February / Emily
Name - Emily McCardel
Age - 24
Lives in - Lexington, KY
Alma mater - Asbury University
Majored in - English
Graduated - 2014
Drinks her coffee - Black, iced
Last read - The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Works at - Starbucks as Shift Supervisor
SIB: What are your basic job duties?
EM: I manage the baristas while they’re on the floor. I am in control of barista deployment, task management, cash control…and making sure that everyone is doing their job.
SIB: What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
EM: Currently my biggest challenge is working with my team of peers. I’ve always been used to working with a bunch of people who agree with my opinion, because frankly I think I got my opinions from them. So when I have an idea, a lot of people oppose my idea and then I have to fight for it. Even if I do win, a couple weeks later they’ll try to go back and do it the old way. So I get along really well with all my baristas right now but like I only get along with one or two of my peers. So that’s kind of my biggest challenge right now is trying to communicate. I have to be like, “You’re my peer; let’s work this out.”
SIB: What is the most effective way to manage a difficult partner?
EM: What I usually do is just approach them very straightforwardly. It was hard for me at first because when I became a shift, the people that I had the most problems with had been working at Starbucks for years longer than I had, so me saying, “this is what you need to do, or this is the problem that I have,” was kind of awkward because they felt like they knew how to do the job better than I did. So, it sounds cheesy, but I always ask them, “what can I do to help you stay focused on this task?” And sometimes there’s nothing that I can do, but when they acknowledge [the situation] it’s better.
SIB: Some women feel the pressure to have it all. What does "having it all" mean to you?
EM: I feel like there’s an expectation for women to have a good job...but at the same time there’s an expectation for them to have a husband and to have children. There’s a lot of pressure on us to do everything and be everything, and if we’re single then we’re somehow sad and lonely. And if our job’s not that good, it’s not like “oh, it’s okay, she’s got a lot going on in her life, and she’s working,” it’s kind of like “oh, she’s doing something stupid with her life.” I take my jobs very seriously. I’m not just going to be there for the eight hours and then leave. I want to do it really well. So I think if you have that mindset, maybe any job could seem like a real job.
SIB: How has the role of friendships and relationships changed in your life since college?
EM: I have never had that many friends, but I always had like two or three friends that I was pretty close to. I have fallen in and out of contact with people pretty easily, which is just the way it’s always been for me. I really love the people at my old store, so I’m going out of my way to make sure that I will text and say, “Do you want to hang out this week?” If I go to work, I feel like I’ve been social, but I won’t necessarily feel fulfilled. So, if I only work with people that I’m not [close] with, I’ll feel like I should talk to someone. But since I have Shawn (Emily’s boyfriend of almost three years), he basically meets the friend need, cause I talk to him every day.
SIB: What are some of your favorite ways to stay connected with your friends/boyfriend?
EM: I’m honestly such a boring person. Like if I’m hanging out with someone, I don’t even really have to do anything. Like, ride in the car, go get something to eat. When I hang out with my friend Laura we go to the [Lexington] Arboretum and walk around. And we just talk about stuff. So my favorite way to stay connected is to make sure that I talk to people regularly and know what’s going on in their [lives]. And with Shawn that’s pretty easy, because I talk to him all the time.
SIB: How do you maintain a close relationship with your boyfriend when you have opposite schedules? (Shawn is also a Starbucks Shift Supervisor.) Does working for the same company present challenges?
EM: I think that having an opposite schedule is okay sometimes. Sometimes we have days off together. Yes, we work at the same place - different stores, but the same company - but we approach it in such a different way that it’s almost like a different job. Whenever he tells me his problems or issues or thoughts, there are things that have never occurred to me that I’ve never had to deal with. And whenever I have an issue, it’s the same for him. So I feel like it’s easy for us to help each other in that way, cause both of us have different strengths. So it balances out pretty well.
SIB: You are an introvert, and you deal with people all day. How do you make sure that you recharge?
EM: Whenever I come home I don’t have a special thing that I do, but I have to be alone. And I’ll just sit down, look at my phone for a little bit, figure out what I want to do for the rest of the day. [While} I’m at work, it’s kind of hard [to recharge]. But I get a thirty minute break and I’ll always go somewhere by myself. And sometimes I’ll put in my headphones. It’s important to take all my breaks…we get two ten minute breaks that are not necessarily mandatory, and if I feel like I’m behind it feels like I’ll save so much time by [skipping them]. But then I just feel really terrible, so it’s much better to sit down for ten minutes, think about what I want to do, then get back up.
SIB: Do you use your look as an expression of yourself, or purely for fun?
EM: I have to wear mostly the same thing every day for my job, so I try to be creative with what I can. I think I have a unique style…it’s like, “oh this looks fun, I’ll wear it.” I have all these clothes [that are] kind of eclectic.
SIB: What prompted you to take the plunge with a pixie cut?
EM: I was thinking about it for a very long time. I [knew someone] who was like, “your hair is so beautiful!” She didn’t tell me it was my number one asset but it was kind of implied. I wasn’t pressured not to cut it, but I was like maybe my number one asset is my hair. Then [that person left my life]...and I was like, I’ve been wanting to do this for so long. A lady that I worked with cut hair, so she was the one who cut my hair off.
SIB: Would you describe yourself as an insecure person?
EM: Yes and no. I think that I’m very secure in my opinions and what I think is right and what I think is wrong and what I think is smart and what I think is stupid. Physically, though, I’m probably insecure.
SIB: What do you love about yourself?
EM: I like my sense of humor. Everyone likes their sense of humor, I think. But I think mine is smart. Even if no one else thinks it’s funny, I’ll be like, “they’re wrong.” *laughs*
SIB: How do you build yourself up when you feel down?
EM: A year ago I was feeling pretty bad, and a wrote a list of all my strengths and goals, just small ones, not a five year plan or anything and it really helped me feel good. Cause I thought, “okay, I have all this stuff that I can do, I have all this stuff that I’m good at.” And that helps me, and obviously also talking to Shawn.
SIB: What would you say to someone who believed she wasn’t good enough?
EM: I refuse to understand that sentiment. I can relate to it, but...I just refuse to go along with that. I can point out to people what they’re good at. But in my experience that doesn’t really help them in the moment. Because people don’t want to hear what they’re good at when they’re depressed. So I use whatever observation skills that I have and knowledge of the person that I’m dealing with and be like what do they need right now? I like to [tell people], “Well, this is why I love you. You’re good enough for me.”
SIB: What makes you feel the most rewarded/fulfilled in your life?
EM: I feel fulfilled whenever I’m home and I don’t have to go to work that day, or I’m already done working, and I’ve paid my bills, and I’m just chilling with Shawn or with you or with the cats. That’s all I need. I’m very easy to please.
SIB: What does balance mean to you?
EM: I think balance is not thinking about any one of [the aspects of life] too much. For an introvert, being balanced is harder, because we are alone a lot, [and] if you’re alone and there’s like one or two things that you like to do, you end up doing those things or thinking about those things a lot. So I think that to be balanced, you have to put effort into doing [other] things that you want to do. [At least] for me. Because there’s things that I want to do that I’m either scared of or for some reason it’s hard for me to initiate them. So without doing them I would not do very much. And that’s not balanced. So I need to push through. And I like pushing through. I feel like I’m a brave person. It just takes me a second to be like “okay, this is what I want to do. Now I’m going to make myself do it.” And then once I do that, I feel good.