After the Storm

This morning was the absolute craziest, busiest morning I have worked in the three years I’ve been at the coffeeshop. This was due exclusively to the storms knocking out power all over town last night, including our Broad Ripple store and the Starbucks down the street. Everyone and their brother, their sister, their mom, their dad, their cousins, their best friend, and anyone they happened to pass on the way in came by for some coffee, bagels, and pastries.

From about quarter after six until eleven this morning, I didn’t stop moving. I didn’t even get a chance to go to the bathroom or just sit down for a minute. We literally did three times the business we do on a usual Saturday morning. In fact, the owner — who, thankfully, came by and ended up helping out for over an hour — said we’d done more by 10am than we usually do for an entire Saturday. For the most part, everyone understood they were all in the same boat and waited patiently. There were a few assholes who had to make their displeasure at this tremendous inconvenience known. But whatever. There’s always one.

I felt like I’d been beaten up or run over when I got home around noon. I don’t think we panned muffins before I left and I don’t really care. Let someone who’s had a good night’s sleep do that crap. It didn’t help that I didn’t get much sleep last night. The lightning, thunder, and tornado sirens kept me up most of the night. I also painted another wall in the dining area yesterday, so I was still kind of sore.

When I got to the store, nothing was working. The power had gone out so the registers were shut down and it took me fifteen minutes to figure out how the hell to turn them back on — a task that was unreasonably complicated, in my opinion. The coffee brewer took forever to heat up. At about six I was contemplating whether or not I should actually open the store when a man drove up, hurried out of his car, and pressed his face against the door. I walked over and unlocked it, telling him that nothing was working. “I just need a large coffee! Don’t you have coffee?” He barked at me. I explained again that the coffee wasn’t done brewing and I couldn’t get into the registers. He brushed past me into the store, saying he would wait, but was “in a hurry.”

I was already disoriented from lack of sleep, the medication I’m on, and the problems getting things up and running, so I wasn’t as irritated as I would have been on any other morning. I was just trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get everything running.

The guy was standing at the register, tapping his foot, checking his watch, and had the nerve to ask why we didn’t have any muffins or scones. So I poured him a cup of coffee, only about a quarter of the way full, and fill the rest up with hot water when he wasn’t looking. When we brew a fresh batch, you have to finish before pouring a cup or else you get a.) brown water or b.) black sludge. He got mostly water anyway.

I turned around and gave him the cup, smiling, and he waved a five in my face. I reiterated the fact that we didn’t have power to the registers yet, but that he’d been so nice and patient, I was sure he was also honest and would come back later in the day to pay us for the coffee.

He must have known I was being sarcastic, despite how sweetly I said it, because he just took the cup and left.

Ah, Americans.

The Cold Shoulder

My friend Annie is going through a difficult divorce right now. Partly because they have a child and partly because her ex is still in love with her and doesn’t want to break things off. I’m proud of her for realizing that Martin doesn’t deserve to be in a relationship where his partner doesn’t give him what he needs, but that doesn’t make it any easier for him.

Last night I had a dream about him. He was driving a train or El or some other form of public transportation we don’t have around here. I can’t remember all the details, except that at some point I went up to him while he was yelling at another person and just grabbed and held him in my arms for a while as he started to cry.

I don’t know exactly what that means, except perhaps that I love both of them and I don’t want either of them to hurt, but that perhaps I feel Martin’s pain in a way that makes me feel empathy for him. Charlie and I went through a very rough patch during our second year of marriage and I felt like everyone was against me, thinking that I had made the decision to split up. Charlie has a lot of friends and family (including my own) who sometimes seem to like him more than they like me. I realize how paranoid and crazy that sounds, but his support network is just much larger than mine. In truth, I felt like he had stopped caring and just gave up and I didn’t want to be with someone who wasn’t willing to fight to find resolutions to our problems. He didn’t exactly express this to any of his friends or family, and I often felt like people were against me, thinking that I’d instigated the whole thing, but I didn’t want to call Charlie out and force him to tell people THE TRUTH.

This morning I walked the dogs over to the coffeeshop and as I was making myself a drink, Martin came in. I smiled at him and said “You were in my dream last night!” I was trying to figure out what about the dream I would actually tell him, since I didn’t want to give all the details, and I noticed he had neither responded to me, nor was he smiling back.

