Weekend Workers

“Thank God it’s Friday!” people always said. There’s this buzz that surrounds Fridays because it signifies the end of the work week for some.

I always found the phrase to be annoying. For me and others like me, Friday is my Monday… or even hump day depending on when my work week started.

While we’re all familiar with the portion of the population that dreads Monday and drags themselves through the week trying to make it to Friday, there is that other section of the population that goes unnoticed and is unappreciated. Take nurses and cops, for example. People don’t stop being sick or breaking the law because it’s Friday. In fact, those may be busy times for nurses and police officers. There are those that overindulge and need professional medical attention… and those that overindulge and do things that land them in the back seat of a police car. I would think professions like this relate to the Lord in the sense that they neither sleep, nor slumber. Nurses and cops are always at work, keeping us healthy and safe.

Then there are privileges that we enjoy that (gasp!) involve someone having to work the weekend. Flight crews work around the clock (sometimes literally!), delivering packages, passengers, and shooting photos of the earth for GPS info. All so you can have that quick weekend in Jamaica, make your way to the dance hall using your GPS, or receive that thing you had to have from Amazon. Retailers are open on weekends, so you can get a new dress and shoes to go out in. I know; I used to work in retail.

Not to mention grocery stores and restaurants, who usually experience their highest volume of customers on the weekends. While people are so glad for it to be Friday, the real weekend warriors are working flights, bussing tables, restocking produce (that is hopefully fresh, depending on where you go), and making life livable, easier, and even enjoyable for those that work during the week.

And the night club. Those bouncers that let you in? Bartenders? Dancers (depending on where you are)? Servers (if there’s food), kitchen staff and venue owners? Yep. While you’re dancing the night away, they’re chasing Benjamins.

But hey, don’t feel sorry for us; it’s really not that bad! I actually used to love working the weekend and live to have the week off, and honestly, I still do! I have my reasons:

  • It’s not as crowded when you do any kind of shopping. You’ll rarely have to worry about a line, especially mid-morning or during the day before rush hour. Just watch out for OAPs (Old Aged Persons) with carts!
  • It’s easy to make most of your appointments because most offices are open during the week, and you’re off!
  • Some activities that people experience on the weekend will be less crowded. Sometimes you won’t be able to go dancing or do brunch, but you can do the movies and you might be the only one in the theater! The art museum will be as quiet as a church sanctuary, Reading Terminal… well, let’s face it, that will always be crowded. But there’s a stark difference between going on the weekend and going during the week. I’ve done both, and I daresay I won’t do weekends any time soon. The last time I went on the weekend was a couple of years ago. That was enough
  • No weekend price hikes! It’s terrible, but some things get more expensive on the weekend, including parking! I’ve even seen admission to places get more expensive on the weekend because places know there will be more people then. Go during the week and save that money!
  • You will NEVER experience the dread that comes with Mondays like everyone else does. That’s YOUR weekend. While everyone else has to go to work, you’re sleeping in. Preferably in your drawers. You might eat Lucky Charms in bed when you get around to waking up.
  • You might actually make more money working on the weekend. This especially applies to jobs where people tip (PLEASE tip your waitstaff).

I read a book once called “Waiter Rant”. A friend to the main character was upset because she had to miss work to be in a friend’s wedding. The reason this was so hard was because the weekends were the time for her to make up the money she wasn’t getting during the week. As a result, she couldn’t afford a gift for the bridal shower or the bachelorette party, could barely afford her dress, was short on rent, and had to endure the other bridesmaids talking badly about her.

If only those other chicks understood. They were obviously Monday through Friday 9 to 5ers who couldn’t imagine what this poor woman was going through. This isn’t to look down on 9 to 5ers, but just to give them insight into our world. I hope that they come to at least appreciate us… because without the weekend workers, what would your life be like?

#weekendcoffeeshare

Highs and Lows

If we were having coffee today, I’d be sitting at Starbucks with a java chip frappuccino today experiencing a lot of feels. I also realized that I haven’t the slightest idea as to how “frappuccino” should be spelled (you should’ve seen how many times I typed it before I caved and looked at the menu. It turns out that I spelled it right the first time around).

I’m sorry that I’ve avoided writing one of these lately… it’s just that I had wanted to record them. I recorded a few of them, and fell off of it a bit. Either way, I want to stay connected, and I regret not keeping you posted.

