Monday, June 21, 2010


Ashley over at Process of Learning Blog mentioned in her post today about how I remind her of her sister in that I work all the time. Also, that I wish I had more time to spend with that pony I am working to support.
I figured maybe I would write a quick lunch break post updating you all on that...

My life reminds me of a Lady Antebellum Lyric: "Get caught in the race of this crazy life, tryin' to be everything can make you lose your mind."

I had a talk with the owner of the place where I am waiting tables last monday night. I told him that I do work 40+ hours a week at my 'real' job and that when I was hired I asked for 2-3 shifts a week but I had been continually scheduled for 5 shifts and have been working 65+ hours a week. I just can't maintain this life. I barely have time for running or Granite. Those to things make me sane and healthy (both mentally and physically). I know I'm bound to get sick soon trying to run on <5 hours of sleep a night and working >14 hours a day. It just can't happen. The boss man told me that he would take care of it and although he needed me one weekend night a week, that I would have a much reduced schedule...

Fast Forward to Saturday night. The new schedule (for Monday-- nothing like a little notice folks!) just came out and I work up the nerve to check it out. Not only am I scheduled to work 5 nights next week, 3 of them I had requested off anyway because I will be in NYC! Rachel is PISSED to say the very least. I thought about walking out right then, but I just couldn't do that to the other servers on a Saturday night. So I told the boss I needed to speak with him after my shift. And I did. I told him that I was sorry, but it just wasn't working out for me. I had been promised that my hours would be reduced and they were not and my schedule requests were ignored. I told him I couldn't tolerate the stress of not knowing if and when my scheduling needs would be honored and it just wasn't worth it. I didn't have a plan B for $$$ (student loans due in T- 18 days and I think Granite is going to start needing shoes on all 4s-- farrier comes on the 5th of July), but I have enough self respect that I know when the line must be drawn and I was(am) near my breaking point.

Well, the boss wouldn't let me quit! He said that the place was going through a transition and he was eliminating staff that wasn't competent or dependable and that he really needed me. He apologized for the "misunderstanding" (I think someone else wrote the schedule and he never communicated my desires). Then he asked me what I wanted to work (and I think-- now we are playing ball). We settled on Monday and Friday nights only. I said I would cover for vacations but only with prior notice (bc the $ IS good, but I can't do it with regularity). Boss used the words "I promise, Monday and Friday nights only." I'm not entirely convinced that this scheduling debacle won't occur again (soon), but its a start and I think the power shifted a little bit with that conversation. But, they have 2 strikes and if they plan to use, abuse, or take advantage of me again... I'm out!

But, lets say he does keep his word. I make just enough extra to cover my bills and I have the option to pick up a couple shifts for someone if I want to save for a show or something. I will have weekends off for riding and my sanity and can feed horses when the BO is out of town at shows (hello reduced board/ training fees). I can take mini trips to see Eva or my Parents again. My house can be cleaned and I can sleep for more that 6 hours one night. I can have my life back! So I need cumulative finger crossing from you people! Lets hope that this situation works out the way boss-man made it sounds. A regular, unchanging, light schedule with the ability to request off or pick up extra shifts when needed.

I am, of course, applying for 'real jobs' throughout the state (anything east of here bc I want to be closer to my family and best friend). I have been here for almost a year and despite merit raises this Fiscal Year, I will have to continue to wait tables and THAT is not a long term arrangements, even if the best case scenario (above) plays out.

 The only part that sucks about getting a new job elsewhere would be having to move Granite from his wonderful barn and leaving TK. Things are going so well with him. I went to his bluegrass concert on Friday. he was fabulous. I was so proud. I also met his family briefly. They were very nice and I can't wait to get to know them. He is supportive and funny and cute and everything I have been asking for for the past 24yrs. Its up to me to not screw it up and to give as much as I take (in my super-busy emotionally fragile state of past months with all my work-- giving of myself is rather difficult).

