December 23rd, 2009

Ice King, Adventure Time

Split Shifts Are Stupid

I was going to post an entry tonight because I had an early shift with nothing to do afterwards. Then came the manager, and I had to kiss my night off goodbye. Today I didn't really mind because I had nothing else better to do, but I sometimes make plans and I don't appreciate the fact that they did this after I started my shift today.

Seriously, whoever came up with the idea of a "split shift" needs to have their carcass dunked in a vat of acid, rolled in a mountain of salt, left out in the blazing sun for several hours, then quickly brined in pickle juice. Its not that I'm entirely opposed to the idea, but it completely ruins a worker's day and is especially daunting for people who live quite a distance away.

I bet a manager came up with that idea.

The Allengator
Ice King, Adventure Time

Retail + Holiday Season = Aaaaaarrrrgh!

Let me tell you something; working in retail during the holiday season SUCKS. This is my fourth holiday season at that one place, and I am bound and determined to make it my last holiday season. It makes me stressed out.

Sad part is that I was doing so well up until today. I was keeping a calm and cool demeanor compared to my fellow workers, but I finally got manager'd today and my stress, blood pressure, and pain skyrocketed. Let me tell you, if you are ever going to be "managed by exception" it will be this time of year more than likely. They are more unforgiving and out for blood this time of year than any other time.

The customers are also kind of a pain. Some act like its the end of the world if we don't have certain baking pan in stock. Look, I can sympathize with people not being able to find what they want. I really do. Its just that there are acceptable reactions, and unacceptable reactions. This time of year most of the reactions fall under the latter. Then there are customers who expect you to be textbook knowledgable on every single item. Now, if it were something generic, like "Will this router work with my wireless card", then its cool. That is what we are good at. However, asking us why they bothered to put indicator lights on the front of a console instead of the back is not exactly our expertise. I am not the manufacturer of the item. Then there are the people who ask 200 questions about one item, and if we don't know the answer or don't give the ones they want then we should be punished with the fires of Hell.

Exhaustion is something I am personally struggling with right now. It happens more often this time of year. In fact, tonight I had back and leg soreness, my chest hurt something awful, my asthma is bothering me again, and the pain was so great, that I was sick. Until tonight, I thought people vomiting from pain was just an old wives tale but let me tell you that its anything but. I take pride in my work ethic, both in the productivity and speed departments, but nothing seems to be good enough for the higher ups. I'm just one person, and I have the capacity of one person. Please don't mistaken me for someone who swaps out their twin brother halfway through a shift. I bet I exhausted myself and will still get chewed out for it tomorrow. That is the life.

After I eventually leave my current job, I am going to remember these things and try to be more patient with these people in the future. I mean let's hear it. Retail people are barely making minimum wage, have a hard time securing other employment this time of year, and are trying to support themselves with the minimal ethic standards given to them. If anyone deserves a Christmas cookie, its the retail workers working in the trenches. Management doesn't count. If you know someone working in retail or grocery, give them a hug. They need it.

I don't mean to be all "bah, humbug. Capatilism sucks" this time of year, but you don't know it until you experience it yourself firsthand. To anyone who is working in retail like me this year, I salute us and hope that the new year will find us with plenty of hours and not with cuts and layoffs.

*Insert angsty entry about cut hours and layoffs a month from now*

The Allengator