Category Archives: Gripes and Groans

Working Retail: Ruining your Resume…

Maybe I’m just imagining it, but I feel like working retail leaves a stain on your resume. It becomes a black mark the longer you stay there. I can’t think of any reason why a real job would look at a resume with only one job at the local grocery store for the last 6 years and determine that this person is more qualified than the guy who has had at least spent the last 6 years finishing school, working internships, and working part-time at 2 different employers.

The second person seems much more rounded and knowledgeable about how a company functions on multiple levels than the first person who only progressed one position up within 6 years at the same company.

But that’s not the issue I have with working retail. The issue I have, when looking at the differences is that when you work retail, you get sucked into the mindset that you have a steady job, so you don’t worry about finding another one. It’s the way that even if you get mistreated and overworked at a retail job, you won’t try to leave. It’s that fact that you get comfortable working at the same place for 2, 5, 10 years without looking for other employment.

And that is what kills your resume.

Even though you have steady employment and have recommendations galore from managers, you only know how to work retail. You only know how to stock a shelf, scan items at a register, move boxes from a pallet to a cart, move boxes from a shelf to a cart. You only know how to do a limited amount of tasks. If I were any other business leader and I saw a resume that said some retail business, I would automatically count that person out of my hiring search.

Because while you may be adaptable and hardworking, you don’t have any transferable skills. I would assume (maybe wrongfully) that you have no critical thinking skills because you were working at a place where there’s no real need for you to solve complex problems since most everything follows a chain of command and most everything follows a standardized process across a nationwide chain to maintain a brand image.

This is coming from someone who is currently working in retail. I see this shit day in and day out; the lack of needing to really think about anything, the lack of problem solving capabilities, the amount of sheer stupidity and ‘sheeple’ attitudes within the associates.

So what do I suggest?

Only work retail while in high school. It’s more forgivable than working as a 20-something and over on a resume.

Don’t stay in retail for an extended period. 6 months to a year should be your max if you’re in a position like mine, where you are still going to school or trying to go back to school. If you’re stuck like me, then be able to put school or another job on your resume simultaneously while being in retail.

Don’t make a career out of retail. While you may jump around within that company and hold several different positions, you will still not be living up to your full potential as an adult and you will get too used to being used and abused by the salaried members of the company.

Working Retail: Paper vs Reality…

What I have come to hate most about working as an hourly manager in retail is watching my store manager lose his shit over every little thing.

Now, he’s usually a chill guy. He sits in his office doing who knows what and leaves most of us alone to do our jobs. But if we have a walk scheduled by our market or regional managers (both of which are over him), he starts going batshit.

Lately, he told us that we were one of the only stores in our market that hit our budget goals for the previous month. Which means our regional manager is stopping by for a visit. While my store manager believes this is a ‘good things’ visit, I know it’s really because throughout the entire holiday season our store was a shitshow, so how are we suddenly in the green now. I have a feeling this upcoming visit is nothing more than a check to see what we’re doing wrong to look so good on paper. So I’ll tell you all, since complaining to corporate got one of my previous supervisors fired.

  • Half of our hourly managers are too busy cleaning up each other’s messes that it’s a miracle that anything gets done. How? Any ‘non-essential’ managers (read: anyone not over a food department) gets pulled to work on the seasonal departments, like holiday or garden area prep work.
  • Our hourly managers are consistantly told by their salaried assistant managers to ‘plug’ product so the shelves look full (this is when a product is not in it’s proper location on a shelf, usually just to make the shelf look full or to reduce then number of boxes of overstocked freight.) They believe that be making the shelves look extra full and the backroom area looking spotless of overstock, then the regional/market managers will believe that our store is running efficiently.
  • We get asked to rearrange our entire schedules last minute to come in on the weekends to work in our areas. However, most salaried members of management will not have to rearrange their schedules ever. And because we are currently in a ‘no overtime’ budget, then we cannot stay late, and our days off get shifted to inopportune times later in the week.
  • Hourly managers have a specific schedule they are supposed to follow to keep their departments running. 9 times out of 10, we are not allowed to follow that schedule because our assistant managers pull us for tasks they can easily do themselves instead of sitting in the office all day on their asses. And then, we, the hourly managers, get our asses chewed for not follow the schedule because we have to do 20 other things in our day.

From what I can understand, we look good on paper, but as an employee day in and day out, I think we look awful. And I know people complain about it all the time, because old people have nothing better to do apparently. But this doesn’t excuse our managers from doing their jobs and actually helping us get shit done.

My Spend Less Challenge…

You see these damn things all over the internet. Those 2-week or 30 day challenges to help cut back on spending. And I’ll admit, some do work. I’ve tried them. But some also don’t take into account what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck and barely making enough to make ends meet.

