Christmas 2005. Day Five.

Christmas wasn’t too bad at all. I spent it with my father’s family which meant that I actually enjoyed it, even if it was a bit whirlwind. Nothing overly exciting in the gift department–not that I was really expecting anything big and/or exciting. I did get a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble and am trying to decide between the Christoper Guest Collection on DVD or A New England? Peace and War, 1886-1918. I’m leaning towards the book right now….

Things at work are going well. It’s looking like we’re going to go with the one manager, two stores thing though I’ll be getting a raise to go along with my upped responsibilities once things have been nailed down. I’m okay with that. I’ve also been invited to come up with a better job title for myself, if I so choose. ‘Shift Lead’ is boring and corporate. I’m thinking maybe something along the lines of ‘baristissima’ (the highest or best barista) or ‘gentiluomo barista’ (gentleman barista). Or something more creative than that.

Things with the boy are going well too. I never really thought about how much work Christmas is for people who work in churches. Speaking of churches, I actually went to Christmas Eve Mass….and it reminded me of all the things I hate about the Catholic Church. I was with my best friend from high school and her family and so it was a laugh a minute and I had way more fun that I think is allowed in a Catholic Church. And we managed to refrain from stealing the baby Jesus from the Nativity.

The boy is having a New Year’s party on Saturday. So I’ll meet most of his friends all at once. No pressure. I don’t know that I’m nervous exactly though it will be somewhat daunting being the new guy and knowing that they’re all going to be judging me to see if I’m worthy of him. At least, I assume that’s what they’ll be doing since that’s what I would expect my friends to do in the same situation.

More importantly though is the fact that I’ll have someone to kiss at midnight on New Year’s for the first time in…well, ever. For some reason, having someone to kiss at midnight seems more important to me than having someone to spend Valentine’s Day with. Even when I’ve been in a relationship with someone, I’ve never been with them on New Year’s, and thus have never had someone to kiss at midnight. I’m not sure what the deal with that is–why it seems like such a big deal to me–but I intend to make it a damn good kiss to make up for lost time.

My one resolution so far is the same one that I make every year: floss more regularly. Beyond that, I think I need to really get myself on a better daily schedule given that I’m going to five closings a week next month, which means that I really need to get good at getting things done during the morning and not putzing around and doing nothing all morning until just before I have to go to work. This includes reading the paper on the day that it’s published as well as making myself a lunch for while I’m at work. And spending less time in the house–although that’s a tough one with winter and all. I also really want to set up a sort of reading schedule for myself given how little of my list of ‘summer’ reading I got done. I really need to get cracking on this pre-grad school reading if I’m going to be in a position to think about reapplying this coming fall.

Hectic week

To answer the burning question on everyone’s mind: I am not manager as yet and it doesn’t look like I will be any time soon. Which is fine. As things have unfolded, I’ve begun to realise how much I never was taught or told about my responsibilities in my position now, never mind the added responsibilities of a manager. The manager of our other store is going to run both stores for a while to get us back up to speed–and things may end up staying like that, though that’s not definite yet.

It’s been a rather crazy week–busy with holiday shoppers–plus schedule changes due to the need to cover the former manager’s shifts. I ended up opening two mornings this week (meaning I had to be to work at 6 am!), which was not fun but it needed to get done. After having opened yesterday, I ended up having to go back to help close last night because of another scheduling mishap. I was not thrilled, especially because it meant having an intermission to my dinner with the boy, but the person whose fault it was is buying me a bottle of Glenlivet to make up for it.

One more day at work tomorrow and then it’s off to Massachusetts for the holiday. Still not talking to my mother which means only dealing with my father’s family, which means that I’ll actually enjoy the holiday. Next week should be better work-wise. It’s when the other manager is going to start coming in and essentially re-educating us. Although that might sound a bit scary, I’m actually looking forward to it. As I said, I’ve realised how much I’m supposed to know about my job that I don’t and that rather bothers me.

Probably I won’t post until after Christmas. It’s nice to be going into Christmas without being stressed out for a change. Hopefully it won’t be stressful. I mean, it’s only my dad’s family. Which means that there isn’t really much to be stressed about.

Lame-ass

So my boss quit yesterday. Via text message. I didn’t think he could get any more lame. Ah the wonders of modern technology.

Yesterday at work, needless to say, was somewhat hectic–my manager was supposed to open and texted his resignation shortly before he was supposed to open. I’m not sure how any one else is feeling just yet, but I’m feeling rather relieved needless to say. I had only been there a month when the last manager left (because she was going back to school) and there was a lot of concern about being directly managed by one of the co-owners. Now, though, I’d rather welcome that. For a bit anyway to get us back on track.

