Gas Station Woes

for those of you who are still in a gas station but somehow found this. My hat’s off to you but I am confused.

My time doing your job, I barely even knew one cashier that could do much more than wiggle the mouse and get the screen saver to stop. i once had a manager come get me from behind the counter in a panic to help her fix her “exploding computer”. The manager who sat in for her on her vacation time, turned the star burst screen saver on. Yes I was actually belittled quite often by that idiot.

One day I just had enough. A store got robbed right after I left. I came in the next day and had to talk to two managers and the owner of the chain I worked for. The managers and owner of this chain of gas stations actually tried to make me feel bad for leaving when I did. The person that relieved me was 20 minutes late already as it was. I had enough. I said ” Whoa Whoa Whoa, Where were you all? Living the life you think I’m not good enough to live? I leave here and I try to forget that I work for people like you, I come back and do my duties, there is no sense in talking to me like this. This is just a gas station”.

You have to remind your boss that you work in the crummiest line of business. You have to remind your boss that you get paid the crummiest pay. and you have to remind your boss that  the things he or she does, you do it better, especially the stuff of f the clock.

You got your job there because you just needed an income. You did not get your job there just because they wanted someone else to work the register instead of them. You are there just to get on your feet even if it means sacrificing one or two weekends a month. You have not been sentenced to be there. It is not your destiny, it is not the best you can do. You could beg on a street corner and feel more dignity. (don’t do that).

Holidays, you deserve to have a holiday off, you do not deserve to watch everyone else get the holidays off while you work. Even if you get double pay for the holidays. Nothing can replace the life you gave up to make double minimum wage.

The guy that scrubs sewage tanks and then eats a sandwich without washing his hands, makes nearly three times what you make. He doesn’t even have to worry about checking i.d., if he will get a bathroom break, if he will get a lunch break He doesn’t have to worry about getting shot over 50 bucks. He doesn’t have to worry about counting the dang cigarettes before he leaves work. he deals with pooh, you deal with spoiled teenagers and drunk adults.

A tree trimmer makes almost 4 times what you make. a lawn care guy makes 1.5 times what you make and he just has to worry if he will have enough gas to mow one strip back to the truck. An independent babysitter makes $20-40 a day, per kid.

There are websites that let you check to see how much each job position makes like this. Think of the crappiest job you could do, and see what that person makes and compare it to your current position. Stay in the gas station and work for crap pay, get treated by crap by every single person that walks on that site. Or just leave and start job searching.

How to Handle a Job going under

Is the place you are working for  about to shut down, or get taken over or is the place you work for downsizing tragically?

Think of everything you do at work. Think of all of your daily tasks. Think of the side stuff, the stuff you find fun. look for that job or look for those jobs. Your position is  one that millions are looking for.. This new position is one that is useful and no one is looking for. Still search for jobs in your field, by no chance should you pass the chance to do what you are qualified for. Just apply for multiple positions. Job search for multiple job types that you know you are good for and good at.

See someone once said to me, ” if it ain’t fun, then it ain’t worth doing” . I though that was a pretty cool statement. A useful statement you can take with you. It does not mean pass up your career as a doctor to sale ice cream from a box on a ten speed bicycle, just because you always wanted to try it. i actually am referring to the  side work you do at your current job. Like i myself work on the company’s website, to ensure we have more customers, to guarantee we have more sales and more income to bring in money that pays my wages. I alone am not responsible for the money that comes in, we have a handful of sales people. If they can not seal enough deals, we go under. No matter how many people call because of our website. I keep our company in the first page of all searches related to our business. My position of course is a totally different position. I am actually required to do something completely unrelated. If the company I work for goes belly up, I am searching for a web design  and Search engine optimization job, or going to our competitor and doing my normal routine work and selling and sealing the deal with my bonus ability. I could even go as far of a stretch as say graphic design in my job search. how? you ask. Well someone makes the logo.

See you just have to find it all and try it all. Something is outthere that you are certified for and there are things out therethat your perfect for.

You just have to find it.

If anyone wants to add to this, please do.

Working Podcast 100th Episode

The Working Podcast

The free show on itunes is located.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-working-podcast-at-jobacle/id211967862

Quick post. The working podcast turned 1oo podcasts / shows , and 5 years old. 750000 Downloads.

Enjoy the working podcast from Andrew  at Jobacle.com.

They have great posts on their site with news and reviews.

