Thursday, July 30, 2009

Teenage Angst Redux

I know you have seen them. The couple who do not speak. Barely acknowledging each other. One with a book, maybe a newspaper. The other with a dreamy look, stirring the coffee. Or an expression of loneliness lost in thought. A comfortable/uncomfortable silence that engulfs a relationship.

Because I am slightly neurotic I have moments of panic when getting into a car with my husband for a long trip. Not only do I have to worry about the usual things like fighting over the radio (all the time), or getting lost (Boston) or God forbid, having to drive on the "wrong" side of the road (Ireland)or just the long boring drive (Memphis)I often fret over what I am going to talk about.

Because I have a tendency to babble and I have a slight flair of the dramatic I love to recite the plot's of my favorite South Park episode that I have discovered (Cartman and Butters partner up to hold hands during a field trip to a Living History Park and Butters' will not let go even when Cartman wants to sneak away to visit a Fun Park next door and Cartman is riding the bumper cars dragging Butters along side...).

The most recent babble session centered around a book I read many many years ago. I found this book sitting on my nephews book shelf once day last summer when I was scouting around for something to read and yes, I stole it! I finally got around to re-reading it last week. I doubt I was assigned to read it in High School because of the whole Catholic thing, but I did read it when I was a teenager.

The Catcher in the Rye.

Haunting and disturbing. I wonder how I processed this book when I was 14? As I discussed Holden Caulfield with Joe (who said, "I wish I had read the book and not the Cliff notes!")I found myself choking up about the kid who threw himself out of the window rather than be beat up by the bullies. I was describing Holden as a young boy who felt things so deeply that he just cracked up.

I read the book in two days and have been thinking about Holden a lot since then.

Too bad I will be taking a four hour drive by myself this morning.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Long until I get Fired.

I have always had this problem. In retrospect it may be why I never I have never risen very high in any Corporation.

It's my attitude.

I try and keep a straight face when I am told how important it is to make sure the door closes behind me when I enter the stock room, because one time along time ago in another store, someone was followed into the stock room!!

I'm like, "Okay they were followed into the stock room and what? Held at knife point? Made to hand over the rubber duckies? Raped among the Yankee candles? Someone stole a box of Moon pies? Exited the building through the back door (alarms people!) and skipped out on a meal?"

"Please get into the habit of telling someone when you are leaving the floor." (OK! ASHLEY ASHLEY!!OVER HERE! I'M GOING TO THE BATHROOM TO CHECK ON THE MESS THAT OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE MADE! OK!!)

"Please do not talk to the cashiers/hostess/other sales clerks when there are customers on the floor. They need to be chatted up." (Give me a break!)

And it goes on and on. Ridiculous stuff that adhered to makes someone rise through the ranks!

At times I feel bad about my reaction to the totally absurd.

Take yesterday. We (me and the other new hire) were given the assignment to set up the new display of all the Thanksgiving stuff that just arrived. But first, we had to clean the area. Sweep the floor, wipe off the display case, dust off the wood burning stove, bring out all the new merchandise to the floor.

She took cleaning the wood burning stove.....30 minutes later she is still cleaning out the inside of the stove while I have swept the floor around the display, and the area around the store, wiped off the "ladder", brought out most all the items, and have begun to set up the window side of the display.

Before this torturous exercise was finished I learned, I do not play well with others. I would have preferred to have done the entire thing myself. Not that she was a slacker or anything like that, she was the opposite! She was too anal! I had the entire window side set up and then she starts giving me orders!

I also realize I do not like to take orders.

From anybody.

I give myself another month at the most.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Work Work Work Work!!!

And then get a check for $232.36.

I have no idea how people survive who work for minimum wage. This does not cover a car payment!! Let alone rent and food and gas and car insurance, utilities and clothes. No wonder people knock over banks all the time, apply for assistance and food stamps.

And I am working harder than I ever did for the beverage company!!

Go Figure.

My boss is too delicious not to TALK about. It has been my experience that working for a woman is equivalent to being locked in a room and listening to Motorhead until my ears bleed. I know this is a huge sweeping generality, but I would much rather work for a man.

