Thursday

So I take a break from work and I'm flipping between CNN and CBC Newsworld (BBC had a documentary on). Both are running stories on Trump's response to the Michael Wolff book and comments by Steve Bannon.

CNN persists with the coverage.

CBC switches to a story about some guys in Newfoundland who saved a moose that got stuck in the snow. That's the most hilariously Canadian story since the Great Maple Syrup Heist of 2012.

I have a moment of realization. Nope, nope, nobody noded The Great Maple Syrup Heist of 2012. How can this be?

I may have my obscure/weird bit of Canadian history for ReQuest 2018.

Then again, this noteworthy Canuck cop begs to be written up, too.

Friday

A day later, I'm packed and ready to visit my friends across the border in Detroit. This usually involves hanging out, watching some nerdy film, and going to the shooting range. The best man from my wedding, all those years ago, loves guns like a true American, and owns quite a few. He walks around armed when he's on his side of the border. He carries one to work. He's an IT guy. I don't entirely get it.

I own no guns. I wish I didn't like firing them, but I do.

Around noon, the snow reaches us.

The authorities have closed the highways between here and the border. One town over, they've set up emergency shelters.

It's -20 and falling, though meteorologists expect temperatures to rise next week. It might even shoot up to freezing. Clearly, I should air out my bathing suit.

So, I guess we proceed with the Game of Thrones marathon.

Me: "What should I do with these shippers?"

GM:" "Well, we're not supposed to have shippers."

***

Today I learned that my unicorn friend has a twin. More than any other day of the work week, I hate working on Friday. Typically I arrive early enough to take my time unpacking my things, today I was almost late. We're not supposed to punch in until we're ready to work. Others punch in as soon as they see the time clock, when I first started a woman got fired for time theft. She was an alcoholic with other issues. A guy I used to work with ended up moving in with her. Despite her issues I had a soft spot in my heart for her and I couldn't really say why, maybe because her life had been hard and she was always nice to me. I can remember one of her last days at work. She always smelled like booze and smoke. I don't have a problem with people drinking, but I don't think the word moderation was in her vocabulary. When I got to work there were two notes. One asking me to do two orders, the other one was harder to read. It was from my boss, she felt like she had to write me a note to apologize for not getting to the orders that were in back yesterday.

It takes me a long time to figure out how I'm feeling. Now I can see that note brought down my mood which hadn't been especially high to begin with, I don't know what to do and it's really bothering me. It seems like evaluating job performance would be a fairly straightforward task, but in my department it's suprisingly easy to avoid doing work that needs to be done. Today I had four shippers and an invoice. One of the shippers was already assembled. That left three for me. I don't know who at this company decided to put two different products in identical packaging, but that's what they did. You'd think you could take an invoice and request that pricing bring shelf tags down for us, but in this case I had to figure out our cost for each item which hadn't been broken down for us on the invoice. This involved counting how many products were on the shippers, and to do that I had to unpack the boxes on the sales floor. Once I realized that one shipper had two products, I realized I was going to have to call the company, they were on the west coast so that delayed the process further.

I was apprehensive about this because when a company that does this to an end user it tells me there's some sort of breakdown between them and the people who are actually selling their products. The woman I spoke with tried to tell me I had all the information I needed. I probably should have hung up and called back or requested someone else, I wasted more time explaining that I couldn't isolate how much each item cost from one group total, when she gave me the cost information I did some quick math and told her that if her numbers were right we had paid two hundred dollars for less than half of the product, which left us with a cost of $80 for the rest of it. This was beyond her and she tried to make it my problem by telling me that we got a deal on shippers which I already knew. I had a customer waiting for me so when she asked if she could put me on hold I told her she would have to get back to me. The guy was a regular so he understood the drill. I went in back to check for an updated pricing sheet, the front end paged me so I took a call back there, and then I was super annoyed that the woman who had answered the phone hadn't bothered to walk over and check the magazine racks herself since that's what this woman wanted.

