I used to work at a "Popular Sub Shop". Not just any "Popular Sub Shop" but the dirtiest, most poorly-run "Popular Sub Shop" known to man. It was filthy. Every employee there did bare minimum, including me, because after 4 years at the dump I had stopped caring.
I am 32 years old. I have a degree. The store was not where I belonged, except I have problems. I'm extremely introverted. I don't do well with customers. Or under stress. Or on a phone. I don't do well with anything. I'm one of those smart people that are too weird to get a real job.
No one taught me how to get a real job. I come from a low-income background and I never had the social tools to learn how to work in an office. I never learned a marketable skill. My skills are cooking, cleaning, and writing fiction. Office work is a mystery to me, but I suspect I wouldn't like it any more than I liked making food.
I've been making food for people who don't respect me for 16 years. The manual labor isn't what bothers me. There is pleasure in creation, even if it is a sandwich or a pizza. There is pleasure in taking something broken or dirty and making it right again. But this is a country that doesn't respect those who do manual labor. We're not good enough, not driven enough, lazy, stupid, weak.
This is how my boss felt about me. And he would let me know, in little ways. Offhand comments. His general attitude of not caring. (He doesn't give benefits, sick days, vacation days, holiday pay; we never even got a 'Happy Birthday' or a 'Merry Christmas' from him.)
I worked an extra shift last week. I was sad. I'm usually sad. The last 3 shifts I worked I was crying thru the whole thing. I was too old, too smart to be there. I was worth more and selling myself so short. Every customer was a mountain to overcome.
Someone complained about me. She called me rude. I remember the customer. It was the end of the night and I was trying not to burst into tears on her like I had the last 3 customers, attempting not to drip into the food while I made their sandwiches in front of them.
I tried to explain my malaise. I tried to tell my boss how unfulfilling the job was. How I struggled. He told me to be content in my place. He called me weird.. He told me I needed to try harder at being normal because no one respected people who have outbursts.
Be content in my place.
Because he doesn't respect me.
My place is not in his restaurant. After 5 hours' contemplation I walked out. I locked the door and went home.
For the last 6 months I have been too depressed to write. You've only seen one new story from me this year (Angel in a Cage), and a handful of lesser stories from my other pen names. (With charming titles like Sex!Zombie and Taken Hard by His Gay Roommate. Okay, the Black Masquerade is pretty damn good actually...)
I want to create. It's all I've ever wanted to do. And I've made great progress here, sharing my writing with the world, but it's not enough. I can't go back to food service. My fiance and I talked about it. I have some money in savings, his job is secure for now, and we decided I should have a go at living the indie life. I have 3 months to prove I can make a reasonable amount of money without a 'real' job.
Welcome to Day 3 of my Create or Die Summer Tour, or, "let me sell you all the things because I am reckless and crazy."
I'm not begging. I don't want your charity. I want your business.
Update: I have pulled all of my stories from the KDP/KU program. CLICK HERE for more info. You can still read me on Amazon or Smashwords.
If you're a new reader, CLICK HERE for links to free books to get to know me.
I have an Etsy store. I sell handmade jewelry sourced from natural and antique/vintage materials and I also sell vintage junk. CLICK HERE to buy my shit on Etsy. I'm also set up on Ebay. If you want to keep abreast on the cool (or lame) shit I'm selling, follow me on Twitter, Pintrest, and Tumblr. A blog, Rosie Lea's Curio Cabinet is also up and running as a main hub.
If you don't want to buy any of my stuff but you still wanna help, all of the Amazon links on my site are Associates links. That means if you go to amazon thru my site I'll get 6% of the sales price, regardless of what you end up buying. Go forth and buy ridiculously expensive things!
If you've read my work in the past but never left a review, please do so! Reviews sell books. I need to sell books.
Thank you everyone for your kind words and support these last few days. It's been keeping me going.