Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Please excuse my absence

It is one of those Wednesdays again. I plan to spend most of the day at school. A ceramics class, lunch, maybe a short trip to the mall to get something from Bath & Body Works, several hours of library time, followed by another ceramics class.

I will not be blogging, emailing, answering phones, etc....

You know the drill.

If you have something to say, say it anyway, and I will try to get back to you tonight or early tomorrow morning.

And, if you get bored, you can always go back and read an old post. Most of them are labeled now. The categories are: Bath and Body Works, bimbo bashing, black, clothes, costumes, dumb job, ebay, gifts, Halloween, haunted houses, idiot bloggers, just nice, movies, old travel, recent travel, ren fest, stupid people, stupid things I did, TV, wasting time, weird dream, and when I was a kid. Soon there will be a category called "no label" so that I can say I have labeled everything. Hopefully, I will figure out this label thing soon.

I have almost a hundred posts now. I should think of something special to write.

Dumb things I have done in the past week or so

I ate a whole package of raw cookie dough. Not all at one time. Not even all in one day. It took about a week. It's just one of those things that you think you'd like to do when you're a kid, but some adult tells you not to. I have heard that is one of the dumb things some people do soon after they get their own place. Eat a whole package of raw cookie dough, or maybe a bowl of cake batter. Anyway, I had never done that before, but I got about half way through a package last week. I kept meaning to get the rest of the thing out and bake cookies, but always I would look at the oven, decide it wasn't worth the effort, eat a little more dough and put the rest back in the frig. With about half a dozen pieces left, I finally decided not to bother with baking any cookies at all. So there, an early childhood dream fulfilled.

Not near as cool as going to Loch Ness (another childhood dream), but it did not require me to take off from school, get on a plane, or spend more than five bucks.

Today I bought myself a dozen red roses. They were on sale for two dollars, and how can I pass up a deal like that? It's the sort of thing that I would look out for in case my husband wanted to take pictures, but then I remembered that he wasn't here this week and the flowers would die before he got back. And he wouldn't have time to take pictures anyway.

And then I thought, whatever, they're two bucks. So I got them for myself. So now I'm wondering if I should go back and get some white roses or yellow roses and make one of those dried flower things for my hair that I used to wear to ren fests. I think I'll probably be going to one in April.

I watched most of the remaining Stargate: Atlantis episodes for the year. Almost. A friend burned a disk for me with the last cliffhanger and the rest of this years episodes. Except that I can't seem to find episode #18, and I didn't watch episode #16 because it didn't have any sound. He also gave me the 80's version of Day of the Triffids, but the sound didn't work on that either.

My brother loaned me his Space: Above and Beyond dvd. I really enjoyed watching it. I didn't like the show that much the first time around. And I had forgotten how hot the tanks were.

Monday I went to ceramics class. It wasn't a day that I was scheduled to go, but there is no open studio time, and going to another class is the only time you can get in.

There was a sign on the door saying that the instructor had taken a sick day, and class was canceled.

Since I was forced to switch to New Blogger, I decided to put labels on everything, or at least try to. I guess I should go back and label everything without a label "no label" or something like that. Anyway, most of the posts have labels, but there doesn't seem to be a place where the readers can see the list of labels. So I guess that is something I have to figure out how to do later.

The clay fairy came

In ceramics class we are making these tiles, and I couldn't make up my mind which design I wanted to use. I finally decided on the sea turtle, but I asked if I could do another one if there was leftover clay. So the instructor let me have a second piece. And today two more pieces were left on my shelf. So I'll also end up with a a sea turtle, a Stargate symbol, and a Celtic knot. The fourth tile might be another Celtic knot, but I haven't decided yet.

Also, we had to dig this big hole in the backyard. We should have done this as soon as we moved into the house, but we didn't understand that the house was going to flood otherwise. I tried to do it myself, but I just wasn't up to it. We had a bad flood about a year ago, and the hole still wasn't finished. My husband just finished the hole Sunday. Thank you, husband.

Anyway, what came out of the hole turned out to be terra cotta. Some really sandy gritty terra cotta, but still, it's free clay. I'm sure I can do something with it.

You would never guess that this stuff is terra cotta just by looking at it. The clay is dark grey, but after it is fired it turns orange-red.

I've been trying to decide whether or not to skip school next week, and I totally forgot that the week after next is spring break. And, there is stuff at school that absolutely must be done before spring break. So I will try to control myself for one more week and not stay home from school until the week that we are off anyway. But, just to be on the safe side, I think I should go in tomorrow and do some extra work.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday Morons

Some blogs have regular features. I read a blog that has something called Hump Day Hotties on Wednesdays. I am thinking of starting something called Monday Morons.

When I don't have a new moron to complain about, I can always find something to say about the Bimbo. I could do that. I could limit my remarks about the Bimbo to Mondays. Or I could limit my remarks about the Bimbo to some other day, and complain about other people on Mondays. I haven't decided yet. I really not even sure if the Monday Moron thing should be a regular feature. I'm still thinking.

But, I will give it a try.

The first moron I am going to complain about is...myself.

Some not so serious stuff first.

I am currently taking a ceramics class at a local junior college. I already have a BA. I do not need the credit. I tried to take it non-credit, but I wasn't given that option at this campus, and I had no intention of driving somewhere else.

Part of the idea of taking this class was that I would have a distraction, but not make a commitment of my time that even a part-time job would require. I would be able to just skip class if something more important came up. I could go away for a week or two with my husband if I wanted. If there was an assignment that I didn't think I would learn from and would not result in an art project that I would want to keep, I could just skip it and do something else.

But somehow, that is not what is happening. It is still a college course, and I am still taking it seriously like I would any other college course. I have not skipped any classes or refused to do projects. I am even taking quizzes. Once in a while, I set aside time to study for them.

Part of the problem is that I couldn't take the class at that campus for non-credit. So a bad grade would go on my permanent record and get figured into my GPA. I tell myself that I will never go back to school for another degree. But on the other hand, I don't want to get so many bad grades in classes that I take for personal enrichment that I don't have the option of going back to get another degree.

And another thing is that none of the assignments are exactly like the ones from the previous class, and I do want to learn this stuff. I don't really want to skip classes or assignments. I took this class because I really wanted to work on this stuff, not because I had nothing better to do.

And on the subject of getting away for a week or two, I meant to always have a bag packed so I'd be ready to go. Just a small bag, with socks and underwear and a few pairs of pants and a swimsuit, so that all I would have to do was add a few shirts, mostly t-shirts or turtlenecks, depending on the weather and where we were going. But, except for choosing the shirts, the rest of it should already be done and ready to go.

And to make things really easy, I should even have the makeup and such already packed. Those are the things that I tend to forget, the makeup and the toothbrush and such that I can't pack until the day we leave, cause I have to use them that morning. So, I thought I'd go buy duplicates of everything like makeup and a toothbrush and little little bottles of shampoo and all of that. And I remember thinking that was a good idea, and I remember going out and buying extra makeup and a toothbrush and all of that.

I have no idea where I put any of this stuff. I am quite sure that I went out and spent fifty dollars or so, thinking that even if I never went on another trip, I would eventually need to buy more of this stuff anyway, so I might as well buy some while it was on sale and have it packed until I needed it. But I don't know what I did after I bought all of this stuff. It wasn't that long ago, so I don't really think that I used it already and forgot about it. Most of it is just missing, cause I did not pack it away as soon as I bought it, and I have no idea where it went.

So my husband has wanted me to go with him last week, but I didn't go. And he wanted me to go with him this week, but I didn't go. So, now he has asked me to go with him next week, and I am thinking about it. Among other things I will have to consider what I am going to miss at school, and whether or not I can find my misplaced purchases before next Monday.

On a more serious topic...

Why am I doing any of this stuff now?

Why did I take him back? Okay, I know why I took him back. He is my husband, and I still love him. But he wasn't supposed to come back. I said good-bye, and that last hour we talked, I was hurt, but I wasn't really mad, and I was never supposed to speak to him ever again if he did what he did. After that, there were conditions if he wanted to come back. I wanted him to get saved. More than anything I wanted him to get saved. So, if he was going to come back, he was going to have to talk to someone at church, and he was going to be saved, and we would have a whole new wonderful life together. And, he had some other problems that he was supposed to get help with. There were other conditions, but those were the main things.

None of those conditions have been met. He did not get saved, he did not even talk to anyone at church, and he did not get help or do any of the little things that he knew he would have to do if he came back. Not only have these condition not been met, but he doesn't even remember that there were conditions, which to me just proves that he needs to get help.

I shouldn't have let him come home until the conditions were met, but I thought that letting him come home would make it easier for him to do what needed to be done. I was trying to be patient. I would ask him once in a while if he was ready to talk to someone, and he'd say no, and I would wait. About a month after he was home I thought I had waited long enough, when was he going to talk to someone? And that's when he told me that he had no intention of doing any of that, and he didn't even understand why I would expect him to do anything like that.

I should have asked him to leave then, but I didn't. I'd gotten used to having him around again. I gave it some serious thought and decided if he would do a few things for me that I would really try to put this behind us.

And he didn't do them either.

I caught him emailing her. I should have thrown him out. I told him that he was going to have to go, but I didn't expect him to go that night. But I wouldn't sleep with him anymore. He started acting weird. I was afraid he might kill himself or have a car wreck or something. I made him stay until he seemed normal again. I didn't ask him to leave afterward.

I got a book on saving your marriage. There are all these things to do together. Lists to make. I thought since he likes self-help books that this might work for us.

The book said that we should take a trip together, and we did that. But he didn't seem interested in reading the book or doing anything it said.

Okay. This isn't going to work. I accepted that. And I thought that I was going to be okay. I just needed to deal with the house and get a job and such, and then we could get on with the legal stuff. I wasn't in a hurry, but I just knew that it wasn't going to happen. I was very sad about it, but I was pretty calm about it. We didn't have a fight or anything. I didn't even feel I needed to talk to him about it.

