Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Workin For the Weekend

So I've debated a few times on if I ever wanted to broach the subject with you all.  I'm not one to hold anything back but didn't know if this story would be interesting enough, cheesy enough,  funny enough, etc.  I've decided to just go with it because for better or worse, what is going to be told has made me who I am today a big nasty bitch.  A FB comment from a friend and former co-worker today is what really made my decision to talk about what happened.  And simmer down, these are just going to be stories of my previous employments.  No need to be all dramatic, people.  But I did have you seriously wondering there for a second right?  Oooooh what kinda dirt was she going to tell us????  Well, fear not, there might actually be some MAJOR dirt.  Just read on. 

I've already talked about some of  my experiences but mostly the funny ones.  But believe me, there are probably WAY more not-so-funny stories than the funny ones.  Except for when I am with Beth and believe me- I have LOTS more stories of our little adventures.  These stories won't be in any sort of order other than what job I'm thinking about at the time of the post or if something I did the day that I was typing it up reminded me of a funny or terrible time I was having.

The thing that happened today was about the Heat and the Celtics and I made a comment on my friends post where she was being nasty about the Celtics so I talking about how they were going to blow up the Heat later (apparently they lost- boo) and she said something about "is that any way to treat your former employer?"  I don't think she realized it but it totally rubbed me the wrong way.  And not because she said it, but because she clearly had a much different experience at her job there than I did at mine.  Because while everyone thought it was totally cool that I worked for the Miami Heat- and I played into that image believe me- it was honestly the worst job I have ever had, the worst that I have ever been treated, and it almost put me in a grave.  Literally.  

The first thing you need to know is that I worked there for 5 years and it was almost just right out of college so it was totally cool at first even though they were paying me minimum wage $30,000.  What did I know- it was $5,000 more than my first official job out of college and I was back living in Miami and I was going to make the best of it.  Then it started to be like 50-60 hour work weeks and it started to wear on me.  But I had a lot of friends there and we were all doing it and we were also having fun while we were there and HEY- it's the MIAMI HEAT for crying out loud.  So I put up with it.  My good friend Tricia left shortly after and after that the office sucked even worse.  Now instead of both of us getting called into Dirty Cuntbags office to get yelled at, it was just me. 

I had a boss from hell.  And when I say that- I literally mean it.  If there was an award given out by the devil for the most miserable, bitchy, angry person ever- she would win it.  My first week on the job she told me (in not as few words as this) that she didn't want me there, didn't want me hired, and was forced to hire me because of the people I knew.  And from that point on she made it her duty to make me feel like a piece of shit on a daily basis.  Again- 5 years of that awesomeness.  The 50-60 hour work weeks turned into 60-70.  I told you my salary, figure out THAT hourly wage.  I literally could be asking if you want fries with that and be making more money than I was making there at that point.  But for some reason, I still put up with it.

I started getting migraines.  Like serious migraines.  Every day.  I would go through 200 count bottles of Advil every 2-3 weeks.  I was exhausted.  I would have to call my roommate and ask her to do my laundry or change my bed to have clean sheets because I didn't have time to do it on my own because I was NEVER HOME.  I often felt like a walking zombie.  My attitude changed.  I became bitter and bitchy and mean.  (OK.  More bitchy, bitter, and mean that I already was).  I started yelling back.  And boy- was THAT FUN.  But it certainly didn't help me.   Or my blood pressure. 

It didn't help that my "home life" was starting to become a problem as well.  But that's a WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY FOR YOU.  My rent increased so high that I could have been paying for a house while my paycheck stayed the same.  I began freaking out about money.  My roommate refused to move when I told her I couldn't afford our apartment anymore.  I had to literally write out my pay and deduct my bills on paper and show her the negative number for her to believe me that I was going broke living with her. That's not at ALL humiliating either.  But that still didn't matter to her.

WOO HOO- I got a ring.  But while I got this ring- we were also getting shit on.  Did we get to go to any of the away games (for the record- any team that makes the finals, World Series, whatever game it is- they take their employees on the road with them as a "thank you" or to celebrate)?  Oh no-  because they made us work them.  They threw "watch parties" and made us sell tickets to it.  Shit- we didn't even get a t-shirt when the team won.  We got a 15% discount to the team store to BUY a t-shirt.  I'm not even exaggerating.  They literally gave every fan in the building free t-shirts but couldn't provide the people who were busting their asses with one.  Oh and bonuses (or lack there of) for working every round of the playoffs?  Yea here's your additional $300.  Thank you for coming in to work today at 8am and the game didn't start until 9pm because of the west coast which means that you aren't going to get home until at LEAST 1am.  And then do that over and over again.  $300 my ass. 

