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Damnit!

Since I lost my paid account, I don't have my Wonder Woman "Oh, HELL no!" icon.  Just imagine that up there.

I went into work wearing my WW necklace from Donnamarie (the woman is magic.  She send random surprises to her friends from time to time, and this arrived at just the right time.  I've been wearing it quite a bit today)  and my WW undies.  I credit her mojo with the fact that when I was approached and asked if I could stay until 5 today, I just said "No."

No explanation.  No apology.  Just a simple answer.  Of course, I mentioned laterto the other FoH people that I was regretting not bringing a shirt to change into because I was meeting the spousebeast for drinks and to check out the pop-up farmer's market on Franklin St. (within earshot of Manager Tightpants).  But "no" should be sufficient.

Clearly, I need more WW undies.  ;)

The farmer's market was tiny (about ten vendors), but we bough focaccia from Loaf (in Durham) and Rowdy Gentleman goat cheese (washed rind with an inner layer of vegetable ash) from Prodigal Farm.  That may have been the Best.  Dinner.  Ever.  Kent had a bit of hard salami with it, and I binged on my last two plums.  Very nice.

I can't believe that I am starting to find cheese other than brie that I actually *like*.  Only took 43 years.

While wandering the market, we ran into The Potato Girls.  They're a mom and three little girls (an 18 month old and 4ish year old twins) who come into the store at least once a week.  The order is always the same: a chicken stuffed spud, a kids spud, sides of tomatoes, olives, and pickle spears.  Two extra plates (now THREE! because the baby wants her own plate).  Diet coke for mom.  Lemonade or water for the kids, depending on how they've been behaving.

They are the sweetest little family, and the kids dress so CUTE:  tutus, tshirts, stripey mismatched socks.  Hell, I want to dress like that NOW.

I was talking beer with one of the vendors and heard "Mama!  It's our friend!  AND SHE'S NOT AT WORK!!!!"  And then I had Zelda attached to my leg.

Of all of the day for Kent to wear his hair down (yum!) and decide to steal my "Don't fuck with me.  I'm a pirate"  shirt.  I introduced everyone to my husband, and Vivi (the other twin) took one look at the skull and crossbones and said "You're married to a PIRATE!"

I am SO GLAD they can't read.  At least I hope they can't.  Mom just grinned at me and looked like she was trying hard not to laugh.

After the farmer's market, I wanted to buy some wine to go with dinner. Kent went home so the cheese wouldn't melt, and I ran over to Walgreens.  I ran into Lance again, and he had GOOD news.  Once he recovers from the next (last!) surgery, Cosmic Cantina says he's got a job there.  The look of joy on his face was glorious.  He loved working there, and only left for greener pastures.

And we'll be working about a block and a half apart.  He'll be re-joining the Franklin St. food service tribe.

I can't stop smiling.
So, even days that are filled to the brim with fuckwittery can have silver linings.

And there was much fuckwittery to be had.  Big Boss has GOT to quit leaving me in charge of The Lost Boys.  Someone may get maimed, and it ain't gonna be me.

(I mean, aside from the constant threat of falling plastic forks)

We were busy.  It was beyond a clusterfuck.  We had THREE managers on the clock (!!!!) and no one seemed to know what the fuck they were doing.  AND we had the Alpha male.

(Thank the gods we also had Danielle.  She's an actual grown up and has 20+ years in the Biz.  We could have sent everyone on an extended smoke break and done much better)

The Alpha Male walked out mid-shift.  Huzzah!!!!  Couldn't hang with the big girls, I guess.

Dani and I got rid of his toxic attitude AND scored an extra $10 a piece in the tips he left behind.  Not bad.

Aug. 23rd, 2016

I swear this job is trying to kill me.

We'll ignore the long hours, the overprivileged brats, and BIG Big Boss hovering over my shoulder (apparently, since I'm up for a MAJOR raise, he wants to "see what [my] job performance is like."  Well, it's a damn sight better when you aren't right behind me while I'm ringing up customers).  Nope....I was almost taken out by a box of plastic forks falling off a shelf yesterday.

Like I need another head injury.

Jeebus.

I swear, I am so stressed out that all I want to do is binge shop on amazon or fuck like a slightly rabid rabbit.    And Kent's starting to look a little peaked.

I can make it through the next four days.  I can.  Then I finally have two days in a row off.

This check is going to be amazing.  If I survive.
So I discovered yesterday that the guy who wear interesting shirts (his dad played ukelele--I'm sure I spelled that wrong--at tourist traps in Hawaii  back in the day, and he inherited ALL THE SHIRTS.  I am so charming him out of the one with pink flamingos and palm trees) who comes in all the time lives 5 doors down from me AND plays Munchkin!

"I thought that was you the other day, but you were walking like you just wanted to get you and your beer home.  Now I'll just say howdy, neighbor!"

He works at Morehead and brought me THE COOLEST shirt yesterday.  It has the state outline with "SciNCe is cool"

Okay, I may have a bit of a crush.  And I may or may not have invited him over so I can kick his AND the spousebeast's ass at Munchkin.

Speaking of men who complicate my life, I ran into Lance yesterday at the bus stop.  It's been months, and I figured he'd finally made good with his threat to go off the grid.  I won't lie...I've missed him more than is probably good for me.  I thought he had just faded out of my life.

Nope.  He fell off a roof on a contracting job to make extra money.  He's in a wheelchair.  It might be permanent.

We're food service workers.  We bash our bodies around.  That's what we do.  He can't get a job if he's in a wheelchair and this is in his blood.

I helped him on the bus, was rude to a couple of students ("You've wanted to do that all, day, haven't you?"), and settled in next to him.

And that's when it came.  "I'm sorry you were worried  I just didn't want you to see me like this.  I can't even make it up your steps.  I just...I'm sorry."