But then he seemed to get the wrong idea. He thought that things were better. He thought that I had suddenly got over it. I had to set him straight. I wasn't mad. I almost laughed. But I didn't feel like I had to fix our marriage anymore. It was over. I wasn't even asking him to move out, and I didn't even ask him to sleep in the other room. We needed to move on. I thought we might even be friends for a while.

He said he didn't want that. He wanted to work on our marriage. He promised to do all kinds of things, and he put some of it in writing, and he even started to read that book.

He didn't do any of the things that he promised.

I thought, I'll be okay in time. I told him if he would just do two things for me, we could stay married. He still needed to do whatever it is a person is supposed to do after they file for divorce and then change their minds. And if he would sign a post nuptial agreement, that would prove to me that he really wanted me back instead of just wanting to be back in the house.

He said no.

I still thought that things would work out if I gave it a little more time. I signed up for the ceramics class as a distraction. I don't want a divorce right now. I think that something bad is coming, and I won't want to be alone when it does. But I know that it isn't going to work out in the long run. It would really take a miracle for us to stay together. But for right now I don't feel up to doing anything, so I'm just sort of sitting here waiting for a miracle.

The strange thing is that I didn't realize until a week or so ago how much I wanted that miracle. I thought that I was getting used to the idea of us not being together anymore. Now I don't want that at all.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A year before that horrid person invaded my life

Last year about this time, I was really happy. Not happy about anything in particular, just happy about where I was in my life. I could finally relax and just be happy. The house was a mess as usual, but at least we were finally in a house, and I did think I would get it all sorted out before the summer. My husband insisted that we move about six months before I was ready, but now at least that was one less thing to argue about. I didn't have a job, but I was deliberately not looking very hard. My husband thought that he was going to another state for about a month, and I wanted to go with him, and I didn't want to try to get a job right before I was planning to go away for a month.

We had recently spent a week near Austin. It was really a business trip for him, but it was a nice getaway too. There was the usual problem with the credit card debt, but I had decided to quit bothering him about it, and it seemed to be working. He seemed happy.

And the sex was great.

That had been annoying. I finally get to the point where I like having sex all of the time, and he just wasn't up to it. But, he was my best friend, and if I never had sex again I thought I still had this wonderful relationship that most other people never experience. So when this happened, I just thought that everything was going to be wonderful.

And it was all about to be ruined, by someone I knew nothing about, by someone he didn't even like yet.

He did like someone else. I don't know if he was planning anything or not. I don't think so. I think he just liked the idea of talking to someone who lived far away. And he was trying to get this person to send him stuff from England that they don't sell in the United States. And maybe he was even thinking that if they got to be friends we might be invited to come for a visit.

Or maybe he was thinking something else. He said when he first started reading her blog, he didn't know all the weird stuff she was into. But two months after he did know, he was still reading and leaving comments and trying to be friends with her.

Of course, she had a brain, and didn't want to be anything but friends.

Maybe she didn't have enough morals for my liking, but she did have a brain. She doesn't go after married men, she doesn't date married men, etc.... Maybe it's not because of her high moral code, maybe it's because she tried that before and it didn't work out, or maybe just married men aren't worth the effort. But for whatever reason, she's not interested in married men. Whatever perverse things she does in her personal life, she does draw the line somewhere.

She has a friend who does not draw lines. Or see lines. Or acknowledge in anyway that lines even exist.

But the friend just wasn't very interesting. My husband wasn't reading her blog. She was just this annoying person who left comments on her friend's blog.

A year ago the Bimbo was writing in her blog about how happy she was. How she felt guilty for feeling so happy. How she has all this empathy for other people, and how she usually tries to fix things for other people, but for now she wasn't going to do that, she was just going to enjoy being happy. The only thing that was keeping her from being perfectly happy was that she didn't have a man in her life. But, supposedly, even without a man, she was happy.

Three weeks later, she would set out to totally destroy my life. Being a slut is such a part of who she is that she can't turn it off for a moment, even when she knows that it is going to hurt someone. And she actually thinks that she's a good person.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I know it isn't hump day, but...

Speaking of the ten year old sci-fi show I am currently watching, does anyone else think James Morrison here is hot?

Today is a beautiful spring day

It really is lovely outside. I think it must be like 75 or 80 degrees outside. I should be outside doing something. I should be out getting the backyard ready to do some gardening.

But I am not doing that.

And I have promised a scarf to an out of town friend, who actually lives somewhere that people need scarves because of the cold. And I also have plans to sell three other scarves when I get around to making them. So I could get started on one of those scarves.

But I am not doing that either.

Earlier today I was working on a ceramic vase. I have spent so much time rubbing this vase that I can still feel the thing in my hand three hours later. It would have been nice to get the rest of that over with.

But I am not doing that now either. We are not supposed to work on class stuff at home, so the vase is at school.

My neck hurts for no apparent reason, so I am spending the day doing really unproductive things like watching TV. My brother loaned me his Space: Above and Beyond dvds, so I have watched several of those. A friend of mine burned a disk for me with Day of the Triffids and some Stargate Atlantis episodes on it. And I watched the tape of last night's LOST episode.

I haven't started looking at my watch yet, to count the hours until we learn what happens to a certain doctor who nearly drowned on Grey's Anatomy, but later I probably will. I have eaten a couple of pieces of raw cookie dough (I ate twelve pieces earlier this week), and later I might actually bake the six remaining cookies. I've checked my email and so forth.

But mainly I am wasting the day watching TV. I don't mean to say that I wish my neck hurt more often, but it has been good to sit and do nothing.

Still, I wish my neck hurt on a day that it wasn't so pretty outside.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The International Wildlife Park

I took this job because I found out at the last minute that I would not be returning to school for the fall semester. If I had known that earlier, I would have spent the whole summer looking for a better job. But instead I wasted the summer working at Arby's, which I did because I thought it would be a good job to have while I was taking art classes.

So, no more school for a while, no more art for a while, and I had to get a full time job since I was no longer in school. I filled out lots of applications, went on some interviews, but nothing came of it. I ran out of time, and I had to take what I could get. And, if I'm going to settle for a minimum wage job, it might as well be at a place that sounds interesting.

So I answered an ad and went to the International Wildlife Park. The funny thing was this place was like two miles from my house, and I love animals, but I had never been to this place before. So I had no idea what they did or what kind of jobs they might have open or anything.

They wanted to hire me year round to do some job once school started, but if I wanted to work before then they would find something else for me to do. If I had understood what they wanted, I would have turned it down. Possibly, I would have turned down the whole thing, but for sure I wouldn't have worked that first week or two.

They said that they needed someone to fill in at souvenir books. I pictured working indoors, at a souvenir store. What I ended up doing was standing in this little grass hut thing that said Information, only when the cars pull up you don't really have any. You try to sell them a souvenir book with pictures of the animals in the park. Sometimes someone wants to buy the thing anyway, but most of the time the people are mad at the misdirection. Maybe they lost a few places in line to find out you were just selling a souvenir that they could buy later if they really wanted one. And even without the angry customers, it is a really bad job to have in Texas during August.

It got worse. For a few days they had me work either elephant rides or camel rides. At the time I did not even weigh a hundred pounds. There was no way I could lift even really small children on to either animal, but that's what everyone expected me to do. I should have left, but everyday someone would tell me that they would train me for my real job tomorrow, but then the next day I still ended up doing something else.

I had about had enough of this. I decided they had probably made up the whole thing just to get someone to do the jobs no one wanted right before everyone quit for the year and went back to school. And this was just too much work for minimum wage. At Arby's I didn't have a full time job, but I made a little more per hour, I had an employee discount at I place I liked to eat, and I got off early enough in the day that I could go on interviews while I was looking for another job.

But the next day I went to work, it rained. And they were sending people home, and I thought maybe they were closing the park for the day. No, just half of the park. And now that it wasn't so busy, it would be a good time to train me to work my real job selling tickets.

So that wasn't so bad. We didn't have to stand up all day, and the ticket booth did have an air-conditioner. But there were still angry customers. Why is half the park closed today? I heard that everyone in the car got in for one price. I heard that the tickets were five dollars on Fridays. Why do I have to pay full price if I don't want to go through the drive-thru? I've got a half-price coupon, so why can't I get a kid's ticket for half price? I heard it was free.

Dumb stuff like that, all day.

So finally I found out what my job was going to be like. Turns out that they keep the drive-thru park open all year, except for Christmas and New Year's, and in really bad weather. The girl that they'd planned to keep on all year got pregnant and didn't want to do the job anymore. You could bring a book, a radio, and maybe even a TV. Other than office people and maintenance workers and wildlife handlers, they only kept three or four people to work with the customers year round. One to sell the tickets, one or two to sell animal food and let people into the drive-thru, and one to sell them sodas and snacks in the middle of the drive-thru. Monday through Friday during the school year, everything else was closed. But there was no point in closing the drive-thru, since the animals were already there anyway. They might as well hire three or four people and try to make a little money.

It didn't pay anything to speak of, but it was a job. And I did like being around animals. And I liked my supervisor. Unfortunately, she was about the only one I liked. There was this lady in the office who was a year round employee, and she was in charge of food service. So why was that a year round job? During the summer, being in charge of food service was a full time job, but in fall and spring it was mainly on the weekends, and during the winter it was just the one girl selling sodas. So why was this woman in the office getting paid Monday through Friday for doing her nails? The owner and the manager both treated me like I was one of the high school kids, and not like a valued employee that kept the park open year round. The head of wildlife thought everyone outside his department was an idiot. A couple of the wildlife guys were nice, and a lot of the maintenance guys were helpful, but I didn't really work with them.

And since my supervisor was needed on Saturday's, she had off every Friday, which meant the idiot manager of food service with the long finger nails became my supervisor on Fridays. And her answer to everything seemed to be, I don't know, or that's not my job.

But, I liked the job Monday through Thursday, and then when it was Friday, it was Friday, and I tried not to let this idiot ruin it for me.

After a couple of months, they the girl selling sodas in the drive-thru said that she wouldn't work once it started to get cold. And the owner decided that they didn't need to pay a separate person just to sell tickets at the front of the park. The tickets could probably be sold just as well at the drive-thru entrance, and they would save money by letting one or two of us go or cutting all of our hours by half.

