Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Don't Have To Drink About It

Briefly, I didn't get the promotion. I was disciplined for staying late to fix a major problem with the printer. I basically feel unappreciated. I really want to find a meeting.

However, I must run because something good has happened: My protein levels have risen high enough for me to donate at City Plasma!

So, all have a safe and happy Halloween. I, on the other hand, am going out tonight to capture party animals in costume. I know it’s neither safe nor sane, but I really missed St. Patrick’s Day with my camera.

Without Wax,

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It’s A Banana Stand

“I was wondering what that was,” Dan M. said.

“It’s a banana stand,” I explain. One of the many things I chose to unpack from the efficiency apartment in order to make our kitchen feel a little more like home seems to work. After finding a coffee cup hanging from it this morning, I felt it was time to go grocery shopping. Saying that I’ve moved into a guys house is an understatement. No one in the house understands the concept of no drying important cloths completely. Everyone smokes inside the house, except myself. They’d probably freak if I produced a salad spinner.

Dan is the owner of the Flower House, a sober house of his own creation, one light on restrictions: No drugs, no booze, no shoes, and clean up after yourself. A man my age fighting hair loss with hair plugs, his addiction is coke. However, to meet him, you’d think that he was on coke constantly and that if he ever did stimulants, he’d pushed into psychosis. A constant coffee drinker, he’s definitely what you’d call an A+ personality. All things considered, I had a good feeling about him when I came to move in nearly a month ago.

He must’ve scene something in me to, because it cost me a mere $100 to initially move in. Since then, I’ve made rent on time and paid $100 towards the $350 deposit I still owe him. I haven’t missed a day of work and haven’t drunk at all. I’m coming up on three months sober.

I also haven’t been posting many blog entries either. But today it’s important. I’ve applied for the manager position of the Photo Lab at work. The executive team lead that interviewed me for the promotion asked me to work tomorrow morning on my day off. We have an inspection tomorrow that we failed in the past and he feels I should be there. Later on that day, the decision will be made as to who will fill the manager position.

Although the cards are not stacked in my favor, I have a feeling I may end up becoming the Photo Lab Manager. There are six other candidates applying for this position, all of which are internal. There are only five other employees who work in the Photo Lab, so I can only imagine every one of them has applied. Every one of them also has more experience than I. And I’ve only worked at The Discount Store for merely a month and a half, not even having had a 90-day review. However, they are looking for someone who is passionate about photography, and I was told in the interview that I am.

I’m the right age for management and I’m ready for this at this point in my life. One of the first thoughts I had when considering this position was that I could never come in hung over. I told this to Dan and he made the pat A.A. response, “You’re planning your next drink.” The fact of the matter is that I could care less if I have another drink or not. I don’t care if it means I restart my sober day count. I’m not going to stress out about whether or not I drink again. I’m worried more about the consequences of my actions, of which there was be many, if I drank again.

I’m ten days away from being three months sober. During this period in my quest to stay sober, I have not worked the program. That is, I have not read the Big Book, gone to meetings, gotten a sponsor, and in general have not worked the steps. I thought about going to a meeting last week, but since I’ve moved to the dreaded East Side of Saint Paul, many things are distant. Just traveling by bus to work takes one hour. When I discovered there’s not an A.A. meeting on the East Side of Saint Paul, the disillusionment for me increased ten fold.

Now, after having my first permanent full-time job in over two years, I’ve found something that’s been missing from my life. That is frankly, a job that I take pleasure in. I actually enjoy going to work. In fact, at the time I’d moved in, I was so down about everything else, I looked forward to avoiding the depressing state of my life by escaping to work. Although this is not the apartment I fell in love with, I do feel this is the place I should be at this point in my life.

One major reason I feel happy about myself is that I stayed sober enough to hold a job long enough to replace my digital camera. Using the store discount, I can afford the Canon PowerShot A540. It, like everything else in my life lately, is a compromise. It doesn’t completely replace the PowerShot G1 that I shorted out, however it has nearly twice the mega pixels. I love it though.

Another was the incredible day that I had with June W. the day I purchased the camera. She cashed my paycheck and drove me to pick up the camera at another one of our discount stores. I couldn’t buy it at my store on account that I’d sold all the A540s currently in stock. I’d experienced two distinctly opposing emotions from June. First when I paid her the first $100 towards what I owe her; I saw in her eyes a range of emotions from financial relief to respect, and a closeness I’d longed for. Then she bit my head off for whistling at her. She grabbed a cart right when we entered the store and started off in the wrong direction. I called her name, she didn’t respond, so I habitually whistled. She said she felt like she was being treated like a dog. The way she responded reminded me of one trigger for drinking. When she gets that angry in a public place, she actually looks ugly. I’ll never whistle for her ever again.

Tomorrow I open the Photo Lab on my day off at the request the man that interviewed me, which is a good sign. There will be an audit by the same district manager that gave us a failing grade last month. Sometime afterwards, the decision will be made as to which candidate will become the Photo Lab Manager. I’m prepared for either outcome.

Without Wax,