Memory Back

I admit, I still look back on my days as a cashier in Walmart. Probably because it’s my first job, or the fact I still work at Walmart as a floors person. But now and then, memories do come up.

Like this one time I was working at cash, and this teenager comes up to pay and asks if he could get some cash back. I look at his card and see it’s not a debit card (You can only get cash back on debit cards) and told him sorry, no.

Then he looks down and says “Oh..I really need some cash back..” and looks at me with a pleading look on his face. Realizing he wasn’t going to let go of what he wanted despite me telling him no, I called a supervisor over. He immediately asked if he could get cash back, and the supervisor ended up saying the exact thing I said.

What he said about needing cash back does echo in my memory sometimes. I don’t know why, as I find it to be an annoying memory since I had to get someone else to say no to what he wanted after I said it. Maybe it’s because of the fact he didn’t accept my answer and still kept quietly begging me to let him get cash back? I don’t know.

Lifeguard Amanda?

Back when I was a kid, I did swimming at the YMCA; all the way up until I was recommended that I started life guard training. And honestly at the time, it sounded like a good idea.

But as soon as I started training, I quickly realized that the life guard training wasn’t for me. I was getting tired of all the lessons at the YMCA and wanted to quit (which is okay), I couldn’t do all the steps in CPR correctly, which is a huge thing considering how quickly someone could die without it. I couldn’t do the carry rescue correctly as I always seem to have a misstep.

But the thing that really ruined my mood about the whole thing was this little incident: One time, we were partnered up and we had to rescue our partners. And the guy I was working at the time instead swam away from me, saying something among the lines of ‘I rather drown!’

Yeah, that sure made me feel awkward for the rest of the night. And I ended up quitting shortly after, having realized that being a life guard wasn’t for me. Even now, I still think about that little mishap, and wonder if that guy was either a clown or just didn’t like me. But either way, I didn’t have the drive to be a life guard.

But just because being a life guard wasn’t a me doesn’t me it’s a position I don’t respect. Those people pull people out of life and death situations and work hard at saving people’s lives, just like fire fighters, police and doctors do. They may not do as much as those people do, such as fighting fires, catching murderers or curing diseases, but life guards are important and they save people’s lives.

I just wasn’t meant to be a life guard. And that’s okay.

My Walmart Story and Some Tips

I been working at Walmart for almost four years now. Two of those years, I worked as cashier. And currently, I work on the floor, where I organize and clean up a section during my work shifts, put returns back where they are supposed to go, and try to help customers with their needs.

When I first started working for Walmart, I was nervous and afraid, as this was my first paying job. I was thinking ‘What if I screw up?’, ‘What should I do?’ and ‘What if the staff doesn’t like me?’

Thankfully, the staff of Walmart has been supportive the whole time I have been there, and I’m fully confident they will continue to do so as long as I work there. They make accommodations for me so I can work comfortably, they allow me to approach them with problems, and they try to keep an eye out for me in general, always willing to give me advice if I need it. They even recommended that I try working on the floor when they had to switch purely to express, as they were worried, I wouldn’t like working on express.

Because of this, I love my job and I feel like I am supported fully. I love working on the floor, being able to move around a bit more, and being organize things. But more importantly, I love being able to help the customers find the things they are looking for. It really makes me feel appreciated and that I am a valued worker.

Throughout my time at Walmart, I had many different experiences with both the staff and the customers, both good and bad. Times such as running to get a clearly frustrated woman a cart, speaking to my manager about how I feel like they were starting to ignore me, or having a customer yell at me over Chips Ahoy cookies. And every time I had something happen to me, I try to take a lesson from the experience so I can learn from it.

What exactly have I learned from working from Walmart?

Try to communicate with your staff: If you have a problem, you need to tell someone right away. You shouldn’t be afraid of getting into trouble if you have a problem. People are very understanding, and would try to figure out a way to solve a problem. If you don’t be honest about how you are feeling, most likely, the problem is only going to get worse down the line.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help: You aren’t always going to be perfect. You are always going to run into a problem here and there. If you need to ask for help, ask. Don’t try to solve the problem yourself if you can’t fix it by yourself. And Walmart is not going to judge you if you need to ask for help. If they don’t get to you right away, try to remember that the staff has responsibilities as well, so try to be patient. And if you need to, just ask for help again after a few minutes if no one comes to help right away.

