Tuesday, June 26, 2012

As Nancy Kerrigan would say, Why? Why?

June 26, 2012

It will be difficult to ask the question I am about to pose without sounding biased, but here goes.

What is it about Walmart that shoppers like so much?

I am sure you know by now that I am a manger at The Target and by law am not allowed to think Walmart is awesome, but that is not why I am posing this question.

I have had the "pleasure" of being in a Walmart twice in the past 3 weeks.  The first visit was just a look around of a nearby Super Walmart to see what they look like these days.  I had not been to one in years.  Beth and I walked the store for about 30 minutes and saw plenty of shoppers.  I assume it was a fairly typical Walmart with plenty of bulk displays, aisles that were difficult to navigate, and team members you could only identify as employees due to their blue vest.  They certainly weren't there to make sure I was getting any assistance.

My second visit was to a different Walmart that has been around longer-probably close to 15 years.  Beth wanted to buy a certain product that you can only get on-line or at Walmart, so we went to the Mart.  It only cost $5, so I had no objection.  As we entered the store, we were greeted by the greeter and the 75 other things going on at the front door.  We then looked for a sign leading us to the HBA dept and found one.  We followed the sign and ended up in automotive.  Now, I can handle a map (up to and including folding it back up), and I can read; so I am positive I did not mistake the words "Health and Beauty Aids" and the arrows pointing that way as the message, "Car products over here y'all."

Anyway, we turned around and finally found foot care products in an area that looked like it had been temporarily staged out in the middle of nowhere, and Beth found her product.

As I continued to look around, I could not believe how many items the store was out of and how dirty it was.  This included the team members who were dressed mostly in jeans and flannel shirts and had on a name badge.  Wow, did I feel like a snob.

Before I ask my question again, let me admit one thing.  The prices there were better than at The Target.  I saw several things that were better prices than what I know them to be at my store. 

And, I will allow that not every Target looks as good as mine or every Walmart looks as bad as the one I was in.

But great googly moogly, are prices alone the reason to shop there?  For anyone who shops both places, are you saving enough money to put up with the mess and the countless guests wearing wife beaters and their NASCAR colors?

Snob much?  Why, yes I am.  Judgemental?  You are right again-I judge people and I am mental.  Target loyalist?  You betcha. 

On that last note, I am still a loyalist today even though I did not get my promotion yesterday.  I am still a little bitter about the circumstances, so I will not blog about it now.  However, it is not something that has me job searching.  And, if I do ever start job hunting, I can guarantee you, I will not be looking for a job at Walmart.  I realize I am old enough to qualify for the greeter position, but I do not look good in a wife beater and a vest.  Seriously, who does?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Brother was Alway a Big Fan of Dee Snider

June 24, 2012

My brother is in the hospital.  I spoke with his wife yesterday and she said that he will be released today or tomorrow.  He lives down in Louisville, KY, so if you are near Baptist East hospital can you stop in and say hi for me?  People in hospitals love drop-in visitors dontcha know. 

He was having trouble keeping food items down and had some lower stomach pains.  It took the doctors a couple of days to figure out that his intestine was twisted.  I am not sure if it was his small or large intestine, but does it matter?  I asked my S-I-L how an intestine becomes twisted.  Was he doing yoga?  A lot of barrel rolls?  Misunderstood the phrase "getting your knickers twisted"?  Listened to too much Chubby Checker?  They do not know how this happens.  Sounds painful though.

So he had surgery to untwist and it went well.  Thank you God for taking care of my brother.

In other news, obviously CJ is pretty concerned, aka losing sleep, worrying about his Uncle Mike.  I am hoping to insert a photo here, but I have to wait until Beth leaves the room, and then I have to find the cord thingy.  If there is no photo, use your G-rated imagination to see that CJ is in blanket/pillow heaven sawing some logs.  He had some friends sleep over Friday night, so he is catching up on some zzzzs.  Still kinda cute for a teenager, I think.  When he wakes up I need him to sign a waiver.

Having a large teenage was very helpful yesterday.  I was doing my effing physical therapy bike ride when I saw some neighbors trying to move a couch through their front door.  They are older and were struggling.  I stopped to ask if they needed help.  They did not decline and I assessed the situation.  It was a rather large 3-cushion couch with flowers on it.  No, the flowers are not important nor do they add weight, I am just painting you a picture with my words.  Just like Hemingway.  The husband, Joe, was having some issues lifting his end.  I ran home to collect my boy and the both of us managed to maneuver the couch through the rabbit hole into the living room.  To be honest, I did not think it was going to happen.  However, since Joe and his wife, Audrey, had moved the couch from the back porch to the precipice of the front door, we had to give it a shot.  Audrey had just repainted the two front rooms with her son's help and this floral couch was going to be the finishing touch. 

The reason this is blog-worthy is that Joe is 95 YEARS OLD.  Good grief.  In 48 years, I will be as old as dude who just moved a 3-cushion couch from his back porch to his front porch.  I do not know how old Audrey is, but let's say Joe robbed the cradle and married someone 20 years younger.  That means Audrey was repainting the two front rooms at 75 years old.  Yes, with her son's help, but considering their ages, their son is probably in his 60's.  Man I need to take care of these knees. 

