Travelogue Pt. 18

The Travelogue series recounts a seventeen-day-long cross-country road trip I took at age 21 with two college friends. We started in Charlotte, NC, and ended up two weeks and 8,000 miles later in Los Angeles, CA. The following is taken verbatim from a handwritten journal I laboriously kept on the trip. Names have been changed, but the rest is absolute, 100%, unedited truth.


Jul 13

Wow I can’t believe I haven’t written in this long. So much has happened.

Got a job after 3 rounds of interviews, a morning spent filling out paperwork, and a day of watching orientation videos and reading the manual. Went to 2 out of 5 days of training and was actually kind of enjoying it. Morgan and Christina were training me. Morgan – older Mexican lady. Christina – older white lady. They were kind and I was starting to get the hang of it.

But… while I was waiting 47yrs for my actual training to start, Jessica got a job at Shelby’s and kept telling me all kinds of stories about it, so I went in and got trained there and actually worked. 2 shifts before the other training ever even started.

So I quit the first job after 2 training days because I couldn’t do both and Shelby’s is so much better – hours, pay, flexibility. Quitting was traumatic. I just felt so bad I think because I knew they were going to think poorly of me. But I’ve never quit a job. I didn’t even know how. Called Mom and talked it out with her. Won her over to my side. Wrote down what I needed to say, while crying mind you, and called Dylan, the scary GM who had conducted my last interview, about 1.5hrs before my 3rd day. He was short and abrupt but then that was over and I went to the beach because that’s what we came her for.

Jessica was having a beach date with Benjamin, the neighbor.

Shelby’s is strange. It’s run by Shelby, a scary Vietnamese woman, very petite, her 17yr old son Brian who is high 4/5 of the time, and her friend Mary who doesn’t speak a lick of English but does all of the prep. We get paid in cash, so no taxes. Nothing about it is up to code. It’s actually kind of stressful, spesh when it’s busy, but I really like them otherwise.

Shelby and Brian spend a lot of time yelling at each other in front of customers, so that’s pretty uncomfortable. And Shelby’s super critical. But when things slow down it’s a lot better, and we essentially get to make up our schedule as we go, which is nice.

Weekends here are hard because that’s not really my jam but it gets brought back to the apt a lot. Sarah is great, which I knew, but we’re getting along better. I love Steven. He’s absolutely hilarious, spesh when he’s drunk but even when he’s not. And I think he likes me. Tiffany I’m not so sure about. She’s more psycho. Very kind but we just don’t click on any level. There are so many drugs and so much alcohol. Everyone in this apt. And all their friends. And yet somehow they’re still super successful people.

I like it here. Part of me is bummed we leave in a month because we haven’t even had a chance to settle in to a routine yet, and there’s still so many things I want to do here. But the other part of me thinks I’ll be ready. It’s just a little too crazy here for me.

Got to see Heather and Christian and their place. Very, very small apt but nice. They were SO KIND. Gossiped with Heather for literally hours while Christian was recording a voiceover reel. They treated me to lunch and Porto’s. Took me to see the Hollywood sign at sunset. Let me crash there for the night. It was great. But they left Jun. 30 – Aug. 2. So I won’t see much of them. Have a key to their apt though!

Have been making (?) myself go to the beach for an hour a day because that’s why we’re here. Venice is so sketchy and we basically live right at the pier so you have to be careful at night.

Went on a vacay with Jessica’s family (Jess, Sarah, Mom, and Aunt Kimberly). Was very fun but I’m still a little intimidated by the mom. Went horseback riding eek. Didn’t love it. Ate a lot of good food though. Sarah got tonsillitis which put a damper on things. But fun all around.

Mom’s going to visit me at the end of the month!


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