Friday, January 30, 2009

A Quick Update

The company did not make the layoff announcements today. As far as I know it has been postponed another week. Joy! I just love suspense, don't you...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Whine (Wine) Session

I would like to start off by saying that I am a healthy person. I have never had the flu. I don’t get colds, stomach bugs, viruses or any other sort of ailments. I had my appendix out when I was 12. That was the most traumatic medical event in my life. I am blessed with a fantastic immune system. Germs don’t stand a chance in this body. I’m a mean, lean, germ resistin’ machine. The last time I was REALLY sick was almost five years ago when I got a bad case of strep throat.

Until THIS WEEK. This week, I have the worst cold I have ever had in my life. I went home early from work yesterday. I am sick during the week that 100 people will be laid off at my job. I couldn’t be sick last week when it didn’t matter if I was here or not. NNOOOOO, not me. I have to be sick THIS WEEK. Remember that lady that was blowing her nose at the minute clinic? The one that I said had bad manners? The one that I said should go to the bathroom to blow her nose? I have changed my mind. I finally gave up going to the bathroom every five minutes to blow my nose. It just wasn’t working out for me. I think people should blow their noses ANY PLACE they want. Karma people, karma. That’s exactly what I get for giving her such a hard time.

I went to the drugstore today during my lunch hour to stock up on tissue. I had to replace the ENTIRE box that I used in the office. I got a box to keep on my desk and a small package to carry in my purse cuz DANG!!!!! My nose is running like a water faucet. I had to blow my nose in the middle of the drugstore. Humiliation is my name, degradation is my game. Yes I LOVE to have my body leaking fluids and not have any control over it what-so-ever. I had no idea a cold could be so miserable.

The downside of having a fabulous immune system is that when some cold or virus manages to sneak in, it’s a doozy. I’m talking about stuffy, feverish, hacking up a lung sick. Not just a nice delicate sneeze here and there. Thank you dear readers for allowing me this time to whine. I don’t have a husband to whine to, so I hope you guys don’t mind. I think I need a nice, hot toddy. I’m not sure what’s in one, but it sounds good. I’m sure there is some kind of alcohol involved……….

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Miss Manners

I have been fighting off a cold. Today I decided to go to the “minute clinic” on my lunch hour. I was hoping to get in and out pretty quickly. That was a fantasy. There was only one patient in front of me. It was an elderly lady who was hacking up a lung. The lady sitting closest to me was her daughter. I waited, and waited. I was debating whether or not I was going to leave. The lady sitting beside me made my decision. She whips out a tissue and begins blowing her nose very loudly. It sounded like a lot was coming out. It was so gross and repulsive……and wet.. I got up and left.

Is it considered acceptable to just whip out a tissue and perform nasal decongestion on yourself? I find it to be disgusting and vile. I don’t want anyone to witness me blowing my nose, and I don’t want to see or hear anyone else doing it. Go to the freakin’ bathroom people. I must have a nose blowing phobia or something. The lady sat there and blew her nose, and then she apologized! How about go to the bathroom and then you don’t have to apologize for doing something completely revolting.

What is wrong with this country when we think the public blowing of our nasal cavities is perfectly acceptable to share with others? Don’t we have any manners? What’s next….public nose picking? I think a strongly worded letter is definitely in order.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I have been to ask around. I have taken a liking to cooking pancakes, eggs, and bacon on the weekends. My dilemma is that I don't have anything big enough to cook with. I end up taking forever to cook because I only have ONE pan that I use to cook the pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Is there some sort of fairly inexpensive griddle I can buy. I need something that will allow me to cook more than one pancake at a time. Seriously. It took forever for me to cook breakfast yesterday. Melissa informed me that I took too long. I informed her that if she doesn't like how long it takes to cook breakfast that she can make it herself next time.

No News Is.....No News

I cleaned out all my personal files. I organized all of my work files. I am considering removing my personal photos from my desk. This way if I am laid off, I can get out of the building that much faster. I prefer that my co-workers not witness my uncontrollable sobbing. It is very quiet and somber around here. I see more grim faces than happy ones. I walk around wondering which faces will be gone soon. I wonder if mine will be one that is gone. We know it’s coming. Company officials are not even trying to keep it under wraps.

The rumor is that 30% of us company wide will be laid off. That’s approximately 111 employees. The decisions will be made later this week. If I am not laid off, I wonder how my role within the company will change. Will I take on more responsibility? Will I be demoted and forced to resume doing payroll again? That’s not the worst thing that could happen to me.

