Student life: Surviving on coffee…

I know how midterms and finals week can be. Your anxiety is up, your sleep is down and the only thing keeping you going is your third pot of coffee and adrenaline from the stress.

So how do you keep your caffeine high going? Or how do you come down from the caffeine when you’re done for the night?

To keep your caffeine buzz going strong there’s going to be two things you need to keep in mind.  More coffee and alternative fuel. As in, food. If you have something to cushion the coffee or energy drink, then it will last longer and you won’t have to worry about a caffeine crash or a blood sugar crash, which will make you feel just as tired.

So pad your coffee intake with some of these delicious snacks that go well with coffee:

  • Some trail mix
  • Some nuts (my favorite ;))
  • Some toast or a plain bagel with a hazelnut spread (you know the kind I’m talking about)
  • Some plain ass toast (or bread if you don’t have a toaster handy)
  • Or smear some peanut butter or jelly on that toast for something a little more filling
  • Some peanut M&Ms (also another fave)
  • Basically anything starchy and/or chocalatey

Just get something in your belly to keep you actually energized with real calories.

But what about when you finish your study craze and need to settle in for the night?

It’s a process but it’ll work if you give it the time.

  1. Start drinking water between cups of coffee to keep your belly full and dilute how much coffee you have in your system.
  2. If you have enough foresight, switch to decaf an hour or so before you have to go to sleep.
  3. Once you finish your task or assignment, take a hot shower or go through your night time routine.
  4. Once you finish up, you should start to feel the tiredness creeping back. So crawl under your covers and relax. If you have trouble falling asleep, I have a little trick; count backwards from 99. It may not work for you, but when I do it, I find it helps to make my mind relax and not wander off to what if’s, which can really help if you really need get to sleep fast.

So what should you do when you have too much caffeine and start feeling weird and jittery?

  1. Start drinking water. Literally anything other than caffeine. Now, don’t down 4 gallons of water expecting a quick fix. You have to let your organs do their jobs and filter the caffeine out.
  2. Eat some food. You need real calories in your system to help combat the caffeine crash. So grab some lunch or breakfast or whatever.
  3. Do some stretches and shake out your arms and legs. Put that useless energy to work for you. Don’t go overboard and go to the gym to pound weights and #legday. Just get some of that energy out a little bit to help feel less jittery and anxious.
  4. Don’t panic. Caffeine can heighten your anxiety levels, which around finals week is shooting through the roof. Stay calm and focus on something easy, like an essay you were already half-finished with or an extra credit study guide. If you’ve eaten, drank some water and taken a short break, you shouldn’t be panicking yet.

 

I know midterms and finals are hard. I know staying up late and trying to get to class on time during this week is hard af. But please be careful drinking copious amounts of caffeine, especially if you are a freshmen out on your own for the first time and have no clue how a bunch of caffeine effects you.

And a little ending note; if at anytime you feel completely horrible while you cram with your caffeine buddy and these tricks aren’t helping to cut the edge, don’t be afraid to contact a health official or a doctor. Caffeine overdose can happen and the best way to keep studying is NOT DYING.

 

Disaster adult…

Yes, this is a real thing.

Especially for all the grey area adults, those kids born between 1994 and 2000, who aren’t millennials and aren’t Gen Z kids. And are coming into this world as adults and frankly sucking ass as it.

So we coined the term disaster adult. Here’s to my fellow disaster adults.

To all the kids stuck eating ramen for 3 meals a day because they weren’t really taught how to grocery shop.

To all the kids who can tell you the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but can’t tell you how a tax bracket works.

To all the kids who can drive a car but can’t change a tire.

To all the kids who can’t afford fresh produce because they have to pay for their lights to stay on.

To all the kids who drown their sorrows in social media and memes because they can’t afford therapy.

To all the kids coming to terms with the capitalist hell we exist in that dictates our every decision in life.

I raise my glass to you.

Tarot 101: The Basics…

So this is one of witchcraft’s more commonly portrayed aspects in modern media. Everyone knows of the crazy old gypsy woman reading Tarot cards and palms at her velvet-covered shop with a big ass crystal ball and jars filled with unmentionable items.

While some of this is true for witchcraft (looking at all those memes about mason jar hoarding), Tarot is way more basic than that.

Tarot decks are made up of 78 cards. These cards are split into two main categories, Major arcana and Minor arcana. Major arcana makes up 22 cards of the deck and have all the most famous cards, like The Lovers and Death. The Minor arcana cards make up the remaining 56 cards of the deck and are split into four suits, like a standard deck of cards.

However, the suits are different than a standard deck. Where a standard deck is made up of Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs, a Tarot deck is made up of Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Now the Tarot suits do coincide with regular suits, so if you’re trying to be sneaky or looking for a new Tarot challenge, you can use a regular deck just as you would a Tarot deck. Cups coincide with Hearts, Pentacles with Diamonds, Swords with Spades, and Wands with Clubs.

An interesting note about the Major arcana is that although they are numbered, they are numbered from 0 to 21, instead of 1 to 22. We’ll go over more of the Major arcana later on.

Tarot is a form of divination magic, like reading tea leaves or casting oracle bones. Another form of card divination is using oracle cards, which are different than Tarot cards because oracle cards can come in different kinds of deck sizes and content, whereas Tarot is normally based on one set standard.

