Sunday, May 19, 2019

Life As A Red Vest, Week #8

Day 50:  Back In Lumber!
Arrived, and was very dismayed to learn that both the scanners on registers 2 and 3 were not working.  Cindy came down and swapped them out, and the one on #2 worked for exactly two customers' worth, then quit.  I spent the next 2 hours keying in everything by hand, and letting Tiffany take the more complicated ones.

Cindy was griping, also.  Apparently, for whatever reason, several of the floor people had been sent home, and we were inundated with questions about different products.

Steph asked me to work her June 1st shift in LG from 12-4, then my own regular shift from 5-close.  I said okay, but we'll see if Tasha approves it.

Today is my 10th anniversary of my 1st published book; I was reading the newest Catered Romance proof on my lunch break, and Cassie asked if I liked to read in my spare time.

"Yes, and even write them."

"YOU wrote that?  WOW....."

Sacred appeared and told me I'd hooked her; she was halfway through AFD and couldn't wait to finish it and continue on.

It was also 'leave everything in Lumber' the end of the evening, and throughout the shift, we had to return a nightlight, light bulbs, seeds, a T-handle, and electrical tape.

Rain happened to fall the minute Mgr Brandon called for a cart run, which sparked hilarity between the lumber associates!  At the end of the shift, the rain had tapered off to  a light drizzle, and a beautiful rainbow was in the sky.

Tomorrow, I'm back in's hoping it goes smoothly!

Day 51:  LG
Today was on the cool side, low 70s,  Spent 30 mins in LG, then Sacred told me she was being sent to Lumber, but didn't want to go.  I told her I'd do it, so relieved Aliscia and rang up customers and did the soda count.  Saw friends C and P, who own the local brewery, and chatted with them.

Returned to LG, then took my 15 min break from 6:45-7.  Sacred left at 7, and it was fairly steady.  I ran out of register tape and had to have Aggie bring me some, plus some trash bags.  One gentleman had several plants from the discount bin, plus wanted mulch and a wheelbarrow.

Another lady tried to pay for her purchases with $100, then charge the remaining $15.  Her card was declined twice, so she found another $20.  She returned several minutes later and tried to charge a bag of garden tools, first with one card, then the other, then the 1st one again, even arguing with me she hadn't tried it yet!  She finally got the hint she didn't have enough credit, and I gently suggested she go home and check her bank account.

She left, then Tasha and Aggie arrived to close down LG.  I emptied the trash, then took it and the front line's trash back to the compactor, then shuttled carts.  Went to the bathroom, and when I returned, Mikayla helped me take something back to Millwork.  Twelve more carts, and we were told to clock out.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly!

Day 52:  Happy Release Day!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Flashback Friday: Let The Games Begin!

May 1999:
I met with the Concession Manager and learned how to set up the stand before the games, plus was given a key.  Remembering how, from my waitressing days, and the fact the year before had irritated me, about the stand not being open until the game BEGAN, I started arriving an hour early, or at least when the kids had to be there, so I could get the coffee started and some of the snacks ready for 'breakfast'.  The parents on my team were most appreciative!

Our kids struggled through, and had fun, though I don't think they won any games in May.

End of 1st Grade!
K had a rough 2nd semester; his BFF's father shot his wife, and one of the hardest conversations I ever had with him was explaining why Brandon wouldn't be in school the rest of the year.  He and B had a friendly competition over who would finish their math papers first, and spending weekends at each other's houses.

S, on the other hand, enjoyed being back at Mother's Day Out, and was looking forward to her final year.

Next Month:  Miscommunication Between Concession Reps

Present Day:
Finally broke down and called the ortho doctor; my right foot has gotten progressively worse.  Hoping that maybe a shot of cortisone helps?  The compression socks have also helped, but now the pain is going up the calf and on the inside of the ankle.  Plus, it has throbbed the last two nights.  I'd forgotten to take my meds Wednesday, also.  OOPS!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Life As A Red Vest, Week #7

Day #45:  Mother's Day in Lumber
Was thrilled to learn when I arrived I'd been moved to Lumber!  We were pretty slow from 10:30-2; I was sent on my 15 minute break at noon, and Brenda and I pretty much took turns checking people out.  Management brought in doughnuts and chocolates; I had 2 doughnuts before I clocked in, then Robert brought me a 3rd.  A customer bought all the cashiers candy bars, so I also had a Snickers.  Brenda left at 2, and I decided to do most of my closing duties after my lunch break at 3.

Aliscia relieved me, and D took me to McAllister's, who gave me a free Rice Krispy treat.  When I got back, I did the returns before clocking in, then started on some of my closing duties.  Customers picked up; we were steady until 6pm.

At closing, Brandon let me out first, since I think I was the oldest Mom in the building!

Quick Notes:
-I gave a woman free chairs, since I couldn't find a barcode, and we were only about $30 away from the projected total.
-I griped at Ben for spitting in the clean trash can....TWICE.
-At the end of the shift, I was straightening up the carts in the Masonry aisle when I heard Adrianna speaking.  Told her what I was doing....

"You're supposed to straighten OUR area!"

"I did!"

Ben chimed in, "She did....and yelled at me for spitting in the trash can."

All I had to take up front was my tax exempt forms, since Jordan had brought down the register tape, Darren had taken out the trash, and Ben had brought me the bleach water.  Justin had even taken some of the other returns back already (hanging lantern and a 1"x8').

Earlier, I'd placed a container of Auto Wipes on the Home Decor desk, since the display I thought they went turned out to be Heavy Duty, not Auto.  While sweeping around Register 3, I found an entire display.  At the end of the shift, that container was still on the HD desk, so on my way back from my locker, I picked it up and detoured past R3, as A was calling me to clock out!  Told her what I'd done...."Because I'm thorough like that!"

Think my Memorial Day weekend issue has been solved:  D said I could drive the truck Sat, but I'll have to be home on Monday.  I may be late for my shift, but at least I'll be able to work, and won't need subs or a call-in.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes smoothly!

Day #46
I knew this day wasn't going to be typical when I couldn't log into the register.  Finally, Cindy came down and had me log in under her account, until Tasha could figure it out.  Thirty minutes later, Tasha came down and gave me my new log in info.  Turned out I'd been logging in a Ben for two months, lol!  I'm now MH3, and have a new password.  Hope I remember it tomorrow....

One of my early customers had a stack of lumber, and when I went to scan the final stack, he kept bobbing the cart up and down.  We joked about making me seasick.....then when I went to give him his receipt, I waved it up and down as 'payback'.  He burst out laughing!

Things went fairly smooth until 6:30.  I began to feel the urge to use the bathroom, but held it, due to both being busy and the hopes that someone would relieve me for my break.  No such luck.....Jared walked by and I asked him if he could cover for me, but he's not trained on the register.  So I asked him to go to the restroom for me, ha ha!  He did go get Aliscia to cover for me, and it was none too bladder was screaming at me!

When I returned, she informed me we weren't doing sodas, and there were only four of us closing, b/c Jill hadn't shown up.  Justin, my lumber associate, left at 7, and Kaleb either called in or did a no-show.  Scott sent down a newbie named Malik, and he did a fine job. If I needed extra help, the guys from Tools, Flooring, and Plumbing came to help load.  At the end of the shift, ALL the guys were bringing in the lumber carts.

I also had a guy with 13 cabinets, and we couldn't find the barcode for the 15% off.  So I figured out what the total would be, then figured out which items to discount/total out to make up the difference, so he'd get some sort of discount.  Ended up taking $280 off his total, instead of only the $275 needed....then he informed me of his military discount!  $1888 worth of stuff knocked down to below $1500.

I also didn't get a lunch break, so I brought my food to the register and ate between customers.  Swept my area AND the masonry aisle, since there was a huge pile of concrete mix in the middle of it.  Chad was MOST appreciative of that gesture!  Logged out at 9:45, and thanked all the guys who'd helped me out tonight.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes a little smoother.....oh, and I have to work Thurs.  Darn it, I was looking forward to having 3 days off in a row!  But as of now, I don't close; I'm scheduled 4-9pm.

Day 47:
Shift began smoothly; I'd arrived before 2:30 and completed my 'Violence in the Workplace' training before clocking in.  Discovered Chelsea has been promoted to Flooring Specialist, so starting next week, I won't have her to talk to.  Got a back-handed compliment; Ben exclaimed, "Who am I going to talk to now?  Molly's not here every day!"

Discovered what had happened Monday night:  KARL was supposed to work, but he'd been moved to MST, and whomever did the schedule confused him with KALEB.  I teased Kaleb, "That's what you get for spelling your name with a K!"

Had left a proof copy of Catered Romance in the 'little library', and when I told Sacred about it, she snapped it up:)

Around 7pm, we had a moment of hilarity.  Ben was placing a pallet of Quikcrete on the shelf, when all of a sudden he hit something, and ripped open about 4-6 bags!  Cloud of concrete dust billowed from Aisle 21; I whipped out my phone and took pics.  Ben yelled, "Don't take a damn picture!"  Kaleb and I could barely stand up, we were laughing so hard!

