Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The very beginning of a new leaf, just about ready to turn

I'm in the middle of week 5 of my first quarter at Kendall College. I'm in the part time certificate program for Baking and Pastry and I'm pretty awesome at it. Today before class, on my way to Target for milk, I realized that all I'm doing right now is surviving. (Barely at the moment, since it took me until noon to get out of bed. I was sick all weekend with a migraine.) I've been juggling my income around, trying to make it stretch as much as possible, I've been working at a job I hardly like and I'm trying to spend as much time as I can with as many people as I can, so that I can sustain a relationship with my boyfriend, as well as my room mates. Am I so sick because I'm in this type of survival mode? I think I am. Therefore, I declare this is the last year that I merely survive. School will be done in December. I refuse to take crappy jobs because that's all I can get. I refuse to allow others to dictate what I do with my time. I will pursue passionately and with all my might the will God has for me and I will happily knock down anyone who gets in my way.
As for this year, the remainder of it anyways, I will prepare myself. I've got until December to kick things up to thriving status and I've got a lot to get done before then. I need to find out what God's will is for me, for instance. I need to finish school. I also need to find an awesome job that I will love most days. So, this year, I will remind myself WHY I'm in school and WHAT I have in store for me.
Next year will be the year I buy a motorcycle, start a business, get married and have the life I've been waiting for.

Friday, October 31, 2008


So, today, I started out with some hope. I put some spare ribs in my brand new slow cooker and headed out to a job I don't really like, but I knew that it was taking me somewhere...even though it's taking me very slowly and probably on some detours.
One hour into the job, I get a complaint. The same complaint I hear EVERY DAY. "Your employee, Mr. So and So was really rude to me. He was giving me nothing but attitude and I don't really appreciate it all!" Awesome. I get a complaint from at least one customer everyday about this guy, and today I've had enough. I made my first write up. Well, second actually. The same guy earned another one for leaving tasks on the checklist undone even though he checked them off. You want to really get under my skin? Leave the cream in the dispenser sitting on the counter overnight. My blood will boil and you will feel my wrath. So, my co-manager, who is really kinda my boss, because she hired me, gave him two write-ups today. He gave me attitude like nothing else. He didn't give her attitude, but he will soon learn the error of his ways.
Ok, shake it off, Libby. He's just an idiot.
Then, mass orders for cakes.
Then, armies of customers coming in for way too much food.
Then, the cake decorator yelled at me. My rock hard facade is slipping...
And then, the icing on the cake, Mr. Super (and Paranoid) Liberal comes in. He yells at some of my employees and then demands to see the manager, me.
"How can you justify almost $6 for a cookie!?"
(Stock answer)-"Well, sir, as you can see, these cookies have each been hand iced and the amount of detail that goes into them..." He won't let me finish.
"Detail? Yeah, right, those are mass produced. I can see that clearly!"
"Actually if you look closely, each cookie is hand decorated"
"You know McCain is going to bring us a nuclear war. How can you have cookies of him? Does part of the profits go to the parties?
I think, do they need more money? From a small business? "No, the profits go to the store."
"How can you justify that?"
"It takes quite a bit of time and skill to make those cookies."
Dude you are in a bakery. Get the heck out if you are going to mock the skill of bakers. Idiot.
"Yes, quite a bit of skill."
"You know, it's the type of economic inflation that McCain is going to bring that makes those cookies so F*#%ing expensive. Do you know what inflation is? (don't insult me, dunce) When he's president, they are going to be twice as much. I don't care how much North Shore people make (it's a lot!) and I don't care how much I make (probably too much), you can't charge that much for cookies. Who's decision was it to make them so much? Did you decide to make them that much?"
"The owners actually decided on that price."
"Well...(stammer, yeah that's right the owners, now get out) That's just not right. McCain is going to bring nuclear war on us and..."
"Sir, we are selling cookies. This isn't a political debate." I had to say something. Even though it was pansy-ish.
"Well...F this, F that. I'm stupid...I'm a cheap penny pinching liberal, even though I've got too much money..." As he walks out the door. (paraphrased)
"Thank you, have a nice day" My passive aggressive side comes out a bit...
The next guy in line hesitates as he slowly orders two simple things. The tears are knocking down the gates, but I finish that order and head straight for the bathroom. I cry, but that doesn't help. He's doomsday talk about nuclear war, and economic downfalls would normally make me laugh. I would have laughed in front of them. But, it was his attitude towards us that bothered me most. Or course, my body was reacting to the build up of the hoard of incompetent men I'm forced to be surrounded by and the general suckiness of my day. But, when I become a pastry chef and a baker, am I going to have to come up against that all the time? He clearly doesn't think much of the working man. He doesn't know anything about what we do. And, he clearly can't tell Biden a part from McCain. I know he's an idiot, but I've been working SO HARD at motivating myself to stay at this (almost) thankless job and I've gotten too many of these idiots.
Is it all worth it?
Should I even try?
Should I even get out of bed again?
So that's how my day went. The night part was better. I'm eating spare ribs now...Mr. Super (and Paranoid) who?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicago: Finally an update

