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Author Topic: Two weeks of hell
Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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Work is gonna be interesting for the next two weeks.

I work in a yarn store, as many of you know. It's a great place to work. I love my boss -- there isn't much I wouldn't do for her. I love my co-worker, M. M has volunteered to cover a shift for me once on a day that would have had her working for 13 hours straight, alone in the store, without breaks. (I didn't let her do it, but she would have if I'd asked her.) The customers are mostly nice, and all in all, it's probably the most pleasant retail job that anyone could ask for.

However, as we don't make a whole lot of money at the store, there aren't very many people who work there. There's me and M, the two main workers, and Z who comes in for 3 hours a week sometimes on a certain day and will not, cannot, does not work any other day ever, and the boss, who doesn't really like dealing with customers if she can avoid it. Normally, this isn't a problem. M is happy to cover the occasional shift for me, and I'm happy to return the favor when I can. Neither of us has much of a life, so we're usually available to help each other out. [Wink]

But right now? It's a problem. M's grandmother just died, and she's flying back to Japan for two weeks for the funeral. Which means that for two weeks, I'm covering all of her shifts, and all of my shifts. That's a 9 hour day, five days a week, alone in the store with no breaks. Add that I'm carpooling in with Boyfriend in the Rain an hour before I have to open the store and spending that time getting a little writing done, and we're up to a 10 hour day.

I'm glad to do it, because I like to be helpful to the boss, and M has covered a lot of shifts for me in the past so it's nice to be able to do this for her. The extra money won't hurt, either. And I'll get lots and lots of knitting done.

But I'm really not looking forward to the stress. My job isn't one where I can sit behind the counter and vaguely point customers to whatever it is they need. Because we're a specialty store, we rely on close ties to regular customers. Which means that if Mary-Ann The Regular Customer wants me to find her a specific pattern, I get off my butt and go find the pattern. If Betty-Sue the indecisive yarn-selector wants me to tell her at length about all of the different kinds of cotton we have, that's what I'm doing for the next half hour. I've done a few full days behind the counter, and they really wear me out. Two weeks is gonna be extreme.

Anyway, just had to come and whine. Wish me luck, everyone.

Posts: 533 | From: Davis, CA | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
YeeMum
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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{{luck}}
Think POSITIVE [Smile]
You WON'T be over stressed.
You will have the most co-operative, friendly, intellegent customers ever. There will be no difficulties! [Wink]

Oh and remember you DO get to go home at the end of the day.

--------------------
Contact me for discounts
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"I am putting you on hold now.Listen to the elevator music and LIKE it."~My 'J'

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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It's going to be over before you know it...and you'll have writing done, knitting done, and bills paid - hooray!

YeeMum, your cow is too funny.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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Amigone201
Happy Holly Days


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Isn't it illegal not to give you a lunch break?

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Check out my blog! http://fundiewatch.blogspot.com

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The regulars should (I hope!) understand the situation.

Look at it this way: it's a chance to see if the old saying that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger really does have merit.

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Reminds me of the time I had to do three jobs for 6 weeks. One lady was out for surgery, one guy quit and the other job was my regular one.
I had hives and ended up taking some good drugs to get me through it all. But it did end.... eventually.
Good luck.

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Since your boss is so understanding, ask her if you can post a notice on the front door that you will be closed for a time of your choice (an hour, thirty minutes) for the next two weeks, and ask for permission to lock the door with a "back in 10 minutes" sign when you need a potty break. Or, maybe she could cover for your lunch and potty breaks. Surely she will help you work out a reasonable plan.

Good luck!

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
Isn't it illegal not to give you a lunch break?

I didn't see anything in her post that indicated she wouldn't be getting a lunch break.

ETA: Probably because I can't read.

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Officially Heartless

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
Isn't it illegal not to give you a lunch break?

IIRC, very small employers are exempt from some labor laws.

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LolaRennt
The First USA Noel


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That is insane...is there no way that boss could relieve you for lunch? If not, then inform boss that you will have to eat something in the store. I've walked into yarn stores where the employees are sitting around and eating so it's not unheard of.

LR

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Sue Bee
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
Isn't it illegal not to give you a lunch break?

