Rocking the Beast

Today started as an average day in the Bizzy Hizzy. This was welcome in my world as we changed the clocks last night— so as far as my body was concerned it was 3:45 a.m. when my morning alarm sounded.

Yesterday they didn’t open the warehouse because of the predictions of the sloppy winter storm.

I performed as expected in Freestyle, meeting the pace they like us to keep. We ran out of work, so I went out to pick. Now, picking is the act of running through the warehouse gathering clothes. A normal cart for picking fixes holds 40 items. A direct buy cart holds 80. I picked my batch is 41 minutes. That’s pretty good.

But somehow I also managed to ship 515 items— when the goal for a 10 hour day is 500, and I left the department for 45 minutes.

I also learned from the supervisor that I have successfully made it onto the safety team.

The teenager said I could have a cupcake to celebrate.

My lead at work has started calling me a beast— basically because for two days in a row I think I’ve hit 110% of the daily metrics. But he also mentioned it when I lifted a heavy box (probably 35 or 40 lbs) from the floor and carried it to my work station.

At the moment it happened, the phrase irked me and I wanted to take some time and think about why.

I know he meant it as a compliment, in that same way we celebrate achievements in sports or the gym. But that’s not how it felt.

It felt like he underestimates what I am capable of because he knows I have a disability— but he doesn’t know I work out with a personal trainer. He doesn’t know I considered body building a hobby. He doesn’t know I used to take 1,000 pounds worth of boxes like that into a commercial kitchen’s freezer.

I am a beast. And I hope this good spell lasts long enough to figure out what to do if the issues return.

But I am a beast just for getting up and going to that warehouse on days that I hurt.

It takes way more “beast” to perform on a bad day versus a good one.

Roller coaster

What an insane week it’s been.

Monday we had a paid day off for President’s Day and, as I have mentioned, my primary care physician called and scheduled an appointment for me with a physiatrist they recommended.

You may recall this made me very happy.

Nan and I even went out for coffee to celebrate.

But yesterday, as I did what I do folding clothes at the Bizzy Hizzy, I got a call from the physiatrist that they didn’t think they could help me as they specialized in orthopedic care and I probably needed neuromuscular care.

The very kind staff person asked me questions and said she would talk to the doctor on my behalf but that they might cancel my appointment.

I literally started to cry.

And I emailed my psychologist.

Because the difficulty I am having finding medical care seems a tad ridiculous— and every hurdle I cross makes me feel like less of a person.

Or perhaps just less valuable.

When I returned from my first break, the powers-that-be at our Hizzy transferred me to the returns department. Now I love women’s returns processing, but it hurts my body. It must be unloading and swinging the packages around. But I can’t figure it out.

By the end of the day, I wasn’t too horribly in pain, but I definitely felt out-of-whack. I had “vague-booked” on Facebook that seeking medical care should not make one cry.

One of my friends, whom I have known for probably five years now, replied that he might be able to help research doctors. We’ll call him the punk Viking.

Meanwhile my neurologist finally returned my email from several weeks ago recommending another physiatrist.

I called the Punk Viking on the way home from work. He has social work experience and is recuperating from a significant medical intervention. He and I have made a pact of sorts to support each other through our health journeys and try to bring a little more levity to each other’s lives.

And then I woke up at 3 a.m. keenly aware of the fact that my hip had shifted. And I was uncomfortable.

And I went to work uncomfortable.

A bunch of us were scheduled to work women’s inbound processing— which is about 700 steps from the main breakroom for my short legs, the far end of the warehouse.

At 8:50 a.m., we trekked to the breakroom for first break. On the way, my chiropractor’s office called and asked to move my Friday appointment because of the anticipated winter weather. They are calling for snow. I fought tears. They wanted to move my appointment to Monday— but I’m already uncomfortable.

(According to the iPhone my walking was asymmetrical today. It looks like once a week my walk is getting measurably off.)

So, I take an appointment for 5 p.m. Monday. And put in a last minute request to leave early Monday.

We returned to our stations at 9:05 and at 9:15 we had a team meeting back in the breakroom.

During that meeting, the physiatrist’s office called. I can’t answer. So I can only assume they are canceling.

But instead I discovered they have agreed to do an assessment.

I get back to my station at 9:38, and I have a second interview for my application to the safety team at 10. It’s on the complete opposite side of the building— about 1300 steps. When I arrive, I find out the location has been moved to a different room. One, get this, just beyond the breakroom in women’s inbound.

You know, where I started.

The interview went great.

And I had more than 8,000 steps today.

I came home, talked to the Viking, and did some cleaning with the teenager. I’m exhausted. Achy. Stiff.

But if all goes as I hope it will— I should be able to get my business bank account for Parisian Phoenix tomorrow. My LLC came in today!!!!!

Tuesday recap of goals, safety and math

I intended to write this post two hours ago as a form of relaxation when I got home from work. Instead, I got sucked into the proof of TRAPPED that came from the printer, and writing instructions on how to pitch a press release for a local high school student.

Opening page of TRAPPED

My spine is hurting, but as far as Tuesdays go today was a good one. I think I may have hit 98% if my metrics in the QC department of the Stitch Fix Bizzy Hizzy.

Tuesdays typically leave me rather crippled— but for some reason this week I am doing better than usual. I performed 108% in Freestyle Sunday, and then my process lead and I found an error in the computation of yesterday’s metric in QC. The computer at first assigned me 91%. I suggested that might be wrong. That by my calculations it should be around 95%. Turns out my lunch wasn’t in the figure. So the computer thought I should have hit a higher goal.

My process lead seems perpetually impressed by my ability to perform math, and my tracking of my own performance. I also don’t agree with the official distribution of targets throughout the day, and eventually I will have my own numbers. (I basically have them now— but I’m still honing them. For instance, they say 40 by 9 a.m., whereas I aim for 42 by 8:50.)

Today might have been my best day since before the shift change. Not only because of the numbers but because I did a pre-interview or something like that for the safety team.

I’m not even really sure exactly what the safety team does, but I think I can bring perspective and the ability to explain to others with me to the table.

Apparently one of my former Midnight Society teammates “talked me up.” And it appears I did not disappoint. They had an ice breaker of one fun fact— and this colleague had to think I would talk about Parisian Phoenix or my cat fostering.

I warned him I was going to say something that would surprise even him. I mentioned my most exotic vacation included a visit to Mogadishu.

“Didn’t see that coming,” he said.

He then proceeded to tell them that I was a very interesting person with whom to talk.

All of that made today a little special.