Nah! Bad blogger! I’m sorry I left you all out in the cold. My area was hit with a nasty ice and snow storm yesterday and this triggered a hibernation instinct that kept me in bed all day. We didn’t get as much as was first predicted but we got enough to make driving ugly this morning. We were supposed to get 1/4 to a whole inch of ice and sleet and then on top of that we were sitting square in the 9 to 16 inch band for snow. We still got a whole lot of ice and sleet, I’d say a good 3/4 inch if not more, but we lucked out on the snow. We probably only got a few inches. If you go only a few miles north of us though, they got hit with big snow totals. South of us got a ton of ice and freezing precipitation.
It started to freezing rain Monday afternoon and a lot of people left the office early. I was one of the ones who toughed it out until 5pm and I didn’t have any trouble getting home. Of course, on Tuesday morning the winter weather was just starting. I could have gotten to work but I’m not sure I could have ever left. I called in and my boss sounded surprised that I did so. Apparently, only a few people came in yesterday and they closed at noon anyway when the weather really started to get bad. Ice started to ping against my windows around 8am and I couldn’t see my street. There was no way I was going anywhere. They should have closed the office for the whole day. It just shows everybody how little they care for our safety. The Saint Louis area was at a standstill on Tuesday and its poor judgment that they didn’t close the office completely. The office in Litchfield, Illinois and even the office down in Grand Prairie, Texas both closed.
I almost didn’t make it out of my driveway this morning. I left at 7:30am and spent 10 minutes shoveling ice and snow out from behind my tires. Once for the back tires and once for the front tires when they got stuck too! I didn’t even bother putting the shovel back in the garage the second time. I just tossed the shovel into my backseat because I didn’t want to stumble back up the snow covered driveway. Even with getting stuck in my driveway I was only a few minutes late. The highways are fine as long as you go slow and drive in the tracks of the people in front of you. It’s the secondary roads that are a mess. The road to the highway, Mid-Rivers, only had one lane plowed going in either direction and good luck trying to turn. Everybody fishtailed when turning this morning. This winter has been a disaster!
Janet's Down the Chimney, complete with Janet sitting in her chair. Notice the parachuting Santa.
Cathy & Sarah's entrance to Christmas Town. Notice their face smooched up against the ‘windows’.
Laura’s gingerbread house with mailbox for letters to Santa.
Kristin's Winter Wonderland, complete with Kristin in her chair. She won.
Close up of window for Kristin's Winter Wonderland.
Filed under fun, pictures, work
We’ve always had Christmas parties for my work. We used to book a hall or restaurant and have them deal with it. In 2008 there was a bit of a waffle about whether we should have a Christmas party or not. The down turn in the economy had really started to get bad and the company had just done its first bunch of layoffs. Nobody really wanted to do anything. Most thought a party right then would be in bad taste. Then there was a last minute decision to have a party anyway and Don very quickly booked a restaurant off of Olive Road. I can’t even remember the name. Some small Italian place in an old house, if I remember correctly.
Everything was going fine. Drinks had been served and everyone was sitting down waiting for the food to be brought out. It was a nice dining room on the second floor with mauve carpets (what is up with restaurant dining rooms and mauve carpet?) and the tables were large and spaced so that people could walk around without having to squeeze between chairs. There was even a nice dance floor. Then the food came and everyone that had ordered beef, and most of us did, had raw meat. Now, I know that some people like their steak rare but there is a line between rare and being able to say ‘ouch’ when I poke it with my fork. Nobody was happy with that.
Then, last year we had someone come in and cater a lunch for us for the Christmas party. It sounded like a great idea until we lined up at the buffet for food. Most of it was cold and there wasn’t enough of it. People in the back of the line didn’t get any mashed potatoes. There was no question of seconds. The tea machine was empty after everyone had their first cup and they had no more. That was painful and, again, nobody was happy about that.
