So I've been at my new job for two weeks now, and I must confess it is much different than most of my previous jobs. For starters, I am busy all the freaking time with no moment to catch my breath, check my phone/Twitter/email, or even visit the restroom much. Almost all of my jobs in the past decade have entailed me, sitting at a computer and reading/typing. At the bakery where I work now (I know! I know!), I'm on my feet for the entire 8 hour shift, running to and fro and doing tasks with a minimum of intellect required. That's not to say that my co-workers are stupid--far from it--just that the work itself doesn't require a huge amount of higher level thinking. It's more like "smile--take bread--put on gloves--slice bread in machine--put sliced bread in bag--hand back to customer--smile." I'm not scrutinizing a scientific study and my pay reflects that fact. That being said, I rather like my job.
My back, however, does not. I have a herniated disc in my mid-back from a cycling accident about 8 years ago. It has ached on and off, but it rarely causes me much distress. That has changed somewhat. Oh my holy, my back aches by the end of my shift. I stretch and touch my toes as much as possible, and it has gotten a little better as I've gotten used to being on my feet. Ibuprofin helps, but not all the way. Note to self: find a massage therapist.
I haven't had any hilarious customers (nor would I blog about specifics here- I like being employed, thanks), although I have fielded some oddball requests. No, I will not make you sugar cookies using your own cookie cutters, and no, I really don't think the slice and bake kind are too much work. But aside from that, no royal jerks and so all is well.
Physically, the job is pretty demanding. The ovens in the back kick out a lot of heat, as do the refridgerated cases, so I sweat heaps. The upside is that I almost never have to go to the bathroom in spite of drinking 3 bottles of water during my shift. One would think that the demands of my job would have made me unusually hungry, but it really hasn't. I don't know whether this is because my hunger sometimes doesn't strike , that I'm eating by osmosis, or that it's stinking HOT back behind the counters, but I don't really get hungry at work. I have gotten hungry after my shift, perhaps because I'm sitting and my brain has the opportunity to process those little stomach signals.
Being around food--specifically food that I would have found extremely distressing during the height of my eating disorder--hasn't really been an issue. I don't in general feel comfortable sampling the overpriced baked goods I'm selling, in part because I fear my potential nibbles adding up into pounds of weight gain, but also because I don't know how to make it work with my meal plan and I don't know how to work it out with my mom (the general rule is that if someone doesn't see me eat it, I didn't eat it). I realize that this is part of the legacy of an eating disorder, and I don't blame her for being cautious, as I've run wild with these excuse in the past. But next week we will be discussing it with TNT, so that's good.
There is a nutrition information binder for the items we sell, and I was a little shocked to realize that the desserts weren't as high-calorie as I had feared. A few caught me off guard, but most of them were easily workable into my meal plan. The irony is that I would be not overly anxious having a cupcake, say, for a snack, it's just that I worry about having a bite of a cupcake. And not just "a bite" but I fear that that one bite will turn into two and then half the cupcake and then the whole thing and then I'll be applying for jobs at Sea World. So I don't know how to account for that one bite on my intake for the day. Logically, the solution would be to tell myself that it's just one bite, but we all know that EDs aren't logical, so we may as well drop that pretense.
Overall, this job has been a good thing. I am a lot more comfortable just being around food compared to when I started, and I'm able to start contemplating incorporating bakery items into my daily intake more often (albeit only after I looked at the nutrition guide, but whatever). None of my co-workers talk about dieting and weight loss, which is a huge relief, and I really like everyone I work with. No one there has called me "Captain Cupcake," but one of the bakers calls me Pookie. The irony is that's my nickname for Aria so I keep looking around for a tabby cat whenever I'm called Pookie.
The steady income helps with my stress levels, as does the fact that I will have health insurance on June 1 and can cancel those COBRA payments. I think I can do a preliminary guess that this job will work out just fine. I keep wondering whether I should tell management they hired an ex-anorexic to work in the bakery. Oh well. At least they don't have to worry about me stealing stuff out of the case!