grrgoyl: (Spaced Mouspider)
Things have been kinda hectic in the medical transcription world. Every weekend for a month we've received desperate emails begging for help with gargantuan backlogs. Every weekend overtime has been approved and every weekend I've worked that overtime. Even worked two Mondays! My one day off a week. I am an overtime HUOOR.

Then we had to attend a mandatory conference call, where they unveiled their idea to put together a "S.W.A.T." team of transcriptionists who would be offered first crack at overtime work. They learned what other companies have long known -- if you want to get extra work out of your people, give them a job title that sounds exciting and a little dangerous. RGIS, my super lame inventory job, did it. The best of the best were called "Top Guns" and competed for trips to Hawaii (not as glamorous as it sounds; there's a chain of Hawaii-based stores that needed help every year and this was their sneaky way of providing it). Nowadays the fastest auditors are called "Prowlers," like the Battlestar: Galactica fighter jets, because the times are a-changing.

I have a strong suspicion that they're having a serious problem getting people to work their scheduled shifts (we get spanked on almost every call), evidenced by the constantly towering backlog we spend every weekend cleaning up, so what appeared to be a way to make us feel special was probably more likely an underhanded assurance that they would have a group of suckers to pick up the slack left by those more interested in enjoying their summer vacation. I didn't particularly care. No sooner had the call ended than I sent my email off volunteering (also inquiring if we would be issued bulletproof vests). My supervisor told me not only was I on the short list for the team (probably because I never turn down overtime), but I was also the top producer of our group (probably because I never turn down overtime).

You guessed it: I made the team (no sign of my vest yet). And I'm working OT every day this week.

It is with that fact that I justify this. I'll admit I've become sort of bored with the repetitive, endless motion of lifting weights (yes, [ profile] kavieshana, another "look at me, I exercise 23 hours a day. What are you doing with your life?" post). As thrilled as I am that the gym membership has shown me more results than a lifetime of off-and-on Bowflex use (in fairness, more off than on), I thought it would be nice to have some variety.

At that particular moment, like a sign from Heaven, a commercial came on TV that I've seen twenty times and thought nothing of previously: The Wii Fit. I am forever turning to technology to solve my problems and enrich my life. Here was an opportunity to apply it to my workout as well. it was simple. I needed to buy a Wii.

Do you remember the enormous hype that surrounded the Wii's original release? How it was the hot new game that everyone had to have but no one could get their hands on? Here, Toby Turner says it better than me in his semi-original song, "Every Day (the Wii is gone)":

Let me tell you, nearly three years later, the Wii is still a pre-tty hot item. The difference is there are a lot more options if you don't mind going used (I don't). The trick is getting someone to respond to you.

I began my search where I always begin my searches, on eBay. Thousands to choose from, but about 95% of them were active auctions with tons of interest. Anything "Buy-It-Now" was almost assuredly a used item and almost equally assuredly with something missing or wrong with it. Here's how crazy it is: I started browsing the newest listings, hoping to get in on a deal before anyone else saw it. I found someone selling theirs "barely used and in excellent condition" for a BIN of $159. I bookmarked it and looked around for about ten more minutes before deciding it sounded pretty good. By that time, it had already been bought. TEN MINUTES. It was challenging not to become completely demoralized.

There was a seller in Canada selling a "newish" unit AND the Wii Fit (a $75 value on its own, I learned) for $250 plus shipping. When I sent an email asking for clarification of "newish" (technically not even a word, Canada) and whether it in fact included the console and the Fit (after I browsed a listing for the Fit all alone for $189 -- you can never be too sure with these auctions), I got what seemed to me the unnecessarily brusque and kind of snarky response, "Outlined in the product index." Canada was simply too busy to bother with my stupid little questions. Which would have been understandable back in 2006, when people were prostituting their kid sisters for a Wii. But you're not the only game in town, Canada, or even the best.

Hanging over my head was the specter of multiple auctions of approximately $200, all in vague unspecified states of used. I don't trust a seller that has ten identical listings. That means he's got them stacked in a warehouse or a storage unit and just picks whatever one is on top to ship to me. $200, which I could afford, but pigheaded me is always convinced I can do better, which is how the $159 dealio got away from me.

So I turned to Craigslist, and this is when my frustration REALLY began. Because on Craiglist it isn't as simple as settling on one to buy and clicking "buy." You have to email the seller and wait agonizingly for a response, not sure if the lack of one is because the seller is away from their computer, has received hundreds of emails and is sifting through them, or has already sold the item and is ignoring you. Oh, the uncertainty can drive you mad.

(Too many people don't bother to delete their listing after selling, and these people I say deserve to have their inbox inundated with replies. It's infuriating. Then when I was shopping once I came across an inexplicably enraged seller who wrote "DON'T ASK ME IF IT'S STILL AVAILABLE. IF THE LISTING IS UP, IT'S AVAILABLE!!!!!" You just can't win.)

The first day, not being too experienced with Craigslist, I sent out one inquiry and politely gave them 12 hours to respond. The second day I said to hell with polite and sent out about four requests. I had in fact given up on Craigslist and turned back to eBay, putting in a bid on one for $99 from a private seller that said in the very small print that it was actually more new than used, when I suddenly got a call from a Craigslist seller. "Andre" had received plenty of offers, all of which had fallen through for one reason or another. I confessed I had a bid on eBay and asked if I could get back to him in 30 minutes when I knew if I won or not. Andre was in a nightclub or somewhere very loud, and to further complicate matters couldn't receive incoming calls on his phone. He would call me back.

He also mentioned that his asking price was only $150 and that it was barely used. And of course there was the very appealing thought of having it this weekend, no waiting for shipping. I had never wished so hard to lose an auction before. And it worked! I got outbid and I immediately texted Andre (not sure if his phone had a similar ban on SMS messages) to seal the deal. He called me back and I agreed to meet him back at his apartment to pick it up before I went into work at the hospital. It was 8:00 at night.

It wasn't until I was on the highway that reality suddenly sliced through my buyer's euphoria. The directions he gave me put his apartment at the very extreme far north of Denver, in the alien wasteland of Thornton (it's not literally a wasteland, but definitely alien. I never have a reason to go to Thornton since putting my inventory days behind me). I knew nothing about this guy. He sounded nice enough on the phone, but it suddenly seemed just as likely that he was a serial killer luring people to his home, easy pickings, with the promise of a super cheap Wii. It would be the perfect plan. And stupid me didn't even think about bringing someone along as a safeguard. I was on my way to becoming the latest movie star in a snuff film, I was sure of it.

In a panic, first I ran through a short list of people who might not mind meeting me up there to watch my back. A very short list indeed, as realistically there were none. I even briefly considered giving it a miss and blowing him off. But dammit, that $150 Wii had an irresistible siren song.

I knew Tery had gone to the gym and left her phone at home, but I called anyway and left a message with the directions I had so far (which culminated in the very vague "Turn in there and I'll be looking for you" rather than an actual street address, which didn't much assuage my fears). I kept thinking of any kind of information that would be helpful in finding my murderer after I turned up missing. When I arrived at the apartment complex I texted her the address on the sign. When Andre called and apologized for running late, describing himself as driving a gray Passat, I texted that to her too. He had also mentioned previously that he was from Germany (while struggling with the term to describe his driveway) and I passed THAT along (and amended my fate to that of an international snuff film star). I'm sure when she returned home there was plenty on there to get her good and freaked out too. I mean it, I was well on my way to terrified.

The apartments looked really nice, borderline posh and classy. But then again, I consider our neighborhood nice yet there Tracey sits next door. I tried to devise a strategy: I could stay behind him, keep him in view at all times in case he tried any funny business. Which wouldn't help me if he had a friend waiting in a closet to ambush me. I would peek at his apartment from safely outside, and if anything seemed amiss I'd skedaddle -- as if serial killers routinely left their victims' entrails stuck to the walls of their front foyer. I had to face it: he had the home court advantage.

He finally turned up and was a smallish, lean, sort of attractive and bookish guy. He looked quiet and perfectly normal, but aren't those the ones you need to watch out for? He approached me in the parking lot and extended his hand warmly. As I followed him upstairs to his unit, I told him I hoped he wasn't a serial killer. He answered he thought the same of me! Disarming, for sure. His place was small but tastefully decorated, meticulously neat (not a stray metatarsal bone or spleen to be seen anywhere).

I watched as he fumbled to turn on the game so I could verify it worked properly. He explained he had played it once in Germany at a party with all his friends and had so much fun that he bought his own here in America, only to discover it wasn't quite so much fun playing alone. The demo process took what felt like forever, between having to change the remote batteries and him handling everything with delicate kid gloves (I don't think this was for my benefit, I think he just took really good care of his things. He even had the original receipt in the box. From Tarjhet!). After I insisted that I was satisfied, then came the painstaking process of carefully boxing it all up to manufacturer's specifications. I was an hour late for work. But like a gentleman he walked me down to my car again, and the deal was done!

I had a nearly new Wii in my front seat at a lower price than I ever expected. To make matters better, just then the new Muse came on the radio. Life was good.

Well, MY life was good. I thought of sad, lonely Andre's life. He worked in IT for the state, obviously doing well for himself, but it sounded like all his friends were back in the Motherland. I thought that but for Tery, that would be me (minus the tasteful decoration. I never thought much about furniture or decorating before meeting Tery, unless you count dorm posters). Kind of depressing, but I wasn't going to offer my hand in friendship. Not to someone who lives all the way the hell up in Thornton.