We just had this year’s Christmas lunch and I have to say it went very well. Everything was hot and there was enough for seconds. They had several pitchers of tea. My only complaint is that the butter, while very pretty in its silver dish, was still frozen. You had to set down your plate, grab the base of the dish, and chisel some butter out with the fancy spread knife. Otherwise, they could have use bigger plates. Or used real china. I miss real china. Plastic plates just aren’t the same. [pout] But they had red velvet cake with candies pecans on top, so I’ll let the plate thing slide.
Kristin and Pat just took the stuff we collected for the charities to the proper drop-off sites. We had 396 units of food for the local food bank, 53 toys for Toys for Tots, and 65 hats, gloves, scarves, and coats for the Trinity Community Center. Of which includes the four coats I finally remembered to bring up from downstairs. I’ve been meaning to get rid of them for some time and kept forgetting. They were really nice coats too, and if they still fit any of us we might still be wearing them even though they were my parent’s coats from before they had kids. Worn one year and that’s it. It’s tragic, I tell you. Four people are going to get a nice surprise this year.
Filed under aboutme, work
This is why you don’t go on long vacations from work during the holidays. But it’s okay, this is Ryan’s cubicle. Ryan is a power mad asshole, so he deserves it.
I especially like the shredded paper “snow”.
They even wrapped the waste basket.
Ho ho bloody ho, you fucker.
Slow day at work. I need to make a different graphic for the header on this blog. Something still Alice in Wonderland but the right length. For some reason, this template is using an old graphic. We just put up the Christmas tree in the front lobby at work this morning. An annoying task made even more so when Pat joins the party and begins to make “decisions” about the tree. Then there is my co-worker, Amanda, who is an OCD tree branch fluffer and bow rearranger. [snicker] I haven’t even put up the tree at home and there is a good chance I never will this year. I hate the holidays.
My brother will be out of town Christmas week. (Something about finally accepting a friend’s continued invitation for Christmas. I didn’t catch much.) So, the family will be going out to dinner the weekend before. Yes! No cooking! No cleaning! No people! Now that’s my kind of holiday. I’ll probably hide in my bedroom and watch TV on Hulu on my laptop computer.
Dad brought back another mutant germ this weekend. So, when both my Mother and I fall victim to some illness we have no immunity to, we can thank him. Again. Yeah.
This afternoon I will be heading over to view an apartment in the complex I plan to move into in the spring. I won’t move until around May but I want to see the apartment size and shape so I can start collecting furniture now. It’s 752 square feet of space and has a separate dinning space from the kitchen. So, I’m hoping it will be a pretty good size. The layout sheet doesn’t offer measurements, so this will be the first idea of the space of the place I’ll get. I can’t wait to see it. I brought my camera and I’ll take a few pictures for you all. I’m really excited.
I went back to Dr. Quiqless yesterday for a talk that could have happened over the phone and saved me a 40 minute trip but I’ll talk about that later. Needless to say, nobody has any idea what is wrong with me. Like usual.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have a lot of stuff attached to it. It’s mostly just food based. We had a few paper turkeys and things in the store but otherwise that was it. Walgreens does not close for holidays; any holiday. So, we were open on Thanksgiving Day and I was working because I have no family and said I would. Because I’m an idiot.
We ran out of eggs by 11am and 2% milk by noon. Things just went downhill from there. Everybody that came in needed some sort of dairy product or flour or sugar. We were the only store with food stuffs open, not counting some of the gas stations. And everybody needed just a little extra of something. By 2pm we were out of butter. The manager commented that this was as busy as she’d ever seen it on a Thanksgiving while both of the front registers were going non-stop. People began to get pissy as we ran out of stuff or didn’t have exactly what they wanted. We still had the off brand of sugar but not the name brand. My reassurances that it was the same thing did not seem to help.
