Night of the Dead

No, I don't mean the costumes. Only saw a few really good ones. And by "really good" I more mean "cute girls in skimpy outfits", though there were some legitimately good costumes beyond those considerations. One customer had a really good Jack Sparrow costume. Anyway, I expected one of two things to happen last night. First is that it would be super-busy as everyone blew through on their way to and from parties or whatever. Second is that it would be really slow since most everybody would have better things to do than hang around Wal-Mart all night. And as it happens, that's exactly what I got. Plus, Billy was working last night too, so Pets was finished I wanna say before 7:30, despite neither of us clocking in before 4:00. And I still did the majority of the work. The only thing I know Billy did was to repeatedly tell me how the fish tanks weren't getting cleaned well enough, and effectively calling me a liar when I would tell him each time that I've been cleaning them as I'd been directed to do already. It begins to occur to me that he probably thinks the same thing about me as I tend to about him. Namely that he doesn't do anything except the minimum it takes to get by, goofs off, etc. This isn't helped by the fact that any shift we're both working, none of the kinda stuff comes up like it does when I'm working alone. Nearly every night I work by myself, any number of things will come up that take me away from my main job and prevent me from being able to finish early. Billy has commented before that I zone really fast, and when nothing is taking me away from the job, that's true. But he doesn't seem to get that most of the time I can't sit and focus myself on that non-stop until it's finished. I only wish it was possible for me to make all my work in Pets linear that way. Work on zoning the aisle until that's finished, then work on getting fish for people until it's time to clean and close down the tanks, then maybe go help zone somewhere else until it's time to go home. My work becomes weaker, and I think this true of many people, when I have to change to a different task in the middle of one I'm already doing. This is to say nothing of whatever little side jobs my managers decide need doing and that I'm the right person for. But anyway, Billy totally pissed me off last night and I was fuming almost non-stop until we got to go home. The fuming mostly manifested itself as a depressed appearance, though, which seemed to concern any of my friends that I let notice. And one of them in particular unknowingly ends up contributing to the depressedness whenever it's already going on. So, I really wasn't having a fun time last night, and actually for a minute seriously thought about walking out at lunch and not coming back. I felt that lousy last night.

So, it was so slow last night that none of the departments were getting hit very hard, which means zoning went really fast everywhere. In fact, I got sent to work Stationary around 7:00, but it hadn't looked like anybody had touched it at all, so I mostly just walked around the department looking like I was straightening stuff up until it was time to go to lunch. And after I got back, almost everyone was finished. The managers had to keep coming up with busy work for us to do, since nobody can leave before almost 10, and it wasn't even 9:15 yet. I ended up having a group slowly form around me, all wandering around trying to find something to do in order to look busy. It was really boring. You know we're bored when we ask any manager we can find what there is still to do. I half suspect that toward the end the managers were starting to untidy stuff just so they could tell us a minute later to go and fix it. You could see really clearly on their faces that they were struggling to come up with anything to keep us busy. I think they were having trouble keeping busy too. Between how bored I was, everything being finished, and how crappy I felt all night, I was ready to get out when they finally made the call for second shift to start filtering out a little before 10:00. In general I'd have been annoyed at the loss of an hour's pay, but seeing as I'm scheduled for over 38 hours this week, it wouldn't have been a big deal anyway. At this point, I'm looking forward to a normal-traffic night. I just hope Billy's not on as well. If I have to put up with his attitude much more, somebody is gonna hear a little story about Billy. I'm seriously getting sick of putting up with him, and I'm certainly not going to let it go on unknown in perpetuity. Yeah, I know; If I already knew the way he was, why did I ask to stay in the department with him? Fortunately we're usually not scheduled on together but maybe once a week plus a few overlapping hours. Besides, the workload is still preferable in Pets.


Shift shifts.

