Taking Stock

I never thought I would say this but I’m am taking stock. It seemed like only yesterday, I at the tender age of sixteen had to go down the the Bureau of Records at the New York City Health Department to get a copy of my birth certificate. It seems during some sort of kerfuffle at home, the original document was either lost or destroyed. I needed a replacement copy in order to get my “working papers”, which in turn would allow me to hired for my first job.

My first ever job was no biggie. It was a Summer job s through Youth Corps, and working in a day camp. It paid very little, in fact, I think we made below minimum wage. But no one fussed back then because we were grateful to have work and make a little money. I was happy to get off the hot streets of New York City during the Summer, and go on some great trips and have fun with the kids.

Back then the few dollars helped to buy a few Back to School outfits, perhaps a warm coat, some school supplies, and a few trinkets. My late Mom always admonished me to open a savings account and start saving. Which I never did, you know silly, air-headed teens. Yep, I was one of them.
I’ve been working steadily ever since then (which was in 1975) until now. From the summer jobs I went to full time by working at The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. This is a city agency which regulates yellow cabs, their owners, and drivers. This was my first foot through the doors of law enforcement.

This was also a very intense learning experience for me. Me, being a very shy and introverted soul, was inducted, more like shanghaied into Public Service Boot Camp 101. How? I was simply thrown to the wolves……….

It was rough, I tell ya……..

In addition, I had no clue that the yellow cabs on New York City’s streets were so heavily regulated. I’d see them pass me on the busy streets, but didn’t know that everything from fares, pick up sites, drivers keeping records of each trip, to their personal grooming, number of continuous hours behind the wheel, to the paint job was under TLC scrutiny.

Speaking of paint job, did you know that there is a specific shade of yellow every NYC taxi must be painted? If that shade is just a tad off, too bright or too dull, the taxi company or garage can be summonsed and fined. The vehicle must be taken out of service until it is properly painted, inspected, and approved.

The same goes for the lettering which is printed on the side of every New York City cab. If TLC decides to use say “Tahoma” style lettering instead of “New Times Roman”, every single cab must have all of their information painted in that font.

It also used to be that only one specific brand of vehicle was allowed to be part of the yellow cab fleet. It used to be mandatory that the fleet be uniform. Back in the 50’s and 60’s the fleet were solely the Checker cabs.

They were big, wide, boxy cars that were roomy enough for luggage without having to stash it in the trunk. For past twenty years or so, the fleet consisted solely of Chevy Crown Victoria’s. But, recently TLC has allowed the addition of the Ford Escape, the Toyota Corolla, the Ford Highlander, and I can almost wager I saw a Land Rover or two. As long as the vehicle can be “hacked up” (customized with the special equipment used by TLC cabs – partition, GPS, On Duty Light on roof, two way radio, meter, trouble light, the paint job, plus the medallion, rate card, insurance, and drivers who have a Chauffeurs license), it can become a yellow cab.

My dealing with the public came from interacting with the cab drivers themselves. TLC has a taxi court, where drivers attend hearings for their summonses and find out the fate of their licenses. Idiot driver = fine. Bad driver = suspended license. Very bad driver = license revoked.

Many drivers didn’t speak and/or understand English very well, as a result, they were always in trouble with the law. They did not comprehend that there were strict laws which governed what they did in, or with their cabs. Many times I wondered how did they a) pass their driver’s license test, b) pass the “hack” or taxi license test? I was laughingly told by seasoned co-workers that, “They paid an English speaking friend or relative take and pass the test for them.”

Another beachhead I had to surmount was the cultural divide. As I child I grew up in a multi-cultural neighborhood but not quite so multi-cultural. I being Black and West Indian, grew up with Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Chinese. However at work, I met and had dealings with people from all corners of the globe, everyone wanted to argue. And the argument was always the same.

“But, in my country we can do this, that or the other.”

My response was always: “Well, this is the United States and you can not do that here. If you do, you get a summoned, wind up without a license, or wind up in the clink.” Then came the crying and moaning: “How am I going to feed my six kids and two wives with no license?”

“Well, you should’ve considered that before you tossed your passenger out on her noggin, and threw her luggage out after her.” You see what I went through?

Yes, that really did happen, numerous times……….

Needless to say, many drivers were forced to find other means of support because they could not conform to TLC’s standards. To me some were downright too dangerous to drive anything but one of those old fashioned red wagons. However, that was just my opinion.

