Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yabba Dadda Doo

The Flintstones are 50 years old today. I remember watching it every week from the first espisode to the end of the original series. I doubt I missed a single one. Jetsons were my favorite, but Flintstones came in a close second. So for their birthday, the best clip I could find on Youtube.

In other news, some young guy told me my hair was gorgeous last night at work. I think he was stoned. His girlfriend wasn't thrilled that he said it. But maybe she was just high too. They were an odd couple.

Meanwhile, they discovered a new planet that is Earthlike. It's called Gliese 581g in the Goldilocks zone. It needs a better name but I never get over how far space exploration has come in my lifetime. My great grandchildren will probably be talking about colonizing planets like this by the time they're my age.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Little City Life

After working seven days in a row, including the close, open, close shifts at the end, I'm now on my second day off. Still exhausted. But it's back to work tomorrow. Gratefully, my schedule for the next couple of weeks isn't quite so odious but still, the biggest problem with this job is so many short shifts don't generate enough money to pay the bills, but take up more time than a real job. Whether it's a four or an eight hour shift, takes just a much time to get ready and show up and the job is so mind numbing and annoying that you come home tired even if it's a short shift.

This week's biggest big box annoyance is the dress code. Now that everyone has amassed a collection of red and white shirts, they decided they're going to change the dress code to navy blue shirts. Which they didn't announce until the end of the clearance sales, after the good choices for cheap shirts are almost gone. Even better, they're phasing out the red vests they provided for free and going with half aprons that they expect you pay $7.50 for.

They don't even pay that much an hour. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for one. Told the supervisor I'm not going to get one. I'd rather invest in black pants with pockets. Those at least I'll have some use for if I ever find a better job.

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, I see after over a year, they finally rented my old apartment across town. The new tenant, like myself, keeps the blinds up so I could see inside the living room as I drove by the other night. Looks like they have as little furniture as I did, but they do have a much bigger TV.

Glad they rented it though. I hated to think I washed every inch of that place and nobody gets the benefit of it. And I liked the landlord. Glad she's getting some return on the repairs they made when I lived there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fun stuff

Love this guy's animations. This is a really sweet one.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I'm so tired and I'm still facing three more days of shifts before I get a day off. Which will it make seven days in a row without a break. Even better I have a closing shift tonight, which means I won't get home until around 11:00pm and then have to be there at 8:00am for an opening shift tomorrow. And then another closing shift the next day.

They tell me the schedule is computer generated. Clearly it doesn't take exhaustion into account.

Meanwhile, it's been crazy busy because of the clearance sales. Final summer clearance is $2.99 for most items and people buying it by the cartload. And yesterday was super crazy because the regular sales items changed and the computer inevitably doesn't ring up the most popular items correctly. Lot of angry customers over the soda glitch.

And people have just been nutty anyway. Decide to question the pricing just before they finish their credit card transaction and then get pissed off and walk out on $100+ tabs that have to be voided. Which holds up the line. Which pisses off the people waiting in line. Well, enough whining, you get the picture. Some shifts go smooth, some are nightmares. Too many of the latter this week.

On the bright side, my nicest customers are actually the Hispanic people, most of whom like that I'm trying to learn Spanish. My fluency is improving again. Sadly there haven't been any new jobs in the papers where I could parlay that into a better gig. But trusting the universe to provide when the time is right. Hope it's soon.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Small stuff

Had the early shift yesterday and was out around noon, so I treated myself to take out Chinese for dinner from the buffet restaurant next door. Discovered it's the exact same food at lunchtime as it is at dinnertime, only fresher because the place is really busy and it's a dollar a pound cheaper. Scored a great dinner for two bucks and what the hey, I always have to reheat it anyway because I never eat it as soon as I get home. The only difference is you don't get a fortune cookie with the takeout.

Meanwhile, I got the scoop on what happened for Team Spirit Day on the big box outing. They piled on a bus and drove about 40 minutes to another big box store and ate at the in store restaurant. Then they didn't go to a movie, they drove another 20 minutes or so to a convention center where all the local stores employees gathered to have shouting contests and try to grab tshirts that were thrown into the audience. Definitely got the better end of that deal by working instead.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trouble in Big Box City

As the kids say today, what a cluster#**k. I was totally psyched about having three days off in a row. That never happens and no, I didn't sign up for yesterday's employee appreciation trip although almost everybody apparently did. Somehow spending the day on a bus, and then trooping en masse into some restaurant and then going to the movies with 50 people, or how ever many went, just didn't appeal to me.

Well I get a phone call at about 5:30 yesterday afternoon asking why I didn't show up for work. I'm like, because I'm not on the schedule. They're like, oh yes you are. They changed the schedule. I was supposed to be there for 3:45 to 9:15. I guess that was my punishment for failing to sign up for team spirit day.

But nobody bothered to tell me they added that shift. In fact nobody even bothered to tell me about the outing in the first place. And they didn't add the shift onto to my printed schedule. They put a note up on the bulletin board by the break room. Where I never go because it eats up five minutes of my break to walk back and forth to it.

On those days I actually get a break, I take in my car, which takes 30 seconds to walk to and where I keep a little cooler with a can of seltzer water since you can only buy sugar drinks in the store.

I was furious. I mean there were something like 14 people on the sheet. I'd been talking since last Friday about how excited I was to have three days off in a row. Nobody mentioned I should look for a list. It not like some supervisor couldn't have told me. It's not a big deal. I wouldn't get fired for it, as the manager on duty last night pointed out. But as I told her, it's the principle of the thing. I don't want to get written up for their lack of communication.

