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...