Tuesday, March 31, 2015

12 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working at a Gym

We’ve all thought working at a gym would be great at least once, especially in college when we need some extra change and that gym down the road is hiring. What better place for a single, young female to work? Through experience, I can name quite a few. Before submitting that gym application, take it from someone who learned the hard way and check out these advantages and disadvantages of being a gym employee.

    Yoga Pants

Advantage: All right, let me go ahead and state the obvious. The best part of working at a gym is, of course, wearing yoga pants to work. And not only yoga pants, but sweatpants. Goodness. Sweatpants are amazing.

Disadvantage: Yoga pants are a part of the dress code but we all know what yoga pants do to the booty and we also know the effect that booty has on most men. Sometimes, for the sake of self-respect, it’s best to save the yoga pants for the house and throw on a pair of jeans- But no, not at the gym. Jeans are not a part of the dress code and wearing them would make me look weird and lazy and I’d split my pants while trying to show someone how to use the Butt Master. I suppose I’ll stick to sweatpants.

    You can literally roll out of bed and head to work

Advantage: Sometimes, if my sweatshirt is enough sizes too big, I don’t even put on a bra and it feels wonderful. I don’t know of anyone working at a law firm who has benefits quite this great.

Disadvantage:  “Yea, I’d love to go to lunch with you when I get off work; I just need to fix my hair. And put on a little blush. And put on real pants….

and put on a bra.”

3     The guys who hit on you

Advantage: Occasionally you’ll get the stereotypically charming, nice guy who comes into the gym. These are the types of guys I’m personally interested in, but usually they’re respectable guys who don’t come to the gym to hit on girls (Kind of a disadvantage). And that’s totally okay and normal for that matter. I enjoy the sporadic conversations throughout my shifts with these guys (or maybe they’re just not into me which could also be a result of my previous point).

Disadvantage: Please do not wink at me or try to impress me with the 60 leg curls you just did. I feel uncomfortable because you’re sweating and I can’t focus on anything else but the sweat that’s about to drip off of your face and onto the counter in front of me.

    Mirrors everywhere

Advantage: Mirrors mean your narcissism is expected, Kanye.

Disadvantage: Once again I am reminded that I actually did roll out of bed today, not because I saw myself in the mirror but because the guy lifting free weights just called me sir. Also, I may or may not be checking out the Ryan Gosling look-alike across the gym and mirrors don’t make it an easy task, trust me.

    The sweat

Advantage: *~crickets~*

Disadvantage: Sweat. Sweat everywhere. And no sister, you do not glisten or sparkle. The salt water running down your face is not glamorous.

    The smell

Advantage: The only time the gym smells good EVER is when someone, usually a woman, leaves the dressing room after lathering in a Bath & Body Works shower gel, then compliments the wash with an allover body sprits. Breathing in sweat and iron for extended periods of time can begin to take over all of your senses, but the smell of Japanese Cherry Blossom or Twilight Woods makes a gym employee want to take a bubble bath of their own. This is a rare occurrence, but when it happens, man does it smell amazing!

Disadvantage: The smell is obviously a result of the sweat but oh my lanta is it awful! Bring in the Febreze cans by the dozen because by the end of your shift you’re going to have used about 6 of them.

7     Working in the kids corner

Advantage: Working in the kids’ corner is great for two reasons. First, you’re not responsible for physically taking care of the children. As a matter of fact, by law gym employees are not licensed to handle the children. This is nice because it gives a gym employee more reason to just sit, which brings me to my second advantage. While sitting and chatting with six year olds all day you learn new things about life, love, and even marriage. You may also gain wonderful insight from toddlers. So far I’ve learned that I’m very tall for my age and that as a 19 year old, I should have AT LEAST 9 kids by now.

Disadvantage:  While the life lessons are great, it is the most God-awful thing when a child starts crying and their mother is in yoga class. You’re unable to pick the child up because as I mentioned before, you’re not licensed to, so you quietly tip toe to the yoga classroom with a screaming baby as your background music to politely interrupt a mother’s downward facing dog, and inform her that her son, Charlie, is very, very upset (someone bit his finger).