Yet, this woman hired me, gushed over me (I loved it!!) and wondered why my application even sat for a day without someone contacting me immediately!

"I might be able to get along with this chick!" I thought to myself, "She really has it together!"

I bet if you asked her to name two things she knows about me personally, she might say I'm married and moved here from Louisville and that would be it.

On the other hand ask me what I know about her and I could write a book. The best eye popping tid bit I over heard her conversing about to the group of labor we confiscated from the dish room, was that she had been rear-ended in automobile accident six times.

That is SIX times people. As in S-I-X.

She is delicious! She is a fraternal twin and her brother has an IQ of 170. He took the SAT's while in 4th grade and was operating on a college level. While I began to ask questions, like did he enter college at age nine? Did he take advanced classes? Did he skip any grades? (which I already knew he did not because they are attending a 20 year High School reunion later this summer so the math tells me he did not).

A few days later I learn that she too is a genius, a functioning dyslectic, spent nine years running a book store, then 10 years in the apparel industry! "Good Lord" I exclaimed, "When did you start, when you were 12?"

No, she was 17.

She was not considered "smart" because no one knew she had dyslexia. Finally they tested her with an IQ test, not the kind a normal person takes for an assessment, but one that has six parts! She scored 150-170 on every part except distraction. She is very distracted.

I have noticed that. Not that she is a scatter brain, ("People think I'm ditsy and I like that. Allows me to get my way.") But she does many things at once and tends to walk away quite a bit. But, when she's focused - it's a little weird, because she walks away a lot again, but returns with a vengeance.

I could go on and on about her. I like her because she is so entertaining!

Yesterday we were doing a shift change and this little college kid comes in to take over the floor and Big Blond Amazon (because she is like 5-10 and wears these CLARK boot type shoes that make her tower over everyone!!)(and she has the most beautiful long natural blond hair you have ever seen!)asks me to "chat her in" but as I am meeting this person for the first time, I am obviously not traveling down the correct path for the BBA she decides to take over.

"We are having an excellent day! Excellent! $1,000 over last year! I have changed our stretch goal from $2400 to $3000. Now!! How are you going to accomplish this?"

This little girl scratched her chin and said, "I don't understand..." (she is a college student and I think is just being obstinate and resisting)...."I'll do what I usually do."

"No, that is not good enough! Things are going to change around here. You may have been use to non-customer service with A. but that is in the past."

"A. never implied that we ignore customers!....."

I walked away and let them tango for a full 15 minutes!!

A little later on the college kid told me she hated retail and wanted to wait tables but they needed her in retail.

I'd hate retail too if I had BBA breathing down my neck!

Anyway, it's interesting and ........

The pay sucks.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Be Prepared! Be Very Prepared!

Believing I had a job interview scheduled for Thursday I was surprised when I checked my e-mail late yesterday afternoon and there was a request to change it to - gasp!!@@##@**- today! I had a lot of scrambling to do because being the procrastinator that I am, I thought I had plenty of time to be prepared! The Girl Scout Motto, isn't it? Be prepared? I think I have made a mistake, along with long history of my mistakes, and it is actually the boy scout motto - but it fits. Always be prepared. Good words to live by. And die by.

I was not prepared to go to a job interview early in the morning. I thought I could find a hair stylist today or tomorrow. Yet, I found myself in front of the bathroom mirror trimming up my hair. Thank God the chopped unsymmetrical look is not all that uncommon.

The jacket I was planning on wearing looked good, but when I slipped it on I realized it was so very, very, very 1990-ish. All the way to the puffy padded shoulders. I whipped out the trusty scissors again and snipped out the pads and the jacket entered the 21st century, even if it now looked a little big one me. Looking big is better than padded.

In some weird bizarro world way, I really like the retail job I am working in the meantime. It allows me to be extremely nice to people, which is my true nature anyway. And the folding and refolding of shirts and tee's is very zen-like and relaxing. There is always something to do. Check the bathrooms, fold some tee's, face the candles, sort the stuffed animals, clean the finger prints off the windows. I'm a natural.

But, the pay stinks.

Maybe this other job will fall into place.

After all, I was prepared.