A coffee cup of reality.

Working a little OT this morning (0030-0730) and finally got inspired to post. YEAH! I mean, everyday is inspiring (sounds a bit cheesy but, it’s true!) but, I don’t think I’ve gotten used to my new shift yet. I just don’t feel like blogging during the week! I hope that changes as the weeks go by and I get used to having weekends off.

Anywho, before my shift started, I headed to AM/PM to purchase my new drink of choice. Thanks to Rachel, I have discovered a Starbucks alternative. It’s made from the “fancy” coffee pumps at AM/PM. The recipe:

Mix 1 part English Toffee, 1 part French Vanilla, and 1 part Mocha Alert in a 16 oz (or a 24 oz, if you’re desperate) cup. No need to stir, it stirs itself. At $1.60/cup, my Starbucks/CB&TL days are numbered. I have gone about 5 times in the last month and I’m not tired of it, yet. I’m sure the caloric intake is ridiculous (my “I am Fat” post is pending).

The last few times, the same gas station attendant has helped me. He is an Indian man, in his late 20s. Skinny, with warm eyes and an accent that is soft enough to notice but, not so thick that it annoys me. Today, we were finally able to talk to each other like human beings. What I mean is that instead of treating him like someone that is “providing me a service”, I actually smiled, made eye-contact and responded to his small talk. I wish I’d done it sooner. Here goes our short exchange:

Him: [As he is ringing up my coffee and chocolate donut order] Hello, are you getting off of work?

Me: Nope, going to work.

Him: Where do you work?

Me: Down the street, at the police department.

Him: Are you a cop?

Me: No, [with an amused smile. Because I’m asked that a lot and it’s just so ridiculous. Look at me! I’m so not cop-like!], I answer 9-1-1 [because I feel like people won’t understand the word dispatcher].

Him: Oh. Do you like it?

Me: I love it! I mean, it’s kind of stressful sometimes [it’s not but, I feel like I have to say that. I don’t know why] but, it’s exciting! The hours sometimes suck, though.

Him: Oh, I know what you mean.

Me: You don’t like working a graveyard shift?

Him: No. I’m a student and go to school almost everyday. That means I get very few hours of sleep. I also have a part-time job somewhere else.

Me: Can you do homework while you’re sitting back there? [Because, honestly, how many customers come in at 0300 or 0400 in the morning]

Him: No, No. You can’t tell but, there is a lot of work to be done here. Shelves to re-stock and counters to clean. Also, there are video cameras and that kind of stuff is not allowed.

Me: [So, I said what I felt I had to say] We all have to work, huh? Have to pay them bills! [I’m that annoying when I don’t know what to say]

Him: Yeah, I need this job to survive.

With that, I rushed out because I had 3 minutes to get to work. I thanked him, wished him a good night, and told him I’d see him another day. I felt like such an idiot. Here goes why:

1. I don’t need my job to survive. I work because I want nice things. Because I want to eat out, buy more items, and accumulate. I can not even begin to understand what it is like to need/be without. I know, I know, I should not feel guilty for being more “fortunate” than most people. But, I should feel guilty for not being more thankful to God for my financial situation. I should also feel guilty that it even crossed my mind that I could relate to someone that is forced to work all night long when, I do it by choice. I get an extra $120/paycheck when I work at night. I also get to spend more of my days with my family. I have it good, really. I googled “gas station attendant”. Minimum wage: $8. No mention of any shift pay.

2. I should not complain about my working conditions. I get to be on the Internet, all 12 hours I’m here. I blog, Internet shop, read up on current events, do homework (while I’m in school), we watch DVDs and cable. I am not in harm’s way; I am on the 3rd floor of the police station. I am not going to get robbed or assaulted while I’m answering phones or dispatching. If the phones are not ringing (which happens sometimes, hours at a time), I don’t have to do anything. I can just sit here and stare into space.

3. I do not have the right to evvvvvvver feel sorry for myself. Not that I do. It really is rare that I throw myself a pity party. But, if I do, someone slap me. Please. I have nothing to complain about. I have EVERYTHING. Really, I could die right now and have no complaints. I would miss you all (esp. my husband and daughter!) but, God would take care of them. He has. This whole time. He has taken care of me, sheltered me, and never left me at the bottom. He has taken me to the top, and keeps showering me with more that I could ever want.

Sometimes, when Stephen buys us a Lotto ticket, I tell him: “I don’t want to win. If God wanted us to be rich, he would have already done it. I would have been born a Countess (and you a Count).”

4. I am so complete. Now what? Now, it’s time to ask God, “What do you want me to do?” What am I doing now that could be better? What am I doing with all that you have given me? It is my biggest fear that I reach the pearly gates and he asks, “What did you do with everything I gave you?”. “Uh, I went to Starbucks and sat around, a lot? I spent it. I rushed threw life only to find that I was wasting it on silliness?”. That is not going to be me.

So, talk to the people around you. Go outside of your comfort zone and step into someone else’s shoes. If it doesn’t make you appreciate what you have, then it might show what you don’t have. And, it’s time we go out there and get it. Because we aren’t getting any younger, and times a wastin‘.

And, because I love posting photos:

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Car., originally uploaded by siren007.


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