Monday Morning

Posted: June 28, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Me & Mine
Tags: , ,

If you're up before dawn, it damn sure is a nightmare

I have two 8 am classes for the Summer term and I expect to be pissing and moaning about them for the next six weeks.  I’m not a morning person, and I don’t mean that in the cute, cliched, t-shirt-with-a-yawning-kitten-saying-“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” sense.  I mean I am really not a morning person. I worked for 20 plus years in bars, restaurants and nightclubs and my standard bedtime lies somewhere in between 2 and 5am and my wake up time is an applicable 7-9 hours later.
For me to make an 8am class I have to wake up at 6am, shower, grunt, slam things around, drink coffee before plodding to the train grumbling to myself.  I honestly don’t start to wake up and behave in anything resembling a reasonable person until after noon. Coffee helps to wake me up, but it is also a tightrope that I walk. I am a generally anxious person and prone to panic/anxiety attacks. Too much coffee and I am bordering on a serious, in-class petit mal, twitchfest, not enough and I am surly, half asleep and vaguely homicidal.
My poor teacher has to start her week looking into the faces of her apathetic class and their chief mopey-pants; me.  First thing Monday morning and she has to gaze upon my irritable, sneering, mumbling, scowling puss.  My face is more than likely reminiscent of one of my former employers perfect frown that I used to make fun of. I always suspected he used yoga facial exercises to achieve that perfectly formed upside down C with his mouth. Due to lots of practice he was able to maintain that frown for hours on end, but it was its most pronounced when the bar was busy and he was making lots of money.
His management technique was simple. 1. Find Fault   2. Scowl and maintain an expression of overall anger and disappointment. 3. Disappear on the rare occasion when he might be needed.  He also did something that I personally found maddening, but to point it out to him would have been a lost cause. He would very often spend considerable amounts of time looking for employees to tell them about some minor issue that he felt needed addressing, rather than taking the 3 seconds necessary to address said issue himself.  He once spent 15 minutes looking for me to inform me that there was an empty beer bottle in the men’s room, rather than simply picking the bottle up and placing it on the bar.
Today in my early morning class on Advanced Redundant BS our teacher wanted us to write a “Personal Assessment Coupled With Possible Career Dilemmas”. OK, I’ll bite. My personal assessment at 8am is that I am grouchy, cynical, annoyed and that I’d rather be in bed.  My biggest career dilemma has been finding a way to make a steady income, have benefits and job security while sleeping ’til noon and watching cartoons for the remainder of the day.
We went around the room and discussed these things. One kid spoke about the interview he had at a “call center” over the weekend.  He had a thick accent and was difficult to understand, so my guess is he was hired on the spot.
The other children poured forth their dream careers and I ridiculed each one silently in my crabby little mind. If I was a teacher then I could be more vocal in dashing the hopes of youngsters.
 That's right, you losers will never amount to anything
“I want to be a singer or maybe an actress” 
Um yeah Beyonce, aint going to happen, get thee to Bed, Bath and Beyond.
“I’d really like to be a sports broadcaster” 
The only thing you will be broadcasting is
“Your total is $24.50, please pull up to the window”.
“I’d like to do ‘something’ with computers” 
Yeah?  Lots of jobs in that field. How is your Hindi
and can you live in Calcutta on .35 cents an hour?
Then the teacher actually said “You shouldn’t give up on your dreams”  It took every fiber of my being to not stand up and exclaim. “Yes, you should, and the sooner the better!”
I have found sitting and scribbling down bitter commentary doesn’t really pass the time so quickly. I am a cancer in the classroom. I am waiting for the teacher to point at me and say “Just think, after 20 years in the workforce you can be a defeated and perpetually disappointed man just like Scott here”.
It is interesting to note that many of the things I complain and later write about, are often the very things I would tell other people “you need to get over that” Don’t these people know that self described, witty curmudgeons are the only ones allowed to have gripes?
Ugggh, a three and a half hour class and I don’t even get a graham cracker and a juice box.
After class I went to the bathroom and there on the wall, between the penis drawing and accusations of homosexuality, someone had scribbled “I wrote on the wall. Take that society”  This was the best graffiti I had read in ages.  I pulled out my sharpie and wrote ” I used to write on bathroom walls, but I gave it up” underneath.
My art class was OK. I am more awake and less grumpy by the time it rolls around.  For some reason it cheered me when my light-in-the-loafers teacher exclaimed. “If you guyth don’t take noteth, I’m going to give you a big red “F”. 
I like him.


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