Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dolla Make Me Holla

Today was my last shift as a full-time barista.

A few weeks ago I was hired at a call center where I'll be doing phone intakes for people needing childcare, eldercare, attorneys, & stuff like that. I'll have a cubicle. I'll get to wear real clothes. I'll be making....a decent amount more than I currently do.

It's weird. I've only ever had one other job that wasn't really related to being in food service & it was the only job I ever got fired from (which ended up forcing me to move back to NC, & 2 months later I was beginning my illustrious career as a barista).

If it wasn't for my job at Caribou, I wouldn't have gotten this. One of the girls who was a supervisor alongside me for most of last year left because she got a job at this call center. When I was becoming even more frustrated with my financial situation & the general toxicity of my store, I texted her (we've stayed in touch since she left in December) & she gave me the hookup. It also turns out that the guy interviewing me (who will also be my supervisor) graduated from the same college as me & we know some of the same people. It's fate. Or something.

I still plan on staying at Caribou part-time on the weekends for now. I don't want to quit. I would like to think I'm the exception to the rule & that I could use all of my experiences & tenure to move up the ladder there. But I also don't want to burn myself out, so we'll see how this plays out.

Friday, March 13, 2015


Saying goodbye can be tough. Other times, not so much. I'm currently experiencing both of those at the same time with the same person.

As some of you may remember, my grandmother has had a brain tumor for the last 3 1/2 years. It's been a tough situation for all of us, especially considering she was diagnosed the same year that her husband died. But she beat the odds & had done a really good job of fighting it until recently. 

A few months ago we found out that the chemo wasn't working anymore, so she was pretty much out of options. One of my cousins & I took her to Duke to see a specialist & discuss what, if anything, could be done. While surgery was a possibility there was a huge chance that she'd never recover fully. She started talking about being ready to go to heaven & just being done with everything, & decided to stick with the chemo on the off-chance that it would keep the tumor at the size it was. But then she found out that it wasn't even doing that anymore so she decided she was totally done.

We got her a hospice nurse, who then told us that it was time for a hospital bed. The doctors said that she had about 6 months left but she's deteriorating so quickly that we'd be surprised if she made it 2 months.

Knowing that she doesn't have much time left, I went out to visit her with my dad. I wanted to have some time alone with her, but one of my aunts & an uncle stayed in the room, talking about apples, fruit cups, cottage cheese, & God knows what else. Not exactly the way that I wanted to end things, but it seems kind of fitting that my last time with her would be overshadowed by other people.

You see, I haven't had the best relationship with my grandmother. She always favored literally all of my cousins over me, & that was painfully clear to me even as a child. It wasn't really anything I had done since, you know, I was a kid. It was more about my parents. Both of them had been previously married & my grandmother was a hardcore Southern Baptist who believed that divorce was a sin. It didn't help that my father hadn't been her favorite (she had treated him the worst out of all 6 of her kids). My mother was more independent than my grandmother liked her family members to be (the more codependent, the better), so they were never close. I was the product of my parents so I never stood a chance being thrust into that dysfunctional dynamic. It didn't help that due to other family issues my parents didn't let me stay over with my grandparents so they didn't get to spend as much time with me as my cousins (most of whom lived with my grandparents at some point because their parents are leeches).

As I've gotten older, my relationship with my grandmother has mellowed out. I came around more often & spent more time with her. I always knew who she was, what she had done, & that she could turn into a bitch on a dime, but she was still my grandmother. 

And that's where I'm at now. There are so many emotions & layers to all of this & it's hard to reconcile. On one hand she could be awful, but on the other hand she's my grandmother. On ANOTHER hand she wasn't nice to my parents, but on yet another hand she's an old lady who is suffering. 

So I'm sad to be losing my last grandmother, & I guess I'm just trying to put all of the hurt in the back of my mind. We'll see how it works out.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Search

It has come to my attention that I'm going to be 29 this year.

That sucks.

What also sucks is that I'm in my late-mid 20s (I can't bring myself to say that I'm in my late 20s) & currently make less than $10 an hour in a job that I've had for 4 1/2 years, with 3 1/2 of them being in a management role. My manager has talked to me about getting me promoted, but he has said that before & they ended up hiring someone from the outside to be an assistant manager. Back in November I told him that I was interested in moving up again, to which he said he'd help me. Then he gave me a management training book.

