Quarantine, cashier life & pinatas

Hi! I am the worst at having a blog.

My life has changed drastically just like literally all of ours.  I usually work three jobs, my main job is a full-time nanny and then I have my cleaning business and I work as an assistant wedding planner.  Of course, all three of these jobs stopped existing in the face of this pandemic and for a very terrifying week, I was unemployed.  Then I sat down at my kitchen table with a coffee or cocktail (it was my one week of unemployment to be fair) and applied to every single job that I thought might take a college drop out like me.  I also dmed a few grocery stores because I thought they might be hiring asap and that was how I got the job of a cashier and the most expensive grocery store in the west village.  This is a place that charges $8 for a brick of cafe bustelo and there’s a tomato sauce that costs $12.99 (shout out to Rao’s for apparently being THAT good).  Of course, the pay minimum wage but I don’t have the type of savings that would allow for me to be unemployed for more than a week so I took the job.

My nannying job pays $25 an hour so the price drop has been a lot for me to deal with.  It’s also been hard not knowing when/if my job will return.  My nanny family moved from the west village to their beach house in New Jersey.  At the beginning of the virus, they wanted me to travel there and stay for three days of the week and then go home.  I did this for two weeks and then I had to stop because it felt very dangerous for an asthmatic like me to be traveling on the subway and the train all the time during a very deadly virus.  The day I traveled home from NJ for the last time a stay in place order was issued and I couldn’t have been happier to be in home sweet Brooklyn and not NJ.

The grocery store job is as soul-sucking as you’d imagine.  No one grows up saying they want to be a cashier and even if they did they’d take one look at the paycheck and change their mind.  Most of my co-workers are nice.  Some of them are snappy or up tight but it’s cause they’re miserable and I don’t blame them.  When I’m at that job I’m miserable too. It’s hard to go through eight hours having the same stunted interactions with people.  I ask the same questions to every person.  “Hello, how are you? Do you have a store card? Do you want bags? Would you like to donate a bundle or milk to COVID relief?”  The store I work for is doing a fundraiser for City Harvest which is well-intentioned but it’s so horrible to have to ask people for money during this time.  They’ll say no and then pull out their ebt card and you feel like such a dick for asking them for money to feed other people when they’re struggling too.  I always wish the store it’s self would donate money and leave their customers out of it.

Today was a good day though because I am trying to enjoy my life and make the very best of it all.  At work in my shitty work uniform and same pair of black sneakers, I try to bring myself to the register as well by doing my makeup like I would and never coming to work in my uniform.  I keep my polyester work shirt in my store locker and change into it at the last second so that I can feel like myself for as long as possible.  Today was also a good day because I got out at 12:45 pm and when I walked out of the sliding doors the sun was shining and the birds were screaming their little snow-white heads off.  I went home and fixed myself a drink (my new favorite: sunny d + lime juice + tequila + tajin) and got a facetime from an unknown number hung up on them.  I then immediately realized it was a facetime interview I had scheduled for that time.  I called her back and tried my best to show that I’m a very qualified hardworking nanny that’s good at what she does.

The highlight of my day was making a pinata.  My family and I used to do this many times a year.  We’d make them for my sisters and i’s birthday parties.  I was out of practice but doing it brought back so many warm memories of happier and more than anything brighter easier times.  The smell of the flour and water and feeling of the paste drying on my fingers was therapeutic.  The biggest part of me wishes I had the money and privilege to be fully quarantined and staying home during this time.  I would love to have the time to do all the wild and rather mundane fantasies I’ve had during my life of what I would do if I had time to figure out what I wanted to do.  While sliding the wet pieces of newspaper on to the balloon, I was so focused on getting the job done that I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to make rent, about savings, about food and all the ways I am falling short.  I was just focusing on this task that I had chosen to set in front of me not a bouquet of problems that was thrust into my face.  It was nice to reach out to my childhood in this simple and fun way and to even if just for a half-hour, to think about something different.

Now I have to wait a few days until this first layer of paper mache fully dries and then I’ll add a second layer.  Then I’ll stop being cheap and pull the trigger and buy some paint.  And then the hardest part for me comes.  Trying to be artistic and painting something on it.

Question:  Are you the type of person with enough patience for puzzles?

I for sure, am not.

Also, have you done any arts and crafts during the pandemic?  I would love to hear what you’ve been making 🙂

Pandemic in NYC: #5

I saw on twitter the other day “if your job requires an appreciation week you probably aren’t getting paid enough.”  It’s definitely true.  It was just a nurse appreciation week.  I don’t know if most nurses felt appreciated or felt any difference during that week.  I’m sure they have much more pressing and crucial things to think about than a vague holiday that barely exists.  It’s like the customers that always tell my cashier co-workers and me about the people who make the noise for the frontline workers at 7pm.  They always tell us to thank you for what we do and they ask if we hear the ruckus at that time.  I never have though because I’ve always been… at my register working.  This country is very much about the talk and flimsy gestures in terms of “appreciation” instead of shit that would make us feel appreciated like livable wages.  The people who keep everyone eating and alive and society as close to normal as possible are the ones who are suffering the gravest effects of this pandemic.  The ones who are dying are the ones who had no choice to go to work because their job put profits first and didn’t shut down or the ones who couldn’t miss a days work because they had to make sure they had rent and food for their family.

