Friday, May 22, 2009

Good times and bad times

Ever had a life altering experience that colored the way you look at the world?

Ever been so angry at someone that just the sight of them makes you cringe?

Ever felt so much pain that you can't eat or sleep? That you gasp for breath? too.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Yeah....I'm back.

Been away far. far. too. long.

Tales from the LSS:

The store that I work at has 2 special events per year. One in Jan and one in May for National Scrapbook Day.

For those two days, the store owner arranges with companies to come and teach a class...usually a two page layout, for FIVE DOLLARS.

The companies that come don't donate the supplies. They don't prep the supplies. The owner buys everything that's needed, plus often more for the store. She cuts everything out, even things that need to be hand cut, and assembles it all into kits.

I have seen some of the invoices for just the kit supplies and often, even at 5 dollars a kit, she's not covering the cost of the supplies, NOT to mention that she's definitely not covering the time it takes to put it all together.

She has 3 rules:

No bags in the classroom (stuff walks away)
No children in the classroom

The reason, obviously, is that if she is spending all that time and money to do this for her customers, she also hopes that they will COME TO THE STORE and spend some money. She only has sales twice a year...the same days that she does these classes. On those days you can get 25% off of your ENTIRE PURCHASE.

Yesterday, well, was a mess.

Part of it was my fault.

I had a friend that signed up for the classes. Pretty sure I told her that she had to be there to get the kits, but I can't honestly remember now.

Her daughter ended up having a dance competition at the same time. When she got to the store, she'd missed half her classes and couldn't get the kits OR a refund.

So I'm standing there at the counter while they go back and boss upset because she'd been having this same issue all day with people just wanting to take the kits home for friends who didn't show, etc. My friend is in tears, my boss is frustrated, and it pretty much looks like its all my fault.

Fast forward a bit. I have to teach two of the classes because the manufacturers were from out of state and couldn't send someone.

I get in the class and start calling names to hand out the kits. One lady has her name on two kits and says that she's already arranged it with my boss to take the other one home.


She is also sitting RIGHT NEXT TO MY FRIEND.

I tell her that I have to check with Kathy. When I get to the list, there are three girls in back whose names I didn't call. I ask them if they are signed up for the class and one replies, "Yeah, because all the other ones were ugly."

I go up front and check the sign up cards. Sure enough, they're signed up for two classes, but NOT for the one they are currently sitting in. I go back to tell this to the lady and she says, "There is NO way we would have signed up for THAT class. We hated the project!"


I run back up front, trying to put out fires and NOT teaching anything. My boss is stuck at the register and tells me to send the people in question up front.

So I tell the "arrangement" lady that she needs to talk to my boss. She heads out. I tell the three girls in back that they need to go up front to talk to the boss, she can't come back because she's stuck with customers.

As they flounce out of the room,the vocal one says, "Well, what the HELL are we?"


After "arrangement" lady leaves, my friend's sister mutters, "Well, SHE'S been getting extra kits ALL DAY."

I haven't BEEN there all day. I have no. freaking. clue.

My boss comes back into the room and tells me to give the three girls kits, but tells arrangement lady that she can't take an extra one. I notice that arrangement lady does NOT mention she's taken them for the rest of the classes.

As I teach the class (which mostly consists of answering questions) I can hear a dialogue from the back of the room from the three disgruntled girls:

"OMG...they are Nazis here! And the kits aren't even cute."

"That's why I always go to (insert competitors name here.) They have better stuff and they're not all bitches!"

And all I can think is...please please DO go there, and don't let the door hitcha on your snotty little fannies on the way out.

Just as the class is over, arrangement lady calls me over and says, "Can I talk to you outside for a minute?"

Oh. No.

She says, "I need your advice. I DID make arrangements to take the kits home and she must have forgotten. I would NEVER have signed up for two if she had told me I couldn't take one home."

Uh...what does she think I can do about this?

So, I just tell her what I've been told...and that she needs to talk to the boss. I turn around...and boss is RIGHT THERE. boss is funny about a lot of things, and while I agree that people should have to attend the class, I don't necessarily agree about not giving store credit back if they miss it, especially if they sold the kit to someone else. But one thing about her, she always does right by me. She could see that I was upset about what had happened with my friend, and she made it right. My friend left happy.

But I, well, I had had enough.

When did people get so rude? So entitled? One other thing...we had just gotten in a lot of darling Doodlebug product because we had them do a class. And almost everything on that display WALKED AWAY. Someone stole it. People went to buy it after the class and it was ALL GONE.

Scrapbooking isn't a necessity. You don't need it to survive. And you're not going to get much for product on Ebay anymore.

Someone just felt entitled, somehow.

What a long, long, day.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

25 random things you may or may not know...

So...I joined the Facebook revolution and in the week or so I've been on, I've been tagged several times to do this list of 25 "random things."

Reading it...I sorta sound like a downer. And like it's "all about me." (Which, incedentally, I tell people quite often, but as a joke. Because when it becomes all about me, I tend to freak out a little.)

Things are going on with me, myself and I that have me...reflecting. Wondering how I got to the point I'm at and where I go from here. I know some people think I've been offended, and actually, that's not the deal at all. I've had things going on in my head for a long time, and now is good a time as any to try to reconcile a few things.

Anyway...keep all that in mind as you read my 25 random things, which aren't nearly as witty or amusing as I usually like to post. I'm not feeling particularly witty nor amusing at the moment. I will, however, leave you with my new favorite quote from "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: "Heaven has no taste...and not one single sushi restaraunt."

Here are my 25 *random* things:

1. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I hate it. Even though I tell myself that I don't want to share what's going on in my head (stress, whatever) it always, ALWAYS finds its way out. I am QUEEN of the overshare.

