October 2, 2014

How It Happened

Empty office, photo from Elizabeth
I only blogged once in September. Crazy!

The past month was a crazy one, and I am definitely still adjusting to this new life.

I knew after the end of June, that the end of my work at UNL was coming soon - I just didn't know how soon, or what exactly would replace it. With the beginning of the new school year in late August came a lot of changes at work, and none that were really communicated well to me. It was an utter shitshow, if I'm being honest. But I didn't care. That moment that I realized I no longer cared if I was 100% perfect or screwed everything up was the moment I knew I needed to leave the job, and fast. Out of everything I've gone through the past five years, the thing that kept me going was the students. And now? Didn't care. Sure, I wanted them to be able to eat, and not experience issues, but I didn't panic about the mistakes and rush to fix everyone's whim.

On Friday, August 29, I had had enough of the week's bullshit, and I took the day off. My boss initially told me no, because she had no idea how to cover for me in my absence. A great sign. I found someone to take over for my duties and was able to have the day off. I slept in, resting peacefully, had lunch with Derek (who took the day off, too), met Mark (K&Z supervisor), and did my first beer event - a tasting at Hy-Vee. Then we headed to Zipline after the tasting for their Nut Brown release party. It was an absolutely fantastic day!

That night, we went to Old Chicago. Derek and I talked about some things. And I think he finally realized just how unhappy I have been for about the past four years. He finally said, that night, in Old Chicago, that he trusted me and wanted the best for me - I could quit my job at UNL. We agreed that we would not panic until it had been a month without me having employment other than serving/bartending at Longwell's and the occasional K&Z event. I had a few jobs I was planning to apply for that I figured I'd have a decent chance of getting at least an interview. I was on cloud nine!

Earlier that day, we had gone to lunch at Longwell's. Kevin, my manager, was there, and he stopped me to say, "I've talked to Eric [the owner], and we have an answer for you - but we want to wait until after the first game weekend [Husker football] to talk to you about it." I honestly assumed this meant it was good news, but tried not to get my hopes up too high. I am also incredibly impatient, so this was a little flustering to me, but I waited.

That weekend ended up being one of my favorite weekends in a long time. After a great, happy, craft beer-filled Friday, the Huskers won on Saturday in delightful fashion, and then I had a great bartending shift on Sunday night. Plus Monday was a day off from the University for Labor Day, and who doesn't love a four day weekend, right? The only crappy thing was knowing I had to go back to work at UNL on Tuesday.

I decided that, even though I had Derek's "okay" to quit, that I wanted to at least hear what Kevin had to say about the Longwell's thing before actually quitting. Mostly because I knew I would get a million questions from my boss at UNL and I guess it sounds better to say "I quit because I have a new job" than "I quit because I cannot work with you any longer because it is making me a terrible person, and no I don't have anything lined up, but that's better than risking my health and well being any longer."

After some shitty events transpired that week, I made the decision that, no matter what Kevin said, I was going to put my two weeks' notice in on Friday, September 5. Derek was on board, too, which was incredibly helpful.

But then it was Thursday, September 4, and Kevin gave me the good news I was hoping for, and I told him I'd put my two weeks' notice in on Friday, making my official start date for full time at Longwell's Monday, September 22.

So I get back to work at UNL on Thursday, September 4, preparing myself for an eye-roll-worthy meeting at 2pm. That's when my boss tells me that she is going to be leaving the meeting early for a doctor appointment for her dad, and that she would not be there in the morning on Friday for a similar reason. I knew the director would be gone Friday afternoon, so I had planned to tell them in the morning on Friday that I was quitting. But now what? So around 1:45pm, I called Derek, panicking. He suggested that I just verbally tell Pam before the meeting on Thursday, and tell her that I would put my letter in on Friday morning.

I panicked and flailed around, then it settled it: I was really doing this. I was quitting my secure job.

When my boss was on her way out the door to the meeting, I stood up in my office and told her, face to face, that I was putting in my two weeks' notice. She was floored. She stared at me for a few beats, then finally said, "wow. Really?" It was one of the scarier, nerve-wracking things I've done, but the weight that lifted off my shoulders was incredible!

