On Vegetarianism (pt. 1).

I have been an omnivore most of my life.  I would say about 2 years ago I decided to become a pescatarian (the only meat I consumed was seafood) and about a year ago I decided to become a vegetarian.  I honestly see myself becoming a vegan at some point next year even.  I’m working on reducing the amount of dairy I consume (I like cream in my coffee and goddamnit cheese and yogurt are amazing).

Oftentimes I feel like Vegans and Veggies alike get a bad wrap.  You know that joke, “How do you know there’s a vegan at your party? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” HAHAHAHAHA.  It’s true vegans and veggies are proud.  Why shouldn’t they be?  They’re helping animals and the environment.  I’ve always found it funny that if you find a meme or article on Facebook or something that mentions having a plant-based diet WITHOUT FAIL you will get a bunch of people bashing veganism or vegetarianism.  That’s why I find that joke funny.  I find it’s the other way around.  It’s usually a bunch of people giving YOU a hard time for YOUR choice to not consume meat. Yes, sometimes people who are passionate are in your face about it but really that post about the “Vegan Butcher Shop” isn’t for you fucking carnivores.  It’s for Vegans and Vegetarians and for people who are interested in making the switch to a more plant based diet.  I’m one of those people that isn’t terribly open about my vegetarianism. This post is the most open I’ve been about it.  Most of the time it only comes up when ordering food with people.  I am also one to not bash or disown people who want to eat meat.  If you want to eat meat fine, that’s your choice.  However, the one thing I wish is that everyone would just educate themselves on how their meat is produced and then decide whether they want to continue eating it.

The reason I decided to become a vegetarian was because I educated myself on the history of factory farming.  I watched documentaries on it.  I scoured the magical interwebs on articles for and against factory farming.  For a short while that consumed my life.  After watching those documentaries and reading those articles, I have decided that I cannot consume any meat.  I don’t think that I could physically put a burger in my mouth and eat it (I say I don’t think, because I haven’t tried but I don’t really want to).

I completely disagree with factory farming.  I would even go as far as to say that I would not necessarily be against humans consuming meat IF it could be guaranteed that the animal was raised in a healthy environment where it was able to live a good life and then was killed humanely.  In order to raise animals for consumption like that the animal needs to have A LOT of space and also be fed a proper diet.  However in order for that to happen… Americans need to eat LESS meat. They would also have to pay more for that quality meat. The demand for meat is so high that you cannot produce enough meat in those conditions, which is why factory farming exists.

Americans want to eat meat with practically every goddamn meal and they definitely want it cheap. Because of this companies needed to find a way to mass produce meat.  Thus the factory farm was born.  Factory farming is HORRIBLE and if you have ANY compassion for animals you would see that.  Factory Farming is the stuff that PETA shares (no I am not a member of PETA nor do I plan on becoming one.  I disagree with their tactics is all) and while I agree they can be aggressive it’s true.  Basically in order to yield the amount of meat that Americans demand each year we have to raise cattle/poultry/pork quickly and make them real fat.  In order to do this animals are forcibly inseminated to produce offspring which are then raised on these factory farms.  They are fed corn/grain because it is cheap and will fatten up cows and chickens and pigs quickly so they can be slaughtered.  The amount of people I tell this to that do not realize that COWS DO NOT EAT CORN is a little alarming.  Cows are supposed to eat GRASS but that won’t make them fat fast enough which is why they are fed corn on factory farms.  Same thing with pigs and chickens.  Chickens eat grass and bugs and pigs eat plants and vegetables (Although I think pigs are omnivores naturally consuming smaller animals, pet pigs are usually fed plants and fruits as a diet).  Let’s also not forget by feeding the animals this diet it’s easier to pump them full of hormones and antibiotics.

So, where are we?  Right we are forcing animals to have offspring and we are raising that offspring on factory farms where they are fed a shitty diet to make them fat faster.  Sometimes the chickens grow SO FAST (because everyone wants a really big chicken breast for dinner right!?) and their breasts grow so big because of the hormones they pump into them that the chickens actually can’t move.  Their legs will not support them so they can’t even move around.  They basically are immobile and sit around on the ground while waiting to die.  Oh and as a side note if you are a chick born in a hatchery at a dairy farm and you are born a boy chick you actually get thrown away.  Like tossed in a bag and thrown in the garbage because you can’t produce eggs.

Did that make you uncomfortable?  I hope so.  It made me uncomfortable the first time I was subjected to that.  There is so much more including deforestation and the destruction of our planet.  Because remember we need LAND to raise these animals and we also need land to grow the corn we force them to eat.  There is so much more about that but that will have to be for another time as there are other things I want to touch on.

