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All posts for the month July, 2017

The Joys of Retail

Published July 21, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

I like my job. I really do. It’s mostly fun, and I get to see all the cool new candies that come out, as well as learn what candies have gone away for good.

But the customers can really make or break my day.

I generally enjoy helping people find what they are looking for. The store is a little overwhelming for first time shoppers. There is a ton of things to see – 94 flavours of salt water taffy, 70 bins of bulk, unwrapped candies, 96 bins of bulk wrapped candies, ice cream, handmade fudge, handmade caramel apples, hand dipped Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Cupcakes and bacon, handmade truffles, nut clusters, haystacks and other chocolate delights (all the handmade and dipped items are made in house – fresh!). So there is a lot to see, and finding that one thing you want may be a bit difficult. So I am there to help.

And then there is the other side of the coin.

I find trash all over the place. Candy wrappers, napkins, used kleenex and bits if paper. I find it on the floor, on shelves, tucked behind displays, and in the open bulk bins. I often find chewed pieces of taffy just left on a shelf. ‘Cause, yeah, I want to clean up your chewed up food. When did it get so difficult to put your trash in the bins? Can’t you spit the taffy into the wrapper and put it in the trash bin? You know, the one that is RIGHT NEXT TO THE BULK BIN YOU DROPPED IT IN?

Apparently not.

And it is really not cool to turn your ill mannered children loose in any store, but especially not in a candy store. They really don’t need to pull everything out it’s holder and drop it on the shelf or the floor. Nor do they need to shove past people. And it’s sad to say this – but isn’t just kids. I watched a woman in her late fifties pull a candy filled toy out it’s display, play with it, then drop it on the shelf rather placing it back in the display. The one DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF HER. I also ‘followed’ and man in his 30’s up and down the aisles putting back all the crap he pulled out and then dropped on the floor or the shelf. I gave him a brilliant smile as I put back the candy bar he dropped on the shelf. He got the hint and stopped doing it.

And this is CANDY store. We sell sweets. All kinds of sweets. You ask me for cigarettes, and I will tell you we have candy, bubblegum and chocolate cigarettes. We even have bubblegum cigars. We do NOT have real, tobacco cigarettes or cigars, and I have had people come in specifically to ask for them. I have also been asked if we have feminine products (We don’t, just in case you were wondering. Oh, but we do have gummy and chocolate band-aids).

All that frustration can make for long days on the floor. I get tired of the rudeness and being shoved by customers while I am trying to fill bins. I get tired of finding nasty snot rags and chewed up candy lying on the shelves. Some days the very people who make my job possible, try my patience to the breaking point.

Then the sweet things happen to offset all the frustration.

There was this little girl, maybe 3 or 4, who had to show me her bag of candy. She had very carefully chosen several things from the bulk wrapped candy bins. She held up her bag and pointed out to me all the special candy she had in her bag. I knelt down to share the magic with her and told her how perfect all her choices were. She smiled, and then very solemnly asked me, with her eyes wide,  ‘Are you the Keeper of The Candy?’.

That made my entire week.

 

 

Dating. Well, The Lack Thereof

Published July 14, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

Deceit-And-Lies

 

I have tried online dating on and off. If you search back, you find posts about the various dates I went on. Most are pretty funny overall. Some are just tragic. Dating at any age is total pain in the arse. Trying to date in your 50’s is a pain in much more than your arse. It just plain stinks.

The questions these supposedly mature men ask are incredible. It’s like talking to a 16-year-old. They are not questions they would ask if sat in a coffee house face to face with someone. But online? Hey, nothing is off limits. Even when they are TOLD it is off limits, they ask anyway.

I thought perhaps this was an issue only for us older women. But no. I know someone who is in her late 30’s and wanting to date again. We chatted a bit about the online dating ‘scene’ and I found her interactions were pretty much the same as mine.

