One Hour At A Time-Part 2

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Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. -Oscar Wilde

Here is a breakdown of my typical day in Retail Hell:

I clock in at 12:51pm, (because I can clock in nine minutes early for my scheduled shift) I go walk the floor, straightening clothing racks and picking up things that are in the wrong place as I go. I see whos working and what’s going on for the day, sometimes there is new stuff to be put out, other times it just ‘clean up, straighten, and process returns’.

I get handed the Jewelry counter and Fitting Room Keys and am for the most part left to ‘do my thing’. Sometimes I am called up to cashier, because that’s fun. I’m supposed to take two 15 minute breaks, one around 3pm and the other at 7:45pm, as well as a one hour lunch off the clock usually around 5:30pm. For my first break I have to wait till someone comes in at 3:30pm to give them the keys, I have to take my lunch before the five hour mark, (I’m scheduled to work 1pm to 9pm) so five hours in is 6pm. At 6pm I am locked out from using the cash register and I get flagged if I don’t clock out by 6:09pm for lunch. Which means I get half a point on my attendance record.

Quick education on the attendance policy, if you call out for any reason you get 1 point against you. If you clock out late, which for me is 9:09pm you get half a point, if you are late coming back from lunch or going to lunch you get half a point. If you call out on one of the ‘Event Days’ (which is any holiday, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Valentines Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, ect…) you get 2 points against you. If you get 5 points against you in six months you are fired, for violating the attendance policy. If you are sick you are not allowed to go home, if you are injured on the job, you are not allowed to go home, till the end of your shift. They will assign you ‘busy work’ if you can’t do your regular job.

Back to my point, I’m a Sales Associate in apparel, which covers the Jewelry counter, Accessories, Women’s, Men’s, Boy’s, Girl’s, Infant’s and Shoes. (That is a lot of things to know about each department) I help customers find things, answer questions and sell Jewelry, as well as watch over the fitting rooms and process returns, and I now know how to replace watch batteries. Which is a skill that I never wanted. (Quick note on returns it is policy to always put anything back on the floor for sale regardless of condition) So unless it’s covered in blood it goes back on the floor for sale, just think about that for a second before you go shopping at your local ‘Big Box Store’. I also have to do anything that a Department Manager, Assistant Store Manager or Store Manager tells me. Which is usually be a cashier, or go clean or straighten other departments within the store.

My point to this is that I am usually the only one on the floor covering all of apparel and I am constantly being paged to be in three places at once, which sucks. But I digress. I’m 100 days in to working this lovely retail job, my biggest problem is the fact that I am paid to clean up the same mess all day everyday, and I find it very asinine. Yes, I know ‘but it’s job security’ I am also real tired of hearing that from my Department Managers, (that appear to do nothing all day, but tell me what to do)

Am I burned out, cynical and negative? Fuck yes, I wasn’t when I started in November, I was helpful, open minded, ambitious, I worked 8 weeks straight at 40 hrs a week, (which included Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve) and never called out. But 100 days in Retail Hell has made me more aggressive and negative about everything. (and I hate that. I am a non-confrontational, laid back person) I have called out a few times, because my sanity (and need of sleep) is more important than the $64 I earn a day.

I am going to attempt to wrap this up on a lighter note, so here are my sarcastic answers to the questions that I am asked on a daily basis.

Do you have earring backs? Yes if you purchase any of the thousands of earrings in front of you.

Do you have jewelry boxes? No, that would make to much sense.

Will this stainless steel gold plated necklace turn my neck green? Fuck if I know.

Can you fix this:

Replacing watch batteries. Sometimes, who the hell still wears a wrist watch.

Links in watch bands. Not really.

Pins in watch bands. Sometimes, depends on the age of the watch.

Can you resize rings? No, but we can send them out and you can get them back in four to six weeks.

Are simulated diamonds real diamonds? Seriously how is this even a question. Or I don’t know is simulated sex and real sex the same thing.

If I buy this tennis bracelet will others have the exact same one? Only if you hang out with others that buy overpriced, low quality jewelry from China.

Where are your:

Wallets.

Handkerchiefs.

Bandannas.

Scarves. The answer to all of these is go fucking look and you look with your eyes not your hands.

