Friday, December 31, 2010

So Long Entrecard

Out with the old, in with the new, seems to always be the theme around New Year's Eve. Although I'm not too sure what "new" is being brought in here. But the "old" is Entrecard and it's out.

I've been weighing the pros and cons to Entrecard for a few months now. While there are positives to Entrecard, the negatives have finally won out. (And honestly one of the negatives is more of my doing than Entrecard's doing.)

I feel Entrecard can be a positive for a new blog and can help a person get some exposure and establish getting traffic to their blog. While some of the traffic is worthwhile, most isn't. Sadly, I myself, fall into this category for the most part. I've become what 95% of the traffic is from Entrecard. That is a person who drops and runs to earn a credit, mostly for advertising purposes. The vast majority of traffic isn't reading my blog, nor have I taken the time to read many blogs myself. I've simply become robotic to earn credits. That's not what blogging is all about to me. I can't expect to get "quality" traffic if I'm not "quality" traffic myself.

In stating the above I have found a few blogs I like through Entrecard that I do read and comment on. I've added a few blogs to my blog roll and have followed some others. But it's a small minority compared to the number I simply drop and run on.

Honestly it comes down to a quality versus a quantity scenario. The time invested in Entrecard has become a liability and not worth the time to me any more.

Entrecard itself has many problems it needs to address as follows:

1) Communication -- pretty much nonexistent.

2) TOS -- a total waste of time. A significant number of blogs are in violation of their terms of service for a multitude of reasons. Reporting them is a waste of time as no action is taken. No action and no communication. I used to faithfully report dead blogs and nada, zip, no soup for you when it came to getting them taken care of. Pop-ups, redirects, auto-play audio, spam sites are all listed as a violation of their TOS.

3) A lot of new blogs being approved are immediately in violation of the TOS in various ways as well. That's kind of a head scratcher to me. I'm guessing they feel the more blogs they add to their network the possibility of more revenue is enhanced should these new blogs elect to pay to advertise or become sponsors for a fee. I'm not faulting them for wanting to make money by any means and I'm just taking a shot in the dark on their reasoning for not enforcing their well-worded TOS. Without communication a person can only surmise what their reasoning is for not enforcing it.

I've spent more time simply dropping cards than actual blogging here myself. Being short-handed at work along with crazy holiday hours haven't helped either. But I always found time to drop cards rather than blogging or visiting the blogs in my blog roll or follower list. I've come to the realization that my blogging priorities are not what I want or desire by being a member of Entrecard.

So it's time for a change and this time of year seems to bring that feeling out in many people. So here's to more quality time for blogging and making meaningful visits to other blogs to start out the new year for me. I wish you all a very Happy New Year. May the new year bring you all the happiness you can handle.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Life Has Become Like A Never Ending Shampoo

Yes, life is just a daily lather and rinse job, then repeat. I'm feeling a little less than human, and more mundane machine like. I almost miss the ex-Worthless Co-Worker. (Key word being almost.) There is some news about her though, albeit mostly rumors and odd facts. We'll get to that in a bit.

The last week has been mostly irritant free when it comes to dealing with customers. I guess all the assholes got their shopping done earlier this month. Now that I've typed that I'm sure that'll change with the few shopping days left before Christmas.

I did have a confrontation with the mall marketing manager the week before last. She's a piece of work. She seems to think she can tell stores how to operate on a daily basis. When I pointed out that she's just simply a marketing manager and has no say in how we operate she went off the deep end, which resulted in me going off on a much deeper end on her ass. To make a long story short she was trying to impress two friends she had in the mall one day and crossed my path in her efforts to impress them.

Then she made the mistake of going to the mall manager and telling her tale of woe about me. (She really doesn't like me much apparently.) Stupid woman. She forgot that there were several witnesses to our encounter as it happened in front of our store and her story didn't match up with mine, nor the witnesses. So she ended up getting her ass chewed and told to simply do her own job, and quit interfering with store operations.

We haven't seen her since, which is upsetting to the witnesses to our encounter as they're the guys in the Verizon Wireless kiosk in front of our store. They're young guys and like ogling her as she struts up and down the mall, as long as that's all she does and doesn't stop and talk to them. I guess I've reached an age where a good looking, but snobby control type bitch isn't worth ogling over. I hope she never comes to our end of the mall ever again myself.

There's that I guess. Now we can cover the exploits of the ex-Worthless Co-Worker.

1) From a mall janitor -- He stated that he knew the ex-Worthless Co-Worker didn't go to Israel and get married and that she moved into her mother's home about 40 miles away. This didn't turn out to be true though.


2) Two days later a sister of the ex-Worthless Co-Worker stopped in and said that she did indeed go to Israel with the "spiritual husband" to get married last week. This ended up being partially true.


3) A few days later another sister of hers stopped in and told us that they did go to Israel but the ex-Worthless Co-Worker refused to get married while there. Apparently there's trouble in paradise. (Big surprise there, huh?) So they're back in the states and she's going to move to New Mexico and live with the guy, but they're just going to be friends. I think this move has occurred already. I'm not quite sure though as this information was gleaned from the boss as I wasn't there when this sister popped into the store.

4) Last night a couple popped into the store and asked me if I missed her. I told them no, then asked how they knew her. They owned the apartment building and rented to her. They were very happy to see she's gone. She was perpetually late with rent and apparently a pig as well. They stated it took them 3 days to clean her apartment once she was out. That part surprised me a bit because the ex-Worthless Co-Worker was always talking about how often she cleaned. Far from a clean freak in their words.

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post here. I'll be glad when the Christmas is over with from a work standpoint. Hopefully I can get back to regular posting. I kind of miss this blogging stuff. I'm hoping I'll have time to put together another post before Christmas, if not, I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you for coming here and reading my drivel. I hope Santa fills your stockings with things you like, and stuff.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sometimes The Little Guys Win (Part Two)

As a follow up to my last post the mall officially (and begrudgingly) closed at 6:00 pm Saturday night. From what I understand that by 5:30 pm there were only a handful of stores still open anyway. No word as of yet if we'll be fined for starting the mass exodus ourselves.

As far as the fines goes, based on the comments in the previous post, most malls have in their contracts with stores that fines can be imposed for opening late, closing early, not opening at all, etc. They can range from $100 to $2000 from what I understand. The boss informed me yesterday our contract calls for a fine of $200 if we're actually in violation of the rules. I doubt anyone will be fined for this latest incident though.

I was expecting to see the mall manager yesterday and he never showed up. We were told he was pretty upset with us though. I'm sure we'll see him today, or rather the boss will since I don't go in until 2:00 pm today.

I have a feeling he has something else to be upset over with me as well. I had a run-in with his mall marketing manager last Friday and basically told her to get fucked, without actually uttering that word. That stupid bitch still doesn't realize I don't work for her apparently. I'll probably post the details tomorrow on that incident because I have a feeling it isn't over with completely just yet.

Tomorrow is my last day off before Christmas. The hours are getting too long to work open to close shifts to give each other a day off. (Well, for the boss anyway. He has a child in daycare as he and his wife both work and it doesn't work out well for them.) We're open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm the next two days, then it's going to be 7:00 am to 11:00 pm through the 23rd. The boss does his open to close shift tomorrow and I do mine on Wednesday. The 24th the hours are 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The day after Christmas the hours are long as well, but I don't think as long as what we're currently doing. I haven't looked that far ahead. All I know is two weeks from today it's back to normal hours and I'm looking forward to that.

And that's today's mundane post for you, if you've gotten this far without falling asleep anyway.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sometimes The Little Guys Win

Saturday was a day of stupidity and greed. This time of the year is no fun working retail. Understaffed compounds this issue, but I've accepted it as it's one of the facts of retail that the Christmas shopping season involves ridiculous hours, understaffed or not. (While I've accepted it I still reserve the right to bitch about it though.)

This is my ninth year of working retail. Our mall has shut down twice due to snow storms in that time frame. They have no regard for the safety of employees, or customers for that matter. It's all about money. Saturday was no exception. The following is the weather warning I saw when I returned home from work. Note that it says an additional 2 to 5 inches of snow is expected. That doesn't sound so bad does it. That "additional amount" is going to be placed on the 15.9 inches we received as of 5:30 pm Saturday though.


