Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Taking Work Home

I’m trying not to bring my work home with me, but I am guilty. I blame my addictive personality. I’m getting into being this Photo Lab Manager, and it’s creeping me out, a bit. I didn’t become a manager because I wanted to manage. I did it because the lab was in shambles and it was frustrating to work with failing equipment and people who didn’t care about the end product. What I’ve learned since taking over the position is that it’s a lot easier to fix the former than the latter.

I’ve also learned something from the name of the work-center, One Hour Photo. It really is all about service. Come, drop off film or digital photos, do some shopping, pick up quality photos and leave. It should be like dropping off a prescription. They’ll be done by the time you’re ready to go. Like I said, it’s easier to deal with the apparatus than it is with the co-workers. I have to be careful though. It’s a lot easier to deal with machines drunk or hung-over than it is with people.

What I’m learning though, is that it’s easier to deal with co-workers I’ve trained, and it’s so easy. It’s tempting to just chuck all those subordinates that don’t listen. What I’ve been systematically doing is reducing their hours in the lab. Some respond to this, others are so complacent that it doesn’t matter where they work. Still, it doesn’t solve the problem, and I’m all about solving problems.

Enough on that, for now.

I have to put together an agenda for my first meeting that I’m holding this week. For the first time, I’m working on something without taking a drink. That used to be my MO: have a drink before you start any project. I started getting sober a little over a year ago, and after one relapse, I feel completely different about alcohol. There were so many reasons to drink, so many triggers. Now, thank God, there are very few. But it took this last year to get to this stage.

I’ve built a small life from my former being. It’s enough right now. But work has a lot to do with it. So, I take it home for now. I have to; It’s the first time for me being a titled manager. I’m not a born leader. I’m a teacher, and that’s how I’ll lead. As for taking work home with me, I’ll live with that, for now.

Waking up this morning, I couldn’t sleep, so I left June W. in bed and ventured out into the living room with my latest novel: Michael Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer. Thinking of the coincidental parallels between the main characters life and my own is entertaining. I’m at a part in the book where he’s at his home with his ex-wife, who he called from a bar drunk asking for a ride home. They’re talking about how their marriage failed, something June would really like to avoid. But then, I never thought a year ago I’d ever see June again, much less spending the night. We’ve seen each other for Christmas and her birthday. If you stay sober, some promises keep coming.

Relaxing with my book on the sofa in the living room, I look over at the window and start to laugh out loud. I see her kitchen pair of scissors hanging from the window crank, Photo Lab style. It’s a habit I learned from work and must’ve unconsciously done last time I was here. I wonder how long she’ll notice they’re missing from the kitchen?

Without Wax,

Friday, January 05, 2007

Not Too Bored

Exhausted from working late, coming from donating at City Plasma, I’m approached by a panhandler at the Saint Paul downtown bus stop. He is a black man wearing, what appears to be, everything he owns. His direct advance causes me to mentally locating my pocketknife (outside backpack pocket). “Excuse me sir, could you spare a few dollars for a bed down at The Mission?”

Having panhandled for Mission money in the past, I sympathize with the man. However, if he simply was honest about his need for money, like say for booze or crack, I’d me more inclined to donate. 4:00pm is the cut off time for buying a bed a The Mission, wanted to say. “I’m sorry, I just got done paying rent,” I replied. A white man carrying a grocery bag is a prime target for panhandlers I guess.

... and I’ve run out of time, must leave for work...

When I started this blog over a year ago, a goal of mine was to show how a man like me stayed sober. By not posting to this blog, I haven’t really done that lately. I would also not recommend the method I’m currently using, which is not going to meetings, not seeking a sponsor, and working my ass off at work. However, tomorrow will be five months sober, so I’m not doing too badly.

Without Wax,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I'm Still Here

I was a little concerned about going out for New Years, so I stayed home alone and watched rented movies. I felt like writing tonight, but then got tired. I should sit down this weekend and update this journal.

I pray everyone had a safe and sober New Years!

Without Wax,