The worst part is feeling guilty.  I feel guilty because I don't want to be the one who gets laid off. Let's just be honest.  I really hope it's not me. Not that I have someone I would RATHER see laid off, I just don't want to be let go.But in order for it NOT to be me, it will have to be someone else. That makes me feel rotten.

I have been hearing about the “bad” economy for a while now, yet it didn’t seem to really have any impact on my life. Truthfully the economy had nothing to do with my getting the DSJ. I got the second job because I felt the squeeze of student loan payments. (And the squeeze of supporting a teenager. It’s like supporting another adult)

Now the economy is in my face. I see it all around me in the faces of the people I work with. I see it when I think about the WCS (worst case scenario). Sure it’s a bummer, but I have to get ready. As ready as a single mother with no savings can get ready. I have to think about the possibility of losing my house, car, and livelihood.

I have done everything within my power to prepare myself. Now all I can do is sit back and wait. If I drank, I would ask for donations of LARGE quantities of alcohol this week. Extremely large quantities.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Confessions Of A Non Saver

OK here's the scoop. As of yesterday I still have a job. I heard through the rumor mill that more employees may  be let go today. I gave one of my co-workers my cell phone number. I told her to call me if anything happens in our department today. I took a vacation day so I could you know, relax. That's how it started out anyway. I now have a list of chores and errands that must be done today, because I am working at the DSJ all weekend long. I have to pick up two W2 forms, finish Melissa's taxes, grocery shop, get my haircut, pick up a present and ice cream and soda for my nephew's first birthday party tonight at seven. Yet here I sit, at the computer in my pj's and bathrobe. I digress.

Did I ever mention the strain of raising children on one income? I'm sure many of you face these challenges also. I get no financial help from anyone. NO ONE. Which means that every time I get a little money socked away, you can guarantee there will be some emergency or something with the kids that HAS to be taken care of. Which means I have no savings. Not only do I not have any savings, now I could lose my job.

Providing I actually am lucky enough to keep my job, saving money will be my number one goal for this year. The fear of losing your job will light a fire under your a$$ like nothing else will. I should be prepared. I have always heard that you should have enough money saved to pay three months of your bills in the event of an emergency or illness, or GETTING LAID OFF FROM YOUR JOB!!!! I always felt this was important, but I have never gotten around to it. I have no one to blame but myself. When I was getting pretty large tax refunds, I should have saved that money. But no, it's gone. I have used it to pay off  bills in the past, but never really saved any of it.

As God as my witless, I WILL begin saving money. Provided we don't end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge. Now that I have the DSJ, there is no reason for me NOT to start putting a little money away. Shame on me for not taking care of this sooner. I am expecting quite a decrease in my tax refund this year. Melissa turned seventeen last year, so I lose the thousand dollar tax credit for her. Also, I didn't pay in much tuition because I only took two college classes last year. I am losing money there. I also increased my income because of the second job. All of these factors will contribute to a substantial decrease in my refund. Barring any emergency, whatever money I get back, WILL BE PUT INTO SAVINGS. 

As much fun as it is to sit here and make declarations, chores and errands call. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fear Has Replaced The Fury

Times are hard in this country. Everyone knows that. Some of us know it and hear about it, but we don’t actually have to live it. For the moment, I’m one of those people. I am fortunate to have not one, but two jobs. I offer my view of the economic crisis, recession, or whatever you want to call it.

Yesterday I was a quivering mass of fury. Today I am humble, busy, quiet, and willing to do whatever ridiculous task may be required of me. As I entered the building this morning, I couldn’t help but notice how quiet it seemed. Shrugging it off I headed to the break room to put my breakfast and lunch away. As I was settling in for the day, one of my co-workers came over and gave me the news. Two members of the office staff have been let go. One was the manufacturing vice president. The other was the head of our maintenance department.

I felt sick to my stomach. How awful. One of them had been with the company for SIXTEEN years! He is gone, just like that. Can you imagine having to go home and tell your family you lost your job? Obviously seniority was not a factor in the decision-making. I am scared. I won’t just sit around and wait for this to happen to me. I am already strategizing on how the bills will get paid should I find myself out on the street. It’s scary, but I could very well be next. It seems no one is immune from the mess our country is in. If the VP of manufacturing can lose his job, so can I

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Great Balls Of Fury

I have found that the only way for me to successfully keep up with my blog, is to pre-write them. It makes things so much simpler. Most of the time, I type them on a Microsoft Word document from work and paste it. Then I schedule it to post for a future date and/or time. The events that are about to be shared with you, occurred today which is Monday. My two readers will not see this until Wednesday, when I will be much calmer.

