Biggest Loser Weigh In

Today was a wash out. Stress, stress and more stress.

I had plans to make some runs before heading to work for the registration and weigh in, but life had other plans. Like my car not working for instance. Fortunately it stopped working in my parking lot so I didn’t have to get it towed.

Because I lost all my phone numbers in a cell phone crash, I didn’t have anyone to call (except Mouse, but he was busy). So I looked up the bus route, then shoved my uniform into my bag and rushed out the door.

My commute is normally 15 minutes tops. Today it took an hour and a half on two buses. But I got there on time for the weigh in.

That in and of itself was depressing. 172.4 This means I GAINED about 5lbs since December. I wanted to cuss, but there were residents in the workout center so I couldn’t.

It didn’t help that our very awesome pastry chef made chocolate cake that BEGGED to be eaten (and I obliged), or that the pot roast that was served for dinner was tender and delicious.

But really, 172 is more than I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant. I was always the “skinny” one in my family (still am, sadly), so me being this heavy is really depressing. Most people can’t guess how much I weigh, largely due to how it’s distributed and the fact that I’m really good at hiding it (grow up in a family full of big women, you learn how to camouflage your weight). I really want to drop past a 12. A 10 would be great. Right now I’m a 14 nudging at 16.

This car issue might be the monkey wrench that throws me off. Depending on how much it costs to fix, I will probably have to put off getting a membership to a local gym for a while (I have a membership to another gym that’s all paid up, but the nearest one is more than 20 minutes away, and gas still ain’t that cheap).

The car issue also forces me to put plans to take The Kid to Disney World with some of my family this summer on hold. In total I’d need to come up with about $700 for that (it’s only that cheap because my cousin, whose plan this was, is renting a house for the week we’ll be there and will pay for that).

Two steps forward. One step back. Life’s a really bad tango.

Biggest Loser at GH

So my job is having a Biggest Loser contest starting tomorrow. The prize is $400 for the women that loses the most and $400 for the man, plus $200 for the department that loses the most cumulative (we split the $200 between participants). I’ve decided to sign up. I figure if my own vanity won’t get my jiggly ass to the gym, the maybe the $5 registration fee will. My ultimate goal is to drop about 20lbs, putting me back in the high 140s and gaining some muscle tone.

So as of tonight, I am recruiting cheerleaders. I’ll be doing 12 weekly weigh-ins and I’ll let you know how I’m doing. I get paid this week so I’ll be hitting the local planet fitness to join ($10/month is nothing to sneeze at). I’ll probably be giving up my coke addiction (the drink, not the powder) since high fructose corn syrup isn’t all that good for you.

I will NOT give up my coffee though. You can take my coffee when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. You ain’t seen pissed off Hatsy until you’ve seen Hatsy with a caffeine headache. People have lost limbs. LIMBS I TELL YOU!

Ho. Lee. Cow.

I am SORE. Not fun sore. SORE sore.

Tonight was my first night working a section by myself (third day, no shadowing, I RAWK!) and it was insanely busy. Normally we have a menu, plus a daily special, that residents can order from. Tonight, however, was “Theme Night”. Set menu. Only two choices in main dishes, starches, veggies and desserts. Truth be told, it was swank.

The meal started with smoked salmon with a dill cream sauce, then they got a shrimp bisque that was to die for, followed by a salad our manager (from here on out known as JD) got from Bon Apetit  (the December issue if you’re a curious little foodie). Entrees were either rack of lamb or sea bass. Starches were mashed yukon gold potatoes with leeks and garlic or Hassleback potatoes (which looked better than they do in this blog’s pic but that’s the best I could do). Vegetables were roasted root vegetables (onions, carrots, parsnips, etc) or wilted spinach with almonds. For dessert they had white chocolate tiramisu or cappuccino creme brulee. The residents started the night with wine and cheese outside the dining room, and then migrated in.

Told you it was swank.

On a normal night we can put in our orders via computer and tell the chefs when we want them. Not tonight. Tonight, as soon as it went in, it came up. The chefs were not playing.

The sections are usually just four tables, my section was four tables at the farthest end of the dining room. This meant a lot of dodging other waitstaff and residents. And because everything was served in a specific order, it also meant a lot of running back and forth.

