pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Determined)
Good news everyone!

I'm going to pay off my car this month.

Also my new job is going pretty well.

Also I finished the first read-through and edit of my next book. Onward to the next!
pikestaff: (Default)
Okay, so apparently I'm really bad at trying to get into the swing of LJ again. Sorry about that!

My body has finally adjusted to my odd work schedule and now I can actually fall right asleep at 7pm instead of lay awake forever. So that's good. My job is going pretty well, which is also good. I'm working a pretty steady six days a week, which isn't as bad as one might think because most of the shifts are in the 5-6 hour range, and I can handle that.

I'm excited for a couple of months from now when I'll have my car entirely paid off and the paychecks from this bugger start coming in!
pikestaff: (Default)
The new job is going pretty well so far; it's pretty straightforward and even relaxing at times, and the work itself goes by very quickly. Best of all: NO CUSTOMERS TO DEAL WITH and NO STUPID METRICS TO MEET.

I'm not getting a whole lot of hours thus far-- apparently new employees get to leave about halfway through the "full shift" while they're still training, and training lasts a couple of weeks-- but hopefully things will pick up once I get out of training. In the meantime, it feels good to be home and done with work for the day by 9am.
pikestaff: (Applejack - Thinky)
Today is my last day of full-time hours at work. Starting tomorrow I'm bumped down to about 25-30. It will do good things for my mental health, but not-so-good things for my paycheck.

Oh well. Having a couple of months of full-time really gave me a boost. I was able to pay off one of my medical bills (which will save me about $500/year), I was able to put some extra money into my car payments, and I was able to apply for a passport and set up an eye doctor appointment.

I'm seriously considering getting a second job for a few months, at least. Two part-time jobs = one full-time job, right? We'll see, though. I'm going to give myself a few weeks to rest and think about it.
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Not Impressed)
A coworker brought up a good point to me yesterday: namely, I'm sitting here making all these plans as if my new 40-hours-a-week status is set in stone when in actuality they're going to slash my hours in half again as soon as they find a new service desk person. Who knows how long that will take, but still, it is a concern.

This would be a cue to start seriously jobhunting again but I'm not sure how well a new job would take it if I said "btw I'm going overseas for a month this summer."

Maybe I should just quit everything before going to visit Hux, and then jobhunt in earnest when I come back? It'd be easy enough to find a part-time retail job the minute I get back while searching for something more permanent.

What do you guys think?
pikestaff: (Twilight Sparkle - Crazy!)
Well I still hate my job but at least between the 40 hours a week + occasional overtime I'm making a decent profit for the first time in about three years. If things continue to go this way I should be able to start making double payments on my car either this month or next, and then if I can talk my student loans into slashing my monthly payment in half (and I should be able to, according to some new Obama thing I heard about recently) then I'll be able to start making double payments on my credit cards which I dumped so many medical bills and such into.

And of course there's also the Visiting Huxley Fund! I'm thinking either late spring or late summer for a visit, depending on how things go. I don't want to go in the peak of summer because of the Olympics going on in London so I'm sure flight prices are going to be wonky.

Writing and editing is always hard work but I'm trying to keep up with that, too. If I can turn it into a small but steady supplemental income then I'll have achieved my goal and I'll be happy.
pikestaff: (Psyduck)
Why is my current job so terrible :(

I'm applying for a couple of new jobs every day so hopefully I can put in a two-weeks-notice soon, but that time is not coming fast enough. I hope they fire me like they did everyone else in my department so I can be gone quicker.
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
My life is pretty boring. Although I'm getting 40 hours a week now at work apparently! I wonder how long that will last. And I wonder how long it will be until it drives me (even more) nuts.

Tomorrow is my one (yes, one) day off this entire week so I will play Crusader Kings 2 all day. Because that game is amazing so far. A+++ would play forever.


Feb. 11th, 2012 10:32 am
pikestaff: (River)
More and more I'm really unimpressed with my job, especially since that whole fiasco yesterday. I'm really tempted to apply for a passport, and then as soon as that's finalized just quit, hop on a plane, and spend a few weeks with Hux and not worry about a new job until I come back. Unfortunately that's not terribly feasible since I'll need money saved up to pay my monthly bills in the interim. I've got about $300 in a savings account for that express purpose right now but I'll probably want at least twice that as a bare minimum.

I only got $300 back for my tax refund and every penny of it is getting saved for passport + eye doctor & new glasses (my eyesight has gotten noticeably worse over the past year.)

So meh, I guess I've just gotta stick around and save up more dosh.