Nothing more was said about it until January when I asked what time frame we were looking at. He said he wanted to get a few more people promoted to shift supervisor (that's my position) & then he'd get me an interview with our new district manager & they would try to get me my own store. About a month ago I asked again & he said something about me becoming an assistant manager (definitely not my own store. I'd have to stay at my current store where we already have 2 assistant managers). However, the people he was going to promote to shift supervisors all got 2nd jobs since he kept dragging his heels about training them. So now as far as I know, since communication is non-existent, is that my promotion is on hold indefinitely.

I get that sometimes things take longer than they should because of unforeseen circumstances. I get that. But I can't just wait around for God knows how much longer to make some extra money. Since I'm not in school this semester my student loans are back & I owe about $600 a month. That's more than a paycheck. I can't live like that. Plus, I'm tired of living in crappy apartments with roommates that don't clean up after themselves. Plus, I don't even know their last names or have their phone numbers.

So this week I started looking for jobs. And not just any kind of job: big boy jobs. That would require me to dress like a normal person, & have a consistent schedule.

As much as I would like to add assistant manager or store manager to my resume, I need to move on. I've been in customer service for 14 years & I feel deep down that, especially in the past few years, it has changed some of my personality in a negative way. It's time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The other day two of my coworkers were talking about how great my facial expressions are.

One of them said she was telling one of her friends about her managers & when she got to me the friend asked, "Is he cute?"

My coworker answered, "No, he has the best facial expressions."

It could be worse. I could not be cute & not have good facial expressions.

Friday, February 27, 2015

No Pictures, Please

Yesterday at work we were absolutely slammed. Due to the snow, we were understaffed (by about 6 people). Also due to the snow, once we opened 3 hours late there was a never ending line of customers inside & in the drive-thru.

I was on drive-thru (& no one called me ma'am over the speaker the entire day #huzzah) & about an hour before I was maybe going to get to leave, a lady said she didn't know what she wanted. I helped her order her drink, & all she could do was sing my praises. She also told me to not take this the wrong way, but she likes her coffee like she likes her men: strong & European. In my head I was thinking, "That makes literally no sense whatsoever" but I did my customer service laugh that I've perfected over the last 13 years & told her to pull up to the window.

When she got up to the window I was in the middle of taking the next order, which was (thankfully) a regular customer. As I looked through the window at her I saw that her eyes were kind of glassed over. When I opened it & started talking to her, I noticed that she was slurring a bit & seemed out of it. Trying to make conversation while I waited for the girl on bar to make her drink, I found out that she's heavily medicated & unemployed due to a disability; she referred to herself as "one of those lazy assholes who doesn't work." I just smiled & said, "Let me check on your drink" & closed the window. When I turned around I saw the drink was ready so I gave it to her to which she tasted it & loved it SO MUCH that she asked to take my picture. I said, "Uh, ok?" as she whipped out an old school digital camera & potentially stole my soul. Twice. She also asked for my manager's business card so she could tag me on Facebook. I didn't ask questions about how that was going to work. I just grabbed the card & sent her on her way.

When the regular behind her finally got to the window he was laughing & asked if he could take my picture as well. Then he asked if he could pinch my cheeks while he was at it. That segued into a story about how I once had a customer pinch my cheeks.

God, my job is bizarre sometimes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow. Again.

It's snowing again. This time Raleigh is supposed to see anywhere from 8 inches to a foot. Of course I'm supposed to open in the morning, but instead of me having to be there at 5am I have to be there at 8am, since we're opening 3 hours late. We're also going to run about 10 people short, with just a baker, one of my assistant managers (who I'm staying with tonight since he's close to the store) & myself.

I don't mind snow. I love snow! I love the cold! I just hate how there's never any preparation for this stuff, plus people not being able to drive. When I was driving earlier people were honking & slowing down before it was even sticking.

It snowed yesterday while I was at work & it was awful. My employees were threatening to sue the company if they got in wrecks going home, threatening to go home if they were given breaks (so I didn't give them a break), & just generally complained the entire day. There was a wreck outside our parking lot & multiple people drove up onto a median/island next to our store while trying to turn; one guy even hit the light pole & the light fell on his car.

I "love" North Carolina.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Homeboy Died. Maybe.

I'm pretty sure that my friend, Homeboy, died. I found him on his back so I flipped him over. His legs are kind of shriveled up underneath him & he's laying crooked. I'm still going to leave him there between my desk & TV stand just in case this is another stage in his hibernation.

And tonight is the night that I realize that I've gone from keeping a hibernating bug in my room for a pet to keeping a probably dead bug in my room in case he's alive.