How to ultimately fail at keeping a promise to write blogs. Also updates.

Well, like I usually do, I only remember to write here when there has been some sort of development and then I promise myself that I will be awesome and write more often and bla bla bla. And then inevitably I become caught up in the rest of life and this falls to the wayside.

It totally does NOT help that my f key is broken and I have to ctrl+v every time I want it.

Excuses, excuses.

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But! There has been a development. I completed my internship with Borgen Project back in September. The whole experience solidified my desire to work as a writer full time. But reminded me how difficult that actually is to pull off as well. It also brought out something that I didn’t really expect.

I realized that I want to work for non-profits. I mean I want to make a profit because I have grown really attached to being alive and eating and living in a place with walls and shit. I just really got into the idea of working for a greater cause. Of working to help people and make the world a better place. That, too, is hard to get into.

Borgen actually had an opening for a paid position that I didn’t even get an interview for. That’s okay, though. I’m sure someone more qualified got the job.

So I have just been plugging along at my dead end grocery store job. Making money and doing my best to keep from going totally insane.

When I came back from Ireland, though, I decided to sign up for a website called flexjobs. It is really very neat. You have to pay, of course. But you get access to a TON of online, telecommute, part-time, full-time, flexible jobs. Like writing or design or whatever artsy thing you’re into. And I mean real at home jobs. Not the “give us all your money and we will let you stuff envelopes at home” jobs. But really businesses that are either internet based with no building at all. Or a business with a brick and mortar situation and no desire to have another employee taking up space. They also may just want to open the job up to people in other citites.

So I sat down the other day and applied to 6 jobs.

By the next day I had an email from CEM about a content writing job.

That night I had a phone interview.

And a job offer.

Now it isn’t totally glam or anything. I work for $12.50 an hour starting out. After a two week probation I either get let go, stay where I am, or have a chance to test into the senior writing level. Which means more money. More work, but more money.

At the moment I am opting to stay at my current job, especially since there is really no guarantee that I will even get to move forward. Although I think I will. I also want to make sure that this is something I am not only good at, but something I can sit down and make myself do for hours a day in order to make enough money to live on. I also worry that, while they have a lot of projects and not enough writers right now, the situation could change very quickly and I wouldn’t be making enough money anymore.

The work so far is pretty boring. They want a 1000 an hours output. I seem to be averaging 840 right now. Not bad for just starting out. It’s all very keyword driven. You know, that word vomit that no one really ever reads that is just supposed to get someone’s name up higher in google searches. I did some blogs on chiropractic for them tonight that were a bit more interesting than the other stuff.

Again, not glamorous. But it’s a job writing. And that is a step in the right direction.

I have also been doing some freelance work with blogmutt. They’re a crowdsourcing web site that gets clients to pay for blog posts to promote their business and get more clicks to their site. I go through as the writer and choose which people I want to write for and then write like 350 words on a chosen keyword. Like fashion tips or party ideas or valentine’s day. This writing is actually really enjoyable. I don’t get credit for it, but I get to have a voice and learn some stuff and be creative with it. Unlike the CEM stuff.

And then I had another response to a resume that I sent in. A fashion site has selected me as a possibility for a job blogging for them. It’s 200 blogs a month. $5 a blog. So $1000  month. The writing is really basic. You find an item and a picture of it. Write a description. Done. It could be tricky getting the item and formatting the picture. But once you get into it would be a cinch to bust those out. So something else I can pursue.

Maybe the trick right now is to cobble together a bunch of different writing jobs instead of trying to rely on one or even just find one that can be an everything job.

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OH. I also have an interview for a promotion at the grocery store tomorrow.

Geez.

Well I am doing my very best to keep a positive outlook on all this new found stress I fell into. I am actually writing every day whether it is in my journal or for money. And that’s more than I can say about the last few years. I also just have to keep reminding myself that I want this. I want this chance and this change and not only do I want it, I absofuckinglutely need this shit. I need it before I lose my mind already. And get stuck at a menial job for an eternity.

2014 go!

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Baby Mama Drama.

I’m reaching the age where most of my contemporaries are settling down, getting married, and having babies. Not necessarily in that order. A lot of them have terrible jobs. Some of them have decent jobs. And a small grab bag of individuals have their dream jobs. Needless to say I’m a little behind on the whole thing. Not married, engaged, pregnant, a parent, and my job is in no way related to my field. I’m generally okay with this. I never want to have children, my pets are enough. The boy and I would like to get married some day, but we are also perfectly content with being in a committed, long-term, relationship for now. I am hoping to figure out the whole job thing this year.