Tarot decks are usually illustrated and based off the Rider-Waite Tarot deck structure. Most decks use their face illustrations off the standard Rider-Waite deck that’s been in print since 1910 and are considered the standard for  Tarot decks. Nowadays, there are many illustrators creating their own stylistic face illustrations for their own Tarot decks, drawing from the Rider-Waite deck as the foundation.

Speaking of the Rider-Waite deck, many pros agree that to start learning with a deck based on the Rider-Waite deck since it is such a common and accessible deck. As well as being the most common deck available, since everyone uses it basically, the resources online are countless if you need help interpreting a card or learning a new spread.  Besides online, Tarot has been around since the Middle ages, meaning that there are books upon books you can reference, although some books reference how Tarot was used as a simple card game before it was used for divination purposes.

That’s just some of the basics involving Tarot. With a topic this old and rich, there’s always more to explore and discover and learn.

Working Retail: Hobbies…

Because of the nature of retail, you have to give up weekends more often than not. Which doesn’t bother me as much as being told last minute by my managers that my weekends were indefinitely revoked until further notice.

But that’s not the point here. The point I’m making is that working retail is a soul-sucking hell for one major reason; you get to devote so many of your waking hours and energy to a retail job that it’s hard to make plans with friends or even to do your favorite hobbies anymore.

Why?

You spend all day busting your ass hoping for a raise or a promotion so you don’t have to work 60 hours a week to eat, just 40 hours. But you can’t make plans because you either a) don’t know when you’re getting off work or b) have to go in super early (i had scheduled shifts that started at 4 am. 4. In. The. Morning.). So your constantly exhausted.

Then you’re so tired that your hobbies aren’t fun anymore because you don’t have the energy to do them.

I loved to read and knit and go camping and ride dirt bikes and go to the lake and boating with my family in the summertime. I used to love working out with my sister and running with my dogs. But I can’t muster up any extra energy after being at work for anywhere between 9 and 13 hours a day.

I don’t want to do anything physical because I literally worked out for 6+ hours of the work day. And reading and knitting are out the window too, because I can’t muster up enough emotional energy to be interested in those activities because I spend so much of my time at work also dealing with drama.

Is there a way to get back into your hobbies while working retail? Sure. Just find something that you can do anytime of day and do it for the 10 extra minutes have every morning before going to work. That’s it.

Now, I know some people may come up into this post and say ‘oh, well sounds like you have depression and you should go see someone about that.’ That’s nice buddy. I do know what the symptoms of depression are, but this is just exhaustion. These tasks still interest me, but I just can’t bring myself to actually do them because I’ll be more tired than before and it will make my exhaustion-fueled short fuse even shorter. And if I do have depression, how do you think I can pay for a doctor and medication and a therapist with my slightly over minimum wage pay and the minuscule free time I do possess? Because then seeing the therapist would become my hobby instead of sleeping or watching a comedy special on Netflix with my boyfriend or talking to my sister about her day after she gets off work or talking to my parents while they deal with the Big Family Shit going on in my family.

All I’m saying is that say goodbye to your hobbies when you start retail because if the fluorescent lights don’t suck out your soul first, the painful work schedule will demolish it.

Intro to Witchcraft…

We all know about the witch hunts where many woman were burned at the stake or drowned for any reason at all. Witchcraft was more of a blanket term back them to describe anyone who wasn’t fitting in with societal norms.

But witchcraft itself has somehow persevered through the years and is seeing a resurgence of late as more and more women are delving into the history behind it and are finding that it is a much more open community than originally led to believe. Not only is it an open community where members are more than willing to teach and answer questions about witchcraft and wicca, but it is also becoming a more holistic approach to spirituality than other forms of organized religion.

Some of these benefits include worshiping who you want without any guidelines on exactly how you HAVE to worship your deity. You also can pick from across cultures all around the world to find a deity that actually suits you and your life instead of a monotheistic religion. Not only is the spirtuality aspect a major winner of why so many people are turning to witchcraft and wicca, but the fact that many attributes of spell work and witchcraft itself revolve around nature and appreciating nature.

So for some who are wiccan, a day at church could be hiking a local mountain and cleaning up litter, or taking a walk through the woods and appreciating the nature that surrounds their area, or maybe it means going down to a local park and sketching some of the squirrels and birds to give as offerings to a deity. I personally understand how any of these activities, done with the proper reverence, beat sitting in a musty old church all morning listening to a man try to interpret a book instead of doing so myself.

Now before I get carried away, let me make a disticntion.

Wiccan is the nontraditional belief system (however considering witchcraft has existed longer than organized religion, maybe this should be considered traditional) of worshiping Non-Christian deities and more than one deity. Most people refer to it as a form of paganism and I guess it counts on a purely technical basis, considering how the dictionary defines words.

Witchcraft is the blanket term for practicing various forms of magic, usually in correlation to a deity, but not always.

So you can be wiccan and practice witchcraft or you can be wiccan and not practice witchcraft, or you can practice witchcraft and not be wiccan. But that’s the beauty of witchcraft. It give you the options and choices to grow spiritually how you want to and with what suits you.

Does this make witchcraft evil? In the eyes of some of the more extreme Christian groups, yes. But for one group who believes that being gay is wrong and that vaccinating your kids is wrong and that divorce is wrong and that only one person has the answer and the other that appreciates other cultures and nature and works primarily to bring about positive solutions to problems… You can see where I’m going with this right?

