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emjay's avatar

Who's got advice for me on how to get my life together again?

Asked by emjay (681points) November 23rd, 2013

Where do I begin?
September 1st I was promised a promotion at one of my jobs (restaurant). It required that I rearrange my schedule at my second job (Lowe’s) to give them open evening availability, and this meant cutting my hours at Lowe’s. It seemed like a good choice to make, because moving from hostess to server would mean about $1000 more in income each month.
September 30th rolls around. I am still a hostess. My supervisors decided to keep the person they needed to let go to promote me, and I am now, instead of $1000 above where I was, found myself coming up sadly and consistently short.
I scraped by for about a month, several bounced checks and collection calls later…. I moved in with my mom.
My apartment is gone. I almost had my car repossessed. I’m looking desperately for a new job, but haven’t had much luck.
My mom wants me to pay her $400 in rent each month, but today she decided to dig through all of my things and let me know how uncomfortable it made her to know I owned sex toys. Not only did she go through boxes of my things, the space I am to pay her rent for is a mattress on the living room floor.
When I tried to explain my situation to my boss at the restaurant and ask if I could pick up more hours or SOMETHING, ANYTHING to try to make ends meet, he said that it was my own fault and that I did it to myself.
I am so frustrated. I hate not being able to take care of myself. I’m trying, yes, but it seems that I cant catch a break anywhere. If I was promised something and rearranged things to meet the needs of the position I was to be moved into, and then not given that position, causing me to nearly be out on the street…. how is that my fault? Before I put in my request at Lowe’s to get my hours cut I spoke to my managers and confirmed the promotion in an attempt to avoid this exact situation, and they told me everything was good to go; they were just waiting for me to be available. And here I am. Still not promoted.
It seems that in one swoop most of the things I held dear were removed from the picture I called my life. I need a pep talk. I need direction. I need someone to give me a decent idea of what to do right now.

My car – I have been doing odd jobs to try to get caught up on the payments so it doesn’t get taken away. I think I’m almost in the clear on it.
Living Situation – I’m thinking maybe house sitting jobs found via word of mouth and craigslist could be an answer, but the thing I have going at moms is not working for anyone involved.
Work – ughhhh.

Any helpful advice, suggestions or comments on any of this are genuinely and greatly appreciated.

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16 Answers

LornaLove's avatar

Think of it this way, you are so good you actually have two jobs, plus you are putting up with pretty shitty situations at home. To me that spells a trouper. How are you looking for a job? The best way to look for a new job is to shine at your current one’s. Network, speak to the fabulous people you host. Not about a job but be interested in them and talk a little about yourself, your love of your job and how you would love to be a server.

Be the best you can be everyday at work. This way you get noticed. Loads of people started at the bottom. They studied the job inside out and made connections with the highest people they could in their industry. First be a host that no one forgets the rest will come easy.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Have you talked to your Supervisor at Lowes to see if you can get your old hours back? That way, you can at least get your original income back.

Your boss at the restaurant sounds like a dick. Is this an upscale restaurant? If not, there’s no reason they can’t make you a server, especially after they promised it to you. How long have you been a host?

Whatever you do, don’t quit either job. Work your ass off, do the best you can, and look for a better job during your free time. Look at other restaurants and apply as a server. Is there a way you can move to a different department at Lowes as a full time employee and make better money?

As for your living situation, I think you’re just going to have to deal with it. I can’t imagine a mother charging her own kid $400/month just to sleep on a mattress on the living room floor. That sucks, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Unless you have someone else you can stay with, you’re stuck until you save up some money.

Good luck!

emjay's avatar

@livelaughlove21, I can’t get my hours back at Lowe’s without applying for a different position within the store. I’ve been trying but haven’t had any luck. The girl who took my former position told me she will be leaving and that my old job will be coming open again in the next few weeks so I am highly considering putting in to move back to that; however if i do that I’ve been told that they will no longer make schedule allowances for my restaurant job, so I would have to leave that one.