Well, probably the college students at the drive-thru entrance were just fine with that, but not me. I had to take this job because I had to give up school. The only reason I'm here is because this is a full time job. If this is not a full time job, I'll have to go somewhere else.

So then someone suggests that I can make up the hours on Saturday and Sunday.

So I'll never have a day off? No thanks.

Anyway, my schedule was changed from working about 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, to working about 9 to 5 on Tuesday and Thursday, and working from about 1 to 5 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And one of the college guys is going to work from 9 to 1 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. No one likes the other college guy, and he can either just work weekends or they might let him go.

So the night before the schedule change, I'm having this really long talk with my parents. My dad says I should take this opportunity to start looking for another job. They won't insist that I have a full time job for a while, if I use the extra time to look for a better job on those mornings I have off. Fine. My dad goes to bed, and my mom and I stay up talking. It's not like I have to get up early in the morning.

So, someone wakes me up after I've had about three hours sleep. The college guy didn't show, and I have to go in to work. He forgot what day it was and stayed out late drinking or something. I almost told them that they were out of luck, but I figured I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, so I might as well go to work.

So, now that I didn't want the job full-time anymore, I had the job full-time, only I was no longer working in the nice ticket booth with the air-conditioner. We must have lost some costumers because we moved the ticket sales. People must have thought we were closed and left.

I didn't like the job as much. The dust from the animal food made me sneeze. And there was no bathroom. If I needed a bathroom, it was 1/4 mile away at the office. My supervisor came at 1 everyday to give me a break, and I had about ten minutes to microwave my lunch, get a soda, go to the bathroom, get my lunch out of the microwave, and then drive back to the drive-thru entrance. I didn't even get time off to eat the lunch, just time to go and get it from the refrigerator. But, most of the time there weren't that many customers, and I might as well eat my lunch on the clock there as eat it off the clock at the office.

So, it was mostly okay, until one Friday when the owner and the manager went out of town, and the secretary called in sick. Friday was my supervisor's day off, and that only left one person in the office.

The idiot food service manager with the long nails did not come to give me a break at 1, or at 2, or even at 3. I couldn't leave the place unattended. If I drove away and left the gate open, the animals would start walking out. If I closed the gate and drove away, a customer would need to get out and would either see the closed gate and think that they had gotten lost, or they might try to open the gate themselves and probably let some animals out and possibly even get hurt. So I couldn't leave unless another employee came to watch the gate. So I called this woman, and told her to come as soon as possible. She was the only one in the office, and she said that she couldn't leave the office empty because the safe was open. Finally, at just after 4, she drove to drive-thru entrance, not to give me a break, but to pick up the money. I jumped in the car anyway, and she had the nerve to tell me to hurry back, because she had dinner plans or some such thing.

If I had wasn't afraid that I would have an accident in the time it took me to put my TV and radio and such in the car, I would have left her there.

She could have gotten one of the wildlife guys to watch the gate for ten minutes while I took a break, but she wouldn't do that because the wildlife guys don't know how to sell tickets, and they might have missed a customer while I was in the bathroom. So she just left me there all day by myself. And then she was complaining that I took too long getting back because she had dinner plans?

She told me I should have known that she couldn't give me a break, and I should have used a bucket.

A bucket?

For the next few weekends, the other girls who worked in the park left buckets and tissue paper on this woman's desk. She never so much as apologized.

The owner and manager neglected to apologize as well.

My supervisor was just horrified, but there was nothing she could do about it. I said I could not work with this woman anymore. If she was going to be my supervisor on Friday, maybe I just wouldn't work on Friday.

I calmed down a bit. I told them that I was going back to school part-time. I would not be available until after 1 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That eliminated the need for this idiot woman to give me a break on Friday, and Friday was the only day that I usually had to deal with her.

So, rather than apologize, rather than fire this woman, they agreed that I didn't have to come in until after 1 on those days that I would be taking classes. For those twelve hours a week, they hired this high school drop-out.

And everyone knew that he was stealing. He wasn't even subtle about it. And he was really dumb. Everyday that he worked, he supposedly had a over-ring, for the same amount of money. And there was the receipt in the cash register. But it was the same amount every time. He wasn't even smart enough just to take the money and put it in his pocket, he left the evidence every day that he worked. He kept the price of two tickets, but it was like he couldn't remember how much two tickets cost, so he still had to ring up the sale. Dumb.

But, they would rather hire this idiot who stole money from them than admit they'd done anything wrong, so that's the way it was for that spring semester.

The park flooded a couple of times, and the park closed for a while. During that time I got a job at a movie theater. And, for the most of the summer, I had both jobs. But, I decided to try to take a few more courses at college, and I didn't need two jobs and school all at the same time. As soon as they said for sure that the tickets would be sold at the drive-thru entrance instead of the front of the park, I left. That idiot with the long nails was still there, and I was not going to go through another year with her.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jobs that I didn't like--Part 4

So, I have now had all the dumb jobs that people have when they're in high school or college, and a job at the library, and some retail jobs, and a traveling sales job.

And I really don't want to do that stuff again. Even the stuff that I enjoyed doing the first time around, I don't think that I could do it now. Or if it is something that I could do now, I couldn't make enough money to pay the bills. So, I need to find something to do.

I had always planned to go back to school, but I thought that I should have a career plan to go with it, rather than just going back to school just to finish school. But, when I worked at the bookstore, I did think that would be a good time to go back to college even without a solid career plan. Maybe try to finish the art degree, or maybe think about an English degree.

But then I had to put that on hold an take that traveling sales job.

So now I really want to do something different, and I decide that I do want to go back to college, and that I might want to become a teacher.

Okay, maybe that wasn't the best plan, but at the time it was really something that I was interested in. I went to talk to a few counselors and stuff like that. I had to study to take some test that people my age are normally exempt from, unless you go back to school to become a teacher. So I spent a couple of months studying and took the test. Passed the whole thing on the first try. Then I signed up for a self-paced geography course that I would need if I were going to teacher general stuff to fourth graders.

And then I got a job at a daycare.

Okay, so it didn't really turn out to be a daycare like I pictured. I thought that there would be other adults there and established rules and all of that. What it turned out to be was a trailer behind a guys business where someone would babysit his grandchildren while their parents were inside working. But, I needed the money, and I thought this would be a good experience.

Well, it was an interesting experience. And I should have given up the whole idea of teaching right then, but I didn't. I worked there for about four months, and I was amazed how different the kids acted, even when they were from the same family and only had three different sets of parents. Having a room full of thirty or forty kids with as many sets of parents would really be difficult to deal with.

So, the general mid-level teaching degree plan changed to a high-school level English teaching degree plan, and then the teaching part of the degree was dropped and I ended up just getting a regular English B.A. I was back in college for two and a half years. I was mostly happy with the experience, and I could now cross teacher off the list of future jobs.

But, there didn't seem to be anything to do with the English degree after I got it. Everyone tells me to become a librarian, except that is a different degree. It probably helps to start with an English degree, but to be a librarian you need a masters degree. I have no plans to go back to school for another degree, must less getting a masters degree to be a librarian. I am really not good at research and such anyway, and computers are not my thing either.

But I thought that just having any degree was supposed to help you get a job. But no one seemed interested in the fact that I'd just gone back to college. What everyone seemed to notice, rather than my recent achievement, was that I hadn't had a job in several years.

Well, I really did not want to take any of these other jobs that I'd had before, and I certainly did not want to work at McDonald's or anything like that. But it was starting to look like I should do that, just for a little while, so people wouldn't dwell on the fact that I hadn't had a paying job since 2002.

So I ended up taking a temporary job at a Halloween costume store. I thought that would work for my purposes. And I wouldn't have to worry about when I should quit the job, because it was this temp thing that was only going to last about six weeks anyway.

It wasn't as much fun as I pictured. The store was really big, and walking back and forth all day made me very tired and my feet hurt. I usually didn't have a full eight hour shift or a forty hour week (it just felt like that much work), so I didn't even make as much money as I pictured, and I spent too much of that on fast food and stuff I could get at the store with my employee discount.
It wasn't all bad. I liked the manager and several people that I worked with. And the job came with free haunted house tickets.

And then it was over. I meant to rest a bit and then look for a temp job for Christmas, but I was really tired and I waited too late to do that. Never mind, the point was to get rid of that 2002 date as my last employment, and I did that.

So then I go on a few interviews, and a couple of people ask me what would make me take this temp job at a seasonal store?

I give up.

If I sit at home and wait for the perfect job to appear, that's not going to happen any time soon. But, if while I am waiting to find a good job I decide fill some of those hours taking temporary work, then there must be something wrong with me.

So I have no idea what I want to do. I have a long list of things that I do not want.

I do not want to be working for commission. It really does make me feel evil.

I do not want a job that involves travel.

I do not want to be a school teacher. Though some other job at a school might be good.

I do not want to work in a big place where people expect you to know stuff about other people's departments. But I would rather not work totally by myself either.

I don't know if working for the government is a good idea. To get the smallest thing done, there has to be a committee meeting, and their has to be another committee meeting to decide when the committee meeting is going to be, and there has to be yet another committee meeting to decide who will be on the other two committees.

I do not want to move or have to drive very far. But, I do not want to work in Dallas.

So, I am not sure where that leaves me. But I should find something to do. Maybe after I finish the ceramics class I will have more confidence, and that will help me find what I'm looking for.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I keep meaning to get back to the original reason for this blog

I first got this blog to make fun of the bimbo. Really. I would never have started blogging, except that this horrid person forced herself into my life, and then she can't even deal with me leaving comments on her blog. She stopped allowing anonymous comments, so I had to get a blog just so I could log in and leave comments.

Not that she ever left the comments. The first time she addressed me directly on the blog, then after I left a comment she said this wasn't the proper place to discuss such things. Then why is this where you started everything?