IIRC, very small employers are exempt from some labor laws.
No, they are not exempt from consecutive length of hours worked.

EDITED TO ADD-

Unless you are an "exempt" employee, as in a salaried manager, you are entitled to certain federally mandated minimums in regards to breaks. My recollection is that when an employee works 4 hours they are entitled to a 10 minute paid break. When they work 6 hours they should get a 20 or 30 minute minimum unpaid and 10 minute paid, and 8 hours gets an unpaid lunch break, again 20-30 minute minimum and 2 paid 10 minute breaks. I googled for Califronia law and found this:
quote:
Breaks during Work: California law provides that employees must receive a 30 minute meal break if they work more than five consecutive hours. There is no working lunch, which means that during this time, the employee must be relieved of all duties. If an employer does not give a legally required meal break, the employee can recover one hour of pay for each violation.
California law also requires that employees get rest breaks if they work over three and a half hours a day. These required breaks must be in the middle of each work period and must be 10 minutes for every four hours. Rest breaks are counted as work time and the employee must be paid. If an employer does not give an employee a rest break, the employee can recover one hour of pay for each missed rest break.

from this lawyers website.
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candycane from strangers
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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(((((vibes)))))


When I have to work extra long shifts (though I've never had to for two weeks straight, poor Kitten!) I add up the money I'm making in my head every hour or so and think "ka-ching!" It sometimes makes it more bearable.

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A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
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Mad Jay
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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No breaks, as in not even bathroom breaks?? Ouch!! My symphaties are with you. Can't you get your boss or M to get someone to help you out? Maybe a student looking for a summer job? That person doesn't need to be know the in and outs, just enough to be able to keep the customer entertained while you are on break.

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Wow... if I lived in or near Davis, I'm sure I could help you out with that whole regular customer thing. I'm a helpless knitter... only slowed down by the fact that my 2 year old is constantly trying to grab needles out of my hand and throws a fit when I give up and put them out of his reach.

As for the 2 weeks... any chance they can hire a temp to help out? If not... it's just 2 weeks. Take them one day at a time and DO NOT drive yourself crazy thinking about how many days are left. It'll be over before you know it.

Then... ask for a vacation. [lol]

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If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush
O Come Let Us Adore Sales


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When I'm working looooong stretches (like 11 or 12 days in a row), I count down. Before you know it, you're over the hump, and everything else seems comparatively easy.

I absolutely agree on the signs idea, FWIW. Even if you don't ask your boss, you should be allowed to do it...at least I would think so.

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My mom, about my nervousness with Jeopardy!: "Don't worry about it. Just get drunk and you'll do fine."
Blog Just call me Mickey 2

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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You live in Davis?

Have we passed each other on the street?

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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Yep, Brandi. Davis. No idea if we've passed each other on the street, though.

Technically, I can take a lunch break in that I can eat lunch. The trick is finding enough time to do it. The store will be dead for stretches of time ranging from minutes to hours, demending on the whims of the customers -- but Murphy's Law dictates that the moment I sit down to lunch, the place gets swamped.

I can usually steal a quick potty break, though.

I wouldn't mind working all day if there was one other person working with me for at least part of it, so that I don't wind up in those situations where I'm trying to juggle three or four people at once quite so often. Those are what really takes it out of me.

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Dear Babby
Deck the Malls


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I feel for you. I have a co-worker, one out of four of us, who has been on leave almost a month with family responsibilities. We are getting farther and farther behind and I am feeling tired. We hear she might be returning Thursday. That gives me hope! I can't wait!
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2ys4u
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I too feel for you. Good luck with it!

At my work, I am the only one that can do my job, which means when I'm out for a day or a week, nobody does my work. I have to do it all when I get back. But, when the cashier calls out or goes on vacation, guess who has to cover his job? Yes, me. I'm stuck doing 2 jobs.

I still don't see how that is fair.

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"Guns and butter."

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I'm like 2ys4u. I back up two other people, but I have no back up.
When I am out everything sits on my desk until I get back.

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Two weeks is almost over, Kitten. Hanging in there?

