I Wasn't Worried, Memories, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

It’s Not So Scary Anymore

You know what’s been on my mind lately? Interviews.

I remember one of my first interviews out of college was for an administrative assistant position at MIT. It took me forever to find the right building, and by the time I got there I was a sweaty mess. The pencil skirt I had on didn’t fit quite right and I was self conscious about my purse because my boyfriend at the time thought it was weird to bring a purse into an interview. What can I say? Men are kind of stupid sometimes.

I didn’t expect to be interviewed by six different people all at the same time. And I was so nervous that I neglected to even look up the mission of the school, so naturally a question that related to the mission was asked and I diddle daddled my answer. It’s safe to say, I didn’t get the job.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed for a lot of different places. It’s easy to say that I’ve just grown accustomed to it but I’ve noticed something that’s pretty relevant. Most of the jobs I received after college, I didn’t actually want. I remember my interviews for them and I was extremely nervous. I stumbled over my words, lied when I felt I needed to, and yet still found a way to nail the job.

The question I’ve hated the most is, “Why do you want this job?”

For years, I’ve been lying. Whatever job I was interviewing for, I had no desire to have it. But I needed a way to pay my bills.

Since I’ve been living in Charleston, I’ve been crushing my interviews and it feels amazing. I’m still a running candidate for an art instructor position for wine and paint night. I recently interviewed for another gallery that went so well, I nearly cried on my walk home. It’s all starting to feel real to me now. I honestly never thought I’d reach this point, this simple act of interviewing for jobs I actually want. It felt like such a far away dream for so long and it’s finally coming together.

I just got an email this morning that I’ve landed an interview to be North Charleston’s Artist-in-Residence for the 2017/2018 school year. I applied on a whim the other day, not expecting a call back because of how many applicants I’m sure there are every year. It’s a chance to teach in the local schools and outreach programs, hold seminars and workshops for students of all ages, and I’d have an exhibit of my work at the end of the year and the Arts Fest in May. Not only will this be a fun and amazing experience, but this could be a step in a direction towards the art community here in Charleston. I’d be getting my name around, perhaps making it easier to find jobs and showcase my artwork in galleries.

My interview is scheduled for Monday and I’m surprisingly not nervous. I’m excited to hear more about it and meet the director of the program.

There’s a reason so many of us get scared going into an interview. Perhaps a lot of the time it’s because we’re not listening to our gut.

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Art, I Wasn't Worried, My Idea Of Being An Adult

I’m Alive and Well

Long time no see!

Cheerio!

Guten Nachmittag!

I have not abandoned this blog, although at times, it felt like I would never write again. It’s been a long few weeks since my move to Charleston. It’s been stressful, hilarious, fun, and also worrisome. I searched high and low for jobs, and then some days, I gave up, and then the next morning I’d get the urge to conquer the world again. But isn’t it funny how you can go from having absolutely no job prospects to having far too many that it stresses you out even more than if you had none?

That’s what happened to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a job in catering for an event company. It was serving, which I’m no stranger to, although I’d never done it through catering which can sometimes be fine dining. I’m not a fan of eating at a fine dining establishment, let alone work for one. The pay was practically nothing but I figured if I got a full time job, I could still work for this company to make extra cash. I had my first shift yesterday and in my personal opinion, it was not worth the time and money. It’s great for younger people, like high school or college kids, but I am neither.

It was a long, 13 hour nonstop day. And it wasn’t just serving food. I got in at 5:15am, loaded the truck, drove to the venue, unloaded the truck, set everything up, served breakfast and lunch, broke everything down, cleaned the entire venue, loaded the truck back up, drove back to the warehouse, unloaded the truck, and then put everything back into its final resting place, or at least until the next event. At the end of the day, I realized I only made about $120, given my hourly wage. After serving in restaurants, I came to the conclusion that I could work half of that shift, and not have to do nearly as much work, and make that much money, which led to my bitterness towards the whole situation. Do I sound bratty? Yeah, probably. But I don’t care. I’m twenty-six years old now. I’ve done the waitressing thing. I know the grueling hours and work it takes to make the money some of them make. If I were eighteen years old complaining about this, I’d smack myself in the face. But I’m older and have more experience than most people want to believe so yeah, I feel entitled enough to know that this job was not worth my time. #Sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I found an ad on Craigslist for a Gallery Associate at a downtown art gallery. The ad gave no name, phone number, or email address so I had no idea which gallery it was. I replied to the ad anyway, not expecting to hear from someone. The following day, I received an email requesting to send my resume and by the next day, I was getting called in for an interview. I danced in my apartment for 20 minutes. I also had another interview at a restaurant that reminded me a lot of the diner in New Hampshire where I served, and that position sounded promising and I was genuinely excited about it.

