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I have a voice

One thing that I struggle with at work is taking authority vs waiting for some sort of permission. With my current employer, I haven’t taken much at all and I think that has a big impact on where I am with the company and how much I dislike working there.

Yesterday, the editor of The Daily Quirk held a Google Hangout meeting and I had no problem speaking up in that. Even though some of the ideas that I had might not end up being the best of ideas for the site, I know that sharing them is the only way to get them heard an for them to have any chance of working.

What’s the difference between these two situations? Well, there are a few. For one, my current job is in a field that I don’t feel I have any real expertise in, so initially I had no reason to share and then I felt like it was kind of established that I didn’t have a voice. With TDQ, I may not know the most, but I do know something, so there was no reason not to speak up. I also like what I do with TDQ, which is not something that I can say about my current job.

The biggest difference though, is that my feedback and input has always been welcome with The Daily Quirk. I never had to take any authority, my editor has always assumed that we all have it to some level, so I’ve been free to take it.

I don’t believe that this is something that I can now do with my current job, which is one of many reasons that I’m looking for something else, but I think that if I had approached it differently when I started, I might have been able to shape it better for my future with the company.

I’m finding that when I am voiceless at work, I start to become voiceless in my own life. I know that might sound odd, but there are some big things that I want to do that take a lot of little steps and I’ve found myself avoiding those little steps because I somehow feel like I don’t know enough to be taking them. I do know enough for some of them and the others I can learn enough, but I’ve been so stifled by a job that I don’t even like that I’m not moving forward with anything outside of that job.

I hope that I will remember this feeling when I find a new job because I think it’s important to establish that I have a voice in the beginning.

I’m not a morning person.

I work at a store that is open for 13 hours a day, with employees in the store for 16 hours a day. I tend to get mid or closing shifts which, as far as my sleep schedule is concerned is awesome. Socially though, it’s not so fun.

When I have a mid or closing shift, I tend to sleep in and not get much done before my shift, and then I get tired and don’t do much after my shift. Not actually such a great thing, right?

Well, this week I’ve got more opening shifts.

It started with Tuesday. I was at work at 7AM for a 4 1/2 hour shift. Since I had a weekend of late nights, it was a little rough, but I made it work.

Today was a special day though.

Today we were working on a relay through out the store, so 5 of us got to work at 5:00AM. This is insane. The supervising manager was going to bring us donuts, but the donut shops weren’t open yet!!!

It was a blissful 4 hours of work before we were even open for customers to come into the store, and then I didn’t have to help them when they did come in! Simply put, it was the best shift ever. Even if I did consume a liter of Dr Pepper because before the sun rises is simply too early to function with hands that are not shaking from caffeine consumption.

I planned to take a nap this afternoon, which turned into 5 hours of sleeping, so I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to get to sleep tonight for my 7:00 shift tomorrow (which I talked my manager into making 8 hours instead of 4, yay!) but I did just yawn while typing that, which is a great sign.

Over all, I actually kind of liked today.

If I could get used to this schedule, I think I could be much more productive.

Let’s hope that my managers remember how awesome I am and start giving me these morning shifts! But not 5AM, those are not normal.

And I did it!

I’m sure you’ve gotten sick of me talking about how much I hate my not Barnes & Noble job. I’ve gotten sick of talking about it, to be honest.

That’s why I did something about it yesterday.

I feel kind of bad about the way that I did it, but I need to be looking out for myself first. I was scheduled to work yesterday morning at 9:30, and after seeing the paycheck that I got overnight through direct deposit, I decided that it was simply not worth the constant guilt and frustration. So I started calling every 5 minutes at 9:15 in hopes of getting someone who had gone in early.

At 9:25 the store manager answered and I told her that I was very sorry for not giving notice, but I couldn’t work there anymore.

The final straw was my birthday (now only 8 days away). I forgot to ask for it off, which I was bummed about when I got the schedule and saw that I was scheduled for 2:30-6:30 with an extension to 7:30. I asked the girl who was scheduled to open that day if she would switch with me so I could have more of the day free (I mean, mids kind of ruin the whole day, you know?) and she agreed.

