Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks to be givin

With Thanksgiving tomorrow I figured I'd do the whole cheesy "What I'm thankful for" deal. So here goes!

Family- My family is the greatest! Just the perfect amount of weird. If a family has no weirdness in it then it's boring! Mom and Dad are 2 of my best friends, I can talk to them both about pretty much anything. They have always been supporting and helpful, especially when I decided becoming a teacher wasn't for me and they helped me try to come up with something else to do with my life. They're great bosses at work too. My brothers are pretty cool too, Billy is a great travel buddy, keeping me entertained while driving to Gatlinburg while Allie and Jerry were asleep in the back. He's also a great person to work with, and always makes me laugh. Nick is an amazing person and hopefully now that we're older and are a little closer in proximity we can hang out and get to know each other better. My grandma Carol and Grandpa Bill are the sweetest grandparents ever, even tho grandpa can be a salty old man sometimes. I have too many aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family to give details about them all, but I am so grateful for all of them and they are all wonderful people. I couldn't have asked for a better family.

Friends- Friends for me is a strange situation, I've bounced from group to group most of my life and have never had a really close group of friends that I felt like were family, until now. Allie, Chris, Molly, Aaron, Kristen, Osh and Kelsey. Now Kelsey doesn't quite fit into the group but she's been my best friend since high school. I love the girl and will be there for her no matter what. We don't hang out as much as we used to but we're trying to work on that. Allie is probably one of the most wonderful female's I've ever met. Growing up I never really liked girls too much, they're too catty and cause too much drama, but Allie is not like that. We became quick friends at the beginning of this year and even better friends when she moved into my spare room in may (I think it was May) I couldn't have asked for a better roommate! Chris has been a friend for a few years but it wasn't until Allie moved in that we started hanging out more. He's an awesome person always full of laughs and great ideas. Molly and Aaron are the cutest, friendliest, nicest couple I've ever had the pleasure to hang out with and become friends with. There is never a dull moment with them. Kristen and Osh I'm just getting to know but I absolutely love them!

Health- Health is always an important thing. I've been lucky to have pretty good health all my life and I thank my parents for that!

Boo- She's just my little baby, I love her to death. Without her my life would be incomplete and my house wouldn't be a home.

Jerry- He is just the greatest, sweetest, funnest (that's not a word), most wonderful boyfriend ever. I can't believe its only been 7 months since we met. It seems like we've known each other forever, yet it also feels like we just started dating. There is never a dull moment with Jerry. When weather permits we're hiking thru some forest preserve or riding our bikes. We always have our weekends planned out whether it be going to a party, bar, movie, concert, or just sitting in the living room watching a movie, or playing video games with Allie and Chris. Since we met I can only one time when we couldn't come up with something to do and we were bored. He makes me smile and laugh and sometimes even snort (attractive huh?!). He is the cheese to my macaroni and the sun to my sky. I love him with all my heart. Ok I'm done being cheesy. :-p

I'm also very thankful to have 2 wonderful jobs, a running car to get me to places, and a condo to call my own.

What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 22, 2010

My first business as "director of First impressions"

My dad gave me this title because generally I'm the first person a customers sees when they walk into our store. So I have to give everyone the best first impression ever, which is usually greater achieve by Boo who on a number of occasions is sitting by the front door greeting customers So she's a better impression (unless she starts barking). But as the first person everyone sees I can't have a bad day at work. I have to be friendly, cheery, and accommodating at ALL TIMES! Which can be hard sometimes.

So I hadn't heard my dad use this title for me in quite sometime, until today. I printed out an email, a complaint from a customer, and handed it to my dad. The customer had hoped the email would reach "the owners" so he was the person to give it to. He read it, told me to have Matt (our general manager) read it. He read it.... Dad said "well you take care of it, you're the director of first impressions, me and Matt have things to do"

I froze. He really trusted me with dealing with a customer complaint. What if I said something wrong and pissed them off even more. If a customer is unsatisfied with a business they tell all their friends and anyone who'll listen... this could be bad, I can't screw this up.

After rereading the email, the customer and her friend already stated that because of these incidences they were not going to return to our store, so should I even reply? But we needed to find out what employee they had encountered so we could talk to them about the problem. So off my mind went trying to word what I was going to say to this person that clearly could not take sarcastic comments (which was the problem with one of the incidences she mentioned)

I got the wording what I thought was perfect, took a deep breath, and pressed send.

and that's where we're at now. Now I wait to see if she even takes the time to respond to my questions and comments. If not I wasted my time. But I'll update this post if anything comes out of it.

