Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chapter 18: Dear People of the World

The store was full to bursting of people with no money to spend but still I did my job. "Hi, what can I help you find today?" and "Looking for anything special today?" was pouring out of my mouth at about fifty words a minute. After assaulting everyone in the store once or twice, I would go and stand in one of the few "blind spots" so that way the cameras in the store couldn't see me and therefore the boss watching us was blind to me as well. I was exhausted. I'd woke up at 6:45 that morning to make it to the book store on time for that job. I had worked until the afternoon, gone home, done some yoga then sat down to watch a movie and let my feet rest for an hour before I had to leave for the next job.
It wasn't until about four o'clock that it really hit me. "Go talk to people, make sure they're buying stuff!" I was. Could he not see me walking and talking. I had been watching him and the assistant manager (AM) for weeks now. When it was busy, they stood behind the counter, looking busy, while my coworker and I ran around talking to people. The AM excuse was "social anxiety". Okay, so you should quit your job if you're not going to help, was my thought. I have that too though, but that doesn't stop me from trying my heart out to do my job.
After selling my third hooka and saving customers from our non-English speaking employee for the millionth time, I was fed up with it. I was tired of being taken advantage of. I always have been and it stops now.
I will no longer be quiet and do as I am told. As I was being ordered about and told to do numerous tasks and then get told I needed to do more (cause I always will...I never complain and tell people off)and that I wasn't doing well enough, I noticed this. I saw how docile and obedient I was. How they were using that to make me do their work. I looked back in my life...It had happened many times. My mother had raised me to be polite and do as I was told without complaining. She has trained me well. But no more.
After a particularly bad hour or so, I wanted to scream out in the middle of the store. Scream, shout and holler until I went mute and could not even sing. But I didn't. I let myself be ordered around.
Two customers came in that day that asked me how old I was and what I wanted to do with my life. When I told them of the Goddess Plan, they said I was incredible and smart to have such a plan. Twice it happened before I stopped to think. I realized how I had been taken advantage of my whole life long. I then asked myself, "A real lady would not take this. She wouldn't sit back and let it happen to her." But then the thought became more real. "No...a woman wouldn't let this happen to her. I AM A WOMAN!" The time for being a lady is not "all" the time. A lady need be present often times for civility. But a woman? She needs to be part of me forever. The woman--no the goddess-- in side of me was angry at being treated this way. I will not stand by and let it happen to me again. Ever. I will not drive my coworker at my other job home all the time. I will not let my boss order me into work every day I have off (which has happened for the last two weeks and many times at other jobs as well). I will stand up and stop being tread upon.

No, don't worry. I'm not choosing now to open a rebellious streak. I just do not want to be taken advantage of. So...

Dear People of the world,
I will not be taking your orders anymore. I will do as I need. Not as little as needed, but not everything you want me to do. You know how obliging I am and I will not be that way any more. You are quite capable of doing your work yourself and not relying on me or shoving people off on me that you do not want to deal with. I will not be your scapegoat any more. I cannot say this to you in any other way.
                                                                                        Best Regards,
                                                                                           A Free Woman

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chapter 17: Finaly...

So here I am in the WCJC computer lab waiting for my next final. I do so hate final season. I stress and break out. I have the soothing sounds of MJ and "Beat It" rocking the back parts of my brain to calm me a bit. I brought my reocrder to school thinking I would sit outside and play it to sooth myself too. I was standing in line to sell my books back, scoping out a place I could play some music outside when...the butterfly showed up. I washed my hands of him and his egotisical attidude weeks ago. I was done with him. But then there are the incidents with the car and parking...
But there he was and he said hey to me. We talked about study and finals for--I kid you not--about one minute. That's all. Then I left. Why? I don't know...
I'll add more to this post later. I justed wanted to let you all know that, no I'm not dead yet. Even though it's final season...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chapter 16: It's the most wonderful time...

Growing up, we never had stockings over the fire. It wasn't until about 3 or 4 years ago that my mom spent the money on getting all of us 9 kids, the dog and her and dad a stocking and putting our names on them. I always felt sad that we didn't have them. Not because I was into Santa Clause or anything, but because I thought it was part a Christmas tradition we were missing out on. Apparently, we are still missing out. People keep asking me what we do for Christmas. When my reply is "Well...we...put up a tree" they look at me funny. As if I'm lying or being secretive. No. Seriously. We put up a tree.
When my second brother got into KU, we stared to put lights on the house for the first time in our lives. We only did this though because he worked at HobbyLobby and got a good discount on the lights. So that was a good step. It was soon after that we got the stockings. But Christmas wasn't always bland. In fact, I liked it a lot as a kid. I just felt that something was missing.
But to us kids, Christmas was more than a tree and snow to play in. It was the time of year mom and dad fought and yelled, got angry at us and were just generally in a bad mood. Pretty much all through December and half of January. Holidays in our house always put us kids on edge because we knew it meant angry and unreasonable parents. I know that in part we were to blame. I mean really, kids get all excited and energetic this time of year. Even in our house where Christmas was not bedazzled with lights and sweetened with pounds of candy. But as the years have gone by, things have changed.
We have lights outside now, stockings, and a good pinch of decorations inside too. We also have a nice tree with ornaments and lights. But under that tree this year? We write our names on scraps of paper, draw a name and whoever we draw we buy presents for. Then mom and dad buy us each one or two presents. We're not TOO poor, but we're not like the other families in this new neighborhood. We can't afford 5 gifts for each person...The little kids are taking it the hardest. They want many presents. They'll learn some day. But in the mean time, they'll just struggle on.

Let me say one thing about the past 12 or 13 Christmases though. When we moved to Leavenworth, we started to cut down our own trees from the side of the road. That was the one great tradition we had. On a Sunday, when dad could help us, we would go out to the tree we had picked and cut it down. There were many adventures in that tradition over the years. The tree would be about 12 or 15 feet high and always touch our ceiling. Our trees, be them the only great tradition and memory I have, were awesome. Tall and smelly and wide. We loved out trees.

So now for a new Christmas in a new state and new life. God help us.