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Random thoughts from a diseased man

Posted by Mick on April 1, 2010 – 6:43 pm

I’m still sick, in fact I’m sicker today than I was yesterday.  And yet I still had to come to work.  Because that’s the kind of job I have. 

Normal people get to call in sick to work, I don’t.  I have to schedule my sick days.  Doctors and dentists have a hard time understanding that I can’t just take a day off anytime I need to, I have to schedule it weeks in advance. 

With my job, on most weeks I have a room full of people who are paying in the neighborhood of $500 a day for my time.  They have taken several days, up to a week, off their job to come in for a class.  if I call in sick, that means their entire class is wasted and has to be rescheduled.  They don’t like that.  My boss doesn’t like that.  And thus, I have to come in to work when I’m sick. 

If I had the plague, or some sort of viral infection that made me leak pus from my eyeballs and vomit bile evey 5 minutes, they’d probably let me go.  But a cold?  Forget about it. 

To be fair, my supervisor did try and get someone else to cover my class today, but she couldn’t find anyone.  And since I worked all day, no one seemed to think anything about me working the evening shift as well, so I’m stuck here until 9pm.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I had slept last night, but I didn’t.  I slept some, but I don’t think I had more than an hour of uninterrupted sleep until 4am, when I think I slept for 2 hours. 

This sounds like I’m bitching, but I’m not.  I’m processing.  These are some of the bad things about my job, and they’re most noticeable right now because I’m sick, and because I still need some dental work done.  There are good things about my job, too.  I should finish my class by lunch tomorrow, so when I leave for lunch, I won’t be coming back.  That happens more often than me working sick, so I really can’t complain. 

Maybe it’s better to say I shouldn’t complain.  You take the good with the bad, and you deal with it.  Things could be far worse.  My friend Andy, for instance, has it much worse.  He is fighting brain cancer (I’m sure there’s a more clinical sounding name for it, but it’s cancer and it’s in his brain, so brain cancer is good enough for our purposes here) and he’s unable to work.  He’s also unable to travel.  The icing on that cake is that he had to move home with his parents, who now live in a small town outside of Lubbock.  Andy was dealt a much worse hand than I was.  I have no room to bitch about my situation. 

Perspective, baby.  We all need it from time to time.

I still don’t feel good, and I want to go home.  But since I’m stuck here, I thought I’d share some random thoughts with you.  I’ve developed a habit of carrying a notebook with me, and as I have thoughts, I stop and write them down.  If I don’t write them down, I forget them in a matter of minutes, and I know that I’ve lost some brilliant thoughts in the past. 

They aren’t all brilliant.  Looking through the notebook, I always run across a few things that are just… wrong.  But if I don’t catch them all, I’ll miss the good ones. 

I’m looking back several months right now.  I found this note:  “Goats fucking a sign for a taco place”.  I wish I had some idea what that was about.  All I know is that it was on the way to Houston, and I wrote it down right before I wrote down the phrase “Chupacabra looking motherfucker”.  I also have no idea where that came from, but I like it.

I like it almost as much as I like this phrase, used this morning by one of my lovely Brit friends, Claire; “you have a face like a slapped arse”.  There is so much to love about the phrase, not the least of which is the word arse.  It makes me wish I was British.  I could go around saying arse, but it would just be an affectation.  I might do it any.  I’ve been wanting to adopt a few affectations. 

There has been a commercial playing on the radio here in Austin for a few weeks, trying to sell homes in a new gated community in South Austin.  I have a problem with gated communities.  I have bigger problems with gated communities in South Austin.  I really have a problem with the commercial, because it emphasizes everything I hate about gated communities, primarily the smug yuppie pricks that live in them. 

It did get me to thinking, though.  What if we waited until 2 or 3 in the morning, when all the precious gaters were safely at home, locked away in their private fortress with their private greenbelt and their security guards who won’t let you in without “the proper credentials”, and we welded the gates shut, put razor wire on the walls, and posted our own guards to keep them tucked away inside their little community?  The way I see it, if they want to be locked away from the rest of us, we should help them achieve their goal.  I wouldn’t miss them at all. 

My thoughts are becoming increasingly incoherent and scattered.  I’ve just deleted two entire paragraphs, and I’m not sure if I should have.  Part of me thinks they were brilliant, another part thinks they would have gotten me in some trouble that I don’t want to get in.  I think that’s a sign I should call this one finished.

Be good to each other.


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