I feel very dressed-down today…

July 14, 2006, 11:22 PM

At work, every Friday is blue jean day. Pay a dollar to Children’s Miracle Network, and wear blue jeans that day. For the past two years, I have shunned blue jean day every single Friday. I’d never worn blue jeans to work, and saved my dollar each week. I did this primarily because I didn’t have any blue jeans that fit right.

However, now that I’ve lost some weight (the same weight loss that lead to the April 26 wardrobe malfunction), I gave an old pair of blue jeans a try. Much to my surprise, they fit, and fit quite well. This pair of jeans was one that was in good condition from a long time ago. I bought these jeans on August 19, 1999, on a trip to Pentagon City and Potomac Mills with my friend Andrea Fox. I was 18. This was the week before I’d started my freshman year of college. In other words, this was clothing bought before the so-called “freshman 15” came on. So I am doing quite well, thank you. And I have room to maneuver in these pants, too. So I am just awesome.

So where were we going with this? Oh, yes.

So I wore the jeans. Add my tie-dye shirt to that mix, which is a few different shades of blue. Then add to that a pair of backless Faded Glory sandals with tan leather straps. And no socks. All in all, I felt rather dressed down today at work.

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Categories: Clothing, Shoes, Walmart

Always make sure you read the warnings before you use something…

July 12, 2006, 10:16 PM

I went to Water Country USA in Williamsburg on Tuesday, and it’s doubtful that I’ll be going back any time soon, since I didn’t have that good of a time, plus it just costs too much money anymore.

I think part of the reason I didn’t have that great of a time was because it was so crowded. It seemed like everyone and their mother was in that park and trying to get everywhere. As a result, all of the lines just about everywhere were insanely long.

Additionally, they’ve gotten worse over the now-six times I’ve been there in regards to how badly they get you money-wise. Of course, food and drink is expensive as hell. In fact, a 20-ounce bottle of Aquafina, which I can get at Wal-Mart for like $1.10, cost $3.00 at Water Country. Then there’s the parking. It’s $10.00 to park your car for the day. That’s pricey. Then it’s $15.00 for “preferred”, which is parking up close next to the entrance. Then the fee to actually get inside the park is $37.95. Locker fee is $10.00, with $4.00 refundable as a park voucher. It used to cost $6.00, and they gave you $2.00 back in cash. Now they give you what basically amounts to store credit, which you can only redeem in the park. So that’s $57.95, not counting the bottled water.

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Categories: Companies

“I don’t look at porn!”

June 18, 2006, 2:35 AM

Funny what comes up in the breakroom sometimes…

A few of us were discussing churchgoers and possible hypocrisy regarding them, and the idea came up that a particular coworker, about whom customers had said “looked like Jesus” when he had a certain hairdo coupled with a beard, should start his own church. Someone suggested that he would make one related to porn, which elicited the response, “I don’t look at porn!”

What made us all turn our heads was when another coworker, who was just passing through the breakroom to get to the smoking room and caught wind of our discussion, said, “I do!”

The thought that crossed most of our minds was, I did not need to know that. Seriously, we did not need to know that. I don’t think I’ll be able to look at this coworker with a straight face for a while. Of course, people didn’t look at me with a straight face for a while after the pants incident from a couple of months ago.

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Gas at Martin’s… I heard back from my comment to Giant’s corporate office.

June 6, 2006, 2:31 PM

I recently put in a comment with Martin’s (a division of Giant Food of Carlisle, Pennsylvania) through their Web site regarding the gas station out front. Currently, it’s not available overnight – only until 10 PM. And considering all the late hours I’ve been working lately at Wally World, late-night gas from Martin’s would be quite handy. And I pay with my debit card, so it’s not like I’d need the attendant there.

My suggestion was to have the gas station open 24 hours, even if overnight is cards-only. Here’s what I got back:

Dear Mr. Schumin,

Thank you for contacting us regarding our store in Waynesboro. We do appreciate your comments and feedback.

I have followed up with our Gasoline Department and was informed that they will take your suggestion into consideration, however, at this time, there are no immediate plans to change to a 24-hour operation at the gas station in Waynesboro.

We value your business and look forward to continuing to serve your shopping needs.

Consumer Affairs Representative
GIANT Food Stores/MARTIN’S Food Markets

So there you go. Maybe something will come of it. Anyone else in Waynesboro who thinks Martin’s should keep its gas pumps running all night should also consider dropping them a line (hint, hint).

