Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Paper Route

To this day, the best job I ever had in my life was working at Blockbuster Video. Decent pay that went to double time if you worked a holiday and there was the extra benefit of all those free movie rentals. My best times were spent closing up that store after midnight, blasting that Best of Bob Marley cd and goofing off with my coworkers as we cleaned up. Good times.

Of course, it probably wasn’t that fun for the Grown Folks. I was in college then and using the job to keep me afloat. But we had quite a few Grown Folks working there – full fledged adults with full time jobs who worked here as well. My favorite was Clover. She was in her forites and had that sweet, mothering thing going for her. I just couldn’t wrap my mind about why she needed a part time gig. She had a husband and what seemed like a good full-time job, and I judged that based on the fact that she dressed up to go to work and had a secretary. I never understood why she’d need extra money. I didn’t ask her, but once she mentioned how her credit card debt got out of control and she’d indulged her children with gifts when they were younger. She was using this job to help pay for that.

Fast forward a few years and I’m in a similar situation. I wouldn’t say my credit card debt is out of control, but it is definitely above the zero mark. And I do want to buy a house, so any additional money I can gain will be a huge benefit. So recently I started working at my own part time gig, which I call The Paper Route or Job Deux.

On the surface, things at The Paper Route seem easy enough. It’s a women’s retail establishment, so ideally all I’d have to do is greet folks and ring stuff up. Right? Hah! I went to training the other day and was somewhat overwhelmed by my responsibilities. I have a packet of information to study so that I know certain things about the store’s specialty, their fancy pants. I’m not paid on commission, but folks will take note of my average daily sale. There is also a strategic way to put the clothes out just so, so that it attracts the customer’s eye. Sigh.
Training Part Deux of Job Deux starts this weekend. I hope I get used to it fairly soon. I’m a smart woman, I should be able to handle this. And I’ve already told myself that I’ll do the part time thing for no more than six months. That should give me enough time to have a big enough financial cushion. At least, I hope so!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On Fear

I was talking to someone about fear the other day. We all have them, no matter how small. For instance, I have a relative who is absolutely terrified of driving on the highway alone. She told me that she couldn’t visit her grandmother in the hospital because everyone in her family had gone already. When I asked her why she didn’t drive to the hospital – which is only about 15 minutes away – she said, “I don’t be traveling like that.” Then she explained her fear.

A coworker once told me she knew someone who was afraid of banana peels. Something about them just freaks him out. I also know of several people who are afraid of clowns. Sometimes, I can relate to that one, because I remember Stephen King’s 'It.' I also know of someone who is afraid of certain kinds of seafood, like shrimp, octopus, etc.

Anyone who knows me well,knows that I have several fears and "issues." For instance, milk. It creeps me out to see another human being drink a glass of that stuff. I can only handle it in my cereal, but I'll never just pour a glass of milk to quench my thirst. Just the thought of that makes me shudder. I can trace that fear back to my childhood, when someone (my mother! yeah, i'll put her on blast) mistakenly fed me sour milk. I'm overly cautious about that dairy product these days. I'm very careful to keep milk from spoiling in my fridge and I have strict rules about using it after the expiration date. (One day after is fine, two days maybe, but three -- it gets TOSSED!)

One of my overwhelming fears is that someone is watching me. I can’t explain it, but there are times that I feel like someone is out there lurking on my every move. When I close my blinds, I check them several times to make sure they’re all the way closed. When I’m in my car, sometimes I’ll stare into my apartment window, just to see what the general public sees. Recently, the maintenance staff at my apartment complex gave us new fire alarms. They put one in my bedroom. Sometimes, I stare up at it and wonder if it’s actually a hidden camera.

I know this seems a little strange, but hey, we all have our quirks. I'm better with mine these days. There was a time I'd go to extreme lengths to prevent my "watchers" from seeing me get dressed. Now, I just relax and hope they're getting a good show. I just hope I don't wind up on youtube.

Photo from http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Cinema/2636/clown1.jpg