Quips and Quirks and Plenty of Derps


I’m 27.  A perpetual college senior that is stuck between that supposed “American Dream” and the harsh reality of being a lowly retail specialist.  Definitely out of place, I live in a city classified as the leader of the heroin epidemic.  Lovely sight I’m painting, huh?  I’m not done.

Aside from living with my parents at this age, I’m still trying to finish college.  College, in my opinion, has become this over-hyped and over-priced stigma that this country spits out.  I know, other countries have colleges too.  My point is that the idea to get far in life is college.  That is the biggest point my high school made.  Graduate from high school, go to college, graduate from that, and get a job.

What high school failed to put forth in our little impressionable brains is that college isn’t made for everyone, meaning that those with no resources, money or networking (socially).  My University has shown me that numerous times, to the point where graduation is bleak.

The past year was tough for me.  I worked at Kroger (the most backwards retail conglomerate ever) for five months.  I quit because of the wrong treatment of management and the severe pain I was going through.  I was a cart pusher working for minimum wage.  Eight dollars and twenty cents per hour.  This job paid two dollar less than surrounding areas, took almost eight dollars for “union dues” and hours weren’t the best.  Why’d I choose that job?  Sometimes I wonder.

2017 was a testicle-grabbing year financially.  Our car just gave up.  I spent $1800 for a paperweight.  I spent all of my money, out of desperation because I had no means of transportation for most of the prior year.  Anywho, when the car broke down, my college semester had spoiled.  I tried to explain that I’m completely broke, and what money I did have went to food and medication because well, the potential starvation or deterioration triumphed over pesky classes.  Call me stupid, but my (along with my parent’s) well being had to come first.   My professors did not care one bit and my Ethic professor suggested me taking an Incomplete, which allows me to retake the course at a later time.

Since the semester was shot, I took the job at Kroger.  It was offered to me through good faith from my first stint there.  I thought that I could use the quick buck to get the car fixed and get back on top of things.  I didn’t though.  The car was beyond repair, so we had to get financed for a car far too expensive for it’s value.  So, I had to use this job to help with any bills lagging.

When I was working at Kroger, I had somewhat decent hours.  Even though I was getting paid an awful amount per hour, I was getting by.  Not as a livable wage, but something nonetheless.  Halfway through my tenure, management changed and things went awry.  Reasonable management was out and stupidity floated in.  The new bosses hired a slew of children.  Literally hired a dozen high school freshmen.  Thanks to that, my hours were cut.  I went from 30 hours to 17-20 hours.  During the peak of the Summer, I accepted it.  It was hot.  92 degrees hot.  That was not too good.  Since we had new people and new management, laziness ensued and I got the bulk of the work.  I worked 6 of my 8 hours on hot pavement and nobody would listen to things I had to say regarding that.  Supervisors never supervised.  I asked about having help and questioning why I was not getting it and the Supervisor literally said “What do you want me to do?”  especially when I asked why the kids weren’t doing their job.  I had the idiotic assumption that um, they’re suppose to run this Titanic.  I ended up working most of duties.  That’s not me trying to come off as Superman.  Ask the cashiers.  I was dying out there.

One day, I was shoveling in a dozen carts (the recommended amount).  I pulled it out of the corral and my back popped.  I didn’t think of it immediately until after break.  The rest period had my back in agony.  Welp, I finished the day.  After a week, something didn’t feel right, but I was accustomed to feeling awful, especially through the heat.  After another week or two, I wasn’t feeling right at all.  My fingers started to tingle and go numb.  I went to management and found out that I didn’t have nor qualify for insurance.  I asked for a little help because my grasp was off and something just wasn’t right.  What was their response?  “Suck it up, that’s life”.  Seriously.  I may be funny, but I wasn’t joking.  I tried working but I was nowhere near the level I could’ve been.  Nevertheless, I was outperforming the other cart pushers by a wide margin.   To this day, six months after I quit, I’m still in pain.  I’m nearly 6’4″.  You wouldn’t know it because it hurts to straighten up.  It’s very likely I herniated some discs and Kroger did nothing to help the problem.  I quit in August because I was working too hard and a new temporary manager was putting me down as did her supervisor.  She told me to clear the lot.  I was trying.  I was exhausted.  I told her that the kid I was scheduled with wasn’t doing crap.  She called me a liar and told me that I’ll be written up if I didn’t.  I tried to plead my case and she called me a liar and accused me of not doing squat when in reality, she was the one loitering around with cashiers.  I snapped.  I laughed in her face, took off my vest and clocked out.  If you were there, I would totally have your support.  Cashiers had my side and tried to vouch for me, but the manager didn’t want to hear it.