The mall opened Saturday at 7:00 am. No surprise there. At that time we had about 4 inches of snow on the ground and driving was still tolerable. I was scheduled to work from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm. At about 9:00 am the snow picked up considerably and the wind was increasing. I called the boss to tell him I was probably going to come in earlier than scheduled. I knew the mall wasn't going to close so I figured I might as well go in early to have at least a chance of the trip to work being a little bit safer than waiting until my scheduled time to go in.

I left for work at 11:00 am and a normal 20 minute drive took just under 40 minutes. As I was driving to work my thought was that this storm would be the one where the mall would actually close early. The brunt of the storm was supposed to hit that afternoon and go through Sunday morning. That rational thought proved unfounded though.

When I arrived at work I was surprised at the number of people that were actually shopping. No there wasn't a lot of them by any means. I'd estimate that the mall had about a fourth of the traffic it normally would on a Saturday. Road conditions were bad, and only getting worse. Plows were being called off the roads for safety reasons.

The mall manager had apparently been in the mall about 8:00 am to simply announce that there was no way the mall was going to close on a Saturday during the Christmas season for whatever reason. Naturally he was long gone and safely tucked in at home by the time I arrived at the mall.

As the boss and I observed the traffic that was in the mall at about noon I was getting pissed. Most of the traffic in the mall was parents with babies and toddlers in strollers. Now I figure if adults want to put themselves in peril and go out in weather like this it's one thing. I couldn't believe they'd risk the safety of little kids though. To. Go. Fucking. Shopping. Never mind there is still two weeks until Christmas and ample time to shop when the weather is much better and driving is much less risky. Morons to the highest degree.

At 1:30 pm the mall was finally a ghost town. There were a few shoppers left. I surmise they were just stopping by the mall before attending a Mensa meeting since they had to be highly intelligent people to be out and about still. (In all reality they were examples of the demise of Darwin's Theory of survival of the fittest.)

Mall security was having a field day with accidents in the parking lots surrounding the mall. As I went out for a smoke break at about 3:00 pm I noticed three cars were involved in a fender bender. Apparently as someone was backing out of a parking spot another car couldn't, or wouldn't stop, and hit them. This pushed the car that was backing out of a parking spot into the car that parked next to them. A car that looked suspiciously a lot like my boss' car. It was hard to tell at the time though since the car was covered with about a foot of snow and I didn't honestly think it was his. Sadly it was as security called the boss about 30 minutes later to let him know.

The snow was coming down hard and the wind was blowing like crazy. Visibility was down to about 50 yards. When I went back inside I told the boss whether the mall was closing or not 4:30 pm was my limit. I figured that would give me about 30 minutes of daylight left to try and get home. He called the mall manager and the mall manager reiterated that the mall was not going to close and that if any store closed the mall would fine them.

Now my boss is a very nice guy, a definite rule follower. He finally grew a set of balls though and informed the mall manager to fine away, we were closing at 4:30 pm. I think the fact that someone hit his vehicle set him off. His car didn't sustain a lot of damage but the dent in his rear panel and cracked tail light lens were enough to send him over the edge. This was about 3:40 pm and he was scheduled to go home at 4:00 pm.

Within 5 minutes of hanging up with the mall manager a security guard shows up because the mall manager called them and told them to come to our store and stress that we couldn't close and that we would be fined if we did. 

The boss went into full crazy mode. It was amazing. He told the security guard to get lost and we commenced closing right then and there. As we were shutting down equipment and lights other store personal started to show up to see what we were doing.

A movement was born. It was a domino effect and other stores started shutting down. We walked out of the mall at about 4:10 pm and roughly 50% of the stores were closed, or in the process of closing. Tomorrow should be an interesting day at work I'd say.

And the drive home, you know the one, where it normally takes about 20 minutes? It took slightly over an hour. There were cars all over the place and the ditches were full of them. The only people making any money yesterday were the tow truck companies, because people weren't bright enough to stay home.

It's amazing how greed and stupidity prevail over common sense. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not One Of My Finer Moments

I can admit freely to having very little patience for assholes when I'm at work. What I don't do is lose my temper though. (Well until Sunday that is.) Total failure on my part.

Being short-handed, swamped, long days, and very few days off contributed to this. Not the best excuse in the world, but it is, what it is.

I truly hate the Christmas shopping season for a myriad of reasons. While 95% of the people are great to deal with the other 5% should simply be executed. This percentage really doesn't change throughout the year. The trouble is that during this time of year we're dealing with five to six times more people between Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time of the year. Instead of seeing one asshole a week we get to see an asshole almost every day we work now.

One thing I am very into is customer service. I actually want to be helpful and get people the information and product they need/want. Happy customers make me money. (And keep me gainfully employed, which is more important than making "more" money.)

I don't waste my time with assholes. Period. I'm blunt and to the point when someone goes into "asshole" mode. I don't raise my voice but get my point across and get them out of the store as quickly as possible. Except on Sunday.

The hell of it is it was the boss who started out with this guy. Quite frankly my boss is simply too nice of a person and can't deal with people like this guy. We were busy with about eight different couples in the store. This guy wanders in with a teenage son. The boss greets him and tells him he'd be with him as soon as possible.

I heard the guy announce, "No problem, we're just in here wasting time anyway."

So far, so good.

For about one minute.

We're bouncing between people who actually aren't in the store killing time while their wife is shopping, like this guy was doing. After a minute this guy approaches the boss, interrupts him, and says he has a few questions for him. Once again the boss stayed polite and told the guy he'd be with him as soon as he could. The guy grumbled something I didn't hear and walked toward me, as I was helping someone else myself at the time.

The guy interrupts me and I tell him I'd be able to help him in a few minutes. He then backs up a couple of feet and starts tapping his foot, muttering to his son about what poor service we're providing him. I glare at him and calmly (at this point) tell him foot tapping and muttering isn't going to get him any help any quicker.

He then goes and interrupts the boss once again. He points at me and tells the boss I was rude to him. Of course the boss apologizes to him, and then tells him we'd be more than happy to help him, but he has to wait his turn. So then the guy gets loud and starts telling other people in the store how badly we're treating him. That was enough for me. I excused myself from the people I was helping and sauntered over to this asshole.

I was pissed. The boss tried to cut me off, but I told him I've got this and this guy is out of here.

Me: Sir, what are you looking to buy here today?
Asshole: Nothing. I'm just killing time while my wife shops.
Me: Do you see how busy we are? With people who are interested in spending money here?
Asshole: Oh, so I've got to spend money here to get any service?
Me: No, but since you're just killing time you are going to take a backseat to people who are spending money here.
Asshole: Listen here mister. You're obligated to help anyone who walks in here. I don't even want to be in the mall today.
Me: Don't let the door hit you in the ass when you leave, sir. My obligation doesn't include putting up with idiots like you. 
Asshole: You can't talk to me like that!
Me: Yes I can. Here's another piece of advice for you. Grow a set of balls and tell your wife you don't want to go shopping. We don't have time for assholes. 
Asshole: I'm not the asshole here!
Me: My guess, just based on your performance here, you're an asshole no matter where you go. 
Asshole: Let me tell you some.....
Me: Get the fuck out of the store.
Asshole: You can't....
Me: Get out now!
Asshole: You...
Me: Shut the fuck up and start walking now.

His wife then magically appears in the store.

Asshole: (To wife) I'm being thrown out of here. These people will never see a dime of our money.
Asshole's wife: What's going on?
Me: Ma'am, get your husband out of here. We don't want, nor need his money. Since he doesn't have the balls to tell you this let me inform you he doesn't want to go shopping with you. We don't have time for assholes so I'd suggest taking him home and never taking him shopping again. He's not welcome to ever come back here.
Asshole: You can't do that!
Me: Not only can I do that but if you're not out the door in the next five seconds I'm going to call the police and have you arrested for trespassing. Don't ever come back.
Asshole's wife: Come on honey. Just leave the store.
Asshole: He can't do that!

Mall security then shows up because I've been yelling at this guy. They then proceed to tell him that we could indeed throw him out of the store and have him arrested for refusing to leave. He starts to give them a hard time and they escort him out of the mall. By then there was quite a crowd outside of our store, and hardly anyone left in the store. I definitely scared away some business by losing it the way I did.

