Doodle-a-day & Retail woes

Hello! Welcome back to my Make-It-Monday (I’m trying out a fun name for my themed days! Whatcha think?)

Besides making plans and patterns for Christmas gifts, I didn’t do much crafting these last few days. But, I still want to have something to show you all so I thought I’d share my House GlaDos doodles. First, an explaination: I recently joined International Geek Girls [Pen Pals] Club (IGGPPC or Iggles) and on their website they have a bunch of fun activities and challenges to take on that you can earn achievements for. I know I’m not artist but there’s something meditative about doodling and its fun to give my brain a stretch thinking of doodles to fit the prompts.

So, the challenge I took on this month was the House GlaDos (the house I was sorted into) November doodle challenge. Since it is half way through the month right now, here are what I’ve drawn for the first 15days of the month. Some I’m pretty proud of and feel very clever, others are a little embarrassing and if you could just not look too terribly closely (its the thought that counts, right?) that’d be great!

Day 1: Cake
Day 2: Fire    Day 3: Orange    Day 4: Laser    Day 5: Blue
Day 6: Speed      Day 7: Portal   Day 8: Bottomless pit
Day 9: Test Subject     Day 10: Maze     Day 11: Potato     Day 12: Puzzle
Day 13: Jump      Day 14: Computer      Day 15: Gun

If you happen to be inspired to join the club, you most certainly can by going –>here<–. Sign ups just opened up for the next month’s penpal match up so now is the perfect time to join (this month’s theme is the 90s). If writing to total strangers isn’t your thing, that’s totally okay! There’s activities and prompts for a wide range of things from fitness to video gaming and more.

One of the reasons I wasn’t terribly crafty this weekend was because I worked almost all day Saturday. Now, I absolutely love my job – getting to work with fabric everyday, listening to customers creative ideas, answering questions based on my own experience and knowledge – I love it all. With the Black Friday frenzy nearing us, I thought I would be a voice for all us underpaid, understaffed, retail-workers. So, here is a short list of things to please keep in mind as you fight your way to that perfect present:

1. If you have a question that we can’t answer, please don’t get upset. During this time of year a bunch of people are hired as seasonal workers and are thrown right into the mess. For me, I haven’t had a chance to map out the entire store and I don’t have an ever-updating list of what we carry/ what’s on sale/ if that coupon will work in my head. I’ve had a few customers (usually men, I might add) who ask me questions about a specific sewing machine or type of fabric that their spouse wants and then they get upset when I can’t give them the correct answer. Here’s the truth: I have a cheap machine that I absolutely love. I wouldn’t buy a sewing machine from Joann’s even if I was in the market for one but I can’t exactly advise you to GTFO because that’s not my job. I will tell you what I know but I don’t know every little detail especially when you don’t even know what you’re looking for. We do the best we can but honestly, we may just not know the answer and we truly do feel sorry.

2. If you decide you don’t want something PLEASE don’t just put it down somewhere random or, in my case, on the top of a random aisle of fabric. Please just bring it to a desk/ the cutting counter. I have no problem putting away fabric but I hate it when I’m putting things away only to be attacked by falling merchandise or bolts of fabric that I couldn’t see.

3. Please be patient!! Anytime I’m at the cutting counter (which is most of the time) and someone has had to wait more than a minute or two, they angrily yell at me to bring in some more people. Yeah, I would love to have more people come and help me but that’s just not possible. Especially during the holiday season, as far as I know, everywhere is understaffed because that’s how big chain stores make more money. Also, just because we aren’t helping you, doesn’t mean we aren’t working. At Joann’s, once finished with a customer, if there is a remnant piece of fabric (usually a cut less than 1 yd), I have to measure and write it up. At least once a day I have a customer tell me I was ignoring them and need to pay more attention. Dear inpatient person buying fabric that equals my month of paychecks: I’m not blind or ignoring you, I’m just busy doing my job as quickly and accurately as possible so that I can get to you sooner.

4. The back room is not some magical portal where we hide everything from you. Unless you looked it up beforehand and our website says we have it in store, assume that we don’t have it. If you’re coming in on the last day of a sale and are surprised to find that that unique, holiday-only item isn’t out on the shelves, you probably missed your chance. The “back room” is more like a death trap and, to be honest, I tend to avoid it. It’s poorly lit, cold, and like a scene out of a horror movie. What is in there is merchandise that will eventually be going out on the floor when the new ads go out but is not just some secret stash of extras. What we have on the floor is all that we’ve got. Sorry.

Okay, lets review: PLEASE be understanding, bring unwanted merchandise to us, be patient, and assume you missed out (aka look online first).

Phew, that was tense. But seriously, we’re minimum wage paid workers who are working during times that you get to spend time with your family and enjoy your day off. As I said though, most of the time I enjoy my job. I’m actually one of those weird people that is enjoying the busyness of retail work. Its just the occasional mean person that just has to come in and be a jerk.

I’m really excited about this opportunity (though I suppose most people don’t see it as that) and though I don’t plan on this being my end in career searching, I’m learning what I can from this experience to apply in to my future. A recent way that I’ve seen working retail affect me is when I went grocery shopping on Thursday, instead of going through the self checkout like I usually would, I went through a a check out with a nice looking girl my age and enjoyed a conversation with her as she scanned my purchases. I typically avoid talking to people but I’ve discovered some inner extrovert/ worked through some of my social anxiety and have learned how carry on a conversation like a normal person/ a person with the only the ability to smile and agree to everything. The key: finding something you have in common. For example, working as Joanns, I can assume the customer is some sort of crafty or talking to the Fred Meyer check out girl, we both work retail.

That’s all I have for now. The first half of this week is work heavy but then I have a few days off that I’ll be starting my Christmas crafting so look forward to that next Monday. Also, join me Wednesday (Written-Word-Wednesdays?) as I go over some great reads that feature kickass women. And/ Or Friday (Free-for-all-Friday?) as I talk about my planning process and transitioning into bullet journaling. Lots of fun ahead!

Just for fun, can you tell what each of my doodles were and how I got to them from the prompt? What geeky thing first comes to your mind when you read the prompts? Also, if you’re also a retail worker, what other things did you wish your customers kept in mind during this holiday shopping rush season? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, you can follow me on Instagram @trekkiechick29 or Pinterest @TrekkerChick29 or Twitter @AimeXAime and check out my etsy shop. Until next time my shopping crazy (or maybe not so much) readers, live long, doodle on, and prosper!

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