Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fun at Work

So Today is Thanksgiving and I have to work. Whaaaa poor me. Well somebody had to do it, I guess, and now I can be a martyr for the cause. What cause? I dunno. I just like answering customers when they ask me what I'm doing for Thanksgiving with a sigh and a "Oh, I have to work, no Thankgiving for me" and then a downcast look and another sigh. Oh, I'll have Thanksgiving after work, I think. I'm not sure.. anyway, at some point I'm supposed to go to my sisters, I don't know what day exactly. It's not very organized this year, what with me, the revolving point of everyone's lives, throwing everything into chaos by working. Anyway, a few customers promised to bring me pie and plates of food and stuff. We'll see which ones make my good karma list.

So yesterday, I was at the coffee bar and this lady is there, POURING her coffee into the trash can. I see this, and automatically a Mr. Miagi "HAT -T -T-T-T-TTT!!" escapes from my mouth as I reach over and pause before presuming to grab her wrist or her coffee cup. Well, this kind of freaks her out and she jerks the cup back, sending coffee flying in that ballistic way that gravity sends liquids when yanked or jerked or launched, and she says, "Oh, my bad, sorry, I'm so sorry, oh oh oh, sorry...". So I tell her it's ok, of course, everything is really ok, didn't mean to freak you out, it's no biggie, people do it all the time (lie, nobody has ever poured a cup of coffee down the trash that I've actually seen) I'll take care of that for you, and I take the cup and pour it down the sink. Whew. It feels like a close one, even though the coffee can is now full of wet coffee. But at least the customer didn't break out into tears.

Later this young cutie tries to buy some grape cigarillos. Maybe she thinks she'll get them on looks alone, but I ask for her ID. "Oh come on, you've got to be kidding, I come in here all the time" (I've never EVER seen her in the store and I've been working there for a year) "I always buy cigarettes." Sorry. "Really?" Yes, sorry. It's a state law. "You're awesome," she says with a roll of the eyes, and stalks out to where her boyfriend is airing up her tire. So, I make a note of that, she has a boyfriend, and whaddya know, about 10 minutes later, he comes in the store and wants to buy two packs of grape cigarillos and some zig zags. "Sorry, but I know you're with the girl who tried to buy those eariler, so according to state law, I can't sell them to you." Well, he just looks at me with wide eyes, like he just can't fucking believe what is happening. Yes, his ironclad scheme to buy tobacco for his girlfriend has failed. He says something like "I can't fucking believe this," and turns around and walks out of the store like a zombie. Rarely do I ever get the chance to enforce state law to that degree and as a result I am filled with a giddy shaky feeling, like I might pass out.

So these two chicks are at the store yesterday, I dunno... taking inventory or something, or reorganizing the shelves. One of them is very pushy. I'm outside smoking with the MOT in my hand, ordering stuff, and she says "Have you ordered bread yet?" Ok, at this point I have no idea who this lady is. I tell her yeah, I've ordered bread, "Well you need to go back and change it. I want ONLY ONE SHELF of the RED BREAD. And ONLY 3 of the THIN SLICED. And ONLY 3 of the LARGE and maybe 2 of the SMALL. Ok? Got that?" So I kind of just look at her and don't say anything. Seriously, I just stand there and look at her. About 30 seconds go by and I guess she finds her center and she tells me that she's with the bread or something like that. So I say, ok, and go back to ordering. Later I'm in the store and there's another lady with wearing a 7-11 shirt with her, so I can now safely surmise that she probably works for 7-11 and that I should probably re-order the bread, and that she wasn't just some crazy bread lady.

Later the Crazy Bread Lady motions me over to the bread aisle and proceeds to give me the same lecture but with references this time. "I want ONE SHELF of the RED BREAD" she motions towards the wheat bread "and ONLY 3..." etc. Finally she gets to the donuts. "And these are our TOP SELLERS so I want the HAWAIIAN BREAD RIGHT HERE NEXT TO THEM." Well, I have been subserviant up to this point, but the Hawaiian bread was moved to the top shelf for a reason, because it doesn't sell well on the bottom shelf next to the donuts. I tell her this. "Oh, you'll sell them RIGHT HERE NEXT TO THE DONUTS." I tell her that they've always been there, right next to the donuts, and they've never sold, that's why we moved them to the top shelf. "Oh, they'll sell, TRUST ME ON THIS." So, I say "if you say so," and she gives me this look plus daggers. So later on I try to make some conversation with her, just to kind of break the whole "I hate you " vibe that seems to be going on, and she never answers me when I talk to her. I even asked her once, twice even, if she needed help with that shelf that she was manhandling with chips falling over her shoulders, and she never replied. Maybe she just never really heard me.

