Sunday, December 30, 2007

Office Toy Wars

I'm now the proud, new owner of...a Cheburashka doll. Well, I will be once it arrives at my house from the Ukraine. Everyone else at work has a desk buddy/cubicle toy/office friend, but I don't have one. I could have gotten something off, but it just wouldn't have fit me to a 'T', so I went with the obvious choice: a Russian toy. I'm excited because these are hard to find under $35, plus shipping, and I only had to pay $20 (including the shipping). I'm finally being thrifty. Now I just need to get a hold of the white Cheburashka from the Olympics in Russia. Lord, are they are to find.

Ok, I'm not sure why I thought you guys would care about this, but I wanted to share my excitement. Now you can all be confused by my love for/infatuation of Russian cartoons.

Update: After analyzing E-Bay some more, I discovered a Gena (Гена) plush, which would go incredibly well with Cheburashka, since they're both in the cartoon. The guy was selling them together, so he canceled my original order and is sending me the two instead. And it just figures that a few days after I order these, this shows up. I have horrible, horrible timing.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

After the Hustle and Bustle

Well, I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I can't say mine turned out too badly. I got pretty much everything I wanted and more. My in-laws all pitched in to get me the first level of Rosetta Stone (Russian), so I've been plugging away at that ever since. I didn't realize how much I knew already until I started using it. I find myself saying, "Cake," a lot during the lessons, which is a pretty good sign. Thanks to the stick-on letters, my keyboard is now Russian-ized, and my fingers are now adapting to typing in Russian. All is well.

In addition to that, my husband got me a few t-shirts off Threadless that I really wanted. I wore one that managed to start a lot of conversations and laughs.
He also got me tickets to see Jim Brickman at the Warner on Friday night. I didn't think we were going to be able to go because of being tight on cash, but he got them. I'm excited for him to see him in concert with me. I saw him a few years ago when he was here, and I really enjoyed it. That had to be my biggest surprise of Christmas.

Now that this is my last day off until the weekend, I'm going to use some of my gift cards and brave the crowds at Barnes & Noble (I want to pick up some more Dostoyevsky books) and Best Buy. I had wanted to get a Wii, but one; they're all out, and two; we don't have enough in gift cards and money to cover it. I guess my next choice would be Guitar Hero III...if they have it.

So did you guys get anything exciting for Christmas? Or were you too drunk to remember?

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Very Special Message From Pepsi

Click picture to enlarge.

Merry Christmas! Keep your fridge locked.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why I Hate Erie

For all the time I was stranded on Peach Street this afternoon, spinning my wheels, you would think I would have seen at least one plow go by. Absolutely not. I watched at least 100 cars sliding and about 50-75 being pushed up the hill on Peach around Miller Avenue. If it's this bad tomorrow, I don't know how I'm going to make it to work in one piece. For crying out loud, PennDOT, do your job! They've been calling for this and gave you ample warning. Besides, it's December! In Erie!
If there's 10 feet of snow on the main roads when I go into work tomorrow morning, I blame you. Oh, and I blame you for the messed up, front, right axle I now have. Driving under 5 miles an hour shouldn't have caused that. Ok, I really just needed someone/something to blame besides the snow for that one, and it seemed appropriate¹.

¹To avoid anymore incidents, it should really be said that, one; I'm sarcastic by nature and don't actually blame PennDOT for the bang-up job on my car, and two; I'm not the only person in Erie who complains about the lack of plowing! Don't single me out as if I'm the town heretic because I'm speaking out about this. I can guarantee that no matter how long people have lived in Erie, how many snow tires they've purchased, or how many times they've driven in the snow, they wish the plowing services were more consistent and/or just taken care of. Don't jump on me because I'm saying what I can safely say 85% of Erie residents--at least--are thinking. Chill and accept it for what it is. I'll chill and move on, as well, as I always do.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas: That's When the Crazies Come Out

It's been a quite a while, I know, but at least my last blog was called "Blogger's Block," so my absence demands your immediate forgiveness. As for my leg/hip issue I had, it has thankfully passed. It did last for a couple days, but after the first day it wasn't quite as bad, and that's a good thing. I probably would have taken some Valium and called it a week.

On a much lighter note, however, the job that I've been temping at offered me a permanent position, which upped my pay a dollar more an hour. I was really excited and honored by it. I'm not sure what to do with myself because I've never been at a job that I've actually enjoyed. I'm so used to starting a job and immediately wondering how I'll get myself out of the mess. What's it like to be happy at a job? Now I know, and it's kind of awkward, but in a very good way. The people there are just awesome, and the whole environment is great. I think I finally found my spot.

Today we had our Christmas party at Marketplace Grille, and that was a lot of fun. I really got the chance to know some people there a little better and give them a feel for me, as well. They have the same, sarcastic sense of humor that I possess, so it's nice to be in good and familiar company.
They played a game where everyone (well, aside from me, at least, because I found out too late) brought a re-gift item (something random that you find at home or just ridiculous) that was wrapped, and each person had a slip with their name and another with their date of birth. They were appropriately picked out of a Santa hat, and when your name or birth date was called, you went to the table and took a present. Once all were picked out, any names/birth dates called after that were allowed to steal a present from someone else. I had the one I picked out stolen, which warranted a comment from a coworker: "Welcome to LCBA!" The Christian way is to advocate stealing...ah, I I stole someone's when it was my turn. Amen!
I actually really like the gift I "stole". It's the green M&M dressed in sultry, Mrs. Claus gear holding a bag that says, "I ♥ Christmas Shopping." That one is a keeper! I'm looking forward to next year. I'll think of something completely random...

In other, unrelated news, I was getting random spam e-mails sent to my phone one particular day. It's never happened to me before, and it hasn't happened since, but my husband got the same thing on the same day. He has Verizon, and I have Cellular One (or should I say AT&T?). I got one at 2:43am and another at 7:26am on Tuesday morning (?), I believe, and they both had something to do with Vicodin or whatever random product they assume I was looking for [Yes! We have Vicodin! Oh! Tell someone who gives a damn!]. Did any of you get these messages? I was ready to complain to someone about What the Hec...tor?!?

Anyway, now that Christmas is almost here, I'm going to have a hell of a time trying to buy presents this week. If my husband would just tell me something he wants, I could get it done [Come on, sweetie!]. As it stands now, I'm completely clueless. Argh...I don't want to shop with the crazies. Hell, I had to wait on them the past--oh, I don't know--three Christmases. That was enough retail exposure for me.
I guess online shopping would really be the option...don't say it's too late!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Blogger's Block

Happy Belated/In-the-Middle-of-the-Holiday Channukah! Yeah, so I don't really fully celebrate it anymore, but I do in spirit because my parents do. I know that's really not comparable, but that's all I have the time and money for at the moment. Plus, they'll be having us over for dinner Saturday night in celebration anyway. One night is enough rather than eight.

I'm hoping I'll be feeling better by then though. I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure what I have is a pinched nerve. The whole left side of my hip/leg is numb and excruciatingly painful. For the better part of my day at work, I was writhing in pain. When no one was looking, I was close to tears. I don't think I've ever experienced anything like it in my life. I feel as if I've been shot in my hip. I'm hoping it goes away soon.
On top of that, my stomach is upset. It's been hurting on and off over the course of the day. Geez, can the weekend get here any slower, so I can wait to rest and feel better?

Beyond all this, there really isn't much going on. Although, I'd like to be blogging more often, I haven't got much to talk about lately. Short of annoying drivers and the weather, there isn't a whole lot. I love my job for the first time in my life, and the people I work with are great.
This "blogger's block" is really starting to get to me. I've lost a lot of readers. Not even the people who read my blog on a daily basis before come back anymore. If you think about it, it's kind of depressing. Makes me wish I could resort back to the old days of retail to complain about all the customers I had, but...nah, I don't miss it that much; however, I really should have had a better variety of content.

I will say this though: It's nice to get some feedback from people; even if it is the same people commenting over and over again. It makes me feel like I'm interacting with you guys a little more rather than talking to a wall. If I wanted to do that, I would. I have plenty of walls to choose from, but to avoid being committed, I'll refrain.
Just let me know you're all still out there, so I don't feel completely alone, and I'll start blogging more frequently and with better, more relevant content.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

One Question

What in the hell does this have to do with marriage...or anything relevant or rational, for that matter?!?

Happy December To Ya

I know it's now December [Where'd the month go?], and I never blogged about our little Thanksgiving dinner we had last week with Ron and Monica. It actually turned out really well. Nothing was a disaster like I had envisioned, and more importantly, no one got sick or died. I was so beat by the end of the night. I think I out-did myself because not only did we have a 15-lb turkey (stuffed, of course), but I made homemade, cinnamon applesauce, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, rolls, a banana cream pie (fully equipped with meringue), and we bought a Sara Lee pumpkin pie. The applesauce seemed to be the biggest hit, so I was thinking about making some more and giving small jars of it as gifts for some people this Christmas [It's either that or a 20-lb fruitcake, choose].
I was afraid we weren't going to finish all the leftovers, but we actually cleaned them out pretty well. I'm happy I won't have to throw out too much food. I can understand why people go elsewhere for Thanksgiving. Let someone else do all the work and get fat off the leftover food.

