Monday, November 21, 2011


Things have been changing at my job. Remember that efficiency expert they brought in?

She's been hired full time as a co-manager, right next to the owner's son. And she's been changing things. A lot of things. In fact, in the first three months of her reign we lost three employees.

One was my friend, Bones Buddy. He just up and quit one day, no notice. Packed his things, put his house up for sale, and moved back to South Dakota. I...haven't taken it well. Whenever I wear my brown boots or my yellow dress or my hair in pigtails or something and someone compliments me on them, I always remember the compliments he gave me for the very same things. Or when I watch a Bones episode I think of how he would comment on it. I e-mailed him two days after he left, but he didn't respond. I want to e-mail him again, but to what purpose? Maybe he wants to sever all contact.

And then, just a couple of weeks later, she changed the desk. Now, I was only working the desk Saturdays by then, and Origami and Jazz had it during the week. The perk of the job was literally doing whatever you wanted in exchange for being forced to sit in a chair for nine and a half hours a day. 

Efficiency changed that. No computers. No drawing. No painting. No crocheting. No knitting. No sewing. no reading. Absolutely nothing except answering phones, counting customers, directing and greeting people, and whatever menial tasks they can come up with to fill in the hours.

Origami hated having to sit down even with the freedom of doing whatever task she liked best. With no origami, no bracelet making, no artsy stuff...she couldn't take it. After two days of nothing she left for lunch and never came back. Not even for her last check. She had that sent to her through Jazz.

And I told Manager Man that he had better hire someone who could take Saturdays, too, because I couldn't sit at that desk and do nothing for a whole day, either.

The answer was to hire...Space Cadet.

It's not that I don't like her. I do.

But...she doesn't do her job well. I mean, obviously nobody could ever do that job as flawlessly and efficiently as I did. I brought a charm and a courtesy to the job that no one could ever hope to achieve. But every receptionist should be able to figure out how to taking a fucking message, for crying out loud.

Pardon my language, but everybody is frustrated over this. 

Coffin suggested that we "hang the bitch".

I don't understand it. When we are all with customers, when the store is crawling with people, she will sit there and page. And page. And page. And page. And with each page she says it with just a little more attitude.

The protocol has always been simple: page it twice, and if no one answers you take a message. The only time it is acceptable to keep paging and sound irritated while doing it is when you see people standing around, not helping anyone, who can answer the call and just won't do it. Or when the caller insists they want to hold rather than leave a message or call back.

Absolutely no other reason.

And she doesn't even ANSWER the phones half the time!

She's out of her seat so much that we're always having to stop helping people to answer the calls. Sometimes I'm talking to a customer and I'll hear the phone ring six times before I realize she's not at her desk and I have to pick up.

And she's not at her desk! Hello! The point of the desk is SECURITY! 

I think someone just needs to sit her down and explain to her that she has to answer the phones and take messages. Isn't that the definition of a receptionist? 

It isn't that freaking hard. Phone rings. Answer it.

Even when she IS answering the phones she always lets it ring twice. Twice. 


And I'm not the only one annoyed. I've said this. 

But I am NOT going back to do the damn job.

And she's always going to the bathroom. Now, I realize this is the one thing she can't help. I understand that pregnancy messes with your bladder and all that. But everything else? Inexcusable!

We've decided that we have to have Manager Man just...give her a light talking to. Just explaining the message and phone answering protocols. We have a receptionist so we don't have to interrupt sales to answer the phones. That's the whole effing point!

The third employee was one from our South Store who I only ever spoke to on the phone. He was nice, but he got fired. Apparently he threatened to throw a stapler at one of his coworkers. If that's a firing offense, I'm in trouble. I threaten to throw things at Dizzy at least three times a week. 

Aside from that, though, things are changing for the better. We've been remodeling the store for several weeks. The mess is getting annoying, and I hate spending an entire day fixing something only to have to change it again the next day, but it's definitely coming together. I've sustained some injuries. Scratches, bruises, panic attacks. But it will end eventually.

And really the panic attack was all Dizzy's fault because he knows I hate going up ladders and he knows not to make sudden noises or to touch me while I'm up there. And yet every time I have to go up a ladder he comes and grabs my legs and yells, "Don't fall!" which sends me into a state of hysteria.

I never go above the second rung and it's still terrifying. They really just shouldn't make me go up ladders, but it's MY department. Of course, there are lots of jobs that require someone else to go up higher, but nobody wants to do it unless they have to, and of course they can't risk me having a panic attack by making me go up higher than two rungs so when I reach that problem, and it's always inevitable, somebody else finds the time to help just long enough to the the too high job done.

I'm wondering if there is any legal way to fight being sent up the ladder at all. One step is okay. I'm good with that. Doesn't freak me out at all. Two steps? Scary. Three? Absolutely won't do it. Tried that once and somebody dropped a book behind me and I nearly fell to my death and I had to sit in the back for an hour to calm myself down before I was reasonable again.