That's the kind of thing that ticks me off since one of my philosophies is to help whoever you can, when you can. It isn't always possible, but if the phone is ringing when I walk past it, or I see that everyone else up front is busy I'll answer the phone for them. Our department is pretty good about helping the front end when they get busy, and this isn't a rule, but there are quite a few people who act like they can't be bothered to help a customer if they're over in our area, or someone on the phone has a question for us that they could field. The magazine lady is a perfect example. The front end is closer to the magazines than we are, I was the only person working in my department and the front end wasn't particularly busy at that point in time. There was no reason for that call to have gone to me, and that's why I can't stand working with that woman and will not be sad when she leaves. An aunt of hers used to work there, they changed the return policy, but before that she returned two products with the explanation that her grandmother couldn't swallow pills that were that large. 

I smelled a rat and I haven't trusted her since. I'm generous and try to share the wealth, but when you pull that kind of thing, you're on my radar. Before I was put in charge of returns people used to write their names on products they wanted. I put a stop to that because I felt it created an incentive for someone to damage packaging or otherwise make a product unsellable. That was something my boss had tipped me off to, things break, I'm famous for having dropped a display that was shipped to us from France, my boss noticed that this one woman in our department was continually finding products that couldn't be sold for various reasons. After she pointed out the growing pile that coincidentally were things this woman liked I started getting suspicious. Another thing people used to do was put things in the bottom drawer that they were going to purchase later. Every once in a while someone will do this, but it's the exception rather than the rule. My department used to keep returned products in that drawer and people would come over and ask us for things that they needed or wanted.

My boss took all of those products upstairs and put them in a cabinet near the sink so the entire company had access to them rather than just people in my department. The one thing we kept was an assortment of feminine hygiene products because my boss thought those should be stored where women work since men have no practical use for them. The woman I don't like once transferred a box of tampons to her department. This is totally ridiculous since the company is not responsible for supplying her with these types of products. There were items in the front desk she could have used and if she absolutely needed a tampon she could have come over to our department and gotten one. She cost her department ten bucks and that's the kind of thing I really don't like. I've worked at companies where women would take turns buying things, or keep a couple items in the bathroom for emergencies, but for the most part it's bring your own and borrow from a friend if you get into that type of a jam. People like that are so draining to work with, I felt like energy was being drained out of me just seeing her standing there with that condescending look on her face.

Another annoyance - sorry, this is going to be full of them, is the battle between my department, grocery, produce, and the front end about the items near the registers. I think we have way too much crap jammed on the shelves, sticking to the coolers, and stacked up on top of them. This does not generate sales, it looks tacky, and very few departments including mine stay on top of these things. We have people who overstock and those who neglect the area completely. I'm not sure why the front end doesn't manage these shelves and do the magazines because once again, they're the people who are closest to them and it makes sense to me to give people who may be just standing around something to do. Every morning I think about how much more could be getting done if the workload was distributed differently. I understand that cashiers don't always have a lot of downtime, but it's a stretch to me to say that an entire crew working from store open to store close can't see that a register doesn't have magazines and walk over to the rack to grab a couple. This does generate sales, it gives them something to do, and it puts people who are close to the process and observing it in charge of it. 

Something that has bothered me since I started, and doesn't seem to be a priority, is managing best buy dates. Pricing does the dairy cooler, they used to do the meat department, I don't think they still do, but they might. It blows my mind that we are passively allowing items to expire on our shelves because this is a 100% loss for the company and dramatically impacts our bottom line. When I learned that this was a problem I started writing down when certain things were going to expire. This is a tedious task that I've written about before, but I had a woman who was willing to help me. Basically you have to take down every item in a row because you don't know if someone who works there stocked items correctly, sometimes customers are guilty of taking items from behind in order to get a fresher product. This is another thing that really gets on my nerves because again, why are you so special? A friend of mine does this and I do judge her for it because that's selfish and it costs us money. I've long lobbied for more cross training, but I'm so tired of management telling me that this is a good idea that can in no way shape or form be implemented that I've let it drop for now.

When I first started we were beaten over the heads with these stupid training modules that needed to be completed on your own time within 60 days in order to qualify for a $50 gift card. I thought I had done mine, I literally spent hours on these stupid things and then the HR manager told me that there were several pages more that still needed to be done. There was a glitch in the system where tests I had taken weren't registering. I had made a good faith effort to take these tests and I'm going to revist this because I put in the work and I'm still angry that a woman in my department did half the tests I did on company time and was somehow awarded the stupid gift card. Fifty dollars is a lot of money, but even if the amount was relatively minor, I did the work and I expect the compensation that goes along with it. Technical errors are harldy my fault, maybe if the company invested more in maintaining it and spent less time making sure people were following the dress code, we wouldn't have these types of problems. I had taken classes into the three hundred levels, but I don't qualify for a gift card when people who did one and two hundred level quizzes got one? Give me a flipping break...

