The Little Annoyances When Applying for Jobs

The last few days have been killer. I slept so much last night, but I’m still exhausted.

My shoulder and neck are somewhat healed from last weekend. I’m not on the pain meds anymore and only took the muscle relaxers twice. I’m still really sore though, and that makes my head a little foggy.

Some of my favourite co-workers and I had to go to our First Aid and CPR training this week. The bosses kept checking on me before I went, just to make sure my shoulder wasn’t going to be an issue during the CPR training. I’m more sore from sitting on uncomfortable folding chairs all day and watching slideshows than anything else.  When you’re recovering from a pinched nerve, the last thing you want to do is sit in a folding chair staring at a screen for 8 hours!

I also took my entire one day off this week to do all the cleaning around here, play a little Zeus on the computer, and get a little writing done. Started my first real knitting project too. I’m making squares, which will be sewn together to make a blanket.

And on top of all that, I had to do THE job application. This was the application for the job that I’m actually qualified for, that I would be fantastic at, that would pay me enough to not live in a house with a bunch of random people, and I could afford to buy a bed that is big enough for me to sleep in without contorting my body in awkward positions. This was the job I had been lying awake at night wishing for, and then dreaming about once I fell asleep. This was the job that would finally let me better myself so that I could provide for my fur-child, the ever-snuggly Bowser Kitten, properly and shower him with treats and cat trees.

This was also the job that came with a 42-page guide on how to write out the cover letter and resume properly.

I spent three days working on this application. I had to go over every single sentence and make sure it was worded the exact way the guide said to word it. I had to find the perfect balance between showing the responsibilities and tasks I had at previous jobs, and really playing up the things I’ve done that are exactly what this job requires. I had to find a way to show that taking extra online courses in our training modules at work proved that I could keep up with the responsibilities of keeping up with the ever-changing laws and how they apply, even though I was just learning the difference between a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon.

I was working on other applications during this too. I’d work on stuff for an hour, and then run off to the other room to vacuum or mop or anything but type. I submitted a handful of other applications, made two different types of marshmallow cereal bars, took a few naps (thanks to the muscle relaxers I was on, no doubt), and washed the walls. I tried switching between the main application and the other ones I was working on, but I just kept getting more and more stressed out and frustrated.

I mean, there was a 42-page guideline!

This application had to be both a cover letter and a resume with a combined total page length of five pages. Quite a few pages covered the basics, but there was still so much detail that needed to be put into this thing! It was absolutely maddening!

And of course, throughout the whole process, there were the regular little annoyances that come up when you’re applying for jobs. What are those annoyances, you ask?

1. Please attach your resume. Now, please fill in all the info from your resume. 

You see an ad for a job, click the little link at the bottom, and head over to the website for HR. You go through the ad, tailor your resume a bit, fill in your basic information in the application form, and then get to the bottom of the screen. Some companies have you ad your resume as an attachment. Some have a little box where you can copy and paste your resume. Either way, you ad your resume and figure you’re all done.

Oh hell no!

For some reason, even though they’re sitting there on your resume, now you have to fill out like six different forms with all the information that’s already on your resume! You wind up spending close to an hour filling in your job history, volunteer experience, education, maybe even a few references.

And do you know where they could find all that information? Your resume, that’s attached right there on the form!

I know there’s probably a good reason for this. They’re trying to catch people lying on their resumes or verify information. A lot of companies use software to scan applications for keywords, and maybe this makes it easier to do so. Or maybe there’s just some sort of sadistic conspiracy against job hunters.

2. You need a professional resume. And an educational one. And a customer service one. And……

I have a few degrees, a college certificate, and a bunch of Microsoft training. I’ve worked in research, was a teaching assistant, and volunteered for a whole bunch of social justice and school spirit organizations in university. And for the last four years, I’ve been working in customer service.

For some jobs, I need to play up my customer service training. For others, it’s all about my computer skills. Some want to know about my research experience, or my schooling, or my volunteer work with one specific organization.  Each and every one of those requires a completely different resume.

And it’s not just a matter of cutting and pasting things. Different types of resumes require different styles, which means using a completely different template to work from. You can’t just move things around to highlight things. My degrees make me over-qualified for a lot of the customer service work I apply for, and my customer service work is seen as a low point for research jobs compared to my education and research work.

Then you get highly specified applications that come with a 42-page guideline. At least something like that tells you exactly what you need on your resume.