I didn't cry.  How, I'm not sure.  I just said "Then CALL.  We'll sit on the fucking lawn if we have to."

In a season of so much loss in my life, having Lance back is a relief.

I can't use the L word yet.  But my heart is healed in places I didn't know were broken.
Busy day at work today.  Gods help us all, the Greeks are back in town (full disclosure:  I was in not one, but two sororities in college--long story--but these were local, unaffliated one-offs at a rural Methodist college the size a postage stamp.  Very, VERY different scene).  We had a full staff today (!!!!), so it was hectic, but at least I wasn't the only cashier.

Things settled down, and it was just me and Unfortunately Named New Hire (she asked why everyone acts a little weird/startled/shellshocked when she introduces herself, so she was given a Cliffs Notes version of working with The Bully. She picked a nickname to go by instead.  I'm actually rather digging the whole nickname thing FoH.  It's a cozy, teambuilding thing and...Jeebus Hopscotching Cadillac, did I just use that word!?!?).  She took a register and here comes the reek of old money in a bow tie (their desendants reek of AXE body spray, but that's another story).  I'm trying to wrangle a family of six kids, two clearly exhausted parents, and two (two!!!!) sets of grandparents taking the first family member to college and walk them through the menu, but I'm keeping an ear out to see if my coworker has any trouble.

She's flawless.  Charming.  Does everything so perfectly I want to weep with relief.  I may actually get to go to the bathroom more than once a shift now!  Then she hands him his credit card slip and says "Can you sign this, please?"

[We all say that.  There are variations, of course.  My favorite is when the parent goes to the bathroom and I present a flummoxed teen with the slip and say "Would you please forge your parent's signature for me?"]

Bow tie says "Well, that depends.  By asking me if I can, you are asking me if I am able to write.  I am.  Will I?  Of course."

She looks embarrassed and mumbles.  He laughs--LAUGHS!--and says "I'm sorry, sugar.  I don't know why I'm being such an asshole today.  But, you know..language is important."

I CANNOT just say "excuse me"  and walk away from my family (though, in retrospect, I should have just said "Pardon me, I'll take the rest of your order at your table while you enjoy your drinks. Have some cookies and chips on the house while you wait."  (And I beat the shit out of an old guy in a bowtie)

When I was able to get away and check in on her, she just shrugged and said, "It's no big thing.  But have you ever noticed it's always the guys in bowties?  They ought to be outlawed.  I think they're too tight, so the blood doesn't go to the brain or their johnson.  It all goes  straight to the asshole."

We laughed.  But I could see her hurt.

She's a younger WOC.  And he felt like it was okay to talk to her like that.

He probably would have done the same thing to me, given his lofty perch.  But I have age and my skin on my side, and could have smarted back.  This being The South, he might have seen it as me being sassy and laughed (and probably made a lewd comment.  But, again, that's another story).

Even in the class trenches, I still have privilege.  And that is a sick, disgusting thing.

Oh, yeah...I got the skillz

I've oficially made more in tips this week than I did last week, AND I'm past the 3 figure mark.  AND I have three days to go.  One of which is Move In Day.

New goal: a week's worth of pay in tips.  It's within reach.

Other goal:  when the dust settles from her vacation, talk to BB about that hefty raise I'm supposed to get now that I've got all of my online training done.  Which I was SUPPOSED to do my first day, but someone called out...and I've been on the floor ever since.

Also, mention that I was supposed to get paid for that time, even though I did it at home.  I kept a log AND got screen shots with time stamps.  I did not get pictures of me sitting at the computer in my Jack Skellington Boxers and "Tomboy Girl" tank top (LOVE Tret Fure!) with a tumbler of wine.  I aced all the tests, so that'll just be our little secret, right?  Me and the entire fucking internet.  Okay, the LJ readers on the internet....which is (sadly) getting smaller.

Re BB's vacation:  I'm not sure if a car trip from North Carolina to Maine with your 8 year old stepson whose two current favorite phrases are "Whatever, yo" and "You're not my REAL MOM, so you can't make me!"  counts as a vacation.  Which may be why BB is scheduled to come in today and take her last three days Friday-Sunday.  Work may seem like a "vacation" after that.

I am going to do my best to not throw myself at her feet and beg "Don't ever leave me alone with these people again!"

Speaking of vacations-that-aren't, it looks like Kent is truncating his Fantasy Football Draft Weekend with Toxic Masculinity Incorporated.  Three days instead of the usual five.  This is the second year that there has been major drama, and I think I'm just going to put my foot down and say he can Skype it next year.  I didn't feel like I had a right to last year because I wasn't working, but I am NOT going to let a few hundred of what is partially MY money go towards something so fucking unhealthy.  Last year, it was total lack of support for his coming out.  This year, TinFoilHat Boy brought up a bunch of shit from a day we had out earlier this summer, including saying I was "playing the victim" because I left the table after he pushed food on me for the fourth time.  It was either go to the bathroom to compose myself, waste a perfectly good drink by throwing it in his face, or stab him with a fork.  Since he's not worth assault charges or the waste of a perfectly good Lemondrop, I decided to quietly excuse myself.

Ugh, I could go into more detail, but that douchenozzle has already taken up enough real estate in my brain, and he is SO NOT WORTH IT.

So, this is supposed to be Kent's fun time.  We spend a lot of money so he can go.  And, unlike the five years past, he doesn't have PTO for this.  And he's already anxious about going and is going to probably in a dark head space when he gets back  Yippee.

He's a grown ass man and can do as he will, but next year...if he goes, I want EVERY FUCKING PENNY of what he spends for his trip also allotted to me in the household budget.   I am sick of this shit.

I will keep the Bristol Vixens this year (another league, run by the same piece of shit) because I've already paid in and have a title to defend.  Next year, they can all go fuck themselves.

Bleh.

