A quick work rant

I need to change the ringtone on my phone for work. Apparently I haven’t done that and when I heard it, at 8:30 a.m., I answered.  Now, I am going into work four hours early. I will, inevitably, fight my way through an 11 hour shift of fighting against the waves of computer illiteracy rushing to crush my very soul. 

This is after a four day weekend.  This is also after answering my phone because of a default ringtone.

The question begs, why am I now working four hours early and still closing the store? 

I work in retail, it’s true. Most of my coworkers view their job as “something to pay the bills,” until they finish school or find something better. Truth be told, so did I.  There is one major difference between me and them.

I fucking respect the people I work for and most importantly, the people I work with. 

Did I just go back to school and get a shiny new degree to teach people not to download porn blindly onto their computer? No.  Did I go back to school to have to get belittled by the general public because they think they are above our rules? Hell No. Did I go back to school to cover my coworkers shifts because “they just couldn’t face the day?” Fuck no. 

But you know what, I could have said No. I never do, they know that. Why? Because it’s still a job. They still pay me. That big box store is the reason I barely make my mortgage. 

Most of all, it’s because I don’t like to see the people I work with get completely fucked over by one selfish person. Because if I don’t go in, my coworkers, some I consider friends, have to deal with the masses of ignorant consumers who don’t understand and certainly don’t care that a person called off their shift and they are stuck trying to make it up. 

But for the love of god, if you work any job, when you call off, think a little less about yourself and think about what you are doing to the people you have to work with everyday. The ones that are going to cover your ass. The ones who’s day went to hell because you couldn’t “do it.”

Unless you have the plague. Then do us a favor and stay the fuck home. 

Derby!!

Normally I wouldn’t blog twice in one day, but I had to share this as well.  A month ago we had our Friends and Family Exhibition bout for the Recreational League, the Mad Wreckin’ Dolls.  It was a fantastic Saturday morning of playing derby with people I adore and being seen by my husband and friends.

Here are a couple pictures and a link to a video of my “Epic Jam.” I love sharing this stuff so much!

EpicFoul1_FF2013 EpicFoul2_FF2013

I’m a terrible blogger!

It’s February! Where has all that time gone?  Why haven’t I posted? What the heck has been going on?

Well I’ll tell you, a lot. A lot has been going on.

I’ll start where I left off last time. I was offered that job, the one that called me back for a second interview. After 24 agonizing hours, many phone calls by my bosses, and some begging and pleading I ultimately turned it down.

Yes, you read that correctly, I turned down a job offer. There were a lot of reasons for the decision I made, and my husband didn’t agree with many of them, but my gut told me to stay where I was. I still believe it was the right decision.

I have since changed jobs at work. I’m not a full fledged member of the Geek Squad. No more customer service for this girl. Okay, not entirely true. I still work the customer service counter as needed, since my new position is back up to that job. But I’m no longer tethered to that counter. My customer interactions are more limited.  This has been a lot better for me.

By the end of the holidays I was stressed, broken and frazzled.  One person can only be yelled at so many times for things completely out of their control.

“Oh, you dropped your brand new laptop on a concrete floor a week after you bought it? I’m really sorry, but I can’t give you a new one.”

“You’re kids dropped your iPod in the bathtub because they thought it was waterproof? That really sucks, sorry, I can’t give you a new one.”

“You’ve had this television for 8 months and you just decided you don’t like it anymore and want a cheaper one…”

I could go on, I won’t. I would see these types of questions daily.  Get yelled at by angry customers because our “service was terrible” when I turned away their returns for totally legitimate reasons. I had a Sunday were my manager kicked two separate customers out of the store because they started swearing at me and telling me I was horrible person, all because I do my job right. It’s no wonder we can’t keep people in that job.

I’m happier, less stressed and more confident in my job now that I’ve moved on.  Additionally, as part of my agreement to stay in my position, my managers are now putting me on a training path for Supervisor and Management.

Did I go to school to become a big box retail manager? Nope. Is there at all where I thought I would end up? Not at all. But I’m pretty okay with it. I have some new amazing friends I have made through this job. I may complain when I get home, but at work I’m pretty darn happy. I am stressed by the extreme money woe s we face right now, but I’m okay with life right now, which is about all I could ask for.

 

 

The Floodgates Have Re-Opened

I’m finding that job opportunities come in waves.  A month ago I was lamenting the rejections I received following what I believed to be three excellent interviews.  The last month I hadn’t seen many opportunities so I just focused on the work I had.  It’s been an interesting month.

I’ve become someone that is relied upon very heavily at work.  I like this, very much.  Working for a big box retailer may not pay much, and it’s so very stressful this time of year.  But it’s strangely rewarding for me.  

Two weeks ago I put on my big girl pants and had a sit down with my supervisor and manager. I went over some issues we’ve been having at work.  I discussed with them some possible solutions and then I did the hardest thing imaginable for me to do; I asked for a raise.  

The funny part of transitioning management during reorganization is that some information does not get passed directly on to your new management team. So when my manager asked why I felt I deserved a raise, the first thing I pointed out is that I’m the lowest paid full time member of his staff.  Then I told him how much I am paid.  He immediately apologized and said that it would take time but he promised to better compensate for the job I do. 

