Category Archives: Work

Tis The Season

Ah, December. Winter is coming, the holidays approach, busy times for everyone, but for some of us, December is a giant month of crap. By some of us, I mean anyone who works in retail.

I hate December. I can’t stand the extra-crankiness it seems to bring out in people, their rushed attitudes, and how any tiny thing sets people off. Yes, there are perfectly pleasant people I encounter each and every day that I work, and always will be, but those people will never tip the December scales back in the direction of Woo-Hoo.

Here’s a few holiday tips for all those non-retail people:

1: If you are on your cell phone and speak loudly during your entire transaction at the register, do not expect my cashiers to be anything more than robotic towards you. Seriously.

2: Throwing your credit card across the counter only gets it tossed back once it’s been swiped. Don’t look insulted. You deserve it.

3: Stores start getting Christmas crap in September. If you had to have that particular decoration, mid-December is probably too late to get it. It’s not my fault; don’t be mad at me for not having it in stock.

4: Telling Any employee, Anywhere, that you’re sorry they have to work on Christmas while you are shopping on Christmas is soooooo unnecessary. Please don’t. Hold it in. Really. Really, really.

5: Remember, the teensiest bit of kindness does go a long way. We’re really trying to be pleasant and nice, but we can’t have rainbows, reindeer, and sugar plums coming out of us 24/7.

Oh, and who cares if someone says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. I’m pretty sure religious holidays are a hol-i-day. Get over it and stop being insulted. There are much more important issues in the world to expend energy on.

And now, I think I’m going to go have some rum. I mean, rum with a splash of eggnog. Uhh, I mean eggnog.



Wait like the rest of us.

There are two things that irk me to no end. I know they are my stupid issue, but oh my goodness. The first of these are people who do not take their Traffic Right-Of-Way! Like when you pull up to a stop sign and the other person is clearly the next to go, and they sit there, no matter how much you wave them on. I’m not an aggressive driver. The term ‘drives like a grandma’ could be applied to me at times. If I’m in a rush, I’ll drive like it, though not to the extent of running people off the road, or cutting them off. Turning right, stop signs, or driving in a straight line, I just can’t stand it when people do not begin to drive when they are supposed to. Just Goooooooo. I wish it didn’t bother me, but it does.

The second type of people who bug me are Line Jumpers. Ooooo, I hate these people. Case in point: One of the perks of being a manager in retail is certain times when you actual get to/like to piss someone off. I hopped on a register at work last week, because the cashier had a line of 5 people. (I work in a small store. We only have 6 registers in the whole place.) I said, “I can take the next person in line.” accentuating the next, because I always do that. This girl at the back of the line hops over, says, “I need Newports in a box.”

No shit, I replied, “That’s nice and I’m still going to take the next person.”

She was soooo mad. She got back in line, and hopped in front of the woman before her. For some reason that lady let her go ahead. I rang up one guy, and then said I could take the elderly woman who was Actually the second person in line. Cigarette girl hops back over, saying the elderly woman is with the people checking out, and tells me what she wants. I say okay, ask if she has her ID, just because, and she says Yes in the nastiest tone. The best part is the elderly woman has now taken notice, and as she is not with the people checking out, comes over to me. I abandon my travels to the cigarettes and check out this nice lady, explained why I didn’t have what she wanted, and told her I would order what she needed.

Cigarette girl finally got her smokes from the other cashier, leaving in a foul mood.

I really do hate line jumpers. We all to wait in line. I DO NOT care if all you are running in for is a pack of smokes. Great. If you are in such a hurry, go to a darn gas station, not a store. And as for those people who use the “I’m in a hurry excuse” there is no sympathy from any retail worker for you. Telling me that you have to be at your daughter’s school to pick her up in ten minutes and don’t have time for the photo kiosk to load the 972 pictures you have saved on your memory card will never be my problem. My only thought is why the heck would you run errands when you don’t have the time to spare for them???