I realized then that I’m on “the other side” of the divorce. Most likely I’m the enemy since Annie is primarily my friend, although I wanted to tell Martin that I care about him, too, and want to see neither of them in pain.

This is the first time I have experienced the legal divorce of a couple where both parties are people I like and who are close to me. It sucks.

Puppy v. Baby

I have yet to hear anything about the job application. It is the weekend, and a holiday, though. It’s been painfully slow at the store the past two days. The owner left an hour early yesterday, but Matt was fifteen minutes late. I can’t imagine how little he must care about his job when he can’t be bothered to show up on time just once. John was also late this morning. Luckily, I woke up early and I have a key, so I just went in and started opening. When he pulled in about 5 till, he was all freaked out. I should have called to tell him it was cool and not to freak, that I was there. I know he was beating himself up about it because this is the beginning of his last week.

Tomorrow will be the last day in my two week marathon at the store. The sucky thing is, despite all these extra shifts I’ve been working, I’m not getting all that many more hours. I had to leave early today because we had four people (one was training) and the owner came in. Since I was the first one to show up, I was the first to leave. I asked our trainer later on if it would be possible for me to get a raise at any point in the near future. Since our manager is on vacation the next week, she said to just ask when Sarah gets back. She also said to mention that I would be willing to talk to the owner about it, that way it wouldn’t be as easy for her to say no.

“Why the hell would she say no?” I asked. “I haven’t had a raise in almost two years.” Katie said she just wouldn’t be surprised. I decided if I get a no, I’ll put in my two weeks’ notice, whether or not I have another job lined up. Okay, probably not. I don’t have any savings and I’d like to get something close, so I at least have to find a job first.

Talk of possible offspring has gotten out of control lately. It seems like almost everyone I know is asking me when I’m going to have a kid. It’s not like I haven’t considered it. I don’t know if it’s physically possible. I keep going back and forth, thinking “There’s no way to really plan for something like that, so why not just try?” And then I wake up the next morning and wonder how the hell I could possibly offer anything to a tiny human being that would rely on me for years and years. Sometimes I think if it doesn’t happen in the next year, we’ll just get another puppy.

Something for the next therapy appointment, I suppose.

P.S. I got the worst haircut ever yesterday. I didn’t cry like girls do when they get all of it chopped off, but I thought that I might when I got home, washed it, and saw what a terrible job she did.

I Gotta Get Out of Here

Things have been moving slowly over here. I’m just trudging through every shift, pounding out the drinks as fast as I can, cleaning, grinding coffee, panning muffins and scones. The monotony is really starting to drag me down. This morning I was doing okay until someone asked me if I could cover the rest of their shift, despite the fact that I’d just bought that person a pack of smokes. Then I discovered I’m opening with the owner tomorrow and she wants to come in even earlier. Our next person isn’t scheduled until 8am, which means I have to stay really, really busy for the first two hours of Saturday morning when we’re normally not all that packed.

I took a gander at the schedule and found myself becoming more and more irritated about the way things are going at the store. Three people getting fired, one person applying for another job but not telling the manager so she can hire someone else, my not seeing a raise in almost two years, getting scheduled to train people and, a few days later, working alone with the both of them. I just don’t get it. I’m so sick of making every effing person’s drink that comes in there. My thumb and forefinger on my right hand are beat to hell from the portafilters and espresso grinds and all the little cuts I get.

So I did the unthinkable: I just applied for another job. I don’t know what it pays, but I know they offer health insurance for part time people. I “passed” the initial part of their online application, which is good because part of it was one of the psychological tests that I never really know how to answer.

The Sinking Ship

We got our helmets this afternoon, right before my migraine started really raging, and right before I had to go in to work. I tried to nap on the couch for 30 minutes or so, but it just wasn’t going away. In case you haven’t noticed, and I’ll spare our male friends the details, but I just so happen to get one migraine about, oh, I don’t know … once every 28 days or so. It’s incredibly frustrating because, short of taking a painkiller that will knock me out for the entire day, there isn’t much I can do to avoid it. I try not to have too much caffeine in the days leading up to the inevitable, to consume less salt, to have more fresh fruits and vegetables, and to exercise more. But that first day …

I was really not looking forward to working tonight. I discovered that, on top of our usual Wednesday afternoon delivery from the warehouse, I would also have to train a new kid who’s only here for the summer. His attitude is less than enthusiastic, and I’m sure the fact that he’s going to college in August has something to do with it. He seemed like a nice enough little guy, but just doesn’t have that Sense of Urgency I respect from my fellow employees. The few that have ever had it.

