Saturday, September 26, 2015

All I Wanted Was An Oil Change

Below you'll find a complaint I sent to Pep Boy's customer service which eventually ended with a phone call from the location asking me what I wanted as far as compensation and a month later, a free oil change.

Complain if you feel like your time is being wasted - it won't kill you... just get you a free oil change.

Pep Boys Clermont
1437 Sunrise Plaza Dr
Clermont, FL 34714
(352) 536-1177



To all whom oversee the location stated above and to all whom believe customer service is at the forefront of in-person services, I write this to you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Quit Your Retail Job, The Pay Sucks Anyway

Retail sucks.

Yeah, I've been there and I'm sure you've heard those two words next to each other plenty of times before. You may actually work in retail yourself so I might actually be pissing you off a little bit inside because
you're the one 
having to endure 
the hell that is retail. 

But don't worry. It's all going to be over soon. Just kidding it might not be,but have you ever stopped and asked yourself why it is that you are having to actually work a job that you otherwise wouldn't? If you think I'm about to delve into the spectrum of "stay in school" and "follow the rules and you'll make it to the top", that's not at all what this post is about. Actually, it's about the complete opposite. Okay actually the stay in school part will actually benefit you, but the others won't.

Here's the deal.

School is important for two types of people in this world:

  1. Those who wish to obtain an education in hopes that one day a fancy printed design on a paper will make them a lot of money.
  2. Those who believe an education is important and see the value of an education much higher than the power of the dollar.

People who follow the rules get one of two outcomes in their lives:

  1. They follow the rules so well that they expect a perfect life in which everything will always go as planned and in which people that choose to not follow the rules will never live a good, comfortable life.
  2. They realize that in the end, if they would have taken a risk somewhere down the path of their life, they could have done things much more differently. This doesn't necessarily have to be in a negative point of view.
So what the heck are you trying to get at, Juan?

Stop being afraid of taking risks in your life. Now, I'm not the biggest risk taker in the world, but over the past 4 years I've taken very random and often dumb risks that have actually shaped my life for the better. 
I woke up one morning
and decided that 
I hated my retail job.

So, what did I do? I went into work and at about the five hour mark I got on the computer and typed up, what I will proclaim, as the most badass one day notice ever written. Keep in mind that I am the type of person to follow policies and procedures to the T and I'm not generally a superior you'd want to work for... but that all changed when I wrote that notice.

I'll be honest, I'm money hungry, but I had had enough of retail hell.

In 2011, when I was first able to start working, I started at a modest retail hourly rate of $8.20, got fired and then worked a couple of months after at my next retail location starting at $7.85. Within 3 years I was making $30k in a new management role, the next year after that I was bringing in $45k. That $45k that I was making at 22 years old was coming from that lousy, unorganized retail position that I ended up leaving in the most unexpected way.

"Why are you stating how much you make, it just sounds like you're trying to show off..."

I'm showing you what I was making to place the emphasis on the hurdle of money. Money, while it can give you almost everything in the world, will eventually make you work for it instead of it working for you. Money sucks. Money lies. Money cheats. Money gets the best of you and money acts like your friend. Your life does not revolve around money, it revolves around your will and endurance and the perseverance you have to life your life the way you want to. Drop out, start a band, run away. Do it all because you want to, not because money tells you to.

So, screw money in my situation right? It's not like I had just moved out to an apartment, was paying off a car along with other bills, and finally living on my own like a big boy... except I was. That's where the "leap" I mentioned before comes into play.

I quit a job I was making pretty decent money in and pretty much had to say goodbye to the life I had just embarked on. I was jobless for a good month. I broke my lease, said goodbye to the semi adult life, and moved back in with my parents.
if you're going to work 
feeling sorry for yourself, 
you aren't really working, 
you're struggling to work.

That's what I was doing: struggling. Not struggling as in I don't have food to eat or money to drink (I'm leaving that typo there because I meant to say water, but instead said money and it just plays so well into the point I'm trying to get across), but struggling to realize that I was letting money control my life. I was letting money play the role of parents when my parents were doing everything they could to give me a better, more fulfilling life.