Maybe I should get serious with publishing again? I think I'll finally take a good look at getting a hard copy of "Windshifter" out, and maybe email that one publisher again (that showed interest last year) and see if they'll change their mind.


Feb. 10th, 2012 04:34 pm
pikestaff: (Rarity - Wat.  Ew.)
Work just on-the-spot fired my department lead, who has been with the company for like 37 years. They won't tell us why, although the current water-cooler-rumor is "too many infractions." Regardless of the reason, this brings us to probably seven or eight people fired without warning since Christmas, two of which were from my department. And since another person recently quit, that brings us down to a grand total of three people in my department, one of whom is super part-time (she can only work late evenings a few days a week), and one of whom needs special hours that work around school. And then there's me.

I'm a really conflicted ball of emotions right now. It's about 1/3 "Yay! I bet I'm going to get more hours now! More money~" and about 1/3 "BAWWW they're probably going to give me more hours now and I really just want to spend my time writing and playing vidya and not going to work :(" and about 1/3 "Oh man are they just firing people for silly infractions now? WHAT IF I'M NEXT D:"

So yeah. CRAZY.
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
I haven't written a post updating my life in a little while so here we go!

Overall things aren't bad; the meds and therapy are making a big difference, I think. I feel more optimistic about things in general and the panic attacks are, thankfully, much more sparse than they have been in the past. My therapist recently mentioned that I seem to handle small, "daily" goals much better than bigger, more long-term ones, and I have to agree with her, so I've been trying to incorporate more of those into my life. As a result I'm finally doing things like digging through boxes of crap from years ago (throwing away old schoolwork is a painful but necessary sacrifice) and working on editing Cricket Song, which was NaNo 2010.

I'm also trying to take more walks and stuff in the mornings. Not particularly to lose weight or get in shape or anything, but now that I'm almost 30 my metabolism has noticeably slowed and I want to at least maintain an "average" build while still being able to eat like a pig. I have lovely life goals, don't you think?

Lastly, work recently fired the third of three people to have been fired in the last two weeks or so. And not just quietly and with a little pink slip-- we're talking being escorted out mid-shift and told not to return. These are older people with families, too. The rumors are flying around like crazy but of course the higher-ups aren't talking. I find myself wondering if they're just looking for excuses to fire people now, since Sears Holdings Corp. is in such deep financial doo-doo. Hopefully I'll be gone before I can find out.


Dec. 25th, 2011 06:50 am
pikestaff: (Dina and Santa Mike)
Merry Christmas everyone! <3 Going to go see the new Sherlock Holmes movie later. Feels good to have survived Christmas in retail, although of course here comes the post-Christmas rush and returns :( In my experience, Boxing Day has always been just as bad as (if not worse than) Black Friday. Yes, even in the U.S. At least I don't work until the afternoon/evening, I suppose!

Anyways, I hope you all have a great holiday!
pikestaff: (Twilight Sparkle - Crazy!)
Okay, so the pre-holiday work rush is a lot crazier than I thought it would be. We're so stupidly understaffed and customers are getting upset because they aren't being helped quick enough, and then they start thinking it's hilarious to blame me for it!

At least it's over in a week and a half or so? And I've got Thursday and Friday off. And then I get an extra day off next week for my birthday. Less money but I don't care~

Guys, check this place out. They're not actively hiring, and they're super small and Mom & Pop, but I'm considering writing them an email and saying "I have ten years of retail experience and I LOVE watches and things, can we work something out?" I mean, you never know... right? It'd be better than Kmart, right?

I'm still writing, by the way. Once I finish this book I'm going to go on an editing spree cause then I'll have like three different books to edit.
pikestaff: (Photo Finish)
Work is stressful but I am surviving! I now have my schedule all the way up through Christmas Eve, and it's not as bad as I was expecting. I mean, sure, I have a few difficult shifts-- Sunday, for example, I'm working until half past midnight (followed by a morning shift the next day), and then in the days leading up to Christmas I have a few soul-crushing 5:30am shifts in a row. But... I dunno, I guess I was bracing myself for having a whole pile of wonky shifts and I only got a few of them. The rest of my shifts are actually pretty decent. So I'm grateful for that!

Anyways as soon as January hits I'm going to begin looking in earnest for either a.) a new job entirely or b.) a part-time job to supplement my current one. Yup. That is the plan.

I'm doing good lately. I've got a wonderful boyfriend, I'm 3424 words into my new book and still going strong, I'm playing some great vidya and I'm SO much happier here than I was in Washington. So much happier! :D

Sup bros

Nov. 22nd, 2011 08:48 am
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
I apparently haven't LJ'd in a while so I'll do so now, just to, well-- do so.

