Melting Pot

2020 #3

I’m just snuggling in bed with my doggos, thinking about things. I’m still adjusting to and processing all the things that have changed over the past month. I’m not sure what to make of certain things. Part of me is happy while part of me is sad, part of me feels so sure while the rest of me is full of doubt… I’m all sorts of mixed up. Yet still… content. I don’t really have much to say right now. Playing things close to my chest right now, in all aspects. Just checking in to let y’all know I’m still around I guess.

Until next time. xoxo

Melting Pot

2020 #2

Otherwise titled “Why I Quit”.

Yes folks, I finally quit my job. And while I am not going to mention the exact company I had been working for (for obvious reasons, though some of you know and perhaps some will be able to put two and two together if they live in my area and are familiar with the company…) this post is going to be an airing of grievances, of sorts. For the sake of trying to avoid trouble, though, I am simply referring to them as “Company” in this post and any specific people discussed I have changed them to random, made up names.

I started with Company in late 2017, several months after moving here from Pittsburgh. It was only part time but it seemed an ideal job for me. I enjoy baking and cake decorating so being a cake decorator in a grocery store seemed like an awfully good fit for a job. I worked in the local store, and while it had some negatives, it was overall a job I very much enjoyed. I loved the people I worked with like family, after a while, and while work sucked simply because it was work, it was perfectly tolerable. Getting along with my coworkers so well really helped, as I knew we were basically a no drama crew who would have each others backs and always helped each other in every way we could.

Fast-forward to about mid year 2019 and one of the other locations of Company stores was looking for a full time decorator. I did not want to leave my local crew. I did not want to have to make that drive every day to another town. But it was more money (only slightly once increased fuel/car maintenance waa factored in) and full time, which I needed. It was a heartbreaking decision to make but I chose to take the full time position.

It did not take long for me to regret this decision. I went in under the impression I was going to have a couple part time decorators to help me keep up with everyday things. I did have one, Leslie. But she was new to decorsting and only got about 12 hours a week, and for several weeks when she was supposed to be helping me with cakes they would instead have her baking and/or packaging cookies and such. Everything cakes fell soley on my shoulders. When I complained about this to store management, I was brushed off and told as head decorator that is my job, everything cakes is on me.

Eventually Leslie started to actually learn basic cake stuff to be of minimal help to me. But still, everything was falling to me. I was expected to fulfill custom orders and maintain 200+ “everyday” items in the display cases and sales floor freezer alone, not including how much was supposed to be kept in the department freezer aa backup. Also the layout of this department had me working alone in a small station up front while whoever else worked hidden by the walls in the back. This meant I was the one who had to stop to help literally every customer. Having to keep stopping all the time meant orders that should have taken me 10 minutes to finish would often take 40 minutes to finish. Days when I had 20 or 30 orders or more were nothing but stress and rushing. My coworkers in back often worked out on the sales floor filling displays and whatnot but they were rarely there to assist customers. I was frequently alone in the department, and could not even ask for help when I needed it. I was usually also the one to answer phone calls. I was the only one who would take time to put clean dishes away. I always washed my own dishes, and others would leave theirs behind and I often washed those as well because if I did not do it nobody would.

One coworker, Mike, was chronically, significantly late. It more often than not worked out to where I was the only one there and not allowed to leave till he showed up. The problem here is that I had to stay late waiting for him. Oh but Company does not allow overtime. So I would have to come in late (making more stress the next day, trying to get things done on time with a late start) to “make it up”. Not allowed to leave the department unattended so not allowed to leave on time, any plans I had needed to be changed or cancelled, I got home late etc. It was awful for me. Any other employer would have fired Mike months ago for this behavior. But did he ever get into any sort of trouble at all for it? Of course not.

I was so stressed out, more than once I was in tears begging store management to please give us more hours and hire me at least one more decorator. This was NOT a one person job, as much as they want it to be. I was consistently told “You don’t have the hours, you won’t get the hours, it just is not going to happen so you need to deal with it”.

