Monday, October 08, 2007

I Coulda Cried

Yesterday ,Sunday, was a crazy-busy day. It is a Holiday weekend and we were short-staffed. The manager wasn't coming in until 11 and he was leaving at 3. A second guy was told to leave at 3 and one of the girls wasn't scheduled to come in until 11:30. The tourists ? They were scheduled for 9:01 and they kept coming until 5:05 (we close at 5). There was a Columbus day parade in another part of town , but it did affect us. The trolley companies couldn't make their stops at #2,#3 & #4 because of the parade. Also, one of the trolley companies was closing at 3. None of the trolley companies called to tell us this. I started calling a little after 9 because the previous day's manager had removed all the trolley materials from that part of the counter but didn't leave us a note to tell us why. I called her and she didn't answer her phone. She did call back 2 hours later, to her credit, by then I had figured out what was going on.
Then , around noon, the trolley companies started calling us to tell us to stop selling tickets. They were passing by groups of people waiting . Which means . . . .there will be groups of tourists tramping back to get refunds. Oh, and. .. .they're probably going to be pissed. And . .. .SURPRISE !!!!!. . .they were. Fortunately, the weekend manager had left already , so we had to handle the refunds. Everything went okay until one of the computers froze up and we couldn't get the screen unstuck. Also, I don't know how my co-worker was processing the refund, I had never done it that way before , so , I couldn't help and then the lady's friend started yelling like that was going to help. I said to her "We're doing everything we can. Yelling isn't going to help resolve this situation" and then I called the manager on his cell and said "Dave, we've got a problem, talk to Rosie " and then handed the phone to my co-worker. He was able to appease the customer over the phone. My inability to trouble-shoot just contributed to my overwhelming sense of helplessness in this sea of human visiting machines.
The day was non-stop. I was talking to a comic friend, whose day job is as a teacher , and I likened it it the first day of school. Everybody is excited to be someplace they've never been before and they have a lot of questions and comments and they all want to be heard. "teach me !!!!" they demand . That's a lot of energy to handle. It requires a lot of energy to stay balanced and maintain an unbiased perspective. I like my job and I think I'm good at it but sometimes the volume just sucks the marrow right out of me. On the way home, I wished I could cry because I thought it would make me feel better. I couldn't cry, because it was more physical exhaustion rather than emotional. Nothing can immediately remove the weight of the day . It can only be dissolved by guite and solitude and I wasn't getting any of that tonight.
Before I left the Common, I almost got knocked down by a running Ranger who was heading into the station. Off in the distance, I could see about 5 rangers standing around a body lying on the ground. From where I was standing, I could see it was a man and he was turning blue. Most likely , he was a homeless person having an overdose. They can't get a job or find housing but they sure can keep up a steady stream of drugs. I could hear the approaching sirens in the distance. A BPD car came onto the park and I stood there with my left arm up pointing in the direction of where they all were. I stood and watched for a while. The guy loooked pretty dead. Within 20 feet of the commotion ,were other homeless people huddled under blankets watching the scene like they were kids listening to ghost stories. I felt bad for the Rangers. By 5 o'clock, they are usually leaving. This event will require they all have to stay for at least another hour.
I got home and made a salad and a couple of phone calls and watched the Red Sox win the division. Then I headed out to Marshfield to do some stand-up . It is hosted by Chrissy Kelleher, the aforementioned comic/teacher. She had to listen to my day while she was tryng to put together her setlist and greet the arriving comics. I was 4rth. The comic ahead of me did almost 15 minutes, a no-no for any open mike. I don't think he did it deliberatley , I don't think he was timing himself or taping himself . He's a ncie guy but he needs to work on his time and grouping of his jokes. He's got some good stuff, but he should have quit after 7. It made the hosts and my job all the more daunting. She got 'em back and then I went on.
I've been working on the arrangement of the set. In the last couple of weeks , I've added a couple of tags that are working really well. Also, I'm trying to make it sound more new and spontaneous (that's the acting part . That's me using my college degree). It actually worked ! I heard a guy say , kinda loud to his buddy, "I think this really happened !" I replied "It's true!". As Rick Jenkins has said to me "Go out there and have fun !". At the end of the day , comedy should be fun for both the audience and the practioner. Frankly , I struggle with that. I had fun and I think the audience had fun. There were about 8 civilians in the audience (who had never seen me before) and 8 comics who have seen me too many times to recall. I did a tight 5. We all had a good time and I completely forgot about the day of work I had. The host seemed happy with what I did, and that's always good.
I have to work today at the drug store. I wish I had the day off. I have the morning off and that's just going to have to be good enough.
Soory this was so long, but I was inspired.


Blogger Dee-Rob said...

Hey Dot,

Sorry about the tourists and their demands.

Just saw a commercial for "Gone Baby Gone," so I just re-read your stand-in stuff from last year. I'm going to imagine you standing when I go see the movie.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 12:27:00 AM  

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