The security guys came back and stated that the guy was jerk in a jewelry store earlier in the day as well. Just no one there put him in his place. Oh well, within a few minutes the store was packed again, and it was back to being swamped. But with nice people, and no asshole to deal with.

The boss waited a couple of hours to tell me he was less than thrilled with me. Unfortunately I have to agree with him. He had no problem with what was said, but screaming at the guy wasn't too cool. The "F" word wasn't a good thing to say either, and definitely not a word I've used in front of customers before. I honestly don't remember saying "fuck" but have no doubt I did as I was about as mad as I've ever been with someone.

I was ready for a written warning about my outburst but the boss said it wasn't necessary. (Apparently he called his boss to let him know what was going on, in case this guy raised a complaint about me.) His boss just simply said to tell me no more cursing, or yelling, but we don't have to put up with assholes and we can throw them out of the store. My guess is he realized that this was a bit out of the ordinary for me, as far as losing my cool. Plus he (thankfully) likes me.

I am so ready for Christmas to be over with.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tying Up Loose Ends

I've got my fingers crossed that today will actually be a day off from work. My last post had me whining about working on Thursday because the boss decided he was sick.

I almost made it through Friday as well without working. I got home from babysitting my granddaughter about 5:00 pm and the boss calls to tell me he has to take his sick wife to the emergency room. So off to work I went again from 5: 45 to 9:00 that night. (She's pregnant and has a history of miscarriages so they go into panic mode when there's a perceived problem.) Thankfully everything turned out to be fine with her.

I haven't been around here much so here's an update on things that have been happening as of late, other than lots of work:

1) (ex) Worthless Co-Worker. We last left off with her fleeing her internet "spiritual husband" and coming back here. She stopped into work the night before Thanksgiving and I had a chance to marvel at her incredible ignorance once again. Seriously. Stupid. Woman.

God talks to her. Since she fled the "spiritual husband" she's been praying for answers to her "man" problems and God has spoken to her and told her what she needs to do. After she told me what God insisted she do I feel God really doesn't like her much.

Apparently she's supposed to forgive her "spiritual husband" and give him another chance, as long as he plays honest from now on. God told her he was still the one for her. So apparently the "spiritual husband" was on his way here to be with her over Thanksgiving and a new beginning.

I haven't seen her since but a sister of hers stopped in the store Saturday night and had plenty to say. Even as crazy and stupid as her whole family is they have this "spiritual husband" pegged (correctly) as a loser. They've all been trying to talk her out of this relationship to no avail. The kicker is, if they haven't talked her out of it, is that the ex Worthless Co-Worker still has the plane tickets to Israel and they fly out tomorrow with plans on getting married there.

This girl hasn't a shred of common sense.

2) I actually lost my temper at work yesterday. This rarely happens even when some douche bag customer annoys me. While I pretty much always say what's on my mind, I usually never raise my voice. I state what I've got to say in an even voice for the most part. My boss says its actually disarming that way. But there was nothing disarming about it yesterday. I'll probably give more details in the next post. I've got to get some crap done around here, and I've got to get around to your blogs and see what you folks have been up to lately.

(Plus I'm kind of fond of cliff hangers to torment you with.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Still Here, Somewhat

This was supposed to be the week the boss and I allowed ourselves two days off from work before the holiday hours really get extended. So yesterday and today were my "scheduled" days off.

And not so much.

The boss decided to be sick yesterday, thus giving him (essentially) 3 days off this week.

I'm not liking him much right now.

Oh, he was actually sick, this time anyway. But he's always never "feeling well." I have a little trouble drumming up appropriate sympathy for him when he's actually 'illen because he always seems to be sick.

He did manage to open the store yesterday and put in about 3 hours before calling me and begging me to come in. I guess a 10 hour day is better than a 13 hour day. But I was definitely bummed because I had just worked two 13 hour days and was looking forward to time off.

So far, so good today. He knows he better be on his deathbed if he calls today.

I've got my babysitting gig to attend to this afternoon. This is a gig I actually look forward to every week. I get to hang out with my "not quite two-year-old" granddaughter.

It's one of life's little pleasures for me.

We've been short-handed for over a month now. It's so hard to believe we can't get a qualified candidate hired, especially with the unemployment rate hovering near ten percent.

I can't wait for the Christmas "shopping" season to be over with. The extra money I'm making doesn't compensate for the time off I'm quite fond of and missing.

So that's today's whiny ass post for you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Black Friday Recap

I survived Black Friday and for the most part annoyance free. There was one incident, but we'll get to that in a bit.

The fake money prank was fun. (You'll have to scroll a bit to see what that was about if you're wondering.) The reactions were random and the best ones were the people who were pissed off when they realized the money they bent over to pick up wasn't real. I was told I missed the best one though when some guy bent over and picked up a fake fifty dollar bill and read the back of the bill which read "Smile For The Camera." Apparently he went into full "Linda Blair mode Ala The Exorcist", swiveling his head back and forth seeking out the camera. He ran down a security guard demanding to retrieve the "picture" taken. Poor clueless security guard was lost.

I did manage to upset one lady though. I was too tired to care and she was an idiot. A demanding clueless idiot at that.

We were swamped, and being short-handed didn't make it very easy to please everyone. Most people were pretty good about it though. Accept for the idiot lady. My getting up at 3:30 am probably didn't help matters out either.


She enters the store at about 10:00 am and I greet her and start to help her out. Within a minute her cell phone rings, she checks it, and announces that this is a call she has to take.


I start to back away and she grabs my arm and tells me this will just take a second. So I stopped, thinking that this conversation will be short. And not so much. My guess is she had a daughter on the other end of the phone and they start talking about what they've been buying so far that day.

I walk away at that point because hey, we're swamped.

In the middle of helping another customer this idiot lady comes up to me and decides she needs helped again since she's now off the phone. (About 5 minutes have passed.) I remained polite and told her I'd be with her as soon as possible. Apparently this wasn't good enough for her.

Idiot Lady: I'm back!
Me: I'll be with you in a minute.
Idiot Lady: I was in the store before she was though.
Me: You sure were.
Idiot Lady: So where were we?
Me: Well ma'am, you were on your cell phone, and now I'm helping someone else. I'll be with you as soon as possible.
Idiot Lady: But I was in here before her, and I'm tired, and want to get my shopping done and get home.
Me: You and a million others ma'am. I'll be with you soon.
Idiot Lady: But....
Me: Just go away.
Idiot Lady: What?!?
Me: You'll have to wait your turn. 
Idiot Lady: You don't want my business apparently.
Me: Honestly, I don't care. You're rude and your sense of entitlement is beyond ridiculous. Feel free to leave the store, or wait your turn.

So she left.

I turned and started to apologize to the lady I was helping and she, along with about two dozen other people in the store, starting to clap their hands together and laugh.

The best part about this is the boss was just arriving at work and he thought he was getting a standing ovation for just showing up.  He takes a bow, not understanding what just occurred. This group of people made the next 30 minutes or so in the store a lot of fun. They were totally great to be around and help out.

So Black Friday wasn't the total nightmare I was fearing it was going to end up being.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Going To Make The Best Out Of Working Black Friday

As some of you know I'm less than thrilled with working on Black Friday. Not the work itself, but the fact that I'll be getting up at 3:30 am to cater to shoppers who should still be in bed themselves.

But I'm going to make the best of it.

I'm actually going to pass on a little Christmas cheer as well.

Because, as you all know, Christmas is all about giving. Pictured below is a twenty dollar bill. I'm going to strategically place these throughout the mall for people to find. (Along with some ten and fifty dollar bills.)

I'm going to bask in the happiness of the lucky shoppers who will discover these bills as they stampede through the mall in search of getting their loved ones the perfect gift.

I can see the smiles I'm going to be bringing to about 15 lucky people who find these bills.

Of course there's a catch. As you stroll through this post you'll see for yourselves.

As they bend over to pick up these bills thinking how lucky they are they're bound to flip it over to see:

But they all will hear a voice say "Merry Christmas, and please dispose of them properly."

