10th Aug2005

Stuck: Taking Stock Of Life

by Will

I’m so lost, and I don’t get to show this side of myself often. Most people think of me as the nice, corny guy, but I’ve got the same worries and fears as everyone else. It’s not all shits and giggles for me, but everyone thinks my toys and comics must make me this happy Willy-Wonka-esque character. In all honesty, I’m probably the most neurotic person you’ll meet.

Lately, I’ve been struck by how thin the line is between “pensive” and “lazy”, at least to the observer. My mind runs a mile a minute, wondering and fearing. “Am I making the right choice here?” or “Where will this action take me?” or the ultimate “What was I put on this Earth to do?” But there are SO MANY options! It’s bewildering.

I’ve often said that I wish we lived in the ’50s. Now, that may be an odd statement coming from a Black man, but the Mythical ’50s were such a simpler time. You didn’t go to school to necessarily major in anything. I mean, you’d get your degree, but then you’d get you cookie cutter job that afforded you the 2.5 kids and the house in the suburbs. Sure, there were scientists and the like, but Average Joe had his nondescript job, that he performed every day for about 35 years.

Now, we’ve got SO many choices. Do we choose a field in our major, or our minor? How will our GPA, from 3 years ago, affect this decision? Do we go for the unpredictable private sector, or go for the security of the Federal government? Do we save for a house or a ring? Do I want to start saving for a retirement I’ll probably never see due to my level of stress and freak-outosity, or do I stop hiding from my Federal student loans and actually start paying them back?

I AM thinking and planning, and just because I haven’t settled on anything doesn’t mean that the journey isn’t ongoing. But so many people want to stop me and ask, “What are you doing? What’s your plan?” I’m sorry, but every man in his own time! It’s like there’s a Universal Schedule, and I didn’t get the memo. Once everyone else gets their stuff figured out, then they start worrying about Will. Will wasn’t worrying you when you were distressed. I’m glad you’re going to law school. I’m glad you’re moving to your dream job halfway across the world. Sadly, the timing is not right for me yet. It’s not out of fear. Nor for lack of trying. I am planning, and I’ll let you know when I get there.

So, I’m sorry if I seem flaky or wishy-washy. I’m 23! The same people who like to say, “You’ve got time” are the same ones who forget and ask, “So, what now?” No, I haven’t made up my mind yet because nothing has struck me. I hate to sound all jaded, “looking for inspiration”, but I’m different. I was never the kid who said, “I wanna be a lawyer when i grow up.” Sure, I said that for about a week, but I knew even then that there were many (some might say TOO MANY) options in life. And I’m trying to find my way.

I could go to grad school right now. But I am not passionate enough about any field to make it a worthwhile investment. To go to school right now would just be me postponing the real world, and I realize this. I MISS school. I do. But I also have about $30,000 in loan debt, and I’m not exactly sitting on the goldmine to pay that back anytime soon. Why, oh why, would I go back to school to add to that, possibly in an industry that doesn’t exactly ensure I will be comfortable enough to pay off said debt. Yes, if someone is passionate about something, then they’ll find a way. I can honestly say that i’m not that passionate about it. I’m sorry if that sounds like a cop-out, but I feel it’s me knowing my limits. Yeah, it sucks that I make money so important to the equation, but it is.

I worry more about money with my “real job” than I did at H&M, and I really don’t make much more. I made great money for retail, but average money for “real world”. I’m not struggling, per se. I pay all my bills. But there’s no cushion. I have no comfort zone for a rainy day. Simply living paycheck to paycheck. Now, I realize that MANY people are in this same boat, and I’m nothing special, but I also like to think that they’re worried, too. Sure, they may have found corners to cut and methods for coping, but they’re not just sitting pretty knowing that they may be a couple of sick days away from homelessness. So, with the whole “paycheck from poordom” coupled with the “don’t feel like I’m living up to my potential”, I’ve got a lot on my mind. As I know many of my cohorts are going through the same.

And I HATE the whole “if money weren’t an option, what would be your dream job?” exercise. I’ve never had a “dream job”. My future plans were more personal. I wanted to be a good father and husband. As dumb as that may sound, that’s what was important to me. I really just wanted my cookie-cutter job that allowed me to have that life. I’m sorry if I don’t sound ambitious, but I was never the person who saw happiness as being dependent on a career. I’d like to have a job that I enjoy. Who wouldn’t? But I guess I never really wanted to have a job that consumed my life. Rather, I wanted a life that consumed my job.

So, the next time you see me goofing off, please allow me my fun and understand that it took a lot for me to get there. And if you see me frowning, just know that I really am a good, ambitious person underneath, just trying to sort some stuff out.

25th Jul2005

Yet Another “Don’t Know What I’m Doing Here” Post

by Will

“Sunday, Monday, Happy Days…”

So, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but at some point recently, this site jumped the shark. It just doesn’t feel…”right” at the moment.

Part of the blame goes to The Great Flame War of June ’05. “We lost a lot of good men out there.” Those were certainly dark days for the bloggers, but I think we’ve finally emerged from all of that unnecessary drama. In the meantime, we’re in the middle of e-Reconstruction, but there’s no e-Lincoln to lead us.