So maybe you can see why I’m getting into witchcraft. I can do my own thing without have to play into the notion that only one god exists to try to explain the vast amount of uncertainties in the world. Or maybe I’m just an old-fashioned kind of girl 😉

How to: Vodka Gummy Bears…

So here’s how to make my personal favorite drinking snack.

It’s really easy, but does take some set up time.

So all you need:

  • A quart-sized mason jar or a reusable food storage container (any size will really do)
  • big bag of gummy bears (whichever brand you prefer, I always get the biggest bag possible for multiple batches)
  • a big bottle of regular vodka (whichever brand you prefer, I always just get the cheapest, biggest bottle I can find)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 hours

Step 1: Fill container 2/3 with gummy bears

Step 2: Pour vodka over gummy bears until just covered

Step 3: Put lid on container and put in fridge overnight

This is the best make-ahead party treat (for adults, duh) and it stays in the fridge pretty well until you want/need them. I usually just keep a jar in the fridge for a fun little something on Friday nights to treat myself for getting through the week. Because nothing says happiness like gummy bears and alcohol.

Tarot 101: Overview…

To start off my new series of Tarot posts, I just want to go over some basic stuff with you.

For starters, this is more of a way to document my learning of the Tarot deck than to be used as an absolute guide. One of the best study methods is to teach the concept to someone else, so by writing it all down and teaching the internet about it, it should help me learn it all better too.

Secondly, I’m not claiming I’m an expert. Yet. So if you see something wrong, shoot me an email or comment on the post. I’m open to learning anything and everything.

Thirdly, I plan on posting every few days, so I’m not going all out all at once.

Any comments or questions, please let me know. This is definitely a group journey at this point!

Student life: the exception…

I want to touch back on the First World Problem I mentioned in a previous blog post.

Because this is a real issue and I know there are kids like me out there struggling to come to terms with it.

For my first time readers, the First World Problem is that you live in an area where you are lucky enough to go to school, but getting into college is it own struggle like not qualifying for financial aid or scholarships because of your background as a well-off middle class kid.

So I just wanted to take a second and tell those kids that you’re not alone. And to offer some advice you won’t find anywhere else because no one wants to get down into the dirt with you.

  1. No one in your circle is going to understand your situation. No one. Your parents won’t understand that your entire financial situation is based off of them. Your friends won’t understand because they have their own issues and lives to deal with and they aren’t emotionally capable to deal with your issues right now. And forget about advisers and counselors and mentors at college understanding. They may say they get it, but this is definitely something outside their capacity to deal with, because they have other students and their own lives to deal with. So make your piece with the fact that this is a long, hard road you’re on and that it is a lonely one as well.
  2. There is no way to get through this without sacrificing everything important. Seriously, you will have to cut ties with certain people and go without your favorite coffee creamer and those awesome family vacations with your folks. Because you’re going to be working your ass off in school and at work to make ends meet. Get used to sleeping on Saturday nights instead of partying and people giving you weird looks for getting stuck at work instead of hanging out with them. And whatever they say, all that ‘you can miss one day, you can miss one class’ BS, don’t fall for it. You can’t gain your footing back when you fall behind.
  3. I know you are horribly frustrated. Trust me, I know. No one can give you the answers for this problem. Well, except finding a sugar daddy to pay for all your shit. But that is a very rare occurrence. So keep your head down, your nose to the grindstone, burn the candle at both ends, yadda yadda yadda. But that’s not gonig to work either. Trust me. I know from being there. So what do I suggest? Half-ass everything you can and save your energy for the shit you have to whole-ass like projects and tests. Don’t spend yourself on the menial shit.
  4. Take a break from life if you have to. This is the only rule I follow about my life; my personal self comes first. If that means skipping studying to actually eat a real meal, then so be it. If it’s between a shower and an extra hour of sleep instead of a few hours of overtime, I’m going to pick my bed before anything else. Everyone will try to tell you to keep working hard and just get up earlier and work harder, but for the love of all that is good in this world, do not neglect yourself just to get an A. If you have to redo the semester, so be it. If you have to retake a course 5 times because you absolutely hate it, so be it. Don’t sacrifice yourself just to prove a point. Trust me, I’ve been there.
  5. You’re frustrated. You’re exhausted. You’re pointlessly wondering about where to go from here. I know. So what do you need to do to quit feeling like this? I have some bad news, friend. Get comfy with this feeling cause it’s your reality for however long it takes to get your degree. Shitty, right? But don’t worry. The process is so long and convoluted to get through school while working full time that by the time you get to the end of the road, you’re to be so exhausted and burned out that you’ll have to be carried across the stage to get your hard-earned diploma. And then you’ll spend the next 50 years working just as hard to pay off your loans and buy a house and then die. Fun, right? So do what I do every time I pointlessly search the internet for some magic solution; make a plan, make a back-up plan, then get to work. Which is the last thing you want to do, but plan your plan out so far that every day has a plan. Every year has a plan. Then even if something goes wrong, if something falls through, or you still feel directionless and exhausted, you have the road map right there to tell you if you’re going the right way, if you’re doing the right thing.

 

Is this all super shitty advice? You bet your ass it is. But it’s the only thing I’ve been able to come up with considering that I’m the only I know dealing with this shit.

Let me know if this works for you, or if I just pissed you off more.