I messed up the order for the first table (I wasn’t sure what to put certain items in as). They all wanted the root vegetables and ended up with spinach. JD, bless his big Greek heart, helped me a lot with that one. He ran back into the kitchen and got their vegetables for me. After that, though I was pretty well on a roll.

At one point we ran out of salads, then at the same time salad dressing. Then we were out of soup cups. This set me back with my last table so they ended up not getting their meal until late. Oops.

The great thing is that most of these residents are really cool people. They’re really involved in the day-to-day functions of the facility (it’s independent care, which means they can take care of themselves but need a little help now and then) and as soon as they found out I was new they cut me some serious slack.

Unfortunately today I finally discovered the downside of my new job: it’s taking the time I normally spend with The Kid.

I work from 4pm-8pm. The Kid gets out of school at 3:20. This means as soon as I pick her up, I drop her off and split; and as soon as I get home, it’s her bedtime. The Man sent me a text message this morning telling me that she cried last night because she missed me.

She’s used to having me around during the evenings. Even when I worked at the shawarma shack I was home by 5:30 and the rest of the night was spent together.  Now the job takes away that time. I decided to talk to her teacher about spending a few days in the classroom as a volunteer. This way I’ll be spending some extra time with her and she’ll feel special because her mom is in the room.

BTW, my kid will be student of the week in her classroom next week. Rawk on. :)

First Day

So..today was my first day at work. YIPPEEEE! I was trained by a guy that I later found out was quitting. That was a bummer. I made sure to find out why he was quitting. It basically boiled down to the fact that because he moved he was now driving an hour to get to work. Yeah I totally get why he is quitting. He annoyed me a bit. He did everything as though it bored him or was beneath him. My other coworkers are a very cool bunch. So far.

Today happened to be a fairly slow day, which was good. It sucks when you’re running around like mad on your first day. You don’t get to learn your job the way you’re supposed to like that.

The residents were really nice. It was a little disconcerting at first. It’s been a long time since I worked with the elderly. Working in restaurants usually means dealing with people under the age of 65 90% of the time. Still it’s good to be back in a kitchen. Sure it’s hot, stuffy and humid as hell. But I’m totally comfortable in kitchens. It’s where I started my working life. It makes sense that when I was having a hard time finding a job I’d be back in one.

The main downside to the whole night was the fact that I lost an amethyst that was in the ring I was wearing.

Now, before any of you get it into your pretty little heads that this is some sort of “omen”, it’s not. I knew the setting was loose and I was stupid enough to wear it anyway. I feel bad because 1. it was a graduation gift from my mom and 2. I REALLY liked that one. Next gem and jewelry show I’m going to see if I can snag another one and have it reset.

I ended the night with a lovely soreness in my legs that let me know I was getting a little out of practice on the waitressing tip. I probably won’t be able to move in the morning, but that’s ok. I love the soreness that comes from a hard days’ (or evenings’ as it were) work.

I got home to find The Kid already knocked out, The Man on his way to bed for a pre-midnight shift nap and beat-toy wanting to drop by and chat after the local group’s monthly dinner (which I missed :( ). beat-toy bought me the Two Knotty Boy’s book as a gift (and probably as a hint too), but he had it shipped to his house instead of mine, which meant he had to drop it off. The Man is still a little uneasy about this aspect of my personality, but he’s becoming a little more accepting about it. While I was chatting with beat-toy (in his car, since The Kid was sleep), The Man sent me a message asking if beat-toy was my sub. I had to laugh. I told him no, he’s a sub, but not mine specifically.

beat-toy and I are actually pretty good friends, if you put the other stuff aside. We bitch and moan to each other about how much life sucks. He’s a really good guy. Problem is he doesn’t have enough patience in himself, or confidence. My ultimate goal is to help him gain some. No small task, but then I never went for the easy wins.

Orientation

So yesterday I did my orientation for the new job (we’ll call it GH). It lasted from 9am to 130pm and I was exhausted and hungry by the end. They served coffee (which was weak) and muffins, but that was it. No lunch. Just hours of overview and paperwork. On the upside, my ID pic doesn’t look too bad.

Because of my positions hours, I don’t qualify for health, dental, or vision benefits. However that’s easily remedied by simply picking up another shift on a permanent basis. But that will come with time. What I am eligible for are all the kick ass perks that come with being an employee at GH. I get to use their exercise room, I can set an appointment for a massage and have the payment ($55 for an hour or $35 for a half an hour) deducted from my paycheck. They have a foundation which awards scholarships to employees that want to go back to school (SCORE!). I have access to the hair salon (yeah, not doing that though). Not to mention a lot of stuff that the residents association does a yearly monetary gift to employees.

