Tagged: work

The Struggle: Narrated by the Lyrics of Taylor Swift

Baby, I know places we won’t be found, and they’ll be chasing their tails trying to track us down. Cause I know places we can hide. -Taylor Swift “I Know Places”

I might be over-interpreting here, but I think Taylor Swift wants us to run away from our adult responsibilities. I mean… seems pretty clear to me. Excuse me while I pack up my office and high-tail it out of the world of time sheets and alarm clocks. 🙂

Seriously though, am I the only one that likes their job but in the same respect wants to turn in their grown up card for a good session of binge-watching Law & Order? (SVU, of course. In case you were wondering). It’s like a completely equal mix of “this isn’t that bad! What a fulfilling work day” and “Oh my god, I have to do this EVERY DAY? Until I’m in my 60’s?” It’s a bummer to go back and forth between half glass full on Monday and “half-full, half-empty… who cares, just add vodka” by Wednesday. I know that in a way, this is completely normal. I mean, no one loves the monotony that is adulthood all the time. Have you ever heard someone be like, “well, yes, I would LOVE to do that super annoying task that is not in my job description. In fact- I’ll do it for FREE! Just for kicks!” No. No you haven’t. (If you have- don’t trust that person. If YOU’RE that person… none of your co-workers like you. Sorry, but it’s true). On the flip side, though, it kind of sucks. Is this life post-college? Work is ok, then it sucks, then it’s the weekend (whoo!), then work is ok, then it sucks…

You know that saying, “if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”? Bullshit. I’m pretty sure even Taylor Swift, the multi-millionaire, award-winning, owns a house in every country, megastar isn’t all “I LOVE THIS!!!” all of the time. Yet, somehow, there’s still this pressure that you have to put on this act that your job/life is just completely blissful 24/7 or it just wasn’t “worth it”. I’ve had many instances where I’ve said something like “man, what a crazy day. I had to insert sucky thing here” and I’ll get some kind of response akin to “well, YOU picked that major” or “told ya not to go into social work”. Well geez, that escalated quickly. I said a portion of my day sucked, not that I wanted to flip my desk and set my degree on fire. I think it’s kind of a grown up rite of passage that we are allotted a certain amount of bitching; like how kids get to complain that they’re “bored” all the time.

Back to obsessively listening to Taylor’s new CD. Some things never change, no matter your age. 😉

xo,

A

Bullshit

Do you ever think about just how big the world is? The endless possibilities, wonder, risk; the beauty and terror of it all? We spend our entire lives preparing ourselves to enter adulthood; what kind of personality do we have, what interests do we possess? All of the pieces of the puzzle are slowly but surely collected so that we can be “successful”. So we can “be adults”. What is success, exactly? What determines when a person has become the epitome of what that they have been preparing for?

What is the purpose of this life? Do we really spend the majority of our lives worrying about what school we’re going to only to subsequently worry about what job we’re going to get?  Then we move on to worrying about if we’re doing well at our job. If we’re going to get promoted. We compare fringe benefits with our friends and discuss whom received the better interest rate on their mortgage. We get burnt out. We  count down the days until retirement.

Is this it? A string of responsibilities followed by more commitments, more stress, more man-made obligations?

What is the alternative? Money makes the world go ’round. Money affords us the pleasures that we enjoy in between the obligations. We are dependent upon it. To live. To let loose.

Work and responsibility equal self-worth. You work; good. You work more; better. You’re stressed? You’re busy? You don’t have time for the things you enjoy? Good. You’re doing something right. You’re motivated. You have work ethic.

Why are these things intertwined? Can one not be mature, responsible and driven without succumbing to the traditional American dream/lifestyle? Why can’t we be passionate, spontaneous, artistic, free-spirited? We can; after 5pm. After cooking dinner. After errands. After the laundry. After something.

We are the land of the free and the land of the confined in the same breathe. We are confined to these pre-determined paths that are neatly laid out for us before we can ever really choose for ourselves.

School. More school. Work. Work. Work.

We work 50-51 weeks a year with one week that we can enjoy (mostly) uninterrupted by obligation. We offer up 40+ hours a week of our lives to these obligations that forced themselves upon us only to have seven days to ourselves?

