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~Wednesday~  I drove to work and parked in the two-hour free street parking right behind my building. Getting out of my car, I realized I'd left my wallet at home, and since that's where the badge is that gives me access to our building, that was a problem. Without luck, I called two people to come down and let me in, and then tried my manager, whom I reached, and who came down to let me in.

She told me that there was a button I could push at that door that rang to operations, and one of them would let me in, which I appreciated. I've been working here for over two years now, and I never knew that.



I'd brought my lunch to work, but at about noon, Sarah dropped by and asked me if I'd join Jen and her for lunch at Mitch's Tavern down the street. I hemmed and hawed thinking that I should be eating the healthy lunch that I'd brought... blah, blah, blah... and then said, "Sure."

I had their chef salad, and the three of us ordered one adult beverage each, solely in order to be able to toast the holidays.

When I got back I moved my car to the parking deck, where I used one of those final parking permits that I have.



Today, I went to the Crabtree Valley post office to try and take care of Joe's returned package, and afterwards, I sent him this e-mail:

Subject: Picture it. Sicily. 2010.

So I says to the clerk, handing him a package and receipt, "I was here last Wednesday to mail this package, and it arrived back on my door step yesterday. I guess someone forgot to put the postage on it."

Looking up and down the receipt, "Do you remember who helped you?"

"No, I don't," I said, since said memory could not actually exist.

"Hmmm, clerk #9," he muttered, and then to the clerk to his right, "Do you know who clerk 9 is?"

"No, I'm 10," she responded.

He disappeared to the back, and eventually came back out and started pushing all kinds of buttons on the machine while looking at the receipt. Evidently, unable to do what he wanted, he called over a manager.

While he was on his way, I said, "Needless to say, I'm VERY frustrated that this package is probably not going to arrive in time for Christmas now. Is there any way you can bump up the priority on it free of charge to make up for the mistake?"

"We'll have to ask the manager that," he said seemingly not realizing that that was why I was asking the question while he was on his way over.

Another clerk came out and he said to her, "Do you know who clerk 9 is?" and she indicated the lady on the other side of him and mouthed, "I think it's her."

Manager man arrived and instructed him to key in x under y, and while he did it, he said to the manager, indicating me, "Of course, his concern is that his package won't arrive by Saturday now."

"I'm afraid there's nothing we can do about that," boss man said.

I watched the clerk adhere the postage to your package and stick on TWO priority mail stickers, perhaps some secret code to his pals in shipping to get this one out as quickly as possible. With everything done, he said, "I'm very, VERY sorry about the mistake and the inconvenience, sir."

So, I TRIED! :-) I hope it's now not going to be a problem that Pat and John probably aren't going to be there when your package arrives, which I'm guessing will be Monday or Tuesday. I don't know if they'll have someone checking their mail, or if they do it in Roanoke like here, and just slip a notification in their mailbox that they have a package to go pick up.

At least it's taken care of, and one less thing for you to think about. I know how your mind works, or I'm starting to know. :-)

Take care my friend!
xxoo
-j-

Before it closed, I ran back to the post office, this time the one on Avent Ferry Road near my house, where the lady in front of me was frantically trying to get some—what looked like homemade, perhaps knitted or crocheted—scarves mailed in time for Christmas. She had them in a bag, but wanted to mail them "as cheaply as possible," so the clerk suggested one of those big manila envelopes, and she said, "Sure, that'll work," and proceeded to cram the scarves into that envelope until it was so stuffed that I was surprised that it sealed. She was as thrilled as I was surprised about it.

I purchased 100 Holiday Evergreen Forever Stamps, which on a first, fast pass sounds a little redundant with "evergreen" and "forever" juxtaposed. But I digress...


I also made a quick stop in the State Employees Credit Union, where I ran in to purchase a Visa gift card. I heard the teller at the window next to me say to her customer, "I can't cash this check for you. It's dated January 1, 2011, and it's not January yet."

I watched as the customer's mouth just dropped in disbelief, and then a snarl seized her face as if her disappointment in not being able to cash it turned to contempt for the person who wrote it out like that. Since she was evidently going to deposit the proceeds of that check, the cashier said, "Do you still want me to process your withdrawal even though we can't deposit the check?"



I got my hair cut this evening, once again by LaToya, who once again seems to have finally "gotten it" that, yes, I have been there before. She had some book with God in its title, opened face down on the shelf at her station on the left side. On the right side of the station was a Sam's Club- or Costo-sized container of some kind of hair goop that said, "Backbar Use Only."

You may recall that I didn't ask her to trim my eyebrows the last time—What? You don't recall that? I pour out the minutia of my life here, and you can't be bothered to remember it? Nice.—because I suspect she's cutting my eyelids in the process.

Well, I decided to give her another chance today, and oh my god. She was like a pitbull on crack with clippers. That's the last time she'll be trimming my eyebrows.



Dancing was a lot of fun. We had a "Holiday Shindig," meaning people brought food to share. We had quite the spread—and a lot of food, too. It was all good.

I got a lot of exercise in, but I'm quite sure the calories consumed versus the calories burned, well:



On the way home from dancing, even though I was tired and didn't really feel like it, I swung by Joe's to see if the package from his sister arrived as expected today or tomorrow, and it least it wasn't a wasted trip. It's now safely tucked inside his home.

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