Monthly Archives: August 2006

Having An Evil Bovine Master

It was Steve Pavlina’s idea that I commit to updating every single day for 30 days and today is the last day. He didn’t specifically say, “Kristin you are to post daily on your silly blog for one month.” But he promoted the general idea. (And I had a 90% compliance rate — not bad.) Today I have no freaking clue what I’m going to be doing with my life, or even next Tuesday. Thusly, I thought it apropos that my final entry in this experiment be a link to his brilliant article, 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job. Enjoy. See you in September.

A Rant About My Job With Lots of Cussing

It comes down to the fact that I feel I’m better than this.
It’s amazing how similar I can feel about my jobs and my relationships. I’m fucking awesome and if you don’t know that, then fuck you — I don’t want to work for you anyway.
I’m… insulted.
And the ironic part is that I don’t even want this job anymore. I would stay if they could offer me a part-time position, but I doubt that will happen. It’s just that this guy has had over a month to make a decision about whether or not to hire me when my contract is up (September 7th) and just this afternoon he asked someone else on the team if they had my resume. What they gave him is the paragraph the temp agency wrote about me concerning my experience at my last job. I only know this because I have access to his email inbox. Two years of hell distilled into twenty-seven words. Nevermind that he could have asked me a month ago for my real resume, which I would have gladly supplied.
I have never in my life left a job without giving at least one month notice. I would never give less than two weeks. Yet here it is, five days before my last day of work, and the guy is casually asking around for my resume. I’ve already interviewed with him. And he keeps coming around all nicey nice, pretending to be my friend, smiling at me and joking with me and asking me to do shit for him.
I just feel — so — guh. This is total ego. But I’ve been here for six months, busting my butt and going above and beyond, and he’s not sure if I’m good enough to organize his fucking calendar for him.
I like this anger though — it’s the same emotion that drove me to make positive steps toward career decisions not involving doing someone else’s bullshit. Like in June, when I had to cut my four-day (unpaid) vacation to Boston down to three-days, paying $150 to change my flight to Saturday, because one of my coworkers decided she had a photocopying job for me to do Friday afternoon.
Things have not changed in NINE YEARS! I was writing this exact same bullshit nearly a decade ago when I graduated from college and was working as an admin at Fleet, making the same exact measly hourly rate.
Not that it’s anyone’s fault but mine, but it is enfuriating to see that I’ve moved absolutely NOWHERE career-wise in ten years. I’ve actually been working backwards since 2002, when I was an actual writer getting paid 50K a year. A month later I was a program assistant making HALF that. And this position pays me less than my previous position. There’s something wrong with this picture.
Hence, the school.
I will open my own practice and/or spa and as the Boy said last night, hire my OWN assistant to schedule appointments and do my laundry. Except I will offer them medical benefits, even if they work part-time, and they will get paid days off, and I will treat them with dignity and respect because I’ve been on the receiving end of the bullshit for far too long. And if I decide to fire them, I will give them two weeks notice like any human being should have.
Okay, I’m done. I think I need an (unpaid) lunch break or something.

