The Non-Facial Facial

I went for a facial last week. I haven’t had a facial in over twenty years. My pores have got to be as big as Lake Eerie. But I wouldn’t really know, so don’t pack your swimsuits yet.

You can’t tell from this photo, but my face is on fire.

I was expecting to be criticized by the apparent lack of time I spend on my skin.

I pictured in my mind what was going to go down between me and the esthetician:

Her: What do you do to take care of your skin?

Me: Oil of Olay cleanser and moisturizer. Twice a day.

Her: **faints**

But that’s not how it went. More on that in a moment.

When I entered the room, she told me to get undressed. I then had a choice to put on the wrap-around terry-cloth thingy or get under the covers naked.

Since I couldn’t figure out the terry-cloth thingy attachments, I opted for nude. I don’t have a problem being nude when I go for massages, so why should it be different for a facial?

When she re-entered the room, she gasped when she saw the terry-cloth thingy sitting there.

Her: “OH, you chose to go NAKED! Ummm, okaaaeeee then???!!!”

Well damn, lady. You gave me a choice. Don’t make me feel bad about it. I’m pretty certain I’m not the only nude person you “facialed” in your lifetime.

She never asked the question I was fairly certain she’d ask. Instead, my face was immediately accosted by a 50,000 watt light bulb and scrutinized by something that must have been equivalent to the highest powered microscope legally allowed on the market.

Her: Oh honey, do you wax?

Me: I used to but now I don’t because it’s all grey and you can’t see it. 

Her: Oh honey, I’m looking at black hair on your lip. Your face is the first thing people see. You really need to clean this up. And your eyebrows. And oh my, your CHIN!

Me: Wait. What? I don’t have hair on my chin!

Her: Oh honey, you do.

I know I’m starting to go through the change, but come on. Enough WAX-ABLE hair on my CHIN? I’m still trying to deal with this new bit of information.

I may need several hours of psycho-therapy.

She then proceeded to tell me I should get contact lenses. I suppose to be able to see my facial hair. If I need to get contact lenses just so I can see my hairy chin, then I believe I would really need to have my mental stability looked into.

Next on her agenda? Her interest in my diet. I should eat greens. All kinds of different shades. Every chance I get.

The words “I exercise,” came out of my mouth. I don’t know why.

“Oh, honey, eating greens is MUCH better than exercise. How can you expect to lose weight?”

Come on, lady. I’m not THAT fat! I may be nude under here, but you didn’t actually get a peek.

The insults kept on coming. When she told me I don’t want to look like my mother, I nearly took my naked self out of her room.

Instead, I informed her that she didn’t even know my mother, and told her I know how to eat thankyouverymuch. I’ve been eating since 1967, after all. A lot longer than her. But of course she may just look younger. Because you know, she gets facials…and eats greens.

Anyway, she could give me a nice wax right then if I’d like. But it will cost me $15 per section. 

Yup $45 to wax parts of my face. Oh, what the hell. I was having a day at the spa with my girlfriends. Suddenly I heard myself say it. “Ok. Sure. Go for it.”

Off came the hair.

Of course, I’m very sensitive to waxing and so my face looked like a flaming cherries jubilee for three days. But hey. I have no facial hair at the moment. And that was the purpose of that exercise after all. I suppose I should call this a “Win.”

The next item on her list to conquer was the issue of dryness. “Oh honey, your skin is so dry. For $25 I can moisturize you and it will be wonderful. You’ll feel like a new woman.”

Yes. You heard that right. Twenty-five dollars to slather on some lotion. It could have been Ponds Cold Cream for all I knew.

I sat there trying to quickly calculate this twenty-five minute “facial” that really was no facial at all. I initially laid on her spa bed for $75. We were, at that moment, approximately eighteen minutes and $145 into it.

Again, I heard myself say it. “Ok. Sure. Go for it.”

I should have had my tongue cut out. It would have been cheaper.

As she slathered on the $25 moisturizer that I was hoping was not Ponds Cold Cream, she informed me that she had no time to give me an actual facial.

But she could massage my hands and arms.

It’s a miracle. 

If this ordeal and exchange of whatever the hell I just paid $175 for, including the 20% gratuity this “spa” took upon themselves to gift this judgmental, pushy, wax-hungry, over-moisturizing member of the gestapo, wasn’t so comical, I’d be pretty pissed off.