8     Walking in on half dressed men in the men’s locker room

Advantage: You open the locker room door to clean mirrors and boom- attractive human male detected. You see said male with 12-pack of abs getting out of the shower. Do you slowly sneak out with the hopes that he didn’t see you? Abso-freakin-lutely not. You casually continue walking toward the mirror pretending not to see said attractive man. I’m just being real.

Disadvantage: You can imagine how this plays out when the man is over 40 years old and has more hair than Chewbacca growing from his chest (or back). My sincerest apologies for that unsightly mental image.

9    Men in tight pants

Advantage:  Imagine this point as one similar to guys wearing baseball pants. Yeah, I rest my case.

Disadvantage: Oh my God, do I really even need to explain myself? Nope. Everything is already plainly exposed.

 Easy work at the front desk

Advantage: COMMISSION! “Thank you for calling the health club, can I help you?” “Yes, is this pizza palace? I need to place an order to go.” “Wrong number, but while we’re on the phone, would you like to sign up for a gym membership?”  

Disadvantage:  So freaking B O R I N G.

Free gym membership

Advantage: If you choose, you have the option of working out whenever you want, free of charge! Not that I know much about this, but if I worked out I’m sure I would enjoy this benefit.

Disadvantage: Anyone with a free gym membership should constantly feel the need to work out because memberships do not come cheap. Working at a gym also gives people leeway to expect you to be buff. Yeah, I know. That’s not going to happen for me either.

1   People assume you know what you’re doing when it comes to using gym equipment

Advantage: “Yes, I totally know the name of that machine and the recommended weight and reps for your gender, age, and weight.” Ha. Ha. Ha.

Disadvantage: Fingers crossed no one asks me to demonstrate. Yeah, I work here. I should know how to use this equipment but honestly, I just needed a job. I didn’t choose the gym life; the gym life chose me (really I need to somewhat support my Starbucks habits and it was the only listing available). Do I practice fitness? Yeah, fittn’is pizza in my mouth.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why I'm Thankful for My Ex's 2 AM, Drunken, Break-up Call

I recently heard the quote “rain makes tree’s roots grow deeper.” I jotted it down because it sounded neat but after a while it started to linger in my head. Maybe because my ex boyfriend had just broken up with me (if you could even consider it a break up). I’m not sure that there really is any “ideal” form of heartbreak, but this certainly wasn’t it.

We had only been officially dating for a couple of weeks, but we were “together” a month or two prior to that. Not long, I know. But we were still boyfriend and girlfriend. I thought he was super cute and charming. He thought I was beautiful and quirky. It worked. We worked. For two weeks.

I went on a mission trip to Peru for Spring Break and everything was fine between he and I when I was gone. In fact, everything seemed perfect even in the few hours leading up to our break up.

Just hours after I returned from South America (completely exhausted, mind you), he called me. AT TWO IN THE MORNING. He was very clearly drunk, and he began telling me that our relationship was not working and that he couldn’t give me the stability that I needed (somehow he was sober enough to realize that).

I immediately called my best friend and told her what just happened and she, being out of town and recognizing that it was now 3:00 am, told me to pop a few Benadryl and go back to sleep. She promised to come over the next morning. I cried myself to sleep, partly from sleep deprivation and partly because I had just been woken up to an unexpected break up call. At this point, despite the humungo spiders, sub par water temperatures and nonexistent cell service, I was ready to hop back on the Peruvian express straight back to Amazon.

After a few hours of sleep and a good morning slap in the face from my friend, I was able to get my head on straight. Not only had I just been broken up with by an intoxicated frat boy over the phone in the middle of the night, but I hadn’t heard anything more from him. No call. No text. No explanation for his level of intoxication or indecency (not that it would have mattered at this point). Nothing. Who does that?