What size should I get a 7 year old girl? Kinda depends on how big or small she is, next time bring her in.

Why isn’t there a boys size in between a size 16 husky and men’s size 29? No fucking idea, bring your child in and have them try things on. Or buy a tape measure and take some measurements.

I need the earrings for migraines in a 16 gauge, don’t you have those? No this is not Target.

Do you have those things that you put on your ring so that it doesn’t fall off? No, there this thing called Amazon. Or Try buying a ring that fits.

And of course:

Do you do nose/bellybutton piercings? Only if you would like a free staph infection to go along with it.

Ok that’s all I have. I wish you all a wonderful Morning/Day/Evening/Night.  

 

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One Hour at a Time

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“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”  Well not quite, although being on ‘something’ would make going back into retail work at 42 years of age a little easier.

Before we dive into this I think we need a little backstory. I have worked in the retail industry before, many times before over the last 21 years, however working a part-time sales associate position in your early twenties is a whole different ball game than in your forties.

You do it the first time for the experience so that you have more than ‘Babysitter for Aunt Kathy’ on your resume while finishing school, be it High School or College. Honestly my first experience working in retail was not bad, I learned a lot, had good managers and I enjoyed my co-workers. I was offered a Department Manager position and gave the, “I am going back to school next semester, to finish, so no thank you.” answer, of which I did go back for another year I just didn’t graduate from college.

Now after being out of circulation for the better part of fifteen years, because I was able to stay home and raise my family, I have gone back to work, into the same type of job that I had during my first time as a sales associate in retail. Since going back I have come up with many questions revolving around why do people choose to work in retail.

Now before I go into my thoughts and feelings on this, I do appreciate the people that work in the retail and service industries, it’s something that I can do, and I have done, I just don’t like doing it.      

I now give you…

100 days in retail hell-aka- sucking your life away one hour at a time

Every retailer has a different set of ideals or ‘rules’ this is one such set up:

Our Culture/Values and Behavior are as followed:

Service to the Customer

Respect for the Individual

Strive for Excellence

Act with Integrity

It’s all well and good, as long as you realize that it’s not going to be followed or up heald one hundred percent of the time.

A few of the questions that are on my mind:

Why choose to live and die by the clock?

How does one stay in one place for a lifetime?

The wear and tear on one’s body and soul, is not worth minimum wage, part-time hours, with no benefits.

I am all for hard work however, at what expense-injury/exhaustion/loss of family time.

In the beginning-it was good, learning the ropes, finding out the rules, responsibilities and expectations. They have a good sales pitch, I will give them that although after being part of the daily grind for 90 days you start to see it.

There are people that work in one position, the ones that comes in same time, same day for so many years. I get it they are comfortable, it’s predictable they know the routine and what is expected of them and they don’t see any reason to advance any further. Personally I can’t do that, that’s like living in a cage and doing the exact same thing over and over again, it would drive me crazy.

Then there are the people that start at the bottom and move up quickly into a management or supervisor position. These are your ‘bossy’ playground children, that enjoy directing traffic and telling others what to do. I also don’t think I could do this.

I am the middle person, the one that knows what’s going on, knows how to answer the customers questions and can get the stupid little tasks done for each day. I work the floor so I know where everything is, or where it should be, and I don’t mind my job. It’s enough to keep me busy without having to much responsibility.

With all that being said, here are some of the customers questions that I have had:

Do you have earring backs?

Do you have jewelry boxes?

Will this stainless steel gold plated necklace turn my neck green?

Can you fix this:

Replacing watch batteries

Links in watch bands

Pins in watch bands

Can you resize rings?

Are simulated diamonds real diamonds?

If I buy this tennis bracelet will others have the exact same one?

Where are your:

Wallets

Handkerchiefs

Bandannas

Scarves

What size should I get a 7 year old girl?

Why isn’t there a boys size in between a size 16 husky and men’s size 29?

I need the earrings for migraines in a 16 gauge, don’t you have those?

Do you have those things that you put on your ring so that it doesn’t fall off?

And of course:

Do you do nose/bellybutton piercings?

 

I do have a smart ass, inappropriate answer for just about all of these. But there is that whole Service to the Customer and Act with Integrity thing so, if you want me to post my answers in the comments let me know.

