Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yard Sale

Today is Sunday, my second day off. Saturday-Sunday are nice days to have off, especially if you want to have a yard sale. I live on a street that has an exit off the freeway, so I get plenty of cars going by. I needed some extra money, so I decided to drag stuff out into my yard and have a sale! I had a TV-DVD combo (DVD player didn't work)that was sold for $15 as soon as I got it outside on Saturday morning. Today I sold a dresser-bookcase combo for $65. Not counting those two things, I took in about $20. I still could make something more, since I'm not going to drag the loveseat or the bookcase-bed back into the house. They will either get sold, or they will get given away. It was quite a bit of work to do, getting all that stuff out there, for just $100. But, on the other hand, I spent a good portion of both days relaxing with a book in the shade in the front yard. I even took a nap.
Working my day off makes me lots more money. Overtime at my job is over $30 an hour, and I am guaranteed at least 5 hours and 20 minutes if I come in and work at all. So why have a yard sale? Why not just put in for day-off work and donate everything I don't want or need to charity? Well, for one thing, day-off work has gotten more sporadic lately. Used to be, you could put in a slip, and they would use you, pretty much guaranteed. We used to provide service to the Charger games, too, which was fun, and you got to see the game, or most of it, anyway. We actually used to provide service to the Padre games, too. But we haven't done that for a long time. Not since they moved to Petco Park. Seems like all the fun and easy work is going away, and what's left is the long, hard, grueling routes. I guess, making $21-something an hour, and over $30 an hour on overtime, I should't complain about how hard the work is.
Last weekend I did work my day off on Sunday. They gave me a route 7, going down University, for 8 and a half hours. Problem was, that day I pulled a muscle in my back unhooking a wheelchair, and had to do light duty for two days. They only pay you 85% of your pay on light duty, and NO overtime. Plus, I had missed a day of work the last Wednesday because I overslept, and then they exercised their option of letting me stay home with no pay for that day. This Friday I'll find out if I actually came out even after the whole thing, or not.
Anyway, the yard sale might have been hard on my back, too, but I wore a back support for the heavy lifting, and I seem to be all right. The yard sale was also easier on my nerves than driving a bus would have been. Plus, I was at HOME. There is something to be said for being at home. I picked up the house a little, and got my laundry done.
Tomorrow, back in the saddle again. I'm grateful, really grateful, that I have a decent job. It can be grueling, boring, maddening, even occasionally dangerous. But I see people on the street corners with signs asking for help, and I know things could be a lot worse. I have a home to go to when I'm done. I have a yard to have a sale in. I have stuff to get rid of. I have people (and animals) who love me and want my attention. I have a computer! I may have a weak back, broken toes, torn up toenails and fingernails, and god only knows what's next. But life is good.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Haven't posted anything for a long time. It's not that I ran out of bus stories. I just got tired of telling them, I guess. I could talk about the old drunk man in the wheelchair who fell over backwards on his head. That was painful to watch! He was fine, except for scraping the top of his head. I guess all the alcohol limbered him up for the fall. They took him away in an ambulance, anyway. At taxpayer expense... Not that I begrudge him that. I'd want them to take ME if I needed it, even if I couldn't pay.
Another thing I could talk about. The time when the Border Patrol boarded my bus on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve, about 5:30 at night, on a northbound 34, just around Nautilus and La Jolla Bl., here they came. One by the back door to get the would be escapees, and one coming in the front and asking anyone who looked foreign to show papers. They took a few people away with them, mostly women. Women heading home from work on Christmas Eve. Women whose families were expecting them home any minute to start celebrating the Holiday. Now, I am not religious. But Christmas is much more than a religious Holiday. It's a traditional time for families to be together and exchange gifts, eat a special meal, stuff like that. I'm guessing a few of those border patrol agents WERE religious, and probably thought they were doing the right thing. I can only shake my head at that. Where is the compassion, the love that Jesus supposedly talked about? It still makes me mad to think about it, and this was at least 15 years ago!
A lot of people are worrying about illegal immigration these days. I spent the last two days on light duty, riding buses and counting people who got on and off buses that service National City, Chula Vista, San Ysidro, Imperial Beach, and Coronado. Buses full of Mexicans going to and from work. Illegal? Who knows. Probably some of them. Taking our jobs? I doubt it. Unless you are up for cleaning rich people's houses in Coronado Cays. Using our services without paying into the system? Maybe, some. But no more than that old drunk in the wheelchair. They're PEOPLE, people! At least let them enjoy Christmas with their families before you go dragging them back across the border. That's all for tonight. I need to help April with her Spanish homework. ;-}