The manager wasn’t in that day to get it approved, so I went in the next day (Wednesday) to have her sign off on it. Explaining the issue of my birthday, I let her know the situation. She agreed, but also gave me some huge attitude and said, “You know we’re not really doing switches anymore.”

The fact that I was willing to work on my birthday, I just needed a different shift seemed relatively generous to me. I now will have lots of time to work on the C25K and getting the basement cleaned out of things that I don’t need.

While I will totally admit that this wasn’t the smartest decision financially, I think that it was the best decision for me over all, and I look forward to making more like this from now on!

I need to quit my job

I believe that I have posted here before about not liking one of my two current jobs. It’s so much more than not liking it though.

I really hate it.

There has been a lack of communication from the beginning, which has recently come to light again through me finding out only after working there for a month that over-night floor set changes are required once a month. I believe that something like that should have been brought up in an interview so that if it was a breaking point on a job (as it kind of is for me during school) the applicant could decide not to waste the company’s time with training.

I don’t get many hours there to begin with, and the hours that I am there, I enjoy only because I am proud that I am pushing through and being responsible. I have to admit that I do love that feeling, but I don’t think that it’s benefiting me enough financially to keep getting that feeling with this job. I could instead use the time to clear out the basement of some end tables and desks that I no longer want. By getting off my ass while I’m at home and selling those, I have no doubt that I could make more while staying home for the 8 or so hours that they give me weekly.

Heck, I could probably make what I make in 8 hours there, in only a couple of hours of work selling the things in the basement that I don’t want.

I’m also really happy to report that once I’m gone I will no longer be pressured into buying clothes that I cannot afford. While I would love to buy some of their stuff because I really do love some of the pieces, I simply don’t have the money, and that should be enough to get them to stop pushing me.

It’s apparently no where near enough though. The typical response when I mention not being able to afford it is a suggestion that I open a store credit card. That way I can get some new work clothes and the store can get credit for someone opening another card. I flat out say no to that because I don’t believe that I will be approved, and I know that being declined for a new card is not good for your credit.

For a job that I don’t have anything good to say about, I have no idea why I am still working there. I’ve decided that the next time that I work with my manager I am going to tell her that I will work the rest of my scheduled shifts, and that is all. Heck, I might even let anyone who wants my hours take them so I can get more hours in at Barnes & Noble.

I’m doing really well there, and look forward to my shifts at the Nook desk, even though technically while I’m there what I’m doing is selling, just like that aspect that I hate about the other job. What’s the difference? I’m selling something that people actually want, and that won’t screw up their credit if they don’t stay on top of it! Actually, even if all that they are reading is trash, the fact that it’s still reading means that it is better for them than watching the equivalent TV show!

So I will soon return to the land of only one job, and I believe that everyone will be better for it! Come visit me at Barnes & Noble some time!

18 Days left!!

I think I may have mentioned recently that I like the month of August. The biggest reason that like the month comes a little late in its span of 31 days, but that just means that there’s time to anticipate and prepare for it. The great day of which I speak is of course the anniversary of the day of my birth!

I enjoy my birthday, as it allows for me to be the center of attention without having to work very hard for it, or be seen as an attention whore because of it! One aspect of my birthday can be a let down though, and that is the opening of gifts.

I am not an easy person to shop for. I don’t really want just something random that I would like because it will probably sit around and take up space. Instead I’d prefer something awesome that I love and is also functional so I can remember the giver fondly when using their gift!

When something like that isn’t an option I like to remind people that cash fits the description of being both awesome and functional.

If cash as a gift isn’t really your thing, but you’d still like to get me something, I have come up with a small list of things that would delight me to (probably) no end.

Personal Library Kit

This would be awesome for not only books, but movies! I could be comfortable lending out my stuff to people knowing exactly who has what, and who to call to get it back!

Pretty External Hard Drive

Thanks to a friend’s knowledge of the product, the above external hard drive is no longer the specific one that I would like, but it does seem that I need one since the computer that I’m currently using has as much memory as my iPod does. I like the fact that I can get so much memory for (what seems to me) such a deal.

I’m being a princess on this one though, and I do want it to be pretty, so unless I post another one that I like, please just give me the mula to find my own rather than pick one for me!

Quilting tools!!!!

If you’ve been reading, you know that I’m going to start on a t-shirt quilt as soon as you all get me some funds to buy the supplies! A slightly quicker way to do that would be to buy me the supplies directly!