Blame must also go out to my identity crisis. Like many of my e-friends, I’ve never really figured out what I wanted this site to be. Part of me wants to think of it as my personal rant site, but there’s a part of me that wants it to be some kind of destination pop culture site, like a geeky Wonkette or something. In either regard, I’ve got a lot of work to do to achieve either of these goals.

There are a lot of people out there who claim, “My blog is for me. It’s therapy, and I don’t care who reads it.” Yet, their comments section blows up like the Q&A portion of “The Ricki Lake Show.” And they love this. They love the feedback.

Well, I love the feedback, too. But for what? I blog when I feel a little smug, and think I’ve come up with something clever. I pride myself to be “the person who says what everyone else was thinking.”

I might say, “Lance Armstrong had ball cancer.” You might retort, “Will, that’s so insensitive!”, but you know that, deep down, you were thinking, “Damn, Armstrong came back from ball cancer to win for the 7th time?!!” I say what you’re too ashamed to say, or rather, I dumb it down in a way that you’re ashamed to admit understanding. And we’re both better for it. I can be glib, and you can live vicariously through me, without the social backlash.

Another issue is my life. I’ve got wonderful aspects of my life (Yeah, I’m looking at you, girl)
but I haven’t had an “adventure” in a long time. I hate to say it, but I miss H&M.

As much as I hated H&M, I never lacked stories. There was a point where I had to decide between the worthy-to-be-published and the unworthy-to-be-published. Regardless, I never lacked for stories.

These days, I figured you wouldn’t be interested in the click-top Sharpies that I stole from the supply room. It’s sad, but these are my adventures now. Nor is this my dream job, so I can’t join that youthful minority who love to drop, “Oh, I LOVE my job!” into conversation. Instead, I sit there trying to make up stuff that might be interesting if blogged. Even worse, I’ve started dreaming up fake stories to post on craigslist just to “sample a new audience”. But the key part of the phrase is “make up”.

I didn’t make up stuff before, and it was golden. Just check out my archives. There’s some stuff in there that even I can’t believe came from me. But the well’s running dry. I’m not a quitter, but for the blog to be good, life needs to be good. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not necessarily depressed or anything. I’m not complaining from a stance of complacency. I’ve got the wheels in motion on several projects, but I’d rather wait for results, than share them here and have them go bust.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m in a bit of a holding pattern right now. But, hopefully, it’ll get better soon. I’m the blog equivalent of early UPN right now. But if I really work hard, i might climb to the level of late 90’s WB. And really, is there anything better than that?

07th Jul2005

H&M: Series Finale

by Will

Previously on williambrucewest.com: Well, let’s see…I was being hounded by Eunice at work. Essentially, I had caught her doing some shady managerial work, and I reported it to corporate. Well, they sat on their thumbs, while Darkness proceeded to make my life a living Hell. First, she started writing me up for stuff that I hadn’t done, and then she tried to out my relationship with Shelly. In the meantime, Shelly transferred to another store, and I began to hate that H&M more and more. I vowed to leave, in many melodramatic posts seen here. And then…nothing. Until now. Brace yourself for the action-packed season finale. NEXT!

Today’s Episode: “Emancipation Chocolate Nation”

So, the other day, I was reading an article about season finales. Apparently, contrary to popular belief, writers have very little idea where a show is to end up when the season is over. In the beginning, they have a general idea of the arc that the character is to take, but in terms of “Will ___ die?”, they don’t have a clue. They figure this stuff out over the course of the season, and save the big decisions for the end. For example, (Davis stop reading) the writers of 24 originally planned to let the president die this season, but changed their minds at the end, fearing real-life political backlash. Coward move, I know…

So, why do I bring this up? Well, I had this whole post mapped out in my mind about 2 months ago, but over time, I’ve either forgotten it or don’t care. So, there’s not really gonna be an action. No real drama. If anything, this will be an informative post with the air of the “Whatever Happened To…” quips that air during the end credits of a movie(See “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”).

So, taking it all back to where we left off, I was at H&M and hating it and Eunice. One day, our store manager kinda tricked us, and we ended up having an intervention in the office. Nothing major, but I told Eunice that I didn’t like her and couldn’t work with her. Her ass tried to threaten me with litigation for suggesting she was a thief when she wasn’t. Yadda yadda.She kept talking, but all I heard or saw was ugly. Anyway, I knew the place was a house of cards, and I was just hoping to get out before it toppled.

In other H&M news, Shelly got fed up of being under appreciated and gave her notice on April Fools. I’ve never been more jealous of another human being. But in a good way, ’cause I love her and she deserved freedom. So, she got a job as a management recruiter in that magical young adult compound known as Bethesda. Meanwhile, I continued to unload trucks and deal with tax-exempt transactions. My partners in crime were dropping like flies. Bruce had given his notice, retracted it, and then just abandoned his job. Kevin had gotten fired. Jeanine, my most worthy adversary, simply waked out one day. Christina up and quit. Audrey hit the road. Soon, I was the only original cast member left, and I began to understand how Dustin Diamond must’ve felt when he returned to “Saved by the Bell”: I needed the money, but I knew I had no business being there any longer.