My new thing: something spooky…

Since nobody asked, I’m going to tell you anyway. I did give you all enough time to vote and guess though 😉 My new thing…

So my new thing, hobby or what have you, is witchcraft and tarot.

I’m planning on posting some cool witchy stuff over the next couple of weeks, including run-downs of tarot cards, some basic witchy item stuff, maybe some lore and cryptids too.

So let me know in the comments below if there’s anything you’re curious about and I’ll see if I can answer your questions.

One day off…

I would rather strip than work another day in retail.

I repeat: I WOULD RATHER WORK IN A DEMEANING JOB WHERE MY WORTH IS BASED SOLELY ON MY PHYSICAL APPEARANCE THAN WORK ANOTHER DAY IN THE WORLD’S MOST DEMEANING PROFESSION WHERE I GET TO KEEP MY CLOTHES ON BUT GET TO BE A DOORMAT FOR EVERYONE ELSE.

I would rather be groped and molested for money than work another day where I am treated like not only the dumbest person in the room, but also the only person capable and willing to do my job as well as everyone else’s job. I have been asked constantly to give up my day’s off, to wait to take lunches until I’ve finished working on projects that are hours long, and most recently, I’ve been asked to completely rearrange my schedule on short notice to suit the demands of my store manager.

Now how short is short notice? I was told last Tuesday that my schedule needed to be changed from having Fridays and Saturdays off to something else. Just so I could be there as the store of Fridays. Literally just because my store manager did not like that I had Fridays off. No other reason. I was told that this new schedule would be put into place IMMEDIATELY. Which means that for the last 9 days, I had 1 day off. ONE.

Now, everyone will scoff and say, ‘oh, but you’ll have a nice fat overtime check so quit complaining.’ Except I won’t. Because of the way the work week is structured for their pay periods, I will not be having ANY OVERTIME because the pay period recognizes my hours worked as two separate 40 hour work weeks.

And this is the first time the managers have pulled this shit on me.

They also did it in October when I had put in for a couple days off. I was asked to come in on the DAY I HAD REQUESTED OFF, A DAY THAT WAS APPROVED BY THE MANAGERS TO HAVE OFF, to work a half day. Then they tried to call me in during this period I had off to work on the day I still had requested off, that had still been approved ahead of time to be off. It’s not like I was ditching, it’s not like I was calling in. I had requested those days off a month in advanced and had them approved by the managers to be off.

All I’m saying is that it would be nice for once to not have to destroy my family life and my social schedule just to work in a shitty deadend retail job. I know that’s a lot to ask for but gods damned is it really so hard to ask for a little common respect and decency at work?

Fashion: My favorite accessories…

This post has some affiliate links listed below, so if you decide to click on the links and buy that item, I get a little money as well, at no extra cost to you. 

I live a very busy life. Like, super busy all the time.

So I figured I would make a list of all the tings I carry with me day to day.

  1. Lip balm
  2. Wallet
  3. Phone (duh)
  4. Lighter Here’s one that I carry cause it’s cool af  Zippo Dragon Tattoo Lighter
  5. Butterfly knife (now fair warning, this is legal to have in my area but maybe not yours, check local laws first friends)
  6. Journal Here’s one I LOVE and the journal inserts I use  Refillable Leather Journal
     and Set of 6 Travel Journal Inserts
  7. Pack of smokes
  8. Lipstick (right now I’m using Mally Beauty Lip Crayon in Chic Cherry)
  9. Mascara ( get some Elf brand from your local store, it’s cheap and better damn good)
  10. Pens

Now, most of this stuff I do carry in a bag, but it’s never a huge bag. I love backpacks or messenger bags because they’re a bit more manageable and lasting than normal shoulder bags in my experience. Below are some of the bags I use or would definitely get in the future. (these are picture affiliate links, so if you click on the picture it will take you to the page where you can buy the item if interested. See my affiliate link disclosure at the top of the post)

Student life: Why I hate common college tips…

I absolutely hate all the advice floating around about college courses. I HATE it. And it’s not because it’s bad advice, it’s because it’s one-perspective advice. It’s all the tips and tricks that particular student found works for them.

So I’m going to go over all the dumb little tips I’ve found to be impossible for me.

  1. Don’t take any classes before 9 am or Don’t take any 8 am classes. This is the most bullshit advice I’ve ever heard. I know when you first get into college you overbook yourself. It’s just what happens. But it is sometimes impossible to avoid taking an 8 am class. At my school in particular, many required courses for my major are only available at 8 or 9, which means that to graduate I gotta drag my ass to class. College isn’t about living the Dream™, it’s about putting in the work to get a future and be more comfortable later in life.
  2. Find a club. I hate this advice because there is no way some of us can be committed to a full course load and a club, especially if you have a job you HAVE to work to afford eating and sleeping with a roof over your head. Not to mention the people who only want to focus on getting through their courses or can’t devote any other personal energy to a club. If you really think a club is going to help you get into some grad school or to get some job after you graduate, then maybe you should also keep your options open about what you want to do after college. I have gotten many jobs without the help of some club and I’m going to get into grad school without a club on my academic resume either, because I’m going to work hard at the other aspects of my life.
  3. Don’t forget to exercise and take care of yourself uwu I hate this advice because it only works for some people. There’s no reason to look at your already packed schedule and try to fit in an hour of intramural sports or 30 minutes at the rec center. If your campus is like mine, then you can bike or walk to class every day, which is just as healthy as hitting the gym every day because you get fresh air, sunshine (on sunny days of course) and some moderate exercise. But there’s no reason to kill yourself trying to keep up with everyone else who’s schedule allows for them to hit the gym or the rec every day.
  4. Focus on school, hustle, hustle, hustle Gods, I hate hustle culture. I hate that fact that people act like if you just work hard enough all your dreams will come true. Let me sit you down and give you some real life advice; You’re NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS YOU. For me that means I will sacrifice everything except the basic needs. I will not lose sleep or skip meals. All those dumb graphics and dumb rhetoric about ‘stay up late and get up early to achieve your dreams’ is absolute bullshit. You can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor if you’re sitting in a hospital bed with malnutrition and exhaustion. So don’t skip work, dinner, or bed, because you have to make sure you are taken care of before you start trying to make your life better.

