Not Always Worth it…

Well tonight guys, I am off for a meal with ex-work mates. No, not at my previous school but at Woolworths. I can’t remember if I have mentioned to you that I used to work for them…. right til the end when they went bust. Ever since we have all met up a few times a year for a cavery meal and a few drinks. There may have been a gap when we first left, since we had to wait until everyone had new jobs and could afford it! The meals are actually a family affair for me, as funnily enough, my Mum and sister both worked there when it shut down. My Mum had worked there years and was the one to get me a job after Uni and sister was a Christmas temp (very temp!).

this was the actual branch I worked at… just after we closed. It is now a PoundStretcher!

Working there was interesting. Yes, interesting, that is the best choice of word. At the time, I loved it but when I look back now, I didn’t really know what it meant to have a job you loved. It was awful hours, twelve-hour shifts, evenings, weekends. A lot of physical labour too and you got a lot of crap off the customers. Don’t get me wrong there was some lovely customers too… but they aren’t the ones that you moan about over dinner and a glass of wine that evening or the ones you remember years later. I do, however, remember a certain woman from when we were working through our last days. Stock was shrinking along with out patience and dignity. Customers were vultures and just wanted a bargain.. at any cost. (Never mind the 30,000 people losing jobs!) There was one lady though who donated £20 for us. To buy some buffet food to cheer us up, as it was Christmas and we were losing our jobs. Such a lovely thought and I will never forget that.

I will also never forget the time I found a pooey nappy on my department. I used to run the clothing department. We were only a small store so kid’s clothes was all we did. It was enough. A Mum clearly had to change a kid’s nappy one day and slid the nappy under one of my shelfs. Not at item I would want to sell! disgusting! And it is the likes of this that you get when you work with the public! I had to get a plastic bag and fish it out. Yul. I was definitely not on enough money for that! Occasionally too, I mopped up wee (but I told myself it was apple juice as I did it!) and one morning when I opened up (I used to run the store on Sundays) and some of the ceiling had caved in and bits of mushy ceiling were all on the floor. Dear me. We had to open a little later that day.

There are hundreds more stories from my short 1 and a half years there. I’ll share some more with you another time. Just one more though because this is really funny. I actually though of this the other day because, at school, we were on about people and pupils in particular who tend to have intelligence OR common sense but not both. As I said, I used to be in charge on Sundays, meaning I used to be in charge of quite a lot of teenagers, who needed a job whilst at sixth form or college. One boy started as a christmas temp and I was told he was extremely clever and got straight As… iI didn’t think he would have any trouble working a till. Turns out we didn’t even get to that hurdle easily. I told him at the beginning of the shift to put a bag in his bin for rubbish. You would know what I mean right? I even gave him the roll of rubbish bags as I said this. He then put the whole roll of bags in the bin! I said ‘no, just one bag in the bin’ meaning to line it. He ripped off one bag and put that in the bin. I think I walked off at this point! No common sense… or any kind of sense at all!

I’m sure, we will relive some of these stories tonight….. hope you enjoyed the insight into life at Woolworths and realise it wasn’t always so ‘worth’ it!

XSXS

Use Faces and Books not just Facebook.

Well today, I attended my first webinar. If you can say ‘attended’ as I didn’t even have to move from my chair; just click a few buttons. It is another step I guess for the internet. Another way for us to do things through a screen. Is it lazy? Or is it just common sense? I mean, I didn’t have to go on a course today to hear that seminar, travel somewhere and miss school for the day (as much as I would have liked to 😉 ) or spend money in order to do this. So it saved me from having a day off work, time and money. All good right? I guess in that case it is, except from the fact that it just isn’t the same as actually being there. You get muffled talk every so often and it was funny when the moderator hadn’t turned off her ‘mute’ button so you could hear the ‘click click’ of her typing (something you would hear if you were actually there though) and to ask a question you had to type in a box. I didn’t write one because there was nothing I wanted to ask. Would people ask things they didn’t normally dare? Or did they ask less things? Because sometimes being there in person you feel under pressure because the talker keeps looking at you, so you ask a completely random, irrelevant question.