Book Money!!!

The only big problem I’ve found with the job that I like is the way that it tempts me to spend money that I don’t really have. So give me some to spend while I’m working!!!

Maybe on something like this…!

A Nook!

Even with all of my hesitations about the Nook for myself, I have no doubt that if I were to get an eReader, it would be the Nook. I actually really wish that I had it last semester for my bajillion novels I had to read in just 16 weeks!

Ok, I think that this 5 item list is a great start, perhaps I will add more in the coming weeks.

What’s in a name?

I used to have some very serious opinions about what I wanted to be called. Mostly that involved me getting as far away from my full given first name of Katherine and sticking to Kati. (No, that’s not a typo, in 6th grade I asserted some independence by changing the way that I spelled my commonly used name, I’m such a bad-ass!) Until just a few years ago, going by anything other than Kati was totally not okay by me. The change and slight acceptance of Katherine happened about the same time that I noticed just how popular the name Katie had become for parents to use just a few years after I was born.

Since I’ve always looked young, and I was now trying to be more professional for desk jobs and such, I figured that embracing Katherine could be a way to separate myself from this mass of girls and maybe making me seem more sophisticated? I don’t think that it necessarily worked from an outside perspective, but I do think that it got me acting more professional because for a long time I was used to only hearing Katherine when I was in trouble or when my second grandmother (as in not technically my grandmother) was around because we shared a name and it was the first time it seemed like a cool name. (Wow, that was a long way to not even really say that when she was around I would try to act more grown up to impress her.) I guess I didn’t really have to seem more polished with the use of the name, I actually was that way, which I guess is nice. The facade would have faded.

I’ve been Katherine at work almost everywhere that I have worked for about 7 years now, starting with the oh-so-sophisticated Virgin Megastore. Working at Barnes & Noble though, I have been Kati so far because the lovely Megan who recommended me knows me only as such (or maybe better as “Kati with no e”) and has for the past 5 years. There’s a slight problem with that though. There’s already a Kaity there. Again, no typo. It’s short for Kaitland. I’m not going to comment further on that.

I’m sure you’re now thinking that Megan should just get over it and start calling me Katherine, but the reason that I didn’t just start there as Katherine is the previous Store Manager. She was on a leave of absence when I started and officially left just a couple weeks ago. I guess she wasn’t the most popular person in the store, and there are a few people who have mentioned that they don’t want to associate me with that name because of it.

I personally think that we should just change the thinking of Katherine because it’s getting complicated to have two Kati/Kaity employees.

It’s such a big deal though, that I was somewhat accosted in the break room yesterday after my shift was over. I believe there were six or seven people in the room besides me all trying to figure out what to call me. All of these people were female, though there are some guys who work in the store who do care about the issue. The guys just seem to call me Katherine if they know that I’m okay with it and that’s that.

After 3-4 minutes of things like “Kitty” or just my last name being used (and then adding a cutesy nickname to it) as suggestions, they realized that Megan was the only thing standing between us and the simplicity of calling me Katherine in the store.

I’m not completely sure, but I think that I’m now Katherine at work.

Sorry Megan.

Wow, how could I have not included this!? One of the things that’s awesome about going by Katherine now, is finding more of them! Like my awesome name doppelganger in Seattle, and this awesome book by an awesome author!

Apparently I’m not so stubborn

So, you know a few days ago when I was all proud of myself for just pushing through and making it work with both jobs even though I wanted to run screaming for fear of failure?

Yeah, well, turns out that maybe I’m not so awesome.

I had a total breakdown on Monday when I had to work at the second choice job because I was so anxious about what felt like pressure to upsell and such. We’re talking tears on the selling floor folks.

I tried to talk to my manager about it, and I even was totally convinced that I would quit at one point when I thought about selling all the stuff I have in the basement that I don’t use. I figured that I could supplement the less than ideal hours with Craigslist, so why stay somewhere that I felt so much pressure?

Turns out, I was expecting too much out of myself.

A few other things went down this weekend that added up to my stress level going off the charts, but it wasn’t until I woke up at the crack of dawn yesterday that I realized it was probably more self inflicted than caused by work.

It was actually my own post that reminded me what a baby I was being.

