Safeway Courtesy Clerk Resume Examples Job Description Duties Salary Responsibilities Download in PDF Format
2023.03.16 10:01 aden91 Safeway Courtesy Clerk Resume Examples Job Description Duties Salary Responsibilities Download in PDF Format
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Safeway Courtesy Clerk Resume
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2023.02.27 03:14 throwaway_money456 I am 27 years old, make $254,000, live in the San Francisco Bay Area , work as a senior software engineer, and I’m saving for my wedding.
I recognize that I have an extremely privileged position, and if it’s not beneficial to your mental health to read about it and it would lead you to compare yourself in a negative light, I encourage you to do what is best for you and skip this money diary. This is a followup to my previous diary from 2 years ago: previous post
. Sorry about how long this is! Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement Balance - $223,186.45: a combination of pre-tax retirement contributions and after-tax mega-backdoor Roth contributions, after about 5 years (4 years full time, one internship year with a traditional IRA).
Equity if you're a homeowner: N/A, don’t own a home
Savings account balance - $63,371.29 (~$40k earmarked for wedding) in HYSA, $20k in i-Bonds
Checking account balance - $16,052.40 (normally I have about half this amount, recently sold some stock so I have some extra sitting around)
Credit card debt - paid off every month, generally use it for most expenses for the points
Student loan debt (for what degree) - $0, privileged to have parental support covering about half the cost, the other half was need-based grants and a variety of part time jobs for smaller expenses in college.
Other Investments - $194,945.58 in Vanguard ETFs. Medium to long term investments for future house fund or retirement. IF YOU COMBINE FINANCES WITH A S/O PLEASE INCLUDE ALL OF THEIR ASSETS / DEBT AS WELL
My fiancé S. and I have not combined finances yet but are planning to start with a joint wedding/future down payment savings account (have not set it up yet). Some of my savings are earmarked for that (noted earlier). We started working as software engineers around the same time but I have gotten promoted faster (different companies though as well, so different promotion culture) so I make more than he does.
While we haven’t fully combined incomes/assets yet, for reference S makes about $175k/year including stock vests. When we first started out our incomes were more similar but I got promoted twice (S had the equivalent of one promotion) and my company has more beneficial stock “refresher” policies (so I get a bigger amount re-applied for a 4 year period moving forward if I stay with the company, calculated once per year). S. also started with $120k in student loan debt, which he has fortunately paid off but this means that in general I have a much higher current net worth. Section Two: Income Income Progression:
I've been working in my field for 4 years, my starting salary was $161,500 ($115k base salary). I have gotten two promotions since, which brought me to mid and now senior level engineer. My base salary (non-stock) is now about $200k.
Someone commented on my previous diary that I should include more of how I got here. (They also commented that I don’t seem like I deserve what I have, and I hope that reader gets a better life than what it seems like they have now. I hope for the best for you, stranger, and that you’re not comparing yourself to a random internet person - life is not always a zero-sum game. As I mentioned at the top of this diary, please skip this post if it’s not beneficial for your mental health.)
I got into software engineering a bit randomly - I started college without a clear idea of what I really wanted to do for a living, and started in nursing school. I dropped out of nursing after one semester (scared of needles and I was pretty bored of the material), and studied economics for a while (I’ve always had an interest in finance, so I thought it made sense). I took a computer science course as an elective my sophomore year and it was the first time I was really enjoying applying myself, having been deterred from engineering as a whole previously because I wasn’t that great at math and physics. That class basically changed the rest of my education and career trajectory.
The work I do now is generally work that I do my best to align with my values, and without giving away too much, I work on things that help out users of our product through different integrity efforts. It’s pretty cool that at this point, probably many of the readers of this very post will have used or at least seen something I’ve built in the last few years. Main Job Monthly Take Home:
This is a little bit difficult to calculate because I frontload my retirement contributions so it ends up unequal, but I max out my pre-tax retirement contributions and use almost all of my bonuses for post-tax mega backdoor contributions. I took all my payslips from the last year and calculated my monthly average take-home was $9375.
On top of that I have stock vests from the company, which is included in my total salary but is not part of the monthly take home. The annual salary total is from my actual taxes for the last year so it includes the vests, but the stock value can vary a lot year to year.
I don’t have any side gigs or other forms of income. Section Three: Expenses
S. and I used to split expenses 50/50 but now that we’re engaged it’s been more chill and other than a few things noted I end up just covering things and he covers other things. Eventually we’ll set up a joint account that all expenses can just come out of but for now it’s whatever each of us has been covering. Standardly I buy all groceries and household supplies (other expense distributions listed below) and S pays for most (but not all) food deliveries and eating out.
Rent: Our base rent for our 1b1b is $3k a month (yeah…just VHCOL things) but it gets charged simultaneously with shared water + trash costs for the entire apartment building so it is usually more like $3200. This is the one thing we split 50/50 automatically, so it comes to about $1.6k/month.
Renters insurance - I think this was about $240 for a full year, but S. covers this.
Savings/investments contribution - I had a discussion with S. and we’re looking to each save $30k this year for wedding expenses ($60k in joint savings, though we'll likely end up needing $70k-$80k) and we would likely keep the joint savings rate moving forward even after marriage for down payment contributions. This would be $2.5k/month for my half. Currently no automatic investment contribution outside of retirement accounts, but I move any extra amounts to investments when I remember. However, I’m holding a lot more cash than I would like mostly to ensure we have enough for the wedding.
Electric/Gas/Wifi - I pay electric & gas and my S/O pays for wifi. Electric+gas is usually around $100, but spring/fall it’s cheaper and summewinter it’s more expensive because of A/C and heating costs. Wifi is ~$60/month. I also pay for my parent’s wifi, which is really expensive at $110/month including taxes/fees, and I need to call and negotiate on it sometime.
Cellphone - I pay annually for Mint Mobile, 10gb/month plan. It’s cheaper to pay once a year but comes to $22/month when averaged out (including taxes+fees).
- $3/month for Spotify family account I share with some high school friends
- Most streaming services I just get for one month at a time when I want to binge something in particular (S. pays for Netflix standard though because his family uses it (~$14/month)
- Youtube Premium - $10/month, a grandfathered price. I watch Youtube the most compared to any streaming service so I’ll pay to not have to watch ads and download shows for occasions where I might not have service/wifi.
- Amazon Prime - $119/year. On Amazon I have subscriptions for an Omega-3 supplement ($40 per 3 months) and a refrigerator water filter ($50 per 6 months)
- Curology - $39 per 3 months
- Costco: $60/year - I got it this last year for the first time because it had a promotion with a free $50 delivery credit.
Gym membership - I got a Peloton last year, so I pay an ongoing membership fee of $44/month. It’s been completely worth it for me though in terms of making it more accessible to exercise regularly and improving my mental and physical health. S. can use this as well for no extra cost, but…he doesn’t really use it. We also have a small shared apartment gym which has 2 treadmills, an elliptical, a stationary bike, and dumbbells.
Car payment / insurance - We don’t own or lease a car so we don’t have car related payments. I was originally planning to buy a car during COVID but prices were so crazy because of the chip shortage so I ended up not doing it, and now that we’re thinking of moving to San Francisco (inside the city itself) it doesn’t make as much sense.
Regular therapy - I am extremely
lucky in that my work has a mental health program that funds 25 sessions/year (we just have to pay for last minute cancellations/late fees, which would be $150/session but I try not to miss any of them). I see a therapist once every two weeks for my anxiety & depression, which are now handled much better than from my previous money diary!
Sunday - catching up on chores day
8:45AM: Eat a leftover breakfast sandwich from the day before - really dry but don’t want to waste food. Misjudged how hungry I was Saturday while making food for S. and ended up not wanting a sandwich for myself after making two on autopilot. Throughout this day I periodically check my work phone for notifications because I’m oncall for the team until Monday morning, but fortunately nothing happens. I start a batch of laundry (mostly exercise clothing and some towels) and head out to Safeway to get a few items before the full Sunday rush starts. I am trying to get some ingredients to make the (now old news) Tiktok famous green goddess salad.
Safeway ($21.65 total including in-app coupons): 8 pack of sparkling water, shaved parmesan cheese, Halo Top ice cream (cookie dough), 2lb strawberries (favorite fruit), fresh basil, fresh chives
10:30AM: I come home and move the laundry to the dryer when it’s ready, and make a Target grocery order on the app. I order via Shipt because I live a bit too far to walk to Target. My Shipt membership is free for a year with one of my credit cards (I think the Chase Sapphire Reserve). Target is actually a lot cheaper than Safeway and I happen to have a $10 off $50 grocery order coupon expiring today.
Target ($64.35 total including 20% tip and the coupon). I got Romaine hearts, a 12pk of diet Dr. Pepper, 1 English cucumber, 3lb red potatoes, one bag frozen spinach, one bag fresh spinach, 24ct pack of velveeta slices, 1lb 93/7 ground turkey, 10oz jalapeños, a loaf of sourdough bread, bag of Tostitos tortilla chip scoops (to scoop the green goddess salad), one singular stemless wine glass (we broke one a while ago), one head cabbage, bag frozen peas, pack of center cut bacon, Halo Top ice cream (mint chip), bag of frozen corn.
While I wait for the Target order, I do a little meal prep for the week - an egg white frittata (egg whites, spinach, chicken breakfast sausage), and 4 seared and finished in oven chicken breasts. I ended up smoking up too much of the house while browning the chicken but it tastes so much better to do it this way vs just baking them without browning so I run the kitchen vent hood, open a window, and run the air purifier afterwards and just deal with it.
1PM: I make lunch - a chicken, bell pepper, guac, salsa, and greek yogurt wrap. S. wakes up and joins me for lunch. After lunch I put away the first batch of laundry. The target order arrives around 2PM and I put away the groceries. S. does a batch of laundry.
2:30PM: I play a run of Hades (the only roguelike video game I’ve ever liked) on the Switch.
5PM: S. and I go on a 25 minute walk in the neighborhood. The weather is really nice and it’s near sunset so the light is very pretty. S. is done with laundry and I start another batch of laundry (more day to day clothes). I make some dinner - chipotle chicken sandwich on sourdough, and a side of spinach soup. For dessert, some mint chip halo top ice cream.
7:30PM: We take out the trash and recycling. We start looking through the list of photographers recommended by our wedding planner - there are over 50 to look through and it’s a long process of looking through their portfolios and trying to estimate costs (most of them don’t list the cost upfront on their websites, but I try to cross-reference with third party sites that have an estimate) and conferring with S. on preferences (I prefer slightly darker, romantic vibes and he likes the brighter, more standard wedding photo style). It takes almost 3 full hours but we narrow it down to a top few list. I think the range will be at minimum $3k for a photographer but may be as high as $7-8k but we’ll ask our planner to get quotes and availability.
Day total: $86.00
7AM: I had an alarm set for 6:15 but ended up feeling really tired and slept until 7. I did a 20 minute upper body strength workout from the Peloton app and a 5 minute stretch afterwards. I throw together a breakfast sandwich with the frittata from yesterday, a slice of Velveeta cheese, and a light English muffin. I have a mug of drip Dunkin’ coffee (made at home with the ground kind you buy from the grocery store) with 2 frozen ice cubes of sweet cream creamer.
9AM: I was oncall the last week for the team so I spend the first hour of my workday organizing the tasks that came in for our oncall and present the tasks and followups to the team in our weekly meeting. Then I work on an issue I’ve been putting off that affects a team that needed me to validate some functionality for a product I built in the past that they’re expanding to a new area, which involves checking in with a different team that we have a dependency with to figure out their timelines.
12PM: I take a lunch break at 12 and make a sriracha mayo shrimp rice bowl with avocado, kimchi, and a side of leftover spinach soup. S. comes out to join me for a bit (he’s doing sort of an intermittent fasting thing so he’s not eating) and we watch an episode of Good Mythical Morning together while I eat. He comments on the strong kimchi smell (we have pretty similar taste in food overall but the biggest difference is that I love fermented and sour foods and he does anot) but I love kimchi and he doesn’t have to eat it.
1PM: Back to work, more meetings to kick off helping out on a different project being run by a coworker that needed some extra hands, and then an info session learning about the big new area that our team is moving towards with the data folks familiar with that area.
3PM: More work, finally after the meetings are done for the day I can get to writing code and fixing up the tests from oncall that I needed to address. Brief break to fill up my Air Up water bottle with sparkling water (I love
sparkling water and I know it’s not the best for your teeth but it helps me drink a lot more water). It is a 28oz bottle, which perfectly fits 2 12oz cans of sparkling water and some ice cubes to make them cold. Air up also has a gimmick that adds flavor to the water through scent pods (though of course you have to buy the scent pods…).
6PM: Time for dinner! I make the green goddess salad, which takes forever because of all the dicing but it makes a lot so at least I can eat it for a few more days. I really like the flavor of it. I also make smashed baked potatoes and warm up some of the prepped chicken breast. We have it with the leftover chipotle sauce from the previous day.
8PM: I do another Hades run - it’s an exciting one with extra story involved.
10:30PM: Skincare and sleep!
Daily total: $0
Tuesday - Valentine’s Day
6AM: Earlier rise than usual to pick up flowers from Safeway (ours is open 24 hours- $27.46). I believe in gender equality when it comes to things like giving flowers as gifts- why wouldn’t men also like them? I already ordered chocolates 2 weeks earlier from a fancy chocolatier but the surprise was accidentally spoiled because I had it arrive earlier so it wouldn’t be late and S. opened the package because it was marked “perishable” when it arrived on a day I was in the office. I am hybrid remote and usually go in to the office Tuesdays and Thursdays. I walk to work, which is my cardio for the day because it is over an hour to walk there. I listen to my favorite podcasts on the way there, including Marketplace for economics news and the Huberman Lab for health related advice that is backed by science.
8:45AM: I arrive at work and eat breakfast- I’m very lucky to have free food available at work. It’s undeniably also a strong motivator for me to go in on occasion rather than go fully remote. I make a double shot latte with an office espresso machine and get started working by 9:05. At 10 the meetings start to roll in so I try to get the focus time in when I can.
12PM: Quick lunch with coworkers, fortunately free at the office cafe. I run off early to catch more meetings.
5:30PM: Work is stressful this week- a lot to catch up on but since it’s Valentines I don’t want to stay late and want to spend time with S. I catch a work shuttle home and arrive around 6.
We didn’t make dinner reservations because we had actually done an early fancy dinner the week before to celebrate (we happened to get reservations for that time and reservations are hard to come by for the restaurant). We still felt like the urge to order in instead of cook because of the holiday though- we ordered 2 bowls of ramen and a yuzu juice drink ($43.98 including tip, but S. covers) that I added vodka and seltzer to for at home cocktails. The delivery time is really long because of the holiday and I get HANGRY- normally I have snacks or something in the afternoon but today work was fully focused because of the stress so I hadn’t eaten since 12. We get the food close to 8PM (an hour past the estimated time) and I eat two of the chocolates from the Valentine’s gift and some of the leftover green goddess salad in the fridge to tide me over.
8:30PM: I’m really addicted to Hades- fortunately S also LOVED the game so he’s happy to watch while I play and we discuss strategy as I do my run. Afterwards I buy an 8 pack of Altoids Arctic mints and some ribbed sweater tights on Amazon ($36.22). The tights I wore earlier in the day developed a hole near where my thighs rub and I started chafing really badly so I have to replace them.
10:30PM: Bedtime! It takes me a while to fall asleep today so it’s probably more like 11:15 when I finally fall asleep.
Day total: $63.88
6:30AM: I get up and do the bare minimum (splash some water on my face and put on sunscreen) and do a quick 5-10 minute or so walk outside. This is part of a routine that both the Huberman Lab’s Andrew Huberman recommends with setting your circadian rhythm and also my therapist recommended before I even listened to the podcast. Then it’s time for a leg day with the Peloton app and my at-home dumbbells. I can finally hold on to 30lb dumbbells on each side for long enough for my full sets without my grip giving out, so that’s exciting. I also now have calluses on my hands from doing that so it’s a bit of a tradeoff. Afterwards I do a lower body stretch. I’m exhausted at the end and watch a YouTube video from the floor (on my exercise mat, which is a yoga mat) while I recover.
8:30AM: After a quick shower, make some drip coffee, and nuke a piece of the egg white frittata I had prepped with a slice of Velveeta cheese melted on top between a light English muffin for breakfast. I love the really processed American cheeses even though I know they’re not the best for you and aren’t even fully real cheese. Then I start getting to work.
I haven’t mentioned it each day but I’d been trying out Athletic Greens every morning after getting influenced by some health and fitness influencers and I’m finally done with the horrible powderiness and flavor after just 4 days. It’s so expensive and I hate drinking it- immediately cancelling my subscription.
12PM: Lunch break with S. - heat up leftover chicken breast and get a bowl of the green goddess salad (with a serving of tortilla chips to dip in the salad). I also have a diet Dr. Pepper and S. steals a sip, even though he isn’t eating lunch. We watch an episode of Good Mythical Morning while I eat, then back to work.
6PM: Work is killing me today- I end up needing to work late but I take a short dinner break. I am stressed and feel like emotional eating so I order from a Japanese food place with Uber Eats ($76.38 including tip- an udon for S., a pork belly rice bowl for me, and a hamachi roll to share. I cover because it’s mostly a personal craving). We pair it with some leftover green goddess salad.
8:30PM: I’m finally done with work today- actually got a bit lucky because I thought I’d have to work even later. S and I start watching a new Netflix show “Physical 100” and it’s really good!
