something to honk about
Ladies and dudes, it just so happens that it is impossible for me to recount, in a meaningful way, my first week at my new job without also giving Too Much Information (TMI) about my menstruation as well as a miscarriage I suffered this year. Believe me, I won’t be offended if you skip this post. You probably should. I’m writing this one for myself.
I was hired to work part time at a medium sized retail store in the large town where I live. The population of my ‘city’ is just under 30,000. Not terribly small, but not very big either. That seems relevant to me, to put this all in context I suppose. Some of my shifts are very early (starting at 5am) stocking merchandise. Some are late (until 10:30 or 11) doing ‘recovery’ (putting the store back in order). And some are midday working at the register.
My first two days of work were early shifts doing stocking. I was moving heavy things and shoving and lifting a lot. On the first day, I had just started my period (bad timing to be sure). And during all this hard work I could feel a lot of menstrual blood coming out of me. Like scary a lot. I had one extra pad with me for a four and a half hour shift and I didn’t know if I would make it. I finally used the restroom to change it and I was passing little bits of tissue as well as blood. [This goes back to a miscarriage I had in the Spring this year. The pregnancy was not very advanced, so don’t freak out. After the miscarriage I didn’t get my cycle back for months and then I finally had another round of bleeding and passing fairly large bits of tissue (if you have ever had a miscarriage or you are a nurse or doctor, you will know what I mean by this), after which I thought it was finally over with.] Apparently not, because I had to experience this craziness on my first day at my new job. Which just sucked, So Much. But I lived through it. And I bled a lot the next morning at work, too. But I was more prepared and not as scared.
If you read my post job interview success followed by my first day of work you will remember that on that first day there was also an issue of overwhelming chemical fumes which gave me a pounding headache that took the rest of the day for me to recover from. Uh huh, that first day was quite a doozy.
I had one shift late in my first week where I was finally trained to do register. I did cashiering at my old health food store job for five years, so I do have experience on register. But that was a small store where we just typed in the price of everything from actual price tags. No scanner or computerized system at all. My new retail job has price scanners and computer registers, of course, which is standard these days. I was a little intimidated by the new system, but that part of it went just fine. I really like being at the register because I get to talk to the customers which is fun for me.
The bad news is, as I was working the register, I started to get horrible, really bad, no good, awful cramps. And by this time, I wasn’t even on my period anymore, so it was a complete mystery as to why. I felt like I was dying and meanwhile I had to greet each customer cheerily and be helpful while simultaneously learning the new register and making sure I didn’t make any mistakes. A couple of hours into it, I begged for a break and I found an old bottle of aspirin in the break room and took three. That started to take the edge off after some time passed. By the time my shift ended, I was feeling better.
Which all makes it sound like I am a super sensitive, weak, unhealthy person, right? I would seem that way to me if I didn’t know me. But I’m not. Not usually. Usually I am just the opposite. I don’t know what happened to me this week or why it had to all happen the first week of my new job.
Aside from all that, which has everything to do with me, but no so much to do with the actual job, I really like my new job. It is minimum wage and it is very hard work. But I like the store and so far I like my coworkers and managers pretty well, too. I like to stay busy and work hard anyway, so it feels quite satisfying for me. I know I’ve made this first week sound like I was running a gauntlet. In many ways it was like that, yet overall, I’m quite happy. I think it will work out great for me and for my family. I’m glad to have a job again.
Please don’t bother commenting to say you are sorry for me. I’m not sorry for me and you shouldn’t be either. I have gone through much worse in my life. This was just a bumpy turn on an otherwise lovely road I’m traveling right now. If you have read all this: first of all – WHY? I told you not to! and secondly – I hope my over-sharing was meaningful to you in some way and not just gross.
Have you had a rocky start at a new job? A work disaster or total fail? An exciting, but not in a good way, experience with your own or another’s menstrual cycle? Honk at me!