I just had my interview with the gallery today and I was hired on the spot! She didn’t even ask me any questions about my resume. We just chatted about the position, and then she said, “So…what do you think?”

I said, “This sounds perfect.” She shook my hand and we both squealed. That was that. I’ve been searching for a gallery position for over four years, and I somehow lucked out with the nicest woman on the planet who is willing to show me everything on how to run a gallery. And I mean everything from stretching canvases, framing, and installing to selling the work myself. The starting pay isn’t good but after a couple of weeks, if I show I’m able to learn fast and do well, she will give me a raise plus commission on any works I sell. I don’t care if I get paid in rocks…I made sure to tell her how much this position would mean to me and how thrilled I am to be working with her. She hugged me and I feel like I could die of happiness.

The whole point to this move to Charleston was to find myself in the art field. Charleston has a huge art and medical environment. What would be the point if I turned down the position due to the pay, and ended up in accounting again? When I’ve tried for years to get out of accounting? That would make this move utterly pointless and I wasn’t about to let that happen.

I was supposed to work at an event tomorrow in catering but I called up the company and quit, explaining my situation to them. He didn’t sound pleased but I really don’t care. They are a catering company and they have wide range of employees they can call up. I’m usually very responsible when it comes to this stuff and I wouldn’t normally quit on the spot like I did, but this gallery is my top priority. It has to be. Instead, I’ll be starting my new position tomorrow.

I’m feeling hot hot hot.

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My Idea Of Being An Adult, Out of the Ordinary, Thoughts, Travel, You're Fine

Welcome to Charleston

I can’t be the only one who has that one month out of the year when a series of unfortunate events takes place. For me, that month is January. It happens nearly every year when it seems my walls come crashing down. My walls are by no means sturdy.

However, I just spent nearly a week in Charleston, South Carolina. Yes, it was fun and relaxing, until I came home to a flat tire in the parking garage of the airport, and then a letter from the unemployment office in California, which I won’t go too far into, that would make anyone’s heart stop. By the time I put my bags down, I was ready to fall into tears and fly back to South Carolina to avoid life in general.

Luckily, I will be going back to South Carolina very, very soon. Colleen and I decided to move there. Since my lease is up at the end of February, it’s very important that we make this happen as soon as possible.

Colleen and I sat in the living room of her friend Zach’s apartment while him and his roommates were off at work. We grabbed a bottle of wine, blank sheets of paper, and jotted down the pros and cons to living in Charleston, Washington D.C., and New Hampshire/Maine.

Let me fast forward to when we were leaving Charleston and Colleen was chatting up the Uber driver. He was confused as to why we could just pick up and move without a care in the world.

“What about your jobs?” he asked.

“Well, we don’t really like our jobs,” Colleen answered. The Uber driver laughed hysterically.

“Nobody likes their job!” he said.

It was at this moment I wanted to jump out of the car. I’ve come to really despise that excuse.

Yes, I realize not everyone likes their job, and that’s unfortunate. But there are people out there who love their job. I don’t see what’s wrong with wanting a job I enjoy. One of Zach’s roommates named Jack went on and on about how much he loves his job, and he gets up much earlier than he needs to because he can’t wait to go to work. That right there is the kind of life I want.

I can’t understand why people just accept the reality that they don’t and probably will never like their job. Then why are you doing it? There are bills to pay, and rent, and the overall need to live. I’ve been living this life since I graduated college almost four years ago. But in my downtime, I’ve been searching for other opportunities. It may seem like I’m flaky and I jump from job to job, but that’s because I’m scared of getting too comfortable in a field I don’t actually have an interest in. Even though I haven’t been successful in finding something I love, I at least have been trying. I haven’t given up. I don’t have a reason to. I’m not married, or even in a relationship, and I have no kids. I have no excuses.

Back to when Colleen and I were sipping wine and going over the ideas of living in three entirely different places, we had to be realistic.

Washington D.C. is too stuffy and expensive. It’s also a place Colleen is used to and she needs a change of pace and environment.

New Hampshire/Maine was ideal in the sense that my family is there, and New England is where our heart is. We love the seasons, the beaches, and the people. But the job market is terrible. All I thought about was how I would end up a waitress again, scrubbing the chocolate pie out of my apron every night and smelling of french fries. New England is the type of place I’d like to end up once I feel a bit more established. I just don’t feel comfortable enough there.

Even though Charleston is far away from our families, we have more connections to the job market than we do anywhere else. We have a better chance of succeeding. It seemed like the obvious choice. Even if I do have to serve food for a little while, at least it’s not in my hometown where I feel like I have just given up. I’ll feel more motivated to make it all work.

So, even though January tends to give me a headache, at least I have something exciting to look forward to.

