Friday, April 28, 2006

Abusing Live Journal's Sponsored+ Accounts

Recently a friend of mine started a photo journal. I went to go check her info page to see what she had on it and I saw something different. On her account status section, it said "Sponsored+." I had no idea what it is, so I checked out.

Apparantly, it's something between a free account and a paid account. The point of a Sponsored+ account is to get users familiar with some of the features of a paid account but, with the downside of advertisements appearing on your journal, your friends page and your info page. Clever idea. Tease users with better privileges but annoy them with ads so if they become too used to those said privileges, they will get a paid account to keep them and not be annoyed. Ha!

For now, I don't intend to fall prey to it. 10 extra users pics, a gig or so of space and 5 phone posts a month is fine by me. Also, I suppose I somehow already Adblock'd whatever server Livejournal uses for their ads because the area where the ads appear are blank. They take up space by creating a table, but they are blank. So, while it's annoying that it creates a table on the side of the page, there is no ad there. All it really does is no longer make my journal center, it's just flushed to the left now.

To be honest, the only reason I changed my account type was for phone posts. My friend Bryan and I used to make the most ridiculous phone posts every month or so. He'd call me and if we realized our conversation was getting ridiculous, we'd call up Livejournal and just go nuts. It doesn't mean much to say it, you need to hear some of these. I'll upload some in the next few days. You guys may not appreciate them the way we do, though.

I have this weird cough. I am not coughing up anything. My throat isn't sore. I don't have any other symptoms of a cold or allergies, so I don't know what it could be. Either way, enjoy me talking about Sponsored+ accounts and coughing on my first Livejournal Phone Post.

Moving Out and Upward: Second Day Of Work

Man, I am pretty tired.

Work wasn't so bad but being out all day before it kind of was. I really don't remember what I did all day. Which isn't so bad because the same thing would happen if I sat home all day on the Internet or something. Except, at least now, I am forgetting what I did, but getting paid (well, at least not yet.)

Today I followed Angelo around. Today was also a lot busier. I helped more, I moved around more and I am getting a little better at remembering multiple orders and how to hold plates. I also noticed I work with a pretty cute girl.

The hostess for the day was the owners wife and she is really nice to me although from what I hear, she always has an attitude problem. She caught an attitude with Angelo today over something partially unprofessional on her part that Angelo had a problem with. All the waiters discussed it on the side and I learned that she can be a pain sometimes. She leaves notes for her husband about people's misconduct. What the hell is this, high school? She's nice to me and maybe that's because I am the son of one of the other hostesses. My mother also told me that she told the owner not to give me a hard time and to kindly explain things to me if I mess up. I know she's just looking out for me and wants this to be a pleasant experience since this is my first real job, but if I am working with him tomorrow, I am ask him to not baby me. If I fuck up, let me know. Just because I am the son of someone who's worked there for so long, doesn't mean the other workers need to kiss my ass. It makes me look like an idiot. Speaking of that, my mother made me seem like a total baby in front of one waitress and the girl with the herp. Way to make me look cool and way to fuck up my game, mom! Thankfully, everyone who works there is really cool and nice and know that my mother is insane. Understandably, everyone is nice to me now since I am her son and because I am starting out. They want me to feel comfortable and learn everything. I am sure once I become a part of the team and become good at working, I'll be treated like everyone else around there.

Any how, I went to the bathroom and started talking to people on AIM so I totally lost my train of thought. I need to be up pretty early to do laundry, dishes and get insurance for my car so I don't need to depend on anyone to go to and from work and to well... HAVE MY OWN CAR.

Moving Out and Upward: Step 1

The reality of everything is settling in and, it's not THAT bad.

Yesterday was my first day of work at the diner. It's not bad at all. The people there are thankfully not extremely boring. There's Eileen. I trained with her most of the day. Eileen is an older, blonde lady with glasses. Vulgar sense of humor. Nice, but not sweet. Likes picking on the other co-workers but all in good fun. Desiree is a younger, female co-worker. She's been a waitress since she was 16 and has to be around my age or a bit younger. Not my type of girl. My mother doesn't like her at all for some reason. Desiree doesn't know my mother well, but she knows all the other waitstaff likes her a lot so she assumes she must be a good person. Desiree doesn't seem bad, although, like I said, not my type of person. Angelo is one of the many Hispanic people there, although he's a waiter. He seems okay. Jokes around with Eileen a lot. Talks Spanish to all the busboys and seems to hav a good sense of humor. Rhustie is the young, Filipino guy I trained the rest of the night with. Rhustie is kinda of the attentive, somewhat effiminate Filipinos. He goes with Bergen also and is a Speech Pathology major. I have no clue what that entails. He's very nice and talkative and seems to have a good relationship with Desiree. I like Rhustie the most because he is my age, Filipino and a decent guy. The hostess I was working with was Maria. I think she's the daughter of the owner. She seems like the hard working, young female type. She seems determined and level headed, like she can have a good time, but she's very serious. Not so much a bad thing. It can feel a bit intimidating to have a bossy type of person around, but she isn't so bad.

