So here’s the thing. New job = zero free time. And I do mean zero. Most days I have 35 mins of break time. You are not allowed to take more than 10 mins at any one time. This varies from manager to manager. It takes 1-3 mins to get to a restroom from my desk. 1 if the little one nearby is free, 3 if I have to cross the building to the bigger one, which happens often. This means just enough time to get there, do the business at hand (cough) and get back to my desk.

Lunches are odd. On a regular day, I get a one hour lunch. You can leave the building, but only for 30 minutes. Any more and you are dinged somehow on your attendance. There is a very loud, messy cafeteria (I usual have to wipe a table down before I sit). Whenever I do sit down, coworkers appear and congregate. This makes stealing some writing time difficult.

In an abnormal day – ie a day when I am not working a normal shift, but rather the extra hours required of everyone, I don’t get a lunch at all. So last Sat I worked 8 am to 7 pm and got 35 mins break with no lunch. Sigh.

The other difficulty I find trying to do a little writing at work is personal electronics. I’ve not yet brought my laptop in. Cell phones are tolerated but not at your desk due to security concerns, which I whole heartedly agree with, given the kinds of info we have to collect. I am writing this post on my cell and it’s driving me insane. I like a real keyboard. I’m a keyboard snob. Seriously. Trying to write on my cell has been difficult. I’m not giving up yet, but it’s definitely a hurdle needs overcoming.

Trying to write at home has also been a challenge. I am exhausted. Moreso than I’ve been in a very long time. The job isn’t physical, though stamina plays a part. It mostly mental. I’m pushing hard mentally to get this job done and when I get home, I have a cat freaking out, a mom who wants to talk about her job, a snow covered sidewalk that needs shoveling, etc and so on and my brain is goop. I’ve had a story I’ve been trying to finish for over a month now (and a book, too) and I think I’ve managed a hundred words. Tops.

I had one day off this last week and had to get groceries and the oil changed in my car and food for the cat and clean the bathroom and dump the litter boxes and clean the kitchen and do all the things I use to do over the course of a week. And couldn’t get it all done. Blargh.

Have I become the whiny writer who complains about his lot in life?

I hope not.

I keep telling myself the balance will come. The groove, the flow. I’ve figured this shit out before with every job, I can do it again. (Other people keep telling me this too) Meanwhile, I’m over caffeinating to keep myself going and alert on these long days. And I’m passing out almost the moment my head hits the pillow at night.