Start Spurrreading the News

(from some publication I’ve repressed the name of…)
MEOW MIX to Open First-Ever Cafe for Cats in Manhattan
NEW YORK — Cats all over New York City have the date Aug. 17 scratched in their calendars, say the makers of Meow Mix cat food.
Meow Mix is “spurreading” the word that Aug. 17 will be the most anticipated day of the year for felines. Because that’s when they’ll be rubbing their owners’ legs for the chance to be among the first “customers” to dine at the new Meow Mix Cafe and get their first taste of Meow Mix Wet Food Pouches.
The 3,500 square-foot Meow Mix Cafe, 489 Fifth Ave. (between 41st and 42nd streets) will be a store with 3,500 square feet in the heart of Manhattan.
Besides offering cats “a unique culinary experience,” as Richard Thompson, “self-described “Top Cat” at Meow Mix (chief executive officer in human parlance), puts it, the Meow Mix Cafe will offer fully interactive games, their themes base on the entrees for cats and their owners.
The cafe’s menu will showcase “the highest-quality ingredients” for patrons, both quadrupeds that purr and featherless bipeds. Feline entrees will feature seven varieties of new Meow Mix Wet Food Pouches, including Cluck-a-Doodle-Doo, Maine Attraction, Wing and a Prawn, Deep Sea Delight, Fillet Meow, Gobbliscious, Hook Line & Sinker, Upstream Dream and What’s the Catch?
For each Meow Mix flavor, owners can enjoy a comparable dish. For instance, while cats eat Fillet Meow — beef in gravy — their owners will be offered tenderloin of beef with horseradish sauce on a baguette.
The cafe will feature toys and games for cats and owners alike, including scratching posts and catnip-filled toy mice for the felines, plus special games based on new Meow Mix flavors, such as Hook, Line and Sinker, where owners — with help from cats — can fish for valuable prizes.
“Cats are such a key part of so many people’s lives, yet there are very few public places that are cat-friendly,” Thompson said. “With the Meow Mix Cafe, we’ve turned this situation on its head, with the creation of the world’s first cafe that literally caters to felines and, incidentally, is owner-friendly as well!”
Meow Mix Cafe will have a gift shop, where “cat-sumers” can buy all seven new flavors of Meow Mix Wet Pouches, as well as their traditional dry favorites, such as Original Choice, Seafood Middles and Hairball Control Formula. It will also offer cat toys and accessories, such as ceramic kitty bowls, plush pillows, puff balls and stuffed animals.
All proceeds from the grand opening will be donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). In addition, ASPCA will conduct cat adoptions there Aug. 18 and 19.
Visit Meow Mix at www.meowmix.com

((((Rob))))


Rob Dickinson at the Tractor was just… amazing. LOVE him. My heart is still a little achey a few days afterward — that’s a good show. Here’s the video I shot of Rob performing (most of) “Future Boy” off the Catherine Wheel album Adam and Eve. You can also download it here — right click to save and watch on your computer. That will probably run more smoothly. I’ll write more about the show tomorrow. *sigh*

What Should I Be When I Grow Up?

