Pressure Is A Privilege, You Say?

Today, I’m feeling the pressure of what I’m thinking wi;; be a critical few days in my future. If the job works out, it gives me breathing room – if and until that changes.

I’ve been trying to get into watching the Rays games – it just doesn’t feel the same these days. Players are continuing to catch COVID to the point where the entire MLB season my be cancelled for the first time in its history. Hoping that doesn’t happen, obviously – we need success stories in sports, not failures.

I mentioned a while back that the time Big Brother season open came and went – but it does look like they’re going to give it a try with an All-Star season beginning on Wednesday. Usually we know by now who is playing and a gist off what the game will entail – but all we know about BB22 is that it will be an All-Star season just as BB7 was in 2006. Usually I want to see a good season – but this year, I’m rooting for everyone to make it through the season. We need success stories, not failures.

If I’m feeling the pressure that seems to be out there, I’m sure there are pressures in your life that you’re dealing with unlike ever before. The stresses we are all communally dealing with can’t be good. Lord willing, I’ll be back next week with a few more entries.

And Then A Game Of Fizzbin Broke Out

Another week came and when with the job – the training was supposed to have been completed by now, but that has had the need to be extended. About half of the training class left, but I am still there.

I’m encountering the same difficulties I did in 2015 when I physically worked at the 24/7 In Touch job at their physical call center,, even though I don’t have to leave home to do the job. Training is very rigorous, and there’s a lot to remember – and it can even bog down those who are more computer literate, like I envision myself as being.

The job reminds me of the “Fizzbin” game Captain Kirk makes up in an episode of Star Trek. As was the case five years ago, I’m wondering what happens if I can’t grasp the complexities of the job. Five years ago, there were other avenues and venues to explore, and anyone could explore them.

Here in 2020 with COVID still hanging in there, there are too many unknowns. Five years ago, I had the choice not to play out the hand. Now, I pretty much have to – not knowing what will be around in a few months, and what won’t be.

Back In A Couple Of Saddles

As I was mentioning yesterday (and I will be blogging on a reduced schedule here – basically my days off from work), I had the fortune of not one but two opportunities open up for me in late June. The post COVID-19 world has been this giant reset button for me, and a bizarro world for everyone else. Before it, I may have been close to unhirable – but with everyone losing business and employees, I have somehow worked my way up without trying.

Walmart was the first to offer me work – and I can now reveal (having turned in my badge and vest) that I’m no longer there. I don’t think it is a company secret that they are very cautious about employees getting sick – so they asked us to self screen ourselves using cell phone apps. Hours before my second day of work, I did such a screening – and reported honestly that I had a runny nose.

They asked me to stay and home and quarantine for 10 days – which I did, only going out to go to the store for groceries. In my county of Pinellas County of Florida – wearing masks inside businesses is a mandate, though Walmart has their own mandate now.As for the runny nose, it was not a harbinger of COVID for me – I took some Tylenol I had on me, and it went away in a few days.

Needless to say, if I’m going to miss work every time I catch a cold – I’m going to need another occupation. Being new at Walmart likely means the lost time won’t turn into any compensation for me. I had the very good fortune of having 24/7 In Touch, a Canadian company with a call center off of US 19 in Clearwater also inquire about hiring me. In fact, seeing signs the Walmart job may gp sour on me my first day there – I called them on my lunch break.

Having worked for them previously almost five years ago, 24/7 has had to change their strategies with COVID being around as well – their call center is now virtual, meaning I work from home for them. I felt that this was the better move – less wear and tear on me physically, and no time or money wasted on commuting.

At the desk where I type out these blog entries now sits two computers – both Dells: my home personal computer and a work computer. Tomorrow, I start my second week of training thru Zoom (which I had never used before) for one of their many clients.

Money will be tight for me in the next couple of weeks – the consequences of my honesty with Walmart.. (Why should it pay to be dishonest about being sick there?) But I think I’ve gotten into a position where I can clearly see light at the end of my tunnel – and that looks like a good thing.

New Normals

So I took a break from the madness that social media has devolved into. I will continue with blog entries here, and try and stay out of the political realm when I do. I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever I say about all of that isn’t going to change the world – at least positively. I will continue to hope for peaceful solutions to the problems our country is going through in the here and now.

I can’t go into all the details yet – but there have been changes on the job front that I think will work out better for me. I’m sure you are all familiar with the phrase about a door closing and another door opening. I had the fortune of having a door open for me, and then another door open for me that fits what I perceive to be my skill set better. As I said, I’ll talk about this in greater depth in another entry.

The things I normally do with the blog, such as the “Flashback” series – that’s going to go away for a bit in it’s normal firm. I may include a song or two in these blog entries and add that to the playlist.. I’m thinking it’s time to be a bit more serious and personal with what I say, and where I’m going.

Back with more in a few – right now, it’s a jungle out there.

About That Hiatus…

In the spring, when COVID-19 was peaking – I foresaw a set of circumstances where I’d have to suspend my blogging operations. By continuing on, I seemed to have only delayed the inevitable.

I have reached the conclusion that we can’t have opinions and discussions on social media about the topics of our time without friends, acquaintances, or family coming after you. Recently, I announced on Facebook I had signed a petition here in Florida on the ongoing debate about whether mask-wearing should be mandatory. I wear masks in public for protection purposes, as does my mother – because my county of Pinellas mandates this. I merely suggested that the option to wear masks should be ours, never saying that if the choice was as such – I would still wear one.

