Family Changes

So my family has been going through a lot of changes. Changes like me being laid-off and home all the time, changes in the eating habits of the kids, and changes like me starting to go to the gym.

It’s been interesting being home. I thought I wanted it. I thought it would be the most wonderful thing in the world and I would get SO much done. The truth is that I’m bored sometimes and lonely too because I have all this free time and the kids work and have their own friends and so I’m home alone at loose ends. I’ve finally started to work on the house, and boy does it need it! I’ve given a bunch of stuff away to freecycle.org in the last two days, cleaned my porch mostly, I still need to vacuum it though. It’s really hard for me to get rid of stuff. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been a packrat. Part of it may be having gone through a divorce you feel like you lose so much that you don’t want to let anything you do have go. But I’ve always been like this to some degree. I read a book recently, “Clear Your Clutter with FENG SHUI” by Karen Kingston, and I get it, I get why it is important to clear your clutter and how it could improve your life. It’s just really hard to let go of stuff still. Some things are harder than others of course. I can let go of the dress that I paid 99 cents for at the thrift store and really didn’t end up fitting me that well anyways, but the really cute dress that I bought at Macy’s for a wedding that is too small for me right now but might fit me after I work out for a couple of months, that I don’t know if I can get rid of. I guess I’ll start with the easy things. I thought I would get more done, but I’ve found myself spending hours upon hours on sitting in front of my computer screen. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve made some new friends, but I need to rebalance my time management! That’s my goal right now.

Our eating habits have gone through some changes since I’ve been home. To start off with when the kids were little and I was a stay-at-home mom or SAHM I used to cook 6 nights a week, and one night a week we would go out or get fast food. Since I have been working two jobs, I am lucky to cook one night a week, I’m usually too tired and I usually had the money to just go out or pick something up. Now that I’m home, I’ve started cooking again every night. I’ve had some hits and misses in the cooking department, but I’m rediscovering how much I love to cook! The thing is, now that I’m getting the hang of cooking every night again, my kids have decided to change their eating habits. My 22 year old son has now become a vegan, and my 19 year old daughter is currently on a juice fast. The outcome of this has been that the lovely meatloaf cooked in a bag with veges that I made two nights ago, I have had to eat by myself for two nights, and now I’m tired of it and throwing the rest out. Apparently, I’m going to need to learn to cook vegan or be eating alone. This should be interesting.

Lastly, the gym. I used to go to the gym faithfully. I used to read workout books and Self Magazine (or is it Shape) and be hardcore about going to the gym 5 days a week. I worked out with free weights and machines 2 days a week curcuit training and then did aerobics classes the other three days. I was in fantastic shape! And then I stopped. And then the last 15 years I guess I have been working two jobs and sometimes going to college and there just didn’t seem to be any way to fit in a work out regularly, so I didn’t do it at all. Last year I joined 24 Hour Fitness and planned to go work-out with my daughter. I’ve gone three times, and two of those three times were in the last week. I’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and they told me I should lose some weight and exercise (I always have to check how to spell the word exercise, I want to make it excersize or something else), anyway, I need to be exercising. So, now I’ve started. I went twice with my daughter in the last week. One day we just did the stairmaster, the next day we worked out on the weight machines and also the stairmaster. It’s all starting to come back to me. The things I used to know, the techniques, the enjoyment of working out and being fit! The thing is, I don’t know if I can keep this all up or not once I start back to work. I guess I’ll cross that hurdle when I come to it. How do you balance work, fitness, and all the other stuff you have to do?

Now the 22 year old son brought home 3 yoga/meditation DVD’s. Who knows what my house will be like next week?

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Day 5

I had an interview and a half on Monday. The interview was at a nice wine bar downtown Napa, and the half was at a gorgeous restaurant in Yountville. Both might be hiring soon, but nothing at this precise moment.

I planned to go out again today. And then I planned not to. I dunno. I felt PMS-y. Plus I had to work, then go to the bank. That part was important, I was close to being overdrawn! Then when I got home and checked the mail there were three letters from unemployment. I’m trying to understand all of that. I need to apply to CA Jobs and then go register somewhere in town and bring my SS Card and my CDL. I will be getting a decent weekly amount, but I still don’t know when I will start getting it? I hope soon or I will run out of gas money!

The plan is tomorrow to take care of the Unemployment stuff, then on Thursday make another run to Napa and apply some more.

