Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Random Thoughts

I have been up since just before 2am.  It's not the puppies' fault this time but instead the insomnia is due to the fact that I am back to work today after a wonderful four-day weekend of napping and resting and relaxing.  The only "down" point this weekend was not getting to use the jets in the therapy pool yesterday because there was an AOA water pilates class in the pool after my yoga class.  Oh- and my left knee hates me and the elbow on the opposite side is on it's way.  We won't even talk about my back.  Physical junk aside- knowing I have to go back to work today did not give me a good night's rest.  I stared at the clock hour after hour until I finally gave up and came down and turned on my pot of java.  It's not the work per se that kept me up; it's knowing that there are a million things to do this week and even though I left a list before I left on Friday, I kept thinking of things that need to be done and the brain would not shut down.  So here we go with some random thoughts:

Until I got my own handicapped plate, I never really thought about who was parking in Handicapped spaces.  I never parked in one myself- I think it is EXTREMELY RUDE when someone does who doesn't have the appropriate hang-tag, sticker or plate.  On the other hand- maybe being rude and stupid is a handicap.

Speaking of parking spaces; I really have an issue with the "New and Expectant Mother" Spaces (aka the Stork parking depending on where you live).  I have been pregnant.  I have a 24 year old to prove it.  Pregnancy is not a disability.  I know women who act as if, because they are pregnant, they are incapable of doing anything remotely related to work and as if they deserve having everything done for them because they procreated.  Yep, it's uncomfortable to have to walk a long way when you are uber-pregnant but there is no regulation to these spots.  Just the other day, running errands, we parked about half way through the parking lot because all of the close spots were taken and as I hobbled up with my stupid cane, we passed the stork parking where 2 cars had just pulled in.  One was a little chickadee who was barely pregnant and was  giggling to her girlfriends about getting to take the close spaces for the next 7 months.  The other was a guy- no baby in tow- he just parked there and went inside.  Seems to me that if you NEED a close space because of a problem pregnancy, you should be issued a (very) temporary handicap hang-tag.  Heck- I don't care if they issue them for 3 months at the end of pregnancy through a standard maternity leave, but I do care when they take handicapped spaces away for this kind of thing.  If they don't want to change the sign- have OBGYN's issue a special hang tag that lasts through 6 weeks after the due date when it's needed- but only when it's needed.

Sally Hansen Crackle nail polish is fun.  I don't know about you but it's the little things that make me happy.  I bought two colors of this stuff- Antiquated Gold (which I am wearing on my toes over Sally Hansen Forbidden Fudge) and Ink Splatter (which I am wearing on my fingers over Sally Hansen Tyin' the Knot).  It took half of forever to find the black (Ink Splatter) and next I am putting it over Revlon's Lasting Mocha or OPI Chicago Champagne Toast.  It's an overcoat.  You put on your regular polish as usual, then put on a coat of the Crackle and as it dries, it does just what it says, it splits open in random patterns and leaves a neat look all over the nail.  Giving yourself a mani with RA hands can be tough and time consuming- but the results are worth it.  My nails are not in terrific shape to begin with- they tend to crack and split, but when I have polish on them, I tend to be more aware of them.  Here's a picture of the hands that I took to share with my friend who turned me on to this the other day:

Side note- operating a camera on a cell with one hand and midget fingers- not so easy!

This next thought is two-fold:

1- Sales clerks and cashiers are people too.  As you may know- I am in a sort of specialized retail business.  It's tough when your customers have to buy the product and just plain don't want to have to spend the money.  That said, my booksellers in the aisles and cashiers don't control the prices, I don't control the prices, heck- my COMPANY doesn't control the prices.  We purchase from publishers, distributors and wholesalers and the contract that we have with our client sets the mark up. Incidentally- it's the smallest margin I have ever seen.  Not only is the standard industry mark-up lower than most anything (Computers are the only thing I can think of that is lower) but our specific contract is lower than the industry standard.  We work extremely hard to have the correct product on the shelves when the students need them, we work extremely hard to give the best customer service possible (and our secret shopper scores reflect that) and yet we take more verbal abuse face to face than any other industry that I can think of.  I don't know when manners went straight out the window but I was not raised to treat people like that.

2- The words YOU PEOPLE makes me crazy.  As in "I don't know how you people sleep at night."  or "You people are ripping us off." or "I bet you people are enjoying that fat Mercedes out in the parking lot with what you charge."  (that said to a woman who drives a 14 year old Ford) "I can't believe you don't have the size I need- you people are incompetent!".  This is the kind of thing that is said to my booksellers on a regular basis.  It makes me crazy.  Does it make them feel better to be nasty to the person ringing up the sale?  And this is not just students, it is their parents too.  Way to set an example.

Now- not all customers are like this- it's probably one in 100 or more, but they are the ones that stand out and can ruin someone's day. One of my "kids" (we hire between 10-12 temps every semester to help us with the influx) said to me the other day "I can't believe the way people talk us.  It's horrible!  I don't know how you do this all year long!"  My point here is this- when you go to any store and you are not satisfied with the product selection or when you go to a restaurant and you are not satisfied with the food, or when you go to have any type of service performed and are not pleased with the prices; please, I beg of you, remember that your cashier, your receptionist, your server- has no control over anything but your experience.  They don't control the prices, they don't control the product selection, they don't control how your food is cooked.  They control how friendly they are, they control how their portion of the service is performed; that is all.  Most importantly, they are people just like you.  They have families, they have responsibilities, they have hobbies and interests outside their work.  They have good days and bad.  You don't know what they are going through or have been through in their lives.  You don't see the work that goes in to getting ready for you to be there.  Trust me- 90% of those people (and the other 10% won't last long) work their tails off to be sure that their place of business is clean, stocked and ready for you.  The magic fairies that do all the grunt work have all quit and it's up to us.  So unless the person waiting on you is rude or truly provides bad service, don't take the frustration out on them.  Actually, even in the event of bad service- pointing it out to them probably won't help- you should talk to a manager and if that is not satisfactory, go up the chain to corporate if needed.

Well, that's on what is bouncing around in my brain this morning.  Time to go cut my fruit, get my shower and  get ready to head back to work.  I hope you have a terrific day.

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