stories of the evil employee discount

I started working in retail in 2000. My first retail job was at a women’s clothing store and what probably impressed me the most was the employee discount. I was told it was ‘generous’, but of course, it’s really just a discount at cost. It’s pretty much like that everywhere. You pay what it costs the company to buy a product, usually at 30 or 40% below what the retail price is.

But at the time, I thought I had hit the jackpot. There were all these amazing clothes that I loved and I had a hard time not spending an entire paycheck at any one time.

My closet was over flowing with clothes. It was kinda gross. The kicker, and tipping point was about three years into this job, I was rooting around said closet for something to wear and found a stack of tee shirts in various colors…..all with the price tags still on them.

Whoops.

Ok, I thought, I get it. I don’t need EVERYTHING.

Next job was at a major department store. The one good thing was that to take advantage of the discount, employees had to have a store credit card. At the time, my credit rating (due to my own stupidity and from defaulting on student loans)was drowning in the deep end of Lake Michigan. But the store gave me a card anyway, with a very small credit limit.

Ha. Since we were paid weekly, I’d max the damn thing out and pay it off the next paycheck. Again, overflowing closet full of stuff. Not as bad as from the last job, but enough that my husband finally made a comment about it when I came home with a designer handbag….in my defense, the discount nabbed me a great deal, but it purse still cost me what I paid in rent. Needless to say the husband hit the roof. I canceled the card so that I wouldn’t be tempted to use it. Which of course ment no more evil employee discount.

Next job was the gift shop at one of the museums in town. My down fall there was books and jewelry (earrings). The discount wasn’t as great, but the museum is a non profit, so it’s not like they are in it for the money.

By then I had learned a few things.

I paced myself on my spending. One book OR one pair of earrings a month. Also, from my previous jobs, I started weeding out clothing yearly. If there was something that I had not worn in a year, out it went. Either in the rag bin under the sink if it wasn’t in good enough condition for the thrift store, or to one of the thrift stores in our neighborhood.

The books were amazing, I got some really nice art books. And the jewelry wasn’t the run of the mill crap you see in department stores. A lot of the earrings I own are one of a kind.

I briefly worked at a kitchen supply/cooking store. Given that I love to cook, that could have been REALLY *DANGER DANGER*, my saving grace is that we have a small galley kitchen and not a whole lot of counter space. My purchases there were limited to small gadgety type of things, but I did treat myself to a couple of nice sauce pans.

Currently I’m working at a bookstore.

Y’all.

I swore that I would limit myself to one book a month. Ha. I’ve been there since mid October. I’ve been averaging one book a week.

Have I ever mentioned that our living room is already three walls of books?

#metoo

There was a thread on Twitter this morning that made me angry.

Because I can relate.

Because it’s happened to me.

Because it’s happened to most (ok well, really, all) of my female friends.

Because it has to stop.

Now.

The person writing the thread told a story of how she recently was walking her dog and by the time she got home, was thinking of how she was going to change her dog walking route just to avoid the creep who harassed her.

Since I choose to not drive, I rely on public transportation to get around. Every. Fucking. Time. I get on the bus or train I am instantly aware of my surroundings, of where I’m going to sit (providing said bus or train isn’t crowded), of where other people are sitting, if there’s a seat by an exit should I have to make a quick escape, and of every. fucking. person who gets on said bus or train after me.

So that when I sit down, I’ve got my resting bitch face on. I try to give off the air of ‘leave me the fuck alone’. And that is often not enough.

It angers me because I shouldn’t have to just go about my day, doing regular things without the constant thought that every penis sporting male that gets on the bus or train is going to think that I want to chat.

All this and I still will get harassed on at least a weekly basis. Or I will see another female rider who is.

Guys, come on. Just because you have a dick and we don’t, doesn’t give you the right in anyway, shape or form to be an ass. Get a clue stick. Learn to read body language. Leave us the fuck alone.

And you wonder why we come across as rude?

 

my lot in life

It’s all I can think about.

What is my fate? What am I supposed to DO?

