Confessions of a Closet Bitch: Bothersome Co-workers

25 Aug

By: Sara Goff

Today at work, I really wanted to bitch this kid out.  Of course I kept my mouth shut because I’m scared to death of confrontation, but, in my head, I really let him have it.  For the sake of remaining professional, (because yes, I will happily log into my social media accounts if a prospective employer should ask) let’s call him Kevin.  Now, Kevin and I have worked together as Lifeguards in the past, at what we’ll call “Gym One.”  About a year ago, Kevin was fired from Gym One –finally– for failing to remain alert and attentive while working an opening shift.

Recently, I ended my employment at Gym One in pursuit of opportunities at “Gym Two.”  I was less than thrilled to notice Kevin, a fellow new-hire, at Gym Two’s inservice training.  In spite of the past, I was polite and courteous to Kevin.  This morning, I was scheduled to guard at Gym Two from 5-11am.  Normally, two guards are scheduled during that time—yet I was alone upon arrival. Not phased, I opened the pool as normal.  Nearly two hours later, Kevin strolled in.  “Sorry,” he said, without offering an explanation.  “Shit happens,” I replied through clenched teeth.

Not only did Kevin fail to remain alert and attentive during his opening shift…he failed to show up for his shifts at Gym One often enough to elicit a less-than-reliable reputation.  Kevin sucked at life in the past, and he still sucks!

Oh, how I long for the courage to tell Kevin what a shitty employee he is. But, alas, I surmise that my fear of confrontation–and the subsequent awkwardness it affirms–has forever doomed me to verbally annihilating such souls via the bitchy little voice in my head–then blogging about the incident in an annoyed fashion.

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Broke College Students

12 Aug

By: Sara Goff

While being a “broke college student” may be cliché, it is certainly the grim reality for myself and most of my friends.  We cram our days full of classes, internships, and the “extra-curricular” activities we’re promised will boost the competitiveness of our resumes.  Yet, the time we are able to dedicate to our part-time jobs results in rather dismal paychecks—despite our exhaustive efforts to act like productive members of society.

What happened to the days when people “worked themselves through college waiting tables?”  Now that’s a cliché I would readily embrace.   But oh, how times have changed.  Let’s break it down, shall we?

College students are advised to spend at least two hours per week “studying “ for each hour we spend in class.1  This fall, I will spend roughly 15 hours per week in class; therefore I should study somewhere around 30 hours per week.   Class + studying = 45 hours of my week.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults (yes—that includes us college kids) should sleep for 7-9 hours each night.2 (LOL, right?)  Theoretically, I should be asleep for about 49 hours per week.

Now, let’s  just assume that us college kids all have the opportunity to work  a “full-time” job—at a part-time pay rate, of course, because who are we kidding—we don’t have degrees and are essentially worthless except to provide ungrateful heathens with overly-processed sustenance or fold clothes at Abercrombie.  Imagine working 40 hours per week for $10/hour. While in college.  Oh wait—taxes. Make that $9/hour.

Hmm. That plan equates to about $360 a week (over $17,000 annually) and 34 hours of free time every week!  Seems legit…until you consider the typical expenses incurred by college students:

As an Ohio resident, attending The Ohio State University costs me an average of $5,085 per semester.  Eager to obtain my degree, I make use of summer term as well.   In 2013, I will spend around $15,000 on my education. (not including my study abroad trip to Florence—I am told that cross-cultural experience is particularly valuable on a resume, and Italy is awesome)

To live within reasonable proximity to campus, my rent and bills total around $620/month—approximately $7,500 per year.

So, tuition and living expenses alone sum around $25,000—already way above the $17,000 I would earn if I spent 40 hours a week at work.  And I haven’t bought books or food…

What’s a girl to do?  “Borrow money, if you have to, from your parents” suggests Mitt Romney.3

HA.  Since it’s pretty unrealistic to ask my parents, a retired flight-attendant and a disabled Vietnam veteran, for $25k a year, I am obligated to hit up Sallie Mae to fund the difference.  Moreover, I’m expected to delight in their offer of 11% interest and repayment deferral until I graduate.

Despite bitching about my incessant state of student-status-induced poverty, I don’t want it to go without recognition that I am eminently grateful (although, I’m not quite sure to who) for the opportunity to study what I love at one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher education.  HOWEVER COMMA I am both intrigued and annoyed by the financial burden that this endeavor places on myself and my peers.  It is unrealistic to expect aspiring students to earn money for tuition while simultaneously immersing in a collegiate-level education;  It is equally impractical to expect parents to fully fund their children’s post-secondary education.  Finally, the current amount of outstanding student loan debt, somewhere between $900 billion and $1 trillion, is downright haphazard.4

To reiterate, educational expenses need re-evaluation—because college simply costs too much. And, someone needs to implement a more pragmatic way for students to finance post-secondary education—because Mittens’ plan won’t work.

