Suspend Reality for a moment:
You are 19 years old and about to graduate high school(barely). You never had any intention of going to college until about two months ago. One night, you are at work, managing your friends at the local SONIC, when your phone rings. It is your mother, she is telling you that a large envelope from UT has just arrived. so you ask her to read it aloud:
"Dear Benjamin: Congratulations on you admission to The University of Tennessee for the Fall semester of 2004. You have been admitted to the College of Business Administration."
You collapse into your chair, on the verge of tears. this is really going to happen, you are going to be the first person in your family to go to college. now you need only figure out how you are going to pay for it.
FAST FORWARD: you have been living in Tennessee for one year, you are paying your way 100%, you are struggling, but you are doing it. you found a job, another restaurant management position. you have only been with the company for 4 weeks and they want to promote you to a salary position! you are going to be 20 years old and second in command of a restaurant! you will be able to afford college, get an apartment, and enjoy life as "the boss" while finishing up school.
FAST FORWARD: you have been living in Tennessee for two years now. you are 21 years old and control the daily lives of no less than 20 people, many of whom are older and more experienced than you. no matter. in the last 14 months you have transformed into a management machine. you have logged well over 2,600 hours in the restaurant. you have been transferred 4 times to different locations around knoxville to help them in their time of need. you helped 2 restaurants go from POOR to SIGNIFICANTLY above target ratings, you were promoted above your peers, etc... you even changed your major to restaurant management, excited about owning your own restaurants after college.
But it all came at a price. you sacrificed EVERYTHING for the job, you became the job. your relationship with the one you loved for the past three years was failing. your GPA was low and getting lower, because attending class is hard to do when you work 50-60 hours a week. you were miserable. then, on top of it all, a person you trained was offered the same position you are in for $6,000 a year more than you make. you became bitter. meanwhile, your relationship continues to falter, your GPA continues to drop, you begin dreading getting out of bed in the morning for work, your computer crashes, then your car dies, your cat gets sick...it seems as if everything you have been working so hard for is collapsing around you. but through it all one thing has never faltered, your commitment to work. you still jumped out of bed, threw on that uniform and flew out the door at 1 am on your day off when there was an issue, and believe me, it was a regular occurrence. to you "day off" meant "another day to work for free."
It was time for a change, you did your research, you punched your numbers. and in the end, you made your decision. it was time to leave Tennessee. you were going to finish the semester, then move back to atlanta where rent, utilities, food, etc. were free. and use the summer to pay off bills. in the fall it was off to the military, where your education and benefits are free.
You know that it takes 6 weeks to properly train someone for your position, so you do the right thing, and tell the company with enough notice so that they can get someone trained to take over when you leave. BIG MISTAKE. the next month of your life was made a living hell by your district manager.
BUSINESS 101: if a company knows you are leaving, you become nothing more to them but wasted money, just a person they have to pay, an investment with no possibility for return. don't ever let it happen to you
What you just read was an overview of my recent life. i was called in to a meeting with my district manager this morning, where i was given an excuse, and told to hand over my keys to the restaurant. they fired me, after all i have sacrificed for them.
to be continued...
the reason the last entry's mood is PISSED OFF is because as i was finishing i received a phone call from my boss. let me tell you this: phone calls from the RGM at midnight, they're never good. i will explain in more detail at a later time, but i am fixing to throw on my clothes, and head to the restaurant. it's the shitty part of being #2 in the restaurant, you have to fix everyone else's mistakes. so miss D. if i don't make it to class tomorrow, you know why. but i assure you, i will make every effort to be there.
i had to close the restaurant sunday night, after which i decided to go to them gym again. this put my arrival at approx. 4:30 a.m. and let me tell you this: if anyone thinks that it is less intimidating going to the gym during the wee hours of the morning, you are DEAD wrong. the only people in the gym that early are HARDCORE. they are just there because they don't feel like competing with the newbies during the day for equipment.
anyway, i decided to forgo the full workout and just do some cardio. first i weighed my self... i am a very threatening 129 lbs! then i found my way to the coolest treadmill ever invented: the 'StarTrac Pro.' talk about a kick-ass treadmill, this thing has everything, it even has little fans that simulate wind while your running!
instead of a light workout as i had originally intended, i up-ed my time by 5 minutes, and up-ed the intensity A LOT and ended up doubling the distance of my last run; which, mind you, was the first run in at least 3 years. the last four minutes of that run where the longest four minutes of my life. but i survived to fight another day.
