Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

I had a Jerry Maguire moment today

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

I want to preface this by saying that I love my job. My manager is wonderful, and the really is a sense of community between my coworkers. It’s difficult and often frustrating, but I feel that I rise to the challenge and I am doing my part to positively influence people’s lives. I wasn’t this content when I worked at Gymboree, and that’s saying a hell of a lot. Awesome job.

I had a woman come in today, but not to buy a membership. She wanted to see if she could have a trainer show her how to work out at home. I ignored that statement for two reasons: one, because we don’t allow guests to use our resources without paying for them; two, because why in the hell would you come to a gym to look for a home workout? Crazy talk. So I press her for information, politely, of course, and she tells me her story. She is clearly obese, has sciatica and diabetes, and and she informs me that her husband and son are obese as well. She and her husband were members years ago, but they stopped coming after a couple months because they weren’t seeing results and got discouraged.

That was my first red flag. You can’t be 100 pounds overweight and expect to see results in a few months. You didn’t gain the weight in a few months; why would it come off that quickly? This tidbit tells me that she has no idea how to work out or what reasonable expectations look like.

So we’re on the tour, and this woman is excited about everything I show her. I’m pushing personal training harder that I usually do, not because I get commission, but because she clearly needs it. She has admitted to me that she needs help, she acknowledges her ignorance and her need for consistency. The personal trainer is going to be the only thing that will keep her going and that will give her the help she needs. I tell her this a few times, and she agrees. I ask her more about the “doing it at home” plan. She and her husband walk, sometimes, and they have a bunch of exercise machines and dvds that just collect dust. She also loves to swim, and they don’t have the pool. She’s a perfect person for our gym and we both know it.

By the time we get back to my desk, she’s told me about all her health problems, her medications, and how she still has so much life to live. I show her the prices, and everything goes to hell. She tells me that her husband would never agree to $45 a month, and he’d say they can do it at home. I tell her that I appreciate how expensive it looks on paper, but clearly, the at-home approach is not working. Her response: “I know”. It’s in that embarrassed, apologetic voice. I tell her I understand what a huge step it is, coming in here and making this choice, and that we can offer her all the support she wants. “I know”. Your diabetes is reversible. You back problems are reversible. You won’t have worry about those medications if you make a commitment to helping yourself. “I know.” At the end of the day, she decided, it was too much money. She left. After an hour of discussing her wants and needs and fears, she walked out.

This has happened a few times, and I want to shake the guest every time. When they tell me that they want to live a long life, but they don’t have the money, what I want to say is “Obviously, you don’t want to live that badly. By doing nothing, you are killing yourself.” How much money do these people spend on machines they never use, on diet pills, on quick fixes? But when it comes to doing the hard work, it’s too much money. It’s $1.50 a day. $1.50 a day for a new life. Are you kidding me? I can help you. Help me help you. Help ME help YOU. The way these people get in their own way just astounds me, and it makes me want to scream. YOU ARE DYING FASTER BECAUSE YOU ARE FAT. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO FIX IT. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.

I am not for a second saying that making a life change isn’t hard. I cannot begin to comprehend the amount of dedication that takes, because I’ve never had to lose a large amount of weight. That’s why we have trainers. That’s why we provide a support system, a record of member’s successes, nutritional plans, everything. They know how hard it is, and they don’t want anyone to go on that journey alone. So there’s no excuse. There’s laziness, there’s weakness, but there are absolutely no excuses.

I’m so jealous of Jillian Michaels. She gets to say all this stuff to people’s faces. Where can I sign up for that job?

This might look like a post, but it’s actually a cry for help

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

My motivational level is at an all time low, and for those of you who didn’t know me in middle school, that’s saying a hell of a lot. I’m home all day long. If I weren’t a lazy ass, this place would look like Mr. Clean’s sparkling genie palace. But I am, in fact, a lazy ass. I do some routine maintenance, both for myself and for our humble abode, but 85% of my day involves large quantities of the interwebz. I put in a few applications, troll craigslist for hours, battle in the hopes that someday, they’ll send me my password to the employer account I created two years ago so I can make an employee profile which allows me to apply for positions that I am clearly not qualified for. After a couple hours of this, I realize that my endless searching has yet to garner employment, and the downward spiral begins. One can only refresh Facebook so many times, but that has yet to stop me. could probably take out a restraining order, because there is no reason a normal, healthy adult would spend so many wasted hours on learning which seven Disney characters fall victim to the most gruesome deaths.

I have only three contacts during the day: my mother, Molly, and our new puppy, Wyatt. I try to speak to my mother no more than twice a day, because otherwise she gets antsy about seeing me again, and half the reason I moved out was to get the hell away from those people that created me. The other half was true love. Obviously. Molly is still a pain in my ass, but less so now that she has a new small creature to torture….I mean, love. Wyatt is rounding out the household nicely, and is a much needed source of joy now that our poor Melody is no longer with us. He snorts like a pug, looks like a brown cow, just about dies for a chance at snuggling. I’m also starting to think that he might be a canine prodigy. Seriously, you guys, we’ve had him for two days, and he already knows how to use the dog door. No more pee in the house! Either this puppy is gifted, or I’m an exceptional trainer who is obviously responsible enough to care for small and fragile creatures. Let’s assume the first option is correct, shall we? In spite of their phenomenal intellects, however, they are still not the greatest conversationalists. I’m this close to drawing a face on a volleyball and throwing it a tea party.

