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Asking for the Universe's Opinion

So. I committed to stay at Starbucks at least through the holidays; I have reached that threshold and I'm having difficulty deciding what to do next. The Starbucks job, although physically punishing, had some cool and fun moments at first, but those have seemed to wander off, leaving me with just work I have to endure, for money which isn't great, but it about five times what I make by Patreon alone.

So here are my options:

  1. Keep going as I am now. This is the least attractive option, as I'm seeing a recurring pattern of "Saturday and Sunday morning" shifts (the worst possible) and finding myself grinding my teeth about it. Working afternoon/evening shifts is less fun that being at home, but still allows me to get things done in the morning. Working morning shifts just kills my whole day. Having a schedule that's all over the map also makes it very difficult to plan for things like, say, heart doctor appointments. :P

  2. Take a hatchet to my schedule. Currently my only restriction is "no Saturday nights" because I blocked that off for gaming (although gaming has been light-to-nil for way too long regardless). I'm thinking of changing it to "No Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, period." This would kill the weekend morning shifts, give me at least one solid weekday always off for doctors etc., and make it relatively easy to schedule for cons (as they tend to be Thursday-Monday affairs, I'd have off three of those days normally anyhow).

  3. Just plain quit. The nuclear option, so to speak. This would return me to being a full time writer/artist, giving me more time to shop that novel around and start the next one, as well as keeping Suburban Jungle up and running. The downside is that in the short term at least it would be a precipitous drop in our income until laurie_robey find her new job. She's got 2/3 of her new IT/security certifications and is talking about looking for a minimum salary of $100k, so, y'know, that'll be good when it comes! But it's not here yet. Do I bet the rest of our savings on that and go back to trying to get my own career into paying mode, or do I stick with the (coffee) grind until it's a done deal?

Blugh. It's a tough choice. I'm going to ponder it today, and meditate on it some tonight, but in the meantime, I'd like the universe (and LiveJournal ;) ) to give me some guidance on the topic.

Thanks! :)

-The Gneech


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2015 02:34 pm (UTC)
My personal opinion here, but I do have reasons for it. I'd say avoid the nuclear option, if it's at all feasible. Work may suck, but having some income, especially if Laurie's job search takes longer than expected (always a possibility, perhaps even more so during unsettled economic times, which these still are) is definitely a good thing. Starbucks may not pay a true living wage, but what it does pay will help stretch your savings if they need it.

Between the other two options, I see it as a wash. Continuing as you are now may not be attractive, but it represents a stable situation and may (I say, may) build some goodwill your direction from management, which could be parleyed into some improvements down the road. On the other hand, you may have more typical middle management for these days, in which case goodwill is a word from a carol and you may as well not bother, leading to the conclusion that option number two is the best bet for you personally.

Me, I'd be inclined to keep the Starbucks situation for now (under one of the first two options) while looking for some other way to improve the situation... but I definitely would not leave Starbucks until I had some improved situation to leave it for. From personal experience, I find that it is much easier to find a worthwhile job when you already have a job - not only do potential employers look more favorably upon the currently employed, but opportunities seem to appear more frequently as well.

Good luck, m'friend!

Edited at 2015-12-27 02:36 pm (UTC)
Dec. 27th, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
This person is wise. Listen to them.
Dec. 29th, 2015 07:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, tossing my vote in this direction too!
Dec. 30th, 2015 04:19 am (UTC)
cut yourself some weekend time with option 2. Commit yourself to a couple of activities in that time to tackle your creative job side. Time to write. Time to stream some art. Time to absorb media. time to scribble out rough silly ideas to see if they lead anywhere, etc.

Have you considered front desk work at someplace like a massage clinic? Greeting folks and making appointments on their digital system, kinda thing. It might be more low impact for maybe more money?
Dec. 27th, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC)
Seconding the "Avoid the nuclear option" sentiment, at least until such time as there is a viable alternative. Quitting without a backup plan is not, generally, a good way to go.

From my own experiences in retail, which may be different somewhat to the life of a barista, I'm a little wary of the second option. I just know that management et al. tends to look less favourably on those who cannot/will not work weekends, since those tended to be the highest volume sales days. However, the weekday morning shifts might have more volume for your business, as people collect their morning pre-work caffeination, so mileage may vary. (I can only surmise, as I just abuse the Keurig at work for my tea related needs :))

So, upon thought, I'd say maybe the second option, but with some explanation to the higher ups as to why. Stress the need for predictable days off for doctor appointments, so they will understand the request is not frivolous, but has health-related concerns.

Good luck in whatever you ultimately decide. :)
Dec. 27th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
I'd go with option 2. You're gonna want the more refined, less demanding schedule if you plan on doing anything else, but keeping the current income level is a must til Laurie is up and incoming.
Dec. 28th, 2015 12:49 pm (UTC)
Have to agree with both galadrion and mooncat here. I also lack barista experience, but from working 5-some years in retail, I can tell you that not working weekends is basically a death sentence to your schedule.

If you're concerned about doctor's appointments (which is a *way* more important concern than conventions), I'd talk to your manager about it so they know that it's an issue for you.

Also I'd hope you've asked laurie_robey about this! These days especially, it's a lot of pressure to be the only one earning the income in the house, and both of you being jobless would probably put a LOT of stress on the both of you. What if she gets that 100K a year job and hates it? You having quit would not look good for a return to Starbucks.
Dec. 28th, 2015 02:12 pm (UTC)
Actually, Laurie prefers the nuclear option. She wants me to be going full time on the writing/art and to be around on nights and weekends. ^.^' It's been my desire to staunch the bleeding out of our savings that led me to take the Starbucks job in the first place.

As for doctor appointments, the manager has made it very clear that the doctors must see me at her pleasure and not the other way around. :P I've only been at the job three months and I've already had to juggle appointments.

Dec. 28th, 2015 07:10 pm (UTC)
Given that additional information, I'd modify my recommendation slightly. Go on a job hunt to replace Starbucks, but don't worry particularly about what you replace it with. We're talking a McJob, here. Land a replacement job before you quit, though. Be upfront with the new place that your looking to replace an employer who won't work with you regarding medical appointments. And when you quit Starbucks, do so formally - written resignation letter, with a copy forwarded to corporate Human Resources. That sort of nonsense needs to be stopped, hard, and that manager needs to called in and talked at by HR. That sort of behavior opens the corporation to lawsuits, and HR is going to be definitively not amused.

Actually, if I had to make a recommendation for a McJob, I'd point you towards one of the TriCom Foods restaurant franchises - Burger King, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's. I had good experiences with them working my way through school.

Edited to add:
Kestrelcat reminded me that this sort of nonsense (an employer being abusive about medical situations) is why she no longer works for a corporate employer. After the last situation became intolerable, we discussed things and she became a full-time, stay-at-home mother, with the option to pursue her art and take the occasional teaching gig.

Edited at 2015-12-28 07:16 pm (UTC)
Dec. 29th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I'd go with #2 or the nuclear option, then. If Laurie thinks it's worth the risk, I am inclined to trust her. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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