Friday, May 16, 2008

working stiff


So much has been happening, but right now so little of it seems post-worthy.

I started my job, training last Thursday, worked 3 days 10am-4pm at the training, spent 2 nights 7:30pm-midnight shadowing people - well, actually, on Tuesday they stuck me with Cleveland/Columbus/Cincinnati, so I guess technically I actually wasn't shadowing that night. At first I was really hype about trying to get things into the system, refreshing the CAD pages (where the incident reports pop up) constantly and fretting about whether I missed anything on the police scanners. Then I looked around at people playing scrabble and goofing off on facebook, and just decided that maybe I shouldn't be taking this quite as seriously.

So, my job must be the opposite of yours, lol. We should do some kind of impromptu study into the differences in feelings of accountability and corporate loyalty in Japan vs. America! Haha, but for now at least maybe you can understand why I expect office workers to be goofing off all the time.

Over the weekend, Kim and her friend Talia dragged me 3 hours up to the Delaware water gap, where we hiked four miles up the Appalachian trail with giant packs on our backs to a backpackers' campsite. The trail was rocky as shit, and all uphill on the way in, pretty steep in places. I thought for sure that I would be straggling behind and gasping for breath since, unlike Kim, I haven't dropped 35 pounds hitting the gym everyday for the past months and, unlike Talia, I am not 'bout the size of a button and hiking a trail I've hiked a dozen times before.

You would have been impressed with me, Keiks. Someone told Kim that an experienced Hiker could make the four miles in an hour, and if you were really out of shape you might take four hours. We did it in only 2 hours, with a break for lunch!I was fucking killin' it, man. When you first start out, you get winded easily and I took a few breaks after the first few big hills. But once I got into a pace, I was fucking unstoppable. A lot of times I had to pause and wait up for Talia and Kim.

When we got to the campsite, we pitched our tents on this platform right on the side of the mountain with a view of the whole damn valley - it was gorgeous. Then we hiked out to the nearby pond where we got some extra water from a stream and Talia treated it with iodine, in which we would later boil our dinner (some kind of Indian-like pureed spinach with curry cheese and wild rice from TJ's that came in boiling pouches. Delish!) At the pond, we climbed up onto a cliff with a killer view and played Uno and Egyptian ratfuck (which I've been obsessed with since I learned it at my birthday party.)

That night, Talia and Kim took a walk on the trail to warm up before bed and I laid on our platform and watched the stars come out.

On the downside, I didn't get the hang of copping a squat to piss right away, the outhouse I had to shit in was like a one-room hell, and Kim surmises that that might be where I picked up the three deer ticks that were feasting on my blood when we got home the next day. More later on whether or not I have lyme disease. Also, I slept about a wink that night. I don't do well without an actual bed and pillow. Kim says maybe next time we can hike to a hotel.

But overall, inspite of the bruises from repeatedly twisting my ankles and falling on the campground (though not once on the trail) and the tick's head still embedded in my thigh, I hiked 8 fucking miles of rough trail in two days and I am so proud of myself.

Tonight I start my first 8 hour shift at work. I hope I can survive the boredom and overwhelming sense of hopelessness that is sure to overcome me after about the fourth hour of being stuck in that florescent-lighted room of buzzing police scanners and ennui, when I realize I'm only halfway done. My friend Roberta, who I worked with at the Franklin Institute, and who I just found out works there, too, says people fall asleep at their desks all the time. She's also been posting bulletins on Myspace for months before I even started working about how she hates the job.

Wish me luck, and for the love of god, dude, show up on facebook sometime between 8pm and 4am my time. On the flipside,


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