Sunday, July 24, 2011

My life is so very unexciting these days that I find it difficult to blog.  There is nothing to report.  Work is as usual - I seem to have accepted a long term assignment - was told to me that it was only until they find a permanent employee to take it - but once I accepted it found out it is for a year to two years - hmmm - wonder what will happen when I fly the coop in November/December for a few months - oh well will cross that bridge when I get to it.  Started working on the route (Rover 2) on July 11.  Settling in nicely - then on the 18th at 6:05 a.m. the phone rings - they need me to be Jim today - he was on holidays and was scheduled back on the 18th but did not show - and I am the 'only' person who knows how to do his job - with no real training - so I was out the door at 6:10 a.m. to catch the first bus - had just managed to get dressed and was on my way downstairs to have breakfast and get something ready for my lunch - no such luck.  Was at work by 6:35 and worked straight through until 2:00 - someone noticed I was wearing my 'sandals' - closed toe ones - but sandals nonetheless - felt it necessary to bring it to the Health and Safety person's attention - who then went to the supervisor - my response was - well I am assigned out of the Riedel office - so I leave my stuff there - my sneakers are there - so someone was supposed to bring them over - actually the woman who got to do my run for the day - but she forgot - twice - then said she would bring them over at 2:00 - and I said not to bother as I would be heading home then.  Got home around 3 - and for some odd reason was hungry - go figure - looked in the fridge and there was some pizza - figured I could have a few slices as I had not eaten yet - and it would be the only meal I ate - but was informed by Matthew that the pizza was 'his' - so left it and made myself a couple of little sandwiches and had some salad - then had a big bowl of fruit - raspberries, blackberries - and went to my room.

Tuesday morning - phone did not ring - figured I was safe - downstairs at 6:36 - having had breakfast and made my lunch - and the phone rings - call a cab and come to be Jim again - ARGH - and do I have a pair of sneakers I could bring - yes I did - as I had purchased two new pairs of runners on Saturday - had been window shopping and Foot Locker had a sale on - so I picked up two pairs of Saucony shoes - size 9 and 9.5 - not sure about the 9 - but - whilst browsing I ran into a fellow postie - Maxine - and she told me what to look for and also informed me that her podiatrist had told her that with all the walking we do that shoes should be replaced ever two months - ouch - we do get a boot/shoe allowance - a whole $0.11 an hour - and the shoes were one sale for $80 a pair - no way does the shoe allowance cover replacing shoes every two months - but upon hearing that I did not feel badly any more that the pair that I started wearing in March were trashed - I had wondered what was going on - bad pair or what - but upon reflection - not surprising - the walk routes are between 12-17 km every day - day in day out and I am no light weight - so it is not all that surprising that the shoes had had it.  With the route I am on now - the walk route is very short - so the shoes might last longer.  Anyhow - took the pair of size 9's to work - and by the end of the day thought my toes were going to fall off - not a happy camper. 

Wednesday back to 'my' route and I wore the new size 9's again - had the old pair at the depot so if necessary could swap out - but they were not that bad - I am glad that I do not have a lot of walking to do - as they are just a snitch too short - but for the walking I am doing now - they will work - the size 9.5's will be perfect - and I must admit that with the new shoes my knees and hips are not nearly as sore - although I guess it is not fair to say it is just because of the shoes - part of that may be because I am not walking nearly as much.

The Rover 2 run consists of a lot of loading and unloading of mail/parcels.  First thing I have to do is load up the mail for Fort Chipewyan and take it to the airport - then off to Westjet to pick up any last minute express post - and then back to the depot for the express post to be distributed.  I also have to take all the 'third class' mail from the Riedel office to the Hardin office - royal pain in the touche.  The bins that are used are quite large and get heavy - so I have to lift them onto the truck and then shift them from the truck into a 'mono' (large wire cube - 3' x 3' at least) - lots of upper body work - and my upper body is not all that strong - so my muscles are not really thrilled with me - and having to reach up to close the back door - my right side gets a really good stretch - need to remember to alternate which hand I use - or I will end up even more lopsided than I already am.  I have to pick up parcels and other mail at two Retail Post Offices and take them Riedel to be sorted to Edmonton or in Fort McMurray.  I also have to empty the red mail boxes - have to start that at 15:00 not a second sooner.  I have 21 'ports of call' that I have to deal with from 15:00 on.  Usually am back to the depot by shortly after 16:00 - although sometimes it is later.  No one wants to take this run because you do have to work until at least 16:00 - whereas if you are doing a walk - you are finished by 13:00 or earlier and then you get to go home.  There are certainly times it would be nice to be able to head home early - but such is life.  If the morning goes smoothly - no late relay bags or anything like that - I am finished by 11:30 a.m. and then do not have to start back until 13:45 - so have a nice long lunch break - would be nice to have wheels - could do something - but then again - I do not think I would want to be coming home - because once I got here it would be tough to go back.  I manage to while away my time.  Think I will use the company vehicle (it is allowed) and head to the library this week - have finished all my library books and will not be in town this coming weekend to return them - so will do it during my break - or in the morning if I have time before I head out to deliver my mail.