Now, in horse related news (sorry for the personal stuff-- but after Ashley mentioned my busy-ness, I thought ya'll may be curious). I emailed Becky BO about my ride Saturday. How I loved the canter but was having some resistance issues with our trot transitions. She said she knew what I was talking about and would like a chance to work with him and I on it. So, tomorrow night (only night off before NYC) I am going to have a lesson. I am nearing the end of the Granite Training Fund (read: tax return) and think that I may take over working with him in July. She said she would discuss that with me as well. It looks like I will be able to ride 4 days a week if my boss wasn't lying (can you see my hesitation to believe him and actually proceed to plan my life). She also said we would discuss..... a trail ride! Wahooop.

So, I hope to have some final reports to give you on Wednesday before I exit the blog-o-sphere (camera in hand) to go on my first venture to NYC :)

Happy work week everyone!


  1. Sounds like a fun trip! I am glad you put your foot down, I hope your boss keeps his word. Balancing all of this out is hard. I feel like from reading our blogs that adding a horse to your life is guaranteed to keep it hectic and strenuous. Good thing we are crazy about them.

  2. My fingers and toes are crossed that the restaurant situation works out!! Have a blast in NYC!

  3. I think you did the right thing for sure with your second job. I'm sure your boss realizes how serious you are and that he will heed your warning.

    As for student loans, oh how I feel your pain! Have you tried putting them in forbearance for a bit? I went that route, the only problem is they still come back - putting them off doesn't make them go away, unfortunately.

  4. good for you for sticking up for yourself. I hope he keeps his word.

  5. love love love the update and that there is a glimpse of hope in it!! riding 4 days a week...omg I will be SO jealous :)I am so glad that you did have that talk with your boss and that finally he took you serious! My fingers are crossed!!! I have a good feeling about this :)

  6. Golden: Yes, sure fire way to make your life more 'interesting'-- buy a horse ;) and I think they call it horse crazy for a reason-- have you really ever met a truly 'normal' horse person??

    Wolfie: THANKS! and I will :)

    JJ: Thanks for agreeing that it was the right thing. Sometimes I get concerned that I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth. I mean he is giving ME a job and in this economy, that itsn't all that easy. And student loans? Well I found out yesterday that I was accepted to use the graduated repayment schedule, so for the first 6 years, they are less than the 'normal' payment. So it buys me some time to find a better paying job (or a rich husband).

    Kate: Me too! Sticking to his word hasn't gone so well up to this point.

    Ashley: Yes, 4 days a week will be ahhhmazing! I just have to cross my fingers that it actually happens!

  7. I know how you feel! I was a server once and for some reason they lack the capabilities to take note of your schedule needs. I finally got fed up with one position after many attempts to re-adjust scheduled times, They had me working 7 days a week and 4 or 5 doubles plus I was at a restaurant with crappy clientele who I assume thought that servers made more money and didn't need tips, or just didn't care.

    Anyway, finally I got fed up with it all and gave them my two weeks notice and was very professional about the whole thing and went back to my shift. Not more than a minute later the Manager (whom I had just spoken to) came out and told me I could leave now and said that I was fired. He acted like a big baby. I guess to look more "managerial" to the rest of the staff who had known about me giving my two weeks notice beforehand. So he looked like a big idiot. He was probably my least favorite manager ever.

    But I have had better ones! It will all work out. Sounds like he is really listening and that he will pass on the information! Keep us updated!

  8. Cleighhosis:
    YUCK! that is how our kitchen manager is. thankfully the money is pretty consistently good (not as good as when I worked on the beach).
    Working in a service industry just sucks. period!

  9. So glad you worked it out with the manager. Good for you for sticking to your guns. I hope you find a more permanent fix soon, too. Believe me I know all about being broke with a young horse in training! (Rewind my life four years: starving law student... eating pb&j and ramen noodles so Tucker could get front shoes....)

  10. Marissa:
    I'm pretty sure I'm living your life, just 4 years or so later :) Too bad I didn't go the law route, I seem to think this Public Administration gig isn't going to pan out quite as I would have hoped. Either way... Granite will be taken care of, no matter what (ex: horrible waiting tables gig).