Always try to help the customer if you can: Regardless if they seem grouchy, or are having a good day, always try to help the customer with what they need. Try to give them the best service that you can, and remember that Walmart wants to ensure that the customer as the best experience they can. If you don’t know how to help the customer, call for help to ensure the customer gets what they are looking for, or how to give the customer the best service as possible.

It’s Okay to Say No: If you are feeling uncomfortable about something, you need to let the staff know as soon as possible. Walmart values it’s workers, and they want to make a good working experience for them. So, you can explain to them if you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable about something.

Remember your Boundaries: Try to focus on your job, and don’t step into anything else unless you feel like it’s absolutely necessary. Some people won’t appreciate it if you get involved in their businesses, as it makes you look unprofessional and you don’t respect them. And don’t try to play around, as it would look unprofessional.

Be Flexible: Things are going to change, whatever it is big or small, or whatever the staff has a say in it or not. So, try to accept the changes. It may be good for you in the long run.

Respect the Staff and Make Sure You are being Respected: Respect is a two-way street: You have to expect to be respected, while at the same time you have to give respect in return. If you feel like you aren’t being respected, you have to tell them right away. At the same time, you need to respect the staff, as they have their own responsibilities to worry about as well. And while it may look like you aren’t being respected, 99% percent of the time they actually do respect you.

I hope that I will be able to keep working at Walmart for more years to come, and I hope that I will be able to continue being a valued employee.

Clean Stand in a Messy Situation

Lately, I been watching ‘AITA’ videos on YouTube, which are videos ask their viewers if they went too far on an action they did. And while it’s fun to watch and then decide, I admit the videos did made me think of this one time..

Back in my last year of college, I had this room mate, and, well, to put it mildly, she never cleaned. It’s been years but I will always remember it. She never cleaned her dishes, and left things out. And yes, by things, I mean things that can rot. She actually kept a small pumpkin from Halloween in our common area, and if I weren’t for me going to the residents supervisors to complain, who knows how long she would had kept it there.

My parents were aware of this, so when I had to work for Woodview in the second half of the year for a class (forgot what it was called but students have to work for someone in it), they had me move home. Weeks later, when it was the end of the year, I decided to come back to pick up some things I had left behind.

The room was a complete disaster. Apparently, the girl had really let herself go in the time I was gone. She had dirty dishes everywhere in the common place, with bowls full of old cake mix sitting in the sink and the whole air in the room just felt dirty.

Now, you are probably wondering why the videos remind me of this. Well, residence encouraged the room mates to clean up their rooms together, since it was their responsibility. I admit it probably meant focusing on your own space, but also cleaning the common areas since you both use it together.

But when I saw the mess, I thought ‘Nope!’ I just grabbed my things and left, leaving her to clean the room all by herself.

Now it does sound jerkish to just walk out and not help her but hear me out. One: I hadn’t lived in that room in weeks due to her. That should say a lot about how uncomfortable she made me with her messiness. Two, she was the one to make the mess so she should be the one to clean it up. And I know it wouldn’t be fair to me to clean up after her since she was clearly refusing to do so.

I don’t know what happened after, but I can’t help but wonder if she couldn’t get it all cleaned up in time. Either way, I hope she had learned her lesson about not cleaning her living space, especially if she still has room mates and/or a supervisor.

So am I a jerk? Maybe a small part of me does. But I feel proud of indirectly standing up for myself by refusing to help her and making her take responsibility for her own mess.

Hairy Opinions

I admit, I’m one of those people that really isn’t into big fancy hair: I’m happiest with a simple pony tail and I avoid braids and buns. And I do straighten it and put in high lights. But I also happen to be someone with hair that my mom says ‘people will kill for’.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m proud of my hair and I love it when I have a big long ponytail. It’s just annoying when people want to mess with my hair because I feel like they just want to play around with it.

The most notable instance of this was around over ten years ago. I was still in school and my mom had booked me an hair appointment with the hair saloon. Now, the woman working on my hair was nice and all. But she would not stop playing around with my hair, pulling out strands and rambling on and on how beautiful it is.

It was getting very irrating as she was saying it over and over and I was getting uncomfortable because I felt like she was more interested in playing with my hair then doing her job. I honestly felt more like her Barbie doll then her client and I didn’t like that.

Finally, when she was holding two pieces of hair like it was in ponytails and I saw her smiling at me like she was a excited child in the mirror, I had enough. And in one of my least proudest moments, I told her rather rudely to stop playing with my hair.

She stopped after that and did her job but mom (who had heard it) was furious at me. She said it was the hair dresser’s job to play with my hair and what I did was unacceptable.