In other, incredibly ironic news, Kent has an interview tomorrow with the Panera where I was accused of being on drugs during allergy season (red, drippy nose.  Bloodshot eyes.  And, yes,  I go to the bathroom more than once a shift.  I'm a 40something woman who has had two kids!  We pee a lot!) and fired.  I'm sure that the fact that Kent came up there and had had words the week before with the shift that got handsy had nothing to do with it.

(He didn't yell or threaten.  He just came by early to pick me up and told the boor that I have PTSD and no peripheral vision.  "You know, just to let you know...sneaking up on her makes her jumpy.  Her friend did that to her once and ended up with her elbow breaking his nose.  You might want to be careful."  In full on wolf-mode, with the long hair, leather jacket, and earring.  Subtle.)

I asked him if he really wanted a job there.  "You loved the one in New Jersey, so that's a plus.  Besides, given the turnover there, no one you worked with is probably still there.  And if they are...it won't be an interview, really.  It will be fucking performance art.  And if I get it...free blueberry scones!"

Damnit.  I really WILL put up with most anything for free food, won't I?

That being said, it's about time to suit up.  We have BB AND a full staff (in theory) today, so I'm hoping to cut out a little early...by which I mean on time.  I was planning on doing the weekend grocery supply run tomorrow.  Then I realized that the dorms open Saturday.  I've done that schtick before.  Not pleasant.  I NEED to do it today so I don't get arrested for a shopping cart road rage incident.

Hey, unlike last year, I can just pile all of my shit in a cab and avoid taking the bus home.  Yay, tips!

Happy Thursday, y'all.  What's everyone else up to?
Also, why do I seem to only havy sexy dreams the night before Shark Week starts?  So, so unfair.

Not as unfair as it's gonna be to Sausage Fest Incorporated if they give me any grief today.  As long as they just stay out of my way, let me do my job, and not get cutesy (Good Time Charlie, I'm lookin' at you), everyone will be allowed to live.

Thank the gods I open today.  S opened the past two days, and I don't know where Big Boss got the idea that S had any business training new hires, but I have got A LOT of re-training to do.  I am NOT going to have people thinking it's okay to eat food on the clock (S actually took an order yesterday WHILE SHE WAS STILL CHEWING.  I almost passed the fuck out from shock), hang out in the kitchen staring at their phones when "there's nothing to do," or take those damned 20 minute smoke breaks,  Nope, nope, nope.

In other words, I am NOT going to let the place go to hell while BB is on vacation.  She doesn't need to come back to a mess and, frankly, I don't want to work in a mess.

Oh, and irony of ironies:  one of the new hires has the same name as The Bully.  *sigh*  AND she gave me attitude yesterday because I told her she had to use the dish machine, not hog the triple sink.  That's for BoH dishes.  And taking two and a half hours to hand wash dishes is NOT going to fly with me.

I DO think I put Mr. J "I lift heavy things because I lifted a lot of weights in jail" in his place.  He tried that bullshit again with me (I don't know if he was expecting me to be intimidated or impressed), so I casually let it drop that I used to be a kitchen manager for the Northampton Co. Jail work release program.

Translation: I am neither impressed nor intimidated, child.  I used to make an entire kitchen of your clones behave, or I'd throw their asses back over the wall.

*sigh*

On the up side, after yesterday, I am +/- $8 short of making what I did in tips last week.  And I've got four days left!  And since no one seems to want to stay on a register, so much the better for me.

Actually, maybe I'll just let them screw themselves by hanging out in back while BB is gone.  That won't fly when she comes back.  And if flirting with Manager Tightpants is a bigger priority than the number on your paycheck...well, more for me!

(Honestly, I don't see the attraction.  Objectively, he is cute.  But how do they miss the blinking neon sign floating above his head that says "Player"?)

In other news...there is no other news.  I swear, all I do is work and come home.  The heat has been getting to Pete, so there haven't even been the usual Jeopardy! shenanigans.  :(

I really need an adventure.  Soon. 

And so it begins

After my glorious one day weekend (I must say that I am impressed by the depths of depravity the sousebeast and I can sink to in 24 hours.  Okay, it mostly involved naked cuddling on the sofa and sleeping through multiple hours of Law & Order, but I like my version better), I was annoyed to come into work.  I was MORE annoyed to find that we had four--FOUR!--people on deck for a Monday.

I gave Manager Tightpants the full brunt of my ired Irish glare:  "Can you give me one good reason why I am HERE?" (My usual days off are Sunday and Monday.  Yeah, haven't seen THAT in a good long while)

He shrugged "I don't know, either.  Hey, at least we'll have it easy today."

Hah.  AHAHAHAH!  No.

11:28, three young women stroll in.  "Hey, we've got a group of about thirty coming in."

Cue me looking frantically through the notes for the day.  "Oh, did you call in to let us know?  Because I don't see anything."

Blondie Privilegedpants shugged her perfectly tanned shoulders, SNAPPED HER GUM (I kid you not) and drawled, "Guess not.  But we're the soccer team, ya know?"

"Well, in the future, it would be very helpful to call so we can set up the upstairs dining room.  That way, y'all can take your time and relax."  (And not take up half our dining room, you new monied brat)

She eyes the dining room, snaps her gum AGAIN, and says "Well, y'all don't LOOK that busy."

All my years in The Biz, and the temptation to spit in someone's food suddenly seemed understandable.  Until my better self realized that she really wasn't worth the waste of saliva.

At the end of the day, Coach came in to pay ($253.86!  My first sale of the day.  Yeah, I was REAAAALLLLL popular with BoH.  Thankfully, I'd say 3/4s of the orders were identical, so that helped.  But I don't think any of the guys want to see a chicken Ceasar wrap or a Pecanberry salad ever again).  I gently mentioned that CALLING FIRST would enable us to seat them upstairs (and, again, NOT USE UP HALF OF OUR DINING ROOM) and that, while I overlooked it this time, I do expect his athletes to keep their shoes on while they are in the dining room.