After we won the Championship I was really at my breaking point.  I decided to take a vacation in July to see one of my best friends out in Colorado and got to meet her adorable baby and hang out and just relax.  The first couple of days that I was there we had so much fun.  It just felt really nice to be able to chill.  I didn't have to worry about my boss yelling at me or passing more of her work on to me.  I had become an animal that gets beaten and yelled at.  The ones that when they hear something loud they duck or start shaking like they are afraid they are going to get hit.  That was me with the sound of her awful voice.  I cringed and feared what was coming when her mouth opened.

The second night in Colorado I woke up in the middle of the night to my heart beating so hard and fast that I thought that I was having a heart attack.  From where I was in bed, the light was behind me and I could actually see my chest pounding.  Up and down.  Up and down. it wasn't a "slight" movement either, it was sort of like I had just sprinted  100 meters and was out of breath and my heart was racing, but I wasn't out of breath.  I started to freak out and in doing so probably had a panic attack.  I tried to count or to take deep breaths but nothing slowed my heart down.  I literally thought that I was going to have to wake my friend up in the middle of the night and have her take me to the emergency room.  I have no idea how long I stayed awake or how long it lasted but I finally fell asleep after about 40 minutes.  I'm not even sure if I told my friend about it now- I think I did but can't remember for sure.  But for the first time in my life, I was really scared that something was going to happen to me.

When I got home from vacation I immediately went to the doctors to see if there was something wrong with me.  He took all kinds of tests and couldn't figure it out.  Had me try a different diet.  Had me buy a different pillow.  All sorts of dumb ass things that had nothing to do with my heart busting out of my chest.  But I tried.  I felt like I was in his office once a week.  He finally put patches onto my chest and did some sort of test (clearly I was meant to be a doctor with these descriptions) and the results proved to him that what I was saying was actually happening.  He asked me what I did on a daily basis, how my home life was, how my work life was, do I party, do I do drugs?  He finally determined from me saying that I literally get up and go to work and 15 or more hours later come home and go to bed and then do it over again at least 6 times a week that it was stress from my job that was causing it.  He was very blunt with me because I kind of laughed at him when he said that.  I won't ever forget what he said to me.  He said, "I am not kidding here.  You are going to have a heart attack if you don't do something to change your working environment."  What I heard was "You are 26 years old and you are going to die because of your job."  and that scared the shit out of me.  That was in November.

By December I almost quit my job 3 times.  My desk had been emptied months before that just waiting for the time to come so I could just walk out.  I had a week off of work and I literally just laid out at my pool all day.  I tried to relax as much as I could.  But my roommate came home one day and wanted to know why supper wasn't on the table since I was home all day..... (that's me putting it nicely, she said it with such venom in her voice).... which just sent me over the edge again.  Clearly there's a reason that we are no longer friends...(again- a totally different story that I might let you all in on).  I'm sorry your dinner isn't on the table.  I'm just trying NOT TO DIE HERE!!!  I almost quit the second week of December but decided to stay another week and let them pay for me to go home for the holiday for two weeks.  When I came back I thought that I was going to be relaxed and then I had to work 25 days straight because of all of the events that we had and then on Jan 28th we decided to part ways.  Much more to the story here but you get the picture.

I didn't have another job lined up.  I had no money.  I had no idea what I was going to do.  But I didn't care.  I left the building and called my mother (who for the last 6 months asked me every day at 5:05pm when I called her if I had quit or gotten fired today) to tell her that I was done.  I pulled out of the garage and saw the sun and just immediately relaxed- because I knew that I never had to go into that place ever again.  When people say a weight was lifted off of their shoulders- I can totally attest to the fact that it happened to me.  I breathed a sigh of relief and put my foot on the gas. And my middle finger out the window. 

I was out of work for 1 day.  I called my friends who have a ticketing company and told them what happened and they put me to work immediately.  And less than one month later I was hired by my last job and moving up to Indiana. 

So if you take anything away from this post- it should be this.  Don't let your job ruin your life.  It's just a job.  I know its scary to think that you might not have an income and how can you just quit with nothing else lined up.  I was in the same boat which is why I stayed there for 5 years (or more importantly for 7 months after my doctor told me I was going to die).  But there came a point where I had to choose me.  I knew that if worse came to worse, I could move home, work as a waitress, and make minimum payments on my bills if I had to.  Luckily, I found work immediately so I didn't really have to worry that long or go down that road.  But there are always other options.  I tell friends this all the time who complain to me about their jobs.  Just quit.  Stop complaining about it and just quit.  You'll find a way to make it work.  I made the decision after I left Miami to never put myself in that position ever again.  I won't let my job run my like or RUIN it for that matter.  Which will lead me to my next post- my interview with my last company. 

And what's funny is that an old co-worker just happened to be in Indiana a few months after I moved up here and a bunch of friends and I grabbed drinks and he met us out.  Needless to say I got piss drunk had a great time and he was just staring at me like, "Who are you?"  and when I finally asked what his problem was, he said "When did you become so much fun?"  Wendy stepped in for me at that point and said, "She's always been like this.  You guys just turned her into a miserable person."  Have I said lately how much I love that girl?

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