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Two months ago my mom was going to take me out to a “show” for my birthday. It snowed that night though, so we couldn’t leave the house. We drive a Prius, and that thing barely handles the rain. 8 of us were supposed to go total, and only 2 people besides my mom knew where the show was. The rest of us were certain it was a drag show, but my mom wouldn’t say until we were actually seated in the place. It was a drag show, haha. It was so much fun! I was extremely nervous when we got there, cause I’ve never been to aaaanything like that before. I’ve been to one real concert in my life and, while I had fun, I don’t care for loud music or large crowds. Adding to my distress, my mom and neighbor (who came with us) were telling me I was going to have to go on stage and talk to the queens because it was my birthday, and that was way too intimidating for me to handle. This was a dinner and a show type place, and I ordered a Caesar salad, the dressing of which is made with anchovy paste, which I forgot. I was eating it and it was making me feel worse, and it tasted really off to me. I mentioned it to my mom and she realized she had forgotten it was made with fish paste too. Fortunately that gave me an excuse to stop eating, because I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up.

I slowly loosened up over the next two hours, while we waited for the show to start. My neighbor and mom ordered jello shots from “Alex”, the very muscled man caring a platter of them around wearing nothing but a very tight pair of underwear. Did I mention they had him sit on their laps and took the jello shots out of his mouth? Cause they did. They also forced my friend Jordan and I to take a picture with him, and they made Jordan give him the money for the shots. And the rule for paying for shots is that he can’t take the money from you; you have to put it in his underwear. He looked completely bored having all of these drunken women fawning all over him all evening. I felt kind of bad for him. (And I know this will sound bad but) I didn’t find him all that attractive. Guys with muscles like that just aren’t that appealing to me, mostly because I look nothing like that I think, haha.

Anyway, eventually the show started, and it went for 2 hours. It was great! They had lady gaga, Celine Dion, Madonna, Adele, Barbara, Nicki Minaj, Rhianna, J. Lo, and of course Cher. Celine and Cher were fantastic. Our host had their own character name, but also did Adele at some point in the show. There was lots of walking up and down through the audience, and there was a point in the show where the choreographer (we didn’t find out it was him until the end of the show) climbed up two pieces of cloth and was flipping around in them and hanging himself by his arms and legs in all sort of crazy positions. It was intense!

There were at least 4 different bachelorette parties there, which I thought was really weird. One of the girls got so drunk that she passed out in the middle of the show and fell into the isle. They had to stop everything to get her cleared out of the way.

It was a lot of fun though. I’m glad I forced myself out of my comfort zone and let myself have a good time. In situations like that I usually clam up and make things difficult for everyone, but tonight I tried really hard not to do that at all. I posed for the pictures and smiled when I was supposed to. I rolled my eyes a lot while the jello shot guy was around, mostly because my mom and neighbor were ogling him so much. That said, one of the male dancers was suuuper cute. He was a toned blonde guy who was one of the better dancers, in my opinion. I mentioned him to my neighbor and she pointed him out to my mom, and my mom thought with some eye liner and a hat he could look like the love interest from Burlesque. Only about 60 lbs lighter and with a smaller face.

Anyway, its 3 am and I need to sleep. Dinner was at 7:30 and the show started at 10 and ended just after midnight. My mom is talking about taking us all back again next year when my friend and I are both 21 so we can drink too. Oh! I almost forgot! My sister and her friend came, and there is a point early in the show when the hostess asks if anyone wants to go up on stage, so they both went up, and my sisters friend got picked to talk to the hostess! My sisters friend was actually my friend during freshmen year of high school, but we quickly grew apart as I realized jazz and liquor were not for me. Anyway, she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and said she wanted to be a nurse, and she was complimented on her eyebrows, which she had painted on. She was also asked who she wanted to be if she could be anyone in the world, and she said she would like to be the hostess, lol.

Ok, now I really need to go to bed! I just wanted to write a quick post about the craziest night of my life. I’ve never done anything like that before, and literally all I did all night was sit next to the wall, farthest away from the isle, and smile all evening. I did sing along to several of the songs, and clap accordingly, but really I didn’t do anything crazy. My comfort zone is very very restricted, which is weird since I love watching RuPauls drag race.

Back To School I Go

I came home on Thursday to find a very large pile of wood chips in my driveway. Much more than last time. This pile is almost as tall as I am, and left no room for any cars to park. Its got to be 5 cubic yards at least. I spent 6 hours on Saturday working in the pouring rain to weed the front yard and put chips down there. My mom and I spent another 3 hours working outside today in the sun and got a few more chips moved. Its gonna be a long process getting them all moved though, haha.