To summarize the past few weeks, we had one employee fired on a Saturday night with no warning; John was given two weeks to put in his resignation or be fired; the payroll/accountant woman at Charlie’s office quit with no warning on Monday and now Matt (my co-worker) wants her job. I was actually asking him if he thought John would be interested and Matt flew past me to talk to Charlie about it. I heard he actually called the club today to ask about the position. Matt is, besides the manager, the only truly “full time” person we have. He works 40 hours per week, gets health insurance, and even has a 401(k). He’s also been there 6 months longer than me, which puts him right at about 3 1/2 years, so I know he’s burnt out. But I just don’t know what we’re going to do if we lose another person.

Our recent hires have included two teenagers who are going to college in the fall and one pregnant hippie who’s due (I’m guessing here) in about three or four months. One girl put in an application last week who is currently unemployed, has experience in coffee shops, and wants to work full time. Sarah never called her. Leticia is back in town and is looking for work, but if she comes back to the store, she only wants to be part time.

Charlie’s got his own drama at work. He’s trying to decide between this other job at the gym and — if the owner at the club offers it to him — a managing partnership. This could significantly raise his salary (perhaps more than doubling it) if the owner really wants to step out and let Charlie and this other guy do their thing. Essentially, Charlie and the guy who usually manages bands would like to run the place at opposite times. The other guy has a second baby on the way and does not want to work nights anymore. Charlie doesn’t mind the hours as long as he gets compensated for it, and doesn’t have to work days so he can take classes. If the money’s right, he said, he doesn’t care.

It’s frustrating to sit back and just wait to see what happens, but I also don’t really care what he does. Of course, I’d be thrilled if he could make enough money to start loading up the savings account so he could do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Whether it’s taking classes, going on a vacation, buying a house, or even just quitting a job for 6 months to watch soap operas and get really fat. As long as he’s happy, I’ll support his decision.

Did I Eat Wendy’s Twice Yesterday?

I just returned from having one of my permanent crowns removed — for the second time. This will be the third time I’ve had this one formed and placed. Lucky for me, I got a break on the second one, and since doctors M and S did that second one, this time there’s no charge. I did not relish laying in the chair for an hour, biting down, chomping, grinding, getting shots, getting drilled.

Speaking of relish, I’m also starving. I tried to eat a lot before I went in, but we don’t have much food in the house. Neither of us has been home a lot lately and we’ve both either been feeling crappy or really tired from all the hours we’ve each been working. We also nommed through our first order from Farm Fresh Delivery in record time. Everything was scrumptious. The pink lady apples, the strawberries, the potatoes, the baby yellow carrots, the sourdough bread. The only thing I could have done without were the mushrooms (Charlie’s request – I gagged just trying to cut them up) and the Valencia oranges, which were juicy but more tart than sweet.

Our next order will consist of a root of fresh ginger, some more carrots, romaine lettuce, garlic, bananas … I can’t even remember what else. We’re getting a different kind of bread and not getting any eggs or milk, which we have as a standing order each week. It just seems like too much for us to go through, so I might adjust it to come once every other week.

There was a newsletter with Thursday’s delivery that stated they were working on some fresh pastas, hummus, pestos, and a lot of other new things. I’m excited. I’ve heard several other people talking about their deliveries, so I’m glad to know that our stop isn’t out of the way. I’ve also managed to convince a few others to sign up.

Charlie called me while I was in the dentist’s office to tell me he was near my greatest and most humiliating weakness: Burger King. On the one hand, I was mad at him for putting that thought in my head. I’m lucky that there isn’t one anywhere near us that I would even consider stepping foot in, because it’s terrible, terrible food. On the other hand, it made me realize how hard he tries. Sometimes I get on his case about “not remembering” these ridiculous little things that I remember. As is the case with men and women, we both tend to think on different wavelengths. But it was very sweet of him to call and ask if I wanted to destroy all my hard work at the gym and with my local, organic diet by wolfing down a Whopper or chicken sandwich.