So basically the quality of life of these animals is crappy.  All because most people need to eat meat for all 3 meals each day.  Not only that but the way they slaughter these animals is unacceptable.  They will throw a pig into a vat of boiling water while it’s half alive so that they can remove the hair easier.  The animal isn’t even dead when it’s put into boiling water.  Someone secretly filmed that and I had to see it with my own eyes.  Let’s get into meatpacking though.  Because not only are these animals treated poorly the people who are working in meatpacking plants are treated just as bad.  Many of these people are undocumented immigrants so they are constantly subjected to animal blood and guts and feces.  Often these workers get sick or injured on the job.  However they are undocumented so they cannot get treated.  The workers are provided housing… but there’s 20 people to a house with 2 rooms.  These meatpacking plants skirt by because they will let ICE come in and take some of the workers at their “homes” and deport them for being here illegally.  But it’s funny how the meatpacking plant itself isn’t raided.  You’d think that would be a jackpot right!?  Wrong, then the plant would shut down and Americans would have a meat shortage or something. [insert dollar signs here].

Just knowing that all of this goes into me being able to buy meat in bulk and for cheap is just not worth it.  Not only are these poor animals suffering the human beings that are working to package it so I can buy it… are treated just as poorly.  Is having hamburger for $2/lb really worth that?  I don’t think it is.  I haven’t eaten meat for about a year and I’m doing just fine.  There are even products that you can buy that will give you that familiar meat taste and texture as you are transitioning to a more plant-based diet.  Those things do not exist solely for vegetarians and vegans.  They exist so people can more easily transition their diet.  So my question is if there are good and delicious cruelty free alternatives out there, why not?  Why continue the suffering of animals and the poor treatment of meatpacking employees when you can get a “burger” made out of wheat and soy that tastes just as good?  I understand that NO ONE wants to be inconvenienced.  And removing a large staple, such as meat and animal products, from your diet is terribly inconvenient.  Just start by reducing the amount of meat you consume.  Instead of having meat for breakfast lunch and dinner, have it just for lunch and dinner.  Anything is a step in the right direction.

And again, I’m not here to tell you that you are a horrible person for consuming meat.  If you’ve read all this and seen those documentaries and are still okay with eating meat, then by all means, go right ahead.  However if you are interested in adopting a more plant-based diet I strongly suggest you watch the following documentaries: Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc and Food Matters.  A couple of those are a little more about how a plant based diet can improve overall health as well.  If you are interested in trying meatless meats and cheeseless cheeses I also urge you to check out the Herbivorous Butcher.  They are based in Minneapolis so if you live where I do stop in to their shop. They also ship anywhere in the US so you can eat the amazing food they offer even if you are viewing my blog from 1000 miles away.  The meat and cheese alternatives that Herbivorous Butcher provides taste AMAZING and I feel the pricing is similar to what you would pay for “free range” or “organic grass-fed” meats.  I don’t feel it is expensive but if you are used to getting a lb of hamburger for $3, this would be more like $12 for a pound.  I go there once a week to pick up things for my meal prepping.  Check out: The Herbivorous Butcher Website.

Hopefully that was enlightening for most of you.  Or maybe you hate me.  Either way that’s up to you!

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That Fork In The Road.

I just realized something at my job today. I was having a conversation with a coworker and my boss was there too.  My coworker is probably going to another store to get some more learning experience so that she can move up in the company.  Pretty standard yea?  Well she’s moving to a store that will at some point have a position that is my job, but one step up.  We were talking about how that store is a lot different from ours.  There is SO MUCH STRUCTURE.  It is literally a no bullshit store.  So I jokingly said, “Yea when that Inventory Assistant Manager spot opens up, let me know!” Sounds like I’d be perfect for it right?  Wrong.  Then my freaking boss says, “Well if you want that, you know what you have to work on right?”  [Insert eye roll here.]

And that’s when I realized it.  I would never get that job.  Would you like to know why I wouldn’t get that job?  Because I’m not all sunshine and rainbows every day.  Because when the store is closed and fixtures fall on me and injure me or things are executed by corporate poorly I swear about it.  Because I refuse to drink that bullshit retail koolaid that all upper management drinks.  That’s why.

Earlier this year the state changed the laws and rules about renewing your cosmetology license. Now you are no longer required to actually work in the field, you just need to take continuing education hours (2 – 4 hour classes every 3 years) to be eligible to renew your license.  So now that I don’t HAVE to work as a waxer or a stylist I can consider other options without letting my cosmo license go to waste.  I had briefly considered throwing all my eggs in the full-time job basket.

