April 7th, 2009 | Comments Off on antithèse

Taking a break from the horror that is the undergrad thesis. I present, in no particular order, thoughts which have been percolating in my brain lately:

  • I’m growing increasingly dissatisfied with the local rag. At first, there was this sensationalist reporter whose articles I read with a general kind of distaste. Then, the sports pages (this is how I follow sports) caught the same bug; one writer consistently abuses the cadences and vocabulary of a casual register. OK, I’m being a bit judgmental here. And maybe it’s my objective scientist training coming to the fore. But is it so much to ask for a little professionalism? Not every piece needs to have your personality written all over it. If I wanted that, I’d read a column.
  • In the same vein: I’d like to take a second job as a copy editor for said paper. Then I too can make money while doing nothing. (I’m not sure people will ever spell Sarah McLachlan’s surname correctly. I recently read an article where it was spelled two different ways. Incorrectly, both times.)
  • The cherries are blooming, finally. I’m glad the weather is nice and they can last for at least a day or two–but I’m already seeing petals on the ground.
  • I’ve been looking at more indie music lately. I kind of–I’m not sure how I feel about it. Looking for indie music seems like an oxymoron; if a musician is truly indie you’ll never have heard of them. If you haven’t heard of them… you can’t look for them. Simple as that. Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that Dallas Green does manage to pull off his City and Colour act quite well, and I do rather like Sometimes. Bring Me Your Love is a little vanilla, even for my tastes. Other groups which have caught my fancy lately: Stars, Hallelujah the Hills, Broken Social Scene.
  • I have my last undergraduate lectures tomorrow. Strange. I don’t really have a sense of things ending, like I did in high school. Perhaps that’s just the stress of the thesis talking.
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Posted in quotidian
December 11th, 2007 | Comments Off on annoyances

Things I am annoyed with right now, in no particular order:

  • A certain associate director at work. My supervisor is on vacation at the moment and so I was told yesterday to compile the work I’ve done over the last three weeks for a meeting tomorrow. I do so, send him the files, and then sit down to a meeting where we go over said data and come up with slides (!!) for this meeting. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “WTF slides? I hope you’re presenting this.” I re-send him the slides for editing, he hacks and slashes them, and then sends me off with “So, you’re going to do this, right Catherine?” AGGGGGH.

    Let me emphatically state ONE THING: I DO NOT LIKE HAVING PRESENTATIONS ON SCIENTIFIC MATTERS SPRUNG ON ME. Especially scientific matters I don’t know an awful lot about. (I could rant about this, but then well we might step into confidentiality issues…)

    Suffice to say I had a bit of a nervous breakdown after that meeting (why does this sound so familiar?) and um, the same lady who found me in nervous breakdown state last time found me again this time. As my surrogate supervisor, she offered to present for me. “But Catherine, it just doesn’t feel right taking credit for work I didn’t do.” It was seriously all I could do at that point to stop myself from saying, “That’s funny, that never stopped [my supervisor on vacation] from presenting my data.”

    I really should not be taking this so hard. However, I have several issues with my whackload of slides, the foremost being that the director has NO BLOODY CLUE what I’m talking about. The work I’m presenting tomorrow is a month old. I need time to refresh my memory of things.

    I also have new, perhaps more pertinent data to discuss. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to process it because I’ve been working on these damn slides all day.

    I don’t like the way the director has instructed me to structure the presentation. As it stands, it really has absolutely no flow. Things jump from one thing to another without really being connected (and now you kind of see why I’ve hated the last eight months of work.)