But thing is, I went to another hair place after and they don’t do all those things the other woman did. No pulling out parts of my hair like they are going to do something with it, no rambling on how pretty my hair is, nothing. They just did what they were told to do. Where was the things I had gotten mad for and mom said was part of a hair dresser’s job?

I never went back to the first place again. Probably because mom was too embarrassed to call them back. And while I do feel bad for how I acted, I still don’t like how she was playing around with my hair too much since like I said, I felt like she was treating me like a Barbie doll.

Then again, she was a nice woman so maybe she was ecstatic to have a chance to get someone with hair she considered beautiful and wanted to encourage me to do more with it? That’s what I think, but thing is, like I said, I’m not that kind of person. I’m happiest with the simple things, not the big fancy things. So while I do hope she found someone she can share all that excitement with, I’m just not the type to style my hair.

School Slacker

I admit, I wasn’t always the hard working woman I was now. I was quiet the slacker in school, and just wanted to get things done quickly so I can do other things such as play video games.

I been looking back on how I was, and I still can’t believe I used to be like that. One particular memory I have is of when I was at high school when the teacher wanted me to draw a map for a story. The ‘map’ I drew…Well, let’s just say a three year old could had drawn it better.

Another examples including explaining why an acute angle is called an acute angle is because it was cute as a baby, fudging up a presentation on where I have to act out a scene in a book (both in elementary school) and trying to explain what really happened on Thanksgiving..When that idea came up because I watched the Addams Family Matters (that was in high school, to make it even more embarrassing).

I was able to work hard when I needed to, such as the time I was told to get a A in test in elementary school..and got it. But it was always a weird mix of ‘hard-worker, and ‘can-care-less slacker’.

That stayed up until college, where I admit I did slack off. And when one day, when I missed an assignment, it all just hit me all at once at how irresponsible I was being and how I could lose my chance to become what I wanted to be-a journalist.

My parents and teachers were able to get me back on track, and I was able to pass college with flying colours (pretty much getting straight A’s in some courses) and I was able to graduate. A year later then what I was supposed to, mind you, but still, I graduated.

Looking back at all that, I realize just how fair I was able to come, having to overcome my own faults and grow. And I can say I deserved to graduate for maturing and making up for my mistakes. Now I write for Community Living Burlington and Autism Ontario occasionally and work a part time job at Walmart while working on a blog that is slowly becoming more popular. And I know someday, more people will want me to write for them once they see what I can do.

(And yes, I kept my eyes open for opportunities to write, but I’ll admit, I fell out of it once CONVID hit. Really need to get back to it!)

I understand that people get the urge to goof off, especially those around high school/college years, but the hard work you need to put in is important for your future. It opens up so many doors for you and shows other people that you may end up working for that you are reliable and will get the job done. So always try to get your work done!

Of Good Deeds and Manga

Today, while I was at Indigo, I was looking at the manga section: particularly the series ‘Assassination Classroom’ (a very great series by the way, highly recommended.) They had five volumes out for sale, and I was reading the second one.

After a moment of reading, I decided to look around the store a bit then come back, hopefully with some more issues of other series I like. Indigo doesn’t have all the manga in one place, as they put the less mature manga in another location for kids to read. So I have to go across the store to get to it (it was a small location, mind you.) Sure it may seem pointless, but I know why I keep the less mature manga separate from the more mature stuff.

Anyway, I decide to head back to put the book back when I noticed the other issues were gone. At first I was surprised when I saw: how often do people buy multiple books? And then I decided to put the book back.

During that, I had noticed a boy around the manga. While I did wonder at first if he had the manga, I decided not to mention it. But when I saw him with his mom, I noticed they had most of the books. Seeing that I got this thought: ‘What if they wanted number 2 as well?’

So with that in mind, I politely went up to them and said I just put the second issue back. Right away, pleased looks crossed their faces and I could feel they were excited. The mom quickly told me that her son was looking for number 2 before she and her son went to get it.

I went with them and pulled out the book where I put it and handed it to them. And I will say, it was pretty satisfying to hand the boy something he wanted. The mom thanked me a few times, while asking if it was a good series or not before leaving to pay for the two books (she put the others back).

I’m a massive anime nerd, so this is a really good deed of the day for me. It’s good to do random acts of kindness, but you have to admit, it really feels good if it involves something you like!

Artsy-Fartsy

I been trying to get more into art the last past week. As in, pull out my things and doodle in my books.

