Friday, July 30, 2010

Why I work.

A lady went to do a return today, and she had two young boys in the cart with her...

Boy: I have a dime!
Me: That's cool! I don't have any dimes. *holds out empty hand*
Boy: That's because you're poor.
Me: That's right, I'm poor. That's why I have to work.

I wonder if their mom was embarrassed. I was quite amused. And that, folks, is why I have to work.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

She says the funniest things!

Curly Girly is learning to talk, and just in the past few months really started to say a lot of different words. Just when I think something she says is totally cute (like "Ewww, gross!" when she takes off her diapers), she manages to top it with something cuter a few days later. Babies and toddlers amaze me because they are constantly learning new things. When they learn something you didn't teach them, it's fascinating.

Anyhow, I got a credit card offer in the mail the other day. I tear them to little bitty bits before I throw them away, but I pull the fake cards out and give them to Curly Girly to play with, because lately she is entertained by cards. (Maybe because she likes to play with Daddy's wallet?) So I hand her the card and she says all excitedly, " 's money??!"

Now I KNOW I didn't teach her that. I don't even have a credit card. Either she watches too much tv, or spends too much time listening to other people at my work. Perhaps both. It's cute at any rate. It also reminds me that it's not too far in the future that I will have to teach her about money and using it responsibly. She's growing up so fast!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Work cracks me up!

I know I've been talking a lot about work when it's my days off, but seriously, that place cracks me up! I take back returns, which, for the most part, is the easiest and funniest job in the store. A lot of people I work with say they would never want my job because that's where the angry customers go. They look at me horrified when I tell them my job is easy. I tell them that maybe 1% of my customers are angry, but they seem suspicious.

Have you ever seen someone flip out because we won't return their junky old item because it's over a year past their 90 day return period? Yeah, I have. It's hilarious. They tell me how it's my fault for selling them low quality merchandise, like I'm the one in the factory that put it together or something. They complain that they didn't know anything about the return policy, even though it's posted in big letters on the wall behind my register, and for some items that are exceptions to the 90 day rule, it is posted in the department by the items, and on their receipt. "You actually expect people to read the receipt?" Can you believe people actually ask me that? And yes, I do expect that people read the receipt, and yes, other people do. I know because people come to me when they get overcharged 5 cents on their grapes or something.

Someone yelling at me because they don't understand the concept of 90 days is amusing to me. If they are particularly unruly, I just call up my boss. This is not because I want someone to give in to them. This is not because I feel intimidated or like crying. It is because they won't listen to me, and because I am usually trying not to laugh in front of them.

The best part of people flipping out about return policies? We take back darn near everything within reason. You sat on your toilet seat and it cracked under you a week after you bought it? Bring it back. You bought a goldfish and it died after 2 months? Stick it in a plastic baggy and bring it on in. You bought underwear, and when you tried it on, it was 3 sizes too small and fit like a thong when it shouldn't have? Come get your refund. You have meat that you bought a few days ago, and when you went to use it, it smelled so bad that Oscar the Grouch would vomit? Take that stenchy mess back into the store! I don't know about you, but I think that is pretty reasonable. If you saw the stuff I take back on a normal day, you'd probably be like, "What?!? Why would you take that back?"

While I'm on the topic of returns, I will tell you the funniest reason I hear about returning stuff....
"I looked at the package and it said it's made in China so I'm bringing it back."

...Wait, what? Are you serious? You should just stop shopping here, because at *insertstorenamehere*, a lot of stuff is made in China or other equally far away countries. The best part of this is that the majority of these people come to me and not my other return worker buddies. They know this and they think it's funny too. I don't get it because 1. I'm not Chinese, 2. I'm not anti-Chinese (or anti-any nationality), and 3. I don't care what country my stuff is made in. It's a big mystery of returns.

