formerly fone

May 14

[video]

[video]

Apr 23

[video]

Apr 22

[video]

Dec 08

back to business

today was my first day back at work since i wrote “response”. i was late because i had to wait for the guy who has been working on my floor to finish. he came at 9 left claiming he had to pick up supplies and tools and didn’t come back until after one. when i told him my mother was coming down he rushed to start working. i called the whole time and texted and did everything in my power to make sure that i kept in communication with my boss that i was on my way but was delayed. i think my problem is that there is this schedule made that doesn’t make any sense and i try to do everything that i have to outside of it…but it makes having a routine impossible. why not schedule people with regular hours and regular days? i think some where along the line is about keeping people just going in circles. work late…work early…work late…and then early some more. 

so today when i was at work a partner from another store came in. i asked him what what he does. he seemed offended as if he needed to defend himself. i listened to his answer which is pretty similar to any other partner. to create inspired moments and make people feel better and give his best customer service. i smiled, i think he thought i was going to say something smart. instead, i asked him, “how much is all of that worth? what is the value of what you do?” he said, “a lot more than i’m making now”. 

i think if you asked any partner those two questions, you’d have the same answer. lately i’ve been thinking about poverty and economic slavery. my mind spins in circles trying to connect the dots. or maybe i’m trying to disconnect. i’ve only recently come to realize that i am a poor person. even among the 99 percent i am one of the bottom feeders. my saving grace is my job, but even with that…its just not enough. 

please don’t get me wrong…i like job. i like the people i work with. even when they are d-bags, we still talk it over and we still work as a team. i love doing what i do, i feel a sense of purpose and belonging. but at the same time i feel humiliated every time i deposit my check. think about it….a partner makes 9 dollars an hour and ever managed to make it to 40 hours a week in a year they will make only 18,720 dollars. the poverty line is around 22,000 dollars. what does that say? and the average partner is lucky to make 30 to 35 hours a week which means they will make maybe 15,000 in one year. what does that say?

it says that something is wrong. the disparity is so great that its sickening. and once you realize it you too become sick. but what can you do? you’re a trouble maker if you say something. i should probably keep my mouth shut but i can’t. i just want to ask questions. its not so much about making statements as it is about people coming to their own understanding. and if i say anything or write anything its not directed at individual people. its directed at the corporation which in itself is not a living breathing thing. its what i work for. but it controls me. i cannot tell the ceo to raise wages. better yet, if i did ask him to, would he? it is not in his personal interest to pay more. it would come in between him making more. but does he really need more? he’s bought a 4 million dollar condo recently and i can’t even make rent. 

we devote not only our physically energy but also our mental. and even with that we are expected to forget about everything we are going through and focus on creating inspired moments. but just how much are these moments worth? they are free…as they should be. but giving parts of yourself to random people. purposefully trying to evoke a reaction. a smile. by any means possible. i think after awhile some people don’t care any more. they mellow out. i think when i first started, i annoyed everyone because i was so bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to work. over time i’ve lost some of my hope. have i already burned out after only six months? 

i think the reality has kicked in. not only about my job but my life in general. i’m not going anywhere…i haven’t really managed to do much. and before i digress i will remind myself that this isn’t about me. it is…but it isn’t. partners deserve more dignity and better wages. point blank. 

response

I would post my response to your piece on my page, but I don’t think I’m ready to handle the backlash of it. First off I think its great that you found the strength to stand up and (re)claim your life. I’ve never met you, but reading this gave me insight as to who you are and why you stand for what you do…if that makes any sense. I too was in an abusive relationship…unlike your situation…it wasn’t sexual. It was with my brother. For years we fought…physically. At times he would choke me out…and I took it. It wasn’t until I had to get an order of protection against him that I finally got him out my life. From the age of twelve, this man would tell me things like no one would ever like me, I would never have friends. I mean, how insignificant was his life that he had to trample over the esteem of a twelve year old? 

I started working for the company in June of this year. I’m still a rookie compared to you, but I’ve always thought the same things you brought up. It made an analogy from the “matrix” connect for me. We are just cells of energy that power them on so many levels. They need physical bodies to make drinks and sell beans. They can have all the products and supplies in the world but if there is no one to put it into operation, there is no operation. The people who we make drinks for feel a sense of entitlement. Afterall they are putting out five to eight dollars on their drink alone. They want it quick and extra hot or not too hot or exactly 132.70 degrees. And they’ve been promised exceptional service, so they expect it. 

I’ve never been called a slut or yelled at. Although there is one customer who is a douchebag intent on complaining about me being too friendly…and not even in a sexual way. I do find myself dumbing down for people only because it makes it easier for me. I speak in a unrecognizable accent sometimes just so they feel bad or slightly awkward. This usually leads to larger tips or shorter experience times/less demands. I think some people think I’m touched in the head…which again makes my job easier. On one hand its messed up, but I’d like to think that subconsciously they are reminded that I am slave. I feel like I’m treated like one, so why not act like one? I’ve never admitted this to anyone, and I’m not sure why I’m doing it here. I am not a card carrying member of IWW….and to be honest, I’m afraid to become one. Maybe they have me conditioned because when I think about the crazy twisted hours….the abuse my feet take from standing all day…the lack of sleep I get…the resentment that grows when I think about how much they are getting away with. Why should I have to find a job elsewhere because fourty hours a week is just too much capital to invest into a partner. Yes, there are things I want to change…but I’m scared that rocking the boat will make it that much harder. Hell, I’m taking a huge risk just responding to your note. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing, which in turn inspired me to share as well. As much as I thought I was appreciated, I see now that I’m not. Its all fake…the pins and the cards. Just little trinkets to distract us with. I’m one of our store’s top coffee sales person. Some of it is luck…I suppose the rest is “charm”. I think these past six months I’ve must have sold at least 2,000 dollars with of coffee. And that’s lowballing it seeing that I average more than a hundred dollars worth of coffee a week. I see nothing of that, but I’m pretty sure someone is getting a bonus everytime a bag is sold. I can assure you its not me. And yet the pressure for at home coffee is there…customers get annoyed at you everytime you try to suggestive sell, as if you’re selling encyclopedias or something. But once again I realize that I am nothing but a living breathing medium between consumer’s wallets and their bank accounts. 