So here’s my Spend Less Challenge for people like me, who try really hard to keep track of your money but somewhere between a little pick-me-up cookie at lunch and extra gas after running your mom to the airport, you seem to be short right before every payday.

This is a 30 day challenge to get the ball rolling, but really you can keep it going however long you see fit. Start at the first of the month or right before payday for the best effects.

Prep steps:

  1. Get an empty coffee can (i got tons, of course) or an old piggy bank or a jar or a cup. Any kind of receptacle that can hold all the junk you’re going to now take out of your wallet. You heard me. Into this receptacle, put all the loose change and credit cards that you have in your wallet. You can keep any bills and you debit card (or one if you have multiple).
  2. Take stock of what you have in your kitchen pantry and fridge. Then make a list of staple items you need (rice, cooking stock, milk, etc.). Now make a meal plan for the next two weeks. Put the ingredients onto the list. Now shop and DO NOT STRAY FROM THE LIST PERIOD.
  3. Pay all applicable bills now while you have money. The credit card bills, the utilities, rent, car payment. Anything that will allow you to pay early, pay while you have money.

Now comes the fun parts. You are prepped and ready. Here are the rules you have to follow throughout the month.

Rules:

  1. Credit cards are to remain in the jar unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  2. You can only eat out lunch once a week. You can only eat out dinner once a week. Pick wisely. (this means you have to pack your lunches)
  3. Take out $20 a week from your bank as your allowance. This is the only money you can spend on fun things (a smoothie to treat yourself, a neat little figurine for your desk, etc.) FOR THE WEEK. When it is gone, it is gone. Whatever happens to be left over at the end of the week, put into the jar of change.
  4. The cash in the jar can only be used in life-threatening emergencies, unless the end of the month has come. At the end of the month, you must take the jar to the bank and split it 60/40: 60% into savings, 40% into checking.
  5. The debit card can be used but not for anything fun. E.i. if you know that you filled up your car on payday but will need to fill up again before the next payday, then the debit card can be used. The debit card cannot be used to buy that neat video game you’ve been waiting to come out for 6 months, that happens to come out between paydays.
  6. Grocery shop as close to payday as possible. Make a list, meal plan for the next pay period, do not abandon the list. While making dinner each night, use some of the downtime (like waiting for water to boil) to start packing your lunch for the next day. Throw in everything that doesn’t have to be refrigerated if your fridge is packed or fully pack it so it’s ready to grab and go in the morning.

At the end of the month, compare how your bank account looks now instead of previous months. It may not look like much at the moment, but if you continue to do this, then you’ll start to see where all your money went in little onesie-twosie purchases.

When I see that I have more money than usual I try to make extra payments to my student loans or credit cards to keep that snowball running. Maybe you want to put that extra money into savings. Maybe you want to use that extra money to take your mom out to dinner because you’ve been a shitty kid lately.

This is the hard shit that people don’t talk about anymore. We accept it with careless shrugs and ‘what can you do’ smile. But that’s how They keep you in line and under thumb (you know Them, the government, the insurance agencies, the credit card companies, the banks, the corporations,the people controlling your money and how you spend it). So if you’re even half as much of a bitter hag as me, then let’s make all their lives harder by spending less and living less so they can’t tell us how to live.

A life half-lived is still better than a life wasted under someone else’s control. Control your money and you control your world.

Working Retail: My nails…

I understand that this looks like it’s going to be just a typical girly gripe about my nails. But it’s really not. I promise.

Since I haves started working in retail, my hands, fingers, and nails have taken an absolute beating. I’m constantly smashing my fingers or pinching them between boxes and hard places. My nails I constantly break off (painfully most times) as I try to wrestle boxes open that are glued, not taped, shut. I constantly have to baby at least one finger with a cardboard cut or because my cuticle is pushed so far back that it splits open every few hours and bleeds.

And my skin in general has been absolute shit. I already live in a very dry climate and winters here suck ass. Even before working retail, I had a whole hand routine every night to treat the skin hurting and cracking just from being dry. Now I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate basic first aid into my routine. It’s not going well.

I honestly am very lucky if I make it through the week with only breaking 3 nails. And when I mean breaking, I mean breaking down to the nail bed; I’m not talking about the nail is brittle and breaks off looking my fingers looking uneven.

But the worst part is that when I do get any time off, like my weekends, my fingers heal just enough to stop being painful and to stop bleeding every time I ram them into everything. And then I get to go back to work and do it all over again.

But mostly, we’ve come to notice something very important about the girls at work with their nails. If your nails look anything like mine, where they look like shit, they are all broken off and blunt and growing at different lengths (because they got broken at different times), then you probably come in and do your job. Because you don’t break nails off doing nothing.

