what day is it?

semi coherent post in pseudo bullet form, woo.

+ I have no idea what day it is. It’s…December.
+ I’m going to be practically approved for overtime because two people in my department got fired and we have two new people on top of New Coworker S, who is still trying to grasp how to do most things.
+ I have no idea what my schedule is going to look like. Ajax had Jamie call me and ask if he could change my schedule due to issues (people being fired)
+ Something is broken in the craft room and I am too brain dead, tired, and headachey to deal with it right now.
+ Jamie said he figured out what’s wrong with the washer…I have my doubts. (it runs, it just has water coming back into the basin)
+ I have moments where I wish I had my grandmother’s old washer (it was this old 40s/50s washer that still worked and was pretty awesome)
+ We’ve been at work so much this week that the house is a disaster and there are no clean pans.

+ Bug got excited and gave me a Bug-Hug last night and then smacked me in the face. Usually, if I get smacked in the face by her paw, she just gets me in the cheek or nose. Not last night. Last night, she got wiggly and wound up hitting me in the eye. No damage seems to be done to the actual eyeball (beyond being pushed by a dog), but it looks like she was able to scratch the inside of the eyelid, which explains why my eye itches and feels like it’s got an eyelash in it. Every so often my vision goes blurry and I’m just glad I’m off the next couple of days so I won’t be fucking with my eye while at work. And, at least, I didn’t get hit in the eye by her nubbin.

+ Creatively…I haven’t done jack shit.
+ I haven’t sketched/drawn anything
+ I keep forgetting what day it is so the comic is floundering (I feel bad despite posting a note that work is crazy because we’re in the holiday season and updates will be sporadic)
+ I submitted a story but haven’t heard anything back yet. I’m not surprised because I’m sure the amount of stories submitted is crazy high
+ I haven’t written anything and I feel kinda crappy about that. I was kind of hoping to do a self-imposed deadline of Yule/Christmas, like I did for Thanksgiving, but I haven’t done shit
+ I told a friend about a story I’m working on and, despite wanting to work on it, I have not opened the file in gods know how long
+ And this is why I am not a professional writer. I am terrible at keeping up with writing

The past…week or two I haven’t really even been reading. I think the last book I actually finished was Paperbacks from Hell (which is an awesome, fast read). I’ve started like four books (Where Nightmares Come From, Masters of Horror, Gated,  Hunted In the Woods) not including any that I’d started and have yet to finish (like House of Leaves and The House of Small Shadows)

I don’t know if it’s all from just a feeling of general “blah”-ness or just being overwhelmed by everything that I haven’t done much. I did make some rice krispie treats (with pumpkin spice marshmallows mixed with marshmallow fluff) so I guess that’s something.

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Well, there goes that

This morning Yesterday morning (whee insomnia) I went to take a photo of this drink that had appeared on the counter. Canada Dry Blackberry Ginger Ale (it’s purple!). I immediately dropped my phone into a bowl of soggy cereal.

sigh.

I wiped off what I could, shrieked, and grabbed our canister of rice. Shoved the damaged amount of phone into the rice and realized there’s a dead moth in the rice. gods damnit. Well, Jamie wanted to buy a new bag of brown rice anyway, so this works out.

The phone would cut on, off, on, off, so I pulled the battery out after about 20 minutes and just left the battery and back casing on the computer desk while the main part of the phone stayed half-buried in rice on the counter. I deep-cleaned the bathroom while Jamie worked on the office. I worked on laundry while Jamie cooked chicken. I did dishes while Jamie cleaned the living room.

Hours later, I decided to check and see if it’d cut on, already resigned to the fact that I’d be needing to buy a new phone on payday and that the photos I have on there are gone forever (while Jamie is telling me that maybe our buddy E can find a way to get the photos off because he’s a wizard with phones). Cut it on and, hey, look at that. My screen pops up (it’s a picture of Snooch in a birthday hat). The screen lock unlocks! And I immediately get a bunch of text messages from Rhonda asking if we’re alive. Apparently Jamie didn’t tell her my phone died.

Texted Rhonda, played around on the phone a bit, got the peice of rice out of the aux/earbud jack, and spent time texting a friend about random stuff.

Thanks to not being able to sleep, I’ve hand written the numbers (excluding one or two) onto giant owl-shaped post-its and then realized that, even though I have it hooked to the computer, the computer is not registering the phone and I can’t make a quick photo dump so I don’t lose my photos.

fuck.

But! It could be the charger. Jamie stole my good charger for his kindle (apparently Fire 8 is crap with charge? Or he’s just been playing Cookie Cats a ton), so I’m using one that has been kind of iffy. At least, on the plus side, the phone is on, it is working, and it is charging.

