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.

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.

How I Know

…Unless you want to work in retail

I told you in my post the other day that I took a job in retail.  I applied for, and landed a job in a local store whose hours are ridiculously long.  Why I didn’t apply for something like a wholesale store, is beyond me.  I am 46.  Working until close to midnight should be a thing of the past.  Maybe eventually, I will start to feel young.  Could this turn out to be a Fountain of Youth?  Possibly.

Here are some reasons how I know I may be too old for My Retail Job:

  1. Some of my co-workers and even some of my up-line could possibly be my children.
  2. When I wake up the day after a late shift, I would swear a Mack truck got a bit off track, drove through the wall of my bedroom and ran directly over my body.  I’m sure I didn’t actually hear it coming because I was in an over-worked-induced coma.
  3. I can’t seem to keep up after a co-worker who is about a foot and a half shorter than I am no matter how fast I walk and/or run.
  4. I have difficulty hoisting myself up to reach the top shelf by standing on the bottom shelf.  I’m pretty sure I’m breaking some kind of code during the attempt anyway.  Hope the Retail Police don’t get me.
  5. It took me 2 weeks to memorize my 8 digit employee number.  Because I suffer from short term memory loss.  Because I am old.
  6. I can’t remember which locker I put my pocketbook in half the time.  Last week, I had to work my code on about a dozen of them before I finally found it.  No, not embarrassing at all.
  7. The thought of me having to carry around a walkie-talkie and possibly speak into it makes me want my mommy.  Then, well, I need to grow up.  Maybe my fountain is starting to work?
  8. I couldn’t figure out what that thing is on my nightstand that was making a heinous sound and waking me up.  After I realized it was my alarm clock, I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.  Even though I’ve had it for 17 years.  Again, over-worked-induced coma.
  9. When I sneezed last week, I peed my pants.  I peed my pants at work.  Not an easy feat to try and cover up.  I know this can and does happen anywhere and anytime, but I had to get a Pee story in here somehow.

Even though I feel like I am past my peak for holding this position at this retail establishment, I am enjoying it.  Really.  And The Fountain of Youth theory?  What’s the matter?  It COULD happen.