10:45PM: Sleep time- I wanted to sleep earlier because I know I have to get up earlier but I just couldn’t stop watching the new show!
Day total: $76.38
5:30AM: early start to the day today because I have a meeting with folks in London and the intersecting hours are pretty rough. I also have to go into the office to meet with a coworker friend for lunch (I normally would have gone in for Thursday anyway but the early meeting made it less appealing than usual).
7AM: Get to work via shuttle today because I don’t have the extra time for my usual long walk. I request a refund and cancel my subscription via email for Athletic Greens on the shuttle and it gets approved by the time I get to the office, which is impressive customer service ($95.81 refund not counted for the week’s totals because I spent the money last week). This is also the earliest I’ve gotten to work in a while. Breakfast isn’t even available until later so I plan for a slot in between meetings to grab something to eat but make a latte to start things off with.
I start feeling like I should have slept another 30 minutes and just cut the time closer for my meeting because I start getting sleepy immediately.
12PM: get lunch with my coworker at the company cafe, then meetings again starting at 1
2:30PM: quick trip to the on-site dentist to pick up my retainers! I got some backup ones because I’ve been using the same pair of retainers for 12 years. We’re lucky to have an on-site dentist so I don’t need to Uber out to one. I had previously already paid when I got the scans done for my retainers so I’m not counting that in the week’s total, but it was a heart-wrenching $500 for 4 pairs when I did pay. It was a super fast pickup and I’m back to work by 3.
5PM: normally I don’t stay for dinner at work but today it looked good and dinner is earlier on thursdays so I message S and eat dinner at work with some teammates.
6:30PM: Back home and trying to have a difficult discussion with S about the wedding budget but he’s having a bad work day and is distracted by the work items still going on.
We have some difficult miscommunication where I thought he was done with his work and venting about work but he was not, and he thought I was ignoring and dismissing his worries because I brought up the budgeting situation. It’s a rough hour or so but then we sit down and talk about our feelings and work out that we had misunderstood each other. We also set up some ongoing dedicated time to talk about and plan wedding things moving forward so I don’t feel like he’s leaving the planning on me. This takes until 8:30, but then we both feel better and watch two more episodes of Physical 100 together.
11:15PM: later than I wanted to sleep but I got sucked into watching the show.
Day total: $0
7AM: exhausted this morning, probably from the long work days the last two days and waking up so early the day before. Decide to see if exercising is in the cards later in the day. I have breakfast (leftover piece of frittata with a slice of Velveeta cheese) and take a walk to Starbucks to get my morning sunlight and a nonfat pistachio latte (3 pumps syrup instead of 4). $6.25 including tip.
9AM: Work of course, and Fridays usually I have fewer meetings but I’m also meeting with my manager’s manager today for the first time (we got a new one recently) and I mentor a more junior engineer every other week and it happens to be that week as well. Then earlier another teammate needed my input on things and one thing led to another and I have 4 meetings and a scheduled call with our wedding planner in the same Friday work day, which is not great for my individual work output.
In the middle of work I admit I get distracted (especially if there are really short breaks between meetings where I can’t get into coding very much) and end up ordering some clothes from American Eagle/Aerie ($86.72 including taxes and shipping - clearance black jeans with a flare at the end and a slit in front, a floral wrap dress, and a bundle of 7 for $30 underwear). My coworker had mentioned the sale the day before and I loved the jeans and dress, and I was wearing through a lot of my current underwear rotation.
12PM: Eat the last of the chicken breast and chipotle sauce with the leftover bit of pork belly rice bowl and the last of the green goddess salad. Feel unsure if I should have kept these for so long but feel fine afterwards. S. and I watch a few short YouTube videos while I eat, then back to work.
3:30PM: We have a call with our wedding planner to talk about the budget and our visions for the wedding. They give us a list of possible venues to look over.
5PM: Make breakfast for dinner- heat up egg white frittatas for the both of us, oven bake some bacon, and make ube mochi waffles (from a mix we had gotten as a gift). On the side I make a Caesar salad just for some vegetables.
7PM: We watch more physical 100 and then I do another Hades run.
Day total: $92.97
9:15AM: sleep in longer than usual - it’s the weekend! Make avocado toast with 2 eggs and watch some YouTube videos.
11AM: upper body strength workout and stretch, then shower.
12:30PM: Make and eat a sriracha tuna rice bowl with the other part of the avocado and some kimchi. Get ready to go out and hang out with some friends.
2:30PM: S and I go out ($20.86 for a lyft ride including tip, I pay) and meet two friends for bubble tea ($7 for my own tea including tip) and a new ramen place that just opened- we got there before it opened but we wanted to walk around a furniture store and miss the beginning of the line, so we end up having to wait 45 minutes. It is really good and worth the wait though. For the 4 of us, it’s $110 including tip and a shared appetizer with ramen for each of us with extra toppings. S covers it for all of us though and we just ask them to give us a ride home. There’s a soft serve place as well nearby that has really fun Asian flavors- S and I share a matcha and cookies and cream swirl soft serve with a custard taiyaki ($7.95 including tip, I pay).
7:30PM: We get home and I play two runs of Hades with S cheering me on.
Day total: $35.81 Weekly totals:
Food + Drink:
- Groceries: $100.24 (including mints ordered off of Amazon)
- Eating Out: $97.58
Clothes + Beauty
- $27.46 Valentine’s flowers
Overall I think I actually spent less on groceries than usual because I had a (~monthly) Costco order placed the week before, which is where I normally get bulk proteins (stored in freezer). The Costco order is about $130-200 (I use Instacart). I should likely not buy new clothes but it’s a really hard habit/hobby to kick - it's usually that or some other knickknack like jewelry that I end up buying.
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2023.02.25 10:35 Nudist_Ghost I don’t apply to jobs that redirect me to the company site anymore
Tl;dr if a company doesn’t accept applications through job sites, save your breath bc every single one of those jobs are hell.
Some background: I (26m) have worked retail jobs since fresh out of high school. I’ve done almost all types you can think of from bagger to cashier to my current job which is sales (IE selling furniture, cars, etc. that type of work). Out of all those types of jobs, the ones that are more stressful and anxiety inducing are the ones that outright to refuse any application that isn’t directly from their own career site. If a job doesn’t accept your resume and application through third party such as indeed.com, DO NOT APPLY.
Those types of companies want you to jump through their hoops to get someone that will do whatever they can to please their superiors. It’s a disgusting tactic that a lot of AAA companies use such as Safeway, Home Depot, etc. to get their worker drones in that can take emotional/psychological abuse. Keep in mind, I’m talking about online applications direct to their website. Going to a staffing agency isn’t any better. They want the same thing and that’s to get a warm body as quick as possible.
On the other side of the coin, every single other app that has accepted my resume through job boards, recruiting agents(from job boards or direct from a sub-department of the company you’re applying for and specifically designed to conduct interviews before accepting applications, NOT FROM STAFFING AGENCIES. I’ll talk about the differences below) have all had healthy work environments that do care about you and your work. Those jobs every time have been good work and give you the respect that a worker deserves. That means no grievances for requested days off, not being called in last minute on said days off, no power hungry managers, the list goes on.
Now that doesn’t mean there’s not gonna be at least one or two out there where the roles are reversed, but 9/10 times it’s been accurate every time for me.
Moving on, here’s where I’ll explain the differences between staffing agencies and recruiters. You can skip this part if you want.
Staffing agencies: these places are a lot like used car dealerships. They will sell you on a job and do very little past that. They are designed to fill labor quotas and sometimes get kick backs from companies dependent on how many applications get approved. They will always say they are from a staffing agency or are reaching out on behalf of a certain company. These agents will use language that avoids connecting them to the company by anything aside from proxy.
Recruiters: most of the time these agents are reputable and will ask you questions and conduct interview screenings before even offering the job. These types of recruiters want to see if you’re actually worth the time of sending your app to the company. They will say they are a recruiter with said company and will be honest and blunt.
Thanks for listening, I just sometimes see an influx of people on this sub saying their job wasn’t what they were expecting or felt like they were coerced into the job and thought my experience dealing with all sides would help.
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2023.02.22 05:04 ClarenceJBoddicker My Story So Far
Figured I'd post for once instead of just lurking.
I have always been a bit of a home body. Rather stay home than go out most of the time.
After High School, I had my first panic attack. Things were difficult from then on.
Worked a lot of retail and customer service type jobs...you can imagine how difficult it was. Panic attacks multiple times a day. I somehow managed, however, and eventually landed into a good career at the age of 40.
I would get burned out easily. Called in sick frequently just to recover from the trauma of being outside my comfort zone. Was prescribed klonopin for the attacks, to be taken twice daily. It took the edge of, but eventually the panic caught up to me. At the end of my shift, I became incredibly dizzy and was unable to walk for a long time. That was my last day.
I spent the next two years isolating, going out only to get groceries or the occasional visit with family. My mental health became worse, depression reaching new heights, until eventually I hit rock bottom. Ended up in a psych ward. Moved back in with my parents. I've been here for the past four months.
Found that I could no longer drive on the freeway without having a major panic attack. Couldn't go into grocery stores without feeling an overwhelming sense that I would pass out. Couldn't go to restaurants, or even ride in the car with my parents. Couldn't drive my car down the street.
So I subscribed to this group. I got the books "The Anxious Truth" and "The Agoraphobia Workbook". Exposure therapy became the sole focus of my life.
I first focused on driving, as it was my key to getting to places where I would practice more exposures. On my first go, I was convinced that I would pass out behind the steering wheel. I just wanted to get to the store five minutes away on residential streets. It was terrifying. I kept going. I made it to the store. Then I drove home. I remember being very upset at how much pain I had to endure for such a "simple" thing. It didn't seem fair.
The next day I did it again. It was almost as horrible and painful. I'm not sure where I found the courage...blind faith? Fear of my condition growing worse and becoming completely housebound? Masochism? I can only say that it hurt...a lot. But after a few more attempts, it worked. Then on to bigger baddies.
The moment I walked into the Safeway by my house my legs feel like they are walking on jello. I become disoriented, confused, wobbly, and convinced I am going to pass out. So I chipped away at it. On the first day of store exposure, my only mission was to walk in the front door and walk ten feet. That was all that was required for the entire day. The next day I would walk a bit further. Then down an aisle and touch the case of sparkling drinks that I wanted to buy for myself as a reward. Sure enough, I eventually was able to walk in, grab the drinks, walk to the checkout, and buy them. Every time it hurt. But I kept up with it every single day.
I am now able to drive to different cities...albeit not using the freeway yet. There have also been setbacks...for no particular reason I will still have significant panic attacks in the store or driving or at a restaurant. The key, for me, is a combination of self compassion and diligence. I can easily fall into self pity...and I frequently do. It is during these times that I need to be especially careful with myself. I am fortunate to have a decent support structure that I can depend on to gain extra compassion from. For diligence, I have to continually push myself...perhaps not as hard as in the beginning, but at least continue to do the things that scared the shit out of me. I am healing, after all, so being diligent doesn't mean being reckless.
Finally, I've got still more work to do. I want to be able to drive on that darned freeway again. I want to be able to become employed. I want to keep the momentum going.
Thank you for reading, I hope me sharing my story was helpful for someone. I appreciate this subreddit so very much and all those who continue to share their struggles and successes. Thank you.
submitted by ClarenceJBoddicker
to Agoraphobia [link] [comments]
2023.02.15 04:19 wemustburncarthage Customizable Spreadsheet for Tracking Food Costs and Inventory - Vancouver Metro Area
TL;DR - a totally free Vancouver area grocery and food inventory Google Sheet. Preview image Copy-to-Drive link
As long as you're pretty familiar with Sheets, this can be used to do a ton of things depending on how you focus it: costs, expiry, stock, storage area, calorie averages, product type, grocery store locations, etc. You can use or fold any of these functions.
I want to first clarify that I do not consider this an answer to food insecurity or inflation. Prior to 2018 I worked as a cook in groceries and restaurants, and I’ve still needed to go to food banks - sometimes to pick up products sold originally by my employers. Believe me, that's a vibe.
I find it quite disgusting when people rightly complain about getting ripped off by a Loblaws grocery chain, and other people castigate them for daring to purchase certain luxury items like... blueberries. As though grocery stores don’t toss piles of those in the trash when they’re too close to their sell by dates. There's very little to connect real costs with the products we buy, and the system stinks of rotting garbage about as much as any grocery back room area. Upcycling is a joke in many cases, and these companies waste far more food than they pass on to food banks.
I wish I could do more but I’m in the same boat as many of you. I’m a working person on disability trying to rebuild my life/change careers after a mass death event. I'm lucky - didn’t get sick, I don’t have kids and being poor much of my life has trained me to live within my means, but I know that’s not the reality for a lot of folks
So I’m resurrecting my food budget sheet. Since I live in Vancouver Area it’s tailored to local foods and vendors, but it’s totally customizable and you can use it however you want. I left the fields intact so you can get an idea of how it can be used. It’s pretty accessible even if you’re only minimally familiar with Google Sheets.
Since I’m building my buy list right now, my basic flow is flyer > item > assign vendor (Safeway, no frills, etc) and > get checkbox
. Then I use my phone to view it while shopping.
You can set custom filters for vendors so that you know what to get where, and you can be sure it’s on sale. No one should have
to do this, but I personally find it helps reduce some of the stress and gives me more control over my spending. I hope it's useful to some of you. I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together.
submitted by wemustburncarthage
to vancouver [link] [comments]
2023.02.14 13:30 WorkingWasabi9041 What does PIC mean to you?
Hi! I recently started as a PIC in a store that ngl feels like a sinking ship. Tenure is non-existant and retention is even worse off. I was hired into PIC starting from outside the company because the position remains empty more often than not, and I feel there's a lot of obstacles to overcome there.
That said, I'd like some outside perspective besides my little ol local store. Possibly how a more functional PIC might utilize their team the best, and general best practices. Please share aspects about the position you love and those you might love a little less. I would love to get a feel for the job from those who moved up the store ranks to PIC and possibly learn from those who have made Safeway their decades long career.
submitted by WorkingWasabi9041
to Safeway [link] [comments]
2023.02.13 05:35 friendandjohnson Rinee Shah's outstanding commission work will not fail to impress you
| || |https://preview.redd.it/1zegm5qqwvha1.jpg?width=1400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e25cfdc7d6d6565605f87a9bade1c0e2c5f7218c submitted by friendandjohnson to u/friendandjohnson [link] [comments]
Rinee started her career as a designer and video editor in Portland and built a successful career as an illustrator, art director, and animator. She has worked with global brands like Google, Oreo, LEGO, HBO, Burger King, and Safeway. Rinee's work has made it to several films and magazines, such as Pitchfork, Buzzfeed, Dwell, Fader, and Stereogum. Her work earned Rinee awards for Typography, animation, and product illustrations. View here extensive commission collection by clicking here
2022.12.22 00:11 boywhatdahellboi Receipt with procedural folds and waves
2022.10.29 00:53 AnathemaMaranatha Bringing Your Brain Home from the War ---- RePOST
This story is, I think, the third story I posted on MilitaryStories
some eight years ago. I got a nice note recently from a Nurse who used my PTSD stories to deal with pandemic PTSD. Seems like there's a lot of new kinds of PTSD lately, so here's a story about how unclinical and rowdy dealing with PTSD can be. This story gets itself told through vignettes and episodes. It would be better narrated from the Tardis by a Gunnery Sergeant Time Lord. I waited patiently for a month, but the Gunny TL is a no-show. I'll do my best:
Bringing Your Brain Home from the War Post-Traumatic Stressed Daleks
Y'see, here's the thing about PTSD. You can bully it, you can push it away, you can man-up and treat it with the contempt it deserves, you can master it, command it to go away. And it does go away. But it always
It likes quiet times, likes to make them longer, likes it when you do nothing 'cause there's nothing that really
needs to get done, not today, not right now, maybe tomorrow. There's time.
I lived like this for eleven years after Vietnam. I got shit done - barely. Got a degree. Got a job, got a wife and family. And slowly, all of my alone-time belonged to melancholy and PTSD. I was being frozen in place - the only thing that got me moving again was fear of humiliation, fear of the judgment of others when they found out how much time I wasted because I was so weak.
And finally, I decided that this was intolerable. I got a gun. There was some drama, but my arms and hands vetoed that exit. My wife came home, found me staring at a gun, and drove me to the nearest VA hospital.
Gah. Makes me sick to my stomach to write that. But here's the point: GET HELP! No matter how humiliating it is, no matter how unmanly. Eventually, you'll find yourself in a room with other vets wondering how their
problems can help with your
problems. Welp, they can. Just take my word for it.
Eventually, you will learn how to face it, own it, live with it. The stories we tell each other are lessons, a means of contextualizing those things that you've been avoiding thinking about because what's to think about, right? It's done - nothing will make things right.
No. There are lots of things to think about. Other people's context will illuminate your own context, the stuff you think you've shrugged off, nothing can be done about it, just move on. Besides, help doesn't come in the form of some PhD with lectern and a lecture about how you should just straighten up and get your act together. Help comes in the damnedest ways. I smile about it now. Doctor Who?
This story was provoked by an excerpt from an article in Vortex magazine of an interview with Tom Baker
., who played Dr. Who way back when it was in black&white. Please read it - it’s short. A knighthood.
Good for him. Tom Baker was always the
Doctor Who for me. Still is. I guess I imprinted on him during my salad days when we searched our local PBS station for random episodes. This article just reinforces my bias. Lovely story. You never know, do you? I'm glad he got the feedback. I'm dazzled he shared it with the rest of us.