Any time I found myself with a lull, I went over and swept up what I could.  When Chad came on at 9, he just shook his head.

Also had a weird thing happen....woman handed me $200.53 for her payment.....but when I rang it up, it logged it as $301.53.  WTH???  Did the math; I only owed her $34 in change!

Am off tomorrow!  I work again Thurs from 4-9, later, if they need me to close.  Here's hoping all goes well!

Day 48:  No Good Deed....
Clocked in, then discovered Mikayla wasn't dressed for LG, and I'd worn a white shirt and Capris, so I switched.  Not an hour into my shift, I rang up a woman's Round Up, then the free sprayer.  Sprayer didn't ring up, so I zeroed it out.  Three customers later, another woman brings her duo in.  Me, assuming it's not going to work, informed her of this issue.

"I used to be your LP (loss prevention)."

"Okay; I'll ring it up."

Low and behold, that time it worked.  She'd also left her utensil tray behind; I looked for her, but then got busy, so held onto it.  She returned and asked, rather snottily, I thought, "Do you have my tray?"

"Right here." I tried to be nice, then watched her enter the store.  I figured she was going to report my actions, and I was right.  Ten minutes later, Tasha came out and reminded me to 'scan all items.'

Thought that was going to be the end of it, but no, at the end of my shift, I got The Lecture.

Thankfully, I have thick skin....but at the same time, it came on the heels of D yelling at me for the way I've been spending my half of my paychecks!  WTH....I did the math.  If I hold onto all three of my next paychecks, I'll have everything paid off....or at least, close to it!  So I just fell victim to a bad day.

A day that, as of last week, I wasn't even scheduled to work!

So yeah.....fuming a little over here.

The only other significant thing that happened was I lifted a yellow plant to scan and it turned my left hand yellow.  Tried to use my water bottle to clean my hand, but all it did was fade....I looked like I had a healing bruise for a few hours!

Rachel came down and relieved me for a few minutes, so I could swap out my hearing aid batteries, which decided to quit around 6.  Stretched it to a ten minute break by using the bathroom, then helping out two people in Flooring!  Got my 15 min break around 7:45.

At the end of the shift, we had a guy who wanted 20 bags of mulch and 8 bags of potting soil, in addition to all 20 of his discounted plants.  I clocked out around 9:15.

Just checked; my last 'bad day' was on Day 18, so thirty days apart....not too bad!

Day 49:  LG again
Shift went well!  Only had one 'cranky' customer, who didn't understand why her flowers weren't ringing up $4 a piece.....til I pointed out she only had 2!  So she FINALLY went back and got the 3rd, after I'd already knocked the price down to $6 to appease her.  Still, she insisted the final cost should only be $18....I managed to convince her the tax made up the difference.  *eye roll*

Was asked if I could stay til close; I said sure.  As I was returning from taking the trash to the compactor, Tasha asked if I could work tomorrow, 2-close.  Sure!  It bumps me up to 22 hours instead of only 17:)  I'll be in Lumber tomorrow!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Flashback Friday: May-mester!

May 1989
I moved into the dorm across the street from Lafollette (blanking on name!), with the Z-shaped rooms.  I was the first one to arrive and chose the bed by the window.  My new roomie was also from Lafayette, and we got along well.

My math class went well, until the 2nd day.  I had THE most BORING professor that ever lived, and since I'd just done the material anyway, I thought I could breeze right through it.  The geometry unit gave me fits, but still, I thought I'd done well.  The guy we couldn't decide if he was an ugly girl or a pretty boy turned out to be a guy named Roger, who was transitioning to a female, Rachel.  Sometimes s/he would wear girl clothing; other times neutral ones.  He turned out to be a fairly decent person; it was just strange to see a man in drag!

New Guy!
Met a guy at work, and ended up taking probably most of his paycheck in tips.  His friend was flirting with me, offering to take me to his yacht, and flying me down to the Bahamas.  He was fun to flirt with, and I didn't take it seriously.  Bill, the other guy, stuck around at the end of the night, and it turned out he was a friend of Jimmy, my boss.  Jim encouraged me to go out with him, saying Bill was loaded, and to 'use him'.  I said I wasn't that type, but when B offered to take me to dinner in Chesterton the following evening, I said sure.

Turned out the restaurant had good food, but the first thing that happened was I discovered a fly in my rum and coke.  Bartender gave us free drinks, and we enjoyed a delicious meal and talked.  Went out to a nightclub and danced and drank some more, before driving to his apartment.

B said to me, "We're adults; we can sleep in the same bed w/o anything happening if we don't want it."

I agreed, so I took off my jeans and got into bed.  Neither of us could sleep, though, so started fooling around.  In the middle of it, B suddenly exclaimed, "I love you!  Marry me?"  He shook his head.  "Wow....that's the first time I've ever asked a woman in this manner."

I kissed him.  "Let's get to know each other better, and you ask me again in a few months?"

He let me borrow his BMW to return to campus for a change of clothes, and I spent the next day with him.  We went out for a nice steak dinner with one of his friends, and the chef couldn't get my steak done enough, so we ended up with free desserts.  The third night, he picked me up after he finished working and cooked me dinner.  I returned to the dorm on the 4th night, to watch Roe vs Wade on TV, and DB called, wanting to know where I'd been.  I was honest, and though he whined, got angry, and even cried, I was trying to watch the show and got mad at him for not taking the hint back in February.  Then I was mad because he caused me to miss half the show!

Later that evening, my friend Tim H called, and asked if I'd be his date to his family reunion that Sat.  I said yes, then told him everything that had break up, the new guy, and my professor trying my patience.

Told B about the reunion, and reassured him we were only FRIENDS.  Had a good time at the reunion, and discovered I play darts better on an empty stomach, ha ha!

Toward the end of May, B wanted to set up a double-date for us and his friend Jay, so I invited a girl across the hall to join us.  We started out with drinks at Chi-Chi's; played Putt-Putt golf, in which I discovered B was NOT a golfer (I won the game, L came in 2nd, J 3rd, and B dead last); went out to eat, then to another bar, before going back to J's apartment to watch a movie.  B and I left soon afterward.  L told me the next day that while she enjoyed herself, they really didn't 'click'.

Race weekend, B packed what he could of my things in his BMW and drove me to Lafayette.  Neither one of my parents were home, so we simply unpacked the car and he left.  I had an enjoyable time at the Indy 500, then Dad drove me back to campus for my finals.  He returned a few days later, and I turned in my notice at work (more on my job later).  Dad and I stopped at the Engine Co 59 bar/restaurant in Frankfurt, and I asked if they were hiring.  The server told me I had to be 21 to work there, then looked shocked when I revealed I was 23!  I was wearing faded clam-diggers and a white ACC tennis T-shirt, and no makeup.  She got me the app, then told me to turn it into the bartender.  I did, and even the bartender thought I was only 18!  Dad got a kick out of the whole thing.

Any Other Anecdotes About King's Crossing?
-Turned out I had a knack for telling the DJ what song to play, so people would get up and dance;
-I went out with another server, on a semi-blind date, and ran into my old HS friend, Kelly!  The guy she was seeing was a roommate of the guy I'd been fixed up with, so that was the ONLY good thing about the evening.
-Doug, the DJ had a mild crush on me.  His final night, he hugged everyone....then dipped me and kissed me!
-E and I went to the mall with another friend, and ran into Jimmy, Doug, and Frank (another bartender), and E's eyes nearly bugged out of her head, saying, "You work with some CUTE guys!"

Next Month:  Search For Another Math Class

Present Day:
I have to work this weekend, so not really doing anything for Mother's Day.  I missed out on karaoke last week, due to the family going to see Avengers Endgame, so Alex and I snuggled, read 4 books, and watched The Incredibles.

Have a happy Mother's Day!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #6

Day 40:
Shift began rather ominously.  My 1st customer had two carpets reduced down to $.40/yard, which needed an override.  I tried calling the HC four times before paging Adriana to call me, then paging Code 99.  Finally, Kem went down to get Cindy.  Turned out they were swamped up front, and C was on a register.  K took her place so she could come down and rescue me!

The rest of the shift (thankfully!) went much smoother, other than we had a mix-up in breaks.  A had called me to double-check my shift schedule, since I was listed on the flow chart as 4-9.  I told her I was 4-close, then she offered me the choice of taking my break 1st or 2nd.  I told her to tell Aliscia to go 1st.....but at 6:15, Al trots down to send me to lunch.  Confused, I went ahead and took it, but later found out A and C had had a miscommunication.

Had two humorous moments:  I rang up a customer and when I ran his phone #, I stared at the name.  "You're married to Michelle.  I know Ashlae; I'm Billie's friend."  He laughed and we had a brief chat about why an author was working there!  Secondly, my friend Chris, who owns the local brewery, pushed his cart toward me.

"Did anyone ever tell you that you look like that famous local author in town?"

I smiled.  "So I've been told a few times...."