As it turns out, it was actually kind of fun. There was a total of 9 people working in the store last night but it was really slow anyway. It had a real Twilight Zone vibe but very mellow. And I liked all the people that were working. We kind of bonded more than we would have on the trip certainly.

I agreed to stay through closing so I got a few more hours in and Lord knows I need the money. I even got to take a break which normally wouldn't happen since I didn't actually work for five hours. So it ended well but what a perfect illustration what's wrong with the big box business model.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Practically slave labor

So I checked the NC labor laws yesterday. Incredibly, I discovered that the the law in this state does NOT require ANY breaks whatsoever, for any worker over the age of 16. And even for 16 year olds, they're not required to give a break if they work under five hours. Apparently, it's totally up to the employer.

That being said, I unexpectedly got a break yesterday even though I was just short of the five hours usually required at the big box. I think the supervisor either miscalculated my shift or felt bad about hollering at me for coming to the desk for change while she was busy. Anyway, 15 minutes isn't much but it really helps get me through to the end of the shift.

Here you have...

A horrible computer virus is spreading by email this week. They seem to have the initial attack under control but new variants are expected to arise. You probably don't need to be told not to ever click any attachments that seem weird, even if they come from a friend, but here's the details on this anyway.
The virus, called “here you have” (or VBMania, though different security companies have different names for the same virus), is a simple Trojan Horse: An e-mail arrives in your inbox with the odd-but-suggestive subject line “here you have.” The body reads “This is The Document I told you about, you can find it Here” or “This is The Free Download Sex Movies, you can find it Here.”

Click the link in the message and you download and launch a program that spams the same Trojan Horse out to everyone in your address book, flooding and crippling e-mail servers.
Like I said, you probably already know to avoid these things, but better safe than sorry, heh?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Big Box Life

I totally crashed today. First day off after four days on and I'm going on a three day schedule starting with an opening shift tomorrow. I have to get up six to get there on time. Going to be ugly.

Last two shifts were a nightmare. Had a closing shift and then an early shift the next day. Second one was four and half hours with no break. Not sure that's even legal but you don't get a break unless you get a five hour stint. Sometimes they schedule you for 4 hrs, 45 minutes, which is the same as a five hour shift except they don't have to pay you for the break that way. And you don't get one.

But that's not why the shifts were so bad. I had some many nutty customers. I mean people realizing they forgot their money and walking out. People trying to hustle me. Weird POS software glitches. And the district manager made a visit on the second day. That puts everyone in a fret.

I might have pissed him off. At 3:30 he showed up with a complicated pricing thing he wanted the cashiers to do in between customers. I'm telling him I might not be the one to explain this too since I'm leaving at 4:00 and won't have time to do it. He's like, oh that okay, you can show the others. I'm thinking, buddy, I'm on register one. We're not going to finish this convo. Sure enough, I had to cut him off in mid-sentence because another line formed at my register. People buying the clearance stuff at five bucks a pop by the carriage load. Excuse me, the buggy load. Never saw him again.

On the bright side, I'm getting lots of practice in speaking Spanish. If I can get my fluency up enough to put on my resume, it will help in getting a better job.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Clean house, clear mind

Well it almost killed me, but I kept plugging away all day yesterday and managed to get the apartment pretty damn clean. I hadn't vacuumed or cleaned the bathroom since I got sick. The place was a dust bomb/germ factory. It didn't cure my hacking thing but it made me feel better to feel yucky in a clean house. And maybe I'm hacking a bit less with the cleaner air.

Meanwhile, I need a better job. I'm not making enough money at the big box store to even come close to paying the bills and the schedule is so erratic, it takes up more time than it's worth. Which reminds me of this song I just found while I was cleaning out some old hold files.

Not the best version of it. Obviously they're a bit trashed here, but a great theme song for an underemployed old broad like me.


Monday, September 06, 2010

It's a free concert...

Still down with this horrible respiratory thing, but improving slightly on some days. Was sitting at the computer last night while this live band played at the neighbor's party. Sound was perfect. Band was so good I walked over to get their name. Never saw them. With my ususal good timing, they went on break just as I got there, but talked to some guests on the sidewalk. Looked him up this morning. Thought he was going to be an old black man by his sound. Instead, I discovered he's a young white kid.

More about him at his web site.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

World's best invention

From a friend on Facebook, this pretty much sums up my personal credo.
If you can't fix it with duct tape, you haven't used enough yet.
Seriously, there's nothing it can't do.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Things I learned at the big box store

Survived a closing shift last night. Think I actually impressed the big manager with my after hours, mad shirt folding skillz. He smiled at me and acknowledged my existence for the first time since I've been there.

Two things I learned. Half the customers that come through the line between 9:30 and close at 10:00 on a Friday night are extraordinarily weird, cranky, disoriented, or all three.

Also crazy patterned knee socks and peace symbol themed stuff are making a comeback among the young people.

And big excitement of the week. We got a call from security that someone had to stop a guy that leaving the store and check his mysterious bag. It was me and a bunch of young kid cashiers. They were all looking like deer caught in the headlights, so I leapt into action. Turned out the guy wasn't stealing anything and he was acting a little strange for a good reason. But it's against the rules for me to tell you what it was.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I'll be back someday

I've been feeling like hell for going on three weeks now. Still hacking up crap and I'm weak as a kitten but I've been dragging myself to work somehow. I know I should just go to the doctor, but it's $50 just for the visit and he'll probably want another hundred bucks at least worth of tests. And God only knows how much antibiotics cost. Just can't afford it so send a healing thought and hopefully someday I'll be well again and be able to blog more regularly.

Thanks, as always, for sticking with me through the tough times.