So I got a blog. I was going to write a blog entry whenever she said something dumb on her blog, which was most of the time. But then she didn't want to play anymore and made it a members only thing, and I found other things to blog about.

I have thought maybe I should comment about her old blogs. Today would have been a good day to start that. February 19th of last year, she wrote about her boobs. Really.

Wonder why she has trouble finding men who respect her or actually care about her as a person?

And, so far as I know, this is before she became a home-wrecking-slut.

This was back when she was just a regular slut.

Is it just me, or is that weird?

Okay, there's a couple of guys who read my blog once in a while. Have you ever written in your blog how much you like your penis? Have you ever blogged about having trouble with your penis? Maybe you have trouble at work because your co-workers are looking at your penis?

I suppose that sort of thing happens once in a while, but have you written a whole page on it and told the whole world how you feel about it?

Sorry, that was totally none of my business.

I should get back to bimbo bashing.

Think that the last blog entry was long enough? And there's still a part 4 to write, which I will probably do tomorrow. And then after that I still plan to write about the wildlife park.

I was hoping maybe after I wrote all of this I'd have some idea about what I wanted to do next. But I still haven't a clue. Maybe I'll at least remember some things that I should stay away from.

I have a couple of problems. I don't really seem to be good at anything that makes money. What I really seem to be good at is going to school, and working on art projects, and writing. If there was some way to get paid to go to go school, that would be the thing for me. There is such a thing as being a secret shopper. Is there such a thing as being a secret student?

I think that if I won the lottery that I would spend all of my time taking art classes. Or maybe I would alternate between taking art classes and writing classes. There is still this book that I'm supposed to be writing, but I put that on hold because I thought that I should do other things like find a job and clean and fix a few things around the house. So I haven't done any major work on the book since spring of 2004. And, for the same reasons, my last art class before this one was in the fall of 2004. And then that whole other thing happened, so I've spent almost a year trying to get back to where I was before.

I found out two things this week. I really need to get on with it. And, I really don't want to.

The original reason for my taking the current art class no longer exists, but I am still working at it like it does. I spent most of Friday on the Internet, looking at pictures and trying to decide what I wanted to do with one of the tile projects. How could I have spent so much time thinking about a tile project? Not actually working on a tile, just thinking about what it is going to be. And it is just a tile. It is not a big sculpture, or even a small sculpture. Just a tile. How can I waste that much time on the Internet, and not even write anything?

The tile is either going to be a sea turtle, a Celtic knot, or a Stargate symbol. I should quit thinking about it. I should stay off the Internet. I should not look at anymore pictures.

As for what I got done the rest of the week, at least the dirty dishes in the sink are just from the weekend, and the clean pile of laundry is considerably bigger than the dirty pile of laundry. Which means that I still need to clean the rest of the house, go out side and big a really big hole and four smaller ones, and possibly knit a couple of scarves.

What I really should do is finish cleaning the house, and dig those holes outside, and quit worrying about art class and put away the scarves and give some serious thought to what my next job should be. But I don't want to do that. What I want is for everything to go back the way it was. Most of the time what I want is to give up on a lot of this other stuff and go back to following my husband around. And most of the time, he wants that too. But it really doesn't seem to be a good idea anymore.

One thing at a time. My thing today is to quit wasting time on this tile project.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Jobs I didn't like--Part 3

Due to my husband's strange schedules, I didn't have a job for about five years. I had to give up some things, including my car. And I couldn't drive his truck either. If I wanted to go anywhere, I had to wait for him to drive me.

So then he starts teasing me about getting a job. Now this was very annoying, because I couldn't get a job without a car, and it was his idea for me to give up the car and not work. But, I tried to figure out a place that I could work that wasn't too different from his schedule so that he could drive me to work. And I'd try to figure out how much money I could make if I got hired at such and such place. So then he'd tell me that wasn't worth the effort, that he didn't want to drive me around and so forth.

So, I won't be getting a job, and you can quit bugging me about it.

But he proceeded to point out every stupid job that there was, whether they were hiring or not. So we were in the library one day, and he's telling me I can be a security guard for the library. No thank you.

But, a library clerk heard us talking, and said that they needed a clerk. Now, library clerk was a job that I would have wanted if my husband had a normal schedule and I had a car. But he didn't and I didn't, so that probably wasn't going to work out. But my husband told me to try anyway.

Working at the library is still a government job, and it is a bit of a hassle. You can't just ask for an application, you have to apply through the city, talk to people who have no idea what the job is about, and all sorts of stuff like that. So, I went to apply, and they gave me the wrong application. And I was pretty sure that I had the wrong application, but they told me that was the only job that the library was hiring for. Fine. I filled out the application, and then I went back to the library. The job I wanted had just been filled, so that was why I was given the application for page instead of for clerk. And they really didn't even need a page at the moment, but they would keep the application. Fine.

Well, I went into that thinking that it wasn't going to work out anyway. But for a while I had my hopes up, so it was disappointing. After a couple of weeks, I forgot about it.

And then someone called and asked if I wanted to be a page, temporarily. So I thought, sure, I can be a page until a clerk position opens up. My mom helped me get a car. The page job paid a third less than the clerk, and it didn't come with any benefits, so it wasn't worth getting a car for that, but since I thought this put me in line for the next clerk position, I got the car and took the job.

It was not at the branch I had applied to, it was the one in downtown Fort Worth, and that sucked, but not as much as downtown Dallas. I almost had to forget the whole thing, because everyone who gets a job with the city has to take a drug test. Fine. But that was the first time I'd done that, and I didn't bring my driver's license, cause I wasn't driving again yet. So I had to wait twenty minutes for my husband to go back and find my ID. And I'm sitting there with the almost bursting bladder, and I am just about to say forget it. I really wish I had.

The guy who hired me was a doll. He was very mellow, sort of like Mr. Rogers, except that every once in a while he'd try to tell a dirty joke or something. But, it turned out that someone else was in charge of the department. I did not like this woman one little bit. Some people respect her doing her job, other people like her as a friend, but I don't think that anyone tries to do both. Some managers have actual brains, while some just have rule books. She had a rule book. She was afraid that we were being spied on, that someone would come in with a hidden camera and we'd be on the evening news and our budget for the next year would be cut. We couldn't just go and do something and then sit down for a bit when we were done. We always had to stand up and look busy. The only reason we were allowed to sit down was to stamp due date cards, so we would actually fight over who got to do that chore. We could not sit down at any other time except for during break, and break had to be taken in the break room, not sitting at a desk where you could talk to someone.

So if I had known that woman came with the job, I would have turned it down to begin with. But, I thought that I would only have it until they needed clerks at a branch, and they were going to open a new branch soon and would need several clerks. If I could just smile at this woman for a few more months, it should be okay.

So, I waited for the job openings to be posted, and I went to apply for the job, and I went back later to find out what tests that I would need to take, did I need to practice my typing, and stuff like that. And I was told that I wasn't going to be called in for tests, because my application had already been turned down. So this woman told me that I'd have to be a page for a least another year before I'd be considered for a clerk job; you can't just get promoted like that. But before I came here they were thinking of hiring me as a clerk with no library experience, but now that I'm here and have some I have to wait another year. I don't think so. I actually cried about it. Anyway, I waited until the job was posted again while she was on vacation, hoping that maybe it was something that with her gone it might slip past someone else's desk who did not have this insane idea that I had to stay there a year before I did anything else, but no luck. So, I saved up enough money to be out of work for a couple of months to look for another job, and I gave two weeks notice. If I have to wait another year before I can apply for the job again, at least I won't waste that year in her company.

I even said that I would be a page at a branch rather than work with her anymore. This upset some office people for a bit. First they tell me I can't transfer without this woman's permission, so I quit, and then they get mad because now they have to do my paperwork all from scratch, because I quit. Whatever.

Turns out I didn't stay around long enough to see about being a page at a branch. I went on an interview, but then my husband got a job where he was out of town most of the time, so I decided to go with him instead.

I actually worked with him for a few months, but I'm not allowed to discuss that. Let's just say that his boss would pretend to be all concerned about your problems, but really she was just a greedy bitch.

A year and a half later, my husband finally quit that job, and I got a job at a technical school. They called it a bookstore, but it was more like a convenience store. Now I really liked that place. I worked from about 8:30am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday. I made friends with many of the students. People would come in with a high grade on some test they'd worried about and all but hug me. Mostly, I saw a lot of them in the breaks between classes, and the rest of the time I sat around reading a book or something like that.

There was this bad thing about the job. We did actually sell a few books, and that was where the students got their textbooks at the beginning of the semester. So I was in charge of those too. And a box of books is very heavy, and I had trouble deal with that. And even worse than the books were these big boxes of paper. The students all had to have this special paper that you couldn't just go to Walmarts and buy, so we had tons of the stuff. When we got a new shipment of paper, it usually took me two or even three days to deal with it. Once, I hurt my should picking up a box of books.

As much as I liked those people, I don't think that I could do that again.

At the same time as I had the bookstore job, I was also supposed to work at Six Flags through a temp agency. It was sort of like being a booster, except that when they didn't have enough of the cheap boosters to do the work, they called a temp place. So I not only got a paycheck, but I got a free Six Flags ticket everyday that I worked.

Which only turned out to be one or two days. I was supposed to work all of spring break, cause school was out and they didn't need me at the bookstore. Fine. So I worked at Six Flags for a day or two, and then it started raining a bit. Not bad or a long time or anything, but it just looked grey and probably people didn't want to go to the park just in case it would rain later. So they told most of us that they didn't need us for the rest of the week, cause business was slow. After that, I kept getting called for shifts I already said I couldn't work. I could work the morning shift on Saturday, or maybe Sunday, but I really didn't want to work Sunday cause I needed at least one day of. Monday through Friday I could work an afternoon shift that started at about 2pm. No evening shifts, cause I already got up early that morning to work at the bookstore. And they rarely got what I was saying at all. No matter how many people I talked to, no matter what I put on the availability sheet, I'd get asked to work too late or when I had to be at the bookstore. Then, on the rare times that they got it right and I was scheduled to work, they would call at the last minute and cancel. If you called them at the last minute to cancel, you'd get fired. But if you told your friends you couldn't do something cause you had to work, and then after you're friends made other plans that did not include you, they would tell you they didn't need you that weekend. So I quit leaving Saturdays open for them. Call me on Friday, and if I just happen to have nothing to do, I'll think about it. But don't call me on Monday, tell me I have a job, and then change your mind on Friday unless you're at least giving me a free ticket to make up for the inconvenience.