Spoke with my sister in law, Suzanne, last weekend still no word from or about Ayman - afraid this is really wearing me down - I do not sleep well - which does not help me deal with work or life around here - but not much I can do about it.

Marian and Matthew headed to BC on the 21st of July - Marian will be spending two weeks in Creston with the folks - Matthew is headed to the island to spend time with his dad.

Shani and the twins are doing well - this upcoming week is her last week at work - she says she feels as if she is being beaten up from the inside out, but other than that she is doing well - has passed or will soon pass the 32 week period.  Here is hoping she can make it to the end of August - best for the babies - every day she can keep them happy incubating in her is great.

Still no idea when I will be heading to Calgary - Miles has not been able to make/take time to discuss it - so will certainly be playing that one by ear.  Did get busy and ship some 'treasures' down to Calgary with Marian - will make my trip much easier - as I will only have to pack one suitcase.

And on that note I am going to sign out - go downstairs and finish the laundry and maybe get brave and mow the front lawn before it rains again - will have to check to see how wet it is before I attempt it though. 


Monday, July 11, 2011

The lockout is over and we are back to work - we were back to work on June 28 - have been working flat out since then - have a back log of mail to deliver.  First week I was on a mobile route - which means I deliver parcels for a fairly large area and deliver mail to a smaller area - got the hang of it and was finishing in good time on the last day - which was the Thursday - Friday was Canada Day so a day off.  Then I got switched to another route - not sure why - according to the union rep I should not have been bumped - but who knows - and of course by the time I am informed it is too late - and this route is a walk route - walking about 12 km every day - five days - Thursday in the rain the whole time - Friday in the rain for a bit of the time - needless to say by the end of Friday my body was not at all happy with me.  I feel physically beaten up - add to that being mentally bruised and I am not in a very great place - wishing I could find me a cave and hide out in it for the duration - the stress of not knowing what is happening with Ayman is wearing on me - I know there is nothing I can do about it - could someone please get that message to my brain - so that at night I can sleep - I am not sleeping well - which does not help me to carry out my letter carrier duties at all - need all the sleep I can muster to get my body walking as far as it has to - but ....

Spent yesterday in the company of a very good friend - she picked me up and we went shopping.  We went to the Body Shop at the Peter Pond Mall - they had an awesome sale on - so I took the opportunity to stock up on body butter and a few other treats - spending as much time outside as I do - I need extra moisturisation for my skin - I am getting quite brown - well parts of me are getting quite brown - my feet have a very funky tan line going - and that which is tanned is quite dark - my legs are slowly getting brown - not at the same rate - unfortunately - and my arms and neck are quite brown - my face is not getting a lot of colour - a) because I wear a wide brimmed hat and b) because I wear sun screen with an SPF of 100 - as per the dermatologists orders in Egypt - need to be careful when applying the sun screen because if it gets in my eyes - it really burns - and of course I sweat like a horse so if I put it on my forehead it just runs into my eyes - so it is put on my nose, cheeks and chin - and of course the hat covers my forehead - so it does not get any sun.

Today spent the day at Marian's work picnic - was a good time - despite the sulking 18 year old - must admit I do not 'appreciate' his attitude and the way he treats Marian - not much I can do about it - but it certainly frustrates me.  Lots of good food - the standard fare of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken breasts - all very well done.  They had someone painting faces, a balloon man who was busy making all kinds of balloon shapes, snow cones, popcorn and of course cotton candy.  They had a bouncy room for the little kids - lots of soccer balls for the kids to play with - a little craft area where they could colour up a bus and take it home.  Weather was nice - a bit of a breeze - some cloud to keep it from getting too hot - but enough sun to keep it warm.

That is all I have to report at the moment - not much new in my life - in fact nothing at all.  But felt the need to update and try to keep on top of things - such as they are.