I’m certainly tired of moving. I’ve lived in three different states in the last three years. I’m exhausted. But until I find my place in the world, I won’t stop. I don’t know if Charleston is my forever home, and I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ll fail, or maybe I’ll thrive. But it’s worth a shot.

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Awkward, Festivities, Humor, You're Fine

Not-So-Secret-Santa

Every year, I fail at Christmas. Three years ago, I bought an entire box of Christmas cards to give to all of my coworkers, family members and friends. I got distracted by one thing or another, and the cards were never sent. Two years ago, Christmas crept up so fast, I ended up baking brownies and sending them to my family. And then I did the same thing last year. But this year, I get an A++ for Christmas. Until yesterday.

Here is the dilemma. My company had their office Christmas party last week. My department was a little boring in the fact that we basically sat around in silence eating cookies, mac and cheese, and possibly spiking the eggnog (that’s just about the craziest thing we did). Meanwhile, the department down the hall had an ugly sweater party, and they played Christmas carols, ate pizza, played games, etc. My department does a Secret Santa every year. I decided not to participate. I’m still fairly “new” to this company, and I only know a couple of people fairly well. Plus, I’m nearly broke now after finally, for the first time ever, getting each and every one of my family members and friends a Christmas present. Once the party was over, I thought “Okay good. I can now focus on family.”

Flash forward to yesterday, and my coworker Katie hands me this giant Christmas bag. It’s a full/queen plush blanket. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever owned. If I thought getting up early in the morning every day was hard, it just got a hell of a lot harder with this blanket.

xzcxzKatie forgot to take the tag off and I saw she spent $40 on me.

dsfdf

I didn’t even think to get my boss and Katie something for Christmas. I THOUGHT THE SECRET SANTA WAS FOR THAT. I blatantly chose not to participate for this very reason. So now, of course, I have to get them a gift by tomorrow.

It gets worse.

My other coworker, Michelle, whom I don’t particularly like very much, but I tolerate, also gave me a gift. I was praying to the gods all evening last night hoping it wasn’t going to happen, and voila, a gift was handed to me this morning from her. So in order to not look like a dick, I have to get Michelle something too.

What is the point in Secret Santa if we are just going to give all of our coworkers presents anyway? That is the reason behind Secret Santa – to include everyone. When we were in elementary school and we did Secret Santa, you got your person the gift, we all exchanged them in the classroom before Christmas, everyone got a gift and went home happy, and that was that. I didn’t slip other kids in my classroom a gift on top of my Secret Santa gift. That would be cruel and insensitive.

Exchanging gifts at work is painfully awkward and confusing. If you get one person a gift, you feel obligated to get the rest of your coworkers gifts as well, even if you don’t know them very well. That’s why I was thankful for the Secret Santa – I didn’t feel like I had to get anyone anything if I wasn’t participating. The only thing I did partake in was bringing Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark to the party, which was basically my gift to everyone. This job is costing me a fortune this year.

Please feel free to share any Secret Santa horror stories in the comments. Or go ahead and be bitter with me.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Humor, You're Fine

4 Methods On How to Handle a Fight You Weren’t Originally a Part Of

I’m in a bit of a predicament that I’ve haven’t been entwined in since my middle school days, so I’m a bit rusty when it comes to handling the situation. Let me do my best to paint the picture for you while brainstorming some methods I learned from catty middle school girls.

A couple of months ago, I was part of a group chat with four other co-workers. We mostly goofed off, sent each other silly gifs, and discussed the next after-work cocktails night we should have. It was all fun and games until something extraordinarily awkward happened.

Meet Don. He’s a bit of a grump with some serious mood swings. He acts like he hates you, and then the next day, says “Good Morning” and asks about your weekend. He’s a confusing, angsty soul.

Meet Katie. She’s sassy, firey, and has no problem letting you know how much she hates her job.

Katie said something sassy in the group chat, and Don fired back. With my clear eyes, it seemed like he was being sarcastic, which that is a language Katie doesn’t speak. Katie took offense to his comment, which started a very short mini argument between the two of them. The other two chatters were silent, and so was I. What do the kids call it? Ghosting? Yes. I did my best to ghost the conversation.

Within minutes, Don left the group chat. Since then, Katie hasn’t really spoken to him. Nothing has changed on my part because I barely spoke to him before the group chat anyway. Fast forward a few weeks, and one of the silent chatters mentioned how Don wanted to go out for after-work drinks, but without Katie…and apparently me. Fast forward to last night, and I found that Don unfollowed me on Instagram, along with Katie.

Needless to say, this guy doesn’t like me, and it’s clear that it’s by association. I’m friends with Katie. I talk to her, and eat lunch with her everyday. Therefore, since Don doesn’t like Katie, he MUST not like me too.