(Well, some of them will, if I'm not busy helping the customers stampeding through our store as these are discovered.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No Thanks, Black Friday Comes Early Enough As It Is

The mall marketing manager was making the rounds Monday at work trying to start a movement to get some of us to open earlier than, five-fucking unbelievably too early to pander to assholes sheep who should still be in bed am, on Black Friday.

I've never liked this woman. I can now say she doesn't like me as well.

Much to her dismay I was the only person available in our store for her to speak with about her latest "Great Idea."

Our mall has five anchors. They call all the shots and the smaller stores have to go with what they want for opening and closing hours. Never mind that those hours do nothing good for the smaller stores, it's all about lining their pockets.

Here's our discussion:

Mall Marketing Manager: Hi! Is (store manager) around?
Me: Nope. He's gone for the day.
Mall Marketing Manager: Oh no. I wanted to talk to him about Black Friday.
Me: He'll be in tomorrow, all day as a matter of fact.
Mall Marketing Manager: I was hoping to get a decision today about an idea I have for Black Friday.
Me: Maybe I can help, what's up?
Mall Marketing Manager: As you know, two of our anchors are opening at 4:00 am and I want to get as many other stores as possible in the mall to do the same thing.
Me: I can definitely help you there. We don't need (store manager) for this decision since I'm the one who's opening the store that day.
Mall Marketing Manager: That's great!!
Me: Ah, not so much.
Mall Marketing Manager: What do you mean, not so much?
Me: We're not opening even one second before 5:00 am.
Mall Marketing Manager: You do realize that the mall anchors have the final say in mall hours.
Me: Yup. But I also know it takes a majority vote among the five of them for this to happen. Only two are opening earlier than 5:00 am. The other three are opening at 5:00 am, so the answer is no. You wouldn't be running around the mall trying to drum up support for this had even one more decided to open earlier. You'd have just sent one of your lovely memo's ordering this.
Mall Marketing Manager: Maybe I should just call (store manager.)
Me: Feel free to do that. But he also knows who's opening the store here. Quite frankly he knows if he were to agree to this insanity he'd be the one to have haul his sorry ass out of bed, instead of me, to open up. And that isn't going to happen. Trust me.
Mall Marketing Manager: How about if I appeal to your Christmas spirit?
Me: You, and I mean you specifically, lost that three weeks ago.
Mall Marketing Manager: What?!?
Me: I heard the first Christmas song blaring over the mall music system on November 1st. The same music system you have control over. So we've had three weeks of non-stop Christmas music so far. I'm already sick of it. The same Christmas music you insist on playing well into January as well.
Mall Marketing Manager: The stores on both sides of you are going to open early. Do you know how silly it's going to look when your store is dark, and not open? 
Me: I have no idea. I don't plan on being here to see it. Of course since I'm closing Wednesday I could leave all the lights on if that would make you happy. Be kind of a waste of energy though.
Mall Marketing Manager: You should show some more support to the mall.
Me: Our support involves paying the lease every month. You don't want to go there, trust me.
Mall Marketing Manager: Why?
Me: You've been here for about a year and a half. You pale in comparison to the lady you replaced as far as marketing goes.
Mall Marketing Manager: I don't have to listen to this! I don't work for you.
Me: Personally I don't care if you listen to me. But you're wrong about who you work for. You work for every store who pays their lease here. Honestly, you're the butt of many jokes in the mall. No one thinks you you've been a good replacement for the lady who retired last year.
Mall Marketing Manager: Don't think for a minute I'm not going to talk to (store manager) and the mall manager about you! You have a horrible attitude. 
Me: Fine.

And off she went.

I was expecting a phone call this morning from the boss. He waited until late this afternoon to call me about this. Apparently this young lady went to the mall manager and told him that I should be fired, and that he needed to choose between the two of us.

Never mind the fact that I don't work for the mall manager.

Apparently this had to be explained to her as well. So she's kind of bummed out.

My boss, who thankfully puts up with my shit, is actually happy about this. He's been frustrated with her because he's the one who has to deal with her when it comes to marketing ideas and promotions. This little confrontation between her and I actually got the mall manager, who she does report directly to, to tell her that he's not happy with her performance either. (Finally.)

So there's that I guess as a silver lining when it comes to my "horrible attitude."

Hey guys, I want to wish each and everyone one of you a great Thanksgiving. I know it's a little early for that but Wednesday involves a 13 hour work day and Friday I'll be up at 3:30 soul sucking am for the Black Friday insanity. So I'm not going to have much free time between now and the end of the weekend honestly.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Exemption?

A lot of people are pretty pissy about this full body screening and pat downs at airlines. I honestly don't know how to feel about it myself.

My indifference on this subject may have to do with the fact that I never see me flying anywhere ever again though.

(Why yes, yes it is, quite a cop out.)

September 11th, 2001 changed a lot of things. Those planes being used as missiles were jarring.

But now the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that pilots get to bypass this screening process.

Now that's a bit of a head scratcher to me.

As I recall it was planes used to attack us in September of 2001. Piloted planes at that.

So now we're giving a pass to those who pilot planes?

If we're screening passengers, who for the most part can't fly a plane, we should be screening people who can definitely pilot them. You know, like pilots.

While I have mixed feelings on this screening and pat down process over all, if it's going to be required and carried out, letting pilots off the hook makes no sense to me.

Of course to many people, this whole process makes no sense. As I stated earlier I have mixed feelings about it. I'm all for safety, but this seems to cross a line to me. It's a tough call and situation in an attempt to provide safe travel, yet infringes on privacy rights.

I think no matter your stance on this subject, it make as much sense, or as little sense, to screen pilots as you would any other person boarding a plane. Just simply for the sake of ensuring the person flying the plane isn't armed as well.

Can you imagine the embarrassment the TSA would have to endure if an armed pilot turned a plane into a missile? I think screening those responsible for flying the plane itself would be a good first line of defense myself.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Before You Forget, You Better Write About It Post

I'm getting a bit forgetful.

Actually that's not entirely true. Males have the forgetful gene installed and wired at birth. It's a defense mechanism of sorts. It's used to irritate the female species in our lives.

Prior to falling ill early last week there were a couple of posts involving work.

One being the asshole customer who refused to accept the terms of our return/exchange policy.

The other involving the (ex)Worthless Co-Worker.

The asshole customer:

I predicted he'd be in within two days to make the purchase he refused to make during his illustrious demonstration of stupidity. He waited six days. Naturally I wasn't there to see it. The boss said the asshole didn't utter one single word throughout the transaction. Meh -- I don't have time for babies so I'm glad I missed it, somewhat anyway.

I did see him yesterday though as he walks the mall daily. I gave him a wave and smile. He started to wave back until he recognized who it was he was starting to wave back to. I think he hit himself in the balls when he jerked his hand back down.

The (ex) Worthless Co-Worker:

My forgetfulness isn't totally the reason for the delay in posting about her. I was hoping she'd pop back in because I didn't get to hear all of her sordid story when she came in originally to beg for her job back.

Her litany of complaints:

1) He sucks in bed. My only input here was to defend the guy. She didn't appreciate it when I told her perhaps he thought she had a dick. Usually there's sucking involved was my reasoning. My only other question was to ask her how long it took her to figure out that "he sucks in bed." Her reply was, "the very first day." Yup -- she did certainly crawl into bed with a guy she's never met in person before, on the very first day she met him.

2) He's not wealthy. She seriously bought into that line apparently. He promised to buy her a Lexus and she finally figured out that wasn't going to happen. (See next item, for further clarification.)

3) They met at a hotel, and they spent her first three days there because he wanted to make her arrival in New Mexico "special." This was first thought of, by her, as pretty special, and a sign of his wealth. On the fourth day he took her to his home. His home has wheels since it's a mobile home. So yeah, his wealthy status took a hit there. (Although I've heard the 1974 Marshfield mobile home was cutting edge in the day, apparently the original worn out orange shag carpeting turned her off.)

(Oh... and before someone decides to be offended... I really don't have anything against mobile homes, but residing in one doesn't shout out "wealth" to me.)

And no, she still hasn't run away from the guy at this point. Her reasoning involved thinking that since he's recently divorced this is just a minor setback. The mansion is still in play in her mind. (And probably the Lexus too, but that's just a guess on my part.)