(I mean, seriously?  Ew.  And Chels told me this actually is a problem with the women's sports teams and the sororities.  I better get that raise soon, because I need more cash if I am going to have to use the Mom Voice and remind half grown kids that we keep our shoes on in public)

"I'll speak to them about it."

"Thank you.  And you might also consider having a discussion about how to comport themselves while representing UNC.  Including not being rude and snapping gum at cashiers."  *cue pointed look at Blondie, who suddenly can't make eye contact*

I see wind sprints in someone's future, because it was obvious he knew who I was talking about.

That being said, I got my biggest tip EVER, and officially broke the 3 figure tip mark for this pay cycle...and I have five days to go!

[And, for anyone who thinks this business isn't hard, I was at that register from 11:30 till almost 2 yesterday.  No pee breaks, which I didn't really need, because we keep our employee drinks in the bus station, so nothing to drink.  I did not move from that spot.  Of course, I'm a huge patsy--possibly with a touch of a martyr complex--because I made sure everyone got cig breaks.  I think that's what I hate most about The Biz:  smokers get breaks.  Being the lone non-smoker means you get screwed.  This has happened in every job I've had except one.]

So...it was A DAY.  One in what is probably going to be a series of many of the same.  I'm just going to buckle down, realize it is what it is, and make as much money as humanly possible.

I can sleep during Fall Break.  ;)

I AM putting in for the 27th off, though.  There's a big rummage sale at one of the local churches.  I am due two days in a row off, and Mark and I are seriously overdue for a "just us" date.  Since neither of us can afford the NCGLFF this year, we can go scout for books, quirky housewares...and maybe THIS is the year I can convince him that a solid wardrobe of henleys and jeans he's had since high school are NOT going to get him a boyfriend and he will let me pick out some clothes for him.

I'm still bitter that he wouldn't let me buy him that Peter Allen-fabulous gold lame Dior shirt four years ago.  The man needs something to wear to Pride!

cue the Les Miz soundtrack

"One more day!  One day more!"

If I can make it through 2 without killing someone, I'll consider this week a win.

Steve the Regular (a favorite of mine because he always leaves me his papers when he's finished.  I get the arts section of NYT every week.  He's also started leaving me the grocery circulars and coupons after I told him about my weird coupon obsession) asked me how I was doing yesterday, and I told him I felt like I was on the barricade in Les Miz.  "One more day."

He BELTED out "One day more!" in this AMAZING baritone.  Chatter in the dining room stopped for a couple of beats.

I think I'm in love.  The irony is that he looks like an older version of Kent (short, slight, bearded).  Kent always gives me grief that my type is "tall, pale, long dark hair, and a beaky nose.  With an accent and a questionable past."  Which isn't entirely inaccurate.  But there is a difference between who I fancy a profligate whirlwind week with and who I want to snuggle in bed with and go make brunch for.

(No thinking dirty thoughts about the regulars, Alicia)

J is going to be a problem. 20 minute smoke breaks on the clock are not okay.  Making food for yourself and sitting in the dining room when we're slow is not okay.  Giving me lip when I tell you you need to be out front is not okay.

Oh, and telling ME what to do when I'M TRAINING YOU will get you sent straight back to jail, because a steady job is part of your parole.

I'm either gonna break him or get him fired.  Frankly, I'd prefer fired.  I cannot deal with more macho posturing.  Thank the gods, there are two women starting days next week.  And I get to train them.  Maybe we can fix this mess that is FoH and I can stop this 6 on-one off stuff.

 What sucks is that I did a stint as kitchen manager in a work release program.  It is, hands down, the best job I've ever had.  I have no problem working with people who have done time. *mumble* I married one, after all *mumble*  But I am about done with rampant assholery and testosterone poisoning.

Gah.  And I have to work with Good Time Charlie today.  Boundaries WILL be set and enforced.

I had an interesting talk with the spousebeast last night.  He got the job at UNC...and turned it down.  A normal person would be pissed, but I was relieved.  It didn't feel right to me.  Hell, if you have to RUN HOME after your skills test dodging lightning from an epic storm (and, I'm sorry, but...a college cafeteria where you have to prove your knife skills, do a weird "Chopped" test, AND the guy expects to be called Chef?  Uh, no...), that might be the Universe telling you something.

He went with his gut.  And The Patriach wasn't in his head when he turned down the job.  I'm glad of that.  I told him I was proud of him going with his gut and he leaned against me and said "We have a nice life.  We like it, right?  I think I'm done with half killing myself to prove myself to someone who won't care."

"You don't have to."

"Neither do you.  I know you like it now, but if it ever gets to be too much...let me know and we'll figure something out."

Just when I think I can't love him any more...

.So I have to make it through today, and I get a WHOLE 24 HOURS OFF!

Woo-hoo!

I do have errands to run after work, though.  I love that our comics are in, and Kent asked if I wanted to go so I could get some quality flirting in with the cute clerk (she's a Lumberjanes and Tank Girl fan).  The boy realizes when his presence is neither desired or required.  ;)

To give a bit of insight into what a weekend list looks like in The Glass Asylum:  "duct tape, Nag Champa, screens, comics, toilet paper, Sharpies (black, please!), dry erase markers, eggs, paper towels, coffee, Skittles and lube."

Yes, this is the note that was left on my toothbrush this morning.

Aug. 12th, 2016

Thanks to all of y'all for your support.  Yesterday was rough, but today will be better.  My friend Arthur wrote this lovely thing about each day being a book and putting it on the shelf at the end of the day (where is a quote when I need it, damnit!?!?!?).  Today is another book.  As someone who goes through paper journals at an alarming rate, I totally grok that.

