Pop songs…

You know what really gets me going in the mornings?

Besides my three pots of coffee and the blood of my enemies.

Really girly pop songs.

No, seriously. This generation has come out with some of the best pop songs from girl groups and solo acts, all of which are finally yelling at little girls that they don’t need to be sexy and stuck up to be popular.

I love Fifth Harmony, and Taylor Swift, and Beyonce, and the amount of female rappers breaking into the industry warms my cold, shriveled heart.

I love that I can listen to the radio and not hear the same damn song preaching about how some girl just wants to fall in love and settle down with her dream boy ( I know early in Taylor Swift’s career she did this, but she has since evolved as an artist and has literally grown up). Now we have multiple ballads screaming how girls night out should stay girls night out, how the haters are just haters, how focusing on your ambitions will net you more than a man will.

I love a sappy romance song as much as the next gal, but when I get to hear those jams about working your ass off as a woman, I just want to cry tears of joy.

Because the industry is finally understanding. They finally get that their market is younger than preteens, that these girls are going to change the world and they need the right background music to do it (yes, the market is just in it to make a quick buck off this whole ‘woman power’ movement but we have to take our victories where we can).

No, this isn’t some feminist rant about how the music industry sucks for promoting XYZ artist or genre.

This is a declaration that I’m so happy these jams by educated women are available because growing up, I didn’t here anything as amazing as that. I had the same bullshit of party jam or breakup ballad. And now we have single lady party jams, we have hustle jams (not promoting side-hustles but damn is it nice to have a song or two promoting working hard), we have those jams about a lady shutting those dickwads down before they can even get close to her.

And if you don’t like this kind of music, that’s fine. I’m not trying to push you into something new and amazing and actually fun to dance to in your kitchen with your best friends while you make nachos at 3 in the morning after clubbing all night.

 

The First World Problem…

We’ve all heard that joke abput #firstworldproblems. It’s funny. Sometimes.

I love laughimg about the Starbucks girls with their uggs and leggings. Because there’s no way that can legitimately hurt someone.

But I can’t stand when try to debate higher education with me.

I’m not saying that higher education is the best and that everyone should go to college, because school isn’t for everyone. What gets to me os the people who look and me and other people like me like we’re stupid for going to college. Like we’re stupid for not going to trade school. Like we’re stupid because we have to pay for college out of pocket.

And then they start this debate and don’t care about all the facts and figures saying that college is way more expensive than the past and kids aren’t getting enough financial aid to cover it all.

I hate having to hold my tongue (and my hands from going slap-happy) because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to explain that college is important for some people to get certain jobs, like doctors and architects. But they keep looking at college like its a choice people can make and still go about their lives and get the job they want. How would you feel is your doctor came into the room like ‘hey this is my first day, just started, didn’t even have to go to school…’?

So when people ask me why I’m working at [insert retail giant name here] instead of going to school, I simply say that I have The First World Problem: my parents make too much money for me to qualify for government aid and they gave me a great childhood where I didn’t starve and I had a roof over my head so I can’t qualify for 90% of scholarships out there.

Now I’m not nay-saying on all the kids who worked harder than me and got full-ride scholarships or had tougher formative years and are able to get some amazing scholarships. I’m just saying that I’m stuck between a rock and hard place and if I open my mouth the wrong way about it, then I look like a major asshole.

Sure, I am a major asshole, but I’m not against these kids out there busting their asses to get an education.

But I’m saying I have a few critiques of the system.

  1. The financial aid application should not rely on your parents income unless your parents sign a waver agreeing to help with college costs and the propose amount they can help with. My parents aren’t able to help me pay for school because they’re still workong on loans from my older siblings. They should be able to tell the government that they are hnable to help financially.
  2. Colleges should make it easier for kids to petition for financial aid. My best friend tried to petition her school to let them know that her dad had lost his job and that she would need more aid since her mom’s salary would not be able to cover the cost of school. They denied her because they stated that the aid was awarded based of off last years income reported from the financial aid application.
  3. More colleges should allow payment plans. My college which has been around since the late 1800’s just allowed payment plans LAST YEAR. After I had to leave twice to pay off my bills to both school and lenders.
  4. Advisors and financial aid offices should work more closely to help students decide what classes they can take and what they can actually afford to take. Advisors will tell you everything you need to take. The financial aid office will tell you how much money you don’t have to spend out of poclet. But then you have to decide if you can even afford to go taking a full-class load of 15 credit hours at $400 per hour. Because of you’re not full-time you lose your government aid.
  5. The rule for becoming an indepedent student in the eyes of the government don’t even apply to half of the students entering grad school. So the government will look at only my tax information I have to be 25, married, or have a child. I can’t afford two of those things and one is impossible to become overnight. And grad students, kids who have been on their own for years now working and going to school and all that jazz, still have to sit down with their parents once a year to fill out a stupid application for money.

How many of you have been in similar situations? Any one have practical solitions to this mess? Leave a comment or send me an email.

Working Retail: Supervising….

I hate being a supervisor. I hate my supervisors.

I have to babysit other employees, full grown adults that should be able to take care of themselves and do their jobs without constant watching.

I get micromanaged by new managers who think that micromanaging will change how much I get shit done daily.

It’s infuriating.

I can’t do my job if I’m having to spend half my day hand-holding adults who don’t want to act like adults, as well as taking the initiative to get every other little thing done because anyone who’s been there longer than 3 years doesn’t feel like they need do anything outside of their literal job description.