Anyway, after almost two years at this bookstore job that I really loved, I had to quit and take a traveling sales job with my husband. I was led to believe that if I didn't do that, he would be let go, and they would hire a couple to replace him. I really did not want anything to do with these people, but we needed the money, and my husband really liked this job, so I went with him.

This was probably the only job that I ever had that would have paid the bills all by itself. But I hated being in sales, and I did not enjoy the travel that much either. I thought it was rather dangerous, and the schedule could have been better. And I hated driving around in a strange place late at night looking for a motel. Sometimes, I wondered if the people who wrote the schedule had ever even looked at a map.

My husband was a portrait photographer, and he takes pictures for church directories and club directories and yearbooks. And after he would take the picture for the directory, he would take a few more pictures, and then I would show them the pictures on a computer and try to get them to buy extra portraits. But I hated the way the job made me feel as a person. To get the best sales, you almost have to trick people into buying stuff. A good salesperson would convince them that they had to buy the portraits with the deluxe finish and the frames. Or talk people to death until they buy stuff. Or convince them that they're really getting a good deal because of the "sale" price, when no one at the company has ever sold anything at the "regular" price.

I just don't like to do anything that makes me feel like I'm cheating someone. But, after several months at it, I started to get really annoyed at people who did not buy lots of pictures. I really knew it wasn't their fault, that most of them were tricked until getting their picture taken in the first place. But I needed to get paid, and I began to wonder how all these people didn't know what was going on, and if they didn't want to buy any pictures couldn't they just stay away so it didn't cost me money when my daily average dropped.

Another really bad thing about this job was they did not give you any kind of break. You did not have a scheduled lunch break, dinner break, or coffee break or anything. Sometimes you didn't have a lot of costumers, or sometimes someone didn't show, but there was no scheduled break. You supposedly didn't need a lunch break because you supposedly only worked six hours. That was six hours you were scheduled to take or sell pictures. There was also about an hour of set up time most days, and an hour of take down time most days, and you were supposed to be there a half hour early everyday. Plus, there was two hours travel time most days. So, on an average day we would leave a motel about 10am, drive for a hour, try to find the place, hope that some one was there to let you in, then either set up and then go to lunch for an hour or go to lunch for an hour and then set up, work the schedule, take down the equipment, drive an hour back to the motel or to a different motel, and usually be done for the day at 10pm. So much for only working six hours. That was usually eight and a half hours plus two hours travel time, with only about half an hour in the schedule that we allow ourselves to run errands, but we only have that if we don't get lost.

The first year I hoped that they had done all of this stuff by mistake. That maybe they hadn't done the math and really didn't know any better. But I was ready to quit if things did not improve, and I wrote them a letter explaining about not getting to eat and getting lost after dark in strange places and all of that. And they said that they understood and they would look into it. And I wanted to be sure, cause I was leaving if things did not improve, and while we were in town they could have my equipment back. But I was assured that everything was fine.

Three weeks later, we are driving around in the middle of nowhere Texas at midnight, trying to find a motel room. So, I plan to leave. If I don't see the schedule upfront and approve it, I am not going on the assignment.

So we get home, and I get a schedule for someplace in Nebraska. And one of the places is like four hundred miles away from everything else. According to the schedule, I have to give up my only day off and drive to this place on Sunday, and then work there on Monday, and then somehow be back on Tuesday to work somewhere else. So I guess we were supposed to drive all night to get there. No thank you.

So I called the office and explained that they had made a mistake and would have to take this one town off the schedule entirely, or maybe move it to the beginning or the end of the schedule so we would have the extra driving time. And I was told that they couldn't do that and they were tired of my complaining and that some other couple was happy to see all the places they were sent, while all I could do was complain. If I wanted to keep complaining, they would get someone else.

Fine, get someone else. That wouldn't change the laws of physics. To work this schedule, someone would have to give up their only day off and then drive most of the night to make it to the next place on time. I told you I would not work for you anymore if you did this sort of thing again. Goodbye.

Then my husband came home, and I told him what happened, and that I didn't know if they were replacing us both or if they were just getting a different salesperson to work with him. So he called them back and supposedly they looked at the schedule and saw the problem and it had been fixed. And if we both wanted to work we could still go to Nebraska. Fine. But I was planning for that to be my last assignment. I had wanted to go see some stuff in Wyoming and South Dakota, and I figured that was the closest I was going to get to it. So, we'd work in Nebraska, and then take a side trip on the way home. The next job wasn't scheduled for more than a month after that, so I figured I'd have time to get a new job and still give two weeks notice before then. I just did not trust them to do anything reasonable.

We got to Nebraska, and the schedule had not been changed at all. So I showed the schedule to a few people in Nebraska, asked them if they thought it could be done, and was told that place was on the other side of the state and it was too long of a drive. Someone in a position to talk some sense into someone called the office and suggested that that town be rescheduled at the end. My boss called an complained that I had embarrassed them at the office. I embarrassed them? How about all the times that we were "late" when we were scheduled to be somewhere when they knew it was physically impossible. But, I agreed to work at this town in two or three weeks, cause it was a bit closer to some tourist thing that I wanted to do.

In the mean time, even though my husband has heard me say I do not plan to work for these people after Nebraska is done, he calls everyday to see if anything has been added to the schedule. He doesn't want to be out of work for a whole month. They add some stuff, and then they add some more stuff, and finally they add too much stuff. Even if I agree to keep working for them, the schedule is now so tight that not only do we not have time to go home, but since we've agreed to go to this town that's four hundred miles away from everything else, it leaves us traveling four hundred miles in the wrong direction just before we are supposed to go someplace in Indiana. Even I agree to do it, even if we give up our day off, we won't make it there in a reasonable amount of time.

So, I say no, and my husband agrees to do it. I have to walk to gas station and call and tell them that he lied and I did not change my mind and I have not even agreed to take this assignment much less give up my day off or anything like that.

Maybe we can come to an agreement if they totally cancel the town that's four hundred miles away from everything else. The schedule there seems pretty empty anyway.

No, they can't do that. Fine. Call me if you change your mind. I figured it would be easier for me to get home by myself from Omaha or Council Bluffs, so I have no intention of going 400 miles away. I make phone calls and find out about buses and airport schedules and all of that.

It has finely occurred to my husband that I am seriously not going to take the next assignment and that I really am quitting. So, he says he'll quit to. I'd rather he did not do that. He's become part of the problem, and I really don't want to me stuck in a motel room with him for the rest of the day, much less have to be stuck in a car for two days with him acting like that. I want to go home, by myself, while you work for a month or so in another state and I have some time to myself to think.

Well, I would have missed a lot of cool tourist stuff if I had done that, but I think in the long run I would have been better off. He kept saying that he was going to quit, but if he was, why didn't he call the office and tell them. It's not fair to do that to someone, even the idiots at the office.

Anyway, neither of us quit that time. He promised that he would not do anything stupid like drive in the middle of the night or drive when he was too tired from already working and stuff like that. And we wouldn't have a day off that week, but it would probably be okay after that. And if we were late to something because they didn't write a reasonable schedule, too bad for them. And I stopped skipping meals. If they didn't want to schedule a break, they'd just have to lose some sales while the customers watched me eat.

We did some really cool tourist stuff later, but the point of having a job is making money not doing tourist stuff. And they kept doing things that cost us money. And I was tired of being on the road.

Then there was the whole 9-11 thing. We were supposed to take pictures of people at a school on a military base. Our first day of work at that place was September 10th. It wasn't a great day, but we got all of our equipment set up, and we were supposed to be able to leave it there in the same place for about a month. And I really liked the building and the way everything was set up and the parking and all of that. And there were places to have lunch on the base, and our motel was right across the street. And I guess the military people notice things like there is no scheduled dinner break, because we suddenly got one, at least for that month. I was pretty happy with the situation. I didn't know how long I'd stay after it was over, but this was as good as it was going to get with this company.

And then the next day our country was attacked. If you did not have actual military business on the base, you were not allowed in. If you were supposed to be allowed in, you had to wait in line for hours while someone with a dog searched your vehicle.

The idiots at the office thought we were still supposed to work that day, because no one had called to cancel their appointment.

Do you think maybe when your country has just been attacked that the people on the military base might have other priorities than cancelling an appointment that anyone with half a brain should know is cancelled anyway because they aren't letting people like us on the base? They didn't officially give us the day off until about 1pm. The next day they did the same thing. They didn't officially give us the rest of the week off until Thursday.

The idiots at the office were complaining to us that they had to pay our expensives for a whole week when we only worked one day. They wanted us to drive all of the way home and then drive all the way back after it was confirmed that we would be allowed on the base the next week.

I don't think so. How about we either stay here the rest of the week and then go home if they want to cancel the assignment, or we go home now and you get someone else to cover the rest of the assignment cause I am not going to drive all day Thursday and Friday to go home and then turn around and drive another two days to get back here. And it's not like it would really save you a lot of money. Having us stay here might cost you a couple of extra nights at the motel, but having people drive back and forth just wastes time and gas. But they never were good at math, so they complained about it anyway.

The next week we were allowed to go back to work, but we had to move all of the equipment from the nice building to a place that was having stuff torn out of it so it could be remodeled the next year. Half of the building already had people working in it, and they didn't like to share. The "how many people does it take to change a lightbulb" joke became "how many Majors does it take to secure a restroom?" The people on the other side of the building would lock everything up at five, including all of the restrooms, even though we had to work there until at least nine.

We quit eating lunch on the base. It was too much of a hassle to get through that line more than once. So we drove into town and ate lunch there. I slipped in a Burger King parking lot and cracked my arm pretty good. I missed most of a week of work after that.