MEN: I discuss PMS, so if that creeps you out, get lost. I’m not in the mood to be nice. (Can’t you tell?)

I used to be known for having a short fuse. My ability to snap is only surpassed by my two older brothers, both of whom are pretty temperamental. (Sorry guys, it’s the truth) As the years have passed it seems I have mellowed somewhat. Yet I still find myself barely able to control my temper during certain times of the month. It began about four or five months ago. I am using the Mirena, which so far has been great. It reduced my moodiness considerably. Until recently that is. The last few months I find myself feeling more and more moody, but only at my “special” time of the month. (That sentence makes me giggle to myself)

This morning I turned into a quivering mass of fury over something that was basically not a big deal. Yet I ranted and raved like it was the biggest thing since the sinking of the Titantic. I was barely able to keep myself from spewing forth evil from these lips like you have never heard. At least not on my blog. The PMS coursing through my veins like venom from a King Cobra.

I was worried about Melissa ruining the family name a few days ago. If you knew what was going on in my head today, it would denigrate my family name beyond repair. Even now I can still feel the fury simmering inside me like stew in a crock pot. (Doesn’t that sound good by the way?)

I HAVE to get a grip on myself. Truly. A temper fit like that could cost me my job. It’s a tough job market out there. The only thing that makes any sense to me, is that as times goes on, the hormones being released into my body are depleting, thus my true nature is revealed. Well, at least my true nature during that “special” time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Did I tell you about the impending disaster? Of course not, I can barely remember my own name. The department store where I work gives employee discounts. They also give discounts to charge card holders. So, what that means is that I can use my employee discount and combine it with the other discounts. For example, we have scratch off days. Scratch off days are where if you come into the store and use your charge card, you get to scratch off a sticker for an additional 15, 20, or 30 percent off. Plus I get to use my employee discount. This means I could save as much as 45 percent. 45 PERCENT. Can you believe that?

I could really save a good deal of money on clothing my children. Or maybe a new purse for me. Or maybe a new pair of shoes for me. Or maybe a really cute pair of earrings.

I think I'm going to be in serious trouble. Pray for me........please.

I forgot to mention that I actually hit some of the clearance sales after Christmas. One of the things the girls gripe about is the fact that we never decorate the outside of our house for Christmas. I never have money to spend on outside decorations. I would rather spend the money on the kids. This year I went to a couple of different stores and I racked up. At Wal-Mart I got:

4 boxes of icicle lights(for the outside of the house)
2 boxes of changeable lights for the tree
4 Christmas place mats
1 Christmas table runner
gift boxes
wrapping paper
red and gold ornaments for the tree
a new tree topper
window clings

Guess how much it was? TWENTY THREE dollars!!!!! OH YEAH, OH YEAH. We will have outside lights next year. Now if I can only figure out how to put them up.............

Monday, January 19, 2009

Disrespect Via Text

Let's explore the world of the exclamation point , shall we? In this new age of texting, I think puncuation is very important. Especially when one is texting one's teenage daughter. I had to work last night and Melissa had gone to hang out with some friends. As the time for me leave drew near I sent her a text, which read:

My text: u know i have to work 2nite right?

Melissa: yes mom at 6!

What does this exclamation point say to you? To me, it says ATTITUDE. How dare she exclamation point me! Who does she think she is anyway? I think the text she sent me should included a nice smiley face at the end. Let's see how that looks:

My text: u know I have to work 2nite right?

The hypothetical Melissa text: yes mom at 6 :)

See, that looks much better.

Later I sent her this text:

My text: no exclamation points EVER!!!!

You too should ban your children from giving you the exclamation point. I mean what comes after that? Them giving you the finger.......


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Was I Always This Wimpy?

Today my daughter made one more step in crossing the threshold into being a "big" girl. It brought tears to my eyes which I had blink away, otherwise be humiliated in a public place. Keri and I set off to Wal Mart this afternoon in search of food for our empty cupboards. Keri had her cell phone so I gave her permission to look around a bit. I did instruct her to scream, hit, bite, or punch anyone who might try to steal her away.

I told her I would be up and down the food isles. A few minutes later she called me to tell me that ear piercing is FREE with the purchase of a pair of earrings. It's something we have talked about but never gotten around to. Maybe deep down I didn't want her to get her ears pierced. I stopped mid grocery shopping to go over to the jewelry counter and see how serious she was. She was pretty serious, and scared out of her mind. She was so afraid her hands were shaking. I told her if she really wanted to get her ears pierced that I would let her.

