Saturday, September 26, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

...I worked with a young woman named Tracey.

Tracey was a new hire to the sub shop, but she walked in as if she owned the place. She was bossy and annoying; if she wasn't trying to order me around, she was constantly trying to stick her nose where it wasn't wanted or needed.

It hardly seemed fair: I had been working at this place for nearly a year, yet she was acting as if she were my supervisor. I knew better what needed to be done and how to do it, but she still acted as if she were my superior.

Even worse, she never wanted to work.

She was constantly calling me in because she was going to be late or she would be working at the convenience store or she had stubbed her little toe or something to that effect. In fact, she called me into work early on the day my great-grandmother died then acted surprised when I got upset.

When she finally started working on the convenience store side permanently, I heaved a sigh of relief. Tracey would finally be out of my hair! Or so I thought.

Instead, she would trot over to the sub shop and continually order me around and tie up our phone line. To say she was frustrating would be putting it in the nicest of terms.

But I had no idea just how vicious she could be, until one lonely Saturday night.

It was a very slow late summer Saturday night. I was working a closing shift while Tracey was working at the convenience store. I had just finished wiping down the meat slicer when out of the blue Tracey and one of our former hires asked me a question. It was one that raised my hackles immediately.

"Hey (Weasel), would you ever kiss a girl?"

My eyes narrowed. I already didn't like where this was going. "Um, how?" I asked, feeling my anger rise.

"You know, french kiss." She was giggling.

I shut my eyes and rolled them backwards in the sockets. "Um, no." I refused to play along with their game. My time was much more valuable than that.

Now, usually this would be a conversation ender. Not with Tracey. Instead she prattled on about how the "dyke" in question was absolutely in love with me, how she was drop dead gorgeous and had posed for Playboy, how she would pay me $600 just to go on a date with her. With every passing second, it got more and more outlandish. Me, I just kept shaking my head and continued with the cleaning. I had better things to do, like completing my work. But she and David* thought this was the funniest thing in the universe and continued.

When I had slipped to the backroom and started filling one of the sinks with clean dishwater, I heard a sharp squeal. "Oh my God, there she is!" Tracey shrieked, as someone walked inside.

It was Allan, one of my regular customers.

Allan and I got along wonderfully. We talked about movies, current events, life, you name it.

It was also believed that Allan was gay. To everyone else, this was an issue. To me, it was a mere trifle. Allan was a friend. That was all I needed to know.

Tracey's decision of making him the butt of an extremely idiotic joke did not go over well with me. I had to fight the urge to backhand her.

When Allan left David practically screamed, "God, what a fag!" I wasn't able to tamp down my anger by this point; the rage was clearly visible on my face. Tracey, still thinking she was being cute, chirped out mockingly, "Don't say that. That's her friend."

David, a simpering smile on his face lisped, "I'm sorry I insulted your friend." Glowering, I turned on my heels and marched to the back. I refused to even look at them.

Two days later, I reported their behavior to the manager of the convenience store. To say she was not pleased was an understatement.

David never returned to the store. I believe he was banned outright, not only for this incident but for a myriad of other stupid things that he had done. It only took four months, but Tracey was finally fired. I had and still have no idea why, but I honestly could not care. I no longer had to deal with her for the rest of my stay at the shop.

About 14 months later, I was at a new job; this time I was working in a doughnut shop. I was on the drive-thru, completing orders when a customer cruised up to the window. Immediately I flinched. It was none other than Tracey.

I hastily cashed out her order and handed her both the change and pastries. I wanted her to leave. Immediately. But she didn't. Instead, she stared at me for a moment. "Do I know you from somewhere?" she asked. I furrowed my brow in feigned confusion and mutely shook my head. She shrugged, revved her car's engine and sped off, out of my life forever.

*Not his real name.

Part One Part Two

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Illegal Download Edition

The Optimus Prime "exclusive" from Dairycon 2009.
(Is this the most awesome convention exclusive ever, or the most tasteless? You decide.)

Yet More Random Thoughts

Since I've nothing better to do, it's time for another round of

Random Thoughts

* I brought home a few more souvenirs than I thought. Both of my ankles are covered with mosquito bites. I had completely forgotten just how small and vicious NC skeeters can be.

* I return to work tomorrow. I can't say that I am looking forward to it. It's Saturday, so it'll be insanely busy. And everyone will be rude. Primus, please let me get the self checks!

* I've been reading Richard Adam's masterwork Watership Down. I loved the animated film when I was young, but the book beats the pants off it. If you've never had a chance to check out either one, I highly suggest you do so. You won't be disappointed.

* I'd better pick up that Manaphy and soon: We're finally getting Oak's Letter. Shiny Shaymin, here I come!

Well, that about does it for this time. Tune in later for even more crap that happens to be floating about in my brain. Until then, this has been

--Weasel, signing off again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back from Carolina

Got back to WI yesterday. The trip was pretty uneventful, save for the usual packs of stupid one may encounter while flying. (Why do people try and take three and four bags on board the plane when they know that you can't?)