Now, four weeks after making one of the biggest decisions of my life, I'm just so happy! No, things are not perfect - but what job is? I'm definitely enjoying myself, and seeing some nice success in my new role. I actually decided to come to this little corner of the internet to tell you about my new job, but then when I started writing, the story of how I finally quit just came pouring out of my fingertips.

Anyways, I accidentally just stayed up too late watching Vine and not posting this, so I ought to go for now. I have a lot more to say, things I've realized, how the job is going, etc. But I'll wait and stop this post for now.

Check ya later!

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September 17, 2014

Two Weeks' Notice

[Beside the point, but I'm struggling with the proper grammar of "two weeks' notice" - is it that? or "two weeks notice"? or "two week's notice"? Ugh.]

I've opened this blank blog post countless times since September 4. For some reason, I am just having a really hard time actually writing. I have a lot to say, but no idea how to say it all.

If you follow me on the twit-machine or the Insta, or if you are a good guesser based on titles of posts, then you already know this: I gave my two weeks' notice at my UNL job! On Thursday, September 4, even though I was planning on doing it the next Friday morning.

September 19 is my last freakin' day at UNL.

Honestly, I am still struggling to believe it.

But I could not be more excited!

My snap sent out on Monday - mostly just cuz the post needed a picture...

If you've ever read this blog, then you know I've been ready for a change for some time now. I don't even know if it is worth linking the posts I've written. I am already so happy to be out of here that I don't want to dwell on the past anymore. And coming from me, Ms. Holds-A-Grudge.

So - my big news, and I hope to write more about it someday, is that I am finally out of here! And I'm beyond words thrilled about it, too!

But, if I'm being completely honest, I'm a little scared, too. I have no regrets with leaving my job - other than maybe that I waited so long to do it. But what I am doing is leaving a secure job, with fantastic benefits, where I have a lot of responsibility and trust from my supervisors. I am leaving a guaranteed paycheck, that's really not too bad of a wage. And I'm leaving it all for something that is not guaranteed, not too stable, no benefits [Derek still works at the University and will have benefits, but our rate is way better with both of us working here], and basically starting from scratch with new supervisors.

My whole life, I have basically always done the safe thing. I've always been too hesitant to broaden or expand, because what if it doesn't work out or what if I fail? So, for me to leave my security blanket of a job and step into the relatively unknown is pretty huge for me. But I know that it was the right time. I know that I could not stay in this job for much longer. I know that I had this opportunity at my doorstep, and if I didn't take it now, then what would I do?

So maybe you want to know what I'll be doing now, instead of my 8am to 5pm job at the University?

I will be working full time for Longwell's, the restaurant I've served and bartended at since April. I will continue to bartend and to serve, but I will also work Admin/Marketing (that's what the owner called it), which means that I will officially be in charge of social media (and get paid for doing it - ha!), I will work with our bar manager on beer tastings/events (planning & working during them), and then also do some administrative stuff (I am the calendar keeper, and it sounds like the owner is intense about his calendars). I choose my hours. I can work some from home, or at the restaurant. I will also work some with Rule G, the nightclub owned by the same guy. Not sure yet in what capacity, though. Did I mention that I don't have to get up at 6am anymore?! Shoot - during the week, we don't even open until 11am! The opening bartender gets there at 9:30am, though - a much better start time for me ;)

It may not be super glamorous, but I'm so excited! This is just what I asked my manager if I could do - and I am surprised and glad that I was able to show them a need for my help and talk them into it!

Oh, I will also still work events for K&Z Distributing. I've done two events so far, and I've had a blast! I have another event tomorrow night, and it will be an interesting one for sure.

Yes, I will still have two jobs. But two is better than three! Also, they are both a great step in the right direction for my dream of working in the craft beer world, because, hey! both are in the craft beer world! And getting me experience for even better things in the future.

