Friday October 25th, 2013

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the training day.

So that 'something interesting' I referenced yesterday? Yeah, the prompt might be connected to that.

Okay, it definitely is.

This will be my fourth winter in Osoyoos but it is now officially the first one in which I will have steady employment. As I have learned the hard way, this is not an easy place to find work between farm seasons. It is a tourist town, but pretty much strictly in the warmer months. Many businesses close up shop until spring comes back around again and those that stay open typically have established staff who know better than to ease their grip on their positions.

One of a few very rare exceptions? The bowling alley.

When I went in for my league night last week I stayed afterward to have a quick chat with the owner, curious to know if he was looking for some part-time help this winter. He was and he seemed interested in having me help out, promising that we'd chat again this Tuesday.

We had another brief talk before he told me he'd get his secretary to call me on Wednesday (ended up being Thursday), though to be honest I wasn't sure if the call would be to figure out an interview time or something else.

Turned out? She called to ask me to come in today to get started with my training. I've been sort of bouncing off the walls ever since.

The owner also owns the fitness center upstairs from the alley and I'll be working at both - my training for that portion of my responsibilities comes on Monday. Today I learned a bit about setting up the lanes, fixing pin tangles, and post-league play cleanup.

I didn't get back home until close to 3pm, at which point it sunk in that I had done absolutely nothing to prepare for tomorrow's market. So I spent most of the rest of the day doing that, though thankfully there wasn't all that much to do, what with everything but the leeks having been already harvested.

Plus: whatever, it's the last one of the year. And it's my birthday. I'm not going to worry too much about it.

Especially now that I'll be able to contribute to our winter income for the first time since moving here.


The manuals were stacked in orderly piles on the desks, two pencils next to each stack. At the front of the room the instructor stood, hands clasped behind his back and an unreadable expression in his eyes. Students filed in moments before the session was scheduled to begin, most alone but there were the odd pair or two as well.

At the end of the day they were assured of one thing: they would be fully prepared to perform the duties of their new jobs... should they survive the training.


Greg said...

Oh wow, that's some news alright! Congratulations! Will they still let you be in the bowling team now that you can cheat behind the scenes? ;-)
And it's an indoors job too, which seems to be quite important in the Canadian Winter.... It sounds great :)
Is it a fixed term thing, or is it more flexible than that? I imagine you've got a little freedom about the end-date if the bowling alley normally increases staff when the tourist season begins in earnest, and you'll have the weather dictating when you need to be at the farm.
Also, great little story! I wonder what makes this training so lethal though?

Training Day
Everyone had serious faces, suits on, smart shoes, and snappy little briefcases containing pens, calculators and half-done crosswords from the commute. Except Nigel, who was wearing sneakers, jeans, a polo shirt and carrying a sieve.
He looked around, and waved his sieve, the smile fading from his face.
"Please tell me we're all here for straining day," he said, his voice losing hope as thirty pairs of angry eyes focused on him.

David said...

The bullet ripped through my gut, slicing my spleen, the doctors told me later. Real bullets replaced the rubber training ones. I looked in his eyes, pleading, "why?"

"You need to learn to bleed, son."

Marc said...

Greg - thank you! It's pretty flexible, so I'm expecting to be able to walk away whenever I need to. And then, hopefully, return to it next winter.

Hah, poor Nigel :D

David - ooh, harsh. Nicely conveyed too.