I quit Kroger shortly before the Fall semester.  I thought I would take another crack at the University.  Nope.  It didn’t work out.  Power got cut off and I had to pawn my laptop.  I couldn’t get anywhere either because the intermittent shut down of the car or conflict doctor appointments.  I just couldn’t make it there because of financial and medical hardships.  Again, my classes tanked.  I applied for course forgiveness in the way of a petition.  I attached receipts and detailed accounts of my issues.  I went into a lot of depth to plead my case.  The dim committee said that wasn’t enough.  They told I had to do things I already did.  They didn’t care.  They even said they didn’t read some of it.  So, what part of that was my fault?   Because of being broke and living in poverty, I can’t graduate.  The backwards college doesn’t seem to get that some people don’t have a trust fund and some people run into issues.  Maybe it’s insensitive, but I hope they get a taste of what happened over the past two semesters.  Things happened beyond my control.  I don’t know what to do and frankly I am losing my touch on giving the slightest bit of crap.  Everyone I know is becoming a success and I’m watching myself grow old and depressed.

Thank you Kroger and Wright State University.  Maybe I’ll become out of touch and garner the strength to ruin other people’s ambitions and work ethic.



I Can See For Miles

Portman's Trail

I haven’t been on here to basically spill out what I’ve been thinking.

I have been a bit busy working.  I was working a ton for practically pennies.  The only reason I worked there was because it was just down the alley.  I was thinking long term, considering the pros and cons on a job close to home vs. a job where I have to drive to.  I chose the job closest to my home.  I thought that if something comes up, transportation wise, I would still be able to get to work without depending on others for a ride.  Nearby stores paid more, but this job was super close and had grocery discounts for employees.

I was working there since the end of March.  I worked there last Summer between semesters.  During the “winter”, I was begged to come back.  So… I did.  I worked as a Courtesy Clerk, which is a fancy word for being a cart pusher.  Contrary to most ideas about that position, it’s a physically demanding job.  I had to work through severe weather and extreme heat on pavement.  Since the employer (Kroger) hired nothing but children (literally), I had to do the heavy duty work.  It’s not that the kids work prohibited from doing hard work.  The Kroger Management never made the kids do anything worth breaking out into a sweat.  The kids would be scheduled to come outside for 30 minutes for carts at a time.  They would come in only minutes into the shift.  Yet…. nobody had the testicles to say anything about it except for me to finish their job and do mine.  Now I don’t want to sound like that kind of person who claims to be the person who does everything, but… I did.  I did to the point to where my body was fighting back against it.

During this tenure, I’ve hurt myself in a multitude of ways.  I’ve dislocated both of my wrists (partially due its hyper-mobility), bruised my shins, multiple traumas to my knees such as runner’s knee, popping it in and out slightly and minor things like twisting it.  I’ve also had hurt my back.  All signs for that is that I’m walking around with a herniated disc between my shoulder blades.  This is the worst pain I’ve felt so far.  I get the sensation that my pinky and ring finger has fallen asleep (fell asleep?).  I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t take as big of a breath because of the pain.

So, yeah, I’ve been working hurt.  I addressed this to management but to no avail.  The store manager asked how I was.  I told her that I’m in agony.  She said “Suck it up, that’s life”.  Seriously?  Coming from someone who sit comfortably in an office, rarely seen in the public.  Her attitude and the attitude of supervisors led me to leaving that place.  The newest supervisor said that I just stand around and refuse to do carts.  I’m always moving around working.  Moving so much, I’ve dropped 60 pounds.  In April, I was 327 pounds.  I’m 267 now.  I don’t think that the weight loss came from me socializing, like she does so well.  I quit because my body was on the verge of giving up.  Mentally, I was exhausted from the BS and lack of cooperation.  I hardly sleep because I’m in pain from the overworking.  I’ll go to bed around 3am, toss and turn and wake up at 11.  Sure, that’s eight hours, but large chunks is spend just lying there.  The lousy manager told my Dad that I quit without notice, even though I sent a complaint/”I Quit” letter to the HR manager days before.  Yes, I did quit.  I gave up.  I gave up on them because they gave up on me.  I wasn’t making much.  I was broke by the following Monday or Tuesday.  I figured that I’d be better taking a break, maybe donating plasma before the new semester began.

In the meantime, I’m relaxing (for once), listening to Earl Scruggs and playing my PlayStation 3.

The new semester is about to start.  Hopefully this is the final Fall Semester I have, that is unless I go to Graduate School.  Had everything gone to plan last Spring, this semester would have been somewhat easy.  But it didn’t so I’m having to take 19 credit hours.  If there is a higher power, he needs to give me a dang break… just this once.  If I pass this semester with flying colors, I’ll have a 10 credit hours for the Spring and I’m beyond giddy for that.

As mentioned before, I’m majoring in Urban Affairs.  The definition that I tell people is to think of the words Urban and Affairs.  It’s the dealings of the city.  Zoning, management of the city.  I have my theories and ideas.  One is something I call “Structural Recycling”.  I believe that the city could and should utilize the area they’re working on.  Many places are being torn down just to have something built in its place.  I think that if you use some of the pre-existing buildings and lot, you would save money and in turn, the city could use the money save for something like alternative energy.  Not to sound like a tree hugger, but it’s about time to use the space we’re already owning and use it to its potential.  Cut down the carbon footprint and go green.  Solar panels can be used for particular services, like gas stations and emergency services in case of an outage.  Saves on generators as well.

I have ideas like that and more… I just hope that maybe I can get something across to make it happen.  If so, this experience at Kroger won’t happen again.

I’m trying to see for miles in my future.  I’m trying to be optimistic.