Thursday, June 7, 2012

Something's Gotta Give

It's getting to that point again.

That built up frustration at everything that just makes me want to scream.

The stupidity of Target.

I spent an hour this morning fixing the purses and wallets so they were in the correct places. It took an HOUR to do it, and I backstocked an entire tub of stuff that was past capacity or shouldn't have been out on the sales floor at all. I felt proud of it, because it looked damn good in addition to being 100% correct. I told my boss I did that when he came by shortly later (probably wondering why I hadn't advanced any in my scanning task list for the last hour), and he smiled and said it looked good (which is as much praise as he ever gives). The older gal who works in the neighboring jewelry department and saw me banging around in there the whole time later asked if my boss knew how awesome I was for doing that. The fitting room operator agreed that it must have been horrid as nobody ever touches it zoning.The softlines Team Lead thanked me profusely.

But yet, none of that really matters. Nobody looks at what I do at the store and says "well gee, Marty sure does a lot, lets give her a raise". I get an annual review. I got an "Excellent" ranking on my last one, and a 5% pay raise as decided by the Target corporation (each rank had it's own pay raise associated with it determined at levels far beyond anyone in the store), which was only 3.7% after they did the stupid prorating of it because I hand't worked there a full year. And that will be it until next April. No bonuses, beyond when someone on the sales floor might feel magnanimous about giving in the way of stuff like $5 Target gift cards. No raises, or other performance reviews.  Nothing.

Eventually, a Team Lead position might open up. The store is only allowed to have so many, and when they're all filled they're all filled until a Team Lead leaves (requested to be transferred to another store, quit for bigger and better opportunities, was fired for being exceptionally stupid, etc). Then if it's a position I want (and to be fair, there ARE some Team Lead positions I don't want), I can apply for it. My application and my previous work at the store are compared with everyone else who also applied for it. If they think I have potential, I go through multiple rounds of interviews with all sorts of levels of store management including the ones that are way above the store itself. Then if they decide I'm the one they want in that position out of the selection of applicants I would be promoted to middle management. I'm not entirely sure what happens after that point, although I suspect it means a month of doing everything wrong and everyone being on you like nothing else for always screwing up from the little I've seen from when they switched around some of the Team Leads a few months back.

The frustration of children.

They won't go to bed. Ever. If I sit in their room for 2 or 3 hours, I can usually manage to get them to sleep. If I leave before then, all hell breaks lose. They need to be in separate rooms. Or straight jackets. Or drugged. Or SOMETHING. But see, what really makes this so incredibly frustrating to me is it that has ALWAYS been this way. Always. Kristina has always been a total pain to put to sleep. And it has always taken hours. And always been frustrating as hell. And always made me have that same sick feeling of carve the shit out of my arms with a knife. Or to smoother her with a pillow. But I don't. Sometimes I scream at her. Sometimes I slam her bedroom door when I leave. Sometimes I wish everything was completely different. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I cry. But every night I try again, and hope that maybe this night will be one of those special few where she just gives me a kiss and says "I love you Mommy" and rolls over and goes to sleep. Without getting up a dozen times. Without talking to her sister. Without throwing a tantrum after I wouldn't let her get up for the third time to go to the bathroom in the last 20 minutes. Without doing any of it.

Adrianna whines at me constantly. Kristina at least whines while speaking and will usually manage to say something like a normal person if I tell her I can only understand big girl words. But Adrianna just makes this awful whiny noise at me. And doesn't stop. And no-one can understand what she's saying even when she tries to use words, which isn't very often, or it's for things I've already told her no about half a hundred times. Like band-aids. Dear lord, is that child ever going to single handedly make Hello Kitty and Scooby Doo band-aid stock holders very rich. But see, buying multiple boxes of them a week starts to add up, and sometimes I do crazy things like tell her "no" after her third one for non-existent injuries in the last hour. And then she whines at me all the more. So I give her the stupid pacifier that I want to throw out just to make her stop making that horrible noise. But she doesn't stop, not really, she just whines at me around the damn pacifier in her mouth. 

Everything Adrianna does that she's not supposed to Kristina has to do, and everything Kristina does that she's not supposed to Adrianna has to do. Kristina threw her ball into Grandma's garden and HAS TO go tromp through Grandma's flowers to go get her ball back? You better believe Adrianna is half a step behind her. Adrianna got into Mommy's bedroom stash of chocolate? No way am I getting that put away without giving Kristina a handful of the goods, which of course means Adrianna needs some more too. Thank god we're past the patty-cake stage with Adrianna, I felt more than a little ridiculous indulging the rather large for her age 3 and a half year old Kristina's demands to do it on her as well. And at least Adrianna's imitating Kristina jumping off of rocks is a little less terrifying these days as Adrianna has managed to do things like master the skills of climbing and jumping, instead of her previous technique which was whining at Mommy until I put her up there and then falling off unexpectedly with the full confidence in Mommy's reflexes to catch her.

The housing arrangements.

I don't like living with my parents. They provide so much for me, and all the while I just feel horribly incompetent and guilty over the fact that I'm very nearly 27 and incapable of self sufficiency. I have invaded their space, and not just with myself and my physical crap, but with this pair of screaming banshees (aka children) who have no concept of personal space or that someone might not want to play with them at any moment during any given day. And then because my parents are there they end up providing all sorts of childcare for me because of the stupidity of hiring a babysitter when there are two other adults sitting in the house already. But then my going out is very dependent on them and their schedules and how they're feeling and whether they want to and how much they've already had to watch them in the past week. And it's like, I really think things like my parents watching the girls on Saturdays when I'm working would be SOOOO much easier for everybody if the girls weren't underfoot for them the rest of the week. But I can't keep them from being there, and wanting to help with everything my mother tries to do in the kitchen and following my father around outside as he picks up deadfall and always needing to come say hi right when they started watching the news. So my parents are always burned out on grandchildren and I always feel guilty for us being here. And I'm incapable of changing any of that.

