Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Man Who Went to Earth

I found another task at work it is easy to lose oneself in. We have a half-dozen high-tech coffee vending machines (the kind that grind the coffee for each cup they brew). Those require nearly constant maintenance. For one thing, they go through 3-4 pounds of coffee per machine every day. Plus they dispense hot chocolate and creamer and a weird powdered vanilla-cappuccino mix which is better than you'd think it would be.

Keeping the company caffeinated takes 4-6 person-hours every day, which are being shared between our shop of three or four people. Actually, over the past week it has been mostly me, as I was carrying the only working key (due to being the person willing to make the run out to Rex and help them figure out how to duplicate it).

It is oddly interesting (and doesn't feel the least bit degrading) pulling apart the guts of these mechanisms to clean and adjust them. I'm pretty sure it would pall in a couple months but I found the day passed quickly while I was doing it. And not like I wasn't a prep cook and dishwasher once. As I said before, even as a sound designer you end up rolling cables and sweeping up. All jobs, when you get down to it, have their drudge component.

On the other hand I've been feeling quite poorly the last few days and the most I've accomplished on the Imperial Highway is multiple errands for additional casting compound, paints, magnets, and so forth. Figure I've spent at least a couple hundred on supplies but I haven't been counting.

Appears my fears about full-time work are still being born out. I've gone from "struggling" to "barely managing." About the best I can say is I can now pay my bills on time.

Sigh. I remember being in Boston a decade of winters ago. Skipping lunch to save money. Walking to work in the punishing cold rather than spend even the 75-cent bus fare. And here I am...still unwilling to spend on a new pair of shoes (a tube of Shoe Goo is cheaper). I was conscious of the ticking clock then, far too conscious. And now I'm a decade closer to a retirement I doubt I can afford.

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