And when I have to take 5 minutes out of every hour to explain what my daily task list is to my managers, that eats up a lot of time through out my day. Or having to do every other little task for my managers because its above a salaried member of management to do some tasks apparently, like taking care of trash or playing the clean-up crew for the previous shift, or taking the hits because the previous shift left us a shit show to deal with.

Maybe it’s because in my previous jobs I was spoiled by managers that understood what I could accomplish in a day and they listened to my input and didn’t treat me like a dumb kid.

But if I’m not living up to all of their expectations, why don’t they just can me? Oh that’s right, they won’t can their little errand girl because then they’ll have to do everything themselves.

I think if my managers laid off a bit and the people I had to supervised acted like adults, then maybe I wouldn’t walk into work every single day looking to throw blows and scream from the top of my lungs every single time I hear a stupid ass question.

Student life: 5 things about dorm life…

One thing I hated about my freshman year was having to live in the dorms. It wasn’t that they weren’t nice, but the cost they added to my school was unreasonable.

And it was mandatory to live on campus. As in, unless I was able to provide some sort of proof that my direct kin (my parents only) lived in town was I able to petition to live off campus.

So, even though I had an aunt who lived 20 minutes from campus, I couldn’t petition to live off-campus with her because she wasn’t my direct relative.

So here I was, stuck in a room with a stranger. Which wasn’t horrible; she kept to her side, I kept to mine, we were courteous of each other. But we weren’t friends, which kind of sucked. Since we were both different majors, we didn’t have much to even begin to talk about to start a friendship.

Now, where I am going with this post? Some hard-earned advice; not the kind that came from the kids where everything worked out perfectly and they have the same exact perspective as everyone else to give.

This is the true shit no one else wants to say.

  1.  It’s not going to always be good.  You’ll have great days, don’t forget that, but more often than not you’re going to hate your room and roommate. There’s going to be days when the trash doesn’t get taken out, and you are stressing out from midterms and essays and group projects with people you can’t stand in a class you only took to balance out your class load. You could have the nicest, most courteous, considerate roommate and there will be days you get on each other’s nerves.
  2. Pinterest Boards are dirty liars. You can try to have the prettiest room and the best design and the prettiest notes, but the truth? You’re gonna abandon them in week 5 of the semester as you scramble to get everything done. You’re pretty comforter will be on your unmade bed as your desk becomes a collection zone of three-day old coffee mugs,, old notes, half-finished revisions, and a scattering of pens and note cards. You don’t intend to let it get that bad but between classes, study groups, clubs, and work, your Pinterest Ideal slips away. And there’s nothing wrong with that. (Check out my other post about my study tips  Student life: Study Tips that actually work… )
  3. It’s okay if you don’t take to dorm life. Dorm life is supposed to be that transition period between leaving your parents and getting a foothold into the real world to live on your own. But maybe your parents (or guardians, my grandmother taught me) didn’t completely fail you when they raised you, so they actually taught you how to maintain your own house like cleaning, cooking, and just minor maintenance. If you feel that itch to get your own place, just wait. Use this time to get a feel for the housing market in your area and save up some money for rent.
  4. It’s okay to not know your neighbors. All of my RA’s pushed for us to know each other and be friends. But let me tell you something; it’s okay if you don’t want to get to know your neighbors. Do you know all your neighbors at your parent’s house? Probably not. So it’s okay if you don’t know every one on your floor, because if you’re leaving in 6 months to a year (or they are), then it’s very unlikely that you’ll stay friends after you quit seeing each other every day.
  5. You’re going to take too much no matter what those fancy lists say. Just like you, I poured over packing list after packing list to see what I really needed to bring for my first time away from home. Now, I didn’t think I brought as much as my roommate did, but towards the middle of the semester, I realized all the things I had brought that I didn’t need or use. So much of it was clothes and shoes that I brought as a ‘just in case’ item, or books that I loved reading as a child and couldn’t part with but didn’t touch in my dorm room, or tons of blankets that I thought I would need but we kept the dorm at a livable temperature. Some of the things you’ll bring will be for those ‘just in cases’ and the ‘better to have it and not need it’ things (lightbulbs, flashlights, first aid kits, etc.). It’s difficult to determine what you’ll need exactly until you get up there and spend your first few weeks on your own. But don’t feel guilty, like I did, when I realized all the extra stuff I brought for no reason. Instead I used it as an opportunity to downsize a little and donate some of my stuff to people who might actually need it.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the things you’ll learn living in a dorm your first year. Most of those horror stories you can google and dread about as other people complain about rude roommates, shitty rooms, tough RA’s, etc, etc.

I just thought I would shine a little light on that dream you have going on in your head that gets ruined the second week and makes you miserable because you wonder if this is all worth it.

Student life: Study Tips that actually work…

You’re here because you’re procrastinating. You can’t get the info to stick in your information-saturated brain and now you’re scrambling because you have midterms next week. After reading article after article after blog post after blog post, you’re seeing the same bullshit everywhere. And it’s not working for you.

Maybe you were a gifted high school student who didn’t need to study. Maybe all the methods shoved down your throat in school just don’t work or you can’t grasp the intricacies of the method. Worst of all, maybe you’re just trying to find something that actually works outside of what everyone else has been doing since the dawn of higher learning.

So here’s some tips from me that I found work for me.

