what happens if i only make the minimum payment on my credit card

Let’s talk about just how “unskilled” my minimum wage labor is.

At IHOP, I had to memorize a vast menu of possible breakfast combinations. Did you know the system contains more than thirty different choices for how an egg should be prepared? Then choices of pancakes or French toast, what kind of toppings, was this a custom order or was it one of our seasonal specials? Oh, yeah, the seasonal specials. Every three months, we had a four hour staff meeting to discuss the new food items that would be added to the menu. Most of us came in and spent this four hour meeting in addition to the nearly twelve hour shift we would work later that night or had already been working early that morning.

Better memorize the seasonal specials, too, or else you’ll be screwing up people’s food left and right. And screwed up food means screwed up tips, especially when it comes to breakfast. On that note, guess how similar all the dishes looked. When you work primarily in a breakfast diner with infinite combinations of specials, pre-designed plates, and custom orders, it is very easy to mistake your table’s food for someone else’s when it comes out. You definitely don’t want to make that mistake, though, since IHOP has a system where you might run another server’s food out to their table. You have to be able to see what a dish is by sight and be able to distribute it to a table whose order you did not take. Some of my coworkers who had been doing this for years could take an order completely by memorizing it at the table. When you are often expected to serve up to eight people at one table, often several tables at a time, this is a truly incredible feat.

Oh, and dishes come out hot. At my IHOP, the dress code dictated a short sleeved collared white shirt. The lack of sleeves meant that I had to balance a number of very hot dishes on my bare arms, then walk to the table and distribute them without dropping anything. If you’ve never had to successfully balance ten hot plates on your arms at a time, I suggest you pop some in the microwave right now and give walking across your living room a shot. (Might not want to try unless you have carpet or money to spare for new plates, though.)

During football season, IHOP was the only restaurant open late in my town with enough space for large parties. On these Friday and Saturday nights I worked until 5 or 6 in the morning, having started my shift at 4 or 5 that afternoon. I took orders for parties of ten, fifteen, and twenty, often at the same time, with smaller tables as well. I was expected to split checks and understand how to divide incredibly complex orders, and then take payment without losing credit cards, mixing up checks, or any other disastrous thing that can happen when you are holding fifteen forms of payment in your hands at once.

Even when the actual serving had ended, there were a number of meticulous shopkeeping duties that had to be done at the end of each shift. Sometimes that meant I’d be filling 200 tiny cups with salad dressing at four in the morning, and others it meant I’d be taking meticulous inventory in my short sleeves in the freezer, restocking from storage where necessary. Everyone had to roll silverware every night, and when you’ve been on your feet for eleven hours, you can imagine how it feels to have to roll two hundred forks and two hundred knives into two hundred napkin and put the sticky tab on each one, after you wash off all the water spots and polish the utensils.

Did I mention there’s a lot of lifting in a minimum wage service job? I’m sure that’s true in other areas as well, but even now that I’m working as a soda jerk and not a server, there’s tons of lifting heavy objects. I have to lift large boxes of supplies from the stock room in order to make sure everything is, well, stocked. I lift gallons of frozen ice cream. I carry bus trays full of solid glass dishes and half-finished drinks to the kitchen (you think this job is unskilled? You try scraping all those plates without actually touching someone’s half-eaten pancakes. It’s impossible).

Not to mention handling to-go orders without tips, people who come in with coupons that slash their order to nothing and then tip according to the adjusted total despite you delivering the same level of service, the fact that the prices were already low because it’s IHOP so tips were meager. I could complain to you for days about experiences with bad and ignorant customers that took all my control, all my people management skills, all my thickness of skin to get through, and I didn’t get paid any extra for putting up with that shit.

Remember, I only get paid the equivalent of a meal at McDonald’s for every hour of my work. I deserve better. We all do.

Some tips on doing commissions

My commissions have been closed but I kinda wanted to make a guide like this, since some people I know have struggled with commissions.

This guide is mostly for those just starting to take commissions or considering opening them for the first time.