I truly wish I could take the summer off from work. Wouldn’t that be grand!? I think it would be now, but I’d probably be bored. And, I do like money!

Published in: on May 28, 2008 at 2:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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I’m not a waitress or a food server

I’m not.  Not today anyways.  It’s weird, I’ve been doing that for maybe 8 years now.  But right now I’m not. 

I actually really enjoy it the majority of the time.  And taking home piles of cash is always fun.  But I guess I’m at a bit of a crossroads right now and can choose to do something different if I decide to.  Take off those golden handcuffs.

I guess I should check out some other options.  What else might be fun?  What else could bring me piles of cash? 

I’m waiting.  Waiting for Carson Black of Sacramento Web Development to finish my website, thesmartmomsnetwork.com.  Isn’t that like one of the longest url’s ever?  Oh well, it says it all and it was available!  Like me.  I’m available.  Available for hire, anyway.  So the latest date is June 2nd.  June 2nd we will be in beta.  I can’t wait.  I am so tired of being a business woman with no business.  Give me my business!  Okay, I must need sleep.

I’m not really a waitress.  One of my favorite OPI lipstick and nail polish colors.  It’s a beautiful blue red, and on a positive note, now I can paint my nails any shade I wish!  I’m not really a waitress.  I’m a business woman. 

Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 7:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Day 2~ let go, fired, downsized, not needed

Today my GM Joel Tavison called me around noon to tell me that he was going to start writing my letter of reference at 1:00 PM when the Dining Room manager Nick Estefan came in.  He said he would call me if we were going to be open tonight. 

Finally about 4:15 PM I called.  The hostess Claudia answered and I asked her if we were open tonight and she said yes.  I asked her how many reservations we had and she said 70.  I asked if I could talk to Joel, but she told me he was in a meeting and asked if I wanted to talk to Nick.  So I said, “okay”.  She puts me on hold and then comes back and tells me Nick and Joel are both in a meeting.  So, I said, ” Well, Joel told me that he would call me if we were open tonight so I could come in to work.”  So she says she will try to check with him and call me back.  She calls back 10 minutes later and tells me that I’m not scheduled for tonight.  Great.  (I really don’t understand why Joel would call me today and tell me he’d let me know if we were open tonight so I could work, and then this?)  So I say, well I will come in anyway to pick up my check and my letter of reference.  She calls me back again saying that Joel hasn’t finished my letter of reference and will do it in the morning.  I ask her if I can pick up my check and she says she doesn’t know and will get back to me.  She hasn’t.

This all is really disappointing.  I should have been able to work tonight.  I should have been able to make a little money to hold me over until I get another job or the end of the month, when I get my school district check.  But that really does me no good, all of that has to go right back out to pay bills.  I really don’t understand why this is happening to me.  I have more seniority than any other server there.  I have been told that I get better comment cards than anyone else.  I have two couples that come in every Friday night and request me.  One couple is about to celebrate their 200th dinner, the other is about to celebrate their 100th.  The people who come in the most prefer me.  Me. 

This new president and CEO of Copia, Garry McGuire Jr. seems to be running around making poor snap decisions like a chicken with his head cut off.  We are heading in to our busy season where we do 100 people at lunch consistently and he has decided to only serve lunch three days a week, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  On the other days they are opening a bistro in Copia, which is really a glorified cafeteria, where people will walk up to the counter to order.  Classy. He says this is because they don’t make money during the slow season at lunch.  Okay, well close it down to three days during the slow season then, not during the busy season.  Duh.  I hear from my friends that this cafeteria is not working out well at all. Customers that come into the restaurant for a fine dining experience are having long wait times for their food, while the kitchen puts out burgers to the cafeteria/bistro. Next he is closing down the restaurant for renovations for three weeks during the start of the busy season.  This starts next week I’m told.  So even the people that are full time, that they want to keep, are going to be out of a job for three weeks.  None of us have enough savings to afford that.  I think all the employees are going to be out job hunting.  That means that Julia’s Kitchen will lose even more of it’s wonderful staff.  We need new chairs right now.  The rest of the renovation could have been saved for January, when they are now planning to close for a month, this could give the staff enough time to plan for it as well.  And he is letting good people go, me included of course, with no warning or even a severance package.  Firstly, it’s stupid.  Secondly, it’s mean.  It’s definitely causing me a lot of undue stress and hardship. 

