Tuesday, January 26, 2010

request denied

Each Super Bowl season Portland hosts a fabulous event called the Seafood and Wine Festival at the Convention Center. I was lucky enough to work the event last year in the Martini Bar. It's the only bar in the entire convention that serves hard liquor - everywhere else is strictly beer and wine. The event was wildly popular and I earned an insane amount of tips in two days. I was so thankful that I was asked to work the Martini Bar again this year.

My dilemma is my manager said she prefers I don't take a half day here at the office to work this promotion. My frustration from this response stems from two thoughts; one, this office is very relaxed and whatever days we request off or request half days have never been denied in the 6.5 years I've been here. Second, as my boss is informing me she prefers me not to leave early because I already leave early twice a week for school and this puts the rest of the office staff in a bind, she's emailing me from home!

The hypocrisy of lecturing me about the burden I place on my co-workers for leaving early doesn't dawn on her while typing this email from home? You're the manager and you decided to work from home because it's more comfortable?!?! I really don't know what I'm going to do. I really need this extra cash.

This is the money I use for school expenses and to know I could make enough money to cover text books, parking permit and possibly additional uniforms all in two days is something I can't pass on.

I feel like I'm being punished for returning to school. This is something I had not anticipated, but I feel the rumble in the office. There is very little camaraderie and it's unfortunate. There is a lot of double talk and very little support amongst this all female office staff. Working in a male dominated profession you'd think the desire to watch each others' backs would be unspoken. Well, it's not only unspoken it's unpracticed. I feel the wave of annoyance blowing in my direction. This most recent request for time off denied further supports my feeling of being singled out.

I have no one I can confide or trust here. My confidence in building friendships with people I've worked with for nearly seven years is shaky at best. Sincerity is something rare here and it's a big part of why I've decided to return to school. I cannot be a lifer here. I cannot continue to surround myself with people who would rather throw me under the bus then to entertain the idea of supporting me, professionally.

I was hired in June 2003 - I've really only made one friend from work and she has since left the company. What does that say? Is it me? Is it this place?

Who knows if when I asked my co-workers if they mind if I took a half day for this event if they really meant they didn't care. They could sing a different tune when speaking to my manager.

Perhaps next week people will be in better spirits and I'll be granted my half day.

To be continued...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thank you Oregon Lottery

I like Scratch-Its. Not so much I've lost my car, my job and I'm living in a shelter. I allow myself about 2-4 Scratch-It tickets a month. I bought one this morning, it's called "Super Tic Tac Toe" It cost me $3 and the top prize is $30,000!!!

So if I win the top prize, I'm taking home around $20k - hell yes! This Friday is starting out with some excitement.

Super Tic Tac Toe has six games on one ticket. That's six opportunities for me to win big money, baby! Each game has the tic-tac-toe characters - but they do not correlate with the rules of the game. You scratch all the tic-tac-toe pieces off on your game to reveal images. Also note at the beginning and end of each row and column is a dollar amount ($3-$30,000). To win, all you have to do is get the same four images in either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line. If you reveal four of the same images in a line which ever row or column or diagonal line they are in, there is the winning dollar amount at the beginning and ending of your line.

Super easy... and super fun!!

So I start... I can scratch pretty quickly. I don't do the anticipation game of stopping and whispering a little prayer when I get two of the same images - I rip right through this mother, hoping for the big win.

Game #1 - I'm a $5 winner baby!! That's a two dollar profit - this Friday is looking good.

I rush through my remaining 5 games. Dud, dud, dud, dud... ok, lucky game #6. I can feel it!! The shiny $30,000!!! is putting a glare on my glasses. I use my staple remover to reveal each image. Treasure Chest, Treasure Chest, Treasure Chest...

Damn... this it. I'm paying off my car!!


Ahhh... it's cool Oregon Lottery. You're giving me $5.

Till next time...

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The crisis in Haiti has captivated me for over a week now. I keep MSNBC rolling on my monitor during the day, and find myself frozen at times by the horror and devastation that these people are experiencing. It's tough to understand and all I want to do is help!!