The job, the facility, the employees. Everything feels so damn GOOD. I hope it stays that way.

Protected?

Ok, here’s the thing. Thanks to the growing popularity of Twitter, this blog has come to the attention of a few people that know me and The Man personally. And fact is, there is some things they just don’t need to know about me. I’m trying to decide what to do about that.

In the mean time if you want to read a protected post you’ll have to email me for the password csverdad (at) gmail (daht) com. Be warned, just because you email and ask for it doesn’t mean you’ll get it.

Protected: Yeah I know…I know…really long time

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Stories from the Shawarma Shack

This week started with a whimper and ended with a WTF.

Mondays are typically slow. This Monday was no different. I’ll save you the snore fest and sum it up by saying that it was barely worth the gas I spent driving there. Except that this little red haired girl © Charlie Brown showed up and said she was a new hire. Excellent. We need more waitstaff (sort of). Welcome aboard, I’ll show you the basics before R (The Boss’ oldest daughter) gives you your full training. Red tells me her girl-friend had started the day before. Gravy! Now roll the silverware.

Tuesday I had the day off. Which meant I ran around like mad until it was time for me to get The Kid from school. Then I took a nap. I’m so lame.

Wednesday was slow. Except for a girl from a local group that I’m active in showing up to work and discussing her boy toy’s (her words not mine) aversion to food in general and the reason behind it (and there’s a good reason behind it), it was pretty boring (see why I don’t blog about work? Not a damn thing happens).

R comes in and as we’re closing out my shift she starts grumbling about her dad giving her two bisexuals and telling her to train them. I had to stop myself from laughing too loud. My boss’ idea of a qualified employee is young and female. Being bisexual, if he had actually known about it at the time of hiring, would probably have been the cherry on his sundae. I don’t call him a Greasy Rat Bastard for nothing. I laughed and mentioned that Red had said her girlfriend was working here, but I thought that she meant girl-friend, not girlfriend. I asked R how she knew they were bi. She says they told her and that were making out in the parking lot.

*pause*

Making out? Neither of them drive, so that means they were standing in full view of everyone driving past.

Now let me state now, I have absolutely no issue with anyone being anything other than straight. Do what makes you happy. However, I do have a problem with people getting happy at work. It’s just not professional. We may not be Tavern On The Green but you don’t make out standing in the middle of the parking lot of the job you just got. It’s just not kosher. Plus, not all of our customers really appreciate girl-girl action. Ann Arbor might be a major liberal city, but there are still enough McCain/Palin signs around to remind you that conservatives still exist within city limits.

Thursday, I came in late and pissed off. Very pissed off. The Man drove me to work so he could run some errands during the day. Apparently, if I tell him at 1015 that I want to leave in 5 minutes, that means I want to leave at 1030, which is the time that I’m supposed to BE at work. It started slow, mostly take out orders, which is pretty normal since we open around the beginning of people’s lunch. My cook, Mo, was on his cell phone for most the day, yakking away, loud as hell, in Arabic. Which meant anytime there was a lull in orders he’d go out back to talk more, which meant I had to go find his ass so people wouldn’t be waiting forever for their food.

Around 3 I had a rush. 10 people came in pretty much at the same time. Completely unexpected, though not wholly unwelcome (except the chick who stiffed me. She’s unwelcome). Near the end of my shift, before R came in, Red’s girlfriend calls, “I won’t be able to keep working there. I’m exhausted and I keep working like this I won’t be able to get my school work done.”

*pause*

That has to be the lamest fucking excuse to quit ever. She’s exhausted? She worked TWICE since being hired. That’s it. Two days. That’s her whole damn training period. But she’s exhausted? She had someone working with her so she wasn’t being swamped with customers. But she’s exhausted. GTFOOHWTBS.

I wake up at 645 (though I don’t actually get out of bed until 700), get The Kid clean, dressed, and off to school (she eats breakfast there). Then I go to work where I run around (or stand around) for 6.5 hours dealing with an idiot boss and customers who seem to enjoy annoying the hell out of me with their stupid petty requests for shit that doesn’t even come with their order. Come home, make dinner, take care of The Kid, check her school assignments, praise her for the work she’s done (and let’s not go into what I have to go through when she’s sick), make sure The Man has what he needs for work, deal with email, messages, blogs and I don’t get to actually wind down until after 10pm. If The Man works a midnight shift, I stay up until he leaves (1145pm), then I’m still up chatting with friends that I haven’t had a chance to actually talk to all day because I was busy. Then it’s bedtime and up at 645 to do it all over again.