Men lie. About everything. Their name, their job status, their marital status. They ask highly inappropriate questions and demand answers they have no business knowing. Then, of course, you are a bitch for shutting them down. One man I kind of liked finally confessed he signed up so he could get laid. He wasn’t interested in a real relationship. Really? Just go the corner bar for that.

I don’t understand any of this. Why would anyone be such a total douche? Why can’t you just be who you are in real life? Is that so difficult? And why the hell are you on a dating site if your ass is married?

And I get it. It isn’t just men. It’s everyone. Sexual preferences don’t matter. People are assholes online because they are online and don’t have to face the humanity across the table. No one is safe from the online joke that is called a dating site.

As much as I’d like to find a male companion, I don’t see it happening any time soon. I am too old for any ‘meet cute’ thing. The closest I could get is both of us kneeling down to tie shoes laces and realizing neither one of us can get back up without a hand. And I seriously doubt I will be filling bulk bins at work and meet the eyes of some nice man who things I’m all that and a bag of chips. It simply doesn’t work that way once you get a bit older. It doesn’t help that I am too weird for the ‘normal’ crowd, and too ‘normal’ for the weird crowd. I am weirdly grounded?? Hmmmm…

In light of that, I’ll just keep on being happy alone. Because it’s perfectly okay to be alone.

 

The Saga of The Car

Published July 7, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

On May 14th my car called it quits. There was a lurch, a bump and horrible squeal, then silence.

I feared the worst, of course. I still owe on the car, so regardless of it’s working condition, I have to pay that payment. I don’t make a lot of money. My budget is tight.

I spent the money needed to have it towed home. A local auto repair shop came to take peek at it in the parking lot where I live. Then I paid to have it towed to them.

And there it sat. I waited to hear back from them. And I waited, and waited , and waited. I rang them and was assured they would look it in a few days. Still nothing. Weeks passed and I finally walked to the shop and talked to them face to face.

The worst had happened. The timing belt tenioner had let go and the engine needed to be basically rebuilt. We discussed cost, payments, options, etc.. I waited for the estimate. I finally got the call about the estimate. Yup. It wasn’t good.

They required about half down to begin the work. I thought this was odd. I have never had to pay upfront for repair work. But I (with the help of family) I got it together and paid them.

I am walking everywhere and getting rather sick of it. I can’t go to some places I want or need to go. I am also a bit fed up with the lag time getting my car repaired.

But then I found out the other side of the story.

The shop is small, local repair shop with a stellar reputation for quality work. They are nice people. They are stuffed into a tiny space that no longer fits them. So, being good business folks, they looked for larger quarters. And they found them not far away from their present location. They were told things would be done before the move in date. They paid the money for the lease and set about getting ready to move. For an auto repair shop, this means the lifts have to be moved as well. There are a lot of heavy items that need moved and installed. It is expensive. And they thought they had planned it all out.

Then the walls that were supposed to be built weren’t built. The owner of the new space reneged on many of the promises made, claiming his agent wasn’t authorized to make such promises. In other words, the owners of the auto shop got screwed over, but can’t back out now because too much of their money is invested in the new location.

So the auto shop owners did what they could – they bought the dry wall and installed it themselves. They have been working to finish the interior on their own dime. And they still need to move the lifts and other heavy equipment. Their resources are draining fast.

The auto shop owner shared this with me the other day when I was gently saying they had had my car for a month and I needed it back. He explained that normally he  would never have asked for money up front, but all their extra money had gone into the new location and he just couldn’t order all those parts without something down. He was very embarassed to have to share this with me.

It makes sense. The lag times, the slow to return calls (not their normal MO), the money needed ahead of time. The shop is in a tough spot. I told them I could walk to work and not to worry too much. They took that to heart.

Now the conspiracy to keep me from my car continues. Parts have not come in. The head has not come back from the machine shop yet. All the things that are out of anyone’s hands to do anything about. You can’t fix a car without the parts. I have been promised that as soon as the head comes in, the car will be repaired.

I guess my feet will just have to suck it up a little longer.