I swear the kid just about passed out from fear. As the very nice Wal Mart employee neared her head with that gun, she shrank away in fear. This lady was not about to be thwarted. She smoothly and quickly poked a hole in each one of my daughter's ears. I could feel that this was a big moment in her ten year old life. I could feel that this was a big moment in my 33 year old life. What's next I ask you? Puberty, pimples and boys are right around the corner. Do I HAVE to go through this yet again? I finally feel like Melissa is in the clear and past the hating me stage. I think we have a pretty close mother-daughter relationship. Now Keri will begin slipping away from me for a few years.

Sure it might not happen today, but it will happen. What's fair about your kids growing up? Nothing much I tell you. You nurture and love them for all those years. Then one day you are just expected to cut those apron strings and release them into the world, having little or no say in the choices they make. I know they will both still be my daughters, but my control over their lives will be gone. They will be free to make their own stupid choices, when clearly I will still know what's best for them. Ear piercing is just the beginning, I can feel it. Where is a nice big bottle of liquor when you need it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Called Out By The Lunch Lady

Another sign I am frazzled: The lunch lady suggested to Keri that she needs a free lunch application. Why? Because I never seem to remember to send a check.........

Lazy Days of Winter

Do you remember the story about the mother hen? The one where the mother hen worked very hard to make fresh, homemade bread for her family? The short version goes something like this:

Once upon a time there was a mother hen who wanted to bake some fresh bread. None of her offspring would contribute anything to the process of making the fresh bread. You know, planting the wheat, chopping it down, grinding it into flour, blah blah blah. When it was all said and done, the mother hen told the children they could not have some of her freshly baked bread. She told them they didn’t help her make it, so they could not partake of the bread. The little hens became very sad. The mother hen then changed her mind and allowed the small to have some of her very fine bread.

This is my story:

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away(in Tennessee) there lived a mother hen who worked two jobs. At first, her baby hens were very mindful to help out around the house. They would clean, take out the garbage, wash dishes, and various other household chores.

As time passed by, the children began to help out less and less around the house. Yet the mother was STILL working two jobs. The laundry piled up so much that the mother had to wear dirty clothes to work. The bathroom hadn’t been cleaned in weeks. Dishes were in the living room. The floor hadn’t seen a vacuuming in quite a while. This turn of events stressed out the mother hen. She began to feel frazzled and even wrote about it on her blog. Pretty soon payday rolled around. The children, I mean baby hens (chicks?)….came running to the mother hens with their little grubby hands opened, wanting some of that cold, hard cash. Guess what the mother hen did. She calmly looked at her lazy offspring and then said, “Sorry SUCKAS!!!!!! You ain’t getting any of this loot”. Then she went out and bought herself a new outfit and treated herself to lunch, leaving the sad, lazy, miscreant children at home. The End.

No, really, she didn’t change her mind and give the children some of her hard earned cash. She spent it ALL on herself.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Frazzled(and Butt Vibration-No, it's not what you think)

I am frazzled. I realized I was frazzled yesterday. I wanted to deny that I was frazzled. Earlier in the week when I forgot to put mousse in my hair, I thought I was just forgetful. When I did the SAME THING yesterday, I realized I MIGHT be a little frazzled.

When I had to dig through the laundry basket and wear pants that haven’t been washed, I knew it was getting serious. Another symptom of my affliction is the inability to remember what day it is. More often than not, if I try to recollect what day of the week it is, I draw a blank. If I didn’t have a calendar with my work schedule on it, I fear I would get fired. I would never know which days I am supposed to work. As it is, I usually have write down my schedule for upcoming weeks multiple times. I will write it down. Then when I go to transfer the info to my calendar, I wont be able to find where I wrote it down. I will rewrite the schedule and repeat the same process again.

I am suffering the consequences of my decision to not do anything last Saturday. My laziness created a domino effect on the rest of my week. I worked an eight-hour shift on Sunday, I got nothing done. Monday I was off from DSJ (Department Store Job) but had to make dinner and grocery shop. I got nothing else done. So here it is Thursday morning and I have to dig out dirty clothes to wear.

Melissa and Keri came by DSJ last night. Keri wanted to know if I always walk that fast when I work my second job. I told her that yes I do always walk that fast when working at night. I walk that fast because I want to get all my work done. Sometimes if we can get everything done, we get to leave early. So yes, I walk VERY fast!

She also did not understand why I couldn’t buy her something while I am on the clock. I tried to explain to her that shopping while you are working is frowned upon. I don’t think she got it. She was still pouting when they left to go home. Incidentally, Melissa will be joining me in February at DSJ. I told her she better not do anything to besmirch our family name. I am hoping that she won’t be scheduled to work the same nights that I work. I just don’t know if I can bear for my daughter to call me by my first name, yet I don’t think she should call me “Mom” at work.

