Pay raises

From my current rate of hourly pay, I'll get $0.25 more per hour after working 175 hours in the Sparta deli.

Not bad. Averaging 40 hours a work week in the deli, I can get paid $4 more every week after I worked for four weeks!


Weekly, Biweekly, or Monthly paychecks

In Indonesia, there is only one method of paying your salary: Monthly.

It's paid either early of the month or late of the month. Which is a bad method, because I think some people tend to overspend their monthly budget for leisure and other unnecessary expenses.

In other words, for people with poor money management, after they get their monthly paycheck and pay their monthly bills, they tend to splurge it on everything else.

While in America, there are three methods of paycheck. Once a week, Once every two weeks, and Once a month.

In Sparta I get paid once a week, every Thursday.

Which is a good thing, really.

Let's say that my monthly pay is $400, then instead of getting $400 on the first week but having almost spent so much (especially with my poor money management) for three weeks after my paycheck, I get $100 to manage every week.

And another thing.

One month does not equal four weeks (with the exception of February).

It is equal to 4.28 weeks (for 30 days) or 4.43 weeks (for 31 days).

Which means that if you get paid $400 monthly, that doesn't mean that you go home with $100 every week.

You go home with a bit less than $100.


How I willingly picked the hardest job when there were other options available

The other day I was wondering what the hardest job (or position) in Sparta is. You know, other than the deli or bakery clerk, we also have those cashiers, CSRs (Customer Service Representatives), pharmacists, meat clerks, florists, janitors, baggers (those who help customers on bagging their purchased items), and even fuel clerks!

Then I asked Sally.

"The deli" was her firm answer.

She went on to explain that we are the only ones who are constantly and steadily busy for most of our 8-hour shifts other than the cashier. Except the very fact that cashiers are not required to clean their counters or stand up for eight straight hours.

That makes the deli job a hell lot harder than any other jobs in the supermarket.

"Then why did you choose to work in the deli if you know it was the hardest?" I asked her.

"Because it was the only job available when I first came in here. I would've chosen to become a pharmacist instead, if there were an opening in the pharmacy...And why did you choose the deli job"

" was a random pick"

Yes people, that was right.

The hiring manager gave me freedom to choose whatever job I wanted to take in Sparta when I was first interviewed, and I willingly and haphazardly chose the hardest job there.



Working two jobs

As some of you my blog readers have known, I am working two jobs at the moment. The first job (which gives me a full-time 40 hours a week) is as a Deli clerk in Sparta, an American grocery where I work for five days a week.

And the second job is a part-time 10 hours one as a Sandwich maker in Pinara, an American franchise of sandwich eatery, where I work for the remaining two days.

So, I'm working 5+2 days a week (for a total of 50 paid hours)...This leaves me with no holidays at all!

Hahaha, that doesn't matter much though. I don't need holidays.

In Indonesia I needed those holidays every once in a while, because holidays there could be well-spent by visiting relatives or hanging out with a bunch of friends in the mall.

In America, I no longer need such holidays. I need the money more, which is why I am being 'harsh' now by not even allowing myself to make any room for holidays.

Both are located within 40 minutes of walk from my homestay residence, and usually I either walk to my work places, or I ride a bike.

Now here's the fun part.

My regular shift schedule goes like this:

  • Sunday : 15.00-23.00 in Sparta
  • Monday : 16.00-23.30 in Pinara
  • Tuesday : 15.00-23.00 in Sparta
  • Wednesday : 15.00-23.00 in Sparta
  • Thursday : 15.00-23.00 in Sparta
  • Friday : 11.00-14.00 in Pinara
  • Saturday : 15.00-23.00 in Pinara
That may seem like a bad deal for some people to see me coming home late at 23.00 everyday (except Friday), but I actually kinda like it.

Yes, it usually gets really windy and chilly outside at those hours, but at least it gives me the luxury of staying up late everyday.

Because I hate going to bed so early in the night. Haha.


My work places: Sparta and Pinara

Currently I'm working in a supermarket as a deli clerk and a sandwich eatery as a sandwich maker.

In America, blogging about your office or work life, especially if you happen to bitch a lot about your coworkers, your boss, or your company; could land you either in a discharge (read: getting fired) or a lawsuit.