A brief discussion about parenting with some customers prompted me to really start thinking the archaic belief that we all have to get married and procreate. Apparently, according to the several women, I am entirely too young to make the rash decision to not have children…I’m old enough to have a degree, drink, rent a car, go to war, buy a gun, and smoke. But not old enough to make personal choices about giving up a huge chunk of my life to a child. But, I can see where they were coming from. A lot of people seriously feel that having children is the most beautiful, wonderful, and rewarding thing a couple can do. I just happen to disagree.

A post on Facebook further prompted me to write about it at more length. There’s been a picture of a fetus pressing it’s foot against the inside of a pregnant woman’s stomach. It’s accompanied by a story about a woman who has a child and wants to terminate her latest pregnancy. The doctor then suggests that she simply kill the child she already has since she has no problem with murder. This story has a number of flaws and makes a number of points that I disagree with. But what really gets me are the comments left by most people. They go a lot like this “If u aren’t ready 2 have a baby then u need 2 keep ur legs closed until ur married!”

This is ALWAYS what happens when you have a baby after marriage.

This is ALWAYS what happens when you have a baby after marriage.

So. If you’re married you have to have a baby? You’re automatically ready to have a baby when you’re married? You can suddenly emotionally deal with pregnancy and support a child financially? Why do people always assume that marriage equals children? Why do people always assume that if you have a baby while you’re married everything becomes magical and perfect and you’re three times as in love as you were before? Because divorce never happens when you have kids. Children are never abandoned, abused, or malnourished when the couple who conceived them are strapped together in marital bliss. I see their point, kind of, that until you’re ready to deal with the ramifications of child rearing you theoretically shouldn’t have sex. But what if you don’t want kids or can’t support kids while you’re married. Do you just not have sex? Do  you get your tubes tied/balls snipped? There’s always contraception, of course. What do you do when that fails? Continue with the pregnancy even though it goes against your beliefs and desires?

I just don’t understand our society’s obsession with procreation. With the world population going up every day we are in no serious  danger of the humans dying out. There are thousands of children in this country and around the world without families, food, homes, health care, and other basic needs. Do we just keep adding to those because marriage somehow equates to babies? It just doesn’t make sense. I, for one, resent being made to feel like my life is incomplete if I don’t spawn. Or that something is wrong with me. Or that I’m never supposed to enjoy the throes of sex. I really just wish that humans could accept that we all want different things, have different needs, and make different mistakes.

Well… Christmas IS a holiday…

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Merry ChrismaHannuKwanzica?

This is a post by one of the people I know from college: “To those of you who don’t know, I consider my self a Christian. I believe in the teachings of Peace and Love of Jesus Christ. As a Christian I will be celebrating Christmas, not the Holidays. This whole PC bullshit is irritating and the fact that I am not welcome in Target because I asked someone to wish me Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays (we got in an argument is the rest of that story) is too far.”

The post actually goes much further than that. Going into how he respects all his friends and their religions and therefore they should respect his desire to be told Merry Christmas. He also mentions in a comment that the cashier told him “Happy Holidays” and that he told her he preferred “Merry Christmas”. Apparently she was  “pissy” about not doing  it, at least in his words. She expressed the fact that she didn’t like that he was forcing his views on her. So he responded… He called her, as he puts it, a word that “starts with C and rhymes with punt”, told her she has a candy cane up her ass, and that he hoped she was crushed to death in a Christmas shopping rush

WHAT.

I’m sorry. WHAT.

Cashiers should really do the best they can to avoid being rude. Part of the job is dealing with difficult situations and when you excel at that you get promotions and more money. It’s what you sign up for, sadly.  I find that laughing when people say horrendous things usually prevents me from launching myself at them or stringing together several choice words that are inappropriate for the work place. But, there have been times (especially in the last month) where I absolutely have to mumble under my breath and force myself to not make eye contact because the person is being so heinous and so rude that if I were to look up I would lose my job in about 15 seconds. People really think that the cashier (as well as other employees of the business) are their personal employees. People honestly believe that they are always right because dammit the customer is ALWAYS RIGHT. One day I am going to go back in time and beat the person who came up with that phrase right before they speak it for the first time. The public has absolutely clung to that absurd nonsense and flung it in the face of every customer service representative in history ever since.

