Archive for category Life Stories

Gardening Rituals

Spring comes, I can’t wait for the snow to melt and temperatures to consistently remain above freezing so I can plant my garden! Fresh vegetables from my backyard! Yes! What can go wrong?

Circle Garden

I call this the Circle Garden. It has since been filled with wonderfully blooming perennials. Sadly the ground cover at the front of it has not grown back this year. It primarily has perennial bachelor’s buttons, lilies, Echinacea, and one other plant which I forget.

My mom has taught me since I was young that I should never plant until after the May long weekend (which is usually around May 24th I think? I don’t properly know!).

Usually about 2 weeks after the May long weekend I realize that I haven’t planted my garden yet. Even though it was all I could think about when the snow was melting!!

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I love the promise of flowers about to bloom!

Next thing you know June is almost done and my garden is still bare! I run to the nursery (read: drive because there are no nurseries within walking distance of my house) to buy as many vegetables and perennials I can find within whatever random budget I set for myself.

While inside the nursery, I realize 2 things:

  1. I cannot add simple numbers together, even with the assistance of a calculator
  2. I do not understand the price of plants based on the weird pot colour/size scheme they have

I throw random vegetables and perennials into my cart and hope that I am not spending $100s!

I bring my plants home, water them, and try to plant everything within a day or 2. I vow to water all my plants first thing in the morning.

Roses

A rose bush that I bought then abandoned when I still lived at home. I need to go and trim it up for my mom…it is one of the many gardening tasks I tell myself I will do better each year! (note, my mom has since replaced the sad fence!)

A week later, I realize that not only have I not planted my plants, but I haven’t watered them either! I decide right there and then I need to plant them. Unfortunately by this point, the weeds have taken over so I have to weed. Also, I have to clean up all of the dead plants from last year. While doing this, I think to myself “this isn’t that bad, I can spend at least an hour a week weeding and the garden will look great! This fall, I am going to clean up the plants and get the ready for winter for sure”.

I plant all the plants and read the fertilizer package. It says to fertilize every 3-4 days at first then every 5-7 days. I can do this. Maybe not first thing in the morning, I’ve learned my lesson but definitely every night before bed I can water the plants. And I WILL fertilize them.

A week and a half later, I realize that I haven’t watered or fertilized the plants once and it has only sprinkled outside once. The weeds are growing but I don’t have an hour to spare! But I can water the plants.

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I love have beautiful and delicate columbine looks. I also love the deep colour of these. I’ve not yet found a place in my yard to keep them alive.

2 weeks later: not only have I not watered, but I haven’t done any weeding much less an hour a week. I must weed. Approximately 30 seconds into weeding, I discover that the mosquitoes have arrived. About 2 minutes into it, I wonder why I thought this was a good idea in the first place and next year, maybe I should just grass over my garden.

From this moment on, I ignore the garden unless some beautiful flowers have bloomed, or the weeds are higher than the plants.

Somehow despite all this, I end up with beautiful flowers and some vegetables which I forget to eat more of than not!

purple pepper

A purple pepper from my garden last year! I got to the nursery too late to get any wonderful variety of peppers this year.

Once fall comes, I have completely forgotten about my garden, much less my vow to clean them up before winter!

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Me Time

Carving out some me time every day with 2 small kids at home can be a bit tricky. Luckily we have finally been able to give our baby the skills to learn how to be a good sleeper. I knew that deep down, he wanted to be a good sleeper.

We believe he has a problem with chicken because he threw up a lot when he ate it, and got eczema. Since we both have dropped chicken from our diet, his eczema has mostly cleared, spit ups have almost stopped, and he started sleeping better. Well enough that we could sleep train him. Now I am just working on more consistent naps.

I try to take some me time every afternoon while baby sleep. My daughter is 3 and LOVES to play in her room. I love the days when she curls up on her bed and takes a good nap. Mostly because she will be in a good mood in the evening!

During my me time, I drink tea, watch soap operas, and knit (cleaning, what is that!?!?). My most current project is a gift for my niece. My husband bought be a subscription to Tanis Fiber Arts’ yarn club for Mother’s Day. The May yarn was a skein of laceweight in a beautiful light blue with splotches of pinkey/purple called Moonmist.

