There were a great many things that I enjoyed about working at Whole Foods, particularly in the bakery — not least of all the enthusiastic parents and excited kids, the repeat customers who considered me and my coworkers a sort of tangential social circle, and anyone who was psyched as fuck to get a free cookie (I was profligate with the free cookies). However, because the store markets itself as if it is necessarily moral and responsible to shop there, it also necessarily comes along with some very colorful personalities. I think that some of the people who shopped in the bakery, specifically, had real existential crises: They were in a store that was supposed to be “healthy,” but here they were confronted with fat- and sugar-laden cake! Their brains short-circuited and they became the following people: Keep reading »
Here is a confession — though I write a dating column, and have for quite some time, I’m not currently dating anyone right now. The last relationship I was in was about two years ago, and in the time between then and now, there have been plenty of dates, but nothing has stuck. Dating in general isn’t hard, but it takes work, energy, time that could be used doing hundreds of other things, like learning how to weave or baking all the bread you eat yourself, or creating a rooftop garden out of two sad planters and a handful of seeds. The way we choose to spend our time is our choice alone, not something to be judged, and not something that we should feel ashamed of. I know this. As a person who willfully chooses to spend many nights trawling beauty blogs on the internet and conducting deep, vast research on the best pink lipstick for my exact skin tone and coloring, I know that the way I spend my time could be spent better, but I know that the choice to spend time on really anything is mine alone. That’s why I’m perfectly comfortable coming out and saying it — right now, I’m choosing to focus on my career instead of finding a partner. Keep reading »
My life three years ago is sometimes incomprehensible to me. Retrospectively, it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe that the things that happened happened, or that I tolerated some of the things that happened, or that I actively participated in some of the things that happened.
Enough mystery. When Jessica’s article about the time her husband spent unemployed went live, I told her about my experiences on both sides of the unemployment-in-a-relationship fence. I spent three years with an unemployed (former) spouse, and then became unemployed myself last year, during the course of the relationship I’m in with my boyfriend now. Jessica recounted beautifully the anxiety of watching a partner she loves undergoing the stress of unemployment and job-searching. Keep reading »
This January, I had a bad job interview. I performed the best I could, but they’d kept me in a room, coming in groups of two or three at a time, grilling me on why I wanted and was qualified for an entry-level customer service job for two straight hours. I’ve been employed in some way or another for the last ten years, and I graduated with honors last year. I couldn’t just say, “I need a better job than I have now, and frankly this is going to be a cakewalk for me.” Some of them said I was underqualified; some of them said I was overqualified. No one really seemed to have a real sense of what they were doing; HR was out for the day, so it was all sales managers. I was so upset and confused afterward that I sat in Merchandise Mart crying for a half hour before working up the courage to get on the train. Keep reading »
Ah, the life of a bartender. It’s a job that requires endless patience, a sharp memory, and a great sense of humor, not to mention serious crowd control skills. Slinging coffee drinks is hard enough; but when alcohol is involved? Every shift is an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. Whenever I’m crammed into a crowded bar like a thirsty sardine, watching people wave dollars in the air, I always wonder what it’s like for the person on the other side of the bar. What can customers do to make their job easier? What drinks do they secretly think are a ripoff? What is the final word on what constitutes a good tip? To quell my curiosity, I rounded up as many bartenders as I could find and asked them one question: what would you really like your customers to know? Here’s what they said, in their own words:
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