Minor Setbacks & Winter Wonderland

I’ve fallen behind on my blogs and it’s not because of midterms or essays or presentations.  Media Communication majors didn’t have midterm exams this time around, which was a relief.  I submitted my first essay of 1000 words and my presentation about the history and process of dubbing and subtitling was not only done with two other people who shared the workload but it was a blast.  So it wasn’t school that kept me from sticking to my weekly schedule.  It was me.

I had a troublesome couple of weeks and I let that get in the way of my experiencing London.  It started when I opened a bank account at Barclays.  My debit card was immediately stolen and funds were stolen from my brand new account.  Instead of handling the situation like professionals the people at Barclays lost their minds.  They kept transferring me to different departments and each person that I spoke too was ruder than the last.  At least by the end of it, after I wrote a letter of complaint to the CEO of Barclays of course, I was able to get my stolen money back PLUS an additional £100 for the drama these ridiculous customer service reps caused me.  So that felt like a small victory.

Where school is concerned, I just have to remember that every institution has its good and bad parts.  My campus is gorgeous.  Every time I get to school I have a breathtaking view of the building and the surrounding property and it’s just awesome.  Unfortunately, some of the people who work at my school don’t have the best attitudes.  They pass the buck a lot.  They say inappropriate things like, “that’s above my pay grade” when asked questions they really should be able to answer.  

But again these are small, insignificant moments.  They don’t really matter and I shouldn’t have let them get in the way of enjoying my first six weeks in London.  Setbacks happen.  People will make life difficult either intentionally or simply because they don’t know any better.  I can’t let that stop me from doing what I need to do.  It’s my job to deal with these setbacks and shove on.

So I’m back.  Here are some bright spots I’ve had over the past couple of weeks.

While looking for the Student Union office, I got lost and somehow wound up in the Film/TV department.  I met some of the teachers and actually got to spend some time with the undergrads as they rehearsed their TV studio project.  It was just like old times – I was even put to work and got to be the floor manager for a bit – except these undergrads were so serious.  I was so impressed with how focused everyone was.  When I was a freshman at NYU I was laughing and goofing off and flirting with my classmates so much it’s a wonder I managed to learn anything.  Ah well, we all have our paths.

Andrea had his birthday party at the Blue’s Kitchen.  We ate a ton of BBQ and drank Prosecco while a live band played some of my favorite blues music.  It was loud and super crowded and I’d made the mistake of wearing heels but boy did I love my dress.

Black Dress

It’s a Mia Plunge Neck Bodycon Midi from Boohoo.com and I’m officially addicted to shopping that site.  Up until now I never thought I could wear bodycon but that’s all changed now.  In fact, I’ve already put three more bodycon dresses on my wishlist.

I also went to Winter Wonderland.  The beer was nice as were the giant Bratwursts.  Actually, the bratwurst was my favorite part of the whole day.  Yum!

BratwurstCandy

tree clock

Hopefully it’ll be a little colder next time I go so that I can enjoy my first mulled wine experience.  But for a first time around, Winter Wonderland was pretty magical.  It definitely helped me get into the Holiday spirit.

After our visit to Winter Wonderland we stopped by Harrods to check out their Christmas window displays.

Harrodsstrings Santa rocking horse merrygoroundPrincess

Which brings us to Thanksgiving.  My first Thanksgiving in another country was interesting.  First of all, as I am not particularly homesick, I didn’t feel the need to actually celebrate Thanksgiving.  But Andrea wanted to celebrate as he’s never participated in Thanksgiving festivities so I finally agreed.

We made baked macaroni, fried chicken, cornbread from scratch and some other delicious fixings and invited a few friends over for dinner.  It was nice.  Even though I got a migraine, argued with Andrea about how to fry the chicken and discovered that the stuffing in the UK is VERY different from the stuffing I’m used to eating – I don’t regret hosting the meal.  I did, however, miss having a turkey and apple pie though.  Ah well.  Maybe next year.

One really cool thing that came out of the event was this gravy boat which, for some reason, Andrea insisted on buying.

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I’ve never had a gravy boat before.  At home, whenever we made gravy for the mashed potatoes we just left it in the pot and spooned it directly onto the mashed potatoes.  This was a new experience for me and I rather enjoyed it.  It made celebrating Thanksgiving in another country that much more special.  I also really liked how seriously Andrea took the tradition despite it not being part of his culture.

Next up is a Christmas dinner, which will feature a turkey plus Secret Santa so I’m really looking forward to that.  Today I’m going to go buy what I think will be the perfect gift for the person to whom I will be Secret Santa.  Then it’s off to the museum for the rest of the day.

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend so far!

Types of Annoying Customers

Please indulge me while I blow off a little steam in this video.

Which type of annoying customer are you?  I might be the “Oversharer” to be honest.  Leave me a comment and let me know!

If you like the video Please subscribe for more!

Daily Prompt: Paying the Bills

Find a Job You Love

In this economy I know I should be grateful to be employed….and I’m happy to be able to pay my bills yada yada yada..