Instead we all laughed it off at the hotel bar with some margaritas and my hairless, red face. Shall I mention that I had a lime in my drink? I think my esthetician would have been proud.

Next time I’ll stick to tweezers and my Olay. Although, that place did smell really good. Oh, what the hell. I’ll throw in a lavender candle, too. I think I have one in my junk drawer.

The Widening of the Hips and Other Ailments

I am an administrative assistant by trade. My “trade” was referred to as a secretary once upon a time. That is no longer acceptable. I don’t know if it’s politically incorrect or demeaning, or what. But don’t call an administrative assistant a “secretary.” Or you might get punched in the eyebrow.

I have a secretarial “degree” (aka “certificate”). I went to a secretarial school. Now they are as extinct as the pterodactyl. It seems these days you need a degree to be a secretary.

Ahem…an administrative assistant.

Some companies will only hire you if you have a two- or four-year degree. While others will hire you based on experience. You know, as long as you started working around the time Eisenhower was in office.

But then you’re too old.

Vicious circle.

I got lucky. I found a wonderful company to work for. I have no four- or two-year degree. And I’m kinda old. Ok, so maybe not dinosaur old, but I’m no spring chicken either. My twenty plus year secretarial/admin experience is acceptable.

Anyway, my profession has its perils, believe it or not. And I’m finding out quickly what those perils are.

Back in the day, people would complain and warn me about the dreaded “Secretarial Spread.” It sounds obscene (don’t google it, because what popped up would have made even Hugh Hefner blush). But it’s not what you might think.

The official definition according to Urban Dictionary:

“Secretarial spread means sitting down for a long period of time while the hind-end spreads outward in order to accommodate the chair. “

Sounds awful, right?

Well, it is.

Back in the day, I didn’t worry about it too much. I was young, I exercised and moved a lot. I wore high heels and ran in them.

No, seriously. I did.

Now if I so much as put on a pair of heels that measure higher than half an inch, I run the risk of being hospitalized.

Fast forward 30+ years and there are all kinds of reports and studies on what can happen if you sit all day. In a nutshell, it reduces your lifespan. The instructor at the gym referred to sitting as “the new smoking.”

The only time I touched a cigarette was back in 1982. And I didn’t even inhale.

I swear. 

No, I wasn’t hanging out with Clinton.

Since working back in the profession for which I was trained after a very long respite, I’m comprehending what they meant by the “Secretarial Spread.”

I’m comprehending big (no pun intended).

When I wrote the first draft of this post months ago, I was sedentary.

“Sedentary.” A word I never thought in a million years I would use to describe myself.

But yet, that’s what I was.

I got up to go to the bathroom or the water cooler during the day.  When I got home, I took off the bra, put on my “non-yoga” yoga pants, and moved my ass to the couch.

That was it.

Ok, so I still get home, take off the bra, and move my ass to the couch. Because I’m tired. I’m just TIRED.

But during the day, I’ve been exercising. I go to the gym at work, I do stretching exercises, planks, push-ups, what have you, in the morning before I leave for work.

And it feels great.

But the sitting has caused me to develop hip flexor problems. Oh.my.god. Does that hurt! Had I not been “sedentary” for so long, I don’t think that would have happened.

This hip flexor situation has since given me lower back pain. You know, because my back is compensating for the job my hip flexors aren’t doing.

I think. I mean, I’m no doctor, but this makes sense. Right?

My abdominal wall is also weak. Which is not helping my cause. But I’m working on that.

I’m working on getting myself to a good place health-wise. It’s time. I decided a wheel chair, or even a cane, would not be a good accessory for me.

I mean, I don’t really accessorize anyway, so why start now?

One more thing…

The second part of that definition, according to Urban Dictionary:

“It can be changed with exercise, and activity away from sitting down on one’s spread for too many hours a day.”

I had this thing called a “Veridesk” installed on my desktop at work. It has levers and allows you to lift the thing up so you can stand while you work. It’s a pain in the ass to pull up, but the way I see it, I’m also getting some upper body strength training in.

Getting into shape at work. That brings the expression “multi-tasking” to a whole new level.

If I save one person from the dreaded “Secretarial Spread” then I have done my job.

You’re welcome.

Where’s the CPU?

