Home > Life or something like it > Entry 05/23/2007 02:28:32 AM – Mentat 333

Entry 05/23/2007 02:28:32 AM – Mentat 333

05/23/2007
     I swear sometimes I feel as though I’m perpetually going through some form of initiation when it comes to whatever job that I’m working.  What I mean by this is that when I first started the position, I had been told that evenings and nights here are pretty quiet and that I usually have so many other things to do other than taking calls.  However, in the last five nights, I swear I’ve had some pretty interesting problems that have involved procedures that most people during the day don’t normally have to go through.  For example — on Friday night, when there had been problems with a specific program and getting the information removed from the system — the two people that normally need to perform that work didn’t return any pages and I had to go all the way to the manager of the Operations Department in order to determine how to best handle the situation.  Tonight, apparently the main program that’s used by two of the three hospitals use had frozen and we had to get the manufacturer of the program involved in order to best troubleshoot the issue.  This was rather difficult to do for me, because for approximately 20 minutes, all I was doing was answering calls that were coming in, and trying my best to get hold of the on-call and relay the information to the manufacturer in order to troubleshoot the issue.  Sure, it took 45 minutes to resolve the issue from start to finish — but it was more activity that I had seen in the time that I had been working (as backup) through the evenings.   What makes it even more ironic has to do with the fact that when I started the job, I just knew it was going to come down like this.  And apparently it has.   Heh!
     At the moment though, things have calmed down sufficiently in order for me to be able to spend a little time on a diversion while I’m remotely monitoring a fine-tuning of a PC at one of the hospitals and waiting for the next call to come it, praying to whatever gods that I can that the next call isn’t a bloody crisis.

     Of course, the highlight isn’t really what I’ve dealt with along the lines of work, but the absolutely bizarre freak-show that I get to see while I’m between buses on the way into work at night.  I’ve totally forgotten what kind of crazies and such can be found in the Kennedy Plaza area when the sun goes down and the night is winding down to a close.  As I mentioned to a friend in e-mail today, when it came to panhandling in the south, most people simply ask for the money, and don’t give this long and protracted song and dance as to why they need the money.  Here though, god!  They waste no time trying to give you every possible woe as to why they are in the predicament that they’re in, and why precisely they need the money.  To make matters more interesting is that the stories are clearly fabricated from start to finish. 
     The first one that tried to panhandle me for money on the bus, said that he was a Vietnam Veteran.  Ummm, the problem with this is that the man was clearly not much older than I was.  I named dropped my Uncle Armand’s name as he’s part of the local chapters of the VFW, that he’d probably help out a fellow Vietnam Vet in the area that was having a difficult time, and that at 60, he had served in Vietnam; of which I had received quite a dirty look, and the man moved on to try to panhandle another part of Kennedy Plaza as far away from me as possible. 
     The second *pause*  All right, he was clearly pissed as a fart.  He saw that I was wearing a Pride wristband, and started out the conversation by saying that he was gay, that he had come up here from Florida, and that everyone and their brothers have been ripping him off since he’s gotten here, and that on the first of the month; he was heading back to Florida.  Now, what was wrong with this picture — besides the fact that he was three sheets to the wind — was the fact that he wasn’t dressed like a Southerner.  Instead of the warmer clothes a southerner would wear when the Northern temperatures got below 50, he was dressed in shorts, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt.  Further, he had positively no southern accent at all, and dropped his R’s in all the right places like a New Englander should.  And to top it all off in the five minutes that he was trying to build up his story and his sexuality changed so often (he was then bisexual halfway through the conversation), that the story he was telling simply didn’t make any sense whatsoever. 
     But the excitement didn’t end there when I had told him that I simply didn’t carry any money on me that I could help him with, but shortly after the 22 came up to the stop, this second one had gotten the driver, then the bus supervisor, then two police officers in the area stating that one of the men that was on the bus currently had stolen the money from him.  When they came up on the bus and looked through it, I thought that I was going to be fingered (and thereby be positively beside myself in the process).  Fortunately for me, as it turned out it was another homeless man, towards the back of the bus that had a bus pass and was also quite drunk himself. They ended up asking him to leave the bus, and when the bus was able to pull away, I got a slight glance to see quite a heated discussion starting with the police involved as referees. 