BUT that is the fucked up part about it.  It doesn’t matter that I’m the best and most seasoned Inventory Manager in the district.  It doesn’t matter that I’ve been doing this for the last 11 years of my life at both this job and my previous one. Because I won’t conform, I’m ineligible.  My boss would never sign off on me being Inventory Assistant Manager.  I jokingly asked another manager today if she thought our boss would make her Inventory Manager when I quit and if she’d be mad at me if I did that to her.  She told me that she didn’t know and that I’m not allowed to quit because I’m the best at my job.  I appreciated the compliment (as you know I rarely get compliments at my job since I just sit in the back all day).  However at the end of the day what am I supposed to do?  Where do I go next?

I don’t think I can stay where I’m at.  I never really wanted to leave until recently, maybe the last couple years.  There is no structure at our store and it kills me.  Our associates don’t even like their jobs.  I mean half the time when you tell them to assist a customer they get upset about it.  They give you an, “oh, I guess I can help them.”  GUESS WHAT!? THAT IS WHAT WE PAY YOU TO DO, SO FUCKING DO IT!  If you don’t want to help ungrateful customers, I get it.  That also means you need to find another job then. There are aspects of my “glorious” job in the back that I don’t like to do but I still do them because that is what I am PAID to DO.  It’s really starting to wear on me.  What is the point in staying with a company if there are zero opportunities for advancement unless you change who you are as a person?  Unlike Sisyphus, I will NOT be bound to this hell.  Newsflash, I’ve been this way for too long.  I’m in my early thirties, no changing this bitch.  Nor should I have to.

I already feel isolated because I’m in the back all the time (which, don’t get me wrong I love it) but I also don’t feel like I’m a manager.  I’m not on the floor with most of the associates so they don’t even see me as a leader.  Most of them sure as hell don’t treat me as a leader.  I feel like the only loyalty I see is from my team, most of whom only work 1 day a week during our weekly shipment.  I definitely don’t see any loyalty from Ms. Millennial and she’s with me most of the other time I’m here so. *sigh*

The store runs contests and stuff.  But it’s all focused around selling on the salesfloor.  My team never actually sees any customers so even though they “put us on a team” even if your team “wins” you don’t get anything unless you get a call out in our online survey.  None of us ever help customers so we never get a call out.  Therefore we are on a winning team but win nothing.  I get it.  It makes sense that you only get something if you are on the winning team and have someone mention you.  BUT if that’s the case, take us off the fucking team.  It’s damn near insulting at this point.  It sucks because regardless of what anyone says if it wasn’t for us keeping that floor stocked and cleaned and fixing all the broken shit, you probably wouldn’t get many call outs because all of the shit would still be in boxes or just sitting in the back unorganized.

Alas, I’m not bitter, I’m really not.  I don’t need incentives to do my job like the rest of our associates do but what I’m getting at is that we are slowly disappearing because no one really sees what we do.  They don’t know how much sweat goes in to putting away 100+ boxes filled with product every week.  Like, literal sweat because we have to do it when there is no A/C in the store so it’s fucking sweltering in there.  Every now and then boss will put up a sign that says some shit like, “THANKS INVENTORY TEAM FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!” or she’ll order us pizza or throw some candy on the table for us to get a sugar high on to make it through the night.

The hard truth is that I don’t know what she could do to make us feel more appreciated. How do you make a team feel appreciated when they aren’t part of the “daily team?”  When a whole group of employees is pretty much isolated and nothing they do involves physically helping customers how do you make them feel appreciated?  When their work doesn’t directly affect your selling numbers (even though it does affect that, you just can’t measure it because we aren’t physically selling it) how do you let them know they’re doing a great job?  Especially if that team doesn’t give a shit that you TELL them they’re doing great?  Seriously, we don’t need a pat on the back because we aren’t millennials that need a fucking participation trophy.  We KNOW that we do a good job (because I tell them that.  The person that actually SEES THEM do the work, not the person that comes in afterwards the next morning).  But what do you do to make their hard work feel appreciated?  I really don’t know.

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Millennials.

It always amazes me, the amount of laziness I see from “millennials.”  Sadly, I am lumped in under this Millennial category due to being born in the mid 80’s.  I believe that Millennials are categorized as those coming into adulthood in the early 2000’s.  So Kiddos born from 1982- 1995ish or so.  There are varying numbers/years floating around for those considered Millennials.  However, the Millennials that were born in… oh I would say around 1987 to 1995 are those that are most “at risk” to be that annoying entitled Millennial.  I’m going to make this a bit into a personal rant so, bear with me. I might go off on tangents and it just won’t be as structured as my other posts.

