Category Archives: Working Girl

You’re Not Always Right

I am currently on fall break. That is one thing about my job/career field I wi never complain about since I get holidays, random breaks, and summers off. Am I usually still working during those times? Yes, but in sweatpants, with kitties, and SATC on my tv. After 5pm, probably with a glass of wine as well.
However, I’m dreading going back to work on Thursday. (Yes, I only have classes/teach in Tues/Thurs this semester, but believe me that those days are killer and was not my original choice.)
It’s not the amount of student papers I will be getting back or the amount of reading I am behind on for my classes or the fact that I still haven’t finished y thesis outline.
None of that is fun, but I did that to myself.
No, I’m dreading it because I seem to work in a department where everyone else is right all the time. They even know what I like and what I’m thinking or what my opinion on something is.
I should just hire them to write this damned thesis and be done with it, since they seem to know everything .
Granted, I think this happens in most grad programs. Put a bunch of smart people together and they feel the need to be “right”.
But this goes beyond discussions of authors and critical theories and interpretations. They like to tell me I’m just wrong on what I donor don’t like.
For one, my focus is on contemporary and late 20th century lit. It’s fascinating and bonus, not many people have written on them so I don’t have to wad through 70 years of criticism to see if my idea is original or been explored before. It’s what I love and think is important.
But I also understand and respect people that study and love the classics and earlier literature. I know it all has value. Doesn’t mean it’s what I want to do, buy I’m not going to put down anyone else’s preference for century.
But I don’t get the same respect. I, for one, don’t like Jane Austen. I just don’t. But I get argued with that in wrong.
Yeah, my opinion is wrong.
Not trying to enlighten me on how she is relevant today or how her character development can draw you in.
No, I’m just wrong.
Downton Abbey? Same thing.
Drinking 5 nights a week? I’m just boring.
Coffee early in the morning? What’s wrong with me?
The fact that my husband and I choose to spend on our money on us and our home instead of blowing it as soon as I get a paycheck at Target and the bars? Wrong. (Someone actually told me that I was dumb for preferring to spend myomeres on date nights with Mr. A instead of buying new clothes every month. Yeah…)
And I’m just so effing tired of it all.
This is one reason I no longer hangout with a certain group of people because I was tired of having to agree with the ringleader all the time, even when I didn’t, or knew for a 100% fact that she was wrong.
I’m an adult. Adults can disagree yet remain respectful and still be friends.
Apparently this concept escapes many of my fellow TAs and it makes me insane.
And don’t even get me started on political arguments discussions. I got caught in the middle of one already and I know it’s just going to get worse as the election draws nearer. I may start hiding and working in the bathroom.
Too bad our secretary insists on continuing conversations with you as you are in the stall. Awkward.
Since I’m already swarmed and stressed, I think I’ll take a page from the obnoxious undergrads and start wearing headphones but have the music so loud that everyone else can hear. At least I won’t have to hear them tell me my taste in music sucks.

* excuse any typos. Written on my phone.

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Filed under Grad School?, Life After College, Working Girl, WTF

Ahem

Well, it’s been a while.

I AM alive. So there’s that.

School is kicking my ass in a way I’ve never experienced before and I want to crawl into a hole and hide and hope some magical faeries will do my work for me.

It’s a problem.

Mostly I’m in such a state of panic that I don’t do anything because everything needed to be done last week. So prioritizing doesn’t happen because, again, everything needed to already be done.

Catch-22

Mostly I need to kick my own butt into gear and just get through this semester. If I can do that, next semester should be a little easier.

Also, Mr. A will be out of town all next semester for another amazing internship. LUCKILY, he won’t be as far away as he was last summer. He will be in my hometown and will be staying at my dad’s house. It will be a free place to stay, my dad is doing some really awesome stuff for Mr. A’s stay (such as turn one of the spare bedrooms into another living room so Mr. A will have a place to hang out).

BUT, because he will be gone, I will be back to blogging. I will finally have free time to do so and will need some more company.

I know people hate when people blog about not blogging, but I have met so many of you in person and have talked with so many of you on a regular basis that I thought I would check in. When I come back, I might start over, or just revamp this old thing. We shall see.

But no matter what, I’ll fill you all in. Also, you all rock, I hope your lives are super fantastic and amazing and I can’t wait to finally have time to catch up on it all!!

Now, what’s a thesis?

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Filed under Blogging, Grad School?, Teaching in College, Working Girl

Busy Bee

Apparently I should get one a blogging schedule BEFORE the semester starts, not in the middle of it.

