This morning was better than yesterday. Not much better – considering I woke up around 5 a.m., and had to practice deep breathing exercises to calm down from a minor anxiety attack after I thought about my behavior this past weekend – but, at least I got some sleep. I also made myself a lunch to bring to work. Where’s my medal?
For some reason, I also deleted all dating apps from my phone this morning. You know how Apple claims that over a billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store? Well, that’s actually just me – constantly downloading, deleting, and then re-downloading Grindr and Tinder. Truth be told, I wanted to delete all of my social media apps today, too. This type of digital blackout typically occurs after a major bender.
The slight improvement on my outlook didn’t last very long. I wasn’t even at work for 15 minutes before I had left the building in tears. After settling into my office, I went to the front desk to speak with Niall about the schedule he made for this week. You know, the one where he had me working until 3 a.m. on a Friday.
My discussion with Niall was like talking to a fucking brick wall. I thought I was being somewhat reasonable with my approach, as I obviously knew it was going to be an unpleasant conversation the minute I looked at the schedule. However, I also didn’t want to come off like a pussy. I think some of Natasha or Chelsea Handler rubbed off on me this weekend.
This is a side note, but it’s been on my mind a lot. I think I crossed the line from “sassy” into “bitch” territory this weekend, but I can’t really remember. I just know that I was really blunt with everyone I interacted with during the latter half of Sunday. It’s not a bad thing, but I don’t want to be a confrontational asshole. I want to be funny. But, maybe some people don’t consider me barking, “You’re a fucking mess,” at them to be humorous. I don’t know.
I also feel kind of bad for how I acted with Evan’s friend/mistress on Saturday night. Even though nothing would have happened between them, I was kind of a bitch about the whole thing. I probably embarrassed Evan. Furthermore, to then make out with the guy afterwards wasn’t exactly my finest hour. Fuck.
As I mentioned before, I don’t really remember much from this weekend. I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid, or if I actually crossed a line with Evan. That’s definitely the worst part about blacking out – not knowing what you said or did. I can deal with the hangover. I’ll recover from the cuts, scrapes, and/or ATM overdrafts. I hate not knowing what I said or how I acted, though. I still don’t understand how one is able to function as a presentable human being when intoxicated with that many substances. Do I not look like a complete mess?
Anyway, back to work.
I spoke with Niall about the schedule. To sum it up, this was basically how our conversation went down:
“This is this, and that is that,” Niall said. “This is the service industry, and that is how things work. You knew about this when you signed on to work here. Too bad. It is what it is. There will be no changes in operation going forward.”
In typical Elle Woods fashion, I had a rebuttal for every point Niall made. It didn’t matter, though. The dude was not budging. However, neither was I. Refusing to accept Niall’s stance, I told him that I was going to deal with things in my office, and figure something out regarding the shift.
As if Niall hadn’t been enough of a prick to begin with, he had one more thing to add as I began to walk away from the front desk.
“And, don’t forget your uniform!” he shouted.
I stopped in my tracks, took a breath, and continued walking.
Oh. My. God. Over my dead body! I marched down the staircase like a child, fuming mad. I can’t remember the last time I was that angry. I must have looked like a lunatic. Very “Elle Woods getting out of Warner’s car, and walking on the sidewalk with a pout and her chin held high.”
I slammed myself into my office chair. Robyn began squawking about something, and I interrupted her.
“Sorry, I’m very flustered right now,” I told Robyn. “I just had my conversation with Niall about the schedule, and it did not go well at all.”
The bitch fucking laughed at me.
I lost it.
Robyn apologized for her cackling, but I had already passed the point of no return. While Robyn was asking questions to understand what had happened upstairs, I knew I was going to start crying. But, like, really crying. I could not let my boss see those tears. I had to get out of that office.
I interrupted Robyn again. With my phone in hand, I raced to the bathroom where I sat on the toilet and cried. Like, heaving crying. It was dramatic. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. A month into my job, and now this bullshit? Contrary to what Niall might have believed, uniforms and 3 a.m. shifts were not what I had signed on for. You can’t fucking change the rules on me like that. Once again, I had found myself overwhelmed by that feeling of being trapped. That’s why I was crying.
I was so upset. I didn’t know what to do. I sent Mom a few messages from the bathroom, and she responded right away, suggesting we talk live. Without asking, I walked past Robyn and left The Clubhouse to call Mom. I sat on the fire escape steps around the side of the building, and I cried into the phone. I know, I know. I just said I didn’t want to seem like a pussy. But, I needed advice. Mom is my lifeline.