I knew this would eventually be part of my job as I want to take over when the time comes, but today I was not quite prepared.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The magic word?

(side note: I wrote this on Wednesday, and Boo has proved me wrong and "bad" no longer works. But I wanted to still post this anyways)

Have I finally found the word that will stop or prevent Boo from barking?!?!

Ever since my little Boo learned how to bark its been a struggle to keep it under control. I know what you're thinking, "dogs are supposed to bark" and yes I agree, but not to the extent of Boo's barking habit.

When people come over to my condo as soon as the downstairs buzzer goes off she starts to bark, not a cute quiet little bark, but a loud "I'm going to tear your knee caps off" bark, it's annoying and ear piercing. And if another dog comes into the garden center she doesn't the same bark with a charge towards the dog and sometimes even at customers without dogs, she has some deal with jingling keys. Anyways, especially at work this is problematic because surprisingly not everyone likes dogs or being barked at. Go figure. But a big problem is that some customers don't mind it and as soon as little barking Boo gets close enough they start petting her, which stops the barking but also kind of teaching her that it is O.K. to bark at someone because they will just pet her anyways.

So I've tried different things like bark collars and ultrasonic noise makers and every command under the sun "no" "stop" "no barking" etc. Nothing has ever worked. She just keeps charging and barking. Until Today!!!!

Instead of the usual commands, I spit out the word "BAD!" and what do you know, it worked! She kept doing her "gurgly growling" as my dad calls it, but that's quiet its a welcome sound to her bark.

Now lets keep our fingers crossed and hope this "bad" command will continue to work, otherwise I don't know what I'll do. Is it possible to get a dog's vocal chords removed? Or is that too cruel?

Christmas Lists

When I was a kid it was so easy to write a letter to "Santa" telling him what I wanted for Christmas. Every Sunday morning close to Christmas time, I'd wake up, go to the kitchen, sit at the island and look through all the Sunday ads trying to figure out what I wanted "Santa" to bring me. Every once and a while my dad would take the ads away from me because I hadn't eaten yet and me looking at the ads could take hours. I'd go through each one 5 times to make sure I didn't miss anything super cool and if something was sold at different stores I'd make sure to pick the one with the best price. So he made it a rule that I ate first other wise I might forget to eat all together. And back then I'd get real dizzy and light headed if I didn't eat breakfast.

So anyways, whenever I found something I liked I'd circle it in the ad first, then keep moving through the pile. Once I had sufficiently gone through all the ads 5 times I'd go through them one more time cutting out all the things I circled and setting them aside. After that task was done I'd get up get my partially made list out of my bedroom and grab a roll of scotch tape and start taping the cut outs to my construction paper list. Making sure that each thing had it's name, where to buy it and the price written neatly next to it. So "Santa" could know where to get the best deal.

Now, as a kid my Christmas list could be 10 pages long and of course I'd only get a select amount of things on that novel of a list. And of course Christmas eve (we open our presents on the eve, its tradition) would be more exciting because I never knew what I was getting off the list. And sometimes I'd forget I picked something out so that was even more fun.

But now as an adult it isn't like that. Every year around this time I get the dreaded question, yes I dread it now, "What do you want for Christmas?". So for weeks I rack my brain trying to figure out a small list of things that I need for the house, or just random wants that I've seen through out the year. But it's so difficult because if I see something I want, I have a job, I make money, I can buy it myself now instead of having to write it down and wait til Christmas time to get it.

These days I pick out things that I need to try on or pick out a specific style myself. So I go shopping with my mom for my own Christmas presents. Granted she doesn't buy them all when I'm with her. But it takes the fun out of it. I get all excited about this new coat I've picked out and I don't get to wear it until after Christmas, even tho while trying it on I envisioned myself wearing it for different occasions before Christmas. This also takes the fun out of the "guessing game" while opening presents. I know that rectangular flatish box sitting all the way in the corner of the pile contains the coat I chose for myself.

Luckily my dad will throw in a few surprises that I'm not expecting, usually wrapped in some obscure box that is usually way to big for the item inside. So he likes to spice things up. But the excitement isn't as great as it used to be. I just can't wait til I have kids of my own so it can be exciting to see the looks on their faces when they open there Christmas presents, until then I just have my dads small surprises like a bulk box of scotch tape to look forward to.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, it's just not the same as an adult until you have kids of your own to surprise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas should be stuck in a box and kicked down the stairs

Working in the retail business makes Christmas much less exciting than it used to be as a kid. We start putting out all the Christmas merchandise 2 weeks before Halloween, yes HALLOWEEN. That's the first thing I don't understand. I mean, it kind of makes sense to put stuff out early so that people can start to plan out what their Christmas decorations will look like but who really does that and all I ever hear is people bitching about how they hate to see Christmas before Thanksgiving, let alone before Halloween.