Part of me knows that every company has its issues, I feel like I get jacked in two ways on Fridays. I don't get support from people in my department since I'm the only person there, and the people who work the front on Fridays aren't nearly as kind and as helpful as the people who work the other days. Management cruises by to make sure I'm following all the rules. This morning I was surrounded by boxes and nobody offered to help me, when I asked the lazy woman from the front end to hold something while I tried getting the core of the shipper in place she couldn't even do that. Today it was one thing after another, we needed ink in the invoice stamper and one of the side pieces was missing so I couldn't eject the cartridge. When I went upstairs management was in a meeting, but they had the door open so nobody could tell. I missed the pricing person and couldn't explain the shipper situation to her. After I punched out I dropped my lunch bag on the floor, opened it up, and found that one of my favorite lidded bowls had cracked in half. I threw that in the trash and walked downstairs, feeling angry, overwhelmed, and troubled.

A woman I really like was at the salad bar. When she asked how I was doing I told her I was sad about the dish, I do love her, but it was a broken dish and then I was embarrassed because she told another woman that I was down and needed to be surrounded with love or something like that. Honestly that probably was more true than I realized, but at the time it made me uncomfortable. She asked if I wanted to have lunch with her and then I felt like I was intruding on her break even though she said I wasn't. I asked about her life and got some facts, but didn't feel like I was really connecting with her and then I felt bad about that. She's very fun to work with and I love her dearly, but I had already had a long day and I was very peopled out by that point in time and then I felt like a raging bitch at lunch. This woman in an ENFP and apparently I don't know how to deal with these people because the entire conversation felt like I was in a live theater production and had no idea what my lines were supposed to be. She was so stinking nice about everything too. She told me lunch had restored her soul and then I felt guilty I hadn't been nicer. 

I have a bag of things in my locker that I wanted to distribute, but since I didn't have time before I punched in I had to jam them into that space. I forgot to ask for my birthday card when I saw the HR manager, I don't know why we don't do birthday cards one month ahead of time so people can get the cards on their actual birthday instead of waiting until the end of the month. This is another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me, but whatever. Everything is annoying me today, but most of all I'm angry and annoyed with myself. I want to be better at actually managing my money instead of just writing about this as an ideal. My youngest daughter is watching something on her computer when there's housework to be done and I'm so frustrated I don't even want to try and ask her to do anything. I want to figure out how to get a good night's sleep, I want to stop writing and start actually living. I want to make more meals, deal with my stress levels more effectively. I want a different car, I want to move somewhere warm if I can't emigrate to a Scandanavian country, I want to lose weight, get back into shape, face more of my fears proactively, and stop whining.

My friend with the crush sent me a bunch of texts, at the end she told me not to send her any more articles and that was irritating because I haven't sent her anything since our conversation where she had asked me not to, she was the one who sent me links to things. Earlier today she sent me some personality stuff, she told me she was turning into me, then she said she wanted a guy who was masculine, but in touch with his emotions. Apparently she read some article that said her personality type would do well with an ENTJ and then told me to find her one of those. When I said I think a guy who works in produce may have that personality type she said not him and now I'm aggravated because she doesn't understand that the articles are not the problem, her obsession is. Rather than try and understand who she is and how to navigate interpersonal relationships better going forward, she wants to blame this guy for walking away from a relationship that was toxic, dysfunctional, and unhealthy. Lately I've been thinking about those tests and what would have happened had someone pulled me aside and said hey, look, based on what I'm seeing, this is a really dangerous pairing. 

