Monday, July 25, 2016

Well That Was Painful

So got up for work yesterday morning and the minute I went to sit up knew it was "back" or maybe should  say "out".

Every since I hit the fifty year old mile marker my back goes out for no apparent reason, about once every two or three years.

Well, I know why just never know when.

Number one, serving is a very physical job if you're not a slacker and one thing I can say with conviction is I'm no slacker.

Number two, am willing to tackle pretty much any job which needs to be done. I've cut down and hauled away four trees in our yard since Tim moved away and work in the yards like a broke Latino landscaper. No disrespect to Latinos, they're the hardest working peeps I know. "Lazy Latino" is a total oxymoron in my book.

So about every three years my back goes out. It takes my mind off my right shoulder which always hurts and my left knee which goes in and out as well and the undiagnosed but surely carpal tunnel in my right wrist.

When you're my age and work like I  have (and do) simply feel grateful to wake up at all in the morning. I've started making sure I have clean underwear on every night before going to sleep just in case.

Kind of like when your mom told you to always wear clean underwear in case you were in an accident and had to be taken to the hospital.

I think it's mainly a 'southern thing' but have always agreed with the concern.

So I got in a steaming hot shower and let it scald my back bright pink. Then I turned the water to cold and took it as long as I could stand it.

Then I got Zach to massage my back for a couple of minutes before popping two Advils and getting ready for work.

By five o'clock the pain almost took my breath away. I had cold chills running up my neck and took every minute I could in the back of the kitchen leaning over and stretching, hands dragging the floor like a monkey.

Another co worker did a little Karate chopping on my lower back and felt wonderful. By seven the manager said he was cutting me from the floor and to go home. I nixed that idea, although grateful for his offer. My general manager even went downstairs to the CNN store (kinda like a gift shop and convenience store) to see if they sold Icy/Hot patches. That was a negative but bought me some Excedrin Extra Strength. Too bad I didn't have hemorrhoids, they did sell Preparation H.

If I left and went home, my back would still  hurt but wouldn't be making money so chose to let it hurt while I made money.

Have I mentioned I'm stubborn?

Massey and I had driven separately, I had to be there earlier. I got lucky and got to leave around eight thirty after making almost $300 and was hurting at home by nine thirty.

My heating pad was in my bedroom on the third floor of the house so grabbed a towel out of the laundry room by the kitchen and heated it in the oven. Sat in a chair with it against my back til it cooled then filled my ice pack (which was in the kitchen) and let that sit against my back for another thirty minutes. Repeated the process three or four times and tumbled off to bed.

My airport badge expires every year on my birthday and unfortunately can't through security without it. I usually do it around the first of July but kept putting it off until ten days before expiration. Number one, no one likes going to the badging office. It's a nightmare any time of day you go. Number two is a minimum two trip process to begin with.

I got my manager to get my paperwork from HR when he went to his weekly manager's meeting a couple of weeks ago so at least didn't have to make that dreaded trek as well. I work out at the new international terminal on concourse F. Human Resources is located in the upstairs of T concourse.

This will show you how far the trip is and why I hate making it.

The badging office is located even further back than T , at ground transportation in the entrance to the domestic terminal.

I woke up the next morning and felt quite a bit better so decided to go into work early with Massey at ten and make the trek. I didn't have to work until three so figured that gave me plenty of time.

You'd think.

We parked and took the shuttle to the international terminal. We both went through security and she headed for work. I went downstairs and headed for the plane train back to ground transportation with all my paperwork. I had to be finger printed for an FBI background check. Then after they sent the prints off would be notified by HR they were back and could return to the badging office to get my new badge. The office closes for lunch from 11:45 until 1:00 so figured I was okay.

I wasn't.

I stood in the line like cattle being herded to  slaughter and inched my way forward for thirty minutes. I made it to the lady at the desk  with ten minutes to spare! I handed her my paperwork and two forms of ID. She didn't even look up at me but said "Oh, you need to be fingerprinted. We stop doing that at eleven, you'll need to come back at one." I took my paperwork back and turned to leave, then decided to ask her why they don't let us know they stop at eleven? She still didn't look up... just said "It's posted on all the signs" and vaguely waved towards the crowded hallway where the rest of the cattle were.

