work

Why Patricia Bay Haroski’s name should vex you

Happy Monday- or this Monday, the awkward Boss’s Day. How could anyone forget it was boss’s day? There is always that one employee that somehow remembers to kiss a** and makes it uncomfortable for everyone else.

At first I thought it was the retailers who came up with such a terrible holiday to boost their sales. I mean, they already turned Valentine’s day into a national competition of who can get their spouse a bigger, better, fluffier teddy bear. Halloween isles turn into a conga line of candy and costumes all imported from China. They start Christmas in September purely to remind me that “hey, look, here are all the gifts you have yet to buy in the next four months to make your kids happy otherwise you are a pathetic loser who doesn’t get their family anything!”

But it turns out it was Patricia Bay Haroski who worked for her Dad, her boss, and registered the holiday back in 1958. What a nice gesture, Patricia! Getting something for Daddy and turning it into a national suck up fest.

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t particularly care for my boss. My boss is not particularly the worst in the world, but not the best either. I don’t care to spend my hard earned money on my boss when my boss should be the one thanking me for my work. How many times have I stayed late only because stuff had to be done urgently? Or worked through lunch? Experienced anxiety because of the workload but didn’t get any help from them? Does that sounds like something I want to appreciate them for?

How about a good ole employee appreciation day? Sure, they have them but they are always HR promoted with a BBQ outing for the whole company and it becomes a big CEO back-scratching.

No, I want employee appreciation where my boss takes me out or gets me something nice and genuinely means it- or maybe, not have a holiday at all. Instead, start treating me better throughout the whole year and that can be my boss’s gift to me.

I wish you all good luck today, remember to whisper Patricia Bay Haroski’s name with despise because she is the one that started this whole thing and the retailers, well, they just went with it since it is a lucrative scheme.

Best,

Leah

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The loser leaving work at 5pm

I normally start my work count down to 5pm roughly around noon.

I take my lunch  at 12:30pm so in my head, I am closer to that 5 o’clock in my head. Since I take an hour lunch, I get back by 1:30pm and, hey, that is just 3 hours and 30 minutes away from that wonderful 5 pm!!

Then I try to do some work, maybe be productive for about two more hours which gets me to 3:30 pm. Then the second count down to 5 o’clock starts. Any work that would require more than two hours gets pushed onto the next day. I probably get up and go to the bathroom and/or get some coffee. Then I do some more work, hoping for no last minute complications that would impede me from leaving at 5pm.

I don’t know how your workplace is, but where I work people are serious. 5pm means nothing to them. They don’t care if they don’t see their kids, spend more time with their spouses, no, work has to get done because there is not always another day.

So that means that I am usually the first one to get up at 5:00pm. I look around as business chatter continues as if in fact, it is not 5 o’clock in our very own office. I shut down my computer and I sneak out.

I sneak out like a plain traitor that has the audacity to leave work at 5pm! I try not to attract too much attention. I know most of these people will stay at least half hour/an hour late to finish up whatever they were doing. I feel like I am being watched, being judged- “Look at Leah leaving work exactly at 5pm! Who does she think she is?!” So I try to duck down in a way that will get me fastest to my car. I  feel their stares, they are piercing me with fierce judgement but I continue. As the proud leader of the 5pm rebellion, I see some other people follow behind me.

I get inside my car and drive away before my boss comes behind me, chasing me to finish something that can be done tomorrow- and once I am off the company parking lot, I feel like I am winning! I get to go home and see my family even if for the measly 2 hours. I may be a loser that doesn’t work hard and leaves at 5pm, but I am a winner in my family’s eyes!

How about you, readers? Do you also feel weird leaving work at 5pm on the dot or is your company more understanding when it comes to it? Do you feel the peer pressure as well? Leave comments below……and don’t forget to leave at 5pm, sharp!!

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“How was your weekend?”

It is an early Sunday morning, but I already dread everyone’s favorite question at work after the weekend is over.

The mandatory Monday morning question.

The whenever you’re awkwardly standing by the Keurig machine waiting for the water to  heat up so you can make coffee question.

The whenever you spot someone pass your desk and you accidentally looked them in the eyes and you can’t ignore them question.

The question everyone likes to shout as they pass you by and obviously have no intention of knowing the answer to.

“How was your weekend?”

I guess this question  bothers me because I can’t ever answer it truthfully. Can I say that it was:

“Too short.”  “I did absolutely nothing.”  “I slept all day.” “I was exhausted from last week so I sat around all day and watched the Office.” “My weekend was ruined because of the mere thought of having to come to work.” “My weekend was bad because I got a bunch of emails from my boss.” “I had two glasses of wine which got me a little too drunk and I had to rest all Sunday to recover.”

So, meh, don’t ask me about my weekend on a Monday. Mostly it is two days of trying to recover from a crazy work week.

