Monday, April 27, 2020

Life As A Red Vest, Week 39

Day 176:
I left around 3 to go in, after playing unsuccessful Phone Tag with Tasha, who had called while I was in the shower, about putting me on the schedule.  I walked in during an extremely busy moment, so after noting that the front end was full, walked down to Lumber and hopped on Reg 2, where I spent the remainder of the shift.

T called me before she left, asking if I'd come in at 10 on Tues, and she'd train me on the 'due file'.  So there goes my plan to work 5 hours each day....

Overall, it was a good evening.  We were steady, not slammed, and last customer left at 7:10.  With two of us in Lumber, the closing duties were finished by 8pm.

Outfit:  Gray V-neck tunic, thick silver hoops.

Day 177:  Due File 'Police'
Spent all day in the office, doing paperwork on the computer:)  Spent the 1st hour observing Desiree before she had me doing it, and gently coaching when I had to call the customer.  Tasha and I took turns calling for a while, then she basically left me on my own.  Did okay, then went to lunch at 2.  When I returned at 3, I had trouble logging in, then Des explained I had to change my PW.  Only made 3 mistakes between 3-6....I got confused on one order that we had plenty in stock, yet told the customer someone would call him when it was in....then after I hung up, smacked my head...'duh!'  Two other orders I accidentally printed off.  Tasha fixed one; I have to double-check the other one tomorrow.

The first time I had to call the Pro desk, Todd asked why Security was calling....so I said, "This is the Due File Police, and I have a question concerning some orders placed by you."  We both got a good laugh out of it!  Cathy was a great help whenever Todd or Kim were busy:)

Clocked out at 6....I can hardly believe how fast the day flew by, and I don't even feel tired!  I return tomorrow at 11:30 and Des will *remind* me how to change the pick up dates on everything.

Outfit:  Blue 'sparkle' shirt, large diamonique stud earrings.

Day 178:
Clocked in at 11:30, and had to have Mel show me how to log in, then had Des show me how to change the pick up date.  Scott came in and talked to me, reassured me I was doing a good job, and the mistakes of yesterday were 'fixable', so no worries.

Was amazed when I was finished with all 17 pages before 3pm; the afternoon simply flew by!  I'd turned on YouTube from my phone and worked steadily.

Mel told me when I was finished, to relieve Pam for lunch in Lumber, then go to lunch at 4, then bundle up and head to LG until close.  So I did....and froze in Lumber, then went to Fazolli's for lunch (Ultimate Fettucini), then relieved Aliscia in LG.

After we closed, I did the front end pop count, and we clocked out around 8:30.  Work again this weekend, so taking Th-F off!

Outfit:  Red v-neck long sleeved shirt, Smart Women tee, light blue zirconian earrings.

Day 179:  Happy Birthday David!  May 2nd
Went in at 12:30 and discovered the front line backed up all the way to the service desk....and the parking lot FULL!  Checked the flow chart and was thrilled to find myself in Lumber.  Clocked in and went down, and hopped on Reg 3 to help take some of the burden off 1 and 2.  Two hours later, we had the line more manageable, so Devin left #2.  I hopped over, and we were steady until I went to lunch at 5.  Krissy came down and sent both Jasmine and I to lunch (Marci left at 3).  I went to McD's and relaxed in the break room.  Returned at 6:10, and customers really cleared out around 7:30.  Managed to get my closing duties done (trash, sweeping) by 9, then sanitized the counters, computers, etc, and the carts.  At 9:20, went to the break room and we all clocked out a few minutes later.

Outfit:   Black lace tee, dark capris, sea horse earrings.  It was in the 80s!  Supposed to be back in the 60s tomorrow....ugh.

Day 180:  Happy 29th Anniversary!
Woke up in time to eat scrambled eggs with goat cheese, and even drink 2 cups of coffee.  Clocked in; went to Lumber.  Things went smoothly; not slammed like previously.  Went to lunch at 4:15; D, S, and A brought me parm-garlic wings from BW3.  Went to get a sweet tea from McD's....A) water with a hint of tea; B) unsweet tea; C) finally correct!  Ate dinner in the parking lot.  Accidentally left my phone in the truck, so when the family brought it back, I sent my lunchbox with them.

