Ahead of the crowd?

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This is what good jobs are like, right?

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Slacker Jacks

I feel like I’ve been steadily consuming a huge box of Slacker jacks. And the prize at the bottom? EPIC FAILURE, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND A LIFE OF RETAIL!

These taste like despair and self-loathing.

These taste like despair and self-loathing.

Every time I have a terrible shift I redouble my efforts to find a new job. But then I just get depressed. Because there aren’t any new jobs. I mean, if I really wanted to work at a different grocery store. Or an auto parts store. Or prostitute myself. Then, yeah, I’d have tons of options. But the point is to find something better and not just new.  All retail is really the same. All customers are assholes. And I really need to stop working with the public before I never go outside again because I see douches and morons everywhere. Everywhere. 

But I keep making the same excuse not to just move to Columbus, Ohio and become some sort of midwesterner. This trip Ireland. I have been really concerned with a new job being like, “Oh yeah, you just started here. Take 10 days off.” /sarcasmfont

So, once I get back in three weeks. IT IS ON. You hear that Slacker Jacks? You’re going in the trash. I’m going to Trader Joe’s and getting some bulk, organic… Successios. Whatever. Success is much more difficult to make into a snack or cereal. Productiveites? That sounds like some form of amoeba. Well…you guys know what I want to do there. Just pretend that I came up with some really good thing. Or stick with the amoeba, if you’re into Biology or something,

As it turns out, if I fail horribly, my current place of employment is apparently not above taking you back if you just walk out one day. So there’s that.

Also, prostitution is always there. The service industry is basically that, anyways.

I imagine most of my clientele like this.

I imagine most of my clientele like this.

Why haven’t they invented teleportation, yet?

Um, which one is the engine?

Um, which one is the engine?

There’s a very specific reason I always make my boyfriend call the car shop when I need anything done.

He has a penis and an adam’s apple.

Plain and simple.

See, when I call I get some gruff man on the phone who tells me that whatever I am saying is incorrect and is as condescending as possible about the whole thing. When Steven calls, they’re BFFs by the end of it.

It’s one of the oldest forms of sexism. I am a woman and therefore can’t possibly know what happens when an alternator goes bad on my car or when the starter isn’t working. My starter is the reason I called them. Over the period of a few weeks my car has been getting progressively worse. I would go out to go home or go to work and my car wouldn’t start. The battery would work, clearly, because all the lights and the radio would immediately come on. But no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t connect to the starter and START the entire car. It didn’t even make a noise like it was trying to turn over. Or thinking about it but struggling with the follow through. Just nothing. Initially if I just tried repeatedly the car would finally come to life after a good 10-20 minutes. This last time I went out, on Christmas Eve no less, and boom, nothing. Well, something I guess. There was a loud TICK coming from the engine when you tried to start the car. So we gave up and Steven has been driving me to work ever since. So when I called them today and explained the issue and they told me it was the battery, I was dubious. I just got the battery 6 months ago when these jackasses fixed my alternator (see below for that fiasco). Unless the battery is dying at an alarming rate, I don’t think that is the issue. I never leave the lights on or just sit in my car with the battery going…

Of course the car started, though. But I’m still skeptical. It’s been sitting for almost 2 weeks and had plenty of time to decide to screw me over. Plus the combined juice of 2 batteries could have easily just forced the thing to come on. Plus, the aforementioned problems with the car suggest that the battery is, in the end, not the culprit.

Like when I needed a new alternator. I was complaining for YEARS that my car was doing this weird jerking thing when I turned the AC on. Or tried to accelerate. Then in started this loud ticking from the front of the car. Eventually it would get to the point where the car was just shutting off while I was freaking driving it. I went repeatedly to the shop telling them the problem. Every time I got “well we can’t duplicate it so we can’t fix it because you’re a crazy lady and nothing is wrong with the car.” I told them, point-blank, it was the alternator. Instead they decided to rewire the entire thing. I told them, again, it was the alternator. Nope. 3 new batteries and a huge pain in my ass later the whole thing just died on me completely enough that Ford couldn’t argue the point. And, hey, guess what it was? The alternator.

funny-found-cat-kitty-male-female-park-car-sterotypes-bad-comic-picsMy point here is this, I am a woman. An educated, 20-something, woman. Who owns a car. And who would like the men of the automotive industry to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that I’m not totally insane. Or unintelligent. Also, I have a boyfriend who knows things. And I have this really cool, new thing you may have heard of. Called Google. It’s crazy, I know, but if I type in something like “2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SES won’t start and loud ticking.” I get all kinds of neat stuff that agrees with me about my starter malfunctioning. Strangers on the internet aren’t usually the best place to get information. And if you try hard enough you can usually find some moron who agrees with you. But when the first 50 topics tell me that I am not deranged in thinking that the problem is my starter and not my battery, I have to wonder if these people are disagreeing with me because my sexual organs happen to be placed on the inside of my body, rather than dangling around between my legs asking to be kicked repeatedly.

