Log in

Who · is · in · charge · here?

Recent Entries · Archive · Friends · Profile

* * *
I realized this evening that I haven't updated this journal since October of last year, and that a lot of things have happened since then in my occupational life.

I've changed jobs twice -- I went from my job at the toy store to a job at a clothing store in a mall to my current job, which is in a daycare center. Working in the daycare center, although the "which one is not like the others?" choice, is actually the closest I've gotten to what I went to school for. I'm working with children, albeit not the age I studied in school. I'm not teaching English in the way that I originally intended, but I am in fact teaching English in a sense, in that I'm working with two-year-olds, and for a toddler, everyday is an English lesson.

I now work in the two-year-old room at a daycare, and I have roughly 15* kids in my room, with the ratio of girls to boys being approximately 4 to 1. The center is open from 6am* til 6pm*, although I personally am only there 9-6. I work with two other women, neither of whom I get along with very well, although we manage to get through the days; they are both a good bit older than I am.

That's all I'm going to write for now, although this new job actually leaves me with more stories to tell than even my retail jobs did, especially since most of the people I talk to in real life are completely uninterested in the agitations of working with and the exploits of children they don't know. Even if I were to come home from work everyday and promptly record everything I could remember, I would still forget at least a quarter of the things I found memorable throughout the day.

* - I'm not going to give exact figures, just to minimize means of identifying my actual location

Current Mood:
tired tired
* * *
Today, because I only worked a few hours, was relatively uneventful.

About mid-morning, a woman came in with two little girls in tow, looking for birthday and Christmas presents, apparently for little boys. By the time she left the store, the woman had spent three hundred and thirty-three dollars. Three humongous sets of Legos, a book, and toys for the little girls, who by the end of her little shopping spree were so bored and frustrated that they were in tears.
Of note: she apparently wanted her son and her nephew (we learned such information from her loud cell phone conversation while standing at the counter) to have identical birthday presents, as she bought two identical sets of Lego soccer sets. Interesting.

As you can see, some days have good stories to write about, and some are rather uneventful. No matter; tomorrow is Friday, and Friday is always busy and eventful. Between the crazed mothers buying birthday presents for the Saturday parties and the horrid little middle school children who come in starting around 3pm, the "entertainment," if it can be called that, never ends.
* * *
Although I have a lot of back stories that I wish I could write, I'm just going to have to start with today, and if I feel the need to tell a story sometime, then I'll go back in time and pull out a good juicy one.

There is this horrible, horrible feeling that you get in your chest when you wake up late. And you know you're late. You just know. For me, I don't know exactly how late I am until I put on my glasses. So I lift up my head, and I'm thinking to myself, "Ok, how late am I? How much do I have to haul ass to get in on time?" On time being 9:45am. Usually I'm there at 9:50, but whatever.
It was 10. I was fifteen minutes late before I even got out of bed.
So the first thing I thought to do was call my boss. Foolishly, I did. This, of course, ended any chance I had of covering my ass with a good 30 minutes late excuse. You can't have a really good excuse if you've called 15 minutes into the damn thing. I spent my whole shower trying to figure out what the hell I could say, and eventually on my way in I actually called my mother to ask her for a good excuse. She, of course, thought I was insane and said I should just tell the truth. Silly woman. So, excuseless, I went in. I did, however, figure out how to partially cover my ass. The first thing I said, out of breath, was "I know I'm late, I'm sorry, I figured since I'm half an hour late, I won't take lunch today." Rob, thankfully, took the bait.
"Oh are you ok? Is everything alright?"
"Yeah, no, I'm fine, thanks."
"Ok, well, that's good."
"Yeah, so, this basket of stuffed animals, do they need to be priced and shelved?"
Didn't have to explain why I was late, didn't have to get any grief about it, life was good.

We always get at least one weird customer everyday, and today was no exception. It was a busy day, which usually means we're lucky enough to get more than one crazy, but today, only one was really memorable.