4) Apparently he never answers his land line. His justification for this was because he didn't want to speak to anyone and take time away from spending time with her. This was naturally considered sweet at first, until she answered the phone at some point when he wasn't around. Hello. Bill collector here.

5) All of his friends are creepy and unemployed. Since he was off the entire time she was there I'm thinking he is as well. This part of the conversation was missed by me though. Damn customer's who wanted help interfered here.

So she finally fled and came back here. From what I've gathered not too much wiser though. She's going back online to meet her next "spiritual husband."

It's a shame she hasn't stopped back in though. Some of this is second hand information gathered from the boss. He's the one who got to actually talk to her and I was too busy to catch all of this tale of woe.

Maybe she'll stop back in some day, when we're not as busy the day she did last weekend. I'd certainly like that to happen because she's hilariously stupid and shares everything. My blog would appreciate it as she's been handy blog fodder. Time will tell I guess.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Maybe It's Because I Don't Dance

I've never watched "Dancing With The Stars."

(Writing that sentence does involve some smugness on my part.)

I've also never watched "American Idol", "The Biggest Loser", "Survivor", etc.....

Basically anything that falls remotely into what's been coined as "Reality TV" pretty much throws my brain into a deep freeze. I'm already mind numbingly stupid. I don't need to further de-educate myself watching total nonsense.

But this "Dancing With The Stars" bullshit irks me. This year it has invaded every social medium and news outlet in the country. All because of the hillbilly clan from Alaska, the Palins. You can't escape it.

You don't even have to watch the damn show to know Bristol Palin shouldn't be still dancing. The judges panel has her and her partner ranked last, or close to it, for weeks now. Apparently fan voting keeps her in contention and now the finals are near.

All of this is amusing to me as well. Bristol Palin really has no fans, her mother does. (And yes, that's baffling in itself, but somehow true.) Bristol Palin's only claim(s) to fame are her mother and perhaps the ability to get knocked up as a senior in high school. Not exactly stellar points in the resume of life to me.


Television viewers are venting their rage at Bristol Palin herself for this so-called travesty. Hell, some guy actually gunned down his television with disgust when she and her partner weren't voted off the show recently. These people are truly morons. It's a meaningless show. It's simply entertainment, albeit where talent isn't necessarily rewarded properly.

The anger is also misdirected. Bristol Palin is just a dumb kid. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not her fault people are voting in her favor. Bristol Palin isn't doing anything that any other person involved in some type of competition wouldn't be doing, which is trying to win.

The people who are voting in her favor aren't really voting for her in the first place. They're voting in favor of her mother, Sarah Palin.

This isn't surprising to me honestly. These people who are voting in favor of Bristol Palin when she obviously isn't qualified to have gotten this far on this show are the same people who are going to vote for Sarah Palin in 2012 for POTUS.

And that should scare us in all reality. If these people are willing to bypass voting in favor of talent and qualifications in a dance contest I'm sure they're going to do the same thing in a Presidential election as well.

In both instances people are, or would be, voting for fluff with no substance. Those are the people we should be upset with. Because they're the morons who are the cause of this travesty, and what I suspect will be the pending one, when Sarah Palin announces a run for president in 2012.

Disclaimer: My thoughts on Sarah Palin have nothing to do with Obama. I'm not a fan of his either.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

There Are Days I'm Best Left Alone

So I've been sickly the last couple of days. That pretty much covers my absence here in the world of blogging.

Unlike the stereotype of a sick male, I don't whine about it.

(Not that I don't want to though. It just doesn't do me any good to whine to myself. I don't have a wife or significant other to harass and complain to. Whining to myself seems a bit pointless, because I'm too busy feeling sickly to feel sorry for myself.)

What I do want, when I'm sick, is to be left alone as much as possible. I'm really not that cheerful under normal circumstances, much less when 'illen.

Vomiting as much as I have the last couple of days hasn't been pleasant. Since my stomach was empty for the most part I think I brought my toes up. On a positive note, if I have, there's no more pesky toe nails to be clipped again.

(On a negative note, if I've lost my toes, my feet will appear to have shrunk a bit.

Naturally I'm sure the people who associate shoe size with schlong size will be pointing at me and snickering.

That may be a bit of a kick in the ego's ass.

Of course I'll just stuff my rather large shoes with Kleenex if my toes are missing.

Hey, don't judge me, if you women can fake orgasms I can fake my shoe size.)

I think I'm possibly nicer to customers at work when I'm sick. No that's not quite right, I just seem to be nicer. When I'm sick it clouds my judgement somewhat, so when a customer pisses me off I let a fleeting thought skitter across my mind that maybe, just maybe, they're not as annoying as my sickly mind thinks they are. So many of them get a pass that a not 'illen JPT probably wouldn't let slide.

I also wanted to get them out of the store as quickly as possible because I had vomiting to attend to. Nothing ruins a sale quite like vomiting on a customer's shoes. Plus I'd have to kill them when they'd refuse to clean it up. I'm sure they wouldn't see the logic that it was their fault for simply bothering me when I'm sick and don't want to deal with them. I, on the other hand, see this with much clarity and conviction.

(Then there's that whole prison thing if you kill someone. I'm thinking I wouldn't like that much. I'd have to walk down hallways with my ass firmly planted against a wall for fear of being violated in a most unpleasant way.

Who needs that worry in their life?)

I just smoked my first cigarette since Monday night. I'm sure there are people who would think that's a good thing. I really don't like them people much.

But this not smoking thing was noticed pretty early in the day on Tuesday. Pretty Vietnamese Lady noticed before noon that I hadn't passed by their business on my usual schedule to go outside to smoke. So she decided to investigate.

She popped into the store and took one look at me and decided I needed soup, much to my horror. As sweet as she is, her soup is not what I needed. But there was no sense in fighting it. Her desire to feed me isn't something I even contemplate denying her any more. Even as sick as I felt I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut.

So Wednesday rolls around and she appears in the store with several containers which comprised of soup for the dying and sickly. I now have six bowls sitting in my refrigerator comprising of soup, with warming up and mixing instructions that a rocket scientist would be baffled over. Since I am eating today I just looked these bowls over. I mean right at this minute I was looking at them. Then I opted to call Pizza Hut and order a pizza.

I'm going to have to trust that this will be our little secret folks. Should any of you think about ratting me out to the Pretty Vietnamese Lady, I'll hunt you down, and vomit on your shoes. Or worse, make you eat the soup.

So I'm feeling better today. Thanks to all who commented on my last anemic post. You guys are pretty cool, and stuff.    

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog......

While this is a fair representation of what I want to be doing today it's not what I'll be doing today, sadly.

Because shorthanded at work and sickly can't be tolerated, especially as I'm the only one scheduled to be there today.

May take the recliner to work though.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Guess Who's Looking For A Job

There's a saying that all good things must come to an end.

That was brought home "with a vengeance" yesterday for me.

There are probably many of you sitting there reading this and saying to yourselves, "No surprise to me."

I've posted many different times about this situation here. Many of you have read along with the tales spun here and have had to think, "How does this person manage to tie their shoes correctly, let alone keep a job with their stupidity displayed so often."

You may have even thought with the last post written here that that has to be the icing on the cake. This person has just gone too far, and needs to be unemployed, maybe even institutionalized.

I shudder to even contemplate the process to find new employment, especially this time of year. For one, it's getting cold out there. I'd hate the thought of running around in the cold begging for a job, or maybe even begging to keep/get my old job back.

(Because yes, there was begging involved, even some tears.)

Thank God, I'm not writing about myself here though.

(Although I'm wondering how many comments I'll be receiving consoling me on the loss of a job by people who skim through here and have failed to read this far.

And seriously,

I'm awesome at my job, despite the fact I can't tie my shoes, and the need to be institutionalized.)

The (ex) Worthless Co-Worker is back in town after quitting here a little more than two weeks ago.

After selling off most of her worldly possessions and running off to New Mexico to be with her "spiritual husband" she's slunk her way back into town, perhaps a little wiser in the way of the world. Perhaps, being the key word here. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one though. She is incredibly stupid.