I’ve never dealt with something like this in “adult world”. Especially by a thirty-something-year-old man. What bothers me about this situation is that 1. Katie and I are nothing alike, and 2. this person has made up his mind about me without actually getting to know me, and 3. I’ve done absolutely nothing.

And now I’m left wondering how on earth I got dragged into a fight I was never originally a part of.

So here are some petty mean girl tactics that I haven’t pulled out of my closet since 2005.

1. The Silent Treatment

As adults, we have learned the art of keeping a straight face, smiling, and acting like nothing is wrong, especially in front of someone we don’t particularly like. In teenage girl world, you test out the silent treatment. The person you are in a brawl with asks for a pencil, you stare straight ahead without even a head nod to acknowledge the slight breeze in the air.

dsfsdfs2. The Stink-Eye

Any time they make eye contact with you, just act like they have a booger on their face.

gfdgg

3. Be Overly and Obnoxiously Nice

I don’t mean hold the door open for him or offer the last office doughnut. I mean being so nice that he knows everything about it is sarcastic.

“HEY DON. HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND? I LOVE THAT SHIRT ON YOU. YOUR WIFE IS SO NICE. LIKE OMG.” – Valley Girl Voice

erew4. Take the High Road

Raise your hand if you’re over the age of eighteen and simply have other things to worry about? SAME.

Ignore methods 1-3 and just “take the high road”. I simply unfollowed him and will continue to move on from this invigorating friendship we once shared.

Feel free to share your methods on handling catty situations as an adult. I could use all the help I can get.

*Names have been changed to protect the semi-innocent.

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Humor, I Wasn't Worried, Insomnia, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Rant, Sarcasm, You're Fine

I Need a Paper Bag and a Bottle of White Zin

I don’t get easily stressed.

Well that was a big fat lie. I actually get very stressed but I pretend like none of it bothers me so that I can keep my cool and lie to myself even more.

I stress out about everything. I’m surprised I don’t have more anxiety attacks. I have one maybe once a year, and each time it creeps up my shoulder like the grim reaper. Why does my chest feel like this? Am I having a heart attack? Are the walls bleeding?

If something bad happens, I do a Nick Miller head nod and say, “Well…that happened…” And then I brush off the fleck of stress off my shoulder and continue with my day like I’m cool as a cucumber. I do this over and over and over again for months until one day, I explode. It’s like an episode of Ren and Stimpy, and I whip my head around my environment taking mental screenshots of everything I’m avoiding: the dishes are piling up, I need to take out the trash, I haven’t glanced at my mail for two weeks, my unfinished painting is looking sad, is that mold I smell in my sink?, why does it sound like my cat is choking to death every morning?, and for the love of God can he please stop clawing at all of my nice furniture?, am I going bald?, why does my hairline make me look like one of those patients in a Bosley commercial?, I still haven’t registered my car (I hope I don’t get pulled over and have to do the whole “Look at me, Officer. I’m cute. Please don’t yell.”), I have a zit the size of my evil twin on my neck.

Welcome to the inside of my mind. Grab a drink, take a load off because I certainly can’t. I feel like Mrs. Bennett in Pride & Prejudice and I don’t even have five daughters to marry off.

There has been a lot of things happening since last week that my mind simply cannot grasp and/or handle. When I reach a certain point, I babble and say/do weird things. I’ve been so up and down about various things that I feel my heart might burst into flames. So many people tell me I need to de-stress so I Googled some ways to do that and I already call quits on most of them.

1. Meditate

What am I, a monk?

Meditating would look a little like me sitting on my bed eating an entire bag of popcorn and not breaking eye contact with my cat.

2. Exercise

I already exercise regularly, so with my tsunami-like brain waves, my running has been golden. I’ve been walking into Planet Fitness like Usain Bolt. But what do I do after I run off all of those bad vibes? I stress eat. It’s like I never even went to the gym.

3. Drink Green Tea

Because sticking leaves that closely resemble marijuana into a steaming hot cup of water is going to make my troubles go away. Why don’t I just stop shaving and pray every evening to a bowl of granola while I’m at it?

4. Take a Nap

Sure, I could stumble into my apartment after work, crash on my bed and pass out at 5pm. But it doesn’t change the fact that my student loans need to be paid the following day.

I’d rather just take a bottle of wine to my face, talk to my pile of mail, and go to bed.

Tell me some of your de-stressers, or lack thereof. I’ll be sure to take some notes.

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I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Out of the Ordinary

To Apply, Or Not To Apply?

A photo by Nirzar Pangarkar. unsplash.com/photos/Y7y7fe8hrh0I’ve been applying to jobs since 2012. I began my search during my first semester of senior year, and I got a good taste of what it’s really like to be searching for that perfect job. Of course, no job is perfect. Even when I had a job, I was still searching, searching, searching. After four longs years, I can’t help but think, have I been wasting my time?