Fine job Andrew

About to listen, Career filter is one of the finest points. So, ready for it.

Employment status update

If you have been wondering what the current status of employment is, This chart is from Bureau of labor statistics website
The employment statistics site seems they do a bit of profiling but it’s not quite in a bad way. These labor and employment statistics are more in a way that is informative. The employment statistics just simply states facts.
It is not like the site is made by Your local “Insert what ever you here “. It was made by the state.

there does seem to be a greater number of people on unemployment now. But at the same time, the women over 20 seem to be holding strong at keeping employed or at least off of government help and or welfare.
While the men on on welfare seems to have slightly increased a bit.
Although the chart shows that between the two genders we have an over all decrease in unemployment for the year time period. Guys, it looks like the women are holding up the performance for us all. And just as they would be upset with their performance if it was the other way around, I think we should be straightening up our act. (Hopefully this does not jinks my job).

Found some wages listed by the government, give you something to write down on your employment form when hunting for a job. You know the feild that says  “Expected Wages”. and well, if the bos is hiring at less than what is on this list, you might want to consider your standards andyour own expectations. (I find if they start less, they will not be much good later).

Here are the employment statistics for 2009.

Employment Statistics for 2009 for industries.

Occupational Wages 2009.

Typical Wages for 2009. (ok I say typical because it’s what it seems to me. Don’t use that  though. because it isn’t quite right)

Not sure what this but it’s more wages.

An average of the big companies and what they pay.

State Statistics and typical pay rate.

City and local Metro Averages.

By all statistics, I am kind of seeing Houston and Texas as being the lowest pay rate. Cost of living by state. Not an official site but what I found real quick.

The better you know about your current pay rate and employment status and the average pay rate and employment statistics, the better you have a chance of achieving the wage or salary and life you want for yourself.

Remember, if it isn’t fun. It isn’t worth doing.

Vacation Perfection

The vacation I have waited for, for over 12 years. It is here and I am finally using it. I normally just beg what ever boss I have to allow me to cash in for a weeks extra pay in place of my vacation, that way I don’t get behind at work. Everyone is comfortable in the office and I get a few extra hundred in my bank account. I typically cash out both weeks vacation as I near Christmas. That way I make sure I have enough money to get my kid and other family members the gifts they want.

There is a co-worker in the office I work in, Every year he takes a week vacation  and travels up to watch some big Nascar event in what ever state it’s normally held in. Well, he heard I was leaving work for a while to take my first vacation since I was first employed where I am at. This guy comes to me and says to me ” If you are going on vacation, make sure you go somewhere”. My instant response was ” Um no!”. I don’t want the stress of paying for rooming and travel expenses and any other stress that may be encountered.

So here I am at home. This is perfect, the week is going so slow and I am doing nothing but relaxing and typing up content for my sites. Cat sitting in my lap. I am officially BORED! and loving it.

This is the job I need. I just have no idea how to word a resume that express what I am enjoying right now ‘ I want the day to drag on because I have jack squat to do.”.

This is the right way to spend a vacation.

At this rate, I will return to my job with no neck pains, no head aches and no back aches. Hopefully. i have been reluctant to take a break because I was scared of getting used to  being lazy and I figured it would ruin me at work when I return.

I have to advise this to everyone.  Don’t take the cash. Take a nap and get paid for it. It is worth more. Getting paid for nothing is more relaxing than getting paid double. I have found that when you take the double pay, they work you harder. So it isn’t worth it. Take the vacation.

Your employment status is what matters the most when it comes to having a future these days. Don’t ruin your ability to do your job and keep your career. Take a break, rest. Go back to work fully rested and full of steam.

Morning Coffee

The Coffee In My Office Sucks! mug

Every morning you wake up (If you’re lucky). Every morning you get dressed and head to work (If you are lucky). Half way to work you stop and grab your morning coffee. Then you head back to work. When you get to work after the commute, you sit at your desk and start your day sipping your coffee reading your emails and reminding yourself what project you left off  with yesterday.

If you’re lucky.

What really happens.