Apparently "Mr. Wonderful" isn't so wonderful after all. So she's back in town, broke, which isn't new frankly, and homeless, somewhat anyway. She's staying with a sister apparently.

She popped into the store yesterday afternoon with her tale of woe. We were busy so I didn't catch all of it myself. The boss was the recipient of her rambling story of her life over the last couple of weeks. She's a crazy bitch, that one.

She figured since she's "only" been gone for two weeks she should get her job back. In her opinion we should, or the company rather, just consider the last two weeks as vacation time. She feels she should be allowed to just pick up where she left off basically.

When this delusional thought of hers was debunked by the boss the tears flowed freely. There were two of us crying actually. One with utter despair, mine with laughter. Her inability to grasp reality was just too much. I did manage to wait until after she left to display my tears though. I'm not a totally heartless bastard after all.

Naturally, there's a moral to this story. Maybe, just maybe, a woman shouldn't run off halfway across the country with plans to marry a guy they've never actually met in person. It's certainly something most people would think would be wise. Oddly enough, I can see her doing this again though. She's not "most people" in any sense of the word(s). She is actually that stupid to repeat this again, as far as I can see.

So while she's not coming back here to work, I did implore her to keep in touch. She's handy for blog fodder after all.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maybe Customer Service Isn't My Forte

There are days I despise people.

I don't go out of my way to do this, but inevitably, and especially this time of year, it happens.

I can only play "nice" for so long with dimwitted, demanding, and rude customers. It doesn't help that this particular customer was a mall walker as well. I'm pretty sure I've let my feelings be known in here about them previously.

A man entered the store yesterday looking for a Christmas gift for his wife. Kind of sweet when you think about it. Usually guys wait until the week before Christmas, if not the day before Christmas, to do their shopping. This guy was shopping approximately six weeks in advance of Christmas.

(This is pretty much where my nice thoughts about this guy end though.)


He finds something he thinks she'll like. I've answered all of his questions about said product as far as features and benefits. Then we get to the part of the conversation where he hits my list of people to despise.

Dimwitted Customer: What's your return policy?
Me: We have a 30 day return and/or exchange policy. Unopened and unused you can get your money back. Opened or used we will do a one time exchange.
Dimwitted Customer: This is a Christmas gift. The 30 days won't work for me. Don't you have a policy that takes that into account?
Me: Yes, we do.
Dimwitted Customer: Okay, I'll take it then.
Me: Wait a minute sir. Let me explain how that works. From November 15th through December 24th we allow returns and exchanges on items sold through the end of January. Today's the 13th.
Dimwitted Customer: You people are all the same! Always trying to rip me off!
Me: Excuse me?
Dimwitted Customer: You heard me. Stick this (item) up your ass.
Me: Sorry sir. That particular orifice is exit only.
Dimwitted Customer: What?
Me: Let's try this again. Come back on Monday, the item will still be 30% off, and it will then fall under the Christmas return/exchange policy. 
Dimwitted Customer: I don't have time to do that. Why don't you quit being an asshole about this. I know you can bend the rules on this.
Me: I'm a bit perplexed sir. Not about the whole asshole part, but your lack of time. You're a fucking mall walker. You're in the mall every damn day.
Dimwitted Customer: You can't talk to me like that!
Me: Sorry sir. But yes I can, you opened that door when you told me to stick this up my ass. You then proceeded to walk through that door by calling me an asshole. Right now I could give two shits less if you ever buy anything from us.
Dimwitted Customer: I want to talk to someone in charge here.
Me: Not a problem. See that guy cringing back by the cash register. He's the manager, and excellent at hiding when people like you decide to come in here and be insulting. His one redeeming quality though is he has rabbit ears and has heard this entire conversation.
Dimwitted Customer: We'll see about that. I'm going to have your job.
Me: Good luck with that, sir.
Dimwitted Customer: Fuck you!
Me: Yes sir. He's right there, go talk to him, we're done talking now.

So the guy stomps off to whine to the boss and I start helping another customer. I do take the time to shoot a grin at the boss though as this guy is approaching him. I know he's pissed. But not at me. He's a little nicer than I am with people like this, but doesn't tolerate them either. Our company backs us 100% as well, under these circumstances. The boss just simply would like me to tell a customer like this to leave, and I probably should, but people like this really need to be told they're idiots as far as I'm concerned.

I don't need to be worshipped by any means, but if you want respect, you've got to show some as well.

A few minutes later the guy leaves the store, unhappily. He heard the same thing from the boss, albeit a bit nicer.

We now have a bet on the guy showing up on Monday to buy this gift for the wife. I say he's going to, the boss thinks not. But this douche will and the boss will be the one to benefit. The guy won't buy anything from me of course, so the boss will earn a little commission for himself when the guy does make the purchase.

And how do I know this?

Simple, this guy is truly the asshole in this equation. I've seen him ream the little coffee shop girls in the past when he's walking the mall and demanding they have coffee for him, prior to them even being open, or ready, for business. So as he's doing his laps around the mall and gets to the coffee shop when they're actually open for business he always gets his cup of coffee.

It's probably a damn good thing I don't work there. I'm not saying I'd refuse him a cup of coffee though. He'd probably be wearing one if it were me. Because I'm thoughtful like that, and stuff.

Friday, November 12, 2010

If Only Muslim Extremists Had A Therapist

Catchy title, huh?

I'm sure this post is going to offend some anal retentive type person. Just a word to take note of in the title:


Anyway, on to my offending way.

You Muslim Extremists, or Islamic Terrorists if you prefer, are really a bunch of dysfunctional dimwits. If your beliefs and actions weren't so damn appalling they'd be laughable. You are the most insecure segment of the human race possibly. No doubt your lack of intelligence and your upbringing has a lot to do with it.

Seriously I can see some reasons why you're so fucked up. Not necessarily to the point of your violent beliefs though. A blind man can see plenty of things that would rob the male species of your culture of any brains and hope for any semblance of a normal life.

One example is the turban, or whatever that thing you wear on your head is actually called. Smothering a brain that is clearly as deficient as yours is never a good idea. Plus you guys seem to wear this on blazing hot days, trudging through the desert, planning your next act of terrorism. I guess no one has told you that hats hold heat in. Your brains have to be fried.

You also dress like a girl. Those robes can't do much for the male psych I'd imagine. Grow a pair of balls and put on some pants. Maybe if you'd quit dressing like a girl you wouldn't have the overwhelming urge to perform violent acts to prove your manhood.

And your intelligence? Simply laughably sad. Who really thinks becoming a suicide bomber is a good career enhancer? You die, killing innocent people, you morons. Who in their right mind straps a bomb to their chest and thinks that's a wise move?

And you know what?

Let me fill you in on a little secret.

There aren't any virgins waiting for you, much less forty of them, when you die. Your inability to get laid on Earth isn't going to make a difference in death. You know, take off the dress, and maybe you would get laid while you're alive and the promise of sex with another corpse, or forty of them, for that matter, wouldn't seem so appealing to you. If you need laid that bad I'll give you a few bucks for a prostitute, or a camel.

Stupid bastards anyway.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Most Interesting Man In The World Indeed

I'm sure all of you a lot of you a few of you have seen the commercial touting "The Most Interesting Man In The World", at one time or another. He's schilling for some type of beverage I'm pretty sure. Wine or beer is my guess because the actual marketing message is lost to me.

Don't get me wrong, the commercials are somehow compelling to me. But not so far as the product the company is trying to promote. (For all I know the shit he's trying to get you to buy is liquid Ex-Lax.)

You have this old bearded dude generally sitting in a bar booth flanked by two hot young chicks hanging on his every word. That's what fascinates me quite frankly.

I think I could do that, sans the grey beard, and if I wanted to spend the money to get two hot young chicks plastered enough to hang all over me and listen to me spout a couple of pithy comments, thought up by a marketing team.

I think I could pull off being mysterious, interesting, and pithy under those circumstances.

(And, oh yeah, those chicks would have to be really effin drunk too.)

Until I thought about it a little more anyway. Now I'm just a little depressed quite frankly. I possess no mystique, at least locally. I've become embarrassingly mundane and predictable.