The other mystery of returns: the invisible worker. Our counter is rather long, with 4 registers. I use the short, handicap accessible one on the end, because no one else likes it and I don't mind it. Just the other day, I was at the short register, and a coworker was on the far other end of the counter, and no one was at the two in the center. We were both standing there at our registers, and when customers walked up, we were greeting them and asking how we could help them. So where do you think they go? If you guess the two empty registers in the middle, you are correct. (If I were at a middle register, they would go to whichever end is furthest away. It's part of the mystery of the phantom worker.)
 I want to know how they can see the invisible cashier, when I don't see anything. Even when I go, "I can help you down here on the end," they still put their return in the middle of the counter, a good 10 feet from where I am. My favorite part is when they ignore me asking them to come to the end, and they watch me walk back and forth from them to my register 3 or 4 times to get the return done. I have found a good solution to this though. They park their stuff in front of an empty register. I start their return and tell them, "I will be right back," and go to process the return. All of a sudden, they are in front of my register! Works like a charm!

Ok, that is my rambling look into the amusing parts of my job! Doesn't it sound like fun? (I suppose you probably shouldn't answer that.)


Friday, July 23, 2010

Stupid Thieves.

Since I take back returns at *insertstorenamehere*, I have had the opportunity to see a lot of weird things and hear a lot of weird stories. Some are funny, some are good stories, but the majority just leave me either angry, shaking my head in disbelief, or both.

The common misconception about the place I work is that the workers are stupid, poor, and trashy. People say they are boycotting the store because it treats the employees so badly- terrible wages and whatnot. These same people come in wanting to "stick it to the [evil smiley faced] man" and steal a few (ok, maybe more than a few) items from the store.

I just want to let those thieves know-- it's your fault our wages stink and why prices on the items you do buy to make you look like a normal customer when you are stealing a whole purse full of stuff get raised. Honestly, I don't make a ton of money but my wage isn't completely horrible. But it's still not a lot, which is why my coworkers and I look forward to our quarterly bonuses. Thanks directly to people sticking it to *insertstorenamehere* and helping themselves to a five finger discount, my almost 500 coworkers and I won't be getting a bonus. I was hoping for a bonus to make sure we squeaked by on bills for that month, or to make sure I had a little saved for Christmas presents for my family. It's not really "bonus" happy money for most of us- it's something we will notice not getting and something that we could have used.

I suppose if you're a thief that perhaps you don't really care about other people. Plus, you think "Thou Shalt Not Steal" is an optional concept. It's rather unfortunate. But if you really hate my workplace and the way it treats its workers, hows about you stop stealing from us and just stop shopping there, instead of making our problems worse.

Also, maybe next time you're trying to return stolen stuff, don't talk to me like I'm an idiot? I have a college degree, I've been in my job for several years, and I see right through your stupid story about why you have that expensive item but your grandma's uncle's cousin's great-nephew's pet pot-bellied pig has a receipt fetish and you can't pry the receipt out of his snotty snout. I hope you know that I don't believe you. And when you throw a fit to get your own way, I'm not quiet because I'm afraid of you and want to cave. I'm quiet because I'm trying really hard not to laugh at your ridiculous toddler-style tantrum.

That is all.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Muppet Nightmares

I haven't started having Muppet nightmares, but I know it's in my near future at the rate things are going. Curly Girly hands me the remote every day going "Elmooo peeease?" I won't even tell you how many episodes of Sesame Street I watch a day. If that's not scary enough, she's got Elmo books, DVDs, toys, and potty, so I'm not safe in any room of the house.

In fact, the one room that should be a haven, and Elmo-free zone, is the worst, Elmo-iest place in the world. My bedroom has even been infiltrated by that furry red Muppet. You see, I have Curly Girly's birthday preparations in my room to keep safe from grubby 1 year old mitts. That means Elmo party favors and decorations in a big box in my room. And the scariest Elmo of all is in there. We got her a stuffed Elmo with glowing eyes. Darn thing is freaky. Might come get us in our sleep. *shudders*

So if you hear someone screaming from the Midwest in the middle of the night, it's just me, either waking up from the worst and furriest dream of my life, or being attacked by the scariest Elmo doll ever.


