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Happy Singles Awareness Day

February 14, 2005, 10:23 PM

Today was a day that I could have easily pulled my hair out. Today was Singles Awareness Day, more commonly known as “Valentine’s Day”. And I could have pulled my hair out not only because this is the holiday for lovers – and with me being totally single.

First of all, about being single – I don’t mind it. See, I saved money by not having to buy any of the Valentine’s crap we’ve been selling. The only thing I bought was a heart-shaped box of chocolates for the box design. For ME. I thought it was cute because it says “Choo Choo Choose Me” and there’s a picture of a train. I bought it because it reminds me of the classic Simpsons episode where Lisa Simpson gives Ralph Wiggum a Valentine that says, “I choo choo choose you”.

Now, about today. I was ready to pull my hair out because it seemed that everyone and their mother was buying flowers and cards for their significant others. And flowers don’t like to scan. Seriously, they don’t. I was surprised when I could get a flower to scan. This is when we wish flowers were sold a different way, like by weight or something like produce. Just toss ’em on the scale and put in a number and voila – flowers.

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Categories: Holidays, House, Walmart

“You mean they want to wear your clothes?”

January 29, 2005, 9:51 PM

First of all, ladies and gentlemen, WE HAVE CABLE! WE HAVE CABLE! All interested parties are now officially connected to what I have dubbed the “Schumin Wireless Network”. That means we have my computer, Dad’s computer, Mom’s laptop, and Dad’s laptop all in place on our little network. Now I don’t have to leave my room for anything. I can just IM the rest of the family.

Otherwise, today was interesting at work. They were calling for winter weather for our area, which came in the form of sleet, sleet, and more sleet. But before the sleet showed up, it was like Christmas in January in our Waynesboro Wal-Mart. Seriously. Like Christmas, with all the registers open and all the lines backed up to the clothes. Everyone was buying the usual winter weather staples – bread, milk, and eggs. One can assume that everyone makes french toast when it snows.

I also ran into a friend at work who had two women at his side – one on each arm. His comment was, “They want to get into my pants.”

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Categories: Amusing, Internet, Walmart

Pentagon City… explored!

January 5, 2005, 4:13 PM

Well, I went to Washington as planned on Tuesday. And I had fun! First of all, I accomplished my official goals for the trip. Those were to pay a visit to the Infoshop at 9th and P Streets NW, and explore Pentagon City. And those went well.

Now for the story.

I overslept this time! I’m just like, aw, crap! when I looked at the clock. True, I had no definite schedule, but still, parking can be tricky. But I still managed to snag a parking space in the North Garage at Vienna, on the top level like I like it. And I was somehow able to turn 90 minutes late into 60 minutes late. That takes talent.

Once I got onto the Metro, I rode in to Rosslyn, and caught my read of the Express. And then I caught Breda 4058 at Rosslyn, to head into Washington.

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Categories: DC trips, Sheetz, WMATA

Darkness envelops the Wal-Mart Supercenter…

January 2, 2005, 12:29 AM

Well, today was interesting! Six months to the day of the “microburst” (really powerful thunderstorm that came out of nowhere) last July 1 that knocked out power to our store, we had a power outage at Wal-Mart today. And unlike with the microburst, where at least it was bad weather that knocked down power lines all over Waynesboro, this time it was a beautiful, unseasonably warm day. And at 4:30 PM, as I’m checking out a long line of customers, all of a sudden the store goes dark.

It’s weird. Everything’s going along just fine. The register is going “boop, boop, boop” as I’m scanning stuff. Then all of a sudden the lights all go out. The air handling units also stopped running, which made for an eerie, unfamiliar quiet. The lights going out also silenced the crowd for a moment. Everyone’s just like, “Eh?” Especially since it was a gorgeous day. Just gorgeous outside. No apparent reason for the power outage. Just one moment, light, and then the next, dark.

