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spilledsecrets's Blog


So Now Retarded People Are Allowed To Get Nursing Licenses.

Working in the hospital world, we have what are called "narcotic discrepancies." Basically, our medicine machines (Pyxis machines) keep a stricter lock on narcotic inventories. Unlike regular meds, when you choose to deal with narcs, it makes you count what's already in there before you remove any. And if, for example, you type in 14 or 12, when there's really 13 pills in there, it creates a discrepancy, which must then be documented with a logged-in witness to record what really happened. When things get dodgy enough, employees have to take a piss test - Idk about nurses but for those of us in pharmacy, enough discrepancies, with or withour a piss test, can mean disciplinary action or loss of job. So it's a big deal.

Sunday, I was minding my own business, going through all the floors to deliver "the batch" - the group of IV bags and mixtures due the next day for in-patients. I get to ICU, and a nurse is frustrated because she can't figure out how to return the rapid intubation/RID box (a little box with emergency meds for when a patient needs to have a tube down their throat) back into the Pyxis....SHE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT WAS CALLED! AND IT WAS WRITTEN RIGHT ON THE BOX!!! That should have been my first sign. She asks me for help and I oblige - I sign in, show here where the button for the rid box is, click it - the door that holds RID boxes unlocks and swings open, we return the box - no big deal, right?

So next she says "Oh, you're so smart, can you also figure out how to fix this?" and she points at the screen. I see that she and another nurse had been doing their daily rounds of checking all the narcotics and they had created two discrepancies on themselves. I should have walked away or signed out but I'm still thinking,"this lady is a nurse, she's older, she does this every day, it's probably a non-issue" so I agree, again, stupidly. I didn't even think to sign out before she opened the drawer to be inventoried and typed her own name as the witness. She recounts the morphine syringes - there are 20. I type "20" into beginning count and it says it's wrong. I explain that I'm not sure what she did, but it thinks she has either more or less than 20.

Being that I have only been there for a little over a month, some things I learn the hard way and what happened next is one of them. This drug is located in what is called a carousel drawer. Unlike the other square drawers, or cubies, a carousel drawer is a covered, round drawer compartmentalized like a pizza with one opening on the cover. When you scan or type in the drug you want, the computer finds it and spins the carousel until the right drug's compartment is under the opened slot...it's a protective measure. What I did not realize is that when you inventory a carousel drug, you can't just inventory that one drug, you have to do the whole damn thing. So she opens the cover, and I see 12 compartments full of narcotics. And I also realized at this moment that once you're signed in to inventory all of these drugs, you're stuck there - it won't let you sign out because the drawer has to be closed first, which can't happen until the drugs selected have been inventoried.

So what I thought was going to be a quick in-and-out trip to drop off a few IV bags turned into an ordeal, and I am not happy. Now realize the whole time, that I am stuck doing all of this under my name. She begins to count drugs and tells me how many to type in - so we're going around the drawer and she gets to fentanyl patches. She tells me 2, I type in 2. "No, that's wrong", the Pyxis says. "Please recount" pops on the screen. She tells me 3. I type in 3. The computer accepts it. Then she realizes there's 4. But the computer has already decided that 4 must have been wrong because when you're asked to recount, it sometimes takes the second number as being the accurate number. So there goes another discrepancy. Now I'm angry.

She goes through the other drawers and I notice she starts to get even more scatter-brained. She's knocking drugs into the wrong drawer and when she encounters the two discrepancies that had been on there originally (the ones she asked me to help inventory), she's confused. She also keeps forgetting that I'm the one logged in so everytime a "witness required" sign-in popped up she repeatedly points to me and then points to the computer before realizing SHE is the one who had to witness. When I describe what happens next, I can only say that the situation mimicked a useless parent making eye contact with a stranger. You know when someone's kid is being a brat and screaming and poking people and throwing things, and being a general nuisance and you look at the parent as if to say, "Well, are you going to take control of your kid?" and they give you this unbelievably stupid expression as they shrug it off, in an effort to say without actually saying, "Sorry, nothing I can do but isn't (s)he cute?" She gives me that look and says something like "What else can happen today?" I didn't respond. I just glared at her, wanting to say "Do. Your JOB!" This is what we both looked like in that exchange:


We finally get to the end of the drugs and OH, SURPRISE! There are 2 MORE discrepancies in addition to the ones she just made!!! So she just documents them all as "miscounted"...still under my name.

So I kind of stewed over it for the rest of the afternoon - I can't tell my boss because it's Sunday and I'm off Monday. So today when I get to work - OF *FUCKING* COURSE there are three more goddamned discrepancies and they all list me as the one with prior access so guess who gets the blame for that??? I finally tell my boss, the pharmacy manager, and she says she can talk to our Pyxis technician and see if we can get them cleared off my name. So at least there's that.

But still....what the fucking hell? If this nurse doesn't know what a RID box is and can't even do basic counting - what I figure must be the easiest part of an intensive care nursing job -  how in the fuck is this woman in charge of taking care of critical care patients, are you kidding me!?!?!? I mean, this fucktard messed up counting like 7 drugs out of 12 drugs. Again - what.the.hell. It is a good thing I was floor stocking meds today because after I saw that, I just wanted to be by myself. I got to spend the day alone in the med rooms, refilling drugs as opposed to having to spend the whole day in the pharmacy interacting with people when I was definitely in no mood to do so.

And I tried to subside my anger. I repeatedly told myself that she was probably just having a bad day and Heaven knows I've certainly had those days where try as I might, my mind was not with work and I fucked up stuff so simple, it was clear I didn't know my head from my ass - so I really shouldn't judge this woman so harshly. Especially when it was also my fault - I mean, I should have known better than to let someone else inventory their narcs under my name. I should have stopped her and told her to let me do the count myself. Should have done this, should have done that.

But I couldn't help it. When it came down to the bottom line, I had at least three discrepancies under my name, that weren't technically even mine, because some lady can't keep her shit together. I wanted to be the bigger person, the more rational person, the person who can take accountability, but my feelings won out over my brain and I was just fuming.

Lesson very, VERY much learned...the hard way.

Flash Forward

Admittedly, I've been hesitant to update, because so much has happened, and it just seems like a lot to cover...and I procrastinate when it comes to big, long tasks. But I'll make it short (for me, anyways) - I had nothing to worry about as far as my internship/job crossover went because they've since hired me. I've also graduated with my certification and with that, received a $2 pay raise. I'm still making pennies because I work for a nonprofit hospital but $2 more than what I was making is still good (I make $12 an hour). It's still awkward because I've been there about a month and there's still a lot to learn, and I'm someone who is uncomfortable with not knowing things. I ask a lot of questions and try to learn from mistakes and hope far more than normal that I'm not being gossipped about (that's my social anxiety talking).

DH and I are in the process of buying a house. God, I really thought that would never happen. Every house in our budget was in a scary neighborhood or was just plain out run down. And then...we found it. In our budget, the rooms are big enough (it has 3BR and 1 1/2 baths), it's all hardwood floors, central electric heating and A/C, the owners have made improvement after improvement on it, and the yard is fantastic - it's shaded because there are trees surrounding it from the neighboring yards but the yard itself is actually flat and open. I love it. Even my dad, who is super-critical and very detail-oriented and technical, said it was a great house. I've been dreaming about how to decorate and what to use the rooms for and even contemplating pets - I would love to have one or two sphynx cats but they're a lot of maintenance, so most likely, it won't happen, but I like the idea of having a pet. It's been a semi-frustrating process since this is our first house and we know nothing. Luckily, our mortgage banker has been beyond friendly and helpful and I'm hoping our deal will close towards the end of this month.

I've had to go back to shampooing my hair regularly and I gave up heating products. I know I was doing the no-shampoo thing to restore health but I'm such an idiot and so vain, that I insisted on continuing to flat iron my hair...only without the shampoo there were no 'cones to protect it and my heat spray wasn't enough. Suffice to say, I fried it worse than it has ever been so I've been forced to give it up. Now, I shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo, deep condition, and use Hapuna Argan oil and Suave keratin leave-in to get rid of the frizz. I also have to braid it or twist it in a bun to create curls, or wear it up because my naturally dried hair just looks messy and like I don't comb it (I remember when I was younger, I would comb my hair and then my dad would later look at me and frustratedly say, 'You need to comb your hair' cause it just always looked dishevelled). So that means I have to wash it early afternoon so that it dries by bedtime so that I can set it at night, so that it looks decent the next day. It's very inconvenient. I miss my flat iron - 15 minutes before I left the house and I was done.

MM and his wife just had a baby. Yes, I still stalk her blog and facebook. I don't know why. I have no connection to either of them anymore, and no desire to *get* in touch with them, but I feel compelled to seek them out anonymously. Perhaps it's curiosity. I mean, once you have an affair with a married man, you hear a lot of secrets about their marriage but you don't know what the truth is. I know I still wonder if they're happy together now or if they're still just playing the roles of a young married couple and are struggling internally. I remember when I was still involved in that mess, I told MM that I thought he and his wife were good together and he asked, "Why?" I don't know if he was genuinely curious because he was lost emotionally, or if he asked because in his mind they were totally incompatible and was wondering why I would ever think such a thing. maybe it was a little of both. I hope that they've found eachother again in their marriage, despite my short interference, and I really hope this baby is a result of that, and not an attempt to fix a broken relationship. Maybe that's why I cyberstalk them - maybe I have a need to find answers of my own and seeing how this new stage in *their* life plays out will give me some clue to those answers. I don't even know why I want answers. Maybe it's guilt talking, or a weird sense of ego and vanity because I was able to break in between them (and I know how awful that is, but it's the truth) but I feel like I have to reach an end somehow and I can't let it go. When I think about it, I think he really wanted his wife back, because they were both working and their lives were going in opposite directions. I think I was a substitute for that because his wife and I are similar in many ways. We're both short brunettes, we're both writers (me with my English degree and she with her journalism), we both share his sense of humor....it's just that I was there and she wasn't. I suppose I wonder if they still miss each other or if they've managed to come together at last. I think of that and it reminds me to be careful in my own marriage - to make sure that we have date days, and that we're connected, and that sex is regular, and that he knows how I feel about him. And then I think back to MM's wife and I'm sure she felt the same way. They were still going out on weekends to visit family or whatever and I do think I remember her making efforts to have couple time but still, something was missing.  So who knows? And I guess that's where I'm left wondering and searching.

 

time waits for no man

Long story short: have been doing my hospital internship since January. Had hopes of asking for a job which came to fruition Monday afternoon when a full time position opened. The director had already gone home so I told myself to ask Wednesday (today). Come today, the manager said the director won't be in today but may talk to me about working when he comes in Friday. The full time position is filled apparently. They want me part time. I am feeling....extremely depressed. I know a part time job is still a job offer but I really need full time money and benefits. I could kick myself for not doing....idk, something, earlier. Called, let someone know....something! I just let the opportunity slip through my fingers because I assumed they wouldn't fill the position so fast. I feel as though I always let good things go. I have some self hate going on right now. I'm also typing this on my phone while at clinicals. Needless to say, I don't feel much like working. I feel like going home and wallowing

Kissing Ass at Christmas

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I Met Alice Cooper and Other Things.

I've been meaning to write about this for a while but life has kind of been kicking me in the butt lately (I'm always tired!). The day of the Alice Cooper concert finally came and it was easily the best experience of my entire year.

First of all, DH and I, and another fan who paid for VIP passes were let in early to pick our seats sooo....FRONT ROW CENTER! We came away with some really amazing pictures and seeing Alice so close up was nothing short of amazing! His show was so entertaining and he sounds just as good live as he does on recording. Take a look at the evidence:



Ok, so I have better photos but I'm too lazy to upload them so I stole the ones DH posted on facebook. But look at how close we were to him!!!! When he first walked onto the stage and I realized just what was happening, I cried like a 10 year old at a Justin Bieber concert for a few seconds.

I got a VIP bag with some things in it and I was going to pair the contents with the little things DH and I collected at the concert (fake Alice Cooper money from Billion Dollar Babies, confetti from Caffeine, a guitar pick, etc) into a giant scrapbook type wall hanging but I haven't had time to plan it out yet.

Speaking of VIP, we not only saw him in concert, we met him after the show. Of course, being me, I was so starstruck that I could barely speak 2 words to him. I asked him to sign the painting I made of him and he was so gracious. He even recognized the paints I used and commented that he studied art in college. I just sat there and nodded like an idiot - I wish I would have taken the cue to actually, you know, speak to him. I was just so excited to be sitting right next to him, and I got to take pictures of him and touch him and it was all just wonderful. I thought that spending $1000 to see him and meet him would get it out of my system and next time I could just go to his show like a regular person but the experience was so amazing that the complete opposite happened - now, everytime he performs here, which is every few years, I don't think I could settle for anything less! And by the way, I'll upload the photo of my painting later, as well. I'd post photos of myself with Alice Cooper in his dressing room but I can't since I'm trying to maintain some semblance of anonymity on here.

Speaking of other things, seems a key phrase that keeps popping up is that I haven't had time to do anything. I'm wondering if finding a job where I work nights will help be get over feeling tired the entire time I'm awake by helping me to avoid the dreaded afternoon sleepiness that always seems to hit at 3pm no matter what. Probably not. But getting up early every day to go to my internship, plus working weekend nights, plus school has really taken up a lot of my time and what isn't taken up seems to be spent napping or struggling to stay lucid til bedtime. I am counting down the days til my internship is done. Yet another student got a job offer. Again, not me.

I actually had a weird incident over this. We've been getting busier at the pharmacy lately and the pharmacist mentioned that if things keep going like this, she'll have to hire more people. Then she smiled and said "Too bad Spilledsecrets can't start working!" Of course, at hearing this, my heart elevated and I quipped, "I can in May!" and....nothing. The response I got was a stifled "mm." To me, that's not a good sign. To me, that says "I was just being friendly when I made that first comment. I don't actually want to hire you." And with that, my heart deflated. Not completely, because I'd be lying if i didn't say I'm not clutching onto that glimmer of hope with a death grip, but I'm not counting on it, realistically. I still wonder if they all just think I'm a big idiot.

My ego has really been taking a beating. I still secretly don't get along with Sasha. Had another moment with her Monday night. She was talking about the social group she organized and said they recently went out wearing their colors, which were purple and turquoise. The pharmacist went "What? purple and purple?" and when Sasha corrected her, she went "Oh, I thought you said purple and purple." and laughed a bit. I laughed too, mostly because I'm trying to fit in and be included, especially since I really didn't say anything that whole day and Sasha got mad at me. She lashed out, "What you laughing at?" and then mocked me. So I quit laughing, and seethed silently. The truth was, a small part of me was laughing genuinely because Sasha is a big girl and imagining her in all purple brought up some fat Barney the Dinosaur jokes, but I didn't say anything like that out loud  so she had no right to be such a bitch to me.

On the upside, my pharmacy teacher told me in private that he really thinks I would excel if I pursued my career further into becoming an actual pharmacist, so that's nice to hear. if i can just make it 4 1/2 weeks I'll be done with Sasha and I can take a couple of weeks off to relax and put together a resume and then do my hospital clinicals, which I think will be better suited to my introverted personality, anyways. Too bad hospital jobs are so much harder to get but here's hoping.

New Positives.

I recently wrote another whiny blog post but after a while, I started to feel better and decided to document some good things that are going on. And now I'm kind of feeling depressed again so I better get this out before I lose all hope:

As I mentioned in my last post, the two students who went to my school and got hired where I'm interning clearly didn't get offers at THEIR internships. So that makes me feel a bit less alone in my situation.

Even though my Halloween situation isn't ideal, I suppose I could still dress up if I wanted and at least get a *little* time out. And I did buy my costume in normal clothing pieces so I could wear them any time of the year so I guess it's not completely wasted.

The Alice Cooper concert is this Saturday. I've been waiting for 3 months and am pretty ecstatic over that.

Today in lab, we practiced drug compounding, which was pretty fun, and the teacher complimented my partner and me on how well we pulverized and mixed our ointment. So at least I did something right.

All this stress has led me to get a gym membership and start running. Supposedly regular exercise helps to maintain lowered stress levels and elevated happiness so maybe my blog can stop being quite so gloomy. Also, my running has improved in a short amount of time.

Last Saturday I tried Zumba for the first time, since it was offered free to members at my gym. It was pretty fun, a great workout, and I pushed myself not only physically, but mentally, because I was terrified to try it, what with my social anxiety history. So that was kind of a big victory for me, getting out there and doing something scary for the first time by myself.

I guess I feel slightly better now. Not very much, but I'll take whatever i can get.

Continuing Negativity.

I know, my blog is just one big ball of sunshine to read, right? I remember when I first went to counseling and received a personality test where my results showed that I had an abnormally high level of "negative thinking"

Ok, so my negative thinking for today:

I got to school only to find out another classmate has impressed her clinical workers and was offered a job at the end of her schooling (more on why that's negative for me later). I came home from school and tried to soothe myself by going to the grocery store and buying a chocolate pie, which ended up tasting like instant pudding and then I dropped the whole thing on the floor face down after 2 bites - and it cost me $8. Then DH came home and informed me that Halloween was moved up to tomorrow night because Thursday is supposed to storm. We're both off so we can't wear the Halloween costumes we spent buku money on. DH still wants to dress up and visit there to eat but I don't want to spend all that time getting ready just to sit down, eat for 40 minutes, and leave. I wanted to work, but I have to do my clinicals tomorrow anyways. I cried. More on that later, too.

My clinical internship lately has really been rubbing my social inability in my face. For one thing, I don't particularly like the tech I work under, who I'll call Sasha. She's moody and when she's in a good mood, all is fine, but when she's in a bad mood, I feel like she takes it out on me, even though she doesn't mean to, and it makes me miserable. I'm actually kind of scared of her, to be honest. I'm meek and timid and she's...not. And usually it's just me and her working up front, and the pharmacist in the back, so I really have no opportunity to get a break from her for the entire 9 hours we're at work.