--------------------
They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Sue Bee:
Unless you are an "exempt" employee, as in a salaried manager, you are entitled to certain federally mandated minimums in regards to breaks.

Actually no. Federal law only requires that if breaks are given they are considered part of the work day and are paid. You can find the Separdment of Labor's page on the subject here. There are some states, like California, that do have labor law covering this, but they are in the monority.

Noemi

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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
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Coveted Beads <---- our eBay store, new items being added somewhat regularly

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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I'm hanging in there, barely. I'm more than a little irritated (still) that I'm having to put a lot of other responsibilities on hold so I can sit in a nearly empty store for nine hours a day. I told me boss when she hired me that I specifically did not want to be full time because I wanted time and energy to devote to my writing.

But I guess these things happen. And I'm proving that I can handle the day-to-day stuff at the store as well as anyone. Lots of customers are meeting me who wouldn't ordinarily do so, and I'm getting a chance to win them over with my knitting-foo.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Two days left and I'm done!

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Aud
We Three Blings


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only two day left? I missed it all. [Smile]
I was going to say that maybe you could get one of the regular customers to help out as a temp. You could probably pay them in yarn. That's what they do at my favorite fabric store (except they'll pay in fabric not yarn.)

Good luck!

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Kitten...

Well your two weeks are up. Take a deeeeeep breath!

What kind of writing do you do? I only ask because I write poetry myself. I mostly write to leech emotional poison from my body, so stressful irksome things actually bring out my creativity. I worked at the most god-awful job for 3.5 months, during which time, I must have written about 85 poems (I counted it once... I think the actual number was 86), and well over half of them stunk heavily of "I am so pissed off... this isn't fair... why do some people think they are allowed to treat other people so horribly?" Amazingly, I think I was able to keep from being frightfully redundant. [Smile]

Anyway, I bet you're glad that the two weeks are almost over, and now things can get more or less back to normal. HUGS

--------------------
They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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Purple Iguana, I'm currently doing some editing and re-writes on a novel that I finished about two years ago. I wish I could write poetry, but I barely have the capacity to connect with it when I read it, much less write it. There are a few poets who I like, but often people will talk about some amazing poet and I'll read their work and hate it. I know this is a weird mental block of mine.

M called me at work the other day to let me know she was back in town. It was a good thing she did, because talking to her reminded me why I was doing all of this RIGHT before a horrible bitchy woman came in to lecture me about one of my boss' policies which I don't agree with but I have to enforce since, you know, she pays me. I think I might have lost it and just left if M hadn't been so sweet right before.

Anyway, as it stands, I made it through the two weeks without raising my voice to anyone. So that's a good thing.

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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A novel? That's awesome! I totally lack the ability to tell a story. I often mess up jokes that are only about 3 lines long, so I have a lot of respect for someone who can actually tell a story... especially one with, ya know, characters, a plot, scenes... [Smile] Not trying to make light... just sitting in awe.

I personally can't STAND reading poetry. Some of my in laws figured that if I like writing it, I must love reading it. For Christmas once, they got me some T.S. Eliot. *yawn* The only good thing about him is that his name is an anagram of "toilets." (apologies to literary buffs) But I love writing it. It's my catharsis... a way to bleed myself of the crap that pisses me off in a day. Therefore, a lot of my stuff has dark imagery. Freaked my dad out something terrible for a while till he understood why I did it. But I just can't find a way to write when I'm happy.

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They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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T.S Elliot is actually one of my few beloved poets. [Wink] If you still have the anthology, check out 'The Hollow Men'. If you want dark imagery, that one has it in spades. I also like 'Portrait of a Lady' and (of course) the infamous Prufrock poem.

I also love Poe. I love him for his structure. I love sitting with one of his poems and breaking down the rhyme scheme and just marvelling at how intricately constructed his poems are. I'm not especially fond of his short stories, though.

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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[lol] That's funny, because I think Poe rocks for his short stories... go figure! [Smile]

Anyway, I think that's awesome about you writing a novel. What's it about? (PM me if you feel like this is too much of a hijack. [Smile] )

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They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

Posts: 2486 | From: East Stroudsburg, PA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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