The next day we put up the Christmas tree only to find that half of the lights aren't working on it. Of course, I discovered this after putting the ornaments on. At least you can't tell from outside that it's all screwball. It's laughable from inside the house though. I think buying a new set of chaser lights for next year will be on the top of my list.

I'm now just waiting for the 13th to come around because my sister will be up from Kentucky for a couple weeks. She was able to get some time off work to come visit. I miss her a lot, and I don't get to spend a lot of time with her anyway, so I'm hoping that we'll be able to spend at least a couple days together just hanging out.
As for now, I'm just enjoying the USB drive of Christmas music my boss gave me yesterday. He even threw on a special folder of his self-proclaimed "Badass 80s Music" since he knows I'm a fan. It does have a good mix on there, but Jon and I have a bigger and more diverse collection. It's still good though. There are plenty of good Christmas songs on here, as well. He put over 117 songs on there, which I will fully utilize this holiday since I'm lacking in the Christmas music area. Beyond 'NSync, 98°, and Amy Grant, I haven't got much variety.

Oooh, Louis Armstrong...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's finally here, and I'm glad. It's nice to have a little break from the monotony of everyday life and spend some time with family. That's what I love about the holidays. I got an early start yesterday because we were let out of work at noon. My boss held me a little longer because he heard I was in desperate need of guidance on how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, so he spent an extra half hour giving me tips and printing things out from Cooks Illustrated. Everything he gave me is going to be really helpful, so I was really grateful for that.

Then I needed to rush off because I promised my grandmother I would take her out for lunch (which really ended up being the other way around since she never lets me pay). We went to Perkins, and it was slower than I'd ever seen it there my whole life. It was kind of nice for a change.

Today we're heading out to my parents' house for dinner around noon. It will be the first Thanksgiving I've had at their house in a while because we're usually at my grandmother's. This means I need to get off my butt and start cooking what I'm bringing over. Boy, this is going to be a busy weekend...

So what are all of you doing today? Since we're supposed to get snow today, I loathe all of you in warmer climates.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Ball's In Your Court

Ever do something wrong and feel like a sincere apology does absolutely nothing? That's how I've been feeling the past week, and I'm one of those people that likes to have everything running smoothly, so until I'm assured of that, this is going to be bugging me for a while.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving 911

Thanksgiving is coming up in less than a week, and I'm a little nervous. Next Saturday I'm planning a dinner, and Ron and his wife, Monica, get to be my guinea pigs, so to speak. I've never undertaken anything like this before, so it should be interesting. I'm a little stressed out about it, but I'm excited to be trying something new. I figure, one day we're going to end up being the ones fixing holiday dinners and having company over, so I may as well start perfecting it now.

We got a 15-pound turkey, so I'm thinking we either need to have a couple more people over or we're going to have way too many leftovers. I want to stuff it, but I haven't a clue how much stuffing I need. One of the sites I was on said I needed 6-8 cups of stuffing for that size turkey. That seems like an awful-lot of stuffing. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can only clean out about 4-5 ounces of stuffing at a time if that's all I'm eating.

I've decided to enlist the help of my parents, so I'm not going into this completely blind. I asked my dad if he could type up a recipe for me, and he's going to give it to me on Thursday, but I think there are some things I need to get cleared up this weekend. For one, I have no clue how exactly he boils the giblets (if it's in water or in some type of stock) and how long because I love those [Cue the "ewww"'s.]. If it's in a stock, then I'm going to need to get something before Black Friday. I grabbed up those turkey-sized roaster bags, so it should only take about 3 hours to cook that turkey. Thankfully, they have some instructions on the inside but no indication to how to cook it with stuffing inside. This is sad: Anyone have a clue?

Any outside help I can get, as well, would be appreciated because, as you can see, I'm completely clueless.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blogger Meetup

I know this is kind of late notice, but our monthly blogger meetup is tonight at BrewErie at 7:00. Come and socialize with all of us! We're nice and don't bite...too hard.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Proof Google Works!

I was logging into my MySpace when I noticed my supposed sponsored links. Typically, these are supposed to be tailored to you based on your searches and websites you look at, right? These are my links [Please note the first two from the left.].

Boy, Google, you've got me down to a 'T'.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No Customers But An Abundance Of Idiots

I may not have any complaints about customers anymore since I'm not in retail, but I'll never run out of content. Why? Because there are plenty of stupid people left out there that I encounter on a daily basis just while driving to work. In fact, I almost got into two accidents this week alone that weren't my fault in any way.

The first happened on Tuesday when we got our first bout of snow for the season. Usually, people drive either too fast or too slow. I would rather the latter, but it doesn't always turn out that way. I was driving down Peach Street on my way back to work after my lunch break. The roads weren't too horrible at that time although it was still snowing/hailing, so it's smart to be a little cautious. I was driving about 7-8 miles above the speed limit, but the person behind me thought I was going too slow, apparently, because they were attached to my rear end for blocks. Once we hit 26th Street, he moved into the right lane while I stayed in the left. The entire way down, he kept switching lanes and wasn't making any headway because we were still pretty much side-by-side the entire time. It was ticking me off to watch it too since he was within inches of everyone's bumpers every time.

When we were between 7th and 8th Streets, I noticed a car to the right with its four-ways on, so to accommodate the people in the right lane, I moved to my left slightly. This guy apparently thought that was his cue to push me further to the left because he kept moving closer and closer to my car until I was pushed to the side of the road while he took over the left lane. I held my horn down, thinking, What in the hell are you doing? I wasn't in his blind spot. I was right next to him. How could he miss me? I'm just glad I noticed because he strikes me as a hit and run kind of driver. After that, he took off at the speed of light--narrowly missing out on a rear-end collision with the car in front of him and the car to the right by swerving to (and shooting into) the right lane. Wanna slow down, dipwad? If not for your own sake (since the municipal building is right there), at least for everyone else's safety.

Idiot #2 came around this morning on my way to work. Again, I was driving down Peach Street [What is it with this area?], and I was nearing on 20th or 21st when a car sitting at the stop sign decided to go ahead and cross the intersection while I was right on top of it. I immediately slammed on my brakes and burned rubber as I slid across the road. When I finally stopped, I was only a few inches from her driver's side door. I did what anyone would do in that situation and honked my horn. She looked over at me with a blank expression and looked away as she drove off. It didn't scare you that I almost took you out with my car? It's not like it's that hard to cross that part of Peach Street. It's one-way at that point. You don't even have to look both directions before you cross. That's one less step! That should make it easier to avoid a collision...right? You would think...

The funny part about this is I had a dream last night that I crashed into someone while driving to work. Eek.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nice Timing

It just figures that our first snowfall of the year would happen right on election day--which in itself will cause a traffic jam on my way to work. Still, it brings a slight smile to my face.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It's November Nostalgia Time

I'm so glad it's November [You didn't really think I'd write my next blog without saying that, did you?]! It gives me that relaxing feeling because I know the holidays are coming up. I get very nostalgic, and it's the most comfortable time of year for me (aside from being freezing cold half the time). I look forward to spending time with my family, putting up the Christmas tree with my husband, and all the other typical things that come with this season.

I'm also happy that this will be my first Christmas season outside of retail since I was in high school. I've never gotten to experience that normalcy, so I'm really looking forward to it. Those of you who have worked in retail during the holidays know how stressful that is. If you haven't, then you don't have any clue what true hell is.

Normally, my family goes over to my grandmother's for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter, but she's going to be having knee surgery in a couple weeks, so we'll be having to go somewhere else. Hopefully, my parents are still planning on doing something for Thanksgiving, so we'll most likely head over there. However, I still want to attempt something I've never done before: fix a Thanksgiving dinner. I'm trying to get better about doing general "wife stuff" by cooking/cleaning more. I've got the cleaning handled, but the cooking needs some work. I think I need to start getting this little bit down because eventually we'll be the ones having people over for Thanksgiving, and if I don't have this mastered by that time, I'll be in trouble. Wish me luck on that one.

What I'm most looking forward to is setting up the Christmas tree again. It had been so long since I'd seen it up before I'd gotten married. Last year was our first year with our own tree (courtesy of my parents donating their old one to us). Growing up we celebrated Christmas and Channukah until I was about 10, and then it was narrowed down to solely the latter. It was hard to adjust to when every other kid in school celebrated Christmas, and they had no interest in or respect for other religious holidays. To them, my sister and I were outcasts. There's no such thing as an open-minded 10-year-old in regards to religious tolerance. For quite a while I resented Judaism as a whole, but as I've grown and matured, I've gotten over that. Even though I don't personally follow it, I have a respect for it that I never had as a young child/teenager.

