Work vs Vacation

I make the most of my vacations. My days off are full of fun times and experiences. I came back to work after ten days off this past vacation to find an abundance of emails.

That was probably the hardest part of coming back to work. I enjoy the job itself, but there is often excessive emails that I need to sift through to find what I need to do my job.

Coming back to work and I’m already thinking towards my next vacation. Planning ahead is tough when you’re not sure how much you could spend.

I’d like to try and not go into debt to enjoy some time away from home. Pinching pennies and returning empty bottles for refunds may be how I pay for our next bit of fun. Back to working in order to afford my vacations I guess. Like a vicious circle.

Work Tunes

The past few nights at work I have been playing music in my office. From my iPhone I have it connected to a small Bluetooth speaker. This small speaker that can fit in my car cup holder packs a good punch. It is far louder than I expected. A few times I had to turn it down in order to have a conversation.

Mostly I am using Amazon Music and playing a variety of “Radio Stations”. My work environment has become less stressful and more enjoyable. My coworkers have also been enjoying the change of pace. There is more comradery amongst everyone along with more productivity. This happens when everyone has a more pleasant outlook whilst listening to music they recognize.

I enjoy music tremendously. I’m rather surprised at myself that I haven’t been listening to it at work much. Perhaps it’s time to change that and keep those spirits up.

Being Negative at Work

Like many people who have a job- I fall victim to being negative about work. Not all the time mind you- but enough that I have to stop myself from continuing my negativity. Be it comments about the job, coworkers, bosses, other companies- there is oftentimes something irritating that starts the ball rolling.

Speaking negatively consumes everyone around. Just like school bullies being loud and obnoxious towards someone. There are some people who sit idly by and just let the rant go on. Or while others stay quiet on the sidelines, the rest join in. And the complaints get louder and more personal. Until stories or gossip fill people’s minds with a “new truth” about whatever the gripe is about.

I want to remain positive in all aspects of my life. But it can be really tough when work can strike an ego blow. Using my blog as a way to bring forth my acknowledgment of my feelings and actions has become beneficial in my mental wellbeing. Doing something to hinder my negativity in public is the new challenge. Time to stop ranting and raving all the hatred.

Time to chill out.

Back to the Grind

Enjoying four days off was great. Especially when my wife and I had a quick romantic night away. But like all good things (and days off) they must come to an end.

W-O-R-K is a four letter word that kills the euphoric sensation of freedom. Trudging through that daily grind can be tough when you’re only starting day one of your workweek. But like most people- I work in order to afford what I do with my free time.

So I take it in stride. I try and look forward to those whom I work with. This creates a joy in my personality that exudes into my work ethic- thus making my shifts go much faster. Sometimes those weekends approach faster than expected. That can affect one’s life adversely. Or a lack of future plans for your days off makes one feel as if you’ve lost some free time.

But work is work. I’m glad to have a job that I enjoy most days. Even though I’m counting down my time to retirement, the years I have left to give shall be good ones. Filled with great coworkers and fun shifts. With each workweek ending with some time off at the end for good behavior.

Clothes Make The Man

I just dress comfortably. Throw on a graphic tee and a pair of jeans-and I’m good to go. Most of my days are like that. I just enjoy being comfortable.

This Friday at work, I chose to dress a bit more upper class. A pair of linen pants, a long sleeved button up white shirt and an amazing velour jacket.

I was freaking killing it.

Needless to say, nearly everyone complimented my style. It was also pointed out that most do “Casual Friday” and dress the way I do on a regular basis. As if my “Casual Friday” means to dress it up. Which I suppose it does.

I figured that if the sun was going to shine for one day this week- I could rock the “Garden Party” look in this type of weather. No need to worry though- I’ll back to jeans and a tee shirt. But this man can still surprise you with his style.

Long Work Week

This week is a much longer work week for me than usual. I’m also working in a location that I haven’t had the years of experience in that others have. Since I’m helping to cover for my coworkers vacations- I’m putting in six days straight. Twelve hour days at that. I have two more days to go.

Needless to say I am starting to feel it mentally. Each day is blending into the next. But that’s okay. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll snag four days off after. Except those four days are filled up with appointments and commitments.

