Friday, June 25, 2010

A Bird In The Hand

So I've been sitting here in front of the computer for a little while, trying to figure out what to blog about. I was feeling a strong urge to blog but I just didn't know about what so I've decided to ramble a bit and see what comes from it.

I worked today. It was a mid day shift, the kind in retail that often is called the Princess Shift because the one who works it doesn't have to open the store nor does one have to close the store. And I hate closing. My long suffering brother can attest to this as he was unfortunate fortunate enough to work for with me one summer at the craptastic fabulous factory store where I was a Bitchy Stock Tyrant kind and caring floor supervisor/Operations manager before I chucked it all to teach delinquents high school. I remember one night I was in a particular good mood (it may have been the night that a customer told me I couldn't possibly be a manager because I had ovaries. That went over real well.) and accidentally (I swear it was an accident!!) dumped a shelf of sweaters on the floor when I slapped the shelf's lip to indicate that I wanted it refolded. I was immediately mortified and worked with the associates to refold the sweaters.

Anyway, I've now forgotten what point I was trying to make.

Oh yeah. I hate working the closing shift. I want to go home and watch my prime time television shows. Back then, I was itching to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. I did not want to be refolding sweaters and polo shirts and jeans. Always the damn jeans.

But here's the thing, I really kind of hate working the Princess Shift too. I used to have this really sweet schedule that involved working the opening shift and having two whole hours on the sales floor by myself. No customers, no co-workers. Just me and my iPod. But hour cutbacks and inventory levels and delivery times (Damn you, Fed Ex!!) and whatnots have forced a change in my sweet schedule so now I come in later in the day and process whatever shipment showed up while covering the fitting rooms.

Plus, today I had wanted to stay home and watch the conclusion (because there just had to be a conclusion) to the epic marathon historic tennis match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. But since I figured "tennis match" wouldn't be an acceptable excuse for calling out, I set the DVR and went to work.

Eager Beaver Tammy showed up a little after noon and while we were talking, I mentioned how I was recording the match so I could watch it when I got home. This apparently was a cue for Tammy to say the following:

"So that American guy finally won it."

Oh. Thanks, Tammy. Want to tell me about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy next maybe?

The rest of the day was spent in the fitting rooms pointing out open doors to French Canadians (a LOT of French Canadians today) and telling people I don't care how many items they take into the room with them. I don't particularly care how many items they come out with either.

Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't broadcast that part.

What I meant to say was that I take my job in fitting very very seriously.

Anyway. Moving on.

One time (at Band Camp...), back at the Fabulous Factory Store, I had a pair of French Canadians come in to return a pair of pants. They were from Montreal. I know they were from Montreal because they told me they were from Montreal. A lot. They were also upset that the wrinkle resistant (please note the italicized word) pants they had purchased and rolled into a tight little ball had wrinkled.

Here's the thing, kids, wrinkle resistant clothing will indeed wrinkle when rolled into a tight little ball for an extended period of time. That's the thing about 'resistant' verus 'proof'.

That argument went over about as well as a lead balloon or something French Canadians are opposed too. You know, in addition to wrinkle resistant pants. But still, I was willing to do the return for them. Because I am nice like that.

But then I was stupid enough to look at the date on the receipt.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The receipt was dated waaaaaaaaay past our (at that time) strict time limit on returns. And it wasn't just a day or two. It wasn't just a week. It wasn't even a month. It was way over.

So then I had to be all "Yeah...about that..." to which they responded with "But we're from Montreal."

Oh? You're from Montreal? Why didn't you say something? I'll just pull out our Montreal Customer Returns Policy then.

Piss monkeys.

So when I then politely explained that I didn't give a rat's ass where they were from, that our policy was (at that time) very clear and very strict, they came back with "We do not like the policy."

I say this phrase every now and then with quite the obnoxious accurate and very flattering French accent.