Eventually, though, we’ll need our own manager of course….

Don’t think I haven’t thought about it. And I’m not the only one. Back in September when the recently-quit manager had just started as manager, I had a couple of regular customers think that I actually was the new manager. Yesterday, I was talking to someone else who works for the company who seemed to think that if I wanted the position that it could be mine.

I don’t not want the position. But, I would certainly approach it very humbly. I’ve never managed before and my time as a shift lead I don’t think has prepared me as well as it might have to become a manager. I would want to be sure that I was going to get the kind of support and helping hands that I would both need and want at first to make at least a somewhat smooth transition before I was ready to do it without the training wheels, so to speak. I’m sure that it’s something that I could do–and I could likely do it rather well, I’d like to think–but I’m not so smug as to assume that I’d be able to do it well straight away.

It’s going to be an interesting week, methinks. By the end of yesterday, it seemed that we actually had most of the former manager’s shifts covered. That’s just one part of it, though. For one thing, he was doing all the ordering on his own–a responsibility that he was supposed to share with the shift leads–and so neither of the two shift leads have any real experience doing that. Still, I have to say that I’m generally quite impressed with the quality of people who work for this company as well as the willingness of the co-owners to step up to the plate–or to step down into the trenches as it were–when they’re needed. They’ve been open 11 years now but have no problem jumping on the line or pulling espresso shots if they need to.

Updates as events warrant….

Academic muddle

Not that I’ve been giving much thought to this since I graduate in June, but my mind just happened to fall on the topic now.

Do I really want to study Victorian/Edwardian masculinities or do I want to study knowledge/science in the early English Atlantic?

I can’t do both. The later would let me look at issues of gender and sexuality to some degree. The former would probably let me look at issues of knowledge and science to some degree too but without a trans-Atlantic framework.

Just food for thought.

Update

The work holiday party wasn’t actually too bad and I’m happy I went in the end. Much (too much?) karaoke was sung. Much (never too much) wine was consumed. Wine makes everything better.

Work continues to be stupid due for the most part now to the manager. He’s not really new any more given that he’s been managing the store since September. September was a messed up month and his first month so no one really thought much about it. It hasn’t really gotten any better though. If anything, it’s gotten mildly worse. In a lot of ways, I feel like it’s almost degenerated into this boys’ club v. girls’ club atmosphere, with the boys being stupid and adolescent and the girls attempting to maintain some professional level despite the boys’ fart jokes. I’m exaggerating to get the point across but there should be no surprise that I’m the only boy on the girls’ side. I still wonder about what, if anything, I should do. I’m not exactly sure what I would say to my manager that wouldn’t seem like I was too directly criticising his management style and skills. And I still feel like I would be too much of a snitch if I just directly went to his boss and said something. Still, given that there have been complaints about his espresso drinks being undrinkable and that when one of my co-workers mentioned this to him, he just laughed it off, I’m not sure that confronting him directly is going to help anything. In fact, yesterday one of our regular customers who always gets a double espresso decided to get just drip coffee when my manager saw him walk in and went directly to start pulling his shots for him. There was this really awkward moment when the customer looked at me–I was closer to the cash than to the espresso machine–and then looked at my manager and then back at me and said that he’d just have regular coffee.

None of this is rocket science. Sure, there are certain skills involved in using an espresso machine but one would assume that if you’ve been doing this for any length of time–long enough to have managed a few shops along the way–that you’d have picked up those necessary skills at some point. But, maybe not.

In other news, things with the boy continue to go quite well. It’s been a month as of today since our first date. Despite a discussion we had a couple of weeks ago about how we should take it slow as both of us have a bad tendency to rush into things at first, we’ve spent almost every night together since that conversation. At least we tried. It’s the thought that counts.

Speaking of thought, I can’t believe that Christmas is in a week. Ugh. Stupid holidays. I’ve really been trying to enjoy the season for what it’s worth this year, but I just haven’t even been thinking about it. I’ve been rather focused on work and on the boy. I haven’t given any thought to gifts yet although I honestly don’t think that I can really afford to buy much of anything for anyone this year. So I probably won’t. My family will understand. I just graduated from university, of course I don’t have any money. Conversely, I don’t really expect much of anything from them either. I don’t really NEED anything that I can think of. There are things I’d LIKE but nothing that I really NEED.

Except maybe a pair of boots and a new winter hat.