Coronavirus and the Empty Calendar Episode 8: The Last Route

Today is my last time running my route. I am really going to miss the dogs on my route more than anything. When I say that this is my “last route”, I mean that I’ll be coming back on an as needed basis. I usually get between Christmas and New Years off at my normal job. But I’m sure I’ll hustle and pick up the extra work.

This pandemic has been quite the roller coaster. I started as a 3rd shift grocery store stocker, delivery driver, briefly a semi driver, and back to a delivery driver. I’ve had to work outdoors in 100 degree heat index, and “feels like” -20. I’ve been chased by dogs, a goat, and given tons of dog kisses. I’ve been offered many bottles of wine. and I’ve been screamed at for doing my job. For things people ordered.

In my personal life, I’ve gone through all sorts of emotions. Worry that my job will go away forever, fear of losing my wife in her major surgery (she’s currently recovering), happiness that I’ve been able to communicate with my family more, sad that I’ve lost friends and colleagues to the virus and other issues, mad that people haven’t been taking things seriously, and hopeful that things will go back to normal.

Starting next week my route is no longer mine. I’ll be filling in on the days they aren’t training someone else on it. I am very grateful that I was offered this job not once, but twice after I realized that big rig truck driving is not my flavor. The pandemic hit the transportation industry hard. Pre-pandemic, my route would max out around 120 stops per day on a bad day. It would be 90-100 on a good day. I averaged around 120 on a good day and lately, that average has been closer to 140. I hold the company record for 231 stops in one day (Thank you holiday shoppers).

Delivery driving isn’t a bad job, but it had made me realize how much I miss my non-essential job. My passion job. I am ready to get back to live events, concerts, hell I’ll even do another underwater opera or a dance competition. I know we are a ways away from doing big festivals, but some of my small gigs are by far my favorite ones to work. I’ve missed the local people I work with once a year, and the baby ducks I see every year at my 4th of july festival. I’ll be spending the next couple of months transitioning to my old job by learning new tricks and equipment and getting back in mental shape to hit the ground running. Once the CDC and DHS give us the green light, I probably won’t have a single day off from June to September. And I’ll be loving every single moment. Except when mother nature strikes.

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