This was ultimately my ex-boyfriend’s way of showing me his true character. If he didn’t have the confidence to break up with me in person, there’s no way he would have the ability to build up my confidence throughout the relationship. If he lacked the courage to break up with me when he was sober, how on earth would he have the courage to step out for me in other situations? And worst of all, DO NOT WAKE ME UP AT TWO IN THE MORNING. FOR ANYTHING. Especially with bad news because I will be extra sad due to loss of beauty sleep and let’s be real, we could all use a little bit more of that (unless you’re a Kardashian- Party all night, sleep during surgeries).

Because my ex and I only dated for two weeks, this saved me from hurt later. I’m very thankful that I had only shared a few secrets and special moments with him because later on, this situation could have been much worse. This break up made me a stronger person.

Sometimes people make bad decisions and we are the ones who pay for it whether we deserve to or not. I was forced to learn forgiveness through this break up. Without forgiving my ex I would carry the weight of the love lost on my shoulders.

I’ve realized that I need stability in a relationship. And no, I’m not talking about financial stability (although, that wouldn’t hurt either). I don’t NEED to be dependent on a man, but if I choose to place my trust in him, he WILL be a man of integrity. Instability is a sinking ship and it’s one I will no longer board.

I wont say the break up was easy. Of course I cried and ate cranberry-filled chocolate in light of the situation, but his mistake and my tears were worth the lesson learned.

I am worth so much more than a two o’clock in the morning, drunken, break-up phone call. I will not stop giving my heart away. Guarding it? Always. But not keeping it for myself. Life is full of trial and error and that’s what this is all about. My ex-boyfriend was so wrong for how he broke up with me, but without his mistake, I wouldn’t be able to put the few extra puzzle pieces together to figure out who I am and what kind of guy I really want to be with. I will keep pushing on until I find someone who is worth every previous heartbreak.

Although he was incredibly sweet (for a couple of months anyway), after stepping back and thinking about the situation for the past few days, I have realized I’m so thankful that this is how he broke up with me. Mainly for the lessons it taught me, but also because I’ll be able to laugh at the behavior in a few years.

Just like a tree, standing in the midst of a storm, through chaos and the curve balls that life throws at us, our strength to move on grows and we really do become stronger people. Not to be mistaken with becoming numb to pain, but we get to a state when we are able to look at the situation we’re in, realize we’ve conquered worse, and use that strength to speed up the process of our healing hearts.

I look at it like this: Yea, he was totally a jerk. Totally. But I got over two months of free lunches and the occasional dinner, and that’s worth so much more.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Suit Yourself: Dressing Appropriately in the Workplace

It’s a Friday afternoon and you’ve just realized that you forgot to hire a lawyer to defend your case from a car accident that occurred days before. Today is the last day to do so, and without hesitation you throw the kids in the back seat of your now beat up mini van, grab your files, and head downtown. When you arrive at the attorney’s office to meet with your new lawyer, you mistakenly walk right past him. (He was the guy wearing faded blue jeans, standing right next to the coffee pot). You stand surprised, not because its four in the afternoon and he’s ridiculous for drinking a cup of coffee at this time of the day, but because your defendant, the guy you’ve entrusted with your court case, is wearing a t-shirt and worn jeans. Although his skills have proven to trump fashion in the workplace, dressing appropriately should be taken seriously because employees who do so have been proven to have ambitious emotions and employers and clients see the employee as being more professional.

Scenarios of this sort occur far too frequently in the workplace. Not that there is anything wrong with dressing casually in the office and I know it’s a Friday, but come on. Jeans and a t-shirt in an attorney’s office? We’ve all had a rough week so that’s no excuse. Surprisingly, some people don’t see this issue in this matter. Many people believe that fashion for employees should be looked over for the most part. These people believe that skills are the sole importance of a person’s being when employed. DON’T GET ME WRONG. YOU GOT THE JOB BECAUSE YOURE CAPAPLE AND QUALIFIED AND YOURE GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO. However, through research, statistics, and personal experience, this opinion can be thoroughly refuted. Acquired skills and persistent adequacy uphold an employee’s position in the workplace. But aside from a paper resume, their first impression, aka their ability to dress themselves appropriately and with discernment, impacted their landing of said job in the first place.

