Thursday, September 10, 2009

Moving On Up

I don't like mentioning the name of my work place, because sometimes things happen, people find things out, or stalkers are obtained on accident.  It's really hard to explain why I'm so shocked by their behavior WITHOUT naming it, though, because otherwise it just sounds like every other retail store.

I work in an alternative retail store.  We sell music-oriented clothing and accessories.  We have everything from rock T-shirts to leather wristbands to body jewelry.  Most of our customers have mohawks and tattoos, and metal located somewhere on their face.  We are supposed to be COOL.  Which, most of us are.  I mean, I love my managers as PEOPLE.  Especially now that I've transferred to a store closer to me.  I get along with EVERYONE.  Not very many people can say that.  In our handbook it says that they prefer to hire within the company, because we want to see our best employees move up!  We want people to be EXCITED about working for us, and WANT to come to work, and not THINK of it AS WORK.  And really, I don't.  I mean, some days are hard and busy and I come home exhausted (I think tonight will be the first night I'll fall asleep before 3 AM in a week), but I like what I do.  I know a lot about what I sell, I like helping customers, I'm motivated, and I'm dedicated.  I want to stay with this company for a while.  Even after I finally take out my lip piercing, and when I start looking at my tattoos like, "Wow, I was crazy."

I guess that isn't enough for them, and I'm absolutely shocked by it.  The point of my transfer was that I wanted a chance to move up and work in a bigger store, to learn more about creating displays, and closing the store.  Apparently to them, it means nothing.  I means nothing that I rode the bus for four and a half hours a day for six months just to work for that company.  It means nothing that I turned down two full-time job offers because I wanted to keep my part-time job on the side and they came first.  It means nothing that I've SAID SO MANY TIMES that I WANT to be a manager, and I WANT responsibility, and I WANT to learn.  Because they aren't going to give me a chance.

Nope.  They aren't.  I learned that earlier this week.  It's been one of the reason I've been so down.  It really got to me tonight because I had a customer ask for a t-shirt that I hadn't seen in FOREVER but I wanted to make sure we didn't have it.  I looked for 15 minutes, because this customer was shopping for his daughter and she really wanted this shirt.  I wanted to make him happy.  I FOUND IT.  After a co-worker rang him up, he came up to me and said, "Thank you so much for helping me.  You were great."  And I was just like, "It's not a problem."  Because it really WASN'T a problem.  I didn't mind at all!  I genuinely like my job, unlike most of the people that work there.  And that is a problem for me.

How can a company that claims they want to help employees move up deny the opportunity to, when that opportunity is available?  This particular store actually interview me back in February, but apparently I didn't have enough experience for the manager position.  Instead, they place me at a store FAR FAR away from me, but I was so excited about FINALLY getting a chance to work there I didn't care.  The person they hired instead got fired.  Almost four months ago.  Yep.  She was there less than two months before she was fired.  I'M STILL HERE, yet they won't just give me a chance.  Not even a trial period.  I have a full-year of manager experience, not including when I was a key holder for them for six months.  I have never been written up, I have never been given any type of warning, and as far as I'm aware of, my performance it's great.  Most of the time my managers have been relieved they close with me because I actually work. 

It just really bugs me, because to me, it's NOT fair.  And not everything is fair in the job force, but they keep doing interview after interview, not hiring anyone, yet they have me as a silly associate when I have so much experience and I'm already trained to open the store.  All they'd have to do is show me how to close!  That's it.  Yet they keep searching.  And I'm not even asking for a huge raise.  I'd gladly do it for less than what most people want, because I WANT TO WORK HERE!!!  But I'm just too old to keep being a sales associate.  It's bad enough I took a pay cut and demotion to transfer, because they didn't have hours at the time.  It's just getting ridiculous.

I think what I'll have to do is talk to corporate again.  I hate going behind my store manager's back, because I really do like her as a manager, but she won't give me a chance.  A chance I think I deserve.  And one I don't think she'll regret in the end.  Come Monday, I'll have to make my decision.