I’ve been a host at the restaurant for 4 years. I am among their top 5 longest standing employees. It IS a fine dining restaurant as far as fine dining goes in pit stop towns. I know most of our customers by name on sight. I know our computer system like the back of my hand. I know the menu almost by heart… I do not understand why my boss suddenly thinks I’m unworthy…. not to toot my own horn but I know how to do that job better than half of the girls who are already doing it. It doesnt make sense.

Lorna's avatar

You seem to already have your head screwed on. You just need someone to give you a break. Don’t consider applying, apply. Show willing. Apply for anything and everything. You need to earn some money to get out of your house. Do you have any friends you could stay with until you save some money?

emjay's avatar

Not at the moment. My best friend has his baby mama staying at his house and she – even though they arent together – flips shit if any other women so much as talk to him. I have been looking for house sitting jobs which gets me two things: extra money and a different place to stay…
A cousin of mine has a guest house she said I can stay in through the end of the year it just needs some tidying up before I can move in. Thinking I’ll probably end up doing that, seems like the best option so far.

I’m a bit wary of moving back to my old position because I had issues with the new manager in that department as well. When I tried to have a talk with her – a professional and open ended talk – about what types of communication I do and do not respond well to, she screamed at me and told me to get over it because she’s the boss…. and then told her supervisor that I screamed at her and through a bunch of papers at her. I never even raised my voice, and I would NEVER throw something at my manager. So. That was a load of horse shit. Hence my indecision on whether or not to apply… it would mean dealing with that woman again.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I think your restaurant job sounds very limited. It is fantastic that you have been there for so long and learned so much, but in a town such as you have mentioned, there is nowhere to move to. This restaurant has made it pretty clear with their behavior so far that you will never run the place. You don’t have a high end place to go without moving to a bigger city. Lowes can help you do that. It may not be fancy, but it is steady, and Lowes is everywhere. Make them happy. Show them you are responsible. If you must leave the other job to do so, it might be best. Talk with your superviser at Lowes, and see what advancement might be available for you there. Ask about the possibility of transfering to another location. Once you have settled yourself into the best situation you can there, worry about a second job.
The house sitting situation might be a good go for you for a while. It would at least give you some peace while you sort things out.
If you work on your communications skills, it would help heaps. I see your concerns, and you obviously care about making your life organized and liveable, but nobody responds well to the ghetto speak. Don’t fall back to it on the job, not with your boss, nor with customers, not even if the customer is someone you’ve known since kindergarten and speaks that way. It is not professional. Jobs are not there to conform to your likes/dislikes. You need to approach each aspect of each job as though you are impressing the boss of a major company. DON’T ever talk personal problems to your boss. It’s one thing to say, “I have bills, and things are getting pretty bad.” Do not do the,“My mom is nuts, I gotta get more money and get my own place cause i can’t crash with my friends they got stuff goin’ crazy too”, stuff. To a boss, that is the same as seeing your underwear, none of their business, don’t wanna be invited.
I’m sure tips seem like something highly desireable. The best thing is to stick with a job where you can be treated well and have somewhere to move, either up, or away.
I had a boss once who promised me certain things when he hired me. The amount of time we discussed came and went, and the promises were only a memory. I found out the person I replaced wasn’t gone. He was coming in very early, and leaving before I got there. I set it down for my boss in plain terms. I said, this guy does drugs, and he’s unreliable because of it. Some days he doesn’t show up. He does good work on his very best days, but he gives you nothing to count on. You have right now to decide. Who do you value? I turned away two other very good offers (offers, not interviews. I had either job if I wanted them) to take this job. Now you deliver on your promises, or you will be stuck with only him, because I am not here to be your charity worker, I’m here to do the job I was hired for. Starting today, I get the promised pay increase, promised hours, or I walk, and never return. The guy left, the girl got what she was promised, and when he put his arm around my shoulders one day to try for a boob squeeze, my elbow came back fast and hard into his ribs. He couldn’t breathe without pain for a couple of hours. I DO know whyat it’s like to deal with a crappy boss. I did end up leaving him, for the better. He was a Rabbi, and this business was his third strike. When I left, he lost the business, someone else took over, keeping the same people, and he was turned away from the community.
When you are the one in the right, stick to your guns, but with a very cool head. Do not make any empty threats. Be prepared to follow through with whatever you say.
Good Luck.

emjay's avatar

I’m not in the habit of using “ghetto speak.” And terms I use online such as “baby mama” and “shit fit” are used in sarcasm… I majored in communication.

