Tag Archives: Work

Aaaaccckkkkk!!! 

I have missed 6 days!! I’m not so much writing a story today as a run-of-the-mill blog post. Heck, it might even border on mildly boring, but as I’ve had a couple of adult beverages … I don’t really have a snappy end to that sentence. 😄

Okay, so the kitty kat got her stitches out today. She does has an infection, most likely from licking the wound site, but she got a shot of antibiotics. There’s a bit of inflammation, too, but our vet is hopeful that it is just partial post-op inflammation and infection. 

We did get the biopsy results, and it is intermediate mammary adenocarcinoma. Runs in the family. We’re still staying hopeful, though, since the vet did cut ahead of the direction of the growth that she’ll be all right for awhile. 

On lighter news, we did have a busy memorial weekend of a college graduation and a birthday party. Thankfully, the graduation was at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, and as it’s a small liberal arts college, there were only 206 graduating, so it didn’t take five hours! Of course, it was bright and early at 9:30 am, and we pretty much stayed outside for about 7 hrs, so between the sunny commencement and many games of corn hole, I got a little sunburnt. Not too bad, and thankfully when we got to the birthday party, the hostess made me go inside and get lotion. 

My husband’s and my work schedule has been ridiculously off center this whole week, so there’s been a couple of nights with 3-4 hrs of sleep, and not much of us seeing each other. I hate those weeks. I had today off, and he worked early, so it was super nice to have the whole afternoon and evening together. We finally had to come inside when it got too dark to see our Simpsons edition Uno card game. I am losing spectacularly! Here’s hoping tomorrow I can make a comeback, as we had to stop in the middle of the current round, and it will start with the second reshuffle of the deck in the same round. We have intense Uno battles, but maybe that’s easy to do with only two players! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and story tomorrow, promise! 


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Story A Day May #22

I had a long and weird conversation with a customer at work today, (the things random strangers will say!) so that is the reason for today’s bit of fictional exchange. 😄


May 22, 2015

Thud
Jonathan looked up from the screenplay he was reading. He glanced at the new one that had just landed on his desk, then glanced at his partner.

“What’s this?”

“You wanted a different screenplay for our next project,” said Adam. “Here it is.”

Jonathan set the one in his hands aside and grabbed the other one. “‘Rejection Slip’. This doesn’t sound like sci-fi.”

“It’s a comedy.”

“Okay, and I clearly remember saying that I was tired of doing crass comedies. I want something with substance.”

“This has substance,” said Adam. “It’s about a single professor who gives out rejection slips after bad blind dates instead of telling the girls he doesn’t want to see them again.”

“Oh, well, that makes it sound so much better,” said Jonathan. He tossed it to his partner. “Lemme guess, guy meets girl, guy gives girl a slip, but she rejects his rejection, or she gives him one at the same time, they try to one-up each other, and eventually,” he gasped, “they fall in love?”

“Okay, okay. But sci-fi? Ugh.” Adam’s face lit up. “Wait … what if the guy in this movie is a robot?”

“That’s stupid.”

“No, it’s not. Robots are funny. Haven’t you ever seen a robot?”

Jonathan stared at him. “Have you? Besides your Roomba?”

“That thing is hilarious.”

“So what’s your problem with science fiction? Or for that matter, fantasy or drama?”

Adam waved his arms around. “Sci-fi always has bugs. I hate giant bugs. Dramas are too dramatic. What do you want? The next goofy kid with a magic wand movie?”

“Abosultely. Go find me that.”


Story A Day May #20

Well, this one might be inspired by a conversation that took place where I work. Maybe. Possibly. 😀

If you’ve never worked retail pharmacy, count yourself lucky. If you visit one regularly, those people work harder than you’ll ever know. 
May 20, 2015

I’d been running around all day. Seven hours down and two to go. I’d barely sat down, and one of the three times was to pee. I heard the click of the intercom system and cringed, holding my breath. It clicked off after a second on indistinguishable noise, and I breathed out in relief. The soda delivery driver grinned at me.

“One of those days?”