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You don’t want to win the Powerball

$900M! $900M! My sister won’t stop talking about the Powerball lottery. It’s annoying. No matter how hard I try to tell her, winning a lottery is probably the worst thing that can happen to you. I drew a little chart for her, see below, to visualize the reasons as to why she/you don’t want to win the Powerball.

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Let’s say that you win! You are the lucky winner. You have two choices- either to tell or NOT to tell that you won the Powerball.

  1. TELL OTHERS- If you tell others about your winnings obviously you get harassed by people you know and strangers to give them money. I probably should add an arrow that leads directly to that point because regardless of if you keep or quit your job “to enjoy life”, you will still be harassed so much it would drive you crazy.
  2. DON’T TELL OTHERS- Ok, you want to keep it a secret. Yeah, you’re the big Powerball winner! The first problem now is whether or not you will quit your job. If you quit, you have to live a normal life, no crazy spending otherwise you will become suspicious. If you don’t quit, you still have to live your life like the rest of the mortals around you… otherwise, people get suspicious, notice you have money and the hassle begins!

So you see, folks, you don’t really want to win $900M. You just don’t. You can’t live like a normal civilian without being harassed all the time. And I’m sure even the excuse that Uncle Ben left you a bunch of money doesn’t work after a few years- and that just means that people know you have money and… again, they will harass you for it. Case closed.

Sometimes, it’s all about luck

My entire life I was taught if you work hard, you will get far. And guess what? I did. I worked hard, got good grades in school. Went to college, didn’t drink much or cause trouble. I worked during my college years and did internships…. the whole nine yards.

And then it was time to apply for a job. I got a good offer resulting from my internship. I came home, celebrated. The fruits of my hard work paid off!

But then luck came to take a dump on my celebrations.

A colleague X, who had a history degree and a measly work experience, got a job through connections- not only did the X get a job without any effort, X got a better pay to… and X flaunted the pay right in my face.

I was wide awake for hours.. I kept thinking, why and how is it fair that X does better than me? What happened to the work hard and you will get far?

Well, years later, X kept getting higher raises. Abnormal raises. I don’t know how. And no, there is no… “and then X did something and X got fired.” No, X is still climbing the corporate ladder. Successfully. Making ever more money. Hiring friends.

And I just don’t get it. But I hope, one day, I will understand.. that sometimes in life…. you got to have luck. I can work hard all I want but if I am at the wrong place at a wrong time… there’s nothing I can do.

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The secret lives of the cruise ship staff

You’re not supposed to talk to the staff on a cruise ship and they are not allowed to talk to you. But you see, I’m no Lady Mary material. Despite my status of the guest, I talk to the staff. I feel for the staff. And above all, I like to chat with the staff. Some are terrified when I approach them. They don’t want to be seen talking to the guest about anything else but guest-related topics. But I come back. Maybe when the store is not so busy, or when the buffet is fully stocked. I may be terrible with languages, but I know some basics. I know enough to communicate.

After the initial reluctance, they tell me things. I ask them about how life on a cruise ship really is. Are they happy with the work they chose? Do they ever think of giving up?

“They work us like slaves,” Józsa tells me. She’s a thirty-something Hungarian working as a server. She’s smoking a cigarette like it’s her last. We’re standing at a “staff only” hidden smoking corner. I am not supposed to be there. I am getting ugly stares from the Asian crew. I don’t know Chinese or Tagalog or Siamese to calm them down. They don’t know English and they don’t like my presence.

“Don’t worry about them,” Józsa notices my stare. “They’re good guys. You see Emmanuel?” She points to a short Filipino whose luscious hair is tied in a bun. “He’s dating Jana, a girl from Poland. They met on one of the cruise lines and now they are trying to work on the same ship at least, you know.” “Where is she now?” I ask. “I think she has a year contract for the Western Caribbean that will expire soon. He’s been doing everything he can to get her here. They’re really cute together.” “Oh, do you know her?” I ask. “No,” she responds. “But I’ve seen pictures. Anyway, where was I? Yes, they treat us like slaves. Our rooms are tiny and we have to share shower areas. There’s no privacy at all. We work 12 hours a day minimum. It’s shit.” I watch her frowned face. She looks so unhappy. “Will you return to Hungary?” I ask her. “Maybe you have a better chance there.” She almost giggles. “It’s same shit there. I am just paid less. Here I can at least save some money.”

Next day, sometime after my fourth slice of pizza, I notice a tall, handsome man with a chiseled jaw of Orlando Bloom. He is “Luka from Croatia” his tag tells me. I find out he’s always wanted to work on a ship; he even went to a special maritime school in Dalmatia. “I love this job!” he tells me. “Isn’t it hard work? Don’t they work you hard?” I ask. “It is, and they do,” he says and grins. “But I love it! I’ll tell you a secret, Leah, are you paying attention? The secret to this job is that you must love the sea! If you don’t love the sea, you won’t be happy. I get to see places I have never been, I don’t have to pay for my room and I make more than I would in Croatia. I love it!”

