Posts tagged journal

A week of vacation

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Last week, I took my annual week off and spent it all with Melanie. It was an amazing time and a week that really reminded me of a few key things in life.

Saturday, the 9th, we kicked everything off with a trip to Six Flags with one of my sisters and her boyfriend. It was a blast and I couldn’t imagine a better way to start the vacation. I wound up doing every coaster except Rolling Thunder and Batman. Why skip those two? Well, Rolling Thunder’s only goal seems to be to destroy the spinal cord of every single rider and Batman seems to make every Vendemio a sick Vendemio. I guess I was playing it safe since I still had a whole week off to follow. I did summon up the testicular fortitude to ride King Da Ka again, though. While I still question the fun of such a short ride, the insanity of the damn thing made every other coaster seem like a cake walk. Finishing off with Nitro and a ride in the front of El Toro just rounded off the day so perfectly.

The next three days were spent in Seaside Heights. Between the beach, the rides and games, and stalking the stars of Jersey Shore, it was a great time. The run-ins with the Jersey Shore cast were definitely the most noteworthy moments. The first night there, Melanie and I wound up being no more than 5 feet away from Sammi and J-Woww as they fled an arcade and headed back to the house. The next morning, while we all had breakfast, Mike walked in to the place and ordered breakfast and hung out for about 20 minutes. That also brought about the funniest moment of the day. When we ordered our food, Melanie asked for an iced coffee and was told, by the waitress, that they “don’t have any ice”. Ten minutes later, Mike asks for ice for his coffee and gets a whole tub of it. I don’t know what changed in ten minutes, but that was a ridiculously funny and dream shattering moment.

After leaving Seaside and returning to Staten Island for one night, we headed out to Atlantic City as her parents were comp’ed a room by Harrah’s and offered us a free night. Who can turn down such an offer? This was my first ever trip to AC or any casino in general and it was pretty cool. I’m really cautious about my money, so I spent almost all of my time on penny slots, but it was a fun environment, nonetheless, and I learned that it’s a place I could enjoy in the future. The second day there, Melanie and I spent our time at the Atlantic City Outlets which are alternatively named “The Walk”. I spent a little more than I wanted to, but I definitely got a lot for my money. It was nice to get clothes I truly like as PacSun and Ecko Unlimited are, outside of the outlet environment, too expensive for my tastes but very affordable when they’re selling their stuff at outlet prices. I, also, bought Melanie the Coach bag I’ve been promising her since my promotion at work. I’m going to consider it an apology for something stupid I’ll probably do in the future. Apology accepted?

We finished up the week with a trip to the Bronx Zoo, which was cool since I haven’t been there in over ten years. It was a nice, simple day together and a good chance for me to use my new camera. I learned that I really need to work on my focal points as a few too many of my shots had the main subject out of focus. Woops. It’s a learning process, I guess.

All in all, I had an amazing week and it really reminded me of how much joy and happiness life can contain. I have a lot to say on that subject, though, so I think I’ll save it for the next blog post. Yeah, I know, two blog posts (or at least, planned posts) in the same week? Unheard of!

Back to wearing khakis

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Today, I officially start my new position as Sales Supervisor in my store and I’m super nervous. I’ve been working in the warehouse for 4 years, now, and going back to the sales floor is going to be a major adjustment. On top of that, going back to the sales floor with so much more responsibility on me makes me worry about failing. I obsess about not failing and I’m praying to god that I don’t drive myself crazy.

The one thing that will help me get through this, as is always the case, will be my co-workers. I was able to hand pick my team and that definitely helped build some confidence in my ability to get things rolling. There’s a mix of gamers and overall good workers and, most importantly for my nerves, good friends who I trust to do their best to get us to victory. Having these people around me and knowing that they aren’t clueless drones who will try to get by doing the bare minimum is a very nice feeling and one that lends itself to easing my nerves.

I still worry, though, about how the schedule change will affect my personal life, namely, my relationship. In my previous role, I would work 6am – 2pm shifts, which would give me plenty of time to make it out to Melanie on most days. Now, on the sales floor, most of my shifts will be mid to late shifts, where I won’t get out until 8pm. This is seriously going to put a cramp on the number of days that I can see Melanie and I worry about the strain it’ll put on our relationship. I’m hoping that we’re both patient enough to deal with it.

This is going to be an interesting journey, either way. While I know most people would scoff at working their entire lives in retail, it’s something I’ve become ok with. With a company like mine, if I work hard enough, I can make $80,000 to $100,000, on the store level, without having a college degree. I know I should have stayed in school and what not, but it’s a great opportunity to, at least, be financially secure, regardless. With that said, though, I would still like to have a normal 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job. Maybe I can find one at some point, but it seems as though most of them require some sort of college degrees and, well, we just went over that.

How my brain handles a promotion at work

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Most people, when receiving a promotion at work, are ecstatic and bask in the feeling of success. I don’t do that. Up until I met up with Melanie, yesterday, I actually exhausted myself thinking through every scenario in which I can fail. Welcome to my mind.