After fifteen years of working for The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, I was ready for something new. It was both interesting and scary working there. Interesting because I’d met so many people from all over the world.

It was scary when after the first World Trade Center bombing the Three Letter Agencies (CIA, FBI, and ICE) came to our main office to comb through our records. Why? Because those very same bombers had been cab drivers! OMG! I believe this is when they started officially profiling NYC cabbies as part time bombers. Supposedly using the funds they earned to either buy and make bombs themselves, or send it back to their country to purchase weapons.

So in 1995, I took this as a cue to get gone, so I took the opportunity to jump ship to another city agency.

That will be the subject of “Taking Stock – Part 2”


The Right To Write

This just keeps going and going and going like the Ever Ready Bunny.  Like that stupid commercial I used to hear that has a lady scream “Oh my God, what a nightmare!”  Every time I think I’ve officially closed the last chapter on it, the darned thing raises it’s ugly multi-colored head once again to cause yet more grief.

  All I can say is some people don’t know how to leave well enough alone, until they wind up with a written complaint against them or in court.  Perhaps both.  So be it, I say.

This is the continuing story of ZaZa.  Ever since the past incidents I have not been writing and or editing at work.  I have been taking my netbook, but I only use it when I’m on break.  Why?  Because I don’t trust a certain person and don’t feel safe doing it.   

When it was quiet, meaning no work left to do, I would take out  Mini Me (my netbook) and work on my current project.  However, since the whole “Fake Website Incident”, I noticed ZaZa hovering around when I was writing,  and quite obviously trying to see what I was penning. In short, the woman has very poor trade craft.  If you are going to spy on me, you’re gonna have to do a much better job, okay, lady?  I’m the one who writes the detective and spy stuff so I kinda know. … . . . 

Now the bad part is, if you are a typical writer like me (very sensitive to ones surroundings when writing ), this type of behavior is disturbing enough to kill your muse.  Yes, Rhu was righteously ticked because she was SHAKEN AND STIRRED. . . . . .

So, I stopped writing in the office, only charged up Mini Me and took her upstairs to the break room to write when I was on break. Again, Rhu was intruded upon, as ZaZa would come flouncing upstairs to supposedly get something from her locker and chat.  Huh?  Why do I want to chat with you while I am on MY break?  The reason I’m on break is to GET AWAY FROM YOU LADY! Of course I knew better, she was checking on me and wanted to see what I was writing.  

So,  I was relegated to just taking Mini Me upstairs because I just didn’t trust leaving her around ZaZa when I’m not there.  Yes, I admit, I have not edited or written or edited a thing in about a month.  When The Olympics were on I just watched what ever sport was being telecast at 0400 hours in the morning.  Sports Eye Candy.

Last week Sunday I was asked by a church member to pen a dedication for our beloved pastor’s birthday.  So, on the way to work I stopped at Walgreens , bought a 99 cent legal pad, took it to work and began to write.  As soon as I got settled and put pen to paper Rhu began to flow.  However, like bees drawn to honey, guess who came over to hang over my shoulder?  Yep. . . . . . .

Now, I recognize that she is my supervisor (sorry, I had neglected to mention this earlier) and thus has control over what happens in the office.  However, if all of the work is done, and it is quiet, we have the freedom to either read, write, or check our texts and stuff. The only other alternative is to fall asleep at ones desk, which is frowned upon, as you well know.  So, I decided to write.  She had previously mentioned something about a ban on using netbooks because another worker and I both use one and there were negative comments made by the Upper Echelon. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  We used to have internet access on our work computers, right up until the time the Upper Echelon found out the guys were surfing the web for porn. . . . . . So, now it’s all INTRA-NET (internal network – no outside stuff ).  This is the reason some of us carry netbooks, laptops and i-pads to work. . . . . .  

BACK TO THE STORY . . . . . .

 So, I can understand that ZaZa might not want me use my computer in the office, though I am well within my rights to do so.  However, I wonder if she is now going to ban me from writing on paper, or is she so jealous (that’s right JEALOUS) that she is trying to intimidate me from doing s0?  

If so, this is now a Constitutional Rights issue.  I have the First Amendment right to free speech (which includes writing) and I also have the right to privacy (freedom from the intimidation of one hanging over my shoulder to see what I’m writing).  I have not put the question to ZaZa yet, but I will the next time I detect this behavior.  