Saturday, July 3, 2010


So, I completely forgot to mention earlier this week- my birthday was Tuesday. I turned 29 on the 29th. That is pretty nifty. I have high hopes for my 29-ness. I'm not sure why. I just like being 29. 29 is a cool number. 29 is a good age, where you're still 20s, which is young, but definitely an adult. Maybe this year will be the year when customers stop asking me if I'm old enough to sell them alcohol? I'm not sure what this year will bring, but I'm just happy to be 29. It's good.

(And what did I do to celebrate my birthday, you ask? I made myself a carrot cake. It was good. And being that I live in Nebraska now, I watched people light off fireworks. It's a benefit of being born near the 4th and one of the good things about playing Nebraskan for a while. That's all. I'm a big party animal! Woo!)


Potty Time With Elmo!

So the kiddo all of a sudden hates dirty diapers. She even tries to change her own diapers. She used to not mind sitting in a dirty diaper and fussed when we insisted on changing her. Now, she finds her diapers, opens one, sits on it backward, and then takes her dirty diaper off to give to me or her daddy. Sometimes she will hand us the diaper first, with an accompanying "Ewww, gross." Thanks, kid. Really nice.

So Curly Girly aka Elmo Addict has an Elmo potty that we got her for Christmas, and I figured it was as good a time as any to bust it out and see what happens. Now this thing talks in a creepy Elmo voice in French, Spanish, and English. I'm all for equal language opportunity, but honestly, Elmo speaking things I didn't understand was giving me the heebie jeebies, so my husband tinkered with it and figured out how to make it just creepy in one language that I at least understand.

Curly Girly sometimes sits on it, but usually just to press the button and make it talk. She's much more interested in watching me go to the bathroom. Ewww, gross. I'm not one for putting on Ducky's Potty Show, so it's kind of weird to have another person in there watching me go. Although, she is a very nice audience, and even claps when I flush. *bows* Thank you, thank you, I do 3-4 shows a day so be sure to check me out later, kid.

She seems to understand some basic potty concepts. She can say "pee pee," "poo poo," and "potty." She takes off her own diaper to sit on the potty. She even tries to wipe herself and then bugs me to let her wash her hands afterward. It's totally cute! But she just won't go. She's only one so we have plenty of time though. She even said, "Potty, please!" and then shook the gate for me to let her upstairs to her potty, but when she got up there she pushed the Elmo button a few times and then ran naked into the hallway to torture one of the cats.

So I am actually telling you all of this to tell you that we bought the "Elmo's Potty Time" DVD because I thought it might help her out. It's 45 minutes long, and I think MAYBE 1 minute of that is actually showing a potty. They talk on 123 Sesame Street's outside steps about words for urine and feces. Elmo rides his tricycle around the street and talks about what it feels like to have to go. Then Elmo and another Muppet (Telly maybe? I forget) sing about how it's ok to have accidents when you're learning. Baby Bear talks about how his little sister Curly Bear is potty training. Prairie Dawn has a flashback about buying her big girl underpants (with pianos on them!). So where is the actual potty in potty training?

I was hoping that if Curly Girly saw Elmo sitting on a potty, then maybe she'd want to too. But they only show him on a potty for a few seconds that the beginning, while his dad sings a potty song and then goes in search of air freshener because apparently Elmo reeks. But the rest of the episode it all about the concept of the potty and no instructional potty-ness or how to for the kiddies. No offense, Elmo, but poo to that! (har, har)

There were 2 things I liked about the DVD. 1. A kid says the word "dookie." 2. It was brought to you by the letter P and the number 2! HAHAHAHA!

Anyhow, I just wanted to say that potty training is so much more amusing when Elmo is involved.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting ready for an Elmo-stravaganza.

Curly Girly loves many things. Her parents of course, and her kitties. Strawberries. Dirt. Jonas Brothers. Imagination Movers. Monkeys. Cookies. Tacos. The list goes on. But her undying love and infatuation is ELMO. So we are planning an Elmo party for her 2nd birthday.