It's not just a Whovian thing. Decades ago I participated in tough group-therapy sessions at a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital - very angry men who were trying to figure out why they kept drinking too much, getting into fights, abusing their wives and children, drifting from job to job... Angry, frightened, unhappy ex-soldiers who had finally figured out they couldn't tough it out like a man should. They were not happy with that conclusion.
It was a demanding group. Some guys, like me, were still in-patient in the Psych Ward; the most recent arrivals had been stripped of all they owned and were issued garishly striped bathrobes, blue pajamas and -so help me- green slippers with little, round happy-faces on the toes.
All of us, in-patient and out-patient, had careers, kids, jobs, mortgages and lives waiting for us to get our shit together. We had no time for whining or bullshit or drama. There was violence bubbling beneath the surface. And these were men who had been trained in violence. Knight Erring
So one day a guy joined the group. He told us his story. He was there on court ordered therapy. He was a fuckup, a drunk, a loser, a failure as a parent, yattayattayatta - we let him talk it out.
Finally, I piped up, "Well, at least you had the good sense to come here and get help."
"Yeah," he says, "But..." and he went on to list the ways he was a worthless piece of shit. It went pretty much like that for two sessions - one guy would say something like, "You're here now. You did the right thing," and he would say, "Yeah," and we'd hold our breaths, and then he'd say "Buuuut...." and dive back into hopelessness.
It got to the point where one of the more angry guys leaned across the table and got right in his face. "Listen asshole. I'm gonna tell you you did something right. And you're going to acknowledge that. You're going to say, 'Yeah,' and you're not going to say 'But...'. You're just going to shut up and think about the right thing you did. Or so help me..." At this point the moderator, Laurel, a small pretty lady we were all in love with, asked angry biker guy to back off.
He did. Then he said pretty much what I said, "You came here to get this straightened out. You did a good thing. A right thing." And Mr. Hung-up says, "Yeah..." (Waaaait for it!
) "Buuuut..." and dives back in. He. Simply. Could. Not. Stop. Check This Out
This went on for another session or two, with only slightly less anger. Then one day Mr. Hung-up guy came in all excited. He had gotten permission to leave the hospital grounds for the first time since he had arrived. He put on his civvies and went to a grocery store and bought cigarettes. Uh huh. And guess what? As he finished paying, the nice grocery lady said, "Have a nice day."
Quote (it is burned into my cortex): "And I thought, 'Yeah, I could do that. I could have a nice day. It doesn't always have to be shitty.'"
The image I have in my head of the rest of the group looking at each other always makes me laugh. We're all speechless. Angry biker guy roared to his feet and leaned across the table yelling, "YOU GOTTA
BE KIDDIN' ME!" Laurel sat him back down.
And from that day, he started making progress. I don't know if it all got better right away, probably not. Maybe. Angels in America
But somewhere out there is a bored Safeway clerk who is an angel of mercy and doesn't know it. She is also one of my favorite people in the world. She doesn't know that either. I like that. It opens up possibilities, and that, I guess, is a Whovian thing.
The sages want us to be mindful of what we do, but how can you be mindful of something like this? A random generic greeting strikes home. A tacky, silly, under-budget Science Fiction show lights a bleak place, opens doors of possibility because one man is an engaging, funny actor who decided to give it his best shot.
Sometimes you're confronted with a trivial choice, and you can do the nice thing or you can do the stupid, mean thing. Even if you choose the nice thing, often it doesn't mean anything, just a "pfffttt" of decency and it's gone. But sometimes... sometimes it goes all wimey up and down the timeline and takes a life of its own and saves the day - or makes someone's day better. You just don't know.
In this way, in whimsy and unexpected turns into absurdity, Dr. Who is the most realistic show I know. We do more kindness than we know. We do more kindness than we can
know. Thumbs up for Tom Baker for the reminder. Now, back to reality: Mise en Scène
There is a room in a small out-building on the campus of a VA hospital in a city in the high desert, western US. Windows on two sides. Late afternoon bright sunshine.
A dated but clean room, cleared out to accommodate a large ovate table, folding chairs, some side furniture, one with a coffee pot and white foam cups. Bulletin boards with dated VA memos and some encouraging posters. Everything is painted VA green, linoleum floor.
Seven or eight guys are seated around the table, some in civvies, some in the striped bathrobes and blue pajamas they make you wear for the first week of in-patient treatment. No-longer-hung-up guy is standing at one end of the table looking angry (he was always willing to fight biker-guy) and a little bit hurt. He thought we'd be happy
Biker-guy is seated, and the moderator, Laurel, is standing behind him with her hands on his back. I'm seated to the left, double face palmed, feeling a variety of things. For one, I am noticing Laurel with her hands on biker-guy, and (I'm just realizing this as I write) I am a little jealous. Dumb. She can't possibly realize the impact her touch would have on any one of us. Or maybe she does. She can't help being pretty. She's a pro. She's using the tools at hand to help. Huh.
Part of me wants to go kiss that Safeway clerk - or punch her in the snoot - kinda hard to tell. Part of me is with biker-guy, You gotta be fucking kidding me! A Safeway clerk cracks yer head open?
Part of me is angry. Part of me is happy for Hung-up guy. Part of me is happy for me. What? Why is that?
I'm guessing pretty much the same thing was being felt around the table.
I am happy at Hung-up guy's news? Ah. It looks like he found a way out. There's light.
Aaaand I'm afraid of the light. Right away, right then and there in that brightly lit room. Hung-up guy's light is like a torch in a dungeon. I'm in the loony bin. All his spark does illuminate the shithole I've put myself into, how much weight I've piled on top of myself, how there is no way out, and whatever light there is cannot last.
I've been on meds for about ten days. I amaze myself. I don't crash. I shrug it off, get ready for the next round. I've got someplace to go. I'm leaving this place. Didn't know I could do that, feel that way. This is new.
This all happens in a flash. I look around the table. I can see some guys not doing as well as I am. They're crashing. Happiness hurts. Happiness reminds you of all you have to be unhappy about.
Then I look up at Laurel, then at Hung-up guy and his anger and confusion dovetails perfectly with my idiot jealousy, and the whole thing becomes funny. I laughed and the guy next to me laughed too and biker-guy laughed and Hung-up guy thought we were laughing at him
, thought we were his friends
and then everybody started laughing because it was just too crazy and horrible and stupid not to laugh. Fuck us all if we can't take a joke.
When we added it all up, we informed Hung-up guy that we were happy for him. Just had to think about it a bit. We were all happy, even if it hurt. It was a good day.
And I learned something: It doesn't always have to be shitty forever. I could have a nice day.
Good to know.
submitted by AnathemaMaranatha
to MilitaryStories [link] [comments]
2022.10.26 16:41 No_Competition4897 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in WA Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings , feel free to comment here if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by No_Competition4897
to WashingtonJobsForAll [link] [comments]
2022.10.24 12:11 vlnny118 Music Major and National Guard Band
I am a senior in high-school this year, and I need help deciding how to move forward. I will tell you my endstate, and then potential pathways I've thought up, and then ask for help.
First - my endstate. My goals. I am going to he a professional trombonist. Cheeky - I know; unlikely - I know; I love trombone and I am stubborn about this. I want a career playing or teaching trombone. Best case scenario, a contract with some orchestral contract. Also acceptable, high-school/middle school band director. I'll take what I can get. I'd prefer a playing position a lot more than teaching, but wouldn't be dissatisfied with a teaching career.
As for ways I've thought of moving forward so far, I live on Hawaii, and have already applied for University of Hawaii Manoa, and am pretty confident I can get a good amount of money from their music scholarship. I wouldn't be opposed to moving off island for college, but it has to have football (for marching band purposes) and it has to be practical, meaning I have to either live near family or be able to get a surplus of money with scholarships and such. Important to note, my parents are in the military and have allowed me to use their GI bill for some months of paid college, which could potentially cover my first year wherever I go until I can claim residency for instate tuition.
I also really like the idea of joining the national guard band, and doing that part time during my college years. I have a buddy in the Hawaii Army National Guard Band, and he says they meet once a week and get paid so that sounds great to me. Two issues. I have to get through basic training and AIT, which would essentially take up a semester, which is, not ideal, but not horrible. Also once I'm in the military, I'm pretty sure I'm locked into 6 years, which would mean 6 years stuck on island. I do plan to get my masters, if I were to go to UH, I would like to go to a nicer school for graduate school. UH isn't bad, and it will be a lot of fun during undergrad, but it isn't exactly known for its arts and there are more impressive schools that I could get into to graduate from.
If I could do anything, it would be national guard band during college, while getting my masters, then once I graduate with a masters, move into the full time military band, do 20 or so years there, then once I retire hopefully I've made enough connections to get another nice gig and start doing freelance from there.
I have a 4.0, 28 ACT, 1360 SAT, and I guess I don't really have a way to quantify my playing ability, but like I said I'm at least confident in my playing. I am currently employed at a local safeway, so I have a little money saved up.
If you have any opinion on my situation, I'd love to hear it even if it's critical, I'll soak up all the input I can get. If your not so sure, maybe you can indirectly help me by telling me other places on reddit/the internet I could post this for more targeted help. Thanks!
submitted by vlnny118
to Advice [link] [comments]
2022.10.20 15:49 PritchettRobert506 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in NV Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in nv. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by PritchettRobert506
to NevadaJobs [link] [comments]
2022.09.09 19:05 Lovingit9696 Here we are again
So I am a fixer. I think I want to a pond my wife becoming my mother - we were a military family growing up and my mom always told my dad to out career first , deployments etc. he did that and she would guilt him about never being home and how much she had to do by herself. She defined herself by her suffering and sacrifice and still does to this day. Anyway. I am in the military and did not want my wife to feel that way. I was also a dorky little kid and made female friends by helping them in tough times. It’s just who I was as a teenager and the start of college. Fast forward to be in my late forties with a wife of over 20 years who is an alcoholic and we have 4 children with a pretty wide age range from adult to grade school…she is getting ready to go to rehab for the 4th time. Last time I launched a personal crusade with military insurance to get her an extra 30 days. The team at the facility were amazed I pulled that off. As was I. But I did it. Then she had the driver who was taking her from rehab to the airport stop at Safeway where she bought alcohol. I was on a trip when she came home - had family staying with the kids - and she was in the hospital for a detox before I even got home. I recently read a post about loving the chaos. Or missing the chaos. I forget. But that chaos has come to define our relationship. Right now Klee are waiting to hear dates she is leaving for rehab. I am Still in the military and have to figure it all out while she is gone, again. Since the decision was made 24 hours ago about rehab there has been no mention on the impact on me. On the dogs. On the kids. On what neighbors will think but no one, not my wife, not her treatment team has asked how I am going to cope, again. And I desperately want a better “come home” treatment follow up plan that includes family and couples counseling but no idea if my wife will be on board with that. She hasn’t been in the past but I think that was more about keeping the ability to drink and not have me tell her doctors she is still drinking. So who knows how this goes this time.
submitted by Lovingit9696
to AlAnon [link] [comments]
2022.06.11 23:56 stormrider-io I found my passion in orgmode; don't try this at home.
Don't try this at home
tl;dr: By sheer coincidence, I turned my technical passion into a career. Follow me at your peril.
Also posted on my website at this link
How I found my place in tech
This is probably not the standard lead-in, but here it is: Don't assume that finding your ultimate tech niche is something you have
to do. There are even people who advocate that following your passion is a bad idea
. It certainly isn't self-evident as a life goal, if you're really honest with yourself. More like, "How do I do all that grown-up stuff like food, water, shelter, and so on?
Obstinately pursuing something that peaks your interest can be a bad idea, especially if you never really find it and can't really figure out how to live with it. And by "live", I think I mean, "not be so distracted by survival that you can't practice your passion and turn it into something rare and valuable." But, then again, I operate by the idea that we should distrust all claims for the one true way.
In other words, follow your passion if you find it, but don't feel bad if you're not really passionate about anything. To misquote Milton, "They also excel who live a normal life." In fact, I might argue that living a normal life, without knowing exactly what one wants to do -- without having a passion or feeling a "calling" -- is a more difficult (and thus more praiseworthy) feat. We can be happily successful without ever having a ten-word life purpose. But that's an argument for another day.
Why did I even start looking?
Around seventh grade, I think, I visited MIT as an award for winning a science fair. My family couldn't possibly afford for me to attend -- that was out of the question from the start. I took the visit because I knew I wanted to do something tech-y and geeky, but I didn't know what that something was. You could probably say I was already looking for my unique contribution; I just didn't know that's what I was doing.
Visiting MIT, I heard about the Tech Model Railroad Club, and how the computer revolution really began with that group of students. More accurately, it started with a subset of the Club: the guys who worked on the switch-gear underneath the layout, the ones who program what goes on up top. In the late 1950s, a mainframe known as "The Hulking Giant" came to campus, and these guys covered up the overnight access slots. They competed to see who could solve various computer-friendly problems in the smallest number of instructions.
As I listened to the stories -- and as I got to know my hosts there -- I realised that a lot of these people were far more "happily successful" than anyone else I knew. They weren't all rich at that time (though most of them got that way later), but they were very happy with things as they were. While I was there, I decided that I wanted to be that kind of "happy", too.
Groceries and a Volkswagen, or where I stumbled into the treasure
One of the local legends involved a couple named Bob and Margaret. Bob was a TMRC member and one of the more prolific programmers. While pursuing his degree, he was also constantly steeped in computer language.
On Saturdays, Margaret would head out to the local Safeway to get groceries. After packing thirty cubic feet of supplies in their 28-cubic-foot Volkswagen beetle, she would head home and ask for help bringing things in.
"Would you like to help me bring in the groceries?"
"No," he would reply. And so it went for a few weeks. Finally, out of desperation, Margaret blew up.
"Why won't you help me bring in the stuff?"
"You asked me if I wanted to; you didn't ask me if I would."
Something in that story resonated deeply with me. Over time, I found myself realising that imprecise human language has a precise meaning, which is well-understood by almost everybody. At West Point, the cadets call it "quibbling" when you understand the intent of the request, but quibble with the imprecise language. Cadets don't bear quibbling well, and neither do most normal humans.
Still, that juxtaposition of computer language (precise and unforgiving) and human language (imprecise, but much less forgiving) made a significant impression on me. I had found my passion, though I didn't know it. At that point in my life, I couldn't have explained it in those terms.
How my monster pursued me
Around that same time, I gained (essentially) full-time access to a working UNIX system. Bell Labs had started licensing UNIX to educational institutions as part of a response to a monopoly lawsuit, and my dad taught programming at one of those institutions. In exchange for me agreeing to go to the local college, he got me into his programming classes, and his instructor status got me random access to the system.
UNIX used plain text files. All of the tools did "precise but fuzzy" things to process text streams into other text that revealed new information. I began to compare the way humans and computers process language, and realised that my experience of UNIX was actually not a "precise but fuzzy" tool. Instead, it's a simple and powerful tool-set that can help humans whittle away at the fuzziness of text data until it made enough sense to use.
You can't outrun a dragon
It wasn't hard to pursue and tune my passionate interest. For one thing, there was a natural progression in the open-source world. It started with UNIX, of course, but then there was Linux, and emacs, and finally org-mode. Along with a basket of other languages geared toward text processing, I might add.
As the rules for text processing expanded -- many different command line tools, languages, and regular expression sets -- so too did the way humans interacted with plain text. No linguistic complexity seemed too hard to be encoded in a text pattern, which could then be searched, sliced, diced, rearranged, reformatted, and presented in a new way, with new insight.
Clarity set in: the UNIX philosophy, which was not so much codified as tacitly understood, looked like a useful human philosophy. I began to explore this idea when I was only 30. At first, I thought I might be reconstituting the freeze-dried personal philosophy of one of the early UNIX creators, or someone who had substantially imprinted on UNIX as it developed.
Eventually, of course, I discovered that the UNIX philosophy encoded a lot of little pieces from a lot of different contributors. It wasn't the coherent philosophy of one person so much as a rendering of group-think that carried no hidden agenda. What I was un-bundling was unique to the zeitgeist of UNIX, but also uniquely human; it just wasn't unique to any one human in particular.
It became my quest to understand these cultural engrams and write them down. I wanted to codify them because I was curious, but the original written list also resonated with me:
- Keep it simple
- Do one thing well
- Use what you have
- Say what you mean
- Be who you are
- Use leverage
- Think ahead
- Never say never (or "have faith", your choice)
Over many years, I tried to make sure that I wasn't just impressing myself on this list. In some cases, it was easy to prove (network, say what you mean, be who you are); in others, more difficult. Eventually, though, I discovered that these were not my core values (at least, not initially), but they were core values that I admired and wanted to internalise.
How I codified my passion
The current principles that define me sound like this:
- Simplicity: Keep it simple; it's cheaper and easier to carry around.
- Focus: Do one thing well (at a time); multitasking is a lie.
- Connection: Network; we are all born to connect with others.
- Truth: Say what you mean; nothing is truer than the truth.
- Self-education: Hack; trial and error is the only way we learn; but keep a voltmeter handy, so you don't become a memorable lesson in failure.
- Authenticity: Be who you are; even a bent wire can carry a great light.
- Leverage: Use or build the right tool for the job; a bigger hammer is rarely the right answer.
- Recycle: Use what you have; always buying another one is an expensive dead-end not only for yourself, but for the species as a whole.