The work itself wasn't hard at all. All I really needed to do was just know where everything was. Coffe's there. Soups here. Bread, coleslaw, spoons, milk, dessert, ice, glasses. Pretty easy. Writing orders wasn't that bad either. I just made the intial mistake of writing too small and writing everything out all the way. Eventually I got the idea. Oh, forgetting straws. Made that mistake too much. That's why waiters sometimes carry straws in their vests or aprons. It's an easy mistake to make. Learning to carry plates properly was by far the hardest thing to do. If you think it looks hard enough as is, try it. I totally suck at it. And I practicing it is hard. Because I can't spend all that time in the back with other waiters telling me how to do it while people are waiting for their food. Also, I sometimes have a terrible memory. So I know at some point when I am doing more than one order at once or a large order, I am definetly going to fuck something up. Then again, waiters usually tend to ask who gets what when they come to your table. No one is perfect. I just felt bad not fully remembering who gets what. I just hope I don't mix up orders or forget things. I mean, all waiters tend to do it, but, it's different when it's you.

All in all, it wasn't a bad day. I was there from around 5:30-10:30 and I wasn't very tired. Granted, I didn't do THAT much and the diner wasn't THAT busy. But, the worst part was just sitting around and thinking of things to do. You'd be like, "Well, okay. My tables have their food. Hm, now what? Uh, I guess I'll write prices. Okay, that's done. Well, um, okay, in 3 minutes I'll see if they need anything." etc. Friday and Saturday I know will be crazy, especially once it gets late, but thankfully those are the days I am working with my mom, so I can always ask her for help.

At first I felt a little intimidated working along Eileen and Desiree. They know what they are doing and a very quick to do thier job. Although Rhustie has only been a waiter for a month and he seems to have it down despite the mistakes I saw him do that night. So long as I can hold plates well and pray I don't mess up orders too bad, the job seems like it'll be pretty easy going. I only hope the money will be good.

Speaking of money... this is the rough part. Here's a list of stuff I am going to pay for:

- My car: $3000 (over time)
- Allstate Insurace: About $100+ a month? Or more? I forget
- Gas
- Tolls if I take the parkway: $35 approx or EZ Pass $50?
- Pay back my mother for all the work clothes: $300 approx

- My own food: $100+ a month
- My own toiletries: $100 a month?
- Pocket money + outside food: Who knows
- Games: Let's say a game a month if that: $50 a month
- Clothes: A lot, so long as I have money for it
- If money permits, a MacBook Pro: roughly $50 a month

- Rent: at least $500 a month if I can get a room mate for a 2 bed room
- Phone: I don't know if I will pay for it myself if I live without my mom
- TV: none
- Internet: $50+ a month
- House phone: $25

So, as you can see. That's a lot of money. And what that really says is that I need a second job. Here's some ideas:

- Waiter at a more upscale place. I work off the books now, so, all that money is mine. For now, I have no idea how much I am going to make a month there. It's not as steady, so who knows. A better restaurant means more money, but also means more work and stricter guidelines perhaps.
- Graphic Design: This is definetly the ideal. Unfortunately, I am rusty. I haven't done real design work in over a year. I want to get the Mac laptop so I can practice all my work any where any time and refamiliarize myself with Mac OS since almost every job uses it. My friend Sarah might be getting out of her job at newspaper and I can probably go there. Granted, it's far from what I want, nonetheless, it's still GD experience and will work mostly with layout, a part of design I don't like, but overall, is essential.
- Airbrushing: My brother does this freelance and makes $100 an hour and that's him low balling himself. He does that so he gets hired more often which means more chances to make money. Being that we're brothers and both artistic, it shouldn't be too hard for me to learn. So long as I can get my own equipment and practice enough with my brother and then on my own, I can probably take his place the times he can't, but who knows.

More over, to save up to get out of here by September, I need to get a second job and save. Bryan may not move out with me, so, for now, I don't have a definite room mate. My problem here is that I want to live with someone I feel 100% comfortable with who feels 100% comfortable with all my friends, my lifestyle, my diet, my taste in music and sleeping habits. Which, really narrows it down to two people for the most And since one of them may not want to and the other cannot, being "ideal" leaves me shit out of luck. I am moving out because I can't stand to live with someone who always is needing me to do something or always interrupts me when I am trying to relax. Always uses every dish in the house before I can think of what to eat, leaves messes, takes up 95% of all the space in the house for their stuff and makes a lot of noise when she's here. So, obviously, I wouldn't want a room mate even remotely close to that. Either way, if I want to live with someone, it has to be someone I never want to argue with, who won't mind what I cook for dinner and vice versa, he gives me space and can take care of themselves, who isn't messy and who doesn't have any friends or shitty taste in music. I pretty much want someone I know very well and is probably more well behaved and easy going as me. In the end, a room mate is good for paying their half of the rent. It's going to be SO tough for me to want to move in with someone. Hell, people may not even want to live with me if I ask, you know?!

In the end, I have to just worry about making enough money to save up to prepare to leave. I want a room mate who I know can help me get things done. Who can push me to really get my act together and hopefully, I can do the same for. More importantly, someone who I can collaborate with on things as well. Amongst everything, getting a good room mate will be the hardest part for me. There's so much I WANT out of a room mate but at the same time, I know I can't get everything I want at the same time, I have to live up to the person they want to live with as well. But, give me a few more months to worry about that.