We went overboard on her first birthday. What one year old needs cake AND cupcakes? (It was, in my defense, a cupcake themed party, but still...) And the pinata? One year olds have no patience and skill to pull strings on a pinata. So it sat there with the candy still in it. So you think we (read: I) would have learned. But nooooo. There may not be cupcakes this year. But this is probably going to be a ridiculously Elmo filled birthday party and way overboard for a two year old.

I am cheaping out on the decorations. No fancy Elmo tablecloth and plates and fancy colored plastic tableware. I bought solid red balloons and some red crepe paper on clearance at work. As soon as the 4th is over, I will head to clearance to add paper plates, cups, and napkins. I also intend to find a cheap orange tablecloth and orange crepe paper. I did buy 2 Elmo mylar balloons, but I searched the internet for about a month finding the cheapest ones ($1.40 on Amazon, as opposed to $3.00 for the inflated ones of the same pattern at work). I also finally bought a Cricut machine (which I've been drooling over for years, so I found a cheap one on eBay), and the first cartridge I got for it? Elmo's Party, so I can make the invitations and decorations right here!

I should probably also mention that I have been planning this party since early June (maybe even late May), and her party isn't until late September. No, I take that back. I got her first party supplies in DECEMBER, before Christmas. (I won a gift card to a site that had Elmo party stuff so I got the cake pan and some Elmo books for the goody bags for just the price of shipping, hooray!) So that gives you an idea of how involved I am with this party that she probably won't remember and that I really don't have much else to do.

I may have taken the cheap route on the decorations, but I tend to splurge on the goody bags. I want the other kids to feel special too, and the goody bags are like my special mark on the party, if that makes sense. Last year I didn't put too much in the bags (crayons, fake tattoos, etc.) but I personalized little pink canvas-y bags with each little girl's name. This year, the goody bags aren't personalized (yet?!) but they will be filled with enough awesome stuff to make any Elmo-loving toddler happy.

This year's goody bag, put in orange rubbery basket totes (75 cents each, woo!):
*Elmo musical alphabet book (used gift card)
*Sesame Street activity book (used gift card)
*Elmo or Big Bird sticker paper doll book (used gift card)
*bubbles (50 cents each, removed labels and replaced them with Elmo stickers)
*glow bracelets ($1.00 for a 15 pack so about 18 cents per goody bag)
*Elmo sippy cup (used gift card)
 *Elmo scratch n sniff stickers ($2.00, or 33 cents a goody bag)
*9" Plush Elmo ($4.88 each from eBay)
*Elmo colored bath fizzy tablets (96 cents each)
*Elmo washcloth (got a 6 pack for just under $5 on eBay)

When I used the gift card, I did pay shipping, which probably amounts to *maybe* $1.50 per goody bag. Even with that, I think I am still under $10 per bag, which I know may be a lot, but the stuff in there is worth way more than what I paid. I am hoping the room full of two and three year olds will be super excited to open them and discover the goodies inside. I also intend to buy a small amount of candy for them as well, which I already have Elmo plastic bags to put it in (paid for with gift card).

I also bought Curly Girly a super cute Elmo dress ($7.50ish on eBay), and her present, an Elmo Loves You doll ($26). We wanted to get her the Elmo Live! Encore doll, but it's $60 and you can't play with it, just watch it, and 2 year olds want toys they can play with! 

So here's the breakdown:

Cake pan, plastic bags, 6 Elmo books, 6 activity books, 6 sticker doll books, 6 sippy cups: $12.00
6 Elmo plush: $29.28
Elmo stickers: $2.00
Elmo washcloths: $4.74
2 Elmo mylar balloons:  $2.80
Elmo dress: $7.24
6 Elmo bath fizzies: $5.60
6 Bubbles: $3.21
Elmo Cricut cartridge (not including Cricut cause that was not just for the party): $20.00
Elmo Loves You doll: $26.99
glow bracelets: $1.07
Crepe paper and balloons: $2.41
6 orange totes: $4.82

TOTAL SO FAR: $122.15 (includes tax)

It sure does add up fast, doesn't it? We still need paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, and one more crepe paper. Food for the party will just be part of our normal groceries so no big deal there. I really hope Curly Girly likes her party!