Now, I want to feel free to blog about my life in both places without sacrificing my own jobs.

Hence, I have chosen to call my supermarket (which I've never named here anyway) with the pseudonym of Sparta and my sandwich eatery with the new name of Pinara.

If I happen to mention my mates, they will be given their own false names.

Both names are adapted from ancient Greek city-states. Don't bother looking for the correlation between those city-states and the companies in real life, because they were just haphazard picks.



Out of my total salary (which is paid every Thursday), 24% goes into the state taxes, federal taxes, and several other deductions made by US of A.

Such a high tax for a country with a poor health care system, eh...


Move to deli

I originally applied for the Delicatessen department, before I realise that I would rather be handling breads, cakes, and cookies.

I thought that "Deli" and "Bakery" were synonymous.

But they're not.

So during my first four days of work, I asked my manager to be transferred to the Bakery, which is not troublesome, considering that Bakery is actually a part of the Deli department as a whole.

Then I saw that being on the bakery had a couple of disadvantages:

  1. I have to deal with both extremities of the temperatures in a consequent manner, meaning that straightaway after dealing with 150 degrees Celcius on baking doughs in the humongous oven, I have to take new frozen doughs from the freezer (which goes around minus five to five degrees Celcius). That is definitely not a good condition for my sinusitis.
  2. In the bakery, the only available shift is the morning shift, because the bakery people have to finish baking the breads by 6.00! Which means that my shift starts at 5.00. What an awfully early schedule.
Since it is an eight-hour shift, 40-hour workweek, I am obliged to wake up at 4.00 in the morning for five days a week... And I could not stand it.

My first day started out fine, since it was an 8.00 shift, but my second shift onwards start at 5.00.

Considering that my bike ride from home to the supermarket takes around 20 to 25 minutes, that means that I have to leave home latest by 4.35 in order to reach my work place on time.

And just like in Indonesia, the summer mornings in Kentucky are execrably freezing, I tell you. I got sinus for the entire day, which may not prove to be good, considering that I am in charge of handling processed foods.

So that's it, I asked my manager (who happens to be in charge of both the Deli and the Bakery)...can I move to a later shift?

Fortunately, she said yes.

So for the Deli, my shift starts at 15.00 and ends 23.00 everyday, with holidays every Monday and Friday.

I know it's kinda late to ride a bike home at 23.00, but what the heck. At least I don't have morning sinus any longer.


Being in a female-majority world

I wonder what kind of gift (or curse) God is bequeathing upon me...seems that everyday I go, I am more entrusted to live in a female-majority world.

Whether it was on my French class, at my neighbourhood, or in my workplace.

Even in the Deli department I'm working now, everybody is woman except me and another guy.

Well, there used to be one other gentleman working here, but he just got fired, so that leaves me here alone with him as the only hunks around.

But oh well, since all the women working here are married housewives aged 30 or older, you can expect that I'm not as delighted as you think I am.



on Food-dumping

I used to think that food-dumping (the removal of food products considered beyond the expiry date) by bakeries, restaurants, or the likes to be appalling; considering that many people in the Third-World countries are still dying of hunger every single day.

But nah, apparently that's a strict standard.

We have to dispose of those food products if they have gone beyond the selling date.

And that is a sad thing, considering that I work for the Deli-Bakery department. I see doughnuts, French breads, and baguettes which are only good for a day...and they all have to go into the dustbin on the next day.

Sounds sad to put those food to a waste, but yes, that's a protocol I have to adhere to.

What a strict world we are living in. I'd still rather donate those food to the charity.

(In case anyone is worried about the health safety of those products, I can tell that food products are still on an edible condition even for a day after the original expiry date. So if your cheese has an expiry date of 25 December, you can actually eat it until 26 December. Don't worry, it's not rotten yet, unless it is kept in an inappropriate temperature)


DVD-devouring days

My pastimes are mostly spent watching DVDs here, since the family has rented and bought some new DVDs, Eagle Eye and State of Play being two of them.

Eagle Eye is one I would very much like to recommend. A gripping movie with an excelent storyline.