Things trickled to a stop about 3:30pm. We figured that people had mostly eaten by then and were in the process of watching football. Nikki and I stared at each other from the opposite cash register. “I need to pee so badly,” I said. Nikki giggled. “I haven’t eaten anything yet today,” she admitted. I think lunch that day were a few Nutcracker Snickers from the seasonal aisle and soda from the cold boxes.
The Monday after Thanksgiving, the rest of the Christmas stuff was hauled from the back room. The Christmas aisle was not a bad as the Halloween stuff. Instead, the children’s attention turned to the toy aisle. It’s only November and already I heard cries of “Mommy! Mommy! I want that for Christmas!” Seriously, kid, Walgreens is not the best place to be demanding toys. At least go to Walmart or something. Everything Walgreens sells is cheap and made in some place I’ve never heard of. (No, not China. Or Taiwan. I know those places. Of course I’ve heard of Japan! You know what? Shut up.)
The real joy of the Christmas season is when a customer managed to tip something over on their heads. You see, the tubes of wrapping paper and the bags of bows were in large boxes with the fronts cut out. Inevitably, someone would not get the concept that the wrapping paper tubes had to be lifted out and would just yank the tubes forward. This would send the whole box crashing over their heads. This was amusing the first half dozen times someone did it. After that the wails and threats of being sued just got annoying. Then we’d get the customers who’d riffle through everything to find the one package they wanted. They would take the entire stack of gifts tags off their hook and then select the package they wanted out of that stack. Then they’d just leave the stack on a nearby shelf or place them on the bottom riser. No attempt was made to try and hang them back up. That was fun.
Once again, I must ask that if you are going to steal candy by opening it in the store to please just eat the whole thing. I can’t tell you how gross it is to find chocolate Santa and reindeer with their heads bitten off shoved behind the Christmas lights. I have fewer problems finding the empty wrapper than I do finding the half eaten candy. Just eat it.
But that was just the weeks leading up to Christmas. The infamous one day Christmas sale and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are much, much worse.
I’m a bad, bad blogger for not posting for the past three days. I knew NaNo would eat my head but I just didn’t have the time to surf the internet looking for something interesting to fall in my lap. So much for posting everyday. It’s just not going to happen. But something worth blogging about fell into my lap on Tuesday and I really wish it hadn’t. I already had Wednesday off for vacation but we had some bad news on Tuesday at work.
The steel department of our business group managed to not suffer any layoffs last year but they weren’t able to keep dodging the bullet. On Tuesday, we got the news that they were letting two steel department engineers go, a total of twelve people in all the branches. The Sacramento, California and Haines City, Florida offices now do not have any steel engineers there. We will be getting their work. Oh, goody. Rob and Jon were laid off in this office. The steel department sales had been halved during the downturn but they had been keeping the same amount of employees. They couldn’t continue to carry the extra engineers any more.
A few other people not in the steel department got caught up in this. Keith, Don, and Pete were also laid off at the same time in this office. I don’t know how many people got laid off through the other branches at the same time but I’m sure more jobs were deemed extraneous and people were let go. Pete was targeted, we know that. He had seniority and had been here for seventeen years. But he wasn’t a “yes man” and Ross didn’t like him. And Ross is now bloody God since Mark left. Then Ken handed his balls to Jo Ann in a gift wrapped box when Karl retired due to medical reasons. And that’s pretty much all she wrote. That flushing sound you hear is this office going down the pipes.
I am not pleased. The only thing that reassures me right now is that they are sending all the work here and my ‘department’ only has two people. I’m just waiting to see what shit falls on my desk because somebody has to pick up the work the people that were laid off were doing. I’m beginning to think I should be looking for another job. This place is falling apart.
Filed under oh my god, work
Amanda, my co-worker, is cleaning the kitchen again. Amanda, Cathy, and Sarah are mainly the ones who clean the kitchen. Except when we have lunches and office group type things that involve food. Then Don cleans the kitchen with Amanda’s help because Don is the one who organizes the lunches. I answer the phones when Bobbi is on a break or at lunch, so I got out of cleaning the kitchen. Not that I’d do it regardless.