I'm still a little surprised that I took the plunge.

--Weasel, getting used to married life.... and finding it's not all that much different.

Monday, September 21, 2009

We're in North Carolina Right Now...

(Only took nearly a decade...)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Do What Now? Edition

One of the "friendly" volunteers enjoying his job during the convention. BotCon 2009.
(That guy looks kinda familiar for some reason. Wonder why....?)

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's the Stress, Stupid!

I was talking to one of my coworkers during lunch yesterday; her main complaint was a lack of energy due to the insane amount of stress she had to face on a daily basis.

Prime has often wondered why I'm always so wiped out on my days off. I literally do not have the energy to leave the house and do anything; I mostly just want to sleep/relax.

It's the stress. It's the job related stress that's draining the life out of me. And it's slowly getting worse.

It's odd; when I had my royally crappy jobs in the '90s I didn't have this sort of reaction. Even though I was stressed out and tired, I still went out and had fun with my friends. But nowadays I just can't muster the energy to do much of anything.

The only time I feel decent is BotCon.
Let's just hope I can make it 'til then.

--Weasel, "Right now, I'm gonna take a nap."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

...I worked with a woman named Ronda.

Ronda was the assistant manager at the sub shop where I was employed. She was a large woman, very intimidating with brownish curly hair and a thickly built frame.

She was also drunk on power and loved to throw her status around. She did this on more than one occasion. As if she wasn't threatening enough, she would threaten to let her husband deal with people she didn't like. Her husband was 6'3" and weighed over 300 lbs, as she liked to say.

She swore that she was like a cobra, coiled and ready to strike. The woman frightened me; something about her was very "wrong". Needless to say, I did not want to tangle with her or her husband; I gave them both a very wide berth.

Usually, I was spared her petty and pathetic displays of power. Until one day...

One year, I asked for Valentine's Day off. I had made plans for the day. I put in for the day weeks in advance; I was told that it had been okayed and I would have it. And have it I did, for all of one hour.

Ronda tore up the schedule and completely re-did it. She gave herself Valentine's Day off and stuck me with a closing shift for the night.

I had no idea that Ronda had been the one to do this: I had thought that it had been the manager herself. One of my co-workers told me what happened. She also said she was utterly appalled by Ronda's behavior.

I was livid.

I had to deal with this unpleasant and very overbearing woman for several more months, then she quit without notice. It seems she had come into a rather large inheritance of $30,000. When she received the money, she promptly lost her mind; she refused to come into work that day and laughed in the manager's face when she called to ask if she had quit.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: Trust your instincts. If you think someone is insane, you are probably right.

Part One

Author's note: I was inspired by these two pieces. However, they were in the "Mens are evil!!!11!" vein. What I am trying to do is counter-balance this inequity, along with healing a few old wounds. Trust me, this has been very cathartic.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Big Mother Trucker Edition

The Optimus Prime Peterbilt 379 semi truck from Transformers. BotCon 2007, Providence, RI.
(I got to touch the Autobot sigil on his front grille... and passed him a kiss before I left!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor... Or Not

On Monday, I had a CBL. It was the annual chemical clean-up crap; this one takes an hour, easily. You have got to take notes or you won't pass the damned thing. Just trust me on that.

So I was stuck in the Personnel office for all that time, getting a cramp in my hand while trying to pass this idiotic thing on the first attempt. While I was jotting down notes, Dianna (one of the Personnel associates) came into the room. She wanted to know where in the heck head cashier Chris was transferring to. She was promptly told by someone else (I'm not sure who; I couldn't see a face) that Chris was going to Alabama.

What does Dianna say? "Well, they can have the little addict."

I kept my eyes on the computer screen. But I was pissed, very pissed when I heard that shit come out of Dianna's mouth.

First of all, Chris hasn't used in a very long time. We're talking time that can be measured in years. Secondly, he was the best damned head we had. The front end is already suffering because he's gone.

"Well, they can have the little addict."

Did I mention that Dianna just loves to read Guideposts? And I've seen her reading those smarmy Christian "romance" novels?

"Well, they can have the little addict."

What was that about "Judge not, lest ye be judged"? Unbe-fucking-lievable.

--Weasel, "I'd assume Jesus wouldn't take too kindly to people like that. But what the hell do I know?"

Saturday, September 05, 2009

It Would Be Funny If It Weren't So Damn Stupid

Today I'm covering a lunch break on grocery self check when head cashier John comes over to have a chat with me. When he starts, he admits that what he's about to tell me is one of the dumbest things he's ever had to say, so I know in advance that this is going to be bad. Really bad.

We have a brand spankin' new rule, just handed down from management. All cashiers, while on the clock and working, have to look "pleasant" and smile. Constantly. Doesn't matter if your day sucks ass, if you've just been screamed out by a customer, if your life is a living hell and falling apart around your ears, you have to smile and be all insipidly happy-looking so the customers don't think you're "grumpy".

Oh, and if you're not smiling you could get coached.
Yep, you could get written up if you're not pleasant enough. Good luck trying to enforce that rule.