I’m not being sarcastic. It was sweet.

And that makes me think about my friend Annie and all the trouble she’s having in her relationship. She’s been butting heads with her husband since I’ve known them, and it appears this time it might really be over. It makes me feel guilty about my own relationship. That, despite our problems and being polar opposites, Charlie and I can still be friends and talk things over. Occasionally, there’s an argument, and he tends to raise his voice whereas I don’t take kindly to yelling. But overall I think we’re doing okay. I just listened today to what Annie was saying and offered the best advice I could: Make a choice and stick with it. You either accept the other person as he or she is and base your relationship on that reality. Or you call it quits and work on yourselves independently. Down the road, maybe they’ll come back together. But right now it may be time for them to go their own ways.

Another One Bites the Dust

John was given the “option” this afternoon of quitting or being fired. I knew it was coming but I feel terrible. I wish he could just be nicer to people at work, but the ultimatum from the owner was clear. Regulars aren’t coming in to the store as long as he works there and our sales are down. Of course, he doesn’t quite see it the same way, but that’s his perception. Charlie tried talking John into selling his house that’s east of Indianapolis, taking the money and stashing it away so he can finish his degree and pay bills. But John thinks he’d rather just make it his permanent residence. Hole himself up out in the country. Alone. Forever.

Sigh.

Tomorrow’s the Art Fair. I don’t know yet who I’m working with, but if it is one of the owners, I’m hoping I do a good enough job to warrant asking for a raise.

Today we took the scooters down to campus to look for my Finite book. It only took 15 minutes. Granted, my summer class is at Ivy Tech, so it’s a lot closer than IUPUI. I’m not quite sure how (if) that will work this fall.

We’ve gotten a great response from people. Everywhere we go, someone is stopping to ask what sort of mileage we get, how fast they go, how much they cost. I’ve recommended they all go to the shop we got our scooters, but I’ve also told people about the ones on the east and west sides of town. There’s one on west 16th Street that sells Vespas! I wish I could have one of those, but I really don’t want to mess with the motorcycle license, insurance, plates, all that stuff.

The Decent News, the Bad News, and the Really Bad News

I think I can say with over 100% certainty that I did not get the placebo. I have slept more in the past 24 hours than I think I have in the past week. The drug knocked me out last night around 10pm and I didn’t get up until 8:30. I felt okay at first, but then got really drowsy. I was a complete vegetable all morning and fell back to sleep on the couch for another hour and a half! I had to work this afternoon, so I went in and immediately notified Mark that I was going to really need his help. I don’t think I fully woke up until about 5pm.

This sucks.

I don’t want to keep taking the pills. I like the Zoloft. I like the counseling. I just don’t like taking 50mg of an anti-psychotic. When I signed up for the study I didn’t really know what it would entail, and ever since I found out, I’ve been hesitant but willing to give it a try. Despite the fact that the doctors told me the drowsiness “might” wear off in a few days, I also have to double my dose on Friday night. In case you didn’t know, I’m working the Art Fair on Saturday. With the owner. The last thing I need is her getting pissed at me for not being able to keep up with her pace.

I also have to work with her several times at the store over the next couple of weeks. Since one person was fired on Saturday, and with Sarah going on vacation over Memorial Day, we’re sort of screwed. Leticia called, which was good news. She’s back in town, so she might be starting back soon. And Molly is back for a couple of shifts each week. But Mark wants to work less, so I took some of his shifts, and covered a couple more that Sarah hadn’t filled yet. She hired three new people over the phone tonight, and I don’t know if it was out of desperation or because she thinks they might be a good fit.

I asked her what was up with our other employee — the one who might be getting fired because of complaints. She said they’re going to have a talk soon and she’s going to give him a chance to find something else. Kind of like a “Sorry, but you have to quit so I don’t have to fire you,” kind of thing. I feel terrible about it because I like him and I enjoy working with him, but he does get a lot of complaints.