It reminds me of that time when I worked in the hotel industry (what is wrong with me that I keep seeking out employment in fields requiring respect toward humankind?) and working the overnight shift. By myself, mind you. I was the only hotel employee on property at that time. So a family checked in late and I gave them keys to the room that had been previously assigned to them by the numskulls working the earlier shift, not realizing that they had been put into a studio room instead of the one bedroom suite they had reserved. Well, the family got to the room, realized how damn inadequate it was for their needs and called down. I looked at what I had available (no one bedroom suites, possibly why they had been stuck in the studio room) and offered them an available two bedroom suite for the rate they'd been quoted for their other room. Pretty good deal, right? Here's what I got in response:

"But we've already unpacked and we don't want to move."

Wait. I'm sorry, let me see if I understand this: You already unpacked in a room that is too small for your needs and don't want to move but you called to complain to me anyway? Gee, thanks. Maybe later you could come down to the front desk and kick me in the shins a few times before running away.

So I offered to get a couple of rollaway beds and bring them to their room.

"We don't want rollaway beds."

Okaaaay. So would you like me to come up there and actually build on an addition to your hotel room? Because I'm running out of suggestions here, you big bunch of piss monkeys.

I don't remember how that situation resolved itself but I'm sure the blame fell on me. That happened a lot in the hotel industry which is part of the reason why I don't work in the hotel industry anymore. Maybe the reason. I guess we'll never know.

In other news, a robin has built a nest in my Swedish Ivy plant. I put it outside before we went on vacation because Scaredy Cat likes to climb up on the dining room table, balance precariously off the back of one of the dining table chairs and eat the plants that hang in the window there. Then she promptly vomits. A lot. One of these plants is a Swedish Ivy I've had for a few years now (how I have managed to not kill it, I will never know) so I put it outside so Scaredy Cat would not make a meal of it. And while it was out there, a pair of nesting robins came by and decided it would make a great place to live.

When I was a kid, we had a see through bird feeder that we stuck to a window outside our living room so we could watch the birds and stuff their faces. It was a good place for it because it was sheltered from the elements and the squirrels couldn't get to it without jetpacks or something. A pair of birds (I don't remember what kind of birds now) built a nest in it and eventually laid eggs it. We found this to be very cool but the birds would be skittish about the people in the living room. Eventually, my mother had to put a piece of construction paper over that window so the birds wouldn't see us and be spooked and abandon their eggs.

We were really looking forward to the baby birds and that whole circle of life thing (Cue Elton John) but we got a different life lesson instead. It may have involved blue jays, those little bastard birds, not the Toronto baseball team.

Speaking of baseball teams, what the FRAK is going on, Boston?? I say how great you've been playing and all of a sudden you start sucking again? You know I love you unconditionally but I'm just...confused is all. Though you are currently tied with Colorado and about to go into extra innings but still...

Did you know the longest sporting event ever was a cricket match between England and some other country? It lasted twelve days and ended in a tie because the English team had to catch a boat home. The things you can learn from ESPN.

Anyway, it's now past 1am and I actually meant to do some other writing tonight. This morning? Whichever. Plus, I have to get up early tomorrow (today?) so I can start calling and harassing politely inquiring to the guys who are supposed to be working on my yard why they are not doing just that. They were supposed to start last week. They were supposed to have started last month but who's counting, right? You know, besides me.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend...


  1. Brings back memories of me working for JC Penney years ago. I hated opening and closing. There was no middle shift. It was funny to watch everyone try to be a leader and tell others how to do their job. But once the store opened I was fine. I liked talking to customers. Couldn't believe I got paid to talk and ring up sales. Easy money.

    Stephen Tremp

  2. I have had some great customer interactions, I won't deny that. Most of the employees (including management) have given up trying to tell me how to do my job. It really doesn't go over well when they try.

    I clash with my bosses because I refuse to work nights or weekends, run a register, wear a name tag or sell credit cards. Not really sure how I still am employed there. I guess my precision folding skills are just that good.