Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blurg.

In the past month I have been very busy with work, but I've been bad and haven't done much writing (aside from some editing of The Novel of DoomTM, or even gone to the gym ONCE. (I KNOW. Someone hit me!)


The good news is, my body is no longer used to eating junk food. Some Five Guys Burgers and Fries Cajun fries are in the process of making my VERY sick. But, this is a blessing because it means I won't crave them ever again. Yay. *barf*

I'm also newly addicted to NBC's 30 Rock. My dream to work in children's television has shoved over just a tad to make room for the possibility of being the next Liz Lemon. (Hell, I'd even take the next Kenneth. I probably am destined to be an NBC page, actually. Fine with me, as long as it's a means to an end.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Things I've learned from working in an office:

-If you type the month, sometimes the year and the date will pop up and suggest "hit enter to continue", and then Microsoft Word will write the date for you.

Know what I'm talking about?

Anyway, I've discovered that Microsoft Word only does this SOMETIMES. But you can greatly increase the odds of this happening if you hit the space bar LIKE YOU MEAN BUSINESS.

Which, of course, is the only way I hit the space bar now.

(I'll post a real blog soon, I promise.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What I've learned from working in the city, part 2:

-No matter what temperature the weathermen (or in my case, Weatherbug) may claim it is, it always feels at least 10 degrees colder in the city. I first noticed this during a trip to Toronto one spring when I only brought along a thin coat and became a popsicle quite rapidly.

-Men who dress as Superman (and princesses, and alligators...) are commonplace. It seems like every major city has one. This particular one decided to try to carry on a conversation with me about how he was looking for a new wife since his last one had died.

-No one obeys "elevator etiquette". I mean, I don't know about you guys, but I can still hear my mother's voice telling me, "Let the people on the elevator exit first, then get on." Yet, I've been nearly trampled several times as I'm exiting. Do we need to post signs or something?

-I finally understand the appeal of "casual Friday" now that I work in an office that doesn't offer it. By the time Friday rolls around I am tired and most of my work clothes are dirty. Nothing would make me happier then jeans and a hoodie on Friday's. (Except maybe jeans, a hoodie, and free soy caramel machiattos. Take note, corporate America!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Learning "real world" lessons the hard way.

Seeing as I've worked nothing but retail (excluding my stint as a shabbily dressed office manager back in 2007) my entire life, I have been able to get away with wearing fairly casual clothing to the work place. Usually I could get away with black jeans and a casual shirt, as most places had me wear a lab coat or apron over my clothing.

Because of this, I never really hassled too much over my laundry. It would pile up and I'd wash it when I had nearly nothing left to wear. I had no qualms about wearing the same pair of pants for a week straight--because who really cared? It's not like I was getting dirty or even sweaty at work. It seemed like a waste to throw my pants in the hamper after a measly four hour shift. So as I said, things piled up. I'd do a complete load of wash about every two or three weeks. (I should mention that I JUST counted my underwear and have over 32 pairs...so doing laundry every three weeks is not as gross as it sounds!) I'd throw everything in the water together with some detergent and hope for the best. No weeding out the pesky "red shirt" in the load of whites...not separating like colors, or even fabrics. Just a big ol' melting pot of my wardrobe (and usually Jay's too.) tossed in together.

This always worked out fine, until this load.

Now that I have a "real, grown-up job", I've been doing laundry weekly. I don't have many pairs of dress pants or tons of dress shirts and I absolutely refuse to be 'that stinky new girl', so I will NOT wear anything twice.

Problem with this is, my new clothes don't exactly respond the same as my old clothes. My soft cream v-neck and my 'washable flannel' navy slacks apparently need to be kept apart when it comes to laundry day, because now I have WHITE FUZZ ALL OVER EVERYTHING.

Okay. Not all over "everything", but it's definitely making itself known. I need to attack several different articles of clothing with my lint roller and hope that helps. In the future, I will not be so lax with my laundry responsibilities. To be honest, I'd always wondered what the fuss was all about-- I don't even use bleach on my whites. But now I've learned my lesson. I might even look into dry-cleaning some of these articles.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thanks for the going away party!

(or: Why CVS has really outdone itself this time.)

((this is probably my longest blog ever. You have been warned))

I've bitched here countless times about "the pharmacy", always trying to keep it fairly anonymous. Well, I don't care anymore. Yeah, I workED for CVS.