But do I have a job that makes me do my “happy dance” when I get out of bed in the morning?  No.

But I don’t hate my job.

I like the environment (when there are no customers acting like a-holes) and I like most of the people that I work with.  I work in customer service.  As someone who likes engaging with other people and likes to smile (when I’m genuinely in the mood, not when people need to feel comfortable, sorry but I do have resting bitch-face syndrome) you’d think Customer Service would be a dream job for me.  But it’s not.  And that’s because customers who get impatient because they have to wait in line and get pissy when things don’t go their way or  complain about the prices of items like I OWN the friggin store can be a real drag.

Just yesterday I have to suppress my laughter at this woman who asked if we had wrapping paper and when I pointed her in the direction of the wrapping paper she looked put out and said, “Oh.  I thought someone else could do that.  But Ok I’ll do it.”  like…WTF are you thinking?  Get your own wrapping paper you entitled B*tch.  How the hell does “someone else” know what kind of wrapping paper you want?

People are crazy.

Working in Customer Service is a trip.  Customers really walk in there thinking that the employees are uneducated or just beneath them so they treat us like crap.  Some of my strangest interactions have been with customers who are Black men (sorry but it’s true) especially when those Black men arrive with women or families that aren’t Black.  Like, they expect me to have an opinion or a reaction to that.

Brother, I don’t care who you’re banging.  I really and truly don’t.  You’re bald….

But yeah.  My job drives me crazy when I actually have to do it.  But I don’t drag my feet going in.  And I don’t think the job itself is soul-destroying.  If anything, it builds character.

So I have to mentally prepare myself before going to work.  I really have to psych myself up.

“This is the day that some amazing benefactor will recognize my talents and offer me a job that will more effectively utilize those talents.”

You never know what people will say or do that could affect your day, mood, spirit.  But I guess that’s how it is in anything.  Whenever you have to engage with someone you never know what you’re going to get.

Still….got my fingers crossed that I’ll have my dream job soon.

Any day now…

Daily Prompt

 

 

Daily Prompt: Break Ups

I had the same bank for about ten years…

I was happy with them for a long time.  Never had any real issues or complaints.  But then I moved across country and all of a sudden all hell broke loose.  There was just one mishap after another and I began to grow frustrated.  I tried to keep my patience – I did not want to start over at another bank.  I did not want to leave this bank.  But the issues kept rolling in.

I don’t really remember what the issues were but whenever I would call customer service about it I would end up with seriously rude persons who didn’t know what the trouble was or how to resolve it.  (Customer service, especially in Los Angeles is absolutely horrific.  Just….there are no words.)  One time I asked for a supervisor at this bank and when she got on the line she was even more rude than the customer service representative.  It was just terrible.  That was pretty much the staw that broke the camel’s back.  (I’m talking about Citibank by the way – it’s not secret.  They suck.)

Anyway, after that last encounter I finally said “enough is enough” and I closed my account.  I hadn’t wanted to do it – I hate starting over.   I was so used to being with Citibank but it had to be done.  Now I’m with a new financial institution and even sorting out minor issues all the way over in London has been easy breezy.

Same thing went for my relationships with T-mobile and Sprint.  Once customer service turned to crap I left without a backwards glance.  I still hate starting over….I’m still mad at Verizon for lying to me about not doing credit checks but at least I’m (mostly) happy with the service.  (Seriously guys, Verizon lies about not doing a credit check.  They put it in writing, the no contract phones means no credit check.  But they still do it.  They lie.)  But I guess every relationship can’t be perfect.

Anyway, my point is, I have a tough time letting go and moving on.  That’s with people, places, banks, telephone services.  And especially cities.  I guess I just hate being ‘the New Girl.’  I hate having to learn something new all over again – I had the same Blackberry phone for the longest time because I was too stubborn to learn how to use an Android.  But I finally got over that.  Because I finally reached my limit.  Once it’s time to say goodbye, once I’m totally fed up with terrible customer service or toxic friendships or an environment in general, once I reach that point – I am able to finally cut the chord.

One of the pros of leaving and starting over is there’s a new adventure to be had.  It can be scary (which is a major con) and you don’t know what the outcome will be (another major con) but I think if you’re looking for something better- if you believe you deserve better – than the pros outweigh the cons every time.

I guess I have to remember that in order to go after a new life (a better life) I have to let go of the old one…if that makes any sense.

Daily Prompt

More On Customer Service

People are the worst part of working in customer service.

Don’t get me wrong.  Customers who greet me with a smile get a flash of pearly whites in return. And they get the best customer service ever.  But if you bark orders at me and throw money at me like you’re at a strip club then you don’t get a sincere smile.  You don’t get told to “have a nice day.” You don’t get to drain me of any energy.  You barely get my attention.  You get the minimum of my attention (the rest of my attention is back at Facebook headquarters).

