Greetings from the graveyard!

September 6, 2007 at 1:07 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Waxing Nostalgic)

If my father were still alive, he would turn 107 years old today. He was born in 1900, drafted into World War I, and spent the first 30-40 years on horseback, cowpokin’, a jack-of-all-trades ranch/ farm hand. He was quiet, gentle, yet tough as nails. While we didn’t have a long time together, the time we did have was high quality, and I still miss him, even though he’s been gone almost 25 years. Happy birthday, Dad. Wherever you are.

Other news on the graveyard front?

I got the day off! (Sorta.)

The place I work has three locations, and 30-plus employees. The graveyard shift is the toughest to fill; unreasonable fears and interruption of social life are the two biggest reasons.

Another? The inability to read a fucking work schedule! All the new people have been ‘reading the schedule wrong’. In other words, not showing up the night they are supposed to, then acting dumb the next day when righteous indignation from the bosses lands on their forehead. It’s happened three times this week, and guess who was the latest victim?

I smelled a rat from the beginning. Due to holidays, my regular guy had the night off, and a newbie was scheduled. I called people in advance, left messages at his regular store, reminded bosses to remind him, etc… Still, I had a feeling.

Daddy always said trust your gut. I *knew*… So when time to leave rolled around, and no warm body in sight, I began making more phone calls. Newbie’s phone is disconnected, with no new number. So I call the emergency pager, and Boss Whitney answers promptly.

“What the fuck!? Did you try calling him? I’ll call you right back.”

A few minutes later, the phone rings. “It’s not looking good. His phone’s out, and Grinder is off today, so I can’t call him.” (Grinder had called me a couple hours previous, and had obviously enjoyed many Fuzzy Navels. Not an option.) “How you doin’?”

Translation: is there any way you can work a double shift?

Having already done the math, I hemmed and hawed. “Well, I feel pretty good, but I wouldn’t want to come in tonight? Can you work with that?”

“I think we can do that.” The subtle tone barely contained the relief. He didn’t have to get out of bed to come relieve me in the middle of the night.

And I just scored a four-fucking-day weekend!!!

The shift itself wasn’t all that bad. The crowds disappear after midnight, then the same old sidewalk crew was all I had to deal with. A few of the naughty crackheads were disappointed that I was working. (Sorry, Little Debbie is busy tonight!) One decided to be brave, and looked surprised when I sold to him. The guys sleeping on the sidewalk just up from the doorway? They weren’t bothering anyone, especially me. No sense waking them up and giving them reason to…

About 3 AM I had another surprise. A tall black figure, doing her best Beyonce impersonation, stretched and said “Hi baby.” Closer inspection revealed a 5 o’clock shadow, and after I let her finish her sandwich inside the store, she said, “I’m so drunk I’d have sex with just about anybody…”

I dodged the offer by pointing her toward the taco sauce. (It hasn’t been that long…) Then Raven, my favorite local cocktail waitress, came in to say hi. Uncle Tranny liked her better than me, and promptly scared Raven away. Patience evaporated, I sent him/her on their way.

Since Grinder was off, the Porno Queen was working for him. She’s an early bird, so I called her. “Hey baby, it’s 4:20. Smoke ’em if you got ’em…”

“Aah! What are you doing up? You’re the last person I expected to hear from.”

I told my tale of woe, and finished with, “So if you’re already up, and got not much to do, showing up early would leave me forever in your debt…”

“I’ll be on the first bus!”

And she was. At ten to six in the morning, she walked in and I walked out. The sun was rising, and the alert faces were a nice counter-punch to my drooping mug. The bus ride was quick and painless, and as I got off the bus, a slight mist and a few drops of rain anointed my tired self.

I think it was my Dad. Just saying hello.

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