Tag Archives: job

actually making money.

7 Sep

Earlier this week I submitted my first ever invoice to get paid as a writer. An actual, bonafide writer. I’d never written one before so I did get it in late, so I wont be paid for August until the end of September, which while not ideal is okay because I’ll be getting two paychecks at once. Ka-ching.

All that being said, holy fuck me. I’m getting paid. To write. This is… what is going on with my life? Not only that, but I made more in two weeks writing for this site than I do in two weeks working at the motel, let alone two weeks babysitting. And Bruce mentioned that right now I’m on a starting salary, with the potential of being paid more if I stick with the web-site. That’s… just… fuck.

This means that this year, unlike every other year in college, I can save my money. This means not having to worry about rent each month, living off of top ramen and PB&J sandwiches, begging my dad for financial help, and being able to afford Christmas presents without using every penny in my pocket. This means paying off credit card bills. This means when I graduate college and move away from Ashland and quit my motel job, I’m not totally fucked. This means I’ll still have a job when I get up to Portland. This means while I’m trying to get my personal writing out there (ie. stories, poetry, screenplays, etc.) I’ll still have a form of income.

This means when I go up to Portland later this year I can afford to take my dad out to a nice dinner and pay the bill.

This means things might be all right.


What I’ve Learned from Working in a Motel.

2 Sep

I’ve had my job as a motel front desk clerk for just over two years now. It’s not a job I’m anticipating holding onto for the rest of my life, nor is it the career path I’m choosing to pursue. That being said, if you’re a college student looking for a job, I highly recommend trying to get work at a motel front desk. Not a hotel desk, and not at one of those motel chains. We’re talking local, family owned motels, like the one I’m working at. Chances are they’ll be very lenient on rules, very nice to you, and treat you well as an employee. This is what I’ve found, at least.

I really like my job at the motel I work at. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my ups and downs with it along the way, but it’s a job I fully intend on keeping until I graduate from college this upcoming June and get out of town. Hell, I might even try to get another motel job elsewhere once I’m out of Ashland, just until I can save enough money to do whatever the hell it is I want to do with my future.

Anyway, I’ve come to realize this morning that I’ve learned quite a lot from my two years of working here, and I thought I’d share a little advice with anyone who might be going into the motel front desk business anytime soon.