There really needs to be a refresher course, or should I say — some seriously intense classes — offered for women (or men) reentering the workplace, whether it be after raising children, or just taking a long break for whatever reason. Technology change is enough to make me feel like I’m on a ship during a tsunami. It makes my head spin. Yesterday there was the rotary phone. Today there aren’t any phones at all. I’m not lying.

I started a new job less than a month ago. This company has a “Workplace of the Future” environment. The first day, it took me about an hour to lift my jaw off the ground when I found out there are no phones. And another hour to wrap my head around the fact that there is no voicemail.

Well, hell. I remember when voicemail first showed its face, now they are doing away with it? How can that be? I also walked to school barefoot in the snow. Uphill. Both ways. Then they invented shoes. Oh sorry. That’s my mother’s story.

There are no offices either. Just a large space with about a million cubicles. There are “white noise” speakers in the ceiling so you can’t hear each other’s conversations. Everything is done online. It’s all very futuristic. Although very different from the type of corporations I used to work in when I was a young woman, I have to say I like it.

But all this new technology put me in a little bit of a situation a couple of weeks ago…

CPURemember the CPU? I believe it stands for “Central Processing Unit” and it is, or was, the size of one of those mini-fridges you keep in a dorm room. In my day, they sat under the desk practically at your knees. Where you would slam your legs into it and your stockings would get snagged on the metal edge causing your stockings to run.

If you were lucky enough to find someone who had clear nail polish on them, you could stop the damage before half your leg skin was exposed. Possibly the worst thing that could ever happen. Showing skin in the office? Now it’s all you see. But I digress.

I had to upload (download? who knows the difference?) some software to my computer for a task I needed to complete. I took the CD (I could have said floppy disk but I’m not THAT old…okay I lie, I am) out of the sleeve it was stored in and proceeded to insert it into the computer.

I looked under my desk for the CPU. It wasn’t there. I looked on my desk, behind my desk. I got on my hands and knees and followed the cables into the wall. Can you just picture my forty-eight year old black-slacked ass sticking up in the air? I’m sure it wasn’t pretty.

With all this new-fangled technology, perhaps they keep the CPU INSIDE the walls? Or in a nearby closet? Don’t tell anyone, but I even looked on the ceiling. I was desperate. Not to mention perplexed. I was thisclose to hauling out a ladder and climbing on the roof.

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally established there are no CPUs. They went down the river with the voicemail. I started to feel around the computer screen. They have televisions that you can put a DVD directly into. Why not a monitor? After about twenty seconds, I realized, no. Not in the monitor. Not this one, anyway.

Unknown-2
These are dinosaurs…

...these are not.
…these are not.

I sat there with my head in my hands repeating to myself, “think, think think,” when I noticed the laptop that is “docked” on my desk. “But I don’t use the laptop,” I thought to myself. I use the keyboard and a large flatscreen monitor when I do computer work.

The laptop is so I can take it home with me to do work if I need to stay home for the day or whatever. I thought it was just sitting here staying charged in that thing the people around here refer to as a “docking station.” But I took a shot and felt the side of it. What did I have to lose? Nothing. Because I hit pay dirt. BAM! There it was.

With a red face and the push of a button, I was in business. And I didn’t even have to ask anyone. I do have to admit that I felt like my grandmother at the time.

After three weeks, I still work there so I guess I’m doing something right. What I’m trying to say is, if I can do it, so can you. So, good luck to all you people who are going back to the grind. I have hard core respect for you.

Oh and I still wear stockings. Old habits die hard, my friends. Except now I keep a bottle of Maybelline Clear Coat in my bag at all times. But I don’t think I’ll be needing it. After all, there is no CPU.

My New Job

The youngest wearing my glasses.  She's the cutest thing EVER.
The youngest (#7) wearing my glasses. She’s the cutest thing EVER.

I got a new job.  I started this new job 2 weeks ago.  I totally forgot to tell you.  Well, I shared a little something that my new boss posted on Facebook, but if you don’t follow me on Facebook or don’t even have Facebook, then you didn’t or don’t know about my new status (you can read her blog posting about it here).

What is this new job, you ask?  This new job of mine is that of Personal Assistant.  I was hired to help with her kids, chores around the house, errands and admin work for her blog when needed.  My new boss is actually a friend of mine.  Should I call her Briend?  Or Bross?  It’s strange.  Calling her “boss.”  Working for her isn’t strange.  Not strange at all.  In fact, it’s really awesome.