- Agnostic theism: Never say never; all things are possible, except maybe skiing through a revolving door.
- Scepticism: Don't choke on the enlightenment kool-aid; distrust all claims for the one true way.
- Initiative: Patch it now; the Next Big Thing is rarely next or big, and often it doesn't even become a thing.
- Planning: Think ahead, but don't worship your plans; today is the first day of the rest of your learning experience.
- Curiosity: Asking "why" is The One Thing that is uniquely human; "always the more beautiful answer who asks the more beautiful question" [Cummings].
- Self-reliance: Don't let anyone tell you who you ought to be; "nothing can bring you [real] peace but the triumph of [your own] principles" [Emerson].
These are becoming my unique values; I seem to apply them more and more often, and worry less and less about what other people think of them. I find myself happily pursuing things without worrying about what I'm going to get out of it. As an ambassador for them, I am still a conspicuous hypocrite a lot of the time, but I keep trying anyway.
My passion has become my career
At this writing, I work as a technical author and developer advocate for an open-source, bare-metal provisioning tool. When I applied for the job, I didn't submit the traditional resume; instead, I answered the job description as an emacs org-mode file. It seemed like a reasonable risk, and it worked.
Every day, I remind myself that someone is paying me to work on open source. But if I didn't work for this company, I'm quite sure I'd be earning a good living doing the same type of work somewhere. Following my nose and seeking my passion seems to have given me rare and valuable skills for certain types of work.
Let me reiterate a point: my life journey doesn't refute Cal Newport
's premise, that "follow your passion is a bad idea
". It took the better part of my life so far to find this place. The road has been rocky and difficult. Random chance and accidental, just-in-time happenstance brought me here, and this was definitely not overnight success. Those are not great odds; this path is not for the faint of heart.
Still, if you aren't faint of heart, and something gets hold of you so deeply that you can't put it aside, sometimes your only choice is to go with it. And it's entirely possible that these kind of meta-principles can help you in any career you choose. My own path has been a little more self-contained, if difficult at times. Maybe you can figure out how to avoid the land-mines, potholes, and pits in the road.
From my perspective, it's definitely worth a try.
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2022.04.21 06:19 Unicornucopia23 I chose to be a caregiver/CNA because I wanted to help people. I fucking hate it.
I chose healthcare as a career path because I understand how terrible the US healthcare system is, particularly for the elderly. I was naïve enough to think that I could make a difference from the inside.
Seniors are notoriously neglected in nursing homes. So I chose to become the thing that keeps the elderly out of nursing homes. I am the final stand between those who can no longer take care of themselves and a nursing home.
I have only been doing this for a year, and it has been the worst year of my life.
The elderly are assholes. All they do is complain, and they fucking hate everything. Nothing is ever good enough. Every time they misplace something, their caregiver must have taken it. Every time they make a bad choice, it’s your fault for not stopping them. Whenever they are unhappy in any way it all, it is 100% your fault &how dare you. I once had a client who wanted me to drive her to the casino. She lost a lot of money that day. Guess who she blamed for her own stupid choices?
Most clients I have worked for want to feel like the king/queen of England and won’t even address you by name. I’ve lost track of how many times someone (who definitely knew my name) has referred to me as “the help”, or just snapped their fingers at me, and pointed at whatever it is that they need. I’m not a maid, I’m not a servant. I’m a god dammed healthcare worker and I’m the only thing stopping the state from legally institutionalizing you. 70-80 hours a week because these people can’t live without me. YOU’RE WELCOME.
I had a client threaten to fire me today because I shopped at Walmart instead of Safeway. When I told him that he had never actually mentioned that he preferred Safeway, he told me that he’s getting tired of having me around. Cool….
I am here working for this man for HALF of what I usually make, because it’s all he can afford. And I do far more than what was ever discussed in my contract. And in return, he treats me like absolute shit.
I am so sick of this. And I’m tired of lighting myself on fire to keep others warm. No one even appreciates it anyways. I’m done.
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to venting [link] [comments]
2022.04.09 06:46 chillingohdylan 30 years old still looking for careers
A bit about myself. I started college at the age of 20. Didn't know what I wanted to do, I just took classes like medical terminology, political science, English, history, sociology and criminal justice etc. Then I went for a Computer Science Degree with motivation from my brother and his engineering friends. Enjoyed problem solving, finished all of my CS classes but realized I had to take a shitload of math classes (finished calculus 1). Later on, I realized I genuinely enjoyed interacting with other college students. Loved discussing things in class and I felt like I was interested in Psychology. So I got my associates in that, went to San Jose State, did well until the pandemic hit. The social isolation and whatnot made me drop out of college and lose motivation. I usually go to the tutoring center or the library and what the college offered made things much more difficult (zoom meetings, online tutors). This made me realize I am a social learner. I need to study with others to do well. In between school, I always worked customer service jobs like Chipotle, Safeway, little Caesars, Starbucks etc. I sat down for like a month trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and I just don't know. I'm looking into the trades and i have really been wanting to be an electrician. It sounds exciting to me. My family thinks it is too dangerous. Otherwise, I am probably going to be working customer service jobs again. I'm just wondering if the general public has any good ideas on career options?
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to jobs [link] [comments]
2022.04.09 06:31 chillingohdylan Anyone have any advice for career options?
A bit about myself. I started college at the age of 20. Didn't know what I wanted to do, I just took classes like medical terminology, political science, English, histort, sociology and criminal justice etc. Then I went for a Computer Science Degree with motivation from my brother and his engineering friends. Enjoyed problem solving, finished all of my CS classes but realized I had to take a shitload of more math classes (finished calculus 1). Later on, I realized I genuinely enjoyed interacting with other college students. Loved discussing things in class and I felt like I was interested in Psychology. So I got my associates in that, went to San Jose State, did well until the pandemic hit. The social isolation and whatnot made me drop out of college and lose motivation. I usually go to the tutoring center or the library and what the college offered made things much more difficult (zoom meetings, online tutors). In between school, I always worked customer service jobs like Chipotle, Safeway, little Caesars, Starbucks etc. I sat down for like a month trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and I just don't know. I'm looking into the trades and i have really been wanting to be an electrician. It sounds exciting to me. Otherwise, I am probably going to be working customer service jobs again. I'm just wondering if the general public has any good ideas on career options?
submitted by chillingohdylan
to careerguidance [link] [comments]
2022.04.09 06:27 chillingohdylan 30 years old pondering career options...
A bit about myself. I started college at the age of 20. Didn't know what I wanted to do, I just took classes like medical terminology, political science, English, history, sociology and criminal justice etc. Then I went for a Computer Science Degree with motivation from my brother and his engineering friends. Enjoyed problem solving, finished all of my CS classes with As and Bs but realized I had to take a shitload of more math classes (finished calculus 1). Later on, I realized I genuinely enjoyed interacting with other college students. Loved discussing things in class and I felt like I was interested in Psychology. So I got my associates in that, went to San Jose State, did well until the pandemic hit. The social isolation and whatnot made me drop out of college and lose motivation. I usually go to the tutoring center or the library and what the college offered made things much more difficult (zoom meetings, online tutors). In between school, I always worked customer service jobs like Chipotle, Safeway, little Caesars, Starbucks etc. I sat down for like a month trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and I just don't know. I'm looking into the trades and i have really been wanting to be an electrician. It sounds exciting to me. Otherwise, I am probably going to be working customer service jobs again. I'm just wondering if the general public has any good ideas on career options I guess.
submitted by chillingohdylan
to careeradvice [link] [comments]
2022.03.31 18:17 BDreamsofSushi I’m 26 years old, make $60,740, live in the Bay Area, work as a PhD Student, and support my partner after they quit their job to make a video game.
My partner and I have completely joint finances except retirement accounts. We did this years ago when we moved in together because we needed a joint bank account to live together in student housing and pooling finances was the easiest method. It's worked out well but if I were to do it again, I would probably do a proportional method or just put shared expenses into the joint account.
I also don't go into too much detail about my partner's game project, but happy to do so if people have questions.
Section One: Assets and Debt Retirement Balance: Mine- $25,000 in a Roth IRA. Partner's - $88,000 in a 401K
. I started putting money into this after my 3rd year of college. It’s not as high as I want it to be because my PhD stipend is from a fellowship. During the first few years of my PhD, though my stipend was taxable, it wasn’t considered income and I wasn’t allowed to use any of it towards retirement. Those years, I worked side jobs doing tutoring and campus orientation coordination just to get a W-2 so I could contribute to my retirement. I didn’t work enough hours so I couldn’t max out my yearly contribution. Luckily the law changed in 2019 and now I fully max out my Roth IRA each year just from my stipend! Equity if you're a homeowner: $0
– We weren’t sure if we were going to stay in the area after I graduated so we never investigated buying a house High Yields Savings account balance: Joint - $140. Checking account balance: Joint – $66,000, Mine – $5,000, Partner's- $5,000. 529: Joint 529 - $95,000.
We know that we want children in the future, so we put a portion of our investments into this. If my partner and I end up not having kids or splitting up, we plan on giving this fund to their niece and nephew. Vanguard Investment Fund: Joint - $41,000.
Taxable investment funds. We just buy index funds and ETFs. Family Friend’s business investment: Joint - $140,000.
A friend of my partner’s family owns a healthcare startup and had a round of friends & family fund-raising. We’ve loaned them $160,000 this round for the business and they’re paying it back over a 3-year period with a 12% interest rate. They’ve paid back $20,000 so far. Though the investment is not completely risk-free, the company has assets it will sell if it folds so we will get our principal back at the very least. We’ve previously invested $75,000 over a 2-year period and that has been paid back completely. Credit card debt: $0.
(paid off every month) Student loan debt: $0.
Both my partner and I are fortunate to have no debt due to extremely generous parents, grandparents, and a child acting career.
Section Two: Income Income Progression:
My stipend is currently $49,000 a year as a PhD in student in a STEM field. When I first started 4.5 years ago, it was $46,000 and has increased 2-3% yearly. I went directly from undergrad to grad school. I’ve have had side research projects, internships at a pharma company and a beer company, tutoring gigs, science teaching abroad, and campus event coordination jobs since freshman year of undergrad that bring in ~$1000 - $8000 annually but I’m focusing on graduating soon so I don’t have any extra income this year. In addition to extra spending (or saving) money, these side jobs have been extremely useful in my job hunt and fellowship applications. In January 2023, I will be joining a consulting firm where my base will be $165,000 with a potential $40,000 yearly bonus.
My partner used to work as a software engineer in tech and they progressed from $110,000 to $175,000 over the span of 5 years. However, they quit their job December 2021 to focus on developing a video game. This is something we’ve talked about for a long time and planned for by setting aside $50K as a “salary” in our high yields savings account. We’ve moved this money to our checking account at the beginning of this year since interest rates were so low anyway. This sabbatical was originally scheduled to start in 2023, but my partner was so unhappy in their job that they decided to quit earlier. I agreed as long as they had a tangible project management schedule (expected August game launch!), a willingness to do contracting work if we needed the income, and we both scaled back our spending.
We also have an extra $11,740 yearly in interest from the family friend’s business investment mentioned earlier. Main Job Monthly Take Home:
$3280 PhD Stipend (though I get paid quarterly) Any Other Monthly Income:
$970 from investment interest
Section Three: Expenses
Amounts are monthly unless otherwise stated. Home:
Retirement contribution: $6,000
- Rent: $2227.50. We split a 3br2.5ba with another couple. We pay 45% since the other couple has the master bedroom.
- Renters Insurance: $130 annually. Through Geico.
- Gas: $180
- Trash: $8
- Water: $35
- Wifi/Cable/Landline: $0. Roommate gets free wifi from work.
annually into a Roth IRA each, usually in the beginning of the year Health Insurance: $3096 for Health Insurance + $928 Campus Health Service Fee annually
. I get healthcare through my university and my fellowship helps pay for half of the cost (full cost $6192 yearly). The mandatory Campus Health Service fee is to use the campus clinic even though I don’t live on campus and have only used the clinic twice in the 4.5 years I’ve been a graduate student. My partner is covered through Covered California and pays nothing for insurance. Meds/Doctor’s appts: $50
. My partner is trans and also has several medical issues, so they have quarterly medical check-ups, HRT, and monthly prescriptions. Graduate Student Activities Fee: $135 annually
. These fees sponsor social programming and events for graduate students (like free food. Grad students thrive on free food). This is mandatory and taken directly out of my stipend even if I don’t participate in any programming. Donations: $0 :(
[This used to be $100/month each to NAACP and Planned Parenthood and 10K total annual donations split between various charities chosen quarterly based on the current political and health climate (i.e. Yellowhammer fund, stop AAPI hate, Give Directly, COVID funds, BLM). We stopped all donations when my partner quit and will start donating again once I start my next job] Cellphone: $75
for two lines on Google Fi Gym membership: $0
. Students and partners have free access to the university gym! Pet expenses: $70
monthly for food, dental, various toys Pet Insurance: $300 annually Car insurance: $1,100 annually
through Geico Costco Membership: $120 annually Subscriptions:
$10 for YouTube, $5 for Dropout, $35 for Unity, $4 for GitHub, $2 for Google Drive, $0 for Disney Prime (we mooch off a friend)
Money Diary Day 1/ Wednesday
6:40 am: I wake up and sneak out of the room before my dog, B. can react. Otherwise, she starts hopping around the bed wanting to play. I do an hour HIIT session in the garage turned gym before doing my normal morning routine of AHA/BHA toner, light moisturizer, and sunscreen. I get all my skincare from Asian brands as they’re much cheaper and they work well with my skin.
8:00 am: Time to walk B.! Morning walks are my responsibility and night walks are my partner, N.’s, responsibility. We alternate afternoon walks. B. was a stray and still has some stray like mannerisms like drinking from puddles, chasing after critters, and eating anything and everything she finds on the ground including grass. Then again, maybe that’s just normal dog behavior.
8:40 am: We get home and I feed B. her breakfast. I feed myself a chia pudding (made yesterday from chia seeds, coconut milk, spiced maple syrup, and a pinch of salt) and some strawberry slices. After washing up, I bike to the train station and hop on the train to go to campus. The train pass is free from my university since I don’t live in the same zip code that campus is in. It’s a 40-minute commute so I take the opportunity to listen to more of my audiobook, Anxious People.
9:45am: I get to my office and immediately gather my samples from the lab. I’ve reserved time on a shared equipment at 10am. It’s a long day of loading samples, waiting for measurements to be taken, and hoping these results are consistent with previous ones.
12:15 pm: Finally, lunch! I brought leftovers of curried red lentils with rice and mac and cheese with impossible meat. I eat with my labmates in the common space and we gossip about the latest invited speaker. Rumor is that the department wants to hire her as a new professor, but apparently, she’s a good researcher but not a great mentor. Unfortunately, something very common in Academia.
3:00 pm: I finally finished taking measurements, so I steal an oatmeal cookie from my labmate, who’s a phenomenal baker. I get a spicy hot chocolate ($5.20, paid with a gift card) at a nearby cafe with another labmate. He’s the youngest in our group, joined our lab during COVID, and has been unhappy with his project. I try to impart sage advice but don’t really think it helped. We end up just joking around and talking about what saving the world means in the context of a PhD. Jaded, cynical old grad students and hopeful young grad students have different opinions on this subject.
4:00 pm: I bike to the train station and take the train home, listening to more of Anxious People. When I get home, I say hi to N. who works from home and pet B. before analyzing the data I got today.
7:00 pm: Wednesday nights are N’s dinner nights. They made an impossible meat, tomato sauce pasta dish and it’s delicious. We eat while talking about N’s progress on their game project today. It’s been a long day of drawing character sprites and close-ups of characters in different poses for stills and cutscenes. I’m honestly amazed at how much N. has accomplished so far. They’ve built a world, thought through plot lines/conflicts, created and drew all the characters and backgrounds, built the game engine, developed the mechanics, coded everything, and composed the soundtrack so far in the past 2 months.
8:00pm: There’s some leftover homemade anko (sweet red bean) paste and glutinous rice flour so I decide to make LuDa Gun, a traditional Beijing snack. I steam a mixture of the rice flour and water to form a very sticky dough. The dough is rolled out into a sheet and anko is smeared on top. The dough is then rolled up like a cinnamon roll and coated with toasted soybean flour. It’s a delicious mochi like dessert with a sweet earthy flavor. N. and I have some with tea and an orange while we watch the newest episode of Game Changer on DropOut TV(formerly known as CollegeHumor).
9:00pm: I update my daily hungefood log and spending spreadsheets. I log daily spending to keep a running tally of how much budget is left in all my spending categories—So I know if I can get boba this week or not without going over budget.
10:00 pm: I do my nightly routine with a cleanser, toner, and moisturizing cream. N. takes B. out. I crawl into bed and read The Midnight Library on my kindle before I pass out while N. plays some video games in the office. Total: $0.00 Day 2/ Thursday
6:35am: I lay in bed for a bit before getting up and putting on warm clothes for a run. It’s the first time I feel that runner’s high, so I go longer than I usually do. My fitbit died halfway through my run, but I think I ran 4 miles at a pace much slower than usual.
8:00am: I walk B. again, focusing on having her be engaged with me during the walk instead of pulling the leash or sniffing every possible blade of grass. When we get home, I feed her kibble and myself some more chia pudding with the last of the strawberries.
9:00am: Today is a work from home day! B. sleeps and occasionally begs for pets on her dog bed next to my desk. My research is 70% computational and 30% experimental so I normally don’t need to go into lab. My computational work consists of running simulations that hopefully match what I see in experiments. N. joins me at their desk to work more on their project. They're now working on more asset drawing.