I did, however, see a very interesting piece of info on fox news...i couldn't here what they were talking about, but a thingy popped up on the screen that read: "19 percent of small business use BLOGS to advertise/explain their products or services." thought that was kinda nifty.
following my run i headed to the locker room to change to my swim trunks and headed for the hot tub...but i never made it. i decided instead to hit the steam room. now having never been in one, i had no idea what to expect. its like this: if you can get past the fact that you cant see 6 inches in front of you, its hard to breath, and is hotter than a summer day in south texas, it can actually be REALLY relaxing. but prepare to leave the room drenched in your own sweat.
i am excited about my first session with my very own personal trainer! it is this coming friday @ 11a.m. i let y'all know how it goes.
P.S. "sex, drugs, and rock n' roll" was just a ploy to get you to read...HA HA--GOTCHA!
what you gonna do with ALL that SING?
it seems that it doesn't matter what you do with it, because no matter how good you are, the ACE judges are gonna wreck it for you.
anyone who attended ALL SING 2005, last year should be well aware that ADPi, with their performance of Les Miserables, should have brought home the gold. but no, the judges saw it differently, they thought that ChiO's mediocre rendition of 'Sister Act' was more worthy. and when the announcement was made: 'ADPi 2nd, ChiO 1st," a collective 'what?' was released from the crowd in the form of sighs. and the audience exchanged 'WTF?' glances.
Fast forward to ALL SING 2006, which was concluded yesterday afternoon in no less a 'WTF?' fashion. I am gonna to try to do this without taking anything away from ADPi, so forgive me in advance ladies in case I say anything offensive to you. All Sing 2006 was much more clear cut than 2005. Only one performance stood out above the rest this year--> Delta Gamma and Phi Mu Alpha's performance of 'The Muppet Show.' All the others were your basic broadway performances. To ADPi's credit, they did put on the second best performance, substantially better than the other musicals, but still no where near what DG's was.
When the rankings were given, there was almost as much silence and shock as there was at least season's UT vs. Vandy game:
1) Alpha Delta Pi- 'Phantom of the Opera'
2) Chi Omega & Delta Zeta- '42nd Street'
3) Alpha Omicron Pi & Kappa Delta- 'Cats'
and where was DG? They didn't even place over-all? Can that be right? Did he read the paper correctly?
what is ACE's obsession with ADPi and ChiO? I understand, and feel deeply for ADPi. With being screwed out of a sure victory last year, and the whole ATO situation this year, they still put on a performance worthy of 1st in the large-single category, and second over all. But ChiO? Their performance of 42st was soooooo basic. there was no excitement, no energy, and absolutely no reason for them to place overall.
The reaction of the crowd hurt. I don't think you needed to be associated in anyway with DG or PMA to feel it, there was just a pain in the air. It was really sad, I felt horrible for them. I even overheard an ADPi telling a DG later that they should have won.
ACE is quickly becoming the 'BCS' of the UT campus.
I did it! i took the first steps toward achieving the goals i mentioned the other day. yesterday i went and joined The Rush. I even talked them out of over $100 in the process and got 3 free workouts with a personal trainer! it still wasn't cheap though, but i think it will be worth it.
The club is NICE. it is really big, and has every piece of equipment imaginable. including, trampoline basketball, regular basketball, swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, and a totally cool wind tunnel thingy to cool you off if you get too hot! the staff was very friendly, and wasn't pushy at all. with my membership i get access to all the rush locations in knoxville, a 15% discount in the pro shop and juice bar. i can bring the same guest to work out every single day forever at no charge to them, plus free group exercise classes! yoga here i come!
