Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quit Work... Focus on School?

Since the age of 15 I have been employed. I've always somehow found a way to balance school and work although, school was barely a problem in high school. So it’s very weird to not have a job for the first time in about three to four years.

The first job I ever had was an interesting one, New England Meat Market. It is a family owned store and pretty much a butchery that focuses on Greek and Portuguese foods. I am neither Greek nor Portuguese but everyone I worked with was, and I feel like it opened me up to a whole new culture. I learned to like different foods and got educated in the background of each. Although I had my complaints about working there, overall it wasn't a totally horrible job. I loved the friends I made and learned a lot about dealing with people in the work area. One of the most important things I feel that I got out of working at NEMM was learning how to keep my mouth shut as much as I want to say something.

After about two years of working at New England Meat Market I felt like it was time for a change. I get easily bored when my life is going in the same direction for too long and try to make it more interesting. I got a second job at Gainsboro Studios. They do most of the senior pictures around the area: Beverly, Peabody, some Salem students, Bishop Fenwick, ect. It was fun because I got to look at all the senior pictures of my friends who graduated before me and then when it came to my senior year I got to look at all of my friends' pictures as well as people I didn't like. It is a relatively relaxing job. I just put some pictures together, listen to music and text. While working at Gainsboro I realized that I wasn't happy at New England Meat Market anymore so I quit there and picked up some extra hours at Gainsboro.

Last summer my aunt got me another job in Boston at Safety Insurance so I could save up some money. I worked a regular day 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. I had new respect for people who worked in an office 40 hours a week. Although I got paid extremely well and loved everyone I worked with, my summer was cut very short. It was hard to go out after work every day when I had to get up at around 5 am the next day to get ready to go to work. The weekends were something I counted down the hours to every Monday.

When school started I had to leave Safety Insurance because I wouldn't have time to go in 40 hours a week.I still had my job at Gainsboro but I wasn't making enough money to pay for gas, insurance, and still afford to go out on weekends. My best friend Kenny had worked at a place called Christian Book Distributors for an extremely long time and his father is extremely high up in the company. I've always wanted to work there so I felt that this was my opportunity to get a job there. My friend Sandra and I went together to have an interview. She got hired; I didn't even make it to the actual interview process. Before you could be interviewed you needed to go through a spelling test and a typing test. I'm not a horrible speller and I can type like a crazy woman. So, Kenny's father asked the department head what happened and they messed up my grading for my test. With a lot of luck and help I got an interview and ultimately got a job. My job started in October as a seasonal worker. Right before Christmas, seasonal employees were evaluated based on a certain criteria and some were kept and some were let go. I was lucky enough to keep my job while I watched all the rest of my friends walk out the door. I was told that there would be another evaluation mid-January and to keep up my good work. When that next evaluation came, many seasonal employees were let go once again. As far as I know myself and only about three others were kept. At this point I was feeling pretty good about myself and getting closer to having a stable job. If I made it through yet another evaluation I would be offered a permanent job.

Only a few days after I was told I was going to be kept, my parents sat me down and discussed how they thought that my job was getting in the way of my school work. The more I looked at the situation I realized work was part of the reason I did so terrible in school last semester. After being at school all day then working all night, by the time I got home I had no energy to do homework. With much regret, this past Tuesday I talked to my boss and told her that I would be giving my two weeks to focus more on my school work. She completely understood and was glad I was going to try harder and school.

After I quit, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me because I didn't have to worry about balancing school work and work but the more I think about it the more I feel like it’s going to be extremely weird not working as much. I do still have my job at Gainsboro so that I can be making some money. My Gainsboro schedule is a lot more flexible and they aren't relying on me every day to be there and if I need time to do school work I can take the time. As opposed to working at CBD where it is necessary to be there on time everyday because everyone worked as a team. The next few months is going to be interesting, but I'm hoping not having a job is going to allow me to do better in my classes.