Speaking of cutesy but flimsy appreciation…

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Pandemic in NYC: #4

This is a picture of me finally with my hair down at the end of a long workday.  I work at a Grocery store in manhattan.  These are our dingey lockers where we keep our pens (they get stolen if we leave them on our registers) and our sad little lunches.  You can see my seltzer hanging from my bag.  I like this picture cause my eyelashes look as dramatic as I feel and because the angry skeleton represents how I feel about this new job that I’m working for minimum wage.  I feel angry and dead. lol cheers!

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April Favorites

This is gonna be the pandemic issue.  This was the month that my staying at home and having free time ended and I’m gonna list all the things that made my short and sweet quarentine enjoyable.

Schitt’s Creek (on Netflix): This show has character.  It’s a good show for people who liked Parks and Rec and Kimmy Schmidt. It’s about a very wealthy family who suddenly loses it all and it’s a comdeny. It gives me the warm and fuzzies and during this extremely stressful time it has been the perfect show for me to watch before bed so that I can try and have sweet dreams instead of stress dreams.  I love how unique each character is and how they all have very distinct mannerisms and personalities.  This show is so charming and fun and funny.  It’s a delight.

This little light:

 

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$5.99

Our sink area is right under out cabinets and it’s really dark under there.  This little light completely fixed the problem.  And it’s cute, bright and cheap.  All you have to do to install it is put in the batteries and attach the velcro that comes with it.

Pita chips and tzatziki: a perfect refreshing snack

Jump roping: Fun, easy and burns energy and calories. I hate working out so this is a nice alternative for me cause it’s cardio but not running.

Side note: does anyone with bigger boobs have any sports bra recommendations? I’m tired of wearing two sports bras to jump rope and cutting off the circulation to my body from the boobs up.

Foaming hand wash: It’s just so much more fun than regular hand wash.  I love the bath and body works hand washes and am currently using the aromatherapy one.  Believe it or not the scent of this hand wash gets me compliments from my friends when they’re over (when I was allowed to see my friends pre virus… seems so long ago)

Couch blanket:

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$36.99

I love this blanket because the color is comforting and it’s lightweight and also heavy enough to be a cuddly comfort.  I hope that makes sense (at least a little bit lol).

Blue light glasses:

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$12.99

I may have already written about this but these are hella cheap, hella cute and actually do help with my screen related headaches.

 

Pandemic in NYC: 1st photo

Since I’m one of the people who has to leave her house every day during this virus, I thought I’d try and document it.  I feel very rare walking the streets of NYC during this time and a lot of times I’m the only one.  When I get out of work at 10:15 pm after working the closing shift at the grocery store it barely matters if I walk on the street or the side walks.  There’s no body out.  I’m gonna do a little photo essay where I post one photo a day that encapsulates my experience being out and about during the pandemic.

This is a pic from the closest bodega to my subway station.  I needed to buy some milk for my coffee and as a perk got to meet this cat.

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Grocery Store Tessa is back to the minimum wage hustle

Hi Internet Void!

I have had so many jobs in my 22 years that I feel like a barbie with different professions but without the cute outfits.  There’s nanny Tessa! pharmacy Tessa! and now grocery store Tessa!  I’m on the 2nd week of my job at a west village grocery store.  This means a lot of things but most importantly that I haven’t been paid yet.  It’s pretty easy because I’m a cashier and I’ve done this before.  The only big difference is that all the fruits and vegetables have a four number code that I have to memorize and that some of them have to be weighed and some of them are priced individually and I have to memorize what is what.

I also am getting used to wearing gloves and a mask for 8 hrs a day.  I have definitely found that my breath doesn’t smell which is a win.  And I’ve gotten a little smart with it in that I’m putting hand cream on before I clock in so that my hands can get softer and softer in the gloves as I work.  Also since the only part of my face that people can see is my eyes I’ve been having fun with my eye makeup.  I’ve been trying to wear fake eyelashes every day and colorful eyeshadow.  And under the mask, I’m wearing no makeup and sometimes pimple cream.  People compliment my make up and say it’s nice to see someone putting in effort during such hard times.  I want to tell them, all I am doing is putting in effort.  Me being here is putting in the effort, life to me seems like one big effort after another.

I’ve been feeling pretty depressed and down because so many people are dying and everyone is so stressed.  You can tell that everyone is feeling it.  Once again this city is full of death and you can see little shades of depression and sadness in everyone.  I know I’m feeling exhausted.  The act even of walking to the subway and getting on the bleak slow empty subway is a downer and takes so much longer than it usually would.  The trains are running every 30 mins so I leave the house two hours before work. Customers at work are snapping at each other for cutting in line or standing too close.  Customers are still walking into the grocery store without a mask even though that is now illegal.  We are telling customers to wear a mask and that same customer will show up non chalently the next day barefaced.  There are the overly cautious and the selfish and those who don’t think but it’s clearer than it’s ever been before.  Customers complain about being bored while I ring up their groceries and my knees ache from standing all day.  I’ve forgotten the cruelty of minimum wage jobs.  How you’re required to do so many things while getting paid the least they’re legally allowed to.  How the daily hours of 7am to 10pm haven’t been cut short even though people are suggested by the government to be home by 8am.  The cruelty of having to stand all day, of having just a 15 min break somedays and having to clock out and not get paid for it.  The having to wear the uniform every day and being given only one uniform shirt when almost guaranteed everyone who works there doesn’t have a washer or dryer.  The fact that there is no hazard pay, that there are still so many people who have to work even though to leave the house is to risk your life.