I’ve moved again. In a manner of speaking.

Wake up. Early.
Brew coffee.
Pour into a travel mug. Tote to work.
Return home.
Soak in hot bath.
Watch a smidge of TV.
Go to bed.


I’m livin’ the American dream.*

*before a radical leftist Marxist socialist was elected into top office.

I recoil at dishonoring the morning’s dark brew by a method of grab-n-go. Be that as it is, this morning the stars are aligned such to enable a restful cup before.

Before I return to work.

The job’s been under the cumulative effect of two significant events.

First, a dishwasher abruptly left. Few know why and those who do aren’t saying. I’ve got my guesses; they are only that. Based on the man and a single ominous comment by my boss, I strongly suspect he was fired for a serious breach of some sort.

The result: Extra shifts for me!

I’m not celebrating. My fondness for commercial dishwashing stretches as far as the distance between the last letter and period of this sentence.

However, the extra shifts up my weekly hours, which is needed. Currently I’m working six days a week (most of which is the dreaded dishwashing). And if one of you dare says “think of all the extra money,” you’ll be forced to wear cheap white plastic aprons over all your clothing for a year. Here in the United States, dishwashers/prep cooks are on the bottom of the pay scale. It requires oodles of hours to see a measurable uptick in net income.

Just sayin’ to those who’ve forgotten or never lived the lifestyle of a hardworking blue-collar employee.

Development number 2: norovirus infection.

A highly-contagious virus that’s hit the facility hard, staff and senior residents alike.

A huge number of changes and measures have been undertaken to contain the virus and halt its spread, among them: closing the dining room. The infected residents are isolated; the healthy ones are now strongly advised to remain in their rooms.

It’s a changed world.

Of course the health department’s been involved during these past two weeks of facility lockdown, you might call it. The illness has completely altered the delivery of meals to the residents (the details of which would only bore you).

Point is, while everyone’s coping and doing a fantastic job all things considered, the stress volume has shot up and everyone from staff to residents is weary.

Or sick.

Including now one cook and my boss.

Leaving we three remaining healthy ones (knock wood) to pick up the slack.

Result: double shifts … no days off … you get the picture.

I’ve already been working six-day weeks and double shifts as needed as a result of the dishwasher’s departure.

Now with immediate coworkers out sick, I’m living and breathing my job — and, it is desired, uncontaminated air.

From what I’ve been told, it ain’t a pretty virus either. It hits fast and hard with low-grade nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, often severe.

Any employee sick is instructed to stay home, no ifs, ands or buts. Given the severity of the illness, I doubt cooking up that pot roast is the first thing on the mind of my boss.

So that’s the longish and short of these times.

My job owns me. I live and breathe it.

I no longer reside at {this} address.

I can now be reached at {employer’s}.

Speak o’ the devil, look at the clock! Off I go now. Toodles.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. katie
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 14:18:36

    Ugh, norovirus. “The cruise ship virus”, though it’s not just limited to cruise ships, obviously. I was reading a column in our local free paper. The woman said how her husband was throwing up, etc. They finally figured out it was noro.

    Having cruised several times,I can tell you that they take a lot of precautions to prevent outbreaks of nor on ships,and for the most part they’re successful.


    • allycatadventures
      Jan 21, 2012 @ 22:35:35

      @katie – yep, cruise ships are susceptible. Highly contagious and abruptly strikes too. The actions and precautions we’ve undertaken are extensive and costly and time consuming. Just when it appeared it was under control, boom!, others fall ill. It’s a tough stubborn virus, that one, and obviously especially worrisome for our elderly residents.


  2. lexiemom
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 06:39:18

    I hope you’re wearing a mask & gloves!


  3. allycatadventures
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 09:44:51

    @lexiemom – Gloves, yes, but that’s standard in food service; masks, no. The servers, caregivers and others in direct contact with the residents in their rooms, yes (as well as aprons when entering isolated rooms).


  4. longeyesamurai
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 02:36:37

    Virues are the true bond between coworkers… 🙂


    • Anonymous
      Jan 23, 2012 @ 13:39:39

      @capra – “Viruses are the true bond between coworkers ..” – LOL. I shudder to ask then what are they between 85-year-old resident and 18-year-old server?


    • allycatadventures
      Jan 23, 2012 @ 13:44:18

      @capra – “Viruses are the true bond between coworkers ..” – LOL. I shudder to ask then what are they between 85-year-old resident and 18-year-old server?


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