When Life Hands You Lemons.... Get the Vodka!
I am feeling especially philosophical today. So I will apologize now for my variations of “wise man once say…”-isms of course written my way. Realizing what happened at the close of my shift on Wednesday didn’t go as planned- AT ALL. In fact it probably only could have gone slightly worse, but only slightly (imagine me barely holding my thumb and index finger apart far enough to slide a piece of paper thru)- that slightly worse? Being terminated on the spot. Given how I am currently feeling about working with you know who tomorrow- that would be a merciful death at this point. Instead- I have to walk into work tomorrow- plastering a fake smile on my face for the customers. But while I am fake happy worker- I know that what I had done Wednesday pretty much dumped a cart of landmines right in the only path available to take between the really big rock and the steep 300 foot cliff. What did I do?
I requested that my hours be dropped to 14 hour (absolute max of 16) from May 1st thru September 1st. This summer holds a lot of promise for my art and my photography going places, earning us extra income (that is way more than my retail wages)- there are incredible opportunities on the horizon. Retail isn’t my life. Retail isn’t my end all be all job for the rest of forever- retail is the “gotta pay the bills” job. I don’t enjoy it. I wasn’t made for it, but I have been a dedicated worker for the last three plus years. I am supposed to be part time 24 hours. That’s what I hired on in agreement to. I am damn lucky if I get less than 32 hours a week and I am sick of it. Need more people? Hire them already! The alternative to my dropping to 14 hours a week was taking the summer off, like the college kids do. I was looked in the eye and told “They’re in college. You’re not, what you want isn’t as important.”
Silly me for thinking I was important! No one told me kids in college trumps real life! I haven’t asked for substantial amounts of time off ever! I was still planning on working, just not as much. “Who do you think you are for asking for this?”- his eyes shooting death lasers into mine. “Who I am? I am someone that has worked here for over three years- barely making above minimum wage until March when you finally gave me a raise, compensating for under paying me. The college kids make a dollar more an hour then I do! They have roommates- I have a mortgage! Who I am is someone that has been passed over- NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY CONSIDERED- for key carrier (manager type position) twice now. The first time- it went to someone with less seniority then me. Now? It’s going to someone that hasn’t worked in our store for over a year! Who I am is someone that has requested to be moved to stocker every time it opens up, but am routinely told, by you- you’re just a cashier. It’s obvious I’m going absolutely nowhere because you don’t like me- so I need to invest more time in what I REALLY WANT TO DO- instead of here.” …Crickets. No response. Just a death glare that made my ears and cheeks burn with fury. He signs my nightly paperwork, throws it at me “We’re done here.” Like I said, could have only gone slightly worse. So- hence my trepidation to go to work tomorrow?
Even writing it all out here isn’t making me feel better- actually my stomach is turning, my ears are hot, cheeks flushed, and I can feel my heartbeat in my throat I am so furious. Still. I am struggling to figure out what to do next. What to say tomorrow when I get that telltale finger waggle towards the office at some point. He’s going to say no, and probably in the most psyche damaging way possible because we store employees are nothing to him. I will keep you posted.
So since that’s how Wednesday wrapped up… I wake up Thursday morning to an e-mail from the studio owners that no one had registered for my class. My first ever class I was going to teach. That I prepped for the last month and a half. That I had been stressing out over and trying desperately to teach myself how to teach. That I paid for spiffy copies at Office Max or so my attendees would have notes. My teaching of a concept that lots of fellow picture takers have said “I want to learn how to do that! Teach me! Can I come to one of your shoots to watch??”- I advertised all over social media, my website, and my blog… Nothing. No one. What the hell? Already being down in the dumps from Wednesday and feeling pretty piss poor about myself being told I wasn’t important- you can imagine what that did. Devastated- not really strong enough of a word. Not only was I not important. Now- no one wanted me. No one gave two f**ks about all the hard work I had put into teaching my first class.
It took a few hours of throwing an internal pity party but I pushed passed it. When life gives you lemons… you better squeeze the f**k out of them, mix in a little sugar and vodka and chug it. I became damn determined to have a good night. So I kept the models coming, hung signs on the doors at the studio that read “Paint class canceled due to lack of attendees”- just in case anyone decided to show up last minute- and used the time booked in the studio for a kick ass shoot. And we had one! We played around with a few ideas. Shot this, shot that. Had and extra model show up that I had never worked with but would love to work with again. They ate subway, I ate Indian food. We drank a little vodka, drank a little tequila (Hubby, as exhausted as he was helped us with the paint and was my designated driver). And we made some damn magical pictures!!
During which- I broke my own rule. But in breaking my own rule about no fast movements while using powdered paint in the studio- the images made me about explode with a childish enthusiasm that I never, ever want to lose. We waited for the dust to settle (literally), did a hell of a clean-up job in the studio and all went our separate ways. I curled up in bed next to Hubby last night knowing that in spite of everything the past 24 hours had handed me in the version of a swirling shitstorm- I still ended up with awesome images and time well spent with my amazing friends. And I felt really good about myself.
Now… If you’ll excuse me… I am going to go blast some Prince music, shake my ass a little and try to work on a few paintings and doodles J