I got to the point where I was taking a sick day a week. Not because I had to, but becauseI could. I couldn’t deal with a 40 hr week at H&M. It just wasn’t in the cards anymore. I’d schedule interviews and call out sick every chance I got. Nobody really suspected anything ’cause I’d vowed I was leaving since the 2nd day i got the H&M job. So, by this point- one year later, I was the equivalent of Crazy Rambling Homeless Guy. Everyone was like, “Sure you’re leaving, Will. We believe you.”

Well, I showed those sons of bitches. I got a job. It took forever (OK, it could’ve been a LOT worse, actually), but I finally got what one might call “a real job”. I gave my notice, and H&M didn’t know what hit them. Guess they thought I was gonna take it up the ass a little longer. My last day at H&M was May 13th.

On May 23rd, I started my new job. So, what do I do? Well, I’m a research analyst for a commercial real estate firm. Which firm? Can’t tell ya, lest someone Googles it, and it leads to my site (trust me, it happened with H&M). I prepare sales comparables for appraisal purposes. Basically, when property sells, I call brokers, sellers, etc, to get info on the sale so that it can be applied to similar properties when they go on the market. Do I like my job? Heh…Well, I make a lot more than I did at H&M, so that’s a plus. Also, I work in Bethesda…right across the street from Shel. Yup, hilarity will ensue, 5 days a week!

Honestly, though? I’m bored. Out of my skull. I’ve been doing this for about a month, so I have a general idea of what the job entails. But I’m bored. Still dealing with the “not meeting my potential” aspect. Not sure if its the Cornell snobbery, the Will snobbery, or the cold hard truth, but I still feel like I’m sitting in “Idle”. For the past 3 days, I’ve read the entire 5 yr archive of “Penny Arcade” and caught up on the last yr of “PvP”. Yup, SO productive. But, hey, they’re paying me. And right now, the price for my boredom is quite affordable.

Whatever became of H&M? Well, Stephen got out and he’s now a store manager at Coldwater Creek. Ntumba & Brandy are still keeping hope alive at the store. And did I forget about anyone….Oh, right. Eunice.

Well, Eunice always had a problem with punctuality. Hey, I have my issues, but I wasn’t a manager. If I was late, the store could still open. The same couldn’t said for her. She had the keys. It had gotten to the point that, about once a month, I had to spearhead the unloading of the truck because we didn’t have a manager present. Why? Because her ass was asleep. This was part of what finally drove me out: I wasn’t being paid to be a manager. If they wanted me to perform those tasks, then we could renegotiate. Otherwise, that wasn’t in my job description.

So, fast forward (or rewind depending on how you look at it), I dropped into H&M to see how Brandy et al were doing. It turns out it was my lucky day. Why? Because Eunice had overslept that morning, and it was the straw that broke Sweden’s back. Jen, the store manager, fired her. You know what was even sweeter about the who thing? Eunice had already given her notice, so she was working of her final two weeks and STILL ended up getting fired. I’m sure she’ll tell future employers that she quit, but A) her ass isn’t rehireable and B) her ass finally got what was coming to it. I only wish I could’ve been there to savor it…

So, stay tuned for new adventures. H&M’s loss is the world’s gain. We’ve got a new workplace. A new status quo. A new neighborhood. But the same old Will. ‘Cause “where there’s a Will, there’s a way!”

08th Jun2005

H&M Finale Teaser

by Will

Yay! Eunice is dead!

Well, not dead, per se…

But I do have an ending to that story I started way back when.

All will be revealed in the upcoming, double-sized season finale of williambrucewest.com

By the end of this shocking tale, NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME!!!

(Don’t worry. It’s not really a finale. I’m gonna have summer episodes, a la “90210”. Well, nowadays, most people think that’s a concept created by “The OC”, but it really started back when Brenda went to Paris and Kelly started doing Dylan. But now I’m rambling….Just stay tuned for the action, all summer long!)

16th Mar2005


by Will

Nothing says “Happy H&M-iversary” like getting into an argument with a tranny… Boston update’s coming. I PROMISE…

01st Mar2005

Eunice Is A Bitch

by Will

The Boston Recap’s on the way, but I interrupt this for a special report:

I’m being set up at work. No lie. No joke. I’m the first one to say, “If it ain’t dramatic, it ain’t williambrucewest.com”, but I’m seriously being set up to take a fall. As much as it pains me to admit this, I’m actually kind of scared….

Barring confidentiality agreements and the like, I’ll try to explain as best I can.

A few weeks ago, I had to document a manager because she processed a SHADY AS SHIT return. There was all kinds of voodoo going on in that transaction, and it just looked fishy. Problem is, this chick and I ain’t exactly best friends. You could cut the tension with a chainsaw.

So, I called my trainer and told her about the transaction, asking for advice. She told me to alert corporate’s security dept. and tell them about the situation. I called, and was told to document the entire situation. Basically, write down everything that had transpired.