3. Some application processes are extremely specific. They might even have a 42-page guideline.

Ok, I’ll admit that I love the fact that they just flat out tell you what they want in this guideline. They basically lay out the cover letter for you and explain exactly what they want to know from you. It’s like the idiots’ guide to applying.

But it’s 42-pages of this! This is how they weed out the contenders from the “well I’ll just throw in a resume and see what happens” folk. They give super specific directions just for the layout, requiring specific fonts, font sizes, and margins. Then they lay out exactly how they want your information presented to them.

Thing is, this specific application is a 5-page combination of the resume and cover letter. I’m not going to be able to use this for any other application, and I can’t just recycle part of it for similar applications because the presentation is completely different for each one! It’s like spending 3 days working on a “maybe”.

4. Did I mention cover letters yet? Because cover letters suck.

Basically, you have 3/4 of a page to sell yourself. You have to show exactly how you meet every single qualification, how every qualification on your resume proves you’re perfect for this position and answer any questions your education and experience (or lack thereof) may bring up. Oh, and you have a highly specific template you must work from that includes customer headers, specified address lines, and a very specific amount of spaces between “Thank you” and your name.

Oh, and did I mention that this is the very first thing a potential employer sees? This is the very first impression you make. Every single tiny thing must be absolutely perfect, or else they’ll just toss your application aside.

No pressure or anything, eh?

And these are just the things about actually applying that can drive a person bonkers! Nevermind all the waiting for a call back, the interview prep, the rounds and rounds some interviews take, the personality tests, the rejections, the “almosts”…………


Need a Better Work/Life Balance

Well Sunshine, I can already tell that today is going to be one damn rough day! I woke up this morning and couldn’t exactly use my right arm. At first, I thought I just slept on it funny had a kink in my neck and shoulder. As the morning wore on, the pain got worse though. My mother told me to just take a really hot shower, and that would help loosen me up. Oh, she could not have been more wrong!

I was trapped in the shower for almost 40 minutes because of the pain. It didn’t matter which hand I used when I tried to turn the faucet handle pain shot through my arm and neck to the point where I was immobilized. I was standing there, head up against the wall, bawling my eyes out and howling in pain, while hot water was pouring down on me. With my head propped against the wall, I somehow managed to turn off the shower with my foot after more than half a dozen attempts. I dried myself off, attempted to put my pj’s back on, and bawled my eyes out as I made my way back to the bedroom.

Thankfully, the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend came home from work in the middle of this. He knows that I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and he looked pretty damn scared to see me crying in pain like that. I managed to put on my deodorant and coconut oil, but it took both of us to try and get some clothes on me. He tried to rub my back and shoulder for me a bit, but the pain was so intense I almost threw up on him. So after checking the hours of local clinics, he convinced me to call in sick to work so he could take me to the urgent care clinic.

I’m stubborn, so I never go to clinics. Usually, I just check WebMD, laugh at their diagnosis, and then just power through whatever is wrong with me. Today WebMD said I have two types of meningitis, West Nile (again), Lyme disease, a dislocated shoulder, and a broken neck. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was a little disappointed with my visit to the clinic today. WebMD was definitely more fun! The doctor didn’t exam my shoulder and neck and didn’t even touch me.  She just asked me a few questions and sent me out of there with a few prescriptions. I have some pretty nice pain pills and a muscle relaxant I can take to help me sleep.

So today has been pretty strange. It hurts to move much, and I’ve cried a lot so far. I called in sick for the 3rd time in 4 years at this job, and am determined to make it for my evening inventory shift tomorrow. The pain pills are working pretty well, but I still hurt. I went out to the clinic, in public, in my pj’s and soaking wet hair without even drawing on some eyebrows. And the not-so-helpful Bowser Kitten can’t understand why I won’t pick him up or play fetch with him today.

So, I’m taking it easy today. Spent most of the day at my desk, working on some reports I have to bring to work tomorrow. Read some funny stories, looked at memes and cat videos, watched a little Drag Race. I’ve got a few magazines here I can browse through, some books that need reading, and games on my phone to keep me entertained. It’s weird, not being at work on a Saturday night. It also made me realize a whole lot of things I wish I could do, but can’t with this current job.

1) Brunch on weekends

I have a few friends I’ve been meaning to catch up with for ages, and most of them are looking for something to do on Saturday mornings. What could be a better way to keep in touch than around a table, surrounded by poached eggs and avocados? I used to get together with my sister, brother, and a few cousins once a month for brunch. When my cousins were too busy, me and my siblings went a few times. Then, I started having to work every single weekend and we just stopped getting together.

