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Posts Tagged ‘work’

The Blog Girl

Around 1:00 p.m. every week day, I get a half hour where I leave the office, sit in the park, and don’t have to think about blogging or destinations I can’t afford. Then the other day I got an email for my boss requesting a lunch meeting. My half hour in the sunshine gone.

On the day of our allotted meeting time, I went to his office, where he quickly brushed past me without so much as a hello. As I stood in the hall clutching my bright blue spiral-bound notebook, I wondered what it felt like to not be the very bottom of the food chain. Fifteen minutes later, he emerged, talking over me to my supervisor, he asked if she was ready, and as she grabbed her purse and he started for the door, I realized I had misinterpreted our lunch meeting. I ran back to my desk and grabbed my purse, I wondered where the heck we were going. As we rushed down the stairs, out the door, and down the street, I felt like a little kid again when my parents were rushing to some event we were late for. As we booked it across the street and onto the wharf, I had to run to keep up with my boss’s long stride. Without even stopping at the hostess stand, my boss announced our arrival, and the hostess sat us at a table. Without a moment to breathe or realize that we were in one of the nicer restaurants downtown, my boss turned to me and asked “So, Lauren, what are your plans for the future?” Plans? Future? Right now, I’m an MBA student who still cleans bathrooms on the weekend for near minimum wage. Yeah, my future is bright…

As the waitress took our orders (I ordered the first thing on the menu I saw without reading the full description), my boss etched notes onto a PowerPoint presentation I’d sent him. As I justified my worth at the company, I felt like I did back in high school, sitting across from my guidance counselor, running through everything I did in high school that would help me get into college.

“How long have you been with us? About 6 weeks?” He asked.
“Um, about three months…”

“What makes you stand out?”

“I write the blog?”

And as the questions went on, I realized this was an interview of sorts and I was failing. In my oversized pink button-up, black sweeping sweater and flip flops, I knew I wasn’t impressing anyone with my interviewee skills. Without letting me speak, my boss went on to say how he likes what I’ve been doing and to get to the gist of the story, they want to keep me but don’t have any place to put me, but they might someday if I stay and just keep doing what I do.

So here I am, actually a professional, career blogger. To think I was going to take a film class instead of that blogging class in college…

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My parents are holding my phone hostage until I come home. Maybe next time I call, I'll tell them I don't negotiate with terrorists. Probably won't land well.

My parents are withholding my new cell phone until I visit them (or I make time for them to visit me). They didn’t flat out tell me that was the plan, but when they told me they’d send it to me and suddenly changed their minds (twice) I realized what they were doing…

In college, I called my parents once a week and went home usually one weekend a month. But that was when I had three days of classes a week and a part-time job only two nights a week. Now I’m pumping out over 60 hours at work a week (over 70 this week), and taking almost a full semester of classes. I used to have three-day-weekend every week, now I’m working up to14 days in a row without a break and coming home late at night to a pile of homework for grad school. And as much as I wish I could, I just can’t be in two places at once.

I think my parents think I’m lying when I tell them I literally use up twenty hours a day, sleep for four, and start all over again every day of the week. I suppose I could take those four hours designated for sleep and make the 1 ½ hour trip home, chat for an hour while they tell me I should call more often and how much my grandparents miss me and how I don’t see them enough, and then make the 1 ½ trip back just in time for work. Of course this meeting would have to take place at 3 in the morning…

With my friends living back home, I know my parents are infinity jealous of their parents (my mother has actually told me in not so many words that she is). So until I make it back to collect my hostage phone and explain to my parents I wish I were able to be home more often, I’m stuck with a four year old flip phone that freezes up when I send more than 10 texts in an hour and a guilt trip from my mother that will last me until next Christmas…

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The trade-off: new dresses means cereal for dinner for the next 2 weeks. I still say it's worth it... Image from http://www.displayfakefoods.com

“So wait, you can’t buy a 50 cent candy bar but you can buy a rack of dresses every week?” SLJ was judging me. Perhaps taking my allotted grocery fund for the month and putting into a few new wardrobe items wasn’t the greatest idea, but there is something undeniably gratifying about new clothes that canned soup and yogurt just can’t compare. I do recognize that unlike living without food, I can survive without that glass bead necklace from that boutique downtown, but what would the quality of a life like that be? I justified my decision to SLJ by telling her that I need to wear dresses and jewelry for my job, and therefore it is a career investment. Then again, I could probably quit my job and quit shopping, and still breakeven in the end…

It’s not that I buy particularly expensive things. Any designer brand in my closet came off a clearance rack or from a discount retailer (embrace the inner Maxxinista). And when it comes to the groceries, a bowl of cereal is a perfectly adequate dinner, and averaging $4.00 a box, I have a week’s worth of dinners for about 50 cents a meal (even McDonald’s can’t beat that).

SLJ will roll her eyes at this post. But I figure for at least two years of our college career, my roommates and I survived on nothing but toast, pasta, ice cream, and cereal (with the occasional pizza thrown in when we wanted to splurge) and we all managed to make it through just fine. Now I still eat like a poor college kid, I’m just better dressed.

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Life Like A Movie

Remember the "cigarette burns" scene in Fight Club, where the narrator explains that Tyler splices clips of porn into kids' movies? My life is kinda like that, except that instead it's just randomness all the time.

Have you ever seen a movie where the plotline suddenly changes or some weird freaking dialogue gets thrown in, and you pause for a second and think, “Wow, that is totally unnecessary.” That random break from script that throws the audience off? That’s my life.

Yesterday, out of no where, one of the supervisors told me to marry rich. I told him I’d rather marry poor (not that it particularly matters either way, but I just wanted to mess with him). He scoffed at me and told me I should marry rich so my husband can take me to all these amazing places I research and write about every day. Leaning over my cube, he asked me if I wanted to travel. I told him no (it’s not travel that bothers me, it’s hotel sheets and shower floors that bother me, but I’ll leave those pet peeves for another day). He said he was done with me, and with a wink, he said he was just done giving me advice, but wasn’t done with me yet…

At my second job, after validating someone’s parking stub, she gave me a big hug and with a look like I had just save her puppy’s life, she told me I was an absolutely wonderful person. I was hugged again by a father who was traveling with his family from India when I told him the museum was open daily from 9:30 to 5. I’m not sure what made him so ecstatic about our hours of operation, or what makes people think this is Disney World and I’m there to hug and take pictures with (actually, I very politely declined from having an older gentleman take a picture of me yesterday, but undoubtably some bride goes through her wedding photos and finds random pictures of the girl at the front door mixed in with the bridesmaids and flower shots). Later that night, I was chased around the top floor of a dark museum by my boss who was trying to get a picture of me for my staff badge (she was unsuccessful). On the way out, as I walked down the alley to my car, an SUV of teenage boys pulling out of a 7-11 stopped and waved. The back window rolled down and a young man leaned out the window still clutching a churro, introduced himself, and tried to get my number.

The other day I had a cute and nerdy frat boy (they exist!) go between telling me about his drunken expeditions and his highly successful job. He told me about Zelda, Thailand,  drug dealers, eating Chinese chicken soup with actual full chicks in it, singing Back Street Boys at karaoke and falling off the stage, and a talking mouse named Maurice  Smith who cooks Mexican.

And just to top off the randomness, I found about 100 arcade tickets when I went to park my car before work. That’s like 4 ring pops.

If my life were a movie, I’d fire the editor, because things are obviously not syncing up.

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