Prior to calling around, I’d questioned the manager so that I could better understand her side of the story. But her half-assed answers only led to more questions. In the end, she’d dug herself quite the hole.

So, once I documented the exchange, I faxed it to corporate, per their instructions. Beforehand, I told them, “I’m not comfortable with this because I’m not exactly unbiased. I don’t like this person, but I don’t want to get them in trouble. I just needed advice.” But still, they told me to send it.

Now, as you’ve read in the past, my store has no manager. We have department managers, but no supreme store manager to take care of conflicts like this. With no store manager, I had no one to hold on to the report in-store. So, it just kind of hid in a secret place. I knew where it was, but no one else knew it existed.

Well, while I was in Boston, all Hell broke loose. The bitch decided to “clean the office”, and found what I’d written. I wasn’t to show it to her or anything until I’d heard back from security. Three weeks gone by, and still no word. But apparently, she went off. And started trying to destroy my world.

First, my annual review magically disappeared. It was supposed to be sent in to HR last week, so my potential raise could be considered. But it went missing and HR called to say they’d never received it.

Next, my copy of my post-training assessment…disappeared. Nowhere to be found.

But the kicker, the document I wrote was gone. No clue where it is. Little does she know that security has a copy. Wouldn’t be surprised if she’s destroyed the office copy. But the bitch is still under investigation…

If only she had just left it at that…

Earlier this morning, while looking for a copy of the schedule, I looked in her mailbox. She IS responsible for scheduling, so it seemed likely there’d be a copy in there. But while looking, I saw a bunch of forms with my name at the top. Yup, the bitch had spent my vacation writing me up for shit I wasn’t even responsible for. And, while I had told her what she’d done when I documented her, she had no intention of confronting me. She’d have just put them in my file and gone her merry way. Complete, childish, retaliation. All because her fucking feelings were hurt. Hey, bitch. Don’t fuck around with company paperwork, and maybe you won’t have anything to worry about.

So, apparently, she’s writing me up for every little thing under the sun, just because she can. And I saw that she’s been keeping notes on me. Little stupid shit like, “Will’s outburst at staff meeting”. She’s just mad ’cause I made her look like a bitch to the staff. Surprise, douchebag! The staff already knew you were a bitch! This pisses me off, though, ’cause I haven’t been written up since May 2004. Don’t YOU think it’s gonna look weird that I get written up TWICE, at the same time she discovers she’s been reported? The bitch isn’t even TRYING to hide this. Sheer retaliation!

So, she came in today, and tried her best not to say a thing to me. Meanwhile, our other hoodrat of a manager just thinks it’s a joke. I swear, the whole thing reminds me of the Chris Rock skit. There are black people and…. But I don’t have time to cowtow to the Big Nigga In Charge. I just don’t. I’m too smart for this. I’m better than this…trash. So, why am I so nervous?

‘Cause the store is a different animal. My allies are gone. I’m like Screech when he came back in “The New Class”: Sure I know where all the lockers are, but I still have no one to eat lunch with. If this bitch is gonna be this childish, I can go there. I can totally go there. I just have to commit. Is this really how I want to go out? I may not have a choice, and forgive me for sounding “street”, but I ain’t gonna go out like no punk!

I was pissed the whole day. I kept having “What Would James Lamb Do?” moments. But I didn’t have a Snapple Bottle, and I have a rule aginst cussing someone out before lunch. But what now? I mean, if you’ve been reading, you know I’ve been ready to “peace out” for some time. I just needed the catalyst. This must be said catalyst. Problem is, I’ve got nowhere else to go right now.

It’s sad, too, ’cause I had kinda rededicated myself to H&M over the weekend. Boston was so great. Everything I wanted and more, and I thought to myself, “I can do this! It’ll be a whole new challenge, but I can do this.” And within 30 minutes of being at work, reality pissed on my spirit.

I could honestly never go back again. There’s nothing for me there. In my locker is just a bunch of old Post Express issues. I’ve got no other ties anymore. But I can’t do it logically. I need the money. But I’m seriously just thinking of blowing off the rest of my sick days and then going into vacation days. That’s what they’re for, right? ‘Cause I’m sick of that bitch!

I REALLY want to cuss her out. Just look her in the eye and say, “You’re a dumb bitch”. And you know what? I would, IF I knew what would happen. I’m quite the policy jockey and I’m trying to figure out if it would simply be insubordination, or could they fire me for that. I figure as long as I don’t threaten, it’s not termination-worthy. And since she’s gonna write me up anyway…

You know how you always think of what you’re gonna say AFTER the moment has passed? I’ve been brewing ALL day. Something akin to:

“Eunice, I know it must be hard for you in this world. This is a world for pretty people, and you just can’t let your outer ugliness seep into who you really are. You see, I don’t need this OR you. I have an Ivy League degree, while you have a bad weave, and some say, a penis. I mean, you’re simply one dumb bitch. I’ve got no time for your little BNIC act. You’re not a leader. You’re not personable. It’d be different if you were even tolerable, but you’re not. You’re a bitch. In the truest essence of the word. You’re a soulless bitch, and I hope you miss Hell ’cause you’ll be returning very soon…”

What Would Batman Do? What Would Batman Do? What Would Batman Do?