The last few days the office got all kinds of complaints about us. We were really rushed. We were told we must be packed up and ready to leave by a certain time or else. The road we were using was going to be blocked by these giant concrete barriers. So, we got everyone out on time, whether they liked it or not. Don't like your pictures? I don't care. Not going to buy anything? I still don't care. Do you call this customer service? Hmmm??? I know I'm not going to make any commisions, so I 'm working a couple of days for less than minimum wage, with a cracked arm, and I'm trying to get at least one shot of everyone so that they don't get demerits, and if I'm so much as fifteen minutes late my car and equipment will be stuck here for weeks, and so far I have managed to not turn anyone away and have not told anyone to f*** off or anything like that. So, yes, under the circumstances, I do call this customer service, and in fact, this is really good customer service, and can you please move it along so the guys behind you don't get reprimanded for not getting their pictures in the yearbook???

We went to California for a few weeks. The first week we were in a motel right across the street from Disneyland. We went a couple of days early and did tourist stuff. It was nice to do tourist stuff, especially when there were so few other tourists. But again, the point of having a job is to make money, and people weren't buying that much. People were scared. People thought that they should stay home, or at least save their money for something more important. I get that. I really do. But I'm not sure the idiots at the office got it.

So, I started writing a letter. I'm on to all this stuff that the office does that costs us money. Maybe they'd never had it spelled out for them before. Maybe they were really that dumb. Maybe they didn't know. But the nonsense was going to stop, one way or another.

Before I was done writing, they sent us a letter. Again, they were complaining about the expense money. Really, this people cannot do simple math. If this is how much money that you spent on us, don't you know that you'd have to spend the same amount of money on another couple? And if you don't find another couple, don't you realize that you'd spend almost twice that much hiring two single people?

And do you seriously think that I cost you money during 9-11? Do you know how much it cost me to stay? Do you have a clue? Have you even looked at my money saving suggestions?

I started answering the letter, point by point, and I got to like page ten before I said the hell with it. I didn't want the job anyway. I had told them that I would have to quit like eleven months ago. Let them find someone else to work with my husband, let them spend double the expense money. I don't care. I'm going to rest a bit, enjoy the holidays, and then see about getting another job or maybe going back to college, which was what I meant to do two or three years ago before I was coersed into working for these people.

Except that my husband decides that if they don't want me that he'll just quit too.

That's just great. He can't threaten to quit if they don't start listening to me when we were on the road and it might have done us some good. But now he's quitting. So we're both out of work at the same time and have no insurance or anything. But, he just gave me this look, and there was no talking sense to him. He really did not understand what I was upset about. Fine. Whatever. I've got to figure out my own stuff. You don't want to work for them if I can't tag along, then go get another job.

A few months later, he says that I cost him the best job that he ever had. And he says that to me after I begged him not to quit. Whatever. And that is still what he thinks, that I cost him this great job, the same job that he wouldn't even have had because they would have fired him after the first couple of months if I didn't give up what I wanted to do to tag along. Whatever.

Advice for people in Texas who have friends from up north come for a visit

Do not stand out by the car saying goodbye for three hours.

It is cold outside. Granted, it is not as cold as your friend from up north is used to, but it is still cold. Either say goodbye and mean it and get in your cars and drive away, or at least go back inside. Go find a Whataburger or an IHOP and get some coffee. Do not stand outside in the cold.

I have dinner once a month with about fifteen friends. After the dinner was over, there still seemed to be a lot for me and my out-of-state friend to talk about. Rather than the two of us staying at the mostly empty table for twenty, we took the discussion outside for a bit. And, there seemed to be always one more thing to talk about before we left. Then we realized that we'd been talking for over two hours. We really had to go. We said goodbye.

We talked for another half an hour.

Okay, that was dumb thing to do, but that was how the day ended. After I did finally make myself get in the car and went home, I sat in a tub of hot water until my skin wrinkled. At least my home was only twenty minutes or so away. My friend had to drive an hour or two to get to a motel near his next destination.

It was a nice day. Not the beautiful perfect day that we had last weekend, but it didn't actually rain either. My husband met us for lunch, and then we went to the aquarium, and then we went to look at some building my friend wanted to see and took some pictures. Not a bad day at all.

And I did finally manage to make three of the four scarves I promised him. I'll have to mail him another one in a week or so. Maybe I'll get a little better at it, and his wife can have a nice looking one.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Jobs that I didn't like--Part 2

After I got all caught up with my school work, I decided to get another part-time job. I went into the mall thinking that God would lead me to the right job. That sounds a little weird, but that's how I looked at it. I wasn't looking for the fun job or the interesting job or the job where I could flirt with cute guys, I was just looking for the job that would work with my school schedule.

God lead me to the food court. I got a job at Corn Dog On A Stick. This was the last place that I would ever have wanted to work. I didn't want to work in food service at all. And if I was going to work in food service, I would have looked for a job at a place that I liked to eat, like maybe a pizza place. But, I went in with a good attitude, and it turned out great. I wouldn't want to work there now, but at the time it was just the perfect job for me.

Free sodas and free food came with the job. I didn't particularly like corn dogs at the time, but right out of the fryer they're pretty good. And free corn dogs with free nacho cheese and a free coke and a free pretzel is really good. And at the time I needed to gain weight. I gained five pounds. Sugar and fried food are not the healthy way to do that, but at the time it made me very happy.

I did not care for the clothes I had to wear on the job, but looking back, that was okay too. If I got grease on my bright yellow sweatpants, who cares? If I'd gotten grease on my favorite pair of jeans, that would have upset me.

I often had to close the place by myself. My mom didn't like that, but at the time I thought nothing of it. I was not much afraid of the dark empty parking lot or driving home at night. Seems strange to think about now. And back then I didn't even have an emergency cell phone.

During spring break that year, I got a job being the Easter Bunny. Really. I put on a furry costume while some other girl sold Polaroids of me with little kids. Some of the little kids were really scared. It was boring just sitting there, and the costume was hot and uncomfortable, but they let me have a Walkman inside the costume. So I kind of got paid to sit around listening to music all day.

Right after that I lost my job at Corn Dog On A Stick. When sales are bad they cut our hours, and they kept cutting our hours, and finally the manager thought it would be best to let one of us go. So, it got to be me. I was the youngest, I didn't have a family to support, and other stuff like that. And I'd just made all that extra money from being the Easter Bunny, so it wasn't like I even needed any money right away.

I had never wanted to work at a fast food place, but that place was such a positive experience that I tried a couple of times to recreate it. The first place I tried was Captain Ds. I pictured it being just like the other place, only with free fish instead of free corn dogs, and I liked fish better anyway. It turned out not to be as good.

At the time I had just dropped a couple of my classes, so that all I had left were art labs. I knew what my projects were, I just had to go in and do the work. But, for the most part, I didn't see why that should actually have to be done during the time class was scheduled. So when I went in to ask about the job, I told them that a certain schedule was preferred, but not actually necessary. I was hired, and the first week I worked thirty or forty hours.

I should have realized there was a problem. The guys all worked in the back, cooking the food. The guys made like twenty-five or fifty cents more a hour than the girls, because they supposedly did more work. The girls worked in the front on the cash registers and serving sodas and such. But they also mopped the floors and cleaned the bathrooms and stuff like that, so maybe the guys didn't really do more work. But I didn't care, and I wasn't going to argue about it. The thing was that a new woman was hired to be in charge of the girls, and no one liked her, and so girls kept quiting and that's when I was hired.

That first week, I was trying to learn the register, but she didn't really have time to show me how to do it, cause she kept having to go interview people and stuff like that. So I spent a lot of time cleaning stuff. I didn't really care that much. It was a paycheck. Then a couple of girls called in sick, and she had a fit. The manager came out and tried to get her calmed down. He said not to worry, just do your best. And he pointed out that not everyone had called in sick, I was there. She said that I didn't count, because I didn't know how to do anything.

I wonder why I didn't know how to do anything?

Something happens a lot at fast food restaurants. You might be scheduled to work from say 10am to 5pm, but you are often sent home early when business is slow. So, even though the schedule says 10am to 5pm, after the lunch rush is over and you've cleaned up the place, they might start sending people home, so you might only get paid for five hours instead of seven. So, she didn't have to time show me how to do anything, and she sent everyone else home, so I couldn't learn from watching anyone else either. So I was really mad when she said I didn't count.

There was also this odd thing on the schedule. It said on call, or something like that. So Friday, there were no hours on my schedule, so I was finally going to go to school and get some work done. Just as I was about to leave, she calls me and says that someone called in sick and I have to come in to work for her. I tell her that I can't, that I have almost a whole week of school work to catch up on. She said that I was the one on call, and that means I have to come in. Sorry, it's not my day to work, and I have school. If I had known you were expecting me to come in, I would have told you sooner that I couldn't. That was really an odd thing to do. Did they expect people to just sit at home and do nothing and wait for the phone to ring when they're not even being paid for it? I flat out said that I would not do that. I wondered why the other girls put up with it. They had just sort of made a game of it. If the person scheduled calls in sick, the on call person is called. The on call person is the one in trouble if the shift isn't covered, not the girl who was actually scheduled to work. So they all knew that they had to work if they were on call. They took turns calling in sick. Weird.

So, after that, my schedule was really bad. I only worked during the lunch rush. I still had to miss class to go to work, but I wasn't even making half of the money I had been. And going to work there, even for just two hours, left me tired and cranky and it was really no use going to an art lab afterwards. I either didn't get enough work done to bother with it, or worse, I actually made mistakes that cost me time later.

I think I gave notice on my third week there. It just wasn't worth the effort. I had to work a five day week for like ten or fifteen hours, and my art was suffering. The manager seemed to understand, but the lady who hired me had a fit. Sorry, what do you expect? She made a big deal about needing me to stay for a week or two, but then the next time I was scheduled to work, she came out and told me that my presence was no longer necessary. She could have called. I missed that morning's class for nothing.