So we had to get everyone checked out before the registers died, which we did. And then after the customers, we had to make hay while the sun was shining in getting things together before we could reopen. Everyone also realized that it was starting to get dark, and that soon it would be pitch black inside, save for the emergency lighting. That was a weird feeling. But it was almost a party atmosphere in the store. It was weird. We were productive, but still, it was a certain party atmosphere. In asking where this Disney Princess dress-up dress went, I held it up to my leg and said, “Do you think this dress goes with these shoes?” When all the front-end associates gathered up front later, it was still very party-like.

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Categories: Walmart

New Year’s Eve…

December 31, 2004, 9:56 PM

As I write this, it’s less than 30 minutes until 2005 arrives. And people were ready at Wal-Mart. Practically every customer the entire bloody day bought all sorts of alcohol, usually multiple items. Beer, wine, you name it. Virginia has state-operated liquor stores, so we don’t sell liquor at Wal-Mart – just beer and wine, and other stuff that falls into those two categories, like that malt liquor stuff.

And it was hopping at Wally World. Lines all day. People want to get loaded full of food and alcohol, and they bought it in large quantities. Whee!

Meanwhile, the Deli got some new mashed potatoes and gravy. I think that’s going to be a hit, particularly with the associates. I had some of it with my lunch. Good stuff indeed.

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Christmas Eve, Christmas, and the day after

December 26, 2004, 9:45 PM

My, what an interesting three days.

First there’s Christmas Eve. The crowds at Wally World were just amazing. Practically all of Waynesboro crammed into our store and cleaned it out. And then at 6:00, just like last year in the Staunton Wal-Mart, all became quiet, as the store closed, and the customers went home. All of us as associates finally wished each other a Merry Christmas, and went on home. Hey, the store was closed, and we were going to enjoy every minute of it. Though I think I caught Evelyn off guard with a Christmas hug.

Speaking of Christmas Eve, I’m still sore from that day. For one, my arms are sore from all the scanning I did. Let me tell you something. I was scanning far more items than a regular day, and was scanning at warp speed. So I’m still sore from that. We’ll recover. I also got a bruise on my front. I noticed it this morning while I was getting dressed. Then at work today, remembering where the bruise was, I realized how I got it. I must have accidentally jabbed myself with the arms on the bag spinner at some point, since it was at the right height to be the spinner.

Then there’s Christmas itself. Mom was the star of the show in the morning, overacting for everything. Sure, it was a bit bad acting, but it was cute. Meanwhile, you know you’re getting mature when you realize that the Christmas presents will still be there in the afternoon, and you don’t have to open them at the crack of dawn. I had no problem sleeping until noon or later. But the family woke me up at 9:00, and so I kind of lumbered down the stairs to open presents.

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A day of cart patrol… all day…

December 18, 2004, 11:21 PM

Goodness! Let me tell you… a day of clearing the parking lot is quite a day. Especially when you consider a few things. First of all, it’s a weekend. Busy. In December. Busier. The last Saturday before Christmas. BUSY AS HELL.

Needless to say, as soon as I would put some carts in the cart bay on one entrance, they would disappear. Just remember what I said earlier this month about doing carts being like a video game. Goal is to completely clear the lot. All the while, more carts are coming back out. And hit anything and you die. I think the best video game analogy is Pac-Man, with a touch of something else in there, since I use the automatic cart machine, and thus my consist gets longer as I keep going.

Also interesting that I drove off a fellow cashier doing carts because I wasn’t interested in some of the socializing that they were doing instead of doing carts. Since I’m efficient. Go to a corral. Round ’em up. Go to the next one. Round ’em up. Bring it in. Go back out. And so on. Now I’m all for socializing. But you’ve got to still get it done. I got a different fellow cashier out there later on, and we had a great time, and still got the job done.

Needless to say, though, I’m tired. And so I’m going to bed now.

Categories: Walmart

11 days until Christmas… let it all be over soon…

December 14, 2004, 9:06 PM

Goodness… let it be over soon! December 14 means ten more shopping days until Christmas, and please let these ten days go by quickly. Then maybe things can get back to normal.