Batman would rumble. So, tomorrow, we dance. I don’t know what you’re gonna read here tomorrow. Hell, maybe there’ll just be a link to a newspaper article telling of my arrest. But tomorrow, we dance…

22nd Feb2005

Keane – Can’t Stop Now

by Will

Keane – Hopes And Fears

Can´t Stop Now

“I noticed tonight that the world has been turning
While I´ve been stuck here dithering around
Well I know I said I´d wait around till you need me
I have to go, I hate to let you down
But I can´t stop now
I´ve got troubles of my own
Cause I´m short on time
I´m lonely
And I´m too tired to talk

I noticed tonight that the world has been turning
While I´ve been stuck here withering away
Well I know I said I wouldn´t leave you behind
But I have to go, it breaks my heart to say

That I can´t stop now
I´ve got troubles of my own
Cause I´m short on time
I´m lonely
And I´m too tired to talk

No one back home
I´ve got troubles of my own
And I can´t slow down
For no one in town
And I can´t stop now

And I can´t slow down
For no one in town
And I can´t stop now
For no one

The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running”

If you got this far, I guess you could say this is my “Dear John” letter to H&M. It’s time. Anyway, this was dedicated to Jessica, who today, became my favorite customer of all time. Even though you’ll never read this, thanks for the Big Red Pep Talk – you don’t know how much I needed it…

21st Feb2005

Why Am I Still At H&M?

by Will

“What is happening to it all?
Crazy some say
Where is the life that I recognise?
Gone away. ”

Work, work, work, work, work…

How much is a person worth? I mean, honestly. At what point is “decent salary” enough for a person’s soul?

I’ve been wrestling with that lately, as in “Do I really wanna continue with H&M?” I had dreams and plans for myself in this company, but are they worth it? I see what the place does to others, and I just wonder if I really want to subject myself to that.

I’ve been trying to figure out if I want to be a manager. I mean, I could do it, but do I WANT to do it? Don’t know. I think it comes down to attention and acceptance. What I mean is, I’d like to be chosen for the opportunity. I’d like it to be, “We’ve been watching you, and you seem bored. Perhaps it’s time for a new challenge.” But that’s not going to happen.

People keep telling me, “Let the area team know what your intentions are.” But I’m not entirely sure, and I don’t want to waste their time.

I think I might be done with retail. I know, I’m a broken record. I just don’t think I can go any further with this company. I’ve reached my ceiling. My dept is getting ANOTHER mgr tomorrow, and once again, I’ve gotta prove myself to some stranger. I’m tired of being a $2 Tijuana retail whore: Every few weeks, some new, sometimes European, stranger strolls in looking for a good time. I smile, give them the tour, and then become their concubine. Next thing I know, the area team has bigger plans for them and sweeps them away. But knock, knock. New European at the door!

And I don’t wanna spend too much time on the matter ’cause I honestly feel that if I were mgr material, it would’ve happened already. I guess I’m kidding myself and whatnot. It’s just that I want more, and I’m not really fulfilled. I don’t even know if I want that responsibility. I could really use the money, and I truly need to feel a sense of importance. I don’t really feel that anymore. I felt more important as a sales asst than I do in my current, vague role.

I’m not a quitter, so I don’t want to bolt. But I really need to figure out if I’m just spinning my wheels at this point.

I’m not pleased with H&M right now, but I don’t know if it’s the company, or just my store. “Everybody’s changing, and I still feel the same.” Today, they completely overhauled the store. Apparently, its original layout wasn’t conducive to a positive shopping experience, so they’re switching departments around. This may sound trivial, and you might say, “Well, that’s business,” but this is not the baby that I helped bring into the world. I don’t know who this bastard is, but I ain’t the daddy!

One of my biggest issues with leaving is that I was hired to open this store. It’d be a whole different animal if this were just a job. If I’d been walking through a mall, and saw a “Now Hiring” sign. But I trained, specifically, to open this store. I had a hand in its formation, so I take a lot of what goes on there personally. But I don’t recognize it anymore, both literally and metaphorically. And that disturbs me. I’ve never been one for change, but do you know how it feels to be unnecessary, redundant, even obsolete? ‘Cause that’s how I feel right now. I guess we could say “My baby’s all grown up”, which would be a good thing, but I’m left feeling like maybe I never did anything worthwhile to begin with. And that leads me to the masochism.