I just hope for a few moments of peace in between.

Aka: Naps. I’m gonna need them.

Workplace Toys

Working in an office on a regular basis, one needs to add a bit of “flair” to make it more personalized. Since our work is a 24/7 operation- we share a workspace. As professional as we are, we still need a little break to show our humanity. So… we have toys scattered throughout the office.

Our fandoms get expressed in small doses. Just a friendly reminder of what we work towards- from gaming to movies. There’s a goal at the end of each day that keeps us laughing and going.

Even a missing ceiling tile gets a little buddy to watch over us. If it brings a even a brief smile to our workspace, it’s worth it.

Sometimes our doodles and artwork get put up. The moments of fun is what makes it all worthwhile. There is a plethora of talent here as well.

How do you decorate your workspace? What do you have that keeps you sane?

Childish Humor

No matter what the circumstances, farts are funny. I’d say most people agree.

I’ve written about farts numerous times. Here are a few examples:

Farts Are Funny

Laughter Language

Cabin Adventures: Day 4

My family, friends and coworkers generally find farts amusing as well. The first time I let out some gas in front of my wife- when we were first dating- I was incredibly embarrassed. Now, she out shines me and puts my farts to shame. Both in sound and odor.

Farting around coworkers or friends is kind of the same. It takes a bit to open up around each other. There is a comfort level that you need to get to with one another prior to the first fart. Once that Pandora’s box is open, there’s no putting it back. It can turn into an all-out gas war. Each trying to out do the other. Or not warning one another and letting the smell do the rest.

When I let one rip in the car with my family, I lock the windows. Trap them inside with an obnoxious gas cloud. But if anyone in my family let’s one rip- all the windows go down even in the winter– to air out the car. Hey, I like to breathe. Plus it’s my car and I can do what I like, right?

Besides getting over the initial embarrassment of breaking wind, farts are the funniest thing ever. We all do it. So why hide it?

The Floater

My experience at work has me jumping from location to location in my home terminal. Which makes me feel uneasy and a bit doubtful of my abilities.

Am I that good- that my work can move me willy nilly all over the place? Or am I that bad- that they can’t figure out a good place for me?

I’d like to think it’s the first option. I am pretty good at a couple of the locations. But I think I’m just middle of the road when it comes to others.

What has happened now is that I have become a “Floater“. My coworkers say to me, “Didn’t I see you someplace else last week?” Or “Weren’t you at a different location? Are you going to stay here permanently?” I have become like a human version of the eye floater. Appearing in your vision for a moment, just to disappear as you try and focus on me. It feels like I’m here but not.

In the end, I guess I’m reliable enough to help out where needed. Arrive in a flash and gone in an instant- leaving behind nothing more than a memory of my presence.

Joe- The Human Eye Floater

Fifty Eight

If things continue the way they are going, I should be able to retire by age 58. To me, that’s a big deal. Because my father passed away at age 58. He never got the luxury of retirement.

For most of my youth (until age 17 maybe) my father worked long hours for a computer company. We hardly saw him. On his days off he spent it golfing with his friends. He wasn’t much of a family man nor did we do many vacations with him. But when he was let go from his job after fifteen years, he took his severance pay and enjoyed almost a year of golfing. Then he needed to work again. He put in long hours and wasn’t around once more. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. A couple years later- he was gone.

Not the life I want.

If I am still with CN Rail, it means I only have to work for a little over 15 more years to receive a decent pension. I’ve already been working here steadily since 2007 (minus layoffs at the start). Considering I have been in the work force for 30 years so far give or take, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I’m already getting excited about it.

Since My father passed away, I have focused on time with my family. Only on a rare occasion have I worked long hours and put in extra time. At one point it was to pay for my wedding. Another was to afford a down payment for our first home. Now my time off is as valuable as the time I put in to work.

Knowing that I have put in 2/3 of the work towards retirement is exciting. It’s time to start planning what to do with the time off. I look forward to sharing that next chapter with my wife. Her and I are getting started on those long term goals. But first, it’s time to create a countdown. 5544 days to go.