So, Orlando was fun. I was sick for a lot of it due to my massive sinus issues prior to the flight, which then made it nearly impossible for my ears to pop like they should so I was just off and blech for most of it.

BUT, I did enjoy myself and learned a lot. It was great to see some presentations before I have to present my own in a week. (YIKES)

This semester has been kicking my booty. Between the insane amounts of work for my own classes and trying not to suck at teaching, I am feeling pretty overwhelmed. To the point that I don’t do anything because I don’t know where to start. It’s a vicious cycle.

However, I have ALL of my paper topics for the remaining 4 papers that I have to write this semester, so that’s a huge load off my shoulders. Sounds goofy, but now that I know what I’m writing about, I think about the topics, work out the arguments in my head and it makes it easier when I sit down and write the damn things. I have a weird writing process. Looks weird to others and probably wouldn’t work for anyone else, but it works for me and has been paying off, at least so far. (Fingers crossed it continues until I can work out a better, less spastic method)

Mr. A is hitting his own rough spot of the semester. Happens every semester, at least has so far. He’s getting a little better at dealing with it, but it is stressful. Unfortunately, unlike the previous three semesters, I’m not able to be the cheery ray of sunshine that I usually was in order to cheer him up. I’m so stressed and frazzled myself, that I haven’t been as helpful as usual. I know he understands, but I do feel bad.

School…is…well, school itself it good. Some social drama has been a bit distracting, but working on moving beyond it and not letting high school drama get in the way of what I need to do. Next week will be a little awkward, but nothing I can’t handle and going to make the best of it.

In other big exciting news, I got one of the few and competitive summer teaching positions. I’m not trying to brag- mostly I feel like God was watching over and knew what was best. SO much off of my shoulders to know I will have a paycheck.

Even better?? Mr. A and I will finally be in the same place for the first summer since we’ve been married. Our first two summers of marriage have been spent in different places and adjusting to new things on our own. It will be nice to both be working and taking a class, in the same city. Lots of trips to go canoeing on the lake and studying at the winery, because that’s what grad students do that don’t want to live in a library. It will be amazing.

Can you all believe that I will be done with my first year of grad school in a month?! Because I can’t.

I remember crying when I got my acceptance letter. I remember  when Mr. A got a raise at his summer job, on a Friday, and he told me I could turn in my two weeks notice at the awful retail store an entire month early. I remember spending hours picking out my outfit for the first day of training for teaching college students. I remember walking into my first grad class and being scared to death that I couldn’t do this. I also have the first grad paper that I got an A on with some of the most supportive commentary I’ve ever received.

And here I am, planning my thesis and graduation and realizing that in a year, we will be moving and finding/starting new jobs. I will have a Master’s hood. You will all have to call me Master NewTeacherWife. Maybe that will be my new blog name when I graduate…

So that’s us right now. Scout is doing great. Ornery as ever, but cute as can be and just so snuggly. Mr. A and I both agree that she has been a major stress reliever for us both. We love coming home to her meeting us at the door and, even though she plays rougher than I would like, she’s a ball of fun and we are absolutely in love with her. So, how doomed are we once we have kids??

I miss you all. BUT, I will have time off before summer school, so lots of catching up. Also, I am running my first 5k at the end of the month, so I will be sure to let you all know how it goes. Mr. A is coming to cheer me on and I will make him take pictures of me before I’m all gross and sweaty!

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Filed under A little More About Me, Blogging, Grad School?, Home Sweet Home, Kitteh, Married Life, Teaching in College, Working Girl

Closing the Chapter

Holy crap, I can’t believe it’s real.

8 months, lots of tears, anger, resentment, and stress later…

I am DONE with retail. DONE. FINISHED. NO MORE.

Yes, I’ve gone on and on and on about this. But this has been the BIGGEST part of my life this past year, so this is what I talked about.

It’s been one heck of a ride.

And yes, while I bitched and moaned about it, I’ve also learned a lot.

I’m much more patient with people working in stores or restaurants. I go out of my way to be nice and acknowledge when they have gone out of their way to help me or work with me. I tip higher and I do my best to be nice and friendly.

I’m also neater in stores and I put my clothes away after trying them on. No, I’m not saying everyone should do this, but being in that situation, I know most people won’t, so I just try to make their day a little easier.

I’ve also learned more about myself. Not all good.