2. I can get really annoyed/mad at someone, but I don't hold grudges/stay mad. Though I don't forget, either. ;)

3. Everyone thinks that I'm an extrovert, because I can be very animated and loud in a group, but it's something that I've had to learn. My natural inclination is to be home curled up in a chair. I have to force myself to socialize. I feel very awkward in one on one situations.

4. I have an unnatural aversion to talking on the phone. I don't enjoy it and always want to get off quickly.

5. I overthink everything. Overanalyze it. Read things into it. And then stress over it.

6. I've always wanted to teach, ever since I was little. I teach pre-k now, but would really like to get my degree to do kindergarten.

7. I scrapbook, but it's not a natural talent. I have to work at it and I'm always unhappy with the end result.

8. I'm cynical. And I still get caught off guard when someone does me wrong.

9. I love to read...mostly sci-fi or fantasy. Terry Pratchett tickles my funny bone.

10. I used to be considered an excellent writer. Sometimes when thngs are quiet, I write in my head: usually snippets of books or letters to people who have hurt me. But I never committ anything to paper.

11. I often imagine I'm anyone else but me. That's why Halloween's my favorite holiday and why I love murder mystery games.

12. I have this fear that if someone attacks me, I won't be able to scream. It bothers me so much that I dream about it a lot...and one time I actually screamed in my sleep.

13. I prefer Jacob over Edward. Edward's a wuss.

14. I also have a fear of being in a car underwater. I have nightmares about it.

15. I love to try new foods from different countries. As long as it's recognizable and doesn't have tentacles or fur still attached.

16. My pet peeves: people who drive while on the phone, people who don't return emails/phone calls, and people who cut in line. At some point, I've been guilty of all of these.

17. I prefer honesty over lies, even if the truth hurts. But I don't always want/need to know if someone's trashing me behind my back.

18. I used to be really athletic: I ran track, played soccer and did some gymnastics. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't fully pursue one of these.

19. My other biggest regret is that I didn't apply myself in school and chose to just skate by.

20. I have strong convictions, but that doesn't mean that I can't/won't change them. My gut instinct is to play devil's advocate, which makes people think that I'm shutting them down when I'm really exploring all the options.

21. Connectng with old friends has been really exciting for me!

22. My favorite movie is Serenity and my favorite line is "Shiny. Let's be bad guys." My second favorite movie is the Rundown partly because I think The Rock is hot.

23. I also think Vin Diesl is hot...even if he is a jerk.

24. I wish I could sing like my sister Keri, write/paint like my mom, manage my money like my dad, be cool and good lookin' like my brother Dan, keep in touch with people like my sister Becky, and take life less seriously like my brother Nick.

25. I have had my wallet stolen...twice. One of them was a good old fashoined mugging.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You learn something new every day....

Today in pre-k I was teaching the children about koalas. (Who are NOT bears. Say bears around my boss and she will kill you. Slowly. With marshmallows.)

And we were talking about how koalas only live in one place (Australia) because they only eat one thing (euchalyptus) and how even though there are over 300 varieties of that plant, Koalas only eat 35 types...and some will only eat one or two.

So that led to a short discussion about endangered animals...and to explain endangered, I had to first explain "extinct."

So I say "Extinct is when there are no more of that animal on the Earth. The dinosaurs are extinct....they used to live on the earth but there aren't any here anymore."

At that, one little boy starts waving his arm madly in front of my face. I try to put him off by saying "Just a minute, Sam," but it's apparent he's going to blow.

"Ok, Sam, what is it?" I ask.

"Jesus KILLED all the dinosaurs!"

Who knew? All this time I thought it was climate change...turns out Jesus did it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your Tax Dollars at Work....

So, my oldest dd has been complaining for a while that her physics teacher is two cans short of a six pack. She says that he spouts random stuff and often pulls out his guitar to serenade his class with Bob Marley, the Beatles, and all the songs he wrote for his ex-wives before they were ex.

Here's one little dialouge she shared with me:

Teacher: Here velocity equals...Hey you! Spit out your gum! Gum isn't allowed in this class, you guys know that. It's chewy and stretchy and it gets stuck on EVERYTHING.

Did you know that once in my 3rd grade class that I was chewing gum and I coughed and it shot to the front of the room and stuck to the chalkboard? You know, I really didn't like my 3rd grade teacher. She was weird and mean and smells like fish.

You know, I've never really liked fish, either. Think about it. They swim in the water and the water's all gross and they drink this water and breathe the water...

In Japan, they eat raw fish. I think that's really gross because do you know how many toxins are in fish? Like salmonella and stuff...

You know, my uncle used to go ice-fishing, but he decided he didn't like it because we didn't eat his fish. It always reminds me of this 80's song about the cold....

At this point dd says that she tuned him out. And I don't think she ever found out what velocity equalled.

We went to talk to the school guidance counselor because dd failed this class last quarter. In our conversation, we found out that the class average was FIFTY-FOUR percent.

This is NOT Honors Physics or AP Physics. This is gen ed physics that every kid in that HS has to take as part of the graduation requirements. And this guy's class average is an F.

I asked if we could move her. The counselor said we should "talk to the teacher first."

And say what, exactly? "You stink and we want a new teacher? Physics does not equal fish and velocity does not equal the speed of your coughed out gum as it hits the chalkboard?" my DH, who is quite good at things such as math and physics has taken over re-teaching physics to my teen. It's stressfull sometimes, because they don't understand math on the same wavelength. But at least it's PHYSICS and not the Beatles.

Not that there's anything wrong with the Beatles, of course. But if I want my daughter listening to classic rock, I'll buy her a CD.

I don't expect it to come out of my taxes.