This blog was originally posted on July 20, 2009 on one of my now defunct sites.
I don’t ask for much at work. But I would like some consistency. I’ll say I work for a large chain that sells books and has an agressive anti-blogging policy and leave it at that.
My current position is to get there at 7am, sort and shelve books, cds, and dvds for 8 hours, then go home. Its mindless, but I’m left alone. My mind wanders, creating ideas and stories to write, remembering random song lyrics, or evaluating the pros and cons of finding a better job. All the job should entail is a manager points at a stack of boxes and says, “get that taken care of”. Most of the time a manager wouldn’t even be needed for that. I’ve worked many jobs, I’m college educated, I can look at a project and figure out how to get it done. Until the problem that most would call, “too many cooks”.
Security sticker goes on a CD or DVD, security keeper goes around that. Repeat until done. But there are exceptions. Exceptions which change weekly. “Only put security tags on the popular stuff. Rock, rap, pop, stuff like that.” Fair enough. Oh, but then popular includes Easy Listening CDs. Because, the people who are still buying CDs and not downloading songs are the same type that would be buying easy listening and other older titles. So, screw it, I’ll just tag them all. A “songs from the Vatican” CD can be stolen just as easily as … who the hell is popular now? Black Eyed Peas, yeah, let’s go with that. A manager walks into the back room, where I am doing this, and is upset. “You don’t tag all of them, you’re wasting tags, these are expensive! The updated list is right there, only tag those ones.” I inform this manager that the list changes constantly so why not just tag them all. “No it doesn’t, the list is right on this wall.” On the wall were two pieces of paper. With two different lists of what needs a security tag. I shook my head and continued as I was before. Oh, and the “expensive” tags? 100 dollars a case. Boy that is expensive, how many come in a case? Only 100? Less? No. 5000 per case. These are two cents each. That’s less than the printing charge for a piece of paper, and a lot more of that is wasted in the store daily.
However, I will never finish this project, because every day I am somewhere new. Shelving, checking in deliveries, sorting, CDs and DVDs, on a register, greeting customers (no, I don’t work at a Wal-Mart and yet they insist on someone standing up front saying hello). I am in constant demand, because I can do so much in the store. Surely I’m being paid well for this expertise! Not a chance. No raise in 2 years since starting there, and no raise for being moved up to a positition of more responsibility. Not to give an exact dollar amount, but I know people who’s starting pay at 18 is more than mine.
All this, plus more, is why this is becoming the writing blog. Ideas, stories, videos, links, and rants. Because if I’m writing, and you’re reading, then I’m that much closer to doing it for a living.