Nothing really is going on. Work is alternating between being tolerable and driving me off the deep edge and I'm fighting the urge to find a new job because, honestly, this one is paying me quite well (I recently got a pretty hefty raise) and I'd be hard-pressed to find another entry-level position that paid just as well. So I'm trying to stick with it.

NaNoWriMo is going well; the last couple of days have seen a dip in my productivity but I'm getting to a part of the story where things will start picking up again so I hope my writing will, too. I'm sitting at about 39000/50000 words which is definitely not bad. I think I'm going to edit this one up real nice and then try to traditionally publish it. It's a middle grade book (think ages 9-12) and as you might imagine there isn't exactly an ebook niche for that age range yet. So traditionally publishing will be the way to go with that one.

I have three or four other solid story ideas that I'd like to dive into after that. I'm going to make it a goal to keep writing after NaNo this time. Not at the same feverish pace, of course-- but I'll keep writing, nonetheless!

Aaaaand that's about it. Now I'm off to get ready to visit the DMV and get myself a Montana drivers' license and license plates, since I've been putting those off for months, haha.
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
Real quick update; it looks like after three weeks of red tape, bureaucracy, and false starts, I'm actually starting work, for sure, on Monday. So yeah. While I am very much looking forward to the paychecks, I'm pretty meh about the rest. I hate that I'm almost 28 years old and working for Kmart, and I hate that they're putting me at the service desk, a position that I worked (and hated) at Target way back in the day. But whatcha gonna do, I guess? I know retail inside and out; I'm not good at anything else. My hope is that-- since Kmart is literally right next to a Super Wal-Mart-- maybe our traffic will be slow because everyone will be going to Wal-Mart instead, and it won't be as stressful as Target was. We'll find out!

I'm working my little butt off with Windshifter. I have designed a cover with my rudimentary graphic design skills and I'm right in the middle of the final edit and writing the last scene I want to include. I'm serious when I say I want to finish this up and e-publish within the next couple of weeks. Then I'll be all clear for this November's NaNoWriMo, which is going to be a rewrite of my failed Camp NaNo attempt. I've reached a certain point of desperation with this book that I'm about to e-pub. I feel like I'm a failure at life and that, at least by doing this, I can show that I know how to make something and how to meet a goal that most people do not meet. And maybe if I'm lucky and enough people like what I write, I can write more, and then it can become A Thing.

But I'm trying not to get my hopes up.



Oct. 1st, 2011 09:42 am
pikestaff: (Steampunk Vinyl Scratch)
So they finally got the background check in at Kmart and I start working on Tuesday. I'm about as excited for this as one can get for a boring retail job. At least I'll have a paycheck again, I guess?

Living with my dad is a lot different from living with my mom, and not really in the way that I would've expected. I think my dad has prodded me to "eat healthier" more since I've been here than anyone else has in the rest of my life combined. He is also fond of pointing out that I owe him $2000 (he loaned that to me so I could get started on car payments, several years ago) and he also loves to remind me that I have a bunch of junk in the garage to sort through. And you know, it's all well-meaning, especially the stuff about eating healthier, but I think it just comes off as overbearing because he gets lonely REALLY EASILY and he likes to pop into my room and talk to me. He really has no one else-- my brother is just as reclusive as I am-- and whereas my mom had all my sisters and her boyfriend, my dad has no one.

I try not to get annoyed by it. He's giving me free rent after all (at least until I get situated); he's buying me food, and he's doing what normal people do-- which is seek human interaction. I don't think he quite groks that I don't operate that way, but I don't want to mention it, because, again, he's the normal one here, not me. That's how I feel, at least. So I let him talk to me, and we went to a movie together (Lion King 3D) last Sunday, and I think that really made his night.

AAAANYWAYS I'm trying to teach myself to be patient because barring a miracle it's going to be at least two or three years before my financial situation starts looking halfway decent again, and the whole immigration thing (Huxley is in England and we want to get him over here, for those of you who missed the memo the first time around) looks fairly intimidating. It will all be worth it, of that I've no doubt, but patience is the key and I'm having a tough time reminding myself of that. xD It's tough when everyone else your age is getting married and having kids and buying houses and stuff, and you're not. Not gonna lie!
pikestaff: (Default)
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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, obviously.


I'm not gonna lie; the past couple of days have been rough. I got the paycheck I'd been waiting on from OfficeMax, but it was about a third of the size that I thought it would be. Which means I'm getting another paycheck in a couple of weeks, I'm sure, but that doesn't do much to help me NOW. Similarly, I can't start working for Kmart until the background check goes through, and it's been a week and it hasn't gone through yet.