Also from now on I think I'll stick to eBay. Or at least conduct my transactions during the daytime.
grrgoyl: (amelie dog)
I started the vet job this weekend under the supervision of Tery, who thoughtfully stayed with me all night after working her regular shift. That's the kind of considerate boss she is. I absolutely needed her to, because there is so much more to it than I expected and the woman who's been at it for 22 years doesn't have a lot of experience training people for it. She just hustled me through everything really quickly and superficially, doubtlessly anxious to avoid having me cut into her break time too much. Still, from working this weekend I'm optimistically thinking that I'm really going to enjoy this job.

Doubleplusgood #1: The uniform. I get to wear scrubs, and if you can't work in your underwear like I do when I'm working from home, then scrubs are the next best thing. So comfy and soft like pyjammies, and, unlike the cheap-ass material RGIS uniforms are made from, won't rip at the seams every time you reach above your head. I also love the Einsteinian decision-making the scrubs make of my regimen. Now when I'm dressing for work the only question is dark blue or light blue? (Leaves my brain free to consider other loftier issues.) Plus I'm sure it's making the Alcoholic, who monitors my every movement, insanely curious as to why I'm suddenly wearing medical garb when I leave the house.

Doubleplusgood #2: The solitude, the blessed solitude. I was right....having only animals for company is blissful. Being in the hospital after hours isn't as creepy as I feared, but of course I haven't been totally alone there yet. That might be a different story. It's in kind of a dodgy part of town and they have problems with homeless people and car windows being smashed in occasionally, but inside is reasonably secure. If it's safe for Joyce (the 22-year veteran) who's about 100 pounds overweight with hypertension and tendinitis, then it's nothing I can't handle, I'm sure.

Doubleplusgood #3: Driving to work at 9 pm. Means most of the idiots are safe at home, not out terrorizing me because I don't want to go 85 mph. Of course, this means (like tonight) that I'm that much more intolerant when I DO encounter the idiots because I've seen how much nicer it is without them. There's the passing lane, right there. Totally empty. USE IT, motherfucker.

Doubleplusgood #4: The job requirements. Cleaning shit doesn't bother me in the least, with two free-range ferrets who only remember the litter box about 1 time in 10. My biggest squick about the job was the threat of having to take rectal temperatures. Luckily for me this weekend I got to work with Roxie, a parvo puppy who was so starved for attention she didn't care what I did to her as long as I pet her while doing it. I'm not saying that I now look forward to taking temps, but I was glad I got to face this particular fear head on.

Doubleplusgood #5: The animals. The whole point, after all, is the animals. Here is the more memorable cast of characters (for this weekend anyway):

  • There's Blackjack, a 6-month-old Sheltie puppy. He's like a ferret in dog form and so adorable I could've eaten him up. He plays this game where he dances around just out of reach, becoming more and more excited the closer you get, until he lets you scoop him up into your arms. When he's not being carried he prances around like the cock of the walk. Sooooooo precious.

  • There's the Corgi herd, Pokie, Gizmo and Speedo, who line up like perfect little gentlemen to get their treats before returning to their kennel. Who doesn't love Corgis?

  • There's Shanahan, a big white German shepherd, who never barked and who stared up at me with complete adoration in his big black eyes.

Then there were the not-so-good animals, which I expect is also inevitable in the job. #1 on this list is undeniably Honus, a beagle. Honus barked and barked and barked and barked all. night. long. I'm telling you, I could have cheerfully strangled him by the time the sun came up. Tery implored me to give him a pseudonym here on the infinitesimal possibility that his owners read my blog, but I said if they didn't know by now their dog can bark for 8 hours straight without stopping for breath, they needed to know. I secretly believe they aren't away on vacation at all, merely boarding him so they can get a good night's sleep for a change. He barked so much that when I finally got home and lay down to sleep, I could still hear him echoing in my ears.

The second of the most ill-mannered boarders was Buddy, a huge white shorthair cat. "Buddy" it turns out is the grossest misnomer ever, because the cat it belongs to is surely one of the most vicious creatures on the planet. I thought I could handle Buddy; I adore all cats. But no matter how sweetly or softly you spoke to Buddy, all you received in return were growls, spitting hisses and baleful glares of stabbity death for your trouble. I could only clean his cage and feed him with the aid of a squeegee in one hand and a broom head in the other, crouched in a lion tamer position. This cat was big enough and strong enough that he literally almost batted the squeegee out of my hand, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he had broken it right in half. No, Buddy wasn't to be trifled with or underestimated. "Mad at the world," was written on his chart. I suppose if I had to sleep with that beagle barking his fool head off next door all night I would be a little peeved too.

So that's my night. Cleaning cages, doing laundry, feeding animals and watching them poop, giving meds to patients, with a good 2 or 3 hours in between where there's nothing at all to do and I can nap, or read LJ, or watch a movie, or whatever. For this weekend I brought no entertainment and unfortunately the breakroom is equipped only with an ancient TV with an antenna. Last night I learned there isn't much to choose from at 2 am besides Spanish channels, a free Abba concert (worth every penny) and Weird Al Yankovic's opus, UHF. It turns out the latter was perfect to doze to and so I did, mightily.

Again speaking optimistically, the biggest difference I can see between this and RGIS is that at the end of the night I have a real sense of accomplishment, of feeling like I did some good in the world. Because of me, these animals are fed and sleeping comfortably on clean blankets (overlooking the matter of Honus, which was absolutely beyond my control). This must have been what Tery was talking about when she called inventory a soulless, meaningless job that did nothing to enrich her spiritually. Perhaps that's been my problem, I've been suffering a karmic drain all these years.

As I work these last nights of RGIS, I can't help mentally going through all the things about the job I won't miss. I won't miss roasting in mall stores all night (the hospital has lovely central air that's kept on all night long). I won't miss having my break dependent on the whim of a supervisor who has 40 things on their mind and my personal comfort is #39. I won't miss being trampled by customers or being treated like a moron by store people. I won't miss going to work with no idea how long of a night to expect, and relying on co-workers who I swear are people who applied to RGIS to appease the unemployment office, and then suddenly to their shock and dismay found themselves actually being hired. I won't miss having to watch increasingly stupid decisions being made by my "superiors" as this company thinks more about the bottom line and less about incentives to keep experienced veterans working for them.

This is the epiphany I had while talking to Tery. I believe people go through stages when they work for a company for an extended time. When you're first hired, you're optimistic, energetic and usually fairly ignorant about the detailed workings of the job. Ignorance is most definitely bliss, for it is ignorance that allows you to come to work, do what you're told and collect your paycheck happily at the end of the week. But if you stick around long enough, ignorance is lost as you learn more and become more experienced. This is good in terms of comfort level at work, but bad because it means you're relied upon to do more of the dirty work they don't give newbies. And if you stick around really long enough (like, say, 14 years), you have time to realize how things are supposed to be done and can therefore become frustrated and bitter when they aren't done correctly and aren't being run as smoothly as they could be (assuming you are a conscientious person who cares about doing a good job). That's about where I am right now. That's where Tery is at the hospital, only she's management now so she has more control over seeing things are done correctly. I figure MyFriendDeb has gone on to stage IV -- she knows things could be better but she's willing to turn a blind eye because it's easier than finding another job. More power to her and to everyone else at this stage, I say. Me, I need something more. Let's hope I found it.
grrgoyl: (computer says no)
I lied. This is the second important thing that happened this weekend.

I'm done with RGIS. DONE. I've actually been done for awhile now, but wasn't sure what to do about it until this opportunity came along.

Tery manages a vet hospital, I don't know if I've mentioned or not. She hired a guy for the weekend overnight shift who just isn't working out. He's supposed to clean the cages, feed the animals, give them meds, etc. and every day after his shift Tery receives a barrage of complaints that he didn't do a damn thing all night. She's given him several chances and several write-ups, and now he's out. And I might be in. It's just two 8-hour shifts, 9 pm to 5 am, which are the hours I'm awake on the weekend anyway. Might as well be getting paid for it.

It pays much less and some of the work is less than savory, BUT I'd be working for someone who had their shit together (no pun intended), working a set schedule, working alone, and it might just be all I need to supplement my regular transcription job. With my car paid off I'm not living paycheck to paycheck anymore. Plus the thought of working alone all night with only animals to talk to has made me realize that even working the inventory job just a few nights a week is too much togetherness for me. I simply will never be a people person. This strikes me as an efficient, simple solution to both our problems.

People will probably think me crazy leaving a $14-an-hour job for a $9-an-hour job. Frankly, when I put it that way, I think I sound a little crazy too. But when I consider all the stress and the headaches and the bullshit that comes with the $14, I think of it as a great deal. One of my mottos in life is that it's too short to keep working a job you hate, and although I don't bitch about it to LJ much, I HATE the inventory job. More specifically, I hate my bosses and the direction the company is taking.

It's just....the incompetence. The complete inability to grasp basic communication skills. The pigheaded enforcing of rules that are impractical and irritate everyone (and I'm not just talking about the anti-iPod clause). The panties getting bunched over stupid issues like tagging properly when we're counting stores with half the crew we need. The disorganization and the feeling that everyone's heads are stuck firmly up their own asses. I can't take it anymore. The company is going completely to hell and I'm not going with them.

Part B of my gripe centers on just one person, D. D has been a manager trainee for a couple of years, so it's hard to understand why she is so completely clueless now that she's been elevated to area manager. The majority of her stores begin with her making this statement: "I've never run this store before so you guys just do what you normally do." And she'll spend the rest of the time hiding, posting printouts and hoping that everything goes for the best. This is bullshit. Just because you haven't personally run the store once already does not excuse you from having a game plan and acting like a manager. She's taken to doing this so often that it just makes me wish my head would explode and spare me the misery of another half-assed run inventory.