We had a nice chat before he left:)

At the end of the shift, A told me that she'd heard someone say we had the best closing team of all the closers:)  Kudos to us!

Here's hoping tomorrow goes well; I AM filling in for Ms Ally, so she can study for finals!

Day 41:  All Three!
Shift began on a positive note!  Was up front for about an hour, then sent to Lumber, to relieve Morgan for her lunch.  Did the soda count and gathered the tax exempt and loading tickets.  Ran out of pennies, fives, and tens, so moved over to #2, and did some sweeping.  M came back; took the soda count down and was told to go on MY 15 min break, then to relieve Imogene in LG, where I stayed the rest of the night.

Couple of interesting things happened tonight:
-I knew A was busy, so when I needed an override for a 25-cent bag of river rock, I simply zeroed it out.  Then we couldn't find the item # for some screws, so I said to forget it, and put them in his bag.
THEN joked with the customer who said he had a military discount.

"I just GAVE you a fairly decent discount.....and you want MORE?"  Wink wink.

-Woman shows me a Menards online price for the 12' patio pavers, $1.19.  I said we'd price-match.  A arrives as I'm ringing her up; I told her I needed an override and why.  A did it, ONLY because a) I'd told the customer we did and b) one manager allows it, the other doesn't.

-Man wanted to buy a maple tree, but it didn't have a bar code.  I'd left my phone at home, so couldn't look it up on the app.  I tried searching for it; nada.  Emma tried matching up leaves, but nada.  Finally, I was busy with a customer when apparently the guy took it back....then placed it in his car and drove off!  The new LG person was so startled, she didn't know what to do!  A arrived at that moment to close down LG, and calmed the girl down.

Day 42:
Got called in, since there was a death in Jill's family.  Spent the day in Lumber, and things were fairly steady from 3-6pm, with only two 'oopsies'....a guy who's working on the Walmart renovation announced he was paying for his items to be delivered, then began unloading his cart.  Confused, I began ringing him up, then expected him to pay for an invoice.  Nope, that's not the case, so we had him wait until Chelsea was free to fix it.  2ndly, the guys from last week's fiasco were back....only with a smaller order.  Rang them up, then their card needed an approval code.  Was on the phone to them for at least twenty minutes, with my register hijacked, until everything could be sorted out.  Turned out, boss paid by check, and it hadn't cleared the system yet.  Voided everything, and pushed both carts aside, with a note on it.  They'll return first thing in the morning with a new form of payment.

Asked Mgr Brandon if I could re-request for my summer days off, since the vacation days had all been approved, and he said sure.  So logged in all my June, July, August, and some of September days.  Need to double-check my Saluki Con times, as well as D's dr. appointments.

After lunch, things went much smoother, and toward the end of the shift, Darren pointed out someone left us a 'present'.....a full litter box, complete with kitty turds and trash!  Thanks, whomever you are...

I also had two bathroom emergencies, something that's not occurred before.  Not sure if it was eggs last night or my Chicken Teriyaki from Subway for lunch???

Tomorrow, I work 4-close, then off Friday.  Thank god....I need a break from being on my feet!  Here's hoping tomorrow's shift goes well; it's supposed to rain.

Day 43:
Work was steady tonight, since the rain broke in the afternoon, and was gone by the time I arrived.  We were extremely busy from maybe 4:30-6, esp when the guys from last night showed up again, and I had to take payment by phone.  THEN, they wanted seven sheets of plywood to be picked up Friday.  I arranged for it,then told them I'd double-check that it would be ready when they arrived.  (I forgot...)  THEN they decided to pick up the entire thing Friday, so Aggie had me fill out the 'pick up later' sticker and put her initials on it.  I shoved it behind the counter; they left; and so did the majority of the customers.

Tiffany relieved me for break, and when I came back, did my closing duties and rang up the stray customer here and there.  Tiff called to say that a couple who were having wire cut were authorized 10% off, and when it was finally ready, I needed an override.  Ag came down and the night progressed.  The sky grew darker, and around 8pm, opened up with a deluge, just as we had a small 'rush'.

Jen's hubby DH came in, and as I was ringing him up, I told him, "Your youngest is in love with my granddaughter."

"He's a charmer; Jen says he gets it from me."

He also told me the fire to his business last year was ruled an accident of unknown causes, so he's just doing construction jobs out of his house.  He lost nearly $200K in tools AND 6 Harleys in the fire.

The only closers tonight were myself, Tiff, and Sacred, so no sodas were filled in Lumber.  Hope I'm not blamed for it, since I turned in mine!

Found our Tuesday night thief; he's the same guy who ONLY buys our ripped backs of concrete; I told Darren I suspected him of ripping the bags himself.  I also managed to write down his license plate # (420SC) AND took a picture of him with his golf cart/truck.  As soon as I can upload the photo, I'll post it here.

As stated, I'm off tomorrow, so come back for the weekly Flashback:)  See you back here on Saturday, when I'll be in Lawn and Garden (fun, fun.)

Day #44-Front
I got a reprieve!  I had worn my dark blue hoodie, plus had taken my red hooded zip-up, only to be told they needed me up front!  So spend the entire shift on Reg 13, until 8pm, when A moved me to Reg 9.  It poured all afternoon, then tapered off, but customers still braved the weather and high 50 degree temps.

Had to go out and retrieve carts; I tried to get out of it, but AMgr Scott pulled the 'I'm-the-manager-and-I-can't-push-carts-because-I-had-surgery-on-my-elbow' guilt.  Pulled my sweatshirt hood up and helped bring in several carts, plus a cart for the Lumber area.  Scott kidded me about it later.

"You didn't melt!"

"No, but if I start sneezing and running a fever, I'm blaming YOU."

"That's not how you get sick..."

"I know that; I'm just giving you some shit."

NONE of my customers set off the theft detection system tonight!  Happy dance!!!

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I'm scheduled to be in LG all day.  So see you later on Sunday or Monday, for Life As A Red Vest, Week #7.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Flashback Friday: End of the School Year!

May 1979:
This month was full of activity.  We held our final choir concert of the year; our school held a 'carnival day', and I signed up for Cracker Whistle.  Basically, it was a relay race in which contestants consumed a package of Saltines, then attempted to whistle.

I practiced, since I didn't want to let my team down.  The day of the event, I did well; it only took me two tries to get the whistle approved, so I could run back and tag the next player.  I think we came in second.

The last day of school, however, disaster struck.  I had my key out, ready to unlock the door, and my sister hit my arm, causing the key to drop.  We never DID find that thing, and I'm still convinced it fell into the only crack in our porch, that keeps getting wider over the years.

We ended up borrowing a Phillips head screwdriver and a straight edge one, so I could open the kitchen window and shove W through it, in order to open the door.  She was not amused, and neither were our parents when they found out about my lost key.

Next Month:  Summer!

Present Day:
Today is our 28th wedding anniversary.  Since I'll be setting up at the 1st Friday Art Walk tonight, the spouse is taking me to lunch, hopefully to our Japanese restaurant.  I've not been there since last summer!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

May Reading Schedule

How Well Did I Do In April?
-Mail packages to Wa and Tx Nope
-Write #2 Regrets Added a few words, but not many
-Write Bad Decisions Decided to use the rejected Family Matters from Crossroads Antho for it.
-Lose 5 lbs (starting weight:  240) 4/26:  238.  Lost only two, but 8 since March:)
-Organize more basement Filled two more totes!
-Buy new table Check!
-Buy laminating sheets and Velcro, for prize wheel Check!
-Clean out Green House or more Brown House Been too cold to go in.
-Call school to double-check son's summer PE form Check:)
-Do well at Spring Vendor Fest (April 5 and 6th) Sat:  Sold 1...N sold 1 on Fri and 1 on Sat.
-Do well at Kentuckiana Author Fair (April 20th) Sold 1....think the weather was against us, plus the ones I saw were after non-fiction.
-Do well at North HS Craft Fair (April 27th)  Sold 1; Nancy sold 3.  Several women told me they only buy through Kindle, so I'll find out in 3 months if anyone did:)  At least I'm showing consistency, ha ha....
-Enjoy the Rock Opera (April 14th) It was AWESOME!  Final song, think choir and Trevor were out of synch, but overall it was fantastic and had a packed house:)
-Have an enjoyable weekend with EY and BJG Check:)
-Have a fun Easter with the kids Check:)  Nice and quiet, low-key.
-Work as many hours as possible, in order to finish paying for upcoming events You be the judge....
-Order proof copies of CR Check:)
-Find someone to switch with for April 14th 4/3:  Possibly switching with Makayla, and working the 15th for her.....Approved:)

Health:  The compression socks help, but not much.  I think they're a little too tight with the brace, but I need the brace by halfway through my shift.  Maybe I need to go the cortizone shot round??

Books Read:  4
           Print:  0
       E-Book:  4
Karaoke Songs Added:  6

                            Thurs:  6
                                 Sat:  0 Too tired one week; Easter weekend the 2nd.