Oh, sweet mother of Bob, did I just say "grok"?  Unironically?  Forgive me.  I've been up since 4:30 and eating bacon arugula sandwiches and chocolate covered potato chips.

No, really.

Perimenopause is a bitch and I am at a point where I can't figure out if these are PMS cravings or if I am just failing to give a shit as long as my blood sugar stays right and I have enough fuel to power through whatever fuckwittery I'm going to be facing at work today.

I need a vacation.

With Big Boss on vacation, I am mostly dealing with the sausage fest.  Why do cis males devolve in Beavis and Buttheads when left to their own devices? (My apologies to my guy friends who don't--y'all rock--but I am tired enough that I can only use a giant brush to tar and feather everyone at the moment)  I swear, I spent most of yesterday having flashbacks to when I would hang out with my ex and his frat brothers, where I played Wendy to the Lost Boys.

Good Time Charlie (a shift manager) was second register.  Gods help me.  There's friendly, then there's "do you not see the fucking line behind this guy, dude?"  Yeah, it's great that your son got a soccer scholarship to NC State and just got back from a week in India, but STFU already and wait on the next guest!  He also apparently seems to think, because he's a manager, he's immune to shift work.  He acted like he was doing me a favor.  I was going to just make him do trash and dishes, but the third time he was out in the dining room, glad handing people, I just said fuck it.  I went in the back and told Manager Tightpants that I was doing MY sidework.  Period.  He agreed.

I need to start setting some SERIOUS boundaries with Good Time Charlie.  We get along quite well because we're both older, but he has started taking some serious advantage of my good nature in the last few weeks.  He's GOOD, too.  It was incremental.  It just crept up on me.

And who THE FUCK winks at a subordinate!?!?!?  No, no, no.

On the up side, I broke my personal best for tips.  I think I'm going to hit three figures this week, which is NOT shabby for a non-tipped position.  And that doesn't count the cash, which is never all that much.  I got $5 yesterday in "foldy tips" and promptly ended up giving it out to buskers.  Seemed like the thing to do.  Hey, they provide music for my walk to the bus stop.  It's the least I can do.  I always feel slightly guilty enjoying their music when I don't have a buck or two to throw their way.

I really hope today doesn't suck.

One year

One year, one year, one year.

I went back to sleep after Kent went to work at that silly hour.  Slightly hungover or sleep deprived (it's hard to tell these days), I woke up to THIS playing on Pandora
https://youtu.be/F6Uqf0IKsz4

Then I got up, brushed that dust that gums  your eyelashes up and headed to the computer.

Stupid, stupid, stupid fucking FB memories.

One year.  She's been gone one year.  I have a feeling I was trying to block it out.

I still can't fathom it.  How does the world keep turning when she's not physically here?  Why do I hear her say my name or feel her standing behind me when I know she's gone?

All day, all I could think of was her crepe paper hands holding mine, when she theought I was her sister Margaret.  She let me feed her chocolate ice cream in tiny bites.  We talked about times before I was even thought of, but I was there in Kanawah County with her.  I was Margaret.

She wanted to sing "Ring Aroun' the Rosie" over and over and over again.  We'd hold hands.  She'd reach up a little, but was pretty much immobile.  But I'd sway our hands a tiny bit, and she would smile.

I was the biggest coward on the fucking planet.  That afternoon, I left early.  I couldn't do it any more.  I used the excuse that I had a ride coming and fucking ran.

That was the last time I saw her.

I wonder to this day if I should have stayed.  Would that last 20 minutes have given me something, given her something?

I kissed my grandparents, walked calmly from thier room to the nurses station..and ran like my life depended on it  That was the last time I saw either of them until they showed up on my porch in a Zip-loc bag.

I have tear stained journal pages where I sobbed and wrote like demons were chasing me while I waited for my ride.  I know she would have waited as long as I needed, but I was a coward.  Those pages are wasted minutes, selfish, and I can never forgive myself for that.

I thought I was coping pretty well.  My ex always said I'd have a complete breakdown when Granma died, but I proved him wrong.

Today, however...I'm not so sure.

This says it all

Bus driver:  You alone again today?  Go get that money, girl!  You're making BANK this week!
(Yes, I have a close relationship with my bus driver)

Big Boss:  Oh, I forgot to put out the side work list.  I'm so used to you being by yourself and just doing it all.  Oh, just tell J to do the stuff you don't feel like doing today.
(J is our new hire...and the only guy FoH.  He's trying to be the Alpha Male and...oh, no, honey.  Just no.)

Manager Tightpants:  You know, half of the managers here are just amazed at your energy and positive attitude.
Me:  And the other half?
MT: Talking about having a betting pool about when you will snap and under what circumstances.

And my week's only half over, folks!

So far, we've had two call outs, a group that, when we said we couldn't cater lunch for 15 that day, placed an order for 15 through Tarheel Takeout (assholes), and the credit card reader go down during the lunch rush.

Oh, and a visit from our friendly neighborhood health inspector (99.5.  Not shabby, but we got dinged because NO ONE understands that the plasticware has to go in the bins HANDLE UP.  Arrrrgh.)

I've been taking it all in stride ("This is just another chapter for my book" is my new mantra), but i WAS kind of pissed today.  I volunteered to come in an hour early to make scads of tea for a catering event...only to find out the night manager had the night staff do it.  And they tell US to communicate!?!?!?  Arrrgh.

I ended up clocking back out (I could have ridden that clock like a show pony, but my damned ethics won't allow me to get paid for doing nothing.  And there is no way I can stretch out the opening duties to two hours.  Hell, it only takes me 45 minutes on my worst days), digging the change out of the bottom of my purse--because, of course, this would be the day I sent Kent with the debit card--to buy a piece of chicken at Time Out.

Boy, talk about a highly overrated establishment.  I was kind of looking forward to trying it and...bleh.  No flavor at all.  I mean, I wasn't expecting much from chicken at 8 am at a 24/7 place, but even with aged fried chicken, you can tell if the breading is no more than flour.

