Werk

I’m trying to look busy as I work my notice at current job* and it’s tiring frankly, because I have next to nothing to do, except answer the phone and shuffle papers from one end of my desk to the other.

There are 10 more working days left until I blow this popsicle stand forever and although I have heaps of cool stuff coming up over the next few weeks, part of me wishes I could fast forward time – I’m gagging to start the next phase, so sue me.

All this has got me thinking about the jobs I’ve had since I left school, some have been truly wacky and educational, while others have been dreadful. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that this job has been the worst, but has it? Worse than the twenty-five minutes I lasted plucking turkeys on a farm at Christmas time? Let’s revisit my CV highlights.

Oldies but Goodies

My first job was doe-eyed care assistant in a home for the elderly (and criminally insane). (Kidding, I wish). Yes, I was a professional bum wiper during my school/college days and mostly, it was a rewarding experience.

My boss, a German lady who walked with a pronounced limp and chewed Nicorette 24/7 made things less bearable. Rumour has it she was a former lush who’d fallen out of a moving plane onto the runway, hence the gammy leg. She fired me for having pierced ears after a couple years of service and by then I was happy to go (how dare a teenager have pierced ears though!).

Slightly awkward when my Gramps ended up there as a resident himself many years later but the staff took care of him until the very end, for which I am grateful.

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Plucking Turkeys

One December, my BFFs and I thought it would be fun to go and pluck turkeys for some extra Christmas cash. What honestly could go wrong?, we thought. What we hadn’t accounted for was the total horror show that awaited us. Turns out, this was never going to be the sterile scene we were picturing. Instead, we were lead into a barn (Leatherface’s barn in Texas Chainsaw), given gloves and a rubber (?) apron and told to wait.

Knee deep in bloody feathers and god only knows what else, my stomach had already started to turn when the actual turkeys were brought in and hung by the feet on hooks in front of us. We could hear the poor gobbly bastards having their throats cut in the barn next door and it turns out, you’re supposed to pluck your birds while they’re still warm because the feather comes out much easier. In my story I lasted 25 minutes but the truth is, I can’t remember even touching a turkey. I believe I freaked out there and then and was gone before it even stopped twitching, Joanna, Juliet and Faye close behind me.

Porn Shop

I’ve talked about my time at Daisy Publications before and to be honest, I still think of it fondly, even though it opened up my eyes in ways that probably weren’t necessary at that age (22). We dealt in an awful lot of filth and now I can look back and giggle about it but at the time, well I learnt quickly that there are pockets of kinkiness all over the place, literally something for everyone. Is that a bad thing?

To each his (or her) own I say, as long as you’re not hurting anybody but my god, I don’t want to see it. This might explain why I’m so vanilla in my old age.

Packages Ahoy

I’ve only ever walked out of one job in an R-E-S-P-E-C-T manner and it was after a short stint at the UPS store in Penticton, BC. The job itself was 90% helping people use the copier but one day the boss was so mean to me because I fucked up some shrink wrapping on some business cards, that I walked into the back, grabbed my coat and was gone before he had a chance to draw his next breath.

I remember that feeling of total liberation as I sashayed down Main Street, hips a swinging like it was yesterday. Looking back that was the beginning of the new life I built for myself, a sassier one where I told a lot more men to fuck off.

Starbucks: The Early Years

I by no means look back on my job as a green-aproned Barista with vitriol, however the early days took a bit of getting used to. This too was a job in small town British Columbia and I ended up loving it but for the first few months it got really tiring being asked if I knew the Queen of England.

The girls too, apart from my beloved Rebecca, all went to church and didn’t like cursing or sex talk, my life blood. So for a while I was the Billy No Mates of Cherry Tree Mall. It changed one day however and I never looked back, moving to Down Town Vancouver and meeting some of the loves of my life.

Those genuinely were the days and although I still remember how much my feet and hips ached after each shift, I sometimes miss the job. I do not miss the toilets, though.

 

After all this I’m pretty sure I can survive a few more weeks in a job that didn’t work out. I’m not going to let the negatives break my spirit. I didn’t then, I won’t start now.

How about you? What have been your weirdest most wonderful jobs?

*Horrible job.

Periods (Period).

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This and more menstrual accessories here.
‘Nice girls’ aren’t supposed to talk about periods.

It’s uncouth I suppose to discuss something so nasty. We’re cool to talk about sex to our heart’s content though and I’m starting to get a little tired of menstruation discrimination.

I’ve noticed a rise on my social media timelines of people I follow (and admire) being more candid about their bodies and bodily functions, and I’m here for that. So, this is my ode to periods.

Note: I do respect anybody’s decision not to read on. I’m not going to be unnecessarily graphic (maybe a bit) though I do love hilarious nicknames for menstruation.

To periods! Or, as my mother referred to it throughout my adolescence, ‘The Curse’. My preferred term is ‘Shark Week’ though sometimes I go with ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (for particularly bad ones) or ‘Surfing the Crimson Wave’ (which is delightfully VISUAL).

Other great euphemisms for Aunt Flow:

  • Riding the cotton pony
  • On the blob/rag
  • Getting your red wings
  • In the red tent
  • Crime scene in my pants

I haven’t really thought this post through by the way, I’m just planning to go with the (heavy) flow (lol) and see where we end up. I have a couple of amusing period anecdotes that deserve to see the light of day. First of all though, I thought I’d share my personal period history.

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Illustration by Layla May Ehsan
I grew up with Judy Blume, in particular Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? in which the central characters were obsessed with finally getting their periods, so much so that one of them fakes it so she doesn’t feel left out.