Today, since we were short-handed, I ended up doing cart patrol for the last part of my shift. Let me tell you, too… there’s nothing like running around the lot with the QuicKart 2000, which is our automated cart machine, in the dark and in sub-freezing conditions. I’ve used the cart machine before, but this is the first time I’ve used it at night, and in this cold of weather. But let me tell you… that thing ran like a pro. And it sure beats the heck out of pushing carts manually. Then you can only do like five at a time, and plus requires pushing. Now, I can move thirty at a time, and all I have to do is steer.

Still, it’s very satisfying to see a clear lot after coming out to a full one. Though it was quite a cold time out there.

Otherwise, I’m off tomorrow, and I’m still job hunting in Washington DC. The Internet is a wonderful thing, as I’ve placed resumes on a few different job-hunting sites. Tomorrow will hopefully be productive, though before I do some serious work on stuff, I plan on getting some serious Zs.

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Categories: Schumin Web meta, Walmart

Cart patrol!

December 7, 2004, 9:04 PM

Today was an interesting day at work. I didn’t run a regular register all day.

Why, you may ask?

We were short-handed, and so for the first half of the day, I was a stand-in cart pusher, or as I refer to it, “cart patrol”. I did quite a job, too, running the cart machine all around the lot, picking up the carts, and dropping them in the proper cart bays for customers to use.

It’s really like a video game. The object of the game is to clear the lot of all unattended shopping carts both in the cart corrals and just floating around loose. Meanwhile, customers will drop carts in the corrals all the time. However, if you hit a parked car, a customer, or a moving car, you’re dead.

The rest of the day, I worked the Fastlanes. In other words, the particular model of self checkouts that we have. Not bad. I like running those compared to a regular register, because I feel like I’m running my own little empire.

Categories: Walmart

Black Friday…

November 27, 2004, 11:29 PM

Let me tell you about Black Friday, that term for the day after Thanksgiving.

First of all, don’t you just love it when work changes your schedule and doesn’t tell you? I got dragged out of bed for a phone call from work at 5:30 or so, with them asking when I was intending on coming to work, because I was supposed to be there at 5:30. I’m just like, “I’m coming in at 8:00, like I’m supposed to.” They had changed me to 5:30 AM and didn’t bother to tell me. Not good. They ended up getting me at 7:00.

Otherwise, aside from that rough start, work went well. A number of us decided to take “Black Friday” literally and wore all black. I did, as did a few other cashiers, and also a few department managers. We looked so cute in our all-black, and our blue vests.

The day was hopping really early on, but then slowed down later. Still, it was good.

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Categories: Walmart

Guess who’s home…

November 21, 2004, 8:28 PM

Sis is home! Yay! She’s home for about a week, too. So while I toil away at Wally World, including on the infamous “Black Friday” day after Thanksgiving, she’ll be at home doing like whatever. Fun.

Meanwhile, this is a phrase that turned a few heads at Wally World: “This is why they give us guns around here.”

You’re thinking: What in the heck?

I’m referring to our handheld scanner guns, which are handy for ringing stuff up (oh, by the way, I got off the Service Desk recently, having had more than my fill of it – I’m now a cashier). Those things are handy for items that are impractical to put on the belt.

Meanwhile, speaking of Black Friday, I’ve officially promised to wear all-black on that day, like I did last year in Staunton.

And then on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, guess where I’m going. You guessed it. Washington DC. Metro’s newest in-fill station, New York Avenue-Florida Avenue-Gallaudet U opened yesterday for the first time. I’m going there, since it’s the first of what I would consider Metro’s “second generation” stations. This is quite a bit different than your typical Metro station. Four escalators (up from two), two elevators (up from one), a redesigned canopy… it’s neat.

I’m also watching CNN. There’s a thing about an NBA player going totally off in the stands. I’m just like, wow. How violent.