I say "usually" because the pharmacist recently hired another technician, who has fast become friends with Sasha. I want to blame it on them both being black and bonding because of that but I know it's simply not true. So when the new tech, Barbara, works with us, she and Sasha talk to each other, which can get awkward because our setup is usually the two of them at the computers and me between them at the filling counter. So they will call to each other over me and ask questions like how they're doing, what they're cooking, etc. and I get completely left out even though I'm right between them. It's an all too familiar reminder of how I frequently just don't fit in with people and wind up becoming invisible as a result, and it hurts my feelings, and I can't figure out how to overcome it - I try to control my anxiety issues but I can't change my quiet, introverted ways - that's an innate part of my personality. So essentially I just feel like my personality and the way I am is wrong. It doesn't help that sometimes Barbara will put herself between me and Sasha to talk and have her back turned towards me the whole time, even when the pharmacist comes up to chat. That makes me feel as if there's a literal wall between me and the rest of the pharmacy staff because it's a clear sign of "I'm talking to Sasha, and I'm NOT talking to you." I have a memory from yesterday burned into my brain when Sasha called out "What you cookin' tonight?" Barbara responded with, "Me?" And Sasha incredulously goes "Yes, you!" In my mind I thought, "Of course. Why would she be talking to me?" I was so invisible, she didn't even feel the need to specify who she was questioning.

Also yesterday, the pharmacist was talking about how the 2 other new girls, who were hired in May, came about. My pharmacy teacher let last semester's class know about an opening at my interning pharmacy. Five applied and they were only filling one position but they liked 2 of them so much, they hired both of them. It's a fine story, but with me being invisible, and anxious, and shy, it just made me feel worse about myself. I know logically I'm jumping the gun here, but I kept thinking "Why haven't *I* been asked to fill a job yet?" They're getting ready to open another pharmacy so I know they'll need more staff, yet nobody's told me, "Spilledsecrets, when you graduate, we'd love for you to join our team!" and I can't help but wonder if it's because I'm just not good enough, or because they just haven't thought that far ahead. I'd been trying to tell myself that I'm getting upset over nothing - that I'm a Myer-Briggs type ISFJ and ISFJ's never feel confident without verbal encouragement/praise...so it wasn't because I didn't deserve it, it's just my insecurity. I constantly worry about every mistake I make and I wonder if it's affecting their perception of me or if I'm not doing enough. But in regards to the story about the two hires, I think what got to me was the phrase "we just *liked* both of them so much." It was about charisma, of which I have none, and the place I'm interning at is very outgoing, friendly, and they try to be a place where "everybody knows your name" so I worry that maybe they just don't see me as being friendly enough.

And I was thinking "Stop beating yourself up. Those 2 hires clearly didn't get job offers from THEIR internships, they had to work just like you. Besides, it's not like most of your classmates have jobs lined up - only 2 of them"

And this is where I come in with my first complaint about another classmate getting a job offer. When she was bragging, all I could think about was my insecurity at my own clinicals and why I haven't been offered work yet. It's not that I was unhappy for her, but it felt like opening wounds all over again by reminding me of my own situation. Again, the "What's wrong with *me*?" thinking.

So I've been feeling down. And it's affecting my studies. I've noticed I'm not as enthusiastic as I was a month ago, and I don't like that.

I was looking forward to Halloween for at least a little reprieve but as I mentioned earlier, that fell through. I cried. I cried because I almost felt like the thing I was looking forward to was ripped away from me intentionally (even though I know that's not the case). I cried because everyone else would get to dress up and I was going to be left out, yet again. I cried because I was dependent on *work* to celebrate Halloween - I don't have enough of a life to celebrate anywhere else - no friends, no parties. It just magnified the pathetic loser aspect of my existence. I argued with my husband. "Why would she do that? It doesn't make sense. She didn't care about Halloween before but now she cares enough to move it? For what?" I knew my arguments were just words - they expressed the frustration of my feelings, but they didn't accurately represent what I was *really* going through - feeling lonely, stressed, and like a nothing of a human being.

What Do You Mean You Can't Read My Mind?

Tonight was homecoming night - I imagine the very first formal dance, from the way our reserved party came in tonight.

20 teens with 8 parents, at least two of whom were taking photos and videos of the kids at every opportunity - I would've been so embarrassed if I were them, but whatever.

I took the 2 tables of teens, and my coworker, Aileen, took the table of adults. To my surprise, the kids were actually really awesome. Usually they're kind of stuck up, bratty, and/or annoying but these ones were all really polite, well-behaved, and mature.

Not sure where they learned it from because their parents were not. Aileen came up to me and said we had to work something out because some of the kids were being paid for by the adults but some were paying their own tabs. Not too much of a biggie. I went to the parent table after they were done eating and asked if it was alright if I gave the kids their own tickets, and then they could just bring them to the person paying, if they weren't paying themselves. That way we can avoid any mix-ups or complications that are wont to happen when adults are sitting at a completely different table from their offspring, especially 20 of em. They agreed.

Aileen later told me that one kid at my table had a birthday and to let her know because one of the moms wanted to film it. I agreed.

After the parents' dinners, Aileen came up to me and said the parents (not sure if it was all of them or just one) complained that we didn't already have their kids meals on the bills. I rolled my eyes and said through clenched teeth "I told them, their kids would have to bring their bills to them. I don't know how stupid you have to be to not understand that."

Then the even more ridiculous realization hit me and I added, "Besides, they didn't even tell us which kids were theirs!"

I told the other people I work with and they all got a good laugh out of it. DH went "Really?" and then put two fingers to his temple and stared intently, mimicking a mind reader while saying "That one is on my bill."

Next, my tables were still being cooked for by the teppanyaki chefs....cooking for 8 adults take much less time than 20 teenagers so the parents' finished first. One of them asked Aileen why we hadn't already done the birthday song and cake to which she had to tell them, "Ma'am, that's usually done after the chef has finished cooking, since it's a dessert."

I've never encountered a situation where that had to be explained before.

For once, I'm glad I got the kids' table instead of the adults. They were really easy-going and didn't make a fuss about anything. Maybe they should give their parents lessons on etiquette and common sense.

Yes, Your Kids Cost Money.

Tonight at work, I added a gratuity charge to a group of 6 - 2 adults, 4 children. I don't always charge gratuity to my tables - just the ones I think will tip poorly or not at all. Our grat is 15% of the bill and we tip out 7% of sales to our chefs so out of a 15% tip, we only keep 8%. My husband and boss say it's better to charge and be safe rather than gamble - because, you see, if I gambled and the table didn't tip, that 7% comes out of my pocket, meaning the chef still gets his money but I actually had to pay to work. But to me, 15% is too small, and I'd rather gamble and try for 18-20% tips on tables that seem good for the money.

Anyways, I could tell from the beginning that this was not a money table. They wore frowns on their faces and their demeanors were cold and a little hostile. I'm not saying that only friendly people tip well or that all seemingly grumpy people tip poorly, but it's generally a fair indication of what I can expect. People who smile back at me and show me courtesy and respect are generally safer to bet on. Other indicators are age, dress, and sometimes gender. Women and men, I think, tip equally, but a woman who seems less than thrilled to be there is more often than not a crap tip (no idea if this works the same with male waiters...maybe for them it's grumpy men).

Anyways, I was just getting "gratuity" vibes in tidal waves so I took their orders and added the grat. They were a fairly easy table but they did hold up all of my other tables because 2 of the kids were being brats and refusing to order. Then I did my rounds to make sure my other tables were ok and came back to them with soups and salad. The other 2 kids had already downed their drinks and needed refills. I brought sushi out to them, and had to make a special trip to get all the kids "cheater chopsticks" that are built so that they don't require skill to use. Then I had to get another one cause one girl broke hers. A few more refills, and then I get the dreaded "It's so-and-so's birthday" whisper. And as you may or may not know, I fucking hate restaurant birthdays to the core of my being: http://spilledsecrets.blogs.experienceproject.com/1343272.html

So we bring out the obligatory cake and sing and blah blah blah. I hand over the bill, and leave momentarily to check my other tables again. I turn around and see the ladies at the cashier stand talking to the manager. I creep forward just enough to hear what's being said without being noticed:

Lady: How many people do you require for a gratuity?
Manager: 6.
Lady: Even when it's 4 kids and 2 adults?

That was enough for me. I walked away, thinking to myself, ESPECIALLY if you have 4 kids, you retarded bitch! Not only are they typically loud, annoying, and messy, but they're taking up seats that may have otherwise gone to paying adult customers. I vent to my coworker, who is wholly sympathetic. I tell my husband and he tells me he's aware - those ladies are regulars and they never tip.