  1. Spend 30 minutes every day unwinding. This seems counter-intuitive, I know. But if you just spent 6 hours learning and running around, you’re overloaded mentally. First thing I do when I get home from classes (unless I have to work right after class), is take off my shoes, put on a pot of coffee, grab a snack, and do some quick little chores, like the dishes or starting a load of laundry. These are all mindless tasks that you don’t have to spend any real thinking time doing. It also helps set you up for the next few hours. You have coffee (or tea if you don’t want to drink coffee that late, or milk or water or juice or whatever you drink) to keep you going through your homework, your dishes are done, you have clothes started for tomorrow.
  2. Set up your desk. Don’t count this time as part of your break. This is your pre-study prep time. Set up your desk with all the things you need, like you pens, your notebooks, your textbooks, your notecards, your laptop, your drink and snacks. Get your computer up and running and the online homework portal up. This is were everyone else shirks away in their tips; there is no way for you to do your work 90% of the time without being on your computer. 90% of homework is completed or submitted online so you will need your computer.
  3. ‘Eat the Frog’  This is a tip I saw floating around on the internet. It’s basically just starting with the thing you hate most. The thinking behind this is that when you do the thing you hate most first, you won’t push it off, you won’t half-ass it, you won’t ‘pretend’ it doesn’t exist (I’ve been there, don’t lie to me). This isn’t exactly what you want to hear, but you still have to get the work done. So if you have to work on Lit, Math, and Chemistry, and you love Math but hate Chemistry, then work on Chemistry first. Channel your energy hating it into beating that stupid class into submission. Then to reward yourself, work on your favorite class last to give your brain a little break.
  4. Give yourself a montage. Something that oddly inspires me to work hard is pretend that I’m in a movie. So play some music in the ‘background’ (headphones please, not everyone shares your taste) and pretend that Speilberg is filming a dramatization of your life in a Legally Blonde-esque montage of you doing schoolwork and putting your nose to the grindstone. Don’t act all embarrassed by this, you do it in your head already when you’re on a bus ride. So just channel Elle Woods and pretend you have to put your ex-boyfriend in his place by being better than him at his own game.
  5. Google is your new study buddy. Everyone acts like your teacher or your textbook hold all the answers to the class. But that’s utter bullshit. Your teacher may be an expert in the field but sometimes it’s hard to communicate ideas to each other. It’s the drawback of language and human thought. So don’t be afraid to Google a concept or find a Youtube video explaining it. Not everyone learns the same way, so you’ll have to do some legwork on your own to find what works best for you to learn a difficult concept in a week. And Google is very useful for finding practice exams from other professors across the world, or presentations, or study guides.
  6. Avoid brain-drain. You know the feeling; you’ve been staring at the same page for an hour and nothing is soaking in. This is your indication to take a real break. Now, people preach about taking breaks every hour or so, but I take breaks after I finish a flow. A flow is when you get rolling on a project or a section of reading and it’s all just rolling along. So why break a flow when the timer goes off, instead of riding it to the end and keeping the productivity going? But when you get to brain-drain, call it night. Only go back to the desk if you will absolutely fail tomorrow. So when you ride a flow to the end, get up and refill your cup, grab a handful of trail mix or something, and switch projects.
  7. Plan time Do this at the end of your study session. Pull out your planner and update your assignment tasks. Personally, I put vague notes in my physical planner, like ‘Lit class, reading sess, essay revise’ and in my digital planner I put all the details, like page numbers, upcoming projects, essay to-dos. When I plan, I cross everything off that I did accomplish for the day and plan for what I need to get done tomorrow excluding things like pre-assigned reading or homework that needs to be completed daily. This helps me to stay on track with my studying and lets me plan for the next day, including where I can study between classes or what I can push off if my homework runs late.
  8. Work, School, Play. In that order exactly. Everyone brags and boasts how they were able to go to school full-time and work full-time and all they did was prioritize, blah, blah, blah. I take my priorities into account by the hierarchy of needs by Maslow. If you don’t know what this is, Google is your friend, remember? So I spend my time working more so that I can eat and sleep in a real bed. Then I study to get myself ahead in the world. Then if I have anytime left, I plan for dinners with my family or date night with my boyfriend or movie night with my friends. But they don’t get my priority. If you really feel lonely, you have a magical device that allows you to contact people anytime, anywhere.

 

Some of these topics I may cover in depth later, but please take to heart that you don’t have to do things like everyone else. If you still need answers, or you’re just frustrated that you can’t get this whole school thing to work, hit me up. I’m an open ear if nothing else and maybe all you need is to just talk your problems out.

Patience…

I’m not going to lie; I am not patient at all.

Which has gotten me into a few pickles over the last few years.

Coupled with my incurable pride, I am an utter disaster. But I’m also a force to be reconned with.

Unfortunately, I feel like this makes me a bit of a hassle on my family as I completely disregard what they think I should be doing with my life. I didn’t think that living on my own and going to school when I can is something to frown upon, but the way my parents huff and sigh is astounding.

I rushed into college life straight out of high school while ignoring the price tag because I thought I could make it work. This led to me returning home and living with my parents for about a year and half to get back on my feet.

Then I went back to school, thinking I could make it work. But once again, I had to leave. But that brings us to where I am today (see, not some long, convoluted anecdote about how my life choices have been valuable lessons.). So I took a job in retail and that’s where I’ve been the last year or so trying to get back to where I wanted to be.