So after dealing with Christmas for 2 and a half months, you'd imagine my relief the first year I worked in retail, thinking that in January all the Christmas merchandise would go away. Well to my surprise... Christmas doesn't go away in the retail world, even if consumers don't see it all year round, we deal with it almost all year.

After Christmas is over, mid January is the time when we go down to the merchandise mart in Chicago and BUY MORE CHRISTMAS for the following December. After ordering in January and the lingering sale Christmas items in February, we only get a few short months with out a spec of Christmas. Because sure enough when our busiest season at the Garden Center are over.. guess what starts coming in! When June rolls around, boxes and boxes of Christmas Merch starts coming in via fedex and UPS. We stick in on the shelves in the warehouse for the time being trying not to think about it. But we know that once July comes around we'll have to start opening those boxes and creating the items in our system and pricing them so that we don't get behind and have to rush to get all the items out in October.

I luckily still enjoy the Holiday season and Christmas time, but sometimes I want to ring its little next, stick it in a box, tape it up real tight, and kick it down a few flights of stairs, especially in October when its too soon and January when I don't want to think about it anymore.

And don't even get me started on 93.9 the lite, who I've been told has already started playing ONLY Christmas music. I refuse to listen to that station before Thanksgiving and outside of work. After Thanksgiving until Christmas at the work place is the only time its acceptable. And even then I get sick of it.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest I'm going to go walk around the store and look at Christmas ornaments.

Origin of the box

As a kid I loved boxes. Like a lot of kids, maybe... possibly... idk, anyways. If there was a box big enough for me to fit in or put toys in, it was mine! Now you're probably thinking... "that's where she got her username" Nope. Actually I was "gymnastchick14" and "toozedazie" and a bunch of other random things until one day in college, a friend of mine came up with it and ever since then "Jackiinabox" has been my internet persona/AE.

But enough about that lets get back to boxes.

To this day I have a fascination with boxes, I like to put stuff in them, I like to save them for no reason, I like to go through them after a few months to see if there is anything I have forgotten about or want to throw out.

The place I am stuck at during the work day, my register cubical, is like a big box, especially when I'm sitting down at my computer and no one can see me. So I will call this my "work box".

As I sit in my "work box" with no customers in the store, staring off into the distance thinking about the Christmas shopping I have to do, my "work box" quickly turns into a mall, with the help of my laptop. I browse tons of shopping sites trying to find the perfect gifts for my mom, dad, brothers, grandparents and boyfriend. I figure out a few things I could get each but store them in the back of my mind as I don't think they'd be the perfect gifts and I continue on trying to find something better. I find the perfect gift for my boyfriend and of course the mall turns back into my "work box" as a customer comes in and I must interact with them. That's the problem with boxes, the world you create sometimes can be interrupted and some things take longer than in RL.

So after helping a few customers, I get to slip back into the mall and finish my transaction. Score! One present down! After I "check out" the mall becomes my mailbox, to check the confirmation email, and quickly the mailbox turns into the bank to make sure I have enough money for my bills.

Now I'm bored again and my "work box" turns back into the register cubical until I can figure out another thing to entertain myself with. And at this moment, I am currently a writer for a paper, or a book, or something. But I am vigorously working on a story about boxes, hoping people read and like my story. And hoping my friends don't think I'm clinically insane for sitting writing about boxes and how I still use my imagination like a 5 year old. Maybe my friends won't even read this. Either way, I am who I am, and I'm kinda writing this just to entertain myself. I think for now I'm going to exit the my "work box" and go get a cup of coffee.

Hopefully I keep up with this blog better than the Boo Blog. :)


I'm sitting in my "register cubical" bored as bored can be. No customers have come in for a little while and I can't find anything interesting to read online. A few of the blogs I go to in times like this have not been updated in a while, so that's no help. So I decide to write, I use to be really into writing when I was growing up. Writing allowed me to make up any story I wanted without getting in trouble, its like lying but its just called fiction when you write it down. Not that I lied a lot as a kid, I was just creative and liked to make stuff up. So this blog is going to be me trying to bring back my creative side, and share the crazy thoughts and daydreams I have when its a slow day at work.

As a few customers walk in....

Anyways, so this is just my introduction post. No fun made up story here. I feel like a little kid stuck in a box left to my own imagination. This box can be anything I want it to be. As Jacki is stuck in this box.