  • Look presentable. I mean, I’ve had days where I’ve gone to work not looking my best, which is fine. Hell, I’m at the point where if I have nothing else going on for the day, except work, I won’t bother to put makeup on. I’ve found though that on days where I’m dressed nicely and look presentable, I’m much more likely to be chipper with the guests. This could just pertain to me (aka people who aren’t exactly the most confident), but I find it’s the little things that help.
  • People like to be talked to. Okay, maybe not all people, but most do. I try to ask questions like “long drive?” or “any fun plans in [city]?” when I’m doing the check in process. I find most people like this, though, if I had to stereotype, usually middle aged women, older men, and elderly couples like this best (oh man, especially elderly couples). It’s sometimes a really nice transition for them after a long trip. It’s also a nice way to welcome them.
  • Give the customer your full undivided attention. The best perk, in my opinion, of working at a motel is that I get to sit in front of a computer screen the whole time I’m there. This means I get to go on Facebook, work on my writing, do homework, and watch tons of Netflix. Hell, I’m writing this entry up at work right now. That being said, the second I see someone approaching the front door, I pause whatever it is I’m watching, minimize Facebook, or put my homework aside. While a guest is there they become your number one priority.
  • Don’t be afraid to turn people away. I haven’t done this many times, but it has happened once or twice. I only do it if the person tells me they “don’t have the cash on them” at the time and “will pay the next morning”. I’ve made more than one mistake in the past in believing these statements, and the motel pays the price by that person running out before paying their bill. So at this point if the person can’t pay upfront or doesn’t have a credit card to put on file, I turn them down. This usually leads to people pleading with me (which has gotten me in the past, and then gotten me in trouble because they lied and didn’t pay). The best way I handle this is by saying, “Sorry, I can’t. If it were up to me I would, but my boss would kill me.” It takes the blame off of you, and since your boss isn’t there you’re directing the blame at an invisible entity. It’s a pretty good tactic to use.
  • There’s no such a thing as a stupid question. That’s a lie. Of course there are stupid questions and, chances are, you’ll be asked the same stupid questions repeatedly. But it’s your job to  make the guests feel like their questions are not stupid and that it’s no big deal.
  • There’s no such thing as a repetitive question. Again, lie. Stupid or not stupid, you’re going to be asked the same questions over and over and over and OVER again. Some questions I’ve learned to address head on. After working here a couple months I found that people were always going to come back to the office after checking in to ask for the wifi password, so now during the check in process I ask them if they’d like the code. Besides wifi, the number one question I get asked is where to eat. This is kind of a shitty question for me because I don’t eat out much, and when I do it’s usually at the same four or five restaurants. But I try to give recommendations as best I can.
  • Be honest. Sometimes people just don’t want to stay at your motel/hotel because of a number of reasons. Price, location, size of rooms, could be anything. In handling this, I’m usually asked for my recommendation of other places to stay in Ashland. I don’t really know any of the other motels, which I explain to them, but I do try to give them advice. I tell them the places by the freeway are most likely cheaper, I tell them the places that are closer into town, and sometimes even where the hostel is. I do attempt to persuade them at first to stay at our motel, but if that fails then I do give my honest opinions about other places to stay.
  • Sometimes you have to threaten to call the cops. I can’t really write more on this one, since I’ve never actually had to call the cops. But I’ve threatened, and luckily that’s worked well for me in the past so far. If someone is causing a disturbance or scene, saying the words “if you do not stop and leave our facility I’ll have to call 911” tends to work great.
  • Act like you give a shit. Or, do one better, and actually give a shit. People respond well when you respond well to their issues. Today two women came in and were in a grumpy mood about a couple issues about their room. I listened tentatively, waited until they were done, and told them everything I could do to fix their problems. I took care of the only problem I knew how to, and for the others I made sure they knew I was going to tell my bosses about their room issues. I even wrote down a note for my bosses in front of them so they knew I’d tell them about their problems. By the time they left they were all smiles and very chipper.
  • Not every guest is a peach. Sometimes guests are just shitty. Maybe something bad happened on the way there. Maybe they were stuck in a car or on a bus or plane for the last ten hours (sometimes more). Or sometimes they’re just awful people. I’ve only ever once snapped back at a guest (I don’t remember the circumstance, but I do remember it was very much deserved). Chances are if they’re taking their anger out on you, there’s usually a reason. Just remember it’s professional to answer in a neutral manner when this happens. I usually just nod, attempt to provide a solution if there’s a complaint, and try to not take anything they’re saying personally.

some reasons I am happy.

17 Aug

— I started writing for the web-site Buzz Patrol yesterday. Today I wrote five articles for the site in one sitting, and I am getting paid per article.

— I officially can fit in a pair of size six pants for the first time since, Jesus, I don’t even know when.

— The adorable backpack and shirt I ordered came in the mail.

— I’ve only got ten more episodes until I’m done watching the entirety of The Muppet Show in under two weeks.

— My online Web Development course is complete, at long last!

— Grabbing coffee with Beckah tomorrow morning.

— I’m probably gonna go see Ruby Sparks on Sunday, either by myself or with Martin.

— Tomorrow I’m finally going to be through with my first draft of Obsessed, my screenplay, and then I’ll send it on it’s way to Aileen to be read.

— I’m going to start working on my next Cool Gizmo Toys featured article tonight.

— An associate producer over at the Don Bluth company read my wordpress entry on The Secret of Nimh and liked it.

— I went grocery shopping today and am all set on food until my next paycheck.

— My security deposit check from my last house is on its way in the mail.

— Hamburger for dinner, then a late night run once I get off of work.

a wish. a hope. a prayer.