But this weekend is the perfect example of what this company has become, a microcosm of a typical week with RGIS. I was scheduled for a 3-person store tonight, a 3-store run of Walmart meat departments. Very simple, reasonably quick. I was taken out because it was reduced to 2 stores (which would leave the two weaker grocery counters to fend for themselves. Not very logical to me, but I was getting a night off so didn't say anything). Last night I went into work and one of the other counters asked if I'd heard anything, because she was out too. No, no one had said a word to me, which I've learned doesn't necessarily mean that everything has been taken care of. I fully expected to get a phone call at noon today asking if I wanted to work tonight after all. So towards the end of the night I asked the other guy about it, and he hadn't heard anything either but would I be willing to do it? I agreed for his sake but gave him my number in case, through some unprecedented miracle, it HAD been taken care of through the proper channels.

Things didn't used to be this way. Auditors didn't used to have to worry about staffing their own stores. But our current district manager has some real problems keeping things together. Her managing method when things go wrong is just to sigh, shrug her shoulders and say, "Oh well, what can we do?" Her most recent excuse is her father was terminally ill and she was worrying about that. I've lost my father and my heart goes out to her, but meanwhile there's a whole district full of people counting on her. But she's been at it for 7 months and I've seen a slow but steady deterioration since day one. Just this weekend her father finally passed away so hopefully she can get on with her life again. The bad news is I can't wait another 6 months to see if things will improve. I'm ready to strangle people TODAY.

Why today? Because at 11:49 (close enough to noon for my purposes) I got an email asking me to work tonight because they suddenly noticed the staffing problem. If I hadn't spoken to my co-worker already I just might have refused on principle, but as it is I'm going in.

Today isn't the last straw so much as the final nail in the coffin of my loyalty to this company. Hopefully this time I'll never have to go back.
grrgoyl: (sissy)
I already had some stuff to update about, and then this went and happened last night. The Saga of the Crankwhore will have to wait a bit, but I'd like to think my faithful readership (I know you're out there. Just admit it) sees more in me than the vicarious thrill of living next door to a drug dealer that I provide. I have so much stuff to update, as a matter of fact, that I'm extending a rare courtesy and cutting for length. Enjoy it while it lasts.

::The night I thought my sister was killed:: )

::Adventures in Cell Phones and Stupidity:: )

::What you've been waiting for...Crankwhore goodness:: )

::Finally...more about my favorite obsessions:: )

Whew. Quite the exciting week. Something I need to mention in passing is that I put that goddamned Coleman grill on eBay on the advice of [ profile] ms_hecubus and [ profile] metatronis and would you believe it sold for $100????? Making it only a $20 mistake and much easier to live with. It went to a local woman who met me to pick it up. I refused to take her money before making sure she could use it, but she shrugged me off. "If I can fix airplanes, I think I can work with this." O-KAY. Have at it then and I won't give it another thought. Thanks for the valuable words of wisdom, Michelle and Roxie.

Shutting up now. Now let's see how many tags fit this monstrosity.
grrgoyl: (methree)
Dave, our manager, is leaving, moving to Oregon. He's been dealt some tough hands here in Denver, and he finally had enough and said "Fuck it." Can't say that I blame him, but I'm one of the few that liked him and I'll miss him.

The party was held at Tubby's American Grill, a challenging locale due to the fact that it doesn't actually say "Tubby's" anywhere on the outside of the building. Despite this we had a decent turn-out -- one key component to being a successful inventory auditor is the ability to unerringly find places given the bare minimum of information.

I started out on my personal carafe of Coke, but it was making me too jittery (and Tery mocked me when I pronounced it "carafay" instead of "caraff". Bitch). So when Tery looked over the liquor menu, I asked her to order me a "Screaming Orgasm." No, I'm not a big drinker, but it did sound tasty (vodka, Kahlua, amaretto and Bailey's). And I imagined it would be great fun to interject into conversation, i.e. "What's that you're having?" "A Screaming Orgasm, thanks for asking." I have no doubt that all these new-fangled drink names (Pink Crotch, Cowboy Cocksucker, Cum Shot) are designed with precisely this purpose in mind. It was delicious but quite strong, and burned going down my throat. When I commented on the burn, Tery said, "That's because it's alcohol, you boob." Everyone laughed cruelly. *cries* Excuse me for not being a lush, you big meanies. After finishing this one drink, I felt weighted down with a slow lethargy creeping through all my limbs (while one thigh kept bouncing uncontrollably with the unpleasant effects of the caffeine, a peculiar combination to say the least). A cheaper date you're not likely to find anywhere else.

Gradually the party was moved into the next room, where the pool tables and karaoke were. Tery didn't seem to be all there until she realized there was karaoke, when she lit up like a Christmas tree. She was happy singing her heart out on stage, I was happy playing some pool. I wanted to play Gerry but he refused, blaming an excessive alcohol intake and impaired coordination, but he wasn't fooling me -- I could smell the fear coming off him in waves. Fear of my superior skills, that is. This didn't stop him from criticizing me and trying to put me off when I switched to a shooting arcade game, the jerk. He said in lieu of any talent of his own, he just stood to the side and tore down other people. I know how he feels as I often do that myself.

Once the entire group had made its way over, someone had the brilliant idea of doing a karaoke song in honor of Dave. They picked Green Day's "Good Riddance" (probably more recognizable as "Time of Your Life"), a clichèd and predictable choice, favorite of prom committees everywhere since the year it was released, and perhaps more than a little inappropriate considering I'm fairly sure Dave's 9 years as manager were among the most miserable of his life, if his incessant grumbling and bitching was any indication. I begged off, using my voice issues as an excuse, but today while idly singing the chorus to myself I realized that it is actually perfectly in my range. But whatever, despite the truly terrible singing onstage I got a little choked up, as did Dave. I got a bit fahklempt when he slow-danced with an auditor that I know drove him round the bend ever since the day she started working. And I got downright weepy when he hugged me goodbye at the end of the night. I'm gonna miss old Dave, no doubt about it.

We gave him the ritualistic RGIS send-off of tagging his car (covering the car with the long yellow strips of paper we use to mark where we've counted). We only do this to people we truly like, and he knows it. We all laughed and pointed watching him pick them up. Ah, these are Santori times.

Dave, we hardly knew ye

Me and Dave

grrgoyl: (jayne calm)
Before going into work last night, I popped into the TJ Maxx across the plaza for winter gloves. I hate this town -- we had three days of warm weather back in February and all the stores instantly got rid of all their winter apparel in favor of bathing suits and halter tops, even though March has been none too balmy and we historically get our biggest snowstorms in April. While I was there I also picked up another pair of slippers, because my boy ferrets are fond of stealing my old pair, but only ONE of them, so at any given time I can only find one slipper. Maddening. I'm hoping between four shoes I'll be able to maintain one full pair.

But that's neither here nor there. I was waiting to check out behind a woman who was bursting with pride over finding a pair of pumps that perfectly matched a skirt, which I suppose is quite amazing considering the likelihood of finding anything sold there that went together. I waited patiently while she and the cashier admired and exclaimed over the ensemble, then they both turned to me, grinning maniacally. Had I been forced to express an opinion, I would have had to say I thought they were both pretty damn fugly (denim-colored with fake denim stitchy seams. I've never worn pumps, but believe strongly that they should not look like blue jeans). It was good luck all around then that no one was forcing me to express an opinion. As it was, I just smiled weakly at them. But I resent the assumption that I care about things like fashion accessories and wardrobe coordination just because I have breasts. Sometimes I have to forcibly remind myself that navy blue and black can't be worn together (though I'm still not entirely sure why). I'm a tomboy. I don't fill my head with such silly nonsense.

I went to the inventory (Old Navy) and started working. I noticed a couple of high school kids ask a store employee if he was a leprechaun. Eh, I shrugged it off. Bored kids celebrating St. Patrick's early, I assumed. But then I gradually became aware that there were other kids asking everyone in the store the question, customers, store personnel and RGIS auditors alike. "Are you a leprechaun? Are you a leprechaun?" I could hear all around me. I started to sweat a little. What would I say if they asked me? True, I AM half-Irish, but wouldn't that make me only half-leprechaun? Why did they want to know? Would they try to kiss me if I admitted it? Would they try to steal me gold?

They became quite disruptive, leaving and then slamming back through the front door, screaming in unison "LEPRECHAUN!!!!!!!!!!!!" and stampeding through the store like it was a playground. Adorable. Finally I heard a girl ask me from below my ladder, "Are you a leprechaun?" I turned to her and our gazes locked. It was a bonus that from my height I was naturally looking down my nose at her. I fixed her with my coldest, most withering "get the fuck away from me" stare. She paled visibly and ran away.

I was not asked if I was a leprechaun again.

It's not my fault. I hated high school kids when I WAS a high school kid, and sad to say my love has not grown one iota since then. Hell, I barely tolerate most adults. I'm sure my homegirl Rebecca will back me up on this one, our childhoods were almost identical in terms of harassment and alienation (I know, poor me. It's not like that. I never wanted to be one of the cool kids, I just wanted to be left alone). I asked my boss what the deal was with the recess action, and he explained it was some kind of competition or game the local school was playing. The kids had to run from store to store in the plaza looking for the "leprechaun," someone who they obviously didn't know, necessitating them asking everyone they saw. I'd like to know what kind of school advocates pestering innocent people, or for that matter talking to complete strangers (when I was growing up, the cardinal rule expressly forbade this). Stupid whippersnappers. Kids these days aren't getting enough homework, that's the problem with our society. Yes, I'm a bitch, but like I said, I didn't mind it too much until they started screaming and stampeding.

Given the nature of this post, I think my new Jayne icon (stolen from [ profile] aurora_z (who frankly has more awesome icons than she knows what to do with), touched up and spit-shined a bit) is just perfect. ♥ ♥ ♥
grrgoyl: (Default)
Last night we inventoried Cost Plus. This is the chain that I suspect gave me piiiiiiiink eyyyyyye last cycle (though this particular store seemed a lot cleaner this time around). But I'm not going to talk about the inventory at all, rather my co-workers.

