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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Slacker Jacks

I feel like I’ve been steadily consuming a huge box of Slacker jacks. And the prize at the bottom? EPIC FAILURE, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND A LIFE OF RETAIL!

These taste like despair and self-loathing.

These taste like despair and self-loathing.

Every time I have a terrible shift I redouble my efforts to find a new job. But then I just get depressed. Because there aren’t any new jobs. I mean, if I really wanted to work at a different grocery store. Or an auto parts store. Or prostitute myself. Then, yeah, I’d have tons of options. But the point is to find something better and not just new.  All retail is really the same. All customers are assholes. And I really need to stop working with the public before I never go outside again because I see douches and morons everywhere. Everywhere. 

But I keep making the same excuse not to just move to Columbus, Ohio and become some sort of midwesterner. This trip Ireland. I have been really concerned with a new job being like, “Oh yeah, you just started here. Take 10 days off.” /sarcasmfont

So, once I get back in three weeks. IT IS ON. You hear that Slacker Jacks? You’re going in the trash. I’m going to Trader Joe’s and getting some bulk, organic… Successios. Whatever. Success is much more difficult to make into a snack or cereal. Productiveites? That sounds like some form of amoeba. Well…you guys know what I want to do there. Just pretend that I came up with some really good thing. Or stick with the amoeba, if you’re into Biology or something,

As it turns out, if I fail horribly, my current place of employment is apparently not above taking you back if you just walk out one day. So there’s that.

Also, prostitution is always there. The service industry is basically that, anyways.

I imagine most of my clientele like this.

I imagine most of my clientele like this.

2013:Year of the…?

2013 new year sparkler     Originally, I’d had high hopes for the year of 2013. I had this feeling that I was going to  do really cool things and make the most of my life, no matter what.

I’m a little torn on how that is turning out.

On one hand, I’m still working at the grocery store. Only now, I have three departments fighting over where I work every week.

On the other hand, I’ve Seen Flogging Molly with Skinny Lister in Charlotte and Mindless Self Indulgence in Atlanta. I’ve gone to the Atlanta Aquarium, gotten the boyfriend a super fancy new camera for our anniversary, and…we are going to Ireland in November.

Those are all really super things, I think.

But there’s that damn “job” getting in the way of everything. I had reached this point of contentment where I was okay with what I was doing as long as my outside like was rich and fulfilling. But it is getting to the point, once again, where I spend so much time at work and all of that time is miserable that it is becoming difficult to separate one part of my life from the other with any real success.

So I wanted to look into some tips for keeping yourself sane when you’re closer to 30 than you are to 20 (or past that, even) and still working a dead end job.

  1. Turn your phone off or to silent. This may seem like a no-brainer to some people and it may seem like an impossible dream to others. But everyone needs time to unplug their brains and not handle calls from work or desperate text messages from someone trying to get rid of their shift.
  2. Actually unplug. People are SO connected to everyone and everything all of the time these days. When I’m waiting for something or standing in line I automatically pull out my smart phone and start scrolling through Facebook, even if I just looked at it and no one has posted anything new. Or rather, they posted something new but it was just a share of that same stupid picture that has been going around for weeks or a site begging Like “BLABLABLA” if u luv ur mom. And, ain’t nobody got time for that. We need to remember to let our brains cool off from all the overwhelming, and constant, information. A quiet mind leads to a happy mind.
  3. Find an addiction. A healthy addiction. Whether that’s yoga or running or stretching or meditation or whatever. Find something to focus your mind on that allows you to become more connected to your own body. Focusing on that not only makes you physically healthier, but mentally as well.
  4. Join a group, club, volunteer organization. Too frequently I realize that I only have 2 friends and my boyfriend. ALL of the rest of my face to face human interaction is with coworkers and customers. This is enough to make anyone start to question their insanity. Especially once you start holding conversations with the flowers that you’re cutting or the candy that you’re stocking…
  5. Remember that if you are at a dead end job, like a grocery store, that no matter how much you need the money, it is just a job. It is just a grocery store, restaurant, creamery, factory, whatever. Nothing that you’re doing is life-altering to anyone else. They might think that it is…but it isn’t. And while this can be depressing, focus on the fact that this lack of real responsibility leaves you free to take classes, hang out with friends, plan a trip to Ireland, and not given any shits when a customer screams in your face.

