Tag Archives: work

The End of an Era

I just quit both my grocery store jobs. I was done with the Sunday only job last month. I have the rest of December left at my other job. It’s gonna be weird, I’ve worked there for two years. I’m gonna miss the coworkers, and some of the customers I see every time I go there.

I’m not gonna miss how some people look at grocery shop workers, though. That was getting a bit old, to be honest. “You work as a cashier at a grocery shop? Well, you’ve got to be stupid. Smart people can get better jobs.”

To be honest, I liked working at a grocery store. I just don’t work well without random hours, since I’ve noticed I need a structured week plan to be happy. But I love helping customers. I love the challenge to get a frowning customer to smile by being a fellow human. It gives me joy.

But the end of my grocery adventure marks the start of a new adventure. Starting January, I will spend the first school semester at a laboratory, checking if food and drinking water is safe. I won’t get any pay, and I think the official scholarship provider in Norway might still hate me for failing over and over again in the past, so I might go 5 months with no pay. But it will be an experience, in which I will learn a lot of neat stuff, so even though we have to eat cardboard boxes for half a year, I think my education will be worth it.

I hope.

Ugh.

You know what? I might’ve been working too much lately.

During the two last weeks, I’ve had three days off (not counting today, since today is a brand new week and all), and I’m tired. I haven’t been doing much else than working, eating, watching something on the Internet, then sleeping. And before 2015, I’ve never had a full-time job, first due to anxiety/depression, and then due to there not being enough work to do at work (or economy) to hire me full-time.

And suddenly, I started in a new job, someone took a five week vacation, and I suddenly practically worked a full-time job.

This week, though, the person who was on a vacation came back. I have two days of work on my schedule for this week. It’s so weird. And I have no idea of what to do with my time, since I’m used to be at work for five to nine hours a day, usually eight hours.

Well, the apartment do need a proper clean-up, since I’m messy as hell, and have been totally spent, energy-wise, when I’ve been at home. But come on. Let’s be realistic here. Me? Cleaning up?

I mean, I should, but it’s so bloody hard to start. And it’s so messy here now, I have no idea where to begin.

I will never become a proper housewife. A wife, maybe. But no housewife.

In other news, the no sweets thing is going fine. I’m craving stuff like crazy, but after that one incident with the cake, I’ve managed to stay the course. And there’s only two weeks left until I can eat sweets again. I’ve become semi-addicted to oranges, though. And I have a persimmon and a rambutan lying around my kitchen for me to enjoy sometime soon. The persimmon will probably be consumed today. I’ve never tasted persimmon before, I hope it’s good. Rambutan, on the other hand, is delicious. The only problem is that the fruit part is a bit hard to gnaw off the stone, without getting parts of the stone’s outer layer in my mouth. I have a thing against all kinds of fruit stones, and a lot of larger seeds. But seeing that rambutans are fun to skin, and they’re really ugly before you skin them, they are also fun to eat.

Now, however, I’m on my period. I could kill for chocolate. But I won’t. Because it’s only two weeks left.

Books!

I love books. I’ve loved books since I learned how to read. Actually, I think my love affair with books started even earlier than that, since my dad used to read me stories at bed time when I was a child.

This year, our local writer’s group decided to make a book club. Which is all kinds of awesome, because I get to read some books I might not have picked up otherwise. In January, we read the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which I totally loved, by the way. The book for February is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Which I own, but never read. So I have it somewhere, but I can’t find it.

Luckily, Dracula is old enough to be on Project Gutenberg, which is a page where you can download free and legal ebooks, mostly older works where the copyright has expired, so if I don’t find it, I don’t have to buy another copy.

I can hear you say “But Milladamen, why don’t you just borrow it at the library?” Well, if I borrow books from the library, it’s almost never free. I forget to deliver it on time, and I get fees. So that’s out of the question.

Later this year, we will be reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, the Martian by Andy Weir, Watership Down by Richard Adams and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The good thing is that I own two of these (Elantris and Watership Down), so I’ll only have to buy one or two of these. Frankenstein is probably old enough to be available for free, since it’s written in 1818, but I think I want to own it, too. It’s a classic, after all, and if I hate it, I can probably give it away, or BookCross it, or something. I don’t think I’ll hate it, though.

In other news, while looking for Dracula today, I came over a couple of other books I’d messed away and been looking for for a while, namely MythOS by Kelly McCullough (book four of a series I was reading, and had to stop reading, because book four was messed away), and His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, which I was going to read before Christmas, but then I couldn’t find it. The problem now is that I’ll have to postpone these two, since I’m currently reading the Island by Victoria Hislop, and need to read Dracula before March. Oh, and the fact that we have Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch in the house now, and I’m looking forward to that one like crazy. Husband needs to read it first, though, since I’m on a book queue, and he reads really fast. And then, there is Elantris to read in March. I have no idea when I’ll get to read something not on this list, but hey.