When my husband and I put up the tree last year, every time I looked at, I was reminded of all the times I would come home from school and turn the Christmas lights on and pop in a Christmas cassette to complete the mood; the numerous times I'd watch A Christmas Story the weeks leading up to the day (and I still do); and--most vividly--all the Christmas Eve nights my sister and I would be awake for in anticipation of the morning. We shared a room at the time, and we would try to find ways to sneak downstairs to see what Santa had brought us.
I recall one year getting caught by our parents twice (the creaky floors gave us away), so my dad shut the door at the top of the stairs and put an end table in front of it. It was about 3:00 in the morning, and our parents didn't get up until after 9:00, so for two, anxious kids that was an incredibly long wait.

It's memories like that that really make me happy when Christmas time does come around. Even though it's only the beginning of November, I still feel "in the spirit," if you will. Maybe I'm strange, but I'm starting to get into the mood of watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music. Even though I don't want the snow to come, on some strange level I do enjoy it for the last two months of the year. It adds a nice touch. We're starting to light the apple cinnamon candles and get out the fleece blankets in preparation.

It's almost time, and I'm excited. Is that strange?
That may be, but getting an extra hour of sleep this weekend is definitely not.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Er...Happy Halloween

Listening to Britney Spears' new album, Blackout, was enough to give me nightmares for the remainder of the year. I have to wonder if she, her producers, and--hell--the entire record label were smoking crack while writing/recording this? I've never heard such a horrendous train wreck of an album in my life. She lost her repeat-play flow she had when she first came out. I'll gladly admit that I wore out her debut and follow-up albums.

Well, Britney, you've successfully hit rock bottom, and there's nowhere to go but...down? Not even Madonna stooped this low in her career.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is It November Yet?

Ok, so I'm wanting October to end like a plague of locusts, but I am trying to be better about it. I played along with the Halloween-themed wedding on Saturday, I spent a couple hours carving my pumpkin the following day, and I'll be passing out candy tomorrow night. All in all, I'd say I've been doing pretty well.

As I said, I went to a wedding this weekend for my husband's cousin. It was at the Masonic Temple, and I wasn't sure what to expect. It actually wasn't half bad. I'd never been to anything but a traditional wedding, so I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. I was pleasantly surprised though, and everything was put together so well. All the decorations were really cool, and they even had a guy doing caricatures [I tried to scan ours, but I'm having "technical difficulties," so I'll get back to you on that one.]. I was really impressed by the whole thing, actually. I wish I'd remembered to bring our camera, but I think I'll just swipe some pictures off my father-in-law.

On Sunday we had a whole pumpkin carving get-together at my in-laws' house. As promised I took pictures of mine. I didn't do Arnold Schwarzenegger as planned because the pattern ended up printing way too small to even be feasible, so I picked something on the fly, just before we headed over there: Homer Simpson.
I wasn't sure how I was going to pull this one off, but I thought I'd give it a whirl. I tried "tracing" it by poking holes around key points of the pattern, but that proved to be useless, so I ended up hand-drawing it onto the pumpkin using a black, Crayola marker (all our pumpkin markers had run out of ink). The end result was better than I expected for a first try, but nothing fantastic. You can check it out here (the fugly, raw, not-in-the-dark version) and here (the best-when-viewed-in-pitch-black version).

Finally, you're all either wondering how this new job is going or hoping I don't make any mention of my job situation. For those of you who fit in the former category, you're getting an update; if you're the latter, you might want to skip this part. Everything has been going really well for me over at this new place. The guy who hired me just started his new job at another company on Monday, but before he left on Friday, he asked for my number so he could call me to offer me a job. He said he was impressed with my work, and he'd like to work with me again in the future. I'm thinking that's definitely a good thing; however, I'm going to try to ask someone this week if there would be any chance of me getting hired there permanently (I'm only two-month temporary help at the moment). I think I have a good shot at getting a position.

Only time will tell.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

October, October

I'm happy to report that I got hired somewhere on Thursday. I only interviewed at one location because the other place decided to hold off on the position. I'm glad I was able to nail this one though; however, I'm a little disappointed it's only a two-month temporary position. It has the possibility of turning permanent, but there's no guarantee. I get paid the same as my last job; only I work about 41 hours rather than 45-47. I start tomorrow morning, so I'm nervous but excited about it. I'm just ready to settle down in a place, and I think this might be it for me (God-willing it turns into a permanent position). I'm really impressed with the staff and the overall atmosphere. I'm hoping it goes well.

Now, to get onto another subject rather than boring all of you with my endless job hunt: I think I'd like to make it tradition to complain about Halloween and the entire month of October every year. It seems like I've done that successfully for three years, so why stop now?
Even when I was a kid, I didn't like Halloween. I stopped going trick-or-treating after I was about 8 or 9, and I rarely dressed up for it besides an occasional middle school dance. Now, I've got to get back into it again for the sake of a wedding, and I haven't a clue what to wear.

My husband's cousin is getting married this coming Saturday, and--of course--it's a Halloween wedding. Costumes are encouraged but not required; however, we'd be the oddballs out if we came dressed "normally". It's less than a week away, and my husband and I still haven't picked anything out. We've been beating around the bush with the whole thing, and it hasn't gotten us anywhere. Beyond going as Torgo and "The Master" or one of his brides¹ (but I'm not too much into wearing a sheet), we don't have any feasible costumes. At this point, ideas are welcomed; although I think we're going to have to settle on something today since it will pretty much be our last chance to go shopping.

Next Sunday we're going to carve pumpkins at his parents' house. Last year I made mine say, "Yo," but I want to put forth a little more effort into this year's and try something new. I was looking for patterns online, and I stumbled on one that I'm determined to accomplish for my husband: Arnold Schwarzenegger. I got the idea when I saw a story on TMZ about carving a pumpkin in the resemblance of Britney Spears, and I thought that was a great idea.
I haven't the faintest idea how I'm going to accomplish this. Regardless of how it does turn out (I'm not expecting anything great), I'll be sure to post a picture. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for success.

¹All from the horrible, cult classic Manos: The Hands of Fate

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here We Go

I promise to cut down the number of "job blogs" I have on here and write more up-beat posts...after this one. I have two job interviews today: One at 11:00 and another at 1:00. One of these should land me a job by Monday, I would assume. It would be nice to break the unemployment I'm in right now so I don't feel like a slacker.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Plight

Wow, a lot has been on my mind the past week. Ok, who am I kidding? A lot has been on my mind the past month. I stayed home from work today because I was feeling ridiculously sick to my stomach and didn't sleep more than a couple hours all night because of it. I think it's mostly because of this job, but I didn't want to risk being stuck in the bathroom with my head in a toilet for the majority of my day, so I opted to call in sick.

The temp agency found my replacement last week, and she started on Thursday. Meanwhile, they want me to stay and work until Wednesday...or at least, that's what they said last week. I talked to the agency today and tried to verify that they wanted me to stay until Wednesday. The girl told me that I could work through Wednesday or finish off the week. It was up to me, but either way, I had to let her know what I was doing. Well, I don't want to stay there because each day I'm there I feel a little more stir crazy and claustrophobic. I mean, I was hoping Friday would have been my absolute last day, but it wasn't.

At the same time, she may have a job lined up for me. Actually, it was a job that was offered to me a month and a half or two months ago but I just missed out on getting. I'm guessing it didn't work out for whoever they had hired there, and it swung my direction again. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but I do know that it's located at a place where I know three of its employees. She had offered me another job as a counter clerk somewhere, but it would require the same bull that I hated about retail, so I declined. That prompted her to ask if it was because I wanted to get away from customer service and would rather just have a "punching letters and numbers in a computer" kind of an open, bright environment. That's exactly it.

However, here's my dilemma: I'm not sure whether to work until Wednesday and give myself a couple days off or finish the week out. A huge part of me is just anxious to get out of there. It's been two weeks since I gave them my notice (if you will), and I'm going crazy in that building. Another small part of me is saying I should just suck it up and work the remainder of the week because we need the money. I'm really torn. Anyone with an educated opinion on this matter would be helpful.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Husbands Are Good For...

...making you feel better when you're insanely stressed out. Well, mine is, at least. It's been a really stressful week with the whole job situation. As I said in my last blog, I told my supervisor I didn't think it was going to work out for me there. I was beginning to get stir crazy and claustrophobic. I was hoping Friday would be my last day, but unfortunately, they hadn't quite found my replacement yet, and the temp agency is still actively looking for another job for me. Hopefully, I can be out of there by Friday. I don't think I can manage another week in "the cell."
Meanwhile, I've been doing a slight bit of searching on my own. I'm hoping one of these things will bite so I can get out of here. The dungeon-like environment there is driving me crazy. Maybe some people can stand it, but I'm not one of them.