Mgr Tasha said she was going to give me some closing hours this week, and maybe even fix the 8-5 schedule next week.....she's in need of closers.

Marci did the pop count while I handled customers, and when she left at 6, Brea came down for an hour.  I started on closing duties, and when Mel called at 7:30 to tell me to sanitize between customers, I'd already done the countertops and plexiglass around the Pro area!  Was finished with my closing duties at 8, but had to wait until Ian brought in the forklift.  Clocked out at 8:30.

Outfit:  Sugar Cookie tee, copper/larimar earrings.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Life As A Red Vest: Week #38


Day 172:
Today was another record-setting day!  Started out in Lumber, but was moved to LG at 10:30.  We were slammed, but it was also Reunion Day!  Saw and old friend, BG; a bunch of people from church; and the weather was amazing!  Went to lunch at 2, and though the crowd slowed in the afternoon, we were still steady.  HC Cindy called me at 6 to tell me to take my break when Elijah returned....but something happened and the computer malfunctioned.  Called for C to come, or call....finally ended up paging for a Code 99.  Ian came down, but wasn't authorized to help me.  Cindy finally arrived and it took half an hour to fix the problem, and we had to rescan every item 3 times.  I finally went to break at 6:45, then decided to exercise my right to leave on time!  Was home in time for dinner:)

Outfit:  Brown/red gauzy shirt; double-heart earrings.

Day 173:
Began my day in Lumber, then was up front for a few mins before being sent to LG.  Was out there for an hour, then sent inside.  Took my break, then was up front, then Lumber, and outside again before being sent on Lunch.  Went to Subway:)

After lunch, was up front for a while, then sent back to Lumber, then outside again.  So was all over the place, lol!  Ended my day inside, and wiped down the entire front end before doing the break and training rooms.  Then, was asked to go sweep Lumber.  Clocked out at 8:30.

Tomorrow, S and I head to Lafayette, in order to take care of Mom's taxes and move some of her stuff to storage.

Two crazy things happened:  1) I was in LG and a woman wearing a mask came in, wanting to know where ("mumble mumble") was.  I came around the counter and she backed off, and repeated her question.  I still couldn't understand her, so I got Nancy's attention and asked her to help the woman.  Nancy approached and the woman exclaims, "I don't want to get to close to anyone..."   I was thinking to myself, "Then why the HELL are you HERE?"

2)  I was inside on Reg 10, and the pinpad doesn't work....you insert or swipe your card and run it as credit by pushing the green circle.  Woman comes up and panics...."because it's a debit card!"  I explain.  "But it's a debit card..."  Again, I tell her what to do.  "But...okay...."  I just wanted to scream at her to put the damn thing in the machine!

Outfit:  Black/white long-sleeved tee, copper hoop earrings.

Day 174:
Worked a split shift today.  Went in at 10 and worked in LG until 1:30, when I had to leave to come home for my teleconference with the Wound Care Center.  Things went fairly well, and steady, with plenty of customers buying discounted plants (grrr.....).  After my appointment, I went to McD's for some food, and clocked back in at 4:44.  Went back to LG, and stayed there until 6, when I went inside to help cover the front.  People were still checking out by 7:20!  My only incident today was when I tried to use the family bathroom....I opened the door, heard water running, but *assumed* it was just the faucet.  I turned to lock the door and I hear, "Hello ma'am..."  and realize there's a guy using the toilet!  I threw back the lock, opened the door, and bolted out!

Tomorrow, Scott's going to train me on the phone for the 'due list', whatever that is.  I'm to go in at 12:30.  Also got all my back pay for the week I'd not been paid:)

Outfit:  Yellow Fla tee, black long-sleeved shirt.  Scott said it was because of my shirt, he was craving bananas, ha ha!

