“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
- C.S. Lewis
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
- C.S. Lewis
It’s been a little while since I shared some new art, so I thought I’d pop this up. It’s a picture I drew recently for a friend of mine.Usually drawing doesn’t take me long, most without colour are finished within an hour or two. But I struggled a little – not with Ariel once I’d decided what to do, but when I was trying to figure out what to draw.
At first I was going to draw Rapunzel, but I tell you what, she’s one of the most difficult characters I’ve ever attempted. The end product was so terrible I didn’t even keep it around afterwards – it was quickly ripped into multiple pieces and is now floating in the ether. Or wherever recycling goes.
Disney is, and has always been, a big part of my life. For a while I’ve sort of chuckled about it and thought to myself: I’m 25, surely there’ll come a day when I’ll go to choose a DVD and I won’t seriously debate between Frozen and Robin Hood, before realising it’s my day off and I can totally watch both. Then, last night at 3am (it’s always night if you haven’t been to sleep yet, morning if you’re waking up) when all the good ideas come to you, that I realised instead: I’m 25 and I’m in the process of perfecting this playlist…
Chances are that certain maturity ship has sailed. Far, far away. I draw and watch Disney to chill out. I can hold my hand up and say I still watch Nickelodeon – Victorious is kinda amazing, if you haven’t seen it, you haven’t lived, my friend.
I would also like to point out, my attitude to Disney isn’t exactly the same – no, I still can’t watch the bit when Simba’s dad dies, but that’s a separate issue. For this point, one I shall end this post on, I’m going to leave you in the hands of tumblr:
I haven’t uploaded a story in a long while, so I have turned this musing into a sort-of-story.
So, I was updating my CV today and when I reached the ‘Work’ section what can only be described as an accidental-opportunity-for-procrastination popped into my head. I call it accidental because I didn’t seek this thought out by staring blindly at the wall for fifteen minutes, or typing in ‘cat punches dog in the face’ instead of something remotely related to what I’m writing. Nope, my brain actually offered me this one.
A few years back, I remember reading about this woman (I forget her name) who worked in retail. She started a blog (I forget the name of it) and after making an insane amount of people happy about her observations of the general public, they made a book out of it, collecting together all her genius blog posts into one amusing read. Okay, I never actually read the blog, or the book, I just read an article about both, but it was the idea of the blog that popped into my head more than the actual details of the story.
This woman took her every day experience, one social media jokes about as being mundane and tiresome, and turned it into something that made people laugh, cry with said laughter, and take notice.When I heard about it, I remember thinking ‘I wouldn’t have enough funny, inspiring moments to make one post, never mind a whole blog.’
I’ve worked part-time for years in a variety of places, from shops, to supermarkets, to fast food restaurants (I lasted one shift in that one.) In one of my first jobs a guy – let’s call him Douchebag – shouted at me, to the point where my chin wobbled and I knew I was going to burst into tears right there, right in that very moment. It is the one and only time a customer has made me cry. After that, I got a grip of myself, and I toughened up. If people had asked me, I’d say in what I thought was in all honesty, that it took me years to like the general public again. But that isn’t true.
There are countless blog posts out there about how horrible retail is, how difficult, how mean the public are – and it’s true, people are just plain mean a lot of the time, but they’re not mean all the time. In this same job – a supermarket – where I’d had the unpleasant experience of meeting Douchebag, I also met a woman – let’s call her Lovely Lady. Now, Lovely Lady came into my work every Saturday and because I worked every Saturday at the same time, I always saw her. She’d come in, tell me about her husband’s apathy, her daughter’s marital woes, and her health worries. As an 18 year old, I didn’t have much experience in any of these areas to actually contribute, but then I don’t think she needed me to say anything. She just wanted me to stand with her for a few minutes, and give her a fresh, slightly bigger than usual sample of whatever we were trying to promote that day.
One Saturday I was working by myself, and a customer – Rushed Woman – popped away from my counter while I was preparing her order to grab a few items from the vegetable bit. At this moment, Irritable Woman strode up, and I quickly, but politely informed her that I would be right with her, that I was in the process of serving someone else, but I wouldn’t be long. I was then shouted at for about three minutes.
Irritable Woman informed me I was completely disregarding the rules of the ‘queue system.’ – Yes, I’m British, but I was unaware we actually had rules for queuing – Anyway, my counter argument of ‘whether or not Rushed Woman is standing at the counter, she is still in front of everyone else, her presence at the counter has already been established for her to place her order, thus completely rendering this conversation a waste of time,’ was ignored.
