Category Archives: Work

Eating Up Editing (While Looking for Mr. Goodbar)

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If I were an editor I’m afraid junk food would be my only friend. Maybe editing the work of other writers is different from editing your own, but editing my own is the most tedious, mind-numbing work I’ve ever done.

Consider that I’ve already read my own work at least ten times and probably more. I’ve taken out and put away this particular manuscript many times over the years. I’ve rewritten it and revised it at least as often.

More recently I’ve read through it again and organized it as I prepare it for formatting. Then I printed it out because I’ve been shocked to find how much better it is to work with a paper copy. I catch many more needed edits than I would just looking at a laptop screen. Now I’m transferring the paper edits back to my Word document. Did I mention that I originally wrote the entire story in past tense and then decided it worked better in present tense???

Mind. Numbing. WORK. I need to be rewarded for this effort, don’t I? This has been a four-year process and I’m finally closing in on “the end” literally and figuratively.

My reward of choice, my distraction, in fact the only thing that’s getting me through days of sitting with my laptop and my paper copy and my red pen is chocolate. And Cheetos. The giant Hershey bar with Almonds. Half of one of those gets me through a grueling afternoon of editing. But sometimes you need something crunchy, right? Isn’t junk food a reward for just about any feat you survive or are undertaking? Just for variety, a giant Mr. Goodbar joined the party this afternoon.20160515_180711

Did I mention it was Partner Appreciation Week at my day job? Which means a bag full of goodies from my manager. I weeded out all the little Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and gave what was left to my husband. 20160515_180624

If it’s not chocolate (or Cheetos) who needs it?

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Variety as they say, is the spice of life. Editing, I can assure you, is not. Like any true artiste, however, I am willing to suffer for my art. And so is my waistline.

#editing #chocolate #Cheetos #Hersheys

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Sunday Morning Musings

The week in review:

2015-06-07 01.51.52Last Sunday I didn’t muse because I was out in a boat on Tampa Bay heading to Egmont Key with four fabulous ladies. We proceeded to have THE BEST TIME exploring the historic island (a former military installation where Seminole Indians were held captive at one time) snorkeling, snacking and yakking. And we saw dolphins which I always consider a good omen.

Prior to this I swimsuit shopped which I haven’t done in a few years because I rarely have occasion to wear a swimsuit. I stared in the changing room mirror and said aloud, “What the hell happened to me?” I used to have an okay figure. I have pictures…somewhere. The ensemble I brought home will never be seen by anyone on dry land (except for the aforementioned fabulous ladies during island exploration). Aging ain’t for sissies, people, so be prepared! My helpful, encouraging husband had this to add: “At least your legs are still good.”2015-06-07 00.17.32

I have decided to watch my mouth. I am one of those people who grumbles and name calls. At other drivers mostly or about customers who annoy me at work (but I only do this when my back is turned). It’s my belief the noise of the equipment and the background music prevents anyone from hearing what I say because if they did, I probably wouldn’t have a job any more.

But it occurs to me that every time I call another driver or customer a moron or an idiot, I’m not just venting, I am being intentionally mean to one of God’s children. And God is looking down at me and wondering why I’m insulting one of his beloved children. As a parent, if you insult my child, you insult me. Do you want someone calling your child a moron or an idiot or some other derogatory name? No. It’s hurtful.

As I was on a break and sharing this with a coworker, my friend Josh was eating lunch and listening to our exchange and he gets credit for the gem of the week, because at the end of my speech he said, “Well, I only have one child, but it’s been my impression that some children are more loved than others.”

Maybe by human parents, but not by God. He loves us all the same. Even the ones who can’t drive or have no idea what they want when they walk up to the counter and then proceed to ask for six different things with complicated instructions.

Another thought about work: Why can’t I spend every shift working with people I really enjoy?

My daughter’s making headway in her fight to escape her lead-poisoned apartment. See this article and this report. She and her husband hope to close on a house in July and relocate one way or another. For real: You Go Girl!

I helped my usually more techie husband with a techie-related issue with his Kindle! Yay me! Now if I could just get him to program the TV so I can watch one of my DVDs…

A shout out to the same husband who patiently pulls my hair through a frosting cap before I color it (my alternative to expensive highlights) and then tells me how good my hair looks when it’s done. Ladies, a side note here: if your hair isn’t too long this is possible and it gives you natural looking color without that obvious roots-growing-in issue. And you can use any color. I use Clairol Born Blonde which I think blends nicely with my gray.