There you have it. My big news. The big news I've been tweeting about but haven't blogged about. For the record, this post was started (actually typing, not just staring at the blank post) over a week ago. Glad I finally got it out of me - or at least what I got out, anyway :)

Thanks for reading, and I'll be back sooner rather than later (I hope)!

Cheers!

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August 26, 2014

Just Checking In

Just a goofy picture of Ollie, so this post has a picture...

I feel like I haven't been here for a while. Other than to tell you about how I'm not sleeping (still isn't going great, btw), how I have three jobs (still haven't worked the third yet), and my crap-ass video (and I haven't heard back from them yet - not surprised). So I thought I'd check in quick.

Also, before I forget, my crazy ass self is considering doing the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge again, starting on September 1. Yeah, cuz I have time for that. Okay, I suppose I always make time for my nails..

Speaking of nails, once I can get the energy and time to upload pictures and edit a post, I have some nails I'm incredibly proud of to post on here! They were my Great Nebraska Beer Fest nails, and I loved them so!

I'm pretty much at my wit's end with my day job. It is a constant struggle for me to maintain any semblance of sanity, for me to not just walk out for good, and for me to not just blow up at anyone who looks at me. I hate the person I've become working here. I need out. But leaving a secure job that pays decently well and has good benefits is scary. And a huge decision. Just know that if I put my two weeks in today, my last day would be September 9. Oh how I wish...

Longwell's is going okay. I didn't work at all last week because my day job was so insane, so bartending on Sunday was quite a transition. I serve tonight. Womp. I mean, it's nice because I will most likely get out of work before it's too late, but I prefer bartending. And make more money (generally) when bartending. Oh well. I officially talked to the owner and general manager about hiring me full time, but I haven't heard anything. But then again, I didn't work for a week, either. And then I had a shift for Saturday (August 30), released it, had the shift picked up, and then got a little yelled at by my general manager. Oops. But c'mon! You all know I'm a nutty Husker fan! If I have the chance to go to a football game, I'm gunna take it!

Oh Huskers! This may surprise you, but I've been kind of avoiding the upcoming season. See, I'm a crazy Husker. I love my team and my coaches. I live for the tunnel walk, for that moment when the team bursts through and the crowd erupts, the moment the Blackshirts take the field and the crowd goes nutso. EVERYTHING! So I've been hiding out from it because I knew I wouldn't be able to participate like normal. Because I'd have to work every Saturday. But now? Now I get to go to the first game of the season! I honestly could not be more excited! (Even though I'm in trouble with my manager now...oops...)

The Great Nebraska Beer Fest was this past weekend. It was a blast! I need to write an article about it ASAP, though, so I won't say much here.

Last night, my friend Jessica officially asked me to be in her wedding. She was my maid of honor, and I was the maid of honor (matron, I suppose..) for her first wedding. We've been friends since before I could walk. I'm so happy for her! But now I'm in sheer panic mode about the wedding. I have to lose approximately 500 pounds before May 30, 2015. YIKES. So, send thin, healthy vibes my way, and also the desire to eat healthy food instead of (only) Las Margaritas and beer.

Anyways, I wanted to type this up first thing before work blew up in my face. So of course work blew up in my face before I could finish. So it goes.

Also, I am HOPING to finally take my Certified Beer Server test ASAP! My goal was to have it done by Labor Day weekend... but then I got scheduled a ton at Longwell's, soo... not enough study time. Crap! I may still try...

That's all for now. Lots of "fires" to put out. I may as well just give up...

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August 20, 2014

The Video

For the record, I am posting this with much hesitation.

Mostly because I am a complete idiot and the video is terrible.

I have no idea how many takes it took to get even this hot mess - which was the least hottest mess of the hot messes - but it's kind of really embarrassing.

Good news is that I will have one hell of a blooper reel if I ever get to creating one! It would contain much frustrated swearing, some cat fighting and people laughing, and a sassy director (Derek). Hopefully I can make that video happen sometime, because I know it will make me laugh my butt off at least ;)

Anyways - judge away. Would you hire me after seeing this? I think not. Not that I ever really felt like I had a chance. But I of course have let myself get really excited about it, and hopeful, even though we all know it ain't happenin'.