The fact that I quit that job the way I did tore me apart. I was thinking, "This isn't like you, but this job is making you miserable." It turns out because I quit my job I was able to take an internship in what I really wanted to do with my life: code. Three months later I am making more money that I ever dreamed I'd make at the age of 23, but that will be another post for another day because I got to that figure by doing some key things that others are afraid to do.

Don't struggle to realize that you could be doing bigger and better things just because the money is not there.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why You'll Never Land Your Dream Job

There's not enough time in the day to do everything you want to.

We've all used that excuse before. It's a bold excuse and it's the same excuse that keeps you from waking up extra early to go work out or get some chores done around your home. So, why do we give in to the notion that work, family,  or school is holding us back from our "picture" of reality?

Because we are not having enough fun.

You're definition of fun compared to everyone else will undoubtedly be different, but at the end of the day it all comes down to our very own quality of life. Working that dreadful job of yours isn't making anything better, but at the same time you're probably not in a good spot to just quit that job and become a distinguished rapper, a notorious artist, or go find the cure for cancer. Success doesn't come in one day. The betterment of your well being from an emotional state, can. So, let's take a look at why you actually can and should quit your job. Because, come on, you know you want to.

1. You're too bright for your position

Ever feel as though the people you work with and the environment that you're in seem pretty dull or uninteresting to you?

It could simply be because you're just too damn smart for what your job requires of you. Seriously. The next time you go into work try changing things up a bit by examining the way others work and what you do differently just to realize that your level of thinking is beyond the nature of your job requirements.

2. You feel too comfortable where you are

If there's one thing that will hold you back it's the fact that you've been at your job so long that you are simply okay with working an unfullfilling job with mediocre pay.

If you want success, go get it. Don't wait around for "the right connections " or the right people to come into your life.

Do something you've always wanted to do, take a leap of faith and delve into your own passions for once.

3. You don't have the money

If your dream job means moving to another city or country just to fulfill your dreams, why can't you accomplish them where you are now? Money? No way.

See, money is an object and it will either ruin you or you will ruin it. Take a step back and analyze your options and the path that leads to your dream job. Find the quickest most beneficial route for you and if it means giving up your savings once, why not?

Money comes and goes,  but your happiness shouldn't.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Rich Are Smart; The Poor Are Dumb

It's not an easy topic to discuss, but it's one that not many people stop to think about simply because of the fact that we all live our lives in the ways that we wish to and see ourselves on this pedestal of independence. We either accept the less fortunate or leave them to die; find a way to own the latest cars or spread our wealth among our neighbors.Harshly, we choose to put labels on each other to define not only our intelligence, but the amount of invisible or physical money that we currently possess. In this case, we will use the words "smart" and "dumb", and "rich" and "poor". We will also find that we can easily replace those two words with words that actually define the labels properly for what they truly are. Because, in the end, whether your smart or you're dumb, it's not your fault... to an extent.

Whenever humanity tackles the topic of poverty there's always a fine line being drawn between what it means to be "poor" or "impoverished". Now, while this particular post aims to tackle and highlight why the rich are smart and the poor are dumb, we must also realize, as a species, that we create these socioeconomic and spatial imbalances that lead to, what will be called, "the tipping of the scales." We as a species define the differences between smart and dumb, but it's not to say that we actually use the words themselves correctly. If anything, the word "smart" could be replaced with the word "privileged" and the word "dumb", replaced with "misfortuned". Why? Well, it all begins with how we separate the state of being smart or the state of being dumb.

To be smart in the general public eye is to obtain straight A's throughout your education, to know almost anything and everything within your own close group of friends or family, or to even hold a paper labeled as a "degree". All of these things can pertain to someone who is smart. In reality, one could argue that someone who has achieved very high standards throughout their time in school simply completed all of their work on time and studied heavily to obtain such grades. This then turns into a matter of being self-driven, self-motivated, and focused. This can also be looked at even deeper to the point where one could analyze the amount of free time the particular student had to complete such study and work and whether their own environment played any important part in it. 