“Every day is one of those days around this place,” I said. I finished scanning in the merchandise, signed for the delivery, and once he handed me a copy of the invoice, I headed for the office to drop it off in the recieving paperwork bin. I still had to get change for one of the registers, call the help center about the coupon printers in the pharmacy, and … ‘Manager to the pharmacy.’

I grumbled under my breath at the page. I told someone else to get change and headed for the pharmacy. I knew when I saw the seven people in line what they wanted. I didn’t even ask as I stepped into the black hole that was that area of the store. I could see the technician was busy at the counter, and another on the phone with a patient, so I went for the drive-thru phone.

After ringing the guy up, I thanked him and went to hang up the phone when he said, “Excuse me.”

“Yes?”

“So this is a generic drug.”

“Yes.”

“But my doctor wrote the name brand on the prescription I dropped off. Why isn’t it name brand?”

“We are required, by law, to fill your prescription with the generic because it is cheaper than the name brand.”

“But, what if I want the name brand? My doctor wrote the name of the drug on the prescription.”

“Okay, then we can fill it for the name brand, but your insurance won’t cover it because there is a generic available. It will cost you much more since you’ll have to pay cash price and not a co-pay.”

“Okay, but why won’t they cover it if my doctor wrote it that way?”

“It doesn’t matter how he wrote it. Now, if he wrote as no substitutions then we would fill it as the name brand.”

“Isn’t that what he did?”

“No. He has to physically write ‘Name Brand Only’ or ‘No Generic’ on the paper you dropped off.”

“But the name brand is written on there already. Why can’t you fill it as that?”

“Like I said, if you want name brand, your insurance won’t cover it. If you doctor writes you a new prescription and writes ‘Name Brand Only’ then your insurance still won’t cover it. They will require a Prior Authorization from your doctor, which means we fax your doctor, he tells the insurance company why he wants you to only take the name brand of the medication, and if they approve, they send the paperwork back to him and he sends it back to us.”

“Can we do that?”

“No. He didn’t write it that way.”

“But he wrote the name of the medication on the paper.”


Sometimes You Eat The Bear …

… sometimes the bear eats you.

It’s been the bear eating us at work for the last couple of weeks, and especially so for me and one of my co-managers. In the spirit of my working eleven hours today (not my scheduled shift), here’s an exchange I had with my husband via text. And while eleven hours of work is normal for some, and maybe not bad at some jobs, for retail it’s a nightmare. :))

My weird request of the day is having a lady come into the drugstore where I work and ask for Oregano Oil. In case anyone wonders, national chain drugstores aren’t specialty food markets.

Me: We need to setup the Xbox.
I just realized one of the reasons I miss playing WoW (World of Warcraft) is because I got to go home and kill shit.

Tim: Ok. I’ll set it up. Is it a kill shit kind of day?

Me: It’s an eviscerate shit from the face of the universe kind of day.


Denied Solitude

I have an almost overwhelming urge to make chocolate-chip cookies. They are my favorite cookie, and one of my very favorite dessert foods. The recipe I use is stored in my brain. It’s a task that takes no more than 15-20 minutes. Making this dough is an uncomplicated process.

I cannot make chocolate-chip cookies, and it’s killing me.

I am an introvert, which may not come as a surprise to people who read my blog, and probably isn’t a revelation for anyone who knows me really well. And when I say introvert, in this instance I am talking about the the way I recharge. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, has a quote that about sums it up for me – “Solitude matters, and for some people it is the air that they breathe.”

We’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April. Our house is not huge, but obviously it can accommodate three people, and more if needed. The problem is that we’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April.

I would say that one of my best female friends is more of an introvert, and the other an extrovert. My husband is more on the extrovert scale, and my other best male friend is way opposite me on this scale. Which makes for an interesting friendship, but I think introverts need extroverts, and vice versa. Again, what I’m talking about here is how people like to regain their energy.

I never understood people that cannot be alone. We all know them, or perhaps one of you reading this is one. There are people I know who absolutely cannot stand to be alone. They feel bored, restless, and unhappy. I always felt bad for this person, feeling that they just don’t know How to be by themselves. But thinking about it in terms of energy, I can see how this might be an unfair assessment, although I think taking time for solitude is something everyone should embrace, even if it’s only a short amount of time.

