What can I say about July so far? Another roller coaster of a month and, as always, very busy. Between work, band, the nature center, and trying to have a social life, I have not had much time to write a decent post. And this post, although decent, does not have a lot of significance besides informing everyone about how I am doing. As much as I would love to sit down and write about a certain topic (and I do have many ideas), this month has passed very quickly and much of it has been left in the dark on this site. So I am going to use a self-interview format like I do in similar posts. Later this month, I will write about something less generic and possibly put some photos in. Until then, I will fill in the gaps between my last post and this moment.
Q: Where have you been these past few weeks? You haven't posted in a long time.
A: The main reason is that I spent a week in Hayward, Wisconsin, with my family. My uncle rented a house on a lake in the area and much of my mom's family was there. I have never been in that part of the state--it's amazingly beautiful. Just the variety of trees alone is impressive: aspens, firs, red pines, oaks, and quite a few more that I can't name. The lake was also very pristine. And the sunsets alone were worth the trip. Since the house faced to the West on the lake, we got a postcard sunset every night. I'll admit it was nice to get away from the city for awhile, but it was also difficult in some aspects. In the end, we felt it was too soon to gather for a week. Everyone was still very emotional and we weren't sure if the subject of my mom was taboo or not. My dad mentioned it would be a good idea if he, my brother, and I went on a trip just by ourselves later this year. It seemed there were just too many people and too many emotions for one house.
Q: Marching band season has started and you have a new director. How has that been going?
A: In a nutshell, not so good. A few months ago, our middle school band director was laid off because of budget cuts. She was also our head marching band director. When her position was cut, the other two marching band directors turned in their resignation so they could spend more time with family. So, basically, our marching band was left with only our color guard instructor. We were able to hire a new director, who we have worked with for the entire season so far. He is very experienced (a Milwaukee police officer and retired Marine Corps band member) and has a lot of new ideas. These new ideas, however, are replacing the techniques which we had used in previous years. I have a lot of confidence in his ideas and don't mind doing something different, but many others are resisting this change and morale is very low as a result. He is also a bit out of touch and seldom listens to a lot of our own ideas. What I am afraid of is a mass dropout, which would ultimately destroy our band because of its already small size. I can only hope that we can reach a comprimise with our director and work toward a decent score at the State competition.
Q: Are you still working at Hollywood Video?
A: Yes, although I am not glad to say so. The main problem is the store manager. She is constantly disregarding my schedule requests and is giving me more hours than I can handle. I had told her that I need Wednesdays and Thursdays off for marching band, yet she has scheduled me for Wednesday the past two weeks. I gave her my band schedule to reference, but she also managed to have me work during one of my parades. And when I trade with someone to work around those days, she gets angry and asks why I can't work. I also have not gotten a single raise since I began eight months ago, even though the company policy is to offer a raise after ninety days to workers who pass their performance review, which I have not gotten either. I'll be bringing these issues up with her next time I see her...If she doesn't change anything, I could always bring it up with the district manager. The silver lining is that if she fails another store audit, she will likely get fired. We can only hope.
So that's my update on the last month in a nutshell. There's much more to it, but I don't have much time to write about it. Sorry if this sounded a bit like an angry rant at some points. There really are a lot of negative things in this post, but this summer has not been going so well. On a positive note, the past few days have been quite good. I have had a bit more spare time to be with friends and relax. Hopefully, my up cycle will last awhile longer.