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Retail Robot has packed up its parts…

27 Sep

In the midst of a terrible economy, I did the unthinkable: I managed to find an entry level marketing job that is with a good company. After going through fifteen interviews with about six different companies in August and wearing suits more times a week than even Diane Keaton does, let’s just say that I was exhausted, on the verge of tears and really fucking sick of talking about myself and where I want to be five years from now.

Seriously, if anyone should be protesting anything, they should be fighting against ever having companies ask that question in interviews. During one particular interview–an interview that I knew was going to lead nowhere but decided to use for “practice” anyway–I was particularly tempted to just go all out and say what I really would like to be doing five years from now:

“Well, ideally I’d like a stable income of some sort, a relationship with a  cute, sane guy (preferably with a Scottish accent, but I realize that’s just being picky), an apartment of my own and a cat.”

That’s it. Because, up until now, I’ve tried to stick to such harsh guidelines for myself that I feel like I’ve missed out. And, let’s face it–so much happens within a five year span. All I know is that I want a few simple things, and I could really care less about the rest.

Saturday was my last day in Retail Robot land, and I was able to do a lot of thinking while putting up the sales signs for the very last time. I realized that, as much as I like to say that I enjoy change and enjoy trying new things, I find myself being gridlocked by the allure of security. I think many people do: the boyfriend you’re afraid to leave just for the fear of being alone, the area you’ve grown up in that you’d like to leave but never really do, the job that you have been at for so long that you don’t even know how to be the new person again at a company, and it scares you so much that you just stay in one place. I realized that, at this point in my life, I have to accept that a lot of my security blankets have been pulled out from underneath me. I am no longer in school for the first time in my life, and I have had to quit a place that I’ve been working with for a long time. And even though it’s a bit scary, it’s also pretty exhilarating.

Security is comforting and, yes, it keeps us from being hurt. But being safe can lead to such a stagnant life. Since graduating, and since quitting my internship and my retail job, I’ve found myself slowly peeling away my security blanket and walking slowly through the world without that extra layer of protection on my shoulders. I know that there are a lot of changes and situations that I’m going to have to face throughout the coming year–some of which I am very hopeful about, and some of which I’m not so sure of. But you only live once!

I will certainly miss my co-workers. Before working at that store, I had never been around so many people who understood my way of thinking and my interests. I will miss discussing video games for eight hours with a certain co-worker, and I will miss pondering the meaning of  life and whether we are all in the Matrix with the forty year-old hippie dirtbiker co-worker. All in all, there was never a dull conversation at that store. But, in the end, I walked away from my one and only retail job with a smile in my face and a new-found sense of self in my soul.

I certainly would like to continue this blog with some new, non-retail material. Stay tuned!

Am I unknowingly on the set of a new Final Destination movie?

21 Jul

I feel ridiculous saying this, but it has been two and a half months and I am already back at my university’s library. An hour ago, I was at home eating dinner and watching the makeup slowly start to melt off of my face faster than a transvestite wax figure being held near a gigantic blowtorch. Now, I am basking in the air conditioned, musky smelling basement of the library with all of my essentials: a bag of pita chips and hummus, My Booky Wook 2 by Russell Brand, and a large water bottle with a Strawberry Kiwi Benefiber packet mixed in. So why, one might ask, am I here? Mainly because the library is the only public and air conditioned place less than a mile from my house. Considering the increase of bad luck that I have been having since the beginning of July, I am beginning to wonder if it is only a matter of time before something odd and terrible happens to me à la  Final Destination.

In the past week, I have had my second flat tire since the beginning of the summer, an interview that turned out to be a total scam, a man hit the back of my car (only after having the front of my car repaired two weeks ago) and my roomie/landlord deciding to have her boyfriend move in and giving me until August to move out. On top of all of this, our air conditioning is broken during the hottest week of the summer so far. My roomie, who only shows up at night when she and her boyfriend slip into her bed and do it like they do on the Discovery Channel, didn’t even notice that it wasn’t working until I mentioned it yesterday. Oddly, she doesn’t seem to mind sleeping in the heat. After all, what’s more sexually appealing than sweating so much that your bed becomes a giant slip ‘n’ slide? Literally. Ew.

