Friday, March 28, 2014

Visiting Mom

So I will have internet access for the next week or so. Mom keeps it on the chance that I'll come for a visit (it's part of a bundle.) She'd like to use it but doesn't. She wants to use email but hasn't since last time I was here and set up a yahoo account for her.

My 73 y.o. mom (who smokes like a chimney, is overweight and has two bad knees) is starting work at McDonald's today. Apparently she got the job by complaining about the service (the manager over heard her) and giving an awful interview ("I wouldn't have hired me," she said.) Did you know individual stores had bookkeepers? Corporate HQ sure, but individual stores? Anyway, I worry about the potential outcomes but hope for the best. She hasn't worked in over a decade and lost that job because she complained to the owner about decisions her supervisor made. Mom was right about the issue, having much more business experience and talent than the supervisor she had but misjudging how the owner would react lost her a job she enjoyed that didn't overtax her physically. This one will be two hours a day part time and involves daily deposits and setting up register drawers. I can see potential fall outs but I worry too much as a general rule. The store is across the street from the barber shop where (step-)dad works which is nice for both of them. Imagine Floyd the barber on the old Andy Griffith show... only Floyd also smokes like a chimney and spends much of his day sitting in front of the shop.

Every six months I renew my car insurance which is what brought me back to town. I don't have to come back to town for that, but it gives me an excuse to visit and I schedule medical appointments around the same time. I have one this coming Tuesday and will visit some other local businesses as well. I went in to see my agent around lunch yesterday so only the owner was in the office. I made some changes to my policy which brought it down from $239 to $210 even adding $3 a month for towing. I have no deductible (which is nice, but surprised me because my last policy before State Farm had a $500 deductible.) I had a nice visit with the owner who passed along a box of Girl Scout cookies (I guess it's that time of year) which I gave mom.

I left Phoenix two days ago and arrived here yesterday. I went through Payson rather than Globe but didn't take the direct route, instead taking I-17 toward Flagstaff and catching hwy 260E at Camp Verde. Phoenix is getting too warm and this place is too cold but I'm not staying long. I know a girl in Phoenix that I saw before I left. She's not the type I'm normally attracted to (too thin and blond) but I am. She has a story that would break your heart including a 32 y.o. son that is in and out of prison (out at the moment) and lives with her when he's out. She doesn't really like me, but will spend some days out with me. I'm a moth to her flame. She says I make her feel human. She also suffers from depression.

My brother-in-law says he didn't get the postal money order I sent him last december (I have no idea why he waited so long to tell me) so I'm probably going to be out another $175 (I can't find the receipt but he's checking his deposits and will get back to me. That was the final payment on a loan and it was a really good feeling to get it out of my way.) Last year I paid my bills. This year I plan to save. Next year I plan to make the money I save work for me. So far the only part of the plan working is I'm keeping myself alive. I have to keep away from entanglements with people. It always hurts me financially because I'm too giving and always see others as being in worse shape and deserving more than I do. Sure I'm a fool and know it. That's a choice. I'm working to make other choices. Anyway, I won't be sending $175 to him in the mail, so if he doesn't find the deposit (he has the onset of Alzheimers) he'll get paid on my next visit in a few months depending on my gas budget (he lives south of Sacramento giving me a chance to visit my stepson who lives in Sacramento.) My ex-wife is out of the picture now since the cold reception I got on my last visit. I didn't actually see her, but she got quiet on the phone when I said I was in town on the last trip. That told me all I needed to know. She's never quiet. So I didn't visit and haven't talked with her since. She's been horrible to her daughter-in-law (if I mention she seems to be describing a nice girl she would hang up on me) so her son limits his contact with his mom as well. I can't worry about it. Another reason to not be entangled in other lives. I've got to fix mine first.

Update: Mom's two hours took four because a supervisor brought in to free up the managers time to train her kept interrupting both of them. Both agreed the supervisor was a jerk. She's getting along well with the manager who lost his brother to suicide recently. Her first day on the job and she has to encourage the manager not to punch out his boss from out of town that seemed determined to demean him in front of his employees. My advice was not to try to fix anything and support that manager as much as she can. I think she will do well there. I've got to meet this manager. He seems more than your usual employee.

Also met a nice candy store owner (I avoid sugar generally, but then I was there wasn't I?) She actually seemed interested in my thoughts which went on for almost two hours. She even picked the topic for the next time I happen by... note to self: avoid entanglements. I'll be gone in a few weeks, but she was very nice.

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