The laziness of kids today is really beginning to concern me. This job requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency and initiative. I'm not talking climbing-the-corporate-ladder initiative, I'm talking being able to seek out more assignments when the current one is completed. Doesn't sound that hard, but there are an alarming number of kids that work for us who see this as an opportunity to take a little break, slowly shuffling about the store pretending to be looking for the supervisor but really just killing time until the inventory is over. It is MADDENING I tell you, as someone who inherited a strong work ethic from her father.

So last night there was this girl. We were all finishing up in the backroom on a couple of palettes of seasonal stuff. About 5 of us were pulling down big boxes and counting them. She timidly approached us to help so I gave her a box. When she finished it, she announced triumphantly "Okay!" and then just stood there looking at me. "Okay," I repeated and looked back. "What now?" she asked. Oh for the love of...."Help yourself" I said, indicating the rest of the boxes on the palette. Hand-holding. Hand-holding and babysitting are what these kids need nowadays. As we neared the end of the palette she was the first to finish. Taking what passed for initiative for her, she asked if she could help anyone else. We all said no, and she stood there. And stood there. And stood there. After about 10 minutes when I noticed she was still there, I said "I would prefer you go talk to Dave rather than stand there watching us." They're like dolls that need the giant key in their back rewound before they'll move again, I swear. Initiative. Look it up, people.

Then we started the salesfloor where I ended up counting with Alex all night long. Alex is a nice enough kid. I wouldn't call him stupid so much as young and inexperienced. He is, however, very exuberant, like a 6-foot-tall Labrador puppy. I've been distancing myself from him because this has a tendency to annoy me, but since we were stuck together last night I thought I should try to be nice and make conversation. BIG MISTAKE. He has a problem where he voices every little thought that flits through his mind the very second that he has it. It's like having a conversation with James Joyce, except without the intelligent things to say. Complete stream-of-consciousness diarrhea of the mouth. As an example, he once remarked to the room at large, apropos of nothing, "Having an IV is weird. It's like, one minute you're thirsty, and the next minute you aren't."

During the course of his chatter, this exchange occurred. He told me he was thinking of going to Starbucks for a second job during the RGIS slow season. He had worked for them before so didn't think he'd have a problem being hired again, except he didn't know what the pay was these days but he was pretty sure he could get a decent rate, he really liked working for them and blah blah blah you get the idea. Then THIS was said:

Alex: (after a respectable silence, during which I thought we had dropped the Starbucks topic) My sister works at Starbucks in New York, right across from the World Trade Center.
Me: Not anymore she doesn't. Now she works across from Ground Zero.
Alex: Not the Twin Towers. The World Trade Center.
Me: The Twin Towers WERE the World Trade Center.....?
Alex: What happened to the World Trade Center?
Me: (you can imagine my incredulity) got blown up. Do you ever watch the news?
Alex: Oh! No, not the World Trade Center. What's that other big building in New York?
Me: The Empire State Building?
Alex: Yeah! That's it! I just get confused because the Empire State Building USED to be called the World Trade Center.
Me: Wait, what?

I'm seriously considering posting this to [ profile] mock_the_stupid. And last night I was seriously considering begging Dave to let me count anywhere else but near him after that. All in all I think I was better off when he was wary and regarded me as unapproachable.

Thoroughly unrelated, but Tery insisted I post this pic, I wanted my hair cut but I hate going to a hairdresser. I hate this because it's kind of like Christmas day for me: Either they barely touch my hair and it looks like nothing has been done, or they insist on making it all poofy and girly, blowdrying and spraying and styling the crap out of it. Either way I feel obligated to ooh and aah over it as if I really like it (kind of like my Christmas presents), before running to the car and taking a comb to it to try to look like myself again and not some bizarre tomboy/runway model hybrid.

(Though I will grant you that the hairdresser doesn't require as much moral support or guarantees against violence should it not go according to plan.)

So Tery called me from the bar and I reminded her I wanted her to cut my hair so please don't come home drunk. Three hours later she arrived, not exactly drunk but not 100% sober either. It is a testament to how much I hate the hairdresser that I would prefer to allow a half-inebriated person to come at my head with scissors. She didn't do a half bad job, actually, but when we were done she decided to have some fun with Griffyn. Poor Griffyn has adrenal cancer that has caused most of her fur to fall out. Tery thought it would be amusing to loan her some of my discarded hair:

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She insists she is happier with the hair. Based on this pic, I for one can't imagine she's enjoying her Ted Koppel combover.

Even more unrelated, here is my new favorite (work-safe variety) Snarry pic. I wish I could credit the artist but I just copy images from the internet at random and don't make note of where I found them.

Image Hosted by


It's just perfect. Severus looks so morose and lonely. Harry looks older (I HATE Snarry chan art) and so....beside himself with desire. Yum.
grrgoyl: (max)
Last night we did Whole Foods in Cherry Creek again. I've bitched about it before (or rather, its clientele), but I don't believe I've ranted yet about the ludicrous parking situation there. Picture if you will a grocery store located smack in the heart of a major shopping district. An insanely busy grocery store. Picture this store's lot containing around 75 parking spaces, and at any given time there being about 90 people who want to use those spaces. Try then to picture the vicious deathmatch that ensues from this very poorly planned out situation. The simple act of parking involves hopelessly circling and circling. Every car that backs out is surrounded by four more, hovering like vultures, staring each other down. You have to be rude, you have to piss other people off; an extremely dog-eat-dog parking lot. It takes someone truly strong of heart and aggressive of driving skills to win one of these coveted spots. Every single month I and my coworkers have to deal with these unnecessarily stressful conditions.

But then, there's the garage. There is a very large parking garage at one end of the building, but I have never used it because someone somewhere once said that Whole Foods wouldn't validate parking for us. This led to a small number of very bitter (but unpublished) rants, I can assure you. But this month I simply did not want to deal with the parking lot rat race, so I decided to use the garage. I read something on the way in about weekend rates being $3, but I didn't linger too long on it.

Once inside and working, I tried to ask the employees what the deal was with the garage. They assured me that the Customer Service desk WOULD validate; one said for the entire night, another said for only an hour and a half. They suggested I move my car later when it wasn't so busy, but at the time of my dinner break I was starving to death and decided food took a higher priority right at that moment, not to mention things still looked kind of dodgy in the lot.

I kind of put it out of my mind until it was time to leave. I was starting to worry a bit about the charge -- was it $3 an hour? Because I had been there for 11 hours -- but even more about getting out at all. I had run back for a warmer jacket to count the seafood freezer and noticed no attendant on duty anymore. Gerry had scored a "special event" ticket for me from Customer Service that should have been good for the entire night, but I couldn't be sure. I'm a small-town girl, I don't have that much experience with parking garages.

My suspicions were confirmed. I pulled up to the pay machine where sensors detected the weight of my car and a female computer voice spoke to me. The "special event" ticket didn't work, so I was forced to use the one I received when I entered. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the total fee was only $3. What a deal! I inserted my credit card to pay the pittance, only to hear the female voice inform me that the machine didn't take credit cards. I tried twice, but nothing. I studied the face of the device balefully. I took special note of the handwritten sign that said "insert credit card here." I took extra special note of the MasterCard/Visa logos right below that. The woman herself said "Reading card now" after I gave it my card, in the spot where it said to insert it, right above the MasterCard/Visa logos. But, like most computers, there was no reasoning with her.

Not knowing what to do, I approached the Help box conveniently situated on the other side of my car. I had a conversation with a very nice security guard, who empathized with me however, a.) he was really more involved with the security aspects of the garage, not so much the payment side of the business, and b.) he was in Brighton. He said he would certainly let me out if I were still stuck when he got there in an hour. (When I told Tery this story, she asked a question I missed: What good is a security guard sitting in Brighton? What would he have said if I was actually being attacked? "Keep running, I'll be there in an hour"??)

*Sigh* Reluctantly I returned to the store to beg for some cash. I had to leave my car parked in front of the machine, because if I moved it I suspected the transaction would begin again, except this time I'd have no ticket. Then instead of being screwed, I'd be really screwed. Gerry loaned me the $3, magnanimously at first, but then he threatened to "take it out of my hide" if I didn't repay him. Eep. (though I'd like to think my hide is worth enough that $3 would only entail, like, stomping on my foot or something.) I ran back and fed it into the machine, where the imperturbable female voice told me to push a button to get a receipt, as if nothing at all was wrong. "Shut up, bitch, you're on my list" I growled as I freed my vehicle at last.

Quite the adventure. But I maintain that $3 is a very small price to pay to avoid the life-or-death struggle that I used to endure to get a free space. I would have started using the garage a long time ago if I knew that.
grrgoyl: (ewan clone)
But first...I give you Ross inventory Friday night.

It all started when I counted this item in the food aisle:

and I couldn't resist showing Gerry, adding the statement "I like my oatmeal like I like my men....thick and rough." Or, more accurately, "thin and unable to hold a spoon."

Over the course of the night the joke was repeated ad nauseum, until it degenerated into, "I like my oatmeal like I like my arms...ropey and hairy" (Gerry's arms are just so) and finally, in Intimate Apparel, "I like my oatmeal like I like my panties...polka dotted and crotchless."

In the cold light of day the following morning, and judging from Tery's tepid reaction, I realized it isn't THAT funny. But on the flip side of a 6-hour inventory, at the end of a long day, at the end of a long week, we had tears in our eyes and difficulty breathing. Good times.

I'm sure our co-workers thought us quite, quite mad.

And now, because you can't sit and fume about our inept government all the time, I rented The Jacket.

People may remember way back when I first realized my love for Adrien Brody. All this time my love has been simmering on a back burner, though certainly not forgotten. So for his starring role, I was drawn to this movie.