Woo.

I’ll steal the good charger cord from Jamie after the alarm goes off.

…in like 15 minutes.

Oh! And I renamed the cooking story (to “Family Dinner”) and submitted it to NoSleep’s slush pile. I’m going to try to pretend I never did it and see what happens. Paws crossed, yo.

tired

(hopefully) quick update:

+ I finished the “cooking” story I put myself in a deadline to finish. I finished it on the 22nd, which was fun to realize that I finished within my deadline! woo.
+ I’m unsure if I’ll sit on it for a few days before looking over it and, in a mad dash of fuck-all, send it to NoSleep Podcast’s submission slush pile (and, if it gets rejected, send it out to Apex or something)

+ We have survived working on Thanksgiving. Jamie ran his ass off, having to deal with snippy customers who couldn’t believe we were out of merchandise.
+ I got to deal with customers telling me how awful it is that we have to work on a holiday like this while greedily pulling merch off of racks because they were on sale or apologizing profusely because they forgot to pick up a few items (or ran out).
+ I wound up in the area of Overtime almost an hour before my shift ended, so I get to continue with Overtime today (ha ha)
+ I realized at one point that I had not stood for so long in the same spot in a year. Seriously, it was last Thanksgiving. And the only reason why I wound up standing in the same spot for long swathes of time was because everyone disappeared out of the store I was in to go become vultures at the store down the street.
+ I told Coworker N that I didn’t want to do this anymore and wanted to go back to my hole. Coworker D overheard it, laughed, and went “You mean your batcave!”
+ We made it out before the insanity begun, but not before the greedy vultures of local humanity started circling shrink-wrapped deals.

Jamie and I got home, sat down, ate a little, and promptly went to sleep intending to take a nap and I wound up sleeping for about 13 hours. Jamie woke up a couple hours later to make some toast before going right back to sleep. I’d love to go back to sleep, but standing for 9 hours doing not much mixed with the pulled muscles in my upper back make for a stiff and sore Manders.

a letter to your HR

On…Oct. 23rd, I received an email from the Bath and Bodyworks HR:

Amanda,

It was a pleasure speaking with you about the Sales Support – Seasonal – position at Bath & Body Works.
At this time, we have decided to pursue candidates whose background and experience more closely match the qualifications of the current job opening. 
We will retain your candidate file in our database and may inform you of job openings that may be of interest. We also invite you to check careers.lb.com frequently as positions can open at any time.

Sincerely,

Human Resources

Replies to this message are undeliverable and will not reach the Human Resources Department. Please do not reply.

When I first saw the email, my first thought was “What the fuck.”

I left it alone, realizing that my irritation would cloud any response I had. I read the email as a passive-aggressive slap. I’d never received a call from these people for B&BW. I forgot about the email.

I got an email from another company, telling me thanks for the order, and spent time emailing their Customer Service about the mishap. I realized this email was near it and thought, y’know, I could respond to this.

I began the response email:

 

Hi, sorry for the late response. I had to think about this email for a couple of days because the whole situation is kind of confusing. 

 

I spoke with the manager for Victoria’s Secret in a group-like interview session for a position within their store, but I never received a call or interview request from Bath and Bodyworks

That’s as far as I got before I read the end of the original email (responses will be undeliverable) and thought: fuck it. I’ll do a response via my blog.

The nice response:

Hi, sorry for the late response, but I found this email very confusing. I have not received any sort of message, via phone or email, requesting an interview. I spoke with the manager for Victoria’s Secret, a sister-company to yours, in a group-like interview session, so maybe you meant this email to be for that?

Anyway, I’ve accepted a position with another company. I hope you’ve found a great candidate for this holiday season!

Thanks,
(me)

The Me response:

Uh, yeah, hi. I received your passive-aggressive email for a non-existant discussion between myself and I’m assuming the manager in charge of hiring for this holiday season. I have neither received phone call nor email even requesting I come in for an interview. 

I’m going to assume that you are currently overly-stressed for the upcoming (now here) holiday season, which I can understand because most retail companies base their entire lifeline on this season. As I’ve found a position elsewhere, I just want to say: good luck towards finding help during the holiday season. It’s a stressful time, so I hope they’re easy-going.

Thanks (now I really don’t want to walk into your store),
(Me)

My hope is that they emailed me to tell me that they found someone else and that the stress of finding seasonal employees is what caused the passive aggression to the non-existent “talking” we shared. Because, really. I filled out so many applications and I never got a phone call from this store.

