Thursday, November 17, 2011

Students: Before You Decide to Move Out....

I've been in college since Fall of '06. During that time, I have made a lot of decisions that have changed my life. I've changed my major about a half a dozen times. I've had many jobs in the past, a girlfriend that I moved in with, friends I've moved in with, and finally moved out on my own. I've even tried being homeless a couple of times: a few once with a job, and several times without one--either couch hopping or living in the campus library. I have done a lot of things to try and make getting through college easier, while at the same time trying to grow up, and what I've come to realize is that sometimes it's easier to take things slowly.

So what I've come to understand is that it can definitely be exciting, fun, challenging and stressful to make major life decisions on a whim. Even when I've given things a lot of thought and planned out exactly how I was going to go about things, it hasn't always been as amazing as I thought it would be. For instance, I hated the idea of working all the time just to pay rent and buy food. So I decided it was better to live in my car. I planned out exactly where I was going to shower (24 hour fitness), where I was going to keep my belongings (in my car), how I was going to make my food (hot plate), and where I was going to sleep (outside of friends' houses or in front of 24-hour establishments). However, despite my planning, things got out of hand. I ended up moving back in with my parents, still with my job, and later ended up quitting all together.

In college, it's important to try new things, and explore new possibilities, but sometimes, it's better to take things slowly. If you want to grow up, get a job, move out, and live your own life, try taking those things one at a time.

First, try helping out around the house. Perhaps volunteer at some place that sounds like you might enjoy it and try to figure out if you could even handle doing that full time or even part time while going to school. If you really want to make your mark on this world or live a comfortable life, school is important, and it should always come first.

Second, try getting a part time job on weekends. Make arrangements with your parents to pay part of the grocery bill, or the electric, or something small. This is great practice for when you really move out. It will give you a sense of how difficult it might be to keep your grades up without any serious repercussions of jeopardizing your how situation.

Then maybe try getting more hours at your job, or get another job that offers more hours. Consider who you would move out with (if anybody) if you did move out. And chances are, if you can't even manage living with your parents, you probably will have a hard time living with friends.

Once you sign that lease, however, you really only have two options: follow through with your obligation to pay rent for the duration of the lease, or mess up your credit for just about the entire time you will be in college. It's really not worth finding out whether you can handle it the hard way (by jumping right into it) because chances are, you will revert to survival mode and pick money over good grades like I have. And even if you manage to somehow pull it off, you might be jeopardizing your happiness instead.

Always remember: no matter how hard life gets, school is important, and no matter what your situation is, your life will always be harder in the future if you don't complete your schooling. Whether you want to help people or just make lots of money, you should always be focused on your long-term goals and realize what is more important, which is learning a lot of good knowledge and using that knowledge to achieve your goals and dreams.

Keep dreaming kids, but always remember what you must do to get there.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Working at Walmart: Missing Work is Serious Business.... If you didn't call the 1-800 number

It's been a while since I've made an update regarding my days spent at Walmart, the soul-sucking international asshole of the world!

But recently, things have been changing, and so have I. So it seems like a good time to fill you guys in on what's been going on.

Working at Walmart is definitely a whole new experience. My first job was at Traffic Research and Analysis; all we really did was count cars, and the work was really sporadic and boring beyond belief, but the pay was good, and as a 15 year old with a pretty flexible schedule, it was alright.

Then I worked for Walmart as a cart pusher. That only lasted for about 3 months before I got tired of it. After my 90 day good-ol' Walmart checkup, where they they told me that I wasn't working hard enough to earn the extra .10/hour raise, even though I was constantly sweating my ass off and coming home with heat stroke every day, still just a kid in high school, I pretty much said, "fuck this noise," and bounced like a big bald dude guarding the door to a club.