Right now, I’m on final warning for time and attendance. But when I think back about it….if I’ve overslept its because my body is exhausted. To work erratic schedules where you close one night and open the next day could never allow your body to have a normal clock. There is no circadian rhythm because you try to spend what time and energy you do have trying to play catch up. You become estranged from your friends because you work every friday saturday and sunday. And when you are off no one else is. Or you’re tired as fuck. And its not like its heavy lifting….but it wears you out in a different way…obviously there is the physical, but what I’m trying to deal with is the mental. Is this what I’m really worth? Nine dollars for an hour worth my time? I guess I should be thankful, after all its a dollar seventy five above minimum wage. But then again, being poor means you have to settle. You have to comply. You do not question, you follow orders because you want to keep having income. Its called economic slavery. Hell you replace the word partner with slave and there you have it. 

I would like to apologize if I digressed quite a bit or wrote out of turn. I just really felt what you wrote. I think writing and my outlets of creativity have been my saving grace. I understand your need to document and release yourself. I think to some degree I am too. I would like to think that my future doesn’t end as a barista. I like what I do for the most part the people I work with and for to some degree…I just wish there was dignity to back it up. There is no dignity behind a 30 year old woman being scheduled for 23 hours and then having to take on three extra shifts because she needs the hours. And even then between taxes and student loan garnishments its never enough. I know I’m getting really personal, but I feel like I’m struggling when people I’ve never met nor have met me are profiting off what feels like exploitation. I am a drone, replaceable….disposable.

…which should give me even more reason to join IWW…I’m just not sure if there will be repercussions…such as being labeled a troublemaker. People change their tones when you bring up the union…so I don’t anymore. I’m starting to think that partners are trained to be that way. I think that joining implies you will never advance with the company. Hell I may never advance just for writing this. But do I even want to? For the promise of more money? For a carrotstick that has been dangled in front of my face? I remember when my manager interviewed me he asked me where I saw myself in a year and a half. I said managing my own store. Looking back it was silly to think that could even be possible. I doubt it, I don’t have the composure to keep up a facade of being unfazed by other people’s words. I’ve broken down and cried in front of my manager at least three times. Work is the last place that should happen. I’ve also realized that certain managers are selective about the rules they want to enforce and who they want to enforce them on. I should keep my mouth shut because I can be fired at anytime because of lateness. If it weren’t for my strong coffee sales and being a favorite of regulars and the fact that I’m so welcoming and I make people feel comfortable, I would have been fired by now. Although I think its also because I’ve been on time more and more. I know my job isn’t secure…no one’s is. This response has gone into so many different directions…but I just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration. I’m not sure where things will go from here. I really hope the occupy movement can help us…not even as baristas but as people who deserve dignity and respect and most importantly higher wages. If any of the top executives or management had to live on 9 dollars an hour and less than 35 hours a week, they would probably be inspired to change things. But lack of empathy makes businesses thrive and succeed. Money over people needs to change…the only question is how?

Dec 02

[video]

[video]

Nov 24

my reaction to police intimidation at OWS

i watched a video on youtube…i’m going to post it…it was from this marine sgt that was asking the police why they were beating unarmed people…if the police had not led the people onto the roadway and arrested them, there wouldn’t have been an outrage…but it woke something up in people all over the nation…a revolution could never die down…it might have taken that to speed up awareness of the movement…and thus the gain of more supporters…but the cause is worth it for every single person that got arrested on that bridge…well almost every person…i think how the police intimidates unarmed people is disgusting…they probably look at us all as potential terrorists…and i’m sure some of them wish they could be part of the movement…but chances are it would mean their job…and their future…i doubt they’d jepordize that kind of security for a movement…i think putting so many cops out there…especially those who feel they have something to prove. it makes you feel tough to show you beat an unarmed man…or pepper sprayed a female…do you get a bonus for every can of teargas or can of pepperspray you use up? or is it bonuses for bruises and cracked skulls…are you proud of yourself? do you tell your children about your day? or did they see you on the news?….or maybe youtube? how to you justify your actions? oh wait, you don’t have to…i don’t hate the NYPD..they’re the ones who are sworn to protect me…i just think they should be protecting my right to free speech and to assemble…i get that you take orders from the top…but why the scorn? why the readiness to attack and imprison?…but wait…i get it…the people ae just cattle…they do get bonuses for every arrest…so they become greedy wolves…they look at us and see dinner on the table…i wonder how much an arrest is worth during OWS…probably more than just your typical neighborhood collar…and i’m sure you get more at rallies and other events…but i’ve more than digressed…i’m going to post the video…i hope they see it and it makes them think…

repost…

tonight was the first night i didn’t go to OWS after work…i feel at a loss…unsure of how to regroup. now the people need food and supplies more than ever. they threw out clothes and food and shelters…the basic needs of any human being. i use they because i did not camp out there. i did not live and occupy space. i did come by with food and whatever else i could. even my own VIA markouts….when i wrote “revolution” i meant it…fight however you can…and there are people out there who are doing their part even in the smallest way. tomorrow is the day. N17. i don’t know what is going to happen….but i have faith that the people will all come together in solidarity. peacefully and unified. REAL ideas can NEVER be evicted.