There are people I could talk to, I know, but I feel like I’ve missed out on too much to still really be a part of a group. I sent a few emails out to people I knew at COC; one of them replied, but not for long. Faire, it seems, is much the same way, and I’m not sure why I expected it to be anything else. I’ve been a part of theatre long enough to know that missing a single day is enough to put you on the outskirts of the group, and getting back into the thick of it is no easy task. I didn’t miss a day, I missed a season, and now people that I talked with every other day are suddenly not interested. Many people subscribe to the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy; unfortunately, I am not that way. I had never been invited to parties in my teenage years, and though I was certainly never the Main Event at any faire-related soiree, it was nice to be included, and I miss it. Feel free to send your pity invites via Facebook. I’ll be refreshing the page in a matter of seconds.

The times, they are a-changing

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I apologize for my lack of updates, but some of you are probably aware that my life has been in a state of chaos for the last month or so. Quick recap:

Jason and I were evicted
Jason and I have moved elsewhere
I can’t find a job to save my life
I totaled my car, right before midterms
I have midterms
My mother was right and there is no such thing as a Money Tree (damn!)

So, yes. Massive insanity. His friends have been so helpful, and my parents have been more supportive than any parents should have to be, ever, so we’re making it through. And there are some really good times. The Superbowl was a blast. Yesterday was our first Valentine’s Day, my first with a s/o, and it was lovely. No presents, no big shows, just pizza and Star Wars and love. His birthday is coming up, then St Patricks Day, and our anniversary is the day after. There are many, many reasons to celebrate. Times are incredibly hard right now, but no harder than they’ve always been for someone else. It’s our turn to struggle for a while. And, if nothing else, I’d say it’s helped our relationship. We haven’t fought once since the eviction. Not that we fight a lot, it’s actually a pretty rare ocurrance, but to be this strapped for cash and not at each other’s throats…I think that says something. I know he works his butt off, and he knows that I’m doing my best to find anything that pays, along with finishing school. There’s a lot of love and support in this house, and for that, I’m grateful.

Recession snapshot

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

I know how desperate things are out there right now. As a teaching student, I constantly get to hear about and witness job shortages. Talented professors are getting laid off and it sucks. Badly. But the magnitude of this recession didn’t really hit me until yesterday.

I received an email conformation from In-n-Out in August, informing me that my interview would be on September 14. I could arrive anywhere between 9 am and 4 pm, and that people would be seen on a first-come, first serve basis. I planned to get there about quarter to 9. I mean, it’s a fast food place; how many people could possibly show up especially that early?

J tried to tell me how massive this thing was. He says he did, anyway. I drove to that interview knowing that interviews are going on all week, and therefore expecting the lobby (we were told to come to the Ambassador Hotel) to be filled with thirty to fifty people, tops.

When I saw my interviewer, after almost three hours of standing in the line that wrapped around the entire hotel and then some, he informed me that four thousand applications had been submitted for forty available positions, and that every applicant would be interviewed, in the interest of fairness. We’ll skip the part where I feel that’s incredibly unfair, because I’m sure there are people out of those four thousand that are either under or over-qualified…such as the man behind me in line who graduated from the International Culinary School at the Art Institutes. Actually, no, let’s stay on that for a second. There were probably a thousand people waiting in line with me yesterday morning, and people like that showed up. Forty-year-old women. Men with briefcases. I don’t begrudge them anything; we all need to make a living. But that is just so sad. That people like that have to try for a one-in-a-hundred shot at a burger joint job because there is nothing else.

So, essentially, I waited until almost noon and got a sunburn for a three minute conversation where some guy asked me about myself. That was the whole interview. Nothing about the job. Just ‘oh, you’re from SCV? Cool, I’m from Granada Hills’. That kind of crap. I know I won’t get the job, and maybe that’s okay. I need something soon, but there are obviously people way more desperate than I am. I wasn’t laid off, I don’t have a mortgage or kids to feed. Hollywood Video is hiring next month, Bath and Body Works is hiring now, I have an application for Starbucks and an Asian restaurant down the street.

I just can’t believe how insane this whole thing is.

The idiot has returned

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

There have been quite a few days lately where I just feel like I’m doing everything wrong. Every now and again, I find myself wondering if I’ll get better at being a girlfriend. I say things without thinking, and it has really begun to show me what a selfish person I can be. That was never a word I thought I’d use to describe myself. Being an only child, though, I got used to having a lot of things done my way, on my schedule. I’d like to say that I always do the best that I can, but frankly, sometimes that isn’t true, and I get mean and snappy. I don’t know how to fix this; the only thing I can think to do is take stock of the stupid things I did yesterday and make a point to not do those stupid things today. If I do new stupid things….well, that’s what tomorrow is for, I suppose.

