Another co-worker left at the end of last month. He moved elsewhere in the state. I wish him all the best, but I could not help but be a little befuddled by his sudden move. Why? There did not seem to be a whole lot of planning that went into it. Granted, I did not interact with him all that much. He worked the swing shift, and I mostly work the graveyard. The most I saw him was for a few minutes a couple times a week when I came in to relieve him. So, how did the lack of planning show? He originally was going to move without a job in place to help the transition. He told our boss when she expressed concerns that people move without having jobs in place all the time. Yes, perhaps, but I still do not think it is a good idea. Especially with how temperamental the job market still is. When I moved back to the Seattle area from Oklahoma, I made sure to have a position readily available in the company I was working for at the time. Was it the ideal job? No, not by a long shot. But it was still work that enabled me to pay my bills. Fortunately for my co-worker, our company opened a location in the area he moved to and it sounds like he got a position there. It worked out for him, but I wonder how many people take that risk and things do not work out the way they hoped.
Due to this co-worker’s departure, our boss had the opportunity to look at the master schedule and make a few changes. The only one that affected me was moving my oddball morning shift during the weekend to a swing shift, which makes the rest of the week a little easier. I was delighted. We quickly filled the full-time gap. We also filled the part-time weekend gap after a few weeks. Both guys seem to be picking things up well, which makes things less stressful for everyone.
One thing that we have had to keep an eye on for the past several weekends is the number of sports fans that wander through our property. The Seattle Seahawks are having a good season, so there are a lot of happy fans. I do not mind for the most part. However, some fans like to celebrate with a lot of alcohol, which can lead to problems if said fans do not make the best decisions when inebriated. We had a group of four guys start rough-housing in the courtyard on our property last night. My partner thought they might be fighting when he first alerted me to their presence. Due to the number of them and the fact they were obvious drunk, both of us went out to expedite their departure from the courtyard. We never made contact with them. They walked out on their own, which I am thankful for. As this happened just before the graveyard shift started, my shift lead wandered through and saw the four men, then the two of us following several yards behind. He looked rather amused. He, too, was glad to hear there was no confrontation involved. We are not always as fortunate.
There have also been two protests on the property in recent weeks. Both groups were protesting the media in some way. Both groups were also peaceful and eventually left without incident. Considering some of the more infamous protests Seattle has seen, I will gladly take the peaceful groups.
In family news:
My brother is applying for various probation or detention positions. I hope for the best for him, because I remember how challenging the process can be. I have come to look at the job hunt as a learning process each time one goes through it. The last time around for me, I encountered my first opportunity to write cover letters. I also ran into my first serious group interviews. I had one before when I interviewed for a position in Oklahoma, but they were so interested in my application that I felt at ease that time. Every time since has presented a bit of a challenge, and I have learned a couple things that I was unaware of. For example, I apparently focus on one interviewer I feel most comfortable with, which is a problem when the other interviewers are looking for eye contact when I am answering their questions. I did not know that until a former supervisor made mention of it a few weeks after I had been on the job. It nearly caused me not to be hired. I might not be where I am now if I had not gotten that position.
Mom has been able to return to Kickboxing. She is having to be very careful, since her knee is still recovering from the torn ACL and the surgery that followed. I am glad she is able to go to class again. She missed it terribly. So badly that before the surgery she occasionally considered going to class and toughing it out, because she perceived that people thought she was being a wimp. I pointed out that doing so would either make that injury worse or lead to another serious injury.
My aunt has been in town the past week or so. I was happy to visit with her over the weekend, since I only see her once or twice a year. My mother, my aunt, their sister, and I all got together on Saturday and updated each other on how things have been going. I gave the brief description of what my job entails. Mom updated her sisters on how her knee was doing. My aunt updated us on how things were going in their vineyard. Their sister described the classes she was taking and teaching. And we all compared notes on my grandmother. My grandmother has taken to asking if people would like a random item. Toothpicks is the most recent item. She also has asked if my mother and aunts would like a comb, or fretted over how their naturally curly hair looks at a given time. The latter is apparently something that was endured as Mom and my aunts were growing up, so it is not all that surprising for them.
My grandparents will be over for Thanksgiving. I am already wondering how many times Grandma will fixate on Dad’s cane, which hangs in the living room. My needlework, should I choose to do any while they are there, will likely be another topic she will ask about. My brothers and I will make sure not to wear anything with sayings or logos. Two years ago, I wore a Huskies shirt that commemorated their bowl game in San Antonio. My grandmother could not understand why the shirt said San Antonio, Texas and not Seattle, Washington. We finally had to change subjects, which is always difficult, and there is no guarantee the fixation will not return later. She will likely make note of the cats and possibly fret about their own. And she will likely wonder whether or not they should return home, because they have undoubtedly spent hours and hours visiting. I think my biggest hope is that she will not mistake horseradish for salad dressing again. Mom and I were able to stop her the last time, but she made such a stink about our concern that we have contemplated letting her go through with the mistake next time. We will also be keeping track of her purse and our dishes, especially whatever cups we may be drinking from. She likes to tidy up after everyone, but does not think to ask if we are finished. And Grandpa is likely to be out in the kitchen where he can enjoy some conversation while others are handing whatever Grandma is fretting about in the living room. As always, it will be an interesting afternoon. A long day, too, since I will be working the night before and the night of Thanksgiving.