     Tonight though — all I had to deal with was a couple of drunks on the 22 on the way into work, but all they were, were loud and obnoxious towards the back of the bus.  Which was nothing given that I had my iPod and had more than happily turned the volume up until all I could hear was the ocassional outburst over the heavy-trance music that I was listening to. 

     Such excitement huh? 

     Since the last journal entry, I’ve had another chat with Nick.  Or rather, I’ve had another one of my famed confrontations with him.  I was getting pretty annoyed with the fact that once again, he had been wanting to sink his teeth back into the Database, when I knew for fact that he had done nothing about the website clean up that it was in desperate need of.  When he said to me that he was only going to clean up those things in the laundry list that I had given to him in the email last month, I flipped out.  At first I thought of dissolving the friendship because nothing is more disgusting than a man that’s lazy and apparently has issues only a psychologist could assist in correcting, but I stayed my hand and instead chose a different tact. 
     I told him that he seriously needs to seek out professional help given that this obsession of his is beyond simply pathological; and that no matter what he thinks of it as not being a problem — it is given that it not only effects the way that he does work, but it also effects the way he socializes with other people.  It had apparently hit nerves because shortly after he had shut down because his parents had told him to go to bed, he came back online and had a serious chat about some of the things that I had brought up with him.  I also did the revisit to the part about his coming off like such a closet case, not only in his mannerisms, but also some of the things that he does and doesn’t do around other people.  It sunk in though as he had been more open in that conversation the other night, than he has in the six plus months he and I have been chatting. 
     An amusing thing about the conversation was the fact that Nick was trying to find some sort of roadmap as to how to stop me (and apparently others) from thinking that he was gay, of which I told him it isn’t a laundry list sort of thing that can be followed in order to "correct the situation".  I told him that it had to do is be comfortable with himself before that would happen.  (Although now that I’m sitting here writing about it, I should’ve dropped something about the need and requirement for self-confidence and self-esteem; but I’m sure I can bring this up another time). 
     Right now, I think that he’s sort of stewing a little on what I’ve given him — but I don’t expect him to stew on it too long before he’s back to trying his hand at his obsession once again.  Hopefully, but the time I see him the next time, he’ll be ready to talk a little more about some of the things that I’ve thrown in his direction. 

     Outside of all this, I’ve been happy with myself, and the hours that I’ve been keeping.  I’m still having a slight problem transitioning to third shift hours, given that I kept falling asleep at around 8 – 9 AM last weekend.  Which means that I routinely take long naps while on the buses on the way home.  Not too much of a problem on the 54 to Woonsocket, but the 22 from about Route 5 on is packed by the time it gets by the ACI.  And some of the folk on Pontiac Avenue tend to look at me funny because I seem to be sleeping, while they’re trying to stay awake on the way into work.  Heh, if only they knew.
     I’ve still had some nagging doubts about taking third shift when it comes to the possibility of my wanting to try to get back on the dating horse.  Like it or not, but the amount of people that actually work night shifts are significantly less than the people that work days and evenings; and those that I know work nights around here are either nurses, or various other positions more towards the blue-collar than the white or pink.  Sure, nurses and such make some good money — but at the same time, the nurses that I’ve had experience with tend to be so high-strung that they’re one to two steps away from total meltdown or burnout.  Thanks — but after Rick — I don’t need that sort of thing in my life again (and he wasn’t even a nurse). 
     On the flip side, I really haven’t found anyone that I talk with either online or in reality really interesting enough to want to get to know more intimately.  Which doesn’t really help with the nagging doubts, as it gives me the impression that perhaps this is the right answer for the likes of me — at least for the time being. 
     *shrugging* One way or another, I continue to wrestle with this. 

     Well, that’s about it for the time being.  Until the next time.
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