Category Archives: Blogging

Black Dog.

Not that anyone has noticed, but I’ve been quiet for a few months. Partly this was due to tiredness, but mainly due to the fact that I find the winter a particularly difficult time of year. I suffer from depression, although to be honest, I only have it, it’s the people around me who suffer from it. I’ve been medicated for several years, and it works well, but the winters in the PNW are not easy at the best of times. The cold and damp are bad enough, but the unrelenting greyness is what really gets to people.

A couple of years ago my doctor gave me another anti depressant to try, and while it worked, the side effects made it not worth my while to continue, so I decided not to continue taking it. My improved personal life helped, as did my therapist ( see earlier posts), so it wasn’t too bad, but last winter was just a bridge too far.

As you can imagine, we were slammed at work from before Thanksgiving through the end of the year, with only the few days after Thanksgiving providing any relief as people lived on leftovers. However, very shortly things ramped up again, until the nightmare that was December 23rd and 24th. We have four slicers in the department, yet for two those two days we had six, yes, six people working the Meat and Cheese counter. the only time the machines weren’t running was the brief interlude between orders. All six of us worked flat out to fill orders, yet we still had a line of customers to serve. At one point a slicer overheated and had to be taken out of service, which only made things worse.

Was there any acknowledgement of our efforts? Did anyone from Management come out and tell us how much they appreciated our herculean efforts? Were we provided with even so much as  a free coffee as reward for our work? Were we fuck! Let me tell you what we did get: We got a shitload of grief over one incident. A staff member, actually the manager of another section didn’t hear us call her number. As soon as we were made aware of this, we served her, as we would if someone else had missed their turn. Not satisfied with this, she complained, saying that one of us had spoken rudely to her, and she then went around time dissing us to all and sundry. Yeah, really! Apparently she had no responsibility to pay attention to her number being called. The offending staff member was supposed to apologise to her, but I don’t know if it ever  happened, but the damage was done.

Of course, Management never  have to take their place on the front line, don’t see how much we do, nor how short tempered some customers can be, during what is, admittedly, a very high stress time of the year. This did nothing to improve my mood and I went into the Christmas period feeling somewhat below par. What also didn’t help is that neither of my kids bothered to buy a Christmas present for my girlfriend. My son claimed that his gift was on back order and my daughter claimed that her piece of art wasn’t finished. As you can imagine I was both embarrassed and angry, and my girlfriend was understandably upset. Not a good end to the year under any circumstances.

Then there is the always reliable financial situation. I have pared my expenses to the bone, made changes to save on expenses and still I am no further ahead at the end of the month. I don’t expect to be  hip deep in cash, but it would be nice to have even slightly more cash at the end of the month than at the start. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in debt, nor am I broke, but it would make me feel a lot happier if I had a bit of leeway.

As January wore on I found myself less and less inclined to blog to the very few of you who read, and a sort of inertia took over. as you are no doubt aware, once you stop doing something it’s harder to start up again, and the longer you stop, the harder it becomes. However, I’ve decided that enough time has passed and enough noteworthy events have happened that I’m going to fire up the old blog engine and give it a good run for its’ money.

Yeah, that was the reaction I was expecting, but I’m going ahead anyway. I have a lot of ground to cover, so be aware that there may well be more posts in the next few weeks than you’d like.

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Filed under Blogging, depression

Numbers

“Eins, zwei, drei, veir, funf, sechs, sieben, acht”. Not exactly the most inspiring of lyrics, but Ralf Hutter is better known for his musical skills than his wordsmithing. Not that it stopped Kraftwerk becoming one of the greatest and most influential musical groups of all time. However, it is very appropriate when it comes to my blog.

You see, I began this blog six years ago, after I moved out of my marital home prior to my divorce. Fancying myself as a writer I decided to blog about my experiences as a cheap form of self medication, and sent out invitations to those I cared about, should they want to read it. Most didn’t, yet for some reason I kept on posting. I assumed that I was merely screaming into the void, but if you have to scream, you have to scream. During a career counselling session, it was suggested to me that I take the blog public, which, much against my better instincts, I did, which is why you find me here.

I turned the first 75 posts into an e-book, available on Amazon, Songs In The Key Of Single Dad and waited for the money to roll in. I didn’t, of course, and of course, it didn’t (See “Paperback Writer”).However, about five copies did sell, which puts me ahead of most writers, seeing as about 10,000 titles are published in the U. S. every year, most of which go unread.

I picked up the occasional follower from time to time and posted inconsistently as that is how life is. However, in the past two weeks I have received several “likes” (See “Five Years” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “Answers”), and a few actual followers, bringing my total up to a magnificent 30. Not 30,000. Not even 300, but just 30. Enough to just about half fill a tour bus. A couple of bloggers I follow have posted recently about their following. One, Beauty Beyond Bones surpassing 50,000, which is bloody impressive.

What I’d like to know is how the bloody hell people find me in the first place. It can’t be word of mouth, because I have so few followers to begin with. I’m not tech savvy, so optimisation is not my forte, and I’m sure it can’t be the subject matter. I mean, the semi -incoherent ramblings of a middle aged white guy are not exactly the most sought after reading material, so what the hell?

I do have to give credit to Sam, whose blog Living! seems to have brought me some traffic. I’d really like to hear how Sam found my blog and why he considered it worth following, as I’m damned if I know.

Much as this may sound like a pity party, it isn’t. I’m not trying to monetise my blog, nor could I even if I wanted to, and I’m in no way seeking fame in any form, but I’d really like to know how people found my blog. I will, of course, continue to blog. I have quite a bit to blog about, including what appears to be a couple of very promising potential relationship opportunities. I  know how cold that sounds, but as things go, I can’t really say a great deal more before something happens. I’m meeting someone for a second date on Sunday, although I would argue that our 3 1/2 hour phone call last Saturday qualifies as a date de jure, if not de facto ( See future post).

There have been several occasions in the past when I’ve given serious consideration to just giving up on the whole blogging endeavor, but some spark of stubborn refusal to face facts keeps kicking in. I suspect that this is due to my being English. You see, a pig – headed refusal to face reality is what enabled us to build an empire and  survive two world wars. If my ancestors can get through that, I’m pretty sure I can keep sitting down in front of a keyboard when more than slightly drunk and pound out a few hundred words, regardless of whether any one reads them or not.

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Filed under Blogging, writing