After they leave, I approach my manager who fills me in on the rest of their conversation. She told them we charge for 6 people, just like many of the surrounding restaurants do, and they tried to elaborate that their kids didn't need to be waited on. Fucking bullshit. They all ate. I brought them drinks, food, chopsticks, and even gave them a goddamn free dessert and sang when I had more important things to do. My manager agreed, said she told them that perhaps if they didn't eat, she could waive the fee, but they did. Then she told me, "They took up the whole table. What if they didn't tip and then you got nothing?" I have to add here, that I work at a teppenyaki which is communal dining. It's not like a regular restaurant where once a table is sat, that's it. At a teppenyaki, we seat as many customers as possible and strangers share the table. So taking up an entire table means I can't get any other customers.

She still made them pay the grat. Thank God. For once, the customer was not always right. And besides, anyone who's already willing to go out and spend $100 on food should be able to cough up $15 for a tip.

So Mad, I Lost My Vision.

I'm not sure I would have felt so angry tonight if I hadn't already been on my feet since 9 am doing my internship. Maybe I was fatigued and cranky as a result.

But boy, I got pissed at a customer tonight.

Got a table of 12 at work, and they essentially ran me for their entire trip getting refills and orders to them. One couple in particular ordered 10 shots of crown throughout the night.

Now, let me take you through this. I greeted them and they ordered 2 crown and diets. I bring them, and they each immediately ask for another glass, only this time they want doubles.

So I bring the doubles. Already, we're up to 6 shots - one single for each of them, and one double for each of them. Still with me?

Halfway through the meal, they each ask for one for double. I bring those glasses. Two shots for each person means 4 shots total. Add that to the 6 previous. So...10 shots, right?

Well, I bring the ticket and the lady immediately pulls me over and explains they didn't have that many shots. I explain that I have to charge 2x for doubles. She points to the first 6 and says "Yeah, but the first ones weren't doubles." I look at her ticket. Now, I rang them up initially as having 3 shots each - one single and one double. I added the others as they ordered them. So their bill looked like this:

crown x3
crown x3
crown x2
crown x2

I tell her "I know. That bill is right." She continues to argue. I bend down to show her the tab, point at the first "crown x3" and said "yes ma'am. This is the first shot, plus the double. This one is yours. I point to the second "crown x3" and say "This is his first shot plus the double." I point to the two "crown x2" and say, "And these were your second drinks." She throws a fit and says "Whatever." I'm fine with that. I turn around to talk to the rest of their table and as I'm finishing up, I hear someone near them laugh and go "She gave an attitude!" I don't know if he was referencing me or the lady, but I hear her follow up with an unintelligible string of whines concluded with "She's wrong."

I could not hold it in. I spun around, and I could not even look her in the face because at that point, my vision was actually kind of blurred, I was so mad. I exclaimed, "ma'am, would you like me to bring the manager over to help you? Or maybe you'd like to go talk to her yourself?" She declines. I say "ok." and quickly grab the tickets on their tables to cash them out. I remember somewhat trying to smile and hide my irritation, but not very well - I'm sure they could all see it. I took those tickets up really quickly to get away from her as soon as possible.

I was running their debit cards, thinking over what that lady said, and how she had the audacity to loudly complain about me when my back was turned to her not even 1 foot away, yet when confronted, she didn't want to say anything. I tried to tell myself it was just a drunk person being belligerent but I couldn't help it. I was looking at a ticket in my hand and my vision flashed white and I couldn't see anything again.

Both episodes only lasted for a couple of seconds but wow. I haven't actually been that enraged in a really long time...not since I was with my ex.

And compared to all the things that I've endured that would make me angry, this situation certainly wasn't the worst. But I guess when you pair with me with intense anxiety, stress, and fatigue, and a stupid fucking bitch in my acquaintance circle, it doesn't take as much.

Confessions of a Server - I Kind of Hate It Here and I Can't Hide It Anymore

Tonight, my sales were over $2500. After my 7% tipout, I had $145 in tips for the whole day. That means my tips averaged 12% per bill. An adequate tip is 15 - 20%

Meanwhile, one of my coworkers made less than half of my sales and walked with $160 in her pocket.

I'm not doing anything technically wrong. My orders aren't wrong. I keep the drinks filled. I bring food out on time. I'm knowledgeable about damn near any questions my customers have. I'm not rude. I smile. I say please and thank you. I even apologize on the miniscule occasions I let someone's glass reach empty. I don't talk shit about the customers in the dining room where they can hear. I try my hardest to fulfill each and every request. I keep an eye out for things that could potentially make diners' stay with us more pleasant, such as bringing extra napkins to families with small babies, before they ask.

Wouldn't you say that deserves an adequate tip percent?

Me, too. But the truth is, people tip based on charisma more than adequacy, and I can't fake it anymore. Here are just 2 of the scenarios I encountered today at work. keep in mind, i work at a teppanyaki where a chef cooks for everyone at a grill in front of the table:

1) I greet a table of 8.
Me: Hey, how are you all?
Everyone: good.
Me: Great! I turn towards the kid closest to my right. What would you like to drink tonight?
Kid: Shrimp!
Me: Ok, got it. What do you want to drink with that?
Kid: I want shrimp!
Me: Ok. And to drink?
Kid: Shrimp!
Me: To drink.....
Kid: I just wnat shrimp...and a Dr. Pepper.
Me: Alright, then. I was going to say, it might be hard to drink a shrimp. I smile at him, then turn to his mother, sitting next to him. Can I get your drink?
Mom: I want a tiger roll, and a california roll, and he wants a dragon roll.
Me: Ok, Got that. And your drink?
Mom: Oh, he's ordering off the grill. I just want sushi.
Me: That's fine. I'll put it in for you. What do you want to drink?
Mom: I just want sushi.
Dad: Carol! What do you want to DRINK!?!?

2) I get a new table. A party of 3. A family of 4, and a couple. None of them know eachother, since teppanyaki is communal dining where you sit with strangers. The party of 3 orders one vegetable meal, one steak meal, and one chicken meal:
Me: Just to be sure, you need one vegetable dinner here...
Lady: Oh, she had veggies.
Me:....ok. And you had the steak, and chicken here, right?
Lady: Yes.
I finish with them and take orders for the other 2 parties. Everything goes fine and the chef comes out. Halfway through their meal, the lady motions for me to come over.
Lady: I noticed he's cooking the vegetables last. Is there a way she can get her vegetables separately, with different utensils?
Me: Pardon?
Lady: She's a vegetarian. We were just wondering if she could get vegetables that haven't come in contact with meat. I look on the grill and notice the vegetables have already been placed on the grill and are halfway cooked.
Me: Oh, Ok! I'll see what I can do for you. I turn to speak to the chef. Is there any way we can get her vegetables cooked separate?
Chef: What?
Me: She doesn't want her vegetables to touch any meat. Can you use a different fork and knife on her food? The chef gives a slow smile and nod, which I've come to interpret as a "oh, fuck this" expression because he'd already wasted the vegetables on the grill, but I'm not sure if the customers pick up on that as well. He grabs a new spatula and knife, scrapes off a portion of vegetables, and places it back under his cart.
Chef: I'll cook these first, and then I'll cook yours afterwards with these utensils. Is that ok?
Lady: Ok. She says "ok", but she's obviously dismayed. The chef repeats himself to make sure, and again she says ok. I offer to bring new vegetables but she declines. She then asks me for carry out boxes, packs up the food they've already received, and they leave immediately to pay at the register. She looks agitated and annoyed. No tip.

I just have to add with that one, I don't see how it isn't common sense to make such a request before the chef gets to the table, when you know you're dining with 2 other groups of strangers and the grill is not separated. Most people understand everything is cooked together and every other vegetarian I've had with such rules, told me beforehand so we could accommodate them accordingly. I also wonder if these kinds of requests occur in restaurants where they don't actually see the food cooked before them. Do they request their food be cooked in a separate pan with separate utensils in traditional-style restaurants? I'm not sure. I also don't understand why, when given the opportunity to clarify to the chef that the grill had to be cleaned and new vegetables need to be brought out, they instead chose to tell him "ok" and then get pissed at us for not reading their minds.

And of course, there are the little things that happen more frequently - I haven't finished out passing drinks when someone who already received theirs whines about not having a straw - can you give me a second? I'm sure these people who I haven't passed drinks to are thirsty, too. Or someone asks me which sushi rolls are cooked and I say "rolls with shellfish" and then have to specify "crab, shrimp, and crawfish" because the word "shellfish" is over their heads. I ask if they need carry-out boxes or refills. They tell me "no", and then when I go back to the table a few minutes later, they ask for boxes and refills. They get mad at me when they try to request a particular chef and I tell them no, unless they want to wait 30 minutes because their favorite chef is cooking a different table at the moment. "Sorry, there's only one of him and he's in high demand", I want to say. But I don't. I smile, apologize, and ask if I can do anything else for them. One person has a birthday, we sing, and then suddenly it's everyone's birthday. What a coincidence. A customer orders their own food wrong, then complains and I have to pay for it from my own pocket. Etc.

I just can't pretend to tolerate it anymore. I try; I really do. I plaster on my smile and keep my voice light, and assure them everything will be fine, that yes I can do their ridiculously complicated and time-consuming request (not in those words, of course), but the truth is (I assume) that I just can't hide the fact that I'm faking it. That's really the only explanation I have. When my coworker sells less than half than I do and makes more money, the only thing I've got left is that it must be my attitude. Try as I might, I can't hide my contempt, my fatigue, my lifelessness. I try to help these people. I want to help these people. But it just doesn't matter to them, and I've gotten past my tolerance level for overlooking stupidity.