They say, “It’s all about who you know.” As a millennial, I can’t stress enough, especially for upcoming college graduates, how true that statement really is. Every single job I’ve had since my college graduation, I didn’t receive because I applied to their job posting. I received the jobs through staffing agencies and family friends. I’ve applied to hundreds of job postings with real, genuine interest, and 99% of the time I never got a call back or an email. I learned a couple of years ago that most companies simply post a job on their website because they have to, and they almost always hire from within, or hire someone they know. So all those hours, cover letters, applications, may have been a waste of time.

This makes finding a job, especially for those like me who are weak at networking, extremely difficult. I’ve never liked the feeling that I’m using the person to get ahead. That is what networking feels like. There’s something about it that doesn’t sit right with me.

I’ve also had those close calls. That ounce of hope and shimmer of excitement of a possible job. I recently had that experience and it came crashing down this morning. A recruiter based in London contacted me on LinkedIn. It was the first time something useful and positive has come out of my LinkedIn profile. The position was for an art gallery in Manhattan with the job requirements matching the exact experience I have on my resume. THIS was my dream job, for sure. I was so excited, and the recruiter called me in the early hours of 6am due to the time difference. I was enthusiastic and everything sounded promising. Until the gallery decided against looking into all candidates, and wanted someone with the exact experience in a similar gallery. Naturally, I was frustrated simply because they didn’t even give me a chance. My qualifications matched their needs. My interest and love for art was obvious. I had a recruiter writing on my behalf, explaining that I was a great candidate for them. So, I sit here baffled as to why I continuously get rejected without even a chance to speak on my behalf. And I understand that I’m not the only one.

I let the recruiter know how thankful I was that she contacted me, even after the disappointing news. I’m thankful because it gave me hope, and she saw something in me that most people have overlooked. Even though everything fell through, I’m glad it happened.

So, to answer my question: Is it a waste of time to apply to job postings? I’m not really sure. Maybe. All I know is that every opportunity that has come my way has been because I know someone, or I know someone who knows someone. The rest is entirely up to you.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, Out of the Ordinary, You're Fine

If There’s a Fire, Don’t Put Me In Charge

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago called “Dear Ashely” that told a dining out experience I had of two ladies being utterly rude to their waitress. This got me thinking back to the day I realized I was just about done with waitressing and the food industry that I almost made up the term, “I can’t even.” I could not tell you the time of year with confidence, but I’d say it was probably the summertime in 2011. I had been with my restaurant for a year and a half. Sadly.

I was hosting that night, and it was a busy, chaotic evening. My feet hurt, my head hurt, and I’m sure I had been yelled at by many people throughout the course of the day. It was pushing 8pm when a man came rushing in. He was out of breath and nearly pale from fright.

“Your roof is on fire!” he yells at me. His eyes are wide as he points to the ceiling. Now, the normal reaction would be something like, “What?! Oh my God! I have to call 9-1-1 and get these people out of here!”

But my reaction looked more like this:

200-65

It’s not that I didn’t hear him, nor believe him. I think my initial reaction showed how much I.Did.Not.Care. So I calmly said, “Come again?”

“Your roof! It’s on fire!” He’s gasping at this point.

I’m not proud of the fact that I was a little jazzed about this. A little thrown off by the course of the evening I said, “Okay. Just give me a second.”

“No! You need to call the police!”

“….yeah. Hold on.”

I slowly pranced my way to the back in the kitchen to find my manager by the food window, sweating and organizing the plates of food. He looked at me all frustrated like, “Dude, what the fuck do you want?” It wasn’t so violent, but that’s how I was spoken to on a daily basis, hence why I clearly did not care that the building was burning down in this moment. It’s not like I could smell anything.

“Hey, yeah Mike. The roof is on fire. We should probably evacuate.”

200-66He’s all confused but I could see a twinkle in his eye. He drops what he’s doing, shuffles outside, sees the tiny little fire on the roof that looks like it’s about to make its way to the tree next to us and probably combust into flames before one of the waiters takes it upon himself to announce to everyone to get the hell out. Everyone evacuates without having to pay as I stood on the grass wishing I had popcorn as I watched the firefighters pull up to the restaurant and put out the flames. Me, being the hostess for the night and at the bottom of the totem pole said, “So, you don’t need me right? I can leave?” They said yes and I merrily went on my way.

I never found out what caused the fire because that’s how much I cared. It’s probably concerning to most of you, but that may be because you haven’t worked in the food industry. I’d say this is fairly normal, considering the circumstances.

You could say I was in shock or something. If you are ever in a room with me and suddenly the curtains flame up, I will not just stand there and giggle without any regard to your well-being. I would care like any normal person. However, this place had the audacity to call me every name in the book. If I was in the way, if I didn’t know how to do something, or God forbid I asked how another waitress’ day was, I was considered useless to the corporation. On my last day, nobody even knew it was my last day. They paid no notice or even a bitter good-bye after putting in my two and a half years. The last restaurant I worked in threw me a party for my last day.

