Archive for November, 2008

I Pried the Security Tag off a Dress!

Don’t only thieves have to do that? And just how did I get out of the store without setting off the alarm? And then I visited several other stores in the mall and didn’t set off their alarms either.

Yes, this occurred on Black Friday. I really didn’t look forward to the crowds, but there is a huge mall near where my parents live (I was at their house for Thanksgiving), and I had to drive right by it on my way home on Friday. It took me about an hour to find a parking space, then I had to practically cross a highway and hike another three miles uphill (both ways, and it was pouring when I left the mall) just to get to an entrance.

So, what sort of Christmas loot did I score? At the mall – nothing, not one gift. I went shopping for myself, because there is no good shopping around here. I got a couple of soft cozy sweaters, and some bath products, and a pair of jeans. Normally, I don’t spend much on jeans. Every store on this continent sells jeans, and no brand ever seems to fit me. But I went ahead and tried on some of the pricier brands, and found three pairs that fit, while their Levies and LEI counterparts did not fit. What gives? Why is it that the more expensive brands were actually cut to fit my curves? Normally, I can’t find a size where the leg is wide enough for my tree trunk thighs but then cuts in enough for an apparently disproportionately small waist. But to try on so many pairs that fit? It was an unbelievable experience!! I was tempted to buy all three!

Then the dress. Boyfriend thinks I need to wear a slutty black dress and plan on getting real drunk at my aunt’s wedding in December. Perhaps this is the only way he could be enticed to go. So I found a black dress. Really, all females should have a black dress in their closet anyway, right? It is not trampy, so boyfriend better plan on wearing a suit to match my gorgeousness.

The dress was a steal! It had already been marked down by about 30%, and then there was a Black Friday discount. But I swear that I paid for the thing! I have a receipt with the same barcode as on the sales tag on the dress. I guess the sales woman just forgot to take off the security tag at the crazy-busy checkout. So I was forced to pry the security tag off the dress.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day. The start of the season of holidays. The non-religous holiday where we get to indulge in at least one of the seven deadly sins – gluttony – if not others (greed? rage? or is that just my family?). The day dieters can’t bear to think about.

The day to celebrate the harvest. The day to celebrate having plenty. How unusual in this year of recession. But according to our folk lore, the first Thanksgiving would have been held under similar circumstances. The settlers did not have a successful first harvest and the Native Americans shared their feast. The Native Americans, who were also pushed off their land and saw their populations decimated due to diseases brought by the settlers helped their neighbors in their time of need.

Perhaps we should take a lesson: love thy neighbor, help thy neighbor, even as he tries to kill you. They say tall fences make good neighbors, but remember, no man is an island. We are all interconnected, and we must stand together, perhaps now more than ever, to overcome this current economic crisis. Be thankful for the love and support of your friends, neighbors, and global community. And remember to pay it forward.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m Scared

I thought my job was reasonably secure. “We have work.” “We’re not overstaffed.” “You are not about to lose your job.” Although I’m currently still employed, the managers were either lying or delusional.

Every other company that does what we do, in this state and probably down the whole eastern seaboard, has already laid people off. As of two weeks ago, that tally also included my brother. For whatever reason, we held out a little bit longer.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday (how nice of the managers to wait until the week beginning of the holiday season!), my department of nine was called into the office for a meeting. Annual clients have cut down on the number of requests for the year. Our competitors are trying to steal away our clients. We are overstaffed. It is likely that we will not all still be employed by the spring. The people who keep their jobs will be the ones who produce high quality work in shorter-than-average times, which will keep the clients’ bills down.

I was, and still am, shaking. How many people are going to go? My quality and productivity are probably somewhere in the middle of the nine; I’m nearly certain I wouldn’t be among the first two or three to go. I’ve also recently taken on some other challenges within the company and completed them successfully, proving that I am a versatile and adaptable employee.

I also don’t want to work for this company forever. Nobody ever believed I’d stay a year, much less three! Maybe I can take this news as a push to find something else, although I don’t care for fear as a motivator.

So I’ve done a little searching online tonight and got to feeling a bit depressed. There aren’t a whole lot of jobs in my area, good, mediocre, or otherwise. This is not entirely due to the global economic troubles, but that sure doesn’t help. I’m willing to commute; the state capital is about an hour away, but there aren’t many jobs there either. I’m not willing to move.

I’d like to work in alternative energy. With my science background, I think this could be a good fit, and I see this as an industry poised to take off during my working life. I’ve been told that Maine is already on the leading edge, but I suspect this is mostly due to power generation off of small scale dams, not the newest technologies. I believe the state government will be a good place to find new jobs in the energy sector. But unfortunately, Maine state government is under a total hiring freeze, effective a month ago through the foreseeable future, as Maine deals with continued budget problems while the economy continues to fall apart.

Yeah, I’m scared.