In My Skin For a Day


(This is what it feels like to be me for a day.) *written to this song, in my DQ outfit.

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While Working Night Shift at Dairy Queen.

Sticky. Covered in sprays and sprays of ice cream up and down the arms and all over the apron. Streaks of chocolate on forearms, red dye staining across fingers like my nails bled. Sweaty in the black uniform, hoping the deodorant holds out. Bruised in the oddest places; upper hip, mid calf. Sneakers catching on the floor, co-worker playfully poking me in the side, me ignoring how badly I want to sit down. Hands cold. Head hot. The strain in my muscles carrying heavy loads from the back to the front, then swelling with pride when coworkers cheer and call me a beast. Sometimes straight up sleepy, and sometimes frustrated by rude or difficult people–sometimes wanting to snap at someone but always biting my tongue at the last minute.

Usually, I’m happy, surrounded by coworkers who seem to all appreciate me so much. Inside jokes that warm me, the laughing fits where I’m almost in tears, the banter, the smirks traded between us all as cars roll by the drive-thru window forever. That smile or supportive word from someone which  gives me that next shot of energy to keep going. Ears overwhelmed by machines whirling and voices echoing and car engines rumbling. Keep standing. Keep smiling. Trying not to make it harder for anyone else by becoming frustrated. Trying to diffuse tension in the atmosphere when the night becomes overwhelming. 20 minutes feeling like 60. The heart thumping when I have to learn something new. Listening to everyone complain to me about each other. Trying so hard to empathize with them all. Wanting to hug them all because they’re all trying so hard in their own ways.

How amazing it is to hear: “We gucci, homie?!” “I want you on all my shifts!” “I missed you, Jamie.” “My shifts with you are so much better!” “Who else would I work with if you weren’t here.” “You’re an amazing person, Jamie.” Like wow. 

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Fingertips counting dollar bills, fumbling with coins, slamming the window too hard. Hearing my customer service voice that somehow flows like honey, even when things are at its most chaotic. The surge of relief in my chest when backup arrives and I can breathe again. Throat so dry from being stuck in the drive-thru for two hours: “what size?” “need a lid on that?” “anything else?” “That’ll be four-forty four.”; a couple gulps of water in the back before the next wave hits. The happiness of the next paycheck in my pocket.

Being drop-dead tired after seven-day work weeks or the days with surprise double shifts because the homie is sick and can’t come in; crying outside by myself from being so tired between those shifts. The boyfriend’s phone call comforting me as I crouch on an empty ice cream crate before returning for another six hours. The cold air of the freezer doors. The crunch of paper bags in my arms. The happiness when co-workers become more like friends you’re paid to hang out with. And the soaring happiness when a select few become more like family than friends. Knowing you have each other’s backs in and out of work. ❤ That’s honestly the best. ❤

When I’m At Home.

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Tired. Yet wired after usual night shifts, left sitting up till early hours of the morning trying to unwind enough to sleep. The computer’s glow tiring my eyes. The happiness of finding a goodnight message from my boyfriend every single night while kicking off my shoes. Music pounding in my eardrums. Scrubbing ice cream off my arms and face. Trudging around the yard looking for scorpions, toeing the dirt, the scent of poison. Getting lost in the music for an hour and a half while pacing back and forth under the moon–time feels frozen. Processing emotions of the day, imagining novel scenes, breathing sweet fresh air, self-therapy.

Soft bed covers. The glow of Netflix across the room keeping monsters away.  The shock of it being 2 AM. Snuggling something soft in my arms and getting hit by how much I miss him. Mostly drifting off to happy fantasies of snuggles and warm hugs, on rarer times feeling my heart shatter when I almost remember the scent of his hair. Feeling the tears fall, feeling those 2000 miles between us, devastated to be so far away. Flipping the pillow over to the dry side right before sleep hits me like a truck.

For sure no one knows how much you want this when your spouse passes away:

Waking up mid-morning groggy and grumpy. The happiness of his good morning waiting for me, making me smile and roll over, the first thing I see every morning. A keyboard at my fingertips. Tip tap. Tip tap. Tip tap. Music in my ears. Smiling at the funny things he and I message each other throughout the day. Sadly watching the clock slowly countdown my return to work for another evening. Searching my part of the fridge for food. Getting to Skype for a couple of hours. The joy in my chest when I see his smile, the sweetness from hearing his voice in my ear again. Laughing and laughing, talking and talking. Knowing love and how it pains and how it means more than anything. Sometimes sadly lying on my bed being quiet together, because we’re just so tired. The relief when he prays with me to have a good shift. Happiness. Feeling loved.