To be honest, I haven’t fully gotten “used to” not living at home anymore, and I still feel like I suck at being an adult. My bank account’s been negative for months, work hasn’t picked up yet, and it feels like no matter how much I work, I’m not getting anywhere. The only thing I’ve managed to overcome was my fear of talking to people about my money situation. It’s embarrassing, frustrating and humiliating, but people have been mostly supportive and as helpful as they can be. It still sucks though. The only good thing that will come out of suffering the summertime swell is that I should finally have a bank account that isn’t negative. I still must endure another 2 months before that happens, but I’ve still managed to somehow enjoy myself. Yes, I don’t have money, but most of the things I’ve needed have been met. The Lord has been looking out for me in that regard.

I just wish I felt more capable as it pertains to “properly adulting”, but since I haven’t found a good sugar daddy yet, it looks like I’m stuck on the grind. (Kidding. I’m not looking).

On the flip side of things, I’m getting to deal with things that have hurt me in the past. I’m realizing that up to now, a lot of what I’ve experienced has caused me not to like myself much at all. I’ve been finding ways to try to rectify that. In reading a lot of articles, it is suggested to focus on your good traits. This makes me seriously uncomfortable, to be honest with you… so another thing I would like to focus on is doing things I enjoy. When I’m doing something I enjoy, I am the happiest I can be. This ends up translating into being a more confident person. The caveat is that some of the stuff that I like and enjoy involves money, of which I have none.

Working is what we must do; however, taking time for oneself is just as necessary for your sanity and mental well-being. I feel like most of the reason I’m not enjoying living on my own as much as I could is because I’ve been so focused on stabilizing my financial situation.

Speaking of sanity and well-being, not having a boyfriend has been bothering me a lot lately. If I’m truthful, I’m still settling for some of what I want. I want to scream on the one hand, but it’s also soothing a sore spot on the other. I’m hoping that this whole journey in learning to like myself and working on healing what has been hurt for so long will help me to at least be satisfied with where I am… and before you go there with the “you’ll find someone one day, be patient, it happens when you least expect it” rhetoric, please save it. It irks my soul. I know that sounds rude, but I’ve heard it for so long that I can’t stomach hearing it anymore.

I could write a book on all the stuff people have said to me thinking they were being helpful, but I’d be disgusted by it so much that I’d burn the book. Yes, I have strong thoughts about this. Most of them end with me flipping the bird at whoever hands me that rubbish. Before you find yourself saying ANYTHING of the sort to someone that is single, ask yourself this question: Did it help you when you were single?

If the answer is no, and it made you feel like I currently do when people said it to you, bite your tongue immediately. Do it! Though I assure you that if it does slip, I’ll be glad to flip you off in an effort to point out that transgression.

Oh, and my car got stuck in the snow. Yes, stuck. I had to call a tow, which I ended up not needing because a van full of guys were able to push me out. Ever since that incident, the whole week has been up and down like that. Well, at least I can say that I haven’t been bored, but I left ride sharing alone for about a week after that.

Good things that happened this weekend are:

  • THE BAND GOT BACK TOGETHER… and by the band, I mean that I got to be with the friends that I hung out with in high school today! We haven’t been all together in years, and it was wonderful to see everyone again. I think it’s better now that we’re all matured and have experienced life a bit more.
  • I hung out with my friend A, her boyfriend and her sister. Banana pudding cake was involved. It was very good times.
  • I saw “Hidden Figures”. Great movie.
  • I was flying for 5 days straight, which has been the longest I’ve been out for months! I really missed flying. Before that, I was barely called at all. I got to hang with my crews a bit as well, one of which was a captain I flew with before and enjoy working with.
  • I finally successfully applied the right lash! I never had problems with the left, but the right one gives me a hard time. I fought with it for a good 5 minutes, but it’s on properly! That is all that matters.
  • I visited my mom and grandmother. I try to do this when I can/feel up to it, and managed to successfully do this twice this month. I know the month isn’t over, but that’s not bad! It also helps that I live close to both of them. Now I need to work on visiting my dad. We talk on the phone, but I’m overdue for a visit.
  • All my training at the gym is paying off; someone actually noticed a difference in my appearance! I knew I felt stronger and my endurance was a lot better, but I couldn’t tell whether or not I looked different. That was quite encouraging.

