Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ups and Downs, but mostly Downs

I received a written reprimand at work this past week for not pushing company promo products. The Critical Manager took me in the back, chewed me up and spit me out. It was all a little weird for me because I am not the sort of person who gets in trouble. And I want to do well at my job; I enjoy working with people to help them find what they need. I am a reliable and honest employee. But all of this counts for nothing if I don't sell a bottle of Grandma's Spot Remover during every one of my shifts. It seems to be such a skewed approach to building business; it just doesn't make sense to me.

That was annoying, and frustrating, and great motivation to keep working on my plans to find a better job.

Meanwhile, at the other job, things are going ok, mostly because I work alone, and I get to mostly construct the costumes how I think best(it's hard to have trouble with that!). I did run into one unpleasant moment this week. Other employees use the computer at the costume shop for personal things, like facebook or worse, and sometimes even let other people who work in the mall(like the Asian guy who sells cell phone cases) use the work computer, too. It blows my mind how unprofessional it all is. There's lots of free time for the unmotivated minimum-wage employee during the costuming off-season, and the Energetic/Manipulative Manager isn't really tech savvy enough to monitor how the computer is used. Anyway, when I walked by to clock out one evening someone had left a shady, gay craigslist-like ad on the computer screen.

And then to top things off, I got sick at work the other night; but thankfully I don't think my Manager noticed.

But helping to put the annoyances of my life into perspective, last week we heard about a sudden and serious illness in a friend's family. And that put my work problems in place; it's still just a job. It's not life-threatening.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sketches of Character

Every once in a while things happen at work that lift the monotony. When you work in retail, you have to cherish the small moments or humor when they come along. This week there was the customer who had to lean over the check-out counter to look at my skirt because she said she'd never seen such a long jean skirt before. And there was the couple who came in together for a quick errand, and as they were leaving the husband said to me, "Have a good one." And his wife immediately replied, "You too."

"Belle" bodice for Beauty and the Beast. It looks odd because it's a size twenty sitting on a size zero mannikin. There's a matching skirt, but it wouldn't fit on the mannikin at all.

My coworker's funeral was last Saturday(the Nice Manager went) and then Sunday we were snowed in with the first notable storm of the year. My seventy year Old Manager still went in to work despite the blizzard. For myself I don't feel that minimum wage is worth risking my life for; but my Old Manager, being of the Old breed, doesn't mind blizzards, floods, or fires, and faces all with unflappable and pragmatic calm. If you haven't realized this yet, I have two jobs and a lot of managers. Here's a quick run-through of my different managers:

  1. There's the Nice Manager, who does all the training, thank goodness. She never gets angry!
  2. The Old Manager, who is seventy, a little prickly at first, but has lived long enough to be interesting and flexible, and as we have seen, she's unstoppable.
  3. The Practical Manager, who is nice and fairly standard, with several grown kids, and she thinks I should go to college. I almost agreed with her since as she was telling me this I was well into an hour on my knees sorting spools of thread.
  4. The Critical Manager, who is the top boss, and who has this amazing knack for making everything everyone else's fault, even if there is no problem. I never ask her a question if I can help it. She's teaching me good management principles in reverse.

And then at my other job there's the Woman of Energy, who is quickly becoming the Manipulative Manager. She's really nice as long as she doesn't want something from me. If she wants me to work hours beyond my schedule she's pretty low about it, telling me I'm in my twenties, still living with my parents, and not even working full-time hours. Otherwise she's pretty cheerful.

So there's a quick sketch of the people who make my job interesting. I guess if any of my managers ever happen to find my blog, I'll probably be in trouble!