work

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‘I’m Sorry, I’m Busy’: A Chaotic Schedule and Added Stress of Those Who Don’t Understand

Published December 13, 2014 by harleyquinnly

I am not writing this blog to sound pretentious or as a ‘look at me! I’m so important because I’m so busy!’ I am writing it because I have been under an immense amount of stress from grad school requirements but additional stress has been added by ‘friends’ that do not understand the work it takes and why I am unavailable for long periods of time. I constantly tell them ‘thank you, but I have to work on my paper’ and send them pictures of the piles of papers/books taking over my house, and yet every time I have a due date, I am bombarded with guilt trip text messages (“you could make time if you wanted to”) or people that flat out refuse to speak to me. I am tired, and tired of it. So here is a look at my typical week’s schedule. This is why I am unavailable and why someday I’ll be called doctor.

(Side note: I am eternally grateful for the wonderful friends I have that understand my schedule, never complain at me, and appreciate when I am able to see them. Thank you.)

This is literally my home office. And I'm normally a super clean person.

This is literally my home office. And I’m normally a super clean person.

I will gladly acknowledge that it is not the easiest to be my friend. I have to check out for weeks at a time when due dates come up. I am not always available for a hangout. Sometimes I have to go months without seeing people. I could remember to check up on people more often. But I do not deserve the added stress just because I am an extremely busy person.

Just one pile of books.

Just one pile of books.

The Schedule

Weekdays: 

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Work

Yes, I am a full time student and I have a full time job. I don’t choose to have this life, it was what I was dealt. I am financially unable to only attend school without working and I happen to like food and shelter. I am also unwilling to take out tens of thousands of dollars of student loans I will never be able pay off. There are next to no jobs for history Ph.D.s and those that do exist often do not pay enough to survive on, much less added loan payments. Excuse me for being financially responsible. (I am not throwing shade at those who have students. You do what you have to do. I’m meaning the unnecessary ones).

6 to 7:30 p.m.: Workout then Dinner

The commute home takes me an hour due to traffic, idiocy, and a lack of infrastructure for growing populations. I workout for half an hour (just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be healthy). I make dinner quickly and watch whatever is on tv at the time, usually a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory.”

I love Sheldon. And feel like a villain the more I'm in school.

I love Sheldon. And feel like a villain the more I’m in school.

7:30 to ~11 p.m. Schoolwork

I spend every evening of every single workday working on schoolwork. This month I have large essays due that require a lot of incorporated reading. I literally do not leave my ‘command center’ I’ve set up on my kitchen table every. single. evening. Therefore, I do not have time to do anything else.

My "command center" on my kitchen table. I live here.

My “command center” on my kitchen table. I live here.

Me in my favorite recliner.

Me in my favorite recliner.

My One Free Day

I usually allow myself one evening a week for free time. Think about if you were working from 8 a.m. until ~10 p.m. without a break. What would you feel like doing on your rare break? Sometimes I get free movie tickets and go see a movie with a friend/date. Other times I just want to veg out on my couch with my non-judgmental friend, Netflix. I apologize for not instantly running to you for your social needs. Also, with only one night out a week, I can only see so many people in that limited amount of time.

Weekends

Hey, it’s the weekend so I have all this free time, right? Nope. Because I work during the weekday, weekends are the only time I get to get work done for long spans of time. When I have papers due, these are the days that I write them.

9 to 10 a.m. Breakfast and Wake Up Time

I usually let myself sleep in until 9 a.m. This is catch-up sleep for me. I get up, make my eggs and tea, and relax for an hour on my couch. I am human and need a little relax time interspersed.

10 to 10:30 a.m. Shower

After breakfast, I shower. Unless I have to see something or do something outside my house, I don’t do hair or makeup and stay in yoga pants.

10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. or sometimes until 4 a.m.

I work on schoolwork the entire day, taking about an hour for lunch and dinner. I sometimes stay up until 4 a.m. because I have a due date and it’s okay if I’m completely sleep-deprived at home rather than at work. These are full days working on schoolwork. I understand people don’t get that I have so much of a workload I have to work this long on weekend. I do.