Despite all this it makes me feel good to know I can come home from all that to someone like my husband. He's been more than supportive through this whole thing. Where everyone else would probably think I were beyond strange about this job, he doesn't see me that way. He's been there to give me hugs and kisses, cuddle with me, and listen to me vent and cry things out. He had it pretty rough last week too, but he still took care of me to make sure I felt better (I owe you, sweetie).

We're starting to hit one of the points stated in the marriage vows: "For richer or poorer"/"for better or worse." They've really been going hand-in-hand for us lately. We may not make an incredible amount of money, but we make sure we're each taken care of, and if everything else around us just fell apart, we'd be okay with that on some level. I think going through this situation with the future of my job and money issues has made us realize (truly) that we'd do anything for each other, and that's all that really matters to us. Yeah, having little money and being in a job that makes me less than happy sucks, but knowing I can come home to him every night makes each day a little easier to get through.
Now, I can picture him accusing me of trying to top him on his blog from the other day, but it's not about that. Maybe going through tough times makes everything that I feel about him clearer and more real. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am to have him as a husband, but sometimes it feels like I don't give him enough credit for all he does for me. He watches out for me and makes sure I'm happy, and that's his priority. I try to do the same for him, as well.

That's what marriage is all about. It's becoming so true to me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It's A Shame

Sorry I haven't really updated my blog in recent weeks. Some of it can be attributed to my stress. What I thought was just "new job jitters," I was starting to figure out was something different. I couldn't really pin-point it for a couple weeks, and I finally did come up with a conclusive answer: It's something with the job itself.

I was so happy to get this job, but there was one thing that was bothering me that I couldn't figure out. The people there are so awesome and very friendly; the work is simple (everyday it gets easier); the pay is excellent. So what is it that has been getting me down more and more with each passing day? The atmosphere.

Let me explain: I work in a small office with two other people. The room is painted in a dark green color, there are no windows, and I'm surrounded by four walls, a ceiling and floor of cement. There's not much room to move around; especially if all three of us are in there simultaneously. I have a slight claustrophobia problem. It actually probably wouldn't even count as such because it's not to the point of being categorized as a phobia, but enclosed spaces cause an overall discomfort with me.
What ticks me off so much about this is because it's such a seemingly small physical issue, but it's been a huge mental block for me. Every night and weekend since I've been there has been incredibly stressful. I have this feeling of dread every morning before I go into work because I feel like I'm walking into a dungeon. Maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion, but that's how it feels to me. Every night I think about it; some I cry through.
If you think about it, I went from being in a big, open building with skylights and/or windows to an enclosed space in a dim room. I was able to move around and now I can't so much. A cubicle wouldn't feel as tight to me, actually.

Yesterday I had to make the hardest decision and talk to my supervisor about it and explain to him that I didn't think it was going to work out for me because of the way I felt. Luckily, he was very understanding and supportive of it. Now they're actively looking for someone to replace me. I've talked to my temp agency about it, as well. I'll be staying there until they find me another job/get a replacement. A small feeling of relief is coming into play, but I also feel really guilty about this decision. I truly wanted this to work out. Everything else was so perfect for me...except for this one thing.

Now I'm just waiting to get another opportunity. Hopefully, it will be in an Erie-Insurance-like environment. That's essentially what I would want. I even reapplied at the aforementioned company yesterday. I haven't applied there since I was about 19 because I gave up on trying to get in. Now I want to make a serious effort to get hired there. That's always been my true goal since I graduated high school. Sad but true.

Just pray I finally find something I'm completely happy with.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My First Meme (2)

Just finishing up the meme from my last post:

Four Favorite Foods:
  • Tacos:

I really should have been born Mexican or Hispanic (no Asian references or jokes, ron) because I eat these so much. It's a wonder my husband hasn't gotten sick of them yet. I'm constantly fixing them in our house or buying them at the nearest Taco Bell. I've always been able to eat these nonstop. It was one of the few things I would get incredibly excited over if my mom said she was making them: "I'll be eating at home tonight."
  • Reuben casserole:

This is another food my mom used to make that has carried to my household. Even though Jon doesn't eat it, I'll occasionally fix a whole batch for myself. I don't know what it is that makes this so good. Maybe it's the whole mixture of my favorite ingredients: noodles, swiss cheese, corned beef, and sauerkraut. Maybe it's just because it's so frickin' easy to make. You may gag at the sight or smell, but I salivate...
  • Green bean casserole:

Since we're on the topic of casseroles, I thought I'd throw this one in here, as well. It's a popular item at holidays (at least in my family), so I try to make it whenever I can. This is another dish my husband won't eat, but I could daily. Mmmm...mushroom soup; mmmm...french fried onions. Deadly combination for my breath though.
  • Pizza:

It's an American classic. What more is there to say?

Four Websites I Visit Everyday:

You all know where to find me.

I'm one of the newer users to this site, but if you have a page, and you want to add me, I'm here.

It would make sense that I visit this site a lot. I'm a big Wil Wheaton fan. I like to keep tabs on what he's up to. That reminds me: Methinks I need to get a hold of his new book when it comes out...

Rather than wasting my money buying magazines at a store, I just get all my celebrity news and more at this spot. It's not really the most reliable source, but when it comes to stars, who is? I don't even know why I even care about these people and if they had an Oscar Meyer's or Hebrew National hot dog for lunch. At least I'm not a train wreck like Chris Crocker. We can all thank God for that one.

Four Places I Would Love To Be:
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee:

I fell in love with this place ever since we went on our honeymoon here a year and a half ago. Thankfully, we got to go back for our first anniversary. We stayed in the chalets on the mountains. I wish we could make it a yearly thing, but it's too pricey to do. There's so much to do down there. We wasted a lot of our time at the arcade last year, but we made sure we got around more this year. We explored the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it was absolutely beautiful. If taxes weren't so high there (10%) and we could move there, I would love to.
  • Lexington, Kentucky:

Yes, another southern state. My twin sister lives down there, and I miss her quite a bit. If I'm lucky, I see her a couple times a year (a day a piece).
  • Best Buy:

What can I say? I live in that long as I can buy something.
  • My husband's arms:

Go ahead: Insert your ooh's and awww's right here. He's not here at the moment, and I miss him a lot.

Four Favorite Colors:
  • Blue

  • Black

  • Green

  • Aqua:

I'm saying this one in hopes it doesn't qualify as "blue".

Four Names I Love But Would/Could Not Use For My Children:
My husband is going to laugh when he reads these. You can guess what association they have just by their sex. I don't necessarily love them anyway. Any names I do love I'd probably end up using as names for my kids, so that part of the meme is moot.
  • Matt

  • Adam

  • Justin

  • Paul

My four picks for tags are as follows: Tam, ron, MJ, and Speedcat. Remember: This meme includes the questions from my last blog.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My First Meme (1)

I've been tagged for a few of these in the past, but I've never actually blogged one. I guess you could call it laziness, and I would have to agree with you. So...for the sake of blogging something and getting a roll going, I'll start it off.

Now, I was never tagged for this particular meme, but I've seen this one around quite a bit, so I figured I'd try it out. It's the easiest one I've seen around lately. All you have to do is give four answers for each question. I'm going to divide this up into two blogs since this is a lengthy one, and you know how long-winded I can be. Here it goes:

Four Jobs I've Had:
  • Ice Cream Server:
Oh, I didn't have the pleasure of being one of those hot Baskin-Robbins chicks. I certainly didn't have the looks or attitude for that. No; instead I found myself working at a little ice cream shoppe in Harborcreek called Dickie's Elite Treats. That's not something you admit to someone. I really only worked there (collectively) two-weeks' worth (at about 4 hours a day) for two months of the summer. I had to constantly call them, begging to work.
Long after I left, the owner changed it to Tropical Treats. Why, oh, why couldn't it be called that when I was there? I was doomed to put the latter on applications and resumés for years to come.
  • Food Service at Brevillier Village:
This was yet another short-lived job. I was hired to work second shift, serving food to elderly folks, busing the tables, doing dishes, etc. Yes, this is a nursing home. No, I didn't leave because of the "senile citizens". In fact, I left because I was working first shift instead of second. At the time, I didn't have a car or a license, so transportation was a pain. As I said earlier, I was hired for second shift, so I asked my supervisor if I could switch to second, and she gave me resignation forms to fill out. I wasn't about to put in two-weeks' notice. I'd only been there a week anyway. Screw that. To this day, there's one woman I worked with that still recognizes me whenever she sees me around. I find that impressive since I only worked a few days.
  • Assistant Manager at Dollar General:
Most of you that have stuck with my numerous blogs over the past three years know of my grueling days at Dollar General. Retail in itself is hell, but this place was ridiculous. Being assistant manager basically meant that I put up with all the crap from upper management and play store manager at times. In that place, it was more profitable to be a little man. Oddly enough, you didn't get "crapped on" as much on the lower rung...
  • Sales Associate in Baby Depot:
Now, it wouldn't be fair if I said this job sucked because it really wasn't that bad. What was bad, however, was the--echem--management (insert a fit of coughing here). Hey, once I got the hang of the whole department, everything else came pretty easily. I'd worked with customers before at Dollar General, so I was used to this. Selling furniture was new where carrying heavy things (in this case, it was the furniture) and dealing with moody customers were not. Pretty standard stuff; just couldn't take retail and frickin' store management anymore. I do miss some of the people though...