12:30pm: I’m starving so I make myself some frozen chicken dumplings from TJ’s. I mix the dumplings with some spicy sauce made from hot chili oil, gochugaru flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sugar, and scallions. I watch YouTube videos of other people eating as I eat.
1:15pm: Back to banging my head at the code. You think I would understand the code by now after working with it for 4 years, but 1) it’s written in Fortran, a coding language really only used by academics, government, and sadists 2) it’s over 10000 lines long split between hundreds of interconnected files and 3) there’s no documentation.
2:30pm: I take a break and walk B. When we get back, I feed her a snack for being a good girl. I feed myself a snack (a LuDa Gun) and dive back into the code. I pass N. on my way back to the office as they go to the kitchen to make themselves a sandwich.
6:00pm: After 3 hours, I finally understand how some numerical methods are implemented and what certain variables are, but it’s dinner time and my turn to cook. I make seared scallops and roasted brussel sprouts with a red wine vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard glaze.
8:00pm: N. and I watches a YouTube video about an Udon restaurant in Japan while we snack on an orange, browned butter chocolate chip cookies, boiled spiced peanuts, and jerk plantain chips from TJ’s. We’re huge snackers. I fill out my hunger log and daily spending spreadsheets. N lets me know that they bought a Steam Humble Bundle to support Ukraine ($22.49
9:00pm. We head to our room to cuddle and talk before passing out. Thursday nights are our “quality time” nights where devices are off, and we just spend time together. Total: $22.49 Day 3/ Friday
7:00 am: I put on some workout clothes and go to the garage gym and do a 50 min arms workout with weights. We got adjustable dumbbells during the pandemic, and they’ve been well worth the cost.
8:00 am: I walk B. and we do a quick loop around the neighborhood. Breakfast is an orange and some boiled peanuts. I make congee in the rice cooker and set the timer so it’ll finish at 6pm for dinner.
9:00am: I bike and train to campus. It’s another lab day today! I spend several hours making new samples and leave them to mix. I also reserve the equipment I need for all day next Tuesday.
12:00pm: Lunch with the labmates again today. Today’s lunch is the leftover impossible meat pasta and brussel sprouts. I also brought some TJ’s hazelnut bambas as a snack – highly recommend. My labmates and I talk about the snacks of our childhoods. We were all born outside of the US and it’s fascinating to hear about the differences in upbringing.
1:20pm: Bike and train home early so I can take the dog out. As I get in, I see N. getting ready to take B. out for her afternoon walk. I give both hugs and instead start making Chinese steamed buns instead. I make the doughs for 2 different steamed buns (Mantou and Huajuan). I mix yeast with either milk or water, depending on the bun, before mixing in the flour. I let the doughs rest for 15 minutes before kneading them into smooth balls. I let the doughs rise for 1.5 hours while I plan my experiments for next week and run a couple of simulations. I snack on some plantain chips, green pea snack crisps, and blue corn chips.
4:00pm: I shape the Mantou into balls. For the Huajuan I roll the dough out into a rectangle, add a layer of salt, spices, and oil, and shape the dough into twisted strands. Both buns then rest for another hour while I catch up on emails.
6:30pm: I steam the buns and heat up a pork dish with preserved vegetables my mom had made me months ago that I froze. N. and I have the buns with congee, the pork dish, and some spicy radishes. I offer some buns to our roommates, and they each grab one before heading out for dinner.
9:00pm: N. plays a run of Hades while I watch. I get sleepy at 10:30 so I wash up and head to bed. N. takes B. out before heading to the office to play more video games (FFXIV). They join me sometime after midnight. Total: $0.00 Day 4/ Saturday
5:35am: It’s Saturday so I turned my alarm off. Ironically, I wake up much earlier and can’t fall back asleep. I end up scrolling on my phone for an hour before getting out of bed and going out for a run. It’s a short run today as I have low motivation.
7:40am: I walk B. It’s the weekend so I take her on a longer loop than usual.
8:30am: B. has her kibble. I have a couple of steamed buns and congee. We are both happy and satiated. I start making more anko (sweet red bean) paste by cooking adzuki beans in the pressure cooker.
9:00am: I gave myself a haircut last week, but the edges are a bit too straight, so I decide to trim some more and give myself more layers. It takes much longer than expected but I’m happy with the result. I take a shower and clean all the hair up from the bathroom floor and sink.
10:30am: I add sugar and a pinch of salt to the cooked adzuki beans and heat it the to the right consistency to get anko paste. I also make a sweet cream cheese mixture with sugar, heavy cream, and gelatin. I hear N. wake up. They come downstairs to make themself a coffee before heading upstairs to play video games and skype with their high school friends.
12:00pm: I make dorayaki, or Japanese pancakes, and fill them with the Anko and sweet cream cheese. Though it’s the first time I’ve made these, they turn out to be amazing. I share a couple with my roommates and bring one up to N.
1:00pm: I have an orange as I start reading a paper for Journal Club. It’s a paper assigned to my lab by my professor and as I read it, I remember why I’m leaving academia and science. I hate reading papers. I like research, data analysis, and talking about science with people but I hate reading and writing manuscripts. I finish about 2 pages of dense math that I don’t understand before giving up and reading more of The Midnight Library on my Kindle, which is much more interesting and thought-provoking.
2:00pm: I take B. out for an hour long walk around our neighborhood and then play with her in the backyard. She’s still learning how to play but has figured out that she’s allowed to chew and pull on the rope toy we bought her.
7:00pm: N. comes down from the office since they’re hungry and we make noodles together with a spicy sesame sauce left over from a hotpot party we held a week ago. I sear some frozen chive boxes to add some protein and greens to our meal.
8:00pm: N. is itching to go back to play more of their video game, so they head back to the office. I stay on the couch and finish The Midnight Library. Makes me wonder what my other lives would have been like if I didn’t make the choices I did.
10:00pm: I’m feeling tired, so I do my nightly routine and head to bed. Once in bed, I can’t fall asleep because N. is too loud and I can hear them through two closed doors. I end up scrolling through Reddit before passing out around midnight. I don’t know when N. comes in. Total: $0.00 Day 5/ Sunday
6:40am: My alarm wakes me up. But because it’s daylight savings and my rest day, I stay in bed for an hour doom scrolling reddit.
8:00am: I take B. out for a quick walk. When we get back, she gets her kibble and I get a leftover Dorayaki from yesterday. I think my food is more appetizing but I’m not sure as I watch B. scarf down her food and lick the bowl for more.
9:00am: I bike to the train to head into lab. I like going into campus on Sundays because everything is quiet and I can focus.
10:00am: I get to lab and start making more samples. What I expected to be only 30 minutes of work ends up being 2.5 hours of work. Ah such is research.
1:00pm: I meet up with some friends from undergrad. They’re both graduate students at my university but we haven’t seen each other in 3 years. We chat and catch up while we wait for a table at a new brunch place. I joke how all our mutual friends are getting engaged and married when one of my brunch friends dropped that she got married last year! We talk about the lack of work-life balance in grad school, and I mention that I think things will probably get worse after I graduate and start my consulting gig.
2:15pm: Our table is finally ready. I order an ube latte, a bacon sampler plate to share, and a galbi omurice. The food is all extremely instagrammable but since I don’t have Instagram, I just take pictures to share with N. later. I probably wouldn’t come here again. It feels like there’s an upcharge for the plating/appearance, and I don’t think the taste was worth the cost. ($45.52)
3:10pm: We finish eating. One of my friends heads into lab while the other heads home to sleep off an all-nighter she pulled to finish a fellowship application. I decide to browse a used bookstore as I wait for the train to head home. There’s a lot of first editions, signed copies, and out of date prints sold here. Nothing piques my interest, so I head to the train station and listen to more Anxious People as I wait.
4:45pm: I’m finally home and exhausted from socializing and a lack of sleep. But I have a paper to read so read I shall. It ends up being more skimming than reading and I try to wrap my head around fancy math. I think N. has been sitting at their computer the entire day playing video games.
7:00pm: Though I’m not that hungry, I still want to eat. So, I heat up some leftover congee and steam some leftover buns and meat for N. and me. After dinner, N. heads upstairs to play more video games while I use the furminator on B.
8:30pm: I head upstairs to see if I can catch up on sleep. I put on YouTube videos of soothing café vlogs but I still don’t fall asleep until after midnight. Total: $45.52 Day 6/ Monday
7:30am: I turned my alarm off, so I slept in this morning! I’m feeling lazy and I’m taking the day off since I worked all yesterday so I don’t get out of bed until 8. I walk B and then feed her before doing a quick 40 min Abs workout in the garage-gym.
9:00am: I have some leftover Omurice for breakfast while I watch YouTube videos of A Day in the Life of successful CEOs. I’m not sure how translatable any of the information in these videos are but they’re entertaining at least.
10:00am: N. and I head to Safeway to get groceries for the week. We get Annie’s mac & cheese, cereal, pretzels, sour cream, fruits & veggies, bacon, and pork shoulder. I try to shop what’s on the weekly ad to combat the ever-growing prices. N. has a mild panic attack in the store but requests I keep it normal, so I pretend everything is fine. They’re extremely moody the entire trip and seems to be annoyed at me when I ask them questions about what groceries they want. I start to feel worried and get annoyed though I know it’s not N’s fault.($58.07)
11:00am: When we get home, N. makes themself a coffee and talks through what they were feeling at the store. They got sensory overload from the aisles and crowds. They also felt uncomfortable speaking out loud as that’s one of the main ways they get misgendered. I comfort them and apologize for not being able to do more. We’ve been trying to get N. a therapist but the medical system has been super slow as they transition from private healthcare to Covered California. New PCPs, transferring prescriptions, finding good gender affirming care has not been super smooth. We start our monthly check-in to discuss different facets of our relationship (like quality time, health updates, work updates, household chores, sex life, etc.) but end up taking a raincheck since N. was not in the right headspace.
12:00pm: I head downstairs to the kitchen while N. heads to the office to start working on their game project. They work on a minigame for their main game. I make loaded cornbread (from Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person), oven baked pork spare-ribs, homemade mayo, and apple walnut coleslaw for dinner. In the downtime, I make myself noodles for lunch with more spicy sesame sauce.
2:30pm: I take B. out for a long walk. She tries to eat one of those spiky balls from a sweet gum tree in our neighborhood. Ah, the joys of dog ownership.
4:00pm: More cooking. I end up deep cleaning the kitchen as I wait for the ribs to bake. I also portion out the pork shoulder I bought earlier to freeze for future meals. I’m thinking carnitas, pork adobo, and Cha Siu.
7:30pm: Dinner is finally done! It only took me 7 hours. I invite our roommates to share the meal with N. and me. We have dinners like this occasionally as a whole house whenever someone makes something special. It’s a lot of fun as both me and one of our roommates love to cook and try new cuisines. I make myself a rum blueberry and pomegranate cocktail to wind down. We talk about upcoming work ski trips, camping, pies, and crossword puzzles.
9:00pm: I write a to do list for the week and block out chunks of working time in my google calendar, so I know in general what I want to be working on each day. This has been extremely helpful for my productivity as I'm trying to wrap up projects to graduate.
11:45pm: I wash up and head to bed. Total: $58.07 Day 7/ Tuesday
5:30am: My alarm wakes me up and I want to snooze. The sky is dark and it’s drizzling outside. I do my morning routine and eat some congee and steamed buns before biking to the train to go to campus.
6:45am: I get to lab and no one in their right mind is here this early. Normal graduate student hours are usually 11am-late. I have a ton of measurements to do today that have to be taken on the same day. If everything goes smoothly, it’ll only take 5 hours to run everything. On the likely chance that a measurement is wonky, I’ll have to redo it so I’m coming in super early to give me some buffer time. I have a soft 3:30pm deadline.
10:30am: I have a zoom meeting with a group of grad students and post docs from across various STEM departments as part of a Women in STEM program. In the original program, groups of 7-10 women-identifying grad students and post-docs meet weekly to discuss their campus experiences, such as on topics of bad advisors, starting families, or the job search process. My group was the first co-ed group, so we talk a lot about the role of gender in society and academia. Last week we discussed the wage gap. This week, we’re talking gender neutral bathrooms.
11:00am: I try to do more measurements as I listen in on the meeting, but in my absentmindedness, I knock one of my samples to the ground and it shatters. I don’t have enough materials to remake this sample today, so I make a mental note to plan more experiments for next week. This sets me back at least 3 weeks.
12:00pm: I get my weekly covid test dropped off and pick up some more test kits. I’ve been super lucky to have had regular testing since the pandemic began. After testing, I eat lunch with my labmates. I have some leftover ribs, cornbread, and coleslaw. I head back to my measurements after lunch.
3:30pm: Group meeting time! I brought the loaded cornbread I made and a labmate brought pineapple upsidedown cake to share. I love having an outlet for my baking adventures. Though I love to cook and bake, it’s hard to eat so much every week. My professor leads this journal club, and we talk through the assigned paper. I’m impressed at how much I can contribute to the conversation even though I only understood ~30% of the paper. Maybe that’s what everyone feels like in academia. We’re all just pretending.
5:00pm: I bike and train home at last, listening to more of Anxious People as I commute. When I get home, N. is in the middle of making dinner, so I just relax on the couch playing with B.
6:45pm: Dinner is served! N. made chicken and broccoli mac and cheese. We watch Binging with Babish as we eat and make commentary on the style and personality of the host. After dinner, I fall asleep on N.
8:00pm: N. wakes me up and we head upstairs to the office. N. to play video games and me to respond to a couple of emails and fill out my hungespending logs. I’m still tired so I wash up and head to bed around 10pm. I pass out as soon as I get into bed. Total: $0.00
Weekly Total: 126.08 Food + Drink:
$103.59 Fun / Entertainment:
$22.49 Home + Health:
$0 Clothes + Beauty:
This week is a low spend week. It was nice to do this diary because I realized that my spending cycles weekly. There are weeks where I spend more because we have a dinner party planned, we have a date night, or we're doing home improvement projects. And then we have weeks like this one where it’s mostly me cooking and doing research. I don’t really see the weekly fluctuations as I tend to look at spending on a daily or monthly scale. I think I subconsciously spent less this week since N. and I have a road trip to LA planned the week after (in which we spent a total of $500 on food, gas, and souvenirs). I’m also normally not as conscientious when it comes to groceries as I love cooking, but with the pace of inflation, I’m trying to be more sales cognizant. Prior to my partner quitting their job, we spent a lot more eating out, buying random stuff, and having a lot more subscriptions. It hasn’t been a super drastic change when we cut back on our spending. I’m really happy where we are with our money.
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2022.03.27 00:06 StackOfCoin How and where to apply for an Entry-level help desk position without an A+.
Sorry if this question gets asked a lot. Do I need an A+ cert to get a Help Desk position? Im currently working on the exam but getting a job to apply what i'm learning would be awesome. Would very much like to start on my career.
Also my past work experiences have all been in a kitchen or customer service (Panda Express, Safeway, Assistant Manager at Papa Johns) I have no idea what to put on my resume to make it more appealing. Seems like recruiters will see my resume and just throw it out.
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2022.02.12 20:40 AlsoMattie Four Seconds. Four Minutes. Four Hours. Four Days. Four Weeks. Four Months
I decided to get sober on Tuesday the 12th last October, shortly after 5 PM PST.
I know it was a Tuesday because my housekeeper was here. I'd gotten pretty good at matching her scheduling by that point. Tuesday was my recovery from the recovery day. I was never that bad on Tuesdays because on Monday I had sweated, shit, Youtubed, Postmated, and slept out the consequences of my 30-hour binge the weekend prior. No, Tuesday was a bit quieter as I tried to pull myself together for the start of my work week the following afternoon.
But what had started to happen is that my peaceful Tuesdays weren't so peaceful anymore. I'd fucked everything up about six weeks prior. That's when, on a Tuesday, I was still feeling the crushing waves of anxiety and guilt pouring from my waxy skin. I hadn't slept in about three full days and needed to crash to have any hope of being ready for work the next day. So, I theorized, what if I just had a little more liquor? I'd monitor it. I'd control it.
I had desperately tried to monitor it and had desperately failed to control it. And now it was Tuesday, and my housekeeper was here again. I had about an hour before she'd text me that I could come back in. It was now time for me to dawn my sandals and gym shorts and walk 400 feet to the Mountain View Safeway to buy the finest Smirnoff Ice SMASH tallboy the Silicon Valley had to offer. I preferred the Strawberry Lemonade tincture, but I had already purchased and drank all of those, so Peach + Mango + Dead Skunk would have to suffice. I would wear one of my larger face-cover masks again, so maybe the cute girl at the checkout wouldn't know it was me.
Or would I? I knew I was crashing. Some aspects of my life had already crashed. But it was hard to pinpoint which ones or by how hard. I wasn't speaking to my mom; she was still mad about the time she tried to call for my help on a Monday afternoon and I screamed at her while blackout drunk that I wasn't her bitch. Friends were all AWOL as well; I wasn't too sure why. Any potential girlfriend was long gone by this point. Work was…happening, but that was mostly due to me putting absolutely 100% of my sober energy into keeping it going. That didn't leave much time for anything else of value, short of vodka mixed with cheap juice or malt liquor brewed in cheap juice.
So I stood there, outside my apartment in the central lounging area. Actually, I paced. I weighed my options and ran through scenarios as specific as they were outlandish. Then the voice.
