Nicknames and Being My True Self

For the first time ever, I have a nickname other than abbreviations of my name, like Em or Emi. My co-workers gave it to me. It’s Bossy Sauce. 

It’s completely ridiculous. Here’s how it happened: One of my female co-workers was telling about the Sheryl Sandburg initiative #banbossy, intended to empower girls by not calling them “bossy,” but instead “strong-willed,” “leaders,” etc. I pulled the website up on my computer, and at the same time, one of the IT guys remotely connected to it to fix an issue I’d been having. The #banbossy campaign had the opposite effect for me – because of it, people started calling me bossy. And “sauce,” well, I have no idea. You’d have to ask Kyle.

But the nickname has stuck. It stuck, because it fit. 

I feel like my job requires me to do impossible things on a regular basis. Not exactly “impossible,” but beyond my skill set and comfort level. In order to do what needs to be done, I’ve adopted a sort of confident persona. I don’t like taking charge, but things have to get done. Bossy Sauce makes things happen.

In May, we visited family in Iowa for a week, and while there, I realized how much I’d changed. I felt a tension between wanting to act and think like my high school self, quiet, being a wallflower in conversations, and in general, blending in. But I knew that wasn’t who I was any more. Or was I? 

Was the confident version of myself just a cover up, or was it always there, deep down?

Why is it that I can stand up for myself at work, but not in other contexts?

I really thought I finally knew myself well. And then I changed.

And that’s why I want to blog. Since I have a full time job, the pressure to grow a following and gain sponsors is off, and I can just blog for myself again. 

It’s just difficult, when you have a full time job, that lately has required working 70ish hours a week. 

Even though my work involves lots of writing, I need to blog here still. Because this is where my true voice is. Blogging here feels like being my true self.

It feels good to be back.

New Job!

Hi everyone!

I guess I didn’t tell you, but my troubles at work didn’t get any better. With permission from the leaders, I respectfully quit. I took Kali and a formal letter of resignation with me. Frank seemed pleased, and couldn’t help but add in parting comments about letting customers pick cheese. His wife cried. I felt really, really bad for her.

I applied to Walmart last Saturday, and after three days of going back and forth, trying to get in touch with the right person, computer difficulties, and one road block after another, I am finally hired at Walmart! I’m actually really excited to work there, all the personnel that I met, which was quite a few, were very friendly. I’ll be working in Dairy and Frozen Foods, along with two other guys from Campus Crusade! I was just hired today, and so now I’m waiting for the results of my drug test, and then I’ll have a two day orientation before starting work, probably sometime next week. I’ve already bought some navy blue shirts! From Walmart, go figure.

It was a long and frustration process. I had to keep going back day after day, walking 20 minutes each way in the scorching heat and oppressive humidity. I feel like I’ve practically lived there this week, I’ve spent so much time there perusing the isles while waiting. God has been good; encouragement always came in some unexpected form. One day an elderly couple gave me a ride home on the back of their golf cart. This morning, when I went in at the time my interview was supposed to be, a lady power-walking struck up a conversation with me as she passed me, just asking me if I was headed to work. When I replied that I was actually headed to an interview at Walmart, she said all I’d have to do was flash “that bright smile,” but she’d say a prayer for me! That was so unexpected, and so encouraging.

Thank you to all who have been in prayer for me! Where God guides, He provides, and through your prayers, He has shown us all once again that He is in control!

Troubles At Work

I would really appreciate your prayers regarding my job. The last two weeks have been extremely difficult.

It started with my boss making uncalled for harsh comments and criticisms, and even though I sought to respond by just going the extra mile to minister, the situation just got worse. I tried to stay out of his way as much as possible, but he would get very angry over very small things that I did that were different from the way he would do something, or if I even suggested a different way of doing it. I talked to his wife, and she agreed that his behavior toward me was uncalled for, and she would talk to him about it.

It was better for a day, but then the next time I went in to work, in front of all the customers, he flew into a rage over the fact that I said that it was very confusing when he allowed the customers to switch between cheeses, repeatedly reminding me that he was the owner of the business, and I was just the employee. The next morning, he again confronted me about the incident yesterday, belligerently asking me if I tried to tell my former employers how to run their businesses, and why I felt like I could tell him what to do. He went on a rant for quite some time, while I just listened, retaining my composure, and agreeing with him and apologizing for offending him. I also told him that I understood that he was under a lot of pressure running the business, and that he was doing very well at it.

After that, I thought we were good to go, but I still took care to stay out of his way. But later on, I made an innocent mistake, and when I tried to correct it, he interfered, telling the customer to ask for him to do it next time, because I didn’t know how and wasn’t good at it. In front of me! I was shocked. He then proceeded to show me how to do it “right,” and I watched without saying a word while he did everything differently from how they taught me originally. As I expected, it didn’t work for him either, and embarrassed by his failure, he proceeded to verbally attack me even more harshly than before, also in front of the customer. He then told me that I would have to come in later in the day and only work when his wife was there, which I totally agreed with, except that it makes for much longer days for me, and one hour less of work per week.

When I went into work today, Frank informed me that I wasn’t allowed to use the cash register anymore. Then I told his wife I wanted to talk to her once she got a chance, and she must have told Frank that because then a little later Frank came and said, “Hey, you can talk to her all you want, but I’m the owner of this business, and I’m the one that hired you, right?” Then he went on to say; “and you know, there’s plenty of other places out there you could work. So if you’re not happy here, there’s plenty of other places you could work. But you won’t make it in the restaurant business! You’re so slow. I have to wait while you make the bagels. You move like molasses!” Which is almost funny, if it weren’t so ridiculous, because it’s not like I can make the toaster toast any faster, you know? “And just so you know, I’m cutting your hours back from 11 to 2.”

So I talked to his wife, and she said that she’ll talk to Frank, again. She said too that she doesn’t want me to have to work in a hostile environment. So she’ll try to come in when I do, and since 11-2 isn’t even close to the 30 hours we’re supposed to get, my hours will be 10-2, which is a little closer, but still not good. I mentioned the possibility of having Frank take a break for a few hours while I’m there, and she said she’d talk to him about it.

That’s the latest on the situation, besides that I’m not working for the rest of this week. I’ll go back on Monday however. So we’ll see how it goes.

I discussed the situation with my discipler, parents, and campus director, and they all agreed that because of the hostile environment, if working with her doesn’t help, I can find a new job. Of course, that opens up a lot of uncertainties and fears for me, since it wasn’t easy to find a job at all, and this late in the summer, the chances are much slimmer. So, please pray! Pray that God will change my employer’s heart, and that I’ll continue to respond in a God honoring way, while choosing the best course of action. Thank you so much!