And as always I thank you all for reading my incoherent rambling of words.

*I’m pretty sure I have lost a bit of myself by going back to work in Retail Hell*            

 

Question of the Hour: The Ups and Downs of Streaming

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First off the questions:
1. Is streaming what you thought it would be?
2. What have you found beneficial in streaming?
3. What has been a deterrent in your streaming experience?
4. Do you think streaming as a career will continue to grow?

And now the answers from some of my favorite people:
A huge thank you for their participation and willingness to answer my questions.

PieRatKing

https://mixer.com/PieRatKing

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1. Streaming is a lot more taxing, and hard work than I had originally thought. Between always trying to find out what direction to go, to trying to improve the experience. A lot of time and effort is put into streaming, and I know I can always do better.

2. I have found that it has boosted my confidence and releases a lot of the social anxiety I have. It also gives me a place to share myself with others, and obviously…

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Quick Announcement

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Really quick I have free ebook cookbooks on Amazon for December 17th-21st, Happy Holidays and since I have gone back to work in Holiday Retail Hell, I haven’t had a chance to write much, hopefully when it slows down a bit I can get back to entertaining you all with my rambling words.

Till then enjoy wandering through my Word Press page.

Megan 💙

https://www.amazon.com/Megan-Hinde/e/B018F9AT1C/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Detective Stories -Complete

Ok people here it is in its entirety Detective James Andrews -No Rest For The Wicked
Enjoy -Megan 💙

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Dark Corners
Betrayed
Deceit
Summer Solstice
Mr. Jones
Room 14
Fireweed
Vengeance
Following Fireweed
Secrets
Ginger and Spice
Autumn Equinox
Seasons of Change

Dark Corners

It was a warm windy day in early April, Detective James Andrews entered the downtown police precinct.
“Message for you,” the desk attendant said holding up a pink slip of paper.
“Thanks,” Detective Andrews said as he snatched the paper from the attendant and continued on to his desk.

Anonymous female caller reporting a death at the Cornerstone Estate off of Route 22. Deceased is Mrs. Emily Scott. Husband Mr. Donald Henderson.

Detective Andrews grabbed a cup of coffee with two sugars, a splash of cream, his notepad and a new black ballpoint pen. As he headed out to his car the desk attendant said.
“No rest for the wicked,” James flipped him off as he left the precinct.

It was a long drive out…

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Question of the Hour: Why do you write?

A little something I put together, shining a light on a few authors I enjoy. -Megan 💙

cch217

13576661_10209284812134426_298759325176091860_oI asked this question knowing that I would get a variety of answers, however I don’t think I can answer this question of myself. Maybe I could someday but writing and ‘being a writer’ is a new concept for me. Yes, I wrote in High School, and College, but the choice to write on purpose, when I don’t need to is different. I’ve been doing this for three years now and it’s been a learning experience to say the least. Whether it’s Edna’s Kitchen or Detective Stories with Detective James Andrews I try to keep in mind that I write for myself, I write the content and stories that I want to read.

Here are some others that chose to be writers and their words of wisdom when asked: Why do you write?

   
qirp3TFQ_400x400Marc Tizura

https://twitter.com/areyouingrenin?lang=en

https://marctizura.wordpress.com/

I write because I have these scenes and characters in my head…

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Question of the Hour: Why do you stream?

This is a little different which is why I posted it to my other WordPress page, but I like sharing so, here it is. *My journalism background showing* Megan 💙

cch217

11257993_10206334562860038_3292331318221767486_nIt was fall of 2015 when I was introduced to a new streaming service called Beam. I hung out on streams and modded for a few friends, I even gave streaming a try once, it wasn’t really my thing. But I did enjoy being a part of other streaming communities.

As all things do everyday life took over shortly after, it has only been in the last six months that I have gotten back to watching and participating in streaming communities on what is now Mixer and Twitch. I became part of Constantly Calibrating’s ( https://twitter.com/ConCalPod ) community because of their E3 coverage, and a recommendation from a friend. A question came up recently and it peaked my curiosity so I figured I would ask a handful of streamers that I enjoy watching on both Mixer and Twitch; Why do you stream?   

Before we dive into their answers a…

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