I really don't know where to begin. So many things have happened. I've been so busy that I've hardly had time for myself, let alone time to blog. Last night, I managed to get through the piles of emails in my inbox and today, I'm close to conquering the mountain of dishes I've left for myself this past week.
What have I been up to? Well, here's an attempt to explain: Firstly, my job. I transferred within the same company I was with in Columbus. This location is well known with the company for its well organized kitchen and wonderful manager. I was hesitant to stay with this company because of the trouble I've had with them before, but the sure promise of immediate work in an economy that is less than ideal, I went with them. However, pay day came and went without any check for me. Since I did start in the middle of a pay period, I thought that it might have created some complications, but I shouldn't worry too much. The next pay day was only two short weeks away. The next pay day came and again I was empty handed. I looked at my boss for an explanation, even though he was already working on finding out what happened. He lent me money, knowing that I've been working for 3 weeks without anything. He had HR on the line and they were getting to the bottom of it. The very next week, my boss announces that he is getting promoted and someone else is coming to take his place. Very good for him, but I didn't know how I felt about it. (Ask me later about this company and switching managers.) Anyways, the new manager started and she seemed more than competent, she seemed quite fit for the job. My former boss actually left her in charge for about a week. They are still in the process of transitioning so she isn't left to figure out the details of the job entails. The week he left was the week of pay day, the third pay day I would see with this new location, and I hoped that my time here would finally prove fruitful. And it did. My pay check was there, for all 168 hours due me plus the small amount of overtime. It was all there, except for one small thing. They paid me $2/ hour less than our agreed amount. This number, someone came up with all their own, because it was not what I made in Columbus, and it was certainly not even mentioned in discussing my pay with this new location. I almost cried all over my brand new boss.
The next day, I told them I was leaving in a week.
That was about 8 days ago and so I'm here at my apartment in the middle of the day. Somehow, I was almost literally given another job, one that suits me perfectly. Tomorrow, I start as a manager of a small bakery. Although the pay is...laughable, I'm content with it. As long as they don't screw with what money they did promise me.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back to Reality

After being in Cambodia and Thailand for 3 weeks, I'm back to the States. I came back home to a room full of boxes and suitcases and, lo and behold, my beautiful bed. The moving process undid everything in my room, except my bed. I left it untouched and undisturbed, so that when I came back from an incredible journey across the world, I would have a little sanctuary of what life was like before Cambodia. I couldn't wait to hide under the covers and snuggle my head into my pillow and disappear for a few hours. My sore bones and muscles relaxed after 48 hours of travel. I slept hard, not dreaming on the trip I just had, and not dreaming of the move I'm about to have, but I dreamt of my bed. I drifted into a blissful awareness of nothing but the comfortable mattress, blankets and pillows. And then I woke up in the middle of the night, ready to start my day. It's going to be interesting in Eastern Standard Time.
I've got so many memories from my trip, but I'm not exactly ready to share them. I've been hounded with emotions of harsh realities that I didn't see as fact before. My opinions have changed on issues that I didn't know existed before. My heart has been broken and healed so many times. I've fallen in love and to speak so quickly and candidly of that love would seem to make it trite and temporary. I need to settle and daydream about my love before I tell you about it. But, all I can say is that my life is changed forever. I've got little reality from before that is staying with me. My reality has shifted and it will continue to shift until I recognize little from who I was.
I may be exaggerating a tad, but it's too poetic not to think about.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

End of an Era?

Tomorrow is my last day of work at Time Warner. Sorta. They want me to come in two days next week to check in on everyone and make sure the girl replacing me is doing fine. How did that happen? How did I become the person who needs to check in? I'm actually going to be in Chicago next week, meeting with my potential new boss and finding an apartment. Right now, compared to Time Warner, Chicago is definitely my priority. Cambodia is before that, and does anyone at work realize that it takes time to prepare to leave the country for three weeks? Next week, they will be lost without me. Is that conceited of me to say? No. Because it's true. The area manager thinks it. Our maintenance guy thinks it. I know my catering clients think it. That really feels good. I feel important and needed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Time off from work is heavenly

Right now, I'm sitting in a coffee shop. It's 10:42am. At work, they are furiously getting getting for a cook out. I woke up at 9am. Even though I woke up with a text from my boss on my phone asking me how to hire a temp for the day, I woke up with a smile on my face. I'm not tied down by a hellish work environment, at least for half a day. I can't take off the whole day, that would just be insane. But, as I sit here, researching family crests, Alice in Wonderland and children's bookstores in the area, I find myself breathing deeply. I'm breathing in the air of freedom. I'm allowing my body to regain the life I once had. Am I being overly dramatic? I'm only taking off 6 1/2 hours. I'll be working a full 4 hours still today. No. Once I realize that my usual work day is 10 1/2 hours of non stop, on my feet, action, training my boss how to be the manager, and getting grief from my coworkers when my management isn't flawless, even though I'm doing all this without any training myself. I realize that I'm not being dramatic enough. If only life were a musical, I could sing my joy and dance with a whole company behind me about how heavenly not being at work truly is.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fortunately my mind is elsewhere

I woke up early to the sound of rain falling hard. I snuggled deep under the covers for a few more minutes of slumber before I reminded myself of the harsh reality that is my job. I got up and looked forward to the trek from the backdoor to my car. The air was fresh and clean and full of water. I walked quickly to sneak into the shelter of my car and thought about how tent like cars can be. Everywhere except for my little canopy was soaking wet, but I was safe inside. I drove, not thinking about my destination, but imagining myself waking up in a tent to weather like this. (In my head, my tent was super waterproof, since it was quite rainy.) I thought about the plans I would have made to get up early and start hiking. I smiled just like I would have in the tent when those plans went out the window. If I woke up to the sound of rain hitting my tent, I would have smiled and snuggled deeper into my sleeping bag, letting the sound of the rain lull me back to sleep.