The engineers don’t put their plates in the dishwasher either. They stack them in the sink, like every other boy in the universe. Because, one of the girls will do it for them. All women being understood as a stand-in for their mother. Why Amanda doesn’t just leave the dirty dishes in the sink like I would, I have no idea. Because I am not your mother and I’m not cleaning up after you. Nor am I your wife. I know this because I am lacking one diamond ring and the sex part of that equation. And the sex would have to be pretty great for me to do your damn dishes. The dishwasher is right next to the sink. You can rinse your plate and put it in there yourself. I know you’re intelligent enough for that much. It generally takes a bit of a brain to become an engineer.
How come it’s always assumed that it has to be one of the girls that cleans the kitchen? There are seventy people in this office. If we each took a week and had a turn at cleaning the kitchen then we’d have to do it once a year. But none of the engineers ever clean the kitchen. This also goes for the accounting girls. They never have to clean the kitchen. Are they too good to clean the kitchen? Cathy and Sarah are in sales. Why do they clean the kitchen? The accounting girls should take their turns cleaning the kitchen. I suspect they don’t because Jo Ann is a bitch and doesn’t wear anything that’s not a three piece pant suit. Yep, even in summer. Pants, blouse, and jacket. I never see her in anything else no matter if it’s Friday or the hottest day ever. Cleaning the kitchen is beneath her and the accounting department. They don’t even know how to answer the phones and before they moved here every girl in the office knew how to answer the phones in case of emergences.
Am I the only one who sees a problem with this? Why are some of the boys not trained on the phones and some of the girls trained on, I don’t know, the fork lift? None of the girls know how to use the warehouse fork lift. We have two female engineers and the rest of the girls in this office are either accounting, sales, or a clerk. I’m a clerk. I handle clerk like duties but I also wouldn’t mind being taught to use the fork lift. We should all be learning how to do a wide variety of things and that includes knowing how to turn on the damn dish washer at the end of the day! I am not your wife and your Mother doesn’t work here, you lazy sods!
Walgreens is a store that never closes for a holiday. Yep, even Thanksgiving and Christmas. And each employee is required to work at least one of those holidays. It’s the day of Halloween and my first big holiday working at Walgreens. I was working the night shift, feeling a little bummed because I generally really like Halloween and I was stuck at work. The manager left about the time I arrived, so I’m breaking all of her rules because the lesser managers don’t give a fuck. I’ve got my soda behind the register and I’m flipping through a coupon book to see if there is anything good in there. I expected it to be a lazy evening. Boy, was I wrong.
Never underestimate the power of people’s stupidity. At 5:30pm I’m startled out of the shampoo aisle by the arrival of a screaming little girl and her irate mother. I thought the kid was injured or dying or something she was making such a racket. I rushed up to them both and franticly asked what was wrong, thinking I’m going to be making a mad dash to the phone to make a call for an ambulance and the only phone that calls out is in the office. Then the mother thrusts a purple feathered mask in my face and screeches over her daughter’s voice that it’s broken.
It was, indeed, broken. The white elastic band that holds it to the person’s face was dangling free. The mother demanded to know where the masks were and the little girl is still just balling her eyes out. I walked them over to the big, giant Halloween displays and pointed to the masks; the very picked over and sorry looking masks. Of which there are no purple masks left. The mother demanded I go into the back and fetch a purple mask of the exact type she has to match her daughter’s butterfly/moth/thing costume. I assume that non-insane people would know that all of our merchandise had been on the floor for weeks. I’m not hiding anything from you. I swear. The kid starts to cry harder.
I tried to tell them that the Halloween costume shop that opens for the season is just off of Highway 94 and might have the mask they are looking for but apparently they are late to a party and can not be bothered to get back in their car and drive three miles. I eventually just stapled the elastic strap back to the mask and got them to go away. The mother looked at me like I was scum she scraped off her shoe and stormed from the store, shrieking little kid in tow. I collapsed back against the cigarettes and tried to calm my heart. Because, seriously? Why are you and your horrible offspring allowed to roam free? You’re obviously a danger to yourselves and everyone else.