16 Aug

Oh please let this work job out. Oh please, oh please, oh please.

Five Professions I’ve Considered Doing

1 Aug

Right now I’m pretty set in my ways when it comes to the aspiration of becoming a writer. I try to write an hour a day (which is a shameful amount, according to Stephen King), and I write a blog entry every day as well. If theater and/or photography gigs come up in my future, hey, great! I’ll soon have degrees in both of those as well! As I mentioned yesterday, I’m considering traveling a bit once I graduate college, but eventually I would like to return to grad school and get a degree in writing, ultimately making that my life pursuit.

That being said, I must admit that there are several professions I spend time thinking about taking up. I know they’re not realistic, but I sometimes wonder if in another life I would’ve gone after these jobs. Here’s a look at the five professions I find myself wondering about.

1. Comic Book Artist

I’ve always envied people’s abilities to draw. I grew up reading comic books and graphic novels – still do to this day – and it was something I kind of always wanted to do as a kid. I even doodled my own comic book around the age of seven entitled “The Puppy Squad” which was about three dogs that gained super powers and had to defeat the Evil Dr. Birdenstein (I can’t tell if I was ripping off of Mary Shelley or if I was just a really antisemitic child). I’ve flipped through my comic book recently and, here’s a shocker, it’s awful. I was a kid, but even so the drawings are crude and the storyline makes me cringe. It’s not something I’m necessarily proud of. I think I could’ve gone in the direction of comic book artist when I was young, had I taken the right classes and put enough practice into it, but besides having a sketchbook to doodle in throughout high school, I never did give my drawing skills the proper attention. True, my doodles have improved over the years, but they’re still laughably bad on many levels. On occasion I’ll draw something that I’m actually proud of, which thusly ends up in my scrapbook, but otherwise I think it’s fair to say I tucked away all aspirations of being a killer comic book artist a long time ago.

2. Veterinarian

Throughout the extent of my childhood my family went through: one dog, nine cats, one rat, one guinea pig, one hamster, one frog, four hermit crabs, three lizards, three newts, and way too many fish to even begin to remember. Most of these animals lived for a very long time (with some exceptions for the fish) and they remained apart of our family for years on end. Needless to say, I’ve been surrounded by animals all my life. I can’t pass a dog on the street without making an “Awww!” remark, nor can I see a cat and not try to pet it. It’s just the way I am. I used to say “I want to be a vet” for a very brief period of my childhood. My belief that I’d someday grow up to be one filled up the short gap of space between wanting to be a ballerina and wanting to be an actor. Truthfully, I think I would make a terrible vet. Remember the movie War Horse that came out last December? Well, in the film, there’s a scene where an entire army fleet gets killed in battle. I didn’t even bat an eye. But a couple scenes later where that one horse died? TEARS. TEARS EVERYWHERE. So I don’t think I could handle working in a profession which involved me dealing with sick or hurt animals daily.

3. Puppeteer

One of my only regrets as a Muppet fanatic is that I got into the game so late. I have a feeling, had I discovered this obsession back in high school, I would’ve begged my dad for a class or two in puppeteering. Now, this is not to say that I wont ever in my life pick up a puppet, because I’m sure one day I will, seeing as I already know all the logistics of how to operate a puppet, but I also realize that unless I happen to be uncannily good, I’m never going to be a puppeteer. Even so, I still have a great passion to someday work with the Muppets on some level, be it writer or production crew or, hell, I’d gladly get just about any Muppeteer their coffee. And I’d do it with a smile.

4. Wine Maker

The idea of giving up my life and running away to Italy has crossed my mind several hundred times since my trip last March. Ideally, in my perfect fantasy world, I run off to Italy, become a hot shot writer, live in a villa, and get a smokin’ hot Italian boyfriend. Of course, this is not realistic at all. So, in my run-off-to-Italy fantasies, I work as a wine maker. I think it’d be a pretty sweet job, and okay, maybe it’s because I really love wine, but I just find the idea of doing it kind of refreshing and simplistically perfect. Who wouldn’t want to spend every day stomping on grapes?