I’m so sorry for the long behind update, but it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Here’s hoping that next month is better. Heck, I’d take a better next week! I’m hoping to be more balanced emotionally, mentally, financially, and that my diet will be more balanced as well.

Looks like the key word here is balance.

#weekendcoffeeshare

 

If We Were Having Coffee…

“Welcome back Marge!”, said one coworker to another on the shuttle bus this morning. She must’ve been on vacation. It briefly reminded me of the coworker at my last job that would say “Welcome to work” every time someone started a shift. 

I started that job 3 years ago. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that things-life circumstances, jobs, attitudes towards life-do change. 

I started my previous job this month in 2014. I left that job about a year-and-a-half later to pursue a career as a flight attendant. My life hasn’t been the same since then. 

Things that have changed:

  • I navigate airports at an insanely fast rate. 
  • I’ve become far more patient, and even compassionate. 
  • I own a car after not having had one for 2 years before getting this job. 
  • Even though I have hard days, I have a job that I actually love. Before this job, the other ones were just a paycheck. 
  • Possibly because of the above (and some other circumstances), I’ve become the healthiest that I’ve ever been mentally. 

My life has also changed outwardly because my job was better. My salary nearly doubled, I bought a car a year ago, and now I’m about to embark on one of the most exciting life events yet:

I’m moving into my very own apartment. 

After years of wanting to move, I can finally afford it and I’m ready. I sign the lease the first of next month. 

Now here I am in a new year, sitting on an aircraft before sunrise, watching passengers board as I sip on an iced red eye. I start work in Charlotte, NC today. 

So, to wrap up our early coffee date this morning, I’d say this:

If you find yourself in a stuck or unfavorable situation, be encouraged and don’t give up. Also, don’t make yourself miserable by comparing your life with someone else’s. You’ll get to where you want to be; I’m certain of it. 

I’ll be living my life in anticipation of what will happen next… and I’ll be cheering you on, waiting to see what wonderful things shall happen for you. 

Because it will happen for you. I know it. 

#weekendcoffeeshare

The Side Eye

If we were having coffee, I experienced something that has had me wondering since it happened. This hasn’t happened in a little while, but I wonder if this will be something that I will now have to expect more and more, given the current climate in my country.

I was in the airport on a long sit (about 4 hours because of delays!), and I discovered that my airport has a Gap clothing store in it! I love the fit of Gap jeans, so I went in to peruse. I was trying on a jacket, and went to put it on when a white woman approached me. She started to pose a question about something in her hand, then paused and asked “Do you work here?”

Now, I understand that the people at Gap dress pretty casually. What I fail to understand is how she could ask me that question when I was not dressed casually at all! I was in my full flight attendant uniform with the scarf and all! Not even floor managers at the Gap are that dressy. I had to restrain myself from giving her a snappish answer, but I definitely looked at her like she was crazy.

So much of me wondered if she assumed I worked there because I was the first brown face that she saw close by. Like I said, I’ve had this happen before. I’m pretty sure most brown people have. Your class doesn’t spare you from the side eye and careless assumptions such as these.

Jon Stewart used to talk about matters like this when he hosted The Daily Show. I love that he, and a few others, have used their platforms to be like John the Baptist. However, their cry isn’t that the kingdom of heaven is near. Their cry is that “Racism is still alive and well! Prejudice and ignorance are still king in this country!” Any time that citizens of this country (people of colour that are legal citizens, LGBTQ folks, disabled persons)–people that have helped make up the tapestry that is this country–are fearful for their safety, that should be a concern for ALL persons. It’s not enough for merely those minorities to be concerned; sadly, their voices aren’t heard as well for reasons of which we’re all aware, even if we deny them.

There need to be others… more like him. Not everyone in this country is prejudiced, but not everyone is speaking out against those acting on their fear and ignorance. This is what makes me sad and afraid. More than anything, I wish that there was something I could do to stir change… but I don’t know where to start. I’m just one person. One black person and one woman. Who feels like her voice wouldn’t be heard.

#weekendcoffeeshare

The Hardest Goodbye

If we were having coffee, I’d apologize for missing last week. I was out working this weekend, and had possibly the most emotional weekend ever. 

I had only a 2-day trip this weekend, and was particularly anxious and excited about this layover. A young gentleman that I had spent some time with resides in the area. 