  • Myself, really, for breaking down and letting the idiot win.
  • My supervisor on vacation, S—-, for several things: 1) calling this meeting (apparently it was his idea, or maybe I heard this wrong–after all, who calls a meeting while they’re on vacation?); 2) being on vacation and leaving me to flounder; 3) not telling me that this meeting was going to happen and that I was going to need to prepare for it; 4) leaving me to clean up a whackload of his stuff; 5) never having brought me to ANY of these meetings and therefore leaving me COMPLETELY IN THE DARK ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT. S—-, sorry, you are seriously NOT COOL and that parting gift you gave me? Also not cool. Am I the only one who thinks that you should give gifts for your giftee and not really for yourself?
  • Myself again, for taking work home with me. I work enough overtime as it is.
  • My mother. I really need to move out. Unfortunately, I need money to do that.
  • S—- at work, who seems to have absolutely nothing to do and therefore spends her time distracting other people. It’s not easy to tune her out when she sits next to you.
  • G— at work, for–I don’t know. This one’s more complicated than the others, and I’m not really annoyed with him. In fact–
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Posted in ramblings
June 12th, 2006 | 2 Comments »

Here are ten guaranteed ways to make a sales associate like me ticked off:

  1. Try to scam me at the register. Let’s get something straight. Buy one, get one half price means that you get another item of equal or lesser value for half price. You do not buy something for 5 dollars, and something for 60 dollars, and expect to pay 35 for both. That’s just stupid. Also, I will give you the best deal that I can without getting fired. I’m trying to be on your side, people, but you’re not making it easy.
  2. Point out that, “In the States, this is a lot cheaper.” And your point is…? I can’t do anything about it; I don’t set the prices.
  3. Ignore a greeting. Look, a simple “Hi” will suffice, or if you’re not feeling very verbal, even a smile is better than nothing.
  4. Be needy. We are understaffed as it is, and I simply do not have the time to be your personal shopper. Especially if the store is full of other customers wondering why there’s no one coming to help them.
  5. Interrupt me when I’m in the middle of dealing with another customer. It’s selfish and I end up losing when I have to deal with one angry customer and one selfish one. Wait your turn, or try and catch me as I finish with someone else.
  6. Steal merchandise. Personally, I don’t really care, but it makes my manager crack down even more, which is annoying. (Some store loyalty, eh?)
  7. Make a mess. Or, worse, try to fix your mess and wind up making an even bigger mess for me to clean up. It’s just not cool, people.
  8. Whine about how we don’t carry out-of-season merchandise that you like. I’m sorry, it’s summer now, and we don’t have any winter boots left. I don’t care if you’re climbing Mount Everest.
  9. Whine that we don’t have enough selection. You’re in the middle of a huge tourist trap shopping area. Go to another store if you don’t like us.
  10. Start a sentence with “Why don’t you just…”
    First: I think I know how to do my job better than you do. Unless you work in retail, you have no right to say this. Second: Chances are I’ve already thought of that and rejected it. Third: I will admit that 10% of the time, customers have some worthwhile points after the ellipsis. That doesn’t change the fact that it comes off as presumptuous and rude. Finally, if I tell you my register can’t do something, guess what: You and I are both stuck with it. Wait the extra minute.

People are idiots. Luckily, 90% of customers are decent enough people to deal with that don’t increase my stress-o-meter. Here are a few things that make me happy:

  1. Saying “thank you” sincerely, especially if we’ve really done a lot for you. Yeah, it’s my job to help you look for stuff, but it’s still nice to hear a “thanks for trying anyway” or something.
  2. Making small talk at the register. It’s a nice break from what can be monotonous work sometimes, and it’s just nice to be able to talk to people without trying to sell them anything.
  3. Acknowledging how busy we are, in general. Thank you for understanding. :cheerful:
  4. Being happy, and cheerful. As a professional, I’m not supposed to let customers’ moods rub off on me, but I’m a thin-skinned person as it is, so it really does help if you’re nice. Besides that, it’s always a pleasure to serve a pleasant person.
  5. Buying lots of stuff. :tongue: Just kidding.

Sometimes I feel I just work at my store, and not for my store, if that makes any sense. Another day like today and I’ll be ready to quit. Seriously. I’m not working past this December for sure, since I got in co-op (:star:) and I’ll have my first work term in January, but I’m questioning if I really need this job after all.

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Posted in ramblings