Old Town

Old Town
Pioneer Square

Monday, May 12, 2014

Block 3: Working Seattle Cross-Country: Part 2

So, you have a great plan you're protecting. What next? You work this second mantra to with an inch of your life:


The letters stand for Pay the Man. Time, energy, parts of your soul are expected as payment more often than cash. But pay you must and pay you will if that plan of yours is worth protecting at all.


Sleep in today or call out sick?

Issue: For now I need to work two jobs with sometimes conflicting schedules. Neither employer will flex on my hours.
Price: Too many lates or absences on job 1 may result in a write-up, lessening my chance for a transfer this fall. Two more call-outs on job 2 will result in termination. Meanwhile, every other week I face 3 days of back to back shifts with next to no sleep in between.
Pay the Man: Work the shifts assigned for now and get by on what sleep I can steal. But, to avoid paying The Man with my health, I'll take off a weekend in June from job 1. And I'll save my last call out from job 2 till I can afford termination. Occasional exhaustion now is the price of my September plane fare.

Shall I do this today or tomorrow?

Issue: To apply for work at Elliott Bay Book Company, I must go there before the move. Hence the first trip in September. But...
Price: If I wait till the last minute, following their protocol, I'll end up being just one of the herd. If I try to break their protocol or put advance pressure on them, I'm toast. The problems involved in my cross-country move must remain my business, as must my need for a job right away. But...
Pay the Man: In this case, The Man is not only Elliott Bay Book Company. The Man is also the Situation, in which I'll be competing with scores of other applicants--and also scores of business issues clamouring for the owner's time. I choose to Pay the Man with an introductory note this week meant to whet his appetite. Then I'll follow up monthly with postcards containing a couple of lines. Goal: establish my presence before I arrive.

Do I really need to work out before then?

Issue: No, I don't need to look that buff. But as a Slightly Older Guy, I'll need to look a bit hotter than simply 'better than average'.
Price: I'm already on an exhausting schedule. Just as important, muscle growth requires more rest than my schedule seems to allow.
Pay the Man: My no-excuses payment plan: adhere religiously to a core 15-minute circuit workout plan 3-4 times weekly in my biweekly third-shift gigs. Add, in the alternate weeks, cycling or interval runs twice a week--and a second 15-minute workout for my arms. Eat like a warrior and make time to rest.

Is it okay to blow off steam by venting at rude a-holes?

Issue: Oh, dear, nothing this extreme. But our dignity comes under daily assaults and--let's face it--sometimes we might like to...well, roar like Al Pacino. But...
Price: Your badass moment may cost you in ways you'd never thought to pay. There's no glory in letting a fool set you off, especially if s/he has something to gain. On the other hand, there must be limits to the abuse that you suffer.
Pay the Man: Suck it up when you can without selling your soul--which should lie at the heart of your plan. The day will come when you need to draw on a bank of good will and trust: be seen as a model of self-control and courtly cool. Pay now in this regard and learn to bite your tongue. Your strong record may help save your bacon when you need to take a stand whatever the risk to the Plan.

Time to go and Pay the Man with a weekend of back to back shifts. Protect the Plan, Reb. Pay the Man. A little while longer.  And keep this in mind when the price seems too high:

Action Log
05/13: Had the first of two meetings I've scheduled this week regarding a Top Secret Plan. It took three brothers to convince me that I can have both more money and time, resigning from one of my two jobs, if I follow their advice. The first meeting went well--and, just possibly, I can move in style and comfort this fall. Meantime, somehow I have lost or misplaced a special wallet containing the ID I'll need. Tore the apartment apart last night.  I have one more place to look tonight before applying for replacement ID, setting me back a few weeks. Pay the Man and do it, kid.

05/15: Paid the Man by not sleeping in, despite the thundering weather, and going on to the second meeting. Paid the Man by sitting for hours till my name was called, then by being pleasantly grilled for the better part of an hour. Things look good for my receiving that extra money beginning in June. But I'll Protect the Plan now by not quitting either till the money's in the bank.

05/16: Completed and mailed introductory letter to Elliott Bay Book Company.

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