I also got a letter in the mail on Thursday. I was accepted into Evergreen State College, and will be attending in the Fall. I’m glad I’ll get to go and get my Bachelors degree in Environmental sciences, but I’m a little nervous to be actually going away to school. Its only 4 hours away, but I’ll have to live in a dorm. I guess the good news is that since I work at Starbucks I can transfer to one down there easily, so I’ll still have a job during school. Which I’m gonna need, cause tuition is something like $24,000 a year. I’m gonna try and apply for financial aid, but I would be surprised if I qualified for it since my parents make a decent amount of money between them, plus however much money i’ll make this year.

Oh, speaking of which, i got my first paycheck on Friday. Well, technically my second, since my first paycheck never came through. I checked my bank account and they had only paid me just over $200 and then I also had a “pre-notification” from Starbucks from when I should’ve gotten my first paycheck. So I have to call the bank on Monday and figure out what that means, and then deal with everything on tuesday when I go in for work. Working here has been SUCH a mess. I spent an hour and a half on Friday taking tests about the coffee, which I should’ve taken during my first week but couldn’t because I couldn’t get into the system. I genuinely only actually worked for 2 hours on friday because I was on the phone with the support desk trying to figure things out and taking tests for so long. And I failed ALL of the tests because I had genuinely only been taught half of the things I was supposed to know. It was ridiculous. My manager had to come out and take the tests with me because after you fail a test twice you’re required to tell your manager. She just sat down and did them with me because she was in trouble with her boss for not getting me to take the tests when I was supposed to, lol. This whole experience has been a meeeessss.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say I’m going to college again! The quarter starts on Sept 29. 

Struggling To Make It Work

For lack of a better expression, I feel spiritually and emotionally constipated. Working at starbucks is not enjoyable at all for me. I can’t get past how much we waste on a daily basis. I’m the type of person who brings their own containers to restaurants for left overs. I avoid buying things I can’t recycle. If its biodegradable its probably being put in the worm bin at my house. So working in a place where several pounds of food is thrown out daily, and entire cans of whipped cream are sprayed down the drain (I literally had to do that today while we were closing the store and I had to do dishes), is extremely difficult for me. And its effecting my learning and performance abilities. I’m not able to remember anything for the drinks and I HATE it. It’s not that hard to remember how many pumps of syrup go into a tall carmel macchiato, but I can’t seem to freaking do it. Why?! Why can’t I remember how many pumps of syrup go into these stupid drinks?! Its not any special equation that requires hours and hours of practice, its a series of fucking numbers. If you have a tall drink then you get x number of pumps of syrup and y number of shots. But the grande and the vente? they both have different requirements. And I can’t remember them. It’s so unbelievably frustrating and I don’t know what to do to change it.

And I have no form of release for any of this frustration. I got together with Melanie today for the first time in over a week and was completely annoyed with her. We went to a starbucks near here house so I could use my 30% discount and she was rude to the baristas there. She’s going to Montana this weekend to interview with the state university there and is being the ridiculously cliche ‘dumb teenage girl’ and staying with her “first love”, who also goes to Montana U. Theres a whole obnoxious back story to all of it, but basically she fell in love with him and he was a cliche stupid boy and didn’t seem to realize or acknowledge it. She pushed him to make a decision and he ran away to school without resolving things. They stopped talking for a while, especially once Melanie got a boyfriend, but as soon as she dumped him this guy pops back into the picture almost overnight. I don’t even have the energy to pretend to care at this point, in all honesty. Coffee today with her was really difficult because we have absolutely nothing to talk about anymore. We don’t have any of the same friends, especially since the two of us only really have two other friends besides each other. Our work is completely different and unrelated, and we never see each other or hang out. Getting together anymore is forced and uncomfortable. I’m ready to be done pretending in that friendship, but I feel bad because we’ve been friends for so long. The good news is that she’ll be leaving for school in the fall, so we won’t really see each other at all after that.

But that’s something else that really bothers me. I’m excited that she’s leaving because I’m ready for this to be done. I’m not excited about working at all. The only thing that brings me any joy is gardening, and at this point I’m too tired to do it when I get home, or its too cold/wet out for it. My internship is still going really slowly because it’s so crumby out, so everything I enjoyed about it last year isn’t happening this year. I feel completely disconnected from everything I’m passionate about by working at Starbucks. But I need a job. I can’t just sit around the house all day like I’ve been doing. I have to do this work and I have to learn the drinks. I just need to find a way to reconcile that fact with myself and learn to move past it. Which seems impossible. 