First Job (Group Blog Thursday)

I was a junior in high school.  I was 16, bored out of my mind, and my parents wouldn't let me get my license because they were so strict.  I was constantly stuck at home, nothing to do, no money.

I convinced my mom to let me apply at McDonald's, ten miles away.  She would be the one to have to drive me and pick me up.  I thought after a while she would see how silly it was for me not to have a license.  I hoped she would get tired of having to go back and forth.  I broke before she did.

I was the cashier girl.  The only food I ever had to work with were the fries, and that was fine with me.  We had a dress code, of course- dark blue shirt and black pants, black non-slip shoes, and a blue visor.  I hated it.  I had short hair that I couldn't put in a ponytail, so it was constantly poking up and out.  I worked people I went to school with two schools before my current high school.  The people I couldn't stand and were the reason I left.  Then again, I also worked with a few of the people I really liked from my current school.

There were a couple different managers at time time, but I always had to work with the manager from hell.  She was always really bitchy, complained a lot, and NEVER got us out on time.  By law, I was supposed to be out of work by eleven, I do believe.  But it was always way after that, and my mom or stepdad were constantly having to wait. 

I hated my job.  I remember requesting homecoming weekend off, so that I could go to the game and dance, and they still scheduled me.  I was really mad, and had to have my mom tell them I was a cheerleader and had to go.  No matter that there WERE no cheerleaders for the soccer team (we didn't have football at the time). 

The worst part about the job was probably having to clean the fry and burger vats.  The grease on those things just does NOT want to come off.  I banged myself up pretty bad trying to wash those huge metal things.  I also hated filling the shake machine.  Nobody seemed to understand that being 5'1" constituted as being too short to lift a bag ten inches in the air to pour.  For some reason, they got a kick out of not helping me though, and I was constantly spilling the mixes all over the floor and myself.  Flurries had just been introduced, too, and those were a pain in the ass, as well.  There was supposed to be a shield to stop candy pieces from flying out of the cups, but ours had broken and so we had to make due.  Orea and M&M's became lethal weapons.

I didn't quit because I didn't like the job.  My parents were always forgetting to pick me up at night, and a few times I called in because my mom didn't feel like driving in the weather or my little brother was sick.  I finally had to tell them I was leaving because I didn't have a ride anymore.  I wasn't really that sorry, but it wasn't a great first job. 

Having told you all that, I will also say, I will NEVER work in fast food again.  Not in the most desperate times.  I can't remember one good thing coming out of working there.  I didn't have fun, I didn't work with people I liked, and some of the customers were atrocious.  And there ya have it.

So that was my first job. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Late A-Z Wednesday

I've decided to do this as a distraction. 

This week's letter is 'E'.  I haven't been able to unpack all of my books for lack of shelves and space, so I could only find one book starting with the letter E.

Synopsis: Well, this is more of a reference book for the indie and emo music culture.  As a punk rock fan, I bought this for entertainment, and to understand where the term "emo" originated.  It's informative in a humorous way, mocking and poking fun at the stereotypes that come with the sub-genre of punk music.  Everybody Hurts talks about not only the music, but the pop culture phenomenons that now go along with it, giving names of books and movies that are now defined as emo. 
My thoughts?  Hmm.  I've been labeled emo since it first became known as a stereotype.  A few of my friends and I joke that I was emo before anyone knew what emo meant.  This book was hilarious for me to read, because it is so dead-on in its explanation and examples of "emo" things in life.  It lists cities that are known for being emo; books, tv shows, food, clothing lines, and movies.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower  by Stephen Chbosky and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger are two books that are named dropped in it, and cities like New Brunswick, NJ; Seattle, WA; and Portland, OR are named to be some of the most "emo" cities in the country.  It gives instructions on how to make your MySpace emo, including a step-by-step process for taking the best picture.  Most of my readers aren't in the punk rock scene, so I wouldn't expect anyone else to understand, but this book is the perfect by for any person fitting a stereotype in the punk rock scene.
So that's my A-Z Wednesday.  I'll have a better one for 'F' next week.