Company is very into “show”. They did not want me to be a cake decorator. They wanted me to be an entertainer. I was supposed to do all sorts of stuff for “show” every day. As if I had all the time in the world for it. There was a game of sorts I was expected to do, basically musical chairs and the winner got free cake. We also had giant “candles” thst if customers wanted to “blow them out” we had a whole routine we were supposed to do. We literally had a binder with pages of instructions of how to craft our “character” and with specific phrases we were supposed to use to answer various questions a customer may have for us. We had to do the chicken dance, y’all. Grown ass adults, trying to get their work done, were/arerequired to stop what they are doing periodically… to do the fucking chicken dance. If you do not know what the chicken dance is… https://youtu.be/l5sIspLfmXM

Company has a very stupid policy of not requiring any advance notice for custom cake orders. Their thinking is “literally everyone else requires notice and we are better than that”. All this does is lead to an entitled attitude in the customers. How is it fair to other customers who planned in advance, for me to not finish their cake on time because I had to drop everything to make a cake for someome who just walked in wanting one right this instant? How is it fair to me to have other things I need to do, but I can not get to them because I have people coming in or calling in last minute orders? Everyone else requires notice because custom cakes take time. It is incredibly stupid to not require notice.

I was supposed to get one 30 minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks each day. I got the lunch but never the breaks. I asked store management if there was anything we could do to ensure I, as well as my coworkers, got those breaks as I felt it would be a greay help for my mental health to be getting those breaks. I was told “just make time”. That is not a solution.

In addition to this, Company is all about “culture” – they handle any problems with “the customer is always right” which is an awful way to do business as often the customer is in fact wrong. They do routine mystery shops in which the employees are graded for how well they engage the customers and to ensure we are addressing specific things during the interactions with them. They want us to spend at least 2 minutes with every customer. The thing is, though, the interactions with real, normal customers do not always warrant 2 minutes or even all the things the mystery shoppers look for. And when you are one person trying desperately to get custom orders done on time and keep up with literally everything else in the department… you are so stressed out that all thr “culture” crap goes out the window. I consistently did poorly on the mystery shops for one reason or another. When reviewing one of them, I saw the mystery shopper LIED about our interaction. I pointed this out and asked why should I get in trouble when they were dishonest. “That is what the report says and we have to go by it.” I questioned why it was just autpmatically the employee at fault and why it was never a possibility that maybe the mystery shopper was not doing their job properly and pointed out interactions with normal customers just do not go that way. They did not care. It is up to the employee to be perfect by mystery shop standards at all times, basically. Increased sales did not matter. Creating happy, repeat customers did not matter. All that mattered was that stupid mystery shop. I was written up twice for poor scores and was asked to make a decision – either step down to part time or leave, because clearly this was not the right role for me to be in.

Store managers also, more than once, tried to use my relationship status to get me to work on my days off (“You don’t have kids or a husband or even a boyfriend, are you sure you can’t come in?”) or participate in social media things they knew I refused to do. Company is really pushing social media right now and want pictures of employees on facebook for everything. (“Come on, we put your picture on facebook maybe we’ll get you married off!”) I told them when that started, I was not ok with that and do not ask me to participate because I absolutely will not do it.

Because all that is not enough, add to this my department manager had a problem with me because of a misunderstanding about a guy I liked and did not know she was secretly involved with but did not even want a real relationship with so she gave me hell in a passive aggressive way at every opportunity she could… and the department co was her best friend… it was not the best environment, to say the least.

I had so many meltdowns over the past few months since taking that full time position. I would come home from work, get in the shower, and end up sitting on the floor of the shower absolutely sobbing till the water ran cold. I would wake up and literally be sick to my stomach over having to go to work. It was awful. It was killing me.

So back to that having been asked to make a decision. I did what I needed to do, and lined up another job. I turned in my notice. They did not get a full 2 weeks but did get 10 days which is close enough. Legally speaking I could have just quit. But I was trying to be courteous and not leave them in a total bind right before Valentine’s Day. They would have deserved it… but I chose to give them what notice I could, what notice the new employer was ok with before they had me start as they wanted me to start asap.

Today I start at that new job. I am a little nervous – it is a *huge* change in multiple ways. But I feel good about it. I think it will be ok. I think it will work out well for me.

I am totally relieved to be free of Company. I was actually smiling while I drove home after my last shift there on Friday.