So yeah.

Judge on.

200w-10


 

You guys have 8 days to send me your holiday stories for the first You’re Fine Holiday Contest! Send them via email to jreyna91@gmail.com by December 24th for a chance to be a guest blog on Christmas Day and have a personalized New Years present sent to you directly from me!

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Awkward, Girls, My Idea Of Being An Adult, News, Rant

Enough with the Dress Code Arguments

I came across this article about a 17-year-old girl from South Dakota who quit her job at J.C. Penney because they told her she was violating dress code and needed to head home to change. It’s national news at the moment, but what “dress code violation” story isn’t nowadays? If you are lazy and didn’t click on the link to the article, then you didn’t see what the girl was wearing. She had on a pair of red “professional” shorts that she bought in the business casual section in the store, along with a tight fitted blue tank top with thick straps. Oh, and she was wearing sandals. The girl felt she was mistreated and got so fed up she quit on the spot.

I’m seriously so bored with these stupid dress code cries. This isn’t even turning into a gender specific thing like everyone claims it has. Men are not allowed to show up at work in shorts, nor shirtless. They have the same set of rules as women. I’ve worked in retail and I’m pretty sure the dress code still stands – no jeans, no shorts, and no open-toed shoes. It’s THAT simple. You’d have to be doing it on purpose in order to violate those basic standards.

For all you teens out there who keep complaining about the dress code for schools and businesses – they don’t necessarily set these rules because they think men are going to go ape-shit on your clavicle. They do it because they are a professional environment, and in order to keep that reputation, you need to dress the part. Nobody wants to hire a lawyer who looks like they just spent the morning on the beach. No one wants to buy food from a grocery store where all of the employees look like they’ve been rummaging through a dumpster. And no teacher wants their students to walk away from their classroom with only the basic knowledge of Alyssa’s zebra print thong. This is why we have dress codes.

This kind of attitude and behavior will not be tolerated when you’re 25 working as an accountant. You hate the dress code and you quit on the spot? Guess what – they don’t care. You are easily replaceable and they would rather work with someone who follows the rules to their business than deal with someone who doesn’t. It’s just a headache that can be avoided.

The only time I typically agree with arguments about dress code within middle school and high school students is because they get in a hissy fit when a girl wears a pair of yoga pants. That’s taking it a bit far, don’t you think? What honest-to-God difference does it make if the girl wears tight-fitted jeans one day and then a pair of yoga pants the next? They are still covering the legs, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Her ass is still the same regardless of the material so either way, boys are probably going to stare. They are hormonal. There’s nothing you can do about that.

If you wear yoga pants when working out, and allowed to wear them in gym class, then you should be allowed to wear them outside of gym class. There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable in a pair of jeans that is squeezing out your muffin top for the whole class to see while learning geometry.

Go ahead and wear whatever you want when you get to college. The professor could care less if you show up in your Hello Kitty pajamas as long as you do the work. But don’t expect to get away with it at your job. Showing up in the office wearing booty shorts and a halter will get you fired. And you better not use the whole, “You’re sexualizing my body” crap. It won’t work.

P.S. To the school systems: Please stop telling the girls that what they are wearing is going to distract the boys from their schoolwork. Now you’re just blaming them rather than just simply stating, “It’s school policy. Deal.” It’s just not fair, man. 

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Humor, My Idea Of Being An Adult

The Office

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It’s been a few months since my last office job and even though the stability of work and a paycheck was nice, I’ve come to terms with the fact that working in an office is not for me. Some people enjoy the same routine over and over again, day after day and I honestly wish I got that same satisfaction. I look back on my office days and can’t help but feel dread and gloom. Here are some reasons why working in an office is not for me.

1. I Eat My Life Away

When you are sitting at a desk for eight hours, you can’t help but reach for the chips, chocolate bars, and pastries. It’s just like when you are watching TV. You have to snack on something to pass the time.

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2. Everyone Is On A Diet

Just like you, everyone else is snacking. Therefore, all of your fellow employees are on a diet. So when you reach for that third miniature candy bar, they snatch it away, letting you know they are doing you a favor. And you also get to feel like the cow of the group when you head out to lunch together and order a burger instead of a salad, dry.

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3. You Have To Fake A Smile

When your boss approaches you saying they have a really awesome project for you with animation and jazz hands, only to find out you will be picking out the new file cabinet from Staples, you force that award-winning smile. And it’s ridiculously painful.

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4. You Get Thrill Over Silly Things

You never thought of yourself as a person who got excited over mundane things but when you’re stuck behind a desk, you become that person. Your entire day is mapped out before you, so when you get a mysterious package on your desk that actually doesn’t belong to you, it means you get to walk away for a whole five minutes to find the owner.