My boss at the restaurant and I are far past the whole personal/work boundary already. We were friends before he was my boss, though now that he is my boss I attempt to keep our non-work-related communications to a minimum.

The town itself is limited, yes. But I live in Alaska. Everything is either hub or a pit stop between. The restaurant is located in a location placed conveniently between two of our largest townships. I don’t plan to be there forever, but I have some semblance of a life plan I would like to get rolling, and that would require getting my head (and maybe my shoulders, too) above water. I’m trying not to add too many “just for now” jobs to my resume, and find that until I’m ready to begin the work needed to get myself where I would like to be, it’s better to climb the ranks of the places I am already working.

At Lowe’s I was a head cashier before I cut my hours, and was being interviewed for department manager positions. After doing the math I figured out that serving and working part time at Lowe’s would actually make me more money than I would had I gotten the promotion to department manager. And money – not height on the ladder – is what is most important to me right now because I don’t plan to be with either place for the rest of my life, or even to use them as resume builders, really.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Well then, you’re all set, and don’t need me in your way. Have a real great time.

emjay's avatar

No need for attitude.

Unbroken's avatar

Can you transfer to say a nearby Lowe’s .

The issue with your mother. Tell her if you pay rent you expect her to have boundaries respect your adult hood and ask if you need a written contract to make the transition as smooth as possible. Also can you negotiate to pay less rent? Sure roommates in the area all told might pay 600 to 700 but you don’t even have a bedroom. Can’t invite a guy over or have any freedom.

How does she justify 400 is it a number she pulled out of her ass?

Another option is the online selling thing. Like scentsy or younique. Maybe a sex toy party.

Anything crafty you do you can take your easiest cheapest thing make ten to twenty try selling them at a health or tourist place.

It’s not a job its flexible. And not a big investment.

The other thing keep a list of all expenses for two weeks to a month. Every single one. You would be surprised to find out where your money is going. At all costa avoid NSF fees. Those are ridiculous waste.

emjay's avatar

The $400 is half of her utilities and property taxes. I understand that she needs help with utilities—she doesn’t work; however, when I agreed to this figure I was under the impression that I would be getting my bedroom and a place to put my things.
I was offered a bedroom…. but it is packed floor to ceiling with my sibling’s stuff. Everything I own is presently in a storage unit because, other than one box of my things and my clothes, I don’t have room to have my things out. Everything of mine that I have here is basically in a pile next to my mattress. This is definitely not the situation I thought I was agreeing to.

emjay's avatar

also. I feel like selling sex toys would be the best job ever. LOL. and also horrify my mom. Not that I would tell her about it but I’m sure she would find out eventually.

I’m gonna look into that. HAHAHA. Thank you for that fantastic idea.

Unbroken's avatar

Well I would bring that up.

When I agreed to pay 400 I thought I was getting a bedroom and privacy. Right now I don’t have either.

I have payments too. And I am sure you would like me out of the living room soon. So would you consider 300 a month so I can pay off my bills and have a little to set aside for getting back on my feet again? Or something to that effect.

Lol glad I could give you something to look into.

jazmina88's avatar

we get comfortable in our routine…...Break out of the zone. It has made you uncomfortable…look for 2 more jobs that make you happy and more money. I work at home and I love it. Good luck. Move forward

emjay's avatar

quick update on this for anyone interested. My old job at Lowe’s was posted yesterday morning. I applied. I’m having a talk with my boss at the restaurant about finite futures. If he cannot give me hard dates on moving up, if I am offered my old position at Lowe’s I’m going to take it and leave the restaurant.
In other news, I have several house sitting jobs lined up out into January, and my grandparents said I can live with them in between. So that puts me out of my mom’s house and in with some people who actually have a sense of boundaries, and you know, answer my emergency phone calls. I’ve never been very close with them, but out of all my relatives I am closest with them. So I figured… if I had to trust someone with my well being right now, they are probably a safe bet… so at least those parts of my life are looking better!!

Unbroken's avatar

Good to hear. :)

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