30 November 2009

Tuesday in November

I went to prison last weel. Not to worry, they let me out. I did get to visit with T___ my deathrow penpal. I visited with him for over 2 hours face to face last Tuesday.
Highlights include:Not finding the prison right away and having to ask the gas station clerk:
"Um, can you point me towards the prison?"
Clerk: "Um, did you do something bad?"
Me: "Not yet."
Clerk: "Southside of town up next to the Wal-Mart."
Me: "Wow. Thanks."

Another obvious highlight:Getting to meet T___. There are some many things and conversations and feelings and preconceived notions to describe.
Chains. Heavy chains around his waist, arms, legs, and feet, all are tethered to the floor and table.
The actual prison. Totally stuck in 1970. Actuals signs posted in The Condemned Visitation Room: Do Not Peel Paint Off Walls. The actual buildings are in a poor state at first glance as well.
The games cupboard. Did you know that visitation rooms have a cupboard of games? I surely didn't. I never knew they existed. I saw trivial pursuit, skipbo, chess, backgammon, and cribbage in there. T___ and I played palace and at least 20 games of Rummy. Sad to say I didn't win one game. And I wasn't even letting him win.

So will you try it out and get one yourself?
And some stats for you to ponder?

23 November 2009

You can figure it out.

Writing about old jobs is lame today. Maybe I'll just write my job title and you can imagine my job.
2000-Blossom Basket-Flower delivery girl Live-in caretaker for one old dude living with a stroke.
2001-Group home worker again in St. Joseph, IL during and after the U of I.
2001-Temp jobs: X-ray file delivery girl in the Carle Hospital, 6pm-6am conveyor belt watcher: Quality control for air filter production.
2002-Moved to Phoenix. ESL assistant 7:30-3. Line cook and beer bitch 5-midnight at Greasewood Flat www.greasewoodflat.net
2003-2006 Nigeria
2006 Classroom assistant at a special ed day school! Hello adult sized diapers.
2007 You probably can guess my current job.

20 November 2009

Moving Right Along

Ok back to 1999.
In 99' I also worked in a couple group homes in a nearby town. The homes were owned by the same company and had 3-6 developmentally disabled adults in each place. I don't have too many specific memories from this part of work. I worked mostly nights and went to school during the day. In early 99', I also worked as a part time sports write for the Iowa Falls newspaper. The editor sent me out to small towns to take pictures of high school basketball teams. It was probably most unique job in how I was paid. For every inch of text that 'made' it into the paper, I was paid $4. As you can imagine, every game was a battle of epic proportions. I would submit long flowy write-ups of Iowa cornboys and receive about $15 for 4 hours of work. And my editor even had an editory name: Rex Trout. (He wouldn't have accepted that sentence because it began with 'And.')

Well it's winter time in Champaign-Urbana. I transferred here after Iowa Falls. My first job is working as a sorter for FedEx. And this job blows. My shift is M-Th 6pm-11:30pm. Why does it blow? 1. Getting patted down before and after work to make sure no one stole anything from the precious 1000s of boxes sorted in a shift. 2.The women I work with are rough. Rough in a way that mean I don't go into the Ladies' room because of the fights that take place in there. 3. The lack of heat. Management said that heating and cooling wasn't necessary because the 100,000sf building generated enough heat from running the quarter-mile long conveyor belts. I'm actually that worker who wears long underwear and a dirty hat and a pair of gloves with the fingertips cut off. My specific job is to run up a long slick slide and kick at boxes stuck in the chute for my division. I also have expertise in crawling on moving conveyor belts to dislodge boxes that are backing up the entire belt system. Wednesday is magazine day and it's the heaviest day of box traffic. When I'm not scrambling to unstick stuck boxes, I scan in every box's barcode. From memorizing zip codes I can tell you that zip codes beginning in 0 originate from the East Coast.

17 November 2009

A brief history.

Well my little friends, it's time again for another blog post. It's a rainy Tuesday afternoon here in northern Illinois, and I'm glad I have a job inside. Even though I'm 30, I've worked in a bunch of different workplaces. Let's take a trip back to 1994 through 2007!

I'm a corn-detassler! I walk through rows and rows of corn a foot taller than me and pull out every tassle I see. Mom drops me off at school around 4:45am with a red and white cooler full of food to last me through 2 breaks and lunch. The season of detassling is about 3 weeks long. The inexperienced kids in my crew wear garbage bags in the early morning. The seasoned ones wear spiffy blue rain slickers to combat the wet corn and sharp edges of the corn leaves.

Corn detassler! See above! My biggest fear this year is that I'll die in a droughted cornfield, because the older kids feel the need to smoke cigarettes and detassle at the same time. Miraculously the corn gets done and the fields are still standing.

I'm a babysitter! Every morning 7:30-3pm I get picked up and driven into the country to babysit for 2 kids. Nothing so memorable about this job except: 1. The littler of the two kids only falls asleep to Field of Dreams. I love this movie. 2.The mom who drives me to work and home has a broken thumb and can't drive safely with this disability. This job taught me to appreciate my thumbs.

I finished high school in May and moved to Alabama for a month and a half to live with my Dad while he was starting his new job, while my Mom packed the house in Milledgeville. Highlights from 1997 include: Taking golfing lessons in Arab (pronounced A-rab), AL, finding a slow-pitch softball team to play on called the Bronze Bodies. I hadn't met the criteria of a bronze body, but I was allowed to play. The team also never cared to ask my real name, and preferred to called me Yankee. It even said Yankee on the batting line-up in the dugout.
Once I got to college, I found that I could tutor the international students in English skills. So my first semester I had a Japanese student I tutored.

Holy cow I'm a photographer for the Iowa Falls Rugby team. How in the world did this noble honor fall into my hands? Well, my college softball coach is on the team and he mentioned my humble skills to the team doctor/historian. So now I find my weekends filled with scrums, half-naked chubby Iowa men, kegs, and an assortment of funnels the team uses to pee out of the old green bus as we roll around the countryside. Lessons learned: A team doctor is necessary for a successful season of rugby, especially when your teammates slammed their heads into each other for the bloody effect before the match starts.

This post is taking too long. I'll add more tomorrow. I know you're all waiting in suspense!

02 November 2009

For this song title please listen to the first song on the 2nd album made by the Go-Go's

Coming off a week of vacation is sorta hard. Menial things like sitting up and wearing clothes are so difficult. After a week of daytime tv, late-morning breakfasts, quiet walks in the cookie cutter neighborhood with Eli, and fresh pajamas, one can find it difficult to sit in an office with the sun and blue sky mocking my work schedule.