Melting Pot

2020 #1

Well here we are in the 20s. I’m a dork, I’m having way too much fun with this whole 20s thing. I have visions in my head of the 1920s every time I say it.

Work has at least become mostly tolerable at this point. I still very much want and need to find something more suited to me. But for the moment, at least, things are not quite as awful as they had been. Thankful for that much.

I’m not sure how much I will be blogging this year. Last year I almost finished out my goal of posting every week. I feel as if weekly is too much right now, so I may try for every other week instead. Not sure yet.

For the moment I am exhausted (some things never change, eh?) so I’m off to bed. Until next time, y’all.

xoxo

Melting Pot

2019 #43

I figured I should probably check in and let y’all know I’m still alive. I know I’ve not checked in at any of your blogs or replied to comments or anything in a long time. I apologize. I’ll try to be better about that going forward, but honestly can not make any promises. Life, you know?

I’m still job hunting with no success finding something more suited to me. I’ve gotten in trouble at work and am on thin ice so hopefully I can find something soon and quit before I wind up being fired. Cause yes that is where things stand right now. 🙄

I’ve decided to start a bullet journal. I can not say I fully “get” them but they’re popular right now and I admit to being curious about the trend so on a recent trip to hobby lobby I grabbed one and some new pens (because I don’t already have a thousand pens and markers lying around 😅) and figured I will give it a shot. I will say I will not be using mine as a planner, as I see many do based on the pinterest feeds and blogs/videos I have seen about them. Two reasons for this. One being I already have a planner. Two being I really never do anything but go to work anyway so I do not have much use for a planner. I use the one I have to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, and my bills each month. That is plenty sufficient and I do not need another planner, so I’m not using my bullet journal as such. Instead I’m using it to track various things – mood, weather, migraines and such. I plan to have some list pages; lists of books I want to read, movies I want to watch etc. I’ll be filling the majority of the pages with random things that make me happy or inspire me: favorite quotes and proverbs, pretty drawings, fun/cute little doodles and things like that. I’ve got just a couple pages done so far.

I’d be curious to know about your own bullet journals, if this is a trend you have jumped into as well.

There is something else on my mind I would love to share… but the time is not right just yet. Perhaps soon.

Until next time.

xoxoxo

Melting Pot

2019 #42 Dear B

I miss you. I don’t know what happened; all I know is you promised me you would always come back and then one day you just left. We both knew going in that what we had was not forever. Even so I never expected you to walk out of my life so suddenly and completely. You didn’t even say goodbye. You just walked away and never looked back and I don’t understand why it had to end that way. The worst part though is you left me right when other aspects of my life started dragging me down; just when I really needed you to be there for me. I think of you a lot. Every time I hear or see a fire truck I think of you and hope if you’re on a call that you stay safe. When I see a truck that looks like yours I can’t help but wonder what you are up to. I wonder if you think of me the way I think of you… if there are little reminders in your everyday life that make you stop and think of me. Probably not. But I’d like to think if so that when you think of me and the times we shared that you smile. I’m not happy we didn’t have more time together. I’m not happy with how it ended. But while you were here… I’ll always think of those moments we shared and smile. I might be left with some questions but at least I do not have any regrets and I hope you do not regret it either. I’ll always wonder about you. I’ll always hope you’re doing well and that you’re happy. I may wonder a lot of things since you left… but at least I’ll never have to wonder what it would have been like, because I know. You’re a chance I will never regret taking. Youll always have a small piece of my heart. Given a little time you’ll probably forget all about me. But I will aways remember you, and I’ll always be grateful for what we shared.

Melting Pot

2019 #41

Well, so much for getting a post made every week this year. Work has been… I don’t want to talk about work. We will simply sum it up with I hate my job, it is making me miserable and I don’t know how much longer I can keep putting up with it. I’ve been looking for something else and applying to everything I can find that seems half reasonable but nobody is even calling me. 😕

Anyway. Honestly not much to talk about right now. My life is just work, errands, sleep, and repeat. Nothing fun or happy or interesting. There is plenty I could say about work but the things I have to say I really ought not say whilst still employed by the company. Some day, I’ll let it all out. Every ugly, stupid, frustrating thing… but for now… I need to just keep trying to survive one day at a time. Not sure I can sometimes.