Four Films I Could Watch Over and Over:
No contest. This is hands-down the best movie on my list. I've watched it about 20 times every year I've been able to operate a VCR or DVD player. Of course, now my parents loathe the movie thanks to me.
This movie never scared me because it was so cliché anyway, but I thoroughly enjoy it. In fact, I watched it so much when it first came out, my father ripped the tape out of the video and broke my CD soundtrack out of concern. Hey, whatever. I was a strange kid. I don't watch it nearly as much anymore. Maybe once or twice a year. I guess his method worked...or I just grew up.
Even though this is my first time ever working in an office (minus the cubicle), I still can relate to this movie. I think it really epitomizes business as a whole. Everyone can associate with it. It's hilarious. I thank my husband for introducing me to this masterpiece. "Michael Bolton? Any relation to the singer?"
I love the tongue-in-cheek humor that this movie has. I've loved this movie for a decade and a half. I couldn't count how many times I've seen it. This is one of the few movies that I can quote from beginning to end. By the way, I was the basketcase in school; that is, if you were wondering...

Four Places I Have Lived:
I can really only do three here (and they're all in Erie)
  • Wesleyville (Erie), PA:
Ah, this is where I grew up and lived for the first 20 years of my life. I know this area like the back of my hand. It's a small borough where everyone knows everyone else's business. I sort of miss the constant buzz sometimes.
  • Erie (the city), PA:
I got my first apartment the beginning of 2005 in a nice, residential area. It's one of the few areas in the city that isn't infested with drugs and violence. This is when I got my first cat (joint cat, actually), also. It was a nice addition to the new living space. Plus, I got to spend more time with the hubby (or fiancé at the time), which is never a bad thing.
  • Millcreek, PA:
This is my first house with my husband. It's technically not ours since it's a "loaner" from his aunt while she's in another state for a few years working. It got us out of the apartment, and we don't have to pay rent! I guess it's not all bad.

Four Favorite TV Shows:
My parents got me hooked on this one, and the fact that Shane West was on it didn't hurt either. It's from the creators of thirtysomething, and it has that same kind of feel. It's a shame they canceled it after only three seasons. I'm anxiously awaiting the last season to come out on DVD.
Being a huge fan of Neve Campbell as a tween, I watched a lot of this show. It was the cornerstone of my Wednesday nights for a few years. I taped every episode I could possibly get. I even set the timer to record when they would show reruns on Lifetime during school. I could quote almost every line from several episodes. I didn't have much of a life during that time. Of course, that hasn't changed much today.
As much as I hate half the content that's on there, I still would watch this nearly every morning. It's tapered off a lot lately, and much of that is due to the fact that I'm now working a regular, Monday-through-Friday schedule. My husband would be wondering if I didn't include this anyway.
This is yet another show my parents got me hooked on. I love Kevin James' humor. He's one of my all-time favorite comedians. He and Leah Remini complimented each other well on this show. I have four of the seasons on DVD, and I've yet to finish them out completely.

The tagging will come with the next blog.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

No, I Didn't Die

I know you're all thinking the same thing: "She started this new job and dropped off the face of the earth completely." I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. That's really all I can say, so I apologize if anyone was getting frustrated with my absence. It wasn't intentional. Thanks to those of you that cared enough to keep checking on me when I didn't answer: *cough*ron*cough*. Working nearly 10 hours a day at a new type of job when you've never done it before can be a little tiring and stressful.

Despite the long schedule, the job actually isn't all that bad. You're literally sitting at the computer for 95% of the day. Yeah, I guess that's what I should expect out of an office job. It's just slightly different because it's at a shop. It's not like working at Erie Insurance in a little cubicle, and you're able to hear a pin drop. Where else can you work in an office and still manage to get grease on your favorite $50 pair of American Eagle jeans?

The job itself is pretty standard stuff, but it was just a pain in the butt to try to learn. I don't envy my coworker for having to train me because I wouldn't want to. She's been there 11 years, so she knows what she's doing, but sometimes it just makes it that much harder to try to explain it to someone else. Plus, I just learn better if I can do it myself a few times rather than watching someone. I don't remember anything that way.

I feel a little pressure with this because I have to learn this job in four weeks (well, three weeks now). The woman training me is going in for surgery next month, and I have to learn her job. I can't say I feel too comfortable with it since I had no clue that's what was going on until my second day. I guess I just need to take it in stride because otherwise I'm going to go insane.
I'm just glad the week is over with, and Saturday is here. I'm even happier that thinking about the weekend doesn't bring up images of buses containing loads of Canadians anymore. That's a relief...

Also, I had to take my car to Midas because on Thursday night, I started hearing a clunking noise underneath my car whenever I would start it up, switch gears, or hit bumps. I asked them to take a look at it and give me a call back. They just called and told me that my heat shield is loose. They would screw it back in, but there are more problems, so they don't even want to touch it. Apparently, my exhaust pipe muffler has pin holes in it and is splitting or something, as well. They told me they don't have the parts to fix it today, but I should be fine to drive it because it's nothing serious. Personally, I don't even want to drive it because it sounds like the bottom of my car is going to break off. I just wish I could get it fixed and out of the way.
I just want to cry...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You Live In Erie When...

You know winter is right around the corner when you start playing Christmas movies in September. Come on, Erie, warm up!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Now I Can Relax

Tam, ron, and whomever else may have been secretly complaining about my excessive complaining should be happy to know that this blog will be of a more thankful nature.

As I'm sure you all know, I'm done at Burlington, which has been a huge relief, and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I've never enjoyed retail, and I really don't know of many people that do. I just worked in it because that's what I was stuck with. It was hard for me to get in another field because every place wanted experience of some kind. I got lucky that the company that hired me was willing to take a chance and hire someone with no office experience. I promise to not disappoint. This is the field I've been laboring to get into since I graduated high school.

My last day at my now old job was yesterday (Friday). I got more from people than I ever dreamed I would. I guess I had more friends than I realized, which feels good. My coworker, Roni, baked me a cake and used sour Airheads' strips to write, "Good Luck!" She also got me a card and got just about everyone that was working on Friday to sign it, so I have quite an extensive collection of I'll-miss-yous and good-lucks that I can look back on years from now and smile over. It was a bittersweet day because as much as I wanted to get out of that place, I didn't want to leave the people behind. I think a couple people (namely Olga and Roni) were hit a little harder than everyone else. It will be strange to not work with them anymore, but I think once I get settled into this new job, I'll feel right at home.

I made sure I made the rounds to shake hands with the majority of the managers and thank them/tell them it was a pleasure working with them. I did that with everyone except one: the store manager. I wanted to do a little slap to the face on her by completely ignoring her. Believe me: It was quite blatant too. I was shaking hands and hugging people right in front of her, and I didn't look at nor speak to her. I wasn't going to give her the time of day, and I certainly wasn't going to pretend as if it was a walk in the park working for her. She made everyday a living hell for me, and I wasn't going to give her any satisfaction. Now, it probably didn't bother her one bit that I ignored her, but I thought I'd do it anyway--for my own enjoyment. If I never see her again in my life, it'll be too soon.

Now I can go on with my life, meet new people, and learn a new job. I'm excited to start here and actually have a "normal" schedule. This will be the first time in my entire work history that I'll be working Monday through Friday, first shift, with weekends off. I can't tell you how good that feels. Ever since I've been married, I've been wanting to spend more time with my husband, and I could never do that working in retail because my shifts were all over the place, and I was working weekends constantly (not to mention holidays). Now I'll get to spend every evening and weekend with him. It hasn't quite clicked yet, but I'm sure it will in a week or two.
This puts the feelings of complacency and accomplishment in me: Two things I've rarely felt in my life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What's In A Name?

Maybe I shouldn't get so frustrated over this, but it's been slowly building up the past 10 years or so. I'd just like to slap the first person that made a variation of Rachel. Oh, and I'm not talking about Rachelle or Rochelle. Those are perfectly fine. I'm merely talking about the unnecessary desire to add an 'a' where there doesn't need to be one in the first place.

I understand there are some of you out there with the names Rachael or Racheal, and you can't really do anything to help that, but why is it so God-awful hard for people to spell my name? It's just gotten considerably worse over the last few years. You would think mine would be easier. Hey, it has one less letter than its competition, and it's been around much longer. I would think those two factors alone would work in my favor,

What annoys me the most is that this happens to me all the time with people who know me and have seen my name spelled out numerous times. They still have that itch to add another letter. Don't scratch it. Even if you can't remember if it has an extra 'a' or not, just write "Rach" to be safe. I'll even accept that. Just don't mangle it up by adding that letter. Yes, I take offense to it, and yes, it annoys me a great deal.