A conversation between Keri and I while driving on the interstate:

Keri: Mom, is that thing on the side of the road that makes your butt vibrate really so people won’t fall asleep and run off the side of the road?

Me:(Laughing) Yes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Weekly Update

Melissa and I had to go to court on last Thursday for her expired tags ticket. I have a couple of observations regarding our “court experience”. The first thing I noticed is that the courtroom is nothing like you see on TV. The room was pretty small, and we were packed in there like sardines. I always imagined courtrooms as being these big, spacious rooms with the little fence that divides the people in the courtroom from the lawyers and defendants. The second thing I noticed was the giant gavel on the judge’s desk. That thing was huge, it was like something out of a cartoon.

I wonder if he actually uses it? I would have taken a picture of it, but that would have embarrassed Melissa beyond repair. My most meaningful observation was that if you get a ticket for running a stop sign in this town, IT WILL COST YOU. It will cost you a lot. I will never again “roll” through a stop sign. The fine is over a hundred dollars. I might as well saw off one of my own arms. For Melissa’s ticket, the fine was two dollars…….plus $113 dollars in court fees. I immediately began sawing my left arm. I also realized that I would never make a good criminal. I would never be a good criminal because I fear the law. Even though I knew we were there for just a ticket, I was definitely uneasy. Melissa would probably deny it, but she was downright scared. If I was a different kind of mother, I would have enjoyed her fear. I would have relished that she was afraid of the law, and maybe been comforted in the knowledge that she probably wont grow up to be a troublemaker. If I was a different of parent that is.

I am still working the second DSJ (Department Store Job). A couple of nights ago, this lady showed me a shirt and asked me if we had it in a different size. I took the shirt with me, and when I couldn’t find one in the size she wanted, I put it back on the rack. I returned to the fitting room and told her we didn’t have any in the size that she wanted. We did however have a different color in her size. For the SECOND time she tried to send me to fetch a shirt for her. I was having none of that. It’s not that I don’t want to give good customer service…but COME ON!! I am not a personal shopper for one thing. It’s not as if I don’t have anything else to do but run around getting clothes for people. Don’t get me wrong, if you come in and want to know where to find things, I will be happy to point you in the right direction. But I am not the “gopher girl”.

At first I tried to pretend like I didn’t hear her try to send me to fetch her another shirt. That obviously didn’t work. I had to think fast. I had to let her know without being rude that I was not going to fetch that shirt for her. I spun around and told her where she could find the shirt she wanted. She then stated that she didn’t want to leave her purse in the dressing room. I smiled pleasantly and told her that since I was cleaning that area anyway, that I would be happy to watch her purse while she went and got the shirt she wanted. This worked beautifully. She even thanked me later as she came out of the fitting room.

I would never try to send someone to fetch things for me in a store ( unless I was physically unable to). I just don’t understand what makes people think it’s ok to treat others this way. Later, I even told the manager about what happened. She confirmed that we are NOT personal shoppers and that I was justified in not fetching that woman a shirt.

Saturday was fun. I did nothing. I did nothing all. I didn’t even get out of my pajamas. For the ENTIRE day. I watched TV. All.Day.Long. I didn’t even cook dinner. Keri and I went and picked up dinner and yes, I was still in my pajamas. That’s why God invented drive thru windows. I hope you have enjoyed another deep and meaningful post. Please stay tuned for more thought provoking dialogue.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Holidays Are Definitely Over

Early mornings are still hard. I try really hard not to let my temper get the best of me in the mornings. The usual list of items sure to rile me up are as follows:

Keri won't get out of bed
Keri can't find anything to wear
Keri isn't ready to leave when I am
Keri can't find her shoes, bookbag, folder, agenda, etc.
As we are pulling up at school, Keri remembers that she didn't some of her homework done

Any of the above mentioned issues are sure to make my blood boil. I must congratulate Keri on her unwitting addition to the list this morning. In order to appreciate my wrath, I should tell the WHOLE story.......

A few months ago, I bought Melissa a new winter coat. She didn't have one that was acceptable to wear. A couple of weeks after that, I bought a new coat for myself. I carefully ochestrated the purchasing of these coats to coincide with special shops days at the department store I work at. I received an additional 30% off over and above the sale price of the coats. (That last part has no relevance other than to illustrate my superior shopping savvy. ) I didn't purchase a coat for Keri. She didn't need one. She had two perfectly acceptable coats. One of them looked brand new.

