay system and let them pump before paying. If they're going to cut corners everytime some fat slob jumps up and down long enough, why have the system.

Fuck, I hope I can find a new job soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sick

I usually don't get sick around this time of year. It always happens in the new year, around January or February.

However tradition was broken as I came home from work yesterday only to find myself burning up and my limbs starting to feel really sore. The fact that I could feel my stomach getting worse and worse did not help things any. My landlord offered my a dinner of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches while his 14 month old twins watched Baby Einstein videos on their new portable DVD players but I knew what was going to happen and didn't want to waste any food.

Eventually I found myself in my bathroom with a fit of dry heaves. That's the thing with me when I'm sick-nothing ever comes up on it's own. There's always a loud cry from me and then pretty soon thar she blows. I could taste the hot chocolate I had consumed earlier at work and could clearly see it in the color. There was also a hint of cherry but I have no idea where that came from (Doesn't it sound like I've just come from a wine tasting party?).

Of course the sound of my dry heaving had my landlord knock on the door and ask if I needed anything. When stuff like this normally happens, I just want to be left alone until it's all out of my system. And oddly enough after that I already start to feel better.

"This is all your fault," I told my landlord's son after I emerged from the bathroom. Two nights earlier he had thrown up at the dinner table which didn't help my appetite one bit. It probably wasn't bright of me to bring leftovers from that night to work with me yesterday but the more you know...

I called work maybe five minutes later and told them that I wasn't going to be able to make it in. It surprised me that C (my weekend supervisor) was in and I informed her of what had happened.

Right now I'm in recovery mode. I know that I'm going to be back on my feet in 24 hours and that I'm not too sick since I wasn't up for half the night having trippy dreams that look like an acid trip.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Big Chill

Calgary is cold. There is no question about that. The chill cuts through your skin and goes straight through to the bone, sending a shiver throughout your whole body. It's gotten to the point where it's so cold that I hardly go out for something unless it becomes necessary for my survival.

However, every morning I must drag myself out of bed and begin a twenty minute trek from my house to the train station-just two minutes from Aaron's house.
When I stayed at Aaron's, I knew that I could get that extra few minutes of sleep because I could quickly put on my uniform, be out the door aboard the train in less than five minutes and didn't spend too long exposed to the elements. I could enjoy the comfort of the air mattress and the softness of the pillow.

These days, I awaken to find that I can't spare any time in my sweat lodge of a room and have to take off immediately. The wind easily penetrates my uniform pants and makes the hair stand up on edge (Long underpants no longer seem like a novelty item to have). While this may sound strange, I can sometimes feel the hair inside my nostril go rigid when breathing through my nose. My jacket keeps my upper body warm enough however the gloves I bought recently were not designed for a winter quite like this so I think a thicker pair are in order. Just today I finally bout a toque for my long suffering ears (Obama would hate it here) and it already feels like a different walk. I might buy a ski mask should the weather continue to get colder (All the while some retard continues to go on about "climate change") which could also help me in my part time job of breaking into the houses of people I know I can beat the crap out of (elderly people; midgets).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eating Shit and The Secret of Simplicity

I have money problems, sad as it is to admit. While I am financially good now, until I get my paycheck next Thursday (the day I don't work), I have to, as my father put it over the phone, 'eat shit'.

This isn't him being cruel. It's him saying, "You know how important money is to you now that you're living on your own. You're going to scrape by for the next five days so try not to starve yourself."

I think that ever since I moved back home from Waterloo, I had forgotten what it was like in those early weeks when I had little to no money. While that may sound depresssing to some, for me, that was one of the best years of my life. I discovered the secret of simplicity and how you didn't have to spend big to get the full amount of flavour. I could get discount steaks which my sister's then boyfriend at the time, Jon, nearly orgamsed over because of the flavour. A decent sized box of cookies (Which everyone else called crap) for ninety-nine cents. The grandest dessert for me however were red delicious apples. Dinner would be a cup of Mr. Noodle or the Kraft Easy-Mac which drove Stephanie up the wall (as well as the cup of Frosted Flakes I would by every morning as I left work).

I didn't go overboard with soda because I got it for free every night at 7-Eleven, as well as the fact that I am a master at making Kool-Aid which comes much cheaper (The secret to good Kool-Aid is the stirring of the mixture). I remember one night as I left the store after working the dreadful afternoon shift (3:00PM-11:00PM) with a Mega Gulp of root beer to come home and see that Stephanie had fixed me a dinner of steak, baked potato and asparagus. A simple meal, nothing special to it but it was delicious and one of the few meals that I remember vividly. Next few days should be interesting

Friday, December 4, 2009

Housing and Gastronomy and Transportation-OH MY!!!

I've been in my new room for almost a week and I must say that I really love the privacy that I have. The whole floor is basically mine though my landlords usually use the basement for exercise and all that.

I must say that even though I'm getting a nice supper almost every evening (though not tonight nor tomorrow), I really wish I had my own kitchen. On a day like this with the snow falling so quickly and the wind being so fierce, it would be perfect to try to make my dad's Arizona chicken and then think up a version of my own, to see if I can make it better. And afterwards I would make myself a nice jell-o parfait for dessert.

Alas, this is not the case.

Upon walking home from work tomorrow, I'll most likely drop by the Co-Op and get a nice Ceasar salad (Probably the only salad I'll eat) with a soda and if I'm feeling generous towards maybe a small dessert (or pudding as Marco White and Gordon Ramsay would refer to it as).

Hopefully in maybe three months or so I can find my own place and things will be different. But in all honesty things could be worse. The kids don't cry that much, the dog never barks and if I want time to myself, it is given to me.

Just wish work could get better. How do they expect me to get there for 6:15 when the bus doesn't even run at that time?