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5. You Are Never Sure Who To Trust

It’s always nice to have that best bud from work who you can complain with, and tell each other the latest office gossip. But sometimes, you don’t know who you can actually trust. Is that best bud going to use your friendship as a ploy to reach to the top? Or is she going to continue the frivolous friendship like you hope?

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6. Work Parties = Awkward Social Gatherings Where We Discuss Work

You’d think with the free wine and food and happy-go-lucky atmosphere, that work parties would be the time and place to break out of your shell a bit. Get to know your co-workers on a more personal level, and find out that Grumpy Dan from Accounting actually has a sense of humor. But in reality, you will be meeting more people at your company you had no idea existed, and then you are forced to make conversation with them, and naturally the first bit of conversation that comes to mind is about work. So it’s just more work…away from work.

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7. You Still Have To Deal With The Public

I always thought that outside of my restaurant and retail job, that I would eventually land an office job that included not talking to the public. People suck. End of story. But I have yet to come across a job that doesn’t require you to deal with shitty people. I’m convinced they don’t exist. To some level, you have to deal with someone at some point.

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8. Fluorescent Lights

I’m reliving my middle school dances all over again.

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9. When Projects Go South

Your manager says, “Hey, can you build a schedule for me, and color code it? I just need to stay organized but I don’t have the time to do it.” Coloring? Hell yeah! So you create this wonderful schedule, perfectly neat and outlined to help with her chaotic life. You are so proud that your graduated skills of coloring in between the lines has paid off. Until she sees it and says, “Hmmm….could you actually start the calendar week with a Monday instead of a Sunday?” And then you start over, but you don’t care. It’s fine. She didn’t specify. So you fix the masterpiece until she says, “Actually, can you label my PTA meetings in red instead of blue? It just makes more sense for me.”

….sure. So you fix it. Then she says, “Mmmm, no wait. The PTA meetings in blue were fine. And can you actually make the boxes bigger?”

You want to say, “Why the hell didn’t you just make it?”

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Perhaps my next office job, if I get one, will be slightly better. It always depends on the actual job. Sitting at a desk reading and editing would be a dream. If only Michael Scott was my boss. 

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Art, Books, Rant, Things I Need, Writing

Beating Your Manuscript To Death

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I have a goal to finish my memoir by the end of the year. Hopefully sooner. There’s a contest in the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program that starts on October 15th that I’d really like to try and enter. It’s a total long shot, but supposedly we hear who the winner is in the spring and that’s better than looking for an agent for “X” amount of years. At least by then if I don’t win the publication, I can be on the hunt because my manuscript would be finished.

I’ve met a lot of interesting people throughout my writing “career”, and with the AWP Conference in LA next year (YAYYYY! You should come and hang with me!) I’m bound to meet many more. I’ve met some people who have written entire novels in six weeks. And I’ve met some people who spent twenty years on their memoir. Everyone goes at their own pace. I read somewhere that J.K. Rowling spent ten years writing the first Harry Potter book, and after it was rejected many times because they claimed it would never be a hit, it ended up being one of the biggest franchises in the world, with their own park within Disney. Some people don’t see the pure gold you have written while others do. That’s what I love about writing and art – there is no right answer. There are a few people I turn to for guidance and honest opinions that do not shut me down completely. I’ve come across too many writers who believe that there is a right and wrong way to writing, and I’m telling you right now…get rid of those people. You want guidance from those who work with you to move forward on your vision, not tell you “it won’t work”.

As for me, I’ve spent the past two years working on my manuscript. My manuscript was my thesis in order to graduate, and now I already know I want to head in a different structural direction. I’m such a revisionist that sometimes it kills me. I could get this book published next year, and talk to me in ten years and I’ll probably say I want to rewrite the whole thing.

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The problem with writing a manuscript is that you re-read it a hundred times or more to the point that you are disgusted with yourself. It’s like when you binge watch a TV show and you get annoyed with the characters and what you once thought was endearing eight hours ago makes you want to gouge your eyes out with a spoon like you’re in Hostel. It’s the same thing. Spending too much time with your manuscript can be a bad thing, depending on how you work.

I sometimes wish I could just go off the grid for like a month. Live in the deep woods of Washington State or Canada in a cabin to myself and write as much as I can. I’m in need of inspiration.

Which brings me to The Death of The Memoir. This has been such a hot debate for so long. Memoir. The daunting question of, “Why should I care?” Memoirists have this label of being narcissistic with a painful childhood that feel the need to have all of the attention onto themselves. I actually follow bloggers right now who have written about these things stating that nobody cares about their god awful life and to just quit with the memoirs.