Anyway, i got all signed up yesterday on my way to work(around 4:30p.pm.). and decided when i got home from work(5am) this morning that i would go workout. i arrived at the gym and about 5:30 this morning. i started with a 20 minute moderate cardio on the most kick-ass treadmill i have ever seen. then i alternated between some abs, shoulders, and biceps exercises. i sent about an hour on the floor, and went to the locker and threw on my swim trunks, and headed to the piece of equipment that will see the most consistent use from me----the HOT TUB! Be praised the man who invented the hot tub! i was at the gym for an hour and halfish...it felt good, i will probably go back late tonight, or early tomorrow morning.
i am not sure if i have mentioned before that i have a cat. see is an adorable(see user pic) silver persian named Mustang. mustang has hit that "curiosity" age that all kids go through... well besides the usual quirks that cats tend to develop, i discovered a particularly disturbing one of mustangs traits today.
i ALMOST ALWAYS leave my lap top open and connected to the internet, sitting on my desk. i woke up this morning to find mustang standing on the keyboard. this is not at all unusual, as i have seen her there many times. but i always figured that it was because she liked the heat that the computer gives off. i was right, but not the kind of heat i had imagined. when i moved her off the keyboard, i noticed that there was a frozen pornographic video on the screen. one of the hardcore lesbian variety(which i only mention because mustang is female)! at first, i figured maybe she just randomly hit buttons while stepping on the keys, and ACCIDENTALLY ended up where she was. but when i hit the back button on my browser, i discovered that she had to go through no less than four links to get there from the home page, and then download the video that she was watching. coincidence? hmmmm...perhaps i need to password protect my computer.
I know what your thinking...WTF is he doing up at 4:30 in the morning?
truth is... i just got home from work about 45 minutes ago. i am trying to decide what i am going to do. i have two choices:
1) stay awake until my 8 am accounting class, go straight to work for another ten hours immediately after. and be cranky all day
2) go to sleep for two hours...then go to class, and work. and still be cranky all day.
life is full of difficult choices. thank the good lord that miss d decided to do this "online class" thing friday, because without her class, my 8 am calc. doesn't rate high enough on my priority list to get me out of bed. so at least i'll be able to sleep in!
and now that i think i whined enough... on to the real reason i am posting this morning.
Whoa! is me.
I know that isn't spelled right, i did it on purpose. because it isn't necessarily a bad thing. do y'all ever get to a point in your life where you have this big eye-opening revelation that your life is absolute shit? well, i have those a few times a week. and for those who don't i'll try my best to explain how they go:
you hear a song, or see a commercial, or really anything semi-inspirational/emotional. whatever it is, it just turns this switch in your head and a flood of emotions over comes you. you realize that you are 21 years old, are in worse shape than some 70 year old men that you know(seriously), you can't pay your bills or tuition, you can count your friends on one hand and have plenty of fingers to spare. you are forced to work a 50+ hour a week job to be able to afford to pay for college, but because you work so much you can't get your school work done, so you are in constant fear of losing what financial aid you do have because of bad grades.
and then you realize: this can all be fixed...and you think of all the great things you can do to get your life straightened out...but do you do it? hell no. and a week later, you do it all over again.
this happened to me (again) tonight at work. but it was different this time. i dunno, maybe i am just being overly optimistic, but this didn't feel the same as the ones i am used to. it wasn't accompanied with the obligatory anxiety attack that it normally has. normally i wouldn't share this stuff with complete strangers..but Andi has heard this all too many times over the past 3 years. so i figured i would talk to you about it. i am gonna lay out some goals that i would like to achieve prior to this semester's conclusion(except #1, not in order of importance):
1) quit smoking
2) work out- EVERYDAY
3) keep my apartment clean
4) put extra effort into EVERY class
5) Get socially involved on campus
for most people these may seem mundane, everyday things. believe it or not, there was a time when these were second nature to me too. in high school, i was an "A" student, had a million friends, was the starting running back on the football team, and wrestled. life was grand. maybe another day i will grace you all with the story of what happened.
so, i think one of the coolest things has just happened to me. so cool in fact, that i decided i would forgo my usual 30 minute nap between loads of laundry to share it with you all. so feel special.
i believe it was last friday, i was sitting in class, kinda bored,(sorry miss D, not your fault, i have the attention span of a...something with a really short attention span, which is way i am still writing this side note, rather than continue what i was really blogging about! grr...maybe i should seek help for this). ANYWHO! so i decided to join the mentally incontinent website. and once there i decided to post a comment to his entry about his book being used as a textbook in our class. and the craziest thing happened.
i opened my email and saw one from MI.com saying i had a private message.
i was amazed when i got on the site to see who it was from- it was from none other than the peacock himself. it was soooo cool. how often do people get emails from authors of books or web pages and the like. and not only did he email me, he apologized for how long it took him. which was a whole two days!
it is just cool to see someone who cares about the people who take an interest in their work.
