Well I’m on the Downeaster Alexa

What a busy week I have had. Today’s post has been titled after the Billy Joel song which was playing at work during my half hour break yesterday and it seemed to capture the mood perfectly.

The first part of this post goes to two people who have been my mentors since day on. I will not mention their names here, but they do know who they are because they were the ones who gave me the money through my GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a membership to AANE.

For those who don’t know, or if I haven’t already mentioned it in a previous post, AANE is the Autism/Asperger’s Network of New England. Essentially, what I’m trying to do is find resources that could be useful to me if things don’t pan out with TheStore. More on TheStore later, but for now I want to talk about the journey to getting the money to the Network all the way in Watertown.

Watertown is a good twenty to thirty miles from Salem. So I really had to kill the piggy to get the money for a round trip from Salem to Boston. The Watertown bus line I would have needed begins in Harvard Square, but since I had already been to Watertown once on a journey to locate the offices of AANE, I knew the route by foot and I have also been actively trying to lose some weight. So around five in the morning I took the bus to Haymarket Station and upon arrival, took the train to Harvard Square and walked along the bike trail. Harvard Square is actually pretty nice and I do need to bring my camera down there at some point.

Along the way I stopped for a brief morning snack. There was a shopping mall with a Target and because I had recently been approved for EBT benefits, I knew I could use by EBT there. Let me just stop here and tell a brief tale about my discovery of the Watertown Mall.

On my approach fro the parking lot I noticed a Country Buffet. My family generally prefers Golden Corral but I do have enough love for Country Buffet to think that there is at least a good reason to come to Watertown in the near future.

After buying a couple of yogurts, I went into the mall and at first I saw a line of people to what I thought was the Old Country Buffet entrance. And I thought that must be a great Country Buffet, because not even the RMV gets a line that long this early in the morning. I soon discovered that the line actually was in front of the RMV that just happened to be next to the Country Buffet.

Originally I had gone into the mall thinking there would be a food court to sit down and eat, but alas there was no food court. I really do like malls, because like libraries it’s fascinating to me to see the many different ways they are arranged and constructed. But I do have a kind of snobbish idea of what constitutes a mall. Calling a single row of crappy stores in between a Target and a Best Buy a mall is like calling One Direction a “rock band”. But oh well, I guess that’s why the buslines from Watertown are so many and so profitable.

So I made it to the Watertown offices for the Massachusetts branch of AANE. I don’t know if there are other main offices in the rest of New England, but I realized a short while ago as I was writing this that some people might get confused about what state I am in, because they read “RMV” instead of “DMV” and Massachusetts is the only state in the world that refers to the Department of Motor Vehicles as the “Registry” of such.

When I got there, I filled out a membership form. This may seem like overkill to some people, especially when you realize that I could have filled out an online form and paid the membership fee online. Let me explain my actions a teensy bit.

First off, I was suffering from some massive insomnia that night. That’s when I noticed the funds from the funds from GofundMe campaign were in my bank and I could have access to them. Now I tried to go to AANE’s website and fill out the online form for the one year membership, thinking I would pay for it online and that would be the end of it. but whether it was my computer or the website, for whatever reason the form wasn’t showing up.

I wanted to get this done as quickly as possible, because I didn’t want the money to still be sitting in my bank account a month from now as it would be a poor way to thank my mentors for their gift. So my other option was to wait for a library to open and print out the form. (Before you rush to the comments section, I have a personal qualm about buying things online in a library where I would have to have my debit/credit card out in order to type in the information) That would have taken some time and I also would have had to get a money order and to be honest, I really wanted to get this done. There is the adage about wanting something done right and frankly, that should be on a t-shirt whenever I do need something done, so I grabbed my keys and wallet and took the bus. Physically being at the office was the only way I was certain that I would get the money into the hands of the people who would be responsible for my membership.

When the secretary saw my name on the form she said, “Oh, you’re the impressive adult we’ve all been talking about.”

“Oh,” I said, taken aback. “I’m a subject of conversation?”

“Yes, we saw your GofundMe campaign and we were very impressed that you would do that.”

The conversation ended there as she made out the receipt, so I did not get a round of applause from the office staff as I exited. But this is the other reason why I went down there in person and the reason why I went there in person the first time around. I wanted the staff of AANE to realize that I was willing to do what I had to fit in with the community and to make as much of the membership as possible, but that I already was independent. I didn’t need someone to hold my hand, but I was going to need help if I started drowning again and I need someone to see the whole picture and not just a checklist of items that I can’t live up to.

Hey, if they read the blog that would be great too.

On the way back I decided to take the bus and that’s when I got the call from The Bossman, asking me to come in to work that evening. Only, it wasn’t so much “asking me” as it was “telling me” to come in at three that evening. So that just made things a little more intense as I rushed to get back to Salem so I could have time for a shower and some lunch.

I realize that it was because they want to get me in as much as possible over the next three weeks to complete all of my paperwork, but I did ask if they called in my day off in the future, and I wasn’t able to get back to town on time, would that be an issue? Bossman assured me that it would not be a problem as long as I called back. But of course, that has left a bit of stress dangling in my ear. I don’t want to complain that they’re giving me hours but I sure hope they understand that I have a life outside of TheStore.

Pfft, just kidding, I already know they don’t realize that.

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