I'm sure my next flat tire will be due to a situation exactly like this

It seems that about 70% of my problems have to do with my car. And, while flat tires and car accidents are totally normal, I am starting to wonder if my car is either secretly a Transformer with a vengeance or under the surveillance of James Wong as he tries to gather new material for Final Destination 6 or whatever number they’re on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the little mishaps that seem to occur every day started turning into catastrophic events: a giant meteor from outer space with craters spelling out “Sucks For You!” shooting down and heading right for my car, finding shards of glass in my Chipotle burrito bowl or, horror of horrors, having my flat iron burst into flames and singe that one eyebrow that I finally made even with the other eyebrow so I didn’t look like a stroke victim anymore.

The only thing getting me through this summer

Either way, as ridiculous as it sounds, all of these small and common nuggets of “bad luck” make me excited for the future. I’ve always believed in the theory that life is like a great scale: with the good comes the bad, and with the bad comes the good. If we had never gone a day in our lives feeling unloved, hungry or scared, how could we truly appreciate the feelings of companionship, satiation and comfort? After having such great luck for a while, I gladly embrace the negative events that have been coming my way because it only means that equally as powerful good things will soon follow. That is, of course, unless I get burned to death in a tanning bed, ride a roller coaster that goes off the tracks, or start a fire in my kitchen that I’m unable to escape. But those kind of things only happen in movies, right?

Modern Woman

19 May

Kate's excited to be a modern woman! Or maybe she's crying. Wait...

During one of the very few house parties that I went to while attending college, an inebriated gay man drew me aside from the “date” I was with who now reminds me of the socially awkward penguin, waved his hands around in that way that only gay men can get away with, and said, “Honey, I just did my senior thesis on the definition of the ‘modern woman’. YOU are a modern woman, and you need to own that and take that man upstairs and have your way with him.” Luckily, the house party was broken up by the police before I could come back with a witty, Liz Lemon-ish response about how I really just came to the party for the food and Natty Light. But, looking back, Drunk Gay Man was right: I am a modern woman, damnit, and I need to grab life by the reins, take it upstairs, and have my way with it. Or something like that.

First step toward embracing my inner modern woman? Find a full time job that embraces my inner nerd and love for creative thinking and marketing. While working in Retail Robot land, I often have customers ask me if I am going to school. After I tell them that I am studying marketing, I usually get mixed responses that involve wishing me luck or telling me that marketing has become so competitive that I’ll probably have to go to grad school just to become more qualified. A drunk guy who goes to a local community college told me, though, that marketing is “like so easy to find a job, man…all the creative nerds end up in marketing.” Apparently when people are drunk they feel the need to give me advice or offer their input on my personal life. But what–creative nerds in marketing? That was news to me. Therefore, I’m on a quest to find the kind of job that Community College Drunkard said is so easy for me to nab. If he ends up to be right, I’ll have to go find him and buy him a beer.

Second thing on the list of becoming a “modern woman” is to continue to fulfill the very large (and expensive) shoes of Carrie Bradshaw and her Sex & the City posse by living a wonderful and successful single life until I am thirty and then proceeding to complain about the singledom I was once so enthusiastic about. Since I only get hit on at work by elderly men (and I don’t trust their eyesight anyway), I’d say I’m doing a pretty good job of that so far. Or, maybe I should start boozing it up seven days a week and fist pump my way through life like the Jersey Shore kids whose IQ’s are as low as the tops that they wear. I mean that’s what being a modern woman is about, right? Comparing our own personal standards and ways of thinking/acting to the  things revolving around us daily like a satellite of impending self-hate (Facebook, celebrities, Kate fucking Middleton)? Please.

After completing my four years of university, I am excited to hopefully help to redefine exactly what a modern woman is. I am excited to do the things that I want to do, even if it’s just completing my goal of reading everything ever written by Kurt Vonnegut or watching every Millionaire Matchmaker episode that my DVR can possibly record (who knew that rich people were so messed up?). Either way, I’ll be doing it on my own grounds from here on out, and that is quite exhilarating.