It was compared to The Butterfly Effect (a fair comparison, if unfortunate, as I wasn't too crazy about that movie) as well as Donnie Darko (also a fair comparison, if a teasing one, as the similarities are not really worth mentioning). Don't you miss the days when movies were able to stand on their own and not examined as a sum of their inspirations? The movie was also marketed inexplicably as a horror flick, but since Adrien was really my main attraction, ask me if I cared about the gross mislabeling.

It had a pretty all-star cast even apart from my boy, with Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Kris Kristofferson, Kelly Lynch and Keira Knightley (and I just realized after typing that out that the entire supporting cast's names begin exclusively with J's, K's and L's. Funny).

Adrien plays Jack Starks, a Gulf War veteran who is shot in the head but somehow lives. He returns to society despite suffering retrograde amnesia and is wrongly accused of a murder. He's sentenced to an asylum, where he is subjected to a radical, controversial treatment at the hands of Kris Kristofferson involving a body-length straitjacket and being isolated in the drawer of a morgue cabinet. While in the jacket, he discovers he can travel forward in time, where he hooks up with Keira Knightley (who he meets earlier in the movie when she's a little girl). He also finds out that he dies in the past (or actually, present) and the rest of the movie is devoted to him trying to figure out how so he can prevent it (which is the only Donnie Darko connection I can see).

Got all that? Well too bad, cuz now I'm going to pick it to pieces. And I can't do that without the use of some ::spoilers:: )

Despite the faulty ending, and the arguably faulty messing around with the time/space continuum with no apparent consequences, I actually really liked this movie. It sucks that there's no commentary on the disc and I've already watched most of the bonus features, but the story (and of course my Adrien) was interesting enough that I think I'd like to watch it a few more times. Actually 4 out of 5.
grrgoyl: (please jesus)
Last night we did an inventory in the Buckingham Mall, but the inventory is not the subject of this post. The Buckingham Mall has seen better days, with now 70% of the spaces available for lease and the stores that are still open (for the time being) shining like hallucinatory beacons on the main street of a ghost town. But the Mall isn't the subject either.

We diligently worked behind Rave's closed security gate, thankful for the barrier not only because of the aforementioned ghost town ambience, but also because the store employees were talking about a shooting that had just occurred at the Aurora Mall, about 5 miles away. Already feeling a little on edge, it didn't help when a mall employee started walking back and forth in front of the store. I assume he was a janitor based on the garbage can he was pushing. He was older, with frizzy long gray hair under his grimy cap. He resembled a creepy elementary school bus driver, the kind of guy who is nervously tolerated until local children start disappearing. He was loudly chanting a line over and over and over, something like this: "...walkin' de dog....I'm walkin' de dogey....walkin' de dog....I'm walkin' de dogey..." When he noticed our lights on and activity in the store, he came right up to the gate and peered in, repeating his little mantra so we could all hear it. I was the closest to the front of the store but had my back to the door. I didn't even look up from my pile of shirts for fear of making eye contact.

Thankfully he realized we were all busy working and wandered off on his own, but his words echoed long after. You know how you sometimes get a snippet of a song stuck in your head and it just repeats for hours, until you start crying and begging it to stop? It is far worse to be trapped with the lunatic ramblings of a lonely janitor in there, believe me. About two hours later I had finally forgotten it when he came around again, STILL yelling it out ad nauseum. That coupled with a store temperature so hot it felt like my brain was boiling in my skull made me come dangerously close to just shouting, "Someone, kill me now, please!!!" It didn't help at all that some of the girls recounting us had already cooked off one brain cell too many and kept insisting we were wrong, making the supervisor waste endless minutes rechecking them and trying to explain that we were right while I tried to count practically the entire store alone. Unbearable.

In lighter news, Tabby invited me to the Gay Pride parade Sunday which I am looking forward to immensely, even with the full awareness that I might go home alone if she hooks up with someone (conversely, if she DOESN'T hook up, with every lesbian in the city in her vicinity, she might very well give up on finding anyone completely and resign herself to spinsterhood at the tender age of 22). Tery has never been to a parade (neither have I) and refuses to start now, with the excuse that she "doesn't want to draw attention to" herself. She doesn't see the patent ludicrousness of this statement, given that she's already out to everyone who knows her at work, at home, at social gatherings. I guess her Closet has varying degrees, rather than a definitive In and Out. That's fine, considering this morning she turned to me suddenly and asked why I don't look like Ellen DeGeneres, after I've spent weeks trying to assure her she's just as beautiful as the first day I met her (I fear the beginnings of a mid-life crisis might be upon her). Bitch. I'm still going (assuming I'm not working) and maybe will have some nice piccies to share from it. Hey, maybe there will be some religious protestors and I can get in a fight! Oh boy oh boy oh boy....
grrgoyl: (satan)
I just finished the day from hell at work, and now you, my lucky friends (I see you over there), get to read all about it.

It started off badly when I overslept because somehow my clock radio station went to static, and soothing background white noise has never been terribly effective at waking me. I snorted myself awake by pure luck at 4:32, time to get to the store but NOT time to take a shower first; this is especially crucial because I skipped my shower yesterday so I could get 3 hours of sleep between jobs instead of 2-1/2, trusting that I would get to take one this morning. The only thing worse than starting work at 5 am is doing so showerless, sweaty, clammy, eck. To me it is the worst feeling in the world, body wise.

From there the day started going downhill rapidly. We were severely understaffed for the Albertson's, the largest one in our district, which our scheduling manager stubbornly refuses to believe is any bigger than the others, having never actually set foot in it herself. We had 4 power counters and the rest were just warm bodies. The rest of the day crew had to do a Kmart out of town. Our store took 14 HOURS to finish. The Kmart took about half that long, which we learned right at the end and which slapped a big stamp of irony on the whole day.

The supervisor threw me into the pharmacy to count. I don't mind counting pharmacies, except for the fact that I only get to do them when I'm a last resort and usually alone (they are normally done with 2 people). Nothing starts the day right like telling a pharmacist (this one particularly uptight and grumpy) he's only getting half the crew he expects. It would be nice to do a pharmacy once in awhile when I don't feel like I need to count my ass off and when I'm not afraid to even take a bathroom break for fear of the guy snapping.

Then into grocery for the remaining 9 grueling hours. Albertson's ads repeat a lot in the course of a day. Don't believe me, go hang out in one for just 3 or 4 hours and you'll see. So it seemed unusually cruel to me to have to listen approximately every 17 minutes to a comeback of the old Oreo jingle rhapsodizing about my favorite drink in the whole wide world. You know the one, "Oh, oh, oh, ice cold milk and an Oreo cookie, they forever go together in a classic combination..." Being 9 hours away from anything ice cold, and as I mentioned very sweaty and clammy, this was exquisite torment.

But the point when I knew that this hell was devised with me in mind came when I counted the seasonal side and found, back behind the desk fans and beachwear, a lone, perfectly intact, Cadbury Creme Egg™. It wasn't even all oozing and sticky like they get at the end of the season. Oh, now COME ON. What are the freakin' odds, a full 2-1/2 months after the last Easter candy sells out and my heart breaks a little for another year??? I held it aloft, gazing at it, and almost wept from the deliberate, calculating cruelty of the universe...and then totally hid that sucker back behind the fans to come buy it later. I did go back for it, using the self-scan checkout so I didn't have to answer a lot of stupid questions from a clerk. I shuffled out to my car with it, shielding it from the sun, my darling, my precioussssssss....

Not to be totally negative, there are good things about working 14 hours. get to avoid both rush hours in traffic. And that's it. That's the only good thing about it.

14 freakin' hours. Most of us made it to the end, that much stronger for not giving up. It made us brothers in arms, at least until the next round of backstabbing starts up again. It's stores like this that become the stuff of inventory legend, the ones that we come back to in 6 months or a year, after the bloody stumps of our feet have healed, and look back and laugh and say to each other, "Hey, remember last time we did this store...?" Yeah, good times.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a well-earned reward to enjoy. "Oh, oh, oh, ice cold milk and a Cadbury Creme Egg™..."

OMG I almost forgot!!! T-minus 16-18 hours (depending on arrival of installation man) to cable modem!!!!!!!!!!!!!
grrgoyl: (frank)
Last night we did Banana Republic, the Gap's obscenely rich aunt who plants sloppy kisses on its cheek and gives it slacks for Christmas. We started the backroom early, undaunted by the piles and piles of XS strappy tank tops stacked 30 high. Undaunted, that is, before a manager with way too much free time wandered by and decided that, being only slightly more evolved than neanderthals, we lowly auditors needed to work one-on-one with someone to avoid messing up the stacks. Our boss did his best to diplomatically dissuade her, but this was her contribution to the inventory process and she wasn't backing down. It is absolutely irrelevant to the story that she looked a bit like Anne Murray would look if she were forced to abandon singing for a career in retail.

So my auditor partner and I had to share an already cramped aisle with two young bucks who I could tell had very little interest in standing there holding tags for us to scan. Before my guy arrived I had been using two hands to carefully transfer the shirts into another pile as I counted. He instead held the entire stack in one hand and with the other flipped the shirts back into a more disheveled pile. Which was better than when we got to the tanks that had the ticket buried deep inside the shirt. These he pulled off roughly, shaking out the folds and then tossing the shirts carelessly back on the shelf in a big heap. Because, you know, if we did that we'd be messing up the stacks. Inventory isn't a job for everyone. It is widely regarded as mind-numbingly boring. I don't usually mind it, since it gives me plenty of time with my own vastly entertaining thoughts (for instance, sketching the rough outlines of potential journal posts). One of the few perks of the job for me is the ability to work alone. However, even I had to admit that standing there while this kid fumbled through the clothes for the ticket, waiting only for the right moment to pull the trigger on my scanner tested my boredom tolerance considerably. It took every ounce of willpower I had to keep my mouth shut and put up with it.