 

 

I thought it would look so beautiful on my niece who is VERY fair with big blue eyes. I found the pattern for Sorello by Georgie Hallam. I am holding the lace weight yarn double and using 4.0 mm needles for my Moonmist Sorello.

I finished knitting it last night. I just have to weave in the ends and block it and it will be ready well in advance of her birthday in October! I believe there is enough leftover for a size 5, but it would be cutting it close!

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Pregnancy Good News

Today was the day I was dreading. Comparably it is the same day in the pregnancy that my daughter was born. There was a weird coincidence to it. We put my daughter’s crib together 2 months and 1 day before her due date. She was born exactly one month after that.

In a weird twist of fate, we took advantage of the fact that we had a wedding one night and our daughter had a sleepover at my mom’s house to assemble the crib. As we were doing it, I did some quick math and realized that it was exactly 2 months and 1 day before this baby’s due date.

And having the crazy anxiety I’ve been having, I kind of FREAKED OUT over it. But I made it to this day. I had an obstetrician appointment. My obstetrician was happy that since she took me off work and I’ve been taking Prometrium, the cramps have mostly stopped. Except if I walk a lot. Which is why I’m off work. I have less than 2 weeks until the baby hits the 37 week mark.

This Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead made me feel justified to have all this anxiety about my pregnancy and also very, very sane. At least I don’t have to worry about my baby turning into a zombie inside of me and starting to eat me from the inside.

Lori, The Walking Dead from zap2it.com

Lori, The Walking Dead from zap2it.com

I am taking this time to myself to relax and KNIT.

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It’s Been a Long Time!

It has been a LONG time since I’ve last posted. Not surprisingly I became very disillusioned with my job and I started to get a bit depressed. I gained weight for what seemed like no reason. I was eating healthy and exercising more. After a bunch of testing, the doctor thought maybe it was my depression over my job that made me gain weight. I started to look for a new job and almost immediately lost the random weight I gained. Yay!

Then I broke my ankle right around the time I started going on job interviews. A bit awkward but it is a good way to start a conversation. We had a family health crisis. Then right when I needed it, third time was a charm and I got what is seriously the most awesome job for me! And I got pregnant. Pretty much almost at the same time. Not the best planning…

This has been an anxiety filled pregnancy mostly because my daughter was born approximately 5 weeks early. She had no major health problems and we went home after 3 nights but the terror of another premie has taken over my brain this pregnancy. I’ve asked my husband many MANY times if I am normally this crazy and he has assured me that I am not!

It was a bit hard being pregnant at a job where I had no friends. But I dealt with it. I got the exact same morning sickness until about week 17 like I did last time. I took diclectin this time which helped a lot. I was fine for a few weeks then, right when summer started I started to have dehydration problems. Once I got that under control, I got bronchitis. Then, when that was almost done I got another urinary tract infection. And as if that wasn’t enough I got the flu which turned into an upper respiratory infection. That took me to the end of summer. I had a week of feeling alright and then I found out that I may have gestational diabetes.

I did not like the resident I was assigned at my family doctor throughout this. She did not seem to care about the fact that I had a c section at 35 weeks last time. She did not seem to care that I wasn’t gaining weight because I was so sick. She just didn’t seem to care about anything. And she didn’t know some things that she should have. I had to ask for my initial gestational diabetes test, she told me not to fast for the follow up one when I knew i had to. I called her on it and she was not happy with me.

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes but I consider myself lucky because it has been easily controlled through diet and I don’t have to go to a million appointments because of it and I only have to test my blood once a day for the rest of my pregnancy. And really, it is probably good for all pregnant people to eat properly during the last trimester when the baby puts on the most weight.

I got a referral to an obstetrician who has done a lot of relieve my brain. I’ve only seen her two times but she takes my fears of another premie seriously. Yesterday, she took me off of work because my body is showing signs of starting to prepare for labour at 34 weeks. Her goal is to make the baby stay inside until 37 weeks. I have to take progesterone for the next 2.5 weeks which can help delay labour in people who have history of preterm labour.