She felt left out plain and simple. Everyone in the house got a new coat except for her. She kept bugging me about it until finally I went and bought her a coat just to shut her up. I finally decided that I didn't want her to feel like a red headed step child. She got a new coat too. The coat she ended up picking out, cost 100 bucks, however I did not pay that much for it. It was on sale and I carefully orchestrated the purchasing of her coat on a special employee shop day also.

This morning as we were getting ready to leave the house, I told her it was cold and she would need her coat. She came out of her room in a sweatshirt. I asked her where her coat was. You know, the coat that I JUST bought her that she HAD to have. She told me she could not wear her coat because it has little white fuzzies on it. I got the coat and there were a few fuzzies on it.

I saw red. She was the one who HAD to have a new coat. Even though she already had TWO.perfectly.acceptable.coats!!!!!! Now she was telling me she couldn't wear it because of a few red fuzzies? WTF? She couldn't wear her coat that retailed for ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!! AAAAHHHHHHHHH.

I didn't force the issue much this morning but I promise you that she WILL.WEAR.THAT.COAT.TO.SCHOOL. When she gets home this afternoon I will be calling her with a special chore. Her special chore will be to pick all the fuzzies off her coat. Cuz in the morning I fully expect to see her WEARING THAT D*MN COAT!!! To top that off, she also told me this morning that her Nike tennis shoes have dog poo on them. Like we have a Nike tree out in the back yard that I can just pluck her a new pair of shoes off like a piece of fruit. I am not working two jobs so that I can throw money away. Or am I?

What makes me so crazy is that she seems to have no appreciation of the sacrifices made so that SHE can have nice stuff. That coat cost me more than just money. It cost me time away from her. It cost my attention. I gave up sleep for that coat. The fact of the matter is that if I wasn't working the second job, I wouldn't have been able to afford that coat for her. Now she won't wear it?! We'll see about that, we will just see.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Caved Like The Weakling I Am

Let me tell you a tale of Christmas. A tale of the electric scooter that almost didn't happen.

Once upon a time, there was a sweet(if slobby) little girl named Keri. One day, a friend of hers showed up at the door with a shiny new scooter. It was an electric scooter. Upon seeing this beautiful new contraption, Keri decided that she simply must have one. After all, her friend had one. Everyone knows that you simply must have whatever your friends have....right?

Keri had a sweet, kind, gentle, loving, wonderful mother. Her mother worked two jobs to provide a decent life for her children. Keri decided that she simply must convince  her mother Santa Claus that she really needed to have the beautiful, shiny electric scooter. Her first plan of attack idea, was to include it on her Christmas list ensuring that her mother Santa Claus would see her heartfelt request. Her second plan of attack idea was to be sure and mention VERY frequently how much she wanted the beloved EC (electric scooter).

So, her mother Santa Claus began researching this electric scooter. She compared styles, colors and prices. She also read quite a few customer reviews. Much to her dismay, many people expressed dissatisfaction with the EC. Apparently, some customers had to replace the battery within months of purchasing the EC. The replacement battery costs approximately $100 to replace.

Her mother Santa Claus was very dismayed about the battery failing. It was decided between her mother and Santa Claus that purchasing the EC would be a waste of money. She felt that Keri would enjoy getting more presents as opposed to one big present and a few smaller ones. Keri had to be told. But how do you go about crushing a girl's dreams anyway? Shouldn't Christmas be a magical time of year when anything is possible?

Once the decision was made, Keri's mother tried to tell Keri gently that she would not be getting an electric scooter for Christmas. After all, it was now a few days before Christmas and possibility of finding one was pretty remote. Keri had one last idea to convince her mother and Santa that she HAD to have the electric scooter. She very cleverly brought out the "big guns". During one of the discussions regarding the EC, Keri looked at her mother with her sad, beautiful eyes and said, "If you don't have enough money, you can use some of the money that Grandma Tina sent for Christmas".

At that moment, her mother realized that Keri's Christmas would be ruined if she didn't get an electric scooter. The devastation would be heard about for years to come. But what could she do? It was now TWO DAYS before Christmas Eve. How would she ever find one that quickly? First she checked the internet and found that the shipping charges were outrageous. Her mother couldn't afford to buy the scooter and pay the shipping charges too.

Luckily for Keri, she had an aunt a Christmas fairy looking out for her. Her mother called a local toy store and found out they had ONE in stock, but they wouldn't hold it. When her aunt the Christmas fairy found out about this, she stepped in to help. She had her boyfriend one of her helpers pick up the electric scooter for Keri. What a wonderful aunt Christmas fairy to drop everything and get this magnificent present for Keri.