And so I meet the photographers, the waiters, the cleaners etc. I find out the jobs no one wants are taken by Asians; if you speak English at least somewhat decently you get to work at a cruise shop. The captain is (of course) a guy from Western Europe or something like that. It’s a hierarchy of positions based on your country of origin. Less third-world you are, better your chances of making good money. There are people who can’t wait for their contract to be over, and then there are those that want to stay. And those that stay, hope to save enough money to go back to their home country and maybe buy a little tiny place they can call home.

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Taking a semester off

“I took the summer semester off to go on an adventure with Timm. The plan was to spend the next three months together, travelling around the States.”- Jenna Gunner

Taking a semester off is a dangerous matter. Jenna feels like she will get back to the studying rhythm in no time, but it is not always that easy. Once you leave school for a semester and go travelling, it is ridiculously hard to return back to a routine which doesn’t allow you to do whatever you want.

Even if you leave school for a semester to work more or earn more money, the rewarding paycheck coming in every two weeks makes it much more tempting to not go back to school and spend money on overpriced text books and university fees.

I will always support taking a semester off, but make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Make sure you know how hard it is to integrate in the boring, daily routine again. Because sometimes, people quit school and become wanderers; they don’t want to go back to where they were, but they are not happy with the status quo either. Money eventually runs out or the “good money” you thought you were making with no degree is actually not that good when you realize they are working you for little money but pay someone more because he didn’t quit and finished his/her degree.

Did any of you take a semester off? How did it turn out?

P.S: Thanks to all the visitors of the blog for coming and taking the time to read my stuff!

P.S2: Link to my book on Amazon. Check it out!

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The desk that knows too much.

As I sit at work on this gloomy Monday, I can’t help but think my desk reveals too much about me. If I look around, I see photos of me and David. Photos of my Mom, my sister. My nieces. It’s like my entire family tree is displayed for everyone to see. Oh, and pictures of my dog. Everyone must know I am an animal lover.

There’s also an over-watered plant which tells everyone I have no idea about how and when to water plants. To the left of the computer are postcards I bought while I traveled. France, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, India, China etc. A little elephant souvenir from India right next to the Stork from Alsace, France. A little statue of Eiffel Tower. Tissues hidden behind the computer for the days my allergies are bad. A big coffee mug my friend got me that says “got stache?” So I think I qualify as a hipster too. A boring looking box which actually is full of cookies. Yes, I am addicted to cookies! Pens that have stopped working long ago (but I am too lazy to throw them away). My emergency candy stash in the first drawer, my emergency Tylenol stash in the second drawer for long days…and extra cutlery for the days I forget to bring it from home. A Swiss knife hidden in the third drawer in case I have to open bottles of Champagne or what have you. And God knows what else is there, the point is, I practically live here and this damn desk knows way too much about me!

P.S: Thanks for reading my blog! Don’t forget to comment, like, share or whatever else you can do with this post! 🙂

P.S2: If you are bored at work, check out my book on Amazon! ❤ Thank you!

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Closed on Sundays

“Weekends…and particularly Sundays are reserved for family, they’re not like Americans who live to work like there is no tomorrow,” Maelie explained and took another sip of wine.   -Maelie Gagnon 

Jenna Gunner’s first few days in France were one big culture shock. The French don’t have a Walmart, the French don’t work 60 hours a week and stores are closed on Sundays! Who in their right mind would close their store on a Sunday?

As an American, like Jenna, I found myself with nothing to do on a Sunday in France. I couldn’t go shopping. I couldn’t go on a stroll through the mall. If I didn’t buy my groceries the day beforehand, I went the whole Sunday hungry.

After a few weeks there, I realized Sundays should be spent with somebody. Since my family was far away, I spent it with my friends. We went to the park and walked around. We fed the birds even though we were not supposed to. We went to the nearby lake and just gazed at the water. Then, I would invite them over for some pasta…. and we had wine. And we just talked…. Those Sundays, where I didn’t have to get up early to go to work, were on of the best Sundays of my life. That’s what Sundays were meant for. Not work, but one day of peacefulness with your family and friends….America should remember that again. Do you agree?

P.S: Thanks for visiting my site and reading my blog! Like, share, dislike, comment….whichever you please! :))

P.S2: Link to my book on Amazon- you know, since it is Sunday you should read!! :))

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Age:32 Real Feel: 65

I don’t know if it is the modern pace of life, or I am just really bad at aging….but I feel exhausted all the time. My mother who is 65 has more energy and willingness to do things than me. And that’s scary!

By the time I come home for dinner, I don’t want to make it. I just want pizza and the couch.

Nobody really tells you once you hit your late 20-ies, all of a sudden you feel tired constantly. It’s an unnerving process and it’s even worse to think what happens after 30…or after 40. Or maybe I am just a special case….but I don’t think I am. Does anyone else feel that way? Any tips on how to not feel tired all the time?

Thanks for reading and commenting!

P.S: Link to my book that I spend all my energy on…check it out, it’s cheaper than coffee 😉

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