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.

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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)

 


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.

 

 

Fashion…

Fashion is stupid. Exceedingly stupid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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