This woman was a previously-seen customer. The last time she had come in, she was looking for a sketchbook. When Rob took her to them, she picked one up, flipped through it, put it back, and then reached in and pulled one out from about three deep. Rob looked at her and said, "Is there something wrong with the first one you had?" She looked at him and replied, "There was a crease in the cover." Rob, of course, got annoyed with her, and his response was actually pretty funny.
"Well, you know how that happens? Customers come in and they look at things, and then they put them back on the shelf and purchase a different one and leave the one they already handled."
The woman looked at him, nodded, and said, in all seriousness, "That is terribly frustrating, isn't it?" Rob just stared at her.
She then went to the Thomas the Tank Engine section and was looking at trains. From a distance, Rob watched her open a "George" train's packaging, examine the train and run it across a shelf, and put it back on the shelf. Yet again, she called upon him for help. This time she wanted to know if there were any more of the "George" engines in the storeroom.
"Well, there might be, but are you getting two? There's already one on the shelf."
"No, but this one looks like it has already been opened."
"Well, ma'am, you remember what I said earlier, people come in here and they open the toys and then they don't purchase the one that they opened."
"Well, do you have any more?"
Rob went and looked in the computer. The inventory said there should be about 10 more in the storeroom. Occasionally the inventory is off by one or two, but not 10; there should clearly be plenty down there.
"We might, let me go look."
So, as Rob later said, he brought up a new "George," against his better judgment, but in the hopes that the woman would leave and not come back.
Today, when the woman came in, she brought her son with her. She was looking at a Bob the Builder toy that moved around and danced. She took it down off the shelf, and she and her son tried it out and she let him hold onto it while she went and found an employee. Again, she managed to find Rob.
"Excuse me, do you have more of the Bob the Builder dolls?"
Rob recognized her, and he looked over and watched her son playing with the Bob toy still strapped into his packaging.
"Are you looking to buy two?"
"Well no, but there's only one on the shelf, and I would like a fresh one."
Rob says that at this point, he wanted to smack her, or at least say, "Remember what I told you before about people who come in and handle toys and then leave them? They're usually repeat offenders." He did not, however. He looked at her and replied,
"Ma'am, the toy that is on the shelf is perfectly fine, but you know, the reason that the toys might look handled is because people take them down off the shelves and they let their children handle them; that's why we keep those particular Bob toys on a high shelf so children can't reach them by themselves."
"I know, that's very frustrating. Do you have any more?"
"I will look in the computer."
I myself missed the entire exchange, and I only saw Rob come up to the counter looking quite vexed, holding the offending Bob toy.
"No, we don't. This is the last one."
There were twelve in the inventory, meaning at least ten or so in the store room.
The woman, of course, pulled her son away from the other toys he was then molesting, purchased the aforementioned Bob the Builder, and left, kind of in a huff, but not yelling or cursing.

One of the best parts of some of these stories is seeing how agitated Rob gets just in the retelling of the incident.
* * *
This is a list of some of the "regular" people I'll mention in future posts.

  • Amanda - one of my bosses, married to Rob, with whom she owns and manages the store. She is success-driven and even in the rare moments she's not physically in the store, she's still present. She is extremely friendly and knows absolutely everything about the store. She places all of the orders and is in charge of the layout of the store, so not only can she find every single toy we sell within seconds, she is also familiar with the toys we don't carry. Amanda and Rob have multiple children.

  • Rob - the other boss, married to Amanda, with whom he owns and manages the store. Rob is clearly second in command, but is also technically on the same level with Amanda. Rob used to have more of a "desk job," but he quit when they opened the store. He can be bossy and micro-managing, but mostly Amanda keeps him busy with random jobs.

  • Ruth - one of my co-workers for two days of the week; she is very pessimistic and one of her favorite things to talk about is how much she dislikes her job, Rob, and Amanda. Despite this fact, she has been employed their for over a year. She overuses her employee discount on a daily basis, and frequently is out "shopping" on the floor while I am behind the counter. She is stuffy and does not respond well to criticism, suggestions, or even direct orders.

  • Ann - the other woman that I work with the remaining days of the week; she is friendly and outgoing, and tries to be optimistic about everything. She has also been employed by A. and R. for about a year, but is agreeable, responds to suggestions, and is open to change and new ideas in a way that Ruth is not. Ann is happy to listen to me chatter (which I tend to do a lot, especially when it's slow), and carries on interesting conversation. Ann, like Ruth, is an older woman with grandchildren.

  • Emily - another college age girl who works two afternoons of the week, the afternoons when I go home early. She's very friendly and apparently a good worker, but I don't see her much, except for saying hello to her when she's coming in and I'm leaving.

  • Bethany - one of the (numerous) high school students who works in the afternoons when she gets off of school. She is scheduled many afternoons and occasionally Saturdays as well. She is competent and reliable, but smacks her gum loudly and is a little slow to help customers.

  • Matt - another of the high school students. Matt only works on Saturdays (and maybe Sundays, but I wouldn't know), but he is a lot of fun to work with and very friendly. He has been working there for over a year, but he knows where absolutely NOTHING is in the entire store. He does, however, wrap gifts faster than anyone I know.

  • Other characters will come and go throughout the story, but these are the main characters.
  • * * *
    I've decided to begin this adventure (for lack of a better word) for a few reasons.

    Reason number one: I need to write. I needed something to write about. While I was standing at work today, it hit me: write about the insane things that happen everyday at my job.

    Reason number two: I have great stories about my job, and I don't want to make my friends crazy by telling them the stories until they want to put ice picks in their ears.

    Reason number three: Since you're reading this, you obviously are interested enough to read what I have to say. And there is nothing better than an eager (and voluntary) audience.

    What's with the name, you ask? I wanted to use whos_the_boss, but since that's a tv show (and the name was taken), that didn't seem like the best idea. "Who's in charge" should be followed by "here?" Because sometimes you see insane things happening, and you wonder to yourself "who is in charge here?!" I can't tell you who's in charge during those situations, or even who's in charge during the situations I'm about to chronicle here, but I can tell you who's in charge of this journal: w_i_c_writer. Emails should be directed to whos_in_charge_writer@yahoo.com.

    Like it says in the user info, all names and important identifying information has been changed, because I don't want to lose my job it's not fair to those involved to use their real names.

    Any questions or comments? Leave them here, or email me at the address above.
    * * *
    * * *