So, the questions are raised: 
  1. Is the individual in a quiet setting free of any economic, familial struggle that would cause he or she to have to work(for income purposes) after their school time thereby limiting their ability and time to focus on their school work? 
  2. Does the individual live in a rural or urban area limiting noise levels, heightening focus? 
  3. Is the individual highly social or anti-social? 
The environment of any one individual can change the way their life is shaped in the future.

A research project stemming from the Equality of Educational Opportunity Study completed in 1966 done by various psychologists has shown that "the effect of environment on the IQ of young children can be significant, particularly for children living in poverty. As the influence of poverty decreases, the importance of environmental conditions as a limiting factor on intelligence also decreases. By addressing the environmental issues created by poverty, it may be possible to weaken the link between low socioeconomic status and poor student performance on IQ (and other) tests."

Being "smart" now becomes "privileged". Why? The term "privileged" is used to describe something or someone as having special rights, immunities, or advantages. If you do not believe a student of wealthy parents that is fortunate enough to be able to attend a private school where the education level supersedes any traditional vocational school has an advantage at obtain a better education which can lead him to be labeled as "smart" then you are among the few.

When we begin to actually look at what makes a person smart in our current society it also begins to almost disassemble and turn into an argument of whether or not they "know" things and how it is that they know them. And that's exactly how our own definition of the word smart works to an extent.

The actual definition of smart when looked at as an adjective is:
having or showing a quick-witted intelligence
This is the usual understanding of the word in today's society simply because we take someone to be smart if they have current knowledge about one or many things at any given point in time.

When looked at as an adjective in a different form it, oddly enough, now becomes a word that has to do with your personal appearance which can be argued as having to do with how much wealth one has:
(of a person) clean, neat, and well-dressed.
This begins to link back to the idea that the rich are smart, at least perceptually.

A study from the University of Notre Dame has shown that "people of high socioeconomic status are, on average, rated as more physically attractive than people of lower status." It may sound like a strange connection to make, and it may actually sound like a very superficial point, but how often to do you see someone that looks seemingly unattractive and say, "That person looks smart"? This is because we associate the notion of resembling a "high-class look" to being able to be smart. We immediately make the connection in our heads that because someone, for example, a homeless person that is wearing dirty clothes and has an unpleasant smell, looks poor they may not have had the chance to have a fulfilling education that would lead them to be smart. That is where humanity uses guilt by association to wrongly judge others because there are indeed those that we label as poor to be even smarter than 93% of the population in the U.S. alone. 

Take Maurice Johnson for example. A homeless man with two Master's Degrees.

We cannot choose to link physical appearance or "quick witted intelligence" as being smart because that is simply not the case. We need to stop assuming and start learning. We need to realize that there are those of us out there that are not given the chance to go to a good school where the teachers all themselves come from a place where good education is commonplace. It's a shame that we have to actually buy an education just to get by in the world, because in all honesty if you can't buy an education you will eventually be labeled as lazy, poor, and, yes, dumb. Sadly, it is proven by studies such as the ones I mentioned above that overall wealth does usually equal intelligence.

Do you believe yourself to be privileged? Or does smart still sound like the correct term for you? Leave a comment explaining why.

Your Instagram Following Doesn't Care About You

They will only care about you when you post something sad, show the world something they have never seen before (which is rare), or rant about a currently trending topic. Even then, they have the slightest care about you. So, why are we so obsessed with Instagram and the people that "follow" us? What is it that drives us to post more and more pictures to the world? It may sound like common sense and then again it may not, but something called an "ego" mixed with this highly unlikely, unrealistic idea that you will one day be seen by everyone and be known by the masses is driving you to post images: it's driving you to do what you do best the first thing you wake up - grab your phone and dive into instagram to see what else everyone has decided to share from their lives.
Random group of obnoxiously annoying guys
that use Instagram to show off their new cars.