We talked through it as much as we could. Mom gave me my talking points, calmed me down, and told me to go back inside. When I sat down at my desk, Robyn came over and put her hand on my shoulder. Much to my surprise, Robyn then apologized for how she handled the situation, and said that it was going to be okay. She was going to deal with Niall.
I started crying again. I was so embarrassed. I could not believe I was crying in front of my boss like that, and over something as seemingly stupid as a uniform and scheduling mishap. Through my heaving, I apologized for being, “so fucking unprofessional.” I then explained what had happened, Robyn reiterated that it was going to be fine, and then I blatantly changed the subject and we got back to work. The sooner we could move on from my breakdown, the better. I think Robyn felt sorry for me, though. Foregoing her usual Top 40 Spotify selection, Robyn played me Mariah Carey albums on a loop for the rest of the day.
A few hours later, Robyn had talked to Niall. The scheduling stuff had been taken care of. I might have to work the Friday night graveyard shift, but that kind of blindsiding won’t happen again. As for the uniform, that turned out to be a much bigger issue than I ever thought it would be. The whole thing is actually quite ridiculous. Both Robyn and Niall admitted that a uniform was never discussed prior to my hiring – and that they accepted that fault. However, they have maintained their position on not letting me wear my regular clothes to work.
“It wouldn’t be fair to the other staff members,” they said.
Oh, and one more thing. They won’t pay for the uniform, either. That $100 is my responsibility. Why for, you ask?
“That also wouldn’t be fair to the other staff members,” they repeated.
In that moment, it became instantly clear to me that nobody had ever pushed back on the uniform. Robyn had absolutely no idea what to do.
So help me God, I will not pay one cent for that uniform. I told Robyn that it was ridiculous for a company to essentially charge their employees to work. It’s just not proper business practice. To make matters worse, it was then revealed that there are actually two new uniforms each year – one for each season – and everyone is expected to pay for those as well.
This was fucking stupid. The Clubhouse can either pay for my uniforms, or I’m quitting. Call me dramatic. I don’t care. Not only is this not what I signed up for, but I made my compromises when I got hired. I took the pay cut. I accepted the absence of benefits. If The Clubhouse pays for the uniform, I’ll wear the damn thing. That’s as far as I’m willing to bend, though. Considering the pants remain a gnarly shade of khaki, I think that’s more than enough.
Robyn said that she would figure something out. She also briefly mentioned that she could take the issue to Lawrence, the Clubhouse president, and he might say, “If you don’t wear the uniform, you don’t want to work here bad enough.” Well, Lawrence – you’re damn right!
Anyway, that’s enough of that. Moving on.
As a result of dealing with my issues, Robyn wasn’t in our office much today. I was able to finish my shift without any more altercations. I also managed to arrange a tentative date with PW for this Thursday, and then walked as far home as I could before my foot really started to hurt.
Kyle dropped by the Witch Cave for a minute to grab his house keys, and then Mom came downtown. She wanted to talk more about the job stuff, so we went for dinner together. Our evening was great. I laid everything out, including what the possible outcomes might be, and we discussed what actions I would take for each one.
Mom and I talked about The Store, too. I don’t think I mentioned it, but yesterday I called Alicia and we talked about what’s going to happen down the road, as I’m technically still on The Store’s payroll.
Alicia is so sweet. It was so nice to talk to her. Funny how absence makes the heart grow fonder. Alicia said that I couldn’t transition to the lighter role she had previously mentioned. My options now are to either quit and be rehired into a different role, or resign altogether. Given my current situation with wanting to move forward with other things, Alicia said she would understand either way. So, that’s another decision I have to make.
Mom and I talked about what I’m looking for in the future. Who I should contact, what really interests me, etc. We talked about a lot. I wanted to tell Mom about my anti-depressant, but didn’t want to worry her. I never ended up saying anything. As it stands, Phillip is the only family member who knows I’m on medication. Mom drove me back to my apartment after dinner. We hugged for a long time, kissed goodbye, and that was that.
I am so blessed to have Mom. It almost makes me sick to think about not having her in my life. I love her so much. I would do anything for her. Mom makes me want to be a better person – the best person I can be. I want to give her everything in the world. I only hope that I’m half as good a parent as Mom is. Damn. I’m almost at a loss for words when it comes to expressing my love and gratitude for the most important person in my life.
Back at the Witch Cave, I exercised for a bit, and then went to bed.
Tomorrow needs to be better. It will be.
I love you, Mom.