Now available at the deli counter! Also content update. Will explain.

All righty righty.

So I may have mentioned earlier (or you may have seen my profile update, or Facebook update if you know me irl and have my Facebook) that I has a part-time job! It is part-time only in the sense that my manager isn't allowed to schedule me more than 35 hours a week. But given my total availability and her perptual short-handedness, I will always get those 35 hours. Since I have no second job and am not in school, I will be earning slightly more than I've been getting from unemployment very, very soon. Which is extremely good news for me and my future debt-reduction plans.

I am now a deli person at [major chain grocery store]. Which, if I have mentioned it by name earlier, I must go and edit it out. Because major chain grocery stores tend not to like "true confessions" employee blogs. Especially ones which say things like "oh, we only wash the dishes twice instead of three times like it said in the training videos, and I only switch plastic gloves when going from deli cuts to salads instead of between every item."

Oh yeah. The above things are true. Heehee. I even had to learn the hard way not to speak with my head inside the deli counter, on my very first day. The look of mute horror on the customer's face when a teensy weensy bit of spit flew from my mouth into the edge of a dish will, alas, stay with me forever. I console myself that this particular dish was one which must be taken home and re-heated before consumption--but still, I did not throw away that entire dish of food. Instead I left it there. *cue scary music*

Still, I like working in a deli. In sharp contrast to most other jobs I've had, it feels like real work. And it only makes my back hurt and my feet hurt, not my soul. (Mind, emotions, personality, whatev.) I don't have to make any sketchy moral compromises to get my job done--apart from the abovementioned hygiene things. Which are negligible in an emotional-impact sense. I don't have to deliver any worse bad news than "sorry, we don't have any by-the-pound ricotta cheese." And every one of my co-workers knows exactly what she is doing and is perfectly happy to help me out because I'm nice and energetic and catch on quickly. Yes, "she"--I've only met one male deli worker so far, not counting the sushi guy. Who, by the end of day one, I'd already forgotten was there, since he does his own thing and has his own station and supplies and all. His sushi's pretty good; I had some today.

But at this job, I feel like Arthur Dent making sandwiches, or that guy in the Dean Koontz book whose day job as a fry cook at a diner gave him the emotional stability necessary to problem-solve for ghosts in his free time. Not that I deal with ghosts. Happily that talent, if indeed such exists, is one I lack. In terms of what's on top of my theory stack regarding ghosts, I'll give you a quick summary:

a) If there is such a thing as ghosts, they are part of a natural ecosystem which extends further than human science can currently measure. Whether it was designed that way by a knowledgeable entity or happened thusly for some other reason, if our ecology extends into the invisible, then I can assume the invisible side of it is structurally comparable to the visible side. Meaning it has lots of stuff for people and things to do.
b) If visible people deal with invisible people to any extent, it is at most (when done sensibly) an extremely tiny part of incarnate life. Thus, if there are invisible people, and things for them to do, it should follow that dealing with visible people would constitute an extremely tiny part of discarnate life.
c) Therefore those ghosts who have nothing better to do than hang around and bother those incarnate people who can see them are the spiritual equivalent of the homeless beggars one sees on street corners or in subways. They are there to take what they can get and should not be expected to have much of value to contribute. Because if they did, y'see, they would be off doing whatever it is alleged invisible people ought to be doing.

So ghosts neither frighten me nor concern me much. I don't perceive them myself, but if they exist, they are at worst nuisances and at best opportunities for benevolence.

What a bunny trail that was!

On to content update, and a word of explanation beforehand. I commend to your attention the internet monk, who may or may not be a monk, but is certainly a cool Christian guy with a thoughtful blog. He has recently been working on a series called "The Evangelical Liturgy" which is quite good: the latest post has links to the earlier ones.

However, a slightly less recent post of his entitled The Devil's Sermon inspired me to write a song. It was one of those things that I read which struck an instant chord. "Yes!" I said to myself. "This is the sort of thing which makes me so very angry!" After having had some time to digest and process those feelings, the following song emerged. It is a poor, poor shadow of a thing compared to Ravel at the war. It is whiny and small. The guitar chords that go along with it are grungy and make it sound a little less small, but still. I hope I can write more things in the future which, like "Ravel", are more about inspiring stories and less about my own frustrations. But I'm back on the horse (the songwriting horse) after more than a month's hiatus. So I wrote this and you get to read the lyrics if you wish, and perhaps you will enjoy them or at least find them interesting.

(Upon reflection I've decided to leave the s-word in the chorus unbleeped. So be warned, if you do not like reading it, because it is there.)

[it's not fair]

the Jesus
you tell me about
has nothing to do
with the fire in your eyes
forgive me
I'm starting to doubt
your words as
half substitutions and lies

if he's really there
if he really cares
why should I dig through
all this bullshit
it's not fair

the Jesus
I've read all about
didn't judge so harsh
he loved everybody
forgive me
I'm figuring out
just what is
so much worse about me

if he's really there
if he really cares
why should I dig through
all this bullshit
it's not fair

the Jesus
I started to see
till you pulled back
and your friends were laughing at me
forgive me
cause I do not know
if I want
to find Christ then where should I go

if he's really there
if he really cares
why should I dig through
all this bullshit
it's not fair

6 comments: said...

