Tuesday, August 4, 2015

From the Coffee Shop: Black Diesel Coffee in Ann Arbor

Nothing ever goes well. Or, more precisely, when one thing, or even a few things go well - splendidly well! - other things go very, very poorly. This weekend was abysmally full. I fought through, found a way to have some fun even, but only because I didn't realize what was being overlooked. Happiness comes at the cost of ignorance. 

So here I am, sitting in Black Diesel Coffee in Ann Arbor, remembering all of the things that I should have also accomplished this weekend, but didn't because they were crowded out by other things, some dire, some pleasant (but mostly the dire). And I can't do anything about it. I am thinking of moving seats, not because the counter is crowded, or the man next to me is loudly slurping his coffee, but because my belt keeps getting caught on the chair every time I straighten up. It is really very annoying and not helping my frustration. 

I've always been mistrustful of good moods. When things go well, it is only a set up for a terrible fall. Despite the stress this past weekend, I felt like I was on top of things, tenuous as that grasp was. I should have known better. I should have known I was missing something. Several somethings. Most are related to one of my hourly jobs, which, because it's hourly, I can't just pop into and clean things up whenever I want to. (I'm told there are legal reasons.) I have to wait until my shift starts, or close enough to when my shift starts so that the wielder of the paychecks doesn't go "Why am I paying you for an unscheduled extra hour (or more)?" 

It is also true that when things matter, like when I am sitting in for someone on a specific, slightly complicated task, things will go wrong. Computers will crash, the internet will stall, or - this is the best - the website I need to complete said task will go down. Also, the store will flood with customers, delaying two precious hours to complete said slightly complicated task in addition to technology fail. So on a short list of things to get done, I complete one. In six hours. I don't even get the chance to double-check the list because once that one task is done, it's on to another set of tasks that, at this point, take priority. 

If these things only affected me, it wouldn't be so bad. It's when they domino into other people and affect their tasks that frustrates me. Where to balance? Where to focus the effort? When to say, "Sorry, but this takes priority over that." What I accomplished definitely took priority over what I didn't, but it was, to quote Mr. Knightley, badly done and I don't like when things are badly done.

A strong scent of coffee has wafted my way. I can't decide if I like it or not. Today was not a coffee day, it was a chai latte day. I'm here killing time (and gnashing my teeth) between getting my hair cut and going into work. The chai is not as sweet as most chai lattes. I was forewarned by the barista that this is so and she suggested a drop of honey to make it taste more like people are used to. Honey is not my favorite sweetener, so I decided to try the chai first. I liked it fine, so I decided against adding honey.

Now the baristas and a customer are talking about Gishwhes, which some friends of mine are participating in. They're staging a picture for something, but I'm not sure what. I don't know what the tasks are. I don't have time to participate. I don't even have time to take a vacation, which I desperately need. 

I've been getting about 3 days off per month this summer because everyone else is taking vacations and they need someone to cover for them. Greg took his vacation without me, which is increasingly pathetic and depressing the more I think about it. I haven't even gone swimming, one of my favorite activities that I look forward to every year. No time. Gotta work. I actually have a whopping 5 days off in August, but it's mostly because I specifically requested them off due to obligations I have on those days (so are they really days off...?). 

I know I keep saying that I want to cut down on jobs so as to have more time to devote to writing, getting published, and life (yup, in that order), but I think 2016 will be the year. I will be in better financial shape than previously (our house is cheaper than our apartment) for starters. I really like my coworkers, though. We'll just have to also resolve to hang out more outside of work! In the meantime, I think I'll skip ahead in the time off request books and snag a few weekends this fall and winter.

Coffee shop air conditioning is proving too much for me. I think it's time to grab a sandwich and head into work early. Toodles!

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