In other words, this post was an attempt to disguise the fact that absolutely nothing interesting has been happening at work except for a woman yelling at me for mistaking “alcohol” as wine when she really wanted rubbing alcohol (“I have never, EVER, had a drop of alcohol. Why would you think that, when I asked where the alcohol was, you meant that? I meant rubbing alcohol!” Okay, lady, I think you and your therapist still have a bit of work to do…). In an effort to make this blog more interesting, I plan on developing special picture posts which allow me to provide you with the humorous/disgusting things that I get to see at my retail job once a week. After walking around last Saturday with my cell phone camera ready and finding absolutely nothing to take pictures of, I must say I am quite disappointed. Maybe next week! And, hey, if anyone sees something at their local retailers, send it this way!

2011: My Year Without Facebook

12 Jan

I used to be the kind of person who was always very successful in peer-pressuring individuals to get Facebook accounts. “Come on,” I would say, “how do you expect to even be connected with your friends without one?” Due to having friends in other countries and others states, I always found Facebook to be a very convenient way to connect with all of my friends. After much, thought, however I am starting to believe that the costs outweigh the benefits. So, while this post deviates from my usual retail ramblings, I feel that posting this on Retail Robot may help others who are looking for new year’s resolutions or ways to improve their lives.

Thanks to social media and technology constantly at our fingertips, the way that people socialize has completely changed. Now, it seems, even the most outgoing individuals have succumbed to the new, more introverted persona of modern day technology. One could even argue that Facebook has made being antisocial more popular than ever before. Instead of calling a friend on the phone and hearing their voice, we text, write on their wall, “poke” them, tweet them, ping them, Google chat them, Skype them…all these crazy names and applications for something that we were all born to naturally do as human beings–communicate! Sadly, however, our lives all seem to be so busy and so consumed with ways to make more money that we have to find other ways to substitute being a good friend.

I have decided, in 2011, to run an experiment to see just how much Facebook affects my social life. My guess is that it will not change it at all because the people who I am truly close with have my phone number and usually make contact with me outside of Facebook quite often.  Those kinds of people are the ones that matter anyway! I will admit, though, that Facebook is very addicting, so I will be limiting my access to Facebook and then, hopefully, eliminating all access altogether. I will only allow myself to check my Facebook once a month for six months, and then after six months I will not go on it at all.

I have been contemplating this change for a while. It all started when I realized that one of my ex-roommates commented and “liked” every little thing that I liked. If I liked yoga on my page, she would go and add it too. If someone left a message or video on my wall, she would find a way to comment on it and even try talking with the other person. In addition, the amount of updates she made a week was just, well, embarrassing. The icing on the cake, however, was that she would always post on my wall about how she wanted to hang out, but whenever I would invite her out, she always had a way of isolating herself—either by being with her boyfriend, or being at home. I realized that I did not want to become one of those people that really have no social life but try to compensate for it through interacting on Facebook. It makes all of us look desperate for attention that we really don’t need. What we need, instead, is to draw attention to ourselves.

I used to always feel so smart. I have been a bookworm all of my life, I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, especially about other cultures. I realized that all of the time that I have spent of Facebook could have been spent doing things that could actually benefit me. The amount of time I spent on Facebook each day, once taken away, would probably be equivalent to reading five chapters of my book each day. The amount of time I spend comparing myself to others and making myself feel inadequate could be replaced with time spent getting homework  and studying done so that I could actually find time in my day to relax for once, or even write on here more.

Basically, when you think about it, Facebook is a waste of time. The friends you truly need will find other ways to contact you, and the ones you don’t need won’t. No one needs to see pictures of your ultrasounds, your engagement rings, your new puppy…why do we make ourselves all so vulnerable for only a few minutes of happiness? It just doesn’t seem right. I want to live in a world where I can focus on bettering myself, spending time with the friends that matter most to me, and enjoying the real world–a world that is slowly disintegrating because all we can seem to do is destroy it through our greediness.

I made my Facebook almost “unstalkable” today: I hid all of my tagged photos, my place of employment, and even my relationship status. I left an update explaining that I would not be on a lot and that people should find other ways of contacting me…this post was “liked” by five different people within a matter of an hour. I bet those five people won’t delete their accounts, though! It’s a hard thing to do and it certainly is going to make communicating a bit more difficult for me. But I’d rather take this year to become a better person and to not get caught up and depressed about all of the stupid things we would never know if social media did not exist.

So! Please feel free to join me. Also, if you have gone this far and are still rolling your eyes at me, consider this video that a friend showed me (who also deleted her account yesterday):

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