On March 4, 1990 the world was graced with the birth of me. I was the first child to my parents and apparently was supposed to be a boy. To my parent's dismay I was a girl. They already had a name picked out, William, and clearly that would not work for me. So after a few days of deciding they came up with the name Alyssa, Alyssa Ruth to be exact. Little did they know that Alyssa Ruth along with my last name MacDonald would cause me extreme problems through out elementary school, 1) because my middle name was a name for an 80 year old and 2) my initials are officially ARM. To this day I still hate telling people my middle name in fear that they will put all three names together and say the one word I hate the most, "ARM!?!"

When I was about three years old I moved to Peabody, MA from Everett, MA. We moved into a larger house to make room for my soon-to-be younger brother. (And if you were wondering, he was supposed to be a girl and when they realized he was a boy named him William. Though, I still am not sure if they were completely right about him being a boy....). After moving to Peabody, I went to preschool at a church (which I now blame for my hatred of any religion). My elementary school was one where me and my three friends (whom i met in preschool) owned the school. We were feared, and followed by just about everyone. You could say we were the "Mean Girls" only about ten years younger. The four of us did everything together, including CCD (which I also blame for my hatred of religion). I also met my best friend in elementary school, kindergarden to be exact. His name is Kenny and it all started when we sat at the same table. Kenny was completely in love with me (haha, I hope he reads this) and even suggested the name "Alyssa" to his mother for the name of his little sitter. To this day we are still best friends. We have a special friendship that we never expect anyone to understand, but it works for us. Elementary school was a simpler time.

In middle school most of my friends and I fell apart. It was the first time in my life that I realized friends are not always forever and it was something I soon realized was going to be a part of life. For the most part middle school was completely boring except for the few fights I would get into every now and then (one even ending in the cops coming to my house and forever leaving me scared to death of authority figures). That was the last fight I got into in middle school, and from that point forward anything I did that was wrong, I was sure to cover up for it.

I went to high school at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School where a met a good chunk of my friends I hangout with now. I will admit high school taught me a lot about myself, as well as made me hate almost every person I come in contact with. Ever since I was younger, I always hung out with the "older crowd" because before I lived in Peabody all my friends were older. I was very mature at a young age, and high school just shows you all the people who still aren't mature. I could rant for HOURS about ever single person in my high school that needed to get over themselves and grow up. Maybe one day I will, it would make an amazing book. It wasn't just the students that were obnoxious, it was the teachers as well. I rarely found a teacher that I got along with and agreed with. As much as every teacher, dean, and principal in my school thought they knew everything that was going on in the school. Little did they know people were dealing drugs in the bathroom, skipping classes, and leaving campus without anyone ever noticing. Needless to say, I got away with leaving campus/skipping class numerous times and was never caught, eventhough apparently the place was "locked down." On June 8, 2008 I graduated from PVMHS along with 420 or-so other students. Although for four years I hated being there, on that day I was a bit sad to be leaving a place a spent so much of my time at, and watching all of my friends go off to college.

In September 2008 I started my journey through college at Salem State, much to my dismay. I'm living at my house going to a school pretty much in my backyard. I feel as if I've worked for years to get into a good school away from home and it was all for nothing. Although I did get accepted into all of the schools I applied to Salem State was the most reasonably priced. Now in my second semester I'm learning to accept the fact that I'm stuck here for a while and planning on working my butt off to get out. Last semester I slacked off more than I should have but now that I realize if I work hard enough I could possibly move on to better things, I'm trying as hard as I can.

How did I turn out in the long run you may be wondering? Well, I've grown up a lot in the past few years and learned who my real friends are. I'm extremely opinionated but I know how to take different opinions and take them into consideration. I absolutely love video games and anything computer related. My music of choice is varied depending on my mood. People who know me really well know that if we're in my car, depending on the songs I put on its easy to tell how I'm feeling. I watch as many movies as possible and love to just sit around and talk about them with the rest of my friends. I'm not the most liked person around because I am what a lot of people would call "a bitch" but that's just because most people don't like to hear the truth, or aren't used to someone being as blunt as I am. My humor is over the top sarcastic which is part of the reason I'm not everyone's favorite person... they just don't get it. Overall, if you take the chance to know me I'm a very good hearted person and I care a great deal about my friends. It just takes some time to get used to me.