Day 10, Playing Games. I’ve somehow returned to “Trivial Pursuits” times and those friends I played with back then. Doug has great all-night small parties like tonight’s in his small one bedroom bungalow 1/2 a block from the beach. We can just fit in the living room, each at our side of the board, four of us is just right. Ash trays back then, small coffee tables, just big enough for a few drinks. Everyone reads their card quietly because it’s finally pretty quiet outside in the alley and there’s lots of apartments and bungalows practically on top of each other in the alley. People are sleeping by 4:00 a.m. I’m getting kind of bored with the cards I read. Here’s another, music, oh boo. those guys, what a bunch of old nurses, they along with the Grateful Dead, robbed me of the teen years I thought I’d spend in tight skirts and beehives like my older cousins did in Philadelphia, ok here goes: “Who’s the fourth member of Crosby, Stills, (yawn), Nash and Young?” Gee Sharlene at least looks puzzled, I figured that would be an easy one for these folks, my California friends . . . . .She started laughing as I heard what I’d said. “Young”. Woops, even I’m too used to hearing the four names together that I know goes with that tweetie sound, but don’t know any of those songs names or who sings which ones, all pretty softly similar. “Young”, ok, he’s not really part of the thing, good for him I guess.
Thirty days of something, anything will be good for me. For almost three years I’ve been home from work. First five months I was on admin leave after employer finally harassed and bullied me and drove me off the job. I’d been given a fifteen day suspension on the 31st of January out of the clear blue sky. It was like being a victim in a drive by shooting. Sure, they’d been attacking me for two years pretty regularly, in a contrived and perverted way, making accusations that had nothing to do with actual work or anything other than their “work”, a campaign to agitate and create drama eventually to be able to document “progressive discipline” sufficient to suspend and terminate me. But it would eventually fade for a while. I worked and, like it or not, they needed somebody to work, somebody who’d been there long enough to know the work. So much staff was new always; few stayed and even if they did, they were not yet able to really do it. The hearing process at Social Security involves a variety of programs that do take about ten years to learn, as they told us at orientation. So, sometimes they let me work for a few months at a time without involving me in wasteful drama they so enjoyed. Well, the Social Security hearing office I worked for from ’97 to ’11 just flopped, no matter how many workers they could bring on, even with two temporary supervisors finally to assist the three there and their hearing office director, a miserable bitter pill for whom berating employees, denying benefits, belittling them and even the judges was a “perk”. While she was in the position since 2003 and worked for SSA since ’79 (all of her working life), and while the chief judge was that for at least 25 years, they just couldn’t get the hang of it. We managed to come in at #155 to #162 of only 165 hearing offices nationwide. This director was furious with me and anybody who was totally absorbed by the work itself, not interested in the social aspect of the office or her especially. Oh well, so anyway, I worked, liked my work, was really liked for that by the judges, and I fought off the malignant director until it was no longer possible. Finally after about 5 months admin leave, with many EEO cases filed and responses to proposed suspension and proposed removal written and served, I retired. I was 56, a federal worker with about 15 years service, eligible for an early retirement with some pension and lifelong health insurance, etc. and I took it. Then it turned out I was disabled per SSA and here I am. It’s ok. It’s also time to start living my retired, disabled, pretty free life, what the hell. Home is almost paid for, weather’s fine, cases are almost finished. Boy, I am pretty loose though, toooooo laaaaaaid back! 30 days of something, anything, we’ll see. I’ll write for 30 days “nablopmo”, thanks.