I haven’t gotten the raise yet, but he warned me that it would take time and I’m okay with that.  What he has done is give me weekly updates on the progress of it, which I’m more appreciative of than the actual raise at this point.  Also, in those couple weeks, both my supervisor and manager have pulled me in for discussions on job related topics. It makes me feel like I really am the valuable member of this team that I always felt I was. And there is the rewarding part of my job.

But back to my original point of the whole post; this past weekend I basically promised myself to my manager.  We had two more members of our team put in their notice. Several others are looking for other work. It’s not that it’s a bad job; it’s just not the job any of us had planned on making a career out of.  The majority of our team members are college students or recent college grads (such as me).  We are struggling with the team we have because we are so short in bodies and now we’re losing two more. 

Monday I got an email from one of the employers I interviewed with in September.  They have a new opportunity and they want to bring me in to discuss it.  I had a near Squee! moment when I read that, but I was on break at work so I tempered myself.  I go in tomorrow about it.  In addition, I handed off my resume to my husband’s boss who has passed it on to his wife.

Of course, as I said I basically just dedicated myself to my current employer. If there is anything to learn about me it’s that I’m a devoted employee.  I may be tired, frustrated and burned out by my job, but I know how much I am needed there.  If any of these pan out, I will stick around through the holidays on a part time basis. It’s a poorly paid retail job, but I work for people I am absolutely devoted to because they have been good to me.  

Post Interview Depression

I had three really great interviews in the last two weeks and felt extremely positive about all three experiences.  It was a bit of a heartbreak to get the rejection letters, but, alas that is the way of the market right now.

Which leads me to the current slump.  I had been extremely diligent in my job search for the past few months and am currently slacking.  I’ve hit that low point that all long-term unemployed individuals hit.  Why can’t I find a job?  Why won’t anyone hire me?  What’s the point.

It’s a low point.  We all have them and most of us will recover from them in due time.  I say “we” because I know the cycle, I recognize it for what it is, and I’ll move on.  For the time being I work 40 hours in retail, listen to a lot of Muse, Jed Whedon and Lykke Li and wait it out.  Then it’s back to the all consuming job of finding one that pays.

 

Positive Job Post Here

Sometimes you just have to eat your words and move on.

Last week I posted that I was disappointed by the Job Fair.  Today I booked my third interview because of the job fair.  So I was wrong.  I am now going to say that the fair was a rousing success!

I had two interviews yesterday, the third is on Tuesday. I feel really great about both interviews I had.  I kept my attitude positive, asked lots of questions and really got a feel for the companies and the jobs.  There is a particular one that I am really excited about and hoping to land as it mixes several passions of mine.  Communication, music and entertainment.

I feel like things are finally picking up and I just may be able to pay all of my November bills on time!

The Job Fair is Open

It’s been down right difficult finding a new job. Still being stuck at the “Submitting many resumes but not getting any interviews” phase, I thought that this mornings job fair at the Alliant Energy Center would be a great opportunity.  Meeting people!  Making a lasting impression!  Take my resume and remember that I’m awesome!

There were a lot of recruiters at the job fair.  The conversations all went one of three ways:

One:

Pleasant greeting, staying upbeat and talkative.  Make great eye contact, gesture, positive body language.  Then, inevitably they asked, “What kind of work are you looking for?”

I tried to keep my answers broad but not overly so.  “I just finished school and I’m looking to utilize my communications degree.  Human Resources, Public Relations, Customer Service.”

At this point they would usually shut down, stay pleasant but I could readily tell the conversation was over.  “Oh, we’re just looking for production workers.” or “We’re just looking for IT or technical programmers.”

Smile, nod, thank them for their time and let them know how great it was to meet them, move on.

Two:

Same as before except that the booth is for a temp or recruitment agency in which they take my resume and let me know they will get back to me within the next couple weeks.

Three:

They direct me to their website to review job postings and fill out an application. The worst part of this one is most of these places I had already done that.  I was truly hoping to leave my resume with a person who would take notes and remember me.  I stayed positive.  Thanked them for their time and promised to follow-up on their advice.

 

I brought with me about 35 resumes, I went home with 29.

On my drive home I thought long and hard about this job fair and my key take away points.

  • I saw a lot of people who under-dressed. I spent over an hour doing hair and make up and making sure I looked professional.  The number of job seekers in jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops was astounding.
  • I made sure my portfolio was up-to-date and prepared, yet no one asked to see it. I’ve put a lot of work into that portfolio and I’m really excited to show it off, what a disappointment.
  • A lot of the recruiters seemed overwhelmed or under-prepared.  It was from 10-3 and I got there shortly after 12:30.  Many booths were already out of job descriptions, applications and business cards.  Either that’s a statement on the current economy and the unemployment numbers, or an underestimation of what to expect by the recruiters.
  • It’s never okay to eat a hot dog while talking to a recruiter about a job. Just no. Walk away and hang your head in shame.

Job fairs, brag or bust?  I certainly learned a lot during this one.  But I don’t feel very positive about my job prospects because of it.  Maybe it was my high expectations or maybe it just wasn’t the right job fair for me.