As much as good advice is out there, there’s tons more than you can’t even use 9 times out of 10 because it just doesn’t apply to your situation.

 

Survivng retail…

Retail is literal hell. Not metaphorical at all. I would not wish retail work upon my worst enemies.

But for those poor souls stuck working retail, here are some tips to get you through this.

  1. Treat your self. I don’t mean spend your entire paycheck on something you want cause it just came out. I mean, every week buy one little thing to motivate yourself to get through the week. Maybe it’s your favorite latte from Starbucks or maybe it’s Kitkat bar or maybe it’s a rental from Redbox for a night in. Whatever it is, I have a few ground rules to keep myself from going overboard, like nothing over $5.
  2. Go out. Not every night. But take yourself out every so often for ice cream or a movie. I know working retail is exhausting. I know it’s hard. But sometimes you have to take a break from being the responsible adult who’s going to work and paying those bills. So take a little break and enjoy something trivial.
  3.  Start a project outside of work.  You’re going to want to slap me for this, but hear me out. Start something big outside of work, say like repainting a room or starting a 1000-piece puzzle. Just start something to motivate you to finish the work day to go home to. Think about how expecting parents are more than happy to get off work to finish their nursery or how people join recreation sports teams. When you find something to get excited about after work, it makes the work day go easier.
  4.  Clean. Again, you’re going to want to slap me. But again, hear me out. I know how shitty it is to come home from a busy day and see a messy kitchen or bathroom and you feel all lingering motivation for anything flee your body. But think of cleaning like cheap therapy. No one is going to yell at you for beating the dust out of your rugs. No one will fault you for throwing out old magazines and junk mail. Or for aggressively scrubbing the stubborn grout stains on your tile. Cleaning is a good way to safely relieve some of the stress from work while still being productive.
  5. Take a fancy bubble bath. This goes hand-in-hand with treating yourself. Once a week, on your Friday (cause in retail do you ever work a real Monday to Friday, 9-5), go home and run a bath. Get some sweet ass bath bombs or some scented Epsom salts or some super bubbly bubble bath, light some candles, and soak for a few. Rest your tired feet and aching back in a nice hot bath to help relax your muscles. And there’s no shame if you’re a man. Seriously, a hot bath will do wonders for your back and hips and feet and knees. If you don’t have a bathtub, then just take a nice hot shower before bed and when you crawl into bed still warm from your shower, it’ll help you relax and sleep easier through the night.

I know working retail is a thankless job and it’s hard on your mental health and your body. Let me know in the comments below what you do to get through a long hard day in customer service.

My new thing…

So recently I’ve developed a new hobby so to speak.

It’s an old hobby rich in tradition and history

It’s been becoming popular again after falling off the map for a bit, since it seemed to have fallen out of style for one reason of another.

This hobby has ages of books to sift through not to mention all the new blogs and forums devoted to it.

Need another hint?

One word.

Starts with a consonant.

Guess in the comments below 😉

Working Retail: Expectation vs. Reality…

This is the only post I want anyone to read if you’re thinking about working retail.

Long story short, it sucks.

Long story, it sucks ass.

So here’s what I expected walking into retail:

  • Standing for 8 hours a day
  • Lifting things that are really fucking heavy by yourself
  • Cleaning up after grown ass adults

 

Here’s what I get every day working retail:

  • Standing almost my entire 8 hour shift. I get to sit for lunch and when I take a 5 minute pee break once a day.
  • Lifting things in the stupid conditions and having to be the only girl on any team willing to lift the 50 lb. dog food bags that are literally HALF my body weight.
  • Cleaning up after both customers and associates because not only do the assistant managers not do shit, our maintenance doesn’t do shit, our overnight stockers don’t do shit, no one does anything.
  • Giving up my weekends and days off that I put in for because my managers can’t figure out how to run a department for 2 days.
  • Giving up 90% of my free time because not does overtime exist, but the hours as so shitty for starting positions. I started out as a daytime stocker, with the shift running from 4 am to 1 pm. I was dead on my feet by quitting time and asleep on my couch by 7. I lost any social life I had and my boyfriend and I barely went out on date nights ever because I was always fucking tired from not only getting up at an unholy hour but because I was busting my ass all day, putting in overtime to make up for the shitty hourly wage of $11 an hour (which YOU CANNOT LIVE ON NO MATTER WHAT ANY ONE SAYS)
  • Being constantly cranky because I only have time to grab fast food on lunch and I constantly want to eat the fries at the McDonald’s across the street. I gained a good 10 pounds working here (I’ve always been a bit on the underweight side), but I also probably gained heart disease and diabetes because I’m downing fast food and energy drinks and anything with sugar in it to keep going throughout the day.
  • Managers who don’t care to do their job. They act like since they have a fancy title and a nice salary that they get to push off every responsibility onto every other employee, including other managers. But they want to keep their jobs because they like the pay.
  • Unreliable co-workers who will leave you high and dry on those horrid weekends with high traffic. These are the people who do the bare minimum already, expecting you to pick up the slack because they’ve been there for long enough that the managers can’t figure out how to get rid of them. But they will call in all the time and leave you to deal with the rude customers and high-strung managers.