And that is it for now.  My blogging will probably be more regular because I am home alone all day and cannot really go out and do things. I have a lot of plans and projects.

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My Glass Ceiling

A little bit of background on me: I have a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science. The programming portion has always been relatively easier for me, it wasn’t an ‘easy’ degree to get but it was the natural choice for me to take. When I graduated from university I didn’t know what I wanted for myself. I got a job as a programmer and I HATED it. I eventually quit because I just couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Would I go back to school and learn something else? Would I get  a job somewhere? I started to explore my options and applied around to contracting services figuring I’d be exposed to a variety of companies. I got a job as an admin covering a maternity leave at the company where I still work.

Happiness Depends Upon Ourselves Binary Code Etched Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet by Karla Wheeler Design on Etsy

Happiness Depends Upon Ourselves Binary Code Etched Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet by Karla Wheeler Design on Etsy

While I was an admin, I discovered that it is not the career for me because I don’t have the patience. After my term was up they kept me on contract and I still did admin-type work and a little bit of analyst work. I was eventually hired on as an analyst and they used me to automate a lot of their manual processes and I discovered that is what I enjoy doing. Unfortunately, I had problems with my boss and I was still treated like an admin and my experience and skills were not valued.

A College Degree Got Me This Job Magnet by Minds Eye Cards on Etsy

A College Degree Got Me This Job? Magnet by Minds Eye Cards on Etsy

I eventually got a new position in my company and I thought it was great. Sure, I am one of 2 non-engineers in an engineering department but I was going to be learning some very valuable processes for our company and eventually take them over. Great! I was going to have a boss that treated me like I have something to contribute AND they hired me because my skills and background contribute greatly to the department.

Perhaps that is still the case, but this week I overheard my boss tell another manager that he has 2 employees in his department without degrees, me being one of them. EXCUSE ME!?!? Did I just pay to hang out at university for 5 years for fun? Did I take Operating Systems with a crazy hard professor just because I like to torture myself? Did you not hire me partly because I could automate and improve processes in the department? Did I not do some work with your department BEFORE you hired me because you needed my computer skills?

British Museum - London, England 8x10 Fine Art Photograph by AspiringImages on Etsy

British Museum by Aspiring Images on Etsy

This is my glass ceiling. My company values engineers above all. Every job posting pretty much implies “if you aren’t an engineer, don’t apply”. Perhaps my boss meant to say that 2 of us don’t have engineering degrees but he definitely did not say that. I have some other friends who are not engineers as well and we all feel like the company treats us like we have no post secondary education.

Can I really stay working at a company where I probably cannot get ahead? Not because of my gender but because after my name I have a B.Sc. (Comp Sci) instead of a B. Sc. (Eng)?

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My Life In Music

This is inspired by San from The In Between is Mine who was inspired by LaMidge.

Barrett’s Privateers by Stan Rogers

♪ This song is a legend with my family and my family friends. We play it at every special event.

Karma Chameleon by Boy George

♪ This is one of the first songs or artists I remember liking. My sister was more into Michael Jackson but I was all about Boy George. For Christmas in Kindergarten, I got a Boy George tape as a present and I was so proud of it! I also proudly wore by Boy George shirt to school with my flourescent green socks. I wish I had a picture of that outfit.

♪ I’ve Got No Strings or The Grandfather Clock by Fred Penner

♪ I have to admit that I still enjoy Fred Penner songs. When I was a kid, I loved playing the Special Delivery tape (now called Ebeneezer Sneezer) over and over again. I can’t find either of these songs on YouTube but they’re worth looking for.

The Age of Aquarius by The Fifth Dimension

♪ No matter which version I hear (and it is most often the one from the Hair soundtrack), I am always transported back in space and time and I remember watching the episode of Head of the Class where they preformed Hair.

Stand By Me by Ben E King

♪In grade 5, I had a wonderful teacher for a few short months before he was promoted to a school division job. At the end of each day we would clean up our desks, put our chairs on top of out desks, and stand there while we listened to the song.

Tonight by The New Kids on the Block

♪ My sister got into The New Kids on the Block earlier than I did so their first album was “hers”. This was my favourite song on the Step by Step album. One of the saddest moments of my life was when I was not allowed to go to their concert but my sister was and she didn’t really like them anymore.

Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast from the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack, and A Whole New World from the Aladdin sountrack

♪ These songs take be back to a more innocent time in my life when my world was simple.

Jeremy by Pearl Jam

♪ One of my most profound music video memories is watching the Jeremy video for the first time on MuchMusic.

The Music of the Night from the Canadian Cast of Phantom of the Opera

♪ I am loyal to the first version I heard. My parents bought me the tape when they went to the show because I wanted to go so badly but it was sold out. I don’t quite remember but either later the show came back and they got tickets or they added shows on and they got tickets. I have seen this show at least 4 times now. I regret not going to the Las Vegas version when I was there just to see it but I felt weird going alone.

♪ Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravtiz

♪ No explanation necessary.

Sleigh Ride by Harry Connick Jr

♪ This song introduced me to jazz music. It means the start of Christmas. Sorry for the poor quality video.

Buddy Holly by Weezer

♪ For some reason, with the exception of a few songs, I don’t really like the Maladroit album. Other than those songs, I have pretty much loved every single Weezer song I’ve heard since Buddy Holly.

Glycerine by BushX

♪ Yep, when this song came out Bush was called BushX in Canada. Awesome. My sister took me to the BushX concert for my high school graduation gift. We had great fun. Mostly at the expense of the girl in front of us who couldn’t stop crying.

Wonderwall by Oasis

♪ Love singing along with this one. Charlie sang it in Lost.

Resurrection by Moist

♪ My friends and I took the bus to a small town to see them because the show in Winnipeg sold out. It was the first time I took an overnight trip without any parents. We stood outside after the concert until we met most of the band. It was a Big Deal at the time.

Stop by the Spice Girls

♪ The Spice Girls helped me embrace the idea of loving pop music. I guess I was a bit turned off after I stopped liking the New Kids on The Block. Every time I hear this song I need to get up and do the dance. Learn it.

Change by Blind Melon

♪ I’ve listened to Blind Melon since I was in junior high (another concert my sister was allowed to go to and I wasn’t). When I was in university I fell in deep love with this song. It has helped me get through some difficult times. If there is just one song you listen to from here, please make it this one. Shannon Hoon unfortunately died way too soon.

Common People by Pulp

♪ As you can probably tell by now, during my high school/university years, I was strongly influenced by Brit Pop music. This song makes me so happy. My husband and I regularly fight over which version is better: Pulp or William Shatner.

Angels by Robbie Williams

♪ When I heard this song for the first time, I had no clue that a lifetime love affair would start. I often crave listening to his songs. I don’t always want to listen to every song but there is a Robbie Williams song out there to satisfy all of my moods.

If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot

♪ My university boyfriend had just broken up with me and I was driving home. This song came on the radio. It spoke to me. It helped me.

♪ Killing Me Softly by the Fugees

♪ I know it’s not the original but I enjoy this version and I enjoy dancing to it

♪You and I by Michael Buble

♪ I also have a love affair with all Michael Buble songs. This was my wedding song. If you enjoy him and you have a chance to see a concert, go! They are some of the funniest and most entertaining concerts I’ve been to. This man is a performer. Despite that,  I can`t find a youTube video for this.

Multiply by Jamie Liddell

♪ This is another song that always gets me up and dancing. I was addicted to it the first time I heard it.

♪ If I Had Eyes by Jack Johnson

♪ He’s another artist that can do no wrong in my book. This was the first song of his that I took notice of and I love all songs before and after.

Sleeping Sickness by City and Colour

♪ Consistently the #1 song on my playlist count. Adding to the awesomeness is the cameo by Gord Downie.

After Tonight by Justin Nozuka

♪ There is something about his voice that soothes me and comforts me. I have trouble comprehending the fact that he was only 19 when this album was released! A kid!!

There are some artists too that provide the soundtrack to my life but I don’t remember when I first heard them, or I have too many favourites to list.

The Tragically Hip

♪ Once I got over the fact that my Dad also liked them, I loved them. Day for Night was one of the first 2 CD’s I bought.

R.E.M.

