Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Working At Pencils Can Really Suck (*Toes)

Tom is one of the hardest working associates at Pencils. He is also obviously underpaid, because he is constantly bumming a dollar from me "For a soda". During his last monetary request, he added, "Mitch, I'm in trouble, and if my wife finds out, I'll be fucked for sure." I  asked him to elaborate, and his story continued. "One of the customers has been stalking me, and I arranged to meet her last week in the parking lot of Chili's. Things got way out of hand." I asked him what he meant "by way out of hand" and he continued. "Basically we ended up in the back seat of her car and I sucked her toes." First off, let me state although Tom is a decent guy, he's no Brad Pitt in the looks department. And why he would agree to suck a stranger's toes is also puzzling (unless it was Heidi Klum asking for the oral interaction). He also informed me his paramour was a 55 year-old divorcee, almost twice his age. I immediately suggested he break things off before he finds himself sucking more than toes. "She's crazy and won't leave me alone, no matter what I tell her. She's been sexting me non-stop!" he exclaimed. Tom looked like he was ready to break-down and cry right there in art supplies. "Here's what you do," I told him. "Tell her you haven't been honest with her. Say you are gay (*not that there is anything wrong with being gay) and you recently had a homosexual encounter with Matt, the tech manager, and you'd like to pursue a relationship with him." A big grin came across Tom's face, he reached out like he wanted to hug me, and said, "Mitch, you're a genius! By the way, would you have a dollar I can borrow for a soda?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Keep Those Entries Coming

A quick reminder to all those "associates" out there that the deadline for the First Annual iWorkatPencils Reader Contest is September 3, 2011. (See the August 19th posting for details)-
One need not work at "Pencils" to enter. Any experience as a low-paying, under appreciated and badly treated employee in retail will suffice. Keep in mind when relating your story, less is more...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Indecent Exposure at Pencils

No doubt there has been a steady supply of MILFs coming into Pencils the past few weeks, but what has been mystifying, or even disturbing, is what the young girls have been wearing while out shopping with mommy. I could only wish my female classmates dressed similarly back in the day, but I should be grateful that brassieres were considered optional during my high school years. And unlike current female grooming standards, body hair was considered "natural," and one never knew what to expect in the southern hemisphere. TImes change. Thankfully I'm not a 11th grade science teacher, but a low paid, under-appreciated and poorly treated EasyWreck Technician. Thank you Pencils!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No Shit Sherlock

My neighbor Clark, a publishing industry executive and a fan of this blog, stopped by my house today and offered some professional advise. "Mitch," he said, "When the next person comes up to you at Pencils with a look on their face that says "I'm about to shit my pants" and asks you where the bathrooms are, tell them there aren't any."
I stood there and wondered, "Why the hell didn't I think of that?"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Worth The Wait

I was scheduled to work the evening shift last night, but Charlie, the new assistant manager, called me earlier in the day and said I didn't need to come in.
I wanted to pickup my so-called paycheck, so I stopped by Pencils at 7PM and it looked like a Category 5 Shit-Storm had hit the place. All 3 checkout lines were backed up, at least 10 customers in each line. Scores of screaming brats and their Jerry Springer guest mothers were ripping the place apart, scrounging for the "Buy One, Get One Free" package of erasers.
It was then I spotted Matt, my tech manager, with his shirt soaked with perspiration and sweat dripping down his face, and offered to come in and help out for a few hours. "No, we got it covered," he answered.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pencils' Madness

I've come to the conclusion that the best way for me to do my job at Pencils is to be thoroughly stoned. Corporate obviously acknowledges this because Pencils is one of the few companies that does not have a drug testing policy. My problem is: I haven't smoked reefer in over 30 years, but if there was something to drive me back to the "wacky weed", it would be my esteemed position as an EasyWreck Technician. Rarely am I allowed to actually "fix" a customer's computer, but regulated to stacking toner cartridges or helping out at the check-out counter. How many times can I ask, "Do you have a rewards card?" before I need to have a toke of some sensimilla to put my mind right?
One of the new office product associates has been running around the store like a bat out of hell, and I can only assume she is being aided by a "stimulant" of some sort. Personally, I'd prefer something to take the edge off. Worse case scenario, I can always take a whiff of something from the glue aisle.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Misery Loves Company: The First Annual iWorkAtPencils Reader Contest

I've been overwhelmed by the amount of visitors to this blog over the past few weeks and want to show my appreciation by holding a reader contest. Send me your best "On The Job" story.
The winner will be announced and their story published in this blog on September 5, 2011. The winning author will receive a $25 gift certificate to Applebee's (my manager Matt's favorite restaurant), no strings attached. The rules are simple: Keep your story concise. Less is more. The more bizarre, the better, but please be truthful. Life is stranger than fiction. You can be an employee of any retailer, not just Pencils. E-mail your submission to: iworkatpencils@gmail.com (put the word "contest" in subject line). The deadline is September 3, 2011. Myself, along with Stephen King, will judge the entries.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

BTS (Back To School)... WTF?