So Friday I was relayed a message that there was a position opening up at the shelter in Lynnwood. Just to recap, my current employment involves a 6-month temp job as an administrative assistant, and a part-time seasonal position at Cat City, which is a smaller branch of the Lynnwood shelter. Pretty much everything right now is temporary, and not just in the Buddhist sense of the word.
I’ve been waiting for this stupid temp job to come to fruition. Except my intentions have changed over the past week. My contract is up September 8th — in two weeks. I was expecting at the end of the six months to have a permanent job (read as: benefits, security, health insurance, paid days off, etc.) or be released from the position all together. What I discovered is that they are intending to extend my temp contract another 3 – 6 months (is a year-long position really “temporary”?) and then decide whether or not to keep me on as permanent staff. Grrrr.
I was initially kind of pissed about this turn of events. I expected this week to know where I stood employment wise, and I had every intention of accepting a full-time position at my 9-5 office gig a least for another year. And then do what — I’m not sure.
But lots of things changed Friday. I received notice of this open position at the Lynnwood shelter. And that launched me into some mental gymnastics. Because my first reaction was that I don’t want to work in Lynnwood, and I don’t want to work at the central shelter full-time. The commute is unnecessary, and the environment there is overwhelmingly negative, emotionally draining, and bleak. I want to run Cat City.
This lead to a discussion of running cat city with another staff member. To make a long story short, it’s impossible because of the division of labor there (for example, one woman has worked the Sunday shift for seven years). And even if I did work Cat City full-time, in the winter the hours are cut back a lot, so it wouldn’t even be technically “full-time”.
So now what? If I don’t really want to work full-time in Lynnwood, and I can’t work full-time at Cat City, what does that mean for my animal welfare employment as a career? And should I continue to set my sights on Paws when I’m not gung-ho about the options?
Seattle shelter had a position listed last week as well. It was for a full-time animal control officer, essentially the same job as the one being offered at Lynnwood. I realized I didn’t want to do that job either, and it’s not because of the commute, which was my initial misgiving with the other position. So honestly, I don’t think being an animal control officer, up to my neck in poop and surrounded by disgruntled members of the public, is the best dedication of my resources. I feel like I need to be doing something… more.
So I came to the realization that yes, I do want to continue my work in animal welfare. But that work does not have to be full time to be fulfilling, and it does not have to be at the shelter, whether in Lynnwood or Seattle. I have my web site that is nearly complete, and I have the book I have begun writing on City Cats, and I can volunteer a few hours a week at Cat City. And perhaps that would be enough to satisfy that area of my life.
Because even if I did “pay my dues” by performing shit work for crappy pay for a year or two at the Lynnwood shelter, if I were to move (which I no doubt will in the next 5 or so years) I would be starting from scratch at another location. Shelters just don’t have that many paid positions, and the ones they do have are usually filled from within by people who have already been employed there or have been volunteering for some time.
This was a lot to think about on Friday.
I decided to revisit Plan B, which you may remember, is massage therapy school. My application is already in at Brenneke and I had my admissions interview at the end of June. I told them I needed some time to see where things were going with the shelter before I committed to school this fall.
The money issue was the main one holding me back. In order to pay for school, I would have to work full-time while going. I know from experience now that this won’t work. That’s why it ended up on the back burner for the past two months. But I finally broke it all down and called my parents and said, “You said you’d help me go back to school. I’m sorry that I don’t want to be a nurse like you wish I did, but this is what I’m going for, and I need to know if you’re willing to still help me out.” It was uncharacteristically direct of me, but what the fuck. I feel like I’ve been tiptoeing around people my whole life. I’m ready to ask for what I need. I need money to go back to school. If they can’t swing it, or they don’t want to contribute to my life of prostitution as a body worker, fine. But I need an answer. I can’t live in half-truths and shadows and stories that I continually tell myself to feel better about a situation where I’m not accepted for who I am.
They said yes. They would help me. I would not need to be employed full-time in order to go to school. 20-30 hours a week would be sufficient.
I called Brenneke on Monday and told them I wanted to move forward with enrollment. They were pleased as punch, and the admissions director said she loved to see people actually take time out to think about their life decisions, and she thought I’d do well since I’d done the thinking and weighed the choices and was making a conscious commitment.
Classes start September 6th, the day before my last day at my office job.
The remaining battle has been deciding what I want to do for part-time work while going to school. Because I could take that position at Lynnwood — it’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday. School is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It would work out time-wise. But — I just don’t know. I see the possibility of sitting on my ass for a bunch of four hour shifts at a desk for $15 an hour, juxtaposed with cleaning dog crap on my hands and knees during an eleven hour Saturday shift for $10 an hour… and I think, how about that office job? Because while it might not be as “rewarding” to work at the office job, I don’t need my part-time job to be rewarding right now because I’m going to school for something rewarding. And school itself is a noble purpose and will fill me with a sense of direction. So why not just have an easy job opening mail and answering phones for twice what I’d make at the shelter, minus the back pain, minus the emotional strain, minus the forty-five minute commute?
There’s a lot to think about.
I applied for two part-time positions today. I have one interview on Thursday. I am interviewing for the Lynnwood shelter job tomorrow. I told them I was interested, and since I’m not 100% certain where I’m going, I thought I’d at least interview and leave the opportunity open for myself. I applied for this awesome job today at an environmental landscaping company a few blocks from my house. It’s 30 hours a week, and $17 an hour, and they want someone with “wordsmithing skills” and someone who can type *really* fast. Is 110 WPM enough? They said they were reviewing my resume. I honestly don’t think they’ll be able to resist me.
My head hurts. I’ve been doing so much Thinking, and it’s all Big stuff, and it’s all happening quite fast. But that’s how I function. When there’s decisions that need to be made, I jump in and make them. They’re not always the best decisions, but I’d rather make a bad decision than sit on my hands and procrastinate taking charge of my destiny.
Know what I mean?

P.S.

The dreamy Rob Dickinson will be playing a live in-studio on KEXP at 11:00 this morning, Pacific Standard time. Stream it here. If for no other reason, listen because he’s British and says things like, “Can I pinch a fag?”