Got up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.  So, goes the classic Beatles song, “A Day In The Life”.  I was reading a journaling book and one of the assignments was to document your day with pictures.  Not a special day.  Let’s face it, I’m an avid photographer, for me to photograph a day at the zoo, or anything I’m doing on the weekend is something I’m photographing anyway.  No this had to be a regular, average day.  Nothing special.  Nothing unusual.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Just a regular, normal day in and day out representation of what my day is. So here it is. 

When I was off for intersession, I had no problem getting up early every day.  In fact, I like getting up early.  Get out and do something, or take a class online, write, whatever I had on my plate for that day.  But now that I’m back to work, I fight to get out of bed.  I fight to get out of the house.  And then I fight to get to bed early at the end of the day.  So today wasn’t any different.  Once I’m up and about it’s all good.  It’s just getting started.  Once up, I put on the local news and check the headlines and weather. 

Every morning the goal is to get to work early enough to have breakfast, usually egg and chess on a muffin. Then check email, Facebook, and perhaps read before having to punch in. 

Then I get to it.  Check the menu, get everything organized, and gather all my ingredients.  Start setting up for the daily routine.  The second chef comes in a half hour latter and the day is underway.  After cooking my ingredients and assembling the pizza’s, calzones, three cheese bread sticks and anything else I need to do, my day starts.

Eleven AM, lunch is served and the students start filing in.  On an average day, I can cook anywhere between six and 10 pizzas.  One hundred and twenty bread sticks and countless boneless wings.  When I was cooking pasta, I was much busier, I could have served anywhere from 75 to 200 orders.  Now, most of my job entails talking and socializing with the customers.  Smiling, welcoming them, asking how their days is, trying to remember names, and orders or preferences.  This all helps create a good relationship and great customer service. 

Ther are basically two big rushes, one right at noon and another at 1:15 or so.  This can be a little chaotic.  On an average day, my floor can serve somewhere around 1000 people.  Campus-wide it’s more like 3500 a meal, we’re in somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 meals a day. 

Overall, I’ve come to like what I do.  The people I work with, the students, staff, and faculty, everyone is pleasant and outgoing.  My biggest problem with my job is pay.  The battle of my life is that as an hourly employee, the consistent increase of the minimum wage is constantly devaluing my earned raises.  So, as the government once again considers raising the minimum wage, this time at a rate that will be higher then I make now after being there for almost 10 years.  The concern then becomes will they give me an increase proportional to the difference.  My guess is that in this capitalist, cooperate economy, NOT.  Working for a company that wants you to weigh the scraps of produce and log them to ensure that you’re not wasting to much of a product, I’m sure that they will do all they can to keep their bottom-line as “black” as possible.

They did the same thing with the affordable care act was passed.  The company insurance was never good, but they had one that met the minimum standard and was so crappy that no one would take.  So I got a much better deal, at a much better price, but I don’t get their contribution as a cash payment, or can’t put that to the premium.  It’s a wash, in their mind anyway. 

But enough of the rant.  Another thing that I like about my job, and didn’t realize I would see today, is the fact the students are always involved in different social awareness issues.  This particular day and every Thursday through the end of March, they are selling bowls.  Empty bowls to fill with soup for the local soup kitchen.  Two dollars and fifty cents.  They stand at each register and explain to everyone that come through what they are doing and why.  They have a sign with graphics and collected about 100 bowls on this day.  I am always encouraged with how excited and eager they are to help, and volunteer for a  cause. 

On a more personal note.  I’ve recently come up with a plan for a retirement that I think I would love, would enable me to work doing what I like doing, travel, and pursue my photography.  It’s called “Workamping”.  Living in an RV, traveling from national park to national park, with the peak of tourist season, and living in the midst of these wonderful national treasures.  If I can get enough to set off and get this type of life style, I feel my future is brighter. 

So, for now, that’s the goal.  If I can stick out the next 8, 10, 12 years and be healthy and financially sound, the second half of my life is feeling good and giving me a direction after a long time of feeling like there was no direction in my life. 

On with my day.  I work till 4:30 most days.  Wednesdays I have my photo club, Peace of My Heart Photography.  Fridays I generally go out with some friends.  A couple of nights a week I’ll out for a couple of beers.  Such is the plan for tonight.

My destination of choice, “The Backyard Ale House”.  Twenty-eight rotating beers on tap, good food, and friendly staff.  While I don’t usually bring my laptop, on this particular evening I did. Most nights when I get home I’m online anyway, working on pictures, a class, the website, or just chores so I’m free on the weekend.  

Tonight, I’m working on this article and the pictures that attend it.  While the pictures aren’t the most creative, they do show what my day is like. 

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