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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.

 

 

How Do I Know?

Published February 15, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

With my move I had sold my bed set to a work mate who needed it. She was just coming back from 4 years of being homeless and desperately needed furniture. I wasn’t sure where I would be, so bringing a bed and nightstand seemed to be unnecessary. Her need was greater than my own, and I had my trusty air mattress to get me by.

Once my roommate and I were more or less settled in our apartment, I decided to see if I could find a cheap platform and mattress. I was going to downsize from the queen, but a twin seemed too small. I settled on a full-size. I figured saving the 10 inches overall would help with the small bedroom size, and I could still manage my queen sheet set on the smaller mattress until I could find the proper sized sheets.

I found, and ordered a full size platform bed on Amazon. It was inexpensive, and quite plain but was tall enough to store things underneath it – a boon when you have very limited storage. This is a no frills kind of frame. Here is part of the product description:

  • Complete mattress support system-replacing both the frame & box spring.
  • Easy to assemble-in minutes-no tools required.
  • 14 wooden slats, center support bar and seven foldable legs provide strength and stability.
  • 12.5 inches of clearance under the frame for valuable under bed storage space
  • 14″ H x 57″W x 75″L

Amazon will ask you if you are willing to answer questions about the 14″ smart base bed frame. They also ask you to review it. I did a review because I know that well written reviews help me when I am buying online. I did my best to give an honest review on the appearance, the assembly,  etc.. I also agreed to answer questions from other shoppers.

And the fun began. It seems the actually reading the product details is a bit too much for most people.

How tall is this bed frame?

I dunno. I’m guessing the 14″ bed frame is 14″ tall. ( I said it nicer in real life, but still, the product title is 14″ platform bed frame.)

How tall is the storage underneath?

I’m guessing it’s 12.5″ – as stated in the description.

Do the wooden slats come with it?

Yes. Yes, they do. It even tells you they do. You know, in the description.

Is there a center leg?

Yes, there is. You will find it in the part of the description that says ‘center leg’.

From the blatant, obvious questions about the things that are clearly stated in the product description and product headline, we then moved to the you-must-have-esp questions.

Will this bed frame fit inside my queen water bed frame?

First off, how in the hell would I know? I don’t know you, I haven’t seen your bloody bed frame, nor do I know the measurements of it.

Will this fit inside my king bed frame and can it be used as a box spring?

Again, how would I know? How would anyone reading your question know? Are you incapable of using a tape measure? But yes, it will replace your box spring.

If I use my current mattress, will it fit on this frame?

I don’t know. What size is your current mattress?

Can I store my things under this bed frame?

I suppose so. It says you can. I store some of my things under it. But it really comes down  to  what sort of ‘things’ you are wanting to store?

And the one rather scary question:

Can I put a mattress on the floor under this bed frame for a guest?

Uh. Uh. You know  actually someone who could fit on a mattress under a bed with only 12.5″ of clearance?

Looking back the 300+ questions and answers about this particular product, I began to wonder if people can read at all. Mostly, I think people are just plain lazy. There many repeated questions, many of which are answered in the product description. This is a platform smart base. No frills, folks. All it does is hold your mattress up off the floor.

If you need to ask a question about an online product, PLEASE, read the FULL description first. Your answer may be there. If not, remember the kind folks who have agreed to answer your questions don’t know anything about your current furniture. We don’t know you, we can’t see your bedroom furniture, and unless you give us all the information, we can’t help you.

And please keep the scarier questions to yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions About The New Working World

Published January 23, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

talk to phone

At one point in time, talking about the New World meant what would become the United States. For me, it’s about the way the working world now works.

Companies now use web crawlers to ‘read’ resumes. No one actually interviews you until the computer has deemed you a perfect fit. This means if you didn’t use all the right key words, you aren’t going to get past the online application. Who decided a computer program was better than a human at choosing candidates for job openings? It is no wonder unemployment continues to be high. I have been told by the computers of Fire Mountain Gems, Home Depot, Staples, Office Max and Jo Ann Fabrics that I am not a candidate for their stores in any capacity. I find this funny about Jo Ann Fabric since I sew and help other beginning sewers on a regular basis. Not the mention that Jo Ann Fabric has recently began hiring male clerks who know nothing about fabric or sewing. But, of course, they know all the right key words.

Next big puzzle to me, even more so than the web crawlers, is the use of text messages to hire, fire and lay off workers. How is this even remotely professional? How can any boss be okay with letting their workers do that, even still, doing it themselves? Is this the new chicken? Has it become so uncomfortable to sit down with another human face to face and talk about what is happening with their future?

I have been laid off via voice mail. I have been told my hours were cut in a rather cryptic text message. Honestly, the way the text was written I had no idea it meant cut hours. It sounded more like a re-shuffling of hours that resulted in different days off. And now I have been denied a face to face meeting and let go (okay, fired) on the telephone in conference call.

None of this is a professional way to manage people.

I have no idea if my former bosses boss knows how it was handled. There is a lot of don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to managing employees. Unless I raise a stink about what happened, I am quite sure the mucky-mucks of my former employer will be told nothing about how it was handled.

I am not going to raise a stink. I find it a release to be free to develop my own business. For some odd reason I am not worried, or scared. I feel calm and ‘right’. It may fall on its face, but it feels like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. It is an odd feeling. Even watching my precious few dollars shrink, I am not worried or scared.

I do know I am confused about how the so-called professional world is now handled. I don’t know if this new use of talk, text and voicemail is going on elsewhere, or if is only in my little part of the world. But I find it unfathomable that people will call themselves professionals and use these tactics on their employees. To make it even more confusing, they treat their employees in this manner, then wonder why they can’t keep people. Good employees do not stay where they are not treated well. How others are treated is an indication of what to expect. But it seems that message does not get through. Even when stated bluntly, it is ignored.

So I am glad to be leaving that world behind giving myself the chance to grow and prosper on my own. I am thankful for the people who are helping me. Even the fingers crossed are appreciated.

I may need all the luck I can get.