If you look back at my last two posts they were about my first day at a new job and the first road trip I took with that job. My first road trip with the company was to Cleveland. Since then they have sent me to Cincinnati, OH, Florence, KY, Seekonk, MA, Providence, RI and then Boston, MA. Hopefully you can understand why I haven’t posted much anything since starting the job. I worked six days a week, 10-12 hour days and sometimes even had to come in on my one day off (with no pay) to interview sad sacs, I mean, people. I worked my way up the company fast. I was promoted into management in about three weeks and started hiring people under me. Traveling was fun but exhausting. The company sold me a dream and I drank it up with the biggest gulps I could take. My plan was to retire in ten years, by the time I was forty. Before I left for Boston I was being promoted again to assistant manager, just one step behind of owning my own company and making serious money. I was told I was only about a month short of my goal. I was losing my attitude though and my positive outlook with the company. My boss did a clean sweep in the office which angered so many people that some of them started to file lawsuits. One even tried to launch an investigation to get the company shut down and possibly our boss arrested. Every day was becoming more and more stressful. I wasn’t so sure how I felt being a part of the company anymore but the thought of retiring in ten years outweighed any reasoning for leaving. Suck it up, I told myself, sacrifice now and reap the benefits later. I was offered a proposition around Christmas, leave my title of assistant manager, go to Boston and expedite the process of getting rich fast and owning my own business. Five weeks and you’ll be swimming in money, is basically what they told me. I needed money. Fuck, I REALLY needed money. They told me if I went to Boston I could not return to my position back home, I would have to start at the bottom again. I needed a change though and getting out of that office was where it needed to start. OK, I’ll do it, I said. I was a little hesitant, it was a huge leap of faith, but I did it. I had three days to get my shit and move to Boston. The plan was to make money fast and move my boyfriend and dog to Beantown. Some things were held back though, in a nutshell, I was sent unknowingly on a suicide mission. My boss claims he didn’t know, but I know HIS boss knew. I tired to make the best of the situation and stay positive, focus on the dream. They money wasn’t what they said it was, in fact, I don’t remember the last time I was so broke and I was stuck in a hotel room with an hour an half commute to work each day. I had three bosses constantly asking me when I was getting an apartment. With no money and eating food from the dollar store everyday, an apartment was not happening in the five weeks they gave me. After a little bit of begging I was able to extend my hotel room for another month. I did some numbers and realized I could not afford an apartment in Boston with what they were paying me. The stress level was close to steam coming out of my ears. My boss in Boston made three times more than me and got a living expense of $1,000/week. Yes, a grand a week! It didn’t seem fair that I was working harder than him, making less, not receiving a living expense and being pressured to find an outrageously priced apartment. I had no choice but to speak up, it was a matter of survival. I expressed how much easier it would be to work and live in Boston if I had a living expense. I did not request $1,000/week, as much as I wanted to, but did mention that $300/week would be fair. They called me ungrateful and that the opportunity I was given was more than enough. I was angry and worried. I had to push back bills because I was spending so much money on gas daily that it was literally making me poor just to go to work. Public transportation wasn’t an option either since it would take me about three hours by bus one way to work and I was working open to close every day that I worked. I was surviving off of dollar store pretzels and beans to save money. Recalculating numbers I realized if I stuck to my pretzel and bean diet I could have half of what I needed at the end of the month to get an apartment. The company said they would pay for a deposit and first months rent so I wasn’t as worried anymore. It was going to be close, but I wasn’t giving up yet. The funny thing about Boston is that they close everything with a little bit of snow in the forecast. I realized why later, there are no plows in Boston. How weird! Well as my luck would have it, I needed some serious car repairs and a big storm was coming. Over three weeks, $600 went into my car and those were only some of the minor problems fixed. All the money that I would have had to get an apartment was gone. Know what else was gone? The promise of the company helping me out with an apartment. I was now left with a tough decision, be homeless in Boston until I could get an apartment or come back home. Ok, so it wasn’t THAT tough, but it was honestly. They sold me a dream and I had to accept that the dream no longer existed within that company. It was heartbreaking. I put in my notice after two months in Boston and left the morning before I was supposed to work my last day. Fuck it, I had it at this point. I came home with no job and $18 to my name. I don’t remember ever feeling so free though. I felt like I could do anything now. Make a movie, write a book, film a documentary, become a graphic designer…shit, the time was now! One problem though, I have a lot of bills that need to be paid. I was applying for jobs and even got a few interviews lined up for my first week back home. It felt good but something wasn’t right. It dawned on me, I am thirty-years-old and have no idea what I want to do with my life. Well, I do, but working a shit job is not one of them. Hell, even working a good job wasn’t one of them. It’s not that I’m lazy, I actually have a giant work ethic. I’m usually told that I work too much, that I do too much, that I go above and beyond. I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty, but if I do, I want to reap the benefits. If I take a minimum wage job, I want it to have purpose. I need a career that I enjoy doing, that will make a difference in at least one life and pay the bills. Problem is, those kind of jobs are hard to find. Being a cashier, secretary or sales rep seems to be the only options in this jerk off circle called life. My best bet is to go back to school for something crazy again, life film (I minored in film studies), take out a huge loan to live off of, buy some techie shit and start filming. Everything. Anything. Everyone. And travel. Sometimes I wish I could be normal, that I thought like a normal person. But I don’t, I’m not normal. I don’t want to be normal. I want to be me and I want to be happy. It’s time to do something crazy.