For the record, I asked CJ to sign a waiver and he did.  I caught him right when he woke up.  His attorney has still not allow me to post the photo.  Something about losing the trust of the boy who was willing to sign a blank waiver.  So I will publish this post without the photo, but check back later and see if the photo gets added.

Darn lawyers.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm More Mature Today Than Yesterday

June 22, 2012

Here it is, Friday of vacation week already. Vacations go so fast it is ridiculous. Of course, having Target things to do on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday did not help slow the week down at all.

As for Target Tuesday, I think my interview for the real promotion and real pay increase went well. I checked my email on Wednesday and Thursday and heard nothing, but I won't take it personally just yet. They way I feel about it is that if the interview I had was not good enough, then I am not what they are looking for. Unless I went all Robin Williams and snorted some cocain prior to the interview to become "out-of-body fun guy", I cannot be more smiley than I was. One bit of feedback I received the previous week from my district manager was that I do not smille enough during the interview.

Let's see, tell me about a time when you had to organize your time and resources to accomplish a difficult task. Me answering, DM feeding back-hey you could have smiled right there. Really? Are you sure I wouldn't have appeared Charles Mansonish with an innapropriate smile just then? Whatever.

I had my doctor's appointment on Thursday for my real knee issue, and it went well also. The doctor said I do have some fluid, but since I have only been on the new anti-inflamatory a few days, we need to give it more time to work. His physical exam led him to believe that there is no tear. Thank goodness. I am now supposed to treat with some active rest. That means okay to walk, not good to use stairs, ladders, kneel, or do any deep knee bends. I think I can handle it. I even did a little bike riding since that activity is supposed to provide some physical therapy. I do not ride often and both my knees were like, "What the Eff!"

In other not about me news, CJ turned 15 1/2 on the 20th. No, we did not celebrate, but the significance is that you can get your driving temps here in Ohio at 15 1/2. I asked CJ if he wanted to get his temps, and he declined. He amused me when he pointed out that it's funny how the state thinks that on the 19th he is too immature to drive, but on the 20th, here's the keys.

I asked him why he declined the temps and he gave me a very legitimate reason. You remember how there used to be Scared Straight show? They send juvenile delinquents to prisons to have inmates scare them into not wanting to go to prison. It is also a good premise for preventing teenage pregnancy. No, not the prison thing, but having teens work a couple days in a day care. Not a lot of unprotected sex after that.

CJ's scared straight moment occured when he rode to see Great Aunt Rhetta with Beth and Grandma. Beth drove, but that does not mean she was in charge of the vehicle. Beth is neither the most confident drivier nor the best with directions to the West side of Cincinnati, so Grandma copilots. However, rather then choosing the most practical or direct route to the destination, Grandma chooses the one with the best visual aides to stories about her childhood or people she knew. It has a tendency to take you through congested, hard to navigate parts of town as well as Interstate 75 at rush hour. In addition, if grandma died on the way (God forbid), Beth and CJ would be hopelessly lost.

Needless to say, CJ has decided that he does not belong behind the wheel of a car just yet. He learned some new curse words on the trip as well. I am sorry I missed it.

We have 4 people using our wi-fi right now, so Blogger is acting strangely. I am going to go ahead and publish so you will be able to see what my posts would look like without spell check. I am not as think as you smart I was.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is getting older awesome? That depends...

June 12, 2012

The Target continues to be a great source of constant entertainment.   However, to make sure I still have this form of entertainment, I need to keep it as a source of income.  Therefore, on my day off today, I have an interview at the district office for a promotion.  In reality, it is a mock interview for a real interview for a mock promotion that pays like a real promotion.

Confused yet?

My real interview is a video interview with the group director on June 19th.  In order to prepare for that, they put us through mock interviews, which happens today.  I am typically pretty good at mocking people so I do not think today will go all that bad.

As for the mock promotion, Target has different pay grade levels and I am interviewing for a pay grade level increase.  I would still be doing the same job, but for more money.  It is supposed to be a reward for doing a good job at your present level even though you have declared that you are not interested in getting a real promotion to a Store Manager type position.  I know it sounds complicated, but it all makes sense somehow.  We will see what happens.

Either way it works out for me so I can continue to help guests at The Target such as one adorable lady I helped last week.  She had done a fair amount of shopping already.  See full shopping cart as Exhibit A.  However, she came to me with her hands all flappy as her cart had come up missing.  This happens on occasion as a cart attendant or team member will become overzealous about policing an "abandoned" cart.  Or sometimes another shopper will mistakenly take the wrong cart and move on without realizing it was not theirs. 

Fortunately, this guest had her purse on her shoulder, so it was just merchandise that was missing.  Rather than having to reshop for all the things she had already selected, I tried to help her find her cart.  I did find it in another part of the store and returned it to her.  She was grateful and gave me a little smooch.  What would Beth think, you may be wondering, about the smooch?

Well, since it was Beth who had lost her cart, I think she will just continue to be grateful. 

Getting older happens to all of us.  Beth and I were remembering last night how CJ had once worn diapers (Huggies I think), that had the baby Muppets on them.  That seems like a long time ago.  Pretty soon, Beth and I will be getting sized for Depends.  That may not be all bad though if they start making Depends with Muppets on them.  Who were the two old guys in the balcony?  Statler and Waldorf.  Depends with Statler and Waldorf on them. 

Good idea, yes or no?