2) Farmers Markets

Again, these are Saturdays around here. I missed every single market downtown last year because of work and only made it to the west end market once the entire season. I used to love hitting up the market, buying things from local merchants, and trying new things.

3)Hitting up the markets across town

We have a really big market called Market Square, and another market just down the street from it. Again, it’s all local merchants and there is a huge variety of stuff there to explore. I used to go to the market with my dad, pick out some fancy meats or new veggies, grab some authentic polish sausage (or hit up one of the stands selling vegetarian substitutes just for me when dad wasn’t looking), and then just relax and snack on our new finds while we watched tv. I haven’t done that in years though.

4) Grocery shopping in general

AAB just came back from a run to the grocery store, and I couldn’t go with him because of this damn pain. I’m going through what he bought, looking at the receipt, and all I can focus on is the tiny cans of pop he bought me. They’re a pack of six 222mL cans, and two six packs are $5. My inner bargain shopper is screaming right now because I buy two six packs of the 710mL bottles for that price.  I just never have time to do a full, good grocery shop because of when I work. AAB has the van during the day, so I would have to walk to the store (which is right next to my work), load up on everything we need, take a cab back, unload everything and put it away, and then walk back up to the store to go to work. If anything, I usually run to the store on my break and grab a few small things. I miss being able to spend a good hour or so comparing prices, looking at flyers, planning meals, and working with a shopping list and a real budget.

5) Yoga

This pain in my shoulder and neck probably could have been avoided with proper stretching, or with just not sharing a tiny bed with AAB and the super long Bowser Kitten. Truth is, I used to be pretty bendy and flexible. I could never do the splits for some reason, but I never got stiff or sore because when I would read or write I was always in super weird positions. But lately everything is done at my desk, and my only exercise (especially since my fall) has been walking to and from work. I miss being bendy and not sore and wish I had time for the kitten yoga classes they have on weekends across town.

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I absolutely love these things. For me a perfect weekend would involve a brunch with my sister and brother or a few friends, a yoga lesson or two (and maybe one or two during the week, if I had a schedule I could actually work around), a trip to the Multifoods and to the grocery store near work, and hitting up the market and/or farmers market. I could do a little food prep, make my snack bags, sip on some tea (and wine), and curl up with a good book at night.

But instead, I have this strange schedule that is impossible for me to work around. AAB gets up for work by 6:20am, which usually wakes me up. I either wake up with him or try to nap for an hour or two if I was up later the night before. I drink coffee, check social media, do a bit of writing or read some of my research (which I’m super behind in), and then start on the cleaning. There is somehow always so much cleaning to do. Between the cleaning, trying to write, the oh-so-distracting Bowser Kitten, and attempting to cook something healthy for lunch instead of mac’n’cheese yet again, I don’t hop in the shower until a little after noon usually. After a brief hair and makeup break, I try to clean up a bit more or get started on some sort of project here. But by the time 2pm rolls around, it’s too late to start any big projects or go anywhere before work. Depending on my start time, I’m out the door sometime between 3pm and 4:30pm and am at work until just before 9:30pm. AAB likes to eat right before bed, so he waits for me to come home before he eats dinner. Unless I get stuck in a YouTube loop (thanks, WatchMojo) or actually pick up one of the dozens of books I need to read around here, we’re both in bed by 10:30pm. Even if I get a giant to-do list done in a day, it feels like a whole wasted day of nothing.

I miss being able to feel like I accomplished something in my day. I miss being able to buy my mushroom meat anytime I want it. I miss the smell of the European market and the sight of the giant fish swimming in their tanks just waiting to be killed at the Asian market. I miss green tea and yoga on a Saturday afternoon and hurting myself laughing over granola and poached eggs. I guess this schedule just makes me feel trapped. Having a day off, regardless of the immense pain I’m in, was a bit of a blessing. It’s helping me to see the things that are really important to me when considering a work-life balance, other than the usual “I need time with AAB and to cook dinner sometimes”.

Before I have to take my muscle relaxer (which supposedly will make me goofy), I think I’ll work on a few job applications. The one I’m working on the hardest inspired a post I have in my drafts to work, about the pains of the job hunt. I think I’ll work on it more once I’m done with the pains of having nerves and muscles.