I don’t know what to do. 

I’m a little overwhelmed with work. I hate not knowing how to do things that are required of me, and I’m really frustrated that its taking me so long to learn. There are so many drinks to remember and I get really flustered at work because I feel like I’m drowning in all of the information. I go into a kind of ‘absorb mode’, so if anyone asks me anything I sound completely stupid because I can’t remember it. I can tell you how to make a latte when I’m at home, but ask me at work and you can forget it. I’ve only been told once how many pumps of syrup go into each drink. And of course there are difference rules for macchiatos (i think?), which just completely throws me off. I wish I could take everything home with me so I could practice/learn in an environment where there isn’t a time crunch and a long line at all times. 

And I haaaaate how wasteful it all is. On Friday I got to help close, and on fridays the display cases are emptied because letting the food sit out over the weekend to get old is somehow bad? Virtually nothing can be given away because it all has the starbucks logo on it (?) so all of the food just gets thrown out. But because my manager is more relaxed than most she lets the employees take things home if they want. I took home everything that no one else wanted. Two garbage bags full. It was probably 40lbs of food. And it was all completely edible because its all wrapped individually. So I gave some away to my neighbors, to my sisters friends, and we’ve been eating through it over the weekend. I tried all the vegetarian options so that I can finally recommend things to people when they ask. All of the pastries were thrown into my worm bin today because there were just too many of them for us, and I’ve been slowly putting the sandwiches into the yard waste bin. I have a friend who works at a different store and she said there’s a goal of 7% pastry waste. This baffles me to no end. There’s actually a company wide goal to waste 7% of the products????? How does this make sense to annnnyyyyyone????? UGH.

Today I slept for 12 hours and finally had the energy to work outside. It was a decent temp out and wasn’t raining, so I didn’t want to waste the opportunity by staying inside. I took all of the worms out of my worm bin and placed them in a small plastic tub. I couldn’t believe how many worms there were. All of the uneaten food in the bin was moved to the back corner, and then I shoveled out as much dirt as I could. There’s a tree growing a few feet in front of the bin, as well as a very large rhododendron growing behind it and next to it. As a result there were a great deal of roots in the bottom of the bin where all the finished compost is. I had to use the shovel to chop through them, and then I shook them out and threw them on top of the food pile so the worms could eat them once I put them back. I filled a wheelbarrow and a half with all the finished compost I took out. It got spread out on one of the raised beds I made last year. The one that isn’t finished and has nothing growing in it because the fava beans I planted last year died over the winter. Once that was done I threw all of the pastries from work into the bin and then put the worms on top of those. The pastries shouldn’t take long to break down. I kind of feel like I’m gonna need to start eating more vegetables to feed all these worms. I can’t believe how many there are.

I went back inside once I finished that task, and it started raining again not long after. It rained nonstop for a few days, and there’s definitely a lot of flooding going on. My mom is really worried about sinkholes around the house. I can’t see that happening anywhere because we have so many plants next to the house that the roots should keep us safe from that. I’d really like to put in a rain garden somewhere, but the only place we really could put it would be right in the middle of the lawn. And that wouldn’t be ok with my mom I don’t think. We definitely need a greener garden though! We get more flowers every year but I still don’t feel like its enough. I don’t think I’ll be happy until the entire lawn is gone and the whole yard is completely packed with plants. And that won’t happen any time soon. The good news is that I did go plant shopping today! We got some mixed greens and kale for the garden, as well as a few random herbs that we’ll probably never use but will make the garden smell nicer and help distract pests. We also bought a bunch of different seeds but because its raining so much its too wet to plant them.

Ok i’m going to sign off now so I can finish my application to Evergreen and be on track to get a degree in environmental sciences. Making coffee for the rest of my life is absolutely not an option, and (I can’t believe I’m actually about to say this) I miss school.

First Week At Work

With the first week of my new job drawing to a close, I finally have some spare time and energy to make a post. I have to say, the first couple days were really nerve wracking. I had no idea what I was doing, and was expected to memorize all of the deli items and their codes right away. I spent my first day working the ovens, warming up any sandwiches/wraps or cookies/scones and things of that nature. There are probably 25 different items to learn, and you have to know the codes plus where the item is listed in the ovens menu. It was a mess. Things have been getting better though, and after a day and a half on the ovens I was moved to writing on the cups. Customers give their orders and while the woman who is training me rang up their order, I wrote the order down on the cup. I’ve also learned how to brew coffee, and today I worked a little bit on the register. I haven’t made any fancy coffee yet, but I’ll be working on that tomorrow I think.