A Quandary.

So I have this interview tomorrow. But I’m unsure of what I want to do. See it’s this marketing internship with a well-known and respected IT company. $12 an hour and 40 hours a week. Pretty sweet deal, right?

But, here’s the kicker. It’s only 60 days. At the end of the period there’s a review. If I’m doing really well and there’s a job opening they’ll give me a job. A real, business, marketing fucking job. If I do horribly, they’ll just terminate the whole thing. If I do really well and there is not a job opening…I don’t get a job…

So I realize that the only way to succeed in life is to take chances and make waves and all that. But I also realize that there are these very real things called bills. And I have quite a lot of them. And if I don’t have a job at the end of 2 months, then I don’t have a way to pay my bills. I also forfeit the raise I’m about to get at my current job, dental insurance I’m getting, and quite probably my full-time standing. I can’t take a leave of absence because I have only been there a year. My coworkers have informed me that if I leave on a good note I can get my job back in 2 months if things with this other company don’t work out. And judging by the amount of people I know there who have left and come back repeatedly, I know this to be true. Mostly. What I don’t know is that my specific job will still be there. The job as the only actual full-time cashier/respected department floater who has been depended upon for the last week to run a department while the department head was working at another store. So I could come back, lose any and all benefits, and only be working 15 hours a week. Do you see the issue?

My mother does not see the issue. She’s says to go for it. And I understand where she is coming from. But, my mother and I have always differed in the way we think about the future. As well as money. I like to know that I can pay my bills and eat my food and be what I consider to be a contributing member of the household and not a total drain on my wonderful boyfriend’s money. She responds to this with “Well, just get a different job.” Yes. Because that’s been going so well for me thus far. I actually have amazing jobs thrown at my head every day, I just find the joys of working at a service job even though I have a degree to be really rewarding… I get that too I guess. As a woman who hasn’t worked for “the man” since about 1982 when she and my dad went into business for themselves and who is currently a real estate agent who, while she works at Century 21 and technically has a boss, still essentially works for herself, she might not have the best idea of getting a job these days. Frankly getting a job in the 70’s when having a 4 year degree was still impressive and the population was a lot lower and so was the cost of living (and hitchhiking across the country was still considered relatively safe) was a bit of a different experience. I try to explain that “just getting a new job” really doesn’t exist anymore. As I ‘ve discussed I’m over qualified for a lot of things and under qualified for the rest. It becomes a matter of finding someone who is either willing to hire me even though I have too much education and experience or hire me even though I don’t have enough. Quite the gamble.

It seems like settling to stay at a job where I make just enough to get by and that is not a career. But it seems silly, also, to take a chance on something like this without the guarantee of a career. If I was still a college student, this would be a no brainer. If I was younger and still having things like my car and health insurance as well as my cell phone paid by my parents, this would be a no brainer. But as an almost 26 year old entirely on my own with an all too familiar understanding of what happens when you don’t give companies the money you owe them, I’m unsure. I guess if I take it, don’t get the job, and can’t go back to the one I have now I could go back to writing about the woes of being totally unemployed. Without the benefits of receiving unemployment…

Thoughts?

Why haven’t they invented teleportation, yet?

Um, which one is the engine?

Um, which one is the engine?

There’s a very specific reason I always make my boyfriend call the car shop when I need anything done.

He has a penis and an adam’s apple.

Plain and simple.

See, when I call I get some gruff man on the phone who tells me that whatever I am saying is incorrect and is as condescending as possible about the whole thing. When Steven calls, they’re BFFs by the end of it.

It’s one of the oldest forms of sexism. I am a woman and therefore can’t possibly know what happens when an alternator goes bad on my car or when the starter isn’t working. My starter is the reason I called them. Over the period of a few weeks my car has been getting progressively worse. I would go out to go home or go to work and my car wouldn’t start. The battery would work, clearly, because all the lights and the radio would immediately come on. But no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t connect to the starter and START the entire car. It didn’t even make a noise like it was trying to turn over. Or thinking about it but struggling with the follow through. Just nothing. Initially if I just tried repeatedly the car would finally come to life after a good 10-20 minutes. This last time I went out, on Christmas Eve no less, and boom, nothing. Well, something I guess. There was a loud TICK coming from the engine when you tried to start the car. So we gave up and Steven has been driving me to work ever since. So when I called them today and explained the issue and they told me it was the battery, I was dubious. I just got the battery 6 months ago when these jackasses fixed my alternator (see below for that fiasco). Unless the battery is dying at an alarming rate, I don’t think that is the issue. I never leave the lights on or just sit in my car with the battery going…

Of course the car started, though. But I’m still skeptical. It’s been sitting for almost 2 weeks and had plenty of time to decide to screw me over. Plus the combined juice of 2 batteries could have easily just forced the thing to come on. Plus, the aforementioned problems with the car suggest that the battery is, in the end, not the culprit.

