February 10, 2015

An Escalation, As Usual

This week I'm going to do something I didn't want to have to do for a really long time.

I'm going to apply for a new job. At the University.

This may come as a surprise, and quite honestly, I'm not sure I'm okay with this whole thing, but it's something I think I need to do.

I'm still in complete awe of the journey I've been on in the past year. I think back to where I was this time last year. That was not a great place - it had a lot of crying, stress, panic, questioning decisions (oh hey, this sounds familiar), and too much Managerial Economics. But still excited about a chance to get my MBA and move up in my life. Now, I'm working full time at a restaurant in various capacities - too many - and frustrated to the hilt every day.

Right now, I serve, bartend, do admin work, do social media, and I shift manage. I sit in meetings on Tuesdays with too many people. I get yelled at and belittled. I sometimes probably deserve it. I don't get the good shifts where I make any money. I am micromanaged in a very strange way while given freedom that's not really free.

But I've made friends. I have fun with the majority of the people I work with. At the end of the day, I work in craft beer and social media, which is kind of the dream (other than working in a brewery). In some ways, I am about a million times happier than I was six months ago. In other ways, I feel the same but from a different source.

I feel like, if I give up on what I'm doing now and go get a job at the University - any 8-5 desk job, really - then I failed. And I honestly have not given this little experiment much time - about 4 months. It feels both eons longer and also like time has flown by.

Is 4 months really long enough to give a job a chance?

Am I ready to give up on a dream? Don't get me wrong - Longwell's was never the dream. But it was a step in the right direction of fulfilling that dream.

I'm not the kind of person that likes to job hop. If I apply for this job at the University and if I get the job, I don't want to keep looking for another opportunity. If that perfect brewery opportunity fell into my lap, it would be hard for me to make that leap. The leap away from security again and towards something so uncertain. I've done that. And if I quit now, then, to myself anyway, it feels like I failed. I hate failure. I hate accepting it for myself. I try to set my life up to not fail. So why would I make change just to make another change?

That's another thing. Change. I don't think I could have ever imagined the pace at which the restaurant industry goes, change-wise. The people come and go. Job duties are in no way consistent from one month to the next. As a person who balks at change, adjusting to this job and its constant state of change has been very difficult for me. I feel like I'm in a never ending state of unknowing.

And the communication! I truly never believed a group of adults could communicate worse than my previous job. Surprise! I was oh so wrong. I am continuously surprised by how horribly the people I work with now communicate. And I have no idea where to even begin to rectify it. Not that it is my job to fix it, but good gravy.

Just when I think I find a way in, when I find an ounce of respect, something changes and it feels like I fuck everything up. Here, at this job, I feel like I am constantly set up for failure. I don't need someone to hold my hand - but I do need to have an opportunity to succeed, too.

Then there is also money. Or lack of money. Derek and I had an agreement about how much money I needed to be making in order for this to still continue and be okay for us financially. In no way do I meet that. I knew it would be a struggle, and that life wouldn't be the same without a steady paycheck and relying upon tipped shifts. But the problem is this: I make such a low wage with my admin/social media role that I need those tipped shifts, but by working those tipped shifts, I lose time I could be spending being better at my admin/social media role. In essence, I work 20-25 hours a week in the admin/social media role, and the other hours are supposed to me managing hours with a few tipped shifts sprinkled in. But lately, my general manager has been there when I'm supposed to be shift managing. And the deal is, when the GM is in the building, all other shift managers are supposed to be clocked in as the $2.13/hr wage, not their designated manager wage. And since I manage on slower shifts, that means I make low tips (because there are just not tables/guests to take care of, not because I'm a bad server/bartender). One morning, I opened the restaurant on a Sunday. I had no one sit at my bar and I had no tables of guests. Only a couple of tables came in, and I had servers on the clock, so I felt beholden to them to take the tables. So I made $0 in tips. But thank goodness for my manager wage, otherwise it would have been awful. But this past Sunday, my GM was in the building for my whole shift. We were really slow and I was scheduled to serve. I took three tables and made $27.50, $2.50 of which I had to tip out to the bar. But I was making $2.13/hour, not my manager wage. That comes out to making $7.13/hour - lower than minimum wage. Talk about a rough Sunday!

I wish I worked 40 hours a week in my admin/marketing role. Then I would know I had a set amount of money I brought in each week. But then I think back to why I even have this job: to bartend. If I work 40 hours for the owner, that means no more bartending. Not that I'm scheduled to bartend much right now anyway, but still.

So I've gotten off track. And it's getting late. And I work admin/marketing and then close the bar tomorrow night - my last bartending shift for at least two weeks (boo).

This job I may apply for at the University is a great opportunity. It is in an area I would enjoy working, I think. I would get to work with students again - something I missed greatly at my last job but loved about my first University job. It's also a raise from where I was at my last job, and a managerial job, so an actual salary and more vacation and sick leave. You never really realize how amazing of a benefit paid vacation and sick leave are until you don't have them..

But if I apply for and get the job, does it kill my dream? Does it make me a failure at pursuing my dream, a failure for giving up?

Does this great opportunity outweigh my dreams? Or is my happiness more important than pursuing a dream that will probably never be a reality? Because I am definitely not happy in my job now. Once again, it isn't so much the job that is bad - it could be so great if I was trusted and had the freedom to do things like I want - but it's the people. Like, two and a half people. But they are important people that control my paycheck, my schedule, and my ability to work with craft beer. So is it better to try to fix this happiness (again) and move on? Or do I stick it out for the dream?

One thing I do know for sure: I am glad I am not at my last job still. I know with 100% of my heart and soul that leaving that job was the right decision. What I did after and what I will do next are still up in the air as to their success.

Anyways, that's all for now. Knowing me, I'll chicken out and not apply for the job. Too much anxiety. So here's to hoping I get my shit together and don't screw up this opportunity. Because whether or not I get or take the job, I think it would be wrong to not try.

Oh - on a lighter note, I chopped my hair off. Though I'm still not sure about the cut two+ weeks later, I don't regret having my long hair gone. I don't think the sides are even - one has more layers than the other - and I forgot how much longer it takes to do short hair in the morning, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with it. Here's a picture, so this post can have a picture, as unrelated as it may be to 90% of the post content ;)

Cut about 10" off - it was so layered in the front that it's easier to tell by the back that it's shorter..
Thanks for listening.. and hey - if I get a new job, I may decide to come back to blogging again... never know!



January 12, 2015

Oh, hey...

So I opened a blank blog post for the first time in months. But then I got overwhelmed with what I could say, what I should say, what I wanted to say, etc. Then I did my nails, thinking I would write a post after they dried, after I had calmed down a bit from my irritation. Now, all I can think about is how long it has been since I have written here, taken note of this ridiculous life journey that I am on right now.

Then I realized that it is after 2:00am and I should probably just go to sleep and try again another day.

Life has been interesting, to say the least, these past few months since I have posted. Some good stuff and some not so good stuff. Lots of things have changed, some for the better and some not so much.

I can really not even fathom that I am where I am in life right now, a year after I was so excited to finally start my MBA program and thought I was on my way in academics.

I do miss my own little space in the world, and I have missed writing here (or writing in general, really). I look back, and I'm a little bummed that I have not been keeping a better record of these past few months - I may need a reminder a few years from now, because it has been mostly a blur.

Anyways, that's a vague enough for now, and I most likely have an eye-roll-worthy day ahead of me, so I should probably get some sleep. At least one thing remains awesome: don't have to wake up at 6:13am!

Hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later - at least for my future benefit. Because I sure wish I had kept better track of last year than I did..



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!


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)!



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...