At this very moment, Lovely Lady appeared, just as Irritable Woman told me she was going to put in a complaint about me. Now, this was when my confidence started to waver, just a little. Rushed Woman appeared, collected her order and scuttled away, completely unaware of what had just happened. Lovely Lady had watched Irritable Woman leave, a look of outrage on her face. ‘I can’t believe she said that,’ Lovely Lady gasped. ‘And oh my goodness she’s striding off with purpose, and – oh, she’s actually talking to a manager.’ She turned to me and held up her hand. ‘You wait here, I’ll sort this.’
I could not, of course, go anywhere anyway. A queue had already formed again. So, I went back to my work. A considerable amount of time passed, and I just assumed I’d be getting spoken to later when my supervisor was in. When a manager finally appeared, I thought, oh no, this is it. This is going to be the first time I’m going to be told off at work.
Without waiting for me to say anything he said, ‘I’ve just spent the last twenty minutes listening to a customer -‘ Oh no, is he really going to tell me off in front of all these people!? ‘talk my ear off about how incredibly amazing you are.’
There was a look on his face that I can only describe as part-bewilderment, part-amusement. Lovely Lady had apparently explained the whole situation and, without waiting for him to agree with her that yes, I had been in the right, that, no, he wasn’t going to give me a formal warning or fire me, she continued to list every single positive point she could think to say about me.
What, I guess, I have said in a rather long-winded way, is that working in retail can be exactly what it says on the tin: tiresome, a bit soul destroying, mundane, exhausting, and it can make you hate people just a little bit. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, though, in a world of horrible people that will make a stranger cry, or complain about someone because they’re having a bad day, there are other people who balance it out. For the rest of my life, I’ll remember Lovely Lady. She might not remember me, or what she did that day, but that memory does and always will put a smile on my face. It will, without a doubt, always stand out as one of the best moments I’ve had working in retail.
I feel like this story needs to end in the right way so…
I couldn’t be on youtube somewhat aimlessly last night without watching videos I ALWAYS end up on when I’m there. I love love love this one. Nick Pitera, you are one talented guy.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed how much I love Disney… If you missed that you clearly haven’t been paying attention, or you’re new – hello, welcome, please click follow – anyway, I thought I’d share this. I loved the first one, pretty sure I shared that in another post at one point.
I wish I was this creative. And I wish I could sing. I’m also kinda jealous of his little name cards that he holds up, they’re very cool.
Lately my life has consisted of drawing and writing. ^ This, for example, is something I made for my niece. I’ve never been an auntie before, so my reaction to finally becoming one was to draw her a picture and buy her more clothes than she’ll ever need – well, maybe, babies go through a lot of clothes. I was completely unaware that even with nappies on, babies still manage to poop everywhere. It literally explodes from both ends.
Anyway, this drawing sparked friends asking for one of their own, which made me very happy. I love to draw, and it makes me feel like I’m not wasting hours of my time when it’s actually for someone. There’s something rather anti-climatic about spending hours on something, to then stick it to my own wall or close my sketchbook over it.
Between creatively procrastinating, I’ve also been adding the finishing touches to a story I’ve been writing. For some perspective, this story has taken 6 years, two laptops, countless trees condensed into notepads. In the course of this story, my parents got divorced, I finished school, got a new dog (Harry), lost my best friend and older dog (Bob), had four hamsters die on me – I’m not a terrible owner, they were dwarf hamsters and they don’t live so long – graduated from university, started a blog, learned I’m actually pretty good at drawing Disney characters, became an aunt, fell out with about three-quarters of my family, and started a Masters.
In all, there have been three main drafts of this story. Each time I’ve exclaimed triumphantly ‘I’M DONE!’ I won’t do that this time. I am done. I’m done to the point where I can read it through and not think ‘ickt that bit still isn’t working,’ or ‘would that character really say that… or that… or, hell, that!?’ I’m done, but writing is the one area of my life where I’m such a perfectionist that I’m kinda anal about it. So, for now, I’m going to exclaim triumphantly: ‘I’M DONE… ISH!’
I really need to start writing/blogging at decent times. I think that’ll be the most difficult thing about not being a student anymore – getting my body used to sleeping when you’re supposed to sleep.
At the moment everyone else misses the darkness; I sleep when the sky starts to lighten again. (It’s actually one of the things I love about summer time so much. The sky isn’t dark for as long, which I suppose makes it easier to work through.)
Anyway, better get a handle on this post before it goes off on a tangent and the title makes absolutely no sense. I have made an instagram! It isn’t for the blog exactly, I suppose. Mainly because instagram is about pictures and this blog is mostly about words. But, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, on occasions I do slip some pictures in. Like writing, I’ve always drawn, so I thought I’d use it as an opportunity to slip in the blog’s name every so often.
Since my project was handed in I haven’t been sent any more stories, which is a shame. Remember, we’re still a blog about writing, so if you have anything you want to share, do get in touch :)