Thursday, August 29, 2013

Current Stuff

I love Alex Clare's entire album, especially Hummingbird. Mr. Clare recently tweeted that a second album is in the works. I can't wait!

My retail job carries these Rewined candles made with soy wax poured into recycled wine bottles. I love most of the scents, especially the Spiked Cider and the Mimosa.

I'm reading this book now. Once a year or so, I read a non-fiction, business-y book. I think my inner-overachiever makes me read these business-y books. This book is quite repetitive, possibly aimed at a lowest common denominator  of attention span. Like many business-y books, there are some broad generalizations, some glossing-over of facts, many footnotes, an appendix and motivational mumbo-jumbo. I don't know what my inner-overachiever hopes I'll gain from reading this, other than to realize how backwards most businesses are in their approach to goals. If nothing else, the anecdotes are interesting.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

More Than This

About ten years ago, soon after I resigned my last retail management job, a friend asked if I would ever work in retail again. I replied that I would not, because people tended to grossly underestimate my intelligence and potential when I told them I worked retail,  or when they were standing on the other side of the counter or the other side of the dressing room door. I was so weary of being treated as if I was less than: deserving of common courtesy, a college graduate, a kindhearted person with strong ideals, a conscientious worker trying to do my best.

Never say never. Want to make God laugh? Make plans and proclamations.

I find myself in a retail way again. For the most part, I am surrounded by coworkers who have college degrees or who are working on college degrees. For the most part, we all get along and treat each other with courtesy. For the most part, we pull together as team players despite how we each might feel about our jobs on a given day. However, there are a few proverbial bad apples in every bunch.

One such Bad Apple often fails to take direction and/or performs his job with a marked air of superior attitude. He is currently a college student, and loves to say often to coworkers that his job provides motivation to stay in school and finish his degree. I made sure that this Bad Apple was in earshot several days ago as coworkers and I joked that none of us are exactly using our chosen college degrees in our current positions. Bad Apple was quick to stammer that he better use his degree after four years of college.

Good luck with that. I hope that the job market proves rosy and sunny when he's done with his degree. I hope that the clouds of The Great Recession have lifted. I hope that we all more closely approach our respective potential fulfillment.

Most people possess much more in the way of talents, interests and knowledge than a single job can express. I believe that's why many of my coworkers have second jobs, hobbies and active lives outside of work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Window Display

I try to photograph the displays I make as soon as they are complete, because customers shop the items directly off of the displays pretty quickly. A lady squeezed into the window with me to grab enameled mugs, even though there were fifty such mugs on a table nearby. Seriously.

Here's the latest window display I made. Apologies for the reflection again. I need to drive back by the store after sundown to photograph my windows, but that would involve driving back after 9:00 PM. Not gonna happen.

Click each photo to make it bigger. 

I grouped cookbooks with the relevant tools to make those recipes, then had the far right section devoted to cleaning tools. My amazingly handy boss-lady built the shelves from scratch from a pile of lumber. Seriously.

I Made These

I made these pretty earrings at the blogger conference with the help of Sierra from Manic Trout. Sierra generously provided the supplies and know-how for a quick class. In my not at all humble and totally prejudiced opinion, my earrings were one of the coolest creations from the class.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Why do I Blog?

I attended a female-powered blogger and business owner conference this weekend. The demographic and emphasis skewed towards female fashion bloggers with sponsors, ads and lots of photos of themselves in trendy clothes on their blogs. Clearly, I am not this type of blogger. I sought out the workshops that were less about getting free clothes and having eleventy-hundred followers; but more about consumerism with a conscience, parlaying blogging experience into freelance work, making your own earrings and seeking out the best venue for publishing.

I met several ladies with beautiful, unique style and sweet, radiant spirits such as Tolly, Sierra, Jenni, Chrystine Noel, Janette & Merl. I also met some high-school-style mean girls with overly trendy outfits copied straight from the retailer who oozed gimme, gimme, gimme attitudes and ruthless narcissism. 

One gimme-girl saw the name of my retail employer on my badge, and her face lit up with the delight of opportunism. With little introduction, she thrust her business card at me and demanded an affiliate program sponsorship. Whoa there, Nelly!* That's not what I do. I just make the local store pretty. Even after I explained that I had no power to help her with her extremely lofty goal, she went on to threaten that if her one-month-old start-up didn't get an affiliate program sponsorship, she would no longer be able to showcase my employer's products. No, I'm not kidding.

I don't blog to get freebies, sponsorships or make money. I blog to keep in touch with family, friends, fans and frenemies. I blog to remember struggles, triumphs and ideas. I blog to exercise my brain and to exorcise some of the mental noise.

After a weekend of strutting in my most dangerous heels and least comfortable, but most stylish outfits, you do not want to see a photo of what I'm slumming around in today. Trust me, it's not pretty.


*Her name is not Nelly, though she did have a long mane of My Little Pony type hair. Uh-oh! Some of the high-school-style meanness rubbed off on me.