This coming week is one of the busiest shopping periods at Pencils, so I informed my manager I'd be taking a sabbatical for 10 days. There wasn't much, if any reaction from management. Considering my little "run-in" with a customer and her two little asshole daughters a few nights back, it may be a relief for them that I won't be around for the shit-storm referred to by corporate branding as "Back To School" week.

To add insult to injury, on my way out of the store I overheard my manager, Matt, threatening to fire Kathy, one of the new cashiers, if she didn't sign-up 6 new reward card customers, take in 10-$1 donations to the Un-united Way and sell some other dumb-ass promotional gimmicks during her shift. When Matt left, Karen told me they had her on the schedule for 12 days in a row. "I'm working as a fuckin' cashier and now they expect me to squeeze an extra dollar or two from every customer?" I suggested she call their bluff and walk-out. They obviously don't have anyone else to replace her or she wouldn't have so many hours. Somebody in corporate needs their head examined before it explodes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

One Flew Over The Pencils Nest

I finally snapped. It may have been the 20th person to ask me, "Whur da baphrooms at?" or the hordes of screaming asshole kids buying school supplies. No matter, one mother took special offense to my "attitude" and accused me of accusing her whiny-ass daughter of stealing a pen from the check-out counter. I told her, "I'm not accusing your daughter of stealing... I'm accusing her of being an obnoxious, annoying brat." The mother had the potential of being a featured guest on the Jerry Springer show, and her comeback was, "You can take back all the shit in this cart and I'll go to Walmart!" What could I say? "Go ahead," I told her. Kenn, the MOD (manager on duty) had an earful by now and calmly informed me I could take-off early, which wasn't a big deal as it was five minutes past closing anyway.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jobs In Jeopardy?

I've heard through the grapevine that my buddy Daniel in upstate New York has a wager going with some of his friends. Apparently they are betting when Pencils will fire me. Well, I'm happy to report that I'm still being recognized as a valued employee. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for the dreadlocked inventory manager, James, last week. The official word is he was shit-canned for boosting Sprites from the warehouse. The unofficial word is a lot more shit was disappearing than 1 liter bottles of soda. One of the feistier cashiers, Karen, was also let go (fired). When I asked Steve, a longtime Pencils associate, what the hell was going on, he replied, "We have people lined up for jobs here." I then reminded him 5 of the new 6 hires failed to show up for work this past week and one cashier never came back after taking her 15 minute break. All this goes back to my original theory: If you show up for work and don't steal, you have job security at Pencils... and that's saying something in today's economy. "Alex, I'll take shitty jobs for $200."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Urinal Redux

I first addressed the issue of "The Bathroom" at Pencils back on April 9th (see archived post). Unfortunately, I'm still constantly reminded of management's disregard for employee hygiene. As indicated by the red arrow in the accompanying photograph, the washers/fittings of the flush handle have either worn or disintegrated, causing the user's hand to get a thorough soaking each time the fixture is flushed. Initially this can come as a shock, but after careful consideration, I'm thinking this is corporate's initiative to save water. No need to wash your hands at the sink after taking a leak, the urinal will do it for you. Luckily I've been able to refrain  from using the commode, but I can only image what surprises may lurk there. Advise to management: Post a sign at the entrance of the bathrooms: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK-EMPLOYEES NEED NOT WASH THEIR HANDS.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chicken Feed

Our local newspaper recently ran an article about the proliferation of people wearing stupid costumes and holding signs to help promote businesses. The business owners swore by it... they all saw increased traffic and sales in their stores. But here's the kicker, some (but not all) of the costumed hawkers were being paid $12 per hour for their service. Granted, it can get warm inside those polyester getups, and standing on your feet for 8 hours isn't for someone with deep-veined thrombosis, but at $12, that's almost $5 more per hour than a tech with computer certification makes at Pencils. I read a comment on this blog from another Pencils associate who posed the question, "If employees were paid a decent wage, would they do a better job?" My answer is emphatically YES! $7.50 an hour, I couldn't give a shit. $12 per hour, I'll show some interest. Next time your computer crashes, ask a guy in a chicken suit to fix it, you may be better off.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Feel Your Pain

"Pain is what drives the customer to start the buying process."

The above quote was paramount in a recent memorandum given to Pencils' sales associates to help them better understand, and then rip-off customers. It's been over 2 days since I read  that crock of shit, and still can't believe it! What I find even more ludicrous is that corporate most likely spent tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to some ass-wipe to come up with this marketing theory. How about this instead? "Running out of printer ink, paper or #10 envelopes is what drives the customer to start the buying process." The only time I see customers in pain is when they are harassed relentlessly into buying extended service plans. It appears the inmates are continuing to run the asylum. Attention Pencils' shareholders... SELL before the whole place goes down the shitter!!!!!!