What a year.

Clearly, I am a terrible blogger.  I was always really bad at keeping up with my own personal journal, too.  Diaries, seriously, what’s the point?  All you do is sit and ramble a bunch of useless personal thoughts that nobody else is ever going to read.  But this?  Other people are going to see it.  Maybe even comment on it.  It’s going to be out there for the entire world to see, which is pretty terrifying if you think about it.  Especially for an introvert.  So maybe that’s why I haven’t really bothered sharing much since I moved to Florida, or much at all before that.  Though, I feel like I said more here than I’ve ever really said to anyone I know in person.  So that’s saying something, I guess.

This past year has been full of a lot of ups and even more downs.  I was hoping that the move to Florida was going to be a good decision.  That things would be better here than they were in Pennsylvania.  But that was just hopes.  For a quick fix, no less.  Things here are about as bad, if not worse, than they were back home.  And what makes it suck the most is that I don’t have my friends here in Florida to back me up when shit hits the fans.  Which is rough!  I didn’t realize just how much I depended on them.

My last entry was about the drive from PA to Florida, about the trouble trying to find a job, and about the fact that I was about to start one.  Well, I’ve now worked at my new place of employment for over a year.  It feels about the same as the other one most days.  The same shit, just a different state and company.  But there are benefits to it.  I work for a company now that provides stock options and a good retirement plan.  I work for a company that pays for sick time without you having to miss more than one day first.  I work for a company that, most days, actually seems to give a shit about it’s employees.  But it’s still a big business, and still trying to make the bottom line count for more than it should.

I will never understand why companies seem to think that the employees matter less than the customers do.  I get that the whole ‘the customer is always right’ is the philosophy that most businesses follow.  I understand that you don’t have a paycheck if nobody is coming in to buy things.  But there’s a flipside to that coin that the bigwigs seem to forget about.  You don’t have customers without employees, same as you don’t have employees without customers.  Let me explain!

You hire people to come in and do a specific job.  They get trained (hopefully!) to do this job properly.  They are, at first, given ample time to get things done.  Then, the longer they are there, the more you cut their time down but still expect them to get the same amount of stuff done.  Why?  Because you should get faster with time, right?  The problem with getting faster is that you have to cut corners and the product tends to suffer.  Either it doesn’t look right, doesn’t taste right, or whatever depending on the situtation/job.  Instead of giving people the time to get things done well, to get things done right, you punish them by cutting their hours even more so that even less gets done.  This is a vicious cycle because now the employee doesn’t want to do anything, which means things look even worse.  The more you punish an employee, the more you push them to get stuff done too fast with little room for error, the more likely you are to lose both the employee and your customers.

Employers need to learn that.  Employers need to learn to put their employees first, before the customers.  Because when the employees are happy, the customers see that and it reflects well on businesses.  Customers can tell when an employee is just faking the happy for ‘good customer service.’  But what do I know?  I didn’t go to business school.  I don’t have some silly degree.  I’ve just worked retail my whole life and see the ups and downs.

Anyway, so the new job is very much like the old job.  There’s stress no matter how you spin it.  You just have to learn to deal with it.  And keep plugging forward.

Now, as for the rest of the year —

The boyfriend has had more jobs and lost more jobs than I’d care to discuss.  I’m not sure he’s really trying to find anything lasting.  I feel, most days, like he’s just using me and manipulating the situation.  But I’m an idiot and I love him anyway, even though I know I should kick his ass to the curb already.

I’ve managed to make a few friends here.  Two of them are actually from Pennsylvania.  The one moved here when she was like five so she doesn’t really remember but the other one just got here at the beginning of the year.  It’s nice having someone to talk about home with and we get along really well.  I’ve met all three through work as they are decorators as well, though all three are about a decade younger than I am.

My Dad came to visit.  Twice.  The first time was for a whole week and it was really nice to see him.  The second was recently and the reason for it sucked.  My aunt came, too.  It was nice to see her but we all wish it was for better reason.

My sister’s husband is coming home from the hospital today.  He went in over a week ago after complaining of stomach aches and not being able to go to the bathroom.  They ran tests and found a mass.  After having part of his intestines cut into and the mass removed, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  Which is terrifying.  The mass was apparently slow growing and has been there since before he and my sister got married but they didn’t know about it.  Everything is up in the air with them right now.

My nephew, their son, is 10.  He’s being homeschooled now, has been all this past year.  And I don’t think he quite grasps the severity of the situation.

My Mom was diagnosed with Parkinsons.  Her Dad had it.  That’s what he died of.  She’s also having a lot of memory issues.  I worry every day that we’re going to lose her soon.  I have no idea what we’ll do if something happens to her.

Money is always an issue.  Always.  Like it is for most of America at this point.  We’d thought about trying to buy a house but couldn’t gather the funds for a deposit and then the boyfriend lost yet another job.  So trying to keep up with bills is hard enough without trying to save money.

I feel like all I ever do on here is bitch about stuff.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to write more frequently on here without it always being that sort of thing.  I don’t want my blog to just be me bickering about the random shit in my life.  Everybody has shit.  Mine is no worse than anyone elses.  And it’s definitely all ‘white people problems’ so I feel like I should just get over it.

My hope for this blog is this — I hope that I can post more frequently, that I have the drive to and that I remember to.  I hope that I can share some of my artwork and homemade cards with you.  I hope that I can share my opinions on the world at large, political, cultural, and other.  I hope I can share stories and thoughts, and that you’ll relate to them in some way or another.  I hope reading something I write some day will help someone else with a situation they’re currently dealing with.

And because I would like to get as much help for my sister and her family as I can, I’d like to share a link to her gofundme page.  If you know anyone who has ever had cancer, if you wish you could have helped them but couldn’t at the time, and you’re a little better off now, please consider helping.  Her husband’s income was the only one they had at the time of his diagnosis.  And with my nephew being homeschooled, my sister is having a hard time finding options for work that will allow her to be home for both him and now her husband who will need help.  So yes, please check her gofundme page and donate if you can.  Thanks ahead of time!

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