May Goals:
Enjoy our 28th Anniversary Check:)  Ate lunch at Yamoto Japanese Steakhouse!
Do well at 1st Friday Art Walk Sold 1....still consistent!  Miracle occurred....the reader who's hounded me for six years finally bought the one she wanted!
Mail pkgs to Wa and Tx
Write #2 Regrets
Lose 5 lbs (start 238) (5/10:  237!!  -1)
Organize more basement
Work in either Green or Brown House
Order copies of CR (Proof copies ordered 5/10!) and Dreamscape
Work as many hours as possible, in order to finish paying for upcoming events
Do well at Opening Day of Farmer's Market
Have an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend with family:
     -Rendezvous:  Liz and kids
     -Race Day/Mem Day:  Uncle Bill and Will

Payday Schedule:
-April 27-May 3: 25
May 10th Payday hours: 46
   -Projected income:  $480/$240
       - $24 for church (Check!), buy proof copies ($20-CR Check!); send payment for ICGAHS ($50 Check!); pay cover art ($75-Check!)); pay Saluki-Con ($65 Check!); pay Heroes For Kids ($50-bring own table Check!)  ($284 total)
Banked:  $29+$5=$34 + $17 in petty cash= $51+$240=$291-$284=$7 saved
May 4-10: 25
        11-17: 31
May 24th Payday hours: 56
     -Projected income:$538
         -$53 to church; pay school ($147); pay medical bill ($50)  Secure InConJunction space ($60); buy inventory ($40-CR or DA); pay cover art ($38); Jasper Fair ($50); Celebrate Main ($15), ($453+ $50 need cashed= $503 total)
Banked:  $35+ FM sales
May 18-24: 26
         25-31: 20
June 7th Payday hours:  46??
     Projected income:  $442
         -$42 to church; Pay medical bill ($50) Pay Aug CC ($35); Watermelon Fest ($45); next installment for ICGAHS or State Fair ($50); Rivet Craft Fair ($45), final installment of cover art ($38) ($301 total)
Banked: SOM sales+$118

Payments Owed:
-Farmer's Market:  $15 (May 24th)
-Pride Donation (June 22nd)
-Heroes For Kids $50 (May 10th Check!)
-InConJunction (July 5-7):  $60+ expenses ($200 hotel?  $100 rental car??) (May-June)
-Watermelon Fest (Aug 2nd-3rd):  $45 (June 7th)
-Collector's Carnival (Aug and Oct):  $70 (Aug-June 7th; Oct-Late June)
-Indy State Fair (Aug 6th-$50-100, depending if I take the whole day or half) ($50 sent 4/26)
-Minneapolis travel expenses ($512-hotel, $120-food,$120- gas=$752 needed) (July-Aug)
-Indy Author Fair expenses (Sept 13-15):  $200 hotel?  $100 rental car?  Food/gas? (Aug)
-Imaginarium (Oct):  $120+ expenses (Sept)
-ICTAHS:  $155-240+expenses (gas/rental car/food/lodging) (May-June-July-Oct) ($50 sent 5/ owe $105-$190)
-Saluki Con:  $65 (May 10th Check!)
-Rivet Craft Fair:  $45 (June 7th)
-Jasper Craft Fair:  $50 (May 24th)
Obviously NOT ALL this month, but just listing so I can start chipping away/saving up!
May Reading Schedule:
Three Wishes-Barbara Delinsky Finally finished it!  Did NOT see the ending coming.
Jericho's Walls-Cathy Jackson Good story over all; however, the formatting errors pulled me out (probably b/c I've been reading my own proof copy!) and it's in that damned 1st person-present POV which I intensely dislike.  But, the author is a friend, so I read it.  Did I like the story?  Yes, and am looking forward to the next one.  Just wish she'd write in 3rd person.....
False Memory-Dean Koontz
All We Ever Wanted-Emily Giffin

Be Mine, Maybe-Sandra Sookoo Good story, but clueless heroine.  I knew by the time I was 25% in who her secret admirer was!
The Counterfeit Bride-Liberty Blake Good story; some details were glossed over, but overall, a RR!
Mountains Wanted-Phoebe Alexander
One-Jane Blythe
Guide to Amazon Reviews-Brian K. Morris

Karaoke Songs:
What If I'd Been The One-38 Special Did well:)
The Best of Times-Styx  Nailed it!
Whatever It Takes-Lifehouse  Slightly too low...
Pocket Full of Sunshine-Natasha Bedingfieild Did well!
What About Me-Moving Pictures Nailed it!
Boulevard of Broken Dreams-Green Day Ugh, waaaaayy too low.  Maybe if I'd jumped up an octave??
Vacation-The Go-Gos Did well!  Crowd pleaser:)
Power-Kansas DNH
Bop-Dan Seals Ugh...too low.  Deleted video
Video Killed The Radio Star-The Buggles DNH
Bye Bye Bye-N'Synch  Sang this with Gary and Richard...think it went well!
Islands In The Stream-K. Rogers/D. Parton  Gary asked me to sing with him, and we nailed this song!

View To A Kill-Duran Duran
Written In the Stars-Tinie Tempah
Back In My Arms Again-Supremes

Voices Carry-Til Tuesday
Bye Bye Love-Everly Brothers

5/4:  Family went to the movies, so I was on Grandma Duty:)  Read 4 books, watched Incredibles, and had snuggle time:)

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree-Brenda Lee Did well:)  Everyone participated too!
Rockin' in the Free World-Neil Young DNH
Rockin' Robin-Bobby Day Crowd pleaser!
Rockin' the Paradise-Styx DNH
Rock of Ages-Def Leppard Nailed it!  Plus, another crowd pleaser!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #5

Day 35 (LG)
Found my notebook!!!  It was in the rack facing the cash register:)  I'd looked through all the cubby holes, and had gone up to Brenda to let her know to keep an eye out for it.....and saw it!

I had some time before my shift, so went up front to get trash bags, only to be told I was going to be in L&G.  Ugh.  So went back to Lumber, got my water bottle and sweatshirt, clocked in, and headed outdoors.

Things went fairly smooth, until a lady with an accent was buying plants.  Turned out most of them were discounted, and some needed overridden.  Even then, she questioned the price, but finally seemed satisfied and went on her way.

Two others came up with items that were supposed to be BOGO, but didn't ring up that way.  So I cleared the screen, and only charged them for half the items.

Thankfully, my register had a heater, and Morgan and I worked well together.  I didn't fuss when she left for her 15 min break at 4:48 and returned at 5:20, so I also didn't worry about getting back on time....left at 5:25 and returned twenty minutes later!

At 7pm, I finished ringing up the last two customers, and we went indoors.  Filled the bags at the front, helped Sandy with the snack racks, and we clocked out around 7:40.  I was cold and hungry!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back in Lumber, and everything will go smoothly:)

Day 36:
It was 'leave everything in lumber' day.  Hardware, flooring, even flowers!

Otherwise, the shift went by fairly steady.  I did discover the scanner on Reg #2 is defective.  Remember my CFH last week?  I scanned a lumber tag, then hit tab, then 13, then 'enter'.  Double-checked the screen; only 1 rang up.  So it WASN'T entirely my fault!  I really need to bring this to Scott's attention....

Other than shoving the door off the track when I tried to lock it, everything went smooth.

My covering Ally's shift on Tues was approved, so yay....I'll be up front tomorrow!

Day 37: Front
Reported for duty and was told to replace Rachel.  The first ninety minutes were steady, and we heard about a backlog in Lumber.  At 6:30. I was told to go down to Lumber to send Jill on her lunch break, and discovered she was ringing up this HUGE order.....8 carts and two flat carts, over $4600 worth of stuff.  As I waited, I hopped on R2 to help with other customers, and discovered that J's customer had a problem with their card.  Turned out a '7' needed to be a '9'....this after phone conversations back and forth to banks, fraud alerts, and their boss.  An HOUR later, the problem was solved, the men went on their merry way, and J took her break.  I did her soda count, gathered her tax exempts and loading tickets, and swept the floor.  Went back up front, hoping to be sent on MY 15 minute break, or at least a bathroom break, but discovered a back log up there.  Hopped on R9, then Mel took her pit stop.  When she came back, I requested one, so she let me.  We got nearly everything accomplished and clocked out about 9:40.

I'm off Wed, so will report back either Friday morning or Thursday before karaoke!  Here's hoping things go well:)

Day 38: Lumber
Today went very smoothly!  Learned how to load an LAR account, thanks to Kem, and was able to get the majority of my closing duties accomplished before I left for lunch at 6:30.  After lunch, I loaded the soda machine, washed down the windows, and even joked around with Scott, when he insisted on going through the 'problem' door....told him if I broke it again I was blaming HIM!

Ben forgot to take my trash with him, so returned a drill bit to Tools, then dropped off the tax exempts/loading tickets and extra sodas, then pushed the cart to the trash compacter.  Stopped off at the break room to drop off my vest and pick up my coat (it had been raining earlier), then pushed the cart to the front and clocked out.

My feet were KILLING me by the time I left.  I work again on Sat, so see you back here, probably Sunday, since it's karaoke night again after my shift. 

