Shop Girl


Today feels like Friday.  But it’s not.  And I need to get that mentality out of my head quick as I do not have a two day weekend.  I have one day.

One day to do all the stuff I normally do in two–groceries, laundry, writing, general catch up on household things.  I am screwed.  So, I may end up neglecting all those things, except the writing.

I worked today.  I almost had the opportunity to take the day off, but as I am now officially paying rent again, I figured it was not the best idea, as this was a short week for me.  I would lose a day of wages on my paycheck and the paychecks aren’t really big enough for me to afford that.

Besides I did not mind working today.  Although it felt weird.  I have never worked a Saturday before.  It was my first weekend shift.  It was definitely different.  Lots of people in and out, sold another bike–the count’s at ten!  The shop was often full of people–packed with people and the space is already pretty tight.

The best was when the tweaker came in trying to fix his flat tire.  I had not realized what was happening until it was too late and had already handed over the stand up air pump.  The kid was gacked out.  But still in that “I’m young and cute and my body can handle it,” phase of his use.  Although, I wanted to point out, that it was beginning to wear thin–you could see the edges fraying.

If he really had a job in the Marina he’d better be careful because he was starting to get that meth smile–I got to see that one tooth was already gone–but he still had a great smile.  However, you smoke that shit long enough you are going to lose all your teeth–and he’s on the path toward dentures.

His pants were also just this side of too dirty (not the dirty I love these jeans I am gong to wear them another day dirty, but the I only have this one pair and they’re nice, but I wear them day in and day out kind of dirty) and he’s pack was a little too full–like he had his life tucked way up in it–although it was still a decent pack it had the looks of I used to just be a nice messenger pack, but now it’s starting to be used as a homeless kid’s pack.

He was sitting on the floor of the shop when I came back from the bathroom and I noticed him leaned up against the wall.  Nobody sits on the floor of a shop with headphones on.

My first thought was, shit, tweaker.   But I was called to the front to ring up a transaction and I just sort of hoped that I had been wrong. Then I saw him converse with a customer.  Shit.  The gut was right.  And eventually the inevitable happened, he blew up his tube trying to change his tire.

Nothing like an exploding inner tube to rattle a person-or a whole shop full of people.

I was nice, handed him a card to the Bike Kitchen and waved him on his way.

Ah, nothing says good times like homeless addicts.  You gotta love them.  I could have been him, and I always remember that.  And I am sure I annoyed some one or another when I was crazy with my own shit.  I am not one to throw stones.  I felt for him.

None the less, tweaker aside,  I got to see the shop really busy and that was fun, made things go by faster.  And I got to see myself do something that I never do and I am so very, very, very proud of myself.

Some one called in sick today. He was out yesterday and really should not have worked Thursday either.  I mean, he is sick.  There is no one to cover the floor tomorrow.  And I did not offer to do it.

I was going to.

But then I thought, no, two weeks of working without a day off is not cool.  One day off is already putting my schedule into a bit of a tailspin.  Not having any days off.  Not going to do it.  I could tell mid way through the day that I was ready for a break from the shop.  When I heard that my co-worker had called in sick and there was no one but the GM to cover, I almost said I would.

In fact, I am pretty certain that response was being fished for.  But I would not know because I was not asked.  And I managed to refrain from offering.  This is huge.


The simple acknowledgement that my mental sanity is more important to me than a few extra dollars I would get from working the shift, is a huge shift for me.  Plus, the not needing to come to the rescue.  I don’t need to save this business.  I don’t have to swoop in with my red cape and save the day.

I could instead pause, breathe and walk away from the manipulation trap that was being set.  And had I been asked I might have said yes.  Then I would have been upset with myself and furiously resentful.

I knew I had commitments tomorrow that were more important.  Seeing Tanya at Four Barrel.  Meeting with Carolyn at 5p.m.  Neither one of these women deserves to be stood up because my world often times revolves around fear of financial insecurity.

My relationships are more important than my job.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my job is important and I am able to sit in the comfort of this home because I have it.  However, I can’t put it ahead of certain things in my life.  I chose to take the day off.

I am quite proud of myself.

I will also just get up tomorrow and see what happens.  I don’t have to do everything on my list of everything that must be done.  I have a bit of breathing room.

I always have a bit of breathing room!  It is my poor delusional brain that insists that everything must happen now, fast, quick, go!

I feel that my perspective is getting some perspective.

I also got to go out dancing with my girls tonight because I stepped away from the I’ll work on my day off trap.  I would not have gone done to the Fire House at Fort Mason to shake my tail feathers had I known that I would be going to work tomorrow.

I had a blast working it out.  It was not my kind of music and it did not matter.  I saw old faces I had not seen in a while and a I got to get caught up with my girls.  It was lovely.  Granted I was easily older than the majority of the crowd, it was an all ages event, and I am not kidding when I say that I was older by twenty years than the majority of the people there.

Did not stop me.

Although, the sound of my knees literally crackling as I walked up the steps to my place, brought home the age difference quite rapidly.

I can’t drop it like it’s hot any more.

I can drop it like it’s lukewarm, however, real well.

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