Indo-lyric: Dewi (Alexa)

English translation:


I've planted my heart, and grown with you
it won't be plucked till the last of my breath
listen... did you hear
as long as the world keeps spinning, you're still mine

Goddess.. open both of your eyes
take a look at this space in my heart
Goddess.. devote your breaths for me
so that I could inhale it with you
with you... continually with you

listen... did you hear
as long as the world keeps spinning, you're still mine

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Kutanamkan hatiku, tumbuh bersamamu
Takkan kupetik hingga akhir masa hidupku
Dengarlah.. kau dengar
Selama bumi berputar, ku tetap milikmu

Dewi.. bukalah kedua matamu
Pandanglah ruang di hatiku
Dewi.. berikan nafasmu untukku
Agar kuhirup bersamamu
bersamamu… terus bersamamu

Dengarlah, kau dengar
Selama bumi berputar, ku tetap milikmu


A new leaf and inching to the close of summer

So the northern hemisphere is inching to the end of summer, and here I am, anxiously waiting for autumn that is widely known to be the start of my long, cold days.

And it's lonelier without you guys here.

I already have a job now, working in some food department in a supermarket just 20 minutes of bike ride away from my home (or 45 minutes of walk or 4 minutes of car ride).

It does not pay very well, but what the hell. Just anything to get me started...paid by the hours, I can even get a raise after 1000 hours of labour.

Working a full-time 40 hours a week, it means I have to strive for another 25 weeks before I get that raise.

25 long, arduous weeks. Without you guys.


American collations

I haven't uploaded any of the snacks collection I have here.

Yes, you see Americans eating their snacks on TV, and some of them even exists in your own supermarkets...but are they really of the same brands?

Hence for today, I took a picture of some of them.

Well, I purchased them all at the Meijer's supermarket this afternoon.. So they really are still virgins by now.

Oops... I forgot to put an alert for those of you who are fasting!



Ah anyway, I think it would be too late for you to close this blog by go on...scroll on...

Snickers. My second wife. (The first is still Kinder Bueno)

Despite the fact that Oreo's mother company, Nabisco, originates in Indonesia, I can safely say that uhm....these two "special editions" don't exist in Indonesia.

As a matter of fact, Indonesians don't even care to produce their own Lebaran or Christmas or Nyepi "special editions" of Oreo.

Which is a sad fact, really.

This is not a chocolate-based product (though I've seen on its main website that they also have some peanut butter cups with chocolate on its ingredients).

Hence, I can safely say that Reese's is not my wife. I only marry chocolates.

She can still become my mistress though.

Seen this giant on the Cereals section, definitely an emulation of Koko Krunch (just like the way Milo does it in Indonesia). Haven't tried it, yet planning to have some munches tomorrow morning.

So...your stomach's grumbling now?

My apologies; but you are the one who continued reading till the bottom, aren't you?


Conglaturations [sic]

AGhostbuster oldies-game capture I took from 11 Points. Pay attention to the L-R confusion.

Another picture I found to be relevantly...irrelevant. Or is it irrelevantly relevant?

But anyway, it's the first picture ever uploaded onto the internet.

And I also happened to chance upon the first ever search engine, which can only generate searches from Polish websites. Ironically, it was in English and was created by a Canadian, who has no relations whatsoever with Poland.


Indo-lyric: Bukannya aku takut (Juliette)

English translation:

It's not that I'm afraid

I just don't care
if I really love you so much
I just don't care

I am like this
if I really love you so much
I just don't care
whatever I want you'll give

It's not that I'm afraid that I will lose you
but I'm afraid to lose your love
perhaps that time you're playing me around
as if you could repay my love

You won't understand
what I've been feeling all this time
I just don't care
if only you'll give I want

Original lyric in Indonesian:

ku tak peduli
bila ku benar-benar cinta mati
ku tak peduli

ku memang begini
bila ku benar-benar cinta mati
ku tak peduli
apa saja yang ku inginkan kamu rela

bukannya aku takut akan kehilangan dirimu
tapi aku takut kehilangan cintamu
mungkin saja saat itu kau mempermainkan aku
seakan kau bisa membalas cintaku

kau takkan mengerti
yang selama ini aku rasakan, pasti
kau tak peduli
bila saja yang ku inginkan kamu rela


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