So later I'm sitting in my car smoking a cig and reading, thinking to myself that this is all I want to do, just to sit back and read, and that I really really don't want to go back in the store, and I start to get really tired for no real reason... I guess the Crazy Bread Lady kind of took it out of me today. I still have two hours left though, so I go back inside and bravely endure them. Eventually the day finally ends, as days are wont to do, and I go home and I am overwhelmed with just being really tired and I go to bed at 3:30 and the next thing you fucking know, it's 4:30 am and here I am. Weird, that.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A question someone asked me

I've been hanging out at some online forums for the past 8 or so years, and I post a lot of these blog entries there. The people there all know me pretty well, and they of course all know that I work at 7-Eleven. For the most part everybody there gets a kick out of my frequent descriptions of 'life at work' and what-not, but one guy in particular apparently would like to see me doing more with my life because he sent because he sent me a private message asking this question:

"Just curious, you obviously seem like a very intelligent person; so why do you work at a place like 7/11?

I don't mean to pry into your life, just seems very out of place."

His screenname is Prosperous, by the way, and he makes about $250,000 a year. Here is my reply:

Hmmm... well, first off money isn't important to me. Oh, sure, I like it and we all have bills to pay, so I need it. However, I really don't care too much about it beyond what I need to survive. I guess that's why I've never been very motivated to take more of an active part in this 'life' thing. I could have gotten a degree in a more lucrative field like accounting or business or something that would have guaranteed me a more comfortable income, but no; what did I do? I got my degree in computer animation, the most competitive field other than politics. So I have a kick ass demo reel and no connections, and as a result I'm paying back 30,000 dollars in loans with no career to show for it. I could really be pissed off about that I guess, but fuck it. It's only money, and it was a good experience.

What is money anyway? Just something that most people are addicted to and will do lots of unsavory things in order to get more of. I have my own addictions, but thankfully money ain't one of em. I'm also thankful that I don't need money in order to be happy, as most people think they do, as I have been at my happiest during periods of my life when I was flat broke. Most people who do get money find out that it doesn't make them happy anyway. And what would I do with a shitload of money? I'd buy all of the things I wanted all at once, and I'd wind up with nothing to look forward to; nothing to work towards. Life would become boring. Personally, I would like enough money to buy a house and set myself up so that I would be in the black for life. I don't really want any more than that, and I'm probably not ever going to even get THAT much, anyway. So, I'll continue to work Joe Schmoe jobs until I retire... maybe. Who knows. I might go back to school when my loans are out of default, because then I'll be able to qualify for more loans. Maybe I'll get a library science degree. One of my co-workers has her masters in library science, and it's something I've often thought about pursuing. It would be nice to be able to have a career doing something that I enjoy (and I definitely enjoy books); that's why I took the risk with the computer animation degree.

Why do I work at 7-Eleven now? Because I needed a job and I have no pride. I'm not ashamed because I work at 7-Eleven. There are some good folks working there, and if I had never gotten that job, I never would have met certain people. I can't say that I really enjoy working there for every hour of every day, but it certainly is interesting. And strangely enough, I do make enough money to get by, and what with all the training they're putting me through, soon I'll get another raise and who knows? Maybe I'll decide to stick with it and manage my own store some day. I could make up to $60,000 a year doing that, and that's definitely enough for me. My only debts are my loans, and a few piddly little tidbits on my credit report. I certainly wouldn't need any more money than that.

So, intelligent though I may be, I choose to live life by a set of rules which puts money low on the list of my priorities. Instead, I use my intelligence to try to comprehend things that are important to me, like what is the universe? Why is there anything as opposed to nothing? How much of it is within my ability to understand before I croak? I do a lot of reading, a shitload; and it's probably the thing that gives me the most pleasure in life, other than friends and family. Luckily for me, knowledge, friendship, and books are all pretty cheap.