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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oh Man, It's October - Back to Work on the Outside

After working from home for 17 years, it was time for me to go back into the world outside and get a job.  This was not something I really would have chosen to do.  I like working from home for myself, sometimes even in my pajamas, because I could.  My time was my own and if I had to go to an appointment or be with my husband or kids, I could make my schedule flexible enough to do that.  Unfortunately, the nature of my business changed with the advancement of technology and, while I am old enough to retire and collect Social Security, the longer I wait to do that, the more money I'll make so I talked it over with my husband and applied for a job at my favorite craft store, Michaels. 

In September I posted this picture as one of my 365 pictures:

I had just had an interview with the assistant manager at one of our local Michaels Crafts Stores.  I got the job and on September 17, I began working.  The first few days were mostly spent on the computer getting oriented to the rules and regulations of working retail.  A little time was spent watching the cashiers but by the third day I was assigned a cash register and left on my own.   

Not totally alone because there is usually more than one cashier and I have a headset on so I can ask questions and everyone is very patient and informative.  Most of the transactions are simple sales but there are returns and occasionally someone will bring an item up that has no price on it and I have to call for a price check.  I try to be as quick and efficient as I can because sometimes the line winds around the store!

Michaels has always been one of my favorite places to shop and they have really good deals.  In addition, I get an employee discount!  I made a promise to myself not to shop until I had earned two paychecks.  I got my second one last week so look out! 

We have soda and snack machines in the break room and I even have my own locker.  I had to keep the combination written on a piece of paper (along with all my other passwords and employee number) because I couldn't remember everything.  It is getting easier now. 

On the bulletin board in the back of the break room there is a place for encouraging and supportive notes from managers and coworkers.  I got one for helping with a slime event!   

I am used to looking for coupons and I saw one the other day on the floor at Safeway.  I recognized it immediately as one of the coveted "entire purchase" discounts!

My kids told me that working in retail was going to be difficult and that people were going to yell at me.  I have had a few less than pleasant customers but I find that if I start them out with a smile and a friendly greeting, things usually go smoothly.  If I can offer them some kind of discount, that works well to shift the tone too!

I did notice that I am a little tired when I get home and I am having to pay more attention to what day it is and what time it is so I get all my transcription work done before I go to the store to work there.  They have already asked me a couple of times if I could stay longer than I was scheduled and of course I said yes.  Technically I am a seasonal hire and they could let me go in January after the holidays end but I am hoping that I am doing a good enough job that they will want to keep me around for a while.  

How about you?  Ever switched careers?  Worked in retail?  Pay attention to the name tag on the cashier?  Shop at Michaels?  Love to hear about it.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Oh Man, It's October - 365 Pictures

It has been a while since I shared my 365 pictures.  Here are a few in no particular order:

#255 - I think I'm going to use this for my new logo.  Does it make you smile?

#275 - We lost another great one with the passing of Tom Petty.  We were fortunate to have seen him twice.  This is from 2014.  Wish I had better pictures but at least I have memories.

#270 - According to WordPress I have 51 followers!  People like me :)

#264 - I have four scrapbooks documenting our yearly trips to Boulder Creek for the golf tournament.

#280 - I love how my phone tells me where I want to go next and how long it will take to get there :)  But what if I'm not ready to go home yet?

#269 - Cards I made for my Etsy shop.  Some already sold!  Better hop on and grab yours quick!

#266 - My daughter was showing me the "fun" things you can do with snap-chat.  Using this for my September selfie because it makes my face look thin :)

#267 - I love these marshmallow bits!  So yummy.

#271 - My first paycheck from Michaels.  Dream job #2.

#274 - Lots of crafting, not just cards being made in preparation for my Holiday Boutiques coming up next month.  Some of this is on Etsy too!

#276 - We found out my husband's heart beats too fast and irregularly.  I thought he was just in love with me.  Turns out this is a medical condition.  We are handling it.

#279 - Book #17 in my Reading Challenge for the year.  Interesting tale about the dreams writers have.  Looking forward to reading the one by Stephen King.

#278 - October's Full Moon through the trees.  

#265 - This is a mini-album I made for a friend of ours who was celebrating his 60th birthday.  He owns a boat and I thought this would be cute for him.
#277 - Went to the Scorpion's concert and fell in love with one of their songs we had not heard before.

#282 - This is the setting sun.  The sky is orange and hazy because of the massive fires about 60 miles north of us.  We could smell the smoke and our daughter going to college at Sonoma State was told to evacuate.  She is safe and her area is okay to go back to but the damage is horrific.  She said she felt like she was driving out of the apocalypse. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Oh Man, It's October - Scorpions In Concert

We are down to our last two concerts of the year.  Last night was Scorpions at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.  Megadeth was the opening act.  I am definitely not a fan of metal bands but I do like the Scorpions so I figured I could tolerate Megadeth and if it was really bad, I could go to the back of the arena and get food or something.

The first thing we noticed was an increase in security.  We took our local transit to get to the arena and even walking in the Bart Station near the Coliseum I could see more security jackets.  Then, we had to go up a ramp to get to the doors and there was a security checkpoint there that had never been there before.  My bag was searched and they asked my husband to hold up his jacket.  Once we got to the doors, there was the usual bag check and going through the metal detectors.  Inside I could see more security than usual walking up and down the aisles.  Personally, I didn't mind and I didn't really hear anyone else complaining.

Security by the stage
Our concert selfie :)

I didn't know any of the songs Megadeth was singing but it was interesting watching the show they had on the screens and watching the crowd.  Here are a couple of pictures:

Someone needs to tell them that "death" has an "a" in it.

Most of the pictures I got of them were of the hair flipping variety.  

I couldn't tell you what any of them actually looked like because all I saw was hair.

I have no clue as to the significance of this...

Or this guy, although I'm sure a fan would know.

Then came the Scorpions.

Klaus Meine and Matthias Jabs

Still a little crazy but at least I won't have nightmares.

Rudolf Schenker

Pawel Maciwoda

And even though they are wearing hats, I can still see their faces.

Since we last saw them, they have replaced their drummer, James Kottak, because he had some substance abuse issues.  Mikkey Dee of Motorhead fame has replaced him and I must say he did a heck of a job.

At one point in the show his drum stand rises on a pedestal very high above the stage.  Each time he beats the drums, a picture of one of their album covers fills the screen until they are all up there.  Quite impressive.

They had a disco ball hanging down and it filled the arena with sparkles of light.

I love their logo.

This is the fourth time we've seen Scorpions, going back to the very first concert my husband and I ever went to together back in 1982.  They sang some new to us songs this show and one really struck my husband and I.  Today we did some research on it and OMG it is our perfect song.  We both agreed that it holds meaning for us.  Here it is...We Built This House, from the album Return to Forever from 2015:

I listened to an introduction that Klaus Meine did about the song and he said it was to show the longevity of their band as they have been together since 1965!  I think it tells the story of my husband and I.

The last concert we have scheduled is Bob Seger next month at the same venue.  It will be interesting to see if the increased security becomes a permanent thing or if time will ease the situation.  How about you?  Any end of the year concerts?  Ever get struck by a "new" song from an old band?  What do you think of We Built This House?  Love to hear from you.