I do things at weird times, like suddenly wanting to make brownies at 11pm or forgetting about laundry that was in the washer and that desperately needs to go into the dryer until I'm falling asleep. But my parents go to bed early, and their bedroom is right next to the laundry room and kitchen, so I try really hard not to be thumping around up there any more than I have to after they've gone to sleep. I don't like doing big stuff like the massive moving around of furniture and cleaning when they're sitting right there because they tease me about it (or rather, my lack of doing it most of the time). I don't want to go out and buy a bottle of Windex because I know my mother probably has a bottle from Cosco around here somewhere and yet I don't know where that somewhere would be and so I just end up not using it. For a year and a half. And all of it is so fucking stupid. And yet it's still there. And it's still how I live when I live with other people, especially my parents, and I don't know why. Why is it I can only clean when I don't feel like anyone is watching me clean? Why is it I only like to cook when I can cook by myself at odd hours? Why is it I don't manage my own life at all if someone else is there who might kinda sorta take care of some of it? I don't know. But it's how I functioned as long as I've been aware of my functioning, and my house was notably cleaner every. single. time. Peter was gone than compared to when he was home. And my parents are that much worse, because they somewhat expect me to be a totally incompetent slob (they did live through my teenage years after all) and I am all about living up to people's expectations.

Every week I look at houses that are on the market. And my bank account. And crunch the numbers. And every week I come to the same conclusion that I simply would not be able to afford even the old crummy looking little houses in the less desirable outside-of-Boulder areas on my present hourly wage in a long term sustainable fashion. Also, I keep really wanting to go to the bank to see if I could get pre-approved for ANY amount of loan, but then not wanting to because I really don't want to hear (again) how much my finances suck. They've gotten so much better... which doesn't mean a damn thing for anther 4+ years, since things like creating savings and paying off debt are done slowly in the best circumstances. And Target salary isn't the best of circumstances. Nor is incidents of car crashes and needing to see the eye doctor three times in two weeks before I was eligible for Target employee health insurance. And I try really hard to tell myself that my ability to just pay those bills out of my checking account and not have anything horrible happen to my savings account or have to put them on the credit card I just payed down shows that things really are doing pretty damn good. But I still sit here and go "but... what I want is to buy a house.......and can't."

The job search.

I apply for positions, but 85% of them are straight up rejection or I just never hear anything back. The other ones want me to things like drive an hour and a half to take a typing test on two days notice when I'm already scheduled to work that day, and even the ones I do make it to get me absolutely nowhere, so I'm all the more reluctant to inconvenience myself to take more typing tests and the like, but still constantly frustrated over my lack of better job opportunities. And I'm so sick of it. But frustrated enough about housing and Target that I keep doing it anyways all the while thinking how pointless it is.

My degree is useless and I have no applicable or relevant experience in anything, or so I've gathered from every single job posting I've ever looked at. And I keep feeling like the system lied to me. There was this clear and constant message my entire childhood and early adult years where if I went to school and did advanced courses and scored well on tests and went to college and graduated with a good GPA I could somehow do life. But I did all that, and I still can't do life very well. So why the hell did everyone tell me that was how I was supposed to do it? Is it just that I had the luck to graduate and enter the work force at a really shitty time in the economy and job market? Is it just because I keep looking for a salary that will support two children in a middle class upbringing while only have the qualifications for a studio apartment ramen eating lifestyle? Is it that I thought my degree mattered for something and just haven't gotten past the constant prickle of not even finding jobs where me having a BA matters in the slightest? Because really, it's just a very depressing thing to have been doing continually for the last year and a half.

I have friends I went to school with who have good jobs. In fact, some of them even have down right respectable salaries. I hate them almost as much as I hate the ones with happy marriages and glowing pregnancy pictures. And I don't understand why other people's lives came together so much better than my own. So I tell myself that they're probably just as miserable it just hasn't hit on facebook yet. Or that right now the trend is everyone getting married and pregnant and being super happy about life, and in another few years everyone will be divorcing and loosing their minds over the horde of children and an incident with peas just like I have. I'm just ahead of the game. Right? Or horribly behind. Or not even on the same playing or field. Or doing the same game. Or even in the same solar system some days.


So there you have it, the long and melodramatic ramblings of why Marty was quiet today. Because she was brooding about all of this. And these thoughts make her less than patient for stupid shit. Which is how she ended up pinning one of the backroom guys to the floor when he was teasing her by taking her key of power.

But hey, maybe now I can be quiet at work tomorrow and people will just leave me alone. Or give me chocolate. Chocolate is always a safe way to go.


  1. there was a guy i wanted to pin to the floor today, but for a totally different reason... ; )

    these are all very good reflections, marty. i hope the girls go to bed well for you soon! i know how frustrating that is from an occasional perspective. i can't imagine how wearing it would be when it's a constant thing! good luck!!

  2. Good job pinning someone to the floor! Your martial arts (at least) has been a useful lesson.

    As for the rest, I have no real advice, just sympathy. I love you no matter what!