I pop into Kwik Trip every day on my way to work to feed my nicotine habit. Until I saw these "Most Interesting Man In The World" commercials I was impressed that I could saunter up to the counter and all I heard was "that'll be $7.28 JPT." They already knew what I wanted, the right brand, and (now) annoyingly, they had the correct change ready for me. (Apparently I always hand over a ten dollar bill.) They had this sale rung up before I could open my mouth. Nothing mystique about this at all.

My kids can approach me with any problem they have in the world. And I'm there for them, ready to do battle, sort out the problem, and steer them in the right direction. But that isn't what they really want. They just want to share the problem. When I open my mouth to offer up my worldly wisdom I get shut down with "We already know what you're going to say dad." Again, my mystique has been lost and beaten into submission.

My boss doesn't even bother to tell me about new policies or work place rules any more. Apparently he knows exactly whether they're rules I'm going to follow, or ignore, ahead of time. He doesn't want to waste his time any more, or possibly mine. The possibility also exists he doesn't want the aggravation of wasting his breath. Whatever the reason, I'm once again far too predictable.

I can't even get the grocery store cashier to ask me "paper or plastic" any more upon checking out. I know they used to though. Now they just throw my shit in plastic bags and take my money. I'm a little conflicted on this one though. When they used to ask I'd get that "deer in the headlights look" and mumble and stammer, and finally ask "Uh, what's the correct answer here?" That may have become a tad tiring to them, but again no mystique involved.

So a few changes are in order here. The mystique which has apparently fled my persona has to be recaptured.

Deciding where to start is a bit perplexing. Do I go all in or just phase in some changes?

I'm inclined to start with the grocery store, mostly because I'm going to have to buy some groceries some time today, or go hungry.

So when "Skippy" the l'il bagger boy starts to throw my crap into plastic bags I'm going to have to bring that to a halt. But going to paper isn't exactly exciting, or mysterious. That just won't do. That guy is going to have to find some burlap bags to make me happy.

Baby steps people, baby steps.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Here, Briefly

The next couple of days are going to encompass much suckage.

Since we're short-handed at work I'll be spending more time there than anywhere else. Blogging is going to take a hit, as well as checking out your blogs.

But there are a couple of things to share with you.

1) My latest acquisition of Diet Coke has cans sporting a winter scene. Why they think this makes anyone happy is beyond me. While I'll still buy the stuff to maintain a proper amount of caffeine in my system it doesn't make me want to buy it due to this design.

2) Worthless Co-Worker update: (Or rather Ex-Worthless Co-Worker)

She had a sister stop in the store yesterday and Worthless Co-Worker has already fled to New Mexico to be with her "spiritual husband." You know the one, the guy who she's never met in person, just through the Internet. Apparently the trip to Israel is still in the works for a Jewish wedding though. That whole family of hers is loony-tune.

Interestingly enough an old guy, who walks the mall, and we refer to as a pervert stopped in the store as well. He misses her, but he doesn't blame her for running off to be with this guy, after all, we were told, she's going to get a Lexus after they're married. He's a moron too.

(Oh, the reason we refer to him as a pervert is two-fold. One being, every time we've hired a girl to work in our store he sneaks around snapping pictures of them on his cell phone. The other is security caught him masturbating at a table in the food court a couple of years ago. That earned him a one year ban, and some legal trouble.)

Ciao, and stuff.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

We're Like "When Harry Met Sally"?

Unless you've read the last post this post probably won't make much sense to you.

(Go ahead and read it now, I'll wait for you. There's shit I can do while I'm waiting anyway. I need caffeine, a cigarette, and possibly a piss break as well.

It's a proven fact that a caffeinated and well nicotined "Just Plain Tired" is a much more pleasant person to hang with than one who isn't.

Hanging out with one who hasn't pissed his pants is probably preferred too.)


There's this little dinner fiasco on Sunday night. A dinner fiasco that I wasn't planning on attending until Jackie opened her big mouth. It's hard to be pissed at her because quite frankly her big mouth is one of the things I like about her. I just didn't want to go because I'm not as socially inclined as the hosts of said dinner. Mostly the wife of said dinner fiasco. She's too nice to dislike, but she's exasperating.

So we're going.

But there's weirdness involved. (Yeah, yeah, I know, if I'm involved there's always weirdness involved. Just shut up and keep reading.)

I think I've shown here that my thought process isn't always on target. I have a tendency to over analyze some pretty weird circumstances I've run into and my mind just races from one tangent to the next trying to figure shit out.

The latest thought process involves the perceived threat to my happy singleness. I'm a very much single guy content with life just as it is. It's an uncomplicated and simplistic life that I've fully embraced. It's also one which Jackie has also, or so I thought previously.

There's now an uncomfortable feeling that things are spinning out of control.

Jackie and I are perfect for one another. By that I mean as handy dating material when the need arises. We've known each other for over 5 years now and have bailed each other out countless times when a socially acceptable partner is needed.

We're often referred to as "Harry" and "Sally" by friends and co-workers. Those words have never been uttered by either one of us though. (Until yesterday.) We get to hear how "perfect" we are together, blah, blah, blah... by others, and we just skate around this.

When Jackie decided to prank the boss' wife on Thursday it was funny. It's the type of "funny" that I usually can get on board with.

(And I am on board, even though I'm walking the plank, blindfolded, and about to be shoved into the ocean.)

A phone call yesterday has my mind totally running out of control. It caused me a lest than restful night of sleep, and that's hard to do. All because I'm over analyzing it naturally, or maybe not. I dunno, maybe you people can figure this one out for me. After all, I'm not rocket scientist material.

Jackie: Hey Harry, Sally here.
Me: What?
Jackie: It's a joke, stupid.
Me: Okay, what's up?
Jackie: You have to work Sunday, right?
Me: Yup.
Jackie: Are you taking a change of clothes to work, or going to wear what you wear to work to this dinner party?
Me: I dunno.
Jackie: You need to figure this out, like right now.
Me: Oh, well, I'll probably just go wearing what I'm wearing to work then.
Jackie: How about you not doing that? 
Me: I'm not going to have time to run home and change comes to mind to tell you the truth. You're meeting me at work to head over there, remember?
Jackie: Pack some shit to wear. You can change at work. Their little get-together's are never formal. You in dress pants and me in jeans don't really match up well. I'm not feeling the dressing up thing so we can both look out of place.
Me: That seems like a lot of work to me, they don't care what we look like.
Jackie: Uh, no. You don't care what YOU look like. There's a difference.
Me: If it'll make you happy I'll take a change of clothes.
Jackie: You won't remember. I know you. You're going to blow this off, and tell me you conveniently forgot.
Me: Probably.
Jackie: That's not happening this time. I'll just bring some for you to change into.
Me: Uh, exactly how does that work?
Jackie: Remember that trip you took a couple of years ago to a meeting in Iowa?
Me: Yeah.
Jackie: I've still got a key to your place.
Me: You gave it back, and my plant died by the way. I don't think you watered the damn thing to tell you the truth.
Jackie: Yes I did and no I didn't return the key.
Me: Well shit, you need to do that then.
Jackie: Just shut up. You've got a key to my place anyway.
Me: No I don't.
Jackie: Well not to the place I just bought, but to my old place.
Me: Seriously, I don't have a key to your place, new or old.
Jackie: Yes, you do. I left it on your kitchen counter, with a note telling you I wanted someone I trusted to have a spare key. That's why you never got your key back. I've got your back on this one.
Me: Huh. When did you do this?
Jackie: When I was safe guarding your worldly possessions when you went to Iowa.
Me: Huh.
Jackie: You lost my key?
Me: Um, not technically. I don't remember any of this.
Jackie: You lost my key?
Me: Wait. Hey there's a key on top of the microwave here. I guess it's yours. I don't remember a note though. It isn't mine though, so it has to be yours. I guess I've kind of wondered about it.
Jackie: You've kind of wondered about it?
Me: Well yeah. Keys open shit up so I never tossed it. I thought maybe it was important.
Jackie: You're trying to throw me off track here. I know you remember this. I will be bringing you a change of clothes. You're lucky I have patience with you. You can't function without me honestly.
Me: What does that mean?
Jackie: Just that, I have patience with you.
Me: I function just fine.
Jackie: Yeah, as a totally unaware and clueless male you do. I provide a much needed balance to your life.
Me: Well, yeah, as my best friend that's entirely possible.
Jackie: See, I'm important to you.
Me: I guess so.
Jackie: You guessed right, and I have patience.
Me: Okay then.
Jackie: You are so laughable. You avoid some things like the plague. I'll see you Sunday, with a change of clothes mister.
Me: Okay.
Jackie: Bye.
Me: Uh, bye.