But let’s play a game of ‘what if’

What if retail stores were run by club bouncers and the second some rude mother starts screaming and yelling about discounts a large bouncer came and told her to get the f*ck out.

That would be awesome!!!!!

What if customer service reps were treated like flight  attendants and the retail stores were like airplanes.  You can’t be rude to a flight attendant. You can’t get loud on an airplane.  No one wants to be on the no fly list or handcuffed next to an air Marshall. So asshole mothers, cranky old White men, and uppity Black men alike have to be on their best behavior. They have to actually be decent human beings when they go to an airport. They have to actually treat TSA and everyone they come in contact with with some sliver of respect.  It would be so awesome if retail stores were like that.  And the second some awful customer got unruly an Air Marshall or TSA would appear and pull them to the side for a random search or something equally annoying.

What if there was a $1.00 restocking fee for every item a customer pulled off the shelf and brought to the checkout lane just to check the price only to say “I don’t want it (You knew you didn’t want it when you picked it up in the first place!!!!!). A restocking fee would keep that kind if nonsense to a minimum. 

I don’t mean to complain (actually I do) but it just gets under my skin sometimes when I have to deal with entitled, impatient people who think that because I’m bagging their purchases that somehow that means they are better than me and can therefore treat me any kind of way.  Unacceptable.  There’s the trash bin right there throw your own trash away.  Also I don’t have the prices of every item in the store memorized – that’s what the price checker is for. 

The only good thing that comes out of my working in retail is the experience has made me more aware of my behavior when I’m the customer.  I don’t bark orders at the cashiers.  I don’t scream random nonsense when I’m feeling impatient after standing in a long line.  And I don’t take an aggressive dump directly on a toilet seat in the public bathroom used by both customers and employees. 

I don’t care how much money you have there is never an excuse to take a dump directly on a public toilet seat.

People…. We can do better…..

So Now What?

I’m blasting Beyonce’s, “XO” as I’m writing this.  It’s helping.  A little.

Today was not a good day.  Despite my morning Prayer I was not resilient today.  I was not in high spirits.  And I don’t feel like it’s Christmas Eve.  It feels more like a random day in March than the Holiday Season.  Cue the Debbie Downer music.

I’m struggling tonight.  My inner critic is on a mission to break me tonight.  She whispers, “You’re working in retail…you’re not a writer…you’re a failure,” and her voice is getting louder and louder and no matter how loud I blast Beyonce’s “XO” I can still hear her.

I know I’m just feeling tired.  I worked a super long shift tonight (Yay for overtime thanks to last minute Christmas shoppers) and I’m feeling like even though I spent 11 hours of my day doing something…I have nothing to show for it.  I pushed buttons, counted money and said Merry Christmas to people who were too distracted by the numbers on my cash register to even hear me.  That’s how I spent my day.  That’s why my inner critic is laughing at me tonight.

Ah but that’s not even why I’m feeling sorry for myself.  Because feeling like a failure as a writer is nothing new to me at this point.  It’s whatever.  I thought I would’ve made it by now.  I haven’t.  Oh well.

It just sucks watching people I used to collaborate with move on without a backward glance.  Start new writing teams.  Develope ideas we originally started.  My first reaction is be snarky about it – be a hater.  But I suppress that.  Because the whole reason I severed ties with so many people in 2013 was so that I could become a better person.  So that I could look at myself in the mirror and not hate what I saw.  Being angry about what they do now that they are no longer in my life would be counterproductive.  And a waste of energy.  So I suppress the snarky thoughts.  I woo-sah through my jealousy.

I let go of the past and people who weren’t right for me but…the hurt still lingers.

And that’s the honest truth.

So how do I get into 2014 without bringing this hurt with me?  I’m supposed to be looking forward to the New Year.  I’m supposed to be getting my Resolutions ready.  I’m supposed to be swearing off alcohol and junk food and finally finally finally losing that weight.  I’m supposed to be getting ready for yet another reinvention.  Instead I’m sitting here watching Youtube personalities put their seemingly awesome lives on the internet and I’m feeling a little green.  I probably should not have gone on Youtube tonight even if it was to watch some of my favorite vloggers.  Tonight they did not make me feel inspired.  Tonight they made me feel…a bit useless.

Tomorrow will be better…but tonight I’m struggling and so I needed to vent about it.  Because I really do want 2014 to be significantly better than 2013.  I’ve done a lot in 2013.  I won’t let my inner critic try to tell me I sat on my ass for 12 months.  I did accomplish some things.  One of them was being more consistent with my Blog and Youtube Channel.

But now what?

How can I improve on this in 2014?  I can’t spend another year in Los Angeles doing the same thing and pretending like I’m actually getting somewhere in life. In fact, I can’t spend another year in Los Angeles – period.

It has to get better from here.  It just has to.  This is rock bottom.  With no friends and no career and only my rinky dink vlog as my creative outlet- it really has to get better from here.

But how?

I guess I’m going to have to figure that out.  Somehow.