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''.

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Reading Schedule

March came in like a lion and left like a wet lamb....
Buy stamps (Finally!  3/11, bought!) and send Christmas Cards 3/12:  SENT!
Mail packages to Wa and Tx Not yet...
Write #2 Regrets Added 200+ words
Write Bad Decisions Started it!
Lose 5 lbs (Start:  246) 3/11:  243 (-3!) 3/21:  240 (-3!)
Organize more basement stuff Filled another tote with all the sheet music; still have one more tote to fill.
Work as many hours as possible, in order to pay my own debts and start chipping away at the medical ones. Applied for financial assistance; need to find out how much we're approved for.
Feb 25-Mar 1st:  17 hours (only got credit for 11??)
Mar 4-8: 20 hours
Payday hours:  37 (32??)  $350:  $150 to spouse; $38 for lunch; $50 for bks, $50 for April 4th-5th event, $35 to church.
Mar 9-15: 15 hours
Mar 16-22: 20 hours  
Payday hours:  35  $370:  $37 to church; $160 to spouse; $50 to Indy Author Event (Sept); 
Mar 23-29:  13 hours
Pay writing debts:
-N:  $50 3/15:  check:)
-D:  $140 Not yet...
-April Fest (5-6):  $50 3/15:  check:)
-Indy Author Fair (Sept):  $50 Check:)
-Cil-Con (Sept):  $50 Will pay this in April:)

Health:  Successfully fought off a cold by taking Zinc for two weeks.  Plus, lost six pounds by working:)

Books Read:  4
           Print:  1
       E-Book:  3

Karaoke Songs Added:  13
                            Thurs:  6
                                 Sat:  7

April Goals:
Mail packages to Wa and Tx
Write #2 Regrets
Write Bad Decisions
Lose 5 lbs (starting weight:  240) 4/26:  238:)
Organize more basement
Buy new table Check!
Buy laminating sheets and Velcro, for prize wheel Check!
Clean out Green House or more Brown House
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
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:)
-Mar 23-29th:  13
-Mar 30-April 5th:  20
April 12th Payday hours:  33
   -Projected income:  $360
        -All funds, plus $25 for KY trip (used $25 for NCAA tournament; another $25 for  A's fundraiser) Check....
             -$36 for the church
              -$78 for hotel Paid!
              -$83 for car rental Check:)
              -$85 for hair appt 4/18 Check:)
              -$15 for 2 proof copies Check:)
        Projected left over for gas and food:  $60 +$20 cash Spent $36 (gas total); $10 (book); $15 (approx Arby's); $2.12 (iced tea); $16 +$2 tip (Sweet-n-Savory Food Truck).  Came home with $60 cash and $21 in account. Gave daughter $20 for gas, and $40 for W and A's lunch money.  Left with $30 in bank account.
-April 6-12:  25
-April 13-19:  18.5
April 26th Payday hours:  43.5
   -Projected income:  $485 (give spouse $280, keep $205)
       -$38 (last week) + $20 (this week)for the church; $75 for cover art (Pay next month); $50 for Cil-Con (check!); $62 for car rental Skip this; need to give spouse most of check for truck payment);$50 for Indy State Fair (check!); bank rest. (205-38-20-100=$47)
   -Saved: $56.35 ($47 saved $9 + $.35 amazon sales)
-April 20-26: 21
-April 27-May 3: 25
Payday hours: 46
   -Projected half: $480/$240
       -$24 for church (Check!), buy proof copies of CR (Check!); send payment for ICGAHS ($50 Check!); pay cover art ($75 Check!); pay Saluki-Con ($65 Check!); pay Heroes For Kids ($50 Check!)
Banked:  $29+$5=$34 + $17 in petty cash= $51+$240=$291-$284=$7 saved
Pay writing debts:
-Cil-Con (Sept):  $50 (Apr 27) (check!)

April Reading Schedule:
Hello Again-Susanne Matthews Finally finished this!  Started off good, but could have cut out a lot of the middle (imho).  Enjoyed the ending, though I suspected that's how everything would be explained.  Some of it caught me by surprise.
The Gift of Forgiveness-Angela Raines Interesting read
Never Had A Chance-AR Good story
Christmas at Holiday Peak-Candace Havens Cute story!

Karaoke Songs:
Would I lie to you-Eurythimics Bleh...
Perform This Way-Weird Al DNH
Photograph-Ringo Starr Waaaayy too low, but I love this song!
Wouldn't it be nice-Beach Boys Bleh....blew most of the words
Because of You-Kelly Clarkson Did well!  Redemption for an otherwise 'off' night:)
Wrapped Around Your finger-Police Nailed it:)
Payphone-Maroon 5 Did well!
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald-Gordon Lightfoot Wasn't too bad:)
Please Mr. Postman-Carpenters Slightly too low...not even sure I could be heard until the end??
Wrecking Ball-Miley Cyrus Did well:)
Make It Real-Jetts Nailed it!
Will You Be There In The Morning-Heart Slightly too low; think I could only be heard on the 2nd half of the verses, the bridge, and chorus.

4/6: Was too tired to attend
4/20: Easter Vigil
        Jesus Take The Wheel-Carrie Underwood Wasn't too bad; botched some of the timing on verse #2  Song was in my head all afternoon, and after I ran over the table and pretty much totaled my rental car, I knew WHY, so had to attempt to sing it again!
        Separate Ways-Journey Rocked this one, then left.