Do any of you have this problem with your names? I'm more than willing to hear empathetic complaints.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I've Got Nothin'

I'm about halfway done with my week in hell! I thought that was worth mildly celebrating until I have a decent blog for you guys. I promise it will be soon. In the meantime, commiserate with me until I reach the pearly gates (i.e. my new job; a good blog; whatever that means to you).

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Stress, Excitement, Illnesses...And Dancing Monkeys

Thank you all for the nice, supportive responses you gave me from my last blog. They were so quick! I guess that just proves you like my blogs short, sweet, and straight to the point. Fair enough.

Right after I blogged that I got hired at this place, I went straight over to Burlington to put in my notice. I made the rounds to let people know so they could hear it straight from the horse's mouth before I actually handed in my goodbye slip. While I was up at the desk talking to Olga, our store manager walked by, looked at me, and snapped, "Don't you have something to do?"
Um...are the purse on my shoulder and the car keys in my hand absolutely no indication to you that I'm not working today? Before I could answer, she had walked away, so I made it a point to walk after her.
She turned around, looked me up and down, and said, "Oh, you're not here today?"
"No, I'm off." Yeah, bet you feel like a real ass now, don't you?
She started to walk away, but I caught her by handing her the piece of paper stating my last day of employment. She read it and simply said, "Ok," and walked away. I'm just another person walking out on that place, in addition to the 11 others the past month.

Even though I'm really thrilled about leaving, I'm a little stressed out because I know there will be a change in routine and my environment a week from now. I always get a little antsy when I'm switching jobs. I felt the same way when I went from Dollar General to Burlington. Even though it was still retail, it was a whole new setting.
On top of this stress, I'm sick. Oh, no, I can't enjoy the fact that I'm leaving Burlington and retail without something to drag me down. I'm not sure if what I have is a cold or allergies, but I can barely talk, I'm coughing up a storm, and my nose is itchy/runny/stuffy/etc., etc. I'm trying to make this blog halfway coherent because I'm hopped up on Benadryl (one tablet, and I'm out of it for two days). I slept a grand total of four hours on Thursday night, and last night I slept from midnight until 3:00, and I didn't fall back asleep until around 7:00. Do you realize how many weight loss infomercials I viewed while trying to get back to sleep? More than I cared to see. I even watched an episode of Dawson's Creek on TBS to bore myself to slumber. Didn't work. I'm hoping this subsides in a day or two.

In the meantime...only five working days left in hell! I can't wait until the end of my shift on Friday.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

*Drum Roll*

I got hired! I start the 17th! Bye-bye, Burlyworld and retail!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


They're sending me to a job interview today at 11:00. It's for a different place since the one I tested for only allowed the agency to submit two applicants, and well, I don't think I need to explain any more than that. Wish me luck at this one. It's a manufacturing company, so hopefully the people there will be nicer than the place I filled in for a couple months ago because if I get hired here, I plan on putting my two weeks in.

Update (9/5, 11:56am): The interview went really well, the people there are extremely friendly and easy-going, and I think I have a good chance of getting the position. I'm supposed to find out either later this afternoon or within the next day. Keep your fingers crossed; mine are as soon as I finish typing this...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Typical Retail

It's been the week from hell at work this week. Ignore the fact that it's been busier than all get-out, and let's analyze the other background things that are going on. I can even categorize them for you if it makes it easier to read:

Ignorant Manager:
The other day, I was actually really busy doing work all day. I just finished putting out a bunch of stock, and I took a minute to check our mail. We've been getting a lot of e-mails regarding furniture being discontinued and such, so I wanted to keep up on that.
As I was reading over an e-mail, my store manager came up and automatically snapped, "Don't you have something to do?"
I gave it right back to her: "Uh, yeah, I'm checking the mail."
She really needs to lay off. She just automatically assumes I'm slacking off now. You need to find out what I'm doing before you snap at me or question me.

It really was stupid of her to say anything to begin with because I couldn't do anything that wasn't work-related on that computer anyway. All sites are blocked except for our company's. You're just making yourself look like an ignorant jerk (I could insert another word here, but I'll refrain).

People have been quitting left and right [Can you blame them?]. Right now we have three people who have put their two weeks in (one of which is in our department), and they're not hiring anyone to replace any of them. In fact, corporate suggested we don't hire anymore people and just use the staff we have to fill in the empty spots [As if we don't have enough to do already.]. Boy, this is starting to sound like a typical business shortcut to me: "Let's save money for our company by burning out our employees. Let's work them until they're within an inch of insanity."

Right now they've sent the entire ladies' coats department down to Shoes "until further notice." What does that do to us upstairs? Well, let's see: The upstairs includes Baby Depot, Youth, Linens, and Ladies' Coats. They've already gotten rid of the Ladies' Coats manager (last year; she now works in Sportswear and occasionally Linens), sent the youth department manager downstairs to Sportswear, and my department manager is running Youth and Baby Depot. Now that they've sent everyone from Coats downstairs, we run that department, as well. We're already low-staffed in our respective departments, so you wouldn't have wanted to see the situation this weekend.

We always get a lot of buses from Canada every weekend. Last weekend was like Christmas time (our store made $85,000 and we got about 20-25 buses), and this weekend was only slightly less busy. It was still back-to-school time since a handful of schools in this area didn't go back until today. There weren't many of us upstairs to begin with, but they made three of us put in backup drawers (including me). Luckily, I didn't have to ring that day because they pulled me at 1:00, but the others did. I did, however, have to go down and help bag. How many people were left upstairs that day? Two. One in Baby Depot; one in Youth (which was one of our Baby Depot people). On a Saturday. Are they insane?

When my manager had to go to dinner, I came back up to take her place in the department. I was running around like crazy the rest of my shift. I helped one person after the next and almost every one said they were searching for 15-20 minutes, looking for someone to help them. At least they were understanding of my plight, but I am only one person, and this is just ridiculous. I never thought I'd see the day where I'd be the only person running most to all of the upstairs on a busy day.

On Sunday I had to run a backup drawer a few times, so my manager and one other person were left to run the entire upstairs. Yesterday, I was by myself from 7:30 on, but there were only three of us between 1:00 and 5:00. Granted, it wasn't overly busy yesterday (busier than I thought it would be though), but it's still stupid.
I wish a lot of customers would write to corporate complaining about this. They shouldn't have to rely on one person to help them all out. Needless to say, it's not fair for me to be pulled every which way all day and hear the potential whining of someone who had to wait a half hour to get help.

Thankfully, last night, one of the managers noted to a coworker that she thought I was doing a good job and am a good worker. It's nice that someone is noticing and not always assuming I slack off. Makes me feel like my work isn't completely unappreciated and thankless.

Drawer Mishaps:
As I said above, I had ring on Sunday as a backup. Unfortunately, I must have made a mistake somewhere because my drawer was $120 over. I've run a register hundreds of times at Dollar General, and I've never been over that much. In fact, I couldn't think of anything I could have screwed up on, so I was hoping it would be determined to be an electronic mistake.
Nope. It was apparently something I did. Now I'm getting written up for it. One more time, and I'm out the door. Quite frankly, I would rather not risk my job for something like this. Ringing on that register is a secondary job that they've required for us now. I'd so much rather be exempt from this. I can just go back to being a permanent Baby Depot associate. I'm also afraid to say anything because I don't want this situation to be misconstrued as purposeful so I could be excused from the registers. It's touchy. I just would feel more comfortable in a safe zone. I'd rather not touch their money at all if I can help it.

...And Styes:
All this stress has apparently caused a nice physical representation on my face now. I don't have one or two styes but three. I have one in the corner of my left eye and two on my right: one in the corner and one in the middle. My eyes have been so sore and puffy. Yesterday, my left eye was starting to bruise up underneath. One of my coworkers said I looked like a druggy. I could barely keep my eyes open, and they were somewhat bloodshot and watery. Like I needed this...
They're not quite as sore today, but they're still a little puffy and watery.

So there's my week/weekend in a nutshell. Can you see why I want to pull my hair out or jump off a cliff?

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I'm somewhere between ripping my hair out and jumping off a cliff right now. I'll explain more later...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Getting Closer to Freedom

Last night I received a message from one of my temp agencies saying they had a full-time position in mind for me. The only problem was that it was from Thursday, and my phone just received it last night. I was afraid the job would be gone, so I made sure I called them first thing this morning. I talked to one of the girls there, and she said the opportunity was still available although they'd interviewed people for it already. Also, she told me they have two more full-time day jobs they wanted to pitch to me. Wow. I was so excited.

Two of the three are at a certain car dealership. One entails greeting people at the door and answering phones (up to eight lines). The girl at the temp agency informed me that they have eight lines at their office, and even though their receptionist loves her job, there are days she wants to "rip her hair out because it's so busy." Yes, that's a direct quote from her. That quickly made up my mind.
The other job is as a cashier, which wouldn't be hard. Both of these pay less than I get at my current job, so it doesn't give me too much reason to pursue them. Plus, I may end up working Saturdays, I'm assuming.

