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05 December 2012 @ 01:30 am
Life update: Work edition  
I fail so hard at using this journal, possibly partly because I always doubt whether anyone still pays attention to livejournal, or actually cares what the heck I'm up to. But I guess I should put something up now and then to let people know I'm alive or something? I don't even know.

I'm going to talk about work, because that is apparently something I do now. This is going to be a whole story, since I sucked at updating things as stuff happens.

So I've actually had a job for over a month. I got hired at a small copy/sign shop about 15 minutes from my house some time in the middle of October I think. By small I mean boss and two employees small. Apparently they'd gone through three or four graphic designers in 90 days, whom they kept at a second location sharing space with an embroidery shop. Pretty much right when I was hired they decided to close down that shop and keep everything in one place, which honestly, it sounded like an awkward arrangement to begin with. Anyway, that made me the new graphic designer, and I got a desk in the back room with all the production stuff where I sit and lay out business cards and crap. It's not a fancy design job, but I never had the confidence to be anything more than a mediocre designer, good enough to not plaster comic sans and papyrus all over the place and try to keep things from being too obnoxiously hideous. I do still have to put drop shadows and gradients here and there, and my boss made me stretch type once.

Really, it's a very laid back job. My boss is okay, despite having bible verses on the wall and using Fox News as background noise, and he's okay with me taking off to go to conventions as long as I tell him in advance. He'll even just close the store on a weekend if nobody's going to be available to work. It's close enough that the commute doesn't kill me too much, although turning left onto the busy street the store is on is a nightmare every day. I don't start work until 10 so I don't have to get up painfully early. It's much better than the stuffier jobs I've had, and definitely closer to what I went to school for. I'm also learning about production, which is something I've kind of wanted to do since they don't teach you shit about that in design school. The other employee was the store manager, and she was pretty okay too, and even played video games and watched some anime, though all I'd heard her mention was Borderlands and Bleach. Better than nothing though.

Unfortunately a couple weeks or so ago she got sick and didn't call or show up for three days. On the third day she finally called and told the boss she'd be in the next day, but at that point it was pretty clear he couldn't let her keep her job. I don't know what happened, apparently she'd been having drama with her boyfriend that I think resulted in a broken phone but I'm not so sure that's much of an excuse. In any case, she no longer works there, leaving me as the single employee.

Even before she left I'd been stuck with some responsibilities I wasn't comfortable with (almost immediately after starting actually) like ordering business cards and things from the press company we send them out to since such a small shop doesn't really have the resources to print them in house. I also had to figure out how to pick up a bunch of projects that had been left by the other designers and deal with clients that had been waiting for their stuff for who knows how long. Also calling people, which I've never ever been comfortable with, and continue to just be a ball of awkward with no idea what I'm supposed to say. So all that is still going on basically. But now I'm answering phones, taking orders from clients, talking to customers who like to ask questions I don't know the answers to, doing production work, opening the store every morning with no idea when the boss is going to show up, running the shop by myself for hours on end, including the four hours it's open on Saturdays, since there is no longer anyone else to do it. All this for $10 an hour. This means I'm working six days a week, and have pretty much no free time that can be used for anything that requires going anywhere. I've been offered a day or half day off during the week, but for some reason I feel like I shouldn't take it, for the extra money, but also because I feel guilty removing myself as the designer from the office when issues might come up. This is probably stupid, and I'm pretty sure this job is burning me out. I'm going to go crazy if I keep this up, but every time I bring up taking a day off to my mom she discourages it, talking about how nice it is to have money, and how it'll be good to make up for a day when I get sent home early like she does sometimes (this only happened when there was more than one employee there, also the print shop she works at is press only, there are no customers coming in at the last minute to make copies) or for the holidays when the store will be closed. So that's further guilting me into keeping up with this schedule. I really don't know what I'm supposed to do.