My dinners usually look like this.

My dinners usually look like this.

So, in conclusion, I have taken time out of my study schedule to detail my schedule. Hopefully it inspires further understanding but I’ve done all I can do. This is my life, please understand or at least respect it.

Working as an Assistant…and Slowly Losing What’s Left of My Self Esteem

Published August 2, 2014 by harleyquinnly

Everyone has had a job in high school, during college, etc. that totally sucked (like fast food or retail) and was meant just to pay the bills or buy booze on the weekends. However, there’s always the dream ( *cough* expectation *cough*) that after college we will never have to do those jobs again because we can use whatever degree we’ve earned to do our dream job. Then you get to the real world…and yeah, it gets a little depressing…time for a shot of tequila.

Original post here.

desperate

I was actually a very lucky person to get my dream job right out of college. However, after working said dream job for about four years, budget cuts and inflation meant I could no longer pay my bills or buy food on that never-changing salary. After my family scraped together to help me pay a few bills and cutting down to eating only twice I day, I said goodbye to my dream job and looked for a job doing whatever that would enable me to buy food.

zooey

So I became a legal assistant. I was ecstatic. I could pay my bills for the first time in a long time working only one job and I had always had an interest in law (my degree is in history) so at least it would be somewhat interesting. Man, was I wrong. I’ve worked there for only three months now and I think each day I’ve lost a little piece of self esteem and my soul.

kill me

I found this great excerpt from Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent that I think accurately describes a little of what I experience each day:

“After a few weeks of working at an office, I realized I was becoming the kind of person who was finding joy in the little things-and by little things, I mean meaningless, stupid distractions from my shitty job. A reprieve of going to the copy machine and getting the pleasure of mindlessly staring at the wall for five minutes was magical. Trips to the bathroom were a joyous urination break where I washed my hands until they became pruney. And don’t forget about the absolute thrill of lunch . . . On the occasions that I went out beyond the office doors to buy a salad, you’d think I was being let out of prison after a twenty-year sentence . . . .”

It hit me yesterday, after being called varying forms of stupid and being cursed at all day long by someone less educated than myself, that I can’t continue to do this job much longer and remain sane. Like Alida Nugent, I’ve been taking breaks to hide in the stairwell on varying floors in my building to get away from it. I go to the restroom on different floors each time so my boss can’t send someone in to tell me he needs me at that absolute moment because he can’t walk to the break room to get his own f*^&%ing Diet Pepsi.

eyeroll

I’m not sure what the purpose of this post is, other than venting. But if you are in a job like this, working for a narcissistic, insecure, asshat that thinks of himself as a special little snowflake, know you’re not alone. Tell yourself every single morning before your shift begins and when you leave that you are intelligent, you are a good worker, etc. I find this experience similar to being in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship. I’ve found myself in social situations where someone politely asks what I do and I simply say, “I’m just an assistant” despite the fact that I’m halfway through a Ph.D. (though a useless one) and am really excited about original research I will begin soon. The person I was with began inputting what I was doing with school and it made me realize that it’s sad another person has to speak up for my accomplishments and that it was a sign that I am slowly beginning to believe I am useless and stupid. That’s not healthy. There’s no reprieve since I work at a small place with no HR department and well paying jobs (aka I make enough to pay my bills) are rare.

sad

Just remember, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” And you are much better than these types of people, regardless of how much money they have. Rich white men put their pants on every morning the exact same we do: one leg at a time. Remember that when you become a supervisor.

kind smart im

via Working as an Assistant…and Slowly Losing What’s Left of My Self Esteem.

Things Every Twenty-Something is Tired of Hearing

Published April 10, 2014 by harleyquinnly

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Have you ever felt any of these?

1. What do you really want to do with your life?

I don’t freaking know right now. I don’t even know what I want for dinner. Isn’t this the time in my life I’m supposed to be figuring that out? How can I figure it out before I figure it out?