Then leaving for work again, ready to do it all over again. Soon to be sticky again.

Image by Elisabeth.Niyaha

~Jamie

 

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Currently: On My Day-Off


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Currently listening: a lot of new pop songs, just for the taste of them! 

Currently sitting: in the loveseat in the living room, laptop on my lap. XD

Currently liking: my one day off for the week tonight. I got some shopping done, cashed in a lottery ticket, skyped with my boyfriend to play Path of Exile, and grilled burgers for dinner.A nice day!

Currently drinking: Powerade is my latest drink of choice, strawberry lemonade or citrus passionfruit.

Currently reading: I’m in the middle of several stories rn, and it’s hard to find time to get to them. But, I’m about 87 chapters into I Am A Hero, a zombie manga, and about two pages into the first Game of Thrones book. I’m also reading Bone Gap.

Currently writing: alternate endings to one of my old novels. I don’t know why, it just keeps happening. XD

Currently watching: at this exact moment, The Great British Baking Show. Other things I’m currently watching include final episodes of the current season’s anime shows. And I literally just finished watching Breaking Bad.

Currently obsessed with: “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay. I’ve not heard much by either of these groups, but I do adore this song!!

Currently tired: from my last six full days of work. I’ve been resting today on my one day off today; but I’m tired quite a lot lately. Besides that, my body clock is off since I work mostly night shifts; I’m not out of bed till about ten in the morning, but I don’t head to bed till about two or three in the morning too.

Currently excited: that I get to work with my favorite people tomorrow night! Eileen has basically adopted me as her second daughter and I love working with her. And even on busy hectic nights like Saturday, when I work with Trent and Matt, I know I’ll be laughing and talking about the silliest funnest things!

Currently failing: at getting my bedroom floor picked up. I keep saying I will…but it still hasn’t happened yet. >__>

Currently scaring myself with: the thought of using most of my money I’ve saved and sinking it into a car…and then having the new expenses of insurance, ect. I need to get a vehicle soon though.

Currently stuck in my head: well, see that song up there? It’s really stuck. XD

Currently wishing: that I get a better work schedule next week, with all my friends and homies. XD I love my work family so much!

Currently praying: for family and friends alike, for varying reasons too private to share. But, you know. ❤

~Jamie

A God Moment at DQ


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I had what felt like a God moment at work tonight. It was at the end of a drive-thru rush, I was slightly stressed and a little overwhelmed writing orders, counting money, helping my coworkers when they double checked one of my orders. The guy who pulled up last during this rush though just struck me. He seemed little older than me, maybe 25, kinda rough looking, in an old car, lower class probably. Yet from the moment he pulled up, he had the most calming, respectful vibe about him; he was overflowing with gratitude and he maintained eye contact with me throughout our whole transaction. He was very sweet, very grateful to be talking to me. He was so calming after so many other customers, some of which who’d been cold or thoughtless (many of them middle/upper-class people too.)

I ended up being the one to hand out his order at the other window, taking care to make sure he had a cup holder and extra napkins. I felt this strong nudge in my heart to tell him I appreciated his vibe; just this strong inclination to speak. So, leaning out the window, I said, “hey, I just wanted to say I really like your vibe, it’s so chill and soothing, I like it!” just kinda appreciating how he’d treated me. And he looked like he was going to melt! “Thank  you so much!” He told me that he’d had some very rough few days, that he’d been needing to get away from everything and his thoughts; that he’d started to feel a little better. But he said, “Thank you so much, thanks for saying that, wow.” He seemed so genuinely touched and grateful and uplifted. Like he’d heard EXACTLY what he’d needed to hear in that moment. He seemed so blown away and doubly grateful. In those moments I felt like we shared this real connection, human to human emotionally. He was a perfect stranger, but in those moments, we were strangers no more.

