Monday, August 25, 2008

The Pub Factor

As many of you probably know, I'm a planner. I like to know exactly where and when my life is going, no matter how many times I know the plan will change. Things almost never turn out the way you expected them to, yet, I naively think I have that much control. My planning trait created my 2-year plan. I made it for financial purposes. I wanted to put down my financial goals for the next two years. Some of these goals include paying off my credit card, buying a car, etc. The only revolving factor was how I was going to get the money to do all this. I'm here today to tell you that I think I found it: the Pub factor.

In my previous post, I mentioned my new job at The Pub. My first few days of training, my manager kept telling that I'll be great, I'll make a ton of money, yadda yadda yadda. You never know until you try, so my first night on my own was a little scary at first. Making sure my tables are happy, making sure my orders are entered correctly, all things that can make or break your night. The night started out super slow, probably due to the first sunny day in a week, meaning the tourists were in the parks all day (as in Disney/Universal/whatever else there is). I knew there would be nights like this, so I tried not to dwell on it. I had a few tables, which I was perfectly comfortable with because it was my first night without someone following me to make sure I didn't screw anything up. I ended up getting cut early, which was also fine. As I was counting out my cash to give to my boss, I realized: I did pretty well for it being such a slow first night. I practically danced out of there with the idea that I could add to the almost-nothing in my bank account. Oh does it feel good to have some cash-flow again...

Now, I'm a believer of retail-therapy, so some of you may be a bit concerned. But having gone a few months with no income at all, I like seeing money in front of me and I don't want to let it go. I'm so motivated that my goal is to have my credit card paid off by the time my next bill is due. And that's a great feeling. It's also great to think that this job can get me the things I want in the next 6-8 months. Obviously, I couldn't do it without the help of the grandparents, so a HUGE thanks to them for helping me get on my feet. I'm sure they'll be happy to hear the money I'm making won't be taking me on luxurious vacations and shopping sprees anytime soon.

So the Pub factor is good. The people I work with are super nice and patient with me when I have questions. The Irish owners are crazy and expect me to drink like an Irishman, which I politely decline. The Pub factor is good and I'm confident it can sustain me for awhile.

During the day I'm working on a small article for Orlando Style. I'm contemplating joining a freelancing website, but you have to pay for it, so I'm holding off for now. Maybe after more research and time I'll be comfortable spending money to make money.

On another note, Purdue starts school today. It makes me a little sad, but at the same time I'm glad I moved away. I think it would have been harder living at home while my sister and friends are nearby going to classes. I miss Purdue, I miss my friends from/at Purdue, and I'm bummed that it'd seem inappropriate to partake in Breakfast Club. But, I'm SO excited to visit at the end of October and reunite with some of my favorite people.

In the meantime, I'm getting used to a new schedule (working late nights, sleeping late during the day) and enjoying my new workplace. I'm also happy Fay has passed and I can finally spend some quality time in the pool.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hey Fay.

It's been awhile, so this is long.

My days have been spent job searching and laying in the pool. Last week was actually very busy. I had a meeting with the president of Central Florida's Junior Achievement. We chatted for a couple hours and he now knows every detail of my college career. He put me in touch with the person in charge of JA of Osceola County for a potential job opportunity. She's yet to get back to me, but she's running the county herself, so she's a busy lady. I also went for a copy writing interview, which consisted of a human resources person administering a 50-question test to make sure you understand the English language well enough and have some sort of math skill. My math skills = nearly non-existent. I haven't heard back, so either my Purdue degree doesn't make me as smart as I thought I was, or I just don't have enough experience. My bet is on the latter, but it's possible my test-taking skills are rusty.

Friday was a great day. I had a meeting with the editor of Orlando Style Magazine. She briefly looked over my stuff and talked about the magazine, then proceeded to tell me about the position of being a contributing writer (!). She liked me, we bonded over my love of writing about fashion and health. Then she broke the news: the job is unpaid. Right now, the magazine thrives with the help of unpaid contributing writers who work full-time jobs and write in their free time. Basically, this is just like what I was doing at Purdue for HELEN. Which means I don't know any different, so I tell her I'm totally excited to work for them. I just sent her some pitches for November stories and she should be getting back to me soon with story assignments. My writing could be reaching over 180,000 people in the Orlando area come November. (Hooray!)

I left that meeting feeling great and excited about my upcoming assignments. I felt focused on my writing career, thinking about the experience I can put on my resume and how I'll be soaking up everything Orlando Style can give me. Obviously, I need to work somewhere for money, so I start thinking about my options. While focusing on my writing career, it'd be best to work somewhere flexible. I also want to have a life, which I'm realizing would NOT happen while working for Disney or a Disney equivalent. My lovely sister had recently pointed out one job venture I hadn't considered: bar tending.