A couple of weeks later, I went in to get my check, and the girls told me that woman had been demoted. I think that she was fired about a month after that.

I waited until summer break to get another job. A new Arby's opened a few blocks from my house. I worked there for a while. It was better than Captain Ds, but not as good as Corn Dog On A Stick. But my mom was happier cause it was closer to home and I rarely worked after dark.

I don't think that I could ever work there again. I heard horror stories about the slicer. They never asked me to operate the thing, but after a while I even had trouble working the toaster just because it was next to the slicer. I'm sure that most of those stories were nonsense, but every once in a while you'd meet a district manager or someone like that who had been with the company for a long time, and maybe he'd be missing the tip of his thumb or something like that.

I once had a costumer there who was trying to explain to me that she had diverticulitis. I'm afraid I didn't get most of what she was saying, only that she didn't want anything with a sesame seed bun. Fine. I sold her something on an onion bun. But onion buns also have seeds, maybe poppy seeds, which are much smaller and hard to notice. Turns out what the woman was trying to tell me was that she had a medical condition, and she wasn't allowed to eat seeds or nuts, or they might get stuck in her intestines and she'd have to go to the hospital. So I'm always worried that this woman ate something she wasn't supposed to because of me and her stomach exploded or something.

I found out that I would not be going back to school in the fall like I thought. The rule in my parents house was either go to school full time or have a full time job and pay for your own insurance and stuff. Then they tell me at the last minute that I either have to change majors or pay for college myself. They don't give me a clue what I should be changing my major to, just to change it. A.) I did not save up enough money in one summer to pay for even a semester of college, much less enough to finish college with, B.) it doesn't seem possible to just change to a different major like that, even if I knew what to change to (and it was not possible at the time to change to English as a full time student, since at the time I was lacking one sophomore English course), and C. I did not make enough money at Arby's to pay for my own insurance and stuff. The only thing my part time job paid for was art supplies and gas and the occasional lunch or a movie. So, I was looking for a new job.

My next job was at a wildlife park. I know some of you came to read this post specifically for the wildlife park incident, but you will have to wait. I have decided that the wildlife park deserves it's own separate post.

I started working at the wildlife park at the end of the summer. At the beginning of the spring, the park flooded. The park had to be closed for at least two weeks, and they really couldn't say for sure when or even if they would re-open. While I was waiting for that to be sorted out, I got a job at General Cinema.

Now, I had a lot of fun, and I made a little bit of money there too. And I saw a lot of movies for free. When I watched the Academy awards that year, I'd actually seen most of the movies. Funny, but when I applied for the job, I wasn't even thinking about seeing movies. I was just thinking about the schedule, and how if the park re-opened I might be able to work both jobs.

Again, my mom did not really like me having this job. I usually worked the evening shift, and I got home after midnight. I just don't think that I could do that now, but I the time I didn't mind it that much.

Except, that once in a great while, there is a movie that they want to show a special early show and a special late night show, just for the opening weekend. The manager just wrote the schedule, and didn't check to see if people could come in three hours early or stay three hours late. We were just expected to be there. We were not asked. A lot of the kids who worked there did not have their own cars, and how were they even supposed to get to work at a different time. And even if you've gotten into the habit of eating dinner at midnight, waiting til three in the morning is a bit unreasonable.

And, it wasn't just the kids who got an unreasonable schedule. The guy that was assistant manager was getting married. It was going to be one of these big catholic weddings that you plan for a year and a half. Anyway, he lived in one city, and the woman he was going to marry lived about three hundred miles away. They had to discuss some things about the wedding, and sometimes it was stuff that was hard to do over the phone. So they would drive to see each other once in a while, and everyone knew that he was going to see her a certain week. And it ended up being the same week that we had one of these special shows. But, he still has drive out of town to talk to his fiance. They had some deadline the next week. So, he's thinking that if he works Friday morning and Saturday night, it won't be a problem. He'll be tired from driving, but he's done it before. But instead of getting the schedule he asked for, the manager made him work Friday night and Saturday morning. But, the assistant manager still has to see his fiance, even if the manager won't be reasonable. He kept thinking that the manager would see reason and change something on the schedule, but he didn't. So the fiance drove most of the way here instead, and they met at a Denny's or something in Waco. The assistant manager tried to get just an hour's sleep before he went back to work, but the alarm didn't wake him. So the scheduled early morning show did not happen, even with everyone else there, because the assistant manager wasn't there in time to unlock.

So everyone knew that happened because the manager was being an ass. Even if he didn't already know that the assistant manager had to go out of town, why did he schedule people to work both the extra late shift one night and then the extra early shift the next morning? Especially since he wasn't willing to work either one himself. Another girl who worked there actually went around with a petition to have the manager fired. I didn't think it would do any good, but I signed the thing anyway. The manager was replaced a few weeks later, but I can't say for sure why. They might have wanted to get rid of the guy before all this stuff happened anyway.

I worked at both the movie theater and the wildlife park for most of the summer, but I decided that I'd try to go to school part-time, and I didn't think I could do that and two jobs. I ended up keeping the job at General Cinema, because I was up for a promotion. I didn't get it, but there was still a possibility of it happening later, but nothing like that would happen at the wildlife park. The assistant manager transferred to a different theater. The other theater was a lot closer to school, so a few weeks later I went to work there instead. After almost a year of hearing that I might get promoted, I got a job at a different movie theater company. I didn't even ask about getting a promotion there. I was totally sick of the whole thing. Just people ask you to do stuff that you don't want to do, and when you say you don't want to do it, someone reminds you about the promotion, but then somehow going along with it doesn't get you the promotion. And there really wasn't that much point to trying to get the promotion. It just puts you in line the next time they need an assistant manager. And I really didn't plan to stay there forever and me a manager, I just thought that it would be nice to say I'd been a supervisor or even an assistant manager.

I stayed at the other movie theater for about a year, and even briefly went to work for a third movie theater company. But no one offered me a promotion without me doing a lot of extra work first, and I didn't want to get into that again. Just let me do my job and leave me alone.

For a while I worked at a movie theater and another arcade that was in the movie theater. That worked okay for a while, but then the movie theater got a new manager. It was weird working at the same place, but for two different companies. One guy would be my boss one day, and then that evening or the next day I'd have a different boss. The new theater manager didn't get along well with the guy running the arcade. I was making slightly more money at the arcade, so when there was a conflict I chose the arcade. But the arcade wasn't really worth doing by itself. I ended up quiting that too.

I didn't mean to just quit working. I meant to look for another job. But my husband suggested that I not go back to work. He worked nights for a while, and the different schedules were getting annoying. So a quit looking for work, and I didn't get another job for like five years.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jobs I didn't like -- Part I

Well, someone else was blogging about the worst job she'd ever had. And then she was asking her readers what was their worst job. Sometimes I have a lot to say and I don't think that I should leave a comment that long on someone else's blog, so I'll write it here.

It's hard to actually pick a worst job or a best job. There was good things and bad things in all of them. I learned something while I had the job, which, unfortunately, sometimes just means that I learned that I didn't like something or that I wasn't good at something.

The first thing that I will mention wasn't really a job. I was a booster at Six Flags. That means that you work there for a day, and you don't get paid yourself, but whatever group you came with gets paid. A group like your school or church or club or some charity makes some money, and Six Flags gets extra help on weekends for cheap, and I don't think that income taxes and such are paid. And if you work the morning shift, you get to go and enjoy the park after you're done with work, so maybe you have a bit of fun. It is usually a good arrangement for everyone.

So I went in with a church group, and we helped out with food service. We did dumb stuff that didn't need training and didn't require us to handle any money. For about half the day, I helped these two girls with cash registers fill sodas. I was surprised at how different the two girls were. To my left was this black girl who was working her butt off and really trying to help people. She didn't look overly happy about it, but she wasn't rude to anyone either. She kept the line moving and all of that. To my right was a white girl who kept telling us that she was a cheerleader. Who cares? When she was working, she did smile and look pleasant and all of that. When she was working. She kept trying not to work. She would stand so far away from her cash register that people assumed that line was closed and get in another line. She would lean against the wall a lot. When a supervisor would come by, she would flirt with him. Sometimes, there wouldn't be any costumers for a few minutes, and everyone would stand around and talk about what a bad job it was and how they needed to get a new job and all of that. And the lazy white girl talked about that the most, and I wondered what was so bad about going to Six Flags and pretending to do stuff while everyone else worked.

My first job that I actually got a paycheck for was at a pet store. Now that probably wasn't a bad job, but I was confused about some things, so it only lasted two weeks. I knew that teenagers had weekend jobs and after school jobs, but I'd never had one. There were a lot of teenagers at the pet store, and I thought that they would be happy to have someone who could work a regular Monday thru Friday 9-5 while these kids were in school. I had not volunteered to work evenings or weekends, and I was really surprised to find those on my schedule. But, since I had not specifically said that I would not work them, I did, but it caused some problems, like finding a ride to the mall. But my mom thought me having a job might be a good idea, so we worked something out.

I hadn't realized when I applied for the job that changing the newspapers under the puppy cages would be my job, but I did it anyway.

There was a problem with the lunch breaks. We were at the opposite end of the mall from where the food was, we only got half an hour break, and I can't eat that fast. But I tried. But then the break schedule ended up being something ridiculous, like you'd work for an hour, take your break, and then have to work six or seven more hours without a break.

I was "let go". At the time I didn't see the difference between being "let go" and being "fired", so I wasn't happy about it, even though I didn't want the job anymore. You were supposed to be trained for a week, make minimum wage, and then a week or two after that you are supposed to be making commission. But they still have to pay you at least minimum wage if you don't make enough in commission. So, after two weeks, if you're not making enough commission, you get fired. I didn't think that rule really applied to me, because at the time they were remodeling and hiring a new manager, and the week of training never really happened. I had like two days of training, and then I spent all my time cleaning cages and doing inventory and stuff like that, waiting for them to get back to my training, but they never did.

So what did I learn from this job? Being around cute animals all day can still be hard work. And in the future I needed to be careful anytime someone mentioned working for commission.