Alarm goes off, you get up hit the snooze and crawl back in bed. Finally you get up head to the shower. Drop the soap. Drop the soap again this time it’s outside the tub. Now the soap is covered in hair. You get out of the shower. Walk to your room, cat screams at you for treats. Pudgy fricken cat. You do the dance of ninjas to prevent cat hair on your clean pants. All the while listening to it scream for treats. You toss treats in the cat’s bowl so it does not follow you out as you leave. Get in your car and scoot to the stop sign only to turn the corner and sit at the world’s least fair red-light. Pull out on the street who’s speed limit changes from 35 to 45 and back down to 35 over and over in  a 6 mile stretch. The stretch with more cops on it than any 10 streets in the area.  Yep the guy in front of you has his cruise control set at 40. You can’t pass him in the 45 zone, because he will just pass you at the next 35 zone only to have you pass him again.

You make it to the coffee shop parking lot. Every self righteous jerk in town is there waiting for the perfect parking spot. Does not matter what spot you want. They all want it. You park at the place next door to avoid an aggravated door ding from the dork who had to unwillingly park one space over from the perfect spot. You walk to door. You notice the door race. What I mean by the door race is, well there are two races. There is the “me first” race and there is the ” Oh My god that door weighs 90000 lbs I will get there in time for you to hold the door for me then I will be first in line” race. So here you stand in line behind the old lady you held the door for. She is counting her pennies and telling stories of when she used to be a teacher to the “Barista” and making sure the guy/gal listens instead of making the coffee like they need to be. ” Oh honey you just need to relaxe, the coffee will be made the people will drink it and everything will be ok, life’s to short to stress over coffee”. You order your coffee . You get your coffee. It took less than 20 seconds. YEAH! You make your way to the cream depot and there is a fricken mosh pit. The old lady ex teacher is there at the front with her 50 gallon purse taking up one side of the table. She finally is done with her mix. Oops she dribbled a bit on the counter. 3 minutes go by as she is cleaning up a droplet and small grain of sugar. You chunk cream in your cup walk out stirring the coffee with the lid in your mouth.

You need to take a right out of the parking lot. Not one single car on the road to stop you from taking a right. Well of course except for the teacher granny. She is taking a left and she is waiting for the car on the right that is 1/4 mile away. Finally she is gone but someone opened up and let the cows out. You are not getting out on that road because your lane is now full of traffic. And there is some p%^$#k behind you letting into his horn.

Right you are on the road now. Doing speed limit fine. You notice you are approaching a little white car who might be doing less than the speed limit. You go to pass him and now it’s a race. You find yourself doing 15 over the speed limit. So you slow down. The clown is now slowing down with you. You look over and see it’s a woman putting on makeup. She apparently is using you to judge her speed while she does this. If she stays next to you she should be fine… Right?  She sooo could poke her eye out like that. So you hit your brakes a little hard to make her hit hers. You then gun it and cruise on down the road.

Red lights are not in your favor today. Every slow freak on the road who is in the other lane, sees that you are far back enough that they can jump in your lane and be the first at the red light. Only to do 10 under the speed limit. Totally cancels out anything that person thought they were achieving by being first off the light. You look down while at the light, and see that your coffee cup lid sucks and you have a bit of coffee on your console.Yep you used the last of the napkins last time this happened. You have nothing but a hat you don’t wear.

Park your car and walk to the door. And here we are again with the local door races again. You stop, step aside, and let everyone pile into the building while you sit there and finally get a sip of your coffee. You walk toward the elevator only to see all of the people you let go first, hitting the close button on the elevator. You wait 4 seconds because you didn’t want to ride with those selfish freaks anyway. Now here comes the new herd of office buffalo wanting to ride your button mashing skills. That’s cool, The hot chick from the second floor is in this mesh of people. Of course she stands no where near you on the elevator though. And she is on her cell phone with her kid? or moron boytoy…. Who knows….. but they do not seem to have a job, since they are talking about finding the tv remote and what time wheel of fortune comes on.

You make it to your desk and hit the start button on your pc and click on your monitor. You are relieved to be at work. You sip your coffee and drip a tad on your new white shirt. You get an email that says you have about 20 minutes to be at a meeting upstairs. You are short noticed that you will be giving the presentation. and all you can think about is that stupid brown dot on your shirt.

You open your email again and the server times out. Clearly someone sent you a honking massive file. You leave the email open and let it do it’s thing while you head off to the meeting. That all goes as suspected. You talked a lot about your new brown dot. Make it to your desk and see that someone from the office sent you some video they thought was funny. Hence the massive server issue and the timing out of the email. For the life of you, you can not remember what it was you had been working on the day before. The continuous  pop ins to the office of passerby people who have their words of wit typically some weird statement while making a gun shape with their fingers [I don’t care what the boss says, I think you’re alright] or some other phrase that if you haven’t heard a million times by now, you just got out of a coma , really makes the task of remembering a bit harder.
Bing! lunch time.