One delicious hazelnut latte and a sister-convo later, I walked into this little bar near the house. The girl behind the bar looked nice enough, so I asked her: "Hi, um, I don't know if you guys are hiring, but I'm looking for a bar tending job. I've never bar tended in my life, but if someone is willing to train me or you know a place that would, I'd really appreciate it." She recommends a couple places and tells me she's been doing it for 6 years. She started bar tending to pay for school. She's been doing it ever since because of the money she makes. Excellent. I make my way to The Pub. An Irishman gives me a cup of tea while I fill out my application. We chat and bond over my recent travels to Florida and his worldly trips. Then he asks me about my experience in waitressing, which I proceed to admit that I basically know nothing, that my hostessing duties consisted of busing tables and helping servers with beverage orders. Once he realizes he'll have to train me in everything restaurant-related, he asks me when I can start. So, I'm training this week at The Pub, where I will be learning the ropes of the restaurant biz while looking forward to bar tending.

I'm employed. I have a writing gig. It's not what I thought I'd be doing 3 months after graduation, but I'm excited to be making money and working on a writing career.

I also had a visitor! Aunt Joyce came down for a few days. It was great having someone here with me and we had a blast. She showed me around Winter Park, which I LOVED. My favorite place: The Wine Room. It's basically a dream place made for wine lovers. Winter Park was beautiful and I can't wait to explore more of it. We did some shopping. I got a few new dresses, now that I've figured out that the weather here really doesn't allow for a girl to wear anything but a dress to be comfortable. We also bought me some provisions in preparation for Fay's arrival. By the way, the sky is cloudy and it's rained a little. This hurricane/tropical storm thing doesn't have me convinced yet, but maybe it will by the end of the day. She took me to see Mamma Mia, which was fabulous! My newest addiction is the soundtrack, which plays on repeat in the car (sorry fellow Orlando drivers). We went to Disney for awhile on Monday (thanks, Grandma!). We went to Magic Kingdom where the air was hanging around all of the sweaty, screaming kids. It was wicked humid, but luckily the sun wasn't out much. We went to Epcot later in the afternoon for the sole purpose of going to the World Showcase's Mexico for dinner and margaritas. It was delicious! All in all, it was a fun-filled weekend and I'm so lucky to have a family that takes care of me during my unemployment.

Interviews, Irishmen, Pool Time, Family Bonding, and Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Glorified Thunderstorm Fay. A packed couple of weeks it's been.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sun, Sand, and $5 million houses

My August is going good so far.

I went to a wine bar last week called The Vineyard. It was a small place with wine lining the walls. I had a delicious sauvignon blanc thanks to Annie's great friends. Her fiance was doing stand-up at this bar, and he did a great job! It was s fun night out with good friends and family.

I also met my neighbors. They are doing internships at Disney in sports management. We bonded over Corona and agreed the tourism is a little intense if you're not used to it. One of them is doing a half marathon in December and he's trying to recruit me. Luckily, he lives next door, so I'd be more likely to train if I have a buddy. We'll have to see, but I think it'd be good for me and a great new exercise regiment.

I visited Tampa this weekend. A friend from Purdue lives and works there now, so she and I had a ladies night complete with a scary movie and delicious Italian food. And a $5 million mansion. She was house-sitting this weekend and this house: ridiculous. We concluded that about 90% of the house is marble, both floors and counters. They have a movie theater complete with 4 loveseat sofas, 2 armchairs, and THX speakers. Of course, there was a huge pool, picture window overlooking the lake, a wine fridge, and murals on the ceiling. We stayed one night there, so of course we spent the better part of it looking around, but not touching anything. It wouldn't surprise me if the owner took measurements of where everything was before she left. She was a little nutty, which showed in her decor.

After breaking and fixing the gate for the house, we spent a few hours at the beach! We went to Clearwater and it was beautiful. The water had a lot of seaweed at the beach we went to, which was the less crowded one, but it was as warm as bath water. The sun was hot, but the wind on the water was glorious and the water felt good once we got over the seaweed wrapped around our legs. We snacked, we chatted, and spent way too much time at Target finding the things we forgot to bring.

I'm amazed that I live so close to the ocean. The scenery as we were driving yesterday looked so serene. Clearwater is very expensive to live in, so I doubt I would ever try to live there. Well, at least not until I'm making millions. :)

I'm getting used to Florida and what it has to offer outside of the tourist society I live so close to. Though I was happy to join the crowds at the Outlet mall today.