 

Obviously, each job is what you make of it and attitude is everything. But coming in day after day and busting ass to get shit done, being nice or at least courteous to every single person, staying late and coming in early, all this shit wears you out so fast.

I’m in my early twenties and I feel like I’m in my late 40s, the way I ache and cramp and lock up especially with my knees and back. I would definitely recommend never working retail if you can help it. But I know you probably got bills to pay and mouths to feed, so only start in retail if the only other options are turning tricks or stripping.

Putting the D in Dysfunctional…

Buckle up folks, because this is going to be a bumpy af ride.

I want to give you an overview of the dysfunction I face in the day to day with my family.

So that when you see me post something off the wall, you understand that I am a product of my upbringing.

My parents are happily married. They are also functioning alcoholics.

My paternal grandparents are not happily married. My grandfather is an alcoholic and my grandmother is addicted to opioids, and most likely has Munchausen Syndrome since she has been in and out of the hospital for the last 15 years.

She is currently in the hospital now, following the death of my great aunt, her sister, in September, and has been since right before Christmas.

I have a cousin in jail for murder. He’s actually one of my better cousins. In his defense, it was a robbery that took a bad turn and he has served his time in jail and it really turned his life around. He used to work with training service dogs, until someone ruined that privileged in the prison.

I have a cousin with warrants out for her arrest for grand larceny. She is my grandmother’s favorite grandchild.

My uncle has been MIA for almost a decade now. After raising his daughter, the larceny cousin, he disappeared. Last we knew he was in the Seattle area. Last I knew, he was a bit of a creep, hanging out with people half his age and trying to date girls as old as his daughter (again half his age). his name is Jared, he has like 6 degrees and probably works in a lab of some kind. Kick him in the dick if you see him and tell him his niece sends her regards :).

My maternal uncle couldn’t keep his pen out of the company ink pot and basically ruined his kids’ lives with having to divorce his wife, my aunt (now removed, but we still like her), and then marry the bitch he was screwing. We do not like her. She is a literal bitch and my God-fearing, see-the-good-in-everyone maternal grandmother even called her a whore one time.

Now my uncle’s new wife is also why I have beef against vegetarians (ha, beef against vegetarians). Every family gathering, she shows up and drinks only from her own cup she brought, which we suspect is spiked, and she refuses to eat anything anyone else brought. She also claims to have this disease or that illness and then makes my cousins be little Cinderella’s and clean the house for her, instead of making her own grown ass kids help. The only time I ever saw her be social in the last 7 years was when I brought my best friend to Christmas dinner (my friend was stuck in town and couldn’t get down south to be with her own family for the holidays) and my uncle’s wife tried to get on her good side with compliments and such. It was the weirdest situation and my friend finally believes that this bitch is crazy. She also completely changed my cousin’s diets to suit her own and I think that’s not quite fair to children already going through a messy divorce. But she doesn’t care. She sits at home on her royal throne of the couch and bosses them away.

My great-grandmother stands at about 5 foot on a good day. And she has won more brawls than your ever will. My two favorite stories about her include how she got banned from a Target and how she whooped the Neighbor Lady.

The Target story goes like this; she was shopping at Target for some groceries, as you do. As she was waiting in line to checkout, a mom and her kid come in behind her. Now the kid starts messing with the cart and pushing into my great-grandma’s ankles. After about the third she turns and asks the boy stop. He continues. She turns back and asks the mom the tell her kid to stop. She does not and he continues. She finally turns back again and tell the mom to tell her little bastard child to quit ramming the cart into her. The mom starts getting froggy, and my great-grandma was having none of that. She knocked the lady out cold with one punch, took her purse and left. She showed up at my grandfather’s house and told them she had been there for the last two hours. They didn’t dare ask why.

Now the Neighbor Lady. This is a story. My great aunts (my grandma’s sisters) were both pregnant in high school. They used to have to walk to the bus stop from their house. Well, they always passed by this house where a mean lady would say nasty things to them, calling them whores and such. Now usually, my aunts could make it to the bus stop without incidence, but they are my blood and have a hard time keeping their mouths shut. So one day, as they were walking home from school, this lady starts up her shit again. My aunts start talking shit back to her, because they weren’t going to take that shit lying down. The lady comes off her porch and smacks one of my aunts. They of course go home and tell my great-grandmother, their mom, what happens. Now my great-grandma knew this lady was a bitch. She and the next door neighbor both knew. So she storms down there, cause someone just hit her child, and she beats the living shit out of this lady in her front yard. My great-grandma then walks home, goes to the next door neighbor’s house and tells her she’s been there the last two hours if anyone asks.

