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.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bad Ass

In the past month, I've been responsible for training 2 new people on bar. This terrifies me.

It's not that I don't know what I'm doing because it's far from that: I'm actually so good at what I do that I'm worried that I'll teach them the way of someone who has been a barista for 4 1/2 years & can eyeball milk proportions, syrup amounts, & the temperatures of drinks without using a thermometer because of how the milk sounds. Plus sometimes the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure for those not in the know) changes without any fanfare, & then you check the recipe cards & you realize something is supposed to be made differently for the past year & the manager didn't tell you.

Something else I always struggle with is being a hard ass. I get that since they're learning that they need someone to point out their mistakes, which I do. But since they're still learning I just say, "Ok, so that could have been done better" & tell them what they did wrong. If it's completely jacked up I'll have them totally remake the drink, but otherwise I'll have them fix whatever it was they messed up on. Maybe that way is better than making them hate learning....

I guess it just boils down to feeling confident in my leadership abilities. I know what I'm doing. I'm a bad ass. I just need to FEEL that bad ass.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Ice Man Cometh

So currently North Carolina is shut down due to ice.

I'm spending the night with my assistant manager since he lives within walking distance of our store & I work early.

I know a lot of people make fun of southerners about how we can't handle the snow but I'll tell you what: we can't. But what makes it worse is that we don't just get snow: we get ice. Lots of it. All of the snow & ice we got the other day is melting since it was sunny & got up to about 40 today, but tonight it's going to be 0 & tomorrow will be about 17.

Sunday it's going to be 57.

Monday, February 16, 2015


I'm currently staying in Rocky Mount because my mother is having hip replacement surgery & my parents didn't want to board the dogs. While Sammy would have been fine with it, Maggie (the pug) would have had a total nervous breakdown. Plus the fact that Sammy recently scratched his eye & has to wear a a pillow-like cone around his neck & get eye drops 3 times a day.

The downside to all of this is that my area is about to get hit with a snow/ice storm. While snow isn't that bad, the ice that we always end up getting makes eastern North Carolina shut down. This wouldn't be a huge deal except that I'm supposed to work tomorrow in Raleigh, which is an hour away. I...just don't think that's going to happen.

I'm going to get up early & see what it's like. I really am. I don't want to call out. I NEVER call out. When I lived in Rocky Mount for 8 months & commuted to Raleigh I was always on time. I'm one of the ONLY people that's always on time. But...I'm not going to risk getting in a wreck on the ice driving an hour both ways.

I'm a little nervous because I've heard rumors about me getting a promotion & I don't know if this will negatively impact that. If it does, then all of my current reservations about it will be proven true. I've worked for this company for 4 1/2 years, have been in management for almost 3 1/2, & I don't even make $10 an hour.

Yeah, I'm not going to risk anything for that.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Playing With Balls

I've never been the most athletic person. Ever. When I was in kindergarten, my class had a walk-a-thon to raise money for....something or other, & they made us practice. Yes, they made us practice walking around the gym in a circle. They must really have not had anything else for us to do those days (yes, this practice took up multiple days). Anyway, at one point the walking turned into running & I fell; the very next day my leg was in so much pain that we thought I had broken it. It turned out to just be a severely pulled muscle & I was out of commission for a few days. That's the story of how I hurt myself practicing for a walk-a-thon.

The next year, after we had moved towns, my parents decided to put me in t-ball. My 6 year old self was so overwhelmed by trying to deal with all of the kids, as well as trying to retain all of the intricacies of the game, that I had a hard time remembering for sure what I was supposed to do. Luckily, I just did what my heart told me & it was usually right (that's always the case, isn't it?). One time after hitting the ball off of the stand I ran to first base & asked the kid on there if I went to the right place. "Yeah, stupid" was his response. After the first game I asked who had won, since I noticed that no one was keeping score. "Oh, both teams won!" exclaimed the adult that I asked. I responded, "What's the point then?" They didn't really have an answer.

Also, t-ball was where I learned my first cuss word. Damn. I learned it from the Baptist pastor's son (I was the son of the Methodist minister) & it was LITERALLY the end of the world.

About 4 years later we moved to Rocky Mount & my parents put me in a soccer league that one of my cousins volunteered in. The team I ended up on was literally the worst. We only scored once the ENTIRE SUMMER & it was because a kid from the other team got confused & kicked the ball into their own goal. I really struggled with soccer. For starters, it was summer in eastern North Carolina, which is miserably, insufferably hot & humid. We had also just moved for the fourth time in my 10 year existence & I was over it (it didn't help that there had been a lot of tension due to our move). I also had been home schooled for a few years & it was around this time that I started to develop into the social person I am today (i.e. not). Anyway, I had a hard time trying to talk to the other kids so I just did my own thing. During the first game I got hit in the stomach with the ball & it hurt so bad; I had a hard time breathing for a little while after that. A few games later I looked up right as the soccer ball came soaring through the air & hit me in the head, subsequently knocking me unconscious. When I opened my eyes, it was a few minutes later & multiple people, including my dad, were standing over me. They decided it was ok if I finished the game, & a few minutes later the ball came soaring back at me & I put up my hands to shield myself & was penalized with a hand-ball. I almost threw a temper tantrum because I HAD JUST BEEN HIT IN THE HEAD WITH THE BALL. OF COURSE I'M GOING TO TRY TO BLOCK IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN. In the end, our team didn't even finish the season because of "rain."