I’ve sent COOL BEANS to a friend who promises to read it and tell me what it still needs. My goal is to get it out there by the end of the summer…

Meanwhile, I’m moving on to work on ANIMAL, my Beauty-and-the-Beast-inspired contemporary romance. I think it’s slightly brilliant. Be interesting to see what my editor thinks.

Stay positive. Smile. Have a great week!

#friends #God #husbands #hair #writing #lead #poisoning

Barbara Meyers Author Newsletter – April 2014

ajtillock2013 012You might wonder why my newsletters are so infrequent. It’s because I don’t have any writing news to report. No new books being released. No contracts signed. Right now all I do is write and rewrite.

A couple of my fans keep asking when the next book in the Grinding Reality series will be done. I thought I was close until I printed out a rough draft and let it sit for six weeks before I read through it. My answer now is it’s going to be awhile. Cool Beans is the second book and I can’t tell you how hard it is to write in a genre you’ve never written in before and to write a series when you’ve never written a series before. I am truly making it up as I go along because the sky’s the limit. I don’t think anything similar has been written or if it has, I haven’t read it. It’s so far out there even I have a hard time figuring out how to pull it together. The biggest problem I have with Cool Beans is the pacing. Tee is addicted to the forbidden coffee beans (see The Forbidden Bean) and she has to have one every seven days or bad things will happen. I need to work on my timeline, because right now it doesn’t make sense. The story is there, though. That’s the good news.finalGRcover

At this moment (Thursday, February 27, 2014, 1:34 p.m.) I am preparing to read through the printed rough draft of Nobody’s Fool to see what it still needs. Another manuscript “almost” done. I have to print them out to get a clearer picture of where I am. I can’t do it on a computer.

For the past few months, when I haven’t been working on either of these, I work on Fantasyman or Rich Woman. Evidently, I’m not happy unless I’m working on four or five manuscripts at a time.

The third book in The Braddock Brotherhood series, The First Time Again, will be out in print in May.

FirstTimeAgain,The72lg[1]FINAL

In between bouts of fiction writing I write blogs which I eventually post. I write them, read through them several times. Edit them. Add to them. Read through them again to make sure they say what I want them to say. Lately, I’ve been stuck on writing blogs about marriage. I don’t know why. Marriage is weird and I find it an interesting subject. My neighbors brought cake over the other day because they were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. I am thinking about interviewing them for a future blog(s).

I haven’t written any poetry lately but Carlene Thissen, Martha Christian and I finished our song Roses in the Sand.

It’s as difficult to break into selling songs as it is books. Carlene sings at venues in the Naples, Florida area. I wrote lyrics for a fun song called “Quittin’ Time” which audiences have dubbed “The Horny Waitress Song.” It’s become a crowd favorite at Old Fogies in Bonita Springs. Next we’re going to work on “Hot Flashes” another fun song idea.

Meanwhile I work my day job three or four days a week. I try to do my version of working out.* I figured out how to work my iPod Nano and even download songs from iTunes. No big deal, you say? Then you don’t know how little confidence I have in my techie capabilities, so this was a big step for me. It has also boosted my confidence. Today I went into my web site and figured out how to make a few changes to the text on a couple of different pages. Applause, please.  Now if I could just remember how to use the camera on my phone without asking for help from a 20-something coworker…

*Someone posted The Plank Challenge on Facebook so tried it. I developed tendonitis in my foot and have to wear a brace for the next 2-3 weeks. Planks strengthen your core, (my core definitely needs strengthening) but I advise against doing them barefoot. Sixty seconds was my best time…

https://www.facebook.com/30DayPlankChallenge

Another reason my newsletters are so rare is because for awhile I wasn’t writing at all. I worked with creativity coach Denise Agnew and she helped me immensely. Check her out here:  www.deniseagnew.com/

Watch for a future blog about that experience.

In November I did booksignings at two local arts and crafts fairs and sold 26 books.