Y'know, if you're going to call in sick, there's probably better times to do it than immediately after your scheduled two days off. But on Friday that's exactly what I did, due to some pressing medical issues, the kind of stuff you just can't ignore in favor of going to work unless you want to, like, lose a kidney or die or something. Anyway...

Following that up, I was scheduled to work first shift this weekend. First time I've had to do that, as previously the earliest I've had to work was noon, and that hasn't been for several weeks. It was challenging just to drag myself out of bed that early, especially after having my sleep screwed up by medication, and getting ready and out the door in time to make it to the store was a mad rush I do not much enjoy. Making it worse was that since I work second shift always, I don't hardly know anybody on first shift. The earliest any person I know comes in is 11, which is right in time for my first 15 minute break. Of course, that's Ricky over in Paper Goods, who is getting more and more bitter by the day because he's being made to take up some of the slack in Chemicals since my transfer. Today he even made an offhand remark about talking to the Assistant Manager over that area that I'd "have to be put back." While I wouldn't put it past him to say something, I don't think the managers would act on it. Plus, when he said that, I became resolved that I'd probably put in my notice if they tried to put me back on Chemicals. I don't intend that as a threat; if they tell me they're putting me back, I'm gonna tell them that I can't stand working Chemicals, and if it's the only way I can keep my job, it's only gonna be for two weeks. But we're getting off track.

First shift sure is different. Especially on the weekends. Our store is infamous for its shorthandedness on the weekends, and this was no exception. There's nobody at all in Hardware before 2pm this weekend, which means nobody to mix paint, which seems to be the main customer interaction task in that department. Last week, one of the women from Toys taught me how to use the paint mixer, so that came in handy as I helped to cover the paint when I could. Mostly just if I was in the area already and somebody turned up. I ran a gallon for one guy before I'd been clocked in an hour. Then later on I did another two, after a few people from local departments were rounded up to move Hardware's freight that didn't get worked the night before. I'm not sure what exactly happened after that, but the paint machine was said to have broken down and wouldn't dispense color anymore. But that wasn't too big of a deal since by then I didn't have to cover anymore. Otherwise all I was doing was hauling dog food and cat food out from the back to replenish the shelves for my whole shift, in between calls to the fish tanks. And naturally the little measuring cup I use to put aquarium water in the bags went missing at some point in the three days I wasn't present. That ended up kind of fun, as one of the Assistant Managers told me to go to get one from Housewares and take it to Claims for them to mark off inventory. Unfortunately, being the weekend there was nobody in the Claims office, so I had to get the manager to go and mark it off. Better than trying to use the horribly cracked and leaky containers that were still there, though. The top off for Saturday, though, was a manager grabbing me twenty minutes before I was to clock out and telling me to start working chemical pallets that were in grocery. Grocery receiving was a horrible mess, couldn't hardly even move a cart through to load stuff on. Once I finally did get a cart back to the chemicals pallet, I ended up blocked in for a good five minutes or so. The short version is that I ended up having just enough time to push the cart out to the aisle, look at it for a second, then push it back to GM receiving to get it out of the way and go clock out. It was so stupid it's hilarious.

Speaking of fish, we have no goldfish. Oh, sure, we have Fantails, Koi, and the like, but none of the 28 cent, basic, essentially disposable feeder goldfish. As it turned out, our fish vendor mixed up our order with another store, and in the meantime, we're stuck without our most popular fish product. Add to that about half the individual tanks are sick, and I'm not going to sell sick fish to people, so the selection I'll actually get for people was pretty restricted. If the situation continues much longer, I'm gonna have to go over my department manager about it - a move he won't like, but the condition in the tanks just isn't improving despite whatever is being done to treat them.

Sunday ended up being much the same. The paint mixer was still broken to some degree, so I didn't do any paint. My day largely consisted of hauling food out from back and doing fish. Fish were fairly slow, too, except for an inconvenient rush at the end of my shift which caused me to be five minutes late clocking out. Always at the worst times, I guess.