I understand that by studying to be a pharmacy tech, I still have to deal with difficult customers. But there's a difference. I don't HAVE to kiss their asses. I have to be professional and nice, but at the end of the day, my paycheck isn't dependent upon how well I sucked up to every crappy customer - even if I make less than I do waiting tables, at least I don't have to end the day feeling the way I do right now - sitting alone wondering "What is so wrong with me that I don't deserve 15% tips?". Plus, at least I'll be doing something that really matters - people's lives will depend on me. Restaurants are nice, but really, who needs them? Is it really that urgent that I deliver an appetizer in less than 10 minutes?

I almost cried a couple of times after my tipout, while waiting for DH to finish up his last table so we could leave. I don't have to cry anymore, but I still feel helpless. And exhausted. My feet hurt, my legs hurt, and I can't even walk that fast. And I stink of restaurant fumes. I'm just feeling defeated.

I smuggled a pill from the pharmacy.

Today when I was getting ready to go back to my externship, I found a pill on the bathroom floor. I picked it up, furrowed my brows, and examined it, front and back, checking the size and shape. White, smooth oval. 150 or 115 or something etched into one side, 100 on the other. Do I have any pills like this? Mucinex? Does Mucinex even have numbers on it? Does any OTC? I turned around, opened my medicine cabinet, and located the bottle. Upon opening, I realize, no, the mystery pill is much too small to be Mucinex.

I stood there for a while, holding the pill, contemplating taking it with me and putting it back into the bottle if I happen to come across it again today. Then, I decided that was a bad idea. Maybe I'd just wind up putting it into the wrong bottle and then later a patient takes it and dies, or something.

Then, I started to think, "What if they notice it's missing? What if I could get in trouble for this?" Then, I figured the answer was "They probably won't" so I threw the pill away. On further reflection, maybe I should bring it back to the pharmacy and let the staff know what happened, but that pill's already been exposed, and especially in the trash, I don't think it would be wise to re-bottle it and give it to someone now, anyways. I checked the pockets of my scrubs for any other dropped pills and thankfully, found none.

I go back for my second day of externing in 30 minutes. I know they say to never bring work home with you, but I think that goes double, in my case. I'd rather not get labelled as a drug thief and kicked out of my program, thanks.

Dazed and Confused.

I really wish my husband was not so damned happy right now because I certainly am not, and he's annoying me.

I've had this nagging feeling in my stomach all day, and I can't shake it...like when you have to throw up and even though throwing up sucks, you wish you could just do it and get it over with so that you can stop feeling queasy.

I feel ill at ease, but not enough to be really anxious and nervous. And I wish I were hyped up on anxiety because then I'd know that soon enough, it would subside. This in-between feeling is just slowly eating away at me and who knows when it will go away. My husband even commented on it a minute ago when he got home. He asked what was wrong because I "look confused".

I started my first day as a pharmacy extern today. It was supposed to last from 9-6, but I went home at 3....I kind of felt chased out. It's not that they didn't like me...I just get the feeling - no, I KNOW that I was awkward, and people aren't comfortable around awkward people. And I know personally, when I train people at work, I find it kind of draining so I'm always relieved when the new person finally goes away and I think that might have happened today. Just that weird feeling of not knowing what to do with this new person who clings to you because they don't know anyone else and yet you have not much to say to each other. Once the busy rush was over (and I was informed that usually, they don't get that slow), the girl training me kept hinting that I could go home in the nicest way possible - so I did.

I'm also painfully aware that I'm not a go-getter. I'm a follower, and I obediently do what others say, and don't really assert myself for fear of doing the wrong thing. The entire time I was there, I kept reminding myself to ask questions because I know I tend to not really ask for help. I feel a little guilty for just leaving and not asking the girl training me to show me more things...I did ask her at one point to show me the computer and she showed me how to check one prescription and that was the end. I went home soon after. I really want them to see me as competent and eager, but I don't have the personality that screams "LOOK AT ME! I WANT TO TRY EVERYTHING!" I do, but I don't have enough spine to ask for it.

As I walked out 3 hours early, I wondered what, if anything, was being said about me. I guess this feeling in my stomach is me feeling like I wasn't an adequate trainee - not that I expect to know everything on the first day, but I don't know how to make others think, "That girl's going to do fine - she's got potential!" I feel that instead, they're thinking, "Nice girl, but...ehhh."

I don't have confidence in myself. That's what it comes down to. I'm always unsure of my own capabilities and as my husband pointed out, I'm confused.

It wasn't a total bust, though. I did manage to eke out some small talk and casual conversation now and then because my trainer and one other girl took the same pharmacy program and the same professor as me. I realized that while I don't know many drugs, I at least know of a few. And even though, all I did was label and count pills, I learned more than I did before I came, like where to place everything, how to read the labels, what some of the codes meant, and some other small things. Also, i know these are average accomplishments that basic employees should be doing anyways, but I was really proud of myself for not mixing up any medications, and remembering to check the script and bottles to ensure proper dosage (dispensing the bottle that said 5mg tablets instead of the bottle with 10mg tabs, for example). Still have a long way to go. I keep telling myself that on Wednesday, I'll be more pro-active, but we'll see...talk is cheap.

The woman I'm working under owns 3 pharmacies and I'm kind of hoping I'll get to work at a different one on Wednesday as a sort of fresh start, but I have a feeling that won't happen.

Spilled Secrets, Pharmacy Pro

School has started and it's been an enventful start, though I've been missing from my blog for a while. I had to miss the first day of class because DH and I had to be out of town for his court hearing regarding his green card application. Turns out the court didn't have the files and told his lawyer to submit them to the government. Til then, nothing could be decided and we'd have to come back November of next year.

I was so frustrated. We'd come all that way, spent all that money, for nothing. I missed the first day of school for nothing. Luckily, DH's lawyer said he'd already sent the info to the government so it wasn't his fault, and said he was going to find out what happened, and hopefully get DH's card ready in 2 months, so that we won't even have a court date.

On the bright side, on our way out of court, the judge did make a cheerful comment to DH about his wife always being by his side. So it's nice to know I'm instantly recognizable as the wife...hopefully because everyone can see we're in love!

When I came back for the second day of school, I discovered everyone had been assigned clinical sites except me, since I missed Day 1. The professor said he'd take care of it that morning. I was a little bummed because I was expecting to work at the Walgreens pharmacy across the street from where I lived and another girl had already claimed it.

But, in a stroke of luck, today at school, the professor gave me my clinical assignment. I'll be working for a "mom and pop" pharmacy and he seemed pretty excited about it, and said he thought I was going to love it. Granted, it's in a bad part of town, but it's brand new so he said I'll have a lot of time with the employees since it won't be insanely busy like other retail pharmacies, and at least the whole place is surrounded by plexiglass and other material so I won't have direct hand-to-hand contact  with the customers - probably a good thing since I assume there's a lot of drug addicts on that particular street.

It doesn't seem like much and even though it's not as convenient as working right across the street from home, I do really like the idea of working in a small local place as opposed to a big retail chain, and the woman I'll be working under wants me to switch between 3 locations, one of which is right down the road from me, so it's not like I'll be working all ghetto, all the time. I wanted to extern at the VA hospital because jobs there start out at $30 an hour with paid government and national holidays so it seemed like the best opportunity for pharm techs. I was pretty bummed that 2 other girls volunteered for the slots before I could, but now that our clinicals are drawing near, I think it was a blessing in disguise that I didn't volunteer fast enough, as the two girls who did are having trouble getting the VA to submit everything to allow them to work there. So maybe the mom-and-pop can't beat the pay and vacation time (if they choose to hire me later), but I think the environment is probably more pleasant and hands-on. Also, when my professor seems stoked, I am too. He's really a great teacher and I trust his judgment. He's always very affable and friendly, his lectures are engaging, he seems to really care for the students, and last semester, each of his pharm tech students passed the national certification test so I have faith in his abilities.

Math is a little of a challenge, but I've found that compared to some classmates, I'm better at it than I thought. But, we'll see. If you tell me what I'm supposed to do, I catch on fast enough, but the area I've always had problems in was critical thinking. I can't easily read a random word problem and figure out which mathematical formula I'm supposed to use. I've been studying a little extra to try to remedy that as best as I can, though I won't be faced with that situation til probably test time.

Speaking of tests, I'm also a little worried about my schedule. I'll be externing  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for however long and going to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought 3 classes only two days a week would be a breeze but as it turns out, class on only 2 days a week means each test day is doubled. I have tests for at least 2 classes each test day, and I'd much rather study for one test at a time, rather than two.

Speaking of which, I should probably go and study my pharmacology notes. When the prof. reviewed, I didn't retain as much as I thought, and he hinted that pharmacology would be one of the more difficult classes. I thought it would be math, but so far, I think my math skills are fairly decent. I don't work quickly, but when I know what I'm doing, i find that I finish before several other classmates. Not bad for a girl who studied English and avoided math for as long as possible.