I have to say my least favorite part about all of this has been how much my feet have hurt. Standing for more than 5 hours at a time on uneven flooring (we have a bunch of mats behind the counter for traction/spillage safety purposes) is absolutely killing my feet. I even got fancy new Dr. Scholes shoes with padded soles, and that hasn’t helped much. Oh, let me really tell you about the mess that was my first day. I got there 10 minutes late because there was an accident on the freeway, and once I was there my manager sat me down at one of the tables to go over some of the basic information. She hadn’t covered dress code, so even though I had bought “khakis” and dark shoes, neither were appropriate. My khakis are “too brown” and I had bought black Vans, but because they’re canvas that’s not ok. Shoes have to be a studier material like leather to make sure no liquids can get in if anything is spilled.

Also, nothing that I needed, like my beginners booklet (which covers drink basics and has a full menu so you can actually learn the items) and apron, had come in yet because I started on a Monday and orders come in Tuesday. On Tuesday they only got about half an order in, so none of the name tags they ordered came in, nor did any of the tags for marking food expiration dates. My aprons were also not available. I had to borrow one from someone else for the first couple days until wednesday when my aprons somehow magically showed up, but nothing else did. We managed to get my basic info confirmed for the database, and all the stuff for tax nonsense. I still don’t have an employee number though, so I have had to sign in and out of work in a booklet, instead of being able to do so at a register. Speaking of which, the register is beyond confusing. There are probably 15 different tabs you can click to open up pages for different items, and each page comes with more tabs plus a full page of the basic items. For example the Food tab. That opens up to a new page with like 3 basic food items on it, but five tabs with a full page each of items. There’s one for bagels, one for cookies, one for juices. You get the idea. And because this system is company wide, we have pages of items that we don’t even carry because we’re in a business office and don’t need things like chocolate milk or odwalla juice for kids. Its very obnoxious.

This morning I woke up at 5:45 and couldn’t go back to sleep, even though I didn’t start work until 10. I got in the shower at 7:45, so that I have enough time to get myself ready to go, and have breakfast and make myself lunch. I only get a lunch break if I work 5+ hours, but even if I don’t get one then I still want to have something to eat on the way home. I’m not interested in buying any of the food we have because its all outrageously unhealthy. I looked at one of the few vegetarian items and the cholesterol content on it was 65% of your daily requirement. Fat and sodium were both well above 30%. Iron was 40% and protein was something similar, which is nice, but still completely crazy given everything else. So I probably will only be getting drinks, if I get anything. I get free drinks from 30 min before I start work to half an hour after I clock out, and 30% off everything all the time. 

Anyway, I’m learning a bit slower than I would like to be, but I’m getting there and got a few “good job!”s from my coworkers today, which was nice. I’m weirdly more tired but also have a lot more energy. I came home yesterday after a five hour shift and vacuumed the whole house and did the dishes, plus did a load of laundry and folded and put away everything. Its weird how much more motivated I am to get things done.

I’m tired now though so I’m going to go to bed, haha. I’ll post again soon!

Job Update

I got the job at starbucks! I got a call on monday asking about a second interview on tuesday. The interview was really boring, and the person I interviewed with was exceedingly dull. His face never changed and he didn’t seem interested in anything I had to say. Towards the end of the interview he asked me something along the lines of “what makes a good shopping experience a great one?” and I responded that a smile and some charisma make a big difference. He didn’t give any indication that he recognized I was teasing him. I got a call on wednesday from the first manager I interviewed with first to say that the second manager thought I was “awesome” and that they (the first manager) would love to hire me. So I’ll be starting on march 3rd. I’ll be there going over paperwork and training from 10-3. I’m not very excited to be working at starbucks, but I am excited to have a job. I need the money and with an extra income we can finally start investing in our garden properly. Spring and early summer are great because the garden is lush and full of flowers, but come mid summer the garden turns brown and stays a dust bowl until the rains come again. I’m hoping the wood chips make a difference and that that we keep the flowers around a bit longer. I would like to get some more trailing plants to cover up some of the rockery in an effort to cool the garden down. I planted a native mock orange start from my internship last year, and I think it may have taken. If it has then it will definitely cool a few square feet of space and provide some food for the birds and bees. I think its a really pretty plant.

 

 

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