There are activities I like to do when I’m alone. Minds out of gutters, people 😀  Dishes, for example. I really don’t mind doing the dishes. I like cleaning. I love using a broom. I love doing renovation work on our home. I Love to bake, especially the aforementioned cookies, and I write. All of these things hinge on being by myself. The weird exception to this is my husband. He’s the only person I can be around and still do all of these things, even if I would prefer not doing them while he’s home. Thus enters my quandary of late.

Our house guest is a relative, and for reasons I’m not going into, I understand that this person needed to be out of their own home for a little bit of time, however, not for this length of time. The extra icing on the problem cupcake is that this person really has no clue that I’m an introvert. The only time I’m alone is when I’m in the car by myself, and that is no place to relax. There’s always this person in my house. I can feel it in the air. I am an introvert who hasn’t been by herself in almost two whole months. I tiptoe around and hide my vast unhappiness. My husband tells me that I don’t need to stop doing the things I love, but he knows how incapable I am of breaking past this invisible barrier. Our relative isn’t rude or mean, isn’t trying to be in the way of our lives, and would not care in the slightest if I go about the house stripping paint or sanding the doorways.

I care.

I care so much that I’ve pretty much stopped doing all of these things, and when I do my cleaning now, which isn’t something you can put off, I’m angry about it. We have been spending a lot of time in the yard lately, which is nice. A literal breath of fresh air. I like getting my hands dirty, and my husband enjoys working in the yard much more that I thought he would. I have to say, as he’s the only person in the house I communicate everything to, putting up with my immense feelings of being uncomfortable and unhappy daily makes him eligible for sainthood. We’ve spent a lot more time since April being out of the house, which is also draining to me. Work has been extra stressful lately, which isn’t helping. My work environment is busy and loud, and full of people. No one should ever be happy to be alone in a public restroom, but sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief when I get a chance to step into the restroom at work. Unfortunately, bathroom breaks are an extremely short-lived respite from the world. The other really sucky thing about this situation is being a married couple with someone else staying a super short distance down the hall.

Beside the housework, my writing has stalled. My stress levels continue to stay high, even if I’m not outwardly showing it, which means I can’t write. I’m stunted in my ability to put fingers to keys, or pen to paper, and have anything creative flow out of me. I feel awful. My May Stories stopped, like a car hitting  wall. The novel editing I was doing back in February and March has fallen by the wayside. I don’t even open my writing files because there is no point. I already know my creative limitations when it comes to living in high stress for prolonged periods. The same thing used to happen when I played piano. My younger self would try to submit to the urge to play, try to push through the times when I felt aggravated or stressed or angry, but the music would not sound the same. I learned how my creativity suffers at the hands of mental unhappiness.

Our house guest isn’t going to be here too much longer. Things are getting back to where they need to be concerning this person’s own home, and I have an actual vacation coming up in June, with actual planned visitor/s. Now, one might think that trading in a long-term, unplanned relative for vacationing visitors would be more than I could handle, but I’m much looking forward to having the out-of-towners. People that know me well.

Besides the writing and housework, the thing that really gets me is those damn cookies. I rarely make chocolate-chip cookies with people in the house. Not the baking part. I love to grab the container out of the fridge once the dough is made and drop spoonfuls of heaven onto a baking sheet and 11ish minutes later share the warm, chewy goodness that is dessert perfection with everyone. But the making of them is sacred to me. I don’t make them often. Over the last several years, this cookie has become the thing I make when I get super stressed. It takes it away, and I feel unburdened afterwards.

For now, I’ll continue to go about my days looking normal, while deep inside, I’ll crave tiny bits of semi-sweet morsels, and dough in various stages. Oh, and if someone could do something about all the characters in my head who are indignant about my temporary abandonment of them, that’d be great. Maybe they’d like a cookie.

 


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.

 


Some of us can go home again.

Exiting West Virginia

In 1940, the novel You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe was published posthumously. The phrase is taken from the denouement of the novel in which the main character, George Webber realizes “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

You can’t go home again has become a phrase in America to mean that once a person has left their country town or backwater city for a metropolis, then that person can never go back to the way of life they once had. Sometimes, the phrase is taken to mean one can’t return home without being deemed a failure.