...Also as a girl with an English degree, i should probably proofread these entries once in a while. Sometimes I go back and read them and there are always stupid mistakes. But I figure it's my blog, and I doubt people read it, so I don't care much to clean up the writing. Although, before I started writing this one, I noticed my recent entries are up to 1700+ views, which is kind of astounding given that I think the highest amount of views I'm used to is somewhere between 60 and 100. So I guess someone is visiting.

And I digress. Judging by how I write, it's hard to believe I'm so socially inept that I often find myself without words in actual conversation.  Anyways, as i was saying, I should go study. This is my future, after all.

Crash!

So I don't generally believe in omens but today, it's a lot more convenient to do so.

Yesterday was a day off work for both DH and I. He told me had a dream that he was defecating and in his country, people generally believe that such a dream means something bad is going to happen. So as per his request, we stayed home and didn't do anything, to avoid getting ourselves in trouble.

Then today came and for the most part was a normal day. Went to work, came home for a lunch break, and i read on an article on Cracked, http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-to-remember-when-your-life-goes-to-hell/. I remembered in particular, #5 - "This is temporary, even if your problem isn't" - because that's what I was told when I went to career counselling during the collapse of my mental stability when i worked for the car dealership. When faced in a tough situation, the feelings you have, the sense of panic - it's temporary. Eventually, you move on, you learn to deal with it, you problem solve, and the catastrophic feeling within you simmers down. I clicked out of my internet screen and left for work feeling a little more at peace.

Boy, I needed it, too. I had an accident while driving to work. There's a certain part of the road that I've always heard is dangerous and notorious for accidents, but as I've never had one, I always drove on it, thinking "This isn't so bad."  And then today happened. I was trying to merge, unaware that the car in front of me hadn't already done so. My head was turned looking at the traffic coming from the southwest side of my car and since it looked clear, I began driving. I drove right into the back of a car.

Of course, we both pulled over, called the police for an accident report - I received a citation for following too closely. Both of our cars appear fine except for one or two minor scratches, though to be honest, I'm scared to get up close to my car to see what really happened to it, if anything.

I cried. I apologized profusely both to the other driver (who was such a sweetheart about it) and to my husband. I felt like I had just royally fucked up everyone's day, not to mention our boss and coworkers, who were waiting on us. But I didn't cry as much as I normally would have. I did manage to pull myself together, partly because of that cracked article, and partly because of the fact that when I got out, neither car was really damaged at all, and everyone was ok. My wonderful and amazing husband took it with such stride and kept telling me it was ok because the cars were fine, the people were fine, and it was an accident. I am still reeling with guilt, however. My husband blamed it on the poop dream he had the other day. He said he knew it was coming - something bad.  I'd like to believe it was cause of a poop dream, also. That it was fate and not just me being an inattentive idiot and if it wasn't that, it would be something else.

What made this whole situation worse is we're so short on money right now and I was making a big deal about saving and now, not only would we have to pay for repairs to the other car if they decide to get the nicks smoothed over, but my insurance is surely going up, AND we're late for work and therefore losing money. And part of the reason we're a little in the hole is because Alice Cooper is playing in concert nearby and I just HAD to buy the VIP tickets, or so I thought. Regular concert tickets weren't enough - oh no, I just had to get the $1000 VIP passes to meet and take photos with him. At the time I was so excited because Alice Cooper is pretty much my favorite celebrity, my favorite musician, and I really look up to and admire him and I saw as a once in a lifetime chance. I thought I'd never get to see him before he died and I NEVER thought DH would ever agree to go to a concert because he always said he was too old to go to concerts. And then I started having regrets. I was selfish, and impulsive, and I wasn't considering things realistically. My husband assures me it's worth it because it's Alice Cooper and an opportunity like this doesn't come around for us often. I've asked him more than once if buying those passes was a mistake and he answers "No" without even a moment of hesitation or wavering.  He mentioned that even if we didn't get the tickets, we can't avoid the other major things draining our money like court , hospital, and lawyer fees to get his green card, and my bills for school. So it was going to happen regardless.

I still just wonder if I fuck everything up. If I'm the reason everything just goes to shit. I just keep telling myself "This is temporary." It may not be as fast as we want it, but our bank account will slowly but surely return to normal, and everything will pass. Also, it's not like we're broke. We have money. We just don't have the amount that I like to keep in our checkings to remain comfortable. I talked to my dad about where we are financially and he assures us we'll be just fine.

Part of me wants to take a long bath to relax but I'm afraid that if i do, I'll just spend the whole time in my thoughts making myself feel even more guilty.

I feel like my nickname should be Asshole right about now.

Jumbled Rambling

I'm feeling better since my last post, in which I'm not sure how obvious it was, but I dragged myself down writing that last one. To the point where after I submitted it, I tried for about an hour to go back to playing video games and relaxing and found that i just couldn't. I didn't feel like it and all I could concentrate on was how lost in life I felt, and how inadequate. I eventually got up after failing to lie and wallow in my bed, searched for music fitting my mood, and created a playlist on my phone simply titled "feeling lost." The wave of depression engulfing me only got worse when DH arrived home because I just had no desire to do anything. I didn't want to do anything I enjoyed. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I didn't even want to lie there and try to sleep it off. So I really just wanted to shout at DH to be quiet and leave me alone. I didn't - none of this is his fault and I definitely don't want to make him feel bad for showing his wife some affection and happiness.

But then I was forced to go to work, and I felt better once I was there. Not that my job is fantastic or anything, but it's not the worst, either, and it forces me to put myself into a better mood - I don't have time to think about negative crap in my life and if I want to make money, I have to appear pleasant to the customers.

So now, my spirits are lifted a bit and I feel like just dumping some random things on my mind:

1. I have a busy schedule planned ahead. July 1st, make sure college has officially set my classes for this semester, since the whole pharm tech dept had problems registering. Also, schedule (another! grr) physical exam with my new primary care doctor. I had one done as a requirement for my clinical permits and was SO proud of myself for being ahead of the game, only to realize afterwards that the physical doesn't count unless it's after July 1st. So that's $300 wasted, because I also paid for a drug test, which I found out I didn't have to do. Anyways, then on July 8th, my mother, step father, and brother are coming to visit. I have to plan and prepare a pot roast dinner for them and DH has unwittingly transferred his anxiety over his in-laws visiting onto me and I worry they won't like it. Then later that week, DH's birthday comes up. Going to make him a lemon angel food cake. I've decided to try to make him a new and different cake every year. Last year's was strawberry. I also have a birthday card hidden away and I'm planning to discreetly leave it in his vehicle along with a magnolia flower (for romance's sake) for him to find on his way home from work. On the 15th, I have my annual gyno visit. Then things slow for a while til the third week of August when school starts, and then the next week, DH and I have to drive 4 hours away and back for a court date regarding obtaining his green card, which we have to time around my class schedule. Then I have to prepare for clinicals and who knows after that.

2. I haven't mentioned my hair for a while but I gave in and shampooed. BUT it wasn't really that much of a cheat or a give up because I used Burt's Bees Super Shiny shampoo, which is 97% natural. I read the reviews and most people complained that it made their hair greasy......except for girls who didn't wash their hair often in the first place. So that was proof enough that it wasn't the shampoo that caused greasiness, it was the fact that other users hadn't transitioned their hair out of harsh chemical agents and shampoos and was experiencing the detox I and other no-pooers went through. I washed my hair and it came out softer and less greasy. So there's the ultimate proof that my no-shampoo experiment worked! No more sulfates and silicones for me, Baby! But back to my explanation. I hadn't intended to use shampoo but I was just plain tired of constantly feeling like I had second-day hair. I mean, my hair never got overly greasy, but it still always felt slightly heavier than before I quit shampooing. And no matter how much better no shampoo was for my hair health, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I missed having light, fluffy, weightless hair, which as I think I've mentioned before (and if I haven't, here it is), is only obtainable with shampoo.  And I actually fought with myself before buying the shampoo because I'd gone so long without shampoo that giving in would feel like a failure. But then, I reminded myself that there was no point if I wasn't happy with my hair. So then I reminded myself that I could just use baking soda at home and it would be cheaper. But then, I told myself that going "no 'poo" wasn't about saving dollars, it was about the convenience of not needing hair products. So if I WAS going to resort to putting products in my hair, I may as well give myself some luxury and splurge on something that will at least let my hair smell like "girl hair." So after standing there holding the bottle of shampoo in what must have looked like a catatonic stupor as I debated with myself, I finally turned to my shopping basket, dropped it in, and bought it. That was a few days ago. I've gone two washes without shampoo since and it hasn't gotten greasy at all...not even that second-day, slightly heavy feeling I described before. So maybe I can get away with only shampooing once or twice a month to give myself a pick-me-up. Also big hair news - I quit using conditioner regularly. So now it's completely water only, for the most part.  The only time I use conditioner is when DH and I go to the pool and the chlorine dries my hair out and tangles it to oblivion. I quit after DH and I took a 2-day "business vacation" to the state capitol so I could get some work down for my upcoming clinicals. I just didn't bring any hair product with me and realized the first night of washing in the hotel that I don't need the conditioner. And I can't tell you how freeing it was to pack up for a trip and not have to plan for hair care products. It was liberating and exercised the very reason why I gave up shampoo in the first place.