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I’m not writing a memoir because I think I’ve had a horrible life, more so than anybody else. Not even close. I’ve had a great life with some obstacles and bad decisions along the way. The hypocritical part is that if I were to write my life and call it fiction, nobody would complain. In fact, I did that once. I wrote a piece that was 95% nonfiction for a fiction workshop, and do you know what the comments were? “This just isn’t believable or realistic.”

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I couldn’t stop giggling because it was all of the parts that were 100% true. The setting, the dialogue, the conflict, all of it. Hence why I stick with nonfiction because hearing those comments are too distracting.

It’s the same reaction when I tell people my age and that I write nonfiction. They think my life is just beginning, so what on earth could I possibly write about? This too, gives me more momentum to continue what I’m doing.

So why is it that people are so turned off by nonfiction? You mean you don’t care to hear about Jeannette Walls’ experience living homeless with her erratic parents and siblings, to eventually living comfortably in NYC while her mother is in the alley rummaging through trash bins? I find that interesting as hell. You don’t care to hear about Maya Angelou’s experience being sexually abused by a man while living in the South? That too, is really interesting. Who has seen the movie Unbroken? That’s a true story. And it was a really cool story.

So, it’s hard to believe how many people get so bent out of shape when a new memoir comes out, like, “Oh, it’s another one of those again.”

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It’s interesting to read about other people’s lives. I’d rather read about them then see what they bought at the grocery store on Instagram. We read about everyone’s lives everyday on social media, so how is a memoir more annoying than that?

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California, Cats, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, Out of the Ordinary, You're Fine

Pleasantville

True story.

True story.

When you start to work in an office environment, little things out of the ordinary that happen during the day is the most exciting. I mean little little, but we still naturally freak out and run around in a sugar craze because it took our minds off of our computer screens for a whole thirty seconds. I’ll give you some examples…

The first office I ever worked in, the tech guy showed up to install a new computer and monitor in the cubicle in front of me for god-knows-who. We had a very small office, approximately twenty of us, so I really didn’t know who would be owning this new computer. It looked like it was straight out of 1997 with the thick rims and clunky back and I thought, Oh how nice, they bought this person a pre-historic used computer. Anyways, my manager began freaking out, pacing up and down the hallway, texting and calling whoever all over this stupid computer. And the tech guy was perfectly capable of setting it up himself, so I had no idea why my manager was huffing and puffing around for two hours. It was just something to do outside of whatever they were supposed to be doing.

I can also understand why so many people gain weight once they graduate from college and start working in an office. It’s not because you just sit on your butt all day punching in numbers and responding to emails. It’s the food! Three hours into your work day you’re already thinking about lunch, and how much you are craving a milkshake. You treat yourself and get something totally unhealthy yet fantastic, and it’s fast, and then you plop a seat in front of your computer once again and continue working. It doesn’t matter how much you work out, it’s nearly impossible to lose the weight, and I blame offices. No one wants to work for hours and then say, “I could really go for a salad right now.” That’s not realistic because then an hour later you are hungry again and you find cupcakes that an employee brought in as a gift. Another distraction that we go crazy for and we flock like seagulls over to the kitchen.

Last Thursday, we had an unusual distraction. A kitten got stuck on the outside window sill of Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The poor little guy was pacing around the window sill in the heat and panting because he was thirsty. We actually called the fire department, and I thought that was just something you saw in movies like Pleasantville.

Pinterest.com

Pinterest.com

No one could seem to figure out how the cat got on that window sill. It was up really high that even a guy with a ladder and net could barely reach him, and it was in such a crammed space that it seemed impossible the cat didn’t fall to the ground even just attempting to get on the window sill.

Everyone shopping that day began swarming around the entrance to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to try and catch the cat in case he were to fall. The fire department never showed up because to be honest, this is Southern California and they have more important things to do between the house fires, car accidents, car chases, and burglaries. Shit’s always going down in California no matter how nice of an area you live in. It’s so normal for weird things to happen that I actually spent my lunch break reading outside and heard a car accident happen at the stop lights. I barely looked up from my book. When a car accident happens in New Hampshire, everyone crowds around for the entire thing because it’s the most interesting and exciting thing to happen in months.

A group of women leaving their yoga class first saw the cat. They naturally began freaking out and yelling at the man risking his life on the ladder with the net because he couldn’t reach the damn cat. I really wanted to take a picture for all of you, but one woman who seemed like a die hard animal rights activists was pacing around like it was her child up there, screaming, yelling, and crying and in such frustration I figured she would probably punch me in the face for trying to take one.

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Miraculously, the cat kind of just fell into the net the guy on the ladder was holding and he was okay. I thought about taking him home but figured Sam would kill me. Another girl claimed him within seconds anyway.

Life lesson I learned that day…cats can get into just about anything.

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