Anyway, basically she needed a personal assistant and since I had quit My Retail Job a couple of months back, I was available.  I only work for her 20 hours a week.  It’s perfect.  I still have time for my things.  Like my own blog, writing, housecleaning (sometimes) and everything else.  And I make more money than I did when I was working My Retail Job.  Which isn’t completely unbelievable because retail pays crap.

My Briend is totally cool and funny and has a lot on her plate.  She is mother to 7 kids, has a blog (I already said that), runs an online fitness course, coaches swim and started a furniture refinishing business (I’m pretty sure I’m missing something.  Let’s just say no moss grows under her feet.).  How does this woman even have time to wipe?  No, I don’t do that.  Well, unless one of her small children has an accident, then I might but that’s different.

In a nutshell, her current (or the one before me) assistant didn’t work out.  In a conversation we were having, she casually mentioned that she was going to fire her but she was not looking forward to starting the whole process of finding someone else all over again.  Suddenly, I heard myself say, “I’ll do it.”  Like she was just going to say, “you’re hired.”  Fortunately for me, that is what she said.  This was a Thursday.  I started the job on Monday.  That’s how fast it happened.

I was already going over there every Thursday morning to give her a hand with laundry, dinner and whatever she needed.  So I already knew her children.  And where she keeps her Tupperware.  I love her children by the way.  They are really quite awesome.  So, this should be a snap.  No problem.

My first week, my friend-boss was sick.  Really sick.  So, I spent the first few days helping her to keep the kids out of her hair.  I was thrown in.  No learning curve.  No nothing.  Well, except for what I learned on Thursdays but I am a mother so I could do this.  Sure, I only have experience with one at a time, not 5 (the two oldest are teenagers so I don’t include them because they don’t scare me.  Although, they should.  Because they are teenagers.).  There is a beautiful inground pool at my friend-boss’ house.  They recently had it uncovered so it could be repaired.  It was a nice day on that first Wednesday and the kids wanted to go out and play on the swing set.  Sure.  No problem.

I should probably mention that my friend-boss is pretty laid back when it comes to kids.  She’s a former teacher and an awesome mother, and she isn’t uptight or neurotic.  Like I was with my own.  She lets them play without looking in on them every 3 seconds.  It’s great.  It actually reminds me of my own childhood when things were a bit more carefree.  She’s a perfect mix of protective and attentive without being overbearing.

One of the things that bothered her about her previous employee was that she was uptight.  Up the kids’ butts every second.  This woman didn’t know how to balance keeping an eye on the kids and do other things at the same time.  She became a babysitter.  She did not want a babysitter.  Sure, she needed help with the kids a bit, but not a full-on babysitter.  So, when they wanted to play outside, my bross said from her sick bed, “just make sure they don’t go in the pool.”  No problem.

Shit.  Okay, what do I do?  I had things to do in the house.  My Fross was in bed all but dying.  And 5 of her children ranging in ages 2-8 were outside playing in the backyard.  They also happen to live on a busy road.  With no fence.  I know the kids know better.  I know they have been taught to stay far, far away from the road.  Still.  I was a friggin’ nervous wreck.  But I had to be a nervous wreck without showing it because I didn’t want her to get annoyed at me.  No problem.

Every 3 minutes, I went out on the deck and counted heads.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  1, 2, 3, 4…Oh God.  I threw on my shoes and ran outside.  “Where’s Number 7?” (My friend-boss refers to her children as numbers instead of names on her blog.)  Number 4 did a huge intake of air, covered her mouth and said, “Oh no, I FORGOT ABOUT HER!!!”  I immediately got that butt-pucker-that-makes-me-feel-like-I’m-gonna-poop-when-I-get-nervous feeling.  I had visions of Number 7 toddling along the busy road.  I lost all composure.  I am not always great in a crisis when it involves children.  (I lost my best friend’s 2 year old when I was watching her kids while this friend was in the hospital recovering from thyroid cancer.  Do you see a pattern with 2 year olds?  This may be a problem.)

Should I keep you in suspense?  Nah.  Everything was just fine.  I went out the back door, she went in the front door and it was as simple as just not crossing paths.  Phew.  My butt unpuckered.  All was well.  I lost another 10 years off my life.  But I didn’t have to break the news to my poor, sick Fross that her youngest was half-way to the next town.