Coming up in October I’ll be attending the Novelists, Inc. conference in St. Pete Beach. This will be the fourth Ninc conference I’ve attended, the third one in St. Pete. Visit the Novelists Inc. web site here:  http://www.ninc.com/

Newsletter Update: March 29, 2014

This started out as the March newsletter…

While I put the finishing touches on Fantasyman, I have a query and partial out on it and also on Nobody’s Fool and Misconceive. Hope to hear from editors soon.

No planks and no walking for the time being. The tendonitis is better, but not cured after much money spent on two podiatrist visits. Instead of the $200 custom orthotics they wanted to sell me, at my son’s suggestion I invested in a new pair of work shoes and decided to try $12 arch support inserts from Walgreens.   Writer heal thyself!

I’ve realized I am not a slow writer after all. I’m a thorough writer more interested in quality than speed. There are enough bad books out there already (I know—take a look at some of my “Picky Reader” blogs!). I don’t want to add to the mediocrity in the world or disappoint a reader. Publishing news soon!

Visit me at www.barbarameyers.com

Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

P.S.  About that marriage thing…today my husband displayed one of his many heroic qualities.  He’s about the least handy guy you’ll ever meet but he fixed the toilet that was driving me crazy.  They used to say if you caught your child doing something good to make sure you commented on it.  Likewise, if your husband does something that makes him your hero, even if it’s something small, tell him so.  It makes up for all the moments when he drives you crazy. 🙂

#newsletter #author #barbarameyers

 

Fiscal Cliff My Ass

I am so sick of hearing about the fiscal cliff and paying my fair share.  I’ve paid my fair share, okay?  My whole life, I’ve paid my taxes.  Whatever was withheld and then some.  I’ve never asked for or needed government assistance.  I WORKED, okay?  My husband WORKED.  My kids WORK.  They pay their bills and that includes health insurance, or they go without.  So don’t tell me I didn’t pay my fair share.

Fiscal cliff?  Gee, what caused that?  Government spending.  They want to raise taxes to provide more revenue because they’ve run out of money.  Only problem with that scenario is the more money they rake in in taxes the more money they waste.  The ONLY reason for the federal government to raise taxes is so it can spend more money.  This is a case of physician heal thyself.  The federal government will never stop raising taxes to pay bills it creates.  When’s the last time you heard about cutting spending?  Or getting rid of duplicate government programs?  Maybe you heard about it in conjunction with sequestering which is when the government forces itself to make arbitrary budget cuts, probably because they didn’t raise taxes quickly enough to cover the expenses of a certain department. 

Idiots!  The only reason taxes go up is to increase the size of government.  Does anyone understand anything about how the economy works?  Think about this:  WHY does the government need to grow any more?  My reply is, “it doesn’t.” 

Raise taxes on the wealthy because they don’t pay enough in taxes.  I have heard this so many times I’m ready to puke.  This is something I actually understand because I am married to a man who worked fifty-hour weeks for thirty-plus years.  He/we made investments.  Look at it this way:  You get a paycheck.  Part of your gross income is removed from it off the top to pay for federal income taxes.  At the high end of the tax bracket you might be paying 35%.  More than a third of what you earned is gone.  If you get a bonus, it’s taxed.  If you use some of your net pay (remember you’ve already paid federal income tax) to buy stock (invest in a U.S. company that provides jobs for workers) and then you later sell that stock, you are taxed (again) if you made a profit (capital gains) of 15%.  If you die, your estate (all the wealth/property you accumulated by working hard and investing) is TAXED AGAIN at something like 50%.  Who does this affect the most?  The wealthy.  The people who worked hard, created businesses of their own perhaps, the ones who provided jobs for the rest of us, the ones who are ALREADY PAYING THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE of taxes.  Yes, let’s penalize them AGAIN for being successful.  

If that doesn’t take away the motivation for anyone to work hard, acquire wealth, be successful, live the “American Dream” I don’t know what does.  Why should you?  Why should anyone when the federal government will come in and take it all away from you in one form or another? 

Meanwhile, how many?  Let’s all say it together:  47% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax.  They are the takers, some of them living on entitlement programs from cradle to grave.  Why not when citizens like you and me, along with the federal government make it so easy for them?

November 2012 Newsletter from Author Barbara Meyers

This is the first of many newsletters, I hope, although I can’t promise one every month.  I’m not sure I’d have enough “news” to bother with every month!