No, really. What in fuck’s name am I going to DO.

I’ve pretty much accepted that I won’t find a full time job again. And I’ve pretty much come to terms that I’m destined to work menial jobs. And that I’ll be working well past when I should be able to retire.

I really tried to escape from retail. Now here I am, at it again and the irony? I actually really like this job and I hope the company keeps me on a permanent basis. The location means I don’t have to deal with the shits in a mall environment nor do I have to deal with the shits downtown.

And since I’m a reader and it’s a bookstore, well, duh, most of the customers are there because they are readers as well.

But it’s still retail.

I tried so fucking hard. I did everything that I was supposed to do. I thought outside of the box. I searched outside of the box.

I guess it wasn’t enough.

he had me at Pilars

I’m currently reading Ken Follett’s “A Column of Fire”. It’s the third book in what’s now apparently known as the Kingsbridge series. Which isn’t really a series so much as three books are set in the same fictional town of England.

Ages ago, a college room mate had to read “Pilars of the Earth” for an advanced history class. She raved about it. I was already familiar with his work, as my dad was a WWII vet and had read (at the time) the books he was probably known best for – “The Key to Rebecca” and “Eye of the Needle”. I’d read those, but really WWII mysteries really weren’t my thing so I was all ‘huh’ when said room  mate told me I had to read this book.

Reading it, you get a really good history lesson in 12th century England. He has always had an interest in the Gothic churches that were built back then and basically wrote a story around that and all the political stuff that was going on at the time.

I was hooked. Pilars has become a book that I tend to re read every couple of years and I still get something out of it. A few years ago, he finally wrote a sequel, “World Without End” that takes place about 200 years later. What’s interesting is the main characters from this book are the direct descendants from Pilars. It was good, and has been worth reading again.

When I started working at the book store back in October, I noticed a new book of his, the aforementioned Column of Fire. Reading the inner sleeve, I realized this was another story, set in the mid 16th century, again in the fictional town of Kingsbridge.

It’s good so far, and again, I’m getting a good history lesson about everything that was going on in England and France at that time. So far, though, it seems none of the main characters are related to characters from the previous books (not a big deal, just thought that was kinda neat).

On another note, ‘Pilars’ was made into a mini series a few years ago.

If you love the book as much as I do, save your time. Really. I couldn’t even finish watching.

 

I have just been reminded again that life is way too fucking short.

It used to be that I wanted to climb the retail ladder because I wanted the money, I wanted the responsibility, I wanted, to a certain extent the ‘glory’ that came with being a store manager or even a district manager.

I was so young and stupid then.

Life has a way of happening and often rudely gets in the way of your goals and plans. But in hindsight it might have been for the better.

Working in America comes with a price. We are trained from our first day of work that all that matters is BEING THE BEST. GOING TO THE TOP IS ALL THAT MATTERS. YOU MUST SACRIFICE EVERYTHING. YOU WILL BE LOOKED DOWN ON IF YOU DO NOT GIVE IT YOUR ALL ALL OF THE FUCKING TIME.

I had an epiphany so to speak a few years ago. In a nine month time frame, I had three women my age pass away (breast cancer, diabetes, stroke) and it made me really re examine my priorities in my personal and professional life.

I’ve paid for it to a certain extent professionally. I’ve made lateral moves since then and have been questioned on my choices. But I’ve held my head high and have never regretted my career path.

I stopped regretting when I turned 40. I stopped giving a fuck. I do what I want now. I play by my rules as much as I can.

 

i have spent….

my entire life wanting to ‘fit in’.

I tell myself that at this stage of my life, why should it matter, why should I give a fuck (when usually I go with the ‘zero fucks to give’ mentality).

But even now, little things still sting. I hate that left out feeling. I try to keep in touch with friends I’ve made from past jobs but then when I get radio silence when I try to reach out and plan something and then I see pictures on the book of face or other social media, a bunch of those same people having a grand old time at some bar or restaurant, I can’t help but feel the urge to hit something. Fuck, what am I, chopped liver?