The third job is for a non-profit organization (much like the last job they sent me to), and I would just be doing data entry. Absolutely no phones and no customers. Heaven. It pays about a buck more an hour than I'm getting now, and it's Monday thru Friday, 8:30-5. Perfect.
Now I'm getting up at the butt-crack of dawn to do typing, data entry, and Excel 2003 tests at the agency before I go to work at 9:00 so they can send my scores to this client. I'm not really thrilled about getting up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, but if it can get me out of where I'm at, then I'm all for it.

I just hope this works out better than the last place they sent me. Please, God...

Update (8/30, 8:25am): I took my tests this morning, and I did really well. I was nervous I would do horrible on Excel since I haven't used spreadsheets since high school, but I got 28/32 right. Not too shabby, I guess.
Even better is the fact that the place they want me to interview at employs three people I know, and they're all really great (one is even a supervisor). I hope I get this!


All the kids are back in school (excepting for Iroquois)! Did I ever share with you my utter disgust with the month of August and all the back-to-school insanity? Yeah, it sucks...
I'm just glad it's over with...for now. I can rest happily for a brief moment before the Christmas rush comes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fixing What Isn't Yours

I'm one of those people that wishes they could fix things; even though they're not mine to fix. Most of the time I don't try to actually take it into my own hands, but I sit and worry about it for hours/days/weeks/months. I turn it into my problem, and it just sits inside me and boils up, and I end up feeling exactly the way I do now. It may have taken me the whole evening last night to figure out why I was feeling sad, but at least I got there (thanks to my husband).

I tend to get this empty feeling inside when I feel like something has changed--even temporarily (though unbeknownst to me at the time)--for the worse in my life or between me and another person(s). It's hard to shake it until I feel like things are right again, and sometimes I can't ever fix it myself, and I have to rely on that other person to do so. I get this same feeling when I watch someone else I care about having problems or they've somehow dramatically changed. I wish I could figure it out, and it bugs me until I either do figure it out or it just fades away.

I'm not sure I can talk to the people I want to about this because I feel like it will cause problems. My husband suggested I just wait and see what happens. That's the hardest thing for me to do, but I'm afraid that if I even talk to these people about it, it will just cause riffs. I just hate feeling like I can't do anything to help.

I'm the kind of person that likes to figure out other people like a puzzle. Maybe it sounds a little cliché or maybe it makes me seem shallow, but that's always how I've been. Every person has layers to them and the amount they reveal is dependent on the person they're with and/or the situation they're in. I don't want to see every layer of every person I meet or am friends with (that's just impossible), but I wish I could see everyone's true intentions behind decisions they make or their actions. Maybe the problems they have would make more sense to me. Maybe it'd just make it more difficult to understand. I'm not sure.

Either way, I hope this gets fixed soon because I know something is wrong.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Have You...?

Ever felt really down, and you weren't quite sure why? I'm experiencing one of the moments right now. I'm just sort of feeling lonely and sad for some odd reason. I almost drove across town just to visit with another person. Unfortunately, the situation wasn't conducive to doing so. Now, here I sit with my best friend, Music, to attempt to cheer myself up.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Backwards Day

Yesterday didn't turn out at all like I had envisioned it would. I went in on a mission to get my four hours of register training done and over with in one stretch. I was only shot down right away:
"You don't get a drawer at first," our customer service manager said. "You need to be trained first, and then when you come down the second day, you'll get a drawer, and you'll ring for at least four hours."
Well, what the hell sense does that make? I already know how to run a dang cash register. God knows I did it enough when I worked at Dollar General. I was basically standing there watching one of our cashiers ring people out, knowing exactly what to do after about 5 minutes. Ok, can I have a drawer to work on this firsthand?

The funny thing about all this is that my coworker went for training last week, and they gave him a drawer right away. He's never had any cash register experience. So why do I have to be formally trained first and then given a drawer? This system makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I was only down there for about a half hour before my department manager paged me to come upstairs and help her put stock away. We had a crap-load of it too. We had tons of pieces of clothing that needed to be put away and little room to do so.
I had only been working on this for about two hours before one of my coworkers came running over to the desk. She called out to my manager, and I happened to look up, and I saw blood just pouring off her face from underneath her left eye. I ran to the break room to get some ice while my department manager called for a first aid kit.

Apparently, what happened was that she was moving one of the metal arms that holds clothing on it, and it fell. It first hit her on the forehead, and then it hit her underneath her left eye and sliced her. It got really puffy by her eye and very fast. She was debating whether or not she needed to go somewhere. One of our managers suggested she take a break for an hour or so to decide. I offered to take her home if she needed. After filling out some paper work, she sat in the break room.

After about a half an hour, she came out, and my department manager was standing near her. She told me to take my coworker to the emergency room because she was starting to feel lightheaded. I ran to the break room, grabbed my keys and my sopping wet sweatshirt, and we went out to the car.
I ended up taking her to Hamot to get checked out. It was about 3:00 when we got there, and we didn't leave there until about 6:15. Luckily, she didn't break anything in her face, which is what the doctor was afraid of. They did a CAT scan, which revealed she has "a face made of rock." Unfortunately, she has a big goose egg on her forehead and a really black left eye. At least that's all she has to worry about though. The doctor told her to take a day off from work and just relax, so that's what she's doing today.
After we left, we stopped at Taco Bell, and I bought us something to eat because neither of us had eaten anything all day. I was getting my lunch break in somehow. Afterwards, I dropped her off at her house, and I stopped back at work to fill out a time edit and update everyone on her condition.

I think I may call her up to see how she's doing, but I'm glad everything was alright. I was worried she really injured herself.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Also, isn't it just fitting that it's storming out in Erie today--my doom day? What's new..?

They Finally Got To Me

So I got put on the hit list for the registers, finally. I suppose it was only a matter of time before that happened. If they only had a clue how much I loathe ringing...I suppose it wouldn't make a difference.
Instead of just putting up with it--minus the whining--I'm blogging to complain about it. I guess I'm just not understanding this whole logic behind us being required to run a register. The cashiers aren't required to come up to our department and help out, and we have a huge shortage upstairs. I want to see them come up and help us sell furniture on a Saturday for four hours, and I'll raise them four hours of my time on that register.

We're the only department in that whole store that can't be left empty. It's like leaving John V. Shultz's entire sales floor empty while everyone runs a register. Who the heck is going to sell the furniture or help the customers? So having said that, what's the point of us being register-trained if it's just liable to leave our department empty or even more shorthanded if we're pulled? Pointless.

One other thing is that we were originally supposed to be 90% compliant, and it's now dropped down to 80%. That would be fine with me if they had the right employees exempt from running a register. Is Baby Depot exempt? I wish. Let's find the stupidest reasons to cut people out instead of the most logical reasons. We have ones that will quit if they're even signed up to train on the register (oh, how I wish I could say that to get out of this), our receiving department which alone includes about 6 people (more than any other area of the store), stupidity and/or mental cases, and loss prevention. The only ones I can understand are the mentally incapable and security. Everything else is just an excuse.

Since there's absolutely nothing I can do about this, I guess I'll have to just do my time down there for four hours today. After that, they better not call me down as backup. I'll do their required training, but you'd better find someone else from a different department to be your backup.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stupidity Leaks

Working with the public makes you realize just how many idiots there are out there. It's amazing how many people won't use their heads for more than hat racks, but I suppose that's just what you have to deal with in this line of work. I was inspired by a certain customer last night to write this blog. This is an ode to you, Mr. Stupidity Leak #1:
  • SL #1: The Bathrooms

Before asking an associate how to open the bathroom door at Burlington, make sure you've actually tried it. No, I mean, if you can't figure it out while you're there, you need only to read the sign that says either "Push" or "Pull" on your respective room. If you have to ask me after you've done this, go back to elementary school and learn to read, and ask for a bonus lesson in common sense.

Example: Last night I was on the phone with one of my associates trying to give him information for a piece of clothing someone was buying that didn't have a tag, and a rather large, dopey-looking gentleman interrupted me.
"Excuse me," he said.
You guys know how much I loathe being interrupted on the phone when I'm doing my job. I told my coworker to hang on a minute while I helped this guy. "What do you need help with?"
"I can't open the bathroom door," he said.
"Did you try pushing it?"
He just stared at me with a blank look and said nothing.
Ok, I guess I need to say something here. "Just push the door open."
He still stood there, staring at me, and he didn't budge.
Hello, in there? Anybody home? "Just go over and push the door."
Am I making absolutely no sense here? "Just push the door open." How many times do I need to repeat myself before you get it?
Finally, he said something: "It doesn't open."
"The door doesn't lock," I replied. "Don't touch the handle. Just push the door."
And yes, he's still standing there, staring at me.
I attempted to get back on the phone with my coworker, but the guy was still standing there. I finished my piece about a hundred times already. You can go now. "Just go push the door."
He finally left, and I didn't see him come back, so I'm assuming that my idea worked. Go figure. I suppose I do know what I'm talking about sometimes.
  • SL #2: Amateur Theft

If you're going to steal something, it's a good idea that you don't inform an associate before doing so. Hey, if you do, that's great for us because you're just making it easier to get caught, but I'm guessing you want to be successful at the five-finger discount, so being busted isn't part of your game plan; I would assume, that is...