Day 39:  No karaoke tonight; D, S, and W went to the movies, so A and I read 4 books and watched The Incredibles until she  fell asleep.

Tonight's shift was steady, with no issues:)  Off tomorrow, then I work M and Thurs.  See you next week!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Flashback Friday

April 2009:
This was an event-filled month.  My sweet toddler turned into naughty child who refused to listen, and got his butt swatted multiple times, plus I had to once tie him to his chair to get him to sit down at the table and eat his dinner.  His brand new bicycle was locked in storage for a week.  I joked that an alien mommy and I had swapped kids!  His Head Start teacher also informed me that his brain 'switched on', and he was now eager to answer questions at Rug Time, instead of playing:)

I'd also signed him up for kindergarten, and while he was excited about it, even wondering when he would start, he was overwhelmed when we visited his future classroom, and one of his friends had some good advice for him!

Rock of Ages Musical hit Broadway, and I desperately wanted to see it!  Discovered they were planning on making a film adaptation, so that pacified me:)

Kenzie received her release date for All She Ever Wanted:  May 19th would be the day!

Friend B had delicate sinus surgery, to remove polyps.

My oldest son and his friends lost a classmate right after he spent the weekend painting the playground equipment at one of the parks, for his Eagle Scout project.

I got a ticket while taking my daughter to school.  I'd made a rolling stop through a 4-way and a cop happened to see it.  Not one of my finer choices, and he was NOT sympathetic at all when I tried to explain we were late for school!

As For The Rants....
Earth Day.  What happened to all the refill bottles?

Miss America vs Perez Hilton over the subject of Gay Marriage and speaking one's own mind or the PC answer.

The Age of Rudeness

Ten years later, my characters are STILL 'suspended in time'.

Finally, the NCAA championship 'game' between UNC and Michigan State.  It was more of a College vs HS scrimmage.

Next Month:  Dreaming I'm On Letterman, and Other Release News

Present Day:
I'm off to the Evansville North HS Craft Fair tomorrow!  I'll be in the gym, row F, table 5, next to Nanny's Notions and Two Old Bags.  Hoping for better sales than recently!

Today's also payday, so have to figure out how much of my check is going toward medical bills and what events/cover art I can pay with the rest.  Wish me luck....

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #4

Day 30:
I knew going into today that it was probably going to be hectic, since the temps were pushing 80.  When D dropped me off, the parking lot in Lumber didn't look too bad, but after clocking in and arriving, there was a line.  I took over for Mel, and thought I was going to get a break fairly soon, but it was steady all the way until right before Sandy came down to relieve me for my lunch break!

The 6:00 hour was INSANE...
    -People needing loaders, and not happy to discover they were tied up
    -A customer tried to buy a Craftsman leaf blower, only to discover he only had $80 on his card, and it hijacked my register.  Had to call IT and be on hold for ten mins, so hopped over to the other register while waiting.  IT guy walked me through a return as I was in the middle of ringing up a LARGE order, so had have the customer wait while I went back to #1 and get it freed.  It needed an override to complete it, and couldn't get anyone to come down, despite repeated attempts.  Continued ringing up people on #2 until Tasha finally came down, then told me 'You're not supposed to do returns here."  Told her the situation, got my register unlocked, finished with the customer on #2, then logged out and went back to #1!  Was about to start the soda count when Sandy came down to relieve me.
   -Things settled down after lunch, and was able to finally do my closing chores.

Tasha and Brandon came down and asked me where I was feeling most comfortable, and I answered 'Lumber or up front'.  Told her about my Black Thumb as far as gardening goes, and being clueless about all things in that department, though I knew enough to look items up!  She laughed and said it was more than MOST people knew to do, so kudos there, and walked off.

Jessica had asked me to clean the tracks on the cooler, since Corporate was coming in on Tues.  I accomplished that around 8pm, and did everything except sweep by 9pm, then since my large dust mop was missing, I simply swept the area between the two registers.

After Mel came down to get the $$, I loaded up the trash, the extra sodas I didn't need, and my two returns, and headed off.  Dropped off the trash, then the returns, then the tax exempt slips, my one return slip, and the loading tickets.  Restocked the sodas and batteries in the storage area and pushed my cart into the Entrance before taking off my vest and being able to clock out.

Hoping tomorrow is a little less hectic; it's supposed to rain Tues, Wed, and Thurs.  I still need to talk to Tiffany and hope she can switch with me this weekend.  I'll work for her either May 1st or 2nd if she'll work my shift on Sat!

Day 31:
So I got my wish; today was MUCH slower/more typical.  Didn't really have any issues, other than trying to look up the drywall panels again, and having a slight 'rush' around 5pm.

There's a remote possibility I forgot to clock back in after lunch; it wouldn't let me clock out after my shift.  Bethany said she'd fix it.

I also went in early, in order to do the training, and wasn't able to finish before my shift.  I'll have to go in early again on Thurs.

It was also Molly and Chelsea Day, as far as helping customers.  One guy was getting the run around from L&G about landscape timbers; I was trying to find someone to help him when C came back and did it.  Then, I was coming back from lunch when a guy stopped me and asked about soldering irons.  I told him where to find them, then found Robert in Tools and pointed him in the direction of the customer.  Near closing, a third customer asked me about antifreeze, a spray bottle, and shovels.  I pointed him in the right direction.

All THREE came down to lumber for check out AND to personally thank us for 'doing our jobs'.

I'm off on Wed, so here's hoping Thursday goes smoothly!

Day 32:
Was asked to come in an hour early, so I did.  Rang up more tax exempts than I've probably done all month!  Other than the torrential rainfall, the night went fairly smooth, with me only making one major blunder:  Guy came in to get a trailer; couldn't get Scott on the phone, so had to page him:

Scott, please come to Lumber.

Oops.  Adrianna called me, telling me to page him again, asking him to call 251, which is the Lumber phone #.  I hadn't known that!  I'm about to do that when I hear, Lumber cashier, call 202.

I do so and after identifying myself, immediately apologized for paging him in that manner!

Got a compliment from A at the end of the night; apparently one morning she came in to open and the Lumber area was a mess.  Dirty floor, nothing stocked....she told me she thought, 'You can tell Molly didn't close last night!"

Kudos to me:)  She also took a snapchat video of me twirling the broom ala flag routine, ha ha!

Ally wasn't happy with her schedule, so I told her I'd be happy to cover the next two Tuesdays for her:)  I'm needing hours the next two weeks.

Also made sure Scott, Jess, and Adrianna all knew I'm coming in late on Saturday, due to the NHS event.

Here's hoping Friday goes smoothly:)

Day 33:
The shift began fairly typical, but I noticed every time I picked up the broom, customers appeared.  Adrianna relieved me for lunch, and when I returned, it was if gremlins had taken over.
   -Customer's order could not be found
   -Receipt printer refused to print
   -Check refused to be validated
   -Drivers License would not match
   -Reg 1 ran out of quarters, and Reg 2 ran out of $20s.

Things smoothed out after an hour, and I was able to get some of my closing duties finished, even taking the time to chat with and pet a beautiful black pit bull named Wabash.

A woman arrived with several plants, all discounted, so had to key them in one at a time....all 12 of one and six of another.  If Scott hadn't been busy, I'd have asked him to override everything!

Toward the end of the shift, two women approached with floor tile, and wanted to price check each.  Fine; I keyed in the one they wanted, then all hell broke loose.

I have never wanted to throttle a customer so badly before, but I restrained myself.

1) They had me scan the 4 2x4s, then the 4x4s.  I scanned in two, and the one watching the screen told me to stop, they'd reached their limit.  Erased the 2nd one, scanned coupon for $56 and change.  They paid.

2)  I was asked to scan all the Quikcrete and another 4x4, then to take off the 4x4.  Another coupon was used; they paid for their $56 and change.

3)  Scanned in rest of lumber; another coupon used.  $56 and change, they paid, then the 2nd woman remembers she has a special order.

4)  Found her storm door; she pulls out another coupon and takes her 5%.  $440 and she pays, then they leave.

-store closes
-two more customers are looking irritated
-Adrianna calls me to ask how many customers (we were almost finished with the 3rd order)
-I'm realizing I've not done ANYTHING close to my usual list of chores.

The other two customers were fortunately easy ring ups, and they were out the door in a few minutes.  I locked the left door, but left the right one open so my CFH could shove their carts in.

My soda was brought; A came down to clean out the registers.  I'd swept the main areas, and had quickly wiped off the counters.  She released me to the front; I took back the rejected floor tile and a drill bit, dropped off my tax exempt forms and loading tickets, and finished up.

Clocked out about 9:50 pm.

I DO have to call in around noon tomorrow, to let the manager know I'll be two hours late, even though practically everyone knows it.  A put me on the flow chart to work from 6-close, but to cover my butt, and not get an occurrence, I need to call in.

Here's hoping it's a nice, steady 3 hours tomorrow!