My next job wasn't for a while. After Walmart, I wasn't completely into making money. In fact, I was pretty fed up with corporations--and yet, I still hadn't discovered punk music by this point; but one thing I knew was that corporations were giant conglomerates of assholes, bent on exploiting as many people as they could to make a small marginal profit that would earn the top-payed CEOs I bunch of money that they would spend on completely unnecessary commodities, such as limos, servants, jacuzzi's, big-screen televisions, and $100 plates of salad at some upscale restaurant for some hooker they were seeing behind their wives' backs. I guess you could say, I was pretty anti-consumerism all-together, naively thinking that people should strive to live on as little as is absolutely necessary to live a pretty good life.
Working at Walmart Sucks

But that didn't stop me from getting another job. Flash forward to my first year of college, only about a year or two later. I met a guy named Spencer who helped me get a job at Target. It was alright at first. The freight comes down the line, you put it on a pallet. More freight comes out, you put it on a pallet. You keep putting it on a pallet for a few hours, and then you go stock it.

But there I was, discontent again, and suffering from a recent heartbreak (and being young and naive again), life was miserable. Work, sleep, school, eat, and then do it all over again, was pretty much my life during those two very long months. I hated every moment of it. I hated every second. I wanted to grab a baseball bat and start swinging at anything that moves. I hated life. I hated people. I hated everything. It was a very dark time for me. So I did the thing that any self-respecting person would do: I quit. No notice, no nothing. Just said, "piss off!" and moved along with my life, and then, things were good again.

Life continued to be good until Hot Topic. I was there pretty much every day, riding the bus to the mall to get back to my parents' house where I lived, and I would stop by the store at least 5 days a week to see if they had decided to hire me yet. They finally did, and I thought it was finally the job that I had waited my whole life for. Sure, I realized that they were just another asshole corporation, bent on exploiting people, but I didn't care. I could dress how I wanted. I could talk to people. It was pretty chill--too chill. There were days when I wouldn't do anything for hours. It was boring. Really boring. And then my hours got cut after the holiday, now living in my first apartment with 3 other friends, down stairs from an apartment owned by 3 other, other friends. And things were pretty cool, but I didn't have any money. The only time Hot Topic called me is when someone else called off, and then I'd pretty much say, "If you wanted me to work that day, you should have just scheduled me" because I wasn't going to just drop everything and take a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to work just because those guys occasionally needed me, and I occasionally needed money.

My friends came up to me and said I needed to get some money or I was getting kicked out. I said, "Sure. Cool. I'll see what I can do." And not but a few hours later, my work called me to tell me they were letting me go because there wasn't enough hours. I wasn't butt hurt about it, and I didn't really care. In fact, I celebrated that night to being free from that apartment and being free from that job. I was living the life.

Then, I finally buckled down and got a job at CVS. It was cool--for a while! Then it was alright. Then it wasn't bad, but not very good either.... and then worse... and before I knew it, it just sucked. There would be, usually, only two people in the whole store, and every week it was the same old bullshit. The managers would threaten to fire me if I didn't start showing up to work or doing this and that, or stop harassing the customers (which was pretty much the only thing to do around there--but most of them were regulars anyway). But they never fired me, and every day, I just cared less than the day before. Thoughts started running through my head of what I could do to get away and what my alternatives were. And finally, I woke up one day, and I just stopped going.

Funny story about that one, my parents didn't know until half a year later that I didn't have a job anymore. Here's that story:

Now where was I... oh yea... so anyway, that was pretty much it.... I went to school, I had a good time, and life was good again... Well, that is, until I worked for Walmart again. And that brings us to the real point of this story. That is: Damn this shit sucks!

I thought it would be nice to move out on my own... and it was! But going to school, and working, and paying my own bills, and trying to make sure I have food to eat... it's all just too much! And the worse part is, my grades have been slipping because of it. I already failed one class, and now I'm in high risk of getting a "D" in another, which technically is Pass/No Credit, but that just means I got to retake it anyway. And this is coming from a guy who has NEVER failed a class before.