I identified with these feelings of inadequacy all too much, spending so much of my adolescence fretting about my period, then boobs, then kissing, then virginity or my inability to even give it away. Silly, innit but comparison is the thief of joy and all we did back then was hold ourselves up against our friends and what they were doing.

I wasn’t even that late in finally ‘becoming a woman’. I was about 12/13 and on the day I discovered that first red spot, I also cracked my head open against a door. That’s right, in typical clumsy girl fashion I ended the day bleeding from both ends. It was cool though, Mum got us fish & chips for supper and all was good with the world again.

Periods ever since then have been more of a blessing than a curse as they marked another month of avoided pregnancy. That makes me sound far more sexually active than I was but I’m talking after the age of 18, when I got a bit of action. Now I’m heavily implanted and have the most sporadic periods, like three months off, three months continual, like clockwork or every fortnight. There’s no way to tell how it’ll go and it’s (bloody) annoying.

But that’s the way the tampon swings, eh?

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Illustration by Layla May Ehsan
By the way, don’t you just love how disgusted men still are by period talk? How, if you buy a packet of female products at the Co-op they get all shifty, no matter their age? Or how, all too often you get told to shut up if you dare mention you’ve got the painters in?

Dudes – literally every female in your life does or has bled on a regular basis since they came of age and you still find it gross? Try starting your period unexpectedly in a floaty dress with minimal knicker coverage and then we’ll talk. We bleed, it’s never pleasant but there’s little we can do I’m afraid. And the more you insist we should keep this kind of talk to ourselves, the more I think we should chat openly about it. Squirm, motherfuckers!

This isn’t about men though, it’s about celebrating the monthly visitor that annoys the fuck out of us most of the time but has definite plus points, such as period days (blankets, food, Netflix), chocolate as medicine, hot baths and being at one with your sisters. When your cycle syncs with your work mates it is the best, the tea and sympathy flow – and the men stay the fuck away.

Back to those anecdotes. When my best friend L and I were at college, and more interested in bad boys and wine than studying, we hung out with a group of ne’er-do-wells who later ended up in prison (another story). One day we were at their flat and they’d gone out.

L and I were doing our thing, drinking, dancing and snooping – and somehow a used sanitary towel ended up left on the mantelpiece by accident (it happens). L realised several hours later when she was back home and decided to call her man and tell him to throw it away without looking at it (it was wrapped in tissue paper, we weren’t heathens).

He obviously unwrapped it and went ballistic. It’s still one of the funniest stories ever, mainly because he was a big burly thug who couldn’t deal with a tiny amount of female blood.

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Illustration by Layla May Ehsan
I also heard the best ever period story through a friend of a friend who happened to be Russian (so the story told in her accent made it even better). She was at a house party slow-dancing with a man to Chris De Burgh‘s Lady in Red (you can’t make this up).

As they shimmied romantically, she felt her sanitary pad slip out (this may have been before the invention of ‘wings’). As it headed down her leg towards her ankle she was somehow able to perform a precision high kick, which sent the pad flying underneath a nearby wardrobe. The guy didn’t notice, nor did anybody else and I challenge any one of you to tell me a better story involving the same song.

So there ends period talk 101 with me, your host, A Voluptuous Mind. For the record, I am currently on the blob hence some of my aggression and I have felt almost too weak to do a lots of stuff this weekend and week so far. But it’s nothing a jumbo pack of Peanut M&Ms and a good book won’t cure.

No clue how to sign this off so I will just say: How do you period, girls? ❤

 

Bah Bye 2014!

tumblr_nhdfojHJg01tsfm3lo1_1280Well well well, here we are on the cusp of a brand new year and it feels like we were standing here not so long ago, doesn’t it? Where did 2014 go?

That said, quite a lot of shit has gone down and even as I ponder how speedily those months have flown by, I know it has felt like a full year.

The obligatory recap (and you will have to forgive me for a rather long and self indulgent post):

It’s hard to believe that A Voluptuous Mind has only been in existence since March. Before that I wore a few monikers, including The Meet Cute and Groupie for the Underdog.

Looking back on my blog is how I know what I did, what my mental states were throughout and what I have achieved.

I started my current job role in February after what felt like an epic battle to get it. I went up against my (now) good friend and in the end won it based on my writing ability. To me a great victory, even if it appears small to others.

It’s been a huge learning curve, stepping up from the bottom (where all good employees begin) into Head Office and having to adapt accordingly. For the most part I am happy and doing well, with a few frustrations that don’t seem important now. I’m doing okay work wise. Whether I will ever have a career based on what I do now is another matter, but is something to have a think about.

What my job has given me is a handful of really brilliant friendships and for that how could I ever be mad? I’ve been touched by the love I have received from three of my now closest friends and feel like a stronger person for each one of them. I’ve been inspired to get off my ample arse and move, in the best possible way – to think about what I want from life, who I want to share it with and invest in.

These women are a million light years away from the unhealthy friendships I have put up with in the past and that’s just magical really.

Among the hair brained schemes I had at the beginning of 2014 were: singing lessons, hula hooping and running. Only one of those stuck to be honest, but hey, that’s better than nothing. I also tried my hand at reviewing a few movies and books, which is something I would like to take into the new year.

I plan to have my nose stuck in a book as much as possible next year, rather than on my phone or whiling the hours away on Candy Crush Soda (which has not real merit at all). Ditto Netflix.

Continue reading “Bah Bye 2014!”