Day 175:
Ordered McAllister's before going in; clocked in at 12:45 and found Scott busy.  I hopped on Reg 10 to help with the crowd, and at 1:30, he shut me down and took me to the office.  Tasha explained what I needed to do; Scott came in and tried to switch it up; she argued back and offered to do it instead.  So I went back out on the floor, and at 3, went to Lumber, where I stayed the rest of the shift.  When I returned from lunch, Chris said the scanner quit working as soon as I left.  Tasha came down, took out the battery, replaced it, and voila!  I only had to key in one cartload:)

Cleaned the counters, computers, and plexiglass, took out the trash, swept the floor, and filled the cooler.  Clocked out at 8:30.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Life As A Red Vest, Week #37

Day 167:
Arrived at 10; no sign of MK or Scott, so clocked in at ten after and went to relieve Marci for lunch.  An hour later, was sent up front, then on my half hour lunch.at noon, which thoroughly confused me!  Returned to lumber to give M her 15 minute break, and the scanner wasn't working.  Had to key in everything by hand, which was a PAIN!

Went back to the front, and things were definitely slower than they had been last week.  Had a couple of hiccups; since I'd left my phone at home, I wasn't able to look up anything except in the book or by using F-11.  Sometimes it worked; sometimes I had to call for backup.  Toward the end of my shift, I had a couple with two metal corner pieces, and knocked them off three times!  The first time, I caught it; the customer caught it the 2nd time; but 3rd time's the charm....they clattered to the floor and made sure everyone at the front end was awake!

I wanted to leave at 4, but Krissy asked me to stay til 5, so I did, which proved to be a good thing....my register froze and we had to re-boot it.  As I was taking off my vest, Steve walked by, so I flagged him down to tell him I'd not been paid for the 1st week back.  He told me to write my hours down, so I did, and gave them to him.  Hopefully, I'll find out tomorrow or later this week when I'll get my $180!  Clocked out at 5 and came home.

Outfit:  Blue thermal tee, red v-neck tee, thick silver hoops.

Day 168:
Today was a day when I could have stayed home and everything would have run smoothly.  Arrived at 1; was up front for an hour, then sent to Lumber for 15 mins.  Was then sent outside for a half an hour, where I rang up 2 customers and chatted with Rachel until Brea returned.  MK sent me on break, then A told me I could do the AP4Me....I decided to clean out my email and see if there was any training courses I needed to complete.  Got halfway through one when A told me I was needed up front.  Was then sent to Lumber for an hour, then to lunch.  After lunch, went back to lumber for half an hour, then went up front til close.  My final customers had a washer and dryer, so wiped down my area while we waited for it to arrive.  After they left, I cleaned the training room and emptied the trash, then went up front and sanitized the baskets.  Clocked out at 8.

While in Lumber the 2nd time, a customer asked for someone to get him 14 pieces of lumber...and I promptly forgot what length.  As I was at lunch, one of the lumber loaders informed me the guy was incensed b/c 'you had that length this morning!"....but no, we've never carried that length!

Outfit:  Crew-neck Cabelas sweatshirt, diamond stud earrings.

Day 169:
Arrived around 12:30, and upon being told I wasn't needed until around 2pm, I clocked in and completed the training I started Tuesday, then went ahead and did the 2nd course on my schedule.  I did two weeks' worth of AP4Me, and had just finished the last quiz when I heard my name being paged.  Went up front and was told to go to Lumber, to give Marci her 15 min break.

It was COLD down there!  I was so happy when she returned, though slightly reluctant to move away from the heater, lol!  Worked up front until 2:45, when I was sent on my 1st 15 min break.  Then was sent to lumber, but this time I retrieved my red hooded sweatshirt!  Spent the remainder of the day in Lumber, and things went smoothly.  At 6:30, I sanitized the carts, then after Tasha cleaned out the registers, I wiped down my area, then all the counters, phones, screens, and scanners.  Pam did the pop count while I spot-swept the floor and emptied the trash.  We both helped Desiree clean the break room, then were free to go.  Clocked out at 8pm:)

Also checked the schedule and saw I'm scheduled Sat-Sun, 10-7, so I'm taking the next two days off....unless I get called in.

Outfit:  Black long-sleeved shirt, Purdue tee, seahorse earrings, pink compression socks.

Day 170:
I'm convinced that everyone in Knox Co who received their stimulus check this week decided to spend it on home improvement.  Why?  From the moment I clocked in at 10 in lumber until we closed, we were PACKED!  At 11:30, I got the call to take my 15 min "when you can"....I finally felt comfortable leaving Marci all alone around 1, and took a fast pit stop.  At 1:40, I got the call to go to lunch, but the line was still back to the center aisle.  Finally at 2:05, Cassie arrived and I escaped to the break room.