There is one Millennial in particular that I know.  Let’s talk about her.  Now one of the major elements of being one of “Those Millennials” is having a ridiculous sense of entitlement.  Don’t get me wrong, I can usually get what I want however I do not expect it to be handed to me on a silver fucking platter.  I was raised with the expectation that if you want something you find a way to get it.  You earn it.  I wanted money to buy stupid shit at Spencer’s and Hot Topic as a kid (yea, fuck you I was a middle schooler in 1997) so I had to find a way to get that money.  So I babysat.  I did extra things around the house for a $5 bill.  When I was 16 I wanted money to buy clothes all the time.  So I got a part-time JOB.  Even now, I don’t blame my parents for “blowing up the deficit.”  I want to cover my body in tattoos and buy frivolous things sometimes… so I work 2 jobs because I like money and have bills to pay.  Instead of blaming others for my college debt, I prefer to just pay it.  It sucks but I have to do it.

I didn’t go around stealing and I sure as hell didn’t expect mom and dad to just buy me shit.  Okay so back to the sense of entitlement that Millennials feel.  Okay take this girl. Ms. Millennial.  She is 20.  She is supposed to be my “right hand woman” at work.  I would rather do everything myself.  So, as far as the sense of entitlement goes she kept telling EVERYONE “Oh, well I was hoping for a leadership position.”  Okay, newsflash, there isn’t one open.  One of my other manager coworkers said that to her as well.  She specifically said, “There aren’t any lead positions open.  Meesa isn’t going anywhere either so…”  She also is in school so she can’t be a lead if she can’t work FULL TIME. Now, being the curious person that I am when she mentioned this to me I asked her, “Okay, well you want to be in Leadership.  What kind of managerial experience do you have?” Her actual response, “Well none. But I was at the store for two and a half years.”  I told her that you don’t just get promotions based on how long you’ve been somewhere.  I tried to break it down even more.  I asked, “Well what kind of things did you try to captain?  Like what additional responsibilities did you take on at your old job that would qualify you to move into a Leadership role?”  Her response was even better this time, “Well, when I was working I would always tell people to keep busy.  Like tell them to clean and stock products and stuff.”  I almost died.  I just looked at her and said, “If you think the majority of my job is to sit here and tell you to clean and stock products you are going to be sorely disappointed.  That’s about 5% of my job…. and no one listens anyway.”

I cannot believe she thinks that since she has been working at a store for 2 and a half years she’d just automatically get a promotion.  That level of entitlement is ridiculous.  You have to prove yourself to get where you want in life.  You can’t just skip the line bitch.  You need to work your way to the top.  That’s how that works.  Honestly the amount of people we have working under us that think leads “Just walk around the store” all day or that I, “Just sit in the back all day” is astounding.  More than once associates have actually said, “Well you aren’t doing anything.” or “You just walk around the store.”  It is ridiculous.

So not only is my new employee entitled beyond belief she also has that lovely Millennial trait of passing the blame.  Nothing is EVER her fault.  It’s always someone else’s fault or the fault of something else.  I have two amazing examples of this.

First example: Said employee was working working working.  Not paying attention.  All of the sudden she asks me what time it is.  I say my usual, “time to get a watch.” then I let her know it’s like 12:30pm.  SHE FLIPS OUT.  Like batshit crazy flips out.  Starts freaking out because she has “CLASS AT 1PM!”  She tells me that her school is an hour away (just so you know it takes about 30 minutes to get there….) and she’s just so pissed she’s going to be late.  I actually had to tell her that when I was in college there were days that I missed because I was sick.  Or I overslept and went to class late.  It happens.  I told her that contrary to what she thinks, if she shows up late to class… she can still pass!  I know it’s a crazy idea.  So to make things even better as she’s freaking out she PASSES THE BLAME.  She actually said, “Ugh, not every manager announces the time.  Like most people say “oh it’s 12pm and X is just starting for the day and we’re at X dollar amount for our goal.  If she would have said that I would have realized I needed to leave!”  I was shocked.  I actually had to look at her and say, “Just so you know, it’s not her job to tell you what time it is.”  Are you kidding me?  Again, she isn’t going to be late because SHE wasn’t paying attention.  She’s going to be late because her manager didn’t tell her what time it was.  Yea, okay.  If you know that you are supposed to leave at noon because you have class at 1pm, then wear a fucking watch.  Anyone else watches that clock like a hawk because when they are scheduled to clock out for break or for the day, they are FUCKING ON IT.  Again, it’s not her fault…

