The Elephant In the Room (or How I Learned to Live With Uncertainty)

So, I work at a women’s clothing store. I am a casual and I work roughly 4 shifts a week. The other days I devote to working on a university degree, reading and writing enthusiastically (most of the time).
My boss, the manager of the store I work in, seems to be pregnant. ‘Seems to be’ are the key words in that sentence. I have heard no confirmation from herself and or anyone else. The only clue I have in this mystery is her suspiciously protruding belly and the suddenly careful way she moves around, bends over etc.
I have had this suspicion for a few weeks now. After she got back from a week of annual leave which was followed by myself having a week off, I saw her for the first time in awhile. She looked like she was having a baby. Unfortunately, the words ‘baby,’ ‘pregnant’ or ‘nauseous’ haven’t left her lips even once. So I am not 100% certain of this fact.
And the uncertainty is making me a little crazy. It is the big, pink elephant in the room that I desperately want to kill. However, a part of me wants this elephant to live. Why? I am afraid of confirming my suspicion, because my boss will inevitably have to leave the shop. Even if she comes back after a few months, there will have to be a replacement manager. And that person could be horrible.
Maybe that seems a little pessimistic, but I have not had the best luck when it comes to bosses who are nice and sane. I thought that I had hit the jackpot after I started working with my current manager. She is nice, calm and not prone to psychotic fits of rage (long story). Who could ask for anything more?
So, I am worried about this baby bump. It could be the difference between me having a casual, generally stress-free job or being enslaved to a psycho dictator who spits when they yell (another long story).
The other girls I work with share my suspicions of our boss’ condition. However, they do not seem too concerned. Clearly, they haven’t had the same torturous experiences that I have had, but their casualness bewilders me. Don’t they care? This is a big deal.
Or is it? Am I worrying about nothing? I don’t know.
I do know that this so far unbreached subject between my manager and me is getting a bit ridiculous. I so badly want to get it out in the open. This thing between us; it makes for much awkwardness and I provide enough of that already (too much).
But even if I knew one way or the other- what can I do? Until the replacement manager turns up and I meet them, I won’t know how to proceed. I won’t know whether I should stick around or bolt as fast as I can.
Sigh.
I don’t like uncertainty. I like resolutions and schedules. Things written down and carefully laid plans are what I prefer. Not indecision.
I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see into the future. Will I need to start looking for another job? Would I be better sticking around? Will I regret having a cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch?
So many questions…
Screw it. I’m going to go lose myself in a book.

TEA!

5th January, 2014
I’ve got a cup of tea cooling just out of arm’s reach, so I will try to be quick. (Ha).
Today, I woke up (No shit, Sherlock) and got ready and got dropped off early at work. I started at 9:45, but I was there at 9, so I grabbed a (beautiful, life-affirming) coffee and sat in the back room of the store and read.
And read. (I’m reading ‘A Dance With Dragons’ which is the most recent book in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series.
I ended up reading quite a few chapters before I had to open the store. So, naturally throughout my whole 4 hour shift, I had strange sayings running through my head such as ‘Mummer’s farce.’ (Not quite sure what that means, beyond a joke).
Anyway, it was quiet at work. I had little in the way of customer interactions, which would have been great except my job for the day was tremendously boring and required little in the way of brain activity. I was itching for some human interaction when Hannah showed up early to my relief. She hung around a little, got coffee and chatted a bit before starting. I was glad for the company; I even stayed the extra hour that I didn’t have to if I chose not to. We shared amusing stories from the frontlines (by that I mean, the mosh pits of concerts and festivals). My experiences being more limited than hers, she mainly told the tales of being pushed, stepped on and glared at for being tall.
The last hour of work was quite leisurely and I was feeling pretty relaxed and somewhat sleepy by the time I left. My mum messaged me saying that my dad was going down the shops if I wanted a lift. Despite knowing that I would have to hang around for awhile if I accepted, accepted I did.
I bought a donut (cinnamon scroll-yummy in my tummy) to eat at home with a cup of tea and sat in front of Coles, waiting. Waiting turned into reading. My stomach grumbled noisily. Thankfully, the tales of Tyrion kept me pretty engrossed during the long wait for my dad to finish shopping. At some point, my hunger got the better of me and I bought a packet of plain chips from Coles to tide me over (they didn’t).
By the time we got home, I was pretty anxious to shove that donut down my throat but tea was required. After eating, I read for a while. Yes, more Game of Thrones and yes, the unique vocabulary of the novels is still lingering in my mind. I’m slightly afraid (and curious) to see if I will begin talking like a character from the series.
Well, I have a mug of tea and a biscuit with my name on it (not literally, the biscuit says ‘Scotch finger.’) Then I have to wave my arms around for a bit (exercise pshaw) and get some good sleep because I’ve got a long-ass shift tomorrow.

Is It Time for Lunch Yet?