10 Items or Less

I have just started watching 10 Items or less on Netflix at the suggestion of my grocery store coworker. I have to say, that he was right. This show is a pretty good display of my current life. There was a point a few weeks ago when I was working in the floral department. Jamie, a manager at the time, came up to me and said, “Ah, you’re working over here? I need you to do me a favor.” I assumed that there was some kind of flower or gift situation that needed my attention. We walk over to the door and he continues, “Well, the door keeps opening and closing. I need you to figure out why and come find me when you do.” Really? Is this in my job description? Okay, whatever. So I plant (hah!) myself in front of the possessed door and look meaningfully into the motion sensor. It glides open. I keep standing. It glides closed. Open. Close. I move to the other side of the door. Open. Close. Open. Close. I keep staring into the motion sensor. Daring it to release its secrets to me. The produce department had been watching my antics. They come over and proceed to stare into the door with me. Open. Close. Jacob, the courtesy clerk comes over as well. Open. Close. Meanwhile we all continue to walk inside and outside the store. I’m sure that the customers, if they even noticed anything so far away from the free coffee samples we serve, were all very confused by the large group of people trekking back and forth. Eventually everyone else went back to their respective departments and I managed to figure out that a display of absolutely charming and probably very well-made dog ornaments was the culprit. Jamie and I shoved it to one side. Voila! The door was no longer possessed.

This shows me that the things on 10 Items or Less really do happen.

There’s a gentleman on the show named Buck. He is the newest member of the

The resemblance is uncanny!

The resemblance is uncanny!

grocery store, Greens and Grains, and is a full-time cashier. I fully relate with this man. When I first started there was a little bit of resentment among a few people over the fact that they wanted to have the full-time position and I just waltzed in and took it. Granted there wasn’t a physical confrontation like on the show. But, I was questioned pretty thoroughly by a number of the other cashiers about my status in the store, the last job, my age, how much I was getting paid, and a few other things. I also sort of felt like I had walked into a rather dysfunctional family that was just a wee bit incestuous.

I now feel as though I am a part of this family. But sometimes I really do have to raise my eyebrows in wonder. Or concern.

 

Ghost Firing.

So this was too funny. I know it has been a thousand years since I wrote. Or a month, really, but mess has been nuts. This incident prompted me to write, though.

I accidentally fired a former employee of mine today.

I was sitting at the bar in my boyfriend’s place of work and decided to text my old coworker/sort of boss to see if he wanted to hang out. He told me that he was working a double because he firedone of the other people. Well I am friends with this guy and I was concerned, so I texted him and it went a lot like this:

“I heard you were fired, I’m sorry!”
“What?””Chris told me you were fired!”
“Well he should call me because he hasn’t told me anything.”
“Oh..”

Opps! So I had to text Chris and ask why he didn’t tell Coburn because I totally just did and therefore I technically fired him…

It’s about to get a little rough for my friend Chris since he’s going to have to tell his boss what happened and he could either be like “whatever” or like “RAHHH WHY DID BLABLABLA.” Knowing my former boss, my bet is on the second reaction. Glad to be starting the new year right! Four months away from the place and I’m still running it.

Things I don’t understand about customers.

You complain to me.

We don’t have senior discounts. We don’ t take EBT. We don’t carry that brand of whatever anymore.  We don’t provide enough food at our sampling event. We are out of whatever. That lady let her kids get candy out of the bulk bin with their sticky hands.

None of these things has anything to do with me or my existence. Not in any way shape or form. There is nothing I can do about it. I can’t order different products, force the bakery to make more things, follow mothers around the store, etc. I really can’t. And what’s more? I don’t actually give  a shit.
You seriously fail to understand the concept of carts.

The store I work at has three item carrying options. The big metal carts, the green plastic baskets, and these weird bastard combinations where you can stack two green baskets to make a little cart. I see so many people making poor cart choices.

Old people are constantly getting those huge carts. For an avocado. Or a muffin. What the hell? You might be 90 but you’re really telling me that the muffin was beyond your ability to hold?  And now you want a bag for it too? Or some lady will come up with one of the tiny green baskets totally overflowing with stuff. Crap is falling on the floor and if you move it the wrong way everything starts to collapse. Men are the most amusing, though. Apparently asking for directions is not the only pride-injuring thing out there. Grabbing a cart when you can no longer hold the 16 items you’re buying is too. They’ll walk up with everything stacked precariously between their hands and chin or propped in their armpits. It’s easy. Make a freaking list and then use your critical analysis powers to deduce what size conveyance you need. Done.

You are perpetually confused by how to use the credit/debit machine.

Every single store in the world, basically, has one of these machines. You swipe the card. It prompts you to do various things. You do it. You leave. Every 10 minutes I have someone glaring at this machine in contempt. Like it’s trying to trick them.

Why does it want my zip code?? Hell I don’t know. You can’t pay for this without putting it in, so get over it. What do I push now? Which is enter? Seriously? There are two universal colors that mean the same thing no matter what. Green = yes, go, accept, enter. Red = no, stop, decline, cancel. Always. For everything. When would red ever mean enter? Why are you still punching the machine with that little plastic pen? It say processing. It has to process, so chill the hell out. Or keep smacking it. That might work too.