The other day, I worked 19 hrs straight. I didn’t HAVE to, but I volunteered for it. It was Season Start, which is when we usher in the Spring Collection. Anyway, I always work insane hours for Season Start. Why? Because I can. It’s during these crunch periods that I feel important. Everyone’s working towards a common goal. Even the bitch that everyone hates is a team player for a 24 hr span of time. But I NEED responsibility, and NOT “Hey Will, did we order bags this month?” Yeah, that’s my job, but I liked it better when I got to help merchandise, and deal with customers on the floor, etc. This kind of schedule is KILLING me. I’m not doing well, from a nervous perspective. I’m actually physically breaking down. I don’t talk about it with many people ’cause I’m already “Bitching Will”. At this point, it’s just more of the same, but things are worse than I let on. I’m thinking that this job isn’t really good for my health anymore, but I have this NEED for acceptance. I HAVE to know that I’m doing something worthwhile, but equally problematic, I have to know that others recognize this. I spent most of the other night helping a dept mgr get her shit together when she’d had a good week’s time to do it beforehand. When all was said and done, she was kinda appreciative, but she didn’t seem to grasp the particulars: She never seemed to realize it was all her fault that we were still there, nor did she realize that I DIDN’T have to be there. I don’t want to paint the wrong picture. I don’t do it FOR the “thank you”, but it certainly would be nice to receive.

I may bitch and moan, but I still have a pretty good work ethic. I don’t leave until the job is done. Yeah, it might’ve taken me a bit longer than we would have liked, but I don’t just “peace out” on people. I stay until the job is done. And it’s killing me that the new breed of H&M mgr doesn’t share that mentality. Hell, I work more hours than many of them, and I don’t feel it should be that wya. Yes, it’s a personal choice. And they always counter with, “Well, you get overtime!”. But it’s not about the money. It’s a reflection to everyone else on the job. I’m not saying “Sell your soul to H&M.”, but I’m saying DO the job you were hired to do, and act like the company made the right decision in hiring you. With the way the company’s chosing managers recently, I don’t know what offends me most: the fact that I haven’t been approached to be a mgr, or the fact that, somewhere, someone feels I’m not as capable as these people they keep filing through my store. ‘Cause if that’s the case, I must REALLY suck, and not even realize it. Nothing sadder than a clueless person…

The point is, do I hate myself enough to gain some faceless acceptance at the cost of my own self-esteem and health? One, logically, would answer “No”, but it’s not so black & white. I mean, it IS a job. They Do pay me. I don’t report to Massa evah morn when de cock crows. But at what point is enough enough? I’ve always felt that, when a person is in an uncomfortable situation, he will remove himself when he can finally take no more. But apparently I’m not at that point if we’re still here, in the talking stage.

Th other day, one of my coworkers said the oddest thing, or at least, odd coming from her. She told me, “Will, you need to leave here. You’ve got too much going for you.” Now, she’s a sweet chick, but we’ve never been “cool”. I even called her a bitch a threatened to have her killed one time (LONG STORY, and was mainly a joke). Anyway, to hear this from her, I was kinda blown away. I hear it all the time when I come home in the evenings, but I thought those were the ramblings of disappointed parents. If I have so much to offer, why can’t I see that? Why do I keep doing this to myself? Am I staying at H&M because I’m scared? I truly would like to move up in the company. I have a long-standing respect for the brand, but is having as nice as wanting? So many question, too few answers…

“Sometimes, the world looks perfect
Nothing can be arranged
Sometimes you just
Get a feeling
Like you need
Some kinda change…”

06th Feb2005

Why Do These Guys Keep Bothering Me?!

by Will

“I don’t hate the culture; I hate the people…”

There are two types of people I tend to attract in this world: Gay guys and Entrepreneurs. Allow me to explain.

You know those guys, starting their own businesses who try to talk to you on the street? Those guys seem to think I’m some kind of gullible fool. I’ve had them follow me into bathrooms, follow me through Metro cars, approach me at work. Hell, maybe they’re Gay Entrepreneurs now that I think of it! Regardless, they always come at me with the same spiel:

“Hi, my name is ______. I’m currently starting my own business, and I wondered if you might know anyone looking for a position in my company. No? Well, how about you? May I ask if you’re employed, part-time or full-time? And how long have you been there? OK, well, are you in school? Oh, you graduated…and where did you graduate from? (Cornell…they pause.) Wow, OK…that’s a good school….great school…*pauses again*…So, what did you study? So, do you plan to be doing this for long? Well, if you’re interested, I’m not trying to sell you anything or get any money from you. I’d just like to set up a time to talk to you in more detail about what we do. What do we do? “Financial services…”

OK, so, here’s where I suck. 3 out of 5 times, I’ll actually give them the number. WHY? Becuase I work RETAIL and I love a good get rich quick scheme as much as the next guy. But here’s how they blow theur credibility with me:

This exact exchange happened last Monday, from some guy named Olu. Nice enough kid, but he looked like a New Edition reject. Not like he was really going to be going places anytime soon. But I humored him. I noticed he had a friend hanging in the background, waiting for him to complete the “sale”. So, he said he’d call me in a few days. He did, and right after he asked, ‘May I speak to Will?”, I hung up on him. Didn’t say anything. Just hung up. It seemed the right thing to do.

So, the next day, Olu’s friend came into H&M, which is prohibited by the way, under the guise that he was looking for his “brother” in the fitting room. So, after a few seconds of that ruse, he started with the spiel. I humored him, but he disappointed me. He asked where I had gone to school, and I told him Cornell. His response? “What’s that? I never heard of that.” STRIKE!

