I Repeat: Never Try New Things

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After I failed at a full-time position a year ago, I was permitted to remain on the floor part-time. Now, I can’t even do that.

I learned recently my position was reverted to cashier entirely because I was terrible on the floor, even part-time. It’s worth mentioning I wasn’t told this until I questioned why my position was reverted back without my knowledge. While I’m more upset about being lied to for more than a year, and that they had no intention of telling me, the fact I’m incapable of nothing beyond the easiest job in retail is not helping my self-worth.

Yeah, yeah, work’s not supposed to be fun in the first place. I get that. But does it have to crush my soul too? I already I can’t do anything besides retail since retail is all I know. Now, I know I can’t do retail either. I’m going to be that person whose only work experience is decades spent as a cashier. And I know there are people who willingly do that, but I do not share the same goal.

My boss did ask if I want my position to be changed again, but warned me I won’t get as many hours (What hours?? Their payroll is in the toilet!). I declined. What’s the point of holding a position I’m considered awful in? But I’m not enthusiastic about literally being stuck in one spot for 8+ hours either. Not that I was ever in a rush to clock in, but let’s just say being contained in a small space for several hours lowers the priority.

I’m really wondering why there are even interviews for cashier positions. Yank a warm body off the street and throw them on the register. I imagine that would save every workplace ever a lot of time. The only requirements are the ability to read English and move your fingertips in whichever way you want them. Not kidding. Why the heck my boss over-exaggerates the so-called “importance” of this job is beyond me. I ought to just ask my boyfriend if I can let his niece do it. She gets excited about everything. She’ll learn in a day and no one will know the difference.

No, I’m not being sarcastic. This is very much how I feel about the “job” of a cashier. Yes, I know some people enjoy it, but I don’t, and I very much resent being “good” at it. I’m good at a job that can easily be replicated by someone a third of my age. And this job is supposed to matter in retail? I have an easier time believing there really is a tooth fairy.

If a small child has the capability to take your job, and the only reason they can’t is due to child labor laws, it’s useless. And while I’m not looking for my self-worth in a store, of all places, I can admit my job is useless within its industry. As much as I appreciate attempts not to hurt my feelings, lying (about my job performance) and over-blowing a job’s value is worse. Just tell me immediately so I can get over it.

I’m a cashier. I’m a dime a dozen. And there is nothing valuable about that, in or out of retail.

Though, Princess Luna is beautiful, even when she’s sad. Cheer up, Luna. Your job is more valuable than mine.

“Not Like Other Girls”

I hate this phrase with a burning passion.

Apparently, we’ve come full circle. It seems this phrase is a rebellion against shaming girls for being “too feminine”. That is, if you’re tomboyish – or at least, less feminine than stereotyped – you’re a faker because no real woman wouldn’t have some feminine traits or preferences. Whereas in the past, the shame would be for not being feminine enough, which is probably where “tomboy” came from to begin with.

Does no one realize the only reason this crap exists is due to stereotypes in the first place?

This discussion came up on a Reddit thread about engagement rings. Those threads usually lead to a lot of people saying they don’t want or care for expensive rings. I’m one of those people. I don’t particularly like rings, but even if I did, I’d kick my boyfriend’s behind to the moon with Princess Luna if he ever spent hundreds, or thousands, on an engagement ring. If it’s for himself, fine, but if it’s for me, I don’t want it. I’d actually question marrying him if he did that because I cannot justify so much spent on something that has no function beyond prettiness. At the very least, it would tell me not to combine our finances (Also, what the heck is the idea of wearing one particular piece of jewelry for as long as you live? That’s weird to me) because I’d view that spending as irresponsible. Yeah, it’d be his money and he can do what he wants, and I can think he’s crazy.

I didn’t say all of that on the thread, but many people were vocal about their opinions. Cue a hoard of offended people with engagement rings screaming how everyone who doesn’t care for expensive rings is essentially a “holier-than-thou” “not like other girls” poser trying to be cool. Or maybe some people really don’t like rings and were just expressing themselves? Isn’t that what Reddit is for? More so, how is shaming people for not liking rings any better than supposedly being shamed for liking rings? They did the same thing they accused the first commenters of.

The easier solution seems to not abide by stereotypes at all, but that would require us as a society to admit we created some screwed-up ideas and, well, we as people don’t do that.

Speaking of stereotypes, I will say this: I do understand why some people care a lot about rings. There are people who judge someone’s partner by the amount of money they have, and I don’t put it past some people to assume an inexpensive ring is a sign of poverty or poor finances. Being blatantly honest, there are still people who believe men are supposed to be the breadwinner (I wonder if not caring who makes more money is also “not like other girls”), and consider it shameful if he’s not.

The bottom line is people should be able to have preferences without being stereotyped as “not like other girls” or “like every other girl”.