No more!

I’m slowly, but as of yet steadily, increasing hours in both jobs, which should mean that I can afford to not only pay my bills but maybe have some spending money as well before school starts and those lovely loans come in!

Oh, and I’m still going to get rid of the stuff in the basement, starting with my keyboard. One of my managers is buying that, which is awesome because I know that she’ll use it, and then maybe I can treat her to a drink or two during happy hour!

Nike had it right!

I have been pretty worried about how I was going to work out this whole two job thing. It can be pretty frustrating for me to change a routine once I get into one that works for me, so taking on one job is challenge enough, why on Earth would I do two at the same time?

Money of course. I need the cash!

That’s not the point here though! The point I want to make is that I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I was determined TO do it, so I am!

Normally I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want to do anything unless I know I’m going to rock right from the get go. This leads to some problems with me not going outside my comfort zone. I actually had a conversation with a friend about that when I got hired at The Limited. (Did I even mention that I got hired at The Limited?) I’ve never done any sort of clothing sales for retail, and there’s a lot more actual selling involved with this job than any other I’ve had before. Rather than getting scared and walking away though, I am trying it and earning a paycheck doing the best I can until I find out whether or not I can actually do this!

The real challenge to all of this has been changing my sleeping habits. I really like to sleep. That does not coincide well with my new schedule of needing to be to work at 7AM sometimes.

I’ve worked that one out too though, and do you know how?

I just do it! I’ve decided that I won’t have a single day that I clock in late for my own reason for at least 6 months. That means that I have to get my ass out of bed!

And seriously, just deciding that I’m going to be that way and being determined to be an awesome employee has allowed me to be one so far! Let’s hope that keeps up! I’ll let you know when I stop being awesome.

And now for a moment of reflection.

I’ve thought this a few times in the past few weeks, and I want to put it out there for everyone to hold me accountable rather than just letting myself forget about it when it’s convenient.

When I have a job, with a paycheck and an income and all of that, I will not be complaining about that job. I have seen lots of comments made about people not wanting to go to work lately, and it’s has bothered me because I would have loved to go for them and get the paycheck that they would be bringing home if they’d like me to. I don’t mean to say that I will never have anything to complain about in regards to work, but just the overall complaints over work I am resolving to not partake in.

Okay, that sounded way more depressing than I wanted it to. Pretend that it was all funny and light and I’ll get back to you after the weekend!

I got a job!

I got a job!

Starting at 4PM on Saturday I will be a Barnes & Noble Bookseller. As far as retail positions go, I could not be happier with a single position (kind of sad TWSS?). I have no idea how many hours I will be getting, and I know that it is only part time and at minimum wage (California’s minimum wage is much more manageable than national) but I am stoked none the less.

I’m a little bit happy that it took the time that it did to get this position, because I’m now into a routine in which I am spending as little money as possible, I’ve gotten a lot done around the house, and I’m updating this on a regular enough basis that I might just keep it up!

While there was talk on Tuesday when I got it confirmed that I could start Wednesday morning and I would have jumped at that chance, I’m also glad to have the time to prep. There are a few more big things that I’m doing around the house, because the time I had/have from the phone call to starting on Saturday is just enough to hurry up and do them without feeling rushed, just motivated! I even left my car on the street cleaning side of the road Tuesday night so I had to get up and move it before 8AM and maybe start my day then. (I’m writing this Tuesday night, and I already know that I will be going back to bed after I move my car tomorrow morning, but at least I will have gotten out of bed, right?)

During my three limbo days I plan on/have been getting as many little projects done around the house as I possibly can. Before I even got the “You’re Hired!” call, I was going through my clothes and desperately trying to convince myself to throw things out, or turn them into rags, or donate them, or set them aside for the t-shirt quilt I decided I’m making. I didn’t get very far in actually getting rid of things, but I was able to organize a lot, which is a big step for me! Now I will just have to spread that out to the rest of my room and then finish painting it!

I feel like I’m rambling. Mostly because I was just going to start talking about the party that I’m now wanting to plan, which doesn’t really go with this thread. I will take that as a sign to abruptly end this post before boring you to death. Hopefully the instances of this needing to happen will become fewer and much farther between as I get better at this whole writing thing.