Now, what ifs plague me constantly. Like, what if I had stayed home with my parents instead of paying over $14K out of pocket for a semester of school just to leave? Or what if I had wasted a year at community college doing my extracurricular courses before transferring to  a four year school? What if I had stayed at my first job that I had when I was 16 and worked my way up in the company? Or what if I had been able to make it all work and was about to graduate?

I know you’re asking ‘what the hell is the point, woman? Are you going to give me some great life advice or something? Or are you selling a time-machine to go back and let us all redo our lives?’ I wish, friends.

I’m not going to give you any advice. Everyone gives advice about moving past your bad decisions. Like, just put it behind you and look forward. Or, everyday is an opportunity to do better. And my personal favorite, the only place to go when you hit bottom is up.

But I just wanted you all to know that I’m not perfect. I don’t want you all to think that I am, or that I know best about everything I write about. I just want you all to see a different perspective than what you’ve heard a million times over.

Why I’m doing this…

So I just want to clear the air. I’m not here to blog and make money off all you people on the internet. There’s enough of that going around. Would I like to make a little cash here and there from my blog? Hell yeah. But I’m not working to turn this into the ‘full-time career’ that every other blogger brags about.

Because that’s just not feasible. At all. How are these people able to quit their jobs as productive members of society just to sit around all day and rake in money from other hard-working people? I don’t want to quit my job to blog all day (I do want to quit because retail sucks ass, but because I want to blog all day).

I love working, and I know that some things just can’t be accomplished yet with technology, like stocking shelves or mopping floors (okay, I know rumbas are a thing, but those aren’t good for commercial places yet). I don’t want to sit back and let the cash roll in.

I’m blogging just to get some of what I think out into the great internet void. Because you can only complain so much to the people you know. And it’s fun to watch people to get all pissy because I’m throwing their lying asses under the bus for trying to mislead regular people into thinking that all their problems can be solved with a simple blog post and some affiliate links.

So don’t think I’m doing this just to get money from you or to live off the system and money made from other people’s generosity. I’m just here to scream into the void.

Working Retail: Men…

I hate working retail with men. Now, I know this seems sexist. But let me explain.

There is not a day that goes by when I am not subject to belittling based on my gender, or hit on by customers and colleagues alike.

So when I say I hate working with men, I really men that I hate being demeaned by them while I’m literally doing nothing more than working.

Now, I consider myself cute. But I don’t show up to work in a full face of make-up or wearing anything provocative. I show in jeans and a t-shirt. I don’t go above and beyond for my appearance because this is work, not a club.

But it is utterly distracting and border-line rude when a male customer, male vendor, male colleague feels the need to flirt and ask me out while I’m just trying to do my job. It is uncalled for to be checked out by someone who honestly doesn’t have a chance.

And any man in what they think is a position of management? Dear god, do they ruffle my feathers. There’s one guy who’s an old marine and acts like everything he says and does is law. He’s new, been there less than 6 months. But the way he treats women in his department, talking down to them and acting like they don’t know anything when those women have been in that department for years. He talked down to me once. Once.

He doesn’t talk to me anymore.

And that also astounds me. That when you give back to a man what he’s been giving to you in attitude and tone, he acts like you spit on his mother. What about having a dick and most things handed to you makes you an utter dick to be around? Oh wait…

I can’t grasp how a guy thinks that treating women like this is respectable, let alone acceptable. It’s absolutely nuts that I have to worry about fending off nasty unwashed miscreants instead of getting to do my work.

And for all of you that want to whine to me about how I should be flattered that guys want to date me, I hate that. You don’t get it and I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman when you say that shit. You don’t get it.

Student life: Planning…

No one asks me anything often. Especially about school. Other than ‘When are you going to be done with school? (insert snide sneer)’. Whenever I damn well please, Karen. (there’s no Karen, just needed a name).

But seriously, so many people are out there sharing this and that about how they do school and work and a social life and extracurricular and etc, etc. All I’m saying is that it’s incredibly improbable that all these people are actually so booked up and meticulously planned out for the next 8 years of their life.

Cause I call bullshit.

The best laid plans are always upset. Always.

So is it impossible to be completely organized and planned out? Sure. That’s why I follow the backup-plan method. As in, you make a backup plans to all your regular plans. Especially where those plans can fall through.

For example:

If my plan is to graduate in four years using a full ride scholarship, I call this plan A. Therefore, if my scholarship falls through I have a plan B to have a part-time gig to help cover costs and save money.

Then, I keep planning for all the major variables that can fall through or change, to keep myself from being surprised or knocked off track.

But even planning like this can’t take into account those unplanned events (deaths, marriages, running from the law, etc.).

So all those people who preach about their plans and all those kids who graduate 5 years early, they’re bullshitting you.

I’m not going to preach that my plans are better than anyone else’s. I’m just here to vgive you the honest truth. Besides, if my shit was so good, do you think I would be working for slightly-better-than-minimum at a retail giant? No. Wasting my life in retail and almost failing out of college was not my life plan.

Student Life: Organization…

Just a heads up: There is an affiliate link below and I may get compensation if you decide to click through and buy some of the neat stuff I’m showing. But don’t worry that I’m trying to charge you out the ass; there’s extra charge for you. You’re the best, I appreciate you!

All those kids out there working and studying have all sorts of tips and tricks to keep on track. So I thought I would give you all my unnecessary input. Cause why not?

