I have the day off, this is unexpected and largely unwelcome. However, it gives me a chance to write what I have been digesting for the last couple weeks. At the end of October, after a month of scares work and excessive spending I took a contract with a office furniture company. My agent at the temp office suggested it would be close to full time, the pay was better by just a bit than the last long gig. This is still wages so low that if they were any much lower I might as well be paying to show up.
As work goes it is strait forward. I show up where they tell me to and I move things about. The previous two days were spent disassembling a cubical farm. It still remains unclear what you farm in cubicles. The running hypothesis is we are being corralled by dust mights as a food source, as the office is home to tens of thousand mammal days* of dust and dander. Other variations include riding along with the delivery drivers to help load and unload the trucks. All simple enough stuff, simple enough that my brain has a few cycles to spare and could almost work on writing projects.
The worse of this gig has been the variability in the hours, often I start around 7:30 or 8am, but have started as early as 6:30am and as late as 9:00am. The 6:30 and 9:00am starts are the worst. The early starts at the warehouse nearly an hour away without a car. I enjoy an early start but at this cold dark time of year it is too much. As for the ungodly late start time of 9:00am, I hate it for the simple reasons, I could have started something else by then, and it is very nearly time for my secondus. The late start leads to horrible situation, working past 4:30pm.
So I have a far from ideal job that, bounces my hours around, approximates full time, if and only if we don't get the work done too fast. And yet this is the best work I have done in a long time, why. Because, despite continuing the trend of being a human forklift, I am not confined to a single setting and my role changes some with each day. There are also things to learn, right now I am a grunt lacking tools and know how, but there are clearly far more things to learn than I saw at my last long running gig. It is despite its physicality less demanding than the janitorial work I did in May, which still stands as the physically hardest work I have done. The last thing about this work is that it is starting to remind me of the things I liked in my past work.
My career as a geologist was short. We had a fundamental disagreement on lifestyle. One element that I did enjoy was the site visits. It is genuinely fun to change up where you work and have range of expectable unexpected. What broke me was a mix of core logging drudgery and living in industrial accommodations. Now doing site work around the city I find my self thinking, yes there might be more technical jobs around town I could do. Not that I know what that might be or how to land one if I did.
I still can't afford my life as it is. Paying off my student loans in the summer stopped the phone calls but did nothing to make life easier in any real sense. The rent is too high for my crap income, I have very little faith in my ability to increase my income. Moving was loosely planned to try to shave those costs down to something that would let me creep head in the money department. The balance of having enough, time, energy, motivation, and money to make a move happen is a delicate one. The problem is simply it takes a fair bit of money to move, to secure a deposit, acquire movers, and to the other things. Fearing I don't have enough I struggle to hold on to what I have creating the situation I dreaded. That of treading water, just barely getting by, eroding any surplus when a small problem arises.
So I feel stuck, a little scared and angry at myself. I knew I should have pushed in the summer to get out of here. On those days where I am left alone in my head these thoughts build up. As a habitually solitary creature I seldom get the chance to talk things out, I also dread the notion that I may need to ask favours of people, yet those are things that could help me get unstuck. In place of talking to people I will write about it.
For a little good news, my cat is losing weight. She had gotten a little too spherical for her own health.
*Mammal day, the authors measure of millimetres of dust created by the average domestic mammal in a day. Ideally used for describing the capacity of a vacuum cleaner.