And friends, acquaintances, and family – you guessed it – lost their minds.

With that, I’m taking a page of action that I normally do when people call me to do be polled. When that happens, I decline to participate. I don’t want my preferences to determine the ongoing strategies of an election – whether it is for a seat on the Pinellas County City Council or for President of the United States. I vote for who I vote for, period.

Similarly, I think it’s time to be on the sidelines for a while. The differences in opinions aren’t going away – they are escalating. I don’t want to be a part of that escalation any more. It’s almost at the point where whoever wins the US Election in a few months doesn’t matter. There will still be long-term problems despite who wins – one set would just be different from the other.

As of today, I am not suspending my social media accounts – I will just choose instead not to participate in them. I will keep my sports gaming blog and YouTube accounts going that deal with that hobby. It’s a reminder of back when the sports world wasn’t all that controversial and submerged in politics as it is now.

I don’t know how the future plays out – your guess is as good as mine. For me, it is time to just watch and listen to the events unfold that are ahead.

Gaslighting The Presidency

If you’ve visited this blog often enough – you know how I feel about things. My opinions are my own – you’re going to come at me with your own points of view, which I can respect and appreciate. We live in probably the most interesting times this country has ever seen, which a choice in a few months that may alter our country’s future for good or ill forever.

I didn’t see the President’s news conference yesterday – because I’m not too keen generally on the absurd questions the media tends to ask that cater to political whims and what their viewers, listeners, and readers would want to see asked. They have become cheerleaders for the leot who presently run a candidate who is a hollow shell of who he used to be. They are opinion columnists disguised as reporters.

What I noticed yesterday was the allegations that the President, in the opinion of these reporters with Twitter handles, was holding a campaign rally at the White House’s Rose Garden. Some opined that because the President was giving opinions at a press conference where opinions are solicited by said reporters – was violating the Hatch Act. As you can see by what I saw from the screen grab from the Twitter app from my cell phone – not even the Associated Press was buying what these ever-implying reporters was selliing.

This is what the media does, and this is how the President had to survive an impeachment earlier in the year. They tell you that something is illegal when such a thing is perfectly legal – like the President asking the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Asking for an investigation is legal – influencing the outcome of such an investigation is not.

Needless to say, the media does a disservice to the public when they misrepresent the truth in the matter that they do. Even Fox News is fake news – a willing collaborator in the Democratic misinformation campaign. The President recently tweeted that maybe the media who depends on viewer donations (such as NPR and PBS) should be defunded – and perhaps that time has come.

All of this because a non-politician became President. They didn’t treat General Eisenhower this way, did they?

Flashback: “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band

On Monday past, we lost Charlie Daniels – who died suddenly at the age of 81.

Easily, this song was Charlie’s biggest hit – going to #1 on the country charts and #3 on the Hot 100 in 1979.

The Yang To That Ying

The Walmart job is beginning to look like it’s going to happen. I completed my orientation yesterday, and tomorrow (July 9) will be my first day on the job.

If you caught my last blog entry on Sunday, you know my story with Walmart. I left because I really didn’t feel at the time that I had any control over my future there – and that it was being controlled for me. I should be clear that this is what I consider an old issue – that with everything going on in the world with COVID, that I don’t feel this way anymore. I don’t want to come off as a primadonna or anything like that.

In fact, I now wonder what my life would be like in the 2020 where I had stayed at Walmart in 2000. Would I still be there in that 2020 in that alternative 2000? What changes to my life would have occurred that didn’t occur in this timeline I currently live in? Or, would I have been somewhere else in “that” 2020 and had my job wiped out by “that” COVID, and I’d be watching my life radically altered like so many of you out there?

Hard to say – and probably not worth the effort to think about.

Return To Wally World

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

If you had told me a week ago I’d be working for Walmart again – I wouldn’t have believed you. The very Walmart I’ve spoken of many of times on this blog is now the new home of my employment.

With the COVID money most Americans got running out faster than I had anticipated, and no word of any more stimulus coming anytime soon – I did what most would do: look for work. I knew it would probably be difficult to do so during a pandemic, but as John Madden might say – I couldn’t worry about the horse being blind. I just had to load the wagon.

I applied to Walmart several times in the past few years, previously to this effort with no success. My last day at Walmart was July 11, 2000 – when I had transferred from the store I worked at in Charlotte, North Carolina to one in Largo, Florida. To be completely transparent – I left because I worked in maintenance in Charlotte, then they told me I’d be a stocker in Largo and did so without what I felt was fair notice. The way I remember it, it was basically a take it or leave it situation – and you can guess what I chose being 20 years younger and having gone through fewer life experiences.

In the 2020 go around I’m currently in – I was initially told I was going to be an online shopper, where I would go around the store and retrieve grocery items and whatnot. When I went to the interview – the online shopper job opening turned into an opening in automotive.

Well, I had that coming to me, I guess – though it seems if you express a confidence in being able to do something well, at least in my instances they stick you somewhere else and make you learn that. They want employees who they can control, I guess (and perhaps that’s the smarter way of doing things, to give employees new and more skills and not a comfort zone) – and in times like these, there’s only one thing left to ask.

Where do you want me to attach the puppet strings?