I would never have considered myself an elitist, but when I had to work in retail after getting a degree that I worked hard for and making less money than my BIL who flunked out of college, I think I honestly thought I deserved better.

BUT, I also gained a new appreciation for jobs and opportunities and hard work and, most importantly, money. It doesn’t go nearly as far as it should and I honestly don’t know how some of my coworkers survived on their pay from that place. I couldn’t have paid our rent if I saved every paycheck for a month and didn’t spend a penny from them.

Even better? I’m so much more appreciative of this new opportunity and I will be working that much harder to not only be successful, but to excel and do my best.

But enough sap.

My boss ( my direct manager who I love), had me scheduled in one of my least favorite departments because she needed me to fill in, which was fine. But, then she comes over and tells me that I get to spend my last two hours in my favorite department, the home store. Even better? My two favorite people from that department were working, so my last two hours were full of laughs and fun and I just enjoyed the time I had left.

And my boss? She’s so awesome. She refused to say “goodbye” and we have a lunch date for next Thursday and she is treating me to lunch at this great Chinese restaurant in town. So she kept saying, “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you Thursday!” As much as this was one of my least favorite jobs, she might be THE best boss I’ve ever had and I truly will miss her. Hopefully we can go grab a drink now and then and share some Riesling since we both love it.

And as I left, I was happy. I did work hard today. I was nice to every customer, I helped them with any questions. I wanted to show that, yes, I am moving on, but that I have enough character to not just goof off for my last four hour shift. (I even far exceeded my sales goal! :)  ) Too bad I can’t still get that 20% discount…

So thank you for following along. This next year should be full of fun college kid stories, lots of grading and reading, and a much happier me.

Now to go drink and celebrate the closing of this chapter!

Have a drink with me tonight! I’d buy you all a round if you were closer. 🙂

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Filed under A little More About Me, Grad School?, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Working Girl

2 Weeks Notice

Well folks, the time has come.

I tweeted a little mention of this, but in case you missed the most groundbreaking news since finding out Hunger Games would be a movie, here it is.

I. Have. Turned. In. My. Two. Weeks. Notice.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You read that right.

As of the 25th, I will no longer be working in retail.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes. This totally warrants lots of exclamation points.

And no, you aren’t losing your mind. I WAS supposed to be staying till July 8th.

BUT, then Mr. A’s bosses realized that he was much more capable than they originally expected a first year student to be, and gave him a huge raise. Boy hasn’t even been there a month!

So, after  laying out for Mr. A that he will be making FAR more than I would be, and since he works 40+ hours a week and I’m barely getting 15, we decided that I could go ahead and turn in my two weeks notice and just be done with the schedule that is already posted.

HECK YES!!!!!!!!!

So I talked to my manager and let her know that I wouldn’t be staying till July 8th like I had originally planned. I explained to her that I was going to ask for time off anyways since I would be moving by myself basically and then would only be working a couple shifts after and it would just be easier to have that whole week to pack and move and give myself some down time.

She took it pretty well. Said she would miss me, but since I have been honest with them, I think it went better than had I been sneaky this whole time about me leaving. She knew it was coming, but she was also happy for me.

And Sunday, I filled out the resignation form and turned in my letter and now I only have 6 shifts between now and the 25th. Between me and freedom from ever working in a retail store ever again.

And while this has pretty much been the worst job I have EVER had, I have learned a whole new respect for people working in any field that requires them to interact with the general public. I am incredibly nice to sales people and waiters and the girl who hands me my coffee at Panera and the guy who gives me my biscuit at McDonalds. I don’t think I was ever rude before, but I now make an effort to be nice and say thank you because I know how great it is to have a nice customer after a long horrible day filled with obnoxious customers.

So, I will have about a month off before GA training starts, so that will be nice to have down time to set up our apartment without being rushed and then I can go visit Mr. A in Other State whenever I want. And then when I get back, I will have about a week to relax and get my head together before training and then school starting. And I feel like I will need that time because grad school is going to be a big adjustment for me since I’ve been out for two years. And I plan on enjoying my time off. And relaxing on my back patio.

And to those of you who have been here since last year and have me so many words of encouragement, THANK YOU and on the 25th, I hope all of you will join me in a round of celebratory drinks because I couldn’t have gotten through all of this without. You lifted me up when I couldn’t see the light and you kicked me in the butt when I was just being mopey. So I sincerely thank you all and we can organize a cross country drink!

Now to get through these last 6 shifts because I will just be thinking, “I WANT TO BE DONE ALREADY!”