Given all that, not once have I had anyone treat me the way that my old college acquaintance treated that Target cashier. Anyone who wished death on me would have more to worry about than getting thrown out of the store and that’s a fact. Fear of losing my job would be so far out of my head at that point…

I did respond to his post. Stating that I think it’s great he can respect his friends and all that. But that to expect a cashier in a store to bend to his whims on a personal level like religious preference is a bit absurd. There are corporate rules at every single place I have ever worked that specifically prevent you from wishing anyone anything outside of “Happy Holidays” ever. No matter what they say to you. Yes, being PC is a pain in the ass for some people. But gosh it is a lot easier than getting the pants sued off of you for wishing the wrong person to enjoy the wrong holiday. Do I think it’s stupid that people get bent out of shape for being wished a merry christmas instead of happy hannukah? To an extent. Do I think it’s stupid for people to throw a temper tantrum reminiscent of the terrible twos in a Target because they believe in jesus and want that belief reinforced by other people telling them that they want them to have a good time celebrating the day that religious figure was supposedly born? Yes. I do. Overall I think everyone just needs to chill out. Enjoy celebrating whatever it is you may or may not celebrate in December. Be thankful to be alive, with family or friends or pets, and in a time and place where one of our biggest complaints is that the cashier wished us the wrong kind of damn holiday cheer.

That’s what the holiday season is supposed to be about across the board, right? A time of being thankful and happy and giving. Appreciating the past year and looking forward to a fresh start in the next. Providing the world doesn’t end on the 21st, anyway.

Things I don’t understand about customers.

You complain to me.

We don’t have senior discounts. We don’ t take EBT. We don’t carry that brand of whatever anymore.  We don’t provide enough food at our sampling event. We are out of whatever. That lady let her kids get candy out of the bulk bin with their sticky hands.

None of these things has anything to do with me or my existence. Not in any way shape or form. There is nothing I can do about it. I can’t order different products, force the bakery to make more things, follow mothers around the store, etc. I really can’t. And what’s more? I don’t actually give  a shit.
You seriously fail to understand the concept of carts.

The store I work at has three item carrying options. The big metal carts, the green plastic baskets, and these weird bastard combinations where you can stack two green baskets to make a little cart. I see so many people making poor cart choices.

Old people are constantly getting those huge carts. For an avocado. Or a muffin. What the hell? You might be 90 but you’re really telling me that the muffin was beyond your ability to hold?  And now you want a bag for it too? Or some lady will come up with one of the tiny green baskets totally overflowing with stuff. Crap is falling on the floor and if you move it the wrong way everything starts to collapse. Men are the most amusing, though. Apparently asking for directions is not the only pride-injuring thing out there. Grabbing a cart when you can no longer hold the 16 items you’re buying is too. They’ll walk up with everything stacked precariously between their hands and chin or propped in their armpits. It’s easy. Make a freaking list and then use your critical analysis powers to deduce what size conveyance you need. Done.

You are perpetually confused by how to use the credit/debit machine.

Every single store in the world, basically, has one of these machines. You swipe the card. It prompts you to do various things. You do it. You leave. Every 10 minutes I have someone glaring at this machine in contempt. Like it’s trying to trick them.

Why does it want my zip code?? Hell I don’t know. You can’t pay for this without putting it in, so get over it. What do I push now? Which is enter? Seriously? There are two universal colors that mean the same thing no matter what. Green = yes, go, accept, enter. Red = no, stop, decline, cancel. Always. For everything. When would red ever mean enter? Why are you still punching the machine with that little plastic pen? It say processing. It has to process, so chill the hell out. Or keep smacking it. That might work too.

You blame me for…everything.

I had a lady actually try to come into the office while I was counting my money at the end of the shift to tell me that I needed to “get out there” because there were like four people in each line. No. I’m done with my shift. Get out and go wait in line. This is a grocery store, you do that. Go to Walmart on a Saturday morning and see why 4 people to a line is nothing. Don’t tell me I need to “get another person up here right now to help.” Like who? You? Are you going to get on a register and ring up these lovely people? No? Right. All the people here are the people here. I can’t clone myself or make a gollum, so just wait.