How am I supposed to think you know ANYTHING business-related and you don’t know what/where Cornell is?!! Yeah, I’m a snob and I know there are non-collegiate success stories (Just check The Apprentice III), but ARRRGGHH!!! And here’s the kicker: He’s from NY! It’s not like he was from Montana or whatever. He should know! I told him it was a school about 5 hours outside of NYC, but he just kinda shrugged. Dealbreaker – Game Over.

So, I ended it there. I asked, “Hey, aren’t you Olu’s friend?” He tried to play dumb. “Who?”

“Olu, black dude. He gave me the same pitch two days ago. Dude, you were WITH him!”.

“I don’t know nobody named Olu. I know a dude named ‘O’.”

“Well, is he Black? Is there a Black dude named ‘O” in your company?”

*pause*…”Yeah….’O’s in my company. But he’s the Silver Spring Office and I’m in Gaithersburg.”

OK, first, these mutherfuckas ain’t GOT no office. That means “O lives in Silver Spring, and he calls from his bedroom.” Also, I don’t do business in Gaithersburg. Anybody out there been to Gaithersburg recently? Oh yeah, nothing but success stories! (S0rry, Christina!)

Anyway, here’s their Kryptonite: just ask them how successful they’ve been with the business. I’ll make a $20 guarantee that they won’t tell you. They’ll give you the runaround and come up with all kinds of excuses, but they’ll never come to you with, “I paid off all my loans in 6 months, and no I’s buying a boat!” They’ll say that they can’t tell you. Or they’ll refer you to their Grand Poobah leader who can give you the information that they cannot. Either way, if they were so successful, I don’t think they’d be recruiting at H&M. Yeah, I know SO much about business, what with all that shit priced at $14.90….

02nd Jan2005

2K5 Resolutions

by Will

“I want that – the feeling a man gets when he gets exactly what he desires.”

-Harold, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

Resolutions 2K5

So, we all make ’em, but this is the first year I’m going to take this whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing seriously. I figured, since I share everything else on this site, I might as well post my list here. Let me know if any of y’all are striving for any of the same things I am.


1) Pare Down Comics “Pull List”

I have subscriptions to WAY too many comic titles. With each book clocking in at about $3, I spend an avg of $40 a week on comics. Since I don’t go every week, I end up shelling out about $70 each visit, always causing me to experience brief nausea. There is a such thing as “too much of a good thing.” and I think it’s time to cut the list down a bit. I don’t even have time to read all of that stuff. When the next month’s issue comes out, i’ve already forgotten what happened in the previous issue. This will save me a LOT of money in the long run.

2) Maintain Credit Card Balance Below $2500

Yeah, I went a little crazy before I was employed. Lived off credit for about 3 months. This is TOTALLY doable. I just need to watch the spending, and any surplus income goes right to Bank One. Financial advisors say that, to stay afloat, you should keep your card balance below 50% of the limit on the card. You do the math. Anyway, this is a completely attainable goal.

3) Start Repaying Federal Loans

Since I’ve been employed, i’ve begun repaying Cornell its money, but I’ve totally bailed on the Federal portion. They don’t think I’m gainfully employed at the moment, and we’re gonna let them keep on thinking that for the time being. Anyway, by the end of the year, I hope to actually start making those payments, and stop deferring them.

4) Put All Bills In My Name

I want to be financially independent, and in doing so, i want to transfer my expenses into my name. For now, the CC and the phone are in Mommy’s name, even though I’ve been paying the bills for over a yr now. So, in my quest for maturity, I’m going to make myself accountable for my own financial success and/or failure. I haven’t received any sort of monetary help, so I might as well have my name on the stuff.

5) Enter The Stock Market

I’ve been wanting to do this for the past 8 yrs. Davis and the others had stock in the 8th grade! Now, I DID go to a prep school, but I knew then that this was something I needed to understand a bit more. With tarek’s help, hopefully I can break into the market in the next few months. I’ve been doing my homework, and I’ve got a few lucrative investment ideas…

6) BUDGET!!!

I had done this at the middle of ’04 and I’d done such a good job staying on track. I didn’t touch my credit card for 3 months, and I made sensible purchases. Then, all of a sudden. I’m The Donald, spending money like I was growing it in my backyard. So, while I’m not in the red or anything, I just feel that the excess money could be put to such better use. So, I really need to budget and see where all of my money’s going. It’s the smart thing to do.