2. Did you buy [insert anything here] with your own money?

No, I just made a wish on broken hopes and promises and it appeared on a glittery unicorn. I sacrificed and ate peanut butter and condiments for months but now I have a real mattress.

3. You could always move back in with your parents.

Yeah, because my parents took care of me and raised me, pushing me to be successful in school and work to just have me depressingly move back in with them. If I move back in with them I have officially failed, or my life has gone awry somewhere. If some catastrophe happens, like I randomly get laid off, and I have to, let’s just not talk about it.

4. You do want to get married eventually, right?

Don’t even get me started. I’m still figuring things out, including what I want. But when you say it like that, what if I don’t? Am I an alien with lobsters crawling out of my ears if my life goal is to work hard, achieve my dreams, and do something else? Oh wait, I missed the memo from the 1950s that my goal in life is to get married and procreate. My bad.

5. So, have you had a lot of different jobs?

I’ve always wished in job interviews I could really say what I want to answer this one. Yes, I’ve had several jobs. I’d stay there until I was running the entire store by myself because my stoned out coworkers had been fired or just disappeared. And after my soul had been lost and my hope for humanity demolished after repeated interaction with the general public. Oh, and the job I had where I was attacked by a customer, the one where I smelled like fish from cleaning tanks all day, had my fingers chewed by hamsters and parakeets…I should’ve stuck with those minimum wage jobs?

6. Good thing you’re young and don’t have to worry about health insurance.

*Sigh* Even if I had absolute perfect health (which I don’t) I still get sick even though I avoid everyone that appears to have a plague. Oh, and I’m female which means that I have a body part that requires its own doctor, medication, and care!

7. You must be good at the internets.

Yeah…just stop. Just because I’m in my twenties doesn’t mean I can troubleshoot your computer…but I can plug it in and turn it on. I received the administrator rights to my work’s social media once because ‘hey, you’re in your twenties, you know how to do this.’ Nevermind that I had no experience/knowledge in online marketing. (Thankfully I learned).

8. Have you tried online dating?

Um, no. That’s fine if it’s your thing but I attract stalkers and have been assigned my own police detective for retraining orders by meeting people the old fashioned way.

9. When are you going to get a real job?

I HAVE A REAL JOB. Even one that I went to college for. I’ve had a professional job for four years-stop assuming I’m still working at Walgreens (no offense if you are, you’ll get out someday) It’s not my fault the professional job pays less than the jobs my noneducated friends work. So shut up.

10. You don’t need to make that much money, you’re just starting out.

Yeah…I totally just called the electric company and they said I could skip the bill because I was just starting out. My hopes and dreams would fuel the power for a little while longer.

I have bills just like any one else of any age, I just don’t have any children. I have to pay for shelter, food, transportation, healthcare, etc.

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11. How do you feel about turning thirty?

Um, I don’t know. Ask me when I turn thirty.

12. How much do you pay in rent?

I’d rather talk about anything else but the unspeakable amount of money I’m paying to live in a place where I can hear the neighbor’s sex, see/smell drug deals, and dive for the floor when you hear people outside arguing because you’ve been through a drive-by.

13. Your biological clock is ticking…

See number four…and f*%& off.

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14. You could consider freezing your eggs and then using a surrogate. 

No offense to those who have, but that process deserves a purple heart medal. It’s painful and super expensive. Plus a little weird. But I just adopted a cute new kitten!

15. How much debt do you have?

Um…well, I am an American and have gone to college…Shut up. (And no, I’m not irresponsible with me money. I spent it on useful, well hopefully, things like education and health care).

16. You know, the right person will come around when you least expect it.

This would be more comforting if we were talking about the pizza delivery boy.

17. These are the best years of your life.

I’m utterly depressed and don’t want to see the rest of my life. I’m suffering through the constant anxiety, frustration, poverty, etc. clinging desperately to the hope that I’m working this hard so someday, maybe someday, I can afford name brand shampoo.

This original article/list is from Buzzfeed at http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/things-every-20-something-is-tired-of-hearing. I’ve just added my own comments.

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