♪ I was so lucky to get tickets to their concert in Winnipeg. Since they had never played here before, it was like listening to a greatest hits album. Monster was one of the first 2 CD’s I bought.

Spirit of the West

♪ Most people only associate them with Home for a Rest but they have so many great songs.

Feist

♪ This is another artist who is consistently great in my books. And she seems like so much fun! Did you see her on Sesame Street?

I know this is very long and there are songs that I am missing but these are the standout ones that I remember.

I hope I managed to bring back some memories for you and hopefully introduced you to some new songs!

Do you have a soundtrack to your life?

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Teeth, bright lights, and Shamrock Shakes: One Person’s True Story Of Her Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery

As my blog readers and twitterers know, I got my bottom 2 wisdom teeth out yesterday and I was so nervous. I don’t think I was as nervous about the dental work, but that I didn’t know what to expect.

I knew I was nervous because I got turned around when I was downtown trying to find the parkade closest to the surgery centre. Don’t worry folks, I didn’t drive home or leave my car overnight in a parkade (too $$$). My husband took the bus over from work and picked me and the car up. I messaged him every detail of exactly where the car, car keys, and parkade ticket were so I would have to remember after my surgery. I didn’t know how out of it I was going to be.

I got to the surgery centre almost exactly an hour before my appointment so I had a lot of time to sit and think. Too much time. I brought a book with me but I couldn’t focus. I did a lot of people watching in the tiny room and I felt old. The other people there my age were parents waiting with kids! It looked like all the people getting their wisdom teeth out were at least a good 10 years younger than me.

I got a bit upset while waiting. There was a 4 year old there because she had rotten teeth that needed to be pulled. This made me so sad. I hope that the parents work extra hard at teaching her proper dental hygiene now. Unfortunately this little girl got a popsicle as soon as she woke up. There was another mom there that was angry her son’s appointment wasn’t on time, when everyone knows that they can schedule surgeries as much as they want but things happen. They told her that they have blocks of time for each surgery and sometimes it goes over and sometimes it is shorter. She demanded to see this schedule of people to make sure they were telling her the truth. Well lady, have you ever heard of patient confidentiality?  She was so angry that they wouldn’t show it to her.

Sometimes, I just can’t understand people.

Finally (after peeing 2 times during my hour-long wait even though I hadn’t had anything to drink in over 12 hours!), my name was called and I had to change into a gown. I thought they’d take me in right away but I had to wait in another room that was heated so it was cozy and warm and it had comfortable arm chairs and a People magazine out for me to read. I met the anesthesiologist who met me and went out my general health. After peeing one more time I was taken into surgery.

My only other surgery was my c section. This room was smaller, and therefore more scary and foreboding than the c section room. I didn’t cry this time luckily (I pretty much cried for 3 hours before my c section). The anesthesiologist knew I do not like needles so he tried to do it without my seeing anything which was awesome of him. I know that the drugs they were giving me weren’t going to make me completely knocked out but more floaty and uncaring so I wasn’t sure if I should fall asleep or not though but then the nurse told me to close my eyes because she was going to be turning on a bright light. I took that as my signal to go ahead and snooze.

Next thing I know, I hear a whirring noise and the room seemed to be full of a lot of people. I wasn’t sure if there was something over my eyes or I just didn’t open them because I could see the bright light but I think that there was something there. I luckily managed to snooze through the worst of the noises, I didn’t have to listen to any cracking or anything but, just as I woke up was when the dentist was saying that he didn’t think he could get my impacted tooth out. The nurse was very encouraging to him but those are NOT the words you want to hear when you wake up during surgery. I know that the drugs were still working for making me floaty and uncaring because if I was with it, I would have completely FREAKED OUT when I heard the dentist say that. After a bunch of whirring and yanking, they turned off the light, pulled the thing off my eyes (if there was something ) and wheeled me into recovery.

They called my husband, in the way home we got the drugs, a giant shamrock shake to share (I ate with a spoon), and our daughter from daycare. My mouth was so frozen that he had to check each time I swallowed a pill to see if it was still there! It took a few times to actually swallow the T3 because it was so hard to sip water. I think my husband had fun watching me “eat” the milkshake because I couldn’t feel anything so I had milkshake running all down my face. I ended up using many MANY paper towels until about 10:00 pm to mop up my chin from milkshake and drool.