Categories: Martin's

Memorial Day weekend…

May 28, 2006, 11:07 PM

One thing you just have to love is Memorial Day weekend. People come in and buy hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and beer. And some people are nice to their dedicated Wal-Mart cashiers who have to work the entire holiday weekend, while they’re eating and boozing it up. And then some people are crabby. The crabby ones are the ones you just want to strangle, because they make an unpleasant weekend even worse. Add to that the fact that I have a crummy schedule for the next three bloody weeks, and it’s just not fun. I have NO early mornings all three of these weeks. The earliest I come in is 9 AM. My usual schedule is coming in at seven, and out by four.

Otherwise, my birthday is this Tuesday. This year, I’m taking it kind of nonchalantly. No huge celebrations, but then again, I’m not rebelling against it this year like I did in 2005, where I wanted nothing to do with it at all. The only celebrating that I want is to go to dinner, and I haven’t even picked the restaurant yet.

I do know one thing, though – it’s not going to be T-Bone Jacks in Waynesboro. There was a fire there in the wee hours of Saturday morning, which basically gutted the place, and caused the roof to collapse in one place. They say it’s not arson, according to news reports. They say it started as an electrical fire in a back office. Most you can see from Lew Dewitt Boulevard is yellow caution tape all around the building and lots of smoke damage. Smoke seems to have come out of every possible opening based on the marks on the building. It even came out in between the individual sections of wood on the side. I figure when you consider the damage to the building, they’ll probably demolish the building and rebuild at the same location. I just hope they had insurance.

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Some people have no consideration…

May 22, 2006, 10:13 PM

I can’t believe what happened today after work at the gas station in front of Martin’s. I was waiting in line for the pump, and this old man in a white Honda Accord went forward out of the pumps and rammed me.

Why was forward a bad move? It’s because I was already occupying that position and his clear space was behind him. My gas tank is on the right, and so I sometimes have to make some odd maneuvers.

So this man didn’t even think to look behind him for the clear area to leave. Instead, he tried to go forward past me in a very tight maneuver that he didn’t have the room to make. So in going out, he hit my Sable. In the end, he left some paint from his car on my front bumper, and a small scratch on my car.

Here’s what happened:

Scratch on the Sable's front bumper

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Always wear underwear

April 27, 2006, 9:26 AM

After what happened to me yesterday, I’d like to remind everyone – ALWAYS wear underwear.

With that said, here’s what happened…

I was at work, and running a register. Realizing that the previous customer had accidentally left a bag on the wheel, I went after them to give them their missing bag. In pursuing them, my pants accidentally fell down, right there in front of everyone. My first reaction was to quickly pull my pants back up. And I still caught the customer before they left and got them their bag.

Still, my coworkers saw it. The rest of the day, I heard a number of good-natured comments about a pair of suspenders being a good investment. And 183,000 square feet is not as big as it sounds, as all of my coworkers soon learned of the incident.

And why did it happen in the first place? Well… as I mentioned in a previous Journal entry, I seem to be losing weight. And so my clothes have been a wee bit more loose as of late. And the cheapskate in me has decided not to go out and get replacement clothes. I’ll replace when they wear out, but not before that. So what’s the fix? A new belt, which I’m going to get today. That ought to prevent this episode from reoccurring.

And you know what this whole “wardrobe malfunction” reminds me of? Yolanda Bowsley from The Price is Right, who lost her tube top while going down to contestants’ row.

Still, now you understand why it’s always important to wear underwear. You never know when it might accidentally be revealed.

Categories: Walmart

The Easter Bunny and I were waiting for a bus together…

April 15, 2006, 7:01 PM

First of all, check it out:

The Easter Bunny and Ben Schumin

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Categories: Holidays, Walmart

I got called “babe” today, by a man, in front of his wife!

March 26, 2006, 8:53 PM

Of all the stupid things people can say, the thing that a man in my line said today definitely took the cake.

First of all, for those of you who have seen pictures of me (and if you’re here at my site, it’s pretty hard not to), you can tell I’m obviously male.

Yet this man, after I handed him his change and his receipt, said, “Thanks, babe.”

I paused, so as to take a moment to digest this comment, which I was not expecting. Then I said, “Did you just call me ‘babe’?” He explained it away by saying that he was thinking about the cashier before me on that register (we’d just switched out just before I started ringing him up). Still, I wonder if he wanted a little salt with that foot, considering he said that right in front of his wife, of all people.

That just took the cake, let me tell you.