Losing My Religion

I had a friend text me last night that I haven't spoken to in a few months.  He said that he had been thinking and praying for me, and told me he had found Jesus, and a burden had been lifted off his shoulders.  He told me I need to put more faith into God and Jesus Christ, and that I would be taken care of.

I should explain that I get weirded out by religious talk.  I grew up Catholic, I was sent to CCD/catechism, I went to church most Sundays.  For some reason, I just don't like talking about it with people.  My mom and dad rarely preached to me.  Once I was in middle school my mom let my brother and me decide if we wanted to go, but we didn't.  My dad tried to get me to attend church with my cousins when we lived with him, but it was Lutheran and my mom said "no way", and that was the end of it.  I should mention both of them were alcoholics.  My dad has been in recovery since 1994, but he still has a lot of anger issues and also, he has chosen to separate himself from me and my brother.  My mom still drinks nearly everyday.  Maybe this is why they let us choose to begin with- they knew they couldn't preach.

Now, though, I'm wondering what effect this has had on me.  I pray occasionally.  I've never been big on it, as my parents neither enforced it or did it themselves.  As far as I knew, none of my friends did, either.  My best friend for ten years was atheist, and so was her mom.  I don't believe in atheism- everyone believes in something.  However, I guess because I didn't grow up in an environment where it was stressed, I've never been comfortable talking about God.

Last night my friend asked how I was.  I am not close to him anymore, so I didn't get personal.  I basically just said that I'm surviving.  I didn't feel like getting into everything that is going on, especially by text message.  He knows I have depression, and he brought up how he knew I was down and that I need to stop dwelling, that's the only reason I'm sad. 

I wasn't sure what to say, because I don't dwell.  I'm stressed out.  If worrying about my current financial and living situation is dwelling, then okay, maybe I'm dwelling.  What else should I do, when I have so many stressors on my back right now, and no means of relieving them?  I'm doing everything I can to fix the situation, but I'm not getting any answers.  I've had zero replies on my applications, even when I call on them.  My employer now can only afford to give me ten hours a week.  If I wasn't struggling with money, I wouldn't be struggling at all.  Well, besides my health, but that's a different story.

When my friend started telling me that I need to have faith, I didn't want to reply.  I'm even having trouble writing this blog because beliefs are a touchy subject with me.  I'm not even sure why, really.  All I know is, I wasn't interested in getting into a conversation about Jesus and faith and praying and asking the Lord for his blessing.  I apparently have all of my friends praying for me, but so far, the last three months have been full of struggling.  Struggling to pay bills, to eat, find money for bus fare to go to work, to even just be content at home.  So really, if I'm doing what I can- cutting back on any recreational outings, eating two meals or less a day, looking for jobs day and night- what else is there to do?  Pray?

Should I pray?  Pray to whom?  How do I pray?  I always bless my family for helping me when they can, and thank my friends for their support and understanding.  However, right now, I'm down.  My depression is the worst it's been since April, and that's not exactly good.  My health has started to deteriorate from lack of sleep, stress, and terrible nutrition.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit I get nutritional assistance (formerly food stamps).  But between the two of us, $125 a month doesn't go far and it only pays for the cheap unhealthy food, which is why I still gained five pounds, despite eating once, occasionally twice a day the last two months. 

I don't know.  I guess I'm just not ready to lean on a Higher Power that I've never seen proof of in my life.  If all it took was doing our best and praying once in a while, life would be a whole lot better.  Let's face it, though- there are many people that revolve their lives around religion that have way worse problems than I do, and they're not being helped.  So why would I be the lucky person to have her prayers answered?