What if you grew up in a metropolis? What if you left it for a smaller city, and then an even smaller one? What if, like my husband and I, you decide to return to the place of your childhood after a twelve-year absence? A place big to start with and a place that has grown by leaps and bounds during your absence.

Two months ago while sitting on a restaurant patio, my husband looked at me and uttered, “We have to get out of this f***ing state.” The words were a wave of hope. We moved to West Virginia for his work and the promotion and financial opportunity it gave us. Let me be clear, on those points we still feel the move was worth it. His advancement allowed me to work a little less, which I am eternally grateful for. I tried to like our new surroundings. Could I have tried harder? Sure. Lots, even. But I didn’t particularly want to move, and though extremely selfish, I wasn’t about to try my best.

Having lived in that culture shock for 15 months, I firmly believe mountain people, like people who live in desert climates, are an entirely separate sort of folk. A few weeks after we moved there, I was conversing with my manager at work, a fellow KY transplant, and I mentioned how I missed Ale-8 drinks and Grippos chips. A customer overheard and said, “This ain’t Ashland.” To which I replied, “No, it ain’t.” Ashland, KY is a small (smaaaaaaal) town in KY, just across the border of WV, and still a good ways from my beloved Lexington or Louisville, and I had no wish to go there either, even for Ale-8.

I was sad and jealous when a friend I made at work left to return to her home in Ohio. She and her husband lived in WV for less than a year. My husband’s boss and his family also returned to their Ohio roots. It seemed everyone who wanted out of the state was getting out. A few of my co-workers, natives of WV, said the state was nothing like it used to be, especially in the ‘urban’ areas. Urban for WV is less hills, where the land can support some stretches of commercialism. I saw firsthand the people coming in to buy Pseudoephedrine. After awhile, you get tired of hearing the same stories of ‘Why can’t I buy it, why are there limits, my doctor said to get this one’ blah, blah, blah. If you’ve never worked in a pharmacy, then you won’t know a legitimate decongestant sale from the ones who only want it for making meth. I got to experience the carload of people coming in, one after another, for the exact same product. Believe me, five customers in a row wanting to purchase the same Allegra-D product will never be a coincidence. I saw the unemployment of the areas I lived in. I’m not making a pro or anti-government statement here, because many of the people I encountered that did not work were not even on welfare. They just didn’t get jobs, or hadn’t worked in over a year. I was floored during the summer when I saw Clothing Voucher signs at any store selling clothing for back to school. I’d never seen that in KY, especially not at a Target or Khols.

I was sad to leave co-workers, as was my husband. He genuinely likes his job and the people he works with. I will miss the almost daily fog. Fog and mist are rare things in downtown Louisville, KY. Nestled in the Ohio valley, the city gets to avoid things like fog and most tornadoes. The first time I saw deer in the parking lot of our apartment complex was early in the morning. The sun was rising and the lot was filled with mist and three deer cantered down the hill some ten feet in front of me. I’ll miss seeing them standing five feet away from our back porch, eating on corn one of the neighbors threw out for them. I will Not miss them leaping out of the brush and running across the road in front of my car, as that’s something I hope never to experience again. We will miss the wine aisle in Kroger and Target. Stores in WV don’t have the separate entrance liquor areas like in KY, so that was nice and convenient. 🙂 I’ll miss the views of the mountains, and that’s pretty much it.

When my husband interviewed for a position in KY with his company, we found out on Nov. 3 that he got the job. On Nov. 5, they called and wanted him to start the following week. Moving with one week’s notice, during which time we both worked, made for a stressful and frazzling week. Thankfully, I had started to lazily pack a couple of months prior, so we did not have the entire apartment to worry about. My husband told me to take a couple of weeks off work if I wished once we moved. No arm twisting needed there.

We moved into my grandmother’s house. I haven’t been this relaxed in over a year, and knowing there is no one above, below, or attached to the side of us is super-duper. I was peeling wallpaper and realized I could turn my music up a teeny bit more if I wanted. There’s no one to bother, and that is a great feeling.


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