Let me catch everyone up to the present. Last Friday, I interviewed for the new Gaming Supervisor spot at work. This is a position created by the company as they turn their focus to Gamestop and Walmart in an attempt to become the #1 gaming retailer in the U.S. Part of that drive means having leadership and employees dedicated solely to the department and so, when the position was made available, I applied. I love games and I want to move up. It kind of made sense to go for it.

Yesterday, I was told that I would be receiving an offer for the job. Immediately, my emotions were very bitter sweet, with way more bitterness than sweetness. I felt bad for a few co-workers who also went for the spot and would have been just as good of a fit for it. They’re my friends and I, of course, want success for them. It wasn’t pleasant seeing the disappointment in their faces. I know most people will tell me that I have to look out for myself, but it still bothered me. On top of that, I started panicking about all the ways I can screw this up and fail miserably. It’s damn exhausting to think like that and, as today winds down and I’ve spent most of it thinking of the same things, I’m exhausted yet again.

The biggest challenge, though, is going to be heading back to the sales floor. I have become very comfortable in my now former role. I’ve worked only mornings, knew almost every thing there is to know for a person in that position, and got to spend a lot of time with Melanie. Now, as I move back to the sales floor, my schedule will vary wildly and time with Melanie is going to be limited. On top of that, I have never been a supervisor before and I haven’t been on the sales floor in four years. What the hell were these people thinking picking me?! Life is about to get very different.

At the end of the day, honestly speaking, it’s just my fear of change and failure that’s crippling me. Logically, I can see how silly it is to think like this, but that doesn’t change the fact that the thoughts creep in and make me want to run and hide. I hope I can conquer the negativity and, ultimately, succeed at this new job as well as I have in the role I’m leaving. I’m so used to being one of the best, that the thought of falling behind the pack is very scary and not something I want to have to deal with.

First steps of boomeranging

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After my last post about my anxieties of moving and the new financial burdens I felt I would have trouble bearing, my parents reached out to me and offered me the chance to move back home so that I can get myself back on my feet. I consulted with a few people and, after realizing it would be best for me in terms of long term life planning, I agreed. It bummed me out to make the decision, though, and today, it all became a reality as I’ve started to pack up the few boxes I need to get together.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am very appreciative of the opportunity my parents are giving me. After two years of costly dental procedures, I am no where near where I should be, financially. It’s a burden, for sure, but I’ve been able to get by with my current bills. Unfortunately, the increased bills that would have come along with the new apartment would have crippled me rather quickly and I knew I couldn’t live like that. My parents’ generosity offers me a chance to breathe and truly save for my future. A future that is quickly approaching and one that I’m anxious to get to. That doesn’t help some of the depression associated with moving back home, though.

I’m a boomerang kid. That’s the term for someone who moves out of their parents’ house and then moves back in at a later time, usually due to financial difficulties. The stigma bothers me a bit, yeah, but the change that comes along with this move gets to me the most. I love my current apartment and even the new apartment wouldn’t have come close to this place. The apartment, itself, is also closer to work and Melanie which means I can easily walk to work and get to Melanie within an hour. Now, on days the trains aren’t running correctly, I have to figure out how to get to work. Coming home from Staten Island isn’t going to be a picnic either.

Beyond the traveling issues, comes the privacy issue. I love coming home to an often empty apartment and being alone for a little bit. It’s soothing, especially for someone who works in a very busy retail environment. Home isn’t going to be as peaceful. I’m going to be tested on some days, that’s for sure.

I guess all of this amounts to me feeling a little depressed over the situation. I wish I could afford to continue to live on my own, but the truth is that I can’t and my parents are saving me from inevitable debt. It’s a case of logic and emotion. Logically, this all makes complete sense. Emotionally, I may need some time to realize that.

Moving and it’s inherent stresses

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For those of you who never ever listen to me or read my Facebook or follow me on Twitter or happen to walk by me on the streets, I’ll be moving out at the end of the month. My roommates are moving back to Queens and there’s no way I can afford my current place on my own or with only one other roommate.

After talking to my best friend Joe, we decided this would be the best time for us to get a place together. We’ve talked about it for years and the timing never worked out. Even now, though, the timing isn’t perfect. He’s stuck in a lease until July and I have to be out by the end of the month. How’s this going to work? It wouldn’t if it weren’t for my parents stepping up and helping me out.

To be frank, I don’t make all that much at my current job and money is always tight. With my share of the rent going up and already threatening to stretch me a bit thin, there was no way I could afford the entire rent for 3 months. My dad came to the rescue, though, and offered to help me out by covering Joe’s share of the rent until Joe moved in. If you just said “wow” to yourself, don’t worry, so did I. It’s a ridiculously nice gesture that I wish I knew how to show appreciation for. Add to that the constant support from my mom and you can see why I love my parents.

It’s still going to be tough until Joe moves in. I’ll have to cover the electric bill, gas bill, and cable bill (the worst of them all) by myself and I’m already freaking out. Money just scares me to death and I dread financially difficult times. I’m going to be super stressed out for the next few months because of it, but it’s something that has to be dealt with.