Plus, last week, I ended up doing calc ii homework for 8 straight hours because I didn't have any time earlier that week to work on it. I missed work, too, and I didn't even call. I thought about it. I really thought about just making up some lame excuse like, "Oh, I pulled a muscle," or something like that, but then I was like, "Fuck that!" I'm a real man. I don't need to lie about where I've been or what I'm doing or why I wasn't there. So I just didn't call at all, and the very next day, I went in, and my manager came up to me. He said, "Hey, brother. Did you do a no call, no show Saturday?" And I was like, "Yea!" So I got coached.

Getting coached is just like a write-up anywhere else. Anyway....

I wasn't really mad at him. I mean, he's actually a really cool guy and he's good at his job. If I was in his position, I probably would have coached me too because that's his responsibility, but I just started talking to him--about how things didn't make sense at Walmart, about how none of it really mattered because I wasn't going to be there in 2-3 years anyway (if even that), and how I wanted to really get out there and start doing shit. I was tired of waiting around in my little part-time, low-wage shitty ass job. There I was, getting written up for not calling in, when nobody even cares if you call in, as long as you use the number. Some people seem to call in at least once a week, and they never get in trouble. Nobody cares at Walmart, which is why it's so completely different.

You don't have to get your job done. If you don't finish you just pass it on to the next poor sap. You don't have to work just as long as you pretend to. And if a manager ever catches you goofing off (as long as it's not a serious safety hazard or violation of a serious safety regulation), they just tell you to knock it off and get back to work. It's like a perverted little game where we're all playing grown-up and getting paid for it. And yet, every fucking person in that whole fucking store acts like a little kid, especially the adults.

One day, I literally saw one of my co-workers from my shift just fucking standing there and watching as two other associates struggled with a pallet that was falling over. She was like hiding or something, just watching from the distance like a fucking idiot... like a goddamn child. It's like, seriously? And it's not that I really even care if people do their job, just don't fucking stand there and watch while somebody else does all the work. If you're going to go dick off, don't do it around people who are busting their ass; that's just bad manners.

See? Hot Girls can
Work at Walmart too!
I've never seen so many people who will just blatantly do nothing while you are fucking sweating balls and pulling muscles trying to get a job done all by yourself. They just sit there and watch you, hoping that you won't ask for their help, and even if you do, they've already got their response planned out. They already know how to tell you "no."

It's just worthless. Walmart is a shitty company unless you don't give a fuck, and then it's awesome. That's just the short and skinny of the whole thing. And it's a pretty alright gig while you're doing school, as long as you only work 2 or 3 days, not 5 and definitely not the extraneous shit I have to deal with on a daily basis.

And working while going to school sucks in general. Seriously, if you're a parent and you're reading this right now, you're a selfish son of a bitch if you just bought yourself some beer or some cupcakes (or whatever your fix is) and you didn't bother to even think of putting some money in an education fund for your kid, not even a fucking nickel. Cut your kid a break. Let your kid grow up when he's ready. He's not gonna wanna live under your roof forever, and by the time he says, "bye dad" or "bye mom" you're gonna be fucking bawling cause you miss him so much anyway unless you really are just a shitty fucking parent.

All I'm saying is that I'm done. I don't give a shit about this life anymore--my job, my rent, my credit. All those things are nice if I can maintain them, but I would rather give all that shit away and cling to my education because at least I know that's taking me somewhere--not this growing up bullshit; that's just holding me back.

And that's the word.


Disclaimer: Though I am an under-paid, exploited employee at Walmart, that Walmart would love to sue for shit-tons of money, my views and the views expressed on this blog are CLEARLY not the views of Walmart. If you thought they were, even for a second, you're probably an idiot, and you need to leave, now! Seriusly, go! I don't want retards like you hanging around my website. But seriously, Walmart has nothing to do with any of these goings-on, except for the fact that they're a shitty company in general, and I work there. So please, Walmart, don't sue me.... for serious.