Categories: Family, Walmart, WMATA

And all this time I thought I was drinking unleaded…

November 9, 2004, 4:26 PM

Boy, do I feel dumb. I found out today that I’m about the only person at Wal-Mart who didn’t know that Sunkist orange soda had caffeine in it. No idea. I always thought that orange soda was caffeine free. A coworker of mine pointed it out to me today on my last break, and I was just like, “You are kidding me, right?” I was just dumbfounded for a moment there. This stuff has caffeine in it! I asked a few people, “Did you know that this stuff had caffeine in it?” Everyone said they did. I was just blown away by that revelation. Especially since my last break at work has become my “orange soda break”, since I always have an orange soda on that last break of the day to “wind down” a bit, since I always figured it had no caffeine in it.

So as you can see, this is practically an earth-shattering revelation for me. My caffeine-free wind-down soda is loaded with caffeine, it turns out. That explains the amazing second wind I got after my last break, though. I was just flying over my register yesterday, and I just thought I’d hit a second wind. Turns out there was a little something called caffeine in play there, that I didn’t know about.

So now I have to figure out what orange soda has no caffeine in it. Since that’s what I was going for there.

Categories: Food and drink, Walmart

I have the best election day schedule!

October 20, 2004, 11:31 PM

I’m working 7 AM to 4 PM on election day. That’s a very good schedule for me for that day. I can work from 7 AM until 4 PM. Then on the way home, I can go vote. Then after that, I can hit CNN and watch the election coverage, and see who on earth is going to be the President of the United States on January 20, 2005.

Will it be John Kerry, or will it be four more years of Bush? We shall see…

Meanwhile, it feels very strange writing this journal entry. This is the first new journal entry since I redid the journal as part of the site redesign. And the verdict is… I’m not used to this. I enter my journal entries into an online form and submit them online. So I do use a Web browser to do this, via a Web page. But when I did the journal, I updated my journal form. So while it’s the same basic form, it’s bigger, and it’s a different color. And even though I did all the changes myself, it’s still going to take time to get accustomed to it. We shall see…

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Well, guess who’s home this weekend…

October 15, 2004, 11:35 PM

Yes, my sister’s home this weekend. And she brought Chris, her boyfriend, with her. And she and Chris are going to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg tomorrow for Howl-O-Scream, which is some event over there.

Me, I have no interest in theme parks. I get the same feeling of excitement railfanning the Green Line in Washington. So I have no need for rollercoasters. And I also have no need for the crowds of people and roadshow prices.

But anyway, Sis is back for the weekend. Fun. Though our paths have probably crossed for the only time this weekend. She and Chris are going to be in Williamsburg on Saturday, and I will be in Washington on Sunday. As such, when they leave for and come home from Busch Gardens, I will be sound asleep in my bed. While they’re at Busch Gardens, I’ll be at home. Then while I’m getting ready for Washington, they’ll be sound asleep. And then while I’m in Washington, the two of them will be going back to Blacksburg.

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Categories: Family, Sheetz

Five days of the same schedule… don’t know how I managed that.

October 8, 2004, 11:11 PM

I may not know how I managed that, but I’m not complaining! It makes working seven days in a row somewhat less painful. Of course, this is being said on a Friday – only day #5. We’ll see what I’m saying come Sunday night, at the end of day #7. Right now I’m like, “Oh, yes, this is just wonderful!” By the end of the seventh day, I could be like, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!” We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I watched most of the second debate this evening after work. All in all, I think John Kerry did the better job of the two, and George Bush looked like he was about to explode a few times there. One time he nearly did, jumping right in after Kerry was finished, and cutting off the moderator (Charles Gibson). We’ll see what the news says about it tomorrow morning.

Also, I’m looking at my journal from a year ago, and it’s interesting. This Saturday, October 9, will be the one-year anniversary of my “What part of ‘crosswalk’ do you not understand?” pass through JMU’s campus. That was a very unpleasant trip, and it was because college students don’t know how to watch where they’re going when they cross the street. I look back at it, and I’m amused by how quick I was to break out the obscenities. But at least I found parking.