Aside from that little incident, everything is great.  I’m having a good time at my new job.  I mean, come on.  I work with a friend, we can bitch and moan while I work.  Damn, if there weren’t a million children in the house at any given time, it would be the perfect opportunity to pop open a bottle of wine.  But drinking on the job with children about probably isn’t a good idea, is it?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So, like My Retail Job except only a million times more pleasant, I’m sure I will have stories to regal you with.  So stay tuned.  Hopefully, I won’t lose another child.  But I’m sure I will lose more years and gain more grays.  Whatever.  It’s fine.  It’s bound to happen anyway.

Worst Job In the World

He did a gorgeous job in our kitchen but he just the worst boss ever. And I suck at photography.
He did a gorgeous job in our kitchen but he’s just the worst boss ever. And I suck at photography.

This week’s writing prompt from Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop is to tell you about the worst job I ever had.  I did not have to think long or hard about this one.  I know exactly, hands down, what was the absolute worst job I have worked at in my entire 46 years of being on this planet.

It was about 2 years ago.  It was a job that I landed by chance.  I was looking for a little something part-time that was local but which also allowed me to use my administrative skills.  You know, skills that were rustier than a bike left out during every hurricane of 2005 (13 — I looked it up).  It was the perfect opportunity to brush up on those skills and stay in the game.

I was going to be working for a small, local granite business.  The owner was adorable.  A little firecracker of a guy from Brazil.  When I say little, I mean it.  I’ll give him a couple of inches and be nice by saying he was 5’4″.  He talked quickly, walked even quicker and had an accent that made him sound like the sweetest man in the world. (Never judge a person by their voice.  Take my word on this.)

I am a true believer in signs.  I ask God for them all the time.  Well, God threw about a million signs at me.  To which I ignored every single one.  Let’s just say, I learned my lesson.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I made a huge mistake.  I have so much to say about my little experience, but for now I will have to give you the Reader’s Digest version in 10 bullet points or less.

  1. According to him, it doesn’t matter if it was roadkill, it still makes for a good meal.  Just picture pheasant blood dripping through the showroom to the back where they were (yes, plural) feathered and boiled on site.  He asked me if I wanted to join his family for dinner that evening.  As tempting as it was, I just had to decline.  I think I was going home to wash my hair or something to those lines.
  2. His mattress in the attic and his many complaints of how his wife kicked him out of the house, yet again, was really quite disconcerting.
  3. Mid-afternoon was the perfect time of day to get preached to.  Bible and all.  Hey, at least I was paid for my Bible lesson.  I know because I asked.
  4. He was good about making sure he only came to work with a hangover twice a week.
  5. The toilet was filled with sludge half the time.  He felt it was quite necessary that I should be the one to clean it.  I was pretty sure I was hired to be the admin, not the cleaning service.  Actually, I’m pretty positive.
  6. His usage of the “f” word was about every 14 seconds.  Oh wait, I think every 12 seconds is probably more accurate.
  7. The guy begged me to take a part-time job at a rival company down the street so that I could be his spy.  Seriously.  Does this even happen?
  8. His temper rivaled that of Ivan The Terrible.  Anything from a dirty toilet to me not closing a deal after working there for a week would set him off.
  9. The Pièce de résistance:  “You american women are such prudes.   My wife gives me sex daily.  How many times do you have sex with your husband?”
  10. He mentioned something about hookers.  But I covered my ears.  I think it was during the Pièce de résistance conversation he thought he was having with me.

NOTE:  I’m not the type of person to walk out on a job.  I never have in my life.  I guess there is a first time for everything, right?

When I went in to pick up my last check, his wife was there.  She was very unhappy with how unprofessional I was.  Because I often try to take the high road, I kept my mouth from spewing out all the reasons why I walked out.  I did make a comment to the effect of “your husband is unprofessional and I felt very uncomfortable working here.  You can ask him why I left.”  I know, I know.  I could have totally thrown him under the bus.  Maybe I earned my wings?  Nah, probably not.

Mama’s Losin’ It
 

I Almost Got Killed By a Floor Polisher and Other Stories

floor polisher
Only WAY bigger

So, it’s been a week since my final shift at My Retail Job.  Yes. You heard me.  I quit.  I put in my 2 weeks’ notice and was counting down the days.  When my final hour came, I wasn’t expecting to actually be sad.  I had to choke back tears as I was walking out the door.  I wasn’t sad because I was going to miss the job necessarily.  I was sad because I loved every single one of those darn people.  Even the one(s) I butt heads with.