Day 34:
I managed to get there at 5:30, and for the first hour, things went smoothly.  Got my soda count turned in; learned we'd had a $500 winner in the weekend promotion; started on my checklist at 7pm/

Then things went downhill.
-Ran out of $5s, so switched to Reg 2. 
-Something went wrong when I rang up 7 sheets of plywood and only 1 was charged.  Called to see what to do about it, and Mel told me they'd have to pay.  Customer hit the roof and began yelling at me; I paged Scott, and he told me to charge her a penny.  She calmed down and left.
-Had another customer with a complicated order, and it was well after 9pm before I finally got the doors locked, the floor swept, and the register tape replaced.
-I also discovered my notebook was missing, with all my codes, passwords, etc in it.  I'm hoping and praying it shows up in Lumber somewhere.

I work again tomorrow from 2:30-close, so come back tomorrow for Life In Lumber, Week #5:)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Flashback Friday: Practice Schedule Hell

April 1999:
When you're new to coaching, and there are two Pee-Wee teams, naturally the already-established coach will get the best practice time and field.  K's friend Austin's dad R decided to coach the kids and invited D to be his assistant coach.

Which was all fine and dandy.....until practice schedules were set up, and we barely had any available practice time, since there were six baseball teams, six softball teams, AND a HS softball team all vying for space on three fields.  The HS team would always practice or have games on #1, so that left only two fields available after school.  Fortunately, one of the parents of our team's players had a large field and said we could use it, which we did.

Toward the end of the month, R came up to me and asked if I'd be the team's Concession Rep, which meant I'd be in charge of getting the stand set up, and scheduling parents to work the stand during our home games.  I said sure, and met with Barb to find out the procedures and which team was in charge when we played the other Home team.  (If we were the 'visiting' team, it was the other team's responsibility.  Remember this for the June's post!)

Practices went well, and we had a girl on our team who had a chip on her shoulder.  D quickly learned she was competitive, and could bring out the best in her by telling her she couldn't do it, which made her focus more, and prove him wrong!  Reverse psychology DOES work at times!

Next Month:  Let The Games Begin!

Present Day:
I'm off to La Grange, KY for the 9th annual Kentuckiana Author's Fair!  Leaving this afternoon, then tomorrow's going to be loooong, for as soon as I break down my booth, I drive home, show up at Jeanna's Pure Romance Party, then head to church for the Easter Vigil.

Before I leave, I'm hoping there's an outdoor Way of the Cross....I've missed attending this the past few years.

Sunday is Easter, and I'm surprised I'm not scheduled to work!  I figured being the 'low man on the totem pole', I'd have to work the holiday!  Can't get into my schedule yet to see who's not working on the 27th, to switch shifts with them.  Hopefully I'll be able to do that on Monday.

Have a wonderful and Blessed Easter!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Signs Our Kids Are Being Coddled In School

2003: "This is the principal at XYZ HS, and I have your child in my office. Here's what happened and how we will deal with it."

2011: "This is your child's guidance counselor...there was an incident involving your child and here's how we're going to deal with it."

2019: "This is the assistant principal....I have your child in my office and I just want to tell you how proud of him/her I am. Grades are good, even in X class, which is so tough for many kids, with what they're studying today. I've never had a problem with your child, and I think you're doing a marvelous parenting job..."

(I'm thinking, 'Cut to the chase lady; WHY is my child in your office, what did he/she do, and what are the consequences?')

"...I have your child on speaker so he/she can hear everything...the Z class grade could be a little better-"

(Interrupting, since said child can HEAR me)  
"So can the W grade")

(AP laughs) "Well, yes, yes of course. Now the reason your child is in my office.....(cites reason) So this is how we're going to handle it, because out in the REAL world, if this had happened, it would have escalated into something worse, and we don't want THAT to happen, do we? So I just wanted to let you know your child is getting a consequence of his/her behavior. Do you have any questions?"

"Is the other child involved receiving the same punishment?"

"I cannot discuss the other party involved, but just want to let you know I have dealt with the issue fairly, and your child agrees that everyone involved is being treated in a fair manner. I try to treat every child as if they were my own."

(Me, thinking, 'if my child was simply defending his/her friend, he/she would have received a simple reprimand, and the other child punished! But since my child acted more aggressively first, by all means, treat him/her like a bully, instead of the kid who instigated it!)

**End phone conversation***

1st child: 5 minute phone conversation.

2nd child: 10 minute phone conversation, as we worked out the details.

3rd child: 20 minute phone conversation, since Child could hear me and there were some wise-cracks exchanged between us, concerning the 'growth' over the past year, in more ways than one, plus a reminder to do ALL homework while in the Alternative To Suspension room (Formally known as the In School Suspension???), NOT to mention the 5-10 minute snow-job on how 'proud she was' of my child up until now, but that she will continue to 'enjoy' my child's presence in her school for the next 6 weeks!

I get it; my kid screwed up. But he was DEFENDING his friend who had been shoved! And you can't tell me if the kid who initiated the whole thing is getting the same treatment? If my child comes home and says he's the only one punished, believe me, Mama Bear's marching down to her office!

Other child was indeed given the same punishment, and my child was also hi-fived at lunch and after school for taking the bully down a notch!

He'll be taken to the bakery before school in the morning, and possibly a trip to DQ after school.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Life As A Red Vest, Pt 3

Day 26 (not sure where I lost count!): Lawn and Garden
Today was chilly, only in the high 50s, so I took my thick red hoodie with me, and was very thankful for it, when five minutes after being out there, had to put it on over my blue Cabellas hoodie!  We weren't super busy (Makayla was with me), but Kaylee, the girl I replaced, told me we were out of the black and brown mulch, and people weren't very happy.  Several asked about rain checks; I sent them to customer service.  M was sent to Lumber, to give Tiffany her break.  When she returned, it was my turn for a 15.  I first returned a walkie-talkie to HC Cindy, then went to the break room.  When I came out, I was waylaid by a customer asking about flooring.  Since I had just met the flooring guy (Benjamin), I went back to the break room to see how much longer he had on his break, and the customer's issue.  I then returned to the customer and told her B would be out in five minutes.

As I was walking back to L&;G, I ran into my friend Zach and his daughter Liloo, who were looking for plant wire.  We found it on the app, and I led him to the correct space.  We chatted while he picked out the ones he wanted, and L was excited to show me her cactus.  I checked them out, and told him about the upcoming releases and appearances.  He said he'd show up at least one of them, hugged me goodbye, and left.

I decided to take our overflowing trash to the dumpster, and learned where to do it in L&G!  Five minutes later, HC Cindy called me to come help Morgan in the front, and I very happily did so, for the sun was going down and my fingers were cold!

We were steady at the front; Morgan swept the floors while I checked out the few customers, then helped her wipe down the counters and check the register tape (I just remembered I forgot to change mine....oops!  See farther down for the reason...).  At 9 pm, I emptied my trash and relined the can, then took a flat cart back to Lumber.

When I arrived in Lumber, I noticed there were two rows of carts, so decided to help Tiffany out.

"Oh, I don't care."

"There's only supposed to be 5.  I can take a few for you..."

"If you want.  I really don't care."

Surprised by her attitude, I pushed 3 all the way back to the entrance, and when we were needing something to do, I volunteered to go back to Lumber for more carts, and C said sure.

This time, I pushed 6, two rows of 3, leaving 3 more for T to bring up when she was finished (think she only brought a broken one).  Discovered I'm the only one who really uses the checklist....but I don't care.  That's how Mel trained me; that's how I'll do it.

T was ready to clock out and leave; Aliscia told her to ask C if we could go.

T:  It's twenty til ten, for heaven's sake.  Time to get out of here!

M (privately to myself):  It's more $$ on your check....what's YOUR problem?

Maybe it's my work ethic, but I like to make sure everything's done first???  I've always been like this, if I have to close.  Betty and I were always the last ones to leave the country club; I was the last one to leave the baseball fields every night during tournament time....can I help it if I'm conscientous?

Day 27:  Back In Lumber!
Yeah, yeah, I know.....I thought I was supposed to be up front.  But when I arrived, Aliscia informed me of the switch.  I was thrilled!  Things went fairly smoothly; the soda count was already done; all I had to do was continue to keep track.  Went to my 15 min break and chatted with Erica over my son's asinine stunt (more on this later!), then returned and continued my closing procedures.  Discovered my dust mop, little broom, and dust pan were all on the missing list, so had the guilty pleasure of sweeping everything out the large door.  Ended up cleaning out the trash can by the coffee pot, since something was spilled into the bottom.  Even shut off the doors and cleaned them; will do the side windows next time.

A guy gave me his phone # for the military discount, but it wasn't his name.  Had to go under his name, and found him.

Another guy wanted out busted bags of Quickcrete, but when he found the discount was only 50% instead of $1, he said forget it.

A couple came in with the exact # of drywall sheets and dimensions, and all I had to do was look them up to find them.  They wanted 10' sheets, but we didn't have any, so they bought more 12' ones.