It was still dark when we left, just a little past 6am. Three of us were on our way to Ohio to help a failing office. The sun wasn’t on the horizon yet and a blunt was rolled, passing back and forth. Almost five hours till our destination. Office talk started then deeper conversations. To make a long story short, one dead cat became four. I had to pee. It was the first time we stopped, I think we were in Pennsylvania. We pulled into a McDonalds just after a senior citizen tour bus. About fifty old people glared at us while we walked in, it wouldn’t be our first encounter with the elderly. The line for the old ladies room stretched about ten old vagina’s back. They laughed and chatted about sewing patterns and wearing pajamas as daytime clothes. We left laughing about old people. Our breakfast was a mix of wheat thins and granola bars, we never stopped to eat. Finally I saw the sign welcoming us to Ohio. We passed where the Indians play and I took a shitty picture. Another half hour or so passed and we made it to the office! We were running late and hungry. One person got changed in the car while me and another manager commented how the office building looked like a former nursing home. He took a pee on a bush behind the car, then it was my turn to change in the car. We hurried into the office building while joking that old people were probably buried in the gardens. There were two rockers next to the front door, “this definitely looks like a place old people go to die,” I said. We walked in and found two old people staring at us, one with an oxygen mask, neither looking like they had their weekly shower. “Uhhh,” said one manager as me and the other ran out laughing. The office building that looked like a nursing home was a nursing home. By the time we found the real office it was time for our companies weekly conference call, which we couldn’t hear because they talked throughout the entire call…like high schoolers left alone during morning announcements. The owner of the office chewed on a pen cap and talked of various things like the Cleveland Browns and shaving his back. There was an employee there who used to place pro football for the Browns and the Jets. After the call he held a meeting where he talked about himself, how he laid in bed all day the previous day. After a long day of work, with no lunch break, we finally were all dropped off to owner’s house where we would be staying. Our owner told us there were five bedrooms and to bring air mattresses for the extra bedrooms. We arrived to the owner smoking a cigar in the living room and a girl smoking a cigarette, this was our bedroom. He told us there were no extra bedrooms and we would basically have to sleep in his cigar smoke living room. The owner put on a bootleg movie that just kept looping the first ten minutes of the movie and we fell asleep.
I started a new job today. Nervous, I left early to give myself enough time and to arrive in a timely fashion for first impressions. When I arrived I noticed the parking lot was full. “Oh I’ll just park at a meter,” I thought to myself, despite last time I departed with a parking ticket and scowl. I drove around one more time and noticed that EVERY side street had meters or 1 hour parking only. That’s also when I realized I didn’t bring my wallet. Quickly I checked for loose car coinage and found almost a dollar worth of quarters and nickels. Shit. I drove around one more time in hopes that someone left the parking lot, nope. My early arrival was dead. I had ten minutes to find a place to park my hunk of junk and make my way to the top of the building. After driving down many one way streets, passing meter after meter I knew I would have look further if I didn’t want another parking ticket or for my car to be towed. About 4 blocks away, on a notorious street, across from a homeless man taking his morning nap, I found a spot. Time check, 4 minutes until my first day begins. Thank god I made the decision not to wear heels. I shuffled past the sleeping homeless man, past the barks coming from inside animal services, past two city workers who said something in Spanish to me as I walked by (all I could make out was “Mami”), crossed the street with an old man and bad complexion carrying a large wrench and finally to my new workplace. Time check, 1 minute late. Phew, I made it…barely. I signed in at the front desk and made my way to the elevator where I got stuck for one minute but felt like five. I panicked briefly, pressing the floor button until sweat beads started to form. The elevator shook for a moment and then I was off to the top floor. I made my way down the hall and sat down in the lobby (time check, 3 minutes late). I was greeted by someone who conducted my second interview and basically hurried me into a conference room of sorts with one desk, dry erase boards covering the walls and one girl with a cold doing equations on one of white boards. The manager who hired me sat me down at the desk in front of another dry erase board and told me to copy everything in my notebook and offered me a donut. I passed on the donut and began furiously writing down what was on the dry erase board, numbers, prices, packages, etc. After I was done he told me to study what I had in my notebook and started to play the new Jay Z album, uncensored. I had an entire page from top to bottom to memorize while n-words and f bombs blared in my right ear. All the while the girl with the cold kept talking about her cold. Another employee walked in and they all started doing different numbers and practicing sales pitches. My ADD was in full swing, the music, the cold, the numbers, the sales pitches, the donuts…after about five minutes I was told my time was up and it was quiz time. “Write down all the numbers that you can,” I was guided to another dry erase board. Uhhhh. I remembered about three numbers. The manager helped me fill in some of the blanks then told me to study again. I shamefully, but gladly, walked back to the desk with my notebook and began at the top. I was about four lines down the page when another manager walks in and tells me it’s time for more quizzing and note taking. After pretending to take in everything that he said, the tells me to go over the notes again. After 30 seconds of basically glancing down at my notebook, more quizzing pressed on until finally all the numbers were just a jumble in my head. “Good,” I was told, “come back tomorrow and we’ll really quiz you. If you get one wrong you’ll be sent home. Study.” I shook the manager’s hand, assured him that the numbers would be in my head tomorrow and walked down the hall. Luckily the elevator gave me no issues and I walked the four blocks back to my car, the dogs were still barking, the homeless man still sleeping and my stomach rumbled a little when I plunged into my car. “Looks like I got some studying to do…after lunch of course.”
Oh my god. Best puppy ever?!