 

I call bullshit.

 

xo,

A

 

 

 

Are you really living life?

Hello, loves! It is a gorgeous Saturday here in Southwestern PA. Feet up, drinking coffee, blogging… this is the ideal life, huh? 🙂 The only thing that could make it better (besides a bottomless bank account to go shopping) is if I was on the beach.

Luckily for me… I will be in TWO WEEKS! That needed to be in all caps so you could understand just how much I need this vacation. I’m so excited to see a new part of the world (Florida!) and get away from life and responsibilities for awhile. I think everyone needs to take a vacation each year. I know, easier said than done; but even if it was a “staycation” (I used to do that when I was making 7.60/hr at Joanns- you weren’t gonna find me at the beach!) it’s good to just have time to decompress. I saw this post on Facebook the other day…

Are you really living life, or are you paying bills until you die?

How many of you just go to work to get that paycheck, only to pay it all out to bills? It’s a really repetitive lifestyle to make a student loan payment (that got you the job), make a car payment (to physically get to the job) to put gas in the car (to drive to the job) etc, etc. I understand that that’s life, I really do; however, there is SO MUCH MORE to it than that! I really think it’s about finding a balance. If you’re happiness is completely dependent on having enough money, spoiler alert: you will never be happy! Unless you strike it rich (and sometimes, even then) you won’t ever have “enough money”. Things always come up and throw our financial goals/plans off track; but don’t let it control your happiness.

Before I graduated college, I was driving a beat up Dodge Neon. I would sit around and look up cars for hours, trying to figure out what kind I would buy once I got my “real job”. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wouldn’t be able to comfortably afford a new car right after graduation. So, I *planned* to drive my Neon until it couldn’t drive anymore. Other than some cosmetic issues, it ran fine. That is, until a week after graduation when it broke down and needed a new engine. I had already begun my new job, but I hadn’t even gotten a paycheck yet! I had no money saved because I had just finished up my internship and wasn’t really working at my serving job. No job history, no down payment… I was freaking out. Luckily, I have good credit (I might say to live life to the fullest but if I have any financial advice for anyone it is this: MAINTAIN YOUR CREDIT!!! Seriously.) and I was able to finance a new car. I am soo in love with my car. I am not, however, in love with the payment, or the full coverage insurance payment. Prior to that whole fiasco, I had *planned* to double my student loan payment and pay it off in 5-6 years instead of 10 and THEN buy a shiny new car. Instead, when I got my first student loan payment, I crunched the numbers and immediately called and had my payment reduced.

My point is, things don’t always go according to plan. In fact, I think it’s safe to say they rarely do. You have to learn to roll with the punches, have a back-up plan and find that balance. Unfortunately, money is one of the most important things in our society. Don’t go run out and max out your credit cards and drain your savings because “life is short!” or “YOLO”. (For the love of all things holy don’t ever use YOLO as an explanation for something). Be smart, build a small little savings and breathe.

Oh, and take a vacation. Or a staycation. You deserve it.

My views today

             My views today

 

My view in two weeks!

                My view in two weeks!

 

xo,

A

We’re all a little weird

Err, so this is awkward. I was just going about my day today, being completely lazy because well, I could be… when it hit me.

Remember that thing you used to write on and a miniscule portion of the population would read? I think they call it a blog? Yeah you have one of those.

Oops. It’s not like I can even pretend that my life is so super cool and exciting that I’ve just been too busy doing super cool and exciting things. I really haven’t been doing anything different than I have been doing for the past five years. School-work-repeat. Except that I finished the semester today.. HOORAY! So I guess I can use the homework-finals-work excuse, but really, I just haven’t had anything to say. That’s not to say that there isn’t going on, but it’s not anything I haven’t said before.

