Penelope Trunk made a good point on her blog earlier this morning. I commented, and my comment inspired me to elaborate on why Christmas at my “office” sucks.
I’ll tell you what I hate about Christmas at my “office” (read: restaurant). I hate that one of my coworkers says “Merry Christmas” to guests as they leave. I told her we should probably say “Happy Holidays” so we don’t offend anyone, and she said “well I didn’t get that memo, and I’m saying Merry Christmas”.
I hate that we’re tuned in to Sirius’ Christmas channel from the day after Thanksgiving on. I can only take so much of the carols. And the volume at which we project said music through the restaurant is at borderline obscene levels. Add to that my said coworker above loves to sing at the top of her lungs while making martinis for the regulars. It’s annoying.
More over, I hate the guilt that I feel, this year in particular, because I can’t afford to buy presents for people. Sorry, but I’d rather have a roof over my head and the electric paid. I’m a “starving” college student, I have maxed out all of my cards, I am living night to night on tips alone – I don’t have the money to get the stuff that you won’t buy for yourself.
Christmas at work would be better if we got bonuses. Then I could pay my Verizon bill on time. Christmas at work would be better if I didn’t work in a restaurant. Who wants to eat at a steakhouse on Christmas? Nobody – they’re all at home with their families, like I wish I could be as well.
Why do I hate Christmas at work? Maybe it’s because I come from a very loose Christian background. I was baptized Lutheran but I can count the number of times I’ve been to church on two hands – half of those times for funerals or weddings.
My dad’s parents were Jewish – but we don’t practice. We eat Matzo crackers and Matzo ball soup around Passover but that’s about the extent of our Jewish life. We practice when it’s convenient – say, when, we’re hungry for Matzo ball soup. That’s about as into it as we’ve ever gotten.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind working Christmas if I thought we’d bring in more money than it takes to keep the lights on in that place. When I was at Disney, I worked 12-15 hour days before and after Christmas – because those are the highest attendance days of the year. I got OT and Holiday pay – which brought me up from $7.53 an hour to like $10. Whoa.
My sister, for example, is still at Disney. She’s a PhotoPass coordinator for the resorts on property and will be in charge of six resorts tomorrow with no direct management to report to.
Our Christmas has never been traditional. We always did our own thing once we realized that getting together with everyone on my Dad’s side of the family sucked. Seriously, like 50 people packed into a clubhouse at somebody’s golf course or Aunt Paddy’s complex, cold food, old people – it wasn’t our scene. After my sophomore year of high school, we started taking vacations instead of putting up a tree.
My idea of what Christmas is differs drastically from those around me. My friends always have to pick their jaws up off the ground when I tell them my family doesn’t do presents.
Well, until this year. Now, because my sister is at Disney every day around Christmas, we’re doing presents again. We can’t get organized enough to do a vacation because of our schedules, so we’re doing our Christmas on Sunday, and going back to exchanging gifts. Read above paragraph for my thoughts on gifts.
What is the holiday season like for you and your family? Do you have a “traditional” holiday (whatever that means in your world) or has your family created their own traditions?
December 20, 2008 | Posted in Uncategorized | By Sydney
If you know of a great therapist – I’m taking suggestions. My mom said I need counseling after the last two relationships I’ve been in so I came straight here. I am my own counselor when I’m writing.
My mom defined the relationships that I’ve been in as “destructive”. According to Dr. Jill Murray, author of Destructive Relationships, I have been diving headfirst into emotionally abusive relationships. After thinking about it – I love guys that need fixing. Though my idea of a fixer-upper is different from this one, the truth is loud and clear. I like guys with issues.
The cop was “separated” and going through a divorce (I say separated in quotes because I found out later, no divorce was ever filed). I stayed in that relationship because I was the “only positive thing” in his life at the time, and I stayed in for the hope of what we could be. That relationship was, in essence, an 11-month long-distance one-night-stand. I should have called it quits after the first week.
But, because of the cop, with the soldier I am not so falsely optimistic. I can now look back at the relationship with the cop and smile, knowing that I learned something.
The soldier humiliated me in public on Wednesday, and on Thursday, the relationship was over. Really. I had a brief moment similar to the one after the cop told me he was married, weighing the odds. Should I give up on something so new? Yes. Should I just run out of here and never look back? Yes. Should I give him the benefit of the doubt? No.
All of the things that the soldier did in the past month that I overlooked were suddenly so annoying. The morning after we first met – he tore the Obama bumper sticker off my window and lit it on fire. He has a bumper sticker that says “Republican women are better looking”, which is clearly a viable political argument (can you smell the sarcasm?), and what is wrong with our country Pre-Obama. He was an asshole to all of my friends at my first-ever house party at the new place. He was an asshole to my best friend, who is dating his brother for crying out loud. He lost his appetite when I put CNN on one morning because he prefers FOX News. He snores, like, chainsaw-loud snoring. Oh, and he drinks an entire bottle of whisky nightly.
Now like I said, I overlooked all of these things because I was still high from the new-ness of the relationship. Had he not humiliated me in public, most of these things would have probably come back to bite me in the ass anyway, so the fiasco on Wednesday night was probably a blessing in disguise. My way out early – if you will.
The greatest thing about learning from my personal relationships is how they change me in my professional life. I would usually prefer to keep the two separate, but crossing over lessons from your personal life to your professional life can definitely help you grow in both areas.