Like when I needed a new alternator. I was complaining for YEARS that my car was doing this weird jerking thing when I turned the AC on. Or tried to accelerate. Then in started this loud ticking from the front of the car. Eventually it would get to the point where the car was just shutting off while I was freaking driving it. I went repeatedly to the shop telling them the problem. Every time I got “well we can’t duplicate it so we can’t fix it because you’re a crazy lady and nothing is wrong with the car.” I told them, point-blank, it was the alternator. Instead they decided to rewire the entire thing. I told them, again, it was the alternator. Nope. 3 new batteries and a huge pain in my ass later the whole thing just died on me completely enough that Ford couldn’t argue the point. And, hey, guess what it was? The alternator.

funny-found-cat-kitty-male-female-park-car-sterotypes-bad-comic-picsMy point here is this, I am a woman. An educated, 20-something, woman. Who owns a car. And who would like the men of the automotive industry to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that I’m not totally insane. Or unintelligent. Also, I have a boyfriend who knows things. And I have this really cool, new thing you may have heard of. Called Google. It’s crazy, I know, but if I type in something like “2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SES won’t start and loud ticking.” I get all kinds of neat stuff that agrees with me about my starter malfunctioning. Strangers on the internet aren’t usually the best place to get information. And if you try hard enough you can usually find some moron who agrees with you. But when the first 50 topics tell me that I am not deranged in thinking that the problem is my starter and not my battery, I have to wonder if these people are disagreeing with me because my sexual organs happen to be placed on the inside of my body, rather than dangling around between my legs asking to be kicked repeatedly.

10 Items or Less

I have just started watching 10 Items or less on Netflix at the suggestion of my grocery store coworker. I have to say, that he was right. This show is a pretty good display of my current life. There was a point a few weeks ago when I was working in the floral department. Jamie, a manager at the time, came up to me and said, “Ah, you’re working over here? I need you to do me a favor.” I assumed that there was some kind of flower or gift situation that needed my attention. We walk over to the door and he continues, “Well, the door keeps opening and closing. I need you to figure out why and come find me when you do.” Really? Is this in my job description? Okay, whatever. So I plant (hah!) myself in front of the possessed door and look meaningfully into the motion sensor. It glides open. I keep standing. It glides closed. Open. Close. I move to the other side of the door. Open. Close. Open. Close. I keep staring into the motion sensor. Daring it to release its secrets to me. The produce department had been watching my antics. They come over and proceed to stare into the door with me. Open. Close. Jacob, the courtesy clerk comes over as well. Open. Close. Meanwhile we all continue to walk inside and outside the store. I’m sure that the customers, if they even noticed anything so far away from the free coffee samples we serve, were all very confused by the large group of people trekking back and forth. Eventually everyone else went back to their respective departments and I managed to figure out that a display of absolutely charming and probably very well-made dog ornaments was the culprit. Jamie and I shoved it to one side. Voila! The door was no longer possessed.

This shows me that the things on 10 Items or Less really do happen.

There’s a gentleman on the show named Buck. He is the newest member of the

The resemblance is uncanny!

The resemblance is uncanny!

grocery store, Greens and Grains, and is a full-time cashier. I fully relate with this man. When I first started there was a little bit of resentment among a few people over the fact that they wanted to have the full-time position and I just waltzed in and took it. Granted there wasn’t a physical confrontation like on the show. But, I was questioned pretty thoroughly by a number of the other cashiers about my status in the store, the last job, my age, how much I was getting paid, and a few other things. I also sort of felt like I had walked into a rather dysfunctional family that was just a wee bit incestuous.

I now feel as though I am a part of this family. But sometimes I really do have to raise my eyebrows in wonder. Or concern.