And that, folks, is why I will go to law school!

1. http://www.sbcc.edu/counselingcenter/newstudentadvising/academicslife.php

2. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwUAQmvHqyg

4. http://www.asa.org/policy/resources/stats/

Weekly Writing Challenge

6 Aug

By: Sara Goff

It’s been ages since I have written anything that could not be umbrella-termed as “professional writing.”  To be honest, I’m becoming quite sick of composing formal reports and essays.  And I won’t delve into my annoyance with recent “academic texts” I have been assigned…

In an effort to improve upon my creative writing skills, I decided to commit myself to (at least!) one creative post per week.  Considering the content of my recent writing endeavors, I feel as though my creative switch has literally been turned off; I need prompts!! Thank you, WordPress, for encouraging me to expand upon the weekly writing challenges. And so, without further ado, my attempt at creativity:

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As I lie on my stomach, drenched in sweat from my efforts to remain still, I try to focus only on my breathing.  “Inhale deeply,” Miller tells me. “Then let it out as slow as you can.”  It’s working.  I stopped shaking.  I forgot my headphones—my ears have been condemned to the incessant static noise that is dialogue from MadTV.  I try to focus only on the sound of my own lungs as they expel my giant gulps of air.  Shit.  My arm is asleep; I can’t sit still, nor can I readjust.  I don’t want to fuck up his artwork.  Certainly he must be adding the finishing touches by now.  I am dying to ask—but I refuse to be that annoying girl.  No, I will power through this for as long as it takes.

That’s half of why I’m doing it, right?  To appease the lifelong Napoleon complex of a 20 year old 4’11’’ white girl?  Do I want to prove my badassery to others—or to myself?  I don’t know.  Nor do I really care; the point is that my tattoo is going to scar me for life, in more ways than one.

An avid admirer of contemporary art,  I myself am unfortunately rather artistically declined.  But, I have a world of respect for those who are able to channel their imaginations into visually appealing mediums.  If I am unable to relay the visions in my fantasies, I want my body to be an easel for someone who can.  Tattoos are my way of paying homage to the  experiences in life which, to me, hold special merit.

Artwork by:
John Miller
Short North Tattoo
Columbus, Ohio
February, 2013

Writer’s Block

6 Aug

By: Sara Goff

As I sit in the lobby of my new apartment complex, using the free wi-fi because I am obviously too poor to afford my own, the reality of my impending student-loan debt is depressing me; it’s not an unfamiliar feeling.  Because that’s just not enough for one night, I am further annoyed that the Center for the Study of Teaching and Writing at Ohio State decided to eliminate Alexis – the best writing instructor I’ve ever had – due to budget cuts in the humanities department. Of course.

I admit: I am the self-proclaimed Chief of the Grammar Police Force.  I pass judgment on people solely based on the quality of their writing—especially instructors!  The bane of my academic existence is when I cringe at a professor’s grammar:

“This person has a PhD,” I will gawk.

“And they corrected my paper to say ‘with regards to,’”…

The narrator in the clip below may very well be quoting from my stream of consciousness:

Much to my exasperation, professional communication isn’t exactly a high priority at this, or any, major public university.  Instead, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are all the rage.

It’s not that I don’t think STEM is practical—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are crucial to future developments that will [hopefully?] sustain our great green Earth.

I know that, as a research-driven public university, Ohio State relies on STEM programs to maintain a prestigious status among other top research institutions—which results in a plethora of private funding.

However, someone needs to write about what those geniuses are up to!

Technical writers are crucial to the communication of news about developments in every field; otherwise, readers of Science Daily would be left deciphering lab reports…

Again, it’s not that I am against funding for STEM;  but my skills are equally as valuable, and should be treated as such—especially by those in charge of allocating funds to the Center for the Study of Teaching and Writing.

In fact, according to the National Endowment for Humanities:

“One of the myths of our times is that the humanities are good for the soul but irrelevant to the pocketbook and job creation…

We believe, however, that the humanities actually are central to long-term American competitiveness…

In a world where America’s role will continually be tested, the nation cannot afford to ignore the humanities”

I am painfully aware that not everyone cares about grammar as much as I do—which is why I am concerned and frustrated by the recent cutbacks in humanities funding.

Contingent with emerging developments…and despite what mathematicians insist…

“Writing matters in a changing world”

CSTWIIReferences:

http://www.neh.gov

artsandsciences.osu.edu

stemoutreach.osu.edu