These past few months have been extremely difficult for me. I was lost. Rudderless. Had no purpose. I was in a funk so deep that I wondered if I would see daylight ever again from the hole I fell in.
THANK YOU Shelly Makowski and Maureen Mathis for sending me text messages to let me know that you were concerned for me and sending your love. I was too deep in my pit to even respond to your love, and for that I am very sorry.
While I was a truck driver and gone on a near constant basis I dreamed, nay fantasized, about being home all the time to clean my house, do the paperwork, and craft to my heart’s content.
It was great while it lasted. That is until the wheels fell off on my plummet to hell.
I had to get out of the house before I became an agoraphobic statistic. I took a part time job at a local grocery store as a Housekeeper. Let me tell you, do I have stories to tell.
When I started there were five of us working the store. Three full time and two part time Housekeepers. Much to my chagrin, I would have three to four days off and work three days. When I got home from the long eight hour shifts my feet were KILLING ME. I hobbled to my car, up the steps to my house. It was about all I could do to get my clothes off and into the washer. Seriously, I thought I was going to just die! Most days I said to myself “What the heck were you thinking?!”
Before the month of February was over the woman who was the Head Housekeeper QUIT along with the other part time person. That left two full time people and me. I was still lost in my funk and didn’t take notice of what these changes were doing to my co-workers.
Arriving at work one morning, well into March, I noticed that one of the women I work with was looking like she had been hit my a Mack truck and backed over a few times. I asked if she were alright. Turns out that she had been working NINE DAYS STRAIGHT without a day off. My other co-worker had been on her SEVENTH DAY STRAIGHT with no day off.
That immediately brought me out of my self imposed, hurtling willy nilly, trip to hell. Being the type of person that I am – Nosey Parker – I wrote a memo to the Store Managers, Personnel, and the Operations Managers. Something needed to be done, and it had to be done NOW! Work me into the schedule so these women could go home and collapse for a couple days. The schedule needed to be altered so they both would get two days off in a row from henceforth. I did it politely with details of the events that lead up to this catastrophe.
Things changed and my co-workers were able to have the much needed time off. Thankfully before there was a MASS EXODUS on my hands.
Things went along pretty well for the next few weeks. My co-workers were feeling better and I was there to do my job. My feet were no longer wishing to murder me. They still hurt but I had gone from a four to six aspirin day down to two. Progress was being made.
I was entrusted with a set of keys when I started work. One to open the toilet paper dispensers, one for the hand soap dispensers, one to unlock the Housekeeping area, and one to work the lock I purchased for a locker to store my purse.
Around the first week of April an event so stupendous happened. One that shut my brain off and made me a blithering idiot. I was getting ready to open one of the toilet paper dispensers in a stall in the Women’s bathroom. My keys slipped out of my hands and flew into the toilet. The automatic flushing mechanism worked wonders. I stood horrified as I watched my keys disappear. Gone. Vanished. Never to be seen again.
I flew to the Customer Service Desk and bleated “My keys got flushed”. The poor woman behind the desk was trying to get information from me.
SHE: “Your car keys?”
ME: “My keys got flushed!”
SHE: “Your house keys?”
ME: “MY KEYS GOT FLUSHED!”
SHE: “What keys did you flush?”
ME: “My keys got flushed! My Housekeeping Keys!”
This whole time my mind was reeling. How was I going to get my purse out of my locker? How was I going to get into the Housekeeping area to get supplies? How was I going to get cleaning towels to replenish my supply?
After my total melt down I came to my senses. I headed for the back of the store and found someone to open a locked door where the cleaning towels are stored. I grabbed a stack of them, folded what I needed and stored the remainder in a trash bag and stuffed away in a safe place. The lock I had on the locker holding my purse was cut off with some bolt cutters. The next day was going to be a challenge. I had no way of getting into the Housekeeping area to get my work papers.
When I first started this job I was stymied by the “time” requirements. I have to keep a work diary with the start and end times of each of my tasks. Not having to do this kind of record keeping before I found that I was in the middle of another task and had totally forgot to record the times of the previous task. To force myself to do the job correctly I created a document that would make me focus on the time requirements.
That document helped me on the next day when I could not get the proper papers that I needed. I was asked by the woman in Personnel where my “Floor Plan” was. I had to tell her I was locked out of the Housekeeping area and I had to make do with what I could. Okay, so the total crisis was averted. The only thing left was to await the hand on my shoulder telling me that I had been FIRED. That didn’t happen. Two days later I received another set of keys and I had to purchase another lock. While I was at it I purchased one of those coil-y gizmos that go around a person’s wrist to hold their keys. These keys were NOT GOING TO BE FLUSHED AGAIN!
What did happen though – with my totally fake demeanor of calm and collected, no problem too big – I was told that the job of Head of Housekeeping was going to be mine as soon as everyone required to make that decision had been consulted.
So that leads me to what I have to share with you today. Little by little I am getting back into my craft room.
The little folder that holds the blank “Floor Maps” and the completed ones is falling apart. I have a zippered folder that I have been considering throwing out but have kept around. That will be put to use.
A pad of paper by Heidi Swapp
Letter size manilla file folders.
Altered file folders.
Now we are getting organized.
I battle depression from time to time. I can’t claim that my situation and the steps I have taken to get out of it would apply to anyone else. It only works for me. I need to have a “Purpose” to keep going. Be of help to others and solving problems is what I need to begin the long climb out of the dark abyss.
I have no idea when my next post will be or what it will be about. I’ve pretty much given up on the whole “Creating something special for birthdays” thing that I had started many years ago. That added pressure was a contributing factor to this decline.
So, until next time. Oh, before I forget…..another Housekeeper was hired. There are three full time and part time me. We have a male Housekeeper. That is a boon to us. Getting into the Men’s bathrooms to clean them can be a major challenge. Things are getting brighter in my world. I hope your world is bright as well.