And the reason the thread sparked so much emotion? The opening post was a screenshot of someone jealous her sister had a bigger ring than she did, and wanting her husband-to-be to exchange the ring he bought for a bigger one because of said jealousy. She was asking how to approach him about the subject.

I don’t care how “not like other girls” it makes me. That’s petty as heck.

Portion Control

I’ve been on my diet for a week so far. Not impressive, I know, but I’m surprised I’m doing it at all. I’ve gotten used to being hungry (I’ve read you’re not supposed to eat to get full), and I use water to stave off the hunger to avoid eating too much. To my surprise, junk food wasn’t hard at all to give up. I haven’t had so much as a piece of chocolate, my all-time favorite sweet.

What is hard, however, is eating less when I do eat. As I mentioned in another post, I count the calories in everything to avoid going over my set limit, especially I visit the gym only once a week (and even then, eating too much would ruin my workout). It’s actually easier to not eat at all than to eat less.

It’s not only junk food I’ve had to drop, however. There are even some healthy foods I can’t eat anymore for the time-being because they have too many calories, and I can’t measure out a reasonable portion. Pasta is the biggest example, which sucks, because I like a lot of pasta dishes. One of my relatives cooked rigatoni a week ago, and I ate only eight of the noodles because I could have only five tablespoons to avoid going over my limit. Unfortunately, spaghetti, my most favorite, can’t be measured that way, so I simply to avoid it.

Heck, I’d say I avoid some healthy foods almost as much as junk food due to stay to within my limit. I keep being shocked by how many calories even healthy food has. I have a can of orange juice from school that has 170, and since I can’t have any spaghetti (same relative cooked), I’ve been mentally debating whether or not to drink it to have something for dinner when I do get hungry. The problem is I don’t like to eat or drink anything close to 200 calories, and I already did that during my lunch break (I ate it because it had less than the orange juice). I may just save it for tomorrow or drink it when I get closer to bedtime, so I’m not too close for comfort to my limit with several hours to spare.

I plan to keep this diet up for six months to give any potential results time to show, so I’m hoping keeping my portions small will get easier as time goes on. I would drink only half the can, but I don’t want to throw out the other half (my family throws open cans away if they remain in the fridge for too long).

I think I’m going to have to do a Google search for low-calorie foods. And no, 220 calories is not low! If it’s over 100, it’s not low! I really find it weird some junk food is lower in calories than some healthy food. Isn’t the junk supposed to cause weight gain?

Food, and weight, is weird.

Positivity: Real vs Fake

There’s something about I’ve noticed about self-proclaimed “positive” people. Actually, any person who screams “if you don’t like your life, change it, don’t complain!”

They will scream this, even if you are doing that.

For some reason I will never understand, it seems these types of people believe complaining and working to change your life can’t be done simultaneously. Weird. Like people.

I’m currently in school. That’s considered by most people to be a step in changing your life. But if I had a dime for every time I complained about school – having to wake up early, balancing work and a job (two jobs at one point), running on little sleep, studying, the $200+ I must pay monthly to attend school, the lessons I struggle with, the boring days, keeping up with my grades – I could probably pay off my student loans in a month.

But I still attend school, so I’m still changing my life like these people scream I should be doing. And it’s still not good enough for them. And honestly, school is just still one thing.

If nothing else, I’ve learned most people who scream “change your life” don’t really care what you do. It just makes them feel better to look at someone as negative or a poor example for feeling bad for a day, no matter how much effort they’re putting in to improve their life. Because everyone knows if you really were making a change, it’d be instant and you’d never have a bad day again. Yes, that’s sarcasm. I hope it was obvious.

Real positive people don’t look down on others, don’t preach about how positive they are, and actually understand feeling bad is human instead of shaming people for it. They also practice what they preach instead of giving out advice they themselves don’t follow (assuming it’s applicable to their life at the moment). And this might be a stretch, but I imagine positive people also don’t join certain communities and single out a person for the content of those communities when they knew it ahead of time. Or have spies in that community, for that matter.

In short, real positive people aren’t bullies under the guise of “positivity”. If you’re going to scream at someone to “change their life”, the very least you can do is know beforehand if they’re already doing that. If you don’t care to know that, you’re blowing smoke and nothing more. And since this is the internet, the latter is the most likely scenario. In which case, I say to your “facts”…

Return to the Past… Again!

Have I mentioned I’m really bad at keeping promises to myself? I’m sure I have.

Way back in 2013, I talked about rejoining Neopets, a game I played a lot in my childhood, and being “determined” to stick around. As I’m sure you can guess from the first sentence, that didn’t happen. Six years later, I’m on there again! This time, I didn’t lose my passwords because I kept them in a Word document. I confess it’s name to see so much age on my accounts. Of course, with the site being twenty years old, there are much older accounts than mine. Too bad I didn’t discover it when I was five. I started when I was around ten, so my very first account would be 14 or 15 years old by now. Darn it! Then again, ten-year-old me had very bad taste in usernames.