But she’s exhausted.

Kiss. My. Ass.

Her shift was 5.5 hours. That’s it. You don’t even get a damn lunch break unless you work 8. She worked a grand total of 11 hours this week. But she’s exhausted.

I told R when she came in, one of my regular customers was at the counter when I told her. He works full time and goes to school full time. He laughed and said she needed to get over it. R is a high school student, oldest of four kids (which means she basically does the parenting when The Boss isn’t around…The Boss is divorced and Mom lives in another state) and works in her dad’s restaurant after school. She just rolled her eyes.

Red quit too. I had a feeling they weren’t going to stay around long. Neither of them had waitressing experience, and neither of them had ever actually been to the restaurant to eat. They just saw a help wanted sign and came in. Red couldn’t identify any of the items we have on the menu except for a few of our salads and hummus. That’s it. Red’s excuse for quitting was that it was too far to walk and she couldn’t afford the bus (her bus fare would have been two dollars every day she worked, plus since she was working night shift, someone could have given her a lift, so it would have been just one). Her and her GF came in to give R a birthday present (Thursday was her birthday), and Red was using a walking stick that was too long for her and hobbling rather dramatically saying that her knee was swelling froma childhood injury and that it hurt to even stand none the less walk.

She applied for a job as a waitress knowing that she was going to be doing a lot of walking and standing. WTF. Another lame ass excuse if you ask me. What fucking waitress SITS? If all we did was sit all day we wouldn’t have to wear ugly, comfortable shoes. We could wear the cute, but highly uncomfortable ones designed for women who don’t do a lot of walking.

So we’re down two waitresses who probably would have sucked as waitresses anyway. They’ll go get jobs at the mall or something now. Good riddance.

Economic crisis? What economic crisis?

I listen to NPR a lot, especially at work. So I hear about all the stuff going down on Wall Street all day. And, if I may be so blunt, who really gives a fuck?

Fact is, I’ve been broke. Most of my life has been spent in an economic crisis. It’s called Detroit. Man up bitches.

These rich folks stressing out about stocks? Try stressing out about keeping your fridge stocked with something other than potpies.

These suburbanites are finding it harder to shop at Banana Republic? And? My ass finds it hard to shop at Old Navy. Now what?

Whole Foods? What’s that? I expect that when I buy food-unless it’s frozen, canned, or meat-it’s going to be whole. I don’t buy apples with sections cut out of them. I don’t buy a half a carrot. All my food is whole. GTFOOH.

You want a solution to higher gas costs? Move the hell out the burbs, closer to your job and take the damn bus. One dollar gets you a ride and a transfer and you’ll get where you need to go. Bus not reliable? Get a bike. Nuff said.

All I’m saying is that, right now, broke folks could make a killing “coaching” rich people how to be broke (they have life coaches, SAT coaches, interviewing coaches, and coaches for everything else, why the hell not a brokeness coach?).

Broke people, the tables are a-turnin. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. We’ll teach them the difference between the designer consignment shop and the salvation army. Sav-A-Lot/Aldi’s will have their own training section. We’ll have to teach them the art of making their own damn coffee. There will be sections called

  • “No, you don’t need the new Apple i-whatever. The one you bought 4 months ago still works just fine.”
  • “$500 jeans look exactly the same as $20 jeans and you don’t sound as stupid when you tell people how much you spent on them.”

And,

  • “Your Hummer is a waste of money and a clear indication about the size of your penis, now get your ass a Honda and stop being an insecure pussy.”
  • “Don’t throw away that chicken grease! You can use it at least two more times.”

Yep, broke people, it’s our time to shine.

Been a long time…some thoughts and stuff.

Yeah I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been meaning to, just like I’ve been meaning to actually work on my book blog, but I can’t get to the fucking computer for more than 15 minutes without The Man bugging the hell out of me to get off.