My web site has been redesigned.  Check it out at www.barbarameyers.com

I think everything works, including the buy links for my books.  We are still tweaking it, however, so if you have problems, contact me at barb@barbmeyers.com.

I also re-did my Facebook author page.  Another work in progress.  I hope you “like” it. Have I mentioned how inept I am at all things techie and internet related?  Please bear with me.

The last couple of months have been super busy because I moved.  After thirty years in Southwest Florida I relocated to Central Florida.  I lived in this area of Florida when my family moved here from Idaho when I was nineteen.  (I swore when I left Idaho if I ever saw snow again it would be too soon.  I haven’t seen it since and I do not miss it.) 

Many have asked why we moved.  The simplest answer is “the economy.”

Not only did we move, we downsized.  For months I’d lie awake at night wondering how I’d manage this.  It seemed overwhelming to me, but like most things we worry about it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I anticipated.  I gave away things I didn’t need, didn’t have room for or no longer had a use for.  I did a “first wave” garage sale and then a “final wave” sale a few months later.  Even after the move I had more to donate.  After what seemed like a lifetime of acquiring “stuff” I discovered how little most of it meant to me.  I cherish my family and my dear friends.  I am blessed to have them.  The stuff?  It won’t hug you or listen when you need to vent.

For the past nine years I’ve worked for a worldwide coffee chain.  I wear a green apron and “supervise” a group of mostly 20-somethings.  I tell myself I stay with this company because of the great benefits (i.e. health insurance) but I realized the other day this job also supports my writing career.  I’m not rich from writing romance novels.  Yet. 

Then again, I was inspired to write my GRINDING REALITY series because of my observances in this environment.  Book One: The Forbidden Bean is available in both digital and print versions.  I am currently working on Book Two: Cool Beans.  This series is mixed genre, sort of a screwball fantasy concept that would be rated PG-13 or maybe even G if it was a movie.  No profanity, no sex, no graphic violence.  Some adult situations.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written or read and probably unlike anything you’ve ever read.  This series is written under the pen name AJ Tillock, so as not to confuse readers with my romance-writing Barbara Meyers persona.

My third book in The Braddock Brotherhood series entitled THE FIRST TIME AGAIN, is scheduled for digital release in May 2013.  The first two, A MONTH FROM MIAMI and A FOREVER KIND OF GUY are both available in digital and print.

Independently published NOT QUITE HEAVEN and SCATTERED MOMENTS are both available as eBooks.  The print versions are coming soon.

You can follow my periodic comments on Twitter @barbmeyers or @ajtillock (or both).  I do try, but I can rarely think of anything to say that seems like it’d be worth posting.  Almost all of my AJ Tillock Twitter posts are quotes from The Forbidden Bean.

Visit me at www.barbarameyers.com

Working Girl

Just a few of the encounters I’ve had with customers in the past couple of days:

“I’ve Got a Lot of Nerve”
May I use your phone?
Yes, if it’s a local call.
Why are you taking the phone over to that comfy chair to make your call? Why are you keeping the phone on the table next to you?
Why, when the phone rings, do you think it might be for you? Seriously?
Um, no, it’s the district manager and it’s for me. We’re running a business here.
Oh, well, I just have to make one more call at 2 p.m. What time is it?
It’s five to two. What am I? Your secretary?
I repeat we’re running a business here.
It’s on behalf of the mentally ill. I’m disabled.
I’m sorry about that but…we’re running a business here.

“I Am Not A Liar”
Do you have blueberry frozen blended beverages?
No, I don’t think we’ve ever had blueberry frozen blended beverages.
Maybe not in this location you didn’t but I assure you at one time blueberry frozen blended beverages were available.
I’ve been here for eight years. I don’t believe we ever had blueberry frozen blended beverages.
I’m not making it up. I’m not a liar.
I didn’t mean to imply that you were.
(It is entirely possible we had blueberry frozen blended beverages at one time and I’ve completely blocked it out of my memory. But we’re talking years ago.)
P.S. Thank you for purchasing $20 worth of drinks even though we didn’t have blueberry frozen blended beverages and you clearly thought I had insulted you by implying you were a liar.

“I Am Helpless”
I’m driving to Tampa from the East Coast with my friend. How far away am I?
About 150 miles.
It will take us ten minutes to order two drinks and two sandwiches.
Can you cut those sandwiches in half?
Can you carry them outside for us. My friend has weak hands.