My auditor partner had to deal with a similar situation, except her counts were also off on top of it. It was while she was searching back through one shelf to find the ticket they missed that Anne Murray returned to find the "helper" watching her do this. "Well if you're just standing there, Rocky, it defeats the whole purpose of me putting you with her," she snapped venomously. None of us made any attempt to explain what was actually going on, because I suspect we all knew how silly the entire exercise was. "Just...go do something else" she barked, and he happily scampered off. My auditor partner turned to me and said under her breath, "Well, that takes care of THAT problem." But I still had to deal with mine. We finally got out of the strappy tanks and into some wafer-thin but still more manageable T-shirts. I tried working with him. I suggested little counting tricks that I use to make it go faster, but he simply couldn't grasp them. I asked and he confirmed my suspicion that most everything needed to be refolded anyway when it went to the salesfloor, making the need to "avoid messing up the stacks" even less crucial. The final straw came when I noticed him using two hands to carefully transfer the shirts into another pile as we counted, in very much the same way I was before he came along. I gently pointed out that I could honestly handle it myself and probably a good deal faster, asking if he thought his boss would get too upset. He eagerly agreed that he actually did have a lot of other work he needed to do, and happily scampered off.

Later talking with Tery about this, she mentioned she overheard Ms. Murray bitching about her great one-on-one plan being "pushed aside." Oh, get over yourself, you soft-hits-of-the-70's-singing beeeyatch. If you don't tell me how to take inventory, I won't tell you how to manage your store. Deal?

In case anyone is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for an update on my MST3k seller, the same day I posted he emailed me with tracking numbers. The discs arrived yesterday, hooray! However he uses the cheap-ass generic blanks (I've seen them on eBay, $20 for 100. What a deal!) so 4 out of 17 didn't work at all, boo. I emailed him hoping for replacements, but frankly I'm so sick of him I honestly don't care if he sends them or not. I just want him to crawl back into his cave and out of my life.

Addendum: Surprise, surprise. He emailed me to ask me to return the defective discs, saying "I am starting to think the problem might be with your player." Really? A.) How then would you explain 13 of the discs working fine? He also didn't care that I tested them on not one but three players. B.) What would I possibly stand to gain by lying about 4 discs not working? If I really wanted to make some personal profit off of your hard work, don't you think I'm capable of simply copying the discs to sell myself? Finally, C.) What makes you think this entire relationship hasn't been every bit as unpleasant for me as it has been for you? Why do you think I would fraudulently try to prolong it one second longer than I have to?

And on my way to the post office I saw this: The Toyota Sequoia. I'd like just 5 minutes in a room alone with the sick marketing fuckhead who came up with this deceptively Earth-friendly name. I'm sure they were hoping to play up the "ginormous, majestic" aspects of the vehicle. I'm not denying it is that, but why not go for the full smirk and call it the "Ecosystem"?

Finally, at this moment if my ferret Gideon could talk, I suspect he would say, "Is there any place on earth more magical than the bathtub? If there is, I'd be hard pressed to think of it."

grrgoyl: (palin)
Last night we did a store which will go unnamed, but it is essentially a slightly more upscale discount clothing chain along the lines of TJ Maxx or Ross. These stores, on top of attracting a decidedly less...hygienic clientele (Exhibit A: dirty diapers left hidden in the back of a shelf, though thankfully I haven't personally experienced this in awhile) also seem to find the strangest people to employ. There are different levels of strange though. A person can be strange and antisocial (like me) but still know enough to function fairly normally in mixed company. Then there are the strange and socially awkward, which is how I would describe the woman I will talk about and possibly mock in just a few sentences.

Like I said, this store has more ambience than its seedier cousins, including a barred enclosure in the center of the store housing the leather coats. This was where Tery and I were sent to count, typically a pretty cake job (people thankfully usually refrain from depositing baby refuse in leather). The coats were nice, the counting was good, however we had to deal with the leather manager. Physically speaking she was quite a character, short, pudgy, so badly cross-eyed it was hard to tell where to look when speaking to her, and so farsighted she needed to literally press her nose to the paper to read it. Hoo boy.

1) Tery very early on called for help with one of the price tickets. This happens very frequently during every inventory and to us is not a big deal. But this woman took the news as if Tery HAD found fecal material in the coat, flying into a tizzy, summoning her (just as strange) assistant, and obsessing needlessly on it. "I was so careful to make sure every single coat had a ticket!!" she wailed dramatically. Meanwhile I also needed help with one of my tickets but hesitated to ask, fearing I would push her those last few inches into an abyss of despair. Inappropriately emotional reactions: check.

2) After she recovered from that blow to her psyche, she began checking our areas to make sure we didn't miss anything. She stopped and exclaimed to no one in particular, "I count these racks every day and I STILL have to count them again!!" Interesting. Sadly, not nearly so much when she repeated the observation later, and still less so after the third time. Awkward repetition of statements that no one cares about: check.

3) I was counting men's coats with my back to her when I heard some kind of bodily noise, followed by an "Oh god. I knew I shouldn't have had those onions" followed by a screech across the enclosure to her assistant, "Antonio!!! I gotta go get some Tums!!" Yeah. Failure to recognize when there is simply too much information being shared: check.

4) She started making idle chitchat with us while we counted. "This is my last inventory here!" she announced excitedly. "Oh really?" I politely responded, wondering where else she would possibly fit in if not this store. "Yep. Pretty soon I'm moving to Men's!" I exchanged looks with Tery. Barely-contained excitement over moving to a department 10 feet away: check. Bonus TMI: She explained her husband was taking over Leather and she wouldn't want to work with him anyway because "he's mean!" Lady, I've known you for 20 minutes and look how mean it makes me...

Still, if she's married then there's hope for anybody. Except we have a woman that works for us who could have been her sister, complete with a rather off-putting habit of loudly snorting and coughing as she blows her nose on her own arm. As far as I know she's single and always will be.

Of course, I could have just been ornery due to starting my day by doing laundry. After dumping the detergent in I noticed there was a pair of boxers still in the washer. Unsure of their status, I unthinkingly pulled them out and took a sniff. No, taking in a snoutful of laundry detergent is NOT a good way to start one's day. In the future I'll just play it safe and wash them a second time.

But I can tell I worked late last night by the fact that today I am more interested in detailing my watch than working. There has to be 5 years' worth of store dirt, grime and smegma built up in every crevice. Blech.

Think I'll go make some lunch.
grrgoyl: (spike)
Last night (or more accurately, early this morning) we had to do a 3 a.m. Petco inventory. Highly irregular, and the only explanation offered was that we couldn't fit them in during their first schedule choice so the only alternative was freakin' 3 a.m. No other possible time, uh-huh. I agreed to do it out of pure habit of never saying no, then later insisted I be put into a 9 p.m. Old Navy before it so I wouldn't have to try to sleep and then wake up in the middle of the night to go to work. This plan backfired, however, when the Old Navy was so uncustomarily overstaffed that we finished at midnight, with plenty of time to go home in between after all. I made the mistake of grabbing a 45-minute nap, waking up feeling 15 times worse than before I lay down. I loaded my stainless steel Thermos with some high-octane Nescafe Ice Java and away I went.

Never have I seen such a collection of unhappy faces. My friend Tamara walked in with such a menacing glower that I immediately christened her the poster child for 3 a.m. inventories. Our bad attitudes were not improved by being told we had to "team count" all the pet food one-on-one with a store employee. This meant standing there while a Petco person held bags of dog food for us to scan, then they counted the bags and told us the quantity. So they dragged us out of bed in the middle of the night to do their inventory but they wanted their own employees to do the actual counting. I put up with this for about a half hour before finding an excuse to count elsewhere. Throughout the store they had stuck their little pink "team count" signs on things like dog/cat food bowls, cat litter and scratching posts, signs which I rebelliously ignored. I think I can tell the difference between bags of cat litter just as well as their employees. I hate when I'm not left alone to do my job.

A small consolation was that their people were bitching even louder than us over the insane scheduling, proof that this decision was made by white men in expensive suits who at that moment were most likely home in bed, dreaming their corporate fat-cat dreams. These were probably the same white men who devised the stupidly nonsensical program where the item's UPC code drove whether we could put in quantities or have to scan each item "auto-one." Thus things like greeting cards, cat toys and magazines had to be scanned one at a time, while things like cat condos, fish tanks and bird cages (i.e. things that were more likely to have just one) allowed us to put in quantities. Stupid. Nonsensical. Downright asinine. You don't know pain until you see the sunrise from the floor of a pet store while scanning 80 feathered cat balls one at a time.

On the plus side, at about 5:30 a.m. the sight of a bottle of dog shampoo with a badly photoshopped picture of a kitten apparently lathering up a terrier's head is absurdly hilarious.

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Then, the drive home at 7 a.m. through rush hour traffic, with everyone driving so snippily, impatient to get to work when dear god all I want to do is get to my bed. Then lying in bed thoroughly jacked up on caffeine, enduring the accusing stare of my cat who poutily spent the night on her window perch rather than in bed with me where she belonged. Awake again after only three hours to get to work at my other job.

Oh, it's gonna be a long day.
grrgoyl: (bored now)
I just have to face it. Fate has clearly set Herself against me ever shopping at Hot Topic again. Either I'm in the store with no money, or I have money but can't get to the store.

After my depressing birthday Friday (thanks again to all who indulged my cries of self-pity), I was resolute and very excited about going back to Hot Topic for a little treat, maybe that $6 CD sampler that was just out of reach of my budget earlier, maybe some snarky bumper stickers, maybe even a little something to wear for my sister-in-law's wedding. My plan seemed even more perfect when I was scheduled into a Victoria's Secret Sunday morning and would be within walking distance of my destination when I got off work. Everything was coming together nicely.