My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad (Mon)Day

I read a theory a little while ago, and have been driving myself mad trying to find it again. I just want to give credit where credit is due for its sheer brilliance. I’ve been reading comic strips since I was 4, and have a very small collection of Garfield books in the office, and somehow this never dawned on me.  You see, Garfield hates Mondays. It’s a huge running joke in the comics. He just can’t stand the thought of having a Monday each and every week and makes a big deal about how something goes wrong each and every Monday.  Everyone always laughed along with him, like “Oh you silly cat, I hate Mondays too!”

But people hate Mondays because that’s (traditionally, not in retail) the start of the work week. After spending the weekend running errands, grabbing drinks, relaxing, maybe cleaning up the house, everyone has to trudge back to the office bright and early Monday morning for yet another exciting work week of sitting at a desk and wishing they were anywhere but there.  People hate Mondays. Garfield isn’t people though: Garfield the Cat is a damn cat. He doesn’t have a job. He sits around the house drop-kicking Odie, eating lasagna, and sleeping with his teddy bear. He has absolutely no reason to hate Mondays because the start of the work week has absolutely no bearing on his schedule. If anything, he should love Mondays because that would be the day Jon goes back to work for the week and Garfield can nap without interruption.

Unless that’s the reason Garfield hates Mondays. Jon goes back to work, meaning he’s not there with Garfield for a good 8-10 hours a day. After spending an entire weekend being at home with his pets, Jon has to head back to the grind and leave his pets behind for a few hours every day. Garfield doesn’t hate Mondays because it’s the start of his week, he hates Mondays because it’s the start of Jon’s week. Monday is the day Jon has to leave after spending the weekend together. Garfield’s hatred of Mondays is actually his own little way of saying that he loves Jon, and doesn’t want him to leave.

I can’t believe I never saw it that way before.

Well, I had a Monday this week that would make anyone hate the day! My Monday events started thanks to Sunday’s actions, which were a result of what happened in my last post the end of last week, which I’m sure all leads back to Kevin Bacon somehow. The Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend and I had a big talk about his drinking and the person he becomes when he’s drunk, and he decided to make some pretty major changes in his lifestyle. To show that he was serious about this, he decided to do something that he had been promising me he would do for weeks now. When I came home from work on Sunday night, AAB was one his knees in the kitchen, scrubbing out the oven. He had some bright pink rubber gloves on and was spraying super thick layers of oven cleaner while he scrubbed.

Now, our oven hadn’t been cleaned in years. Yes, I know that’s nasty. But even my clean-freak ex-roommate didn’t clean the damn thing. Everything else in the damn kitchen is scrubbed and sanitized at least once a week. It’s just that damn oven that I never seemed to get around to. Damn.

I sat on the floor with the cautiously curious Bowser Kitten, sipping wine and updating AAB on the current work drama while he scrubbed away. I’d get up and grab him paper towels and scrubbing cloths as needed, but generally just let him do his thing. He must have been scrubbing that thing for a good hour and wound up with a plastic bag full of paper towels soaked in oven cleaner. After washing up and taking out the trash, he started dinner. He had been wanting to try two different recipes for pork ribs all week and was going to do both at the same time. After he threw everything in the freshly cleaned oven, I curled up with my wine and kitten on the couch to start season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

After dinner, I stayed up a bit later than AAB and started to feel really weird. I tried to get some sleep, but the room started spinning. After lying down for an hour or so, I found myself running for the bathroom. I spent the majority of the night either waiting for the room to stop spinning, or bent over the toilet losing my dinner. Just when my stomach finally started to calm down so I could get a little sleep, AAB’s alarm started going off.

After he finally left for work, I tried to just lay down and nap for a bit. I got up a few times and threw up what little was left in my system, and got a good 2 hours of sleep in. A bit before noon I started feeling restless from not doing anything and decided to put away the dishes from the night before. Except when I went to grab the first dish, it slipped out of my hand. It seems AAB did the dishes after a few drinks, and they were all covered in grease. So, had to rewash all the dishes plus do what was left of the dishes from the night before.

By now, I was feeling a little bit better. I decided to try and make the moo shu chicken recipes I had up on my computer for a good week. I threw my chicken in the marinade, threw it back in the fridge, and decided to check the oven for any dishes AAB may have left in there. He has a bad habit of throwing pans in there to get them out of the way. There were no pans in there, but I did figure out why I felt so sick.