You blame me for…everything.

I had a lady actually try to come into the office while I was counting my money at the end of the shift to tell me that I needed to “get out there” because there were like four people in each line. No. I’m done with my shift. Get out and go wait in line. This is a grocery store, you do that. Go to Walmart on a Saturday morning and see why 4 people to a line is nothing. Don’t tell me I need to “get another person up here right now to help.” Like who? You? Are you going to get on a register and ring up these lovely people? No? Right. All the people here are the people here. I can’t clone myself or make a gollum, so just wait.

Oh your check didn’t clear? Your card was declined? That would be your fault. You don’t have enough money to buy the $200 worth of snacks and alcohol you’ve put before me. This woman actually was going to call her bank and put them on the phone with me. Me! Apparently I cut her paychecks.

You assume I am uneducated.

Don’t tell your brat of a child that if “they aren’t careful they could end up a cashier.” Are you serious? Well maybe one day they too can accrue thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt to scan stuff at the local high-end, over-priced, snooty ass grocery store! People are honestly freaking surprised when I tell them that I do, in fact, have a degree. Like someone was supposed to hand me my diploma and appropriate job assignment the day of graduation.

You go out of your way to be complicated.

So you’ve collected approximately $336 worth of “organic” spaghetti, potato chips, mini cupcakes, and some weird drink with chia seeds in it (yes, chia seeds. The seeds that produce chia pets. I am riveted to know what the health benefits of this could be…).

I start scanning and the courtesy clerk starts bagging. Half way through you remember that all the way at the bottom of the cart, under 6 bottles of wine, are your reusable bags. Or you really need paper bags. Out comes everything from plastic and we get to start over.

Oh and that tomato was $5…that’s too much just put that back for you? Sure. Let me void that and walk back over to produce for you…

Now you’re half way through paying with a credit card and realize you wanted to pay for half of it in cash. Cancel, cancel, cancel. And I have to wait for you to rummage around in you D&G purse for that $100 bill.

Now, you suddenly need cash back after you’re already done and I’ve started on another person.

Now you realize that the bottom of your container of figs is sticky and you want a refund.

Long story short?

Get your shit together!

It’s a job, isn’t it?

“Roar! Customer always right!” (This was basically my day)

It’s been a hectic few days trying to get back into the swing of working, especially since I’ve been going in at 8 or 9 am. There’s also the fact that I basically have no idea what I’m doing and by the time I get off work, I’m exhausted and have four hours before I have to go to sleep so I can wake up and do it again.

In between all of that, though, I’ve had one question put to me repeatedly by friends and family, “How is it?”

The only way I can possibly put it is, “It’s a grocery store job.”

I mean, what do people expect me to say? It’s everything I ever wanted? It’s much better than I expected? It’s a job and it’s exactly what I expected. I stand there. I take items out of a cart. I move the items across the scanner or punch in a series of numbers that relate to the item. Those items are put into a bag.  I take their money, hand them receipt and off they go. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Part of me really, really wishes I had just stayed on unemployment and waited it out. The other part of me realizes that I really need a job in order to make it to a point where I can find another job. The other thing I keep hearing from friends and family is, “It’s always easier to get a job when you already have one.”

But is that really true? Is it easier? I mean, I worked at my last job for four years and I don’t think I was any more capable of getting a different job than I was when I was on unemployment. Of course with the money I was making and the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I was much less motivated to do something different. Being back to barely making enough to survive will probably provide the necessary jolt to keep me going in my job search.

There’s also the fact that several companies actually admit to completely ignoring applications from unemployed people. That’s just insane! It’s the people who don’t have jobs who really need them! I mean, I’m sure people like myself with menial jobs need better jobs too. But I think it would be more fair if everyone qualified was given a chance. Wouldn’t a manager rather hire the person who is most qualified rather than  the person who just so happens to be lucky enough not to lose their job in this economy? Apparently not.

Frankly, I  think the way businesses are run these days needs a serious makeover. Unfortunately that won’t happen until several other things in this country get a makeover. But I’m not here to discuss politics.

So here is my to-do list for the last part of 2012 ( which has NOT turned out the way I had anticipated…):

  1. Try my best not to kill any biotches at the grocery store
  2. Continue to look for and apply to better jobs
  3. Continue taking online courses
  4. Continue attempting to get an internship/volunteer position
  5. Put together my graduate school application
  6. Have as much fun as humanly possible because I realized I was letting my job drain my life of happiness and enjoyment

I think these are relatively manageable things.  I started my Craft of Magazine Writing Course today. And finish my Intro to Microsoft Excel 2010 next week. I was hoping to start Introduction to Internet Writing Markets today as well. I just can’t afford to take 2 classes at the same time right now unfortunately.

Anyways, be prepared for amusing/enraging/sarcastic anecdotes from my new job! I already have some pretty good ones.