No. This isn't working. It has to end now.
Took about Four Seconds.
It really was a voice in my head. And that's verbatim what it said. And it spoke in italics just like that. It sounded kind of like my voice, but it wasn't me. I talk in my head all Goddamn day long no matter what, so for someone or something else to bust in and drop such a compelling argument left me no choice but to concede to their persuasive argument.
So I didn't leave my apartment building. I didn't walk to the Safeway, and I didn't buy cat urine mixed with tropical mango. I didn't hurriedly bring the cans home and chug them out of a brown bag so I could trash them outside just in time for my cleaner to leave. I didn't then go back to that same fucking Safeway four hours later to get, like, wine miniatures even though I hate wine.
Nope. I just kinda paced there. Because I didn't know what else to do.
Tue, Oct 12, 5:52 PM
OK all clean Mattie thank you
I clearly remember the Four Minutes as soon as I got back into my apartment. I tend to be a man of action, and so I made two moves. The first was to round up the remnants of half-filled liquor bottles from my freezer + some bottle of Crown Royal I had for some reason, bag them, and then chuck them down the mystery garbage shoot to parts unknown. My cleaner had taken out the regular trash already, so I wouldn't have to worry about salvaging the bottom 4% of any days-old Bud Light Seltzer cans this time. I felt a great wave of relief as I valiantly yeeted my liquid demons to a far-off plane.
The second is I took an anti-convulsant so I wouldn't die. I had been given this medication many years before for a different ailment and tolerated it fine. I'd chatted with my substance abuse counselor about it, and she had said it was OK to try. I had tried it while in some alcohol withdrawal the week before and it…took the edge off? The worst aspects of my withdrawal are anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. The med then had made those symptoms certainly not vanish but quiet down to the point that I could at least relax and fall asleep. But then I had woken up the next day and drank as much as ever. It was obvious that they were an escape hatch, not a panic room.
But knowing that I had them there helped a lot. I didn't know what would happen if I didn't drink, so having something to make that unknown seem less threatening was the final push I needed. I was feeling pretty damn bad, and the added stress of what I was finally attempting had me on the verge of panic. So, I hastily cut open the pill, poured the powder into a glass of water, and downed the whole thing.
And then that anti-convulsant didn't do a single Goddamn motherfucking Goddamn thing. For the next Four Hours.
I mean, I didn't convulse and am relatively certain I didn't die. But there was no removal of any edge whatsoever. I tried to be patient for it to kick in, but the test run that past week had provided relief in mere minutes. Instead, there I was, sweating through my shirt, wondering what the hell I was even doing.
A fun fact about me is that I have an unbelievable tolerance for misery. World-Class. A lot of it stems from my 20s, in which I faced unimaginable chronic pain and illness over several years. I began to compare my agony to a fire alarm that won't turn off. At first, it's so loud and jarring and it scares your cat. You hop up and panic and gotta escape, both because of the fire alarm and because of the fire alarm. It's actively designed to make you desperate to GTFO.
But have you ever, like, just kept sitting there during a fire alarm? It's still loud, and you still hate it. But the brain is fascinating, and somehow a blasting foghorn noise slowly but surely becomes inconvenient white noise to maneuver around.
So that's where I was. All circuits of my mind and body blasting BRAYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK Attention, please exit the building via the emergency exits BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK
My reaction was to download a stupid app on my phone. It's called I am Sober. It's OK but suffers from feature creep and a lack of sustainable freemium monetization strategy. But what I wanted it for was a time counter. I wasn't drinking now. You bet your ass I was checking in sober ASAP to start collecting my hours like a degenerate Pokemon trainer.
It asked me to set a sobriety time. Technically the last drink I had had was late Sunday night or early Monday morning before I passed out. I supposed I could put that and bank some hours, but even on the verge of psychosis due to mental anguish, I was like come on brah that's clown show who you trying to fool.
So I settled on 5PM that day. That's when, for the first time, I didn't drink when I would have had I not been sober. Because I was sober. I put in the info, and it regaled me with the fact that I had officially been sober for one hour, 17 minutes, and 43,44,45,46,47 sec-
BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK Attention, what the fuck is wrong with you dipshit get the fuck over to Safeway it's fine you need to get some sleep for work tomorrow and then you can figure it out when you're thinking more clearly. You only have like three more months of work left you should do this once you have time off. Maybe with some Xanax or something because what you took isn't doing shit BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK
But nah. Fuck that alarm. I had made a choice, and now I wasn't gonna drink. I believe I could replay that day over 1,000 times, and there's not one I break down and drink. It's just who I am. I had made a choice. I had set a dumb timer that now was at one hour and 19 minutes. It was on now. It was on now.
But I was still a damn junkie, so maybe I should take more of that anti-convulsant? Shit wasn't poisonous at 2x dose, I presumed. Maybe I just needed a bigger dose to make it work?
But even that seemed wrong. Maybe it was helping? I wasn't hallucinating, I think. And I had totally made it longer than this while not drinking before, pill or not. I was also exhausted but knew if I tried to sleep while it was light out, I would wake back up at like 1 AM and be up all night and feel just as bad. The Safeway sold liquor until 2 AM. I decided then and there that I would wait until 10 PM to take another one. If that still didn't help…
I took a couple of Tylenol as an OTC form of Antabuse.
Now it was past 6:30. I suddenly remembered The San Francisco Giants game was on. They had won the NL West by one game over the hated Dodgers and led them two games to one in a best of five. A win tonight would send them to the NLCS. I found it startling how insanely much I had cared about this game just this morning but now could not possibly give less of a shit about sportsball. I turned it on anyway.
Goddamnit I was miserable. I want to get all writery and show not tell the feelings that I felt that night. But "misery" explains it better than I can. I remember lying on my back in my bed and staring blankly at the ceiling, the whirling rabble of terrible TBS playoff announcers the only distraction from the brayynnk inside my mind.
But, somehow, I did make it through those few hours. And I did take another pill. And it did seem to take the edge off this time slightly. And I immediately crumpled into bed and slept for 14 hours straight.
Work went fine the next day. I knew it would. If anything, I was thrilled at the prospect of having the Four Days in front of me to distract myself from everything else that was going on. I mentioned before my weekend binge into recovery period, but that was only part of the weekly arrangement. What it really was was a weekly cycle, a weekly system I had manufactured to balance work and drinking the best I could. So there was crippling-anxiety-oh-god-why-can't-I stop-I'm-gonna-order-Jersey-Mikes Monday. And then "chill" Tuesday. But then Wed I had a good amount of work with clients but would still be sleep-deprived after, so I would crash.
That then took me to Thursday, in which I would rarely take clients but usually spent it more working on my business itself and taking care of IRL chores. I'd also speak to my therapist (and then my substance abuse counselor after my therapist deservingly fired me) around 3 PM, which was the point I started to "feel like myself." Sometimes I'd exercise.
Then Friday was another big workday. I usually felt a ton better by that point, and maybe this drinking stuff wasn't so bad. But then came the fourth day, Saturday.
Saturday is my busiest day. I work with students, so I work when they don't have school. These kids are busy, so often Saturday is the only time they can meet. That means that most Saturdays I'm up by eight and gogogo until as late as six or seven. Saturday is my "big day," and in a lot of ways, I like it. I'm the big college career writer man, and this is the type of shit BCCWM does. I can always go longer and work harder on Saturdays than I can on any other day. I revel in it.
But then work on Sat would end. And it would be late. And I'd be hungry and sleep-deprived. And I'd be suddenly swept up in a haze of just how lonely I was. I'd feel empty and hollow. I'd completed another week of work, and now I had nothing and no one to pivot to.
So I'd start to drink. Alone. And that drinking would continue until my body actively failed me and I went down. That usually meant 20-30 hours later, some point after Sunday Night Football ended. And that then brought me back to Monday.
It's a sad thing to reflect on. But what makes it worse is that what I just described was the plan *as fully operational*. Like, I built it that way because it theoretically kept me going. But the walls had started to collapse. The neat confines of my weekly program had begun to blur, and suddenly the lines between ready-for-work Wednesday and blackout Saturday weren't so clear.
So what I'm saying is that Saturday night I went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting instead.
I plan to keep writing here about other stuff. But in general, I'll keep the AA talk to a minimum. My official take on it is somewhere between "It's aight" and "you get out of it what you put in."
I also knew the program would be important to my sobriety. Important in the same way it had been important eight years prior when I got sober as a college senior in New Orleans. That ride had made it about 1.5 years until the aforementioned health issues threw my life into the garbage, and I decided self-destructive behavior made a lot more sense. But there was no path to sobriety that makes any sense to me besides complete abstinence and going back to meetings.
Side note: if anyone is reading this on their first go of sobriety, a great reason to keep going is that if you do relapse and then resober, it makes your overall journey way less cohesive and narratively satisfying. Just a heads up.
But there I was at a meeting—my first in nearly a decade. And there was a speaker. And he mentioned drinking alone and also being pissed that the Giants lost (the Giants lost). So I found him after and asked him to be my sponsor.
Then I drove nearly an hour to my mom's house. Once I got there, I checked in for a bit and then went and used their sauna. Partly because I figured it would help me sweat out some evil. But mostly because I had run the mental math that if I got my parents around 10, saunaed at 11, and then drove home around 1:15, I would get back to my apartment just after 2AM, and Safeway wouldn't be able to sell me booze.
So would be the strategy for the next Four Weeks as I delicately altered my life to keep alcohol as far away from it as possible.
And…it wasn't too hard? I don't think I "pink clouded," as they call it. Life was not a miracle of joy and sobriety, no. But what it was is all the fucking bullshit stopped. I stopped having to go into Zoom calls with students sweating and delirious. I stopped sending crackhead Emails about how I wanted to change plans or why I couldn't be somewhere on time. I stopped waking up with knee bruises and broken glass everywhere. I liked my job again. My once-crippling physical anxiety vanished into the night, and suddenly I was back to…well, I was just an isolated workaholic who went to AA meetings three nights a week. My therapist let me come back. My mom forgave me. I exercised more.
Saturdays were hard. They still are. Every Saturday, I would finish up my long day and very much look forward to my meeting and then going to my mom's. But often, there were a couple of dead hours beforehand. Those periods I wasn't so much miserable as I was transient. I had no idea what to do or how to feel. I remember one time I literally stared at a wall for nearly two hours. I'd still manage to be seven minutes late to the meeting.
(Oh. Fuck. The sugar. I craved sugar like a motherfucker for like 60 days. I don't even like sugar. I like carbs which sometimes I get via sugar. But 3-6 times a week, I would feel kinda terrible and, independently, crave sugar. In one to file under "God has a sense of humor," I would again dawn my sandals, shorts, and mask and wander to the Safeway at all hours of the day and night. Only instead of dropping $13 on cheap malt liquor, it would be $13 on fucking candy. My favorite were these Nerds gummy balls things. Elite. Kinda wholesome in hindsight. The problem is that I would then get back and eat all this candy and wouldn't even feel better! I still felt like shit! Only I didn't crave sugar anymore. I instead felt sick from eating 1,500 calories worth of candy. I made myself nearly vomit while writing this paragraph.)
(Less repulsive but also memorable was the brain fog, which also stuck around for about 60 days. I'd randomly have bouts of extreme mental withdrawal that made it difficult to talk, let alone help teenagers craft brand narratives to get into Stanford. This was actually my number one fear going into sobriety, as I (ironically!) very clearly remembered being a braindead headcase for months the first time I sobered up in 2012. That experience was so ungodly horrible and nearly made me fail out of school. But this go-around wasn't nearly as bad, thanks to two changes I made. The first is I kept taking that anti-convulsant for about three days after I stopped drinking, and doing so helped me sleep and not convulse. I feel like I overall "shocked my system" less this time, meaning the after-waves to my body and mind were less severe. It's the major reason I recommend medical detox even if you "don't need it." The other is that I took a B-Complex supplement every day. If you're reading this at literally any point in your sobriety journey—including while still drinking—that is the one piece of advice I have for you. Head to the CVS and pick up B-complex + a multi-vitamin with the remaining Bs. Make sure you're getting all the Bs, particularly 1, 3, 5, and 12. My mix is the Nature's Bounty Sublingual liquid so it hits faster + a multivitamin with B1 in it because the liquid doesn't have B1 and I want all the Bs. Absolutely changed the game. I swear I would go from drooling mess to near-competent within 5 minutes of remembering to take it. There. That's literally the only concrete advice I have for you within this 5,500-word tome no one asked for.)
(I hope I helped!)
I stopped going to my mom's after the Saturday meeting around a month in. Half because I didn't want to drive there and half because she didn't want me getting her towels dirty. Instead, I would return to my apartment, and it would be really hard. My sleep schedule has never been anything close to healthy, and if anything, sobriety seems to make it worse. My Saturday night into Sunday morning into Sunday night experience thus remained quite similar, except I wasn't drinking.
Those 30-hour blocks wavered from uncomfortable to agonizing. I felt like a prisoner at times, trapped in a Mountain View cell I pay $4200/month for. It was less I wanted to drink, and more I wanted something—anything—to relieve me from the overall restlessness and discontent I felt. I found myself trying out other vices like hats. I spent one Saturday losing an embarrassing amount of money online gambling. Another I considered hiring an escort, only to be dissuaded because Bay Area escorts are shockingly unsexy. I just kept exercising one time, for like six hours. I figured if I exhausted myself enough, it would somehow dull the pain I felt. Didn't. Throwing up $27 worth of Taco Bell the following weekend didn't, either.
I never did find that miracle replacement. I was never going to. Instead, I gained some perspective. I was sober all night Saturday and all day Sunday enough times to at least know what it felt like. To know that I could. I also knew that I would crash like an absolute bitch come Sunday night, sleep until Monday afternoon, eat something, then play video games instead of wanting to die. Then I'd wake up Tuesday feeling pretty much fine. So fine that I started taking on clients on Tuesday like I used to. Then I'd get to bed at a reasonable hour, and then I'd wake up excited to work on Wednesday and usually have a really great time.
Those positive work changes were more than enough to get me to December 31st. My work season runs from July 1 to New Years. Right after that, everything we’ve worked on is due, which means I stop meeting with students almost entirely. It's a weird system, but I basically work constantly half the year and then have the other half off. I'm aware that I have a very strange perception of what a "workaholic" is.
I was always going to make it to December 31st. From the seconds I heard that voice in my head, there was not one scenario I break before that date. I would find myself laughing about it! Man, I'd like a drink. Heh, ya. I'm going to relapse here on a Thursday in late November and fuck up everything. Lol go eat some more chocolate, goofball. My students, and by extension my job, have always had an ability to keep me going and making the correct choices in life. They motivate me in ways that nothing else in the world—including myself—can.
And maybe by emphasizing how integral my work was to keeping me sober initially, it will make more sense to both of us when I explain why this past January was one of the hardest months of my life.
I can best explain how things have been in two ways.
1) I am now feeling many things I probably would and should have felt initially had I not buried them under work.
2) Every day is Saturday.
The two tend to commiserate a lot. I'm legally required to mention I have ADHD in everything I write, and a core aspect of that is that I need structure to survive. My work gives me that. My meetings with students are my anchor; I no.matter.what. make those appointments. And doing so forces me to wake up before noon, and take a shower, and brush my teeth, and not drink vodka. And then after my work is done I exercise, and call my mom, and head to AA meetings, and go on dates, and not drink vodka.
But remove those 18 must-have anchor hours a week, and my life becomes chaos. I revert to a 30-hours awake, 14-hours asleep cycle. I stop bathing and exercising. I start blowing off engagements…I want to drink vodka.
Instead, I find myself feeling like shit a lot more. I have the time now. It's less a general unease and more a small series of mistakes I made while messed up that haunt me. What makes it worse is the ones that stick tend to be ones that I either don't know how or won't be ever able to reconcile. It makes me sick. Like this was all for nothing.
January 26th was my 31st birthday. I tend to melt down on my birthday. This one was going along well enough until around 7 PM. That's when a buddy called me and asked if I was up to anything.
"Not really. Want to do something?"
"I'm not sure what we could do. You don't drink."
And then I melted down. The following 36 hours were an assault on my soul. Every bit as bad as that first night, only longer and without the ability to prepare or brace myself. Sleep was impossible, and if I could, I wouldn't have felt worthy of it. I have very little memory of what I did, but an incredible amount regarding what I thought.
Imagine a dog in a fenced-in pen. The dog doesn't want to be there. He doesn't know where he wants to be, exactly. But it is absolutely not in that pen. The dog paws frantically around the circular inclusion, checking every crevice for a place to dig. He scrapes and he scrapes, not even looking for a way out but instead trying to identify the spot where he needs to scrape harder.
BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK Attention, look man. It's been a good run. But this is obviously bullshit. You're done working. You don't need to torture yourself anymore. We both know this is going to end at some point. Your dad got sick. You didn't handle the stress well. It caused you to act irrationally and devolve into a version of you that was not normal. You're in a better place now. You know you'll be able to get people to buy it. Just like you did last time. Cut yourself a break for now and see how drinking like not a moron goes. If the problems start back up you can just stop again around when work starts. BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK BRAYYNNK
Google would go on to describe my predicament as a "war within my mind." And it is the most common mental state before a drug or alcohol relapse. And damn. They crushed it with the name. I've gotten to play faux-writer-tough-guy twice now with the "I run this scenario 1,000 times and I never break" schtick. But it's just not true here. If there was booze in my house, I would have drank it. If a friend brought over a six-pack, I'd have drank it. If I was on a first date with a cute girl and she ordered wine, I would ha—-
Three days later, I was on a first date with a cute girl. She ordered a glass of wine. I got the same. I spent four minutes staring at it in terror. She noticed I wasn't drinking it. I panickly told her I don't drink and only ordered it because she was cute and I was nervous. She took my glass and added it to hers. The remaining hour was awkward.