I know she stated I'm both unaware and clueless, but I'm not that clueless, or am I? I mean she's goofy as hell and I love that about her. She speaks whatever comes to her mind without holding back. So it's possible she simply does have the patience to put up with me as only any true best friend would. Or her patience is of a more sinister type. The type of patience that threatens the status quo of friendship.

Fuck, I don't do this type of crap well. Why are women so damn complicated?

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Just Can't Win, Can I?

I get along quite well with my boss. He's not the ideal boss by any means, but he allows me to do my job with little to no interference, and I accept his inadequacies in the supervision department. We had a few rough patches when he first transferred here from another store. He knew that I had turned down the position prior to him coming here and he had some false impressions of me from the start.

He's 12 years younger than I am, and his knowledge of me was all heard second hand from others before arriving here. He had never supervised anyone older than him and it was a problem for him for some reason. I, on other other hand, had plenty of supervisory experience in the steel industry working with a crew of 40 to 50 people of all ages.

His two biggest misconceptions of me involved his position and my independent streak.

He knew I was qualified to fill the position he was coming into and he couldn't understand why I didn't want the position myself. He harbored some weird thought that I was there to undermine him basically. It took months for him to figure out I didn't want his job.

The other issue/misconception he had was that I was hard to supervise. His new boss, who I had known 5 years previously under my boss who was retiring, had told him he should simply leave me alone. He didn't take that the way it was intended though. Instead of hearing I was proficient at my job, he interpreted it as I was a pain in the ass.

When he arrived here he went out of his way to assert he was the boss. It was a mild irritant at times, but for the most part, amusing to me. It's really hard to get me wound up over petty crap. I knew that over time he'd eventually see that he should leave me alone. He did finally, but it was interesting the first few months he was here.

Now that I've worked for him almost four years things are peachy and keen. He's a pretty decent guy.


(There's always a "but", it's an unspoken and unwritten rule somewhere that a "but" is always involved.)

He has a wife, who pops into the store quite often. The fact that she pops in often isn't the problem though. She's very nice as well.

Too nice, actually.

She fancies herself as a matchmaker. I've been single for a long time. This fact bothers her for some reason. She's got this bubbly personality and, well, I'm not a bubbly type of person, but I'm a relatively happy person, content with my life as it is. So while she's very nice, and well meaning, she's a pain in the ass to me.

(To my boss' credit he knows me pretty well and always tries to divert her away from me as much as possible when her matchmaking persona invades the store. She's hard to thwart though and he ends up apologizing profusely when she leaves the store.)

Both of them are little social butterflies though. They like to throw dinner parties, barbecues, holiday type parties, etc. Invariably they want me to attend many of these. Which is fine because I consider the boss a friend as well. When our schedules permit we've golfed together, he's gone out on the river fishing with me, although I think he just likes getting out on the boat, rather than the actual fishing part.

But these "social events" drive me crazy. It's a no win proposition for me. If I show up without a date, she always has someone there that's "just perfect" for me. Ah, not so much.

If I show up with a date it's a nightmare for the person I cajoled into going with me. They get cornered by her with her grilling them about how long we've been together, how happy we are, how serous is the relationship, blah, blah, blah. She can't accept it's simply a date, with no other strings attached other than a night out. I have a friend we'll call Jackie (primarily because it's her name) who fills in admirably as a date, and I for her when she has the need of one as well. We're simply good friends.

The problem here is that the boss' wife really likes Jackie. Unfortunately that feeling isn't reciprocal though. I haven't asked Jackie in over a year to attend one of these "social events" because of the torture she goes through when she's accompanied me in the past.

Yesterday I was off, and Jackie saw a need to have me around for the day. She had just bought a house and needed to look at appliances, she wanted a snow blower, and some other things she felt a guy's input would be useful on. So we were running around town with me giving her expert advice, as only a guy can pretend to possess, on things a woman wants to hear about, but doesn't normally don't want to think about.

One of our stops was at Best Buy and who do we run into? You guessed it. The dreaded wife of the boss. Had we seen her first we'd have slunk away, but she ambushed snuck up on us. This isn't going to be good I told myself. I think the reason Jackie and I get along so well is we possess the same wacky humor and she's every bit as blunt as I am. She's incredibly quick and sharp tongued around people who are irritating. We'd definitely be considered compatible in that regard.

So a conversation took place that Jackie thoroughly enjoyed, the boss' wife completely bought into, and left me brain damaged, caught off guard, and stammering throughout the ordeal.

Boss' wife: Hey guys!
Us: (almost in unison) Uh, hi.
Boss' wife: (to Jackie) I haven't seen you in a long time. Did (Just Plain Tired) tell you about the dinner we're having Sunday night?
Jackie: No he didn't.
Boss' wife: (to me) Why didn't you tell her about this?
Jackie: Yeah, why didn't you tell me about this?
Me: It must have slipped my mind.
Boss' wife: So you're both coming right?
Me: Um, uh....
Jackie: We certainly are! We'll be all primed for it. You know honey (to me) we'll get an extra hour of sleep and we'll both feel great that night.
Boss' wife: Are you two together finally?
Me: Uh, no, not exactly, we're.....
Jackie: Oh hush up. (to me) It's not a secret any more. We might as well just come out and let the world know.

(At this point I became a zoned out, brain dead, drooling spectator to this verbal massacre.)

Boss' wife: I just knew it! You two are perfect for each other. He never tells me or (the boss) anything.
Jackie: I'm trying to get him to open up more myself. He's such a private person, you know.
Boss' wife: I know! So how long have you two been serious?
Jackie: I've been fucking his brains out every single day for over six months now.
Boss' wife: Oh my gawd! I am so happy for you two. Now I know why he never wants to meet anyone I try to introduce him to. Why didn't you just tell me you two are together? (to me)
Me: I.....
Jackie: Oh hell, you know how he is. He's still a bit hung up on our age difference you know.
Boss' wife: That's a stupid thing. (to me)  You're not that much older than her. You guys make a great couple.
Jackie: I tell him that all the time.
Boss' wife: Does (the boss) know?
Jackie: I doubt it. Wouldn't he tell you if he did?
Boss' wife: He would. (to me) You haven't told (the boss) about this?
Me: Um, no, I guess not. It's still all pretty new to me I guess.
Boss' wife: I can't wait to tell him!
Jackie: So what time is dinner on Sunday?
Boss' wife: We're planning on eating about 7:00 pm, but you two should come earlier so we can visit some more. I've got to run and pick up (her son). I'm running so late today.
Jackie: That's great! We'll see you then.

And off she scampers.

Jackie: Now that was funny!
Me: Jackie..... no.....
Jackie: Just shut up. I did you a tremendous favor here.
Me: No, you....
Jackie: You've been single so long you have no clue how a woman thinks. She's so happy with the thought that you're getting laid... plus.... now you're off the market in her eyes. She's not going to be trying to hook you up with any of her unattached friends.
Me: This.... well.... shit....
Jackie: Trust me on this.
Me: Yeah, but....
Jackie: Just. Shut. Up. This will be fun for awhile. Jesus, get with it! We can pull this off with her for a long time.
Me: Well, you're now on the hook for dinner though.
Jackie: So that means you owe me now.
Me: I. Owe. You?
Jackie: You really have no idea how a woman thinks.
Me: Tell me about it.

So I've had some time to digest all of this. Dismay, quite frankly came first to mind. Utter dismay actually. But I've warmed up to this since the initial shock has worn off, because we can pull this off, and for quite some time. I've processed all the future reactions and have come to this conclusion. The boss' wife is very naive, and very nice. When this little charade unravels she'll be slightly embarrassed, but not actually mad. The boss will be cool about it as well. And for me, no more little miss matchmaker to contend with for the foreseeable future.

Yeah, I'm delusional, aren't I?