It seems that when AAB finished up the oven while I was in the other room, he didn’t actually rinse any of the cleaner out of the oven. He soaked up a whole tonne of it with paper towels, but the entire inside of the oven was coated with a thick layer of toxic cleaner. You know, the same oven AAB used to cook us dinner in the night before?  He cooked our ribs and potatoes in chemicals. Basically, I ate oven cleaner for dinner and spent the night throwing up.

Of course, now I had to clean the oven out. I pulled out the racks, grabbed my sponges, and got to work scrubbing the inside. Somehow, while I was nowhere near the light bulb but still inside the oven, the bulb just decided to burst. It was so loud and sudden, I jumped. While inside the oven.  Slammed my head into the top off the oven pretty hard, while slamming my left elbow into the outer edge hard enough to bring tears to my eyes.

After a quick concussion check and a shower, grabbed the mail. My day was starting to look up because there was a package from the website I ordered my new glasses from. I ripped open the package and tried on my new glasses, only to find out I can’t see a damn thing with them on. After checking the purchase order in the box, came to find out that they somehow inverted my prescription. My eyes are two completely different strengths (-7.25 and -5.75), and they put the left lens in the right side of the frame and vice versa. It took me close to an hour and a half between their live web chat and a phone call to get everything straightened out. Put those glasses back in the mail, and have new ones on order as we speak.

Finally got around to making that Moo Shu Chicken. It looks absolutely amazing. No clue how it tastes though because my stomach was too upset to even try it. So after cooking a bug lunch (with leftovers) that smelled amazing, I had to put it all in Tupperware and put it in the fridge while I munched on crackers and a bit of cheese instead. It was the safest thing I could think of to put in my rumbling tummy.

Finally, settle in at my desk to finish getting ready for work and do a little reading when my phone starts ringing. It’s my coworkers wondering where the hell I am. I’ve been starting at 5:15pm for days now and was on autopilot to get there for that time. Too bad my shift started at 4:15pm, and AAB wasn’t home with the van yet to drive me there ASAP. Grabbed my gear, strapped on my steel toes, and walked to work at full speed, somehow managing not to fall down in any potholes this time. Only wound up starting half an hour late, which wasn’t bad. My coworkers were great about it though. They weren’t upset that I was late. I’m never late. I usually show up a good 30 minutes early for my shifts just in case it’s super busy and they need me to start early. When I wasn’t there by 4:15 they were legitimately worried. They thought I had fallen on my way in again and was laying in the middle of the sidewalk while people just walked around me.

The rest of the night went pretty smoothly until my uterus decided to remind me of its existence. Because cramps seemed like the absolute perfect end to the day.

It’s Tuesday now. AAB made a nice ham for dinner last night, and I found out later in the night what it feels like to throw up ham so violently that it comes out your nose. Made the same discovery with my coffee this morning, too.  It’s 1pm now, and I’m still in my pj’s. I slept on the couch last night (to be closer to the bathroom), and have barely started my to-do list for the day. I made my “bed”, wrote this, did some dishes, and turned down a shift at work because I already work 6 days a week and need a day off, especially when I’m puking out my nose. Going to get a little cleaning done in the living room, take a nice hot bath, and get some laundry done later when the energy rates go down. Dinner is in the crockpot, and I might make some more cereal bars later.

Well, I don’t want to get too ambitious. I mean, there’s always the chance that this could turn into a very Monday-esque Tuesday.

“You’re Lucky I’m Not Beating You”

It was yet another fun-filled night with the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend. Everything had started innocently enough earlier in the day. I did my taxes online, and he was wondering if I could do his this weekend for him. Of course, I agreed to, but said I had some ‘non-monetary fees’ he had to agree to first: for two whole weeks, Monday to Friday, no hard liquor and no drinking during the day or before work.

Now, for most people, this would be a very simple thing. But a year ago, AAB was doing all those things to the extreme. He was drinking heavily during working hours, drinking as soon as he woke up in the morning, and continuing on until he went to bed at night. He was beyond broke, spending every last dime on alcohol. But a year ago, he went to go “dry out” and to start getting his life together. He swore to me that there would be no more morning booze, no more day drinking during work hours, and no more hard liquor. Every night after work, he would buy two or three beers or coolers from the store I work at, and he was fine. Over time, a few of the rules were bent a little bit. Every Saturday when he’s done work for the week he picks up a 26 of whiskey. And when he has a really really rough day at work, he will very occasionally pick up a half-mickey of whiskey for the evening.