3rd January, 2014
I’m only halfway through this day, but I wanted to get a jump on my tasks for today. I’ve almost finished my first Uni assessment. I’m just combing through it for grammatical errors and format errors.
I have to write a journal for my mum. She is a scrapbooker, which means she obsessively takes photographs and makes people write about the events in their lives to accompany the pictures in a scrapbook. Sigh. It shouldn’t take too long, at least.
I just brought a comic online. I was waiting for a page to load, got bored and the next thing I know, I’m going through the checkout on Fishpond.com. I bought ‘Fray’ written by Joss Whedon, creator of all things good in this world (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, Firefly etc.). I initially wanted to buy the Angel comics, but there are so many of them and they are difficult to find (and thus not cheap), so I gave up and bought ‘Fray.’ I might also have to buy ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ which is a Shakespeare play filmed by Joss Whedon in his backyard. I MUST HAVE IT.
It was nice knowing you, money.
Other plans for this day include reading and more reading. I am currently reading the fifth ‘Game of Thrones’ book ‘A Dance with Dragons.’ It’s roughly the size of a brick, but addictive to read. I suspect my wrists will pay for the pleasure of reading it (like I said, it’s big) but I also suspect that it will be very much worth it.
My shift at work yesterday afternoon was pretty good. It was suspiciously quiet in the centre. At one point, the girl who works at the jewellery store across from the clothes shop I work at abandoned her post and came over for a chat. She spent the whole time anxiously looking back and forth, making sure that she wasn’t missing any opportunities for conversation in her store. Her appearance was funny, actually. Just before she walked over, Hannah (fellow employee) and I were discussing the mystery of whether our store manager was pregnant or not. It was the first time that the topic had come up and I was incredibly relieved to find that Hannah was as mystified as I was, because I had been worried that my manager had told everybody about her pregnancy except for me. Instead, I realise that she hasn’t told anybody and the other girls I work with are as uncertain about it as I am. Phew. Anyway, Hannah and I were in the middle of discussing this latest development when Sam (lady from jewellery store) walked up and asked us ‘Is somebody in your store pregnant?”
Hannah and I looked at each other and started laughing, disbelievingly. For weeks it seems, this topic hasn’t seen the light of day, but suddenly everyone seemed to want to talk about it. So, we discussed it for awhile, coming to the conclusion that she is most likely pregnant.
Eventually, we had to get back to work of course, but I’m glad that it’s out in the open now. What that means for us, I’m not sure. I’ve had my share of awful bosses and if my manager is replaced by one, I’m not going to stick around and hope things change by itself (an unfortunate and unsuccessful plan of action I have taken before).
If I have to leave the shop, it may give me the excuse I need to pursue a job in a book store (something that I have been wanting for a long time).
That’s all from me today, folks.

Blerg

2nd January, 2014

Just got a call from work asking if I could start a couple of hours earlier. Enthusiastically, I said “absolutely!”

Not really.

“Yeah, that’s fine,” I said, sounding as if I’d just agreed to have individual strands of my hair yanked out by crabby bus drivers.

So, that happened. What else…

Yesterday was quite productive, which is to be expected for the first day of the year. The trick is remaining consistent throughout the year, without the motivating factor of having a clean slate. I spent on a few hours on Uni work, finishing my first assessment. It just needs some polishing before I submit it. I wrote about 550 words for a fan fiction story as well as a general outline of the story. I have a habit of beginning stories with no idea of where I’m going with it or how it’s going to end. This year, I break that habit! (hopefully).

I finished reading ‘Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It was great; it made me really nostalgic for my mid-teens when I went through a total Discworld groupie phase (the setting for Terry Pratchett’s books). It was a timely Christmas present from my mum. Timely because I had just finished reading ‘American Gods’ and was eager for more Neil Gaiman. I even considered purchasing his ‘Sandman’ comic series online, but stopped myself at the last minute by remembering all of the bills that needed taking care of. Boo.

Anyway, imagine my delight when I opened the Christmas presents from my mum and discovered that she had bought me a stack of new Neil Gaiman books. ‘Good Omens’ stuck out among the selection because of its two authors, so I decided to give it a go first. Next thing I know, I’m giggling in the food court of the local shopping centre (where I work) and attracting weird looks from people. It’s a great book; I highly recommend it (but maybe don’t read it in public).

This morning, I got up early (blerg) so that I could go with my mum and sisters to a local coffee shop. It is something that we used to do on a regular basis, but the financial strain that ‘tis the Christmas season put a temporary stop to it. We seemed a little rusty at first; my sister even started reading at the table. By the time the coffee had gone cold and the pancakes had gotten soggy with syrup, we were chatting like crazy. It was nice.

Now, I’m back home and trying to make the most of these last few precious hours of freedom before my work shift (*cough* melodramatic). That means reading, writing, scrolling through facebook, sitting in front of the fan (it’s really hot) and more eating.

My life is a constant flurry of excitement, is it not?

Signing off…