I’m not sure there was much of a point to this post other than me venting. I can’t write a rhyme about this stuff, but getting it out in words still helps a lot. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and patience in listening to me whine all day long.

I actually like my job

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I bitch and moan and get really stressed out way too often, yet I like the job that I have. There’s just something about it and the immediate satisfaction that I get from wiring up a display that is so hard to find in many other paths in life. Even during the holidays, when I don’t get to do the technical stuff, I enjoy the basic aspects of my job and, shockingly enough, even helping the random customer or two so they don’t go crazy trying to make their kids happy.

Next year is going to be an interesting year, for sure. My first full year of being full time and the first time I’ll be working with this new management during non-holiday times. I have high hopes because they seem to want my department to be exactly what it used to be instead of the useless shell that it is now. It’ll mean a lot of stress and work, but the satisfaction will be there more so than it has been in a long time. Now if only I can convince my management that it’s not a crime to be friends with the people I work with. That might take a while.

So many gifts are up to me

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Electronics are becoming the main type of gift to give someone for Christmas. It makes sense as some of the most wanted items out there are the latest gadgets ranging from GPS units to digital cameras and netbooks to televisions. Each one of us probably craves a gadget or gizmo or two. Unfortunately, not everyone is as interested in them the rest of the year.

It happens more and more, for me. As this time of year rolls around, everyone starts asking me to help them sort through a long list of models to help pick out that right gadget for someone else to receive. Phones, cameras, GPS devices, televisions and so on and so forth are all decided upon by me. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people find what’s right for the person receiving the gift, but I always feel a certain amount of pressure knowing that my decision can really affect how that person’s Christmas is remembered. Was that camera too complicated or missing features? Is that TV not what they were expecting? Are they going to like that phone’s interface? It’s all up to me and it can be stressful.

Thankfully, the season is almost over. I don’t mind helping, really, I don’t. I just wish it all didn’t feel so crucial.

Why I love video games

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A lot of people like video games just as much as I do, but sometimes I feel like we all get a bad rap for it. I can’t speak for anyone else, but the biggest thing for me is the competitive spirit behind games, especially with online play being in the picture.

When I was younger (mid to late teens), I would play all kinds of sports all day long with Joe. I have no idea where I found the energy, but I had it and I used it to get out all of that wonderful alpha-male nonsense that teenagers go through. It wasn’t all because of my age, though. I like the feeling of winning and the work required to get there. I don’t like rubbing it in the loser’s face like some people, but that feeling of accomplishment is something I treasure. Growing up got in the way of that.

Now that all of us are older and don’t have much time to go out and play sports all day long, I often find my desire for competition unfulfilled. Video games help quench that thirst, though. Granted, I’d still rather be on the field or at the park, but it’s a great secondary means of satisfying a need that I feel I may always have with me. I love games for that.

I do wonder why other people like video games so much, though. Is it the competition? Is it the social aspect?

The old man sleep schedule

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It’s almost 8:30pm and I’m going to bed in a half hour. No, I’m not 80 years old.

It bothers me every year since I’ve been in merch (my department at work). During the Christmas season, I have to be at work by 5am with some days requiring me to be in even earlier, with the earliest of days starting at 3am. On a day that starts at 5am, I have to be awake by 3:45am. When I was younger and working far fewer hours, I would simply ignore the need for sleep and go with less. This doesn’t work as a full timer, though.

The past month and a half has been rough because of these early days. In order to get enough sleep and make it through the next day, I have to be in bed by 9am. On some days, I’m in bed even earlier. This schedule makes for a paltry social life. On the weekends, the little time I have with Melanie is cut down even shorter as I try to get home on time to get some sleep. During the week, television shows I want to watch are, often times, simply ignored. The days, themselves, can all start to blur together once the stress from work is mixed in to this annoying schedule.

This is why I’ve been a tad miserable at times. I hate the Christmas season because, since I’ve been 15, it’s always meant more work and more stress. While you’re thinking about Christmas day, I’m hoping and praying I’m not working the next day. I know this is the life I chose, but it’s not always peaches and cream. All of this can really age a guy.

I’m not physically dead

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I know I haven’t been posting much. Considering some people are wondering if I (and the site) am alive, I thought it would be a good idea to check in fast. Of course this means getting off my lazy ass and typing out thoughts, but I do this work for you.

Work has been really tough. It’s the holidays and I work in retail, so it’s one of those things you just expect. If I was surprised by it, one would have to question where I’ve been for the past 6 years. This is one of those years, though, where the store’s morale is terribly low and it’s really draining on a person over time. On top of that, I’m being tasked with a lot of responsibility that shouldn’t be mine, but I have to accept it to gain the experience so I can move up in the future. It would be a lot easier if other people cooperated, but when you work in retail with 150 other people, you’re bound to come across some of the dimmer bulbs in the box. Unfortunately, these people account for a lot of my stress as I continually have to cover up their mistakes or explain things that should be common knowledge. It can be outright maddening.

Even with that stress and a lack of motivation to write, I’m going to try to post something, at least, once a week. That way we can all enjoy some of the insanity that occurs in my mind.

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