I become an EMT-B this March (cross your fingers I pass the state board exam). I'm researching Mercy Corp and Medical Teams International volunteer programs for people with medical certifications. Medical Teams International will allow an EMT-B to volunteer a week of their time by assisting surgeons and nurses at hospitals or at disaster/emergency sites. I have my passport, so that won't be a problem it's the funding. The trips range from $1,800-$2,500. When the time comes, I'm thinking in February when I can review my schedule and decide if I can commit to this, I will start trying to get sponsors and donations. I want to go to Haiti for a week during my Spring Break from school.

My partner in school, Trent, really wants to help the Haitians so I think we'll be trying to raise the funds together. I plan on hitting up the owners of the dealership I work at, Ron Tonkin Toyota. They do a lot with UNICEF and donate locally. I've been with this company over six and half years, so I hope they can donate some money towards an amazing experience for me, and the big payoff is putting my training to good use.

I will also be able to bring supplies with me but I won't know the specifics until I'm assigned.

I'm very thankful for my life here in the US when I watch from the comfort of my home the hardship the Haitian people are going through. Please donate!! The American Red Cross are working wonders over there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK jr.

Will my children one day live in a world where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character? Dr. King made this speech more then 20 years before I was born, but every time I watch this I choke up.

Now is the time, Dr. King!!!

why call when you can text?

Andrew left for Tahoe Saturday morning while I was in class. His brother drove him to the airport. He's not gone for long, just 4 nights. I was looking forward to having some me time and being able to do those girl things you no longer can do freely when you have a boy sharing your space. (Sorry to disappoint, it's nothing sexy, it's mostly just wearing your pajamas until noon, doing a crossword without his super brain knowing all the answers and wearing a mud mask while eating a late dinner in front of the tv).

He texted me while he was waiting at the gate, texted me a few hours later that he ran into his middle school science teacher then he wrote "Awwww" as a response to a picture I sent him of Serena before going to bed.

Now, I'm not a lady that needs her man to call her constantly while he's out of town but really, not one phone call? Sunday morning I get a "morning..." text message, followed by a few updates about the festivities of last night. I go about my day, conscious of my phone's location in case he calls. I call him at 5:45pm and get sent to voicemail. He then calls me back while in a game of poker - conversation last a few seconds because he's "gotta go" but promises to call me when the hand is over.

An hour and 15 minutes later he texts that "poker is wrapping up soonish..." Another 45 minutes pass and then he calls. He's distracted and only wants to talk about the dogs.

I can't stress the awkwardness of this phone call. It's almost an inconvenience for him to call me when he's with his friends. I sense that it's much easier for him to be "Iz" with his friends and "Andrew" with me. It's natural to default back to the person you were when hanging out with people from your past. I know I'm much more exuberant and the center of attention when with my family and high school friends. The thing that sorta bums me out is how he doesn't want to mesh the past and present; he wants to keep them separate. I'm not entirely sure why, but it's convenient for him to communicate via text message while with his college friends. It doesn't hurt, it just makes things clearer and foggier at the same time. Perhaps he does the same to them when he's back at home.

I admit it's much easier to text someone then to call. I write more emails, comment of Facebook status' and text message my closest friends then call them. I probably text or email Audrey every day, but really only talk to her on the weekends.

With this advancement of technology, the "ding" of a new message, has replaced the ring of the phone. And with the instant short hand lingo we lose the comfort of hearing a loved ones voice and learning the craft of conversing. I remember the importance of talking. Talking on the phone was such a necessity when I was a teenager that my sister Jess and I shared a room and together, her having a real job and my baby-sitting money, pooled our funds together and got our parents to install a second line in our bedroom!! The hours we spent on pranking, collecting random payphone numbers at MAX stations just to talk to random people on top of the hours spent talking to our friends was incredible!!

Should I feel any less important because instead of the phone call, I get that text? Not sure. It makes me wonder why I have cellphone minutes at all. How can I contribute to getting talking back on instead of texting? I'm known for taking things to heart when they really shouldn't... but I miss him calling me. The texting puts me on the same level of all the random, less important people that don't require a phone call. I think I deserve a phone call while he's 600 miles away.

And it may seem trivial but there's no "I love you" while he's with his college friends. Sorta stings that after two and half years he still doesn't say that in front of his friends. Again, maybe I should just say it instead of waiting to hear it, but I don't want to make things weird for him.

"Things seem clearer and foggier at the same time" comes into play here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Swore a pact with the devil... true story..."

WTF Mr. Robertson?

How is the enslaved population revolting against the plantation owners who refused to abide by the Declaration of the Rights of Men (1789), which stated all men are free and equal, a pact with the devil?

Why can't this man separate God/Religion from politics?

Voodoo, which was widely practiced in the Caribbean, has NOTHING to do w/the liberties of people. The cruelty and illegal actions of the Saint-Domingue plantation owners refusing the rights of these enslaved people created the strain Haiti has today. The economical impact of the slaves now acting on their rights to be workers and not slaves influenced political relations w/nations around the world. The cost of sugar increased, rights to property, (the exchange of US land by southern plantation owners for plantation rights and slave-crews in Saint-Domingue were transactions that were no longer recognized once the slaves revolted), created much tension and broke ties w/US, Spain, France, etc.

That is what has caused the Haitians to be ill-suffered economically all these years. Not some pact w/the Devil to revolt against whitey.

Uhhh... Pat Robertson is such a blemish on the first amendment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

so it's late... what does that mean?

This is such a great question. The answer could be moot or substantial.

I was asked by a co-worker regarding a deal that today needed to be in the hands of a California DMV clerk and clearly, the deal would not make it to Sacramento by 4pm, "what does that mean?"

"It's late."

"Yeah, but what does that mean?" he asked.

"Uh... I dunno."

As of this moment, it being late means nothing. The two state offices, California and Oregon, could get on our case for submitting late paperwork (although, we had not received it back from the customer until today), the dealership's policy was broken and the customer's could ultimately be irritated by a delay of the deal being processed but... those are all what ifs and they mean nothing right now.

This is when my mind started to wonder as well as my fingers to the keyboard - apply this question to something else like your period; oh my God, am I pregnant? Or to your rent; Dammit! Rent's late, there's a $50 late fee. Man, do the answers to that question really freaking matter.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


My third term at PCC started four days ago. I've earned 24 credits and have borrowed nearly $3000 from Sallie Mae, thus far, and can't believe how quickly it is passing yet it feels like eternity till my graduation date. I will never leave this cubicle. I will never achieve professional pride or utilize my brain and apply them to medical skills and all hope of me reconnecting with that silly, happy person I used to be is abysmal.

woe is me

Well, I maybe dramatic but it's really not that bad. I really enjoy school and everything it is giving to me. That's right, "giving to me." I feel like I've been sucked dry for awhile, used up and nothing is giving in my favor. My job used to be exciting; a place I felt energy amongst my co-workers and I was greeted with challenges and valued. Now it's just annoying.

After a work day, I drag my tired mind and body home but happily jump back into the car after eating and changing my clothes to drive to campus, sit in a classroom and wake up my think-less brain. The excitement of discovering what I'm supposed to be hasn't been lost. Every night that I wear my EMT STUDENT uniform, I learn something, I laugh, I joke and I feel I'm on the path I veered off years ago.

My EMT instructor has a sign off at the end of each class:
"Think of everything you didn't know at the beginning of class tonight. (silence as the class reflects). Just wait till next class when you learn even more."

I am going to work so hard to actually complete this two-year program/degree in two years. My bank account and amount of restful nights may suffer, but I've been suffering a much bigger consequence for awhile; not living up to my potential. The dissatisfaction I felt with the decisions I made - the choices that shaped me into who I was before I (bravely) took the (greatest) risk of enrolling in school is fading.

I like that most of all.