I was pretty ticked.

I left, took the elevator back downstairs and walked all the way back to the atrium and went back through security for the second time. Then I headed downstairs for the plane train and traveled from ground transportation to T concourse, then to A concourse, then to B concourse, then C and then D. Glitch on the plane train but then on to E and finally back to F concourse where I work. Went up to the third floor and across the atrium to the restaurant and got my lunch box. I sat in the food court and ate crackers with peanut butter and drank a coke. I sat and checked my email and bank account. I went to the restroom and then headed back for the badging office (which opened again at one) by twelve thirty.

Did it all again in reverse for the second time.

Got there at 12:55.

There were already fifty people in line. I rejoined the herd.  This time I paid attention to every poster or sign posted. I watched the TV in the corner of the hallway ceiling playing the instructional video of what documents and paperwork were necessary or accepted.

Not one sign, poster or video ever mentioned they stopped fingerprinting forty five minutes before they closed for lunch each day.

My back started to ache again. I quit facing forward with the rest of the cattle and stood with my back to the wall and pushed my shoulders back to touch it. That made me feel a little better... but not much.

At 1:45 one of the women seated behind the elusive desk we all wanted to reach said "Next six people" and lucky for me was number six.

I made it in.

Even  more lucky, I got the other woman this time and she was surprisingly pleasant. My paperwork was looked at along with my two forms of ID and was directed to yet another line for payment. I started to bring up the fact there was absolutely no sign or any indication fingerprinting stopped at eleven but decided against it.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar and my fly was just about caught.

FBI background checks are fifty bucks and a security badge is sixty. Luckily I work for the only concessionaire who pays for both but still have to stand in line to have it processed.

Another ten minute wait in line to (not) pay and was good to go! All I have to do now is wait for my fingerprints to come back and can then do this all again but even get to take a little test first on airport regulations and hospitality.

...bitch please!

So I headed back for the elevator a second time, went down and all the way back to employee security for the third time. Stood in yet another line, went through and hiked it down to the plane train and back to concourse F with twenty minutes to spare and clocked in to begin my work shift.

There has got to be a better way.

The entire debacle reminded me of a shirt I gave one of my bosses on his last day at the Crazy House as our Sous Chef.

My back didn't feel so great but around eight o'clock suddenly realized it wasn't hurting at all. I think a lot of it is stress. I've been worried about waiting so late to get my badge renewed and even more worried about where we're going to live when us Clampetts move to Orlandy.

I was off the next day and the ache was still there a bit so took it easy for the first part of the day, doing the heating pad / ice pack rotation.

Then like a dummy went out and cut the yards front and back and pushed the small areas ole Johnny Dear can't reach. My back still felt tender but better. I think skipping slinging Mr. Weed Eater around helped.

Cooked dinner and did some cleaning but crashed around one AM, early for me. I woke up around six and the ache was back in full force. I stood it as long as I could then finally got up and stretched for five minutes. Then I went downstairs, let a pup out who wanted to go and filled my ice pack. I took two extra strength Ibuprofen and went back to bed where my heating pad was plugged in by my bed. I alternated the hot/cold for about two hours and it finally relaxed around ten and slept pretty good for a couple of hours. I got up and staggered to a steaming hot shower and boiled my back for a minute or two. Then turned the water to cold and froze for another minute or so.

Made it to work with five minutes to spare (which is late for me) and luckily had a slow easy peasy shift. Had a full lunch box, four sandwiches, crackers and peanut butter and chocolate bars and snacked through the entire shift, sharing with my co workers. (they call me Snax)

Back's still not back but is still better. Trust me, I know...been there done that many times over the past five years. I bought a pack of Icy Hot pads and as long as I continue to stretch my back, legs and arms will be just fine.

When you grow older you re-learn your body and learn what you need to do to survive in it.

And if there's one thing I am, it's a Survivor.

Trust me, if a a fifty six year old woman can put up with all it takes to work at the world's busiest Crazy House, I truly am a survivor.

Til next time...COTTON

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