Why? Because I find it to be very distracting from the real world. I sit there, pondering on what clothes to draw on my character. Or I focus very intently, trying to get the colours just right on the characters I have drawn, and trying to not mess up the black lines.

So yeah, it can be a big distraction from what you are worrying about, as you focus on one thing.

What do I like to draw? Well, I have an OC I like to design different clothes for. I also have a separate sketchbook where I like to draw random stuff, such as cartoon characters.

What things I like to use for art?

-Pencil Crayons

-Markers

-Idian Ink and Pens

-Black Pens for Outlining

-Paint (very rarely)

And I would like to add pastels and crayons to that list.

If you are going to get into art, be warned that it’s a very expensive hobby. I mean, yesterday, I spent around fifty dollars, and that was for some watercolour markers to finish up some doodles I had.

Art can be pricy, but the reward can be great. But keep in mind it may be your thing, so start off small if you are going to get into it.

Vulnerability

With the arrival of summer, so has the return of many things, such as malls.

A massive part of me wants to go ‘Finally!!!’ And then run to the closest mall I have to do shopping. Then run to the local eyebrow place and have my long overdue brows done. Heck even get some take out from the mall to celebrate the event (if it is allowed, of course).

Basically, I’m super-excited. But there is a more rational part of me.

A part of me that warns that CONVID is still an issue, since there have been over 100,000 deaths in Canada. And I know that number is still going to go up for a while as we don’t have a cure or a vaccine.

I have also seen on the news that cases have been going up in the U.S., as people haven’t been taking precautions and just throwing themselves into the open.

So is it wrong to be excited? No. Do you have to be careful? Yes. Can this end up going to where we were a few months ago? Well..if we aren’t careful, then yes.

So…Wash your hands, cover your mouth while sneezing and coughing, wear your masks and gloves, keep six feet away and stay home if you are showing symptoms. And don’t linger in a spot for too long or hold something in a store for too long.

I know it’s been said a million times during all this, but it’s going to keep on being said as long as it needs to. And right now, we are still vulnerable.

So will I go out? I will with a face mask on. Gotta do my part after all!

Me and My OCD

Being autistic sucks at times. That is a truth. Having OCD and/or anxiety sucks as well. That is a truth too. Having all those things? At times, it can really, really suck.

And that’s what I have. And to put it bluntly, it’s a real pain in the neck. But I have to live with it.

How exactly does my OCD work? Well, you know in your head, Yoi have so many thoughts, good and bad? Well, for me, my OCD catches onto one bad thought like ‘What the Heck did was that? What’s wrong with you?’ And then it becomes a full blown obsession, worrying about things relating to that subject and so forth.

Of course, it causes me a lot of distress and doubt. I’m left worrying about ‘What is wrong with me?’ And ‘I shouldn’t be thinking that’.

While there are times I’m in control of it, there are times I have lapses.

Lapses are different from relapses, as it is a brief increase of unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that distress me. While relapses are an complete return to that.

But you see, thing is, everyone is going to have thoughts once in a while. My doctor said so. What’s important is that we know that they are just thoughts. No one is perfect. And trying to be perfect only causes a lot of distress. I know it has for me. Trying to be ‘high and mighty’ isn’t going to help anyone, as deep down, no one is perfect. Which now I think about it, I believe the belief that some people believe that they are high and mighty and look down at others for being different is a major contribution on why people bottle up their issues and not share them.

But don’t worry. From this, I have actually become more open. For one, I’m talking to my parents more on the issue. And I am seeing a doctor to help me deal with this. Also, I learned that the things I worry about? Everyone secretly worries about them. We just can’t let it control our lives, along with our thoughts.

While I do have lapses, I often try to get them in control, as I red that they can go into full relapses. And during them, I make more observations, trying to think of new stargeries for the future.

Heck, I even plan on one day publishing what I been through, sharing my thoughts and observations. Why? Because throughout all this, I felt like I was alone since, well, it’s my mind and I have to live with it. And I know someone else out there may have that problem in the future. So I want to show that they are not alone with what they face.

So no one is perfect, we all have our moments. That’s what I realized with all this. Sometimes I lose sight of that, I will admit. It is hard not knowing what other people thing after all! You only got one mind, and you can’t look into others to see what they think.

I hope that my words here and my future book does help someone realize they aren’t alone with having this. That’s a big source of distress for me. People go though this, and you can speak to people. You will be surprised to see how many people will accept you for who you are!