But if you have those pretty, fancy acrylic nails that stick from here to Timbuktu, then you are most definitely not doing your job of opening boxes and stocking shelves. I’m not ragging on women who have their nails that way, I understand that they are very pretty and make your day better by having something so nice in your life. But when you’re working in an environment where you constantly need to use your hands to do your job, I can’t understand how having long nails would help. Especially knowing the issue I have experienced from stocking boxes. Because you constantly have to rip open boxes or jam your nails under the edges of a box to open it. There’s no way in hell you’re doing your job with your fancy acrylics.

Maybe in an office environment, having fancy acrylic nails would be 20x more helpful. I never had them when I worked as an admin assistant, but I know many women love having them for typing and sorting documents.

But working in a grocery retailer is not the place for fancy acrylic nails or a full face of makeup. Period.

To lighten the mood a bit after I’ve basically called out 90% of my co-workers for their bad fashion sense, here’s I do to keep my hands ready and willing to strangle a man.

  1. Every night apply a heavy-duty hand lotion. People will recommend items like Bag Balm, O’Keefe’s, etc. I use just petroleum jelly with cocoa butter mixed in. You get name brand or off-brand. I know everyone is a little gun-shy of petroleum jelly but it’s that or corn huskers lotion, which works but takes forever to dry well enough for you to use your hands.
  2. Don’t be afraid to bandage your fingers. If your nail beds are aching from getting cardboard shoved under your nail, then bandage them up with regular old bandage before bed and for every day after that they continue to hurt. I usually pick up some of the cutesy kid design Band-Aids because they’re at least fun and colorful. And because I’m an adult, I do what I want.
  3. Don’t forget to take your vitamins. I know you’re probably poor if you’re working retail. Me too, man. So I bought some vitamins to help boost what I’m not getting in my diet since I’m mostly eating coffee and McDonald’s fries 4 days a week. Now, I’m not going to say that vitamins will solve all your problems or fix your diet, but the placebo effect of ‘I was healthy, I took  my vitamins’ will help you keep an eye on what you really put into your body, which will come back to helping your skin and nails look better.
  4. Wear gloves in the cold. This is a no-exception rule now. I know that sometimes you don’t think that it’s as cold as it really is and you can manage without a pair of gloves from your front door to the car. But if your area gets as dry as mine, you will feel it sucking all the good hard-won moisture from your hands as you walk the 30 feet from your front door to your car. Then your hands are going to ache all day at work because the cold set into your bones and stole the moisture from your skin causing the skin to crack and old cuts to open up again.

I can’t understand why you would spend $50+ dollars on a manicure and acrylic nails just to go work for minimum wage where 90% of your job requires use of your hands and nails.

I’m just at a loss.

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.

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.

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?

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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

Honor…

I’ve come to the conclusion that many people live without honor.

I come into work and constantly have to pick up after fellow employees and customers alike, from trash to equipment to products to slack. I don’t think I’ve ever worked a day in retail without coming in and having to clean up after grown ass adults because they decided to leave it for someone else.

And by witnessing this, day in and day out, for over a year and half, I have come to the conclusion that many people live without honor.

Now, this seems old-fashioned and frankly unnecessary, but I think it’s what’s creating this rift of people thinking group A is better than group b, that generation a is better than generation b, so on and so forth.

But it sucks having an honor code. It sucks have that ethic to come in and feel obligated to pick up that trash, to return that shopping cart to the proper areas, to take that box of cookies back to its home three aisles away from me. It sucks that I have to have that integrity and that honor and that ethic to get shit done and people will still look at me like I’m the one slacking at work.

That’s why I believe 90% of the people I work with have no honor, especially in the way they treat each other and their areas. And the customers are the worst. It doesn’t take that much energy to put something back. It’s not like we’re going to yell at you for putting a bag of chip back. We may have to check if the meat you’re putting back is cold enough, but that’s just for the safety of everyone.

But you would not believe the shit I have seen people leave on the shelves, or squirrel away behind other products because they decided to have a sample. I have found yogurt, probably 3 days old that no other employee picked up because they didn’t feel like it. I did because it’s what you’re supposed to do. I once found, in a cart of products to be returned to the shelves, rotting tripe. Yep, tripe. It had been sitting in the backroom in my bins for a week and I finally was able to get the cart unburied from the other pallets and carts people continuously leave in my area instead of putting them back in the right places.

For all the safety standards and OSHA regulations and health codes, the people I work with are lazy, horrible people and the people who shop here are lazy, rude, inconsiderate, and overly-entitled.

#thecustomerisneverright

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.

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.