This decision has been in the making for the last few weeks.  It started when I asked for a little, itty, bitty raise and was turned down.  Well, that wasn’t the only reason.  That just started the ball rolling.  I realized that retail just wasn’t for me.  I was missing out on a lot of weekends with my family.  And working until almost midnight some nights.  All for minimum wage.  It wasn’t worth it.  And I’m too old for those late nights.  Unless, of course, I’m out with the girls partaking in the fountain of youth (aka margarita on the rocks with salt).  

Here are a few stories about my experience.  And perhaps what made me realize that this job had served its’ purpose and over-stayed its’ welcome.

  1. The night before I handed in my resignation, I almost got run over by a mongo floor polisher.  The guy running the thing had been a burr in my butt for the past 9 months.  Every time I heard that thing rev up, my heart rate would dramatically increase.  And I would spend the next half hour of my life dodging that man and this machine.  For the most part, I kept my mouth shut about it.  Until that last night.  All I have to say is that it’s a good thing customers weren’t in the house.  The words that were being projectile vomited out of my mouth would have made a truck driver blush.  And I’m pretty sure polisher man is afraid of me now.  Oh, yeah.  He’s not sleeping at night.
  2. Was it a coincidence that about an hour after I asked for a raise, I was reprimanded for being 5 minutes late on December 17?  I think not.  Sorry about that.  Curse that patch of ice that wouldn’t let me up the hill.  Curse it.  Or was it because I couldn’t tear myself away from that episode of “The Kardashians?”  I guess I’ll never know.  (I’m actually not bitter about this.  I just find it a bit humorous and oh so coincidental.  I just love a good coincidence.  Don’t you?)
  3. I will not miss the bodily function emittance from complete strangers.  Farts and burps alike.  Case in point:  a woman recently came into my aisle and let one rip.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  So, after I got it together, I turned and asked her if I could help her with anything.  She replied with “bathroom please?”  Just kidding she didn’t say that.  But she did says “oops” which didn’t help me.
  4. The employee bathroom in the back room was beyond disgusting.  Like, dis-gus-ting.  Not really suitable for human use.  I tried to hold my breath whenever I had to go in there.  But I am not David Blain.  So, I was always faced with the tough decision of breathing the smells into my brain or tasting them.  I’m still not sure what’s worse.  A treat for my sinuses?  Or a treat for my mouth?
  5. In addition to announcing that they are closing, the lights dim.  A tell-tale sign that it’s time to head out if you are a customer.  Unless you are a lady who absolutely needs to get the leftover Christmas wrapping paper because it’s on sale and she’s afraid it will be gone the next day. Don’t worry, we understand.  Really.  It’s not like the store has been open for the past 15 hours.  And we have only been here for 8 out of those 15 hours so please, by all means, take your time.  None of us need to go home. Really.  Actually, I was just thinking I could snuggle up on the crib mattress in the baby aisle for the night.  Who needs a real bed?
  6. Parents and their children who get confused and think this is a sports arena.  Seriously.  I cannot begin to tell you about all the Dodge Ball, Hide and Go Seek and Chase games I witnessed.  Too many to count.  And I don’t want to count them anyway.  Because YOU SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING FOOTBALL IN A STORE PEOPLE!  

All complaining aside, it was a fun job.  I enjoyed it.  It got my booty out of the house and gave me something to do.  I literally burned thousands of calories.  It kept me in shape.  I met some really great people.  But when I slept at night, I would fall into a coma.  With pig snores and all.  I had aches and pains that would rival the aches and pains that set in after an Iron Man competition. I think.  Because I’ve never actually competed in an Iron Man before.  I did do a 5k once and that hurt so I can only imagine.

Retail and I have parted ways forever, I’m afraid.  I gained some new life experiences, stories and friends.  It was short-lived but very memorable.  Thanks Retail Establishment.  It was fun.  See you on the other side.  I promise to leave before the lights do.

If That’s What Makes the World Go Round, I Think I Wanna Move to Mars

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The world is filled with thousands of different personalities.  And we all have to coexist.  We have to figure it out.  We have to either decide to get along with people who are completely different from us or not.  We can let these people make us miserable.  Or we can accept them for who they are.  It’s a fine line.  And it isn’t always easy.

