Tag Archive: work


For whatever reason over the last few weeks my neighbors have become increasingly rude to me and my family. It started with issues surrounding the replacement of their lawn, and has gotten worse. A week or so ago they decided that having a few mushrooms and a bump or two in their lawn was too much, so they sprayed the entire thing with herbicide to kill it. Before they did this I asked them not to and explained that it was a terrible idea for many reasons. In the hopes that they would decide not to kill it I asked if I could have their lawn before it was sprayed. I hate lawns, but it was a perfectly healthy one and there was no reason to get rid of it. I was rudely told no and they sprayed their lawn anyway. They are going to rip it up and throw it out, and they will be bringing in lots of compost to level the ground and make it easier for grass to grow. I have no problem with the compost bit, I just don’t understand why it has to be ripped up. Anyway, that’s just where things start going south.

A few days ago I was out shoveling wood chips. I have gotten a lot of them moved in the last few weeks and have been working extremely hard to make this garden look great. Over the course of this year we had probably more than 12 yards of them delivered, and I’ve moved probably 10 of them out of the driveway. So, I was moving wood chips a few days ago, when my neighbors husband comes out and sees what I’m doing. He immediately asks if I have a special type of broom, which I don’t because I have no need for one. He then goes down to his garage and comes back to sweep my driveway, while I’m working. He doesn’t want any wood chips in his driveway and they all run down the street when it rains into his driveway and the driveway of the person who lives at the bottom of the hill. And by hill I mean maybe 50 feet of minimal incline. When all of these wood chips wash out they get in that persons driveway, and then they wash up into his garage, and he has to sweep his garage when that happens. First of all, I know that there are no wood chips that have gotten down that far because if you look down the street its completely clean. Second of all, this house at the bottom of the hill has problems every year because the water and leaves and everything run into his driveway. He came up to talk to me once to tell me that all of the water I was using to wash my car was getting in his driveway. And I wasn’t even washing my car, lol. It was the people two houses up. If your driveway floods that much, then you need to take it up with the city, not me. Anyway, because of this “major” issue my neighbor felt the need to clean up my driveway while I was making it messy.

And last but not least, the bumblebee issue. Several days ago my neighbors realized that bumblebees had moved into their birdhouse. They decided this was a very serious problem because the birdhouse is next to their clothing line, and they didn’t want the bed bothering them while they were hanging up the clothing. Even though they knew the bees wouldn’t sting them, and there had been no issue with the bees so far. They decided that killing them was the best option. They texted me first to ask if I wanted them, but said that if I couldn’t move them then they were going to spray them. I was beyond furious. Bumblebees are right at the brink of being on the endangered species list, and populations have been declining for years. These bees were by no means in the way, and they weren’t causing any harm. Be a decent human being and leave them alone. They won’t be there again come next year. As soon as I got home I quickly researched how to move a bumblebee nest. It seemed fairly simple, and come dusk I moved them into my garden while my neighbors were gone.

During this whole bumblebee thing my mom was becoming more and more agitated with me. She acted as though all of the problems with the neighbors were somehow my fault. As the evening progressed she became more agitated and decided that the only way to fix things was to get all of the wood chips out of the driveway. While I was moving the bumblebees she moved wood chips to the back yard and demanded that I help move them once I was done. This made me more annoyed because I worked a 7 hour day yesterday and I was sore and tired. I had no desire to do any kind of yard work, and was only doing the bumblebee thing because if I didn’t they would’ve been killed. My mom eventually asked me to haul wood chips up to the top of the stairs, and at that point I refused to do any more work. Hauling wood chips is really hard work, and hauling them up the equivalent of two flights of stairs is even harder. I told her that if she wanted the wood chips up there she was more than welcome to do it herself. This naturally meant that we were done hauling wood chips because I refused to do any heavy lifting. I think it was outrageous of my mom to ask me to do that after I had just worked the longest shift of my week. I appreciate that she works longer than I do, but she is sitting for 95% of that time, whereas I’m on my feet and mobile all day. I was sore and tired and my back hurt and I wanted to do nothing more than sit. Heavy lifting was the exact opposite of my plans for the evening.