To end this beautiful Christmas story, on Christmas morning Keri found a brand new shiny EC under the tree just for her. She was so happy. On a side note, her mother did allow Keri to partially pay for this grand present as it was pretty expensive. Now Keri and her friend happily ride their scooters together.

The End

OK, OK, I caved like the big weak, mushy, sappy parent that I am. She wanted that darn scooter SO BADLY.  I prepared myself for the fact that I may have to replace the battery in a couple months, but it will be worth for the joy on Keri's face. Keri doesn't get everything she wants throughout the year. "No" is more frequent than "yes" in our house. I just think Christmas should be  a time when the impossible becomes possible. After all, that was the day that Mary gave birth to her miracle Son, Jesus.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Being Humbled, Veggie Treats and Other Stuff

I knew when I took the second job at a department store that it would be an adjustment for me. I am smart to realize what a nice cushy job I have during the day. Even though our lunch time is set at 11:30, I can go earlier or later if I need or want to. If I am in a bad mood I can stay in my little cubicle and just avoid people. I do my job pretty much without anyone looking over my shoulder or telling me what to do all the time. If I have an appointment with a doctor, I am not docked. I get paid holidays and paid vacation. I am not required to work holidays. It is understood that I will TRY to get to work by 8 am, but sometimes that is not possible. When I am a few minutes late, it's no big deal.

That is not the world of a department store worker. Not.At.All. One of my first humbling moments was the day I was scheduled to "work the truck". Working the truck means that you help unload the merchandise that comes in. It means you take clothes out of boxes and plastic. When I was hungry I asked a manager if I could go on my lunch. I was told that when you work the truck, you go to lunch when you are told to go to lunch. What? Excuse me? You mean I have to have someone TELL me when I can eat? What travesty of justice is this I ask you? I am sure there is a perfectly good reason for this, I am still not sure what it is. Not to mention that if I am in a bad mood or just not feeling talkative, I still have to smile and be nice to the customers.

Even when I am not working the truck, my breaks must be carefully scheduled around my fellow coworkers. Everyone comes in at different times and someone else may be entitled to a break before me. This took a while for me to get used to. I think I have finally adjusted. As long as they don't start telling me when I can go to the bathroom.

Another issue is that managers seem to constantly tell me what I need to be doing. Or my personal favorite is when one manager tells me to do one thing and another manager tells me to do something else. WTF(udge)? I also really like it when customers tell me how to ring up their items or how to bag. I mean, I had NO IDEA it could be so complicated(Insert dripping sarcasm here).

I admit to not being the best choice to work with the public. Unfortunately for now, this is what I HAVE to do. I deferred my student loan payments until this month. I make my first payment in a couple of weeks. I NEED the extra income to loosen the noose around here a little bit. Until I started getting paychecks from this second job, I had no idea how tight things had become around here. With the addition of the extra income I have actually been able to make some need and not so needed purchases. All three of us got new winter coats at a really great deal. I got 30 percent off the sale price for all three coats.

Keri and Melissa both got new clothes which were really needed. I also bought a food processor. Oh the joy, the rapture. I can actually use onions in my cooking. I don't have to chop them myself. It also came in really handy when I made the "Veggie Treats". Remind me to post the recipe, it's really fabulous. I digress, I know.

Anyway, I am having to deal with some of the above mentioned injustices. There is no other choice right now. I hope I don't have to continue to do this on a long term basis. I was expecting to have my hours cut after Christmas was over. So far, no such luck. Apparently if you work hard and show up on time, you get more hours. I can't really complain because we really need the money. Especially since Melissa quit her part time job with my blessing. She had an issue with a manager and I advised her it was time to get out of there. Lord, I am so digressing again. This is what happens when you don't blog for two months, it all runs together.

I confess that it peeves me to have to deal with rude and inconsiderate customers. I don't know if you noticed, but I tend to be a little mouthy sometimes. I learning to control my tongue the hard way. It is difficult to leave one job where you sort of have SOME authority, and go to one where you are just another employee and there is always the possibility of someone treating you like you are a half wit. Do you know what I mean?

I'm bored as I sit here waiting to go to work tonight so I will give you the Veggie Treats recipe:
(2) 8 oz blocks of cream cheese
(2) 8oz cans of crescent rolls
(1) 1 oz envelope dry ranch dressing mix
(1) cup finely chopped veggies (brocoli, cauliflower, red pepper, mushrooms
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Soften cream cheese for a couple of hours-otherwise it won't spread nicely(trust me I learned the hard way)

Unroll crescent rolls and make a rectangle in a 15x10x1 pan (spray with Pam for best results)
Seal perforations
Bake according to directions, then let bread cool
Blend cream cheese and dry ranch mix. Spread on cool crust. Sprinkle cut up veggies on top and then added shredded cheese. Chill for 8 hours, then cut into 1 inch squares

I served these at our family Christmas and they were a big hit. I also made an extra batch for the girls and I to enjoy on Christmas day.