That was 19 years ago & I haven't attempted to do any other organized sport. While I'm more coordinated now, I just don't have a desire or a competitive streak to get me to do it. Do I wish I had become a soccer legend? Absolutely. But I didn't. What did end up happening is a few months later I started playing piano & taking art classes. I was good at both of them, & then a few years later that I started doing community theater. Everyone has their own thing & while none of those things are still my thing, they were back then.

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Pet

We aren't allowed to have pets of any kind in my apartment complex (obviously they've never met my roommates). 

A few months ago I found a dead bug next to my desk; he appeared to be deader than dead. I put him in a paper towel & took him to the trash can in my room. In transit, it felt like he was moving & lo & behold, he was. Homeboy immediately started crawling around. I freaked out a little & sprayed him with some cleaner but immediately felt guilty so I walked away hoping to never see him again.

When I got back from work that night I checked the trash can & he was gone; I figured that he had just fallen further down into the trash & I called it a day. The next day, however, guess who is back in the same exact spot next to my desk: Homeboy. I was freaked out so I immediately went to the Wikipedias to investigate. It turns out that the species of bug that Homeboy is hibernates during winter, & I guess there's a certain spot that they're drawn to (in this case, the area between my desk & my TV). I didn't have the heart to kill him, or put him outside, so....he's just been chilling in my room. He's kind of turned into my pet, to be honest. I know it makes me sound like I'm crazier than a shit-house rat, but knowing Homeboy is in here makes me feel a little less lonely.

Today I checked on him & saw that he was on his back. I really hope that was a defense mechanism & he isn't really dead. I'm going to leave him there for a little while longer until it starts warming up to see if he springs back to life or if he really is dead.

God, I sound crazy.

Friday, February 6, 2015


So the past few days, on top of being sick, I've noticed that I was developing a rash in my left armpit. That is pretty common due to having very sensitive skin, but this time it itched like a mother fucker. Then it opened up & started oozing. I went to the doctor after work & found out...

I have a staph infection.

She gave me a prescription for bactrim & told me to get some hydrocortisone cream & hopefully it will clear up in a few days.

While I was waiting for my prescription to be filled, I was walking around Target, just looking at the things. I found my way over to the towels, then the curtains, then lighting. Sometimes when I'm at stores like Target (actually just Target because I don't go to Wal-Mart unless I'm in dire need) I enjoy looking at the selections for home furnishings & imagine what it's like to have a big boy job, make big boy money, & live in a big boy apartment/house. Granted, I'm making strides to move up the corporate coffee ladder, but it's still something I think about. Maybe have a pet, nicer car, actual curtains & furniture that matches.

Maybe in the future. Maybe not.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Get Down With The Sickness

Oh hey. I'm glad you're reading this, especially since I haven't updated since October.

My big homey over at The Gancer & I are trying to keep each other accountable for writing more frequently, so we're going to try to alternate days. Hopefully that will keep the creative juices flowing.

Unfortunately, that isn't the only juice that's been flowing from me for the past week. And by that, I mean snot. I was sick about 3 weeks ago for a few days but seemed to recover pretty quickly, but then last Thursday I started getting that feeling in my throat. Then on Thursday night/Friday morning I couldn't sleep because my legs kept kicking (something that almost always signals when I'm getting sick for some reason). After work on Friday I got some preventative care stuff; I had been scheduled off on Saturday & Sunday without even asking for it & while I had literally not a damn thing to do, I didn't want to be sick.

Medicine didn't work. Sick.

I woke up around 4:30 Saturday morning unable to swallow & having a hard time breathing because my throat was so sore. Then the aches & the tingles started. That was basically my life Saturday & Sunday, punctuated by randomly falling asleep, taking hot showers to make my tingles stop & loosen the mucus, & listening to the same Fleetwood Mac song over & over. Monday I had to work & I was pretty irritable & my throat was still sore. I was off Tuesday & I slept in & my throat was still sore.

Now it's Wednesday. My throat is still somewhat sore, I have a lot of congestion, & I'm still weak. If I'm not better by Friday I'm going to the doctor.

Yes, I'm very aware that this might be one of THE MOST boring posts ever written by anyone, but I'm just going to blame it on my sickness.