During all of this remodeling I've realized two things: our store did not utilize space efficiently at all and our customers are absolutely unreasonable.

When we remodeled sheet music all of the old shelves were torn down and the sheet music was stacked in neat, organized columns on the floor. People complained frequently about not being able to find anything, and one woman got so frustrated when we told her it would take us a few minutes to find her book because of the remodel that she actually went to all the stacks of music and knocked them over, one by one, with her walking stick. After that nothing was organized and we just had to put it back into stacks, and never mind what instrument they were for or what genre they fell in. It took us three days to sort it all out when we got the sheet music room full of shelves.

I'm tired. I just want it to be over. And you should see the Christmas decorations they're bringing in this year. It's tacky to decorate until the day after Thanksgiving in the world of retail. (Walmart and Target are tacky about Christmas.) But this year they've decided to decorate the week of Thanksgiving. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

But whatever. It doesn't matter. I'm just glad they finally listened to me and decided to switch the front entrance to the other side of the store. 


  1. Remodeling anything even a little bit always turns into pain and drama. I'm sorry about all the upheaval. I hope things will settle down soon.

    Allow me to just say: YAY for seeing a new post from you! I miss seeing you around here, and while I realize that your schedule has changed dramatically, I can't help but be selfish and hope that you'll be able to spend more time here in the blogosphere. Yes, I know I'm selfish. It's a real problem sometimes...

    PS: I would have put a serious hex on that evil, crazy woman who knocked over all of the music stacks! What a bi**h!!!

  2. I think it's tacky to put up decorations before Thanksgiving too, I have seen them come out immediately after Halloween here in some stores.
    So are the good changes out weighing the bad?

  3. If they hired the receptionist because of efficiency, they don't seem to be getting their money's worth. Why isn't your efficiency expert taking notice of all the problems Space Cadet is causing?

  4. Some people see "change" as efficiency and equate the two as if they were the same. I've been through the reign of several different efficiency experts in several different jobs and the outcome is always the same. We do things differently for a few months and everybody gets pissed off. A few people quit or get fired. Then the expert finally goes away and things go slowly back to the way they were before and everyone is happy again.

  5. The efficiency expert has been hired as co-manager. I see.

    If this person is so efficient, why didn't she already have a job?

  6. "our customers are absolutely unreasonable."

    I suspect that you were already well aware of that. Of course, if I went everywhere with a walking stick, I might use it to knock everything over too...just to show the world I could. Bwahahahaha!

    Sorry to hear about your restricted computer use. That's probably why we haven't seen you around as much. The bastards!

  7. Candice, my department is almost completely finished, I'm proud to say. It's not that Raver and I are obsessive about having a clean work environment. We're just dedicated to it. But the guitar side of the is still a mess. But I will totally put up pictures when my side of the store is finished. My Wall of Sound is going to be the most beautiful wall in the world when I'm done! I just have to wait for the last of the fixtures...

    I wanted to break her stick.

    George, I believe Wal-Mart put up their Christmas stuff when they put up the Halloween stuff. Rather than sticking Halloween in Seasonal they gave it a special place up front and put out Christmas in Seasonal. Tacky.

    And I think the good outweighs the bad. We've got way more stuff out, and yet more room to walk. Our store is now handicap accessible in all departments, which it wasn't before. With more terminals we no longer have to worry about lines getting too long during peak hours. With more things displayed on the wall they are selling faster. It's very good. It's just time consuming.

    Brent, they hired the receptionist to replace the one that quit. She wasn't for efficiency. She was meant to do the job I've always done.

    Rev, nah it's definitely better this way. More space, more displays, and entire room covered in sheet music...and no more guitar questions since Band is now on the other side of the wall from Guitars. It's wonderful.

    Doug, she was offered a great salary and health benefits. (She can afford the ridiculous prices because they pay her well for it.) She left her old company for more money and a better title.

    Bryan, I've tried to catch up, but without nine hours a day at work to blog with it's harder to fit it in with my schedule. But I will find a balance somewhere! In the meantime...forgive me!!!

  8. Ohmygod. This whole thing was crazy, but can we talk about the whole old-lady-with-the-stick thing? I mean did she do it angrily, or sneakily, or spitefully, or was she yelling? Did you say anything to her after she went all batshit crazy? Did she leave in a huff? I canNOT wrap my mind around this whole thing. I kind of wished you had filmed it so it could've become a viral sensation or something. Old Lady Goes Crazy in a Music Store. I'd watch it.

  9. I would say that she did it...calmly. Blatantly. She just looked at us, then went about her way doing it, turning to look at us every couple of stacks to make sure we were watching. As for saying anything to her? We asked her if we could help her find something so she wouldn't have to do that and she just snapped, "NO," and went on doing it. She's been shopping there for years, of course, so there will be no repercussions.


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