Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm walking on sunshine!

President George W. Bush and I have had a rather lackluster 2005.

I have read the emails and the notes asking where I have been, and when is the next blog. Thank you for the notes, and I will go into my current situation.

Currently I am not at the call center; there are plans for me to return in February. Nothing went wrong, no ones fault, just one of those things. If you ask if I’m doing ok, I can just shrug my shoulders and say, “I don’t know.”

I am enjoying life working the holiday season at a department store in the area. To keep with the blogging tradition of not giving the actual name of the place, I shall call it S-mart. (Shop smart, shop S-mart)
I applied for the cashier position, figuring that would be the quickest way in the door. They hired me and made me assistant receiving clerk. Can’t complain much. I come in, check in merchandise, check in freight, do paperwork.

Get this though; they have me drive a forklift! I think they are nuts. I did have to take a written exam. (Should you let people ride on the forks of the truck why you are moving? Should you drive slower or faster on ice covered surfaces? Was that a goat?) When I asked about the driving test part I was told that “you drive well enough, you passed!” I just thought that getting a forktruck-driving license would be more involved.

I have not really connected with anyone at work. I don’t think they get me. Even though this is such a different group of people and working environment then what I am used too, the daily morning meetings sound very familiar.

Pointed Headed Boss (PHB): So that was our sales total for the day. As always, try to think what the customer is thinking about what you maybe thinking and the store maybe thinking. Anyone else have anything?

Female In Charge Of Store Security Who Speaks With A Strong Heavy German Accent, Go Figure (FICOSSWASHGAGF): I have a couple things. Over all, there have been very few policy violations. I will not mention any names, because this person is new, and I don’t want to make them feel they are on the spot. Technically these are not policy violations, it is just not the image we want to project to our customers.

1) Employees should not do the Ompa-Lumpa dance in front of the big television screen. I know it is a cute movie about the life of a poor german boy and his visit to a german run candy factory, but any Ompa-Lumpa dancing should be done on your own time.

Me: You mean like on break or lunch? Cause I was on break when I was doing the Ompa-Lumpa dance.

FICOSSWASHGAGF: No Ompa-Lumpaing on store property at any time!

Me: Can I do an Ompa-Lumpa on store property?

FICOSSWASHGAGF: No! We continue!

2) Employees should not sing and walk around swinging to the beat like they are at a night club to the music being played on the public address system.

Me: Even if it is “Walking on Sunshine?”


Me: How about Huey Lewis songs?


Me: Can I hum, and do a little dance?

FICOSSWASHGAGF: No! Pay attention! These last ones are very important!

3) No skipping through the store! It may scare some of our older customers! You got that one Larry?

Me: Can I clarify? I have never skipped through the store. What I was doing yesterday was frolicking. Now is that ok?
FICOSSWASHGAGF: No! No frolicking, no skipping, no dancing, no singing, no humming, and no Ompa-Lumpaing!

4) Employees are not to wear funny hats while driving fork trucks.

Me: That is my lucky, flowery, pimp purple hat. It is not the usual type of funny hat. I’m not giving it up. Last time I drove and didn’t wear it I ran over a duck. And it helps me pick the chicks up while I’m cruising the back dock of the store.

PHB: Larry, what would a customer think if they saw you driving around with that hat on?

Larry: I think the customer would think: That man is driving a fork truck with a lucky, flowery, pimp purple hat on. I bet it is a very involved process to get a fork truck license. That hat makes him look very happy, like he is enjoying his job, at least for this brief moment, free from all the stupid rules, wait what am I doing in the back of the store where they drive fork trucks? I should go back up front; maybe they will show us how to do the Ompa-Lumpa dance. That is what I figure he would be saying.

FICOSSWASHGAGF: This last note is for everyone.

5) Smile at the customer more. We are coming across as stand offish, and cold.

Me: Go figure. Is it February yet?

People keep asking me if I like my job. I tell them no and they still keep asking! Could be worse, I could still be working with the shadows.

There is your update. I plan on writing more. The first is always the hardest. To make up for the long time between this and the last post, I will open this up to request. Yes, It is Total Firebear Request Live! Ok, not really live, but hey. There are a lot of stories and post that have not been blogged about yet, that readers have wanted me to do. Hot Tubs, Halloween parties, navy stories, Olympe’s life story, peeing on a tent and getting away with it, island stories, trips, books, anything. Now is the time. For the next couple of weeks I will blog on what ever is requested of me. Leave me a note here, or email me. One per person, maybe more if you flash me.

Here is hoping 2006 is better then 2005. Hell, can’t get any worse.



Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh God. Oh my God. I am laughing so hard. Can't talk, choking from laughter.

The FICOSSWASHGAGF conversation sounds very much like a conversation I had with Keem about how she said I couldn't hug trees anymore and I said you didn't say I couldn't hug trees. You said I couldn't ask to park by Tree. This was different. This was default Tree.

Blog about everything. I don't care. I just love reading anything you write.

How are things outside of work? Are you coming to Minnesota? Hmm? I must know.

7:05 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Uncle Larry! I'm so thrilled to see you back in the blogging world!

I adored this post. And I think that having a bit of fun at work is a good thing. Hey, I spent most of one week learning how to yo-yo. I can actually do three tricks now. And dancing? A must!

Consider yourself flashed because I'm requesting all the stories!

And how's that trip to MOA coming? Any chance we'll get to meet you in real life?

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Da da da ta da ta da.... I can just see people at the front counter doing the Umpa Lumpa dance. Just imagine how freeked LP would get if you did the snoopy dance. "Now Larry, we wouldn't want to get the customers thinking you're actually having fun here. Do we?"

Yeah, I'm pretty much in your boat with management right now. I see the apathy that's gone top down. Oh sure you can have meetings saying, "Oh we've got this 5 year change thing we want to implement." I keep getting visions of board meetings in the Dilbert comics. If they want change, how bout a computer and tools that actually work right and are, dare I say, efficient?

No, lets not address the customer's concerns or fix problems. Let's work on a million other things that aren't visible progress to the people who matter most, the customer. But hey, "whatever"... I will keep trying to skip down the isles, smile, and not care. It's so much easier.

4:03 AM  

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Location: Lansing, Michigan, United States

Desert Shield/storm vet. I am the one at work who comes up with the ideas on filling up those non-work hours. (ok, who is up for canoeing this weekend?) After several wrong turns, have finally found the love of my life.

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