While working full-time, it’s hard to keep things under control, and adding in social time and clubs is next to impossible.

And everyone has their ideas on how to stay organized. EVERYONE.

But there’s no right answer to these questions. There’s no one way that works for everyone and sometimes you have to mix and match tips to find what works for you. Here’s what works for me, most of the time :).
Two forms of calendars: one paper and one electronic

Using two calendars helps me really keep track of everything. Most people say just use one, but this method helps me because it’s two reminders: a physical copy I can hold and carry and a digital one that I can set reminders for constantly from my phone and laptop.

Having both a physical planner and a digital calendar makes me keep deadlines in mind at all times so that I’m not overbooking myself on other assignments or meetings.

I take the time at the end of each day to make sure each is updated for the next few days so I’m always on track.
Two notebooks

This is a common tip and if you’ve ever tried you’ll see why. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this method, allow me to elaborate.

You can two notebooks. Simple enough. One is for your pretty notes and one is for class/reading notes. You begin by writing your notes in the ‘ugly’ notebook, from reading or from class, taking as many notes as possible. Then when you go over your notes for studying later in the day, you rewrite them in your ‘pretty’ notebook.

It sounds completely redundant and like a waste of time. But it’s a great study tool. Because not only are you having to recall from memory what was reviewed in class, but the repetition from writing the notes again makes you remember it better.

This method has really helped me work on recollection and associating concepts.

Color-coding and Filing Systems

This seems like another obvious idea. But for those who are clueless with filing systems, then listen up.

Every semester I try to keep every thing based in color-coded files based on the class subject; say, purple for lit classes, red for math, blue for sciences, etc.

As you get assignments back, you file them in these folders. How? One side use for handouts given in class, like resource pages, and one side for worksheets, homework, quizzes, and tests by DATE, oldest in front, newest is slipped in the back.

Then you have all your materials ready come test time to review.

Also color-code between classes. In your planner(s), color-code your time for classes and study time per class. For example, Math Class 1 is red in your planner, Science Class 1 is blue, Lit 1 is green, and so on. Then when you look at your schedule, you can quickly glance over it and see which classes you have coming up and what you need to study that night.

Wilderness Scout Bag

You can guess what this one means. Always have your bag prepared for the day.

Besides all the stuff you definitely need, think of all the things you MAY need. Maybe you’ll get out of your second class early and this will give a few minutes to review between classes. Maybe you’ll get stuck late at your lab tonight so bring a snack.

Here’s everything I pack in my bag for class everyday:

  • blank notecards and notecard holder (these can usually be found around back-to-school time)
  • calculator
  • phone charger
  • pencils
  • E-kit
    • Tampons and/or pads
    • Band-aids (you never know when those heels will give you a blister or you’ll get a nasty papercut during research)
    • Hair ties
    • bobby-pins
    • ibuprofen/acetaminophen
    • make-up if you wear it
  • planner
  • Colored pens
  • Holding folder (this is a folder/binder I carry to hold my papers until I get to class or home from class to file away properly)
  • Any books for Lit classes (unless you have a digital version, then maybe an e-reader if you have one)
  • A granola bar or two, or some trail mix
  • Water bottle : More often than not I don’t carry a water bottle on campus because I basically live off coffee and caffeine but stay hydrated folks
  • My laptop and charger (depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing that day)

This seems like a lot, but most of it fits in a pencil case or those smaller accessory pockets of a standard backpack.

Keep your bag organized and ready for the day so you can maximize your time but not having to search for papers, or pens, or your books, or a snack.

Notice I didn’t include my keys or wallet in this list and that’s because as an adult those are things you should be remembering every day.

Study Space

This is going to be your hub for school work. Most people think of a desk in their room. And that’s exactly it.

Keep this area clean and prepped for work every day. And after a long of studying and reading, it seems like a hassle to clean off your desk space, but it feels so satisfying to throw that shit in a drawer and be done with it for the day.

But keeping this area clean is critical to keeping your space organized. You’ll be able to find notes, flashcards, and worksheets with ease, especially using a color-coding system and folder system.

What little things kept you organized during your school days? Or maybe you’re struggling right now? Chat me up in the comments and let’s see what we can come up with it.

Unmotivated af…

You know those days your alarm goes off and you turn over to get up but you just don’t want to. Maybe its snowing outside and it would be so much nicer to stay in bed all day instead of tromping through the cold. Maybe you hate your job and constantly think about calling in just to get a few more hours of sleep.

And then you feel guilty for feeling burned out and unmotivated. So you start browsing the internet for some self-help guru to give you the magic answer.

There is none.

Getting up earlier or giving yourself goals isn’t going to make it easier for you to get out if bed and go to a job you hate.

So here are some tips I’ve come up with to get my ass moving on those really bad days when I want to call in.

Start Job Hunting 

One of the reasons you probably hate getting up is because you hate your job. Why? Take just a few seconds to really think about why. For me personally, retail is not where I wanted to be in life, they have taken advantage of my work ethic, they have unreasonable schedules, employees act like high schoolers and breed drama, and the benefits aren’t outstanding enough to make me want to stay permanently.

So maybe you feel this way about your job too. Then start looking.

Before calling in for the 5th time this month and its only the second week, start perusing the job market and see just how available another job is. And don’t get picky like ‘I wonder if NASA is hiring astronauts who used to work at a fast food place and have no college education to speak of’. Look for something that has just one benefit over your current work; better hours, better pay, closer commute, better benefits, in your chosen field…

But don’t quit your current job. Yet.