I also need to re-read the Stardoc series by S.L. Viehl soon, too. And Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series. And more of Wen Spencer’s books. And then there’s the ordeal about this whole “Get ten friends to recommend one book each, and read them” thing, which is the reason why I’m reading Hislop right now in the first place.

I am also doing a reading challenge I found over at Facebook (link to PDF here), but then again, the two books I’ve finished this year made me check off five items on that list, since I’m not running hardcore, and can check off more than one thing if the items fit the book I’ve read. And the Island has already given me the right to check off at least two more, and I’ve barely even started the book.

I’ve also started the second draft of one of the novels I’m writing. I’ve never second-drafted anything before, so it’s kind of exciting. And when the second draft is done, people are going to read my book! This scares me senseless.

And in the middle of all this, there’s work, which has been crazy lately. I thought I would get one day a week of work. Instead, I get at least four days a week for another two weeks, since people are on vacation. And after that, well, let’s just say that I’m one of the few that are available daytime on weekdays, so if anyone goes absent for some reason or another, I’m there.

2014

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Hookay, this has been an amazing year. At least the second half of it, and although the first half was mostly used to feeling crap, the effects were amazing.

I started this year weaning off antidepressants. I had tonnes of withdrawal symptoms, and weren’t always sure whether or not I would manage getting through that at all, without curling up in a ball for the whole half year. But thanks to awesome friends, and the bestest fiancĂ© a girl could want, I pulled through. And I learned stuff about how I should get through things, and also just how much my meds covered up all feelings, not just the bad ones.

I also got the stomach flu for my birthday this year.

Easter was celebrated in Oslo at my grandparents’ this year. My mom and my little brother came over from Sweden bringing PĂ„skmust, which is a soda from Sweden that is made of awesome and nostalgia. And also candy.

May went by in an icky cloud of depression. And then I found out that it was, indeed, my job that made me depressed, so I quit. My doctor was, like, “hell no, you need to get out of there, right now!” and I just quit. Soon after, I started working as a grocery store clerk in all the Bunnpris shops in town. And, although I get yelled at on an almost daily basis, I actually liked my new job better.

Summer 2014. The weather was amazing, and really hot. I got pollen allergy, and passed my driver’s education theory test. I also started forgetting what fruit and veg was really called, and usually called them the four-digit code we use in the shop instead.

And also wedding planning. Which, in our case, included going to the annual Viking market in town and using a painful amount of money.

September. I didn’t work for a single hour in September. The first week was only wedding preparations. Then, the wedding weekend happened. This was the best day of my life. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Having a party for love with most of your loved ones around you is pure bliss. I was so tired when I finally went to bed, and I didn’t really want to go to bed, because the day was so perfect and the fire was so warm and the people were so amazing. But then I almost fell over from exhaustion, so I went to bed.

The whole next week, I walked around in a cosy bliss, being called “wife” by my now husband. And then, we left Norway for Japan for two weeks. Best honeymoon decision ever.

Then, November came. I donated blood for the first time (yay!), passed my driver’s test (woop!), and won NaNoWriMo too! Almost no work, however, which made my bank account sad.

December was spent in a pre-Christmas blur of cosiness and warmth. I also worked a lot, and earned more in the first half of December than in November. And then Christmas vacation happened, and I was out of town, unable to work, so the total pay for December turned out to be quite low anyway.

Also, both my computer and my cell phone decided to die during the Christmas vacation. The cell phone was okay, since it was old and unreliable anyways, and I actually got a new one for Christmas this year. My C:\ drive, however, was not okay. So yesterday we had to buy two new hard drives instead of one (since Husband’s hard drive had been turning itself off randomly for a month or so now, and needed to be changed), and my Windows product key is missing, so I had to install Ubuntu instead. And gaming on Ubuntu? Not very easy.

Anyways, here’s a small wish that 2015 will be half as amazing as 2014. We’ll be celebrating tonight at a couple of friends’ house.

Work work

I haven’t really blogged for a while now, and I’m kind of sorry for that. But only kind of.

You see, work picked up again. A lot of stuff happens in December. Everyone wants my attention. And I have to spend some quality time with my husband in the middle of all this.

My mood has also been all over the place. But then again, it’s my first yuletide without antidepressants. If I’m not crying over something beautiful every day during these December days, I’m surprised.

But there are news. I have gotten myself a job. And I start in January. It’s very few hours, but it seems like they always need people, so I hope there will be extra hours, and also more regular shifts I can get later on. Fingers crossed!