It makes me hesitant to make new friends or to reach out again to people. It makes me very hesitant to trust anyone. It probably doesn’t help that my two closest female friends live over a thousand miles away. Texting, email and face time can only do so much.

(I swore I would make this current version of my off and on again blog less whiny but I also am determined to write about what is on my mind at any given moment.)

It’s currently wine thirty, so. On to other things.

Goals for this blog? I want to write about whatever is on my mind. Since WordPress has that app, I can fire off a post from my phone. That’s a nifty thing.

I want to keep track of the books I read next year. Since I’m currently working part time at a bookstore, I have NO excuse to not read more. (And more reasons to use the Evil Employee Discount.)

(Currently reading Ken Follett’s new one, A Column of Fire.)

I will probably do a post tomorrow along the lines of my year in 2017. Which, in all honesty, will be similar to everyone else’s. (Shitty. If you live in the US and you didn’t vote for the thing, yeah)

 

 

the truth about that being an adult thing

I’ve never been one for setting goals for myself lately. Mainly because in recent years, I’ve had any such things be tossed into the deep end of Lake Michigan for a slow drowning death.

But there are definitely things that I need to change in my life, things on a personal and a professional level.

I just don’t know where to begin.

I thought I was doing all the right things in regards to job hunting and finding a full time job, but of late, that seems to be one of the things drowning.

I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that for various reasons, I probably ever won’t work full time again. It’s been a bitter pill. And returning to retail, even on a part time basis was a bigger, more bitter pill. I think I’m still swallowing that one.

I can joke all I want that I’m ‘retiring’ early and purposely working part time. (I’m not since I’m not collecting SS)  But something in regards to my professional life needs to change.

I know what I’d LIKE to DO. But that requires a couple of grand (to be safe, really, more like four or five k) that I don’t have, nor am I likely to see anytime soon. Unless I’m willing to cash out my 401k. And I’m not.

I also need to shed about 50 pounds. It’s fucking beyond scary how quickly it found me. Most of it within the last two years. It’s not like I was all WTF where did this come from. Two plus years of job hunting, stress from job hunting, the shit show clusterfuck dumpsterfire election of last year and the current shit show clusterfuck dumpsterfire that’s going on in DC has pretty much led me to a level of drinking I haven’t seen since I was in college.

Which if I was still in my early 20s, my body would be all, ‘oh yeah, honey, we can do this’. But here I am at 51, on the tail end of the ‘change of life’ and said body is now all ‘BITCH YOU ARE FUCKING KILLING ME’.

I’ve tried WW and briefly Atkins. Both have their pros and cons. If nothing else, both have made me very aware of what I put in my mouth. I am an avid food label reader. I stopped drinking pop and eating fast food years ago. I watch my sugar and salt intake.

I don’t exercise, which I know I should do.

And finally I know I need to be better at pulling my weight around the house in regards to general ‘shit that needs to be done’.

Why is adulting so fucking hard?

i want a new drug

When you have spent far too long working in a certain industry, this time of year isn’t fun.

When some young, brillant kid invents a drug allowing me to sleep from Thanksgiving until about mid January, I will buy ALL of said drug.

I’ll keep most of it for me, but I’ll be nice enough to give some to a few warriors who deserve it.

So who wants to invent? I promise, you’ll be richer than (insert deity of choice here). If anything, you’ll have to fight us off.

Really.

memories

I went to see Star Wars the other day. Since I’ve basically grown up with the movies, I kinda feel that I have no choice. And it was Carrie Fisher’s last film.

One of the best memories I have of growing is with my dad. When the first Star Wars (you know the one, yeah, THAT one, the REAL first one) came out, we got all dressed up fancy and had dinner at a fancy restaurant. Then we saw the movie. We continued the tradition for the first Star Trek, Indiana Jones, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

I can probably trace my love for science fiction and fantasy books and movies to my dad. Since his passing, I’ve always had him in mind when I’ve seen or read such things and I’d like to think he would have loved the latest Star Wars movies.