“I Don’t Have My Receipt”
My cup broke and I want to exchange it for another one.
We don’t do returns or exchanges on merchandise without a receipt.
Fine, can I speak to your manager?.
He’s not here. I’m the manager at the moment.
All I want to do is exchange this cup for a new one. The lid came off and I dropped it and it shattered.
We don’t do returns or exchanges on merchandise without a receipt.
No one told me that.
Did you buy it here?
No, I bought it at another location a couple of miles further down the road.
Maybe you can take it back there and they’ll exchange it for you.
Why would I do that? I live a minute away from here.
I’m sorry ma’am. I suggest you try the other store.
I have my child with me. Why would I drive twenty minutes (it’s not a twenty-minute drive) to another store and subject my child to that?
No comment. Roll eyes. Feel blood pressure rise.
You can call corporate customer service. Maybe they can help you.
Why don’t you call them for me?
Fine.
Corporate customer service is only open weekdays in another time zone during these hours.
Can you call your manager because I’m not leaving here until you do what I want you to do.
Fine. Manager says if you’re being that big a pain in my ass to exchange your cup.
Bitch.

“I Have My Receipt”
I need to exchange this cup because the person I bought it for has one already.
Do you have your receipt?
Yes, I do.
That’s lovely. I got into an altercation with a customer the other day who didn’t have a receipt.
I would never try to exchange something without the receipt.
What a pleasant surprise. Would you like a beverage today?
No, thank you.
Okay. We refunded the full amount to your credit card. Is there anything else we can do for you?
No, thank you. Have a nice day.
You have a nice day, too.
Why can’t all the customers be like you?

It IS good to be employed. But this is also why I write fiction.

Visit me at http://www.barbmeyers.com

I’m Starving

I am all dressed up with no place to go. Yet. Don’t you hate it when you’re ready early and there’s no point in leaving so you’re sitting around trying to think of something constructive to do because you have at least a half hour before you need to leave?
Actually, if it were up to me and the dh was ready, I’d head to the restaurant, plunk myself down at the bar and order a glass of wine to sip on. But, the dh isn’t much of bar person or a drinker. Why, oh, why do opposites attract? Probably because somebody has to drive home later.
We’re going to P.F. Chang’s to celebrate my son’s birthday. P.F. Chang’s was his choice, btw, not that we all don’t love eating there. It’s one of the few restaurants where I can honestly say I’ve never gotten a bad meal. Did I mention I’m starving?
I worked an opening shift today and so far I’ve had a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich (the 210-calorie one with ham and egg white on an English muffin) which I wolfed down around 10:30 while doing important shift supervisor tasks “in the back.” When I got home from work around 2, I realized I still had the banana I took to work, so I ate that with some peanut butter. (Note to self: Need to buy peanut butter.) Then I had some popcorn. Then I took a nap. When I woke up around 5 I was starving so I had some raw broccoli and cauliflower with ranch dressing. This is only because I am trying to be good and I wouldn’t let the dh buy potato chips even though they were on sale. Trust me, I would much rather snack on potato chips than raw vegetables.
I took a shower, dressed, did my hair. I’m even wearing mascara, and I don’t put mascara on for just anybody. I’ve got at least twenty minutes. Are we bored yet?
I am off tomorrow. Yay! Maybe I will walk the beach. I haven’t been in weeks. I wonder if my beach parking sticker has expired?
I have already checked my e-mail and given my Facebook page a gander. Maybe I’ll just go ahead and post this and head to the restaurant for that glass of wine. Sorry, I can’t think of a snappy ending. My blood sugar is too low.
#postaweek2011

Picky Reader Reads Non-Fiction – 1

I rarely read non-fiction for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost it takes me a long time to read a non-fiction book.  I can generally only manage a few pages a sitting which my pea brain must then absorb before I can go back and try to glean some more wisdom from the same source.  The second reason is my ability to remember anything seems to have deserted me in the last couple of years.  While I may read something deep and memorable I want to hold onto and take with me, in a very short time it’s simply gone.

However, in my attempt to figure out things currently foreign to me, such as how one goes about creating a successful marketing campaign for one’s independently published e-Books, I picked up a handful of books I thought might be helpful.  One of those was Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod of www.gapingvoid.com fame.