But Fate tag-teamed it with Mother Nature and brought down one of our world-famous Colorado end-of-season blowout snowstorms. When I left for work at 5:30 a.m. the roads weren't too horrible, but apparently horrible enough to keep 21 of the 35 people we had scheduled from showing up. Not good. One of them had the nerve to call our boss to report that she had gotten halfway to the store and then decided to turn around again. Perhaps wisely, her identity was not shared with the class (though not for lack of me trying, certainly). The remaining 14 of us soldiered on.

My friends Ashley, Tamara and I didn't have it so bad at first, getting to count the fragrance side of the store while the other unlucky souls had to wade through box upon box upon box of bras and panties (because Fate's contribution to the Big Joke on me was to move all the contents of an off-site storage in for inventory. Fate, you are a bitch). We were singing a different tune however in the backroom, where we had box upon box upon box of mixed up cosmetics and assorted lotions and shower gels to dig through.

Naturally the prevalent topic of the day was the storm. Ashley was getting all worked up, remembering last season when the entire city was shut down for 3 days from a storm like this one, and becoming convinced we were going to get stuck here at the mall. I was a little less worried about the prospect since I wanted to shop anyway (not that I had any desire to shop for 3 days, though). Tamara (who is from Texas and stated in no uncertain terms that she does not "do" snow) started making plans to forcefully invade McDonald's and other denizens of the Food Court if necessary. Damn Texans. A few inches of snow on the ground and she was already trying to decide which coworker to eat first. I was just looking at the bright side and envisioning shopping in my favorite store all by myself without annoying goth kids shouldering me out of the way.

Then we started overhearing the store people talking about highway closures, a conversation that did very little to alleviate Ashley's rising panic. The eventual news that the mall would not be opening at all today didn't help much either. Well, goddammit. With my shopping trip suddenly ripped out from under me, the current situation quickly lost all its charm. As we neared the end I was getting a hunger headache and starting to eye my own buffet options among the auditors. There was an even more pressing question on everyone's mind, as most of us were also scheduled for a Barnes & Noble later tonight. Our boss was in constant contact with the District Manager, who would tell him nothing. The best he could offer us was the guarantee that if we showed up and the inventory was understaffed and cancelled, we would be paid for 2 hours and sent home -- smoothly downplaying the less appealing possibly-getting-stranded-or-killed-on-the-drive-there-or-back aspect of the deal. No, people were generally not happy with this offer.

We finally finished and fought our way through the blinding snow and lashing wind to our cars. This was my first inkling that clog-style shoes, no matter how comfortable, are really not ideal footwear for these conditions, as they almost immediately filled with the stuff, soaking my socks straight through. Before I could focus too much on this misery though, a little Asian man ran up to me from his car and asked, "Mall closed?" I was stunned. "Yes, the mall's closed. No mall today." He ran back disappointed, and I wondered what could possibly exist on the entire planet that was so crucial to buy that he braved such hellish conditions to get there. Crazy, crazy consumers.

The drive home was nerve-wracking at best. Everywhere the roadside was littered with the abandoned vehicles of other, less careful drivers. One notable idiot in a Volvo in front of me on the on-ramp kept slowing down and slowing down until we almost stopped. I know enough about winter driving that usually if you stop, you're a goner, especially driving as I was in a car with nearly bald tires. So help me if this moron got us both stuck...but we were alright. I didn't dare do more than 30 white-knuckled mph on the highway, and for once the SUVs were smart enough not to tailgate. It wasn't terribly far into this drive that I had made up my mind if my bosses thought I was going through it again tonight, with the rest of the city closed down, just for a stupid inventory, that they could fire me if they wanted. I was 99.99% sure Tery would have no problem with this decision.

I made it all the way to our parking lot safely, amazingly. But then the problem I faced was that every empty space was now full of 7 hours' worth of accumulation. I circled once and then realized I had no choice...I came back around and drove at top speed straight into one, deliberately burying my car in a snow drift. That was quite exhilarating! It was so high that when I opened my door I had to push hard to get it through the pile enough to exit. It came up to my knees as I walked to the house, again completely filling my shoes. I got inside and announced my intention not to leave the house again today. But thank god we got a call after only a few hours cancelling the inventory. I know it seems like common sense to the rest of the world, but in 14 years with this company I think I've only seen an inventory cancelled one other time. It simply doesn't happen.

But will I ever get to shop at Hot Topic again?
grrgoyl: (Tick)
I'm a big fan of the mentally handicapped being given small, simple jobs to enable them to be contributing members of society. But at the risk of sounding unkind, I'm just as much a fan of this employer largesse taking place as far away from me as possible.

Last night we inventoried our downtown Wild Oats. I didn't really consciously notice Steven until Tery tiptoed over to me, a smirk on her face, and she whispered behind her cupped hand, "Do you have Steven's schedule memorized too?" I didn't know what she was talking about, until I realized "Steven" was the mildly slow adult bagger working the checkout close to the aisle we were counting. Not that proximity made any difference where Steven was concerned. Like many with his affliction, Steven had absolutely no volume control on his voice, and loudly repeated the following spiel ad nauseum to anyone within a 20 foot radius. "Hi, I'm Steven. It's nice to meet you. I have to work until 8 tonight, then I have to be back tomorrow again for 1-8." There were variations, of course, but most everyone who crossed Steven's path was treated at the minimum to an unprovoked but quite detailed outline of his work schedule.

It was funny to me at first, but Tery, who had already undergone close to two hours counting the front of the store right next to him, had had as much as she could take. We started discussing the pros and cons of being so forthcoming with this kind of information to complete strangers.

The Bad

Steven remarked a few times after getting the obligatory schedule talk out of the way about how nice people have been to him. Maybe so, Steven, but unfortunately not everyone in this world is nice, or what they seem. It probably wouldn't take much for someone not-so-nice to get not only your work hours but your home address out of you, now that they know you won't be home (not that I believe for a second that Steven lives alone). God, I'm paranoid and cynical, but I'm only a product of my environment.

Yes, Steven is a quaint distraction on the first trip. But honestly, the knowledge that I could expect to see him on a regular basis might be a significant deterrant to me shopping there anymore.

Similarly if I worked there, rest assured I would not be able to tolerate more than one day a week of working anywhere within earshot of him...which unfortunately would eliminate about a third of the store's square footage.

The Good

If Steven should ever forget his schedule, he can ask anyone in the store for it.

Again, knowing exactly when he is working would make it easier to plan my shopping accordingly to avoid him.

After hearing the speech four, five, six and seven times, it would become a very effective incentive to get those fingers moving faster and counting like I've never counted before.

Blessedly, 8:00 finally rolled around. Tery and I wondered if Steven would then walk around the whole store saying goodbye to everyone. We are going straight to H-E-double-hockey-sticks, I tell ya. But at least we'll still be together.

As the fastest counter there, I got to count the checkout stands as usual. This normally doesn't bother me, but in this store it is impossible to gauge the ebb and flow of the tide of customers, thus no matter what time I start it unfortunately always seems to become a hair-raising, heart-pumping marathon race trying to bob and weave in and out to get as much work done as possible before more customers show up. And I swear no sooner do I start working on a closed checkout than a store employee comes along and maliciously opens it on me.

This happened twice last night and I was getting pretty fed up. It's pretty close quarters in the space between stands, and customers are surprisingly unforgiving when it comes to checkout lines. If they can't be close enough to smell the farts of the person in front of them because I'm in the way, they throw a mini-conniption fit. You haven't seen "uppity" until you try to come between some people and their groceries. What are you afraid of, lady? You think someone is going to see a space in front of you and cut in like they do on the freeway? Your purchases are going to get away from you on the conveyor belt and someone else is going to buy them by accident? I'm sorry if you feel threatened by me being in what you feel is rightfully your space, but I assure you I don't care about your stuff nearly as passionately as you seem to. In the words of Tyler, JUST. LET. GO.

This doesn't go on just at the checkout stand. People do it in the aisles with their carts. I've lost count of how many times I've had to stop in the middle of working to move for some moron with abandonment issues who insisted on schlepping their cart all the way into the aisle just to retrieve a can of string beans. I can't decide which is worse, when they do this with the cart full or empty. If they have a baby with them, fine, but otherwise it's JUST FOOD, people. The store stockers aren't going to swoop in and put everything back on the shelves because you walk away from it for 40 seconds. It's not the airport where you'll be quizzed later about leaving your belongings unattended. And no one else is going to come along and take it to buy themselves. JUST. LET. GO.

I feel better getting this off my chest. Or maybe it's just my special new Tick icon, which is extra-appropriate for my inventory post because in it he is trying to count (unsuccessfully. How I love that big blue dolt of justice).
grrgoyl: (Default)
In deference to the McCarthyistic paranoia that I've been feeling over people getting fired for blogging about their co-workers, the names in the following work-related rant have been changed to protect the guilty. Also if this seems a bit disjointed at times, bear with me...I got about 45 minutes of sleep last night between jobs.

Saturday night I did The Body Shop, normally one of the easiest inventories we do. Anyone who has ever set foot in one can probably see why: They are small, tidy, and don't sell things like fishing hooks in dump bins or rusty rebar that we have to paw through (yes, I have had to count both in the past). The joy of a simple inventory was diluted a bit by the fact that I had to do it with D., who from past experience I knew was fond of shamelessly cherrypicking because she was running the store and leaving all the crap to me.

But before we could even put a machine on, D. was having trouble getting into the store with her cart of equipment because the narrow aisles were also full of customers. As we were both about 15 minutes early anyway, we stood in the mall around the corner chatting. It is highly relevant to emphasize that we were in a side pocket of the mall, like where they put those sprawling department store entrances that no one ever goes into. It wasn't long before mall security was on the scene to investigate the malfeasance.