Spend your lunch time looking through the job postings and trying to scope the market before you quit. Then if you do decide you can’t do it anymore, you’ll have a plan in mind or even another job lined up.

Find some War Paint

This one is my all-time favorite for getting myself to go somewhere I don’t want to.

When I was just a little sophomore in high school, I saw a pretty hipster post declaring that you find your war paint to get you through the day. And for someone dealing with high school drama and the stress of getting into a good college, I took this advice to heart. And I don’t regret it for  second.

So what is war paint? It’s going to be one little thing that makes you feel good or powerful throughout the day. Like how some women love wearing red lipstick because they feel fierce. It can anything you can do before you go somewhere to make you feel powerful enough to handle the unknowns of the day.

I personally used to wear thick eyeliners and dyed my hair heavily and wore big clunky boots. I’ve taken to some of these fashions again because they make me feel more bad ass than the kindergarten teacher I normally resemble.

So how do you find your war paint? Think of some inner fantasy you’ve had. Like putting on fancy lingerie before you put on your police uniform (no judgements here folks, you can whatever kind of lingerie you want no matter who you are cause that shit is meant to make you feel good about yourself). Or it can stem from something more practical, like saying a prayer before you go to work (again, no judgements, whatever helps you guys do you).

It can be as simple as putting on some jewelry or as serious as slipping a knife into your pocket (sometimes I wish I had my knives at work). It just depends on what kind of aura you want to exude.

Take a Vacation

Cash in those vacation days. It’s the best way to actually get away from work without losing your job. And chances are that since you’re feeling burned out, you need to take a break.

So take a staycation and get your life back on track. Spend a day in bed and recoup from working your ass off.

When you get burned out from work, you don’t want to do shit. I know. You don’t want to come home and do dishes or laundry or even make a real meal. So take a few days off and get all that shit down.

When you get burned out, everything takes a back burner and then you feel guilty for not doing it. But don’t worry so much. Don’t pull yourself by your bootstraps and push day after day. Take some time and get yourself sorted out.

But don’t spend all those vacation days at once. Just take a long weekend, say a total of 5 days (three work days plus your two normal days off a week, so you’re only spending 3 vacation days).

Stress Relief

This is my favorite thing to do. Right when you get off from work, pick one little thing to get all that pent-up energy out. Some people like strenuous exercise. But we’re not some people.

I like to get home and scream into a pillow. Why not? That energy has to go somewhere. Remember how good you felt after screaming into a pillow as a kid?

Or come home and spend some one-on-one time with your honey. You know, some one-on-one time. It’s a good way to reconnect after along stressful day, it’s good way to get some of that pent-up energy out, and afterwards, pillowtalk is a great way to vent about your day without getting upset at your partner and a great way to brainstorm solutions for your particular job/situation.

There’s nothing quite like spending a majority of your day making someone else money. So before you lose your mind, leave me a comment below about some of the shit you put up with at work.

Working Retail: Courtesy…

Something they don’t explain to anyone going into retail is that common courtesy flies out the window as soon as you step foot in the building.

You’ve seen it as a customer probably; you come into the store trying to shop and everyone and their mother is standing in the middle of the aisles, babies are screaming, you’re increasingly frustrated because you can’t get what you need… It’s just a hot mess.

But as a retail worked, it’s WAY worse. We get to be Ultra Polite to all the customers because if we aren’t we can get written up/ fired. By being Ultra Polite, we get to be walked all over, talked over, shouted at, brushed off, and ignored.

And I mean all this literally.

Customers will try to run us down in aisles because they want to take up 70% of an empty aisle just for themselves. Customers will literally yell at workers just because we hesitate for a moment to think or to find a manager who knows more about a certain department (this has happened to me numerous times in the last year).

We went through a remodel recently and a lot of products got moved around. We consistently get customers who bite our (the employee’s) heads off over a decision that came from the corporate bigwigs. We as employees had no choice in the matter and now must get berated day in and day out over a decision we couldn’t control.

I don’t get how people come in and all manners fly out the door.

What happened to please and thank you? Excuse me?

The world is a mean place and the least we can do is try to be a little nicer in a place where everyone is miserable.

Problems with authority…

So, I have a little problem with authority.

Just a little one.

I really can’t stand it when someone tries to tell how to live my life. I don’t get how some people just accept the little demands and orders throughout the day.

I literally cut 3 inches of my hair off after my boyfriend jokingly told me I wasn’t allowed to cut my hair cause he liked it longer.

I stayed out all night because my parents tried to tell me, at 19 (a young adult who worked full-time and paid my bills), that I couldn’t stay out all night on a Friday night.

I got a tattoo because my grandmother hates them.

I refuse to get married because that’s what everyone in my family expects of me.

I have literally lived my life looking people dead in the eyes and doing the exact thing they just told me not to. Why should I have to listen to your rules when you don’t apply them to yourselves?

Why tie yourself to someone else’s expectations? Nothing is holding you back except your opinion of someone else. Who cares what your mom expects or your boss or your sister or you spouse or your mentor? You have to set your own deadlines and goals and expectations and tell them to fuck off.

The only person you share your headspace with is you. Don’t disappoint you. Disappoint everyone else because they put you on a pedestal. But don’t disappoint yourself.

 

Working Retail: Immature…

The most startling thing about working retail is how your coworkers treat you.

