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.