Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm retired again

Walmart formally let me go from my temporary job today. I worked from November 12th to December 23.

It was an interesting experience. I'd done things with the public over the years but I'd never run a register for 8 hours, new things are good!
It was not as bad as I expected, there were only four women who were rude & personally insulting out of the thousands of people I must have dealt with.

For the most part I worked in the photo department and dealt with layaway and site to store, just four days as a cashier up front.

The blog needed a picture & I saw a real phone booth today!


I did have four surprises. 

1) In the "site to store" you had to have a picture ID to pick up your stuff, I was amazed at the number of people who did not have an ID with them or could not find it.

2) "Site to store" & the buy it online then pick it up at the store was another surprise.
There are a lot of people who don't like shopping. They go on-line, select what they want, pay for it with a card then go pick it up, someone at the store goes up & down the aisles gathering what you bought.
This is going to get bigger.

3) Cash. There was a huge amount of cash in those registers! I really thought there was more commerce done via plastic money than the old fashioned fifty & hundred dollar bills.

4) Walmart itself.  So few people trying to do so much (remember the 'buy it online', somebody HAS to do their shopping), so many times touching a single product with no one buying it & how hard the managers ran around trying to make it all work (remember the 'buy it online").

I'm out of a job but I don't feel unemployed so I guess I'm retired again.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Alaska

Billy Bob in his blog mentioned Alaska the other day.... anyone even mentioning "Alaska" gets me thinking! I'd like to go, it would have to be an early summer trip just for the weather...

Alaska has been in my head since I was a kid, my Dad once told me of his dream to get a boat and go up the inland passage. He was with Standard oil & had been there on the tankers.

A grey Mason county Washington not a summer day

In the Coast Guard my first station was at a Light Station (light house) on an island in Puget Sound,  there was a ferry that ran to Seattle from one end & Tacoma at the other.
One day a guy drove down to the Light Station in a VW bug with a long kayak tied on top of his car, he went past the parking area and on down to the beach, I went down to see why.
He said that he and a couple of buddies had rented the kayak mold from REI and built themselves kayaks. He had his almost done (he said he still had to fill the ends with resin) but he really wanted to try it out, they were going to paddle up the inland passage.
He put it in the water & went zipping all over the place...

My first hitch in the Coast Guard was ending, I was divorced & stationed in Sacramento Calif,  I was wondering if I should reenlist.
For awhile I thought about packing my 'stuff' in a back pack, writing "Alaska" on a piece of cardboard and heading down to an I-5 northbound entrance & sticking my thumb out...
I re-upped & stayed for another 17 years.

In the summer of '96 a bunch of folk from the internet VW group got together and did a drive up to the Arctic circle, close enough to Alaska for me! I was stationed in Michigan as I read about the planning & the trip.

Right around the turn of the century I was (out of the CG and) working at a front end shop in Bemidji Minnesota, it was late spring I think when a guy pulled in driving an Isuzu Trooper and wanted to get the brakes checked. He had his stuff in the back and was on his way to Alaska.
As he drove by the thought of getting his car checked out came to his so he stopped. A good thing, his front wheel bearing needed help and he was on his way in a few hours. Sometimes I wonder what happened to him....

Fairbanks Alaska from here

The Coast Guard & Alaska! The CG has been in Alaska for a long time & In my time in the CG I heard a lot of Alaska stories. I never went there, just heard the stories. Sitting around on duty nights listening to search & rescue stories in Alaska, bar stories from Alaska & hunting/fishing stories from Alaska.
Alaska has been been in the background of my life about forever.

Key West for those who are not at all into talking about Alaska this winter

Alaska won't be this summer as I have other things to do, maybe 2016?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Working still, kind of....

Life at the superstore has been interesting.
I was there for the Thanksgiving Day sales (started at 6pm) and for Black Friday. With so many 'deals' spread out between 6pm Thanksgiving Thursday and midnight Friday evening the sale was not what how I'd heard it was.

Now that layaway & the big sales are over things are slowing down.  My hours are shrinking away, with 12 hours scheduled over the next two weeks I have to admit that having to get up and drive to 'work' is not as much fun as just walking like when I was walking.
Last December in Santa Cruz

I drive to work, I see people, I watch how they buy stuff, I find the stuff they bought & give it to them. Most of what I see is very everyday.... it's like I was working again,
Last Dec again, it's just too gray here in Washington for a current photo

I'm looking forward to what ever it is that comes next for me.

Merry Christmas folks!