....I thought I had more to say but I guess I don't. So that's it for now.


Now That You're Dead, What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?

Today's blog title is one of the many memorable quotes from one of my favorite movies, Heathers.

I didn't get it when I first heard it, and I'm not sure that I still get what it's supposed to mean, but I've given meaning to it, nonetheless.

I've been associating it with hitting a low point in life. That point where everything has rolled down hill so fast, that the only place to go is up, and in going up, you can practically do it however you want, cause fuck it.  No matter what route or method you use, it's a choice better than what you have now.

That's how I felt right after quitting my job at the car dealership, and in a sense, I still feel that way. My pharmacy tech path is coming at me full speed and I'm still unsure. Becoming an adult has been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to navigate and after coming to a stand-still, with no definite options and a complete feeling of total failure, well....now that I'm dead (ended), what am I going to do?

I thought things were becoming more defined for me but I actually started crying a couple of days ago. I was sitting at my computer playing video games and listening to music and I thought, "I like this setup. I work part time and I get the rest of the time to do what I want. I don't like the idea of working 8+ hour days and then coming home and after doing regular household chores and tasks, only having a small amount of time to devote to leisure activities." But here I was, getting ready to start my clinicals for a new career that I had always naturally assumed to be full time. But what if I find that I hate full time work, no matter what it is? I could always work part time but not many part time work gives benefits and retirement plans so is it worth possibly leaving my husband and I stranded in old age because I want more time to play today? Would it be worth more to me to work less in order to live more on a continuous basis or should I work my ass off now and then not at all once I hit 65? And if I do that, exactly how much living will my body be able to handle once I'm an old lady? And there's always been the guilt factor - thinking that if I'm not working full time, it means I'm a lazy piece of shit who expects my husband to do all the work so i have more time to stay home and spoil myself. Of course, there's also the theory that if you have a job doing something you love, you'll never work a day in your life, but we're talking about me, here. We're talking about a girl who doesn't have even an iota of a clue what to do, how to do it, or for how long. And so I cried a little. Out of frustration. Out of confusion. Out of guilt.

But even with all of this coming to a head, it still all feels very early, with a multitude of possibilities to find what I really want. Now that I'm dead, what am I going to do with my life?

When The Past Says,

DH likes to play tennis. I tried playing with him but (don't laugh) I am terrified of the ball. Somebody as uncoordinated as me has a bit of a reason to fear small, hard balls flying towards his/her face at rapid speed. So I quit.

What does this have to do with my past following me? Well, DH now wants a tennis partner and after a series of people who either moved away or sucked as much as I did, he's decided to call the athletic MM to see if he would play with him. And in case you don't know, which is probably most of you because I don't think my blog is popular or interesting, MM stands for "Married Man" and is the man I had an affair with, before DH and I became a couple. Actually, the affair practically ruined my love life with DH because I was so caught up in it that I practically threw DH away.

Our affair ended when he got a job in my hometown and moved away - we just lost touch and moved on with our lives, which was good for me because I was making a huge mistake, obviously, and I was making myself miserable - it actually prompted me to start this blog in the first place...though it did inspire me to write some nicely creative entries. DH still doesn't know about it, though he suspected.

Anyways, DH and I moved to the city we're in now, and not too long afterwards, guess who also gets a job in this city? MM's wife. And while they didn't quite move here, since MM still worked in a different town, they were obviously closely connected with this city and I saw them a couple of times from afar, though I doubt either of then recognized me or DH. So every once in a while I worry that I'll run into them at the grocery store or something. And while nothing would happen, it's still awkward and brings up a part of my life that I'd not like to relive, so I don't want to have contact with MM again.

But then, I do. I have this weird mix of emotions between wanting to avoid him at all costs and wanting to see him again. And don't get me wrong, I don't want to start an affair again, and I'm not attracted to him anymore, but regardless of what happened between us, he was still a friend to me, and friends aren't easy for me to come by so I'm kind of desperate for whatever I can get. Also, part of me wants a kind of closure. I'm curious about how he and his wife are getting along, if he realized, as I did, how wrong we were, or if he still struggles.

So, that's why, when DH mentioned contacting him again, I was equally careful not to give away the slight flutter in my chest and the eager excitement at possibly reuniting, while also being careful not to give away the part of me that wanted to throw myself desperately at DH in an attempt to not contact MM at any cost. "It's worth a shot," I said. "Worst he can do is say 'no'" I shrugged and avoided eye contact, keeping my gaze on the book I was reading.  He said he wasn't sure if he had MM's number, and careful not to speak too suddenly, or eagerly, I added, "I think I do.  I still have everyone's numbers from that time." Then I rattled off a list of names of both friends and people neither of us particularly liked, who were listed in my phone. And immediately, I felt knots in my stomach at just having volunteered MM's contact information.
"Mmm....maybe I'll do it later. I don't know yet."
Another shrug from me. "Ok." I said, feeling both relieved and disappointed.

I'm not sure how long ago that conversation took place. Maybe a week or so ago. Regardless, not long ago tonight I got a text from DH asking for his number.

Truth is, I could really use somebody to confide in, and I keep thinking about calling my dad, partly because he's essentially the only person I have, with that whole not having friends thing, and partly because I know he loves me unconditionally. But I still can't bring myself to publicly admit something so shameful about my past. So that's why I blog.

There's a lot more I'd like to talk about but I think I'll save it for a separate blog entry, which I may write tonight, or later, or maybe never.

I guess right now, I'll just steel myself up, look at my past, and go, "Ok, Past, ya got me. Whaddaya want?" in that tough, film noir, Humphrey Bogart kind of way.

Some Good News and Some Hippie Speak

It's not often I feel the urge to blog about positive occurrences in my life.  I would have attached this to my previous blog entry today but somehow a rambling wall of text about my hair doesn't blend well into bragging about aspects of my life that are totally unrelated.

Anyways, today I checked the mail and finally got my acceptance letter for my pharmacy tech program. I was so excited, I scheduled all of my prerequisites as soon as I got my letter and instructions. I scheduled a CPR certification class for this Saturday (and while I was at it, I emailed the volunteer director about coming back for the summer, though I feel kind of embarrassed for flaking out on her this semester). Then I located a primary care specialist and made an appointment for a physical exam next Wednesday. I would go ahead and schedule my drug screening but I may be able to do that after my physical so I figure I'll just wait and ask at the hospital. I should have asked about that while I was on the phone but to be honest, I was nervous and forgot. I still have bouts of social anxiety creep up now and then so making the phone call in the first place was a little nerve wrecking. Tomorrow I'm planning to return my acceptance form and then on June 13th, I go back to school for a mandatory meeting about the upcoming program.

I'm nervous. I'm excited. I hope I don't mess things up!

One incident I also wanted to mention was an occurrence that happened last night. In and of itself, it wasn't anything special. I was stretched out on the sofa reading and my husband came by. He kneeled by me and just watched me, his head slightly tilted, with a comfortable, relaxed smile on his face. It only happened for a few seconds before we started talking but I feel like those few seconds were frozen in time, because I remember making a mental note of it and admiring my husband for what seemed like an eternity once I looked up from my book and saw him positioned like that. The shape of his eyes were crescent-like, and they sparkled. And I mean quite literally, they sparkled. He has these almost black eyes that reflect light so well. Even in other people with such dark eyes, i never notice the kind of glimmer and light coming off of them the way they do in my husband.

The reason this stuck out was because it also reminded me of my ex, who often did the same thing in general terms - he would position himself in my view and quietly watch me. But he never made me feel the kind of warmth and love my husband garnered. When my ex did it, I often felt annoyed, and frustrated, like pressurized air fighting to explode the container holding it.

The difference between the two men was the overall atmosphere. My husband was relaxed, and just enjoying a quiet moment with his wife. It made me feel comfort.  But my ex....the atmosphere with him was tense as a result of insecurity. He did it as a way to search for my attention. It was not unlike a dog or a puppy who sits in front of his owner and expectantly, eagerly waits for an "Attaboy!"  or a treat.  Though I can't say that at times, especially later in the relationship, I didn't bring it on myself. There definitely were times my attentions toward him grew cold and detached, and of course, he would genuinely be yearning for me to show him love and affection. But I can't be fully to blame because he was always like that, and I think that's what infuriated me. Because for years, no matter how hard I tried, or how genuine I was, it was never enough. I was accused of not showing support when I had done nothing but give as much support as I could possibly muster, and genuine, honest support at that, not just going through the motions. If I complimented him, it was never enough to satiate. My best efforts to comfort, soothe, and uplift failed and sank miserably with a disparaging "THUD!", like a lead balloon thrown off a cliff, and hit especially hard during those first years when I thought I could save what I romanticized as his poor, misunderstood soul of an artist, if only I loved hard enough. And it wasn't just me. It was everybody. He so very much wanted the approval of everyone around him and never seemed to absorb it. He would reap the ego boost it gave him for a while and soon it was like he never received anything.