No one likes to wait in a line. I mean, really, does anyone in the whole universe like waiting in a line?? NO! If there are other planets somewhere with life on them, they are waiting in line too, at the alien equivalent of some retail store. Like red lights, we all have to endure. Have a little patience and know that the people waiting on you want you to leave as quickly as possible.


I used my Sims 2 people to illustrate this point. Really, it was an excuse to play my Sims 2 game, but hey, people give all kinds of excuses.



Today’s House Special – A Hodgepodge.

I’ve been trying to be better at keeping up the blog, but as I have no inspiration today, I’m just gonna wing it.

Chapter 22 on Book 2 is nearly complete! The last time I wrote about book issues was May (re: Do As I Say), the pair of characters I was wrestling with were not cooperating. Glad to report they have been since, and I am enjoying their ‘feeling each other out’ phase. Granted, they are going to have a backslide soon, but since I write sporadically on occasion (timeline wise) I already have most of that put to bed. I love connecting sections, although it is a writing habit I am trying hard to break. I used to write on whatever part came to mind, and then I got stuck on the middle bits. About two years ago I sat down and made myself write in chronological order, and I have to say, it’s worked out better for me than I thought it would. I’m sure many people would think it only makes sense to go from point A to point H without skipping any in between, but I’m not many people. Knowing and doing – two different things.

Tim feels I should blog about the strawberry-peach cobbler I did Not make today, but that would be a short post. He might be a little upset about the lack of desserts in the house.

The work front is, uh, business as usual. 🙂  This morning a co-worker told me that she went to see The Dark Knight Rises with her boyfriend. She was mad about going and then sat through the whole movie, completely enthralled. This is the same woman who made fun of me for wanting to see that movie over Magic Mike. A movie about male strippers??? Kill me now. That was a fun conversation in which I was the only woman in a group of four who wanted to see Batman. The term nerd got thrown out. Turns out, she luuuuuurved it.  Said, “It’s the best movie I’ve ever seen.” She hasn’t even seen the previous two in this trilogy. More and more I’m under the impression that people with kids, especially younger ones, don’t get to watch grownup films. Yet another personal validation for not having kids. 😛  I love a good Pixar flick as much as the next person, just not all the time.

To finish off for the night, I offer you an in-game screenshot of a druid in tree form, with a disco ball in a box. Why? Why the hell not.

Disco anyone?




Some time ago, a dear friend sent me a link for Dropbox.  I clicked on it, read the info and downloaded the program…and that was it.  Dropbox is a program that you put files into and then you have those files on any number of electronics.  For months and months, I never ever did anything with it.  I had my laptop and used my phone sometimes for writing or some work related stuff, but whatever I needed on another device I just emailed it to myself.  No big deal.

My husband snagged one of the HP Tablets when they went on clearance.  The original plan was that it would be ‘ours.’  When that really wasn’t the case, he did find another tablet on the cheap and I had him restore the tablet to the original settings, since it was listed as Tim’s. Because nothing says marriage and sharing like changing something from ‘ours’ to ‘mine’.  (Happy wife, happy life to quote a friend) I noticed while playing around with the newly restored tablet that there was an App named Quick Office. Huh. A program that lets one open/edit/create . doc files, powerpoint, excel spreadsheets.  Reading the reviews on it, I noticed how several people commented on the ease of the program and the use of their Dropbox folders.  Oh wait – don’t I have that? 

Then I got to wondering if the apple app store had those programs.  Sure enough.  So I install Dropbox on the laptop, the tablet, the iPhone and install Quick Office on the phone as well.  Then I test it. 