Actually, it sounds like you are doing well behind the counter there.

Not trying to gross you out, but the guy behind the counter at the local meat market (he was the owner's son) obviously was suffering with a cold, and kept wiping his nose on his un-gloved hand. (I had my spaghetti w/o meat sauce that night.)

Say "Hi" to Dave for me. Also, I see that you have Ryk's blog listed. He was the first to comment on mine when I started it.

Craig B

Amber E said...

"And it only makes my back hurt and my feet hurt, not my soul." Yay for less painful employment, I am glad for you.

Ravel kicked butt, however it's not fair made me very happy to read. I don't want you to get bogged down in stupid pointless bullshit. Sometimes I feel that p'rhaps you want to examine it out of intellectual curiosity but there is no reason for wading.

Okay, you watch sports, right? You've seen the John 3:16 guy, right? Well read John 3:16, it is that simple, it got all you need to know, then you can go back to sports or whatever and you are set.

You may say if it is that simple why do people complicate it? You've met people, they are weird and do strange things for a variety of reasons. That is most of the answer. The other bit is that when someone says 'hey, I can haz and it wasn't even hard, I want to share' they you try to explain it to other people and just trying to explain it usually gets more complicated. Why does God love the world? Why do we need salvation? What's this about a son, etc.

Then it gets even more complicated when people have different explanations. However to avoid all that just pay attenion to the John 3:16 guy, believe and you are all good. That is what it says.

Oh Mom and I were talking about 'Wouldn't it be nice to be Financially Solvent' that song is so funny, with irony and everything. We were saying it should be on youtube, except then you would not get paid so it should be on iTunes.

Okay, have a great day :)

Amber E said...

Clarification: Okay, John 3:16 guy himself is nuts (just did and internet search) but John 3:16 the verse contains the essential information.

There are other wonderful verses but if you are just going to read one and want to be done that would be a good simple one.

Fiat Lex said...

Craig B:

Thanky! Now if I can just find a series of stretches to do between customers to reduce my back pain, I will be golden. :)

Yeah, the differences between the training videos and what we actually have to do to get stuff done within the time we have will take some getting used to. But I promise never to do what that guy did! I'm better about glove-changing and hand-washing than a lot of my coworkers, and I hope I can keep that up.

I said Hi to Dave for you. Perhaps he will comment and say hi himself--he posts as "Anonymous" but since he's my only such commenter it's not quite so anonymous.

Ryk is cool; I hope he will post more. I am fascinated by the ongoing Ryk & Tracy saga. Although it seems I am not to be much of a part of it, still. It is rare to see two people of such vastly differing opinions who don't know each other in real life go head-to-head for so long without it turning into a fight.

Amber -

I'm glad you liked [it's not fair]; it's one of those songs I worry about posting because of the angry-frustratedness. In fact I am working on another one right now. Songs the best way I have to both explain my feelings and get them out of my brain in a way which is minimally hurtful to all concerned.

Oh, and trust me, if I had a way to record videos, I would be putting things on Youtube. Even when I finally get together with that recording-studio-having gent I met at the Abbey and record an album's worth, I will both offer CDs for sale and also host all my track free on Limewire. Partly for karma/penance for all the musics I've stolen over the years, partly because I really, really want my musics to be heard and don't want to restrict that to people who have money. And besides, I think the real money's in merchandising. I've been meaning to get a cafepress store for years. Teehee! What d'you think of a t-shirt that says "God hates bullshit / (and so do I)"? Would it sell?

Ah, yes, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Or another one I've been turning over and over lately though I've forgotten chapter and verse on it, "For I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through me."

Although it may seem, from the way I present it, that I am "wading through bullshit" out of mere intellectual curiosity, this is not the case. The new song I will be posting soon deals with this issue. Rather than retreating myself into intellectualism as a way to avoid confronting these matters on an emotional level, I am only writing out here for public consumption those things which I have managed to safely intellectualize. I do not want to show my little nuggets of information to you, and everyone else who stops by, until I have have hosed them down with icy intellectual water and thereby anesthetized them to a certain extent.

Because, while I may be categorically angry with Christianity as a social institution (and this anger in me was only recently converted upwards from despair!), it is not fair to lay the blame and the recrimination for it at the feet of any one individual. The failure to adequately communicate was mine and yours and theirs and happened over a space of many years. And no one would be helped by any attempt to apportion blame. The only useful thing I can do is try to describe and understand what went wrong, so that we all may avoid these errors in the future. That is my aim in these "true confessions".

But it's like I said to Ryk. In order to take on the name of "Christian" one only has to believe that humans are born broken, that Christ as equally God and man died to fix that brokenness, and to accept Christ for oneself. All else can be argued out afterwards with God. And we know from the Bible that God likes it when people argue with him. Because in general arguing and haggling are honest and not bullshit. And God hates bullshit.

Fiat Lex said...

Died and rose from the dead, I meant to say.

Several grammatical errors in my previous comment also must go uncorrected because Blogger uncoolly does not allow one to edit comments. :p

Anonymous said...

what a great post :) i love your description of your job. meaningful *and* funny!

and i love your song too :)