Aside from impressive skills in the workplace, a high fashion sense leaves a lasting impression on an employee’s client and boss. Dressing sloppily will only keep an employee at a standstill, or even worse, get that person fired. Dressing as if you’ve spent five minutes getting ready in the morning, because you stayed out until 3 am the night before (or maybe you require extra sleep. Who knows?) will give off an unwanted vibe to your employer. It is always said to dress professionally in the workplace depending on your job, however, if one dressed only in accordance to their job, how would he or she accumulate a higher position in his or her company without ambition? Rather than dressing for the job the employee has, he or she should dress for the job they want. Whether we want to admit it or not, a professionally dressed person is portrayed as an educated person. Whether he or she is educated or not, employers are not automatically resistant because of what they see from the outside.

In sororities and other university organizations, members are expected to wear “pin attire,” or formal business attire for the sole purpose of putting up a good front. Students are taught the importance of dressing professionally for not only job interviews, but at work every day as well. Any day in the work place could end up being a first impression, whether having to do with clients or the owner of the business stopping by for a visit.

Along with sloppy clothes, tattoos and piercing usually do not leave a good impression in the workplace. AND BEFORE I GO ON, I MUST SAY IM A SUCKER FOR TATTOOS AND I HAVE A FEW PIERCINGS MYSELF. But it’s the truth. A primary reason for this is because tattoos and piercings signify an employee’s bad decision making. Tattoo’s and piercings, (not all, but some), have been a result of a vast decision made by a young adult who was dared (or slightly intoxicated) to get an ass tat that says “made in Texas.” GUYS. You think I’m being irrational but I have a friend with this exact tattoo and I question her intelligence daily. Luckily, it’s on her butt because that was a part of the dare, but if dared to get it tattoos across her forehead, who knows what the outcome would be. She’d be unemployed, that’s for sure.

With that being said, wide assortments of tattoos are acquired with a significant meaning to the person who decided to have the procedure done. But without the significance behind the permanent ink filtrated into one’s skin, regret often takes a toll months, or even days, after the occurrence. If a person of the sort makes vast decisions, think about the result that can evolve from the same person dealing with your finances, or hell, your wellbeing for that matter.

Disregarding opinion of the matter, a recent study has shown that employees who dress appropriately for their position in the workplace have been proven to have ambitious emotions at work. In this study, people were given doctor’s coats to wear while taking a test. Later, another group of people were given the same coats but were told that the coats were artists coats. The people who were under the impression that they were wearing doctors coats scored far higher on their exams than those wearing the “artists coats.”

People have been proven to associate emotions with clothing. Think about it. How do people who want attention dress? How do self respecting people usually dress? Can putting on a fireman’s coat evoke courage? Can wearing the robe of a priest or judge cause people to act more ethically? (I was a Nun this past Halloween, and if I do say so myself, naturally, I was on my best behavior). If something as minute as a doctors’ coat can make this big of a difference, imagine how ones work could significantly improve every day in the workplace if he or she thought of himself or herself on a more distinct scale. Clothes are not just a device of perception, but a tool that can really affect how one sees themself and performs.

In comparison, some people may not associate clothes with emotions because the clothing they wear becomes habitual. The person may or may not be efficient at what they do on their own accord, however it is not just how employees attire is perceived by themselves but by their employers and clients as well. I firmly believe that most of us would share a moment of doubt (and most likely discomfort) if the pilot of a transatlantic flight showed up for work off wearing a Juicy Couture jogging pants.

Unfortunately, like it or not, if a person wants others around them to think they have their life in order, that person is more likely to prove it by dressing the part. One’s appearance is all others see at first glance and it is important to dress the part in order to be taken seriously. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’d prefer my lawyer defending my case in a tailored suit, rather than a stained up t-shirt. It would benefit the both of us.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

By far one of my favorite shoots. Kaylynn and Arthur are lovely.