Because of this new job, though, I’ve been haunted by anxiety over my choice. What if I don’t get enough hours? What if this is a horrible idea? I have decided to try not to listen to these voices, and instead cling to the voice that says “you’ll have to start somewhere. ”

Because I do have to start somewhere.

NaNoWriMo 2014, day 7 report

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We write a total of almost 300 words. But as long as I keep writing, it’s okay. More than 250 words means that the plateau isn’t here yet. Plateau = nil words.

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In other words, I got my donor stuff from NaNoWriMo today! So I have a NaNoWriMo Wizard bracelet thing (pictured above) and some stickers and a bookmark (pictured below).

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The bookmark is signed by the Director of Programs and the Executive Director of NaNoWriMo. And that’s kinda neat!

I don’t know whether or not to stick the stickers on my laptop. I’m not planning to keep this laptop for too many more years. Maybe I can stick them on my NaNoWriMo plastic folder, where I store my random plot generators and notes. I’m not sure yet. Agh, the commitment!

Also, work promised they would send me a text message with the time and place for work tomorrow. And then they decided to not send me the text they promised. So now I have a vague idea of when to be at work, but no idea as of where. And it’s nearly impossible to reach them on the phone between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. Stress!

Offline

Since our Internet has broken down completely right now, and I have about 400 megabytes left on my cell phone plan, I have no idea how often I can manage to update this blog before the Internet is back.

Oh well.

Today I went to work, and it was a new place. I love going to work at places I haven’t worked before, because obviously a lot of people doing what I do doesn’t do a good job. (Bad sentence, I know.)

Anyways, it was fun, and I got to do something else than sitting at the checkout all day.

I managed to hurt myself a little on a cardboard box full of fruit, though.

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Ow.

After work, I went to my favourite gaming shop and treated myself to a new game.

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New, as in I didn’t have it yet, of course. I have the least filled Pokedex possible, with one captured and three seen, but as fast as I get Pokeballs, I’m gonna capture me a Bidoof. Yeah!

Now I own Sapphire, Fire Red, White and Pearl.

Then I took Husband home, and we cooked pasta with camembert and ham.

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I am so full right now, it’s not even funny. Well, maybe a bit funny.

“Do you want a bag?”

I currently work for a firm that rents people out to work in grocery shops. The firm call me, and tell me where and when I need to be somewhere, and I get paid.

It sucks sometimes, but I get a decent pay.

I want to tell you about asking customers if they want a bag. My job is to greet the customer cheerfully, scan their stuff, ask them if they want a bag, tell them their total, accept money, ask if they want a receipt, and then wish them a nice day/weekend/night/whatever. There are posters in the back room in some of the shops, telling the employees to do just this.

And still some customers gets really pissed because I ask them whether or not they want a bag.

There are actually two situations they get annoyed by the question. It’s either:
a) when they have bought just one item, and don’t see the need for a bag, and
b) when they buy a lot, and there’s no way they can carry it home without a bag, and I should bloody well not have to ask.

Point b). How should I, as the cashier, know that your pockets aren’t full of bags that you intend to use? | From weheartit.com

I have been in several situations that makes these two arguments for not having to ask for a bag invalid. Let’s take the two points.

For point a): I have had a surprising amount of customers that want a bag for their lollipop. Yes. I’m not kidding. Those tiny lollipops most grocery shops have? Yup, customers wanted bags. And if I don’t ask them if they want a bag, they will ask for a bag after they’ve paid, hoping to get it for free. (Since bags cost 0.99 kr a piece. Not a lot, but if it happens often, we lose money. Not good.) And if I ask, they are less likely to try asking for a free bag. This is the reason why I ask you if you want a bag, no matter how few items you buy.

For point b): News flash – there is a thing called shopping nets. It saves the environment, and you won’t have to pay for a plastic bag every time you go shopping. And some people even reuse old plastic bags for another trip to the grocery shop, and have several bags folded together in their pockets. I don’t have x-ray vision, so I don’t know whether or not you have your pockets filled with shopping bags. So I’ll have to ask. Also, I would like to know how many bags you want, since they aren’t free. And, sometimes people buy extra grocery bags for their trash cans, since they’re about the right size for many bins.

So since there are so many different people, buying or not buying grocery bags, I will have to ask every single customer whether or not they want a bag. It’s that simple. And yelling at me “because I should know better” doesn’t change the fact that my job is to ask you for a bag, or make your or my day any better. I am trying my best to give you the best service I can manage, no matter how I feel, and no matter how much of an idiot I think you are.

Disclaimer: Most customers are fantastic. Even though I use the pronoun “you” doesn’t mean you specifically.