"Ello, 'ello, what's all this then?" he asked (well, not really in those words, but it would have been damn funny if he had. Mall security as a rule isn't known for their sense of humor though. Probably because they're so bitter from not getting the respect real cops do).

"We're here for inventory," D. explained, pointing to the store whose outer wall we were hugging closely, as I said well out of the way of traffic.

"No carts allowed in the mall, ma'am" he said gruffly. Actually what he meant was that we were not allowed in the mall. Security has in the past come right out and told us, if we must be in the mall during business hours, to please move about as much as possible using the service corridors and drainage pipes so as not to be seen by customers. I guess they want to spare their paying clientele the unsettling possibility of coming face to face with actual members of the mid to lower working class. Besides, if they let us use the main mall areas for travelling, next thing you know we'll want to eat in the food court like normal people, and where will it end? I'm not knocking all mall security, mind you. Cherry Creek for example, a far swankier and chi-chi-poo-poo-ier mall, couldn't care less where we walk. It's only Park Meadows personnel who are asshats.

So anyway, back to Barney Fife. D. pointed to the store full of customers that she didn't want to mow down and told him that we were just waiting for them to finish shopping.

Singlemindedly determined, he answered, "This cart can't stay here."

Oh Christ on a cracker. It was becoming clearer by the minute why this guy chose a career in law enforcement, and clearer still why he was only a Rent-a-Cop. Sure, I recognized this as a thinly-veiled attempt to justify his job, but I doubted that pointing it out would have improved the situation, so I kept out of it. Thank god just then the knot of customers cleared up and we were able to enter or it may have come to violence, because damn it all, Officer Krupke just could not abide us and our stabbing eyesore of a cart out there among decent, God-fearing folk. He finally left us alone, hopefully to go harass a woman pushing around one of those double-wide strollers that take up the entire aisle.

Unfortunately the inventory start time didn't take into account how little work there would be for two people, so we finished the backroom and understocks with a half hour to spare before closing time. D. said I had to take a break, so I decided to put my willpower to an impromptu test and headed next door to my favorite store in the whole wide world, Hot Topic, without a penny to spend. Oh, the wondrous, magical things I saw there! Nightmare Before Christmas thingies. Crow thingies. Napoleon Dynamite thingies. South Park thingies. I saw a bumper sticker that said, "I'm not undressing you with my eyes. I'm adding a sweater" (hilarious, but perhaps more appropriate as a t-shirt). I saw a Special Edition Director's Cut Donnie Darko DVD in a metal tin with an exclusive teeny Frank mask necklace included that I never even knew existed (obviously or it would already be mine) *shaking fist at diabolically evil DVD industry* I saw a music sampler full of some of my favorite bands, VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berserk, Razed in Black, some unknown band but featuring Robert Smith, all for a measly six bucks. Sadly this week six bucks is a small fortune to me that can buy almost two whole gallons of milk, or enough gas to get me to my next paycheck. I killed ten minutes in there before starting to think that maybe my seemingly aimless meandering might appear to be with intent to shoplift, so I meandered towards the door as gracefully as I could, wishing the heavily tattooed and pierced store clerk a nice night to hopefully allay some suspicion (every employee bathroom has a poster warning that the shoplifter wants to attract as little attention to him/herself as possible). He smiled at me sweetly.

It irked me to find when I returned to the inventory that D. had putzed around on the computer the whole time so that SHE didn't have to go off the clock. It irked me even more when we started counting and she putzed around on the opposite side of the store so I would have to count all the cosmetics alone (note: I said I was irked, but not surprised). It was right about this time that Hot Topic, I love it so, but the employees started playing this ear-bleeding, wall-shaking death metal while they closed up. The Body Shop people rolled their eyes and explained that this went on every night (and morning). Where the hell was Officer Tackleberry while this was going on? No doubt taking a well-earned donut break after dealing with us shifty inventory people so handily. Now where was I? Oh, the cosmetics. I wasn't going to say anything, I tried to shrug it off, and I would have grudgingly counted them all myself if D. were still on her wall the whole time. But no, she finished it and came over to mine, walking right past the last makeup section on her way to still more easy lotions and tubs of mud mask.

"Ummm, there's one more section over here I wouldn't mind help with," no force on earth could have prevented me from saying.

She reluctantly came back to it, using the excuse that "some people don't like when other people count too close to them." Well sure, I would normally feel that way, but even the most possessive of their personal space don't mind sacrificing it a little when the alternative is counting hundreds more lipsticks and eyeliners. Oh she counted it, but with so much sighing, groaning, dropping things, cursing, and generally making such an ordeal out of it that I genuinely wished I had just kept my mouth shut.

The thing about Body Shop is, it can be tricksy. It looks deceptively simple, but a lot of their product comes in virtually identical packaging with tiny differences. For instance, shampoo for oily vs. normal hair. Or men's moisturizing cream vs. invigorating aftershave (I was especially proud of catching the one in the back behind the others). Or three different kinds of aromatherapy oils intermingling in peaceful harmony and identically sized and colored boxes. D. couldn't be bothered to check for things like this, so for every mistake they found on me, they must have found five on her. As the stack of corrections piled up, she murmured to me defensively, "This store isn't very well prepared." Oh, so it's the STORE'S fault you're assuming everything on the shelf is the same? I've been at this job for 13+ years and have yet to attain this level of hubris (except in cases where the store truly, disastrously, infuriatingly isn't prepared, and the occasional misplaced product on the back of the shelf is certainly nowhere near this level. D. knows this as well as I do, making her sorry attempt at blame all the more pitiful). I only hope if we get written up for being inaccurate and fingers start being pointed, some time will be taken to research whose ID number is on the (vast, did I mention vast?) majority of mistakes. It really is amazing how optimistic I still am lo after all these years.

I wish I had some clever way to wrap this up but I don't. Besides, I am way overdue for my nappy nap.
grrgoyl: (Default)
Last night we saw something that made my whole year worthwhile. Denver Card is GONE.

Denver Card is (was) a cute little store on Leetsdale. It carried many unique and interesting gifts and, of course, cards. It was also one of my most hated inventories of any I've done in my entire 13 years with the company. Imagine if you will counting rolls and rolls of stickers sold by the foot; stacks and stacks of stationary paper sold by the sheet; shelf upon shelf of clustered Precious Moments and Teddy Memories figurines; case upon case crammed full of Beanie Babies. Top it off with a jackass owner and his shrill wife (who bore more than a passing resemblance to George Costanza's mother on Seinfeld) screaming at each other through it all. I found many a solution to a gift-buying quandary but refused to ever shop there, just because of the owner. No, not one of my favorite inventories by a long shot. It was such a horrible inventory I think it would be preferable to do it with red-hot pokers in my eyes, just to have something to distract me from the pain of my surroundings. The cherry on top was a cramped, filthy backroom with shelves to the ceiling stacked full of boxes of merchandise, and not a blessed price to be seen anywhere. The owner found it a source of great amusement watching some hapless auditor struggling back there alone for hours. He seemed completely unable to grasp the concept that helping us by making the process smoother would only help HIM and his bottom line in the long run, and the converse was true as well. To him it seemed the purpose of inventory was only to put our crew through a series of obstacles and challenges so he could laugh at us. The more questions we had, the more smugly he would smile. Might I add the inventory ALWAYS went on Jan 2nd, getting our year off to just the right start. And now the store is empty, abandoned.

I'm not one to gloat over others' misfortune (shut up), but it really couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.
grrgoyl: (Default)
I talked before about store people assuming we are complete idiots during an inventory. Last night at Petsmart this was illustrated definitively. Petsmart's procedures dictate that they place strips of brightly-colored paper between products that are different so we don't count them as the same. Whereas this is sometimes actually helpful in the case of, say, gerbil food where two boxes are identical except one is orange flavored chips and one is yogurt, I came across the subject of this post on an endcap of bird feeders. The shelf had six rows of cheap, plastic, nondescript, globe-shaped feeders in small boxes. The last item on the shelf, however, was a tall, ceramic feeder molded into the shape of a quaint English country home. And yes, they had the audacity to stick one of their little dividers between them. Am I blind?? Or maybe I just have an IQ in the double digits. I would hope anyone who reads this journal can tell that neither is the case. I took such umbrage at this that I dragged several co-workers over to point it out (see? how many morons do you know use the word "umbrage"???)

Chris Tilley (my sometime nemesis, always good for amusing banter, but usually amusing in the sense of "You're kidding, right?") was going on the other night about his application to Halliburton to work in Iraq for a year. "They pay $100,000 a year, and the first $80,000 is tax-free if you stay the whole year!" he gushed. This was crazy enough talk, but then he started trying to sell me on the idea. "You can get out of debt in only a year instead of five!" I said I would rather work for five years in the RGIS salt mines than one day in Iraq. The sad thing is he sees this as his only ticket out of RGIS, kind of like kids see enlisting in the military as their only ticket out of the ghetto. I told him I'd keep an eye on the internet for the video of him being beheaded.

The punchline to this is the very next day I signed online and the first headline I see on AOL is "Three beheaded bodies found in Iraq." Oh, now that is almost poetic.
grrgoyl: (kitten in clocktower)
Getting to work waaaaaaay earlier this morning than planned (to make up for being 10 minutes late Tues), Tery and I had some quality time to talk in the car. She asked me about people's jobs creating a sense of self-worth and why she hates inventory because she doesn't see it as being a benefit to society, just that we work to make the company money. She asked if it didn't bother me that our job doesn't help people directly or contribute meaningfully to society. I said, "Every day that I wake up and not go on a killing rampage, that's MY contribution to society."


grrgoyl: (Default)

December 2011

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