My only screw ups of the shift were:
    -I rang up a customer's drywall, then saw his nails before he could pay.
    -Not long after, I did the same thing, only didn't catch it.  He had to pay twice.
    -My final customer gave me a $20 and a quarter.  For whatever reason, I rang it up as $10.25, then gave him his $.06 and closed the drawer just as he reminded me he'd given me a twenty.  Called for Cindy....but before she arrived, I tried to get him to do another cash purchase....candy, soda, water, but he said no.  Chad arrived, and I asked if he needed his nightly Gatoraid.  He said no, but when I explained the issue, he bought one....and I was able to give the customer his $10, just as Cindy arrived!  I was the first one to get their drawer cleaned out!

I'd already set out my extra carts; one of the guys from Tools had taken all but three up to the front.  I needed one more in Lumber, so I returned one, then pushed the other two toward the front, dropping off my Hardware return and a 'left behind' item from last Friday.  Forgot to take bags and register tape back down to Lumber....oops.

Day 28:  Where Will I Be?  Lumber!
Arrived and checked the schedule; I'm now on there in Lumber for the next two weeks:)  But just to be sure, I double-checked with Mel...and she confirmed it.  Sweet!  Went down and relieved Rachel, then alternated ringing up customers and doing my closing procedures.  Mel came down at 7:15 to give me my break; I did my two returns, then got my charger after eating.  The last 90 minutes, I swept, emptied the trash, washed the counters and windows beside the doors, and loaded the soda cooler.

My only goof of the night was I had to give $1.91 in change, and I only did $1.81.  Mel was busy, and there was no one around to do another cash transaction, so the customer said not to worry and left.  I was worried about my drawer being $.10 over, so the next cash transaction, I took it out and slipped it into my pocket.  Hope it doesn't get me fired....

Mel asked me to come in at 3 on Thursday, so I arranged to go in for my hair appointment an hour earlier:)

Day 29:
Arrived at 3 and discovered what happens when you attempt to clock in earlier than the schedule asks you to explain!

Lumber went smoothly, all except a few hiccups:
-I accidentally didn't give enough change twice....once was a $5 instead of a $10 (Mel came down and opened the drawer) and the other time was supposed to be $2.12, only I pulled out one $1 instead.  Oops....see Day #28 for what I did next.  Again, hope it doesn't get me fired!

Update: 4/22:  My conscience was killing me over that $1, and after spending a weekend worried about my job, I decided to return it to the drawer!  Conscience has been assuaged, and I still have my job.

Three guys came over with several stuff off the '75%' off' bin, and by the time I was finished, I was so frustrated, I joked, "That took so long, it turned my hair blue!"  They laughed and went on their way, and I finished ringing everyone up.

It rained off and on all day, so we weren't that busy.  I'm off the next three days....heading to La Grange tomorrow, the signing on Sat, and Easter festivities on Sunday. Here's hoping everything continues to go smoothly this weekend, and I'll be back for another Week In Lumber:)

Friday, April 12, 2019

Flashback Friday: Event-Filled April!

Spring Break, Pt 2:
I received a phone call the night before I was due to fly home.

"Bad news; I wrecked my car."

"OMG....are you all right?"

"Yes, but the car is totaled."

We chatted some more, but all I could think about was, how the hell was I supposed to drive back and forth from the country club now?

I enjoyed my final day with Grandma, then flew home and returned to school.

Car Issues:
I persuaded EY to let me use her car for at least one week, and handed in my notice at work.  My 'regulars' were sorry to see me go, but understood transportation issues.  Manager B told me if I ever needed my job back, she'd give it to me.  I left on a happy note, with everybody tipping me well.

New Job!
I needed something within walking distance, and since I'd discovered I was good at pushing drinks at the NYE ball, I applied at King's Crossing bar, and got the job.  My first night, I broke an entire tray of empty beer bottles, when my manager stopped me.  I stopped, but the bottles didn't, ha ha!  That first weekend, I learned about declaring tips; I didn't have to do that at the country club.  The other girls filled me in on their 'system'....if we made less than $20, declare only a dollar.  $20, declare $2, $30, declare $3, and so on.

Weekend Plans and WW3
During all this time, I was saving up my funds to rent a car in order to spend a weekend in Akron, OH, with BC.  With one week left to go, he called me.

"I think I did something stupid; Wendy (his G/F) and I got in a fight, because she doesn't want to come see me.  I told her you were busting your ass to save up the money for a rental car, and hung up on her."

" you realize what you've done?"

"I know, I know.....just wanted to give you a head's up in case she decided to call you."

She never did call me, and I had an enjoyable weekend with him.  He took me to the Olive Garden after I arrived on Sat, then we went to a bar and watched some idiots wrestling Caesar, The Wrestling Bear.  He offered to pay for me to do it, but I refused!  Told HIM to wrestle the damn thing, ha ha!

Sunday, he had to go into the office for a few hours, so I did my homework and watched TV.  He came back and we decided to go see Major League, then grab pizza.

That evening, he was in the bathroom when his phone rang.  I answered it, and it was Wendy.  I was cordial, then went to tell B she was on the phone.  He came out, and I went into the bedroom to give him some privacy.  As soon as I left the room, I heard him say, "No, not til tomorrow morning."  Then his side of the conversation was all 'yes' and 'no'.  I decided to get ready for bed, and after a few minutes, decided to go back in the other room and 'rescue' him.  However, he had other ideas.  As soon as I opened the door, wearing my white sleepshirt and shorts, he started exclaiming, "OMG, she's naked.  Go put your clothes back on.....I gotta go."  He hung up.

I was furious.  "Are you INSANE?  What the hell do you mean by telling her THAT?"

"I was fed up with her and wanted to get off the phone.  You came out at the right time."

"I was planning to tell you there was an issue with your TOILET, numb skull!  You just dropped the atomic bomb on her!"

"Ah, she'll get over it."

When I went to bed, I asked him what time he was planning to wake me up. (He'd discovered he hadn't washed the sheets on his pull-out couch, so let me use his bed while he slept on the couch.)

"At 6.  Sleep naked, and you'll see HOW I'll wake you up."

I rolled my eyes.....but heard his alarm go off.  I slipped off my shirt and dropped it on the floor, then went back to sleep.  I heard his alarm go off two more times, then he came in and slapped me on the butt, told me to wake up, and left the room.  I put my shirt back on, walked out, and said, "Chicken."

His eyes popped open.  "Why....were you naked?"

"Didn't you see my shirt on the floor?"

"No.....go get back in bed and we'll try this again."

" had your chance.  I gotta be on the road by 8 am."  I promptly went in to take a fast shower!

When we left the apartment, we discovered it had snowed, so had to scrape both cars before leaving!

I returned my rental, and recounted my weekend to my friends, who couldn't believe nothing had happened between the two of us!

Math Woes
I discovered I still hadn't passed my math class, so decided to stick around for May-mester.  I would be living in the dorm across the street, with the z-shaped rooms.  EY and I said our tearful goodbyes to everyone and went our separate ways.

Next Month:  New Dorm, New Roomie, New Friends.

Present Day:
Erica arrives tonight, and tomorrow, we head to Evansville, in order to see Billie Jo, who's on her 2nd round of chemo.  Then it's back here for Open Mic Night, and on Sun, the Rock Opera of The Passion.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #2

Day 20:
Had a nice, slow, steady night:)  Only had two issues crop up:  One customer wanted to pay with his LAR, and I couldn't figure out how to do it (turned out an hour later, I realized I'd tried to look up an INVOICE, not the LAR....oops!) so they paid cash.

I'd also run out of $1s, so was getting ready to call the Adriana, but remembered the last time she'd said to hop over to #2.  Had intended to call her, but forgot....and when she came down to relieve me for dinner, that's when I remembered to tell her!  She wasn't thrilled, but sent me to lunch anyway!

After dinner, and discovering my phone was at 15%, I texted S to bring my charger to me, and returned.  A had gotten me more $$ for the drawer, then ran into Problem #2:  A customer wanted to double-check something when another customer approached.  I moved over to #2, but they had discounted items, and I needed an override.  Called A, who told me to call CS.  Couldn't get a hold of 'em.  #1 returned, and I got them rung up while still trying to contact CS.  Even paged them.  After #1 was on their way, I remembered the 'trick' of discounting each one, instead of both.  It worked, and I sent them on their merry way.

Had a customer come in with a dog, and after giving it a treat, rang up the one item.  He asked if I'd gotten the knife....I said no.  He lifted up the seat of the cart, and there it was.

"Oh, that's what you did.....distract me with dog, so I wouldn't see it."

I rang it up while we laughed about his potential shoplifting scheme, ha ha!

At the end of the night, I pushed 3 carts while taking out the trash and returning 2 items to hardware, plus dropping off the used cash register tape.

Manager Jess and Adriana laughed when I said, "I can multi-task; I'm a mom!", when A told me to push the carts to the front.  "I'm getting there!"

Day 21:
Shift began with me taking longer than usual to ring up one item, but got it figured out soon.  Customer flow was steady; however, I had my soda count finished by the time I went to lunch at 6:35.  When I came back, I emptied the trash and got the counters wiped down, and all tax exempts and loading tickets ready.  Checked the register tape; only one needing refilled was mine, and I could do that at closing time.  Only hiccup was when a guy needed tile loaded, and no one in Lumber was qualified to run the loading machine.  Finally, someone was found, and the customer could leave!