I didn't drink that wine because she wasn't worth it. I had horrid nightmares, live, of breaking my sobriety on some shitty Tinder date for a girl who then still didn't want to see me again.
I didn't drink the night of my birthday because I worried doing so would only make me feel worse. The shame would cause me to devolve into the really sad yet seemingly really common stereotype of the guy who ODs after long-term sobriety because his body can't handle the same workload. I didn't want to die. Also, if I drank, I would be letting a lot of really wonderful people I'd met in Alcoholics Anonymous down. Those were my last stands.
For the first few months of sobriety, I used my first go-around in 2012 as a guide map of what to expect. I expected sugar cravings and insomnia. I expected to be ornery and for my work to suffer. I expected the brain fog to lift around 60 days in, and when it did, I was more resolute than ever that I could make it.
But my memories of sobriety tail off after those first few months from when I was in college. The year+ afterward is a blur, but one I don't remember hating. Instead, I have brief thoughts from that period that have stuck with me all this time, even if I could no longer understand what I meant by them. There are two of them that finally make sense again:
Most of the time, sobriety isn't that bad. It leads to me being a lot happier and causing way fewer problems for myself and others. But the way sobriety works is that when it's bad, it can be really bad. And no matter how long you are sober, those bad times can be just as bad as when you first tried to stop. But, those bad times become less and less frequent. And through experience alone, you come to understand that sometimes you just need to ride out the storm. It always gets better.
The fact that merely not consuming alcohol causes me so much grief, destruction, and chaos is a very good sign that I should continue not doing so.
So that's my story. At least so far.
Now, why did I write it? As is the case with nearly all my writing, the answer is self-serving.
The first reason is that this is the type of work I wish I could have read as far back as six months ago. I've spent a good amount of time on this board, but when I read it most, it was in August and September, as I was still drinking but starting to accept that I had to make a change. I mentioned above that my greatest reservation in ending my drinking wasn't necessarily that I wouldn't be able to drink anymore. Instead, I was afraid of early sobriety and whatever havoc it would bring into my already difficult life.
There's a notable lack of stories like mine online. What does exist is that people in early sobriety give quick updates or ask questions. Those are great but rarely expose too deeply how they're doing. Then there are those much later in the process, often happy with their lives but also so much further in the process that their promises of serenity seem out of reach. Then there are like 500 faux-inspirational blogposts on Google by a 23yo socialite who lost alcohol for 30 days and found herself instead.
One of my notable talents is that I'm really good at getting people to try stuff. At my worst, it's been to secure a companion on whatever path to self-defeat I find myself on. But when I'm at my best, it's to help others make difficult leaps towards self-improvement that they know deep down that they should do but are afraid to commit to.
And how I tend to convince people to jump is by first doing it myself and then reporting back with as much honesty, clarity, and insight as I can. That's what I hope I have done with you. I got sober, and this is what it was really like. It was often difficult and at times actively miserable. But I was also a lot happier most of the time and better able to engage with the aspects of my life that matter to me. I survived to this point, do not regret my decision, am proud of myself, and intend to keep going. What you do with all this information is entirely up to you.
And then the other reason I wrote this is super self-serving. I've been working on this piece for the past month. Every Saturday night. It turns out there is something I can do when I don't know what else to do that makes the hole inside me not feel quite so dark. For the first three months of sobriety, I was too busy and too brain-melted to craft or publish a damn thing. It scared me more than I care to admit that alongside those liquor bottles I had possibly also yeeted the one skill of mine that makes me feel special.
But nah. I think the fastball still has its cut. Thank you for reading. I love writing, and I love sharing my words with people who give a shit about them. If at least a few people here give enough of a shit to read them, I'll happily bring more.
And what else can I do? This story isn't over. But it has reached a robust checkpoint. IWNDWYT. Because that is all I need to do to ensure that as the clock here on February 12th strikes 5PM PST, I will have officially been sober for
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2022.01.30 19:30 mrgnstrk I am 30 years old, make $95,000, live outside of Washington DC, and spent $1,400 on a weekend solo trip to New York City.
…and I fight the fossil fuel industry at an environmental non-profit
(sorry, I forgot to add this to the title!).
Hello again! The last year has been a pretty wild ride for me both personally and professionally, so I thought to come back with another money diary (feel free to check out my older money
, and car purchase
diaries). Before I start, I wanted to give you ladies a picture of what’s changed since my first money diary from November 2020, which honestly feels like a lifetime ago. So, let me tell you what I’ve been up to: My income increased from $58,000 to $95,000.
I switched jobs mid-December 2021, but prior to that I had two salary increases in my old job due to a promotion ($58,000 to $66,000 in June 2021) and an equity increase given across the entire organization ($66,000 to $71,000 in October 2021). I became a US permanent resident.
Visa anxiety is totally a real thing. I was incredibly lucky that my former manager and organization were incredibly supportive of me, and jumped in legally and financially when my previous employment authorization was running out and there were so many delays with immigration services on my permanent residency application. But I was starting to get burned out, and because of my status felt like I didn’t have many options in terms of getting paid more or even finding opportunities elsewhere. Getting my permanent residency opened so many doors for me and made my new employment less complicated than it would have been on a work visa. My sister returned to living on campus, but my mom came to stay with us because of the worsening COVID situation in our home country.
Yeah, this was The Big One. While I do have a really good relationship with my mother, it had been years since I last lived with her, and had forgotten how much emotional space she took up. I won’t go into specifics, but with her around, my mental health took a back seat in favor of hers. That’s never good for anyone, even if they had the unconditional support of their kind, wonderful, incredibly impatient spouses. Anyway, this all blew up in early January when I had a full-blown panic attack and my mother tried to help but instead made everything worse. She realized her extended visit (and we still don’t know when she’s heading back) has been terrible for me and she decided that she will be staying with my sister in New York for the rest of her time in the US. We had six emergencies that cost us almost $9,000.
We had a water issue and we had to call a restoration company ($1,300; sinking), a drain clog issue that affected our washing machine and second bathroom ($1,500; sinking), brought our cat in for emergency mouth surgery ($3,000; emergency), had to hospitalize our dog due to pancreatitis ($1,200; emergency), my husband’s car breaks gave out ($900, sinking), and I had to visit the ER because of a severe allergic reaction to something ($800; emergency). Yeah, our emergency and sinking funds had a lot
of fun in 2021.
Section One: Assets and Debts Joint assets and debts Retirement balance: $26,760.
I contribute 6% while my husband contributes 5%. We unfortunately have not made any progress in increasing this, but will hopefully do so sometime this year when we finally have our house to ourselves and have the most accurate picture of what our household expenses look like, and we’ll adjust accordingly. I’m aware we’re behind on our retirement goal, but I didn’t really start thinking about it until I started working here in the United States. My husband, on the other hand, was a contractor without an employer retirement plan until his current position (and he has been honest with me that he regrets not being more proactive about this more when he was younger), so we’ve started putting money in a Roth IRA as well. Also, I’m going to be completely honest here, I know I’m going to receive a sizable inheritance from my mother so I haven’t had as much urgency as I should have, but I’m trying to change that. We’re on our way to a modest retirement with what we’re doing currently, but I would like us to have a bigger nest egg than how it’s looking right now. Home equity: $18,530.
You can read more about this in the home purchase diary I linked above, but to summarize: we bought a single family home about 40 minutes outside of Washington DC with 3.5% downpayment in September 2020. Savings account balance: $3,300.
See table below for the breakdown.
|Total ||$3,300 |
|Emergency ||$2,880 |
|Sinking ||$50 |
|Travel ||$190 |
|If we decide to have a kid ||$50 |
|Home improvement ||$130 |
It’s not looking the best at the moment, but we did have to shell out so much in emergencies last year that I’m actually really proud of how much we saved last year and how we didn’t have to take on debt to pay for anything. We’ll be more aggressive about our emergency fund this year, but overall, I think we did pretty well considering everything. Checking account balance: $6,560.
All ready to go to pay January 2022 expenses and includes our February mortgage. Credit card debt: $0.
We incurred a little bit more debt in 2021 (bought a new washing machine for around $1,000 on 0% APR, thanks to our trusty Best Buy credit card), but since we received a lot of cash gifts from our October 2021 wedding, so we decided to just pay off the last of our credit card debt so we can free up those monthly payments for charitable giving, which I’ll talk about more in the next section. Out of the $4,800 we received in cash gifts, we paid off the remaining $1,500 of our debt, put $900 in our emergency fund as well as our sinking fund, and “topped up” our honeymoon with $1,500. Student loan debt: $0.
Both me and my husband were incredibly privileged enough to have our parents pay for our degrees (Associates for him, Bachelors and Masters for me). Personal assets and debts Savings account balance: $5,180.
The total for this trip hasn’t been taken out of this balance yet —you’ll see the new total at the end of the diary. Checking account balance: $550.
All expenses for January (except for this trip, which as I mentioned will be taken out of my savings. Credit card debt: $0.
Paid off at the end of last year, thankfully! Car loan balance: $36,040.
I have a 72-month loan with 2.69% interest. My car is just under my name and the monthly payments are being taken out of my own personal budget because I want this asset to be just mine and my husband understands and was completely on board with it. Which means that he still has to ask my permission if he wants or needs to use my car. Husband’s assets and debt Credit card debt: $0.
By following the payment plan that we set out in 2020, my husband was able to pay off his $6600+ credit card debt accrued while he was unemployed during the start of the pandemic. Car loan balance: $0.
Husband has owned his car outright since the end of 2019. We’re hoping his car has four, maybe five years left so we have time to save up for a new car (it’s very likely going to be an EV as well), which will be jointly owned by the both of us.
When we decided to fully join finances, we agreed to leave our personal savings and expense accounts alone. With all of my husband’s credit card debt now fully paid off, we’ll now revert to just doing a bi-annual complete finance check-in that includes looking at our personal accounts. But other than that, we’ll continue to do our monthly joint finance check-ins.
Section Two: Income Income progression.
I have worked in environmental non-profits all my professional life (with a special focus on government relations and policy development), both here in the United States and my home country. In my home country, I earned well—around 30% above the average for my age and experience. When I moved here to the US, I was able to get a job in a big environmental non-profit and started at $50,000. After a year, I transferred to a new team on what was generally a promotion and started earning $56,000. It took me two years (with one year-end increase, which was around 2.5%), to be promoted again for $66,000. After an across-the-board merit increase, I was at $71,000. I got another job December last year, jumping to $95,000.
I love the work that I do. I’m incredibly passionate about the issues I work on and don’t see myself in any other industry other than managing my brothers’ careers in the entertainment industry (another story for a different time, but I’ll answer if someone asks in the comments). But as some may have experienced, non-profits (even the big ones, or maybe even especially the big ones) are notorious for being terrible at practicing/implementing work-life balance. My previous employer was specially terrible because there was a lot of talk about work-life balance but we were all still overworked and underpaid. In contrast to my new organization, I was told during onboarding that we were all given the last week of the year as a holiday (basically for those who requested PTO for those days to cancel them because they’ll be marked as a holiday on our timesheets). That never happened in my old organization, and as far as I know, they didn’t do it last year either. Main job monthly take home: $9,310.
Our per paycheck deductions are below (note that my husband is on my health insurance because my organization has a much better and cheaper plan):
Other monthly income: varies.
| ||Me ||Husband |
|Retirement ||$220 ||$140 |
|Health insurance ||$160 ||$0 |
|Dental ||$20 ||$0 |
|Vision ||$2 ||$0 |
As I mentioned, my mom has been staying with us and pays for a third of the groceries and utilities, such as electricity, water, and internet.
Section Three: Expenses
Many of these line items vary from month to month because some of our expenses are billed quarterly (i.e. water) and because some months we have three paychecks, we put more away in savings and get a little extra something in our allowance. So I thought averaging it out would give a really good picture of our overall annual spending and savings plan. Fixed expenses
Flexible household expenses
|Total ||$4,990 |
|Mortgage (includes insurance and HOA) ||$2,160 |
|Phones ||$30 |
|Internet ||$70 |
|Streaming ||$20 |
|Car insurance ||$190 |
|Credit card annual fees ||$20 |
|Therapy ||$240 |
|Other fees (printing subscription, Doordash, security) ||$20 |
|C’s allowance ||$1,060 |
|My allowance ||$1,180 |
Savings and giving
|Total ||$1,750 |
|Utilities ||$230 |
|Groceries ||$500 |
|Take out/date night ||$200 |
|Pets ||$200 |
|Car use ||$300 |
|Miscellaneous ||$200 |
|Buffer ||$120 |
|Total ||$2,750 |
|Emergency Fund ||$560 |
|If we decide to have a kid fund ||$50 |
|Home Improvement Fund ||$380 |
|Travel Fund ||$620 |
|Sinking Fund ||$250 |
|Roth IRA ||$210 |
|Charitable Giving ||$500 |
I know we budget more for our travel fund than our emergency fund, but that’s because we have a rule that any cash gifts or surprise cash “windfall” (tax refund, escrow adjustment, joint holiday gifts, etc.) we receive goes 70% to our emergency fund and 30% to the sinking fund. C and I love to take impromptu trips, so for us it’s good to have that money on hand rather than move things around to make a trip work. But we also do plan to take a romantic Italian or Grecian getaway sometime in the next 18 months, so we have that in mind with this allocation.
Also, this year is our home improvement year! With my mom staying in New York until the end of her trip, we can finally do some redecorating in the house, hence the addition of this line item in our budget. Up first is turning the smallest bedroom into my office, which will need repainting and new furniture.
As for charitable giving, our system is simple: each month, C and I will sit down and each pick one charity we’d like to give to, splitting the allotted amount equally down the middle. For this month, I chose the National Network of Abortion Funds
and C chose Run for Something
. We are incredibly concerned about the state of voting and reproductive rights in this country, hence our choices. For February, we‘re thinking about choosing specific midterm candidates, but we’re still doing our research on who and where.
As for my monthly personal expenses, see below:
|Total ||$1,180 |
|Car payment ||$570 |
|Subscriptions (iCloud, Fitness+, Riverside.fm*) ||$18 |
|Savings ||$392 |
|Expenses ||$200 |
yeah, I have a podcast with some friends from my home country and I offered to pay for a monthly subscription to a recording website just so our audio is better)
Section Three: Diary
Before I start, I just wanted to set a little context so the whole diary flows better. My husband C has been working from home since the start of the year because I tested positive for COVID-19 during the last week of 2021. He works on a federal contract, and they have very strict rules about being allowed back onsite if you or household members test positive. So even if he never tested positive, he had to be in quarantine with me, and it took forever for security on the site to allow him back because, well, government bureaucracy. He was finally allowed back this week.
As far as my mom goes, we are preparing for her move to New York. My sister was able to get an apartment within walking distance to campus (I served as guarantor), so my mom decided to just stay with her until she has to go back to our home country to give me and my husband space to be a married couple. Despite how difficult it has been to have had her stay with us these past months, I am grateful that she is aware of the challenge of it all is.
And a little bit of a legend: * means a personal expense, while ** is a household/joint expense. Day 1 - January 23 9:49 AM.
Breakfast today is Honey Cheerios with oat milk. I’m getting ready to do a grocery run alone, which has become a big part my weekend routine now. It’s an opportunity for me to spend time with myself and reset in preparation for the week ahead. It’s essentially my church of two — no one else but me and my errands. 12:36 PM.
I managed to get most of the things on our grocery list from Trader Joe's ($68.98**) and headed to the mall next door to browse through The Container Store for our home improvement projects. Unsurprisingly, I left the store with a new shelf and organizers for our kitchen/dining area ($131.40**). With Omicron still in our midst, I don't eat in indoor public spaces if I can help it, so here I am in my car while it's charging at the mall parking lot (free!), listening to the Even the Rich
podcast (the Jessica Simpson season) while I enjoy a pretzel and lemonade from Auntie Anne's ($8.09**) for lunch. Honestly, I enjoy the moments I spend in my car like this. 1:03 PM.
On the way home, I pass by Safeway to grab the last of the items on our grocery list ($15.87**). 6:45 PM.
I spend most of my afternoon doing personal chores, but also undertook the daunting task of breaking down my old desk to get it ready for the New York move. Of course, I need a desk to work, so I put together my new one
from Ikea, but unfortunately ended up putting the legs backwards. By the time I realize it, all my work stuff is already back on the desk, and I am honestly too exhausted to give a shit right now, and I'm going to be dismantling this again once I move in to the guest room/office. I suggest McDonald’s for dinner, since my mom isn't cooking — trashy, I know, but we all need a bit of trashy in our lives once in a while ($35.29**). 7:01 PM.
Okay, the desk legs are bothering me. I'm going to enlist my husband C's help and attempt to fix it. 7:12 PM.
Success! We managed to get it done without having to take all of the stuff off —C held up the desk while I turned the legs to face the right direction and screwed them on. Now I have How I Met Your Father
on, which I know got lukewarm reviews, but the nostalgia is hitting me hard. Not because I religiously followed How I Met Your Mother
when it was on, but because I lived that life in New York when I was in graduate school, and I absolutely
thrived. I did well in school, I got drunk with my friends, had mediocre dates from the apps — I had the time of my life. My life is different now, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but every time I think about New York, I get this sense of...I don't know, gratitude, I guess? To have had the opportunity to live that period of my life in the greatest city in the world. 8:08 PM.