You walk next door to the sandwich shop. Again the races are on. and get your favorite stale bread sandwich and suddenly you remember that what you were working on was your speech for today’s 6am meeting, that you already had. and winged it.

You get upstairs to your desk eat your sandwich while the office coffee machine is brewing it’s black ink that you prepared. Finish your sandwich to walk over there and turn on a new batch of coffee, since everyone chugged the other batch you just made. This time you wait in the breakroom. While waiting some dill hole comes in and starts a conversation with you while holding the handle of the coffee pot waiting for it to dispense enough coffee into the pot for him to pour the strongest part of the batch into his cup. You try to explain to the guy that he will be assuring that the rest of the coffee will now be weak, but he either doesn’t get it, or he doesn’t care. I assume we can call him carelessly stupid. Of course his hand is still on the coffee pot handle.

Now you are next door getting coffee from the sandwich shop.

You have made it back up stairs 15 minutes late back from lunch. You sit at your desk and get a page to help someone with their computer. You make it back to your desk and feel like you have forgotten something. Where is your coffee? Ok trek back to the chubby chick’s office and get your coffee. Nope. she trashed it. because she didn’t know who’s it could be.

Start another pot of coffee, run to your desk and print out your latest experiment you want to show the boss, while the coffee brews. Get to the printer only to find that one of the people in collections saw what you had printed and was so confused by it  they thought it was a joke so they crumpled it up and threw it in the trash.

Grab coffee cup and rinse it and pour yourself some charred greasy ink blotted coffee that is so greasy it has a rainbow in it, into your cup. You thought you would outsmart the dude who likes his coffee strong; by making this next pot way strong, so that the rest of the coffee won’t be so weak. He seems to not be in the office right now.

Now everyone is upset because the coffee stinks and tastes bad.

You get in the elevator, get in your car, get in traffic wishing the car would finally cool off, you get home and can’t understand why you are so tired.

You have had a day that turned into a coffee quest. When actually the coffee was to be a perk in the first place.

Office Stress – Videos

Call me weird but I love it when I am not having the worst day ever.
So in saying that, watching someone else have a worst day ever, is kinda soothing to the giggle bone for me.
Someone linked a video in facebook about office stress or rage, so I watched it and got lost in youtube.
Please enjoy this set of videos.

We all know that guy. There is someone who is “hollier than thou” somewhere in your office.

Leave a link to a video if you want it up here.

Office Relocation Finally Done

When I first got hired on, I had a make shift desk.

My first work computer.

It took ten minutes for that computer to boot. I told the I.T. guy I had a knack for removing viruses. So he gave me cooty vill. some computer left behind that had like 500 viruses on it. I really miss that hardwood floor. I could scoot around with a breeze.

But we got a great deal on a new office in a better building.

Less than a year after we moved into a large office on the fourth floor of a building in Houston

The Day I got my cubicle
Top View of cubicle

We find it is time to leave.

Good Reason To change Office location

Read The Whole Story on how a leasing agency skipped out on us as renters.

On Short notice, we  turned to one of our most common customers. One of Houston’s largest contractors. They were happy to accommodate us with a temporary place to hold us, and to give us a better deal than what we were getting at the previous location. but for a short time we had to stay in a small corner of the building. Don’t get me wrong, we were so happy that we had air conditioning again and someone to take out the trash and bathrooms with full supplies.

First we had to break down the old office. 48 cubicles. (could be more. probably more)

Empty cubicles 🙁

Next we had to break down the server.

Breaking Down the Server
Other side of the Rack

The Resident geek and I spent forever keeping every wire in order, neat and organized. 48 cubicles wired in and 20 offices wired in and like 4 different servers for different duties.  and now we had to tear it all down.

Then we had to move it to the new office.

Moving The Rack

The darn thing would not fit in the elevator.

Trust that we got the Server upstairs. but for a short time, the rack was sitting somewhere behind a bunch of junk in the area we all shared crammed into 5 offices. All of us!.

Here is what I first snapped together for myself the night before everyone else moved.

My Miniature Desk

It didn’t last forever. i just waited for everyone to get a desk before I wandered around to get myself one.

MY FIRST FRICKEN DESK!