I wanted to post in response to pizzleutk's "arby's" story. i was going to just leave a comment, but i feel that those are under-read. and what i have to say should be known.
first I wanted to discuss sonic with you all. I also started my working life at sonic. but i had quite a different experience. the sonic that i worked for was run with a "Monica" type obsessive-compulsive, cleanliness and dedication to serving quality food. anyone who isn't familiar with the show Friends, the reference was wasted, and i apologize. i think that you have the opportunity to get horrible service, and the like at any restaurant. it is simply a case of bad management.
and now to the part that i AGREE so strongly about:
I know, that as a manager, customers are my number one priority. and it is my job to make the employees agree. But way the drive through can take a comletely rational, smart human being and turn them into a drugged out "sling-blade" i will never know. it is like there is some invisble feild that one must drive through and suddenly the brain is degraded to a 3rd grade level.
Me: "would you like something to drink with that today?"
Random idiot customer #500 for the day: "what kind of drinks do you have?"
Me: "pepsi products sir"
Me: "if you look toward the top panel of the menu board there is a large (3 foot by 10), section showing a picture of all of our drinks."
Me: " we have pepsi, diet pepsi, mt. dew, dr. pepper, swt. tea, pink lemonade, fruit punch, mt dew baja blast, mt dew code red, and sierra mist."
customer: "i'll have a diet mt. dew please."
Me: "sir, we don't have diet mt. dew, the only diet drink we have is pepsi."
Customer: "ok, just give me a sprite."
Me: "will sierra mist be ok sir?"
Customer: "no, sprite."
Me: "sir, we sell pepsi products. sierra mist is pepsi's version of sprite."
Customer: frustrated. "just give me a coke."
Me: entertained at the CUSTOMERS? frustration "pepsi be ok sir?"
Me(ten minutes after this car pulled up): "ok, so one taco and a medium pepsi?"
with the the car drives of and heads to the window, in my frustration i say to no one: "thank you sir, your total will be $3.90"
at the window:
Me: "that's $3.90 would you like any mild, hot or fire sauce."
Me: "ok sir, which would you like?"
since i have worked for taco bell for over a year now and still have no idea what "medium" sauce is, i just throw some of everything in the bag and let him be on his way. hoping that he remembers to wash his hand before finishing up that open heart surgery he has waiting for him back at the hospital.
repeat scenario 300 times a day, and viola! you have a fast food restaurant.
pizzle- you my boy
anyone have nipple rings? c'mon now, show of hands...
i didn't think many of you would. they are generally reserved for the most risque of people. i mean, one would have to be mentally unstable to willing allow someone to jab sharp pieces of metal through your nipples. or have a very good reason.
i had a very good reason:
by my junior year of high school, my relationship with my mother had degraded so far(it has long since been resolved) i wanted out, now. but that's a whole other story in itself. so i thought to myself, 'i am 18, i can do this whole living on my own thing, but first, i need her to kick me out.' and i knew what would do it. me and 3 of my friends picked a day when my mom was out of town, and head down to Psycho Tat2. It cost me over a hundred dollars, and unlike 'joe', i didn't make any money off from it.
of the friends i went with, one of them was a girl i was madly in love with, but she didn't know it yet. we are now dating almost 3 years later. i guess i succeeded in proving my masculinity, strange that having earrings hanging from your nipples can do that. anyway, though i don't remember it being as bad as joe describes, i would definitely call it the worst pain i have ever felt in my life. the second one hurt a hundred times worst than the first. and imagine feeling the pain, and thinking its over, but looking down to see a 6 inch long piece of metal through your nipple and blood coming out of either side. but once they were in, i fell in love. my 'coming out' experience is not as physically painfully is having them ripped out, but it hurt none the less.
but imagine being a cocky, defiant teen and walking out on the people who have spent 18 years raising you. then realizing a couple months later: 'shit, i can't do this.' and with the same 3 friends that took me to get them, i took them out. it was so hard, and then to return home, apologize and give them as a promise to my step-father. trust me, it hurt.