I can't change the past, but had someone warned me that the problems we faced in the beginning were going to intensify, deepen, and lead me to the point where I wanted to drive my car into a bridge rather than go home to my family at night, maybe it wouldn't have made a difference, but I think it could have. Nobody took the profiles and synthesized the information for me. I think this is a gift of mine and I'm going to keep going with it. Facts are less helpful than practical application. Telling me I was a certain personality type and he was another didn't teach us how to navigate the storms of conflict when they arose. I can see from what I know now that the Assistant Manager of our department is a terrible fit for what she was hired to do. Today she called for her schedule. I gave it to her and she had me repeat it back to her. That's the kind of time wasting thing that drives me batty, and this is the kind of thing she does routinely. She's going to be in on Sunday, she can't get into the vet before then unless it's an emergency and her husband doesn't work weekends so he could take in their dog if she needs to go. I'm just venting, but I can see how knowing what I do now could have prevented incredible amounts of heartache.

So I need a plan. The good news is I no longer have to read articles like 'How to Make Him See You're The One' and 'Three Qualities That Show a Man He HAS to Have You and You Only Forever!' since my friend with the obsession has sworn off articles. There is a lot of really interesting and cool stuff out there, but she gravitates toward that kind of thing while the articles I read focus more on personal growth and achievement independent of romance. My philosophy is to work on yourself and the relationships you already have that could be improved before you go figuring out how to land someone you don't already have in your life. Reading articles about how chasing after someone who blows hot and cold will give you freezer burn are just a way to avoid dealing with the real underlying issues. I go to counseling, I'm still trying to get my ankle back on track, I went to the art studio and will go again, I bought a new book and resumed reading an old one. Today's chapter was about patience and I know I need more. I'm able to separate myself from the actions and emotions of another. How someone else feels and what they do is their business, not mine, unless they happen to be one of my children, and even then there are limits.

***

I just lost a bunch of what I had written and I'm not in the mood to go back down that path again so I guess this is goodnight. Normally I feel better after I write. I guess today just isn't one of those days. 

Be well,

Jess

P.S. I read up on Fi (Introverted Feeling) and it said that people with this quality may need time away from an event or situation before they can analyse how they felt during it. One really cool thing about all of this personality stuff is that I've learned a ton about myself and others although I doubt that was a major fear of yours. When it says opposites attract I think I've figured out how they do in this case as I'm an NiTe (Introverted intuition + Extroverted thinking), and I've found that I tend to get along well with those who are TiNe (Introverted thinking + Extroverted intuition). Sometimes it feels like this is a new language I'm learning and I'm sure I'm making plenty of mistakes as I go, but this is fascinating to me and I'm thrilled to have friends who like have these types of conversations with me that lead to major life changing shifts in how I process information and use it to make decisions. Maybe my reason for existing is to form this secret club so all the XNFP types I know can form their own support or meet and greet group. I think I'm getting better at figuring out who is who although there are bound to be surprises. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not in charge at work or everyone would have some sort of identifier as to who is who, except I know I would hate that so I guess for now I'll just keep picturing people with their typology printed beneath their name and department. Coming soon, the master list of who Jessica thinks everyone might be... (lol)

***

I finally got Jane to take the test. She is an INFJ like my middle sister which is supposedly the rarest type. 

Her splits are:

  1. 40%/60% Extroverted/Introverted
  2. 80%/20% Intuitive/Observant
  3. 36%/64% Thinking/Feeling
  4. 53%/47% Judging/Prospecting
  5. 36%/64% Assertive/Turbulent

For a while I thought she might be an INTJ, or an INTP, I had the intuitive introvert part right, but was wrong about the thinking and feeling letter, perhaps because I didn't understand that F as a letter doesn't exactly translate to emotion the way that I thought it did. I think this also explains why she and I tend to clash because we are more similar and have a hard time accepting each other. She has the bedroom eyes and dreamlike qualities I associate with the INTP type and as you can see from her splits she could easily retake the test and come up with a P value rather than the J. What I'm hoping is that this type of information allows me to better serve her as a parent, especially now that I have a connection between her and my sister that I can use to learn more about her world and how it may look to her. Even as a very young child she had a very mature quality about her, I worry about her a lot, less than I used to, high school seems to be a better experience than grade school was. She always seemed to resent being the younger sister and I think it's nice that she no longer goes to a school where she's known as Jill's sibling and can form her own friends and identity.