I have accepted a spot from another company, and I did have a bizarre group-like interview with Victoria’s Secret. So, the only thing I can think of was that they got these mixed up and got me mixed up with someone else? My name is pretty popular for people around my age, so I’m really not sure.

 

Ye (short) Saga of Dog

Yesterday, Jamie busted into my department saying that he got a voicemail from Animal Control saying they had our dog.

What.

I listened to the voicemail and called them back, Jamie talked over the robot voice so I had to hang up and wait until I could hear well enough to go through the keypad list and get a human on the phone.

“Hi, someone called and said they have my dog.”

(request of what the dog looks like, etc)

I describe the dog and get “Oh! L wants to talk to you, hang on a sec.”

Oh thank gods. L is there and she knows us, she knows we’re obsessive over our dogs. She kept in touch with us when Hobbes had been stolen. L is awesome.

L gets on the line and tells me that yeah, they have Hobbes and the neighbor was able to get the others in the yard.

What.

So I tell her that Jamie is on his way and send him to go talk to management about leaving for a bit due to family emergency. (it is our family and this is an emergency)

I text Jamie to make sure Firefly is there because if the neighbor has gotten the dogs in the backyard, Firefly has undoubtedly gotten out (because she is an old woman who doesn’t believe in fences nor rules). Jamie gets to Animal Control and finds that it’s not just Hobbes that they have.

They have Firefly, Cricket, and Hobbes.

They tell Jamie that “the other dog, the one with the disability, stayed in the yard.” Jamie told them to not believe Bug because Bug is a tank. (it’s true. If she had 4 paws, she’d be able to take over the world). Stuff happens.

Jamie gets them inside and just lets them roam the house. Cat boxes, cat food, dirty dishes (not many, just like breakfast bowls and such from before we left for work) be damned. Let them pee on the floor, we’ll clean it up when we get home.

Jamie comes back to work, texts me that he’s back, and we continue the day.

We get home to find that someone has found the sunflower seeds and has pooped them out. There is poo and explosive poo in various spots around the living room and kitchen.  Jamie walks back into the living room, where I am coming through the door, and tells me that “it’s bad.”

They’ve knocked over the trash can and have strewn trash all over the kitchen. There is peices of trash bag mixed in. All I can do is use the broom and dust pan and just dump everything into the bin (sans bag) and tell the dogs to not do it again.

Jamie tells me that the AC officer was telling him that they found where the dogs got out of the backyard and that we need to fix the fence. Jamie wound up having to explain until they understood that we don’t have dog doors, the dogs were in the basement (not crated because I wanted them to have some roaming time) and that they must’ve gotten out via the basement door or the window.

Check the basement: someone (probably Hobbes) hit the plexiglass window that I had epoxied up last year perfectly and broke it free of the epoxy. We have a 14″ high, 20″ long open window leading out into the back yard. They stayed in the living room over night until the morning when I could find the super awesome duct tape and tape the window back on so I could crate them. Now, I am going to have to look for a non-dull saw so I can saw part of a pallet apart so I can nail bits of pallet across the window so a certain old man can’t break out again.

Jamie also told me that the AC officer told him that normally dogs are very timid when they go to let them out of the little holdy thing in the trucks, but not Cricket. Cricket jumped out (aiming for the face, of course. stupid dog) and was all wiggles and play bows.

Today:

I duct taped the window and put the half-door that Jamie made for upstairs but didn’t fit up against the stairwell that leads to the backyard. I also pulled the extra pallets we had, that were tucked up, and put them against the hole that was caused by the nice person who mowed the ditch beside the fence, the hole that was patched, and the hole that apparently Firefly made when she realized Hobbes had gotten out.

These are our dogs. They’re sweet, they’re loving, and they firmly believe that fences are for other people.

what have I done

Yesterday I got the brilliant idea to see if I could write, and finish, a story that’s been popping up (as just a basic concept for a while now) in my head. And have it done by Thanksgiving. The US Thanksgiving.

I texted the idea to Jamie, because I figure he’ll hold me accountable. Then, I texted a friend and realized that’s 20 days away. Today, that’s 19 days.

19 days.

What have I gotten myself into.

So, while waiting to see how the dryer was going (and after Bug killed a spider with her enthusiastic tail wagging), I decided to sit down and peck away at the idea.

I spent 30-ish minutes looking up a few things (like how to field-dress a deer. We may live In The South, but the closest I’ve ever gotten to deer hunting was being gifted the meat and making jerky out of it).