In January, I caught him with a cooler at 6:30am while he was getting ready for work. He swore that it was a one-time thing until I caught him again a few days later. He swore that he only started doing that when I was working my 6am shift for the holidays since he was up so early with me every day. Then I caught him going to other liquor stores, trying to hide what he was buying from me so that I wouldn’t know he was buying whiskey. He was once again hiding booze around the house, trying to drink behind my back. I would go to pull the Tide-scented Bowser Kitten out of his laundry basket, only to have a half-empty mickey of whiskey fall out at my feet. What I thought was more than 8 months of him doing so well with his quasi-sobriety was crumbling before my eyes.

So when I saw the opportunity present itself, I made my two-week proposal to him. He kept saying that he needed to get back on track, and he wanted to dry out a bit. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for him to do so. Instead, he told me he couldn’t do it. He’s fine giving up the hard liquor during the week, and not drinking during work hours. But he refused to agree not to drink in the morning because apparently he’s been doing that since he went to dry-out a year ago. He’s been doing this for a year, all the while he’s been swearing to me that he wasn’t doing it. He was lying to my face for an entire year.

And that’s where the fight began. He argued that it really isn’t a big deal that he’s been doing this because he’s been functioning just fine every day. I have no right to be mad at him for lying to me about it because he was only lying to me to protect me from his drinking. I tried to tell him that I was embarrassed and pissed off because I had spent the last year believing in him and trusting him, only to find out I was a fool and he was doing this behind my back. That’s where the real gems started flowing from his mouth.

“Hun, that’s why I lied. I hide things from you, so you won’t be embarrassed about me hiding things from you”


“You’re only upset because you’re a woman. Women take things to heart. Guys say shit, and then they’re jsut over it and can be buds. You’re just too girly.”


“I didn’t mean [insert mean personal comment] when I said it. I just say shit like that because I know it hurts you. I don’t mean it, I just want to hurt you.”

He went on like that the entire time we were cooking dinner, and well into eating dinner. He picked on my self-esteem, my work schedule, my job, and even my eyesight at one point. Every time I tried to make a point or ask a question, he would talk over me. He would raise his voice over me again and again, and then flip out when I raised my voice to try and be heard. I told him time and time again that the drinking itself wasn’t the issue right now. I understand that he is an alcoholic, and we agreed to a maintenance program as opposed to complete abstinence. If one small cooler in the morning is what he needs, either physically or psychologically, then that’s something we can work around. It was the constant lying and the smug way he rubbed it in my face that he had gotten away with it for so long that was the real issue.

Now, as I always say, I am by no means a perfect person or a perfect girlfriend. I’m sure there are things I said wrong, or things I should have said that I didn’t. I shouldn’t have raised my voice as often as I did, especially since I was doing so out of sheer frustration. And I shouldn’t have let him get to me so badly. But he said one thing that, no matter what I said or did wrong last night, he had no right to say.

“Look, it’s just a drink. Why are we fighting? I mean, you’re lucky I’m not beating or slapping you around. Just let it go, consider yourself lucky.”

He looked me in the eye and said the words “you’re lucky I’m not beating you”. Seriously, he said that, meant that, and honestly thought I should be happy with his lies because things could always be worse.

And I didn’t just stand up and leave him right then and there.

I feel horrible today. I feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world. I have spent years telling friends that if a man ever talks to you that way, you leave his ass. It doesn’t matter if you love him, he obviously doesn’t love you. But here I am, sitting at my desk in our shared bedroom, where I’m going to have to sleep next to him tonight because I’m not strong enough to leave him.

Right now I don’t know what I’m going to do. I know he would never actually hit me. He’s never thrown a real punch in his life, and we both know that I’m strong enough to more than defend myself against him. When we first started dating he wanted me to slap him for some reason; he thought it would be funny. When I refused, he slapped me across the face. I slapped him back, and then lifted him up over my shoulders and walked him to the door. I told him then that he was being drunk and stupid, so I wasn’t making him leave. But if he ever raised a hand to me again, I would have no problem dumping his ass on the porch and locking him out. And now here I am, doing absolutely nothing about last night.

I know it was somewhat the booze talking. We have these fights all the time though, and they’re just getting worse. He seems to think this is normal, that after every fight things will just go back to normal. He thinks he can say and do whatever he wants, and in the end, we’ll just be together no matter what.

After last night, though, I don’t know how much of this I can take.