You can meet some of the nicest, generous people working minimum-wage for a retail giant. And you will also meet some of the oldest high schoolers of your life.

I’m not talking about high school kids who are super seniors but trying to get out into the world. I’m talking about the people who, for no reason, choose to hate your guts and willingly make your job 20x harder than it needs to be. Especially when you need to communicate with these people regularly.

I currently deal with 4 of these people; two of which graduated school just a few short years ago, and two of which have decided to act like high schoolers, at their job, well into their 40s.

Now, this kind of attitude surprised the shit out of me because before I worked retail, I was a file clerk/admin assistant for a local contraction company (i.e. a construction office bitch). I had absolutely no problems with the other office workers and the field employees (all the service guys and the construction guys), whenever they came into the office they were more than respectful of me and the other ladies in the office.

Since working retail, I have been threatened to take our dispute ‘elsewhere’ because I laughed at a joke made at one person’s expense because the joke was made by a salaried manager and I was nervous. What else am I supposed to do when a salaried manager, who can make or break my day, who can fire me, who can write me up for any little thing, makes an inappropriate joke? Nothing. I can go to HR after the fact, but not during.

I have been told that, while working on a special project for my department, one of the previous managers over my department thought I wasn’t doing a good enough job and that if I had just ‘done it sooner, you wouldn’t need help’. She said it to my face, after I was not told that I needed to come in early to help with a different project. She has since been extremely cold towards me.

And a different manager who previously was over my department, but still works closely with mine, refuses to communicate with me about anything. Just last week, she purposefully neglected to tell me about some boxes that needed to stocked that had accidentally ended up with her freight. She was less that 10 feet away from me in the backroom and didn’t say shit. Not a single word. She left my freight on the floor in her area and neglected to tell me that it was even there. I only knew about it because I was 10 FEET AWAY FROM HER AND HEARD HER TALKING!

Now, I can theorize why these girls are all mad at me. It’s not hard to do. But this is your job; you  shouldn’t be causing drama and being completely immature just because you’ve been there however long or your apathetic about your job. Just because you don’t care doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t. I have bills to pay, college to attend, mouths to feed, etc. I can’t afford to settle this shit like I did in high school where I had no qualms about calling you out in public and calling you on your shit. Hell, I was constantly ready for a throw down in high school. But I’m an adult now and willing to have sit downs and communicate where these animosities are coming from so that I don’t hate coming to my job every single fucking day.

I think the worst part is that I’m not the only person these bullies target. The two younger girls I work with are now targeting two of the other girls on their team. Why? I can’t tell you. The two innocent girls come in, do their jobs, go home. They are just like me, trying to pay their bills and keep their heads afloat. They don’t start shit and they really are nice girls. But these two drama queens have decided they are the next best thing.

It’s absolutely ridiculous how people can get away with acting like this. And whenever I communicate that I’m being treated this way to my managers, they just shrug it off and tell me ‘you’re young so you have to learn to be the bigger person’. No the fuck I don’t. I am the bigger person by coming in every day, trying to be polite and courteous even though I really want to throw blows. I already am the bigger person for pleading with my managers to set up meetings with some of my colleagues so we can all get on the same page and clear the air. Just because my managers don’t do anything about it doesn’t mean that I’m not trying or that I’m not being the bigger the person.

But then again, why am I, the twenty-something having to be the bigger person to a forty-something adult woman who has no right to treat me the way she does.

Maybe I’ll start being the bitch I was in high school and show them I mean business, because apparently civility and honor mean nothing to these people. And they’re about to mean nothing to me.

Have you ever dealt with people like this while working retail or is this just my store? I would love some feedback below!

Fashion…

Fashion is stupid. Exceedingly stupid.

Clothes for women are so impractical; either too short, too thin, too cutesy, too slutty, or too old-fashioned.

I can dress in a short skirt and be called a slut, only because I am showing off my legs (oh god no, not legs! that’s too damn sexy).

I can wear a cropped sweater and be called dumb because no sweaters are a normal length.

I can wear a professional blouse and freeze half of the day because it’s made from the thinnest materials available (why? people don’t want to see my nipples when I’m giving a presentation).

I can wear a moderate length skirt and get dirty looks for not dressing my age. (Oh god, now I’m not showing enough leg! Where will the madness end!)

Or I can wear a simple t-shirt with unicorns and rainbows on it and look like I’m an 8 year old girl (even though I pay taxes and vote).

There’s no winning unless you start wearing men’s clothing and then people judge you based on stereotypes of sexuality.

Like, what do you people want from women? We can’t be naked unless it’s on paper and we can’t wear practical clothing unless we’re crazy, old, lonely, cat ladies and we can’t wear 90% of clothing available without getting shit for it. So what do you want?

Nosy Relatives: Marriage…

I hate when you go see a relative and they start pushing about your relationships (sometimes, the lack thereof).

I just celebrated 3 years of dating with my boyfriend. And we’re perfectly happy where we are right now; living together, raising pets, and just trying to make our way in the world.

But the number of looks I have seen in the last week when I tell them we’ve been  together for three years. I swear, there is nothing more irritating than people giving me looks like I should be dropping hints that we need to get hitched.

I don’t have to drop hints. We’re adults that talk about our future together like adults and make big decisions together. I don’t need Auntie Nancy butting into our business and trying to push us in a direction we don’t feel comfortable taking as a couple (Auntie Nancy isn’t a real person, btw). I don’t care that everyone over 40 got married in their late teens/ early twenties, that’s not a feasible concept anymore, especially for work benefits, taxes, student loans debt and regular debt incurred just trying to live.

