Sunday, March 2, 2008

Today I Failed

This is one of those posts that wouldn't make it into Blossoms in the Sun, but must be spoken of regardless.

Today I failed. I failed REI, and most importantly I failed myself.

While at work today, one of my customers was a guy I went to high-school with and had a PE AC class with at Fresno State. To my fellow Pate alumns, it was Ramiro. You guys remember him, right? For reference, I haven't seen him in about 10 years.

Anyways, as usual, I recognized him right off the bat. I smiled and said Ramiro! He looked at me in recognition, but couldn't quite place me. Yeah, I'm like 75lbs heavier than I was back then, but that is neither here nor there. We weren't close, so that's the real reason he couldn't place me. It's only my smile that stays in people's memories. Not bad really, I like it. Back to the story, of course, I had to tell him I'm Yvette, we went to high school together, we had English with Mr. Shirey together and possibly History, but we also had Fencing together at Fresno State.

For the record, I sucked at fencing and Ramiro was a wunderkind like Malachi (aka Chris) who was a beginner for the first semester only and ever since was kicking ass. I'm pretty sure the handle on his foil was a pistol grip too....

So I asked Ramiro what he was up to. The usual, he's married, has a son who is just over a year old, and is a software engineer. We spoke briefly about our 10 year class reunion back in 2001. I went, he didn't. He was on his honeymoon.

So here is where the massive failure occurred:

He asked about me. The first words out of my mouth- actually the only words about myself out of my mouth were: This is my second job. My real job is in Cancer Information Management, I do data collection for cancer research.

Okay, everything I said was absolutely 100% true. But did you see what I did?


With the California state budget in the position it's in, I may very well find myself unemployed at the end of this fiscal year. So, with that looming over our heads every second of our 40 hour work week, the registry isn't quite the happiest place on Earth.

For me, right now, the happiest place on Earth is at REI. I absofuckinlutely love it there. I love my co-workers, I love my bosses, I love what we sell, I love what we stand for. Most of the customers are fantastic and I enjoy chatting with them. I love that I am learning so much about new activites (ie rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking) and I have deep well of experience and knowledge to draw from for the activities I do partake in. Not to mention the shoes. THE SHOES!!!

So what happened? What did I do? At that moment I was utterly embarassed that he might think of me as "just a cashier". That being a cashier was "all that I had amounted to". Yeah, I lost my head and I freaked. Of course this was all garbage that *I* was putting into my head. He wasn't judging me. Why would he even care? And what is wrong with being a cashier at a kick-ass store like REI?

I feel like I have denied knowing my best friend, and I am ashamed :( I feel like I have just slapped all my wonderful co-workers in the face and told them that they are not good enough. I'm sorry. You are all wonderful people and I am so glad to be working with you.

A negative thought, and apprently a big insecurity that I just couldn't let myself sweep under the rug.

Love, Yvette


Anonymous said...


Stop being so hard on yourself!! You did nothing wrong! Maybe it was just an ackward moment with an old HS friend..I know I have had many of them..Sometimes it is the way a person looks or maybe one's job that makes us hesitate. I detect a little crush on this dude...Am I right?..Yes REI does rock when compared to other places to work..Allison is doing well as the outreach person.. Alot of pertinent presnstations!!...Now if they can carry X/C Skiis next season!!! So don't fret!! You are OK!!

Take Care,

John in Fresno

8675309 said...


Truly, don't beat yourself up. Have we not ALL said things on impulse that we didn't really mean, because our first reaction to someone was that we didn't want them to judge us?

You're awesome, and you will never be "just" a cashier or "just" an anything, for that matter. You are Yvette, and your REAL job is being Yvette, wherever her paycheck comes from.

Love you! (And yes, I remember Ramiro...from kindergarten! LOL....)


Anonymous said...


You are more than a cashier. Sometimes we all say or act in way We are not proud of. No one likes to be judged and It's hard to convey to someone you have not seen in forever that your life is more than just what they see you doing at that moment. You are more than just a cashier? You are a beautiful, interesting, mysterious sci fi geek . Most of all you are a great friend!