Here ya go - Hot Mess Express, Party of Me. (and yes, that was the best thumbnail photo I could find...yikes.)


See what I mean? Woof.

Also, for the record, the video was 60 seconds before I uploaded it to Vimeo. Thanks, Vimeo. Hope I don't get disqualified for the 61 seconds on here. HAHA.

Anyways, today is the craziest, busiest, most time-sensitive, stressful day of the year for me at work. So of course I woke up at 4am and haven't been able to go back to sleep. So wish me luck on making it through this work day that will probably be from 8am to 8pm if I'm lucky.

On that note, away I go.

Cheers!

Oh - also - I think my crazy ass is going to do the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge again this year. Because I'm a super smart person who makes good decisions. And also, I have made it my personal goal to get my level one Cicerone done by the end of Labor Day weekend. I'll officially get paid double at Longwell's once I pass, so now I have extra motivation!

And now I'm really done. BYE!

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August 14, 2014

Job Number Three + A Holy S**t Moment

First, please excuse this post in advance. I decided to eat my Smart Ones in my closed office at lunch today while reading about Ferguson (seriously, I can't stop reading) and painting my naked nails (because I was too busy accidentally napping & reading Ferguson stuff to paint them last night). Wrong decision, Sara. You know me - I paint my nails all the time. Normally, I can't even smell the crazy smells of nail polish. But apparently in a shut up office with little ventilation, the fumes can get to me. Because wow. I'm actually a little woozy.

That's why I'm finally posting - even though I have a metric fuckton of stuff to do at work, I have no focus and I messed stuff up a bunch in my woozy state, so I'm giving myself a quick break. So, cheers to that, or something.

In the last couple of posts, I have alluded to a potential new job that I was pretty stoked about. Well, I'm here to tell you about that, and a "holy shit" moment I had yesterday, and then to beg for your help. So stay tuned! 

So I'm obviously the most ridiculous person. Because, yes, a couple of weeks ago I finalized the paperwork for my third job. As in, I am currently employed by three different places. Yeah, because that seems like a good idea, Tired Sara.

Remember back when I had my epiphanies about continuing my MBA and work? (PS - still so in love with my decision to quit my MBA - I know this was the right choice for me!) In that post, I said that an opportunity knocked an hour after telling Derek about my decision. Well, I got the job, but it isn't quite as exciting as I had hoped - hence why I have three jobs instead of just one or two. So let me explain...

That night, I was sitting with Marcus and Craig from Zipline Brewing, and a guy I have met at multiple craft beer events. His name is Mark, and he manages the craft beer portfolio for a local distributor (he's THE only person working with craft beer for this distributor, and is responsible for bringing Founders to Nebraska). In the middle of our conversation, Marcus and Craig shared a knowing look, then both looked at Mark and said, "Mark, you should hire Sara!" To which Mark seemed shocked he had never thought of the idea himself. He started talking to me about it like it was already my job. I was pretty enthused!

Fast forward through some obnoxious communication issues, and we land at the conversation where Mark tells me he can't guarantee me any certain amount of hours per week. Cue devastation. See, I had finally worked out that if I worked at least 20 hours per week with Mark and kept my Longwell's job (but added more shifts), then I could quit my job at UNL. I thought that surely there was a way for me to work 20 hours a week - if not at events, then helping Mark out with other things. Alas, no.

So I was incredibly sad. I won't lie - I cried. More than once.

In this conversation, though, Mark continued to boost me up. I'd be working the "elite" craft beer brands with him, doing samplings, and he had 100% confidence in me. He said that he needs me. And if he can't have me, then he needs someone who is me. He continued to discuss how impressive my passion and knowledge are about craft beer, and how he has full trust in me. How do you say no to that?!

In the end and after much discussion with Derek, it was decided that I needed to still take the job, but that I would have to work around my other jobs. I couldn't just say no to a perfect foray into the craft beer world I so desperately wish to join.