All hype, no substance.  Phooey.

J, the new hire, may be a problem.  He's all macho posturing and attitude.  He went out of his way three times today to "casually" mention that he's just out of jail.  I have no problem with that, but when you're trying that "Yeah, I'm new here, but I'm a MAN.  I'm dangerous" bullshit with me...ain't gonna work.

"Oh, I have to have some milk and sugar in my coffee.  I can't drink it black like I did...WHEN I WAS IN JAIL."

Cue me smiling and nodding.  "Yeah, I get that.  Jail coffee sucks, and you have to sneak that nasty 1% milk and there's no sugar.  I used to smuggle in real coffee for my guys because I couldn't stand that shit.  And coffee filters, because hairnet coffee is gross."

Pause.  Blink.  "You were in jail?"

Angelic smile.  "No.  I was the kitchen manager for the work release program in Northampton County in Pennsylvania.  I loved that job, but the coffee sucked.  But those  were the best guys when we all put our bullshit away.  Bullshit posturing annoys me."

If he straightens up, fine.  However, making yourself food and sitting down while still on the clock (and half an hour before the end of a four hour shift!  Really???) is not going to fly well with me.

*deep breath*  In better news, I took an advance on my tips through the household account and ordered the classic nerdblock for this month.  It's totally unfair.  You say "Labyrinth collectible" and I say "TAKE ALL MY TIPS!!!"

You know, I used to kind of smirk at my friends who get ipsy bags and...what is the other one?  And they'd get all excited.

*ahem*  Hoisted by my own petard,

Okay.  Bed now.I just have three more days to go.

Oh, and thank you, FB memories.  8 years ago today, my grandparents were making a surprise visit and meeting Kent for the first time.  Last year, I was praying for Granma to go peacefully and for Grandpa to be able to withstand the blow.

Goddess, I didn't need to remember that.
Out wit.  Out play.  Outlast.  That's the theme for today's shift at work, my lovlies.

Buh-bye, Bully.  I don't know if she quit or was fired, all I know is she is off the schedule and out of my hair.

I also know next week is gonna SUUUUUCK, because I'm doing six days again, and will be flying solo for most of them.  Ack!  I guess this is what happens when you're the only non-manager with the most seniority. (Scary, ain't it?)

Hey, but the days I fly solo, that's ALL THE TIPS FOR ME!  I'm gonna buy myself something nice.

Okay, I'm probably going to buy another Loot Crate, but that's sort of the same thing, right?

I got my Firefly crate this week, and it.  Is.  Awesome.  I used to love the grab bags at Spencers and the flea market when I was a kid.  This is the same principle, only much, much cooler.

Embossed faux leather Firefly journal!  *squee*!!!!  I don't know if I'm going to use it or just fondle it.  I have the perfect sepia toned fountain pen to write in it.  However, I have a bunch of notebooks ahead of it because 'tis the season for cool notebooks and pens, and I am a school supply junkie.

Aug. 3rd, 2016

There's this thing going on around on FB now where you give someone a letter and they put up a song by a band whose name starts with that band.

I gave Jackie S, assuming it would be Sisters of Mercy.  Or she'd cheat and do the Smiths.

Nope.  I got Stinkyfinger.  The garage band headed by my high school crush.  And I now have the entire album they put out lingering on my flist, waiting for me to burn it to cd.

They were rude and crude. Beyond offensive.  And yet....my mother let me go see them on my 18th birthday.

And Chris (aka UglyUgly) made the band learn a couple of Duran Duran songs for my 18th birthday.  He made veiled sexy comments from the stage, then made sure no one at the bar even who even THOUGHT of hitting on me would live to regret it.

He drove me home for curfew during their intermission.  I was 18 and still barely aware of how interactions by non-family people work.  He walked me up to the back porch, kissed me on my forehead, and said "Happy birthday, Alicia."

We're all grownups now.  But my stomach still gets all fluttery when we talk on FB.

I'm such a dork.

Big things afoot at the Glass Asylum

It's a six day week for both the spousebeast and yours truly.  I HOPE I recognize him by the end of the week, but I'll be checking ID at the door on Saturday night just in case.  ;P

Kent also has an interview at Rams Head Dining Hall at UNC tomorrow!  He loves it at the Stratford but a) no benefits, b) having to take a cab to work 3 days a week runs almost $200/mo. and c) the emotional toll on him is Not. Good.  Granted, he'd have to find temp work over summers and the longer school holidays, but that's easy to come by in this town if you've been in The Biz long enough.

Wish him luck, y'all.  It would be better for both of us.

And NO, I am not going to apply for his position if he leaves.  Uh-uh.  I might be better equipped to handle it on an intellectual level, but I've worked too hard to stop compartmentalizing everything in my life to risk going back to that behavior (also, there would still be the cab fare issue).  Besides, we keeping losing people at work (you apparently can't be fired, but--DAMN!--you can quit like a rock star!),  and The Bully and I have come to an uneasy sort of truce.  We still don't much like each other, but...we're kind of stuck with each other.  We're the only consistent day shift FOH people.

Now, if she really likes this second job she's picked up driving a taxi and has a fit of pique and up and quits (also possible), I am going to volunteer myself as 9:30-5, M-F because I'm a glutton for punishment that way.

Yes, I will volunteer as tribute for District 12.  (I STILL can't believe we're District 12)
We had a field trip group of 45 sceduled for 1:30 today.

I opened.  I came in a bit early so I could get everything set up and make sure the upstairs dining room was ready for the onslaught of tiny humans.  The Canned Music Gods were on my side (I really need to find out what service we have that puts ABBA, Iggy and the Stooges, and Neil Diamond on the same channel) and I was done in record time.  I mean, seriously....boogying to "Lust for Life" gets mopping done FAST.