Oh your check didn’t clear? Your card was declined? That would be your fault. You don’t have enough money to buy the $200 worth of snacks and alcohol you’ve put before me. This woman actually was going to call her bank and put them on the phone with me. Me! Apparently I cut her paychecks.

You assume I am uneducated.

Don’t tell your brat of a child that if “they aren’t careful they could end up a cashier.” Are you serious? Well maybe one day they too can accrue thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt to scan stuff at the local high-end, over-priced, snooty ass grocery store! People are honestly freaking surprised when I tell them that I do, in fact, have a degree. Like someone was supposed to hand me my diploma and appropriate job assignment the day of graduation.

You go out of your way to be complicated.

So you’ve collected approximately $336 worth of “organic” spaghetti, potato chips, mini cupcakes, and some weird drink with chia seeds in it (yes, chia seeds. The seeds that produce chia pets. I am riveted to know what the health benefits of this could be…).

I start scanning and the courtesy clerk starts bagging. Half way through you remember that all the way at the bottom of the cart, under 6 bottles of wine, are your reusable bags. Or you really need paper bags. Out comes everything from plastic and we get to start over.

Oh and that tomato was $5…that’s too much just put that back for you? Sure. Let me void that and walk back over to produce for you…

Now you’re half way through paying with a credit card and realize you wanted to pay for half of it in cash. Cancel, cancel, cancel. And I have to wait for you to rummage around in you D&G purse for that $100 bill.

Now, you suddenly need cash back after you’re already done and I’ve started on another person.

Now you realize that the bottom of your container of figs is sticky and you want a refund.

Long story short?

Get your shit together!

Neglectful Nancy

I realize it’s been about 3 weeks since my last post, and I feel like I’ve been cheating on my boyfriend. My blog boyfriend, that is. But between getting sick, starting the job, considering immediately quitting the job, going to Scarowinds, going to Atlanta, interviewing for an internship, helping out a friend’s non-profit and starting my Magazine Writing class…things have been a little hectic. As a result writing sadly took a back seat. I kept thinking “Crap, I really need to update.” And then immediately falling asleep.

The good news is, though, I’ve been compiling a vast list of fabulous things to write about. This is just a momentary update to let the good people of wordpress know I haven’t died and I haven’t totally left off writing. So. Be prepared for a hilarious insight into my new life as a cashier tomorrow evening around 9pm (eastern)!

To Blog, or Not To Blog?

Even though I have a job now, I am going to a) continue with the blog and b) continue with the name. This is because I don’t technically consider myself “gainfully” employed. I’m not actually gaining anything from this other than imaginary bits of paper in my bank account that I can in turn trade for having some walls and food and such. Technically it is defined as any employment where you earn money, have a safe environment, pleasant people to work with, variety of tasks,  sense of performing well, and respect. And, to be honest, there are a couple of  things on that list that were totally lacking in my last job. But, I hardly consider working at a place that provides good work conditions and a lack of knife throwing displays to be gaining much more than I should already be expecting.

I’ve been in customer service for 10 years now. That’s the only thing I’ve really ever done, unless you count editing papers for free or starting a failure of a tutoring service. In fact, I was the manager of a customer service business. I was only $500,000 and a title away from being a business owner (never do franchise ownership–to be discussed in a later blog). So to start back at the beginning is not all that helpful to me as far as experience goes. So, until I am employed in a job that teaches me a bunch of new things and broadens my horizons and uses my customer service skills in new and exciting ways, I still technically consider myself unemployed.

Writing Work

What’s this?  There is literally a job posting on my Alma Mater’s Career site for blogging. Yep. And another one for copywriting. I’m jumping up and down (inside, lol) with the idea that I could get a job or internship doing something fun like writing. Of course I am hardly a professional blogger. And I have limited experience with copywriting. But, I do know how to write and I love to write.

There’s another posting for a local medical magazine. They need someone to interview doctors and such and write articles to the editor’s specifications. I would have to provide a writing sample to prove my abilities. But, I have no idea what I would submit. I’ve never really written an article. So I have to figure out whether an essay or a critical analysis would be appropriate.

What this really does for me, even if I don’t get a job, is give me hope that I could have a future job that I actually really enjoy. It makes me feel that, even though most people label my degree as useless, I can actually do something with what I learned in college.

And in turn, this relieves my sense of hopelessness. It sort of appeases the feeling that I am doing nothing more than drifting through this life.

And that, that is just a fabulous thing.