Because of all this, and because I’m taking a summer class that I have to pay out of pocket, I’m working 6 out of 7 days each of the next two weeks. I also noticed I’m scheduled until 11am on the second day of my class, which starts at 10am. So now I’m going to have to try and find someone to switch or ask Sarah to figure it out. I gave her my schedule a few weeks ago, but I suppose she forgot.

To make matters worse, my dad was fired, too. He had just started a new job but was having a lot of health problems and I just got an email from my mom that they let him go. Of course, there isn’t anything I can really do about it, although I wish there was.

One Down, Three to Go

my 2007 honda metropolitan scooterSo, yeah, I did walk in on someone getting fired Saturday night and it went pretty well, considering she wasn’t expecting it. I suppose. Despite her “difficulties,” she was still the one person we had willing to open just about any day of the week, especially Sundays. Nothing has happened with the other person, as far as I know.

The past couple of days have been odd. I’ve had a lot of IBS problems (gross, I know) despite my diet not really changing, and have been anxious about my meeting this morning with the psychiatrists for the study. I received the study drug (or placebo) this morning and am supposed to take it before I go to bed tonight. One of the things that surprised me was that I’m going to be taking 50mg, not 10 as I’d originally thought, and I’m supposed to increase it to 100mg after four days.

After that appointment I went straight to therapy, but was a few minutes late. My therapist told me she’s leaving in seven weeks because her practicum will be over. This has depressed me a little bit. I really like her and I have never really liked any counselor I’ve seen. I don’t want to start seeing someone else after spending all this time with one person. We worked out an “action plan” for the next few weeks and I decided I would focus on the specific phobias with the shrink they have there, since he (or she) specializes in them.

When I got home I took my new ride (more on that later) into Broad Ripple to surprise Charlie, who was stuck at work all day. Apparently he got finished early with one thing and had gone home for a little bit. I just missed him and he’d already eaten lunch, so I stopped at Subway for The Worst Sandwich I Have Ever Had. It was disgusting. Then, when he left for work again, around 2:30, I passed out on the couch. I don’t know what the hell happened. One minute I was watching a repeat of Law & Order, the next minute it was after 4pm. I think it was all the talk for two hours this morning about the new drug’s side effects — mostly drowsiness.

Charlie and I went to the Harley Davidson shop on East 96th Street to take a look at scooters yesterday. We wanted to see what sort of miles per gallon they actually got, what they would cost after taxes and whatnot, and how they rode. I don’t think you’re really allowed to “test drive” them, but we had a good time talking with the guys who worked there, most of whom live in Broad Ripple and work part time at other bars and nightclubs, so they traded war stories. It was a lot more relaxed than your usual car dealership experience, and if you are looking for a scooter, I recommend going there. One guy took a photo of my “half-sleeve” (I don’t know if you can really call it that) to show his wife because she wants something similar, and we all admired one another’s art work.

We asked about options for payment and discovered Honda has its own financing, for which we were approved in about an hour. I have no idea what takes so long with this shit, but at least it was about a fourth of the time we spent at the Toyota dealership a couple of weeks ago. And we have that down to a science. They’re having a $0 down special and we didn’t pay anything. We walked out (not literally) with a new Honda Ruckus for Charlie and a Metropolitan for me. The payments are three years and about $100 a month. I plan on paying mine off when I get my next student loan check, that way I won’t have any extra payments. I need more hours at the coffeeshop, though, which doesn’t appear to be a problem since we’re hurting for people right now. So if you know anyone . . .

Overall, we now own three different forms of transportation per person. We each have an automobile, a scooter, and a bicycle. I wish we could get rid of one of the vehicles, but Charlie absolutely won’t have it. He looooooooves his truck. And he has a reason why we need to keep each vehicle. The truck is for hauling, the Yaris is for extended mileage trips, the scooters are for short trips around town, yadda, yadda.

I think it’s a bit excessive. I’d like to have one car, two scooters, and be done with it. I know I need to get a heavy-duty lock and chain, but once I have a way to secure it, I imagine I’ll be using it for everything, including going to campus over the summer. I highly recommend getting one. It has a one-gallon tank, but gets over 100mpg, depending upon your size and how you drive it. We got a three-year extended warranty on each of them, which includes the Honda dealership replacing our tires for just about any reason. I think I may have already convinced Audrey to get one and she’s coming over after work to drive mine.