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[personal profile] nemo2342
"You will all say,
That I am surely crazy.
Only an unrepentant pessimist,
who's thoughts should be detained"
- Bad Religion - "Markovian Process"

So it's been almost 8 and a half years since I started this thing, and almost 2 years since I last updated. So perhaps I should start off with a bit of a recap, because I'm sure if *I* don't want to go through 8 years of posts about myself, no one else will either. One may I may go back to the beginning of my life, but for now I think I'll stick with the time period covered previously in these entries.

I started this journal back when I was in college. I'm not really sure why, but I think it was because Livejournal was the place all the cool kids were (back before we had myspace and facebook). There weren't many entries though, and the journal didn't really pick up until later that year. At that time I was sunk deep in depression, and had just withdrawn from college because I was no longer able to even go to the classes I liked, much less the ones I hated. I decided that perhaps writing in this journal would help me sort out some of what I was feeling, and the habbit just kind of stuck.

Things slowly improved for me over time; work took my mind off of things, and eventually I started going to a therapist. My goal was to work until I paid off my debts, then think about enrolling into community college and working towards a degree. It never happened. Instead I started to branch out a bit, and with some encouraging from my friend and coworker Penguin I started going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. For a long while things were great: I was getting promotions at work, I was making friends my own age at Rocky, and I had a schedule that for the first time let me participate in something approximating a social life.

All of this changed when my company changed my job description from "guy who makes sure the money is balanced" to "guy who helps manage the department". Suddenly work was a LOT more stressful, as my manager and I had very different management styles, and my schedule was now a horrible 11am to 7pm shift which instantly killed most of my social life, and left me too tired to do anything really late like Rocky. Still, it was a full time job with vacation pay, profit sharing, and the potential for promotion, so I continued to work it despite the fact.

I actually continued to work that job for a lot longer (I worked at a grocery store), despite the fact that things continue to get progressively worse. Hours were being cut, there was never enough help, and it was reaching the point that I dreaded each day I had to go in. Finally things came to a head when my sister, whom I was renting a townhouse with, decided to buy a home about an hour away from where I worked. I didn't know anyone I could share a place with, and I have NEVER been keen on sharing a place with strangers, so I had to move with her. However driving an hour each way to work was not acceptable to me, especially with how crappy conditions were at work, so after 9 years of working for Food Lion I gave them my resignation.

After that I spent a horrible 5 months of being unemployed. I didn't want to work retail again, but most of the office-type jobs I looked at wanted a degree (which I don't have), and I didn't get so much as a call-back from the jobs I applied to. I once again sank into a deep depression, and as my savings started to run out I was seriously considering suicide.

Finally, out of the blue, I got a call from Princess Tours who wanted me to come work as an auditor for the summer at their lodge in Denali, Alaska. I had applied there for a few other positions, but had been turned down, so I was quite surprised 2 months later to get a call from them. I had nothing left to lose, so for the first time in my life I left my home of North Carolina and went to Alaska.

Working for Princess was frustrating at first, but I quickly learned my way around the audits (Tours only has 1 auditor, if you were wondering). The hours were very long though: a standard work week was 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. After the first week or two I ended up being a de factor supervisor, to the point where I was answering questions and making judgement calls that the 'official' supervisors didn't dare argue with. That first season I was able to pay off both my student loans and my credit cards debt that I had racked up while being unemployed. Much to the consternation of my coworkers I didn't do anything other than work while I was in Alaska, since (in my view) I had come there to work and not to play, and I just didn't have any time to do anything else.

Once the summer season ended I had 3 months where I hung around with my family, before I went off to my next job at Mammoth Lakes, California. There I worked for Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, and I worked (again) as a seasonal auditor. This time I was part of a team of 4, so I barely got enough hours to pay my bills. My manager and supervisor liked me though, and promised me that if I ever wanted to come work for them again I would have a job.

From California I flew straight to Alaska once again, to start my second season at Princess. My old manager had moved to a new position, so now the new manager was a girl who had been my supervisor the year before.
My new supervisor, however, was a guy who just didn't care about the job, so I ended up intimidating him until he left me alone. This worked out well until about halfway through the season when he quit, and I was made supervisor (and thus had to effectively work two jobs). Additionally, my manager had absolutely NO business being in charge, as all she wanted to do was hang out with her friend and chase boys. It was only through the efforts of the other supervisors and myself that we managed to make it through the year. Still, it was a very rewarding season for me, as I managed to get awarded Employee of the Month (out of 500 employees) and started earning praise from some of the higher ups at our corporate headquarters. I also managed to pay off my car from all overtime I worked this season, and for the first time since I was 18 I was completely debt free.

Once again I spent another 3 months with my family (this time with my parents in Virginia) before I returned to Mammoth Lakes for a second season as an auditor. As one of 2 returning employees I was promoted to a "lead" position, which meant I got more hours (though still not enough) and was in charge of the main office on the 2 days a week my supervisor was off. The other two seasonal auditors were, well, pretty crappy, but somehow we managed to muddle through. I did manage to learn a lot more about the technical side of our audits, to the point where I could fix almost as many problems as my supervisor (and also kept getting her worked dumped on me).

That summer I once again returned to Princess, though this time I started out as a supervisor. We had a new manager once again, and this time we finally got someone who could actually manage (even if she wasn't the nicest person at times). I devoted the majority of my season to improving the way my office worked, working closely with the home office to refine the programs I used and trying my best to help out our new auditor. Part of my new job responsibilities was to oversee the production of welcome materials for the guests arriving at the lodge, and by the end of the season there was no one in Alaska who knew the programs we used better than I did (except for the guy who wrote them, though I pumped him for as much information as I could get). It was very draining, particularly the first month when I put in 80 hours a week and worked 20-something days straight, but I managed to save more money than I drank so it was all worth it.

And that, dear readers (if you're still with me) leads us up to now...
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nemo2342

February 2010

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