Ready to read the BEST (worst?) "how I left my last job" story ever, that perfectly illustrates how FUCKED UP this CVS is? Get ready.


The scene: CVS, the beginning of this semester.

A co-worker ripped us off in a big way. She was fired and then subsequently rehired because she threatened to sue the company.

Because of this, CVS decided, "Oh, gee. You shouldn't have any say over your hours. We'll schedule you WHENEVER THE HELL WE WANT despite that your availability is from 9 to 5 only." They take my 9-5 shifts and give them to fired-then-rehired woman. I'm moved to working 4-10. Oh, and instead of working Monday through Friday? Now I only work three days a week.

Thank you, CVS. Because I can really survive on a measly $180 paycheck. (And that was if I was lucky.)

Anyway. So after all this, one day when the beginning of Spring semester was approaching, I said in an offhanded way to the woman who is doing the schedule, "Hey, don't forget I start class soon."

She replies with something along the lines of, "I know, that's why I've been giving you Thursdays off."

But there's a problem with this. My class is on TUESDAYS. She tells me I told her Thursdays, but although I am sure she is mistaken (I have other obligations on Thursdays, but not a class) I tell her that I will go home and double check my school schedule.

Sure enough, I was right and my class is on Tuesdays. I tell her that I've double-checked and that it's on Tuesday (I may have even apologized, although it was not my fault.). The mature way she responds? She gives me the silent treatment for two weeks. This is an employee that I work directly with, respected, trusted, not to mention whose company I sincerely enjoyed...and I get the silent treatment because of a slight schedule change.

Needless to say, because of this and the way I had been treated in the past by my boss, when I got a new job and needed to switch to a weekends-only schedule, I was terrified of telling them.

Instead, I compromised. One of the assistant managers for the front store had two cashiers from the front store who wanted to train in the pharmacy. I thought this would be a perfect way to soften the blow of me not being able to work during the week, so I took her aside. I told her how uncomfortable some of the people in the pharmacy make me feel, and mentioned (see, these are the key words here, I will repeat them) that I did not feel comfortable explaining this all to my boss or the scheduler. I knew I was doomed to endure accusations, red-faces, snide comments and the silent treatment all over again.

So I told the A.S.M my problem. She understood, and she had no problem delivering the news to them with the news about the girls up front to soften the blow. (Oh, hey, look, I repeated that twice too.) I told her I could only work Saturdays. She told me she would take care of it. I thanked her and left.

The next week I went to work like normal, and no one said anything about my new schedule. For a while, I wondered if the A.S.M had forgotten to tell them, but I was glad that people weren't being nasty to me as I had expected. I worked a full week. At the end of the week, the schedule came out and I was on it only on Saturday. Perfect! So she had told them and they had listened.

I came in and worked on Saturday like normal. I noticed then that I wasn't on the schedule for the week after that OR the week after that, and while I thought it was strange, it seemed like no big deal. I mean, they wouldn't just fire me for cutting my hours, right? And they wouldn't just fire me without some kind of notice?

Everyone that I spoke with there knew full well that I had switched to a weekends-only schedule. There was NO doubt or debate. I worked a new job during the week, and CVS on Saturday.

People kept texting me asking me to work times when I was at my new job. I kept texting them back saying, "Sorry, I only work weekends now." I met a coworker in a parking lot to buy a PS2 for Jay's birthday off of him, and he said to me, "I'll see you...wait, when will I see you again?" and I told him, "I only work Saturdays now, but I'll probably see you on Thursdays when I come in to get my paycheck."


Anyway, you get the point. It was COMMON KNOWLEDGE that I worked Saturdays only.

Yesterday I went in to get my paycheck and see if I was working next weekend. Mysteriously, I wasn't on the schedule for the next weekend either. (Oh, and hey! My paycheck has also been stolen. But that's a complaint for a later entry.) A co-worker heard my confusion with not being scheduled and later sent me a text message saying they needed to talk with me about it.

Other co-workers side of the story:

Come to find out, CVS is deliberately not scheduling me so that I "fall out" of the system. (If an employee doesn't work at least 1 shift every three weeks, the computer no longer recognizes them as an employee and they essentially disappear.) According to this co-worker, my boss was none too happy that I went to the A.S.M instead of him, and isn't scheduling me out of spite. He even was confronted and asked, "Aren't you going to tell her?" and he replied, "If she has a problem with her schedule, she can speak to me directly."