Is this wrong? No. No one in the world has a book that you can open up to a chapter titled, "What You Should and Shouldn't Do." But is it really that important for you to want to have a following of people that will endlessly scroll through dozens of images a day "liking" one or two or three they feel is "cool"? Is letting the world know about that new car you just got or the restaurant you've decided to go out to tonight really all that important?

Let's take a step back and see why this so called "ego" is making you believe your instagram followers give a single care about you or your dog.

An ego is defined as:

The “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.

The act of posting material things. The act of posting selfie. The act of bragging about how much you lift, how skinny you look, how much money you have: it's all things you know to be true, but why expose it? Because we need a sense of belonging. We need a sense of separation through our own identity and ownership, but am acceptance that what we hold true to ourselves and that what we use to define ourselves is "okay" or "right" in the eyes of others.

The example of Instagram is used just as a simple example of how likes and comments fulfill our want or sometimes even need for social and anti-social drive.

Instagram displays and almost conveys an eerily invisible group of friends full of false hope.Your Instagram friends won't be there for your funeral.

We all try to be independent, but yet we all crave attention. Interesting huh?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 3 Signs You Are An Annoying Tourist

Working at a place like Disney World or Universal Studios may sound like a heck of a good time. What sounds like an even better time is actually visiting the theme parks; whether you are a local or come from the depths of some strangely spelled country, odds are you will have either a mediocre or satisfyingly great time. We aren't going to focus on the good side of that trip to Disney World though. Instead, we are going to point out that one person that made your trip that much more a regret rather than the best decision of your life.

Here are the top 3 signs that will assure you you've found an annoying tourist or you yourself are one:

3.Walking pace is similar to that of a crawling child
Come on now. We aren't all pushing around a stroller with our kids crying about how much they want to ice cream or go home because their feet hurt. People visit theme parks for all sorts of reasons and one of those reasons does not include having to dodge and surpass slow-walking human beings. At least stick to the sides of the walk way or, better yet, do us all a favor and increase your speed by at least 1 more mile per hour. 

Let's do the math here:
Group of tourists walking slowly towards shop "X" -  
Group of tourists walking slowly towards shop "X" =
No wasted time trying to dodge or painstakingly hit a child as you try to speed past everyone
2. Stopping in the middle of a walk way
If you've ever almost accidentally sexually molested someone on accident from behind then you know what this one is all about. Let's play back that memory you had of that one time you thought to yourself, "Seriously, you had to stop here of all places so no one else can get by you?"
It's a seemingly nice day out so, you decide to go to the mall and buy yourself a little something cause, well, it's payday. You see the store you've been searching for insight when all of a sudden BAM. A tourist stops you right in your tracks. All you were doing was walking behind them trying to reach your destination of choice however, that annoying tourist had bigger and better plans for you. That tourist decided to suddenly halt the rest of the foot traffic coming through the mall because he or she had to tie their shoe. In the middle of everyone's path. Why?
1. Origination: Brazil
You come with your tour group flags, your song-chanting travel groups, your luggage at the mall, and you feel as though the whole world is waiting on you. I don't think this needs much of an explanation.
By the way, if the best decision of your life is to take a trip to an amusement park full of the annoying kind of tourists then sincere condolences go out to you and your loved ones.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How To Starbucks, Or How Not To

Are you truly enjoying that Starbucks coffee? Or is your smartphone fulfilling the enjoyment for you?
Sitting at a Starbucks on your laptop only makes you look like an inconsiderate hipster that is either scrolling through Tumblr or keeping up with their daily feed of worldly news, also known as Facebook. Sometimes it's more than just that, though. Sometimes you're hard at work thinking about the next best thing that you could possibly create for all of those super rich people governing and secretly planning to take over the world to buy from you so you could join in on their world takeover. Regardless, people are people and the fact of the matter is that Starbucks is genuinely a good place to sit down and place life on pause so that you can bask in the glory that is Earth.

However, there's just one little problem.That smartphone of yours. But we will delve into that a little later...