When I came back an hour later, there was a lull.....that only lasted 15 mins before picking back up!  To make matters worse, at 4:30 the credit card machines went down, to the alarm of 90% of our customers.  Some became irate and stormed out; others left their carts and ran to the ATM.  Some accepted the offer to invoice their cart and return the next day.  Machines came back online five mins later, but for only another 15 mins before they crashed again.  Traffic slowed way down, but we were still constant.  I was on Reg 1, and ran out of $5 and $1s before switching to Reg 2.....then I ran out of pennies!

I wiped everything down, but couldn't sweep, since the broom was MIA.  Thankfully, Mel said no to the pop count, so took down the tax exempts and loading tickets, then went to clean the break room and training room.  Marilyn took the trash down, then we could clock out.  I'm hoping things tomorrow is steady, but not as busy!

Outfit:  Lt blue Whitehorse sweatshirt, diamond stud earrings.

Day 171:
Began the day in Lumber, and customer A told me he wanted 20 4x4s and 60 1x8s.  Called Gavin, and he said he'd get to it in about 20 mins.  Later, customer returned....G was still working on it.  Long story short, 90 minutes later, it was pulled and ready!  M took her break; I took mine; Kyle filled in when we were busy.  M went to lunch at 1:40; when she returned, Brenda took my place and told me I was needed up front.  Rang up 2 customers, then was told to go to lunch.  Was up front the rest of the day.  Wiped down two of the four tables in the break room and was working on the last chair for the 2nd table when I was told to finish the chairs and clock out; o/t was cancelled for the rest of the month.

Got my schedule fixed; I'm working M-T-F next week....except for the fact I can't work on Friday, due to teleconference with the dr!  Tasha said they'd work it out.

Outfit:  Bless This Mess sweatshirt; silver cross earrings. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Life as a Red Vest (Ghost), Week #36

Day 164:
Went in at 10, but didn't get my vest on and up front until ten minutes later.  Was sent to Lumber to cover a Code 3, and then sent to LG, to cover a break.  Returned up front for 5 mins, then sent on my break.  When I returned, was sent back to LG, where I stayed until lunch.  Went to Subway, and at 3pm, returned up front until nearly 5.  Was sent on my final break, then spent the remainder of the day in LG.

Tried to involve everyone in a spontaneous 'YMCA' that was on the radio, but Brandon G was not amused, and had me hop on a register.  Customer was sooo paranoid about not touching the keypad, he used a plastic bag to key in his PIN, and to approve the amount.  Then, he tried to tap the pad with his hand shoved in his sleeve, which didn't work.....I tapped the pad and handed his receipt, which he took with his BARE HANDS.  People amaze me...

Returned items to Lumber, Tools, Paint, and Electrical, then took out the trash and took off my vest at 7:30.  All day it felt as if I was pulling myself through the day by my hair.  I was THAT exhausted!

Outfit:  Yellow plaid shirt, black V-neck shirt, Zirconian earrings.

Day 165:
Spent the entire day up front.  A storm had hit Wed night, and had done considerable damage everywhere....Mel said that by 9am, we were completely sold out of chain saws, generators, and propane.  Our internet went out, but we never lost power.  Rivet HS lost part of its 3rd floor, and a tree branch had landed on K's abandoned truck out back.  Plus, the front window of the Green House was blown out.

I helped Desiree clean the front end, then wiped down all tables and chairs in the break and training rooms, plus took out all the trash.  Clocked out around 8:30.  Saw Jeff Cardinal AND both my kids came in.  Taco was a huge hit with everyone:)

Outfit:  Black V-neck, black/white plaid shirt, sapphire and diamond hoops

Day 166:  "Comedy of Errors"
Looking back, I really should have stayed home today....arrived, was sent to LG to relieve Elijah for lunch.  Customer A, no problems.  Customer B, scanner quit.  Hopped over to 21, and a half hour later, the credit card machine refused to work.  Had to send 10 customers inside while Desiree worked on it, since 22 wouldn't work, and neither did 19.  Finally got it working, then when E arrived, I went back inside.  Mgr T was going to put me at self-checkout, then changed her mind and sent me back outside.  Went to lunch at 3:15, then went to Lumber until 5:30.  Spent the remainder of my shift up front, then cleaned the front end like yesterday, then moved to the back.  Discovered I'd not been paid for last week, so had to call HR.  Guess we'll get it straightened out Monday.

