Friday, September 30, 2011

Here's a Personal Story: Bring Your Friends!

I mentioned before that I got a part-time job to help cope with the furloughs and other cutbacks my full-time gig had implemented. The second job is retail, so that means I would spend portions of my time going into this store and transforming myself into the bubbly aggressive salesperson that everyone ‘loves.’ Yes, this was very difficult for me.

I’d been leading the dual-job life for nearly three years now. We have secret shoppers who come in and evaluate us. It’s all very easy to get a 100 percent. And you’ll definitely get accolades if a customer complains that you were bothering them, because that just shows that we value customer service. So imagine my surprise when I got my secret shopper evaluation. My evaluator gave me a 91 percent. I didn’t get a perfect score because I didn’t tell her a personal story (i.e. “I love these pants because they make my butt look cute”) and I didn’t end our conversation with the company mantra: “Next time, bring your friends!” So here’s a personal story from me to her:

Dearest Secret Shopper:

Thank you so much for submitting your opinion about my customer service. Because we see hundreds (ok, dozens) of women a day, it is hard for me to remember exactly who you are. Could you be the shopper who came in pushing a stroller. I rushed over to give your child a sticker, only to realize you were not pushing a child, but a dog. Or could you be the shopper who came in wearing M-sized pants, but then only wanted to be fitted in XS? And after each pair of XS’s wouldn’t do, you’d look at yourself in the mirror and screech “MY LITTLE GIRL PARTS ARE SHOWING!”

So after struggles like that, you an imagine why I may have neglected to share a personal story with you. You don’t want to hear about the acrobatics I have to pull in my main job’s bathroom stall when it’s time to change into my job #2 uniform. Surely you don’t want to hear about those times I’ve hidden myself in the fitting room, closed the curtains and took a cat nap. Or maybe you’d like to know that working in a store full of women has made me ravenous for practically every man that walks by. (See UPS Man, water cooler man, light fixture man, shoppers’ husbands, etc etc etc)

See, I knew all of that would bore you. Never the less, you asked and I answered. And it is because of silly demands like that that today will be my last day at the store. I’m going to catch up on two things I value in life -- Sleep and Sanity. But don’t let that stop you from coming in the store. I’m sure my (former) coworkers would love to entertain you and your retail values. But as for me.... I’m gone.

Next time, bring your friends!



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dirty Dishes

I was running late for work yesterday morning when I was confronted with a severe case of D.D.G -- Dirty Dish Guilt. My sink was overflowing with used pots, bowls, silverware, plates and glasses. I was already running late … what could I do?

People judge you on your dirty dishes. Just like they judge you on your unmade bed. When I was a kid, Mom used to make a big fuss about my messy bedroom. I found that as long as I made my bed, she didn’t fuss as much. It’s the same with dirty dishes. Look at the media portrayal. You remember those movies where the police had to enter the home of a a drug addict/unfit mother/pedophile/hoarder/otherwise poor person? The first thing they do is zero in on the sink and the flies that swarm off of the tiny bits of crud that’s caked onto their dirty dishes. Think back to the 1980s and that movie, Lean On Me. Remember when Mista Clark had to visit Kaneesha’s home, because her mom didn’t want her anymore? When they went inside the apartment, the first thing they showed was the huge pile of dirty dishes in the mom’s sink. Ok, maybe not. But that’s how I remember it.

So the last thing I want is for some sort of a emergency arise, where maintenance has to get in and they see my dirty dishes. Or better yet, what if my apt is burglarized?? Criminals don’t need to know about the scrambled eggs, broccoli, cream of wheat, and turkey burgers that had been fortifying me. I am NOT Kaneesha’s Mother. I’m also not a drug addict/unfit mother/pedophile/hoarder/otherwise poor person.

I glanced at the clock, and I glanced at the dishes. I did what any sensible person would do. I stuffed my dishes inside my microwave, and my oven. I drove off to work with ‘Lean On Me’ theme song stuck in my head.

Photo from

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where Ya Been?

Sorry I've been gone so long. Believe me, it wasn't intentional. I have just been so friggin busy that I began lacking the two things I value most: sleep and sanity. So I decided to quit my part time job in order to catch up on sleep. And the loss of that extra cash has given me a bit of a struggle with sanity, but I'll manage. It just means I'll have to adapt to a biweekly pay cycle once again. In the last two months, I survived an earthquake, endured Hurricane Irene, dodged Katia and soaked up remnants of Lee. In that same time frame, my family was hit with one wedding and three funerals. Two deaths were expected; one was not. I visited my hometown, where relatives filled me up with goodies that I can only get from that area. It was there that I met cousins who previously only existed as Facebook friends, listened to stories about my great grandmother and dethroned my favorite cousin after he displayed my tragic childhood pictures to strangers. I saw the house I was born in and resisted the urge to burst in and scream 'GET OUT' to the new owners. I assembled the critique team for my latest novel and am slowly moving toward the finish line of draft #7. I laughed more than I cried. I made new friends. Traveled to new places. Relaunched with my Sunday Beauty Ritual. Shared french fries with a 3 year old. Stole french fries from a 3 year old. Got a compliment that still has me grinning from ear to ear. with a few glitches, it was a pretty good summer. As usual, it was too short and I'm sad to see it go. I promise to have a more substantial post sometime soon.