J has been wonderful about everything. As big of a pain in the ass as I can be, he is an equally big sweethart. We both have our moments, but we do the best we can to be patient and understanding with each other, and we never say anything that we’d regret later. Can’t really ask for more than that.

Aside from those hiccups, things are going well. I’m still out of work, which is the main cause of my stress, but my CBEST scores will be available on Tuesday and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find work as a substitute. I have a couple backup plans, but nothing that I like nearly as much. Though, if we’re talking about what I like, I’d much prefer to stay at home like I have been, taking care of the house and the cooking. I’ve been cooking dinner just about every night, and I absolutely adore it. I’ve recently discovered that I have my father’s knack for improvisation in the kitchen. This is usually out of necessity–how is it that I go shopping once a week, but there are still never enough ingredients for a single dish? Oh well. Tonight, vodka-poached salmon and sweet potato fries.

I know it’s been a while, but I hope someone is still out there, reading all my nonsense.

How I will spend my summer vacation

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Done with school for the next two weeks, and I’ve decided that I am very much overdue for some ‘me’ time. Finals were a easy as pie, with the excpetion of my two hour essay final for Medieval Lit. A bunch of us didn’t finish, and we all wanted to claw our eyes out by the end of it. But I survived. That is enough for me.

I’ll be working, thought not as much as I’d like…I could really use some extra hours, and I generally like being at the restaurant. With only one exception, all of the servers are very sweet and helpful. They take good care of the other hostess and me.

Aside from that, though, I’m very much looking forward to Disneyland (!!!) and finally reading a book that doesn’t require a six page analysis due at midnight to Jason’s trading me his Starcraft series for my extra copy of The Princess Bride. So excited! He started reading part of one of them, Nova, to me last night. Have I mentioned how much I love being read to? It’s amazing. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and safe, like a kitten wrapped in a blanket and surrounded by teddy bears that are eating cotton candy. It is that awesome.

I will, I will, I WILL start going to the gym again. That is also on the list of stuff I want to do over break, because it really is just as much a matter of want as it is of need. I know how good I feel when I work out. Someday I would like to trade my gym membership in for pole classes, but I think that’s going to be a long way off.

Last weekend brought a whole bunch of bittersweet. My dear friend Myra and her husband Kurt are moving to Oregon…I think they already left, actually. The three May Revelers are spread out quite a bit now, but I will definitely keep in touch with Claire and Myra, and hopefully I will be able to reach Joanna. I don’t have such a tight relationship with many women. I never thought having close girl friends would be something I ever wanted. Now that I have a few, though, I can’t believe how much I was missing out on.

Nothing dramatic or epic to report. The biggest thing going on right now is the 1 vs 100 live game on XBOX 360 that Mom 2.0 and I have become completely obsessed with. I had forgotten how competitive I can get…apparently Jason was unaware as well. Oops! just one of those things, I guess, still getting used to each others little quirks. It’s fun, though. We make a good team.

Gymbo the clown waves bye, bye, bye

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I knew something was up when my managers came after OpenGym. They never show up when I’m cleaning.

I’m nice and great with the kids (their words), and I saved their asses by cleaning all the time and subsitute teaching for a month and a half (my words). But it wasn’t working out (their words again).

I strongly disliked my managers anyway. But damnit, I don’t want to leave my kids. Jett finally smiled at me. He’s serious around everyone, almost never laughs; but tonight, he smiled when he saw me. Noah blows me kisses. Alesha, oh my god, she won’t let me out of her sight. Indio, too. Both of them, always grabbing my hands, because they need me RIGHT HERE. Lilah is so pretty and so quiet, like a little fae. Sweet and anything. Princess Katie…funny as hell. Never talks to the other kids. Doesn’t want to play with them. Things will be done her way, or won’t be done at all. Mandy. I know I shouldn’t have favorites, but I love Mandy. She’s loud, and a little nuts and she’s walking now. In the time I’ve known her, she has learned to walk. I love the way she yells MAAAAANNNNDYYYYY! at the top of her lungs, just to make sure we’re paying attention. And the way she stomps around in a circle, squealing nonsense. My cute little spaz. Her mom and I call her Mandypants. It worked well.

I don’t even get to say goodbye.

…at least now I have more time to study for finals. Hell.

Bubbles in the air

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

You know you’re doing well when being at work is the best part of your day.

I love everything about Gymboree. The parents have been very kind, and the small ones have become very comfortable around me. Some of them still eye me suspiciously, because that’s how they process new information, but most of them are more than happy to come play with me and tackle me with hugs.

Sometimes being there is a bit weird. I was a Gymboree kid. I remember the parachute and all the songs….even sang in the chorus on one of the Parachute Express cds. I can’t imagine ever being so small and so brand new. I love how they learn things…they touch and explore, and they let everyone know exactly how they are feeling at all times. It’s brilliant. I wish adults would do that more often. Touch me, hug me, let me in. We’re so guarded all of the time. It doesn’t make sense.

Oh, for my own amusement–

Gymboree sells Gymbo stick puppets. Currently, they look like this:


This is *my* Gymbo. I got him when I was about 6 months old.


Ah, nostalgia.