And that made me angry. Seeing him sit there in front of me, with his eyes, not relaxed and sparkling, but wide, and begging for validation and approval, of which I was completely inept and unable to give, and I had grown exhausted, tired, weary of even trying. In a way, it felt selfish on his part, almost as if he were actively trying to suck the energy from my spirit, though I know that wasn't his intent. I felt as though he were asking me to give from a well he refused to comprehend as having a bottom, a limit, whereas my husband doing the same physical motions was both giving and taking energy and compassion, and love with me. We were connected.

It's amazing to me how two people can do, in basic terms, the same thing, and yet can communicate two completely different classes of feeling, and thought, and emotion. Just little nuances that are done instinctively, like leaning forward or back an inch or two, or just ever so slightly relaxing the muscles around the eyes, or raising or lowering the shoulders just a centimeter or so can make a wild difference in the message and feelings purveyed...those subtle differences in and of themselves, may not even be noticed consciously but the human brain can still interpret them - what is it, about 90% of communication is nonverbal?

Anyways, that whole seconds-long scenario amazed me, but also made me even more thankful to have my husband. To have come this far and be able to feel that kind of connection with someone and have it radiate throughout every part of my being without so much as having put a finger on one another or having said a word. I realize I sound like some new age hippie more and more, but I genuinely cherish having found the ebb and flow, the give and take, the exchanging, and melding, and combining of energy with someone, and the result of which leaves me feeling on top of the world and beyond.

Day 20 No Shampoo

I am getting impatient. Tomorrow marks my third week of no shampoo and there doesn't seem to be any change in the amount of oil in my hair. Being the worry-wart hypochondriac that I am, I sometimes wonder if my hair thinks it's supposed to be like this all the time and isn't going to recalibrate, after all. It never really gets too bad. It feels oily, and it does look somewhat oily when I wake, but after straightening, you can't tell and for that reason, sometimes I think my hair isn't transitioning at all, because I was fully expecting my hair to look disgusting by now and then it would start to improve drastically. This kind of in-between stage has me worried...yes, the fact that my hair has been resiliently nice-looking has me worried. Because it's nice looking but it feels kind of gross and that is not the hair I want, ultimately.

Sometimes I try to go online to see where others are in their no shampoo projects to compare progress, but it's really hard to find someone who is only using water on their scalps and not, in fact, shampooing with baking soda. That makes me feel somewhat alone and lost in this "journey." And today when i did my search, I had a freakout.

I came across a few posts where people weren't experiencing a sebum buildup, but one caused by hard water, and if that's the case, you can't "transition" that kind of waxy buildup away. So then I started thinking that maybe the reason my hair was going nowhere was because of hard water. I didn't know if I had hard water or not yet but I was already heavily disappointed. I kept thinking I went 3 weeks of this kind of hair, for nothing! I was looking forward to the day I could announce that I wasn't using shampoo and now that day would never come.

There were some solutions to the problem but they were either expensive water softeners (and I don't even know if I can use a water softener when I live in an apartment) or so much effort that it made going no-shampoo worthless. The point of doing this was so that I would give myself less work, effort, and dependency in regards to my hair, which definitely would not happen if I had to specifically buy distilled water for my hair, boil water just for the purpose of washing my hair, and make concoctions to clarify the mineral buildup out of my hair.

So I read about some of the signs of hard water in hair - a particularly waxy feeling in the hair, for one. That didn't help me as I wasn't sure what distinguished a "waxy" feeling from a normal "oily" feeling - I mean, I had some idea, but I don't know for sure. Also, white, "dusty" residue from the mineral buildup -OR- from the baking soda not washing out due to the hard water. Hm. Well, there were tiny, white, dusty looking particles on my hairbrush but I just assumed it was oil buildup or maybe just fibers from my towel or blankets that get caught in my hair - after all, boar bristle brushes tend to catch those little particles, anyway. So no sure-fire clue there, although the fact that my brush had white sediment on it made my heart sink because I assumed the worst. One girl described her buildup as feeling thick as opposed to lank, which was definitely me. So now I was feeling even more dissipated. That wonderful Pretty-Little-Liars body I had may be due to mineral deposits that will never truly rid of the gucky feeling. But then I did remember one woman blogging that during her transition period, she had some really wonderful hair days.

So the next thing I did was research how to tell if my water was hard or soft. I checked  the sinks for mineral residue and found maybe a speck or two here and there but not really any kind of buildup. So that was good. Also, I remembered the way glasses had spots and minerals deposited around the faucets of my childhood home so at least now I had a reference to go by that I actually experienced previously. So test one passed. Next, I opened the dishwasher, where we keep dishes - we don't actually use the dishwasher, btw. We wash them by hand and then use the dishwasher racks to dry and store them - hey, makes use of a an area of our kitchen that would otherwise be ignored and saves us a ton of cabinet space in our closet-sized kitchen. Anyways, there were maybe one or two spots on a glass, but after rubbing it with my finger, they smeared and vanished. So not sure if it was mineral depositing or maybe I just didn't wash that glass thoroughly enough, but either way, it wasn't spotty the way glasses at my dad's house were. Next I boiled some tea and checked it for cloudiness - looks pretty clear to me so that was good. Finally, I filled a bottle halfway with water and then shook up some dish soap and was relieved to see how well it foamed...which I already knew it would foam but until I saw a video demonstrating how hard water really didn't foam at all, I thought maybe there was some distance between hard water and soft water foam - like hard water foam would reach the top of the bottle but soft water foam would spill over the bottle neck.

So, after freaking out, I'm glad to say I was just being overly anxious as usual, and my water is probably not having an adverse effect to not shampooing, so I suppose I'll chalk it up to having a slow transition period and keep on keepin' on.  Which is good because for a minute there, i was ready to abandon the whole thing and practically dump a whole bottle of shampoo on my head.

1-20 of 115 Blogs   

Previous Posts
So Now Retarded People Are Allowed To Get Nursing Licenses., posted June 10th, 2014
Flash Forward, posted June 5th, 2014
time waits for no man, posted March 12th, 2014
Kissing *** at Christmas, posted November 17th, 2013
I Met Alice Cooper and Other Things., posted November 12th, 2013
New Positives., posted October 30th, 2013
Continuing Negativity., posted October 29th, 2013
What Do You Mean You Can't Read My Mind?, posted October 20th, 2013
Yes, Your Kids Cost Money., posted October 18th, 2013
So Mad, I Lost My Vision., posted October 4th, 2013
Confessions of a Server - I Kind of Hate It Here and I Can't Hide It Anymore, posted September 28th, 2013
I smuggled a pill from the pharmacy., posted September 18th, 2013
Dazed and Confused., posted September 16th, 2013
Spilled Secrets, Pharmacy Pro, posted September 3rd, 2013
Crash!, posted August 8th, 2013
Jumbled Rambling, posted June 28th, 2013
Now That You're Dead, What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?, posted June 27th, 2013
When The Past Says,, posted June 24th, 2013
Some Good News and Some Hippie Speak, posted May 23rd, 2013
Day 20 No Shampoo, posted May 23rd, 2013
Day 16 No Shampoo, posted May 19th, 2013
Day 14 No Shampoo, posted May 17th, 2013
Day 12 No Shampoo, posted May 15th, 2013
No Shampoo Day 11, posted May 14th, 2013
Day 10 No Shampoo, posted May 13th, 2013
Day 9 No Shampoo, posted May 12th, 2013
Day 8 No Shampoo, posted May 11th, 2013
Day 7 No Shampoo, posted May 10th, 2013
Day 6 No Shampoo, posted May 9th, 2013
Day 5 No Shampoo, posted May 8th, 2013
Day 4 No Shampoo, posted May 7th, 2013
Day 3 without shampoo., posted May 6th, 2013
Breaking Up With Shampoo, posted May 5th, 2013
So Close and So Far., posted April 30th, 2013
From the Mouth of a Hypocrite, posted April 26th, 2013
One More Reason to Love My Husband, posted March 30th, 2013
And So I Called Her A ****., posted March 8th, 2013
Coupon Queen - Not Me., posted February 28th, 2013
I Like Coming-of-Age Movies., posted February 16th, 2013
So I guess I Do Have A New Year's Resolution., posted February 4th, 2013, 1 comment
Myself on EP and Everywhere Else, posted December 29th, 2012
******* Christmas Spirit. Bah Humbug!, posted December 25th, 2012
Back to the Old Life, posted December 4th, 2012
On Being Sentenced To the Shark Tank, posted September 17th, 2012
How's Life?, posted August 20th, 2012
First Day of Work: Starting Words, posted July 9th, 2012
Creating and Destroying Success, posted July 8th, 2012
Becoming An Adult, posted July 7th, 2012
I Really Love My Husband, posted July 4th, 2012
The Bad News and the Good News, posted June 30th, 2012
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