I’ve started pecking away at some of the aspects of it, so here’s to hoping my self-imposed deadline with get something out of me.

writing, creating, and new job

I don’t remember if I mentioned I got a new job. I’m back at Store that I left a year and a half ago (honestly, I kinda missed the place), but I’m in a different department. The only time I’ll be back in my old department is on Thanksgiving and I’m fine with this (the department will need it and I want to be near where I’m sure someone will get punched for ridiculous reasons because all those Black Friday Shoppers are fucking crazy)

I’m enjoying my new position. I like most of my immediate coworkers, I get to bother some managers, I’ve made a handful of old regulars really sad that I’m in that department instead of my old one, and there are a small handful of immediate coworkers that I really just want to slap upside the head. Instead of physical contact, I’m going to have a nice long chat with my manager about things that have happened while he’s been on vacation. Like yesterday, I was supposed to clock out at 9. The “closer” for that department decided they were going to call out, so we wound up starting the shut-down process at 3 instead of 5 in hopes of giving me the opportunity to actually leave on time. The one coworker who was there until 7 was trying so hard to help me out, despite having a pulled muscle in her back, and then found that a very vital part of the night-time closing duties wasn’t done. This caused an extra 1.5-2 hours of work that screwed me from doing a lot of stuff, even with the extra pair of hands we were given (who was mainly thrown to clean up the problem)

Eventually, it ended up being the Extra Pair of Hands (a good kid), myself, and Jamie (cuz Jamie and I work together now! huzzah) trying to clean and get everything done. Thanks to my idiot coworker, I wound up clocking out an hour and a half past my time, Jamie clocked out an hour past his time, and Extra Hands got extra hours cuz he’d been asked to come in and help a different department  altogether before getting sent over to me.

I didn’t get everything as clean as I’d prefer it, but I did also find where things have been ignored (and we’re getting High Up the Corporate Ladder Person in early next week and we’re doomed, plain and simple). The manager that had to deal with me and the whole fiasco said that it was good enough, he didn’t expect us to do as much as we did, told me to not do a handful of closing duties anyway, and that it could be dealt with in the morning.

At one point, I had cut on NoSleep (season 5, episode 4) to listen to while I clean, so every so often I’d hear a snippet or two. The Long Pig story, the one after Mummer Man, was playing and the manager and Extra Hands had heard a snippet of it. Manager was like “what the fuck” and I went “Oh, I’m listening to NoSleep. Right now it’s the story where James Cleveland is narrating about murdering a guy so he can carve out his tasty ribs.”

Manager went “Well, ok then.” while Extra Hands just gave me this horrified look. I told the kid that it’s a horror podcast and it’s great. I kind of wish that they’d heard part of Mummer Man instead, because that story is awesome.

Last night also proved that I am no longer used to working 10+ hour shifts (something I had done before I left Store the first time)

~*~

So, creative things

Jamie asked me when I was going to submit to NoSleep (because they have a submission thing open right now!) and I told him: when I finish something that’s the minimum wordcount requested. He told me that I should give myself a deadline, “Like, December,” before continuing that he’d bug me until I submit things. He also pointed out that I should just start submitting things until something sticks. I told a friend about it and she agreed with him.

Yesterday, Jamie asked me if I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo and I told him no. I like Ursula Vernon’s idea more (NaNoFiMo, national novel finishing month) and reiterated that I hadn’t written in days.

Seriously, I haven’t written in days. I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t feeling well, then got the job, and then we’d been working long hours (plus commute) and instead of jotting down ideas or notes, I’d just been sitting around reading or scrolling through stuff online.

I told Jamie how I wanted one story to go, in large, broad strokes, and he seemed to enjoy that. But I don’t know how I’m going to write it. I jotted down some notes about a fucked up dream I had that was narrated by Peter Lewis–I told Jamie about it and he went “Y’know, if it’s narrated by Peter Lewis, you gotta write that shit down and make it a reality.” So, I have almost a page of notes of what I remember. If I can work it, it’ll be a fun story to do.

But, I don’t know where I’m going with anything.

“Weird Grandpa” (working title) has been stagnating since that first initial burst of writing. Attempted Novelette has been in limbo since I realized a) I need a list of all the named characters I put in already and 2) I completely forgot where I was going with this. Downtown Novelette still doesn’t have an ending and I changed the characters names from the stand-ins (friends names) to their names (what they’re going to be called from now on). “Retail Weird” is like 3 pages of growing unease with no real plot or idea of where I’m going besides “I’m basing this on all you fucking weirdos.”

There’s other stories that I have no idea what I’m doing with. They’re all fleeting ideas and…the fuck I know what I’m doing.