Until next time. xoxo

Melting Pot

2019 #40

I’m going to try very hard to finish out the year with making the weekly posts. The end of the year is so close and thus I’m close to my goal to post once a week. I can’t say with any certainty how often I’ll blog in 2020. If life continues on as it has been lately, I’ll likely not blog much. I just never have the time to blog, or to do anything fun or interesting to blog about in the first place. My life has become a cycle of work, eat, cry, sleep, repeat. There just isn’t time for much else. When there is time… no energy or desire. I had the day off yesterday and desperately wanted to go to the beach, but was far too tired to make the trip so I stayed home instead. I have several projects that are in various stages of completion that I want to work on but when I have the time to work on them I’m just too tired.

I had been doing really good with going to the park to run on my days off for a while but things have been difficult the last couple weeks and I’ve not been in much too long. But as with everything else… just too tired.

The girls are doing well, as is Asher. I’m having a problem with Asher’s tank that I can not seem to sort out. I do not know what the problem is exactly or what needs done to fix it but it seems to be a problem with the filtration system. Hopefully I can figure it out soon.

Anyway. I’m tired. Imagine that. So I’m going to try to get some rest and relaxation in today. Have to work tomorrow and have no idea what I’ll be walking into what with two days off in a row and Saturdays tend to be miserable busy days so I’m not looking forward to it.

Until next time. xoxo

Melting Pot

2019 #39

Work sucks.

Seriously y’all. I made a mistake taking the full time position. I am making more money (barely) yet I seem to have less money than before. So the benefits are not worth opting into, cause they’d eat up too much of my paychecks and I need every blessed penny. My direct manager does not like me. Her reasoning is stupid but whatever, at least I know why. One of the store co managers has decided he does not like me for whatever reason. I can never get much of anything accomplished because while everyone else gets to work in back and chat and goof off, I’m up front by myself and having to stop what I am doing every other minute to wait on customers. I’m the only decorator. The department co manager can do cakes but as co manager cakes is the least important thing for her to do usually. However I was so behind that last week she was scheduled to work on cakes a lot more. So one of the store co managers and my direct manager were talking the other day about how she should be scheduled for cakes more often because she got so much done and did so awesome and isn’t she amazing blah blah blah. Like I was not there to hear it and possibly be affected by it. Hello y’all, I could get a ton done too if I got to hide in the back and not be bothered all day! I worked 4 hours in my old store recently to help them out and ya know what, I got more done in 4 hours than it took the department co a full shift to do. So there. 😠

I’m just completely unappreciated in the current location and there are all sorts of issues that have landed me in a very bad place mentally/emotionally. I’m job hunting again. Preferably for something that would let me spend my days with as few people as possible cause I am so, so over dealing with people. Every single day I have many moments when I’m tempted to go find the store manager to tell him I quit and I’m going home and not coming back. But I remember I have bills to pay and quitting before getting something else lined up would be very unwise. Hoping I find something more suited to me soon though because this job will be the death of me if I have to put up with it too much longer.

Anyway. That is basically all for right now. Just work sucks, I’m struggling and very very unhappy, certain things are not going as I had hoped they might… it is all just blah right now. So wth that I am off to possibly have a drink or two before bed. Actually have the day off tomorrow and want to enjoy it.

Until next time. xoxoxo

Art, Reviews

2019 # 38 – September Art + Product Review

As soon as I got the email from Chromatek that their new paint pens were available for purchase, I knew what I wanted to do with them. So I placed my Amazon order, and headed to my local Hobby Lobby for the river stones (garden stones, or whatever you may call them) I was also going to need. Then I had to wait for my Amazon package. Once that happened, I had to wait some more for time off work to actually sit down and try them out.

First we will discuss the pens, and to wrap up the post I’ll show you how I painted the river stones I got with them.

Overall, they are pretty standard paint pens. They’re not bad by any means. I just also did not think there was anything super special about them that sets them apart from other paint pens, with the exception of the price point. You get a set of 20 pens for about $15-$20 depending on if you have Amazon prime or not and how much you pay for shipping absent the free shipping for prime members. (I personally do not have Prime so I paid about $17 with shipping for my set.) The paint pens I uusually buy from Hobby Lobby are sold individually for anywhere from $2 to $6 a piece depending on what size pens they are and they only offer a couple sets with two, four, or five pens for $8-$13 approximately. As far as price goes, the Chromatek set is absolutely a bargain.