At close, a woman came up with a shut off  valve, but it wasn't ringing up.  Tried looking it up; no.  Wasn't in the blue book; couldn't find it on the app.  So called down to Plumbing, and he said he'd be down.  I hopped over to #2 to ring up the next two customers, and I guess Plumbing was busy, for one of the women went down and got the item # for me.  Rang it up, they paid, and off they went.

Fed a Great Dane (Charlie), a dachsund, and a yorkie.

Had time to clean the doors while waiting for Cindy to empty the registers, and even got Justin to return all twelve carts, since it was 'Leave Your Cart In Lumber' day.  I only had to push one up to the front with my paperwork and water bottle:)  J even took out the trash for me!  I was thrilled, since I'd banged my right ankle on a cart and was in extra pain.

Wasn't happy when I checked my email earlier and discovered all my requests for days off had been refused.  I'll talk to Mgr Jess about it.

Day 22:
Arrived; discovered Brenda had already done the soda count.  Customer flow was again slow but steady, didn't really have any issues before going to lunch at 6:40.  However, Jill relieved me and told me she was due to get off at 7, so I cut my lunch short in order to get her off the clock on time.  Didn't really work out; after I returned at 7, she had to go relieve Aliscia down in L&G for her 15 min break!  Oh well.....I tried.  When I returned, J had called for an override, THEN told me she was only joking about the 'be back as close to 7' remark.  Gah....will I EVER figure that woman out?  At least she was in a good mood!

After lunch was a little slow.  I swept the floor 3 times, wiped down the entire counter and around each monitor; emptied the trash.  Kept an eye on the carts; we were actually running a deficit.  But at 8pm, I was steady for an hour.  One customer hadn't written down his items on the bag, and had to look them up.  It rang up $10K, so had to call for Aggie to help me figure it out.  We finally ended up ringing them up as 'Galvanized'.  Another customer had written his down; I awarded him a 'gold star', and took my highlighter and drew 2 'gold stars' on his receipt!

One guy had a sheet of plywood, but no bar code.  He got one for me, and I held onto it, which turned out to be a GOOD thing, since Daniel, the owner of La Carretta/El Corral restaurant, brought me the same thing, so was able to scan my saved code and sent him on his way.  I later stapled that code into my notebook for future reference!

Got the doors locked, soda stocked, and by now, had 7 carts to push down, in addition to some returns.  Chad took out my remaining trash bag, and I pushed 3 of the carts toward the front, dropping off my returns to Tools, Plumbing, and Hardware.  Was able to take off my vest, and when I got up front again, Mgr Brandon was there, so asked him about not being on the schedule yet for Mon.  He told me to talk to Jess on Thurs.  Then, I asked him since he vetoe'd all my requested days off for the summer, should I put my HS reunion request in as 'vacation'.  He said yes, so plan to go back in and request them all as 'vacation' days!

Day 23:
When I arrived, Jill was swamped, with Aggie helping her, so I jumped on Register 2 and checked out the next customer.  Logged out, then relieved J, who was happy to be going home!

About a half an hour later, one of my 'frequent fliers' showed up, and I tried looking him up under Tax Exempt, but we couldn't find him.  I called Chelsea over, who told me to look up under the LAR.  Joked to Rich that he needed to come back every day, to get me in that habit!  Then wrote myself a note.

Had three guys with four carts full of stuff; 1st time, I tried to ring up the wrong bar code, so had to redo it.  Rang up their drywall, 4 sheets.  Later, turned out that particular cart wasn't theirs; they had 6 sheets.  Easy fix.  Sent them on their way.....then thirty minutes later, noticed the drywall was still in the aisle!  Soon, one of the men came back for it, saying he'd TOLD the others he'd thought they'd forgotten something, lol!  An hour later, he was back again; they'd bought the wrong door.

Hispanic guy came in, wanting the $26 ladder out front.  I called Aggie to unlock it; she sent someone down with the key, but since the customers were still shopping, she refused, and said to call again when they were checking out.  I sent Ben out to write down the item #, and it rang up $59.98!  Then, I looked it up in the sale paper, and it was 'SAVE $26'.  When they arrived at my station, they had picked up a ladder.  I showed them the real price, and the younger one translated.  I asked if he still wanted it, and he shook his head and placed it to the side.

When I went to lunch, Sandy chastised me for placing soda bottles on the bottom, even after I told her I'd been using them as fill-ins.  She pulled them all out, and we noticed others had rolled to the back.  Okay; lesson learned.

I also wore a belt today, to keep my pants up.  Worked!  Didn't cut off my circulation when I sat or bent over, and I wasn't having to hike up my pants every 15 mins!

I swept the floor 5 times, even sweeping part of the lumber aisle, including the area around a stack of drywall.  Had everything done by 9, but Aggie didn't bring me the soda until 9:15.  By the time I was finished, it was 9:30.  Pushed my carts back to the front and went back to my the time I reached the CS desk, Brandon was on the intercom:  "All cashiers to the front....all cashiers to the front..."

I shot back, "If you had a bone spur, you'd limp too!"

"You're the first one back!  There are others still out there."

"I'm first?  WOW.....that almost NEVER happens!"

Got my schedule for the final week in April.....they scheduled me for the 27th.  I'm either going to have to simply tell them I'll be late that day, or find someone to switch with!

Left my water bottle on the counter at CS....guess I'll have to buy another.

Day 24:
I walked into the Training room to clock in and discovered a mound of food on the table:)  Mgr Jess was in her office, so I stuck my head in and asked what was the occasion?  No special reason; they ordered Subway for everyone.

Walked down to lumber and hopped on #2 to help Jill out, then there was a lull for a few minutes after she left.  Got the soda count accomplished, then all hell broke loose.
   -Had trouble locating one customer's LAR
   -Another customer had a question I couldn't answer, so had to ask Chelsea, who was tied up with her own CFH.
   -Damond came down to help out briefly, then things settled down again.

I went to dinner, and ate my Lunchable, plus two slices of Subway sandwich and 2 cookies.  After lunch, I was able to get some of my closing duties finished, and had a playful conversation with Karl, who tried to shove more carts behind #2.

"Take them down THERE!  Take them down THERE!"

Tom and I also had a friendly match over carrying lumber on my head or on his!

Nobody came down to get the soda count, so Aggie told me to leave it there and she'd get it in the morning.  She took the tax exempt slips; I pushed two carts and returned two small items to Electrical, then went back to close the 'big door'.  I'd also accidentally knocked the left door off the track, but a customer helped me get it back on.

Next week, I'm in Lawn and Garden on Mon, then up front T-W-Th.  Off to Kentucky on Friday!

See you next week for the next installment of 'Life As A Red Vest, Pt 3'.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Flashback Friday: OOPS!!

April 1979:
We spent Easter with the Campbells, and watching little P finding Easter Eggs.

My spring choir concert at McCutcheon HS was full of hilarity and confusion.  We practiced getting up on stage TWICE, and did it flawlessly.  However, on the night of the performance, someone messed up when we took our seats, for when it was time to line up, I realized I was about to lead my group of girls to the BOYS section, so I hastily stepped up to the next riser, along with the others, until the right person filled in that row, and we were able to step down again.  I don't remember anyone getting mad, so it all worked out.

I also remember being envious of the Select Choir, for they got to sing Andy Gibb's "I Just Wanna Be Your Everything', and there were several who were taught a dance routine.  I wish I could remember the steps!

Our songs included Barry Manilow's 'Daybreak', and a beautiful three-part harmony song 'There's a little bell a-ringing in my heart...'

Of course, no video existed back then, and no pictures, other than me posing with my dad before leaving.

Next Month:  House Key Dropped Into Black Hole

Present Day:
I'm setting up at the Washington East Side Park Community Building for a Spring Vendor Fest!  Tonight from 4-8, and tomorrow from 9-2 or 3pm.  Hoping for good sales, since I ended up spending investing in a new table, laminating sheets, and printer ink.  I've been busy this week, re-doing the pictures on the Prize Wheel, and decided to do book covers of different genres:
Classic:  Little Women
Mythical  Percy Jackson and Lightening Thief
Kids:  Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire (my personal fave of the series)
Crime:  Men In Blue by W.E.B. Griffen
Horror:  Stephen King's Firestarter (first one I ever read)
Romance:  Brynn Paulin's Brotherly Bonds (I love her Cress Bros, and didn't want to put 'That Book' on my wheel!)
Fantasy:  Lord of the Rings
My own:  Catered Romance

I guess I should have used the Hungry Little Catapillar for Kids?  Honestly couldn't decide between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, ha ha.....

The weather is supposed to be GORGEOUS, in the 70s, so hoping for a good turnout this weekend:)

Enjoy the warm weather and I'll see you back here on Tuesday for the next installment of 'Life In Lumber Week #2''.