In my experience and at my age, I have pretty much dealt with just about all types.  I, myself, like to say I’m more upbeat than not.  I am laid back, loud, definitely obnoxious but yet a tad bit shy.  I have the patience of a 2 year old trying to unwrap a lollipop.  I can also become very angry if I am pushed too far.  But to my credit, I have to be really pushed.  Like off a cliff.

I work with all types of people.  Most of them are young.  2 or 3 are about my age.  A couple are my father’s age.  In all honesty, I like them all.  Even the weird ones.  The cranky ones.  The moody ones.  Because they are human beings.  And under the crank, mood and weird, there is good.

At My Retail Job a couple of days ago, I was pushed off a cliff.  A very high cliff.  It ended with me saying some very unkind things, loudly, in the middle of the store.  With customers around (I think…I had on my rage blinders, so I can’t say for sure).  One of my other coworkers was trying his damndest to get me to settle down, bless his heart.  Needless to say, it didn’t work.  After threatening to quit, I stormed off shaking like an oak tree caught in a hurricane.

Unfortunately for me and for whoever is at the other end, once that switch is flipped it’s very, very difficult for me to use any sense whatsoever.  It all goes out the window.  All of it.  DH and I have had a disagreement or two in public, and I have been very vocal about it.  He has better sense than I do.  He keeps his mouth closed until we get home.  Me?  The entire world pretty much sees what an ass I am.  I do the same thing with The Kid.  Every single time I regret it.  For days.  Every apology in the world just doesn’t make me feel better.

So yesterday when this person — let’s call him/her “Pat” — pushed me over that edge, I lost it.  Without giving too many details, Pat was a bit too derogatory and condescending for my taste.  Maybe it’s my own insecurities that got the best of me.  But I do not like being spoken to like a 5 year old.  It just doesn’t sit with me well.  There is a way to speak to people.  To communicate.  With that being said, I was less than professional in return.  Which also sounds suspiciously like not communicating.  Hmmm.  I do happen to see the error of my ways.  And am accountable for them.

Which made me do this when I got into work this morning:  apologize to the coworker who was trying to calm me down.  Because he did not deserve that.  And apologize to my manager.  I even tried to apologize to Pat.  Not for being angry, but for behaving unprofessionally.  Because I deserved to feel angry.  And no one can take that away from me.  I took the high road.  “Pat” does not see the error of her/his ways.  But that’s okay. Pat has to live in this world with him/herself.  I did, however, make it very, VERY clear that I will not be spoken to in that manner ever again.  Right now, Pat is not speaking to me.  I think it’s for the best.

My Retail Job is not a big deal in the big picture.  It will not be forever.  It gives me something to do while The Kid is off doing things that really does not require my help.  But I feel like I’m contributing.  It may be a little.  And when I say “a little”, I mean a puny little.  This job also gives me confidence.  I can call it mine.  And I happen to like it.  Right now, I have to coexist with this person.  I have to make it work because I spend more than half my week there.  So, I will repeat after me…”I am filled with love, forgiveness and peace.”  This I can do.  Let’s just hope there are no cliffs.

Back to the Issue

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Have I mentioned lately that I’m too old for My Retail Job?  Why, yes, I think I have.  If you missed my myriad of reasons, please click here.

There is now a new reason why I think I am too old for My Retail Job.  The crap I do there is intended for the back of a 20-something year old.  Or a camel.  But I am neither so therein lies the problem.  How did I even get hired for this job?  I am a humpless mature woman (remember, I have been reminded twice).  Hmmm.  If you ask DH, it’s because “I’m smart, reliable and trustworthy.”  Apparently, the world is in short supply of these attributes.

That is all well and good, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that I’m old for this job.  Yesterday I was pushing some product, helping to unload the truck.  When there was a sudden pain in the bottom right part of my back.  What’s it called?  Whatever it is, it hurt.  So, I took some Advil, and it worked its magic.  Masking the pain.  So what did I do?  Pushed more product.

This morning I am lying in bed.  Writing this post.  I should be cleaning the kitchen from last night, doing at least one of six loads of laundry and washing the toilets.  Am I?  No.  Because I can’t move.

I have to work later today.  Until almost midnight.  Looks like I’ll be O.D.’ing on some Motrin so I can get through it.  And making My Retail Job people document what happened.  You know, just in case it doesn’t get better.  Which it will.  It’s just a pulled muscle, I’m sure.  But you never know.  I really hate complaining about stuff like this.  But what did they expect?  They hired a dinosaur.  Wait.  Didn’t dinosaurs have strong backs?

