Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Second day of work for me today, which was in some ways more intimidating than the first -- because this time they expected me to know what I was doing. To my surprise, it went really, really well, and I had people telling me all day how quickly I was picking stuff up. Normally I don't take those kind of compliments very seriously, because people are always trying to be nice to the newbie, but this time they stuck for several, slightly more concrete reasons:
1) They left me at the cash desk alone many times throughout the day. Sometimes they didn't even tell me first, because they knew that I knew how to call for help. They're not supposed to do that with newbies, ever.
2) Boss #1 (who hired me) told me she was impressed with how much I had learned so far, and pointed out that I had learned a few things that they don't even teach to new cashiers in the first few weeks!
3) Boss #2 taught me how to do exchanges, which I wasn't supposed to learn yet either.
4) One of the senior booksellers was pretty impressed when I made it into the book order menu on the computer without any help. No one really taught me how to do orders either.
5) One of the employees who I hadn't met yet came in today on her day off and asked me how long I had been working. I said I had only started the day before. She replied "oh, you must have tons of experience in retail then, because you have the cash register completely figured out!" I was like "uh...actually, not really." She looked rather stunned.
6) They let me close the store -- on my second day ever. I was left responsible for counting most of the money. I know this is a huge deal because at my last job only the supervisors were allowed to cash out, and they had all been working there for at least 2 years!
7) Boss #2 said I sounded very professional on the phone.
Boss #2 also informed me that I'm the youngest cashier they have hired "in forever," and in a place where everyone is older than me by at least five years, I believe it. I have no idea why Boss #1 decided to hire me fresh out of university, but I won't let her regret the decision for a moment.
I'm not wanting to brag here -- I just have been really amazed to find a JOB that I ENJOY and am GOOD AT which will eventually bring me MONEY. These four items have never, ever existed for me simultaneously in a job before. My employment history is a total wasteland. I worked for a bakery, which was grueling and underpaid and many people were mean. I didn't even make it past the 'probation' period -- which sounds like incarceration anyway! I worked for a marketing company, which was underpaid, degrading, exploitative, and generally unpleasant. I worked for the summer camp I attended as a child, which was underpaid, incredibly difficult, and demoralizing. I worked for a marina on the island one summer when I was desperate to make enough money to cover my tuition since the scholarship committee had fucked with my scholarship and it took 3 months to get it back -- that was stressful, painful, and some of the people turned out to be drunks, psychotic, or just plain unpleasant. That, and years of baby-sitting while swamped with homework and bratty kids, tutoring for kids with learning disabilities and just plain unwillingness to work, and taking anally precise notes for disabled students have been alternately low-paying, endlessly challenging, and at times just plain dissatisfying positions.
With an employment history like that, it's not hard for me to understand why I have been "gainfully unemployed" for so long. Working is just too fucking horrible.
But this job is great. This makes me feel wonderful. I nearly died of happiness today when I scanned a stuffed tiger for a tiny little blond girl and handed it to her across the counter and she chirped "thanks!" in her little 4-year-old voice. When another sweet little thing with blond ringlets walked around to my side of the counter and grinned when I gave her a necklace to play with, I nearly picked her up and stuffed her into my backpack to take home with me.
It is glorious to meet children whose diapers you do not have to change, who you do not have to bathe and put to bed, who will not puke or pee on you or hit you or throw chairs at you, who will not make you watch Barney and Friends until you wish you could just keel over and die, and whose parents do not pay you a lousy $2.50 an hour!
I adore my coworkers as well. Julie is just plain wonderful. She is not only perpetually patient but also genuinely fun and interesting. Working with her is as chill as can be.
The only problem with the job is this: When I get home at the end of the day, I have hung out for 8+ hours in a completely G-rated environment. I have smiled, and said 'please' and 'thank you' and 'you're welcome' and 'absolutely' and 'no problem' about a gazillion times. I have looked professional and put-together and almost painfully cute all day. My worst swear word has been "crud" -- ALL DAY!
As a result, at the end of the day all I want is of the XXX, R-rated, Adults only, 'congratulations you are indeed 21' variety. This is not necessarily a problem, it just means I will have to be a bit wilder from now on. I want to get wickedly drunk and stoned and say 'fuck' every two words. I want to have crazy wild sex and watch hard-core porn and flirt my tail off. It's as though I have been a child all day and need -- desperately -- to be an adult again.
Hell, I'd settle for a glass of wine and a Tarantino flick.
Just as long as it's above a G-rating!
I need more participants for my poll. There are indeed prizes involved. Whether or not you actually want these prizes depends entirely on you. I promise it'll be interesting if nothing else. Oh, and Storm, for god's sake go vote on the poll YOU inspired, for crying out loud!
It looks like the Bro and I are heading out for sushi with Kun and Ruh and whoever else is still in town tonight. It has occurred to me that at some point I'm going to have to tell Kun about my breakup with the Boy, but I am dreading it. She will freak out, and probably cry, and possibly cry and freak out, and I'm not totally sure I want to deal with that right now. I have to tell her though, because there is no way in hell the Boy will do it, and I'm her friend and it's mean to keep her out of the loop. But man, will it suck. And not in a good way. I will have to go into it feeling super-stable and okay in order for me not to lose it too.
I felt better about the whole thing today, if only because I was so distracted by work that I didn't really get a chance to ponder it much. I tend to get really sad in my low moments, when something else is going wrong, or simply when there's nothing for me to distract myself with. There are also hundreds and perhaps thousands of songs, books, movies, and places that may make me feel desperately sad for the next little while. I dread the thought that that feeling may never go away. That feeling of "oh shit, not this fucking song, damn you for playing that here," which makes me wish that I was anywhere on earth but exactly where I am.
I've noticed I've started looking at guys differently now, which must mean it's really over -- because this never happened before. I looked at other guys when I was with the Boy as though they were occasionally pretty objects, but nothing exciting enough to actually think about on a serious level. Now I find myself wondering about every interesting-looking guy who walks by. Before I just assumed I would never know more about them -- they would always be strangers to me. But now I don't know. Anything could happen.
That and there are about a half a dozen people I know who I have always made a huge effort to stay away from because they're the rare individuals who turn me into a complete vixen. They might just be crushes, but then again it might be that there's something there, who knows? At any rate, some of these people are actually friends I've been avoiding because I never should have "friended" them in the first place, but simply didn't have the choice at the time. Now, I wonder, is 'defriending' possible? (I have Carrie from Sex and the City's voice in my head....ah, Carrie and her made-up words!). The cool thing is that I could actually call these people up and see them and flirt up a storm and let it go anywhere I wanted, completely guilt-free. This is not without its advantages.
More to say as always but this post is way too fucking long already. Sorry JaG and others who are annoyed by huge long rambling posts.
I did have a direction in there somewhere. But only Carrie and I understand where it is.