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Categories: Some people, Walmart, Wikipedia

I will not conduct my own fire drills…

February 19, 2006, 9:51 PM

I went to Martin’s with my friend Katie on Friday, and we had a blast. The thing I noticed first off, though, was in the right-side vestibule. Notice anything wrong with this photo of the fire alarm annunciator?

Notice anything wrong with this photo of the fire alarm annunciator?

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The child said, “Grandma, we’re never going out in public with you again!”

February 5, 2006, 7:03 PM

Oh, what a day at Wal-Mart. What a weekend at Wal-Mart, for that matter. You’d think that it was the biggest football game of the year going on based on the way these people were shopping.

Still, what left me amused was when this one lady came through my line today. She asked me to page her daughter. So I did. A few minutes later, the daughter’s children (i.e. the woman’s grandchildren) came up to the lady and the older one of the two said, “Grandma, we’re never going out in public with you again!” I couldn’t contain myself any longer – I, along with the lady who was checking out (and the target of the remark), started laughing. I’m sorry, you should have seen it. It was SO cute. Even more so when they said that their mother had told them to say it.

So that just made my day.

Categories: Amusing, Walmart

Can I afford it? Probably not. Was it tasty? Yes!

January 31, 2006, 6:10 PM

I went over to Martin’s after work to buy dinner, and again got the self-scan contraption to play with. It was also a heck of a lot less crowded over there this time, and so it was easier to navigate through the store.

This time, instead of a full-size shopping cart, I got a two-tiered shopping cart. Those basically look like this:

Two-tiered shopping cart
Image from Cart Wranglers

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Categories: Martin's, Shopping, Waynesboro

Do NOT preach your religion to me, and ESPECIALLY not when I’m at work!

January 28, 2006, 11:55 PM

I had a customer today at the self-checkout that REALLY got on my nerves. He rings himself up on the self-checkout. He pays. So far, so good, right? Okay. So after he finishes, he comes up to me, where I’m standing at the self-checkout podium, running the show. He has a question for me.

Now I consider myself to be very good with where things are in the store. I can point someone to just about any item in the place. I’m also very good with directions and know the area quite well, and can direct you on how to get just about anywhere. Seriously – other associates and also some of our managers have referred people to me for driving directions.

So the man hesitates for a moment. I’m waiting for the question. What does he want to know? He asks the question: “Do you accept Jesus as your lord and savior?” As someone who’s become strongly non-religious in the last couple of years, I take offense to complete strangers asking me about my religious beliefs (which I generally do not discuss because I don’t think most people want to hear what I have to say on the issue), and I especially find it offensive when people start forcing their religious beliefs on me in my place of business.

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Categories: Religion, Walmart

So I went and checked out the competition today…

January 27, 2006, 6:01 PM

After work, I went to the new Martin’s that opened behind our Wal-Mart store in Waynesboro. I got to use their pre-scanning technology, and paid for it all using their self-checkout machines (U-Scan, by the way).

All in all, I had a good experience. The service was friendly, the store was clean and well-decorated, and loaded with touch-screens. For the most part, the store resembles a Giant Food store (and indeed, Giant of Carlisle is the parent company).

I mentioned pre-scanning technology earlier. After you sign up for a “Bonuscard”, you have the option of getting a hand-scanner that fits into a little holder on your shopping cart. The shopping cart also has bagging arms built onto the cart, which employees attach bags to before you start. Then as you shop, you pick out your items, scan them, and bag them right in your cart. To take an item off, you just push a button and re-scan the unwanted item. Fun.

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Categories: Martin's, Shopping

What Schumin does on his “weekend”…

January 27, 2006, 12:51 AM

My Wednesday-Thursday weekend was fun. I got to accomplish a few things that I’d wanted to do. First of all, I attempted to visit the new Martin’s store in Waynesboro, that opened up next to Wal-Mart. I attempted to get in, but the store was so crowded that I ended up having to scratch that idea, since I wasn’t about to park at Wal-Mart and walk over to Martin’s. There were literally no parking spaces available in the Martin’s lot. I consider that too far of a distance to walk, plus I consider it rude to park in one business’s parking lot to patronize their competitor. I did, however, get the chance to fill up the car, since Martin’s has a gas station on its premises. I got to fill up for $2.19 a gallon, too, which is pretty good for Waynesboro at this time (the nearby Exxon and Citgo stations were selling at $2.29 a gallon).

After that, I took a trip to Roanoke, which worked out well despite that the friend I was supposed to meet up with in Roanoke never got back with me (so we didn’t end up meeting up). I ended up visiting my usual Roanoke spots, plus I also drove over to Salem, where I basically took a little driving tour of the town. So that was fun.

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