I’d never heard of Hugh Macleod, his book or his web site before, but I am now a fan.  I read his book in two days.  Why?  It’s easy to read.  The chapters are only a few pages long and his cartoons are peppered throughout.  He’s chosen a sort of bullet-point presentation style.  He gets in, makes his point and moves on.  The book is 149 pages long.  He doesn’t waste time or paper saying anything that doesn’t need to be said or saying it six times in different ways. 

Since I’m at a point in my career where there are so many voices the conventional wisdom indicates I should be listening to, I’d recently decided the only voice I should be listening to was my own.  Which is much the point Ignore Everybody makes.  You alone are responsible for your career, your choices, your fate.  You hold the key in your hand.  You could be wrong, you could be right, but if you go with your gut, that’s usually the best way to go.  Stop listening to everyone else.  Dare to do something different.  Don’t worry about whether it will make money or be successful in the eyes of the world.  If you’re driven to create then do it! 

Something I found truly amusing was a line in Chapter 20 which is entitled “Sing in your own voice.”  There’s a list of famous artists who weren’t good at certain things within the art form they’re known for. I laughed out loud when I read this one:  “Dylan can’t sing or play guitar.”

Why did I find this so amusing?  Because for eight years I’ve worked at a local Starbucks where a variety of music is played, much of it not to my taste.  I can’t control the music choices, but I can skip certain playlists.  Dylan seems to be a recurring favorite and I’d commented once again a few nights previously that someone needed to tell him he couldn’t sing.  Which is not to say he isn’t a great songwriter.  To quote MacLeod, “Had Bob Dylan been more of technical virtuoso, he might not have felt the need to give his song lyrics power and resonance.”

Ignore Everybody…resonated with me and reinforced much of what I already knew.  Maybe it will do the same for you.

 #postaweek2011

 www.barbmeyers.com

 

Days Like This

Yesterday began with my brilliant idea to teach my husband to brew coffee.  I suggested it would be nice if he occasionally had coffee ready when I came downstairs in the morning instead of waiting for me to make it.  I’m pretty sure this somehow caused a tear in the fabric of the universe because the rest of the day threw me curve balls.

A friend I haven’t heard from in months called to thank me for her birthday card.  I’d begun to wonder if our 25-year friendship had somehow dissolved, but I guess it was simply on hiatus.

After I looked at the calendar to see when I might get together with her, I realized I have another dear friend whose birthday is in a few days and I had to get a card in the mail.

I discovered my daughter’s wedding gift registry online.  She’s chosen the most gorgeous, elegant Kate Spade dinnerware. 

As the morning progressed I began to wonder if a migraine was headed my way so I took a chunk of migraine medication and off to work I went.

Shortly after I arrive I discover my credit card payment is still in my purse.  It was due yesterday.  Luckily a coworker is headed in the direction of the bank and offers to drop it off for me.  I have the best friends, don’t I?

More fun time ensues when staff is confused about a special offer on retail merchandise.  A phone call and some new signage is required.

A text from my daughter.  Her fiancé landed his dream job.  Yay!

A coworker fresh out of college stops in to say his job hunt has taken an upturn.  Fingers crossed for him that a position he’s just applied for will parlay into an interview and work in his field of interest.  I feel good about this since someone I know just landed a dream job.

In walks the Ecosure inspector and the real fun begins.  This is not something we take lightly.  The annual Ecosure inspection is beyond any inspection the health department does.  The score affects the store manager in ways I don’t like to contemplate.  We will hear about a bad score for months.  Panic sets in because I’ve not once, in eight years, been at the store during an inspection, and so I’ve never been the shift supervisor on duty when they arrive.  I call my manager when I can’t find the paperwork I’m required to have.  Meanwhile the inspector is poking and prodding and shining her little flashlight into every nook and cranny and making notes on her Palm Pilot-like device.  What is she writing down?  How bad can it be?  My manager arrives but the churning in my stomach doesn’t stop.  Everything is out of my control at this point anyway.  My fellow partner and I eye each other worriedly, but there is nothing more we can do.  When I hear my manager’s unprecedented, “I love you!” from the back room, I have a feeling it’s going to be okay.  We got a 94.  Whew!