Okay, so then I found out the difference between being "let go" and being "fired." When you are "let go", and you apply for another job, the people at the place you were "let go" from say nice things about you. My next job was at Kmart.

This is not the worst job, just not as good as I expected. I quit looking for jobs that I thought would be fun and just said I want to work. I got hired. Great. We need someone in the layaway department.

Before that day, I did not even know what layaway was. My parents had never used it. I had never used it. I think the whole thing is a bad idea and bad for the economy and should be done away with. But that's another story. Never mind. I had a job. I was a little annoyed that I couldn't wear jeans to work, because those were usually the only pants that I could find that fit. I learned that buying XL pants in the little girls department usually worked, and usually cost less money than the same thing in the juniors department. Great. On to the next problem.

Despite the fact that I worked about twelve feet away from a door to an office that had three managers in it, the managers never came out of that door when I asked for one. There was a manager standing at the front of the store, and if you called on the loudspeaker that you needed one, that one would eventually walk all the way to the back of the store to find out what you needed, after a bunch of other people stopped him along the way to get help with their own problems. Sometimes this took half an hour. Never did a manager open that door to help me. Never. Once in a while I would grab one on his way back from the men's room, but that was it. They never answered the page if they were in the office. So not only was I at the back of the store and felt cut off from everyone else, being twelve feet from the office did not get me anything helpful. It didn't help me get a timely lunch break either.

There were things that you would just assume, but then they wouldn't happen. So I got into the habit of asking about dumb things. But even after I would ask about them, something would still go wrong. Someone called in sick, and I was asked to work a double. I had already taken my lunch break, so I asked to make sure I was going to get another break. I wanted the extra money, but I didn't want it bad enough to skip dinner. The manager said of course I would get another break, so I agreed to stay. I waited what I thought was a reasonable amount of time, and then I asked about this other break that I had been promised. They said something about I had already had lunch, so I could only take fifteen minutes. But I didn't agree to that. I specifically asked about that before I agreed to stay. But nothing I said persuaded them to give me the hour break so that I could go somewhere and eat or even half a hour to get something from the snack bar they used to have in the store. And I really don't understand why they refused. Even if I hadn't asked about it first, even if they were totally surprised that I expected to be allowed to eat dinner, what was the big deal? If they had gotten someone else to come in on their day off, or if the person who called in sick had come to work as scheduled, someone would have been assigned to give that person a dinner break. What was the big deal about having someone assigned to give me that same dinner break?

Other odd things happened. A month or so into the job, I'd be told that something else was part of my job. It was part of someone else's job last week, why is it suddenly part of my job now? Oh, it was always part of your job, but we didn't have time for you to learn it last week. But you have to do this from now on. And I'd never know if that was true or if they were just trying to get out of doing it themselves. And once they had me go through the entire layaway to look for this little piece of paper. If someone had told me it was important at the time, I would have held on to it, but they didn't, so I didn't, so now it's gone. Get over it. No, you have to go find that little piece of paper. That's a really dumb idea. There are thousands of packages in the layaway department, and you can't just go through all of them looking for a two inch long piece of paper. I just went upstairs for a moment, thinking I'd look in the obvious places just to say that I tried, and then if that wasn't enough for them I'd tell them what they could do with their piece of paper. But I got lucky and actually found the thing. So it was a couple of months before I quit.

I told them when I first applied for the job that I would be going back to college full time at the end of the summer. School was my priority, not this part-time minimum wage job. I was very clear on that. There was a form to fill out when you needed a certain day off. And you were supposed to fill it out two weeks ahead of time, but in reality as long as it was something reasonable and you got it in the door before the schedule was posted for the next week, you usually got what you asked for. And I knew that I had to register for school, and I knew that it was going to be this awful all day chore, but I had not yet been notified which day. So I did try to remind them that I would miss a day sometime in the next few weeks, but I didn't know what day yet, and I would tell them as soon as I knew. And they said that was fine. The day after I got the notice in the mail, I filled out the day off request form, and went to take it to the lady who made the schedule, but the office was full of people all trying to talk at the same time. She told me just to leave it in the box and she would get to it later. So, that's what I did, and I went back to work. A couple of hours later, the schedule goes up, and I'm scheduled for that same day that I cannot be there. Not only that, but the day I asked off was my normal day off anyway. It wasn't written in stone or anything, but I hadn't worked that day of the week for like six weeks. There was a new girl there, and she looked at the schedule and saw that it was almost the same schedule that she had worked the last two weeks, except that she had the day off that I needed off, and I had off the day that she'd had off last week. She'd sort of made plans, making a guess which day off she had. So she wanted to switch with me, and that should make everyone happy. So I went and explained the problem, and I said that I had someone who wanted to switch days with me, but I was told that I couldn't do that. Once the schedule was up, it was too late to change it, except under emergency conditions, or with written permission from the store manager. Fine. I'll make an appointment with the store manager. They didn't want me to do that or they could give me an appointment until after the day in question or some nonsense like that. Look, I'm not going to be here that day, and I've been telling you about this for like a month, and I told you I'd be going back to school when I first applied for the job and you said it wouldn't be a problem. Well, you should have gotten the form in on time. I gave you form the as soon as I knew for sure which day I needed off. This is something that you already knew about. This is something that should not be a surprise or a problem or anything. If I had a real problem, these people couldn't handle it, so I'd be better off quiting. But I just thought that if I said it is either change the schedule or I'll have to quit without two weeks notice that they'd arrange for me to talk to the store manager for five minutes. Nope. I'm sorry about that. When will you be leaving us? I could have stayed a week, but I really hated working Saturdays, so what I actually said was Friday. Fine. And that was it. Whatever.

What I learned from that job is that I really don't want to work at a big place where people expect me to know about things that are not even in my department, and the manager cannot be bothered for five minutes to correct a problem that had mostly been solved already but just needed a signature.

My next job was at an arcade in the mall. That's the sort of fun job that college students are supposed to do during the summer. There were a couple of things that I didn't like about it. It was only a part-time job, but since I get anything else done that summer, I might as well have had a full-time job. I always had the evening shift, and I tended to sit around all day and watch TV so that I didn't get too tired and not want to go to work. But there was very little about the actual job itself that I had a problem with.

After I'd had the job for about a month, I got into a disagreement with one of the "night managers", who was another kid my age. He sort of went into "I am your boss and you'll do what I tell you to do" mode. And he's trying to tell me that I'm fired because after I did my share of the work I sat down and talked to a friend while I watched another employee finish doing his share of the work. And I can't just sit down and rest, on the clock, for like ten minutes, while there is still work to be done. Whatever. You are not my boss, and I will take it up with him tomorrow. Really, if the boss is going to let this guy treat people like that, I just might as well leave anyway. It's just a part time job, I don't really need it, and I'll probably have to quit when school starts in the fall anyway. I seriously went in to have a calm conversation with the boss and tell him just that, but somehow by the time I got around to the part where I said I wanted to quit I was pretty much crying. Anyway, that guy was going to be leaving soon, so even if we couldn't get along there was no reason for me to quit. So I stayed another month.

Then a couple of odd things happened. Some money went missing on that last day that the "night manager" worked. I wasn't scheduled to work right then, but I did someone a favor and got change for a customer. So I had touched the money, and had no way to prove that I didn't take it or lose it or whatever. Six of us had touched the money, and to me there were two obvious suspects. One was the guy who was leaving, just because he could probably steal something and get away with it, and not even have to worry about getting fired cause he was leaving anyway. The second was this new guy that I just didn't think was that bright, and while I couldn't really picture him stealing money, it wouldn't be the first time he'd lost some. Since there was no way to prove who had done it, we were all told that we would each pay a sixth of the amount, which was about the same as an hour's pay, to make up the loss, or we would be fired. I almost didn't pay. I knew that I didn't do it, and I don't think the arcade should ask me to make up for a loss like that anyway. Basically, I worked for them for an hour, for free. The arcade still made money during that hour, just a little bit less than usual. These things happen, but I'd never been asked to pay before. I went ahead and did it. And, to be honest, I knew that I could get it back from them if I wanted. Once I accidentally went home with four dollars of quarters in my sock, and if that could happen on accident, I was pretty sure I could make it happen again on purpose. So, I paid, but I made it clear that I would never do that again.

Another odd thing that happened at that place was that they told me I had to work a couple of Sundays. I had always made it perfectly clear that I did not work on Sundays, or at least, that I did not work Sunday mornings when I was supposed to be in church. That was a big no no at the time. I still lived with my parents, and I went to church with them every Sunday morning, whether I wanted to or not. But at this particular time, I did want to go to church. So it was a big shock to see this note left for me that I had to work on Sunday morning. They hadn't replaced the guy who quit, and they had to cover his shifts. Sorry, it's not my fault that you didn't hire someone else. Everyone knew that the guy was leaving. He officially gave two weeks notice, and everyone knew that he was leaving even before that. And whatever the problem, whatever the reason, they knew that I didn't work on Sunday. The manager claimed that I did not tell them, and I had no way to prove that I had. And then I started wondering if maybe I forgot to tell them. Maybe by that time I'd told so many other people who almost hired me, maybe I had told someone else that week and got them mixed up. Whatever. Okay, I'll do it just this once, just until you hire someone else, but I won't wait forever for you to hire someone, and I will never do this favor for you again. I'm only doing it now just because there is the possibility that you didn't know I couldn't work on Sunday, but now you know.

A couple of months later, the same thing happened. Someone quit, with plenty of notice, and they waited till the last minute to try to replace him and just expected that we would fill the empty shifts. No, I won't. Not only did I explain that I would never work on Sunday again, but I'm having trouble in school and probably shouldn't try to keep this job anyway. I'm not going to be here on Sunday. Do you want me to be here on Monday? If you don't come in Sunday, you don't work here anymore. Then I don't feel bad about quiting without notice. I will never understand why these people go on about how they cannot possibly manage without you on a certain day, when just saying that means that they have to manage without you on that day and several others.

This blog post is getting to be really long. I think I'll go ahead a post it and post some more of it later.