Monday, October 19, 2009

I Drank My Way Through College For This?

There's one week every year when the Store receives an outlandish number of cartons containing an outlandish number of holiday sweaters. This is that week. I call it "Hell Week" because the outlandish number of sweaters have to sit in our backroom for a while because our managers are somewhat inept at putting new product out on the floor in a timely fashion. The sweaters are all big and bulky and take up way too much room on the shelves yet Ruthie and myself get yelled at when we store things in boxes.

Note To Management: If you want stuff on shelves, try moving some product out onto the floor. We don't like boxes hanging around any more than you do (and not just because you unfairly yell at us) but until you build us a stockroom with magical infinitely expanding shelf space (a la Mary Poppins's carpet bag), there's going to be limits to what we can do. Just saying.

Anyway, I arrived at work at 9am and started in on the weekend ship outs. There were a lot of them. The shipment arrived about fifteen minutes later. It was about forty five minutes early, probably because he had ninety freaking boxes in the back of the truck and couldn't do anything else until he'd unloaded our shipment. This is one of the reasons why I keep lobbying our management team to schedule a stock person earlier on Mondays. They don't ever listen.

You know, I think the world would be a much better place if the world just did what I said. It's like what Dr. Horrible says...The world's a mess and I just need to rule it.

Moving on...

Ruthie, my compatriot, arrived at 10am where she was dismayed to learn she had been scheduled to work on the sales floor. The absolutely devoid of customers sales floor. So we convinced our new keyholder, Tammy, to let Ruthie work with me because there was no way in hell that I'd be able to process all that shipment on my own. We can't fall too far behind on Monday, for crying out loud. We'd never get caught up.

Tammy also let slip that there was an excess of available payroll hours so maybe I could pick up some extra shifts. I actually was both glad and dismayed to hear this because (a) our fearless leader (who is off in Sin City for the week) knew it would be Hell Week and yet scheduled her stock team so lightly, it was ridiculous and (b) I don't want to work the hours I'm given (who would?), why would I want to add more?

But I did. I had to get out of my on-call shifts for this coming Thursday because it's my niece, Jupiter's, birthday and I wanted to be able to attend the party. So I had to give them Friday morning in exchange. But then I also had to give them additional hours today and Tuesday. The Store got the better part of the deal. But I'll sure like the paycheck when it arrives.

So Ruthie and I set to work. We unpacked box after box of holiday sweaters, each one uglier than the one before it- I mean, each sweater more charming and festive than the one before it-and discovered we were being punished by the stock replenishment gods because every time we took space away from one dwindling item (such as women's thermal crewneck shirts) in order to make room for a new item (such as women's darling snowflake zip cardigan sweaters), we would promptly come across a box packed with that one dwindling item. Oh, stock replenishment gods, thou art cruel.

Meanwhile, out on the sales floor, some irresponsible dog owner let their dog take a crap in the middle of our sales floor and then hightailed it out of the place (Note to dog owner: You're the bastard who ruins things for the rest of us responsible dog parents.). At least this dog only crapped on the floor. We had an Old English Sheepdog in once who pissed on six plush bathrobes. The oh so responsible pet parent refused to buy the ruined robes.

Sycophantic Laurie arrived, with a thrilling (read: aggravating) tale of woe. She's sick. She has a fever and she's here to infect us all. Yipee! Tammy left early because her daughter was sick and Assistant Manager Heidi arrived for a newly minted double shift, full of tales of arm pit shaving and forgotten deodorant. We were a bunch of super happy campers.

Ruthie and I claimed to be sick and in need of leaving. We were ignored.

Ruthie took her lunch break first even though I'd arrived first. I don't like to take my breaks before 1pm. When I do, there's too much time left on the clock after I get back from lunch, so the later I go, the better. While Ruthie was gone, I unpacked yet more sweaters and helped a man looking for five pocket corduroy pants. He wanted size 44 waist and we only carry up to 42 waist. I was then made to listen to the history of the five pocket corduroy pants he was wearing. This made me reminiscent of a similar experience I had had with a customer last year. I'll post that blog tomorrow. If you're a long time reader of My Pet Blog, you'll probably remember it but if if you're new to the blog, it'll be new to you!

Sycophantic Laurie appeared with a stack of sweaters she claimed to be backstock but mostly likely didn't feel like putting away herself.

"Where do you want them?" she asked.

"On the sales floor," I replied.

She put them on a stack of boxes for me and left. I saluted her as she went. I may have only used one finger but you can't prove it.

I took my lunch break at 1:30. I took a not entirely pathetic paycheck to the bank and then drove (a tad too fast a police officer would say) up to the post office to get the mail. Thanks to an inconsiderate group of elderly pedestrians and out of state drivers, I made it back to work in the nick of time. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to actually have lunch so I had to make due with a granola bar in my locker. My kingdom for a Kit-Kat!

Ruthie spent the afternoon bitching and moaning about the powers that be and who does or doesn't do what. I let her go on as much as she wants and/or needs to, interjecting an "uh-huh" whenever it seems appropriate. Better out than in, I always say. She took another break at 3 o'clock and I helped a man order a down vest over the phone. Exceeding expectations at every turn...and yet, I still get my crap hours and my crap wage. But at least I still have a job at all, right?

We started to throw out the trash at 3:50pm. There was a lot of trash to be thrown out because Ruthie and I are very efficient workers. Probably the reason we get the crap hours...we still manage to get everything (well, not everything...we're about sixteen boxes behind right now) finished. We've got to learn to be less efficient. The sales associates are (with the exception of the new guy, Super Scott anyway) and they're flush with hours.

Live and learn, kids. Live and learn.

P.S.: I didn't actually drink my way through college. Much anyway...I mean, not at all.

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