I understand we had a prior disagreement (pure JEALOUSY that. . ), however this nonsense has gone to darned far and I must squash it permanently.  This not only affects my writing, but it is affecting my ability to perform my job.  After all, how can I work when we are both watching each other like the King Cobra and the Mongoose?

It is most unfortunate that I might have to take it to the next level. Which is filing a formal harassment complaint.   Who would’ve thought things would become so nasty?  

Some people just don’t get it. . . . . . . . .  

Some people REALLY need to get a life. . . . . .

Keeping Things Close to the Vest

It is the desire of every human being, to be liked and to fit in.  We expect everyone to share in the joy of our accomplishments, so like little kids we run, show and tell them.  Friends, co-workers, associates, we tell them all the same thing.  “Oh, lookie what I did!”  

You always expect them to applaud and give you compliments and perhaps some encouragement.  But, what do you do when the exact opposite happens, and when jealousy raises it’s ugly head?   Poor innocent writer,  you  tell someone and instead of encouragement, or being happy, they engage in a systematic program to not only stop you, but to destroy you.  

This brings me back to my old nemesis, ZaZa.   Yes, I thought I was done with her after I scrammed her so-called website.  Personally I thought so too.  I was glad she never came back and asked me why I did what I did.  I would’ve told her up front that I did not trust her motives and no longer wanted to be part of her so-called plot.  But, as I said before, she never came to me.  

However, I noticed a subtle change in the workplace.  People who were formally friendly with me, suddenly stopped speaking to me.  Oh they were polite but they made doubly sure they weren’t around me too long.  My so-called graphic designer co-worker/friend who had agreed to make a cover for me, suddenly decided to make himself scarce.  When I saw him the first thing he’d  declare was, “Oh, I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to get to your cover, I’ve been busy. . . .”  I’m afraid I’m never going to get water from that hole.   . . . . . . .

I know what that is.  ZaZa has much influence in the workplace told/manipulated people into staying away from me and not to help me.    The truly sad thing is, they haven’t a clue that  I have affiliations OUTSIDE of the workplace.  So, if my so-called friend and co-worker won’t do it, I know others who will.

The most outrageous of all is another co-worker out of the blue came to me and said:  “I hear you need an editor for your manuscript, and I am the guy to do it!”  It sounded like a used car salesman saying “This little baby over here was only driven on Sundays by a little granny who only drove to and from church.”   The statement shocked the heck outta me because I NEVER told this guy that I needed an editor!  After what I’ve been through with ZaZa,  I’d have to be NUTS to give my unpublished manuscript to him!  Of course I couldn’t tell him that, so I told him that the only way he was going to read my story, if he truly wanted to read it so badly, is when it’s posted on Amazon.    

Then he went on to tell me, “Oh, ZaZa is writing a book so there’s gonna be some big competition in this office, eh?”  I went on to say, “There will be no competition.  If she wants to write and publish a book she is more than welcome to do so.”  

I didn’t add writing, publishing, and selling a book is not as easy as ZaZa may think it is. First of all, you have to know how to write.  Next if you write crap, no one is going to publish it.  Lastly, if they do publish it, no one will buy or read it, even if it is for free.  The reading public can be very fickle.  I guess ZaZa figured since I’m writing a book, she’s going to do the Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better, thing.  Well, go ahead.  Last time I looked around, this is a free country. . . . .      

By the way, I can already see the storm clouds on the horizon and I’m NOT going to help her!  After what I suffered because the “site” incident, I’m NEVER going in that direction again.   From now on, if ZaZa wants help she will have to find it somewhere else.  

Why?  Because she has proven herself to be untrustworthy.  She is also the type of person who doesn’t just want help, she wants to suck you dry like a Vampire!  You know what?  I don’t feel like being sucked dry today, or any day. . . . . . .     

So, from now on I’m keeping my actions and plans close to my vest. 

 Of course you know, I have my enemy targeted. . . . . . . . . . . .

Liar, Liar, Pants Afire!

I personally want to thank “Tasha Turner” for suggesting the subject for this particular post. Actually like a fisherman, she tossed out the line, and I took the bait and ran with it.That’s what writers do. . . . . . .

This is a subject that I constantly deal with all the time. Mostly at work, and in my personal life. What is it?

How do I deal with rumors?