I’m done with school until the Fall, when I’ll do my internship and take my last class. Which was all incredibly exciting and all until I realized I was terrified to actually do my internship. Like, what if I have to drive to places other than the main office? What if I have to drive into the city? (Unleash panic mode.) Oh and, what about the little fact that I have not one clue what I’m doing? I mean sure, I’ve been studying social work for 3 years, but what does sitting in a classroom have to do with actually working somewhere? Nothing, other than the degree that will get me in the door. I always say I can’t wait to have a job that actually stimulates my brain and makes me a productive member of society, but now that it’s becoming a reality I would rather just not. Like I would honestly rather work in a restaurant forever (not really) than face the unknown. I know that’s all cowardly and a little pathetic, but hey, I can’t help what goes on inside my weirdo mind.

 

weird weird2

 

So basically, I enjoyed being done with school for approximately 2 hours before I was bored, and then terrified. Although on the bright side, I think I figured out more specifically what work I would like to do, and that’s victim’s rights advocacy. Having experience with losing a family member to a violent crime, I know how important it is that a support system is in place for family members that are left behind. I think it would be amazing to connect to people in the community and assist them in picking up the pieces. You know, if I can get over the how-the-hell-am-I-gonna-do-this mindset.

Why hasn’t anyone figured out a way to just fall asleep and wake up with the perfect job, marriage, house and a couple kids? I have to work for it you say? Nobody told me this when I was 16 and picking out beach homes, just saying.

-A

You’re majoring in WHAT? (And other annoying things people to say me)

For whatever reason, people at my job always want to know what I’m doing when I’m not handing them dumplings. As if we are on a blind date and they are trying to get to know me, when really, I just want their money. (I feel like jaws just dropped all over the place. WHAT?! Serves DON’T just work for the fun of it?!)

blog 3

Anyways, the conversations usually go something like this:

Customer: “So are you in school?”

Me: “Yep.”

What if I wasn’t? I feel like the conversation would get really awkward. Like, no asshole, this is all I do. This is the end of the line for me. So thanks. 

Customer: “That’s great! What year are you in?”

Me: “I’m a senior.”

Customer: “Almost done, then! How nice. What are you majoring in?”

Me: “Social Work.”

Customer: Awkward glance at spouse. Awkward glance at me. “That’s… nice. I guess you aren’t in it for the money then, huh?”

Me: “Well, you can actually make a nice living-”

Customer: Laughs. “Yeah, sure. Hey can I get some more coffee?”

Every. God. Damn. Time.

What happened to the little group of questions/comments that were considered public knowledge to be inappropriate? “How much do you make a year?” “What size do you wear?” etc., seem to be in the same playing field as “Your future career sucks.” And I would like to know how everyone I come across is an expert on how much a social worker makes. Most people don’t even know what a social worker does let alone how much money they bring home. So, for all of you uninformed people out there, here is a little breakdown so hopefully you aren’t an asshole in the future.

FACT: Social workers are not the people who hand you food stamps. (Not that there is anything wrong with those people.) Social workers direct you to social services, if you need them, but are not the employees of those organizations.

FACT: Social workers do not make teensy, tiny unmanageable salaries. I’m not sure why everyone assumes this, but it is not true and it is annoying.

Compared to the roughly 15k I make as a server... I think I'll manage.

Compared to the roughly 15k I make as a server… I think I’ll manage.

FACT: Not all social workers are employed by child and youth services. This is one area of employment that those with their BSW can explore but it is just one of many!

See? Look at all the possibilities.

See? Look at all the possibilities.

FACT: Not everybody that is on some type of social welfare is “taking advantage of the system”. I’m sure that if you lost your job and had no way of providing for your family, you would not want to be stereotyped either. Yes, there are people who do take advantage; just like there are people who abuse alcohol and drugs, teenagers who lie to their parents and as we’ve seen in recent events, people who misuse guns. Welcome to the world: it is not, nor will it ever be, perfect.

The point is this: it is both rude and ignorant to speak about things you don’t understand. So stop. Doesn’t anyone listen to the age old advice “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” anymore? Sheesh.

P.S: For all of you whom are against social welfare and government assistance, I hope you enjoy spending your tax returns with all those credits for things like: having kids, going to college, buying a house, etc. God, it’s so annoying how you “take advantage of the system” by spending government money! Have you no shame?!