I seriously live through the month on my tips.  My school district job covers my bills and provides health insurance benefits and my restaurant job covers my kids and my living expenses.  I had no time to prepare for this, no notice.  Now I have $23.  There is some money in the bank but I think I have more bills that may be coming out so I can’t touch that unless it’s an emergency. 

This is horrendous.  How did this happen to me? 

I applied for unemployment, but I really don’t know how that works or how much I will get or when I will get it. 

I spent yesterday and today waiting around, hoping against hope that I would at least be able to work my last two shifts.  I could have spent that time picking up applications and turning in resumes. 

Today I printed out copies of my cover letter, resume, and three letters of recommendation that I had.  I also emailed all of that to Auberge du Soleil and Etoile at Domaine Chandon. 

I talked to my friend/co-worker/former co-worker Norrel.  She is so sweet and fun, I will miss seeing her dearly.  I mean I guess we can all hang out now and then, but still.  She really didn’t know half the story.  She was so kind, told me she would ask around and let me know if she heard of anyone who was hiring.  Of course I’ll do the same for her.  She just started pastry classes this week.  She is becoming a chef. 

I heard from my friend Leo tonight.  He was going to the new Narnia movie, Prince of Caspian, I think.  He just called randomly to say hello.  He was shocked when I told him.  The good thing is that he gave me a lead on a place to apply that I’ve never heard of in Hiddenbrooke in Vallejo.  I’ll check it out tomorrow.   

My friend Patricia called me, hoping I wouldn’t answer because I was at work, but I did. 

I’m feeling a bit sad and depressed and sorry for myself.  I need to snap out of it though. It definitely won’t help.  And I’ve read The Secret.  I know what I need to do to fix things.  I’m just too much in shock and denial to do it right now. 

I have a big list of places to apply.  I plan to head out in the morning and pick up applications.  I wish gas prices weren’t so high and Napa wasn’t so far away though.  Wish me luck.

 

Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 3:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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let go, fired, downsized, not needed

Hire me, please.  Yes, today I was let go, fired, downsized.  I was advised, “I’m sorry, but I’ve been told from the new president of
Copia, Garry McGuire Jr., to let all the part-time employees go.”  I am a part-time employee, so that meant me.  This actually happened when I called in to find out what time I worked tonight.  That may seem last minute, but actually I had called yesterday, as well.  And the schedule which starts on Sunday is rarely posted until Saturday afternoon.   

So, instead of working tonight and bringing home close to $200, here I sit, blogging. 

I don’t blame my manager Joel, he’s a sweet guy, and he’s just following orders, and truly seems to feel bad about it all.  He’s willing to give me a letter of recommendation and has given me a few leads of places that are hiring.  That’s all I can ask for at the moment.

It’s unfair though, because of all the food servers at Julia’s Kitchen, I actually have the most seniority.  Even though I work part-time, I have been there the longest, since October of 2006.  I have stayed when everyone else left, through five – count them – managers. Steve, Jane, Noel, Jane again, and Joel. Also, Rose, Jazmin and Eric who were acting managers for short periods of time. Also, I have regular customers who love me.  There are two couples that come in and ask for me every Friday night.  The Curley’s, John and Cathy, and the Poliak’s, Richard and Cathy. I had special plans for them to celebrate their 100th and 200th visit respectively.  The sad thing is, I won’t even be able explain and say goodbye to them or any of my friends/co-workers. 

Whose idea was brunch? Mine! (And it’s been very successful I must say!) Who always shows up for her shifts? Me! Who has come in many times on short notice to help out? ME!

I filed for unemployment.  That was a bit confusing.  Apparently both of my part-time jobs, including the one I’m not fired from – with the school district – will pay for the unemployment that I draw.  They seemed to want to know more information from the job I still work for than for the one I was fired from.  Why?

I have almost $300 in the bank and about $23 in cash.  To last until the end of the month. 

This sucks!

The plan is:  Apply for unemployment.  Check.  Update resume.  Make copies of letters of reference.  Start applying at every fine dining restaurant in Napa. 

Do I blame the economy?  Do I blame the new president of Copia, Garry McGuire Jr.?  I really don’t know who to blame.  All I know is that as difficult and unexpected as it is, I need to find a new job and fast.  Wish me luck!

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