 

Well, that’s enough story time for today. Maybe I’ll dig up some more gems from my childhood to share with all of you.

 

Fashion: Forget being Fashionable…

I hate fashion. I hate all the trends and the way society thinks young women have to look.

I hate feeling like society has some hold over me, like society can tell me how to look.

So I do what any unreasonable girl does. I shit on society’s expectations.

I keep cutting my hair so it’s poofy and unmanaged because everyone has decided that hair has to be absolutely perfect, even when you cut your hair and dye it. It’s not perfectly wavy, it’s not perfectly curled, it’s not straight either. It’s imperfect and perfectly fine like that.

I don’t want to look like anyone else. I am have been born into the lot of looking like anyone else and it frustrates me.

I’m frustrated that I could walk into a model agency right now, probably get a job and be on a billboard by next week. Because I can look like everyone else.

But I hate it. I hate that I can pull off any stupid trend that pops up in a month or a year, because I have the body type for it.

So I’ve come up with the perfect plan for looking like me. 

Buy only what you can use year-round or for multiple seasons. It doesn’t make sense to buy a pair of sheer leggings you can only wear on the beach if you live in Wisconsin. 

Pick one thing you like and stick with it; a certain type of pants, or a certain style of shirt. Build your wardrobe off this. I build my personal wardrobe off skinny jeans and combat boots. 

Try something new once in a while, but don’t try something new every season.  I like high-waisted jeans, but I’m not going to buy all high-waisted jeans I can get my hands on because it doesn’t suit me. 

Quit playing on the ideas that you can’t have functional fashion. I can’t stand the idea of looking like a Barbie doll. Not because Barbie isn’t a good role model, but because all of Barbie’s clothes are not truly functional. I have to carry stuff all day and I’m not going to bring a purse with me every second if it’s not completely necessary. I can’t wear heels all the time because I work an active job, because I do active things outside of work. 

 

Can we please just quit throwing money at an industry that is controlling our lives in ways it should not? Fashion is turning little girls into sex symbols because it’s the only clothing around and then people wonder why little girls look, and summarily act, like they’re adults when they’re still children. Fashion has claimed lives of models told to look certain ways to entertain an ideal that can’t exist naturally. Fashion is the one way we separate ourselves from the crowd, to be see as an individual and fashion is the one way we segregate people out of our inner circles.

But the worst part is that people still adhere to fashion like it’s a damn religion and throw dollars in the trash to look ‘good’ or ‘cool’ for a year.

 

 

Student life: How to bounce back from a bad semester…

First thing first: don’t panic.

Shit happens. Don’t start freaking out on me. That’s rule #1 in any survival situation.

So take a deep breath.

Step 1: Don’t shut down yet. 

I know how it is at the end of the semester. You’re exhausted. You’re sick of staying up late and getting up early and you want to eat anything other than ramen. But don’t get into vacation mode just yet.

If you’re already there, then wait two weeks before the new semester and start prepping for class then.

You don’t want to shut down just yet because you need to keep the wheels moving while you’re in that school mentality.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; Why the fuck am I going to keep studying and working after I turned in my 20 page paper and finished my Chem Final?

Because this is where we unfuck the next semester.

Step 2: Unfucking yourself

This is the nitty-grtitty of it. You should be registered for your next semester and have the resources available. (If not, no big deal, we’ll come back to you later).

Think through the past semester and jot down all the times you know you fucked yourself over for school. Was it an extra shift at work? Maybe a first date that had you primping for over an hour and half? Or a birthday party for your grandma?

Jot down all these instances. Literally, put it on paper because you’re going to need a physical form for you to see this.

Now everything that was optional and you could’ve lived without doing, put a star next to it. Everything that was necessary and unavoidable, cross out. Examples of both are; a night spent out drinking with friends from high school you don’t exactly like a lot – optional and unnecessary. Grandma’s 90th birthday party – necessary (unless you got a grandma like me and she wants you to study instead of party so she uninvites you to her party).

Every unnecessary instance (starred) will show you were you dropped the ball on time management. Maybe you got caught up in a new Netflix show. Maybe you dated someone before a messy breakup. But now, you’re wiser than at the start of the semester and can learn from this mistake.

Maybe this means you have to stop hanging out with your friends in the sorority because as nice as they are, they aren’t on the same major as you and don’t have to work as hard to be an architect as to be a doctor. Maybe this means you have to cut your crazy uncle out of your life for a while because he only shows up to bum some cash, couch surf, and party. Maybe this means you have to take a break from your S.O. because while they may be studying history and you’re studying Literature, they may distract you from getting your work done.

This may seem like a shitty thing to do, but you have to remember that you are racking up a huge bill to get a step further in the world. You can’t cater to anyone else’s feelings right now. This is your time to grow and those in your life need to understand that or they need to get out. So tell them either get behind you or get our of the way, because you can’t make it through this journey with half-assed support and people dragging you down and turning your attention away from getting this shit done once and for all.

Step 3: Plan, Plan, Plan, and Plan some more

This is also why you need to be stuck in that studying mindset still.

You have to make a real plan for the next semester. I know that I’ve screwed up a semester or two because I went against my plan and let myself be spontaneous as any college kid does. DO NOT KEEP DOING THIS!

