Start of daytime week

Bit of a status update.

Typing this at Bachelor Farmer Cafe. Expensive but there’s good wifi and the chairs are comfy. It’s becoming a bit of a habit after a shift at SysadminJerb but somehow the vibe here lets me think, which is nice. I can then go home and sleep and still feel productive about my night at work.

It’s getting cold. Got me a cool leather jacket but I will definitely need more heavy winter gear.

Still working at merBOHjob… which makes for long shifts when there are days when I have to work at both places at once. Staying up 30 hours or more is now a common occurrence and it would seem my psyche has stabilized enough to be able to do this and not feel like I’m losing myself anymore.

Chuckling as I type this cos one of the barists totally looks like she doesn’t want to be here, and she looks like the old GM at 112 that is a… colorful character, to me.

Oh right, I got kicked out of 112 this past Sunday. First time I’ve been kicked out of a restaurant. Just walked out, didn’t fight it. At least now I know for sure they don’t want my business, nor any business I might send their way. Guess I could send people to bFOHjob but I’m pretty sure they also fucken hate me.

Guess I’ll have to send people to Bachelor Farmer.

Back into the aether

Well, I just done and got me an IT job again. To actually keep it I:

  • Quit at tKitchenJob.
  • Ended up walking out at pbFOHjob. This place is a shithole and I don’t think I’ll ever see a paycheck from it; in the event I do I will probably never see my actual tips.
  • Reducing hours at merBOHjob. They don’t like it but what’cha gonna do? You can’t pay me.

I think I’ll call this IT job… honeyJerb. Jen would be proud.

Dark liminality

Well, here we are again. Another week from hell done:

  • Walked out on bFOHjob; I make the GM nervous.
  • Reduced my hours at tKitchenJob because I’m starting at…
  • merBOHjob, doing the same thing as tKitchenJob but at a higher wage.
  • Going to try and give it a week before starting to look for another FOH job.

Lost the job, lost the girl, and I’m pretty sure I’ll get an eviction notice tomorrow Monday because… why not? It’s how the universe seems to work for me.

Anyway, as I now seem to have plenty of free time on the calendar I’ll try to make better use of it and spending re-learning how to code as I never have learned to do it properly. Or so I’m saying right now. But before I do that I’m going to get some reading material on personal finance and learn how to do forecasting; merely having a budget doesn’t cut it for me.

Hopefully I’ll also be able to sleep better tonight. Last night I was caught between being too tired to sleep and a mind racing to figure out a path forward.

GM was very good at telling me I did not belong

Over time I was told a few things at the last job I had:

  1. “You’re an intense person. You may have trouble here.” This happened right during my hiring interview.
  2. “Maybe you just don’t fit in.”
  3. “You’re perceived as a dishonest person.”
  4. “I think you’re insubordinate as an employee because you don’t talk.”

Given those circumstances I thought it best to leave. I should have timed it better cos now I’m going to have a hell of a time actually making rent.

Ugh, doubles. My personal scourge.

Due to scheduling vagaries at my two jobs I end up working doubles three times a week at the least. And not just regular doubles, but “clopenings”; that is, when you close the night and then open the next day. Never any fun to be had during those days… Specially in the weekends.

I work brunch.

FML.

Sooo I guess I’m back on my bullshit

I just picked up another full-time job at a kitchen in downtown. Went and staged today and by the end of it got offered the job. I took it.

That means I now have FOHjob, in which I’m just a wait assistant with nary a chance of moving up the chain; and BOHjob, in which I’m supposed to show up at ungodly hours of the morning and… Do kitchen stuff? I’m not even sure what I’m going to be doing yet.

loud sigh

My issue is going to be scheduling. Oftentimes I end up closing at FOHjob, which will cut into my sleeping time and increases the risk I’ll be late to BOHjob. It’s not a nice feeling…

Never grow up, kids. It leads to situations like these.

Only scratching the surface, here.

I fucking hate my job now.

It was okay for a long, long while. Certainly less stressful than working at the biting squad but it certainly had its share of trouble.

But now all of the low lying brush-fires that consume the company are threatening my very sanity. I dread going to work so much I try to sleep as much as possible, which is the opposite of me staying up until 0300 on teh twitter derp corn or playing videogames.

Hopefully something good will pop-up soon because THIS IS SO, SO BAD.

How bad, you ask? We have clients who are literal nazi sympathizers. I asked my Pa about it and he says that technically makes me a nazi collaborator. The kicker? The boss is Jewish.

Hopefully next job I’ll actually be given a chance to move up? Either way, I’m over this place.

A path ahead

I’m stuck in a rut. I thought it would take me longer to get to this point, but looks like that is not the case. I realized this fact after reading this article.

I have two jobs and both of them share


Started writing this, then I got fired from one of them. They would rather keep a bad white employee than a good brown one. You do you, Bite Squad.

