Four checks in a Row: Why Ringing the Register Counts

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A week shy of ten months from my last check in retail– a situation friends tell me is worse than before I Ieft– that first smallish-but-accepted-at-the-bank one with my name on it accomplished more than just stopping the bleeding. Coming the day of our Men’s Club annual banquet, it allowed telling EVERYONE I was finally done with that streak of zeroes. Never underestimate how important telling friends-supporters that things have improved is as Reason #1: Especially compared to whining, we ALL like to hear the pressure is off anybody.

If you give the brother you live with a Newcastle Ale because four paydays seems a decent enough indicator of ‘Success’ to celebrate–and still fits with overall economics– its also worth giving a karmic nod to being on the Hopeful Side again. Those who had kids school tuition, a mortgage, or even car payments (which weren’t part of my calculus); who benefited from programs regarding unemployment– North Carolina went from 26 to 14 weeks of benefits in the one week I hesitated before registering; had a swipe card for food programs, or paid rent at cash advance rates, take a short bow for surviving Real Economics 2015.

In ‘Outlaw Josie Wales‘, Clint Eastwood tells Sandra Locke that at some point in the coming battle, “when you don’t think you’re going to make it, you gotta get mad dog mean,” and that translates to staying above water most of the Great Recession 2007-14 with a BPBPJ (Bill Paying, Benefit Providing Job), then looking credit card debt in the eye from September to March. On the bottom line, this whole unlikable recession didn’t get past #4 on the Worst of Times Ranking– Schenectady ’84 and Charlotte ’03, that was real Despair. Hell, I still had $6,800 left on my secondary card; that option, at any rate, wasn’t available before.

Compared to pursuit of return to executive assistant role after that retail stint, this new situation is esoteric– reselling of woodworking machines– and definitely sales. The experience of moving between databases to research/find what customers call in about is getting easier; in some ways its like real estate, because whatever I list gets me a piece of eventual profit, in others its very much a training rate of pay. Last week I listed 16 machines; yesterday I input and tagged pictures to seven in about 2 1/2 hours. That’s administrative, but its a production job, and I’m in a position where competence with transmitting needs-information will mean I get my share of whatever happens with I was actually second guy in the door when Kurt (boss) started back in 2006; I’ve been involved with him on two other projects over the years, and hey, we’ve played basketball for like 16 of my 20 years (Memorial Day) here in Charlotte. That trust level, *knowing* he generates cash, that’s as good a reason to work with somebody as any nowadays.

I was almost as thrilled with three checks earned during same stretch as a reading tutor with WyzAnt— that my students grandma told me she’d gotten a 100% on vocabulary test after two sessions counts as some psychic income– but deciding, without any hedges, that you’ll have a quantity of $$ goes beyond just thinking about it; doing what needs doing to HAVE cash demands acknowledging it when Plans become Truth.

$87 being auto-paid to some multi-billion dollar company that sweated you with late fees during dry times is nowhere near as satisfying as having CASH money in your pocket when the check arrives for a wine, tasty snacks, and Oreo cheesecake weekend dates on Lake Norman. Oh yeah, weekends are *much* better after ringing the register.

That’s elementally understood, right? It can’t just be a guy thing.

Glenn Shorkey