Actually, I classify rumors as nothing more than gossip. At my workplace gossip practically runs the show. We have a very active grapevine which is where we get most of our news from around the city. About 50% of it is pure Bravo Sierra (BS in military jargon), and I’ve learned to not believe anything I hear unless I, 1. Get it from a legit source, and not the office gossip mongers. 2. I’m the Show Me Lady. Unless I see corresponding action, I don’t believe it.

This is especially difficult to do when one has a co-worker who specializes in spreading rumors/gossip.

When I first started working at my particular workplace, I was woefully naive and got sucked right into the gossip, rumors and innuendo mill. Back, then I didn’t know how to keep my stupid trap shut and mind my beeswax.

Well, I learned the hard way from my co-worker CeCe, who was quite literally an agent provocateur. She as also friends another co-worker (hereby named BeBe). BeBe and I became friends. CeCe and BeBe were friends longer, and I guess I was a threat to their friendship? I don’t know. What ever the issue was, CeCe made it her personal objective to destroy our friendship with rumor, gossip, and lies.

Unfortunately, I believed the things CeCe claimed BeBe said and responded with horrible things in kind. I didn’t know it then, but CeCe was the obvious tale carrier, and went running back with what I mindlessly said, and tattled to BeBe.

I didn’t learn the extent of the damage until BeBe literally quit speaking to me. In fact, she refused to speak to me for the next 11 years while we worked in the same office Imagine dealing with that all because of vicious lies! I had no clue back then that the whole thing was viciously orchestrated by CeCe!

Now, that BeBe and I no longer work together in the same office (but the same building), she speaks to me when we see each other. I was so disgusted with myself for being so utterly stupid to allow such an event to happen. I’m amazed that my words were so easily distorted and used to hurt another person.

However, because of that incident, I’m much wiser and much more vigilant. I still work with CeCe and she is still an incurable gossip. She literally enjoys office place drama to the point that if there is none, she will create some. Over the years I’ve watched as she broke up even more friendships, and in one instance, caused some folks to go to blows. All while she sits back, eats popcorn, drinks soda, and watches.

I now have a particular way of dealing with CeCe. I don’t take no guff from her, number one. I’ve found I can’t be sentimental with her because if I am, she will cling to my ear even harder. So, if our conversation is not directly related to work, the job or current events, I don’t want to hear it!

I don’t want to hear who is screwing whom, who is in bed with whom, or what ever else is going on. I was hired to do a job, and that’s what I’m all about in the workplace. Professionalism is key for me. That other stuff is not my business, and I don’t care to hear it.

Sadly, on numerous occasions I’ve had to “stand my ground” by being abrupt with CeCe. Especially when she insists on telling me something juicy. She’s actually became “offended” on several occasions that I don’t want to hear what she has to say! Imagine that? Guess what? I wasn’t hired to listen to your trash, I was hired to WORK! Grow up and get over it!

I do this to protect my mind and my well being. How can I maintain a positive outlook on my job and life if my mind is filled with negativity and garbage? Also when you listen to gossip or rumors about Person A, when you see Person A you start looking at them funny. Listening to gossip destroys people’s integrity. Now you are judging them according to the crap you heard. . . . . .

I don’t want to look at people funny, suspecting something untoward, unless they are wearing a clown suit, something just as outlandish, or if I suspect probable cause (suspect possible criminal activity afoot).

My Pastor once preached a sermon on gossip many years ago. The reason it still stays fresh in my mind is because he compared gossiping to “someone puking on you”! If you listen to and believe said gossip “you are eating the vomit!” Ewwwwww! I know, that’s ubber gross and ultra repulsive! My Pastor warned us that he wanted to make it as repulsive as possible, because that is how repulsive and offensive it is to God.

So how do you combat gossip? The last time I looked this is a free country, and if you don’t want to listen to vituperative comments about another person(s), you don’t have to. If no one is holding a gun to your head and telling you that you must listen, then, yes, you have the right to tell them “to get thee hence. . . .” Believe me, I’m being nice by saying “Get thee hence.”

In conclusion.  According to an old Spanish proverb: “La persona que chismea a ti, también chismosas acerca de usted. ”  Which literally means:  “The person who gossips to you, also gossips about you.”

This further reveals that a gossiper can’t be trusted.

I rest my case. . . . . . . .

A Day of Infamy

I never thought I’d see the day.  They say  that you can see and encounter anything in New York City.   I’ve certainly seen some stuff that has  made my hair stand on end.  However, I had yet to encounter such a horror as this.