So I am broke.

I've had a few people, both family and friends, who have been loaning me money. And I'm very appreciative of them, but on the other hand it sort of makes me feel like a burden. Someone who does nothing but beg people for money. Logically I know that's not true; as Huxley mentioned to me the other day, the only time I even dream of broaching the subject is when I'm truly desperate. Still, I feel bad. I wish I didn't have to rely on everyone else for everything. I wish I wasn't almost 30, stuck at home, getting help with money and wondering how on earth I'm ever going to get Huxley over here and join that elusive "adulthood club" and do all those "adult things" I'm supposed to do, like start a family and whatnot, if I can't afford it.

More and more I feel left behind by the rest of society, and it's not easy to deal with.

Hey all!

Sep. 21st, 2011 05:13 pm
pikestaff: (Photo Finish)
Kmart hired me essentially the second I walked in the door. $9/hour, 30 hours a week to start, and their reply to my desire to move up to full time eventually sounded very encouraging.

I just have to wait a few days or a week for them to finish up the background check and I'll be good to go! :3

After that, I went to PetSmart to visit them. I was greeted by a lot of familiar faces who were VERY happy to see me. There were a lot of hugs and a lot of chatting and catching up-- it was almost like a family reunion. The assistant manager promised me that if I needed any extra hours they would give me an early morning part time spot. So that means that if Kmart fails to deliver the hours they promised, or the job just sucks in general, I have a guaranteed backup.

I love this. I move back to Montana and within about 72 hours I've got not one, not two, but THREE people begging me to work for them. I'm so glad to be back. I knew coming back was a good idea! :D

Oh and did I mention that they sell Mountain Dew: Live Wire here now? Because they do.

P.S. the second I walked in the door at PetSmart a customer stopped and asked me if I worked there. I guess some things never change.
pikestaff: (Discord)
Yesterday my dad drove me down to that aquarium place that I'd been playing phone tag with about a month back before giving up because we never seemed to be able to catch each other. After about twenty minutes of searching, we finally found their building, and as it turns out... they were closed. The manager was there, however, doing work, and he recognized my name from our phone conversations and also apparently recognized me from PetSmart-- which hopefully is a plus.

He told me that they focused on mostly saltwater aquariums there but they had a (small) freshwater section and what he needed was a freshwater specialist because all the people there were saltwater nerds. I told him that I'd worked with freshwater fish five days a week for three years and that I was currently a bit rusty but that I was sure I could jump back in. He gave me an impromptu quiz-- what sort of pH do discus like? How many lakes are African cichlids from?-- and I got both questions correct even though I probably sounded a bit unsure on both, due to, as I said, being out of the loop for a while.

He gave me a quick rundown of their freshwater section and asked "What's that? What's that?"-- you know, to quiz me, and I just started naming fish left and right and I think he liked that, too. He asked why I wanted to get into the aquarium business and I told him that I had all this knowledge lying around so I'd might as well use it. I also told him I love solving customer problems-- I love teaching people about the Nitrogen Cycle and I love when people throw a bag of water at me and ask "WHY ARE MY FISH DYING" with no clues to go on-- which is all true, and I think the manager was impressed.

He asked if I was looking for part- or full-time position and I said either though I'd love full-time if he had it. Finally he asked what sort of pay I was looking for. I said $10/hour. He gave me sort of a surprised look and said "Well... we start lower than that." I said I'd go down to $9 and he gave me the same look. Bah. I'd forgotten that the minimum wage here in Montana is an arm and a leg lower than it is in Washington.

Anyways, after the whole impromptu "interview" he told me to come back on Wednesday and added "If we can work something out with pay I think we can get you something here," which is probably code for "If you'll work for $7/hour you're hired." He also asked me to brief myself on saltwater fish before coming back (even if I became the "freshwater specialist", 85% of their stuff is saltwater, so.)

My dad and I were talking about it later; he mentioned to me to keep in mind that since the place is a fairly new mom & pop sort of store, they probably don't offer benefits like insurance and stuff. He also told me to take into consideration the fact that the place is 10 miles away (although honestly after doing the 27 mile drive for a year, 10 miles is nothing), and that would mean six or seven months of driving all that way on the snow and ice every year.

So I have some stuff to think about. It sounds like I've got a job if I want it, doing something I enjoy, but there are a couple of big cons.

I've got a couple other places to follow up on as well, so maybe I should just see who offers me the best deal in terms of hours/pay.

September 2013

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