captain anxiety

So. life. I don’t know. I keep trying to write a blog post and giving up before I even get one sentence down. I’m pretty much anxiety personified these days. Anxious about school and work and money. I had a midterm two weeks ago and cried when I got into my car after because it was so difficult. And then I got the test back last week and cried again because I did so terrible. I’ve had some difficult classes but I have never had a class where I am as lost as I am in this one. Like I literally have had no idea what was going on for the past ~8 weeks. None. And I can’t even go to any sort of Office Hours because of my work schedule. Everyone did so poorly on the midterm that he gave an extra 10 points, but I did so poorly that those extra 10 points pretty much didn’t help at all. I will be lucky if I end up with a C in this stupid class. (Remote sensing. Never take it.)

So…anxious about that.

Anxious about the fact that since I am less than part time this semester my student loans have come due.

I got a pretty decent raise when I took this new job. An extra $X per month. And my student loans are going got cost me $X + $75 per month. Which is just wonderful. It’s better than not getting a raise and needing to come up with that money but it’s also a complete bummer that I will have no chance to enjoy a little cushion. After the wedding and buying a car and paying for this honeymoon, I am wiped out financially and it sucks.

I am the most anxious about the job. Pretty much every moment I’m not at work, I’m worrying about work. I am pretty sure I have dreamt about work every night for the past 4 weeks. Once I get there, I am fine and busy and do my work and come home. But as soon as I get in the car my mind starts going. What did I do wrong today. What am I going to do wrong tomorrow.  How will I handle xyz scenario.

It’s stressful. I have to make it a point to tell myself multiple times a day to stop thinking about work. Which also means I have no desire to talk about work. People keep asking me how it’s going and I pretty much can only say “It’s okay” or “It’s really busy.” I don’t love it or hate it, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

I’m sure Keith loves this new development of me not wanting to talk about work. He never wants to talk about work, so much so that 5.5 years later I still pretty much have no idea what he does every day. I used to always tell him work stories whether he cared or not. After all, I’m spending 40 hours a week there, there’s not much else I do in a week for that much time. Except sleep. But he also won’t humor my dream retellings so I’m striking out all over the place.

But I don’t know. It’s weird to say “I hope it gets better” because it’s not bad, I just hope I get more comfortable. 90% of my job is working independently, which is fine because I am self-motivated and work well on my own but it’s also a bit lonely. I still don’t really know anyone. The people I interact most with are my boss and we can’t be friends and the people under me and we can’t be friends. I also don’t really even want/need friends, I’d just like to know who I can tell a joke to – #1 thing I miss about my last job: we laughed A LOT.

So in order to end this on a positive note the 3 best things about my new job:

1. I have an office. I can shut the door, I can play music, I can turn the heat up or the air on  and the door locks and it’s just a sweet slice of privacy that I have never had at any other job.

2. I can get up and go to the bathroom whenever I want. Now this might sound ridiculous but every other job I’ve had in ~14 years required either asking permission or getting someone to cover me to run to the bathroom. At my last job if one of the other people were at their desks, I could get up and go but often I was stuck waiting for someone to come back from fsm knows where. The sweet freedom of getting up to pee whenever I feel like it is pathetic and yet wonderful.

3. Even though my commute sucks I’ve been catching some pretty sweet sunrises. Although the time change is about to happen and that will end…soooo whatever.

I was feeling better about all of this (I wrote most of this post over the weekend, but then I got a crappy email at like 4:21 and I feel all terrible again.)

Asi es la vida.

brain dump: new job

So. Last week I started a new job! I have wanted to sit down and write something about it all week but have been so insanely busy. When I got there last Monday morning, I was informed that I would be following my boss, the director, around for the week to get a feel for things.

So throughout the week that included attending ~16 meetings among other things. At my previous job, I maybe went to 2 meetings a year. I also had the disaster area of my office to deal with. Oh yea, I get an office! With windows! (My last department had one window…for the entire department…and it was in the director’s office. So it could have been apocolypsing outside and I never would have known.) So to have 3 windows of my very own is incredible! And it’s not a bad view either!

not a bad view. my office actually has 3x the windows that my entire previous department did.