It feels like a big piece of a fourteen year puzzle just snapped into place, even if this is not the crystal ball I want it to be, I think it's a major step in the right direction. It helps to know that her internal mind is busy and that doesn't always mean she's depressed although it doesn't mean she isn't either. It's interesting to be able to compare her to my middle sister who is even closer to the J and P middle than Jane. She is 51% J and 49% P. This is kind of funny to me, my sister thought I was doing some sort of a research project on this and that's why she was trying to collect data for me. I laughed at the time, but now that I think about it, I don't know how anyone else would view it, but I think this type of thing would be a super cool family collection, especially if we did some fun charts and had information on who was who. I can see it leading to some interesting conversations and maybe even give people who historically haven't gotten along well more insight into why someone else is the way they are and why that may or may not jive with you at any given moment in time. I guess this is better than whatever else it was that I had written, but I'll be glad when this day is over and I can go into work and be more productive tomorrow.

*** 

Another thing I read was that it can help the INTJ types to write things out as they have these very vague ideas or thoughts in their heads and writing or communicating them in another way helps their ideas coalesce, it's like I have to live through something and then go back to write about how it unfolded. It's kind of super cool and a lot of really hard work, I wonder if I'm doing something wrong or I'm fortunate to have discovered that I need this. Part of it is hard because I don't really like being my personality type which isn't to say I don't like myself although that can be true too. I think for many years I tried so hard to be someone I wasn't because who I really am seems so bitchy and not very pleasant to be around the majority of the time. I think that's why when I do meet these other people who make me feel very calm and safe it's like seeing an oasis in a desert which is probably a decent analogy for the introverted intuitives who would like to be left alone so they have more time to think and explore whatever is going on in their minds and happening in their lives. I guess maybe the best thing to do is just accept who I am and love the parts that aren't as pretty as I would like them to be.

*** 

My first ReQuest 2018 post is up for anyone who would like to view it and may have missed it earlier. I had a lot of fun with Bullet points and this is an aspect of my personality that I kind of like. Even though I'll never be the stereotypical damsel in distress there's something to be said for getting into the mind of a ruthless and cold blooded killer. It doesn't flow as smoothly as I would like in spots, originally I ended it with the word procrastination, then I went and wrote another poem, but I didn't like that one nearly as well so I cut part of that and tacked it onto the end of this which gave it more of a story feel rather than just trailing off the way it had originally. By the way, I do make internal lists rather than written ones, but as a rule homicidal tendencies are not a submerged portion of my psyche. I'm more than capable of murder, but I can always see how I could be caught and I literally can't even with prison food not to mention the inability to recognize authority figures and have to submit to them. Who knows, incarceration may be the form of minimalism I've longed for and there is something to be said for that bright orange jumpsuit trend... (hopefully you are laughing, but not too hard...)

***

Him: "Homicide can be justifiable Jessica." He calls me Jess in real life, and this always seems strange to me. This was part of a conversation that took place a very long time ago. I can't even remember what I was so worked up about back then, but I very clearly remember him sticking up for me and that making me feel a lot better. 

Me: "And thanks to baseball Twitter I know some great attorneys."

***

Me: "Baseball bats are terrible murder weapons. You need a lot of room to swing it. Wood will soak up blood, pick up hair and other DNA, you think your victim is just going to stand there while you aim for their temporal bone? I sleep with a bat next to me. I don't care who he is, he better think twice before approaching me when I'm asleep. I swing first and ask questions later and I'm short so my swing plane is right at the level where it would hurt him most."

Him: "What would you do if someone bought you a stuffed animal for Christmas?"

***

Me: "Of course a baseball bat could kill someone, the better question to ask is whether I'm going to use one of my most highly prized possessions to bash someone's skull in like that? Batting cages frown upon being turned into a crime scene, you think she's going to be dumb enough to accept an invite to hang out with me when she knows we aren't friends? Murder is like real estate, it's not how hard you swing, raw power has very little to do with it, you want to control your barrel and drive the ball; location, location, location. Except in this case now you've got a body and you don't want anyone knowing where you placed that when your card is empty." For anyone who is unfamiliar you load a plastic credit card type thing with however much money you want to spend at the cages. It's a great way to relieve stress, but don't go with anyone you work with if she seems to be annoyed with you.... (also a joke, a hammer is a much better weapon for a woman and that's, no joke) (sorry if this humor is dark, I'm in a mood tonight, but it's not all bad). 

***

jj

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