7) Serious Job Search

OK, it’s been a wild year, but it’s time to get serious. I have no real future with H&M. I could give ’em another yr or so, but what would that do for either party? It’s time I look for something more “substantial”. Especially since I get the feeling the new sheriffs in town arent gonna be cool with my “West Coast” brand of tomfoolery. Better quit before I get fired. Everyday, I feel like I’m fighting for my job, or narrowly avoiding being set-up. Yes, I’m paranoid, but I feel like something’s going down. I’m better than this. I’m worth more than this. And I think it’s time for a change…


8) Reconnect With Lost Friends

I seriously need to be better with the communication. I need to find Ari, Austin, Christopher, Brenda, Ms. Robbins, and VA. Especially, I need to track down Sergei. He was my host in Russia, and I have never really been the best pen-pal to him. For the past 9 yrs, he has NEVER forgotten my birthday, and ALWAYS calls me. I fondly remember Russia, but I can’t explain why I’ve dropped the ball in that dept. Anyway, all of these people, as well as others, mean a lot to me, and I need to track them down and keep in touch.

9) Be a Better Friend To Those People With Whom I AM In Contact

I need to be more appreciative. I need to be quicker with “thank you” notes. I need to see Brett more. I need to return James & Jenn’s & Jo Anne’s calls more quickly. Get to know Millie better. I need to hang out with the Tysons crew more. Hell, I need to start answering my phone. I need to call Brian and El. I need to hang out with Brock. Gotta stop bailing on Davis in G-town. I want be a great boyfriend to Shelly – this is going to be “Our Year”. And the list goes on AND on AND on. Mainly, I want the important people in my life to know they’re important…


10) Get Driver’s License!!!

Hell, even James beat me in this dept. The time has come. I’ve finished Drivers Ed. I just need to take the actual test. Anyway, I believe this will all be taken care of soon. Stay tuned for a post on the matter

11) Lose 10 lbs, and Maintain that Weight

I can easily do this. My metabolism’s fickle. I just have to go back to my one-meal-a-day-, no snacking, drink more water diet. It’s also known as “eating healthy”. Sure, you should have more than one meal a day. but the catch is i just have one BIG meal. Breakfast is supposed to be the biggest anyway. After that, I eat fruit and whatnot. If I get back to running, and I start working out with Shelly, I can easily shed the pounds. And I’ll be so much hotter than I am now! 😛

12) Learn Russian

Yes, I’ve been trying for about 9 yrs, but now I own every Russian Language Instruction CD known to man. Time to get serious, and actually use that stuff. Plus, how cool will it be to be the weird guy at parties who can speak Russian?!!! Take THAT, all you people who wasted your lives on Spanish and French. Plus, I may be able to use this to get a Foreign Service job or something…I’m great with linguistics, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I just need to dedicate myself to the process.

13) Get Smarter!

Yes, this is vague, but I need to “re-smarten” myself. (Maybe it’d help if I stopped making up words!) H&M’s been great, but Ghetto Sundays, combined with degenerates asking if we have layaway, I feel like I’m a few hrs short of my GED. Not to be a snob, but I was pretty smart in my day. And I shouldn’t be up on my high horse ’cause I’m in the trenches with many of the same people I’m bashing. I just need a breath of fresh knowledge. I feel my thought processes slowing down, and my mind is now consumed with whether or not that chick has taken more than the alotted 10 garments with her into the fitting room. Maybe I’ll get back to reading the dictionary like I used to.

14) Be More Philanthropic

Yeah, this probably should’ve gone under “Financial”, but I felt this was as good a place as any. I need to give to more causes. I spend so much money on shit. Useless, meaningless shit. it’s not making me any happier, so I might as well do some good with the money. I could go back to paying my tithes….well, on second thought. Anyway, I could still give to causes, such as Save the Children or Project Harmony. Even the Black Student Fund. I go way back with all of them. So, more giving in ’05! Look for a post on this soon…

15) Decide on Continued Education

I’ve been tossing around the grad school/law school thing for awhile. By the end of the year, I’ll have a decision. This, I command! I know I need to go back to school for something, but I’m really going to take this yr to narrow down some choices, and to take the steps towards carving out some kind of future for myself. I think I’m taking the LSAT around March, and we’ll see where that takes us.

16) Organize My Life To A T!

I need more order in my life. Sure, everyone loves a sense of “organized chaos”, but what happens when the choas is no longer organized? That’s where I am now. I want everything listed, catalogued, written down. Especially with the Admin job, I need better organization skills. Time to dust off the Palm, visit The Container Store, and buy a new copy of Microsoft Office…

17) Be More Outgoing

I live a lot of my life in a state of…anxiety. I don’t like change and I rarely try new things, such as exotic foods. I really need to work on this, because i realize that I’m missing out on a lot of life. Also, I need to be more outgoing and extroverted because there are a lot interesting people out there. Apparently, there’s always room for friends, so, here’s to being more of a “people person”, and not having to fake it anymore…

18) Apartment Hunting

I love my Mommy to death, as you all know, but I can’t do this much longer. I just need my own place to call home. Something to make me feel like a “responsible adult.” I’ll still probably come around just as much, but at least I’d have a lair of my own, should the need for it arise. Hopefully, with budgeting, and a brand-spanking new job, I can make this dream a reality. But this is probably going to be coser to the end of the year, hence its placement at the end of the list.

So, there it is. Look at it as a “Blueprint for Season 2”. Anyway, I’ll periodically update on my progress, but I’ll probably be too preoccupied thinking of more things to rant about “Alvin & the Chipmunks”…