Those blinds are inside the panes of glass, which is annoying, but hey! windows!

My office got moved around, at my request, it was previously set-up so that anyone walking it would be at my back. Uh, no. So now I am facing the door and can see people. There were piles and piles of stuff everywhere. So I slowly went through that when I had some downtime, and still have not finished. And between that and other tasks, I literally had no time for anything. My job title is Clerical Supervisor and I have 9 clerical under me…but haven’t done anything with them yet aside from approving their time cards on Friday. I kind of worry how I will have time to “supervise” them if I don’t even have time for the other things I have to do, but I’m sure it will work out eventually. I don’t really know what is in store for next week, but I am sure I will be busy.

I had a few moments of “What have I done?” because even though I did everything at the previous job, I was never as busy as I was this past week. I actually went to Target this weekend to buy a watch because I have to wear fancy clothes and fancy clothes don’t have pockets for phones. And I’m up and out and around so much that I never knew what time it was.

 my other two outfits this week were boring, but I liked these 3. best part is that first dress was $15 and that pencil skirt was $5. #thriftylady #ootd #ootw #biggirljob #imissjeans #andsneakers #blistersfordays3/5 fancy lady outfits which include a $15 dress, $5 pencil skirt, $8 button down and $15 oxfords which were shockingly not uncomfortable.

Lots of changes with the new job, including clothing. I’ve gone from being able to wear jeans to work…to not so I’ve been wearing skirts/dresses every day. I wore a pair of pants one day last week and felt like a total frump, so I probably will limit pants to 1x a week. One thing that helped immensely for me was buying these over the door hangers and then the weekend before I started, I went through my closet and made 10 outfits. That way there was no scramble in the morning (since I have to wake up and leave much earlier) over what to wear…I would have anywhere from 10 (on Monday) to 6 (on Friday) outfits to choose from. This weekend I went through and added another 5. I’m not sure I’ll keep up with having 10 outfits at a time, but definitely a week’s worth. I also try everything on before I hang it up so I know it fits right and looks right so there is no second-guessing, just put it on and go.

I also have a terrible commute of 50 miles each way. The mornings have not been bad…but last Tuesday it took me 1 hr 20 mins to get home and Friday it took me 1 hr 30 mins. And Wednesday I had to go to class and it took me 1 hr 45 mins to get from Washington to Oakland. So that’s fun. I usually listen to podcasts while driving but I also added an audiobook to my phone and I don’t hate it nearly as much as I thought I did.

Also working later hours in addition to the longer commute so I am trying to do as much meal prep as possible during the weekends. Last weekend I made white chicken chili + beef stew (I skip the turnips add sweet potatoes and serve over egg noodles) + lamb & butternut squash stew (do not recommend, very bland) and that managed to feed us Sunday-Saturday. This weekend I made 2.5lbs of taco meat + lemon chicken orzo soup + have the stuff to make slow cooker butter chicken later in the week. Both new recipes, so we’ll see how they go. Oh also made pumpkin muffins from this bar recipe because my friend Chelsey posted about them and they looked so good.

One plus to the new job is I don’t have time to sit all day, so I also don’t have time to snack all day. This can only be a good thing. But there also is not a kitchen at work, so I’ve been bringing a sandwich and keeping it in a lunch bag with an icepack. Everyone has mini-fridges in their offices and I was trying to think how I could justify buying one for myself when we went to Keith’s parents’ house and I spotted a mini-fridge in the basement. It was Keith’s from college and is now mine! Now just to see how the hell I can get it into my office on the 5th floor.

So that’s what’s new with me. I’m a rambler, but I’ve had a lot of people as me how it is so I wanted to get something out, but I am tired and frazzled and figure I’ll be that way for a while so whatever.

last day

Today was my last day at work, I’m starting at a new job on Monday! I’ve been at this place for 5 years but got a promotion so I’m outta here.

I didn’t think I would cry today and then I got this card from my friend Sarah’s daughter. Cue waterworks.




blast from the past: “nothing good ends in ccino.”