In conclusion, my neighbors have decided to become excessively rude and per usual everything is my fault. It’s always so bizarre to me that this is the case, because I saved my mom literally more than $250 by getting these wood chips. Never mind the fact that the garden looks the best its ever looked. Never mind the fact that I have done 95% of the work to get it to look this way. Never mind the fact that I have come home from work and gone straight into the back yard to get it all done. I “could just be doing a little more”. Apparently having two jobs, an internship, and spending most of my free time gardening isn’t doing enough. She’s driving me crazy. I want to just build a big fence around my whole yard and put up a “do not disturb” sign on the gate. 

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Outreach Training

Yesterday was my first day at my new job. I had training for 4 and a half hours, and was disappointed to find that I had nothing to learn. The instructor/my boss mentioned several times throughout the day that if anyone had any questions while they were out tabling they should ask me because I know a lot about it. It was nice to be recognized for my expertise in a setting like that.

We spent the day learning how to interact with the public and how to setup the table/booth. Because we’re representing King County we aren’t allowed to discuss politics or encourage people to vote for or against certain initiatives. I understand the reasoning behind that, but I still find it stupid. And I was also extremely irritated to find that all that I missed during the last training was recycling information. They didn’t talk about composting virtually at all. So even though everyone has been trained as “master composted-recyclers” no one actually knows anything about composting. Worm bins and hot compost bins were barely discussed. I actually handed out materials from the MRC east program that I had with me because all of the volunteers at the training were interested in composting, they just hadn’t been taught about it. Its absurd to me that you can call yourself the master of anything after only two days of training. I told everyone (as I was talking to them individually) that if they were really interested in composting and learning about how to do things on their own they should take the MRC east program because it’s an 8 week course and you actually learn things.

At the end of the day we had to go around the room and talk about something that we learned. I went first and I apologized because I genuinely hadn’t learned anything. I rambled for a second before I pretended like I remembered something I had actually learned that day. I guess its nice that I’m overqualified for this job, but its kind of a shame I won’t be learning much. At any rate I got paid to sit and do nothing for almost 5 hours on Saturday.

A Second Job

I got the job! I’m officially a Master Recycler Composter Outreach Educator. I called for the interview just after 11 today, but no one answered so I left a message. I got a call back within 10 minutes and we quickly began the interview process. She asked me three questions, I only remember two of them, and the entire conversation lasted literally 5 minutes. She wanted to know if I could work evenings and weekends, which I can, and she wanted to know if I had a car, which I do. I have to say, a five minute interview to be offered a job feels pretty good. The requirements for the position were well beyond the questions she asked of course, but those were the only two requirements that weren’t covered on my resume.

She let me know a few things at the end of the interview. The job would require me driving up to Bothell (its north of Seattle, and would require me to drive 30 minutes out of my way) whenever I had to go to an outreach event to pick up supplies. However, I would ‘clock in’ in Bothell, and they would cover my gas expenses starting from there. She also let me know that the training for this position has actually already started, and that I missed a training event last saturday. There are two more, one this coming saturday and one the saturday next week. I should be receiving an email from the coordinator explaining everything I need to do, and he’ll also let me know where I need to go for the training.

I’m really excited I get to be doing this! The position won’t start until June, but I’m perfectly alright with that. And it goes until the end of September, which is perfect since I’ll be leaving for school then!

 

Yesterday my mom and I took time off work to go and walk around Evergreen’s campus. I needed to talk to the academic advisor and the finical advisor to make sure the classes I wanted to take would cover all the credits I needed. It sounds like I could be done in just a year of school! After we finished with the advisors we walked over to the housing part of campus and quickly found my cousins old apartment. Evergreen has two types of housing, the traditional dorm room setting, where you either live alone or with one other person and share a communal bathroom and shower, or an apartment setting on campus, where you share a large apartment with 3-5 other people. Since neither of those options sound appealing to me I’m looking for alternatives off campus. We also went over to the food garden they have, which required walking to the complete opposite end of campus, and a quarter-mile walk through the woods. It’s a fantastic campus; you’re literally in the middle of a forrest. I was excited to find that they had chickens and 4 beehives at the farm, but there was a class there so we didn’t walk around. I’ll be taking a food farming course next spring and will be spending all of my time there.