The best story of all actually happened today.  So I get in to work at 7am with my favorite Saturday morning person.  Seriously, I love Saturday mornings working with her.  Now Ms. Millennial was also scheduled to work at 7am with us.  To my surprise she wasn’t there waiting (I stroll up at 7am on the dot.  Ms. Millennial likes to get there 20 minutes early and I told her I will never go into that store earlier than I need to…).  But I thought, oh maybe she was scheduled later and I read the schedule wrong.  So I look at the schedule and she was supposed to be there at 7am. I considered this a gift from the heavens above and I just started working and enjoying my time with the coworker that I actually like. Guess who strolls in at 8am?  I open the door and I say, “hey, you know you were supposed to be here at 7 right?”  To which she just looks dumbfounded and says, “Um, no.  I’m supposed to be here at 8 today and 9am tomorrow.  I wrote it down.”  I said, “um you are on the schedule today at 7am.”  She busts out her planner and shows me that she wrote down 8am. “I wrote it down.  I’m a planner.”  Okay b, you’re talking to the person that organizes the whole fucking backroom.  I’m a fucking “planner” too. (also, just so you know NEXT WEEKS SCHEDULE she is here at 8am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday.  Not THIS WEEK).   So I just say, “Whatever.  I just need you to put your stuff away and clock in.”  So I go back to working with my coworker.  As usual the planogram leaves too little room to fit all the products so we’re trying to problem solve that together.  Ms. Millennial walks past where we were working and says to me, “Yea, I would apologize but it’s not my fault.  The schedule is wrong.” I SHIT YOU NOT THAT IS WHAT SHE SAID.

My coworkers jaw just drops to the ground.  I try to find something to throw at the Millennial Heathen.  I cannot believe that.  She seriously thinks that the PRINTED SCHEDULE (that you can also access via an app on your smartphone) is wrong because there is NO WAY she would ever make a mistake and write down the wrong time.  The schedule is printed out and it clearly says 7AM next to her name with today’s date in the box.  You cannot tell me that the schedule is wrong.  How the fuck can the schedule be wrong?  JESUS.  Again, typical Millennial that we all hate.  Never takes responsibility for her actions.  In addition to that mess she also fucked up a bunch of stuff I asked her to do.  But that is for another time.

Lastly, one of the worst Millennial and just general co-worker/employee traits that she carries… is her inability to take any sort of direction.  No matter what she will always push back.  Whether its to me or another lead.  However whenever she gets pissed at what I tell her to do, she goes around and bitches about the “stupid tasks” that I make her do.  The thing that pisses me off is that when I give her a task I tell her WHY I’m making her do it.  So, for example she didn’t want to be on the floor.  So I gave her busy work.  I had her put the tester wands into smaller Ziploc bags.  I told her it’s tedious but we do this because I buy them in bulk and they are expensive.  The zipper on the bag a lot of time breaks and then the wands spill out into the drawer which is dirty.  Or if you are carrying the big bag and the zipper breaks you spill them onto the floor.  You can’t put a dirty wand on your lips or face, so we have to throw them away.  I have told her this THREE TIMES.  So the last time I made her do that task, after I had left for the day she decided to talk shit about me.  Telling other people “I don’t know why she makes me do this.  At MY OLD STORE. blah blah.”  The girl she was bitching to was hilarious and actually said back to her, “Well, Meesa has been here forever so she knows her shit.  I’m sure she has a good reason as to why she instructed you to do that.  We are a bigger store than your old one, so things are run differently here.”  GOD, I LOVE THAT.  She never suggests a new way to do something.  She just acts like the way it was at her old store (which by the way is much smaller and run completely differently) is the only way it should ever be done.  Our store is bigger so things are different.

So, moral of the story here.  You are not entitled to something just because you want it.  You don’t get a promotion just because you’ve been somewhere the longest. You need to earn it.  You also need to take personal responsibility for your actions.  Do not constantly pass the blame.  Believe it or not, sometimes people make mistakes, even I do.  But you need to own up to it.  Again, not all Millennials are like this but hot damn there are way too many.  If I tell you to do something you don’t get to just brush it off.  Don’t be lazy, I am asking you to do your job.  It’s what we fucking pay you to do so you really should have no problems doing what you’re told.  If you want a paycheck that is.

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