This is part of the "Fast-er, Friendli-er" bullshit that's just been rolled out. I knew this shit was a bad idea from the start but seriously, this is out of control.

The word is already spreading. Most cashiers think it's a joke; the heads and management hardly ever smile or act pleasant at all. Same with the other floor associates. One cashier said flat out that the customers would probably find all this more creepy than anything else. I have a tendency to agree. But hey, what do I know?

I tried my damnedest to act as happy as possible today. But it was a half-hearted attempt. You can't fake being happy; it looks really forced when you try.

When I was done for the day, I was drained, frustrated and utterly tired of the stupid. So I wandered down the toy aisle, trying to clear my mind and relax a little. The toy department is one of my favorite areas of the store. And the sight of Transformers always lifts my spirits. It doesn't matter if I already have them in my collection; seeing one hanging on the pegs at work is a bit like seeing an old friend. (I'm weird, I know.)

I'm glad I did. What should be waiting for me but a Transformers RPM Battle Pack--Bumblebee versus Barricade.

Another Bumblebee. Popping up after I've had a really bad day. The guardian angel appears again.

I could really get used to this, you know. It makes the stupid a lot more bearable.

--Weasel, "Between him and BotCon, I honestly think I can make it through the workplace idiocy."

Once Upon a Time...

...I worked with a woman named Laranda.

Laranda was two years younger than I and the acting manager of the sub shop where I worked. She had a fox-like face, a very sly grin and a very slippery personality. She was nice, but she was also too nice. She had the look of someone who would smile in your face while she twisted a machete into the small of your back.

Laranda was also rather pretty. And she knew it. She was also not afraid to use this to her advantage. She was a flirt. Most men who worked in that building were completely and totally under her spell. The assistant manager admitted that he would love nothing more than to have hot wet naked sex with her. The higher-ups commented on how pretty she looked. One of my guy friends who had worked there before I was hired often commented that she had a great ass.

The only guy who never made such comments was my then boyfriend. He treated Laranda with respect, but he never fawned over her.

This would ultimately be his undoing.

One night, my then boyfriend was left at the shop alone. Things went bad. Very bad. He got a bad customer. He got frustrated. He was near tears. He wanted to walk out. I and the manager of the convenience store that the shop resided in convinced him otherwise.

It was all for naught. The next day, he was fired. By Laranda.

I did not escape her wrath. I was written up for being on the clock when I was supposed to have gone home. (It wasn't true; I had indeed clocked out and was about to leave, but I stayed when the manager of the convenience store said I might be needed. I was not on the clock: I was simply waiting in the back of the shop in case I was needed.)

When I went back to work after the incident, Laranda was there. She smiled at me. She was nice, as usual. Still too nice, as always. I returned her niceties, all the while holding back the bile.

It would be later that I would learn a very bitter truth.

Laranda had no power to hire or fire anyone. But she was having an affair. With Gary, the district manager. Gary, the district manager did have the power to hire and fire whoever he pleased.

And Laranda had him wrapped around her little finger, among other body parts.
It doesn't take a genius to figure it all out. Needless to say, I felt completely and utterly disgusted by them both.

Eventually, Laranda was fired. Gary was, too. They couldn't keep their indiscretions private and that was their undoing. But I learned a valuable lesson: If someone seems too nice or too perfect, they ususally are. And for heaven's sake, watch your back lest you find a knifeblade between your shoulders.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Photoblog: California Dreamin' Edition

The street corner near our bus stop in Pasadena, CA. BotCon 2009.
(That's the RT 10 ARTS bus in the background.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

And Today in Stupidity...

So as everyone knows, I'm down with a head cold. It's not as bad today, but it's still sapping most of my energy. Like I said yesterday, the self checks would have probably been the best place for me today--fewer people, less of a chance of infecting anyone, lighter work load. A win/win, right?


I got stuck on lane 3 damn near the entire day. That's right. An express lane. I got grocery self checks for a grand total of one hour and fifteen minutes today.


Yeah, I'm exhausted. And I felt like crap for most of the day. No real energy, but I'm expected to bust my ass.

I can only hope tomorrow's better.

--Weasel, "It has to be. It just has to."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Well, Isn't This Great?

So this Sunday I come home and I have a raging headache. This one was bad, so bad that turning my head or laughing would be painful. I didn't really think much of it until the next morning.

I awoke Monday morning with a sore throat. I still have it. And my head feels plugged.

I have a summer cold. Go me.

It's not terrible, but it's very draining. I just woke up 35 minutes ago and I'm only down here because I'm cooking brunch. (Chicken soup. Nummy. I can hardly wait.)

I still feel headachey and very run down. Tomorrow will be interesting: I have to work. Maybe I should beg/plead for the self checks? A normal register would probably be a bit much.

Right now, I'm going to choke down my soup. Afterwards, I'm crashing out. I won't be too bored; I have Beldum eggs to hatch. (I'm trying to exploit the Masuda method. I wants me a shiny Beldum all kinds of bad!)

--Weasel, "Time to hit the Tylenol cold crap. Again."