I was looking for something in my old blog and re-reading some of the entries made me laugh, so I’ve decided to repost some of the better ones here.

This post was originally written May 19, 2009 while I was working at Starbucks. Oh boy.

So let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic: work.

I’ve come to realize there are two types of customers that come into Starbucks. Those who know exactly what they want and those who have no idea what the hell they are paying for.

Let’s look at the former first. Now most of the people who come into my store are nice people. With all of the hospitals and businesses around, we have tons of regulars that are in 5 days a week getting the same exact thing. Occasionally there is a barista that is not as skilled as myself (ha! just kidding, I’m a space case and make my fair share of mistakes) – but yea, these other baristas don’t listen as well and occasionally someone will get the wrong drink or have something missing or whatever.

Most of the people with super specific drinks are very pleasant about it. “Oh sorry? This was supposed to be…” etc. But then there are people with this super inflated sense of self and are downright nasty about it. On one hand, I guess I can understand that if you’re paying 3-5$ for a drink, you want it to be right. But the part of me that was raised to be considerate of other human beings thinks that if you want your drink that damn specific? Make it yourself.

My *favorite* customer is the soy chai lady. She comes in 3-4 times a week and I learned very very quickly how unpleasant she can be if her drink is made wrong. Now I don’t mind special orders. The way that we make things and the way we write cups is set up in a way that it really doesn’t take any more effort to make a drink the standard way or a special way. Except this lady’s drink.

She gets a grande 5 pump, soy, no water, no foam, 180F chai latte. (Normal chai lattes are 4 pump – part water – small amount of foam – 160F) Not really that big of a deal. Except if one of the guys makes it? It’s perfection. I’ve watched some of my slacker male coworkers free pour her soy into the cup (soy foams like a beast – and the longer you steam – the more foam) and she declares it the greatest drink ever. Meanwhile, I’ll spend 2 minutes scraping foam off and re-pouring only to have her hand it back because “It’s light. I can feel the foam.” Only to open it up and see a half a millimeter of foam around the edge.

So while I would love to make her drink horribly wrong every time, I’m the only one who will suffer as I’ll have to remake it. So the soy queen gets her way each and every time and gets to be an insufferable whore in the process.

(Note from 2012 Katrina: Soy chai latte lady eventually would special request me to make her drink. Ugh.)

Now our other subset is the group of people who REALLY have no idea what they are ordering/paying for.

People pick up the wrong drinks all the time. Even though we call the drinks and they are marked on the side, I guess I can understand some of the confusion. Like if the cups are the same size. And if your brain is the size of a peanut.

Yesterday though I was working and my favorite supervisor was on bar. I was running around doing whatever and she stops me to ask if I would take this drink over to the lady sitting on the stage because she took the wrong one.

The drink? A tall caramel frappuccino.

photo by flickr user rlevans
I walk up and say “Did someone order a caramel frappuccino?”

“I did?” says some lady as she takes a sip of a venti skinny vanilla latte.

“Well here it is,” I say, as I hand it to her.
“Oh, I don’t even know what this is.”
“That’s a latte…”

it was impossible to find a decent picture of a venti latte.
Now, okay, maybe you don’t know the difference. Maybe you didn’t realize the drink you ordered was cold and you were drinking a hot beverage. But shouldn’t you have noticed firstly that the cup you grabbed was pretty damn big for a SMALL? And secondly that you ordered a CARAMEL drink and a skinny vanilla is most certainly not even close in flavor?

You people kill me.

Also as a public service announcement if you’ve gotten this far. If you order a drink that comes both hot and iced, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU SAY ICED. Iced drinks are easy, I will secretly love you for ordering an iced espresso drink and make it happily. But when I go through all of the trouble of steaming milk for you only to hand it off and your face to fall.

“This was supposed to be iced?”
“Um where was it supposed to be iced? In the alternate universe where I can READ YOUR MIND?!”

So “iced.” One extra syllable that will save me from sticking my face in the coffee grinder.

xoxo, your friendly neighborhood barista.

God I hated that job.