I’ll tell you all stories of my adventures there.

Loopdedoop

Now that I’m actually working at two separate “office” jobs, I’ve noticed one thing.

Nobody wants to train you anymore, for anything at all. No matter how easy or complicated the job is, no matter how many issues might be prevented by spending an extra few hours of learning (and this goes for both employees and customers), no one wants to do it.

This is why you see jobs with insane requirements like:

  • Fresh off school
  • 4 year college degree
  • 8 years of direct experience related to the job
  • To live and die by the company

They want people who already know how to do the job so they don’t have to spend money training them.

That’s before we even bring out non-legal issues like transportation, demeanor, clothing… and legal ones, like religion, race, and country of origin. Yes, companies will _never_ admit it but sometimes they don’t hire someone because they happen to be the wrong skin color for the company, whatever the reason

So on the training front it usually becomes the issue of having someone formally take charge of the training process. A lot of companies don’t do this. If there is a knowledge base that new employees can refer to, sure, but if the knowledge is locked away inside of people’s brains or in documents they won’t have access to.

This is what I’m dealing with now, and it sucks. It leaves everyone in a bad place. A lot of people have ideas on how to fix it, but until the actual company decision-makers actually change nothing will come of it.

After a while you just figure out how to do the job, this is forgotten, then the cycle starts over elsewhere.

Annoyances

“Can I get someone who speaks English?”
I do believe I am speaking in English. What can I do for you?

Just because you’re calling customer service doesn’t mean I’m outside the US.

“I want to speak with a manager”
Sure thing. Can I have your order so I can tell my manager what you’re calling about?
“No I want a manager now because I don’t want to talk to you”
Unless I obtain this information I cannot transfer you to a manager. Anything else?

Give me something so I can help you. Otherwise I’ll tell you to fuck off.

“I want a cut”
We all want things. Do one more order and you’ll get your cut.
“NO I WANT A CUT NOW”
You already accepted the order. Finish it and you get cut. Otherwise you get written up.

These people are the ones doing the work, but really, most of them are idiots.

“Your menu is out of date and all the prices are wrong”
I can fix the prices on this order, have you sent your menu in?
“WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT”
Do. Not. Yell. At. Me.

There’s a reason why people don’t order from you anymore, dear restaurant owner.

Not getting paid enough for this

At work we use the G Suite for most everything and it works okay — for the most part. The problem is that we’re starting to have so much documentation that is just frozen in a spreadsheet or document that is just… out of sight, where no one pays it attention ever again.

I’m having a devil of a time convincing someone, anyone that having something other than the mess of documents we have shared between all of us is something worth having. Our current system simply doesn’t allow for detailed notes to be kept on all the parties involved for what we do: The sellers, the customers, the employees, so we end up just having the knowledge be stored on someone’s mind, where it can’t be efficiently shared.

And when that person leaves the knowledge is lost.

So now I’m wracking my brains to figure something out that we can all share because what we currently have is simply not working. A wiki is starting to look like the best idea but I can’t simply go and run it off a server somewhere. I want it to be at least be allowed, because I don’t want to lose my job trying to improve the company. It is confidential information, after all.

I’ve seen people lose their jobs for less than that.

My job is managing being interrupted

Last year I turned off all my notifications. I stopped booking meetings. I started living asynchronously.

Source: Live asynchronously.

My job (and that of my coworkers) is being constantly stopped from finishing the task we are working on. I’m told that I’m really, really good at it, but I only got that way by working in the kitchen, where the job is, again, being interrupted.

But the cognitive load is immense, and intense. I often get home feeling more tired from working at the office job for 6 hours than from working in the kitchen for 12 hours.

And no, I don’t get breaks at either job unless it’s slow.

Hold strong against the waves

Shifts on the phone just… wear you down, humans. They wear you down, hard, no matter how fit you think you can take the damage.

You never see the person. You usually never even know what they look like (we have social media for that nowadays) but they sure wear you down, call after call.

Doesn’t matter if you’re apologizing to someone or if you’re apologizing for someone. The mere fact that you have to talk to someone is enough to grate on you.

This is why there is so much turnover at call centers. Talking to other humans is just hard. Because no matter what you’re calling about or why you’re calling about, they usually resent it.

The internet has not made this better. It has made this worse.

A computer conversation

There was a tweet from @findchaos that made me remember a conversation I had with a coworker at my kitchen job a few days ago.

The gist of it was “I’m looking for a new computer that’s good for everything and has lots of gigs to do what I want because I don’t want to spend a grand on an apple laptop“. Cue the questions regarding use (“Are you going to use for facebook? Youtube? Are you going to play on it?”) and connectivity (“Do you have WiFi at home? No? Are you going to use a hotspot from your phone then? No? So how are you going to get online???”)

