The Asshole and His Horse

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attempting to run through the flames

I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t beat a dead horse. The horse has already experienced the thing people fear most, no not public speaking, I mean death, and by beating it further, you only make yourself look like an asshole.

This being said, I think the little man in my head that sees me going to work day after day, hating my job, sees me as that asshole beating a dead horse. You see, my horse was once a full blown race horse, with intentions of working it’s way up from line cook to manager, and from manager to owner, but time got the best of it.

My horse suffered a tragic accident about six years ago. It was cruising around the track as it normally did, slowly climbing it’s way to the head of the pack, becoming the horse everybody looked up to, and the horse everybody went to when they had any questions, and then it was introduced to the worst human being it had ever encountered in it’s short existence.

Dropping the metaphor for this part, one of my favorite managers transferred to South Florida, and was replaced with the devil incarnate. Being head cook on the line, I believe this manager came into the restaurant with his sights set on me, looking to knock me from first to last, slowing my metaphorical horse from first, to dead.

Everything I did was wrong, and if I managed to do something right, I didn’t do it fast enough, and if I did it right, and did it fast enough, I was living in a reality that didn’t exist. I was yelled at for everything, everything on the line was my fault. If I showed up to work on time, I was late, if I showed up early, I was accused of trying to sabotage his labor bonus. My horse, along with the part of me that wanted to excel in this industry, suffered a tragic accident, but it didn’t die quite yet. It just became filled with rage, and dreaded it’s every lap around the track.

My horse died on a Friday night, when the shit hit the fan. We were slammed busy and on an hour wait. The food starts running long, and my manager is in the window just screaming at me demanding that I fix everything that is going wrong. I’m sorry, did I seat the entire restaurant at one time? Did I ring every table in the dining room in simultaneously and expect it to come out in a timely manner? No, I didn’t.

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Rage Level: Saiyan

I last about an hour before I red-out. I’m getting berated while getting beat down in sheer volume of tickets, I can’t handle it. I walk off the line for a quick breather, just to get my head back in the right place, and to get away from my managers incessant nagging. I’m in the middle of taking my first peaceful deep breath as he walks around the corner screaming at me. Cue red-out. I remember walking towards him and screaming at him, but I don’t remember what happened between that time, and the time I was back on the line cooking. I just remember looking down the line and seeing our grill cook laughing. My horse died.

I worked as a robot the rest of the shift, completely mentally checked out. And it’s been that way for going on seven years now. The little man in my head sees me clock in, beat that poor dead horse for up to fifteen hours a day sometimes, and then go home to drink the pain away, like the asshole he believes me to be.

My horse has been twitching recently, as I’ve been sending out my resume, and I believe he may be coming back to life, but as everybody who has ever seen any zombie movie knows, nothing comes back to life quite the same. Much as a zombie, my horse will come back to life with an insatiable thirst for blood. Blood being success of course.

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IT

Stephen King is a master craftsman. Every time I pick up one of his books I’m sucked into the story, turning page after page with ravenous curiosity, I must know what happens next.

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“IT” is no exception. It took me a little longer to actually fall into the story on this one, but around 150 pages or so, I completely forgot I was reading. I became part of the story.

This book takes focus on a group of friends in Derry, Maine, and the experiences they have together. During the book, there has been a recent bout of child murders, and while all the parents are being cautious, all the kids just want to have fun.

I just finished the series “Stranger Things,” and though not written by Stephen King, to the best of my knowledge, the whole time I was watching the Netflix show I just couldn’t help but think “this is right out of a Stephen King book.” When asked how to describe Stranger Things to people, I first ask them if they have read IT, and if they have, I tell them it’s just like IT, but without clowns, and no grown up side to the story.

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The story takes place on two timelines, one when the group are still children, and then another when they all return to the place they all tried to forget. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for all things sci-fi, and without giving anything away, this book took a turn I did not expect. I was not in the least bit disappointed.

Side note – A much younger coworker was talking to me about Stranger Things over the weekend, King’s IT came to mind, and that’s where I first realized how similar the stories were. Case in point, if you fell in love with Stranger Things, and haven’t read IT, chances are you’re highly capable of falling for IT.

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The Office

Have you seen The Office? Have you ever heard of Netflix? Are you familiar with the internet?

Just a few questions I’d ask if you’re answer to the first question was a no. The Office is my all-time favorite comfort show. No matter how I’m feeling, I can put on any episode and be temporarily swept away from my own personal shortcomings in life. It will almost immediately alter my mood, and I’d go so far as to say I’m a better person after watching an episode or two.

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Jim and Pam pranking Dwight keep this show alive

The show spans 9 seasons, and is about a paper company in Scranton, PA. It takes you through the daily workings inside the office, and everything that comes with working in a small space with many personalities.

I’ve seen the show at least four or five times through, as I usually put it on when I’m about to go to sleep. It clears my mind, and instead of trying to get to sleep with all of my daily problems floating around in my head, I can fall asleep with a smile on my face thinking about how ridiculous Michael Scott’s life is.

Michael Scott is one of four main characters in the show, and he is also the office boss. The other main characters (IMO of course) would be Jim, Pam, and Dwight. The dynamic between these characters is a combination of writing, directing, and acting genius. Every time I re-watch this show in its entirety, I notice something that had previously gone unnoticed. A minor detail becomes apparent, and I make a connection to why certain other things happen on the show.

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It seems someone else agrees with my main selections

If you really haven’t seen this show, you have to give it a chance. It is THE go to new relationship show. If you aren’t totally comfortable with a partner yet, put on the office, share some laughs, and get to know each other through the conversation that pops up due to the situations portrayed in this beautifully put together show.

 

Plan on Planning

Between writing, work, and trying to keep up with school, I’ve found that planning isn’t as meaningless as it used to be. Prior to this semester, I’d been out of  school for a few years, and the only thing I needed to plan was when I had to get out of town to stay sane. I never needed to jot down my schedule, and make time for certain “activities” on a daily basis. I didn’t understand why so many people couldn’t keep track of there responsibilities and obligations. Turns out I just didn’t have enough going on.

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I bought a planner for the first time since one was provided for me in high school, a good 12 years ago. It’s not only extremely helpful, but also a bit nostalgic. I remember being shown how to use our planners on the first day of high school, and how useless I thought they were. Back then my planner contained more poems than it did plans, I used to write all over it in attempt to stay awake in my earlier classes, paying attention just wasn’t an option yet.

Nowadays, if I don’t write out my plans, they’ll get forgotten about, and my grades will show. I have about ten assignments a week, and I still work 40 plus hours. Work is thoughtless, and doesn’t require planning, but it is also monotonously mind numbing. By the end of every shift, my mind is wiped clean of it’s prior obligations, and is instead focused on the post-work rage that it’s now enduring. Why couldn’t that shift have gone smoother? Why was I getting blamed for things that weren’t my fault? Why weren’t my coworkers being as efficient as they could? Why, when I work the grill (busiest station by far), do I find myself having to jump on saute and push a few items out?

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By the time I clock out, the only thing I can think about is getting a drink, and forgetting about everything that happened in the last eight or nine hour shift. Here enters planning, saving my night from being a drunken fit of vomitous venting about how bad my night was. If you find yourself struggling to remember the order in which to get things done, I’d highly suggest planning. You don’t have to write everything down, just cover the basics. On Tuesday: you work at ten, should be off by eleven, then you have to get home and write a blog post. Planning at it’s finest.

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