Example:We have a new girl in the shoe department, and yesterday was her second day. A woman walked up to her, and they had the following conversation¹:
"You got any floor walkers tonight," the customer asked. In other words, she's asking if we have any security.
"I don't know," my coworker replied.
"Well, can you find out for me? If you hook me up, I'll hook you up."
Needless to say, she told another associate or manager about this, so they were all over her like flies on crap.
  • SL #3: Watch Your Kids

We don't run a free daycare at Burlington. If you're opting to shop with your kids, you need to watch them. We certainly don't get paid enough to do our jobs and babysit your children. Not to mention, we have quite a few dangerous spots in and around our department. A hot spot for kids to play at is the escalator. I'm certainly not cleaning up your kids' blood if they fall and crack their heads open. Pay attention.

Example: I watched as a kid ran up and down our escalators (of course, running up the down), and I yelled at him numerous times. He was probably about twelve, so he was certainly old enough to know better. His mother was nearby while I was yelling, and she'd occasionally look over when I hollered, but she'd never say a word and continued shopping. Typical.
Finally, he did his last pass up the down escalator, and I yelled at him. As soon as he made it to the top step, he tripped and fell. He landed face first at the top of the escalator. He was ok, of course, but it just goes to show that you should listen. I shouldn't have to yell at your kids anyway. That's not my job.

Just bear these things in mind when you go shopping. I'm sick of picking up the missing pieces of your brain.

¹Mind you, this was all hearsay, so I don't know the exact conversation they had, but it's something similar to this.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Electric "Temp" Boogaloo

One of my temp agencies called to let me know that the company I did work for last month for a day wants me to work tomorrow from 8-5. Not only do I have to work tomorrow anyway, I don't have the heart to tell them that I don't want to do work for that company ever again; not after the events of last week. I was afraid they may have written me off because I quit from a client company. Sounds like I'm still in the game, which is good news.

I still think I need to let them cool off a little more before I throw anymore surprise, this-job-is-crap complaints. It's only a matter of time before they're not going to want to look for any jobs for me. For now, I'll try to get in good with my other temp agency in case something happens with this one.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm Lucky

I've really come to realize over each passing day that I have one of the last few good men left in this world. At the same time, my husband's got one of the last few faithful women left. I can just sit back and think about that while I watch the rest of the world struggle with infidelity, abuse, alcoholism, etc. It's become commonplace these days. It hurts to watch it, but I'm glad I'm not in it.

For those of you in my position, isn't it nice to not worry?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My husband and I found we have slightly differing opinions on what is considered cheating, which was brought to the table courtesy of a certain episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that we watched last night. The episode found Kira living with O'Brien and his wife while Kira carries the couple's child. They end up discovering they have feelings for each other and even consider acting on those. They never do, but it brought up a good discussion anyway. Is that considered cheating if he has feelings for another woman but never acts on them?
I still consider it cheating if they have those thoughts and feelings to the point of being within inches of acting upon it. I think it's possibly inevitable for some people to feel that way at some point during their relationship/marriage. While I think acting on it is far worse than just having the feelings, I still think the extent of the feelings dictates whether or not it's cheating. ¹My husband feels the opposite though expresses he'd never get to that point himself and doesn't feel it's right to feel for another person even though he doesn't consider it cheating.

Ironically enough, there was an article on AOL this evening asking if it's considered cheating if a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend has an online "marriage". They used one person as an example: He's a married man whose marriage is on the rocks because he spends at least 14 hours a day with his online "wife" through the game, Second Life. She's currently attending "gaming widow" support groups as a result [Isn't the fact that we have such a group in existence a sad thought?]. So is this cheating, as well?

You guys can probably guess what my answer is to this. My husband is on-board with me on this particular issue. I personally wouldn't have allowed it to get to the point where he would do something like that. Even if they claim that it's safe because it's only online, I don't see it that way. Being online doesn't automatically put you in a fantasy world. You're still spending your real-life time and emotions on another person who is not your husband/wife/etc., and believe it or not, the person on the other end is a real, living, breathing human being, as well. Who's to say that you won't end up meeting in person? Rarely do online relationships stay just that; especially if they span over a long period of time. And you can't tell me that if you met this "husband" or "wife" in person that you would "only be friends." You'd better just shoot yourself in the foot now.

Instead of spending all this time on the computer with someone hundreds to thousands of miles away, spend it with that person who is ten feet away. I'm assuming you either started dating them or married them for a reason, and if you're at least a halfway decent person, then it was for a good reason. Why not go out with them? Go to a movie or dinner or something. Anything. The thrill of an online relationship is no different than the thrill of someone going to a bar and hooking up with another person. It's the same idea. It's all sexually and emotionally based. It's cheating, and if you don't think it is, see how much it hurts the person you do it to.

¹I realize my husband probably thinks I'm making him look bad here, but I don't mean to. He's a faithful, respectable guy, which is why I married him.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What A Stressful Day

So you all know by now that I spent the day yesterday training for a new job. I was really excited about it because it seemed as if I finally had an opportunity to get out of where I'm at now. I've been waiting for this for quite a while.
The hours were perfect, the pay was better than I'm getting now, and I got weekends off, which is something I've been pining for. The office was really nice, the people were extremely friendly, and the environment was all-around pleasant.

So why didn't I take this job? The answer is simple: The job itself was crappy. What I wasn't aware of when I agreed to do it is that it would involve something I specifically said I didn't want to do. That is telemarketing. Maybe they don't consider it telemarketing because you're not selling anything--per se-- and it's for an organization, but you're calling 100 people a day and bugging them to sign up for a fund raiser. Regardless, you're calling people that don't want to be bothered. They either take it politely, yell at you, or just hang up. To me this is worse than straight customer service. At least more of these people want your attention. When you're on the phone, they don't want to hear from you unless you're telling them they just won a million dollars courtesy of Publisher's Clearing House.
On top of that, you had get at least 3 people to sign up each day. If you couldn't do that, you're booted. I hate quota jobs. That's too much stress.

I'm willing to take half of the blame for this because I didn't ask what the job entailed before accepting it. However, it's really their job to describe my duties during the pitch of the job. At the same time, they should have been looking at my notes and saw that I had a strong dislike of telemarketing. I established that at my interview at the temp agency. It shouldn't be my job to remind them. Of course, mistakes happen, so I'm willing to overlook that; however, the attitude could have been dispensed of when I called them last night.

After milling over whether to go into work the next day or just pull out of the position altogether, I decided against the former. I called the temp agency last night to say I wanted to cancel out on the job. I explained to the girl why that was, so she told me she'd have someone call me that night. Sure enough, the person I usually deal with at the agency called me from her cell phone, and by the tone of her voice, I could tell she wasn't too pleased.

"What's the problem, Rachel?"
I began explaining the issue with the job and why I wouldn't be taking it. I also explained how it made me feel uncomfortable to do that type of work. I decided not to mention the fact that I had already established to them that I would absolutely never do telemarketing but was offered this job anyway.
"Well, didn't (Anonymous) explain the job to you?"
"No, not really. It's partly my fault because I didn't ask either, but most of the time we spent hashing out how to make this work. It was either take the job now or don't take it at all, and I would have missed out on the opportunity. So I took it anyway."
"Can you at least finish out the week," she asked.
At this point, my manager had already changed my schedule back, and I had my mind made up that I wouldn't be showing up again because I feel too uncomfortable with that position.
"I'm sorry. I can't do that. My manager already switched my schedule back, and it was such an inconvenience when it was switched the first time around. I can't do it."
"Well, I ask because obviously we need to keep that position filled, so now we need to find someone to replace you."
I could tell she was upset with me at this point. I can't be the first client to pull out of a job though. At least I gave them 12-hours' notice when I was only required one hour.

I'm hoping I didn't burn any bridges with this temp agency, but a little more notice (at least a week would have been nice) and a better look at my file could have stopped all this from happening to begin with. I just can't see myself doing something I'm uncomfortable with just so I can have a job. I'll just keep the one I have until I get something that suits me.
That other temp agency I applied at is looking a little less icy than this one for the moment...

I'm Taking My Last Post Back

It was an extremely disappointing and tiring day yesterday. I feel like the biggest jerk in the city, and the job wasn't anything like what I was expecting/looking for, and I know my temp agency knew that from the beginning. I'll explain more after work.