Anyway, as I do with most things, I did a little bit of research on what’s happened with the site lately. It still has a good user base, but I also found some things that were very unsettling, to say the least. Specifically, incidents of fraud and horrible customer service, some incidents dating back to when I was still a child. However, as I said in my last post about reviews, those kind of complaints are to be taken with a grain of salt.

There’s something in one particular review about Neopets on a website called Site Jabber that stuck out to me and prompted me to create this post.

Getting a million Neopoints is a difficult task on its own, and by just playing a few games, it could take well over a year to get that. If that’s the case, can anyone imagine trying to earn 50 million NP or 100 million NP for those Battledome weapons and other useful paintbrushes and potions? No. It was out of reach for probably 90% of players. Basically, anything that can make the game more useful or interesting for you is impossible to achieve so why bother?

That was why cheating was rampage.. because no one could make that many Neopoints legitimately.

This. Is. False!

Unlike our very depressing world, Neopets really is an equal opportunity place. In fact, new users have a much better head start now than new users when I was a kid. It is time-consuming, but that goes for any game you want to make a lot of progress in. Now, I never reached millions, but I did reach one million on Neopets some years with zero cheating done. In an unrelated game, I also made a million in that currency without cheating. It may not be possible to do everything a game has to offer, but it is possible to become “rich” in any virtual setting if you put in the time and effort. And if you don’t want to, no judgment. It’s a game. It’s supposed to be fun, not a struggle. But that’s not a reason to violate the site’s rules and complain when you’re rightfully banned for it.

This person is correct that getting a million neopoints (the currency of the website’s virtual world) is difficult, and it would take a long time if you relied solely on games. But games are not the only way to make neopoints. There are actually many guides written about this, one of the best by a user I admire named Jenesis. Her guide is old, but it’s still relevant, as it’s very informative and probably my favorite guide on the subject.

Basically, anything that can make the game more useful or interesting for you is impossible to achieve so why bother?

This particular part is the next thing that bothers me so much. First of all, if everything that would make the site better for you involves striking rich in virtual currency, that’s a personal problem, not the staff’s fault. I was “poor” for most of my time on Neopets, yet I never had a problem having fun with the site before other things took more of my interest. Years ago, there was website dedicated to stories of how players became so addicted to the site, it bordered on being akin to a drug to them (video game addiction). Even if everything that improve personal experience does require being rich, it’s not impossible. Again, it takes a lot of time and effort. It irritates me to hell when people insist because they can’t, or won’t, do something, it’s not possible for anybody.

This untrue review continues:

This once “free” game with some advertising became a massive bloat of ads and then started to ask you to pay for Neopets Premium. Then you had to pay for items and then Neopet clothes. Now, you probably have to pay for everything.

This review is from 2016, and the bold word makes it more evident this person is exaggerating. For starters, the game is still ultimately free. Neopets does have a premium subscription and while they do advertise it (like every site ever with a premium service!), it’s not mandatory. You don’t have to pay for items and clothing. Spending any amount of real money for Neopets is purely optional. It’s no different than free games with in-app purchases. Spending real money gives you an advantage, but it’s not necessary to play the game. There is nothing users playing for free can’t achieve that users who pay for the premium subscription can. And while ads are annoying (again, this applies to any site, not just Neopets), you don’t need their premium service to block the ads. An ad blocker will do just fine. I use AdBlock Plus in Firefox.

There is a feature called the NC (NeoCash) Mall, which only uses real currency, but again, it’s optional. There’s no need to spend your real money.

Some other complaints are about being banned for legitimate offenses, like buying NeoCash or Neopoints from outside sources. Their virtual currency is not allowed to be sold! Buying their currency outside of their website is on the user, not the staff, and they state in their rules it isn’t allowed. The only exception is their own merchandise, for obvious reasons.

I don’t doubt there are legitimate complaints because no company is perfect and there are cold people out there. But a lot of ban complaints seem to be about cheating or falling for scams. While I have some sympathy for the latter, most common scams on the site won’t get you banned so much as inconvenience you for a while if you fall for them. To get banned for falling for a scam rather than being the perpetrator of one, my best guess is the scam took place outside of Neopets and involved something along the lines of selling their currency or items, which, again, is not allowed. Perhaps this is where I’m being judgmental, but that seems like an easy scam to avoid falling for. If it’s outside of Neopets, don’t buy it.

I chose to spend some real money for the site (back when I was a regular player) because I liked it that much and I could. Heck, now that I’m returning again, I spent some real money. I paid for one month of their premium service, though I cancelled automatic renewal because I don’t yet know if I’ll want to continue with it. Spending money for Neopets isn’t different than spending money on other games. Look at The Sims! Their current iteration has twenty-six packs. Including the base game, that would total $560, and that’s just the PC version. At least, you don’t have to download Neopets on every computer you want to play it on! I can play Neopets on break at school!