Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It's surprisingly difficult for me to get off my duff and do the things that need doing right now.  It's terrifyingly easy to lose myself in the day-to-day details.

Slept late this morning.  It was snowing when I went to bed, around 2:00 in the morning.  Despite the passage of nearly a month* since I was laid off, my body has stayed on a sort of modified night shift, staying up until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and then wanting to sleep until 9:00 or 10:00.  This was actually the pattern I stayed in most of my days off while working night shift. I knew that a crust of ice was expected to coat the snow at some point, and make any sort of traveling tricky.  I woke to the sound of my neighbor shoveling his sidewalks, and mine, and the neighbor on the other side of me.  I rolled over and lazily decided to let him have his fun.

When I finally got out of bed and geared up to go outside, I was surprised at how clean the sidewalks looked.  But - why did there seem to be some white patches of ice on his sidewalks, but nowhere else?  I decided to go and investigate, but first I had to clear the crusty snow off my porch, my steps, and the sidewalk inside my gate.  When I finally made it out to the sidewalk, I realized that  the appearance of being completely clean was an illusion - the sidewalks were covered with a transparent layer of ice.  The white patches I was seeing on my neighbor's sidewalks were actually spots where he had salted; the salt had melted through the surface of the ice and started to melt the snow and ice underneath.  I went back inside, filled a dispenser with ice melt, and marched back and forth in front of my house, his house, and the house of the neighbor on the other side.  I also sprinkled some salt onto their front steps and the sidewalks on their side yards, just for good measure.

After all this was done I drove over to my mom's house to have breakfast and get to  work on her sidewalks.

Then we went to my brother's house for a birthday party, and then stopped at the supermarket on the way back to do our grocery shopping for the week.  That was where I discovered that my unemployment claim had not been paid out onto my debit card.

And that was my whole day.  Sleep, shovel, salt, shovel, salt, shower, birthday party, grocery shopping. 

Mundane.  Trivial.  Really not helping to further the program one bit, except in the sense that lawsuits from people who fall on icy sidewalks and the deleterious effects of not eating would tend to keep the program from reaching a successful conclusion in a timely manner. 

*Well, exactly a month, if you exclude the eight holidays that the state of Pennsylvania, or at least its Unemployment office, have had since the start of my layoff:  Christmas Eve Eve, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve Eve, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Martin Luther Ling Jr.'s birthday, and Inauguration Day.  A call placed December 28 that was guaranteed to be returned by "the following business day" was not returned until January 4th.  A filing on January 16 - a Sunday, but a work day for the Unemployment office - which was to result in a claim payment by "the following business day", was not paid by the evening of Tuesday the 18th.  So I'm assuming Inauguration Day was not considered a "business day."

1 comment:

hedera said...

After I retired, I found it took considerable discipline to accomplish anything, especially anything that was "just for me." It's way too easy to pick up one more book or magazine to read. I have to work on that "just for me" business - I can do projects for other people, but projects for me get set aside. We inherit these tendencies; my dad was like that.