Finding That Pride

I’ve been keeping real busy between the two jobs lately. Things on my personal To-Do list are getting tougher to accomplish because of the constant hours I need to focus on working and preparing to go to work.

Usually between Casey’s and SVM, I’m working about 43-45 hours, but this week will add up to more than 50. I worked a morning shift at Casey’s and won’t work there again until Thursday evening. Then after that, I have a 43-hour stretch where I’m working 21 of them at Casey’s.

Why do I emphasize my Casey’s hours? To be honest, there’s more physical work involved working there as opposed to sitting or standing at a sports event and later sitting at my desk writing articles (and proofreading pages, track honor roll, whatever). I have a better peace of mind working at SVM, so I don’t dread those days when I have to cover a game.

However, when I work at Casey’s (and this situation was the same when I worked at Shell), I wake up feeling a bit unhappy because I need to mentally prepare myself for the physical work that I have to do and the mental interruptions that come with it. In particular the maneuvering around the store between chore and customer check-out.

But the biggest reason why I will be sighing come Thursday is because I’m preparing for the dullness that will come. I’ll be honest, working there doesn’t thrill me. [Notice I didn’t say “I hate working there,” as there is a difference.]

However, this is a place that does pay me for my work there, so I should find some sort of reason to be proud to put on the black smock.

First I have to ask myself, why does sports journalism make me happy?

What needs to be pointed out first and foremost is that there IS physical activity associated with covering some games. I’m walking around football fields, or climbing bleachers to go to press boxes, and descending those same steps to walk out to the field. There’s the long and boring car rides to and from far places, and that’s perhaps the greatest dread of it all. However, because I’ve worked at games throughout northern Illinois for nearly 15 years, the travel does not bother me.

I’m proud of the work that I do with SVM because it’s my career, something that I want to do for a very long time, and something that I take seriously. I get to see (work) sporting events and get to come back to the office to work with people that are into the same stuff as I am. In some cases, I get to be with such people while at the games themselves – and I can carry on a conversation throughout the event.

I’ll be honest, my background, interests, and white-collar profession differ from those of my co-workers at my other job, so it’s hard for me to strike up conversation about “my” things. Likewise, it’s hard for them to converse about “their” things to me. The same goes with the customers.

I get a lot of the blue-collar, dirty neon shirt people in the morning who are still half-asleep, and who are a lot different than me. I can’t seem to relate to them to be able to strike up a clerk-customer friendship. However, when sports-minded people stop by, there’s this burst of energy that comes from me wanting to talk sports. That feeling only lasts for as long as the customer is in the store.

So how I do create happiness out of dullness?

I’ve invited people to come on by. That hasn’t really worked. Plus, there is no table to sit and and talk with customers (like Shell with Bill and Dorothy, and Joe and Kay).

I could stack cups, play with the store items, shoot rubber bands, and play around – but that is frowned upon by the powers that are.

I wonder if scaling back to mainly “register help” shifts would work? I’d simply be assisting the chief register person with a second register and some chore work. That way, I won’t feel so interrupted as much with flow and pace. I’m fully concentrated on chores and projects, or I’m fully concentrated on running a cash register. I can work at my own flow and pace, and not feeling so bothered by it all. There is not much of a burden of responsibility under this arrangement, and thus there is not as much pressure and dread of working.

I’m just trying to find a better peace of mind with my life. This involves pulling a lot of strings, but I would rather be sane than insane. Ever since the ordeal with my ex-best friend, eliminating stress has been a crusade in my life. It’s become hit-and-miss since then, but I’m really looking forward to greater peace of mind, creative freedom …

… and still have ample money in my wallet.

Plus, I have a little extra time to chit-chat with people that I want to talk to.

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