This week will be the last one for which I can claim unemployment benefits. Although I haven’t seen any numbers to back it up, they claim that the unemployment rate in the state has dropped sufficiently for them to discontinue the Extended Benefits program. Fortunately for me, this would have been my final week of eligibility anyway.

I’m not really unemployed any more. Underemployed, but not unemployed. Last week I started working part time at BigBoxRetailer. Believe it or not, I actually don’t dislike it any more than I would automatically dislike any job by default.

I’m on third shift, which I like, and the overnight shift pays an extra dollar per hour – something that is important when the base starting wage for the position is less than fifty cents over minimum wage. I work in the backroom dealing with overstock, so seldom do I ever go out to the floor where I might interact with the few customers who are actually in the store between 10PM and 7AM. My inner hermit likes this part. Despite my initial expectations, I will seldom be involved in unloading trucks. This means that while it is definitely a physical job, the most strenuous work I’ll probably ever do will be handling 40 pound bags of dog food.

I’m only part time, but so far they have scheduled me four days every week. When I applied for the job, I only expected/wanted two or three days each week. I’ve come to enjoy the lackadaisical lifestyle that I’ve fallen into since dropping off the Productive Members of Society list. During the last two years, I’ve rearranged my finances such that two days per week will cover my needs – not many of my wants, but pretty much all of my needs. Oh well, I have to work when they schedule me if I want to keep the job.

After three shifts in a row, this morning I am certainly a bit worse for wear. I have a developing blister on one toe on each foot, and sweat has caused my jeans to rub a rash where the two legs join at the top of my thighs. Hopefully a little diaper rash cream and a couple days off will take care of that. I don’t think the blisters will go away so quickly or easily, though. I’ll eventually toughen up. I haven’t had a job that was even remotely physical since I worked dairy route sales in the late 1980’s.

I think this is going to be it for me unless something just falls in my lap. I don’t need a $75-100K/year job to support my lifestyle, and I’m comfortable where I am. Sure, I’ll get yelled at from time to time for not getting as much done as the manager would like, but that’s about the height of the stress that I will experience. No more trying to make a machine operate a mile outside of its design parameters in an attempt to make an engineer happy. No more listening to comments about how many tens of thousands of dollars the company is losing every hour that the machine is broken and when am I going to have it fixed. No more working on junk, unless it’s my own junk. No more thinking, just a little doing.

Who is John Galt?

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