It’s been my experience that good customer service is one of those things that can make a shitty day a little bit brighter. I don’t know about you, but I find that a smile and a “Let me know if I can help you” can make me feel marginally less shitty when I am in a bad mood (which I almost always am). Of course, I’m not very good at smiling myself. At my new job, I am expected to smile and greet every customer as warmly as possible. This could take some getting used to. I’m pretty good at being polite, but when I try to be friendly, it comes off as forced. When I canvassed, people would actually burst out laughing when I smiled at them. But I’m forcing myself to do it anyway because hey, I like money.
Speaking of which, I should have some money coming my way. This is good as I have literally not $10 in my bank account at the moment. My last apartment, as you may remember, turned out to be something of a black hole, sucking down time, energy, and over $3000 of my hard-earned money. So that was fun. My belt is almost worn down. I bought it years ago at the Renaissance Faire, but the studs are starting to come out and the dude who made it doesn’t make belts anymore. I found a lovely, stylish thing at a store that sells Celtic stuff that costs just over $50. They’d have to pay me more than that much even if they fired me right now. I’ve gone from being almost penniless to slightly-above-almost-penniless. Hooray?
(Note to self: Try not to think about student loan payments coming up. Yes, you owe exponentially more than you’re worth and have just over a month before the first bill comes, but you’ll figure it out. Somehow. Breathe. Just breathe.)
I’m having problems with my computer. It still works okay, but about once a day, the screen goes black and I get a notification saying, “display driver stopped responding and has recovered”. I did some Googling, and apparently, there are ways to fix it, but I’m not very tech-savvy, and I’ve already tried one or two fixes and they haven’t worked. Maybe that’s because I’m using Windows 8, and most of the info out there is for Windows 7. It gets worse, though. You see, I like Firefox, but every time I use Firefox, the screen goes from crashing once every day to about once every hour. That is incredibly annoying, but for the time being, I use Internet Explorer. Except that Internet Explorer won’t play the videos embedded on some websites (like the Onion and the A.V. Club, two of my favorites) because “device not supported”. Huh? I’m using a computer, not a smartphone. Videos and shit should play on this thing. Also, some websites keep asking me to download files. The files, as far as I can tell, aren’t harmful, and the websites that ask me to download stuff aren’t skeezy or suspicious or anything. It’s just random, that’s all. If I switch to Firefox, those problems go away, but the screen keeps crashing. My computer is my baby. I don’t like it when it doesn’t work.
I hate people. My boss does too, apparently, but he is surrounded by them all day. Most customers are nice, especially when they can see that you’re still learning the ropes. I got one guy yesterday who was kind of a dick, but other than that, everybody seems to be on my side. I guess the key is not to let yourself be overwhelmed. Serving coffee is tricky. There are a zillion drinks and a zillion modifications. Everyone knows exactly what they want, and if you screw some part of it up, they will ask you to do the whole thing over again. So I have to spend even some of my free time trying to learn about this shit. It’s a lot. My boss has made it very, very clear that he wants me onboard and will take whatever time is necessary to teach me everything. That’s nice, I guess. I just want to get back on my feet.
I’ve been living in a state of near-constant anxiety for these past couple days. It’s kind of rough. My psycho ex-roommate got fired from one job after only one hour. I don’t expect to get fired from this one, but it’s nice to know that I’m better at this than he is. I had a job as a dishwasher once that lasted three hours. They didn’t fire me; they just decided they didn’t need me there after all. So when I asked the chef when I should return, he said, “I’ll contact you”, then didn’t. A week or two later, I came back asking what gives. Some lady told me those three hours had been a trial run. I said they owed me anyway. So they brought me a check for…$16. I told her that I had worked three hours, not two. “Let’s check our sign-in sheet,” she said.
The instant I saw her return holding the sign-in binder, I knew my sheet wasn’t in there. She probably took it out herself before coming back out to see me. I took the $16 anyway, figuring that if they were willing to go through that much trouble just to cheat me out of $8, it wasn’t worth the effort. A friend told me I should take them to small claims court. I didn’t feel like it, but the next time somebody tries that bullshit, I might.
I’m tired. I’m going to bed. But first, I have to read up about exotic coffees. And get a food handler’s license, but that can wait, even though it’s technically illegal for me to be doing this job without one. Don’t expect this blog to get any less candid, though. It’s all I’ve got.