But the worst part of the nosy relative trying to drop hints? That you’re not involved in the relationship to begin with. You may be related to one party of the couple, and you could be their closest friend, but that doesn’t mean you have any form of say in what the couple decides is best for them. You don’t get to push your son into proposing because you think he should be settled down by 25, like you were. Hell, you probably don’t even really know what your relative wants from their relationship or from life. Maybe they want to travel the world before marrying, maybe they want to be well-off enough to be able to provide a house instead of an apartment to their new spouse, maybe they want to pay off their student loans so that they don’t wrangle their new spouse into helping them pay it off.

So when I get those looks from friends and family, I have to fight to bite my tongue lest I say something truly regretful. Because the last thing I want to talk about is how my marriage is failing because I married someone after 1 year, while still in the honeymoon stage of a relationship, and then realized that the person I am now married to and raising children with is not compatible with me. Oh wait…

Proposals…

You know what the most ridiculous thing in the world is? Men HAVING to propose with a diamond ring to their girlfriend.

It’s completely impractical.

Why would I want a shiny rock that’s worth more than a car that I will use only as a status symbol to show that I’m desirable enough to marry?

I want something usable, something practical. I don’t need jewelry.

Get me a house, or a new car, or even a stick of gum. Just not jewelry.

Or hell, don’t even propose. Just toss me over your shoulder like the barely-evolved caveman you are and drag me back to your cave. It makes more sense than spending too much money on a simple little ring that can get lost or stolen or broken.

Or if you really want to propose to me, get me a fucking Ringpop or something. Candy jewelry. Something besides jewelry I will  never wear because I can’t stand rings and necklaces get in the way when I work, and bracelets snap and earrings get lost all the time.

What would you rather pay; $5,000+ on an engagement ring (plus another like $3k or so for the wedding band?) or like $1 on a Ringpop, or if you’re feeling splurge-y, maybe like $20 for a modest bouquet of flowers and a heartfelt proposal.

If you could go back and propose with something other than a diamond ring, would you?

This post also ties back to my previous posts on Weddings… 

Side ho…

Being the side ho in a relationship is rough.

Especially when your boyfriend is basically married to his jeep.

You know this kind of guy; his car gets more parts with each paycheck, he washes it every weekend (complete with waxing and full interior detailing), he kisses it goodnight, one funny sound and he’ll spend the next 24 hours worrying about it like his car is going to die… You know these guys.

But nobody talks about the side ho; the wives and girlfriends who put up with this nonsense. Who watch their men sitting in the driveway with their cars watching the sunset. Who have to plan their weekends around the car shows and races and ‘tune-ups’ (i call it that because nothing is getting tuned, it’s just the activity of a man standing in his driveway for 4 hours fiddling with parts on his car for no reason).

And then your man looks at you like you’re the crazy one when you say that this new car is alright, or when you only shrug about going to the racetrack this weekend.

I love my man, I really do, but I did not think I was getting into a polygamous relationship that involved a car.

And jeep guys are some of the worst ones out there.

I don’t know what it is about them, but dear god once a man gets bitten by the Mopar bug, he will drop your ass faster than slow wifi just to spend time with his jeep.

At least he’s not clingy.

Weddings…

Weddings are absolutely pointless in this day and age.

Maybe back in the day it was just an excuse to get the whole village together and party, but today?

I can go down to the court house with my chosen spouse and sign a marriage license. I could be married by lunch today if I had a consenting partner.

Yet this “traditional” way of celebrating a civil partnership by dropping thousands and thousands of dollars on a one-time event where the couple force their friends and families to jump through outrageous hoops (you’ve seen those bridezilla stories) just to show up to eat some food and get drunk in fancy clothing.

And that’s not even taking into account the couples where the families are ultra-controlling and try to make a dream wedding by their standards instead of what the couple wants.

Knowing exactly how my family will act if I ever decide to ‘settle down’, I’m eloping. Then my grandmother can’t criticize my dress, my parents can’t lament the bill they won’t even be paying, my spouse’s parents won’t have to gripe about the wedding theme/colors, and I won’t have to listen to my friends bitch and moan about how I didn’t pick them for my bridal party.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I haven’t picked out my wedding dress. You can’t elope without looking the part.

Only so many hours…

So there are only 24 hours in a day.

And as student, that means if you’re taking a full course load, you spend every minute of minute day studying and learning and paving the way for your future.

As a full-time worker, that means that 70% of your day is devoted to working and maintaining a house.

As both, that means you literally have no time for anything else in the world besides studying and working. No time for eating or sleeping or friends or family. And everyone and their mother say they work full-time and take full-course loads but they’re lying.

There is not enough time in the day to work 9 hours plus the approximate (read: low-end estimate) 1 hours both way commute, then adding the maybe 4 hours of on campus classes, plus the resulting hour of homework and an hour of studying for each class (let’s say 4 classes) that’s a total of 22 hours of your day. Every day.

Sure courses can differ on days and employers can be flexible with your work days but I did this. I was taking 5 classes and working 36 hours a week. It’s not sustainable, and I was even breaking even every month.

So, in short, I’m sick and tired of people saying they’ve done this and that and been where I’ve been. Cause you haven’t. You haven’t done shit like me.