Earlier today, a current student at my graduate program messaged me on LinkedIn about applying to the position I left in my previous organization (which I shared to my network). I am very deliberate about speaking to students in the program I graduated from because I felt completely alone during the job hunting process when I was in their shoes, so I take time out of my day to do informational interviews and chat on LinkedIn when I have the time. I'd spoken to this student before, and while she was pleasant enough, she had an arrogance about her that really put me off. Well, she tells me that she's applied to my former position, and her experience does not at all match the qualifications. I tell her this and how this position is specifically looking for candidates with experience in a particular specialization, and advise her that if she wanted to switch specializations, she should look for more junior positions where she can learn the instincts and skills needed, and that I’d be happy to help her make a plan. She didn't take kindly to that. This is the first time someone has actually told me off after asking for my recommendation, and this whole interaction with her actually made me a little sad. 8:42 PM.
I now have the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Special
on and like, what the hell, why haven't Emma Watson and Tom Felton made sweet, sweet love to each other yet? 9:38 PM.
I am impressed with how this special went out of its way not to include JK Rowling other than old interviews of her. You really do either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a TERF. 10:12 PM.
Getting ready for bed now. It was a good day overall — I got a lot done, as well as have some precious hours to myself. I’m bracing myself for the coming week, with a big deliverable at work due by the end of the month, and my solo New York trip at the end of the week. Not to mention getting ready for my mom’s move to New York. Tomorrow is the start of two very busy weeks, but after that…after that is golden. January 23 expenses: $259.63 (household)
Day 2 - January 24 8:16 AM.
- Groceries: $84.85
- Food: $43.38
- Home: $131.40
I’ve actually been up and ready to get on the bike for a while, but I forgot to charge my iPad before going to bed last night, so I had to wait for about 30 minutes before it had enough juice to last a 45-minute ride. C’s day has already started with a 7:00 AM conference call. 9:30 AM.
Breakfast for today is two slices of toast, two eggs sunny side up, and a glass of Trader Joe’s pineapple juice. I will be cutting back on this once my mom leaves and I start to have a serious daily caloric budget again. It worked so well for me the last time (my goal then was to lose one pound a week), and I didn't have to starve myself (I budgeted space for ice cream and Cheetos), that I'll be doing it again once I have regained control of my kitchen. 10:43 AM.
Monday mornings are really slow for me. I have a big deliverable due next Monday, so that is my big priority this week, but in the hour that I’ve been online, I haven’t managed to do anything else but go through e-mails and fix my schedule. Granted, I am usually more productive in the afternoons, but with this deadline coming up, I'm going to need a stronger sense of urgency…but the Monday blues. It's getting to me. 11:47 AM.
On my lunch break now. Heated up some of Spanish bean stew my mom made over the weekend, and now I'm looking at Google Maps around the area close to my hotel in New York. I get in the city somewhat late on Thursday evening, and I’ve been trying to figure out where I can pick-up dinner that’s close to my hotel and is open later than my check-in. I’m already at peace with the fact that I’ll be spending a lot more than I usually do on this trip, so I'm thinking sushi. And what luck, KazuNori is a four-minute walk and is open until 11:00 PM, with pick-up available on Postmates. 2:05 PM.
Last call of the day done. I’ll try to get some writing — or even at least structuring and outlining — done today. 6:25 PM.
With dinner out of the way, I’m ready to hit play on Am I OK?,
which is an entry in the Sundance Film Festival this year. I bought tickets to the online premiere for both me and my best friend M about two weeks ago (they were $40 total). She's currently crashing at our other best friend L's place in New York, and we're going to be live texting as the movie unfolds. 7:58 PM.
That was actually a pretty good movie! And I enjoyed texting with M as we watched. I’m really looking forward to seeing her this Saturday. I've booked us tables to a new cocktail bar after L's play on Saturday to catch up. Since she just recently moved to the US from our home country, she's still trying to get solid ground underneath her feet and is currently only earning minimum wage while studying for the medical boards, so I've told her I'd pay for the Uber to the bar and the drinks so she wouldn't have to worry. 9:21 PM.
Bed time! 1mg of melatonin should bring me right into dreamland. January 24 expenses: $0 Day 3 - January 25 8:15 AM.
Well, C’s unplanned sort-of vacation is over — he got the green light from the federal government to return to the site. Our cats looked really depressed when he headed out the door. 9:07 AM.
Good workout this morning! My endurance is getting better, and I lost 100 more calories today than yesterday. I’m overjoyed to be getting my groove back. Feels like I finally woke up after six months of being curled up in bed. But I couldn't resist doing a little bit of shopping during the warm-up and ordered surgical masks from Amazon for emergencies ($15.30**). 9:18 AM.
Frying up some Spam and heating up rice for breakfast. Don’t look at me, I’m Southeast Asian — Spam is a big part of our diet. 11:03 AM.
Ooh, Old Navy is having a major sale…I'm a sucker for their workout leggings and sports bras because they're relatively inexpensive and good quality. I'm very careful about my workout clothes, I was them with delicates and hang them out to dry so they last longer—I have one sports bra that I'm still using that is about five years old. 11:21 AM.
I just spent $39.95* on two new leggings and a sports bra. I love Old Navy. 5:43 PM
. I was incredibly productive today! Got a good chunk of writing done on the memo, and I hope I can continue the streak tomorrow — I really want a good draft done by Thursday, and I’ll continue to work on it on the train if need be, but I don’t want it to come to that. Now I’m helping my mom with dinner — she’s making her Japanese fried rice while I’m doing my air-fried pork katsu, which C absolutely loves. 6:40 PM.
Time to get some gaming in. I'm still playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
. I’ve finished the main story and all the downloadable content, so now I’m trying to complete all the maps because I just love this game so much. Props to C for introducing it to me, in his own words: "I know you're a slut for Ancient Greece." 8:56 PM.
With C now allowed back on site, we’re back to our usual weeknight sleep routine: screens off by 9PM, and lights off at 9:30PM. Alarm has now been promptly set to 5:40AM. We’re slowly getting our normal back. January 25 expenses: $15.30 (household), $39.95 (personal) Day 4 - January 26 8:30 AM.
What a lazy morning — it was so hard for P and me to get out of bed after C left for work at 6AM. But I’m on the bike now! First meeting of the day is not until 10AM, and I have therapy at 11AM. I’m hoping to get a ton of writing done in the afternoon. 9:35 AM.
Easy breakfast today — instant noodle soup and crackers from the home country. Don’t forget the pineapple juice! 11:58 AM.
Another good therapy session ($210**). I had worked with her from 2019 to 2020 and transitioned out of therapy in late 2020, but seeing as my mental health circled the drain in 2021, I've been waiting since August to get off her waitlist. She finally had an opening for biweekly sessions this month, which I'm so grateful for. Apparently there are a lot of boundary issues I have to deal with, especially between me and my mom (many thanks to that wonderful—yes, that is sarcasm—Southeast Asian familial culture and expectations on the eldest daughter brought about by religious and colonial traditions). 5:01 PM.
An incredibly productive day at work! I had my noise cancelling headphones on for most the afternoon and was really in the zone while writing, that when my mom poked me to get my attention, I was so startled that I'm pretty sure the neighbors heard me scream. Now I've clocked out, and I'm going to start packing for my trip tomorrow. 9:09 PM.
C and I spent most of the night catching up on the Boba Fett show on Disney+ and the second season of Doom Patrol
on HBO. Now we're getting ready for bed. I unfortunately have a 5:30AM call tomorrow (don't ask— but at least I get to punch out in the middle of the morning for a break and clock off earlier in the day). January 26 expenses: $210 (household) Day 5 - January 27 5:27 AM.
I can’t believe I have a meeting at this godforsaken hour. The hazards of doing international work. The good thing is we have flexible work schedules, so I can take a break after my last morning meeting and log back in only after lunch. 9:33 AM.
Really proud of myself for surviving that, including the 45-minute meeting I had to facilitate. Now on my break—will get on my bike, have a long, hot shower, and then probably watch something or game for a bit. I do have some writing to do when I’m back on the clock, but I was able to do most of it yesterday while I was in the zone. It’s just finishing touches on the memo at this point, which means that I don’t have to worry about work while I’m on my trip. 6:51 PM.
On the train now! The Amtrak app said this trip was 70% full, and thankfully I managed to find two empty seats together. I’m already dreaming about my sushi dinner, but for now, it’s me and my Switch as I relax for the next two and a half hours with another run of Unpacking
(an excellent game for all of you gamers out there!). 7:04 PM.
Well, that plan is bust. I forgot that I had archived Unpacking
to make room for a new game. I’ve got my Switch tethered to my phone’s data right now, but it’s taking forever to download. This is a real bummer for me—I was really looking forward to playing the game again on this trip. Oh well! 8:30 PM.
Oh my god, just one more hour and then SUSHI. 9:27 PM.
I’M COMING SUSHI I’M COMING 12:03 AM.
Well, it’s technically the next day now, but I figured since the day isn’t really over for me until I close my eyes…As you can probably surmise, I made it to New York in one piece and checked in to my hotel—unfortunately they’re fully booked, so they couldn’t upgrade me to a suite (complementary with my membership status). I’d already ordered my sushi from Postmates for pick-up the minute I stepped off the train, so I rushed to the restaurant after I dropped off my bags in my room. I am not embarrassed to say that I basically inhaled that sushi ($28.85*). No regrets, though. I took my time unpacking after dinner, placing things neatly on the bathroom counter and hanging up my “going out” clothes. I thought I deserved another long, hot shower (also mostly because I can’t resist a rain shower). All in all, an excellent New York arrival, despite the late hour and the fact that I do miss my husband and our furries already. January 27 expenses: $28.85 (personal) Day 6 - January 28 8:32 AM.
I am up and ready to take on the city. First order of business is to get some breakfast: a bacon, egg and cheese bagel and an iced latte from Ess-a-Bagel, which is a two-minute walk from here. I’m ordering ahead of time for pick-up via Postmates ($15.51*). 12:38 PM.
I’m squeezing in a virtual lunch hour with my old team from my previous job. I haven’t spoken to them in a while, so it’s definitely heartwarming for me to hear how they’re doing. I picked up a lemonade and a bottle of water from the nearby supermarket before this ($5.79*), and will eat the other half of my breakfast bagel for lunch—I couldn’t finish it at breakfast. 4:13 PM
. Back now at the hotel. Unfortunately my sister’s apartment walkthrough was cancelled and moved to tomorrow at 11AM, so I had the rest of my afternoon free after picking up my new passport at the consulate. I decided to check and see if the pharmacies in between the consulate and my hotel had C’s and my shampoo—they’ve been sold out everywhere close to us—and proceeded to go into every CVS, Walgreens, and Duane Reade on the walk back home. I found one ($21.28**), which really excited me, and I texted my husband in all caps, victorious. Meanwhile, I offered to treat my sister to dinner if she wanted to come to the hotel, and she gladly accepted—as college students tend to do, she hasn’t eaten anything other than bread for breakfast. I pass by the McDonald’s close to the for a hot fudge sundae and small fries (bite me, I’m on vacation; $5.64*), as well as the liquor store for a bottle of wine to pair for dinner ($38.10*). 6:01 PM.
My sister is here and we’re off to pick up our dinner from La Pecora Bianca, one of our favorite pasta places in the city (they make their own pasta). We also decide to share a tiramisu. Everything ended up excellent, even the tiramisu, which I thought was too big for two people ($62.95*). We talk for a good while during dinner, and I’m in awe with how much my little sister has grown up. She heads back to her dorm after a couple of hours. I spend the rest of the night texting with my husband, and head to bed just shortly before midnight. January 28 expenses: $127.99 (personal), $21.28 (household)
Day 7 - January 29 8:30 AM.
- Food: $89.89
- Alcohol: $38.10
- Groceries: $21.28
My alarm rings, and when I look out my hotel room window, I see the snow storm in full force outside. This does not bode well for my plans today, especially for my sister’s apartment walkthrough in a few hours. I do see people walking on the streets, so it must not be as bad as it seems from the 7th floor. This also means that work for M is cancelled today, so I decide to bring over some lunch to her and L after my sister’s apartment walkthrough. I eat some of the leftover tiramisu for breakfast and have a slow(ish) morning texting with my husband while getting ready. 10:48 AM.
I make it to my sister’s apartment building in one piece. It’s not really terrible walking out in the street, except for the 8 inches of snow, but the only pair of shoes I brought were my new waterproof and faux fur lined boots from Timberland that I got on sale at the tail end of last year, and they had really good traction in the snow. The subway was still also running at full capacity, and I decided that was the better mode of transportation than taking a cab or UbeLyft uptown ($2.75*). The snow is supposed to stop mid-afternoon, thankfully, which means my evening plans with the ladies are still very much good to go. 11:51 AM.
My sister’s apartment walkthrough went well, with the super going over some of the building amenities with her and generously gives her the keys even if she doesn’t officially move in until next week. We FaceTimed with my mom a little bit to show her the space and so she can also take note of what basic furniture might be needed. After, my sister and I decided to go on campus to see how pretty it is in all that snow (I’m also an alumna of her school)—quite the 9-block walk with all the snow, but at least I got a workout out of it (my Apple Watch basically yelled at me to record my outdoor walk). I’m now in the subway ($2.75*) headed to M and L’s apartment, with our lunch order from the nearby Le Pain Quotidien ready to be picked up (my treat, $53.89*). 3:09 PM
. After a wonderful time catching up over lunch, I head back to my hotel via subway ($2.75) to get ready for the evening: dinner at a nice restaurant with one of my good friends P, then we both head to L’s play where M will join us, and then the four of us head to a cocktail bar. I pass by the grocery nearby to grab another big bottle of water ($1.35*). 5:45 PM.
I meet up with P for dinner at a new restaurant in Murray Hill and have a wonderful time catching up. We spend some time reminiscing about our graduate school days here in New York and how different it was then for us, especially with regard to the financial aspect. P only took out minimal student loans (which, as far as I know, she has since paid off) and paid for her degree with savings and a scholarship from the program, while I also had a scholarship but the rest of my graduate degree was paid by my mother. P and I both worked on campus for beer money (my mom gave me a strict budget that only covered food and transportation), so were always on the lookout for discounted entertainment and drinking (especially the drinking!). Now just four years after graduation, things are so different, and we have come so incredibly far from squeezing into dive bars during happy hour for $2 beers. I’m in awe and so full of gratitude. 7:15 PM.
After paying our check (split down the middle, $51.00*), P and I decide to brave the cold and walk to the theater, which would take us about 35 minutes. 7:57 PM.
We make it right before the start of the show, with a few minutes to spare. 10:04 PM.
Wow, that play was…quite an experience. L had already warned me that she didn’t think it was good, and I absolutely agree with her. She was fantastic in it though, which isn’t a surprise, but the script left much to be desired. Now we’re off to our chosen cocktail bar for the night at the Lower East Side via Lyft, because it’s absolutely freezing (I paid for M’s share, $18.00* total). 12:20 AM.
We basically close down the bar, but can you blame us? We had such a good time trashing the play (with L leading and telling us all the juicy behind-the-curtains details) and just generally catching up that the bartender basically had to kick us out. After paying the bill (paid again for M’s share, $133.86*), I take an Uber back to my hotel ($57.74*) and call it a night. January 29 expenses: $324.09 (personal)
- Food: $240.10
- Transportation: $83.99
| ||Household ||Personal |
|Groceries ||$121.43 || |
|Food and alcohol ||$43.38 ||$396.94 |
|Transportation || ||$83.99 |
|Shopping || ||$39.95 |
|Home ||$131.40 || |
|Health ||$210.00 || |
|Total ||$506.21 ||$520.88 |
| ||Before/after diary ||During diary ||Total |
|Lodging ||$804.59 || ||$804.59 |
|Food and alcohol ||$9.15 ||$396.94 ||$406.09 |
|Transportation ||$70.00 ||$83.99 ||$153.99 |
|Entertainment ||$43.00 || ||$43.00 |
|Total ||$926.74 ||$480.93 ||$1,407.67 |
This was definitely not a normal week money-wise for me! For our household expenses, it’s pretty typical, with groceries, some takeout, and now that we’ve budgeted for it, home improvement related purchases. As for my trip, I already knew the moment that I decided to do this trip that while I wasn’t going to go overboard with the spending, I wasn’t going to care about how much things were going to cost, especially the food—I was going to drink the cocktails I wanted to drink and eat the food that I wanted to eat since I was going to take this trip out of my savings anyway (total personal savings after the trip is now around $3,770). I absolutely needed this trip for my mental health, and now writing this while on the train back from New York, it was all so incredibly worth it to have had that time with my sister and my friends without anything or anyone else that I had to prioritize. That I was able to do that in itself is a privilege that I don’t take for granted.
I can’t help but be proud of myself after this diary. My husband says I’m too hard on myself because I’m always worrying about failing or disappointing my family, but writing this diary showed me how far I’ve come despite the challenges of building a new life in a new country and navigating its convoluted systems. I know both me and my husband, individually and as a couple, have a long way to go in terms of preparing for our future, but I think we’re handling everything that has come our way with grace and that we will continue to do so as best as we can while learning from our mistakes. And while I do need to do some work this year to unpack my own issues, I am less anxious and more excited for what’s to come for me, and for us.
Thank you for taking the time to read my money diary.
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