My mom works with a woman whose sister owns a house in Olympia, so once we finished on campus we decided to drive over and check out the house. It’s a cute 2 bedroom, 1 bath that was built in the 30’s. Its got an attached single car garage, and arched doorways throughout the house. We didn’t get to look inside, because we weren’t sure if anyone was currently living there, but my moms friend/coworker was telling us about it via text. The yard is all grass, and I could potentially be allowed to do what ever I wanted to with it. The surrounding neighborhood is SO CUTE. Everyone had gardens full of flowers and food, and several houses were painted with non-traditional bright colors. There was even a cob bench at one house! It looked like something you would normally find in Northern Portland. My cousin has shown interest in moving down there with me, and pretty much the only thing he said he wanted was a garage for his motorcycle. We haven’t heard if its available to rent yet, but I would love it if it was. We think rent right now is currently $900 a month, and if my cousin split that with me then I would only be responsible for $450. Because of how my parents set things up when they got divorced, my dad is required to pay half of all of my education costs, so we’re trying to show that living off campus is the cheapest option and hope he agrees to it. Living on campus would cost $680 a month in rent, so right now $450 is a much better option. And because he would have to pay half of that, I would only be responsible for $225.

One of the other cool things about Evergreen is that a bus pass is a required part of your tuition. You pay $1 per credit for your bus pass while you’re attending, so I’ll only have to pay $16 a quarter. The bus stops 2 blocks away from that little house and theres one that leaves campus every 20 minutes. Downtown is a 5 minute drive from the house too, and food and shopping centers are not even 3 blocks away. There’s a park across the street, and a fun little community garden thing 3 houses down. I don’t know how much my cousin will like it there, but right now it looks perfect to me.

In other news, I’ve finally applied for a job at the company I do my internship with. There’s a position opening for a volunteer coordinator for the composting program I already went through. Its actually a really funny story. A friend of mine sent me the job listing on Friday, and I didn’t have time to apply over the weekend. On Monday my internship called me to ask if they could write an article about me for the composting program I had taken. I was working when I got the call, but I did the interview for the article during my lunch. Since the job position is essentially what the interview was about, I asked about it. I was encouraged to send my resume and a letter of interest explaining why I wanted the job to my interviewers boss. I sent it off just after midnight that same day (well, technically Tuesday I suppose), and got two phone calls, a voicemail, and an email from the woman that’s hiring the next day. Work was too busy for me to call her back, so I sent her an email when I got home. She was out of the office yesterday, but told me to call her today at 11 to talk about the position. Working for this company has been a goal of mine since I started interning there over a year ago. I would love it if I got this job. It pays $15 an hour (half again as much as I make at Starbucks) and I would only have to work evenings and weekends. Which fits almost perfectly with my current work schedule at Starbucks. I only work until 5:45 and I don’t work weekends.

Anyway, I need to go have breakfast and get ready for this interview I have in an hour. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Today at work I received a phone call from one of my Garden Coordinator’s coworkers. She wanted to interview me for an article she was writing about the Master Recycler Composter – east side program I took last year. I’ve only donated about 35 hours of volunteer time to the program but she wanted to ask me a few questions anyway. I talked with her for the majority of my lunch and also asked about a position that I heard had opened up in the organization. It’s essentially the volunteer coordinator for the sister program of MRC-east side. I figured that if there was any time to talk about getting a job with this organization it would be while I’m being interviewed for an article on a similar program.

I just finished updating my resume and sent it off to the appropriate person. I hope I get it! It would be a nice pay increase and I would actually get to be doing what I want.

In other news I may have convinced my cousin to move down to Olympia with me for college. I don’t want to live on campus, so if I can find a roommate then I can get cheaper rent outside of school and live off campus. That way I can bring my dogs with me. Its so boring not having pets. Whenever I go over to other peoples homes and they don’t have animals running around I don’t know what to do. My mom and I are going down on wednesday to look at apartments and talk to the schools advising office. Wish me luck!

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.