So I text him… only to find out that he is now dating someone. 

Maybe I shouldn’t have taken it as hard as I did, but it turns out that I liked him more than I cared to believe. In any event, I drank far too much wine that night because I didn’t want to deal with my feelings, and ended up crying over a children’s book early the next morning.

 I also took the liberty of texting him (while inebriated, mind you) that I was in the area. He felt badly about it, so he said, and I ended things with “Well good luck, and goodbye.”

The next morning, I see a text saying “Don’t say that.” I cried all over again. After asking him why, it started some more texting. I asked him not to contact me while he was dating someone, and he agreed to it. I couldn’t read the good bye message he left me because the tears pooled up. 

To say I was hysterical is an understatement. I think I cried harder and louder than when my grandfather died. I feel bad for anyone in other rooms that heard, but I was beyond caring. 

Of course, this happens right before I have to get ready to work, so I had to get out of bed, and pack while crying. Listening to “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child helped. 

That was my weekend, and actually, that was the short version. A workout will be much needed to lift my morale. I hope your week and weekend was much better than mine. 

#weekendcoffeeshare

New Ramen, New Life

So this entry will combine a life update and an entry where this SBF, once again, sought out Asian food. The best part about this meal was that I got to enjoy it with the aforementioned friend whom is the reason I am an SBF seeking Asian food.

This week was quite the week. I did a lot of things that were new to me, and that completely changed my mind about the way I was viewing life and, consequently, moving through it.

I spent some time with a young man on a layover this time last week. What’s significant about this is that he was someone I trusted easily and quickly, even though I didn’t know him. Leave it to me to find a decent young man online (I don’t think I would have the same luck if I tried this again). Considering how steamy things got, what was wonderful about it was how much fun I had with him. This completely countered the fear I had of being with the opposite sex for years due to past abuse. He was considerate and kind, and most importantly, I felt safe with him. It renewed my faith in the existence of good men, and revived the long lost hope that I, too, may find one someday that I like just as much as he likes me.

I also went on birth control.

I can see y’all being like “What?!” No, I didn’t do it with any intention of getting fresh. I did it for my overall health. I finally visited a female doctor now that I have health insurance. (Yep, it was the first time. No, it wasn’t that pleasant. But I’m glad I went.) She recommended a type of birth control that will only give me a period every 3 months. I may still have bad cramps, but at least I won’t have bad cramps every month. It sounded like a decent option to me. Taking this also means that I’ll have to be more serious about my health since it increases the risk of stroke and blood clots.

Omitting butter from my life completely is non-negotiable, but maybe we can scale it back just a bit.

AND… (can you stand it?) I changed my hair!!!

Now, there was no way I was going to get a relaxer again, but I went to a hair salon for the first time in years! After I stopped using chemicals in my hair, I had a couple of bad experiences. I was scared to visit a salon after that, and the hair horror stories on YouTube didn’t help. However, I knew my hair was in need of some professional help. So I asked for recommendations from women on a Facebook group I’m in. They have natural hair and lived within reasonable driving distance. Lo and behold, a salon was recommended. I went for the consultation to feel the place out. I liked it and felt comfortable enough to book an appointment for the following week. I was not punking out now.

This was the end result.

img_1775

It just so happened that ALL of these events happened in this one week, starting with last Sunday. A new Rachel has been birthed through all of this. I’ve always been the adventurous sort, but now I’m adventurous and feel free in all areas of my life. I feel free to love, and free to take care of myself in the way that I see best. It has produced a calmness in my spirit and soul that I haven’t experienced in a very long time. I feel unshakeable now and secure in myself and with the world around me.

In short, I feel the healthiest mentally that I have ever felt. Now I can really be me.

In this very same week, I went with an old friend to experience something new. I’ve had ramen before, but not at this place. I had the spicy ramen, and it was a bowl of happiness. Although I don’t enjoy eating pork normally (unless it’s bacon), I enjoyed the slices that were part of this ramen, AND ate the fat!

img_1774

If you’re ever in Philly, I recommend this place. This ramen fed more than my stomach; it went straight to this foodie’s heart and soul. It ushered in all of the warmness of the cold seasons that are now upon us. Fall, and even winter, are the times of year that I relish. This ramen was the beginning of good times and better things to come.

Now let me sip this tea before it gets cold…

#weekendcoffeeshare