Declining Job Market: Why Get Mad When I Can Blog About It

Declining Job Market:  Why Get Mad When I Can Blog About It

Blogging From The Big Box...a tiny division of Life As I See It

Today marks my first entry in what I can only hope will turn into many more.  After realizing the "blogging thing" is not going to be the cash cow I had hoped, I had no choice but look for part-time work.

My purpose was two-fold:  Our bottom line needs some cushion and collecting a check every other Friday erases some of the guilt associated with spending hours and hours at the computer pecking out blogs for peanuts.

What I did not count on was the enormity of material at my fingertips thanks to what I overhear before, during and after break time at the Big Box.  Shit, I could pen a sitcom based on the four-hour orientation at my new place of employ.  Surrounded by enough body ink to make Jesse James wince,  I became instantly aware I was way out of my league. 

As I took in my surroundings I became immediately puzzled.  How any of these clowns passed the company mandated drug test was a mystery to me.  The fact any of the other six newbies had the ability to know when to come in out of the rain was a total head scratcher.

They did, collectively, know one thing though; and that was what they were "entitled to".  Long gone are the days when employees questioned "what they could do for the company".  Times have changed.  Now the million dollar question is "what can the company do for me".  Apparently plenty.

The HR lady in charge of the orientation didn't blink an eye each time she would no more rattle off a "right" (i.e. break, lunch, days off, calling in sick) an arm would fly in the air requesting "do you have THAT in writing".  Nope, she did not blink an eye, nor roll them, she merely grabbed a paper from a folder and handed  it to the requester as if this was something that had happened many times before.

Now, trying to start off on the right foot, I refused to judge books by their covers and so with that mindset, I took a very deep breath and punched in for training a couple of days later.  The humor in being issued an official box cutter was not lost on this sheltered suburban gal.  The woman training me on my first day handed that sharp silver instrument to me while saying, "this is all the equipment you will need".  Awesome.

No, it was really much more than awesome, I hit the frickin' jackpot baby...I've got more material than I could ever dream of in the form of the cast of characters I have acquainted myself with over the last thirty days...let's start with the tag team that has been responsible for showing me the ropes.

Thelma and Louise. 

Now, Thelma and Louise bear no resemblance what-so-ever to Sarandon or Davis.  They simply look like your "average" Thelma and Louise.

Thelma is the chief and Louise her trusty assistant.  Thelma raises her OCD freak flag high, is very pleasant, but that doesn't mean that I know full well never to cross her. 

Thelma's dutiful sidekick (who btw, is a dead ringer for Tony Soprano's one-legged prostitute mistress ... only difference is Louise had both lower limbs but instead of long stringy blond hair, she sports a Peter Pan pixie) has made it clear on more than one occasion that there is a hierarchy among overnight-shelf stockers and while she is definitely not Queen, she is undeniably in the court, a lady-in-waiting if you will.

Thelma and Louise have been flying their freak flags in "soft-lines" for over ten years.  As lifers at the joint, they don't mince any words in letting a newbie know that they do things the "old fashioned" way.  That is the way they learned the ropes and so that is the way they train new recruits.  It is their way or the highway if you know what I mean.

A couple hours in on my first "official" day, Thelma approached me.  "Hey, would you want to "do this" department permanently?"  Before I could answer she continued, "all we ever get over here are nitwits...you seem to know what you're doing".  How could I refuse?

In hindsight,  I can now think of plenty of scenarios.  Their trainees were not nitwits, they were geniuses.  Apparently I am the nitwit for not getting the flip out of dodge while I still had the chance.  I fear now I am stuck with this tag-team that treats the work of opening new stock with the same magnitude as the splitting of an atom. 

Three weeks in I am ready to raise my white flag and request honorable discharge from this freak show.  Trying to "fit in", I have succumbed to doing things the "old fashioned way"...or as Thelma puts it "the rotary phone way".

Instead of using a hand scanner to locate where the hell twenty baskets worth of ladies', mens', kids', and babies' crap goes in the span of two hours (because, hey that would be the easier, more efficient way), I instead require the ten-year "know-how" of my trusty mentors, Thelma and Louise Dinosaur.  I do not possess such a skill.

I walk around in goddamn circles as if I'm on an Easter Egg Hunt.  Every time I locate the proper spot for a pair of jeans or a push up bra or an argyle pair of socks I half expect alarms to go off while confetti rains from the ceiling.

Now, don't get the wrong idea.  I do not think any job is beneath me.  I was raised with the attitude that no matter what job you held you did your best from the time you arrived until you left for the day.

But I have to tell you something...this sucks.  The other night right after I put on my khakis and polo,  packed my sandwich for my 8:30 mandated "lunch break", and put the name tag and box cutter next to my keys so I would not forget them, I quickly logged onto Facebook.

One of my FB "friends" had a status that made me want to cry.

This particular friend--who holds a frickin' master's degree--posted a status regarding an upcoming job interview.  Went something like this...

"Big interview at "Job Location" ... hope my skills are still in tack"

Yeah, makes me sick to my stomach.  This brainiac who lacks any spelling skills yet miraculously holds a master's degree doesn't know that "intact" is an actual word and not a synonym for the phrase "in tack" (oh, sweet Jesus seriously take me now) .  Meanwhile, I'm living the good life hanging 'effin clothes at a Big Box Store.

I like to look at my glass half full, and so I will keep on keepin' on with the happy thought that at least it is not Walmart.  And, of course relish in the material it will no doubt provide.

I'll keep you posted.

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  • So tell me....do you get a discount?

  • In reply to jofel:

    Hell Yeah!! Ten Percent...and sure that just about covers the tax on the bottom line, but why split hairs?...:) And, if I apply for the company credit card (boasting 18% monthly interest), I can add an additional 5% savings to my employee savings.

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