Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take Backs and Time Warps

The little alley I walk through to get to my work parking lot has a couple of offices that have huge, store front windows. The blinds are always down in the windows, so during the day it's like walking past a full size mirror--albeit an extremely unflattering mirror. And I can't help but check myself out as I walk past them. It's not vanity (trust me, it's usually the moment of stark realizations, like oh god how did I decide it's ok to leave the house with dirty hair in my face and red rubber crocs on my feet). think if you ask anyone, they'll admit that they'll look if they catch themselves in any reflective surface. Even the ones who say they don't. They're just trying to be better than you.


Today while I was walking to my car, I noticed in the window-mirrors that my hair has gotten long. It's probably a couple inches past my shoulders. Now, that doesn't seem long to most people (I know some girls with fuckin' MANES of hair), but for me, it hasn't been this long since I was 16. That's 11+ years of inverted bobs and almost collarbone length layer cuts.

I thought, "yay, my hair will be long enough to wear big loose curls for the weddings I'll be in next year!" and went on my way. That made me think, once again, how weird it is for me that by this time next year, my 3 oldest best friends will be married. How weird it is, because I still don't feel like I've achieved that level of adultiness that my friends have. It's not something that keeps me awake at night, because I know I'm doing alright, but it definitely keeps me questioning my life choices.

And then I walked into Blockbuster Video and stepped into a time warp.

Last week, I got hired at a local Blockbuster (yes, they're still open here--and thriving!), as a supplemental, brainless, with insurance so I could start saving mony again. I worked at Blockbuster from age 16-18, so I figured it'd be an easy transition. So today, I went into fill out my "new hire" paperwork, which was mostly me standing around waiting for the boss to get the computer working.

Then it hit me. 10 years later, I'm here again. With the same hair.

As I stood behind the counter I stood behind for 3 years while I was in high school, I'm pretty sure my heart tore apart--and not in the good way. With every snotty customer complaining about late fees, every register monkey touting "Want to add candy and a soda for $3?" "You should join our rewards program, here let me explain it to you...", every time the bratty assistant manger ripped Bridesmaids apart while recommending Leap Year, and every white trash teenager, smelling like a Meth lab and complaining about school, I was reminded of every reason why I left the retail world.

And then the store manager told me I'd be making minimum wage, which is .10 less than my hourly wage when I worked there 10 years ago.

Yeah. Every. Single. Damn reason. 

I stood there, thoughts racing in my head, but mostly, it was "How did I convince myself that this would be an ok substitute?"

Yes, my boss at my current job is a Tempermental Misogynistic Mountain Man Who's Never Wrong About Anything, but he has given me Mondays and Fridays off, and the option to take early afternoons off. And for the last two weeks, I've gotten substantial writing done, mostly I think, because I have 4 days to do nothing but concentrate on it. And we're about to get good insurance. And it's a salary I can live on.  And 50% of the time, I'm writing something original.

So yes, I'm hating my job a little less nowadays, but going back to retail now feels like a waste of time. Afterall, my priority in getting a job here was getting a job that gave me time to work on my book--which is exactly what my boss gave me and exactly what a retail job would take away. Basically, it seems like taking on both jobs would defeat the purpose of me moving here.

But it would put me on a higher road to financial solvency.

And it would take away my weekends/holidays.

But I'd get 10 free rentals a week!

And I'd be 27 and crawling back to my high school job.

Ugh. I'm at a What Will Make Your Life Suck Less crossroads.


Don't get me wrong. Being an adult is awesome in terms of making your own decisions and all the fun you can have that you couldn't have (or at least that you shouldn't have) as a kid, but the financialities of all that "free will" and "fun" really suck balls, to say the least.

foot note: yes I'm aware of the douchiness that comes with publicly complaining about having a job--especially in this economy. No one put a gun to your head and made you read this all the way through.

and if someone did, I'm really sorry and I hope you're ok.

1 comment:

Cara said...

Dude. I'm sorry money sucks. I'm waiting with bated breath for you to catch some kind of an awesome break. Be it a $50K/year job doing something super easy and great, or getting a book published.

You deserve goodness.

Also, how is it possible that you'll be making 10 cents less than you did when we worked there in high school? That makes zero sense. And it's highway robbery for them to pay an almost-30-year-old minimum wage. Dude. You should automatically be given manager status for having the balls to walk in there after 10 years. Seriously.

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