On a good note, I'm back in the system, so was able to clock in and out:)

Outfit:  Black/gray long-sleeve tee, gray sweatshirt, diamond and gold dangly hoops.

Tomorrow, we head north to finish Mom's house, then the store is CLOSED on Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April Goals

Wow was March a busy month!
-Get Mom settled at Cumberland Point Check!
     -3/2:  Moved her in 
     -3/8:  Unpacked 4 boxes, put dresser and cube in closet, a few books on shelves.
     -3/9:  Unpacked 8 boxes; placed all her 'pretties' on the kitchenette shelves, and remaining books on bookcase.
     -3/10:  Was informed of new guidelines beginning 3/11; will have to enter/exit from main entrance.
     -3/11:  New guidelines implemented, though now only workers and residences allowed access.
-Get my stuff moved home and rearranged Sort of....
      -3/5:16/18 boxes taken home; desk dismantled and put in storage
      -3/15-16:  Doll cabinet and safe moved; table in garage loaded up.  More stuff taken to storage and donation.
      -3/21: Brought TV, doll cabinet, marble tables, and majority of boxes brought home.
     -3/23-24:  Packed up everything; brought what we could home; took another load to storage; another load to donation; another load to Mom.  Put everything to come home into garage; left the 'junk' in the living room, plus a few things in the three bedrooms and den for Jerry to haul to the transfer station.
-Put house on market Not yet....
-Get truck (Signed over to Schoolhouse Auctions for sale) and van titles transferred to my name
-Get Mom's finances secured Waiting to find out if it's safe to close one of her accounts yet...
-Finish formatting/editing Second Chances and send to editor, along with payment (Now I'm thinking release date in June??  Unless I kick it into gear, not gonna happen in next 6 weeks...) Not even close....
-Lose 5 pounds (starting 241) 3/20:  239  Two's not bad...
-Enjoy Nashville trip (21st to Book Lovers) Cancelled
-Pay for two tix to SC in Atlanta May 11th (Check!) and secure hotel accommodations Rescheduled for Sept 13th
-Hang onto funds for April trips Check; since trips are cancelled, will use some of the funds to buy vertical banner and more inventory

Books Read:  5
           Print:   4
        E-book:  1

Foot Update:
Abscess is closing!  I've been to the wound care clinic three times and it IS getting smaller.  Compression socks arrived, and have been wearing the new ones.  Due to the C-virus, and our own Shelter At Home directive until April 7th, I need to call to find out if my April 3rd appointment is still on.

UPDATE ON BOOK 'Tour':
2020 Expenses:
-Book Lovers Con Book signing Sat (March 2020) $10+ travel expenses; Nashville, TN Cancelled, due to health issue, Coronovirus.  Rescheduled???
-Weekend With The Authors 2020 (April table fee waived, due to generous person having to cancel and donating her table to me; $5 General Admittance or $200 Reader Ticket for Mom) and 2021:  20 ($600 hotel/gas/food/rental car);$50 charms (Paid 12/13)Cancelled, due to CoronaVirus. Rescheduled??? 21:  $225-300 table fee; hotel/gas/food/rental car Rescheduled June 18-20, 2021
-Writer's Workshop (April 25, 2020) Nashville, IN $45 Paid 2/29; Rescheduled for later unknown date
-Farmer's Market (June 6, 2020) $12 IF we're able to have it...
-PrideFest (June 20, 2020, $25 donation)
-Corning IrishFest (June 21, 2020) 
-InConJunction (June 3-5, 2020)????? Falls on daughter's birthday, so unsure if attending.  UPDATE:  Daughter said she didn't mind, so filled out the app 3/30 ($30 fee, hotel room??
-Imaginarium (July 10-12, 2020):  $100 early bird booth fee (PAID!); $35 banquet (PAID!); $100 food, $200 hotel, gas. ($186 hotel, $371, $35 food, $10 gas)