But you know, money is only nice when you have time to spend it. I'd really like to go christmas shopping since I can actually afford to for once, but fuck if I know when that can happen. I haven't even figured out what I want to get anyone enough to know where exactly I want to go. It's going to suck if my only option is going out on the weekend when everybody else will also be out scrambling for gifts, but it looks like that's what's gonna have to happen unless I want to either get up super early or wander around after 6 on weekdays looking for stuff. (I really, really don't.) I'm also exhausted pretty much all the time, which does nothing for my motivation to do much of anything with what little free time I have other than lie around and maybe play video games. It's also really hard to find time to go to the post office to ship out my button orders, especially for the international ones that require an actual person to process.

I probably shouldn't complain, since I finally found a job that is relevant to my actual skills, with a boss that's actually flexible and an environment that's not completely stifling, and even with a reasonably painless commute that doesn't start too early. The actual work isn't really that bad, I guess. But it is going to drive me crazy if I have to continue to work like this for much longer. The boss has already made it clear he is not going to hire anyone until at least January, and who knows if he'll do it then or just convince himself the two of us can handle everything just fine and keep from spending the money on another employee, who will almost certainly be part time only. But even that would probably at least help take the strain off a little. If they can get trained enough to be left alone Saturdays because I'll still feel guilty taking off during the week. Ugh, I should really just get over that.

So yeah. That's what my life is right now. And I should not still be conscious since I have to get up in the morning for more of the same.
lunaria42: pic#90028530lunaria42 on December 6th, 2012 03:33 am (UTC)
That sounds like quite the hectic task to take on all of sudden. I hope your boss does hire someone soon so you don't have to be the only where there all of time.

I hate talking on the phone too, but sometimes my job does require it. I'm usually the one that has to initiate the calls too, so I'm never sure what response I'm going to get.
Katrina the Mad Fangirlquatrina on December 7th, 2012 03:50 am (UTC)
Calling people is the worst! I agonize over what I'm supposed to say, and sometimes I have to leave messages and I feel even more awkward talking to a machine and ugggh phones are dumb. And talking to angry customers? Maaaan I don't even know how to deal with the nice ones!
symbolism_egg: Evil Jas ; onsensongsymbolism_egg on December 7th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)
Hi there! I still peek at LJ on occasion. (Also, I deleted my tumblr...)

Congrats on the job, but that's too bad it became much too hectic. I hope you can catch a break--working 6 days a week is harsh. If you're working over 40 hrs a week, is he at least paying you overtime?

Good luck with Christmas shopping. : )
Katrina the Mad Fangirlquatrina on December 7th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
I was wondering where you disappeared to! I missed you actually :D;

I wonder about that...he's paying me, but I don't know if it's anything more than just the regular rate for the hours I work...man.

Today was the worst since he didn't show up at all and had to send his wife who didn't really know how to do much of anything in to help me while he stayed home sick. That was 8 and a half hours of almost constant production work with no break at all and machines breaking down left and right ugggh I'm lucky I didn't break down until after I got home to find nobody had cooked dinner and the sink was full of dirty dishes. I still feel a little like dying. I wonder if I can make it through tomorrow, haha.
symbolism_egg: Evil Devi ; anonymous_proxysymbolism_egg on December 8th, 2012 08:12 am (UTC)
I missed you too. ;___; Also your livestreams! Tumblr just got too annoying and time-consuming for me, so I deleted mine one day.

Hm, that might be something to check on. If he's doing something illegal according to your state law, that's plenty of reason to have a talk and try to have your hours reduced to 40, and if not, make sure he pays you overtime. Maybe the overtime pay will motivate him to actually hire someone else. I hope your boss is fairly approachable....

8.5 straight hours without a break, wtffff I hope you had food nearby?
Katrina the Mad Fangirlquatrina on December 9th, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
Aww. One of my friends did that once, but then she came back. I guess she's pickier about who she follows now too XD

My boss has offered me time off! I'm the one who for some reason feels too guilty to take it! It's pretty ridiculous actually but with all those unpaid holidays coming up I feel even more like I should just stick it out until at least January.

haha nope I barely got to even sit down all day.