5. Rancher

Being a rancher is something I’ve always secretly lusted after all these years. As a kid I confused this ideal with wanting to be a farmer, which is something I never want to be. I’d always think to myself, “Boy, being a farmer would be great… except for the farming… and the whole killing animals part…” I don’t know exactly what the profession of a rancher would entail, but ideally I would love it if my main source of income came from giving horseback riding lessons. I suppose I could have some chickens and sheep, then make a few bucks selling wool and eggs. Really though, this would just be an excuse to surround myself with horses all day long.

I’ve loved horses since I was a kid. I took horseback riding lessons for two years growing up, and I’ve always been sad that I stopped when I did. I don’t think I ever wanted to get to the point where I could compete in shows or, I dunno, participate in an equestrian activities. I just really loved riding. I still really love it, though I haven’t ridden a horse in years. I’m basically a girl who never grew out of her ‘I-want-a-pony’ phase. A part of me still fantasizes about being able to own a horse someday. There’s also something so deliciously wonderful about the idea of owning a ranch out in the middle of the countryside. The thought of being in the middle of nowhere with just my books, my laptop, a huge field, and some horses? How is that not paradise?

Writing Writing Writing

5 Jun

I’ve garnered two writing gigs in the past month of my life. One with coolgizmotoys.com, where I’ve written articles about cupcake wrappers and Father’s Day gift ideas. The other is ToughPigs.com, where I’ve written one article about Steve Whitmire’s hair that was released today.

I don’t really have much more to say on the topic. I just think it’s really cool that I can say I’m a featured writer of sorts. A freelanced writer, if you will! I feel like I’m just one step away from being able to say I’m a (somewhat) professional writer. Of course, I’m many more steps away than just one, but I feel like this is a really good start for me. I need to start with something laid back and low key, which both of these sites are. And they both play to two of my biggest passions, being: 1) Geeky toys, and 2) Muppets.

I’m hoping this summer to browse around for more freelance writing gigs. I don’t want to take on too much, since I do have another school year to go through and all, but maybe just one more? I think three online writing gigs for my super senior year of college would be a nice thing to have. I could put them on my resume and by the time I get out into the real world I can be all, “Oh yes! Look, old chap! I’ve accomplished all of this in only one year’s time! Quite quite!” (When did I turn into a posh British gentleman? I don’t know, but now I suddenly wish I had a monocle.)

On a side note: I am really hoping to finish my two main screenplays this summer. That would be really nifty. Then maybe I could polish them up throughout my super senior year, ship them out, and see if anything comes of them.

Ideally, in the long haul, I want to write screenplays. And novels. And maybe get more into the spoken word scene. But for now? For now I will gladly settle with these two writing gigs because, honestly, it’s not settling at all.

Proof that I am the most awkward human being ever.

16 Mar

So, I’m at work, right? And I was just at the gym beforehand so I’m still in my shorts, because I haven’t gotten a chance to change yet, and it starts getting colder so I decide to put my jeans on over my shorts. Now, I’m a lazy fuck, so after a moment I decide, “Meh, no need to go to the bathroom. I’ll just put them on here in the office. It’s no big deal.” Right as I am proceeding to pull one pant leg on a guy walks into the office, rearing to ask me a question, and when he sees the scene going on before him he instantly becomes embarrassed. It takes me a moment to realize he thinks I’m pants-less, even though I’m obviously wearing shorts, because that’s really what looks like is happening. There were a lot of “Oh”s and “I’m so sorry”s on his part, and a whole lot of “No!”s and “It’s fine!”s on my part. Finally, when it looks like he’s going to make his way for the door due to intense awkwardness, I practically yell:

“It’s totally okay! I’m already wearing pants! I’m just putting pants on over my pants!”

Yes. I said this. At work.

I then awkwardly got to tell him the password for the motel’s wifi while only halfway in my jeans, and then he left, laughing. Needless to say, I put the rest of my pants on in the bathroom.

Lesson learned.