This guy is from a poor part of Mexico. Whenever I ask specifics I just get grunts or non-answers, because he gets embarrassed. He knows he’s in over his head on these matters and I am understanding, but there’s so much I can do without kissing his ass which I will not do.

So with that said, I recommended a few models from the Dell XPS line, the Lenovo Thinkpad line and a couple of Samsung laptops I saw for cheap on Amazon. The guy was quite insistent that he wanted a “Sony laptop” if he couldn’t get a cheap Apple laptop. It didn’t matter what the sub-brand was since Sony has a few, most of them with the esoteric model names so favored by this manufacturer. I kept asking if he wanted a Vaio, but he just answered “I want a Sony laptop if I can’t get a cheap Apple laptop”.

After a while of circular arguments on his part I eventually ended the conversation with “If you don’t want to pay over a grand for a computer from Apple and you don’t like what Sony or Dell or Lenovo or Samsung or anyone else has to offer then I can’t help you. You have to decide what you want and all of it costs over 500 dollars from what you say you want.”

That shut him up.

From this I get a few things:

  • Apple is quite uncaring of people like my fellow cook. I’ve seen their support and as they’ll help you as long as you give them money, which most in his position don’t have, otherwise you’re on your own. For them, an Apple device is a status symbol.
  • Other computer manufacturers should try to fill in this gap. Even though these people are mostly illiterate they are already online through facebook and whatsapp. They are quite willing to spend the funds, it’s just that they don’t even have brand awareness of others because no one has even tried beyond a few ads in the most popular telenovela.
  • I think more efforts to promote Chromebooks would help as these people pretty much only use facebook, youtube, whatsapp and a few others. Particularly now that Google is working on having chromebooks have the capacity to run Android apps and even use the Google Play Store itself.
  • People like him want to know more but the classes available are designed for people with 9 to 5 schedules. The vast majority of Hispanic immigrants do not have that schedule and if governments want to better integrate them into US society at large more efforts should be made to allow for schedules where people have free time in the morning and work in the evenings.
  • I should probably start a side business giving people like him advice on what to buy and for a commission, buy it for them through Amazon. Offer training for an additional charge.

In writing this I forgot the original point of the post, but that’s okay. At least this is now out there since it happens somewhat often. People ask me something, I try to obtain more information to provide better advice, then they clam up because they realize they don’t even know what they want or what the person that wants the thing wants.

I’ll just go along with it.

There are a few things that I have to make clear, though, as the entire conversation was conducted in Spanish:

  1. “Lots of gigs” is a valid unit of measure for people like him. I don’t know whether they refer to RAM or to storage capacity, but I go along since they usually mean a bit of both. The actual phrase was “hartos gigas”.
  2. Apple is the same whether they are talking about an iPhone (“Un telefono Apple”) or a computer (“una laptop Apple”) regardless of whether the computer is a desktop or a laptop. The only difference is whether it is a mobile device or not.

No, I’ve never gone canoeing drunk at night in one of the lakes. I was probably working

So knowing to disclose deeply personal information about yourself—the best stories are not necessarily why you want to be a banker at Goldman Sachs, but how you reached the summit of Mount Everest—knowing that’s what interviewers value creates a disadvantage for individuals who don’t have those types of stories, or don’t know how to tell them.

Source: Recruitment, Resumes, Interviews: How the Hiring Process Favors Elites – The Atlantic

This is me. I don’t have stories about crazy adventures while young — I much preferred to be alone. I don’t have epic tales of surviving an extremely busy shift in the kitchen — at the end of those days usually you just want to go home and pass out.

While I am fortunate enough to know how to tell these stories when pressed, the fact is most of these stories are not something the interviewer would appreciate listening to, nor appreciate if they have no way to identify with me given my employment history: car washer/valet, cybercafe attendant, call center rep, sysadmin, barista, cook, server. If they’ve never been one of these it will be almost impossible to imagine the situations you live.

Meritocracy is a myth and it is high time people realize this.

’tis the season in 2015

This year I’m conflicted about the holiday season.

I have two families with which I’ll happily spend time with alongside the Jägerin. Problem is both of us are working a hell of a lot and having a hard time finding time to see each other.

Oh, I have a girlfriend now. Catch up.

More work

Why oh why do I work so much? It’s not like I truly need the funds.

Part of me thinks I just do it for the company. Otherwise I’d see no one at all, since I do tend to stay at home sleeping or reading.

On the upside, since I have to wake up early there won’t be any more late night drinks after work. Saves more money.

If only I were working in IT instead of food service… then I’d be making real money.

On the menu

Coconut tamale

This was the first time I had an item on the menu. Grabbed the recipe from a book, then reworked it with the tools available to me at Sandcastle. Even then, the execution wasn’t mine.

Too bad I’m not at Sandcastle anymore:

Broken knife tip

Perhaps, in time, I’ll be able to go back. It was home, after all.

Sandcastle Kitchen

Sandcastle patio