He impacted me just as much as I seemed to impact him because I’m still so happy about our exchange. I don’t know what could possibly have been going on in his life, but I was really glad I felt God prompt me to say what he needed to hear. Plus, he reminded me that I could definitely still help impact people as just a little worker bee in a little neighborhood DQ. Encouraging people positively by being appreciative is definitely something I’ll always want to do for the rest of my life, for God moments like these. ❤


~Jamie

My Life at Dairy Queen


I’ve been working at my neighborhood Dairy Queen for over five months now. And wow it’s such a different world from my own. When you walk into Dairy Queen as an employee, suddenly the most important things in the whole world is making sure the oreo is stocked, customers are taken care of, and the ice cream mixes don’t run out. XD

At this point, I’m pretty settled in. I know all the employees fairly well and who I like to work with and who I don’t. I have pulled exhausting double shifts; raced in to cover for coworkers who canceled last-minute; helped train newer employees; been brought into that inner circle who knows where the register keys are kept when the shifty employees are working; serviced the strangest and also the sweetest dearest people from my drive-thru window; received glowing surveys of my service………….a lot has happened for me. I live one week at a time, from schedule to schedule and it’s crazy!

I’ve climbed into the group of people who are actually deemed dependable, which seems a pretty small circle. My boss calls me in A LOT to cover for other people and knows I’m flexible and trustworthy, even though I can be a bit clumsy. But it does my spirit wonders when the dependable people all grieve aloud that we’re not working together or that I’m not on their shift. ❤ And apparently I’m SUPER fast at dipping and making dilly bars. XD

I’ve made some really good friends; the mother and daughter that works there have basically brought me into their family and we’ve become quite close! We’ve gone shopping after closing, eaten out late after shifts, and I’ve even visited their grandmother’s home late at night for burritos. While I’m saving for the car, they’re sweet enough to bring me home late at night too. They were two of the first people there to praise me and seemed to really like me, and it’s more apparent than ever that they really felt that way. I care about them a lot and I’m always happy to work with them.

The new 16-year-old kid that started working not long after me has become a great friend too! I took him under my wing as a younger fellow newbie, helped him learn the ropes, and now we crack each other up terribly when we’re suppose to be working. XD I’m always so happy when we’re scheduled together, because I know he’ll keep my spirits up the entire night.

There can be a lot of behind-the-scenes drama at Dairy Queen too. We have a couple bad apples we can’t seem to get rid of in terms of employees; the one isn’t that bad but is often late. Then there’s a girl my age, a cook specifically, who nobody really likes. She’s on her phone all the time, she takes an hour to do her dishes in the evening, she an utter fake, she often cancels and makes the day shift cook work late, and possibly stealing. It’s hard being civil with her; other coworkers have a harder time hiding their dislike for her so I try not to add to that. But dang the drama that circles around her can be insane. The books I could write from the melodrama going on in the back. XD

I still love the job–if we’re purely talking about the job, I still love it. I still LOVE being in the drive-thru! Most customers are full of happy vibes because they’re getting a treat, and that really feeds me as an extrovert. It balances the negative stressful vibes that come off certain coworkers or the boss. I can easily make almost everything now; in those terms, nothing scares me anymore. I’m slowly learning things about the kitchen. The place isn’t so alien anymore. The job itself is very fun.

Honestly, it completely depends on the crew that dictates how easily, smoothly, and stress-free the job can be. Lord help you if you’re on a crew with a slow cook… or someone with an attitude… or someone who complains about their personal life all night… or doesn’t want to pull their own weight.

I love the nights where the whole crew is made up of people I trust and enjoy being with! I’m not terrified to walk away from the register and leave it alone; I know the cook is dependable; I know that even if it gets super busy and stressful, everybody there will be doing their best and pulling their weight. When it’s all for one and one for all, it’s just so much better.

I can’t decide right now if I like day shifts or night shifts more. They both have their pros and cons; you make dilly bars on day shift but you have less help. Or you get a bigger crew at night but need to do the clean up. Honestly, as long as I’m with a good crew, I don’t mind either though.

So yeah; that’s been my world lately. In less than two weeks I’ll be going on vacation, back to Georgia for a couple of weeks, and I’m excited for the break. Between all this, and processing some personal things I’m almost ready to make public, I’ve not felt like blogging. I know you all understand, and I’m looking forward to writing more soon in the future!

And oh, my favorite blizzard? Still the Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Love, but hey, the Pumpkin Pie was actually amazing, and I’m currently addicted to the Candy Cane Oreo. IT’S SO PRETTY TO BLEND. IT’S PINK. ^_^

What’s your favorite blizzard?

~Jamie