Imagine working closely with a co-worker for several years.  You’ve learned to trust them and hopefully they you.  You’ve got each others back, just in case the ultimate happens.  Then one day they do the unthinkable.  They steal your equipment!  

For months this was the subject of an intense investigation, as a result the person was arrested today.  However, there was no rejoicing, no laughing, no tossing of confetti, and no noisemakers.    Just some very cheesed off co-workers who’d love to get their hands on the offender.   

The workplace used to be safe.  After all, we are The Defenders Of Justice. . . . . . . .

 Now, we are no longer safe, not even from our own. .  . . . . .    

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Unfortunately, I was unable to post this as an active link.  In order to  activate this link, you must cut and paste it directly into your browser address bar,  the old fashioned way.  



What, No Weekends?

RDO  means Regular Days Off, in cop speak.

Thank God for regular days off!  I’ve had a busy and unconventional week.  Actually, I NEVER have a conventional week.   When I started working for the police department I was told there is no such thing as weekends or holidays.  Why?  Because The Police Department operates 24/7/365.  The criminal element doesn’t go on holiday, neither should the Defenders Of Justice.

 So  I officially waved good bye to  EVER having weekends off, unless I was sick and HAD to take one off, or was on vacation.     

RDO also means two consecutive days off.  It can be Monday – Tuesday, Tuesday – Wednesday,  Wednesday – Thursday,  Thursday – Friday,  Friday – Saturday,  Sunday – Monday.   Please note, the regular weekend is not included.   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   

Why do I not have weekends off ?  Because weekends (and holidays) are very busy times for both the criminal element and the police alike.  People are off from work, so they go out to eat, to concerts, to party, clubbing,  hang out,  get drunk/high, and (ehem) have casual sex, and  as a result, folks get pick pocketed, robbed,  assaulted, homes get burglarized, and we must not forget stabbings or shootings.

Looking at this you’d probably say:  “It’s safer to stay home.”  NOT!  The highest incidences of Domestic Violence are on weekends and holidays!  For strange reason, during The Super Bowl spouses/significant others seem especially violent.  

It is essential for me to be there because “Crime Begets Paperwork”.  Every time cops get called to a scene of a crime, they have to fill out paperwork.  That paperwork gets turned into the station house and it is my job to enter said paperwork into the computer in a timely fashion.    Especially if there is a big investigation going on.  Everyone wants hard copy.  And everybody wants it right now.  .  .  .  .  .

I usually don’t complain, but recently my crazy and unconventional schedule  has become trying and  draining.  Perhaps because I’m older.  Actually it is definitely because I am older.  When I get home I’m not fit for anything but to crash in bed and lay unconscious for at least five hours.  Then arm up for battle and return to the battlefield.  Yes, I eagerly look forward to the day when I retire.  Alas I will have weekends free to do what I want to do.  

For now, I’m grateful for my job, and what I do, though it be trying. . . . . .


Busy, Busy, Busy!

Have you ever had one of those days where you go into to work, and it’s like the 4 by 4 relay in Olympic Track?  The starting pistol goes off the minute you get in and the race is on till you clock out?

Well, I had that happen to me this morning!  You’d think working at midnight would be QUIET.  After all most people are asleep!  Only the barflies and criminal element are out at that hour.  The long arm of the law is out too, that’s why I’m at work, cuz I’m a civilian member of their team.

Well, it was paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, type, type, type, scroll, scroll, click, click, print, print!  The only times I stopped was when I took my meal break, and personals (potty breaks).  The reason for the overload?  Lack of staff.

I’ve faced that demon long ago when I first started working there.  Even though there is a serious lack of man power, they (The Powers That Be) are not going to do a thing about it.  As long as they have people who will come in and bust their nuggets and overwork themselves.  Me?  I am a plugger like the tortoise.  I do oooooonnnnne thing at a time until I complete the task, then go on to the next until I am finished.  

So, by the time I left work, I had most of the mess cleaned up.  

Of course, this means, I had no time to write.  But that’s alright, I’ll make up for lost time this weekend.  

Until then, I keep on plugging.

::SIGH::  Five more years till retirement. . . . . .

A Real Life Vampire?

What’s it like being a Vampire, you ask.

I’d made several references to this term in some of my past posts and I’m going to try to properly describe my peculiar lifestyle.  

It started approximately 15 years ago when I started working the Midnight Shift, Graveyard Shift, or the Vampire Shift as some call it.  