So, here I am: Sara the Promotions Specialist. I'm so excited to get started! Though right now is the worst time for me to be starting another job. I'm so thankful that Mark is understanding, though! I told him I couldn't actually start the samplings until after school begins, because this is my crazy busy time for my UNL job. I think I have an event for Empyrean Brewing on August 29, though - which will be my first!

Now to my Holy Shit! moment yesterday.

On August 1 - the day I finalized my paperwork for Promotion Specialist, and a rough day at UNL for me - New Holland Brewing (Holland, Michigan) tweeted this:

...and I decided to click on the link on a whim. There, I found a job called "Great Plains Beer Ambassador," and curiosity got the best of me.

See - this girl right here loves New Holland Brewing. Their beer is fantastic and I just adore the food I've had there every time I've been (okay, so that's only been four times, but that's not bad considering I live 12 hours away from there). I always recommend a trip there to anyone visiting Michigan. Derek and I wow craft beer nerds with our stash of our favorite beer from there, Dragon's Milk. I seriously love this place.

So when they have a job opening called "Great Plains Beer Ambassador" and one of the states within that region is Nebraska, where they currently do not distribute, I had to apply.

It was a complete whim, and it took me like 15 minutes to fill out their website application and spruce up my resume a bit. If you know me, you know how much anxiety applications give me - so this was nothing short of a minor miracle for me.

As soon as I hit "submit," I couldn't stop laughing at myself. Yes, actual laughing. See?

So, my Holy Shit! moment came yesterday. After kind of forgetting that I even applied for this job, because really, I honestly thought (think) I had about the equivalent of a snowball's chance in hell to even get contacted back, unless it was someone laughing in my face that I thought to apply. I have no sales experience - not directly, anyway. Sure I sell stuff as a server and bartender, but that's it, really. I'm good at talking about beer, though, and have talked many a person into trying a certain beer, whether it is for work or just while sitting in a bar myself.

Imagine my surprise (almost fell out of my desk chair from laughter, actually) when I got an email with the subject, "New Holland Brewing Company - Video Request," in my inbox. I thought it was spam at first! Then I remembered that I applied for a job with New Holland, and about died. Died from a fit of "are you fucking kidding me" giggles. Seriously - I was a hot mess when I read the email yesterday! Here's what it said:

Good afternoon Sara- 

Thank you for your interest in our Great Plains Beer Ambassador position. As the next step in our process, we are requesting from you a 60-second video in which you tell us why we should hire you and/or why you would like to work for New Holland. We are not judging the quality of the video (we aren't expecting a Hollywood production!), we are just trying to get a better sense of who you are. You may send me a file or a link to a video application (YouTube, Facebook video, etc.). Submit this video no later than 12pm (noon) Monday, August 18th.

So. Yeah. Holy shit.

I suppose they could have sent that email to all applicants and will weed out from there. But to me, if I were a hiring manager, I would want to narrow a bit before sending out video requests, because who wants to watch any video of someone they know has no chance? I wouldn't. But oh well - I'm still in complete laugh out loud shock that I heard back from them, and mostly that I have to make a video of myself.

Of course, I'm freaking out a bit. I think that my voice sounds like it belongs to a 5 year old when it is recorded. I'm not at a good place with my weight (or even how chubby my face is right now). I am struggling hard with sleep, so the bags under my eyes are insane. But mostly... what do I even say?

Seriously. I need any assistance! Should I be funny? Serious? Should I wear one of my two New Holland Brewing Company shirts? Or a "nice" shirt? Do I drink a beer (Dragon's Milk by New Holland, duh!)? Do I stand up? Sit down? Walk around? Show our massive Dragon's Milk collection? Be formal? Informal? What do I say? What do I do? Ahh! So many questions!

Anyways - any advice or suggestions, based on opinion or personal experience (seriously - have you had to do this before for a job?!), would be so, so welcome!

Thanks for reading! And thanks for your patience with me as readers, if you're reading! :)

Cheers!

Also, I will probably post the video here once everything is all said and done. Plus potentially bloopers, because I'm sure there will be a bajillion of them! So - wish me luck! And send help! :D

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