Big Boss was annoyed because the group only sent us half the order. She'd tried to convince them to just do the kids meals with sandwiches but NOOOO...some of the kids wanted pita pizza and mac and cheese and cheese potatoes. They said they'd call with the rest this morning (yeah, no one in THAT group has ever worked food service.  Much like the person who called at 10:45 and wanted a "kinda last minute" catering order.  For 4 sandwich trays.  FOR NOON.  WTF, people?  Order a gorram pizza). The phone rang at exactly 10:30 (when we open).  BB sighed and said "Oh, good.  That's them."

I replied "Nah, that's S calling out."

Damn, I'm good.

Soooo...we had a full dining room for two solid hours AND a group of 45 with one cashier.  Oy.

On the upside, I got all the tips (woo-hoo!  And I tipped out BOH, which means I am now beloved and may never have to empty trash again) and BB said that it doesn't matter how few hours I work--free mealls are for 6+ hour shifts--if I get screwed like this again, I get fed.  Every time.

I have a feeling I am going to get really sick of our food.  Oh well.  if it comes down to that, there are plently of street folk on my walk to the bus stop who would probably like a sandwich.

Right now, though, I'm gonna go eat that chicken salad sandwich.  I SOOOO earned it.

IT'S THE WEEKEND!!!!!

And, jeebus, do I deserve it.

Yesterday was not as bad as Free Tea Day, but we were short handed and unusually busy.  Lipstick Girl was supposed to be our 11, and called sometime after ONE and gave Big Boss some bogus excuse and...WHAT THE HELL DOES IT TAKE TO GET FIRED AROUND THERE!?!?!?!?

We really need to quit hiring speshul snowflakes.  Sorry if that sounds bitchy, but if your health or mental well being is that fragile, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS IN FOOD SERVICE.

*ahem*  It's been a long week, y'all.

I am just sick to the teeth of 20 minute smoke breaks because "I just got overwhelmed"  and random disappearances off the floor because "I'm about to go off."  I'm tired of side work being left for me because "my back is acting up." (You signed on for a job that requires you to routinely be able to lift up to 50 pounds.  If your back is acting up every day, maybe you should look for another job.  Hell, I'll help you look)

Gah.

On the upside, I made a ton of credit card tips, which will come on my next check.  Which happens to arrive the day before the annual Arts Center yard sale in Carrboro.  Karma?  Rewards from the Universe?  Who cares?  I made 1/4 of my cumulative tips from last paycheck in one day.  I hope they have a velvet Elvis painting.

Hey, it's possible.

And I have no idea why I want a velvet Elvis painting.  It's become one of those weird, random desires that is probably wired into some sort of 70s childhood trauma.  Kind of like my endless search for Betty Crocker recipe cards.

At least those have a reason.  I want to make a collage for the kitchen.  And, yes, Kent has wisely decided that this is one of those "smile, nod, and walk on" moments.  Kind of like my jello mold fetish.  And my Corningware obsession.

Every so often, he DOES say "Well, at least it's not shoes, designer handbags and Pandora bracelets."  (His brother is trying to fund a shopping queen on an alternative school teacher's salary.  I feel for the guy.  He's asked Kent more than once if he'd like to try a wife swap for a couple of months.  You can guess the answer to that.)

My big plan today is grocery shopping.  Kent and I are kind of giddy that we can do a WEEKLY grocery shop and afford a cab for me on the way home.  Buying produce weekly means we are getting more veggies and fruit in our diet, and I can shop ALL the sales.  And the cab means I can buy rainbow sherbet and make adult floats when he gets home.  Which I am SOOO doing today.  It's hot as hell and we've both had a week. (He doesn't know that part.  Although he did suggest I swing by the liquor store.  Yeah, it's been that kind of week for both of us)

It's weird having money again.  We're not rich by a long shot, but after two years of living on one paycheck, I feel like we're living the high life.  The savings account is back up to a nice cushion.  I don't count every penny (well, I still do, but it isn't a life or death matter any more).  The grocery budget has gone from $40 every two weeks to "ummm...try to not spend the more than Time Warner Cable bill."

For those of y'all who are subject to TWC, you know that is a hefty budget.  Especially for two people.

I LOVE having a shopping list where the first three items are bacon, shrimp, and vodka.  :)

Happy Saturday, y'all!

So, how did Free Tea Day go, you ask?

*Was all snuggly, opened an eye, and thought the room was way too light to be before the 4:30 alarm.  Check the clock and wake the spousebeast with a string of very loud cuss words.  The alarm clock is officially dead.

*Discovered that we can get Kent from feet on the floor to in the cab in14 minutes.  Being a military brat has its uses.  I was a one woman pit crew.  The NASCAR type.  Not the sexy RuPaul's Drag Race type.

*Went in early.  My usual HS driver remarked that I was going in early, saw my shirt, and exclaimed "Oh!  I forgot it's Free Tea Day!  I'll be coming in!"  Cue the half dozen other people saying "Free tea!??!?  Where??"

*Found out that not only did we have Free Tea Day, we also got our truck and had two catering orders.

*Suggested to Big Boss that I could just open for the day and spend the rest of my shift riding Chapel Hill Transit and advertise.  Got turned down.

*Get FOH ready to open in record time for me.  Bake off 60 cookies in some misguided suggestion from BB that we can upsell them with free teas.

*[redacted redacted redacted.  Let's just say I didn't kill anyone and I deserve a cookie.  Except cookies are currently making me homicidal.

*Explain to person who calls in six minutes before open that it is one tea per person.  No, we will not do 46 teas for pickup.

*Yeah, I would really prefer if you didn't all show up here in protest, but you're welcome to.

*TWENTY TWO kids from camp show up with their handlers (chaperones?  Counselers?  People whose jobs currently seem worse than mine?).  22 32oz sweet teas for kids 9-12?  Enjoy your afternoon!