-Heroes For Kids (July 18, 2020, $50 Pd 3/27)  Perrysville, MO Gas $40, hotel room, $140, food $40=$472 total)
-Watermelon Festival (July31-Aug 1st) Am doing Pegasus Author Fair (Lafayette) instead 
-Indy State Fair (Aug $100) ($100-200) Gas $30, $15 admission; $24 parking fee; $20 food; $6 ride
-Minneapolis travel expenses (Aug 8, 2020) ($200-hotel,$120-food,$100- gas=$648 needed)
-Penned Con: $225 half table (6') (Paid 12/21Hotel/food/gas
-Cil-Con 2020 ($75 Paid 12/21) plus $112 hotel, $30 food, $15 gas)
-Saluki Con expenses-Date Changed To Jan 2021 $203 ($25 refunded after stay) hotel. $66 food and $40 gas.)  
-ICGAHS:  $340 booth fee,hotel/gas/food $100 paid 1/31; Bal:  $240; $100 paid 3/28, Bal $140 Paid In Full 4/24

April Goals:
-Work as many hours as I can, to build up my bank account AND buy inventory and banner Check!
-Put Mom's house on market Check; 4/24:  :Listed for $134,900 . 
-Get remainder of belongings  4/6:  Brought back most of the boxed and 'loose' stuff; 4/11:  Brought back everything else; 4/22:  Brought home roll top desk.
-Lose 5 pounds 4/1:  239; 4/17:  237
-Transfer van title (when DMV opens up??) to my name and insurance (Check:)
-Appeal the denial of my health insurance Decided to keep Lowe's ins instead
-Close Mom's unnecessary account
-Finish formatting/editing Second Chances and send to editor Check:)  Sent 4/24
-Finish rearranging belongings

April Income:
   4/1:  Returned to work 3/31; woke up this am with a $150 deposit from Lowes.  Bereavement pay?  April Fool's Joke?? Quarterly bonus!!  At any rate, THANK YOU!!  $15 to church; $40 to groceries, $40 for Star Wars movie and bubble wrap (for books in suitcases)=49 banked-$21 (food 4/2)=$28 banked
  4/10: 17 hours=$180
         $18 to church; Pay Maurice's ($50 Check; pd 3/26), pay GSH ($80 Check; pd 4/24); Pay credit card ($50 Check; pd 4/13), Pay Nancy ($50 Check; pd 4/24)=$ banked
  4/24: 40 hours
            20  hours=$895
         $89 to church; Pay GSH medical bill ($80 Check; pd 4/24 ); Pay Colegard ($51 Check; pd 4/24);  send Suzanne $140 (Final Check!); pay St. V's ($64 Check; pd 4/24)=$341 banked-$108(Check!) for train=$233 banked-$58 (Check!) compression wrap-$35 (Check!) checks ordered=$48 (Check!) insurance=$92 banked
April 18-24: 41
  25-May 1st: 26
 May 8th Projected Income:  67 hours +$150 bonus=$840

     $84 to church; Pay Maurices ($50 Check); pay credit card ($100 Check); pay Nancy ($100 Check)=$506 banked; pay Colegard ($51 Check); pay inventory $104 (Check!); pay Dawne ($70 Check)=$311 banked- St. V's ($62 Check-final!)=$219 banked-$49 (book)-$33 (socks

April Reading Schedule:
Print:
The Nightmare Collective-Brian K Morris, et al Scary...gave it to Sara to enjoy.  I'll post her opinion when she gives it.  Update:  S loved it!  Thought the next-to-last story needed more, though.
Walk On U2 -Steve Stockman Very interesting!
John Addams-David McCullough  Interesting
House Calls By Dogsled-Keith Billington RR Really enjoyed this account of nursing in Life Below Zero!
The Andromeda Strain-Michael Crichton RR, especially if you're a fan of MC's books!
Letters To Phillip-Charlie Shedd Wish every male would read this and study/apply it to all relationships!
King of Torts-John Grisham Enjoyed this!
The Persimmon Tree-Bryce Courtenay
E-book:
Now and Forever:  A Love Story-Jean Joachim
The Flip-KL Montgomery