My Roommate Story #3

Hey Sunshine! Just a reminder that EVERYONE who has ever lived with another person has their own tales to tell in the crazy/weird roommate department. What’s yours?

The Finicky Cynic

Exactly a month ago, I posted one of my crazy roommate stories— I can assure you that there’s more wild stories to tell, so here’s another one!

A bit of context if you haven’t read the previous stories: since moving to France in September, I’ve found and have been living in a shared apartment with other people. From September to the end of November, I lived with three French girls, all of them students, and that was when much of the drama and insanity has happened. I’ll call them C, M, and S– C and M are friends, while S is on her own. C and S were fine, but it was M who had made life a bit, erm, difficult (which is an understatement, really). From going off about our window shutters *almost* breaking to a less-than-clean toilet, M was quite the character for the first three…

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The Ultimate Guide To Bounce Back From Any Break-Up

My last ex and I broke up mutually. It should have been the easiest breakup ever. But life gets strange, and I didn’t have this awesome advice to follow at the time.
Read on and enjoy the awesomeness!

If you asked me what any of my exes was doing today I couldn’t tell you.

And do you want to know why?

Because nobody cares.

When we first break up with someone it may feel like the world is coming to an end, but trust me there is light at the end of the tunnel. Breakups get easier with experience so if this is your first time facing this then you can slap yourself now because yes, you are still alive and yes you will get over it.

I came up with a few tips that can be useful if you are having a hard time letting someone go.

Understand That There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea:

I know that you may not want to hear this but this is so true. When you select that special person to take that journey with you in life, it…

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Apparently the World is Ending

I had the doctors appointment today to get the results of the massive amount of bloodwork and tests that were done on me in the last month and a half. I decided that I’d brave the local transit system to get there since it’s normally a relaxing ride and I really wanted to go hear the doctor tell me I’m perfect. I normally love this day. I have a bizarrely functional liver that always throws doctors for a loop. I even had a weird scan of my liver done once, just to make sure my body wasn’t somehow fooling the other tests they normally run. Turns out I just have the liver of straight-edge vegan teen, despite all the abuse I’ve given the poor thing over the years. Hearing a new doctor compliment my freaky liver and riding two buses while observing the other riders is usually heaven for me. Top it all off with a coffee date with my mother, and it’s the recipe for the perfect day.

Today was different, though. You see, today there was construction. Apparently, construction rerouting buses is the end of the world in this little border town.

The first bus I took was completely normal. I grabbed a seat near the back, people rudely shoved their way to the seats around me and took up two seats at a time so that their clutch or coffee could have its own seat. I just kept to myself, headphones in, watching the neighbourhoods pass outside the window. I just sat there until we got downtown to the bus depot where I could transfer to the bus that takes me right to the doctor’s office.

Now to start, there were no signs anywhere that there was any issue with the bus routes for those of us who do not take any of the 4 buses that pass through downtown on the main drag every day. I even check the city’s website for public transit this morning, and there was no notice that any routes were changed for the time being. I did see an article posted in the local paper last week that there would be construction downtown, but it didn’t say when it would start.

With that being said, I did somewhat panic when the bus started down a different route than it normally takes. But the driver announced that yes we were on the right bus, we just needed a slight detour due to construction. There were temporary bus stops set up along the new route, and the woman across from me explained to another rider that the regular stops had signs directing people to the temporary stops. All in all, it was pretty straightforward.

By the second stop, the trouble had started. The bus driver had to open the door at every stop, announce to the waiting riders what bus we were, and wait to see if anyone boarded. There were half a dozen people waiting at that stop, and even after the driver announced what bus we were each and every one of them had to step into the bus and ask what bus we were. Did I mention that there’s a big flashing sign on the front of every bus announcing what bus it is? Somehow every single person, both young and old, missed the flashing sign, the driver’s announcement, and the driver’s answer to every single person ahead of them.

It was the fourth stop where things got messy though. Two women got on the bus to ask what bus it was, even though the seven people before them had just asked the same thing. They paid their fare and started loudly complaining as they attempted to find seats on the half-empty bus.

“Seriously Brenda, they expect us to walk all the way to this new stop for how long??? It’s like a whole block further!! What the hell?”

“Preach Karen! I mean, this is going to completely throw off our schedules. Don’t these drivers realize we have better things to do than go running all over town looking for wherever the hell they feel like stopping? I have shoes to buy and a coupon to use!”

