Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Event at Work

Today at work we got to celebrate a good year last year. In our Customer Focus program, we finished 8th place in the district in 2009. This meant we got to have a car give-away and a bit of a lunch party.

The car is a brand new Chevy car or truck. I think it's a 2010 model, loaded. The way it works is they draw 10 names of workers in the store, they all go up on a stage. Then, those 10 people have their names drawn again, and whoever is left up there at the end, wins the vehicle. It's not bad odds, with basically a 10/100 chance of your name being called, and about a 1/100 chance of winning. My name was not called unfortunately, but the girl who won this year, deserved it in my opinion. She has had a tough time the last couple of years with her life, so it made me feel good that someone won who deserved it.

The downside to this is the whole lead-up to the event. The entire district management staff comes to the store and does a "walk" before the fun. This means, for the last few days, they have been driving everyone crazy with cleaning up the store to perfection. Our store looks better than most other stores in our area, but it's never good enough. I am just glad I don't have to close anymore. Last night, they were there until about 1am, when the store closes at 10pm. I have done that before, and I am very glad that I don't have to again.

All-in-all, it was a good day and everyone had fun.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Silly contest at work

At work this week, we were informed of a new contest between departments. The department who gets the most calls to corporate about how good they did, gets a free steak dinner. The department who gets the least, has to cover the other department while they go to dinner.

What they want us to do, is hand out a card to every customer and ask them to call head office and tell them how great we did today. Am I the only one who thinks this is stupid? I am not going to hand a card to a customer and beg them to call and tell some people how good I was. If they want to do that on their own, that's fine. I will not solicit a customer to try and make myself look good. If I was in a store shopping, and someone came up to me asking the same thing, I would feel very awkward. I would likely not call at all, and I may not go back to that store again for a while because that employee put me on the spot.

This is really one step further than being expected to leave a tip when you go to dinner. It is supposed to be a courtesy thing based on how well you did. We get so many customers that some of them may call anyway, or tell their friends to come shop here since we were so good. This is the real goal, not telling our "parents" how good we are behaving at work. That won't get us more business.

With any luck however, I will be gone from this retail working environment within the next year and my wife and I will be free of this kind of thing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Love Spring!

Today, it was a very warm day here in Texas. It was about 76 degrees F (or 24 degrees C). Back home where I am from in Canada, it was 54F (or 12 degrees C). Not a bad day for Toronto, but I love the warmth here.

Back up north, spring wasn't officially well underway until late March or Early April. Sometimes it was not even feeling like spring until May. Here it is already in full swing. The grass is turning green again, flowers are showing up in gardens, some trees have begun to bud. Life is returning to the plants and it puts a great smell in the air that is not present during the winter.

People were coming in all day at work commenting on how great it felt outside. Contractors can finally start to get some work done and it is putting them in better moods. This is good because I have to deal with them all day.

I am hoping the spring has some good storms hiding in it this year as last year, the spring was lacking in interesting weather. It cam for a few days at the end of the spring, including a big hailstorm, but that was all, and the summer was HOT.

This weekend, the clocks go ahead an hour, which means I lose an hour of my weekend. Sucks, but at least the sun will be setting after 7:30pm once again. The only thing I am not looking forward to right now is I am going to have to cut the grass this weekend. Ah well.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring has finally arrived?

Finally, after an unusually harsh winter for North Texas, it looks like the cold and snow has finally ended for this season. With spring officially only a couple of weeks away, we have started with much warmer temperatures and the long range keeps us in the warmer trend.

I have a feeling the grass and trees will spring back to life fairly quickly since I think they have been waiting for this weather.

Business is picking up at work also, very suddenly, with more and more people wanting to get out and do some spring work. The beginning of March is what our store terms the "100 days of hell". This means that spring is the busiest time of the year for us, and for the next 100 days, we will go through a LOT more selling, restocking, cleaning, moving things around, than we do at any other time of the year. Working in a hardware store, spring is big business.

I am glad spring is really starting to come in now, as I was getting tired of the cold. Now I am really looking forward to the beginning of the storm season here in the southern plains of the USA. I love a good thunderstorm. hopefully with my new work schedule, with only working till 2pm, I will get off work before most of the "fun" weather starts up in the day. Time will tell, but if we get anything interesting, or drastic, I will be sure to report on it here.