I would say kids that were born in the 90’s maybe aren’t as impressed with technology as much as someone my age or older.  I remember when televisions didn’t have remotes.  Hell, a tv we had when I was little still had to be tuned in with the knob.  The fact that now I could open up one of my writing files, edit it, add to it, save it, put down the laptop and then open the file *immediately* on my phone or tablet, with all the changes I just made, is AMAZING to me.  I know there is lots of technology way cooler than this in the world, but it’s the little things that get me excited, especially when I can apply it.  I don’t have 100 apps. I don’t often need fancy programs to do my work.  Writers can write anywhere.  Paper and pen or touch-screen tablet.  I like to write at lunch when I’m at work and this just makes it easier and faster. 

So if you do work in one place, like an office and then have to finish up at home, or have multiple gadgets to mess around with, I’d say Dropbox is a nifty tool to have.  Of course I sent my friend a super excited text thanking her.

Caterpillar to Butterfly

Okay, I’m going to go ahead and say it – I’m pretty good at my job.  (The one that actually pays the bills) I hold a position in my store that normally only one person has, in each store. That used to be the case until we moved, and I am a bonus STL (Store Team Lead) in my store in WV.  The position underwent a change about two years ago, and the old name was waaayyy more impressive sounding, but it boils down to being an inventory specialist/manager.  Our district staff likes to say the STLs are the experts in the stores.  So when a member of my district staff recently called my store manager and asked if I would go to another store for a week, to help their STL, he and I said yes.  This is the same district staff member that always makes me stand up and talk about different inventory programs at our twice-yearly STL meetings and throws in at the end ‘If anyone has any questions about anything, you can call Jessica.’  Sure.  Great.  Glad to help.

Until Sunday night.

I complained to my husband that I didn’t want to go, I’m not good at training people, I hate it, blah, blah… He laughed, as he does, and said I was good at it and I would be fine.

First nervous issue: I’ve trained people before, but at my old store in Kentucky they always got sent to me, never the other way around.

Second nervous issue: I was going to spend an entire week with a woman I’d never met, and as far as I could tell, needed ‘help’. Everyone said,  “she’s super sweet and she’s been trained.”  No one could give me an idea of what kind of training she had previously, what she specifically needed help with, or how much she even knew.

Third issue: I get to go to a store where I don’t know anyone, and their store manager is brand new. Really new.  Only been a store manager for about two weeks.

I wake up Monday morning and there wasn’t so much butterflies in my stomach as there were recently transformed caterpillars beating their wings against the cocoons in an attempt to get free. I head out, feeling completely out of my element, but once I get to the store, it’s not as horrible as I imagine. The first thing Paulette, my counterpart, says when I walk into the office is how happy she is that I am there.

So I spend my week.  Deep (deep) down, I really do enjoy training people in the position, even when I think I won’t. It’s nice when you get to help someone understand their job better, and when you see the light bulb go off in their head, once they understand where they had problems and where to find the solutions. I even sat down and wrote her a Monday-Sunday task list.  Inventory isn’t just about counting things.  It isn’t just about ordering items.  It isn’t just about knowing where items are in a store.  Everything in inventory relates to everything else.  The STL position is time-consuming, full of more information that most people want to know, and never, ever ending.  It is all about routine, routine, routine and time management.  🙂  One of the things I constantly told my trainee was that she had to develop a routine of not just what to do, but when to do it, and when not. I think not doing something may be one of the hardest concepts for people. They know a certain task has to be done, but it doesn’t always need to be done *right now*. Don’t interrupt yourself from one task to start another, else you never get finished.  By the middle of the week, I could hear the confidence growing in her voice.  When I arrive on Friday, she had started on the biggest task for the day.  I asked had she done the two things she had to do every morning, before she did anything else. She had.  No prodding, no second-guessing, and proud of knowing what to start on after.

Her store manager told me not only did the STL get her work done that Friday faster than she had before, but that it was done better, and correctly.

Will I train people in the future?  Probably.  Will I get thrown to a store that is set up completely backwards and I have no clue where anything is?  Likely.  Will I be a terrified, nervous wreck until I get there?  Absolutely.


%d bloggers like this: