The Grass is NOT Always Greener

It seems that lately I come across many people who make assumptions about me and my life without any real knowledge of the things they are assuming.  When you work with people from all over the world, this happens quite frequently.  For me, this helps put things in greater perspective.  Other people, however, seem to forget that there are two sides to every coin.  For everything there is a tradeoff.  The world has to maintain balance somehow.

Let’s take the simple example of climate where people live.  People seem to hold living in Florida against me.  This isn’t meant to be some political global warming propaganda, just simple, time-tested truth.

 

“O you’re from Florida, you can’t handle the cold.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement, or any like it.  First off, because I’m FROM Florida, doesn’t mean I have always lived there.  If you took the time to know me, instead of judging me, you would know that I lived in New England for three years where I slid down a snowy hill on a trash can lid in a pink snow suit.  But thank you for making an assumption.  Secondly, we are having this conversation in Alaska, which is reasonably cold.  Think I did alright there.  I handled Norway and the northernmost city in the world just fine too.  Thank you for asking.

Now, you joke about me not being able to handle the cold, but can you handle the heat?  Have you ever been to Florida in August?  Just because it’s nice when you’re there in December/January thinking it’s a great escape from you snowy land, try coming back in August and then we’ll talk.  We might not have to shovel our cars out of the snow to get to work, but we generally have to put a towel over our seats to not take off the skin when we sit on them.  Or how about having to take four showers a day because the minute you walk outside, you’re covered in sweat again.  Or how about being told not to even go outside because the UV index is so high.  I wonder how your snow-white skin would fare in our August sun.

And rain; don’t even get me started on rain.  “O it rains every day here, you’ll absolutely hate it.”

Again, have you ever been to Florida?  It rains every day here too.  In fact, you can almost time the rain.  The nickname “Sunshine State” is such a misnomer.  Did you know that Florida is actually the lightening capital of the world?  Then there’s the whole other issue of an entire season called HURRICANE SEASON.  So yes, we don’t lose power and miss school for blizzards, but we do lose power and miss school for hurricanes.  Have you ever been put under “24-hour” curfew for 72 hours and stuck with your entire family in a house with no TV, no internet, no phone, no lights, and, worst of all, no A/C – in 96F/34C temperatures?  Have you had to bathe in a swimming pool and boil water to brush your teeth to go to work because you had no running water when there was no power to run your electric well pump?  Long story short, it rains in Florida too.

 

 

This is just an easy example that everyone should be able to understand.  I don’t know at what point it became trendy to “one down” each other.  “O, I have it so much more difficult than you.  You don’t have to deal with A, B, & C!”  Ok, yes, maybe.  But I do have to deal with X, Y, & Z.  Everyone has something they have to deal with.  Just because it might not be the same as what you deal with, doesn’t mean it is any less difficult.

Bottom line, don’t judge people based on where they’re from – especially if it’s not even a place that you have been (tourist trap towns do NOT count!)  You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME.

My Life is Your Vacation

I’m writing this about 3 weeks into my current vacation from ships.  This time, I left the ship in Jolly England, so decided to delay my flight home a week and explore some of the country.  I spent a few days staying with friends down south followed by a couple days partying and sightseeing in London- it’s what I would call a proper vacation.  Since being home though I haven’t done much besides watch TV (I had to download all the updated episodes of my favorite shows once I finally got decent internet again!)  I also have spent way too many hours editing all of my photos and videos from my last 7 months on the ship.  This just made me more stir crazy.  So stir crazy in fact, that I decided to see if they needed some help in a different position for the summer.  Turns out they did.

So now I leave again in two weeks to go back to Jolly England and the ship I just left this month!   The funny part is, the day I left (somewhat begrudgingly), I told everyone I would be back some way at some point.  I guess sometimes the universe really does take your suggestions!  Definitely a different mentality from my last “vacation”.

When I leave the ship again, I’ll have three weeks home before I leave again for the other side of the world.  I guess when my work is your vacation, why would I want to be stuck back at your work?!?!?

Karma’s a B**ch

Let me preface this my saying that my work has been really short staffed the past month or so because they fired a bunch of people for bull shit reasons (always seems to happen this time of year).  So now, those of us left have been worked into the ground and are therefore all sick, leaving them with no one to work.  But this is not the point of this post.

This weekend is the weekend before Valentine’s day (a holiday which has no significance for me ever, but does for a lot of my coworkers).  Apparently, people have a lot of plans in the next few days, but are hindered by having to work.  I woke up this morning feeling bad that a coworker called me in desperation to work for them tonight because their girlfriend surprised them by coming into town from up north.  I even considered missing my friend’s birthday party (which they are counting on me to bring part of the dinner for) because I love a good love story and I felt bad.

Then I realized that I don’t have enough hours (God forbid we get overtime) to work for any of these people.  And why is that?  Because none of them would work the other night when I begged people to so that I wouldn’t be stuck working almost 30 hours in two days.  I am sick and hitting overtime.  So now I feel less bad.  Karma’s a b**ch!

#karmasabitch

#OverWorkedUnderPaid

#PlanAhead

P.S.  Pretty sure Karma for this post will come back to kick me in the arse fairly soon!

 

Don’t Judge Me!

For those of you who don’t know, this weekend was Gasparilla Pirate’s Fest, Tampa’s own little version of Mardi Gras (only better because it’s pirate themed!) I had the fortune to be in the parade this year (which was always on my list even though I don’t think I ever wrote it).  I’m not sure who drinks more, the people in the crowds or on the floats? Either way, ya start early and go all day!  I was smart enough to crap out early though because I had to work early the next day (a sunday when most people had off).

At my job, we are required to suggest margaritas to every table, even if they clearly don’t want them.  And when they say “No”, we’re pretty much supposed to force them down their throats anyways (at least that’s what the company would like).  So around noon on sunday, I am waiting tables.  I get one that clearly looks like they just came from church (a generalization about our church people- they think they are high and mighty because they went to church and you clearly were not allowed to and then they sit at your table for hours and leave you no tip (except maybe a ‘Jesus Saves’ card)  because they think you are so much beneath them you should be their slave, but I digress).  I do my usual schpiel, ask them if they want a margarita, and the lady gives me the stank eye and goes “what, this early?!” in a voice like I had just asked her to commit murder.  Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere!  I wanted to say “honey, this time yesterday I was already 6 shots in!”  But, I held my tongue and waited 20 minutes for them to be ready to order.  All the while she stared at me like I had the plague and she was afraid she might catch it.  If you think servers are so much beneath you, cook your own damn food!

I guess it is somewhat hypocritical of me to judge them with all the other church people- but I was right- they sat there for another 2 hours, their kids made a mess everywhere, and they left like $3.  I, on the other hand, drank all the day before, remembered everything I did, and was not even hung over the next day and managed to do my job just fine.  So who fit their stereotype better?  At the end of the day, people are constantly judging you no matter what.  It’s my goal to constantly prove them wrong (yes I really am 26, yes I really do have a genius IQ, yes I do speak 3ish languages), but damn it’s hard work!!!

Christmas Eve Eve

As a kid, I always remember going to my grandma’s house or my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve for a big Italian dinner and opening presents form the family (we still waited til Christmas morning to open presents from Santa, of course!)  Then we’d go to “midnight mass” (which I put in quotes because it actually started at 11!)  and sing Christmas hymns by candlelight.  These were always the things that made Christmas Christmasy for me.  The things that defined that day from any other day.  Then Christmas day we’d have 40-60 of our closest friends and family come to our house to eat and drink all day and night.  I loved these Christmas Eves and Christmases.  As I got older, and my family moved away, our Christmases began to feel less Christmasy.  We’d go out to dinner on Christmas Eve, and we could never even stay up for mass.  My siblings and I had to set an alarm to wake up at five for “santa” as we were no longer excited enough to get up on our own.  We’d open presents and eat breakfast and by 10 or 11 am, Christmas was over.  Sometimes we’d go see a movie.  But it felt like it wasn’t even worth it anymore.

As I was on my way to work today, Christmas Eve Eve, it occurred to me that this is the day that has become the most festive and eventful for me in the past few years.  Five years ago, it was a bunch of coworkers and myself driving an hour north to help another restaurant that was so busy and whose employees were so over worked they hadn’t even had time to finish Christmas shopping yet!  Three or four years ago, it was making the most epic Christmas cookies with one of my best friends who I only get to see on holidays when we both go “back home”.  Last year, I was at Candy Cane Karaoke, singing and dancing and dressing goofy with all my friends (and doing delicious candy cane shots!)

While today was mostly uneventful (although I did brave the grocery store to get the ingredients to do some last-minute holiday baking) it still marks the first real touch of Christmas spirit in my otherwise downtrodden heart.   This will be the first Christmas ever that my family has been separated.  My mom will be here soon to spend the holiday with my brother and I, while my dad and sister and brother-in-law will all be back home and working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I guess this is what growing up does, but I still always hoped that Christmas would be the one day we’d all get to enjoy together.  Hopefully, I manage to find the spirit soon.  If not though, I will be sure to find my birthday spirit in a few days!  And, this will be the first New Year’s I’ve had off in 6 or 7 years!

The Glass is Half Full… of Poison

So I was having a discussion with my mom (at least it wasn’t with myself this time!) about life and work and getting ahead and why I need to get away from Tampa, and I forget what she said leading into this line (which sucks because it would have made writing an entire blog post about it more necessary) but I replied with: “Everybody lies, cheats, and steals…. God I sound like House….”.  Perhaps I watch too much TV.  But it does seem like the people that are usually successful are the ones that lie, cheat, steal and manipulate to the top and into others’ hearts … just sayin’.  I will never get it.  #PeopleSuck

Recipe for Disaster

Ok, well, not for disaster per se, but nothing else seemed to make a catchy title.

Every year my job has a Thanksgiving dinner on the day before Thanksgiving for all the employees. This year, there is a contest for the best side dish and best dessert. I made Pumpkin Cheesecake for a party earlier this week, but decided it would not be very cost effective to make again. I decided to make my stand-by: brownies. And to be festive I found a Pumpkin Brownie recipe online. At least it said it was brownies. But what it turned out to be was more like, Pumpkin Cake or Pumpkin Bread. Which is not all that unique or different. Certainly not prize winning (although I did seem to get the perfect amount of spices in there!) So now, here I sit, with yet another disappointment (hey, it may seem small, but it’s just the straw that tips the scale, so to speak).

Good thing I still have half a cheesecake…. if only everything in life had a back up cheesecake….

This does not look like brownies!!!!!

2011-11-22 15.53.35.jpg

Want Ads

Whoever said “It’s easier to get a job when you already have one” has clearly not tried finding a job in the past few years.  I’ve never not had at least one  job in the last seven years, but I’ve always been looking for a different/better one, and have yet to get any!  I reply to want ads every few days, most either never respond, or respond right away with pre-generated spam designed to steal your personal information.  I have found this makes me pretty leery of most postings, especially on Craigslist.  So I have started to take some liberties and have fun with it.  The last posting I responded to promised a “casual work environment”, so I started my cover letter with “Hi!”.  They didn’t even list the name of the company, so who was I supposed to address it to?!?!

I have a theory too:  getting a job is like getting a boyfriend/girlfriend (which I also suck at, by the way).  It is a non-scientifically proven fact that girls always fall for the asshole.  Therefore, by acting like an asshole, the potential employer is more likely to fall for you (i.e. hire you).  It does seem that the people who walk into a place with the “you’re going to hire me attitude” are more likely to get the job.  I am still testing this theory.  And this attitude.

I would like to leave you with my favorite act of job seeking assholeness- my so-called ‘satirical’ resume.  Some of you may have already seen it, but the more exposure the better, right?! (Hey, it works for sunscreen!)

 

Hi, my name is...  (you are only privy to that if you might hire me)
CONTACT: Reply to this posting...
OBJECTIVE:  To lay all my random skills out there and see if anyone can find me a job that fits at least most of them.  I have a genius IQ and can't get a job with my real resume.  I am told I would be the ideal candidate for asissting an eccentric philanthropist, but I'm willing to explore my options.
EMPLOYMENT
2010-Present 		Private Tutor
  • I tutored my coworkers in math, international relations and western civilisations (because I’m smart)
  • I helped them write “A” papers (this proves I’m a good writer AND can meet deadlines!)
2006- Present 		A Popular Casual Dining Restaurant Chain
Jane-of-all-Trades (Server/Bartender/Trainer/ToGo Person/Expeditor)
  • I can put up with even the most obnoxious people with a smile on my face
  • I can take contradictory orders from different leadership sources
  • I can make delicious drinks
  • I can teach other people how to do menial things
2007-2009		Theme Park Halloween Event
Performer
  • I learned how to scare people so badly they pissed their pants
  • I learned how to tolerate being kicked, spat on, sat on, and almost pissed on
EDUMACATION
University Class of 2007
  • Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management (Magna cum Laude)
  • Bachelor’s of Business Administration in International Business and Trade (Magna cum Laude)
  • Participated in the Hospitality Management Society
  • Was District Treasurer for Circle K (the service organization, not the convienience store) and in charge of the money and budget for the whole state and helping organize large conferences
High School Class of 2003
  • I was an overachiever, graduated in the top 20 of my class, was in multiple clubs (most of which I was the treasurer for), performed in school plays, and recieved my International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma (you know this is true because I can spell “baccalaureate”)
AWESOME RANDOM SKILLS YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
  • I have quite an aptitude for learning languages, including:
    • French (semi-fluent)
    • Italian
    • Restaurant Spanish
    • Bible Class Hebrew
    • Arabic
    • American Sign Language (I especially like signing songs)
  • line dancing (I dance so awesomely everyone at the club tries to copy me)
  • swing dancing
  • I can find pretty much anything on the internet
  • alphabatizing things (I may have a mild case of C.D.O.- It’s like OCD but in alphabetical order)
  • I can walk and perform on drywall stilts
  • I have an uncanny ear for “that’s what she said” opportunities (this just shows that I am a good listener!)
  • I can drink whiskey straight from the bottle with no whiskey face (I don’t know how this is useful but people find it impressive at parties!)
  • I can make a delicious cocktail out of even the most odd and random selection of ingredients (you’ve been a bartender way too long when…..)
  • I make friends everywhere I go (it may have something to do with these awesome useless talents)
  • C++ programming (it’s been a while since I’ve done it but I bet it’s like riding a bike!)
  • I can french braid my own hair without even looking in a mirror (again, not sure how this is useful but it is impressive… and shows my dexterity)
  • writing poetry (I’ve had 9 poems published in anthologies)
  • I’m also good at writing other things (remember those papers?!) — I have a blog!
  • did I mention my genius IQ?