*Inform me that the second group will be coming around 12:30.  28.  Yippee.

*Realize that weird inexplicable bruise on my right arm is from scooping ice to bring it to the front.

*Explain again the "one person, one tea concept."

*Am given a list of exceptions from Big Boss.  Hope The Bully shows up soon so I can deal with the exceptions.

*The Bully shows up and is suffering from some random something.  I imagine it's "I don't want to be here"-itis.  Decide that the best thing is for her to go bag up a billion cookies while I handle the front.

*Realize we both walked away from the transaction thinking "Sucker."

*Look at line and start to reconsider my life choices.

*Tea, tea, no only one per customer, oh...there are 16 in your party....IS OUR 12 HERE YET!?!?!?  Sorry,ma'am...I didn't realize the phone was on intercom and that was quite loud.  I apologize.  What can I get for you today?"

*Watches the 12 waltz in at 12:16 and wonders what it takes to get you fired around here.

*12:18 and a line out the door while she fixes her lipstick in the dining room.  Start to think that maybe homicide wouldn't get me fired.  Then remember that I'm "nice."  Fuck.

*Here come The Exceptions.  Grit my teeth and revel in the spare change I get  as I ring them up.

*Line out the door.  My printer jams.  Three reboots don't work and the line grows.  Wonder if wandering out for two three hours is a fireable offense.

*No sweet tea, no ice, no lemons.  Guess whose job that suddenly is?

*"We don't have potato salad."  "Yes, we do!  It's in back!"  "Well, it not scooped so we don't have it.  Can you go around the dining room and ask for alternate sides?"

*Decide that scooping 8 sides of potato salad is easier than asking for altherates.

*Get sniped at by The Bully because the plates weren't complete in the window.  Remind her in a less than gentle fashion that scooping potato salad is a BOH job and they were behind, so I did it.

*"We heard it was Free Tea Day!  What fun!  Can we sit upstairs?  We're about...sixteen?  Oh, wait...20."
Sure.  I really needed that.  Stairs are my FAVORITE!

*Oooh, looky!  Another field trip wanting free tea.  Just 25 this time.  How many hypercaffeinted kids are bouncing aroung Chapel Hill right now?  And do I care?

*"Oh...yes, we can handle 45 for Tuesday at 1:30.  Oh, you want to eat HERE?  I could I get an order...oh, you'll place it Monday?  BIG BOSS!"

*finally have a moment of peace and announce that I have to pee NOW!  Discover that Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor.

*Explain to the young douchebag that the next of his fraternity brothers who shows up and says "I'm here for the free tea.  Where do I get the free A?" will be banned from the store for the next academic years.

*Tell BigBoss that I just made up a rule.  Apparently, that's okay.

And this is just the Cliffs Notes.  I'm too tired and have to open again tomorrow.  At least I have the wekend off.

This picture pretty much sums it up.




free tea day 005

I forget which of y'all I have to thank...

...but THANK YOU!!!!!!

How awesome is this?

vinyl 003
I won the contest at work Friday.  Yep...the only one who risked heatstroke to wear two shirts. The only one who reads the employee board.   I ran into Big Big Boss on my way in, and he insisted we take a selfie to send to the Corporate Powers That Be.  It only occurred to me after I went in to start the shift that I had a selfie taken by BBB...out in front of the dumpsters.

My life is so fucking glamorous, y'all.  ;)

Anyway, I'm $10 richer.  I think I'm going to squander it on this pretty little journal I saw at CVS, of all places.  I know, I was so excited about getting the SARK journal (my third!), but it doesn't feel right.  What I used to find inspiring now seems intrusive and kinda bossy.  I guess it will be good for when I am feeling creatively tuck, but it doesn't fit me right now.  I want lined paper, calm pages.  No writing prompts.  I just want to fill pages with my days, and not try to force anything.

It's so strange.  I was going through the last of my stack of old magazines for collage materials, and realized that I don't miss fashion magazines AT ALL.  I used to subscribe to a couple, but let them lapse when I was unemployed.  Flipping through the pages, I realized I have zero interest any more.  I'm also considering throwing out my makeup, since I only wear lipgloss and the occasional eyeliner.  Who knows how toxic the rest of that stuff that I haven't touched for 2-4 years has become?  I can tell you the last time I tried to wear mascara I nearly burned my eyeball off.

I have a sneaking feeling I'm coming into a major lifestyle shift, a major LIFE shift, and am just starting to nibble at the edges.  It's interesting.  I'm curious to see what the next few months bring.

I spent part of today figuring out menus for Operation Use It Up (inspired by a FB friend  to finish all that stuff that is hanging out in the freezer and pantry).  Now that we have more wiggle room in the budget and I can buy the foods we really want (in moderation) rather than just what we can simply afford, I want to use up what we HAVE first.

This has meant a lot of casseroles.  In summer.  In NC. However, Kent took pork, mushroom, spinach, cheddar and elbow noodles to work Friday for his lunch...and ended up taking the rest with him on Saturday because everyone wanted some.  Go, me!

And I will continue to mostly subsist on salads that D and D screw up while they're learning at work.  :)  Thankfully, since they're in training, they don't really get in trouble.  It's just thrown into the employee cooler.  And NO ONE eats the damned salads!  If I can pick around gorgonzola (ick.  Ick, ick, ick!) thrown into everything, I'm golden.

And while I am not enjoying the taste I'm slowly getting used to it.  Kind of like...okay, best not to go there.  ;)

I have also gotten to choose all of the music today!  Kent never did get around to fulfilling that part of the debt.

I am a horrible, horrible woman with far ranging tastes in music (among other things).  I've yet to break out the Blackmore's Night or Les Miz soundtrack....but I have three hours left.

Heh, heh, heh....