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Filed under A little More About Me, Grad School?, Life After College, Working Girl

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The Customers I’ve Met

Retail is a funny thing.

I mean, we all go shopping and spend time in stores and, personally, I never paid too much attention to the sales people or other customers around me. I like to be left alone when I shop, so I probably avoid sales associates as much as possible. ( See? Still don’t like talking to people I don’t know…)

But now that I am the sales person, I’ve noticed all sorts of things. Particularly, how strange some people are. Working with the general public can give you a greater appreciation for your friends and family who are “normal” in comparison. And since some people have done posts about the lawyers and clients you meet, I figured I could do the customers I’ve met.

* The Quiet/Aloof Shopper:

I like these shoppers. They are like me. They are nice and polite, but when asked if you can help, they say no and that they are just looking and such. They are nice about it and usually don’t make too much of a mess. Some even go out of their way to put things back where they found them. If they have a real question, they ask. Some are even a little talkative if you can find a connection and usually pretty funny. The only downfall is that a lot of times they really aren’t going to buy anything and are just looking. But, I’m okay with it. I’d rather have nice customers that don’t always buy a lot than rude and obnoxious ones who buy a bunch.

* The Rude Wants-to-be-Left-Alone Shopper

They also don’t want help, but they are super rude when you say hi and offer to help them find something. They don’t usually buy much, if anything and go through your department like a tornado. And as I’m mostly in intimates and swim right now, it gets demolished pretty easily. And they don’t like little jokes and look at me like I’m an alien.

* The Rude but Needy Shopper

These customers are also rude, but they also seem unable to do anything on their own, include decide what they like or are looking for. They demand your help and full attention, yet they don’t like anything you pull for them and can’t tell you what they DO want. These people drive me nuts especially since they are so picky and they can’t do anything on their own, so they buy nothing but use all your time when you could be helping someone else.

* The Old Ladies

They could go one of two ways. Some old ladies are super nice and funny. I love the ones who are still stylish and have some sense of what is still in style and know their granddaughters don’t want to wear turtleneck dresses to homecoming and prom. (I also have dresses in my department.) They love to shop and spend their newfound free time shopping.

But then there are the cranky old ladies. They can’t believe what the styles have come too and they want me to find everything for them. They are just generally cranky. And they have a rude remark for everything. And when it comes to the home store…they don’t know what they want but you are supposed to read their minds. I avoid them.

* The Old Men

The men’s store is a different world anyways. They have many more items that require special knowledge and I’ve been thrown into the department and it’s rough. And while the older men are usually nice, they also expect a sales associate that is working back there to know everything possible and don’t like the excuse “I’m filling in here and I usually don’t work in this area”. I like these guys as long as they aren’t looking for a suit since I know NOTHING about suits. THey make jokes. Sometimes hit on the girls. But usually all around nice guys. And they will tell you a million stories and talk your ear off if you let them. Also, if they look lost and you ask if you can help, their most common responses are either “I’m just waiting for my wife to finish shopping so we can leave” or “I’ve lost my wife so I came back here. I figure she’ll come look for me.” HA! Love them.

* The Young Men

These guys are funny. They usually don’t want help, but they often times look lost. The most fun are the ones who are buying their first dress shirt and tie for whatever event/interview/job that has come up. Had a guy who had an interview in an hour and walked out wearing the dress slacks, shirt, and tie. They also stick to what they know when looking for jeans or shirts that aren’t dress clothes. They aren’t too chatty and like to be left alone. Not mean, just very independent.

* The I-can’t-Shop-Alone-but-Have-No-One-With-Me

These people are super needy. They want you to be their personal shopping buddy, which would be fine if we had enough people working, but we don’t, so this is problematic. The worst is when they want your opinion and they don’t look the greatest in something. I try to find something that might be better or a different size. Being tactful is a big part of this job. It is nice to get to interact with people on a closer level. They will tell you their life story. But if you have to help anyone else, it’s a personal attack on them. It’s a balancing act.

 

There are others. The angry ones. The lonely ones. The teenage girls. The moms that let their children destroy everything in their path. The ones who shop in the store 4-5 times a week and always manage to find something new to buy. They all add to our lovely cast of characters.

And some days I get some truly wonderful customers that make my day. Like the woman who bought me a chocolate bar just for helping her. And then there are the ones I help catch shoplifting and they take off running. Always something exciting.

Now off to work I go. Hoping for the nice ones tonight. But at least the rude ones add some entertainment.

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Filed under Working Girl