All the pens come individually sealed in plastic. They all have a standard medium, round nib. The color of the cap is, of course, the color of the paint.

The colors are vibrant, though not fully opaque with one pass. Depending on how you’re using them, of course, one pass may well be sufficient. On poster boards or mixed media paper etc for example, one pass would be fine. For my project with the river stones, for most of the colors I had to go over things two or three times to build up the opacity to where I wanted. Standard for paint pens, I experience this with all the pens I have from multiple brands.

I wish the caps could be placed on the end of the pen when not using it. But again this just seems to be standard for paint pens. You’ve got to find a place to set the cap while you use the pen. Since we are discussing the caps, this is one area where I feel like perhaps these pens could use some improvement. While shaking one of the pens, the cap and nib both flew off. I figured maybe it was just me being a little too aggressive in my shaking, so made sure to shake the pens more gently after that. I still had it happen a couple more times with other colors, though. I also think it would be nice if the caps snapped or clicked back on, so you know for sure when the cap is on securely.

The un-primed nibs have a yellow color to them. Most other paint pens, in fact every other paint pen I own, has a white nib. This is not much of an issue, unless you’re trying to see when the nib has been primed with a yellow paint color. Yellow on yellow can be difficult to see, ya know? (This is an issue with other pens when the paint is white. You can’t win 100% of the time really. lol)

With all things considered it is still a decent set. I wish they had a fine nib set for writing and doing finer details, as the river stones I painted all include quotes and writing on such small “canvases” with the medium nibs was not easy. Perhaps they will offer such a set in the future. I have fine tip pens from other brands I could have used for the writing, but the point was to test the Chromatek pens so I used them exclusively. As for this set specifically, if you are looking for a budget-friendly way to add a selection of colors to your collection this would be the way to go. If you don’t use paint pens often or only need a couple colors for one project, you are probably better off just getting individual colors from your local arts and crafts shop instead. If you are interested in checking out the Chromatek set, you can find it on Amazon with the following link (not an affiliate link): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RP6XBBK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_8duGDb6KSNQJG

As for my little creations to test these pens? Why, Firefly themed river stones of course. Because Firefly, y’all. They may not be perfect but they’re decent enough for a quick not-much-thought-or-effort afternoon project.

Until next time. xoxo

Discolsure: I was reimbursed for the purchase price of this product (not including shipping cost) in exchange for my honest review; no additional compensation monetary or otherwise was recieved for this review.

Melting Pot

2019 #37

Just realized I missed posting last week. Course, it depends on if you consider Sunday or Monday the start of the week. If you consider Monday the start of the week I have not missed it yet. So we are going with Monday is the start of the week and I’ve not missed a week yet. ðŸĪŠ

J, his girlfriend, and I went to the fair yesterday. It was his company’s family day event so for the employees of his company the food was free which was the whole reason we wanted to go. The place they always have cater makes delicious barbecue. And I’m a fan of the hush puppies they make as well.

We ended up being there and done with our meal at just the right time for the start of the tractor pull and though C had to leave for work J and I stayed for most of the tractor pull. We didn’t stay for the final class, but stayed till they had determined the winners for the couple trucks that were there to pull. I had not been to a tractor pull in more years than I can remember so it was a fun way to spend the afternoon.

Afterward I spent the night at J’s so we could have some hang out time. Didn’t quite go as planned, but was still an enjoyable and much needed relaxing evening.

I’ve got to tackle some cleaning up today and promised a coworker some cookies so I’ll be baking as well. I’m making white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. If I were smart I’d have made the dough yesterday as the cookies turn out better if the dough chills overnight but I was so focused on other things it just slipped my mind. I’ve got the butter softening now, and with how hot it is that should not take long. I’ll chill the dough for a couple hours at least. I do not plan to bake all of the cookies today anyway, just going to bake a few to take to work with me in the morning. The rest I’ll scoop out and freeze to bake another time.

Time to start tackling the much overdue cleaning, I suppose.

Until next time. xoxo