I know, it sounds like two Valley Girl teens from a cheap 90’s comedy trying to ride the bus, and it only got worse from there. These women were in their late-40’s, maybe early-50’s with some work done.

“Like, why would they even move stops? Just don’t construct stuff when I need to go out, is it that hard?”

“Yeah, it’s like sorry people smart enough not to buy a car, but we hate you. What the hell is up with that?”

They were still VERY slowly walking past the few taken seat and getting closer to me. Now, I’ll say that I may be used to the smell of body odor to a certain degree thanks to my job (my store is next to a gym, and a lot of people stop in after their workout and before their shower), but I can still smell it. There was NO smell in the back of that bus that I could sense. There were four of us in that back end, and we all smelled pretty damn good. Not good enough for Karen and Brenda, though.

“Holy pancakes!* Someone back there doesn’t know how to shower! How the hell are we supposed to move to the back of the bus if we can’t breathe back there?”

“My eyes are watering, and this mascara cost me $47!  That damn driver needs to do his job and keep the damn riff-raff off the bus! I mean, he’s practically like the bus bouncer.”

They stood there making a big production of fanning themselves and gagging, all the while standing in the middle of the bus so no one could go around them to get to the back. The driver came to a few more stops while they stood there complaining, and the front of the bus was filling up pretty fast. The driver yelled for everyone standing to move to the back of the bus, and these women were not having it.

“You have a lot of nerve yelling at us like that! I mean, what the hell do you expect us to do?”

They were really not impressed when the answer to that question was “move to the back of the bus”.  The front of the bus was filling up, more passengers were complaining about the moved stops and detour, and now three women had to find new seats because they were sitting on the flip-up seat where wheelchair passengers ride, and a woman in a wheelchair was trying to board. The bus driver freakin bellowed for everyone to move to the back of the bus, but these two women would not budge or let anyone by them. Finally, two students who transferred onto this bus with me shoved the women out of their way so they could give up their seats and move to the back.

“Can you believe the nerve of these damn millennials, thinking they can go wherever the hell they want? I mean, back in MY day we knew how to respect our damn elders! I mean, seriously Karen, can you imagine ever pushing a real adult out of your way just so you and your friend can gossip in the back of the bus together?”

“Oh I know, all these millennial brats think the world owes them something! Wait, why isn’t the bus moving? Why is the driver just standing there? Come on, do your job already! We have very important places to be!”

The driver was trying to harness this woman’s wheelchair in, in the overly crowded front of the bus that couldn’t move because of these two women.  The more he tried to move, the more he would bump into people. Soon the whole front of the bus was yipping at him because the detour had inconvenienced them slightly and they were crammed together like sardines.

And you know what? Those two women barely moved. They took a few steps towards the back of the bus once, which just put them right in front of the rear exit doors in the middle of the bus. The back of the bus was more than half empty, with plenty of seats together, and these two wouldn’t just grab a seat and get the hell out of the way. And the more they gabbed and complained, the more it made other people complain too.

Apparently, it was personally our bus driver’s fault that the bus had been detoured for a few blocks. It was entirely his fault that the bus was too full, even though it really wasn’t. This poor man was to blame for the non-existent stink in the back of the bus, the bumpy ride on the soon-to-be-repaved streets, the noise level of the other passengers,  and the economy. Yes, the economy. At one point I heard someone complain that the bus driver is over-paid, and that’s what’s ruining our local economy. This one man’s salary to drive these intolerable stuck-up adult brats around is apparently obscenely high, even though we all know it isn’t because we all know how much they make. It was in the paper months ago during a contract dispute.

Eventually, we got to my stop. I had to try and squeeze past these two women so that I could get off the bus when it stopped, and they sure as hell didn’t make it easy. When I tried to sneak by behind them, they purposefully backed up into me and then complained that I was crowding their personal space. When I tried again, they did it again. So finally, I did the only thing I could think of to do in that situation: I squeezed in between them and dropped a wickedly nasty fart, and then ran out the door.

These two women were the worst, but almost everyone in the front of that bus the whole ride were just like them! It was like the fact that the bus stops were moved over one block threw the entire universe into a tailspin and was sure to bring about the apocalypse. People were seriously pissed that the city has the nerve to repair the roads in this town when they know it will inconvenience people. Of course, these are the very same people who complained about how bumpy the roads were the entire ride.



*yes, this Karen actually said “holy pancakes” in public.