To start – this isn’t a post about being single on Valentine’s Day. This is a post about my job.
When I’m not on the internet writing about dating and sandwiches, I’m still on the internet, but I’m working as the only customer service representative for a fast-growing flower start-up. Oh yeah, I said flower start-up… have fun figuring that one out. When most people hear that I work in customer service, they either show me pity or expect me to start ranting about all the crazy things people say to me. When they hear I’m the only customer service person for my whole company, they all have the same reaction: “So… how does THAT work?”
Well, I’M A BOSS. No, that’s not really why. I don’t really know why or how it works, but somehow I manage to keep my ‘department’ from going up in flames, mainly by apologizing about 20 times a day and then giving people free flowers. I’m awesome at giving people free flowers.
You can probably imagine that working in customer service for a flower company on Valentine’s Day isn’t ideal. Particularly if you are single (ok, I went there). While I”m sure you can sort of imagine it, I want to give it some context: I’ve never liked Valentine’s Day, at least not since it went from being about eating a lot of chocolate to it being about whether or not some boy was going to give me flowers. See, I really, really liked the Valentine’s Day that involved chocolate, and so by the time it became about the flowers, I was pretty fat.
After years of life as a fat adolescent, I started to emerge from my awkward stage only to be dumped by my first boyfriend a month before Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, I went to a really small high school and I ended up spending Valentine’s Day on my senior year of high school at a party with the same ex-boyfriend. I cried. A lot.
Then there was the Valentine’s Day where the object of my affection made out with another girl in front of me at the school dance. The explanation for his behavior was possibly more insulting than watching the make out… he told my roommate he made out with the other girl to show me what he was like. When I saw him in the hallway after, he greeted me by saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day… are you upset?”
Then there were the two years in a row that I did spend Vday with my significant other. The first one involved him talking to his mom on the phone, in front of me, fighting with her about why I wasn’t worth his buying flowers/candy/dinner for. The second year involved us driving to a Jason Mraz concert while he yelled at me the whole car ride there. Both years I cried. A lot.
After all these experiences, I was pretty sure I could handle anything February 14-related… and then came my job. I will spend Valentine’s Day knowing I’m not going to receive any flowers, taking orders for flowers, calming men who are angsty about the estimated time of arrival of their flowers. I’ve never been able to decide what’s harder about my job – dealing with angry men, or taking orders for men who are head-over-heels in love. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. There’s something really strange about dealing with these sweet, sweet men who are so appreciative of my help, that brings me right back to being that fat adolescent helping all my friend’s boyfriends get them the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
Valentine’s day is 12 days away and I’m already starting to crumble. I’ve cried at work twice this week. Today I realized someone in the office ate my carrots and I briefly thought about laying on the floor in the middle of the office and throwing a temper tantrum. BUT, I cannot afford to crumble. No literally, I can’t. My net worth is somewhere around $2, and if I have a ginormous existential meltdown on the second largest flower holiday of the year, I will have to move back to Georgia very soon. So in the same way that my flower company forms a Valentine’s Day Plan of Action, I am forming my very own Tiffany-Can’t-Start-Crying-On-The-Phone-With-Customers plan of action.
Here’s what I’m using so far to keep myself sane:
#1- Diet: Along with the fact that I’m already vegan and gluten-free (I’ll get to that in a future post), I’ve devised Tuesday/Thursday diet plans, where I try a new crash diet each week. This week I ate only raw foods. Next week it’s juice. This works for me in two ways. First, I don’t go back to fat Tiffany. I really don’t want to revert to fat Tiffany through stress eating. Second, I get to control ONE aspect of the next few weeks. An additional benefit is that crash diets are kind of fun because you can spend hours wondering whether or not hummus is raw. Is it raw? Does anyone know?
#2- Alcohol: Tonight I purchased the expensive vodka AND my favorite juice. I feel pampered.
I feel like a baller. Is Skyy vodka raw? I’m gonna say yes.
#3- This picture of a chinchilla at the pet store near me:
LOOK AT HOW HE’S HOLDING THAT PIECE OF FOOD. Chinchillas have thumbs. DID YOU KNOW THAT? I made this picture my phone background so I’m calmed every time I look at my phone. I’m pretty sure the guy who sits next to me at work thinks I’m crazy because of how often I look at this picture.
#4- Planning to break my diet: On February 14, I will break all of my diets. I’ll be sitting at my desk, answering the phone, and, in between frantic calls, stuffing my face with every single type of food I love. Oh yes, I will eat lots and lots of Laut’s drunken noodles.
#5- Focusing on the good things: Sure, I have cried at work twice this week AND someone took my fucking carrots (why, why did you take my carrots, unknown coworker?!) but I’ve also had some good things happen. Today I went to the liquor store with the bright pink sign, the 1 train got to the station 30 seconds after I swiped in and I saw some little kids fighting each other with really big sticks while their moms were getting their hair done at an awesome barber shop.
I’m interested to know if any of you have any Valentine’s Day anecdotes. As Angela always says, “You have a fucked up story? I want to hear your fucked up story!” So, please, tell me your fucked up story about the most romantic day of the year. OR, possibly better, if you have a piece of advice for getting through, a job you think is more stressful, or a type of food I should eat (or diet I should try) let me know.
Also, if you know who ate my carrots… I’m taking names. If you see something, say something.
Best of luck to all who are trying to avoid cupid.