Times They Have a-Changed

That Bob is one smart dude.
That Bob is one smart dude.

There was a job posting yesterday. For an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist position.  Here’s the job description, in a nutshell:

  • Greet guests
  • Answer the phone
  • Sort and distribute the mail
  • Order supplies
  • Receive and distribute faxes
  • Stock the printers with paper
  • Maintain calendar and contacts
  • Print crap
  • Order lunch
  • Keep the reception area “tidy”
  • Type some letters

Would you like to know what the prerequisite was?  A College Degree.  To order lunch and keep the printer full of paper.  Really?  Because that right there is some important shit.  And apparently, the only way to learn that important shit is to spend thousands of dollars on a 4-year degree.  By the way, I had no idea that there was a class called Receiving Faxes 101.  Who knew?

The way I see it, Experience seems a bit more important.  Let’s see…keeping things tidy, maintaining a calendar, ordering lunch, answering the phone and opening mail is something I’ve been doing every single day since the day I moved out of mommy and daddy’s house 21 years ago.

The rest?  I have a resume with about 15 years of hard experience.  I worked as an Executive Assistant for almost half of those years.  And I acquired these jobs without a College Degree.  Then I quit to raise a child.  I have since come to find that 98% of the postings I see, require something much higher than a high school diploma.

A fellow dance mom that I know came into my Retail Job last week.  She was surprised to see me working there.  It turns out, she is in the same boat.  She is now working in a retail environment.  Like me, she has an administrative background and used to work in an office.  She quit her job to become a mom.  This is what she said, “I am being punished for raising my children.”

I’m not sure we are being punished so much as the rules have just changed.  A lot.  But I do have to say it gets my goat a little.  I’m sorry, but it takes experience to book extensive international travel for your boss without major-league screwing up.  It takes experience to balance several schedules and to talk to some pretty major heavyweights.  It takes experience to be one step ahead of, well, everything, all the time.

If I ever get into the door for a job interview, I may bring along this attitude.  Think it will get me somewhere?  Sure, as long as I bring along a sandwich.

Tales of a Working Stiff

My look most day at My Retail Job
How I avoid frostbite.

I have been at My Retail Job for 3 months now.  Things are going pretty well.  It doesn’t feel like I got hit by a Mack truck anymore.  I would say it was more like a golf cart.  Maybe next month, it will feel like a 10-speed.  The month after that?  Perhaps a tricycle.

I am enjoying My Retail Job.  It’s fun.  It’s stress free.  I’m feeling more comfortable in my role there.  But I am discovering and seeing things that I don’t usually see in a normal day.

  • The elderly will go to great lengths to save 20 cents on a loaf of bread.  Even if it means spending $4 in gas to do so.
  • I have a bazillion cuts and bruises on my body.  Most days it looks like I got into a fight with a rooster.  But there are no roosters at work.  I swear.
  • By the end of my shift my hands look like that of a Grave Digger.  You don’t want to know.
  • I still don’t like using the walkie talkie, but I’m getting used to it.  Although I still get that little butt pucker when I hear someone ask me a question over it.
  • A man decked out in a dress, high heels and makeup looks like a man decked out in a dress, high heels and makeup.
  • Your extremities can go into frostbite mode when you are in the freezer after about 3 minutes.  Even with a coat, hat and gloves.  Very glamorous.  You wish you were me.
  • Children who surround you like crows on a carcass is not creepy at all.  Especially when they are staring you down.  Having mother there to call them off is of no comfort.  I think I’d rather be chased by a bear.
  • Some parents think the isles of the store is for playing Chase.  Go entertain the kiddies in the parking lot so I can get some work done.  Please.
  • I’m pretty sure I will slice off part of my finger with a box cutter before this gig is up.
  • I cannot for the life of me, fold the top of a box so that it closes.  Folding the top of a box makes the Rubik’s Cube seem like a walk in the park.
  • I can’t figure out how I got this job since it seems that the prerequisite is to smoke.  Oh wait.  I inhaled once when I was 14.  That must count.

The hours are long and I take home enough bacon to feed a hermit crab.  But having my own thing, feeling like I’m contributing and boosting my confidence?  Priceless.  I highly recommend it.  Frostbite, creepy children and all.