It didn’t take long for me to get used to because I loved being up at night (early morning) and sleeping during the day.  I was never a morning person, even though I worked on a job which required me to work a standard nine to five.  It was pure torture for the fifteen years I did it.  

I had to commute to work via the New York City subways and and let me tell you back then (in the late eighties to mid nineties) it was a “beast” every morning.  I can’t even imagine what it is like now…….   All I recall was the fact that my commute was always crowded and late……

However, When I transferred from one New York City agency (which was a strictly 9-5 agency) to another (which operates 24/7/365) where they had three rotating shifts (12×8, 8×4, 4X12) and where there is no such things as weekends or holidays off.  I had to make a total lifestyle adjustment.  

My entire lifestyle is opposite my fellow “Dawn Treaders” or “Day Walkers”.  While everyone is rushing to work, I’m going home.  I’m like a salmon swimming downstream while everyone else is swimming upstream.  

I’ve found that in order to be an effective Vampire, I must maintain strict discipline in my life.  First of all, I must get the proper rest.  Many people don’t realize that as a Midnight Shift Worker they can easily fall into the trap of not sleeping.  Many go home too wired to sleep and stay up all day.  As a consequence, they go to work the following night, sleepless.  A continued cycle of this will eventually lead to “insomnia”.

But, how does one sleep when the body clearly tells you to stay awake?  Human beings are hardwired to be Day Walkers and sleep at night.  Not the other way around.  So if you are a shift worker, you have to fool your body.  

My old supervisor gave me excellent advise when I first started working the night shift.  She told me told me to turn my bedroom into a “dark room”.  Pull the shades or blinds down, put up dark curtains at the windows to keep out the sunlight.   Another suggestion from another co-worker was for me to work out before I go to sleep.  The action of working out, coming home, taking a shower, getting dressed for bed, tells the body it’s time to shut down and go to sleep now.  And last but not least, so that you are not disturbed by daytime noises (traffic, construction, drilling, etc) either purchase a “white noise machine” or play the radio softly.  

If all else fails, I have a little extra ammunition in the form of an all natural product I buy from “The Vitamin Shoppe” named “Snooze Right”.  I take two capsules an hour before I’m ready to sleep and it relaxes me so I can sleep.  It’s totally non habit forming and contains Meletonin which helps the body relax and sleep.

I am also diligent in getting in my workout.  It not only clears my mind and relaxes me, but it also provides the sunlight that I must have on a daily basis.  Working at night has a tendency to keep us Vampires inside all day like the fictional characters.  Not because we would go poof, but this is when we sleep.  

However medical studies have found that “shift workers” had the highest risk of cancer.  Why, because they are not exposed to sunlight which deprives the body of naturally producing Vitamin D.  So I try to get in at least an hour or two per day.

Please refer to the following link to read further medical information on the subject:

Vitamin D From Sunlight

This may sound strange, but, I also had to be a “junkyard” dog and protect my territory!  Why?  I had friends who are “Day Walkers” and didn’t understand the fact that since I worked nights and therefore had to sleep during the day. So they would call and wake me up with frivolous things when I was trying to get serious winks.  

My first step was to remind them that I worked nights.   My second step was to turn the sound off on my phone so I wouldn’t hear it ring.  I’m the type of person, if I’m startled out of my sleep by the phone ringing, I can’t go back to sleep for the next three hours or so.  

So, if they had a really important call, they had the option to leave a message.  Some were highly offended I didn’t get back to them until after Zero Dark Hundred (12 midnight), but that’s how I roll.

In dealing with businesses, I had to do the same thing. I made sure I informed them (doctors, banks, government agencies, etc.) upfront that I worked midnights so certain appointments be impossible to keep.  Either they had to make them early in the morning, or on my days off, Wednesdays or Thursdays. They would have to work around my schedule, not the other way around.   

Last but not least, I also have to vigilant in my eating and the things I consume.  Since I was working odd hours I had slid into the habit of “grabbing stuff”.  Grabbing stuff as in Chinese food, McDonalds, pizza, etc.  It was not very encouraging when one’s co-workers eats that trash and always has extra to offer.

The way to defeat that was to carefully plan my meals and prepare them myself.  So nine times out of ten, I’m shleping (“carrying” in Yiddish) my own food and snacks to work. I’ve become much more vigilant now that I’m in my mid 50s and must watch my salt and sugar content.  With both parents who had diabetis and high blood pressure, one must be vigilant in that area.  

Thus is the life of a Vampire…….