The work day continues fairly normally until I go outside to sweep.  There is a bird fight happening on the plaza sidewalk.  Birds squawking and flapping about.  It takes me a while to figure out what’s going on.  Apparently they are attacking one of their own, weaker members.  He escapes and takes cover on the outdoor patio.  I see him in a corner first and later he hops behind the garbage can near the door.  But when I go over there with my broom I can’t find him.  I soon discover why.  He’s inside the store. 

Great.  How am I supposed to capture a bird inside the store?  I should be happy he’s not flying.  I can’t figure out what’s wrong with him from the few glimpses I’ve gotten.  He looks a bit gimpy.  Maybe he’s a baby who can’t fly.  His feathers don’t look quite right.  He hops around.  I can’t worry about this now.  Too many customers and too much closing work to do.

The evening progresses.  At 8:15 the bird makes another appearance.  A regular customer comes in while I’m trying to figure out how to capture the bird.  For some reason the customer jokingly asks if he can help me.  He’s not aware there’s a bird in the store, but I say yes, you can help me catch this bird.  He takes off for the restroom.  (The customer, not the bird.)  When he comes out, he realizes I was serious, and even though he mutters something about not wanting to catch the flu (bird flu, I presume) he picks up a napkin and goes after the bird. (Meanwhile, my helpful fellow partner is suggesting a call to Animal Control or 911.)  This gimpy little bird leads the customer on a merry chase around the store, but somehow, he gets hold of the bird which squawks like nobody’s business, gets the bird out the door and tosses him into the bushes out front.  Hip, hip hooray!  We can now let nature take its course.  Not only do I work with the best people, have the best friends, but also the best customers!  I reward him with free coffee for a week.  (The customer, not the bird.)

Was there anything else out of the ordinary that happened yesterday?  Probably not, but I’m not teaching my husband any new tricks any time soon, either.

Visit me at www.barbmeyers.com

 

Job Opportunities Available

Federal Government Job Opportunities will exist for qualified individuals in the next election cycle.  You could be right for one of these jobs!  See partial list of preferred qualifications below:

College degree preferred but not required.  We are especially interested in those applicants with law degrees or who have held positions as instructors at well-established universities.  Entrepreneurs, CFOs, those with business experience in the real world, or anyone possessing an MBA need not apply.

For all openings, we prefer applicants possess the following set of skills and abilities:

Must be able to lie convincingly, especially to constituents and in interviews with journalists and other media personnel. 

The appearance of a stable personal life is important, but any hint of morality will disqualify you for this position.

Must be willing and able to spend taxpayer’s money irresponsibly.  Voters have come to expect this ability in their elected officials.  Maintaining this standard is paramount.  Fiscally responsible individuals need not apply.

Prevarication.  If you feel compelled to answer direct questions with direct answers, you are not what we’re looking for.

Previous experience at covering up wrongdoing on your part or the part of others is a must for these positions, although when necessary, on-the-job training is provided.

Must be willing to undertake frivolous travel at government expense. 

Basic understanding of economics, wasteful spending, bankruptcy, deficits and accounting is not required.

Some experience using the internet, e-mail, Twitter and other social media outlets is expected, but proficiency in this area is not required.

Preferred candidates will possess excessive amounts of hubris, ego, and immaturity.  Stupidity also a plus.

Applicants will find a sense of humor, especially self-deprecating wit, to be  a detriment.  Stiff-necked snobbery and an attitude of either disdain or condescension is much preferred.  The ability to be patronizing also a plus.

You are not right for this job if any of the following apply:

You are a team player who possesses the ability to compromise especially when it’s in the interest of the voters you represent and the country in general.

You are caring, intelligent, idealistic and believe you can make a difference.

You believe doing what’s best for the country should take precedence over your personal glory. 

Contracts run four or six years depending on position sought and are renewable at the whim of the voters in the state where you live.  Several of our Senators and Representatives have worked a lifetime in these positions.  If this seems like the career for you, we suggest you aspire to their standards.  

To apply please contact your local political party affiliate office.

Note:  If you have held other government positions, especially an unelected (appointed) position, please state so on your application.  Several such “czar” positions are currently available and require no experience or training of any kind whatsoever.  If you subscribe to the theory that it’s not what you know it’s who you know, you may step into one of these newly created positions immediately.

Occasionally I like to take a break from writing novel-length fiction.  If this made you smile, please like or comment.

You can always visit me at www.barbmeyers.com