-A

Reasons I Should Quit My Job and Write Instead

Like many people, I always joke that I should just quit my job. I mean, who needs money (or heat/food/shelter) anyways! Seriously though, after two years of cutting/stocking/folding fabric, 6 months of setting up displays at a retail store and now two years of handing people food for a living: I’m just about burnt out on this whole customer service thing. Let me start off by telling you that people absolutely SUCK. You can have a ‘the sun is always shinin’ and the glass is half-full’ attitude all day long, but deal with just one afternoon of working in a restaurant and I guarantee you will want to kill yourself. Or someone else. Why yes ma’am, I would love to get you a coffee (that you request I make sure is hot-hot-hot!) a “large” diet coke (this isn’t McDonald’s. There is no small-medium-large system) AND a water. Did you just step of the Sahara desert cause you sure are thirsty! Seriously, this stuff happens. Once I had a lady complain that her biscuits were too hard. Cool, that happens. Let me get you some different ones. No, no… this lady demanded I feel the biscuit. “Touch it” She says. “It’s so hard!” She says. “Pound it on the table.” She continues. Seriously. I was verbally molested by a stranger and her biscuit.

These types of occupational hazards are why I think I should just quit all together, and write instead. It’s not as if I’d be sitting on my ass watching reruns of Law & Order SVU all day, I go to college full-time! (There would probably still be lots of ass sitting, though.) I have papers to write, books and articles to read, other random assignments to do the night before they’re due… so yeah, pretty busy. But, and here’s the beautiful part, I wouldn’t have to go to work! Or pay bills! In this magical land of make-believe, I get to wear yoga pants EVERY SINGLE DAY and nobody would even care.

So, like any good writer with too much time on her hands, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten reasons I should quit my job and write instead.

1. I like Law & Order SVU. I would have more times for marathons.

2. I would have even more time to write pointless blog posts such as this.

3. Yoga pants. ‘Nuff said.

4. No more annoying customers! Hallelujah!

5. There would be no such thing as morning. Except for when I have class. (Stay tuned for my next installment: Why I should quit college and write instead.)

6. Life experience. Think of all the places that I could Google or look at on Pinterest! (I’d be far too poor to actually go visit them. I’m delusional, yes, but c’mon give me some credit.)

7. I wouldn’t have to complain about my job anymore. This would free up time to complain about other things, including but not limited to: how I can’t think of anything to write about, how my book is going nowhere, how my blog sucks, how I have writer’s block and how much it sucks that I can’t eat ice cream without feeling like a pregnant whale.

8. I could call anything and everything I do “research.” Oh, this coffee from Starbucks? Research. Random trip to the mall? Research. Taking selfies on Instagram? You guessed it, research. 

9. Whenever I become rich and famous from my fabulous books, I can tell people about how brave I was, quitting my job to pursue my dreams! “I spent days and nights at my computer, sometimes staying up for 48 hours at a time just spouting off brilliance!”- I’ll tell them. It will make for a fantastic interview whenever Ellen DeGeneres asks me to be on her show. Which she will.

10. Nathaniel Hawthorne never had to hand people pancakes for money, and I shouldn’t either.

So there you have it. There are at least four solid reasons in that list. Well… maybe three.

And if none of those did it for ya, I give you reason 11.

Mm, Ryan Gosling.

-A

Oh, You Again?

Soo, it’s Monday again. [Insert sarcastic comment about how much that fact sucks and/or how we all can’t wait for the weekend here.] Okay, so I’m not really on the same page as all you beginning of the week haters out there since I work during the weekend. In fact, I’m the guy that’s bitter on Friday’s because everyone else is all “TGIF!” and I’m all “thank god it’s the day… before I work for two more days!” Yeah, doesn’t really have the same effect.

I know I said I wasn’t going to live in the future… but, just for a second here, let’s ponder. It’s going to be SO nice to be done with school and finally get a grown up job. Is it sad that my number one motivation for obtaining a decent career, above the money, helping people, etc., is simply having a normal schedule? All I want is to work Monday-Friday, 9-5 with weekends and holidays off. Then, I can bitch about how much I hate it just like everyone else. That’s not so much to ask, right?

Ok, back to the present. It’s Monday, and we’re angry about it!

Til next time- A