The Job

I’m going to find another job soon. I’m being criminally underpaid. He decided (remember I’m off the books, as is everyone else I work with) that $50 every two weeks was ok. Now, I’ve taken on an extra day. Initially I was doing a 20 hour week. Now it’s 26. I should be getting $138 every two weeks. I’m being jacked for $88. Here’s the problem, if I go report him, everyone I work with gets in trouble because no one is paying income taxes at the moment. We never filled out a W2 so we don’t get W4s. I’d be happy to tell The Boss to go fuck himself and sic the IRS on him (and MiOSHA) on the sly, but that would put my coworkers (who really don’t need/deserve that sort of stress) in harms way. So I’m stuck. If I complain to a Labor Board, Cook, Mel, Mo and The Amazing Beulah (who I’ve found isn’t really so scary after all) all get caught up in it (S1 and S2 have both quit, S2 didn’t last her first week).

So I decided (and I told Cook today) that I’m only going to stay there a little while longer, then I’m going to try to find another job. Whether it’s waiting tables or something else, I don’t care (well…I won’t work fast food, that’s just something that’s not going to happen), I need to get out of that place. I don’t need the drama.

Have I mentioned that we haven’t had Coke there since the 6th of this month? And that our CO2 tanks are now empty as well, and have been for over a week? We’re a restaurant that serves pop but has no pop to serve. How in the hell does that make sense?

So I’m restarting my job search. Now that I’m in the work force it should be a little bit easier.

Revelation

Since getting back to work I’ve realised something: Being a stay at home mom made me disgustingly dependant to the point where I lost sight of myself.

Let me state right now that I don’t regret being a SAHM. Not in the least. I loved watching my daughter grow up and discover something new every day. That look she gets when she gets something makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. No, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

I’ve always been a really independant person. It’s just part of my nature. I started working as soon as I could so I could get what I wanted when I wanted it without having to wait for someone to be nice enough to give it (or the money for it) to me. I hate feeling like a charity case and I hate it when I have to depend on others to take care of my needs. That is what happened when I became a stay at home mom. I became dependant. I couldn’t buy groceries because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t get things for the house because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t…I couldn’t…I couldn’t… I can go on forever like that.

This isn’t to say my husband didn’t take care of us. He did. And he did an amazing job doing so. He has no college education, works (mostly) part time at a job that pays under $12 and has no health benefits for anyone not full time (and then you’re paying so much that you may as well get private insurance on your own). And he’s been working his ass off on his music career and has made some big moves of late. Yet and still we’ve never gone hungry, we’ve never been without the necessities. The Kid has always had clothes and shoes that fit. She’s never needed for toys, or books, or crayons, or some sort of entertainment. We’ve always made a way no matter what happened. My problem is just that I hate asking people for what I need. I feel like a child asking if I can have some money to get a new shirt, or a new pair of shoes or jeans. I get eaten by guilt spending that money on myself. I look and see a bill that needs paying, or something The Kid or The Man may need/want and that becomes priority. Spending on me can’t happen without spending spending on them first to assuage my guilt, and my feelings of being greedy for not being happy with what I have.

Since starting at The Job I have rediscovered my independance. Even if just a bit. It’s an important bit. I feel like an adult. I feel like I actually bring something to the table in this relationship. I feel like less of an undue burden. I can feel myself regain some self confidence that I lost when my Demon decided that my being unemployed (even if it was by choice to raise my daughter) meant that I was less than, that I was a disappointment to everyone around me and that I was nothing more than a bother and burden.

Of course, intellectually, I knew I was something something very important by being there for my daughter and raising her. I knew, intellectually, that there was no job in this world that can pay me better than seeing those beautiful brown eyes look at me and watching her as she sat up on her own, took her first steps, said her first words, coming home from her first day of school, watching her write her name for the first time. All these big things and all the little things in between. No office or cubicle or promotion or paycheck could ever replace that. But intellectual knowledge, and all the love I have for my daughter, can’t stand up to the steady, repetitive drum beat of my Demon slowly erroding the wall intellect and love build up.

Not being able to actually get a job for almost a year didn’t help matters any. In fact it seemed to confirm everything my Demon told me. I was worthless, useless. No one would hire me because I wasn’t good enough to be hired. It’s hard to fight that and not put in applications thinking “I’m not going to get it but why not.”

Slowly, slowly, I am beating back my Demon. I am regaining confidence lost over the years. It is taking time, but I am finding who I am again. I’m rediscovering my personal light and path.

Slowly, slowly.

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