Getting Started

  • Don’t be afraid to open commissions. The worst that can happen is you get a low turnout early on. If you have any following, though, chances are you will get commissions. It’s more common that people commission you because they like you as an artist, not just because they want art of their characters (though that still is commonplace).
  • Don’t underestimate other sites like Deviantart just because you’re used to Tumblr. Art specific websites often have a good amount of commissioners. A majority of my commissions come from DA.
  • That said, don’t use the stupid currencies that some have (like DA’s ‘points’)

Getting Paid

  • Try to rate yourself at something that you can estimate as an hourly wage, and make sure it’s not below minimum (unless you seriously don’t think you’re worth even minimum wage (which you probably are at least, you’re just being too hard on yourself)). If on average doing portraits takes you an hour each, and you feel your art is worth $20 an hour, then charge $20 for portraits.
  • On the flip side, when estimating how long a piece takes you, actually and holistically measure how long you take. If an art piece takes you 6 hours to complete but 5 were spent browsing tumblr or eating, then the piece took you 1 hour. Don’t say it took 6.
  • Don’t be afraid to up your prices if you’re noticing improvements to your art or if works are taking you longer. Speaking like a economist, if demand is high it’s also safe to up your prices. Whether you do is up to you.
  • Make sure you have a legible commission sheet. Try not to make it too complicated.
  • If you’re using paypal, you can use invoices to have the art paid for. This can help cover your butt if someone tries to dispute a charge by setting return policies and such. It also means that users don’t need Paypal themselves to pay, and can use credit cards.
  • Decide how you want to be paid: NEVER give a completed artwork out before verifying you’ve received payments. Some people will take full payment up front, some half at the start and half when completed, others only once the full piece is done. Personally I send out an invoice right away but tell the commissioner they’re free to pay it at any time, though they won’t get the art til they pay.

Staying Consistent

  • Quality is generally proportional to what people are willing to pay. Speed is generally proportional to how many people will pay. These two factors will become your focus with freelance.
  • Follow through. Don’t be that artist who procrastinates or forgets about commissions. If it’s not going to get done, refund.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Doing too many commissions or too big of commissions is a surefire way to get overwhelmed. If you need to close commissions, do so, but make sure that you either finish up what you’ve accepted or you refund the commissioners first.
  • Don’t accept commissions that you really don’t feel comfortable doing. You’re the artist, you’re free to take on what work you want.
  • Work on getting commissions done quickly. Set deadlines for yourself. I try to start and finish mine within hours of getting paid, unless they’re going to take me a few days.
  • Communicate with the commissioner. Try to understand what they want and don’t be afraid to share WIPs or ask questions.
  • Set agreements as well. Personally I give mention well in advance that I’ll make 2-4 moderate modifications to a completed piece, depending on complexity, to correct anything that seems amiss. Beyond that the commission is considered complete. I also try to see if there are any specific points where the commissioner wants a WIP before I proceed.
  • Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to go above and beyond if it’s not too much trouble, such as doing slightly more shading or color or effect work than originally planned for. This is optional and you shouldn’t bend over backwards for it, but a bit extra always reflects well on you.
  • Avoid sketchy or shifty commissioners. If someone is behaving weirdly about a commission, don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Do your research if someone seems suspicious.
  • Remember: art is a skill. Not everyone has that skill. That is why you can be paid for it. Don’t ever feel bad or let anyone make you feel bad for taking commissions.
Fic: Spoil Me, Not

A Chris Evans one-shot

Summary: Natalia is furious when she finds out Chris paid off one of her credit cards. Chris doesn’t understand why she won’t let him help her when he has the money to. She gives him an earful.

A/N: Apparently, all I can write lately is Chris & Nat fighting because we had Baggage, now we have this one, and coming up next is the explosive follow up to Overprotective 101 followed by another one-shot that involves an arguing Chris & Natalia. I need to write some fucking fluff once these are all done! Jesus! Anyway, thanks for reading!! I appreciate it and hope it came out alright. xx

@pleasecallmecaptain, @misshyen, @mrs-captain-evans. If you would like to be added to the taglist, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

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Last payment posted: $6,093.35
Current balance due: $0.00

Natalia blinked, utterly dumbfounded. She sat up straighter on the chair, then leaned forward until her eyes threatened to go cross eyed from being nose to nose with the computer screen.

That can’t be right…

Last month, she had only made the minimum payment of $75, knocking the balance owed down to a still whopping $6,085.22. With the ridiculous interest rate Chase had her locked into, the balance should have been $6,093.35, with a minimum payment due of approximately $75; the same amount she had been processing each month for the past several years.

Shit! Had she entered the wrong payment amount last time? Slightly panicked, she clicked on one of the tabs pulled up on the screen and quickly scanned the deductions over the past month on her checking account.

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