The lesson from this go-round: there are some things you can ignore and some things you can’t. Could I have dealt with the snoring? Probably. The alcoholism? No. At work – can I tolerate a guest that snaps his fingers at me because he wants another cocktail? Yes, though I don’t like that, but yes. Can I tolerate a guest that uses profanity excessively or says or does something extremely inappropriate to any of my coworkers or myself? No.
We run a tight ship behind that bar. We are the best bartenders in Tampa, and I’m not saying that because I’m biased. My coworkers that have been there since it opened 11 years ago built that clientele from the ground up, and we’re not about to let some guy who’s had one too many ruin the atmosphere for our regulars. And it’s a steakhouse – the best steakhouse in America – not a sports bar.
It will be the same thing in my world post-graduation. Will I tolerate having to clip and file media articles? Yes. Will I tolerate an unethical request? No, and that’s why I’ll have my “go to hell fund”, a special savings account for when I have to drop everything at my current job and find a new one because I don’t agree with what they’re doing (compliments of the ever-so-wise, Dr. Miller).
Every new person in my life teaches me something. The fact that I’m not too dumb to learn from the bad stuff puts me that much ahead of the game. Instead of wallowing in sadness or the emotion du jour, I prefer to overanalyze the situation and nit-pick things that I can gain from what I’ve experienced.
So, to the cop and the soldier, and all of the guys that won’t work out in the future, but will inevitably teach me something about myself, thank you.
::screams in frustration::
My excitement for graduation came one semester too soon. As it stands, I will have to take one class this summer. At USF you can only take 18 hours at a time, and I need 19 to graduate. So instead of graduating in the spring and being done, I’ll walk in the spring, and return for one class this summer.
USF = U Stay Forever
I have been going to school non-stop since I started back up at Valencia in Fall 2006. It’s enough to make me go crazy.
So now, I ask you….
December 10, 2008 | Posted in Uncategorized | By Sydney
If there is one thing I have been harping on since October, is the importance of networking. I was unaware of how important this was to my career. And in the world of public relations, it really is all about who you know.
Case in point – when I met Penelope Trunk. I was an innocent bystander to a speech she gave at the PRSSA National Conference. Her words were inspirational, and the way she delivered them reminded me very much of myself. She suggested to the audience that we find a mentor, no matter if we’re young or old. So I figured who better than Penelope herself?
A couple emails later, I learned about Brazen Careerist and what it could do for my career.
Stop here. After a couple emails and phone calls, and no real results, I contacted Penelope and expressed my interest in speaking with her when she indeed had the time. She emailed me back saying she’d be available until 3 a.m. so I called her. My first meeting with Penelope was at 2:15 in the morning. She appreciated the fact that I was persistent from the beginning and that I didn’t give up when our schedules were conflicting.
I think that’s what being Brazen is all about, going after what you want and then some. And I wasn’t even part of the Brazen community yet.
Having read Penelope’s book, I was eager to jump into the world of blogging and really dive into social media and what it’s all about. I had already started a blog with a couple posts for my PR Writing class, so I decided to morph that into what we see here.
With Ryan Paugh’s help, I’ve established my blog and my presence in the Brazen community. He helped me get an idea of what I want my blog to do for me, and what I hope to accomplish through my posts. He advised that it would take a couple months to get established and it’s going to feel like nobody’s reading, because they aren’t. He’s about right – just under two months and I got my first blog comment yesterday (thanks Meg).
Since October, I’ve written several new posts on everything from an agency tour to how I met the soldier. I’ve drafted my resume three times with Penelope’s help and we’re working on making it a viable sales tool. I discovered Twitter, and have been active there as well. In the last 48 hours I’ve been flooded with a stream of followers – and for me, the flood means my total is up to 31. That’s a lot from the two or three I had when I started. Through all this, I hope to make some great contacts, and in a perfect world – possibly land a job because of those contacts I’ve made.
Ask me again in six months what blogging has done for me, and I’m sure it’ll be a lot of the same song and dance, with a few more comments (hopefully) and some more followers on Twitter. Or ask me in four months in person when I’m at the Austin Hilton with the Brazen crew at SXSW.
…and that pisses me off.
Well, a number of things have led to this. My dad’s accountant forgot to credit me for driving a hybrid and for my education part of my W-2 last year, so I still haven’t gotten an amended W-2. No W-2 means no FAFSA. No FAFSA means no federal loans. The economy is so crappy right now that I can’t get a private loan from anyone (Chase has been my go-to for this, and they can’t even help me). My parents are in no position to shell out cash for college, nor would I ever ask them to. I’ve paid for my education on my own for this long – there is no way I’m not graduating on time because of ONE FREAKING SEMESTER.
So what do I do? I need ideas and I need them fast. If I’m going to graduate on time, that means I need nearly $2300 before the first day of classes or they drop me. And if I get dropped, I can’t get back into the classes I had to get permits for because there is a waiting list a mile long.
If all else fails, I’m not opposed to going half time and finishing up in the Summer – but I’m so close I could cry and it’s taken so long to get here. I can definitely come up with half of the tuition before the first day of class, and maybe that could be my selling point.
I have a meeting today with the student obudsman’s office – “don’t stop, don’t drop” is their catch phrase – so hopefully something good will come of this. This is making a huge dent on my ego/pride because I’m thisclose to being done and being able to say that I came up with all my resources on my own. And now, with one semester left to go, I feel like I’m failing myself – like I didn’t work hard enough to figure this out on my own. I always figure it out. This is new to me, this moment of panic where I realize – I might not graduate because for the first time, I haven’t been able to come up with the resources to pay for it.
Otherwise – I’m picking out a block on Nebraska or something.