While it’s good to live a little, you are spending thousands of dollars to learn and grow, and spending 4 years being studious and boring is better than spending 10 years stuck in a dead-end job because you dropped out of college.

Everyone will tell you to enjoy your youth while you have it and to live it up while you can, but let me tell you something; we’re here for a good time, not here for a long time, so live it up small but don’t leave yourself SOL when you need cash or time or a better job.

So plan out your study time and work schedule now to get a jump on telling your managers when you’ll be available. This is also a good time to think about if you may need help for next semester. Look into study groups or tutoring for those classes that keep coming back to haunt you. Look at what messed you up this semester; was it poorly written notes? Was it ineffective study groups? Was it Netflix? Was it spending too much making flash cards instead of reviewing them?

So figure out a game plan for the next semester.

Step 4: Let it go 

No, not the song.

Well, kind of like the song.

Just make your peace with this semester. Time marches on and soon this will be just a challenge you overcame for grad school application essays. Now, I know you’re thinking, how am I supposed to get over the worst time in my life? This is so horrible and I’ll never get over it. I’m a disgrace and a waste of space…

I’ll tell you how. You should still be sitting down looking at your plan. Take a deep breath. Now tell yourself the truth; you messed up, but guess what? You’re cleaning up your mess and you’re going to make it better.

So if you need a strong drink and a good cry to make your peace, well you and me both, friend.

High school mentality…

I can’t believe how often people working retail act like high schoolers. It’s ridiculous.

I just witnessed a grown woman afraid to tell the salaried managers that she was being bullied by other members of her team and it had escalated to the other team members now shoulder-checking this woman if they were in the same aisle. Like a grown woman was afraid that it was going to turn into a ‘he said she said’ thing. And she was worried about being seen as the guilty party.

I had to finally go to a manager and tell him that I was concerned for her safety and that this isn’t the first time the transgressors had tried to start drama. Luckily, he confirmed that he had suspicions about them and assured me that the woman they were victimizing was going to be treated as the victim in this situation and there was no need for her to feel that it was her word against theirs. But I know this isn’t the case everywhere.

I know there are managers who play favorites all day every day. Many of my managers play favorites all the time. I was lucky enough to have 3 siblings to contend with and know how to play the favorite game. But not everyone had a dysfunctional childhood like me. They help contribute to this bullshit going on and on, where someone can’t report sexual assault or harassment without fearing that they’ll lose their jobs, where girls are allowed to act however they want and do whatever they want while everyone picks up their slack.

I just can’t wrap my head around how these people allow high school behaviors to rule their lives and make them act immature while at work.

It’s even worse that people don’t seem to understand that in these situations, HR is your friend and that documenting everything is what will keep your ass covered.

It’s sad to think that the American public education system can turn out bullies instead of giving people the tools to succeed and therefore keep the cycle going. It’s sad to think that people are still so afraid to reach out for help in these situations, as though they’re going to get called tattletales and snitches.

It’s a vicious cycle and it’s a vicious way that people have to live their lives; coming to work to pay their bills and getting bullied by some high school drop-out who thinks they’re hot shit, when they’re nothing more than children playing at adulthood and addicted to drama.

Working retail: Dogs…

I fucking love dogs. I really do.

My dream is to own a cute little cabin in the woods and have at about 6 dogs and a little herb garden and a library and scare all the local children into thinking I’m a witch who will eat their souls.

The best part of my day at work is when people bring their dogs in.

Now, I know some of you are jumping to conclusions and shit, but let me say first; every single dog I have seen come into the store is better behaved than any of the children that run around screaming and breaking things and throwing stuff every where.

I even have a couple regulars who come in with their dogs (some are service dogs, of course) but it still makes me happy just to see them.

  • One couple comes in and they have this big beautiful Saint Bernard service dog and every time I see them, I imagine that putting that dog is soft and sweet. (I don’t ask because the dog is working and he’s on duty full-time)
  • One lady comes in with her sweet Golden Retriever, who i have pet and she is the sweetest thing and reminds me my golden who lives with my parents.
  • One lady came in a few weeks ago with her fat Dachshund, and I got to pet him and he was a sweetie and kept trying to get pets from everyone who passed by.
  • One man comes in with his dog sitting on his shoulder regularly. I have not pet this dog, but I love seeing this man come in, cause he wears a cowboy hat and his scruffy little dog perches on his shoulder like a parrot. It’s the oddest sight, but it makes me happy.
  • One man came in with his dog (I make faces when I see dogs at work because they just make me so happy), and he saw me make my stupid face and told his dog to go to me and I got to pet him and the dog gave me kisses and I fed him treats and it was the happiest day working retail because that dog was so sweet and the man was really nice about letting me pet his dog and give him treats.
  • One guy came in with his beefy pit bull and I was petting it when a lady came up and i was worried she was going to make a fuss over the dog being a pit bull, but actually just asked me and the man questions about the service dog laws for our area. The dog was very sweet and had this big blocky head.

 

These are the only fond memories I will hold of working retail. And I know what you’re all saying, if you loves dogs so much why don’t you just switch jobs to work at a doggy daycare or a kennel or something?  The short answer is I’m poor af. The long answer is that I cannot afford to switch jobs at the moment and expect to get paid the same amount I am currently getting paid because any job I find at a kennel or clinic or even retail will be at minimum wage and I can’t afford another year of working minimum wage if I want to go back to school or eat.