After that was a stream of never ending last minute candy grabbers. Once again, I feel the need to repeat myself: I am not hiding anything in the back room. It’s not a magic land where I can request items be teleported to me in an instant because you happen to want something a certain color. It’s a dusty, dirty room where we store crap. There are possibly mice and most defiantly bugs. We’ve been out of Halloween themed M&Ms for a week and themed mini Snickers for two weeks. Pouting at me and being an asshole is not going to change that. You shouldn’t have waited until the day of Halloween to get candy. You are a moron and I didn’t get paid enough for that shit.
Then, Christmas happened.
Filed under aboutme, rant, work
I used to work for Walgreens, a large drug store in the United States. I was fresh out of college and just needed something to put on my resume because nobody would look at some kid just released upon the world. So, I worked retail. I lasted from the middle of summer until just after Easter of the following year before having a little mini breakdown and quitting. This is also where I cemented my hated of people and children; otherwise known as soul sucking little demons.
I worked front cashier and because I wasn’t a teenager in high school, this meant I worked head cashier for most of the week. I was the 8am to 4:30pm shift Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and then I worked the night shift 4:30pm to closing at 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. That’s right; I closed on Sunday and opened on Monday. Wasn’t that special. The lady working cosmetics and the man working photo during the day were great. It was the other teens I nearly killed. I think we went through four different teens during the winter months that lasted about a week before just disappearing. One girl was only there a few days before she just stopped coming in.
Halloween was the first big holiday I was working at Walgreens for. I probably missed my best chance to murder little kids during Halloween. I could have passed the body off as a decoration. New and improved! Now with smell! Argh! We all stayed late to change out the summer displays for the autumn and Halloween stuff. By the end of the next day, it was trashed. An absolute mess. The masks were on the bottom riser in a pile and the customs were hanging half off their hooks. I spent half my day and another half an hour after closing cleaning and facing the Halloween stuff.
Clean! Leave it alone!
Star Wars had just come out with the new movies and we had a selection of light sabers. You know, the ones that shoot out those neon colored cones of plastic? Yeah, those fuckers. I once had to rip two of those things out of two little boy’s hands and march them back to where their mother was waiting for her prescription in Pharmacy. On the other side of the damn store. They had been beating each other with them and had knocked some bags of M&Ms out of their bin. I told the woman that if I saw them in the store without her at least in sight I would lock them in the freezer. It was probably antianxiety pills she was getting and boy did she damn well need them. Little monsters.
The decorations that made sound were the worst. The manager had a few of them on to demonstrate to the customers what they could do. It was amusing for the first few days and then quickly descended into mind numbing stupidity. I began to hate any of the decorations that moved or made sounds. They often did both. The motion activated ones were the worst. They’d go off about two dozen times an hour, shrieking and laughing and giving me a headache. Then there would be the people who would push the buttons of the animatronic decorations one by one. I once had to chase some stoner teenager out of the store because he wouldn’t leave the moaning zombie alone. He apparently thought it was hilarious. I didn’t.
Also, if you are going to steal candy by opening it in the store, just go ahead and eat the whole thing. Don’t just take a single bite and quickly stuff the rest in the back of the shelves. I would find that shit when I faced at night and rotated stock every month. That’s just gross. Just eat it. They don’t pay us enough to care.
Term: When I talk about ‘facing’ at the end of the day or something I mean having to move stock, bags and boxes and things, forward on their shelves or hooks so that they can be seen easily by customers. This also involves straightening any displays and products that customers may have moved with their constant fucking touching and fiddling. Because you are all twelve on the inside and can’t leave shit alone. Facing is just a retail term for moving products forward so everything isn’t shoved into the back or hidden behind other shit.
Filed under aboutme, rant, work