Okay, that desk rocks. It’s like 400lbs with all the drawers in. I love it. You have to understand, I have had some crummy jobs. None of them dealt with me sitting down.

We soon hooked up a temporary server in our temporary I.T. room.

Resident Geek

Our resident geek’s temporary office. Our server was pretty much what you see on the little light colored table thingy with wheels. and the little fold up rack next to it.

My office is almost done

The walls are up for my new office. Man this month is going to be long.

Sheet Rocking my new office.

Nearly two weeks have gone by, they are finally working on MY office again. Woo hoo! (oh and the exit sign was relocated.)

Woo hooo Painted

Some of us really get at each other. Even the owner of the company is sick of a few people. but you gotta give it to the guy. He could have stayed home in his own personal office and made the  resident geek and I make sure he has a safe strong connection. He sat with us along with his dad the CEO of the company. Pretty cool.

Meanwhile, everything we had like the color plotter and large office printers and a ton or two of desks were all in PODS provided by a company called “PACK RAT”. 7 pods.

Guess who emptied them

Our resident geek the whole time was wiring up the rack in the new I.T. room. There wasn’t much I could do to help. He did a great job.

I.T. Administration

Well they finished my office. It looks great. but a ton smaller than what the drawings showed. The scale was way off.

My office is complete.
My office Is complete

Here’s the new bullpen before all of the cubicles get built.

New office floor is finally done. This is wonderful stuff.
New bullpen

The bullpen looks great. It’s going to hold 24 cubicles.

The rest of them are spare parts.

Ok office again

Notice the chair with the Monitors in it. Have not yet moved my desk in at this point. That drafting table will have to go. I never use that dang thing. I have autodesk, it’s not like I sit with a ruler and pencil to do my drawings.

We are almost moved in.
Bull pen cluttered

Everything is moved in . nothing is in order but everything is moved in. I guess that month cluttered and cramped has ruined us.

Finally moved in but have not setteled in
The new office with my desk

My desk in the Office now. Man I need to clean stuff up a bit.

Resident Geek’s Office

The resident geek’s office.  Cool he has been at a cramped crummy desk for about month, now he has his desk back.

It does not kill you to have to move. It does not kill you to hang through the tough spots. Things get better and working quietly can happen. Even in the worst conditions. This was an emergency building relocation, and we survived.

Can’t wait to paint the new company logo in the front office.

If you have an office moving or building relocation story feel free to tell it. Good or bad.

Office Relationships

We all work with people. We all work with many people through our lifetimes. We all get to know things about people we would never talk to outside of our job’s environment. If you have ever seen The Breakfast Club then you just had a flash of the moment they are all upstairs sharing a moment when one of them says something along the lines of anyone would talk to the others outside of detention. The truth is no.

If you put people together in an area long enough, they will start to feel some sort of a connection. I have no idea why this is. I just know it happens. This connection is actually only felt while in that environment. Separate them and that feeling fades fast.

We all know that one super hot person at work and imagine a jaunt behind the filing cabinets and we all know that would make for an awesome day at work. We also know that will get us fired and completely incapable of of using that place as a reference on a resume. Ruining our past and crippling our future.

I have never worked with a female that I thought was just the hottest living creature ever. but while at work, they surely are the hottest readily available. See this is worse than beer goggles. This is more like a radius settling. It is always in your best interest to not settle. If you lower your standards, you go against your own judgment. Judgment that says ” hey that person is a jerk”. In those cases you get yourself into some situations that alter your state.

The riskier the relationship, the more appealing the other person becomes. Bosses daughter or son. Fact is, they will have done this with every person they wanted to. They just no longer work at your location and you are just a replacement until they are done with you. So you will never know just how long that list is.

That clearly isn’t the biggest issue. Lowering your standards isn’t the one thing that makes this bad news. It is the chance of losing your job. A job that you clearly enjoy or you wouldn’t be there. It is the chance of  doing something stupid That you can never take back.

Love your job, take a second review at that person and see past the idea that you can finally get your whim out, or get a sealed position in the company because you are doinking the most powerful person there that is accessible to you. That last one will always lead to you getting fired. ALWAYS.

Stare at that person and realize ” I can do better’ because the boss’s  daughter/son has a thin crappy selfish personality and is not near as attractive as you deserve.

There is no such thing as “office romance” there is just a bunch of kids trying to live out some old story they read or heard.