Come on Down to Homelessville!

It has been requested of me to write a post on the homeless people we see all around town, so, being the good natured person that I am, I figured I would oblige this request.

First of all, to anyone who hasn’t been to Tampa, FL, I’m not sure you know how bad the homeless problem is here.  Unless maybe you live in another big city, but I digress.   If you drive down any street around here, especially one leading to a major interstate or US Highway, you will most likely see people begging on the median for change (and not the kind Obama offered!)  I do like that the city makes them wear bright yellow and orange caution vests so I don’t hit them in the road.  Sometimes, they offer you something for your change- like a bottle of water or the Sunday paper or some flowers.  This is actually respectable, I think.  Newsies back in the day were pretty much the same thing: poor, homeless people and orphans.  If you’re going to pay money for the paper anyways, you might as well help the guy out and buy it from him, plus you won’t even have to stop anywhere on your way to wherever to get it.

Then there’s the people that you have to wonder if they are really homeless or just lazy scam artists.  I remember my high school government teacher telling me how he went to Washington D.C. one time (where they apparently also had a large homeless problem) and saw a guy on crutches begging for money on the side of the road.  At the end of the day, he was driving back to his hotel and saw the same guy get up, throw his crutches in the back of his Ferrari, and drive off.  Apparently panhandling in D.C. really pays off!  Another friend of mine told me how she was downtown waiting for a tow truck after she was in an accident one time.  The homeless guy who had been begging at the median came across and asked is she needed any help, after politely declining, she watched him walk into HIS HOUSE! The homeless man had a house!  Another friend told me he saw a homeless man begging on one corner of he street, and on the corner across was a Flying J that had a “now hiring” sign.  When he pointed this out to the homeless man, he just said “They wouldn’t pay me enough”!

Then there’s also plenty of cases of where they say they are starving, so you offer to buy them a cheeseburger or something and they politely decline saying they already have food.  Well, then clearly they are not starving!  This is why I won’t give money to any of them, you can’t tell who, if anyone, is legit!  It’s sad that people are so lazy.  I work a crappy job so I can pay my bills, I’m sure they can find something!

Then there’s also the countless bums walking around places like Ybor and downtown St. Pete.  These bums are more scary I think.  When you see them, you are generally not protected by your car.  Then they tend to follow you around no matter how many times you protest and claim to only have plastic on you.  Most of these guys just want beer money.  If they were honest about it, I may even be tempted to help them out.  But let’s be honest, I need beer money too!  There are some homeless people that have a little more pride.  They, like the waterboys and newsies, what to give you something in exchange for their money, so they give you whatever random things they collected, like seeds or bags full of condoms.  Again, at least they are trying to help you out too.

I guess, when all is said and done, the homeless problem will never be as bad here as many other places.  Still, if you want my money you have to work for it.  Have a clever sign.  Offer me something in exchange for my money.  Show you are somehow going to ear my hard earned money.  Don’t try to scam me, it insults my intelligence, and that is one thing I will not tolerate being insulted!

Racist much?

The most rediculous thing happened at work tonight. For those of you who don’t know, I work at a fairly popular restaurant chain.  Tonight, I had a table of two black ladies, a black guy, and a white lady with a baby.  I took all their drink and food orders and brought their food out.  I check to see if they need anything a few times, then I have my trainee bring them some to-go boxes.  One of the black ladies asks my trainee “why you serve the white girl first?”  First, let me state that that is a direct quote.  Secondly, I wish I had been closer to answer ” a) She didn’t serve you, I did. Are you trying to say all white girls look the same? Who’s racist now? b) I gave her her food first because it was on the edge of the tray and I’ve already reached my allowance for dropping stuff this week.”  But alas, I didn’t get to say either of those.  Then, the white lady and the other black lady ask for a cup of juice for the baby.  I say sure and proceed to ask the mother what type of juice.  The first lady pipes in and says “yeah, get it for the little white baby”.  As opposed to all the other invisible babies at the table?! Why do you have to point out the race of the baby when you could just say “the baby” and I’d know exactly who you were talking about?!  I am not a racist, I just hate all stupid people, the color of your skin is your own problem.  Oh, and guess which half of the table tipped me better?  And they wonder why they are stereotyped….

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