I have so many cockamamie ideas on how to fix this.
  • I can move out, get my own apartment, lighten the load on the family.
  • Onkel Peter could move into Oma's spare bedroom and we could buy the house off Onkel Peter, maybe at a reduced price. It would be nice for the two of them to have each other as company, too.
  • We could move into Nana and Papa's guest bedrooms. (But what of our things?)
  • We can distribute our things into storage across everyone we know. Meg, her parents, Nana and Papa, Oma, Kodi, Saad, Onkel Peter, Moni and Frank, Pat, Phyllis. Just tuck our things away in any nook or cranny they would be willing to give up to a desk, a table, a bed, a chair. Even just a box or two.
The problem is that there aren't any fixes and there aren't any solutions. There's just day by day mucking through the mess and hoping that maybe the next turn will yield something, anything.

on work

I am, by nature, a learner. A sponge, if you will. I take in information at mach speed, all the time, never ending. If you teach me something, I'm likely to retain it. (Unless it pertains to math/science, of course. It's cruel to think anyone would commit those sorts of things to memory -- intentionally, anyway.) So when I start a new job, I start taking in a whole different brand of information, a different kind of learning.

I started with the various forms of literary criticism, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, Spanish verb tenses, Rococo art.

Now I'm being asked to learn ASDs, UPCs, conversions, credit cards, reward programs, when to talk, when not to talk, when to move, when to stay put, and how exactly to phrase the word "hello".

Not hard. A lot of information, yes, but not hard.

It's the people who make it hard. Despite the constant reiteration that I'm new, and no one expects me to do it perfectly... secretly, they do. They expect me to somehow outshine any other new employee they've ever had. They expect me to know it all the moment it comes out of their mouth. Or, in worse situations that I've already encountered, even when it doesn't.

I work at a clothing store. Today I showed up for work wearing what I thought to be fashionable, appropriate clothing. I take that very seriously, because when I was sixteen I was sent home for being dressed just slightly improperly for work. A manager, however, asked where my t-shirt was. That damned t-shirt that I thought was reserved for uniform solely on weekends. Apparently not. She said, "I'm sure somebody told you that."

They didn't. I would have catalogued that little diamond in the rough of information to save from embarrassment. Granted, this is not a calamity by any means. Hardly an apocalypse. But disturbing for a brand new employee nonetheless.

I heard a manager today get very excited that the cards for our reward program had finally been replenished. Legitimately excited. Why, I wondered, in the hell would anyone care that much?

Well, that's because this is life. Coming to work at this store every single day is their career. Their sole money-making scheme. Their life. Perfection is a necessity because there's not a whole lot else going on, really.

Perfection really isn't my top goal in this job. I have classes to attend in the fall. I have relationships to manage. Frankly, I have videogames to play and movies to watch. This is my part-time job, my little source of income big enough to cover minor expenditures (like clothing, textbooks, nightlife, gas, etc.). I'm not trying to buy a house, pay rent/utilities, or buy copious amounts of Pampers with this.

But these managers, even the assistant managers... this is their top dollar. Maybe they'll go on to district manager or regional manager. But chances are, they don't have higher degrees and they're pretty well tapped out after that because any higher on the corporate ladder requires a business degree, probably even an MBA. In that respect, I'm even a little ahead in the game of life. Okay, yes, I'm working part time at a clothing store, but I have secured upward mobility for myself. I have secured a real career.

I remember at my first job, when I was sixteen, I was in the back room helping organize clearance items and stocking (and by "helping" I think I mean I was avoiding my actual job on the floor out front) with my favorite manager. He was an older gentleman, but no more than 50. I mentioned something about my dad being a lawyer.
"A lawyer, huh?"
"Yeah. He's his own boss, too. He's a partner at his own firm."
My manager sighed wistfully and paused his stacking of boxes.
"So he had to have gone to law school, then."
"Yup!" I responded, not quite realizing the distinct change in the air.
He looked down at his hands. "He must be a very smart man. That's much further than I went." He sighed again. "So I'm a manager... here."

Being a manager might be kind of a nice stepping stone, a pretty bulky piece for your resumé. But I don't think many people want to do it forever. Some people, though, don't have anywhere else to go.

Working retail always reminds me of that. These people are so hell-bent on perfection in their jobs, exhibiting dictatorial behavior over the peon employees (i.e. me), but I think the reason in a lot of cases may be because if this is all they've got, then god dammit they're going to make it perfect and right.

This really isn't Socrates-esque observations or conclusions I'm sharing here. It's more or less pop psychology, really. But it's something I think about when I'm being told I didn't say hello properly. It makes it a little easier to want to do it right the next time.



I have a job. And for a moment, I'm going to be selfish and jot down in one place the things I desperately want to get with this money. Why? Coz it's my fucking blog, that's why. Bite me.

1.  A new bike
2.  A new wardrobe, seeing as I haven't been shopping since high school.
3.  My own camping gear. And I learned from my parents: I am not lending that shit out to anyone.
4.  Uhh...

I would say "Save up to travel again" but I learned from past experience that travelling alone is not all it's cracked up to be, and who the fuck in my life (besides myself) is reliable enough to actually say yes, for starters, and then continue to say yes, and then actually save up an adequate amount of money? That would be no one. I can't even get my friend to commit to a 3 day, $250 trip to Cedar Point. Not really that huge of an endeavor. I can't imagine trying to organize a $4,000 trip to Germany or Ireland.

So really, that's not that long of a list. Therefore not really all that selfish. Boom.

Allow me to add "credit card debt" to that list. Not nearly as exciting, but a necessary evil.


bad day

I want to scream. Something is wrong today... really terribly, horribly wrong. I want to scream until my lungs rip, and I want to pull someone's hair and tell them that everything is their fault. Unfortunately, nothing in my life is anyone's fault, not even entirely my own. I'm just really... really... frustrated.

I want a couple material things right now. I want a haircut. I want some new, up-to-date clothes. I want a bike. I want coals for my hookah. That's pretty much it, at this point. And I can't get any of them. I know that sounds petulant and childish and what have you, but it's beyond frustrating. I have $30 to my name. That's it. $30 to last me the summer. And then what? Get a job then? I just highly doubt that I'm going to get hired. I don't know what it is, I just have this sinking feeling that it's not gonna happen. If it does, spectacular, great! Still doesn't solve all my problems, but wonderful.

...I miss my friends. So many of them are here, but either they have plans or I can't afford to get to them or I can't afford to do anything with them. It's like being in a glass room and watching things happen without you.

I'm feeling very disillusioned and depressed today. More so than usual. I want to get on my bike and ride somewhere and clear my head, but -- oops! -- I don't have a bike. On top of all that, my self esteem is completely in the toilet. So do something about it! Get off the computer and do something! Do what? Work out? Why? It's never had any effect in the past, why would it now? Also, I absolutely hate working out. I have yet to find some form of it that I enjoy, that makes me feel good about myself.

In short...

Nothing is perfect.