I’m on the mend now and I can truly say that this is much more pleasant than recovering from a c section even though the end result is not nearly as satisfying as a c section.

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You May Think I’m Crazy But…

You may think I’m crazy but I love going to the dentist.

 

Dentist Gorilla Dr. U.Grunt by KittydirtVintage on Etsy

 

I love the feeling of having clean teeth. I have mildly sensitive teeth so sometimes it can hurt a bit, but I find it worth it to have clean teeth. I’ve gotten cavities filled and other minor dental procedures in the past without a worry.

I find it relaxing to go to the dentist’s office and lay back in the chair and not have to worry about communicating. I find my dentist’s constant off-key humming and occasional bursting out into song comforting.

 

Wisdom Tooth Cameo Necklace (black laser cut acrylic) by emikoshop on Etsy

 

 

Five years ago, I got my top two wisdom teeth pulled out. They had grown out of my gums and they were not causing problems with the rest of my teeth so my dentist was able to do it for me in his office. My dentist froze my mouth and was doing some work in there while keeping up a one-sided conversation. A few minutes later he said “Ok” and I asked if he was ready to pull my teeth. He told me that he had already pulled them! It had barely been any time and I only felt some mild pressure in my gums. This may sound odd, but it was definitely a relatively pleasant experience.

 

Wisdom Tooth Print 8x10 by theblackapple on Etsy

 

So if I love going to the dentist so much and don’t mind dental procedures, why am I filled with dread over going to get my bottom two wisdom teeth out this Thursday via dental surgery? I mean, I will not feel the pain, I won’t remember the experience, I get to eat loads of jello, and I will have 2 whole days off of work. How does this not sound great?

I am so scared!

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Consuming Me

Sometimes a memory consumes me.

Every Wednesday after swimming lessons I look at the vending machines and I am transported through space and time. I am at Concordia pool waiting for my Dad to pick us up and I am begging my Mom to buy me some Beep from the vending machine. I rarely got Beep, maybe only a handful of times yet this is one of my strongest memories of swimming lessons.

Do you remember beep?

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If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

“If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?”
This is the topic for those participating in the daily post which, as you can tell, I am not a part of but I really liked this question.

Right now the obvious answer is being a stay at home mom. But what about when my baby is in school? I will need something to fulfill me. And being a stay at home mom is not in the cards right now. I would also love to be a full-time etsy seller but I would have to be a lot more dedicated to make it work, and since I have to work right now that isn’t really possible either. I am waiting on a large yarn order and then I will make more items and fill up  my shop for the upcoming spring/summer seasons!

So, for now, I have to be a corporate drone so we can continue to live in the lifestyle that we are accustomed to and I can save money for hopefully a second maternity leave. I have been thinking a lot about what elements would be in my perfect job and I don’t think I want to much, I just need to figure out where I can find it.

Some of my best skills or problem solving and organizing data and concepts (as long as it isn’t a physical object). I like to be creative and think of new ways of doing old things. I like to work with people but I do not like being in customer service. I am not a morning person but I find I do better work when I start early in the morning. I would also like to work somewhere where I feel like my work makes a difference.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find this? I continue to find this feeling every day in my current job and I think it would be convenient if I can find this feeling in my current job. I used to have this feeling before my maternity leave, so perhaps I can find it again.

WordPress also suggested we talk about our worst jobs. Not to name names but I worked at a fast food giant and it was awful. A lot of people have fond memories of working there but any that I have are because I worked with some of my friends. I have a lot of awful stories of my life there, but one of the best ones was when I was taken to the back and the manager tried to teach me HOW TO TAKE BIGGER STEPS. I guess my leg length was not up to the company standard.

I had another job that wasn’t so much as awful, but more pointless and I couldn’t believe they paid me to study. Eventually, they realized that my position was pointless and all I did was study and they let me go.

Do any of you have any awful jobs in the past? What about your dream job – are you able to think of fantastic and unpractical careers that I am unable to think of today?

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