Saturday, 1 April 2017

Jon Bear's Journal: Catching Up With Jon Bear

Having finally risen from my Winter hibernation I wanted to reach out to our readers and update you all on the happenings in my life these past few months.

Life has been pretty busy the past several months, mostly because of work.  I am the Customer Service Supervisor at a Grocery Store in Upstate New York and recently our store has been transitioning its "brand".  As part of the transition the store which had been our home for the last 40 plus years will be torn down and a new store is being built in its place in our current parking lot, directly next to the old building (before it is razed). 

For a few weeks prior to our store closing in mid March I was working every day, without any time off, so I felt a little bit drained from that stretch.  My fatigue was as much mental as it was physical though.  I was moving a lot of paperwork that we needed to retain for our new store.  Many of the things we process, such as Western Union transactions, people's payment receipts, Money Orders and Bill Payments among other things require us retaining documentation between three to five years.  All those papers fill a lot of boxes.  We needed to shred the old ones that were not necessary to keep any longer and find a safe home for the ones we needed to keep prior to the targeted opening of our new store sometime in July, most likely. 

My mental fatigue came mostly from my anxiety about the transition and the fact that certain audits were being conducted prior to our move.  Everything seemed to go quite well though and I was told that out of all the store closings that were conducted recently (and there were several) that we were the best prepared.  Which gave me a small feeling of pride - knowing how hard I worked to try and make it that way.  

I was also beginning to take on some new responsibilities and learn new things as I hope to move up positionally with the company.  I had a few weeks of doing the store's payroll prior to our closing.  I think I will be doing the payroll again once we reopen, but I know I will be rusty on it having only done it 4 weeks and then being 3 to 4 months removed from having worked on it at all.  Not to mention that our new store will likely have close to 100 or so more employees then we had before.  I look forward to the challenge, but know too that I will need to be focused and ready for the grand opening of the new store. 

Presently I have been moved to a new home store in the same town where I was working previously. Our building that should be completed in July will utilize some different systems then the store we left a few weeks ago.  I am training and learning the new systems.  I have felt pretty comfortable with the transition so far.  I have been fortunate to work with some people who have a lot of experience and really know what they are doing.   The first three days or so that I did the morning paperwork it took me a long time to complete, but after my first week I have cut that time down by 3 hours and am finishing the morning work either as early or earlier then when is expected. 

The holidays and my birthday were fun as I was able to visit with my family a few times in late December and in early January.  While I do not often travel to exotic places, the time I share with my family is very precious to me.  My nearest relatives are my Mother and my oldest brother's family who live about an hour and a half away.  I generally get out to see them once a month during the Spring, Summer and Fall, but during the Winter in the Northeast, I typically see less of them.  My twin brother and his family and my sister and her family live around a 7 or so hours drive away, so I see them even less frequently.  

Recently though, I have been planning for a visit with my twin brother and his family who will be coming to see me next week.  They are thinking of looking at some homes in the area, as they consider a possible move to Upstate New York.  Should they decide to make the move it would be great to have them so much closer then they have been for the past 15 or so years now.  While our time for excursions will be somewhat limited by their house hunting plans, we do hope to make it to the Via Aquarium in Rotterdam, NY, hit up a playground if time permits (so my brothers three young sons can run around and have some fun) and watch some movies and baseball, with it being the opening week of the Major League Baseball season.  

Unfortunately my small apartment will not have enough room to house 5 visitors, so Clifford and his family will be staying in a nearby hotel.  But I do very much look forward to their visit, and I hope that they will have a great time and want to come back!  This is the first time they will be visiting me.  As the only single member of my family, I am typically the one who is driving elsewhere to visit others.  It's a lot easier to make one person's schedule work for travel then a whole family's schedule. 

I have remained emersed in politics since this past year's election.  There are a lot of things that I am concerned about with the directions of America and the Trump Presidency, ranging from their potential ties to Putin in Russia, to their domestic policies regarding people of the Muslim faith, to Trump's appointments of cabinet members who seem to be the antithesis of the departments they are charged with heading up... YES, the new Environmental Protection Agency director has a law suit against... wait for it... you guessed it... The Environmental Protection Agency, and the new Energy Department Director, when running for President several years ago, couldn't even remember the name or function of the Department of Energy. >.< *woes me* 

So yeah... I never paid so much attention to the United States political environment until I felt like we were in danger of severely degrading our strength and loosing the respect of other nations, especially our allies, around the world. 

In spite of those concerns, I do feel optimistic about 2017 and what it holds moving forward.  While I know I have been negligent regarding the blog for a few months now; I feel I have been pretty proactive at work, which has been a long standing goal of mine for a few years.  Balance is always important though, and there is a cathartic relaxation that emanates from blogging.   Although I am off to a late start, I am excited about sharing 2017's adventures, that lay ahead!  

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