Sure, creep. Let's go in the office and have a little private chat, because I feel oh-so safe and content in your presence and would love to have a heart to heart.


So, like any pissed off employee, I went straight to the District Manager. I sent her an email asking if it was legal for CVS to simply "not schedule" people. Don't they either have to quit or be fired?

We had a conversation on the phone today where she told me basically that my other co-worker is lying to me to simply "make their workday more exciting" and that what really happened is that the A.S.M told my boss that I had given my 2 weeks notice. (A.K.A: quit.)

Note: I have NO reason to not trust this co-worker, and definitely do NOT think that they would lie to me for any reason.

But if that were true, I wouldn't be an employee there anymore, and guess what? I just called human resources and I'm still an active employee. It's been way more then two weeks since I spoke to the A.S.M. Nice try, district manager. Maybe you should have checked out the story before you regurgitated it back to me. Fact-checking was the first thing we learned in journalism class.

Also, I love how she mentions to me in our conversation that they have to be fair and 'give everyone the same treatment', yet she says, "(Boss) was trying to get in touch with you. He read me a text message he sent you but you didn't respond to it." Are you KIDDING me? He text messaged me once saying "call or stop by if you have a chance", and then later I got another text from a co-worker asking for my numbers (to do some store training thing). I figured it was the same damn reason he had been texting me, because... oh! Guess what?

We're NOT ALLOWED TO TEXT for "work related issues".

Oh, and again. Giving everyone the same treatment?

So then why, on my "last day" (if I really HAD given my two weeks notice, my last day would have been February 27th), wasn't there a "We'll Miss You" cake like there was for another co-worker on her last day?

Bullshit, CVS. But here's the bottom line:

I have worked for your company for three years while you have continuously screwed me over. I watched as you stole my vacation time away, canceled my health insurance, denied me sick time, and even cut my hours down to as little as five a week. (I was a full time employee, by the way. And at that time, I was also the sole breadwinner.) I've watched as you've turned a blind eye to some VERY questionable employee fraternization and employed people you've known to be thieves.

I've had enough. That's it. I refuse to play your games anymore, I really DO quit this time, but you've driven me to it. I'm sure it's what you wanted, so hurray for you. But be warned, your other techs don't type 90 words a minute with a 100% accuracy rate, that's for damn sure.

The end.

What I've learned from working in the city part 1:

There are three distinct different groups, and it's relevant in the parking lots:

-Upper Class. You park in a hotel. It's a completely covered, well lit area with numberd parking spots, video surveillance and elevators leading you directly into the building. There's a posted guard and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was climate-controlled. Cost? 20 bucks for an eight hour shift.

-Middle Class. It's slightly covered and a small walk to the building. If it rains, you won't get soaked, but those cracks in the ceiling ensure you'll get a bit wet. There's a covered overpass to your office building. Cost? Just over $14 for an 8 hour shift.

-Lower Class. It's a dirt lot that's farthest away from the building. You have to cross a busy main road (with no lights or stop signs... it's essentially a highway) to begin your tedious treck to the office building. Cost? $3 for the entire day.

(Guess which one I park in!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Procrastinating...

The new job is going very well. I pretty much type my little hands off all day long, but I'm entertained by the phone calls I'm transcribing (I had a guy today who sounded exactly like Hank Hill) and the time passes fairly quickly.

In bad news, I didn't get the part in the play I auditioned for, but I wasn't entirely surprised. It was nice to push myself out of my comfort zone for a bit and try something different. There is another audition this weekend that I'm debating going out for, but I have plans that day so I may not.

In more bad news, a story I submitted got rejected by The New Yorker... BUT, a poem I submitted got accepted by (a much less well known) different magazine, AND I won honorable mention for it...which means I get $75. :)

I've also applied for two colleges so far, one in NYC and one in Boston. I'm slowly but surely working my way down the college list, but it's not easy when the application fees are so high, and unfortunately non-refundable.

(I mean, really. I'm paying you between $50 to $100 just to READ my paperwork? I understand that the money probably goes to important things, but if someone asked for $50 to read my resume, I'd call it a scam. )

In the meantime, I'm falling behind in math class due to being out sick last week. We cover SO much material in each class that I fear I'll need a tutor just to catch up. Off to trudge through some homework before class tomorrow. :( Not my idea of a fun night!