If I did pray, I wouldn't be asking for a miracle.  I would be asking for a chance at a good job so I can continue to support myself without getting state aid and state health insurance.  I would like to buy a bag or two of lettuce for my rabbits.  Eat a decent meal a couple nights a week.  I can live without the rest.  I guess that's my prayer.

As for talking about religion openly, maybe I need to find a church to attend.  I'm not really good with that sort of environment.  It is so awkward for me to talk to my closest friends and family about religion, let alone sit in a church with a hundred strangers and then talk to them afterwards about it.  I don't know...I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, so I shouldn't worry about it.  But what if that is my problem?  What if I've been given these obstacles to see just how strong my faith is?  Then what?  Am I failing the test?  Religion is a just a tricky and personal subject for me.  Give me sex, give me politics, give me relationships- I can discuss them openly.  Throw me religion, and I clam up. 

I wonder why this is.  I might have to start searching for the answer if I ever want to dig my way out of this hole I've been put in.

Because I'm An Idiot

A couple blogs back I was nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by Stephanie and although I was flattered, I didn't realize this meant I was supposed to follow the rules!  (Or maybe I'm not, but ya know what?  I'm doing it anyway because I was following someone else's blog and that's what she did and so I felt dumb.  I'm doing it.)

The Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting. (see below)
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

I already thanked Steph, but THANK YOU again.  :)  You're my hero, fo rizzle, my gizzle (that means, I'm serious, girl). 

The logo:


Seven Things You May Find Interesting (But Are Old News To Most):
1)  I was captain of my cheerleading squad in high school.  You wouldn't believe this if you knew me in person, donned in my tattoos and piercings and crazy hair.  But it's true.

2)  I can walk on my toes.  I mean, I can curl my toes and walk on them.  I've been doing it since I was little, and I still walk around on my tippy toes to this day when I walk on hardwood floors or linoleum.  I don't know why.

3)  I learned to use a computer when I was just four years old.  My dad has been a computer nerd since the beginning of PCs, and I've been a whiz on them ever since.

4)  I'm deathly allergic to dwarf hamsters.  Apparently they have a protein in their saliva that only like, 2% of the world is allergic to, and I'm part of that 2%.  I learned the hard way.

5)  Despite disliking most country, I like singing along to Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert, and The Wreckers.  Jewel falls into the category too, and she went country on her last album.  And I love her.  I mostly sing in the shower, and very loudly.

6)  I got to meet Jeff Daniels when I worked at Staples in 2005.  I didn't even recognize him until he handed me his ID for his credit card.  He looked pretty shabby at the time.

7)  I'm still best friends with my first kiss (I was five).

And the 7 blogs I nominate are as follows (I'll do my best with what I have!):

Roxane @ It Really Is All About Me
Dawn @ For The Love of...Eloquence
Bachelors @ Confessions From A Mormon Bachelor Pad
Beth @ Capturing my Creativity
Mondo @ No Telling
'Ree @ A 'Ree of Sunshine
That Chick @ Bird With A French Fry

And with that, I'm doing one more thing:
Thanks to the many that make this possible:
My boyfriend, lying beside me, awake at 3:19 AM, when he has to work, because he doesn't bitch when I'm up all night.

My rabbits, for continually pushing my limits by chewing on wires, furniture, and clothing instead of the toys I give them, peeing on the couch and disrupting my creative process, and making me feel bad when I yell at them just by hunkering down beside the couch and looking cute. 

And my readers, because without you, I am merely another unread author waiting to be discovered, picking her nose and scratching her head.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Apologies...

I just wanted to apologize to my readers for not writing or commenting this weekend.  It was long and full.  Even though I feel like I didn't do anything. 

Plus, I'm a little blue lately, and it's hard for me to write when I'm down.  I don't know if any of you feel that way sometimes, but that's how I am.  I used to blog about my personal life on MySpace, but I just don't feel this is the place for it. 

I'll probably be back tomorrow with something, I'm sure.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend and I'll read/comment later!!!