I also cooked a hot breakfast for us on Christmas morning. This was special for us because I NEVER cook breakfast. It was nothing fancy. I made pancakes, bacon and eggs served with orange juice. I didn't mess up the bacon or the pancakes. If you are a long time reader then you know that one other time I attempted to cook bacon, it was so hard it could break your teeth.
I think I am really starting to enjoy this whole cooking business. It's actually kind of fun. I am even considering investing in a griddle so that I don't have to spend an hour cooking breakfast next time. I only had one skillet big enough to make pancakes. Incidentally, I also had to use it cook the bacon for the same reason. I had to cook all the bacon, then cook the pancakes. Very time consuming and not at all efficient.

AAAAnnnnnddd I made a couple of pumpkin pies. All by myself. With no help. Yes it's really me. No there is not an imposter blogger pretending to be me. So, now that I am getting into this cooking thing, I really need some help. I can make the basics; meatloaf, spaghetti, chicken, hamburgers, but I NEED some new recipes. If anyone has any good recipes for a novice cooker, I would be eternally grateful. We can't live on meatloaf and spaghetti. I have a crock pot and would love to put it to use. Got any ideas?

Confessions Of A Department Store Worker

Hey you. Yeah, you. You know who you are. You're the one that goes to a department store and leaves things EVERYWHERE. You decide you don't want something and you just lay it anywhere. Or try on clothes and instead of returning the item to the rack in which you found it on, you leave it lying on the dressing room floor. No, you don't even bother to put it back on the hanger. Sometimes you even leave the clothing INSIDE OUT on the dressing room floor. You figure it's someone else's job to clean it up. Well you are right. It's MY job.

Do you even take into consideration that picking up your mess is not the ONLY thing I have to do in a day? No. Are you aware that this is a second job for me? Yep, that's right. I get to work full time all day, and then go to this department store and spend my evenings cleaning up your mess. You never thought of that before? Well, maybe you should. Did you consider that your mess determines what time I get to go home to my two children who are waiting for me? No, I didn't think so. Did you consider that if I am not able to clean up not only your mess, but the mess of everyone else who does the same thing by the time the store closes that I have to stay late and clean it up? No, cuz that's not your problem is it? It's mine.

Does your mother know what an inconsiderate slob you are? Does she know that you would go into a store and leave such a mess for someone else to clean up? No, I thought not. I bet she didn't raise you to leave clothes in the floor. As a matter of fact, I bet you don't leave clothes on the floor like that in your own home. Well, maybe you do.

Could you do me a favor? If you try something on, for love of all that is holy take the time to AT LEAST put the clothes back on the hanger. If you really want to be generous, you could even return to the rack you found it on. I promise, it won't take very long. If you and all the folks could do that, I might even get to leave early once in a while. I might even get home before my two wonderful daughters go to bed. That would be nice.

I might even have time to update this blog which has not been updated since October. Yes, October. I have not had the time to blog about anything. What our Christmas was like, or how we had a mouse infestation of epic proportions. We caught about 15 mice. It was really gross. Sometimes the trap wouldn't kill them, it caught them by the tail and left them squirming and squealing in the trap. Guess who had to remove them from my home? Me that's who.

I didn't have time to blog about all the great deals I got on Christmas presents this year because I work in this department store. Nor did I have time to mention I paid CASH for every single present this year. I did not use one credit card or borrow money.  I didn't have time to blog about my mother being hospitalized for a week or the stomach bug that stormed through my house taking no prisoners. I didn't have time to post my annual pictures of our tree decorating, or all the food we consumed, or Melissa's ticket for expired tags that we have to go to court for next week, or the electric scooter that Keri got for Christmas that she ALMOST didn't get for Christmas.

I also didn't get to post the recipe my coworker gave me for "Veggie Treats". I didn't even get one chance to whine about the fact that some weeks I have worked 70 hours between the two jobs. I didn't get to whine about how I thought my feet were going to fall after my first week.

Anyway, maybe you should think about the people you are affecting when you make such terrible messes. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but you never know how your slobbiness is going to affect the people working in that store (for very little money I might add). Thank you for your consideration.


A Department Store Worker