To move onto other internet communication devices, Facebook has become world-wide phenomenon. I find it ironic that it is called Facebook, since you never have face to face conversations and people read statuses more than they read books! I love Facebook, don’t get me wrong, but I think it does stop people doing things physically like talking, sending invitations, printing photos, getting together etc. Why send invitations when you can create an event group? Why pop round to your mate’s house for a cuppa when you can type ‘hi’ on instant chat? Why text that mate personally when you just comment on their status? Why read a book before bed when you can just read a Facebook article? Facebook does have its uses but we need to make sure it doesn’t stop us from actually speaking to people. I have a rule that I don’t add or speak to someone on Facebook who I have never spoken to in real life.

There are the shops too. Amazon, Play.com, Ebay as well as Tesco and all the other online supermarkets. Is this why the nation is getting fat? We no longer have to leave our settee to get food or hurl it back to the house. Plus online we may buy more. At least before if you were buying a KG of chocolate at least you would lug it back with you along with 4 pints of milk and a bag of spuds. You would feel you had burnt some calories in order to deserve the chocolate treat! I do like online shopping for other things though. It seems cheaper to buy books and DVDs anyway and you can browse and compare prices much easily. So, I must admit that I do about 80% of my Xmas shopping online. It is sad though that the high street is dying because of this. The high street, where people had to walk, socialise and get fresh air.

So, the internet is a good thing but sometimes you need to get out there. Go and look at a real face, see a real shop, go to a proper seminar and don’t just be glued to that screen all day. Besides, it’s rude to stare 😉

p.s I do note that the irony of this blog is that I communicate my ideas to you everyday via the web… so anyone fancy coming round for a cuppa and c chat?! Haha.

XSXS

Shop ’til you drop…or run out of money!

Afternoon guys,

I had to do a big food shop today, you know, stock that fridge up and also to make sure I had some food to take to work for lunches – because it’s back to school tomorrow 😦 I know, I know, I love my job but just imagine that Sunday night feeling times by 6! Maybe my purchases of houmous, yummy fruit and yoghurts for my healthy lunches will help ease the Monday morning pain.

Because don’t you think that is why we sometimes shop? To make us feel better about something or cheer us up. They call it retail therapy and I guess it really can be. We’ve all had that ecstatic feeling when we have bought a new pair of shoes, a new top or a car or a holiday! It’s that exchange of money for something sparkly and new to enrich our lives in some way. And it doesn’t have to be something expensive. It can be a £2 necklace or ring in the New Look sale. Which, is what i sometimes purchase if I need a pick-me-up and I can’t afford much… because let’s face it we can only buy things to cheer ourselves up and make ourselves happy for as long as our pay cheque lasts. Unless you are daft enough to exercise many credit cards and use loans etc…..

I don’t like to think of myself as ‘tight’ but I am careful especially with the day-to-day stuff. I like to save up money for our next domestic purchase or even better for our next holiday. This means cutting down on all little things throughout the year. We do eat out yes but not that often… even though I think there are a couple of months in the year where there seem to be birthdays every week and therefore a birthday meal. We do have treats but one think I do think a lot about is food shopping. I buy a lot but I get things on offer. I think I am a very good bargain hunter… my boyfriend would disagree and would think that I buy more than we need. And I do, but what’s the harm in buying ten tins of tuna if they work out way cheaper than buying just one? They aren’t going to go out of date any time soon. God bless tinned stuff! Yes, I do like a bargain. Sometimes I get quite disheartened when I go to buy butter for example and nothing is on offer. I don’t mind which brand with items like that… call me a brand whore. So I just get whichever is on offer that week… when there isn’t anything I feel very unsettled and even consider not buying any! Like today, we needed mouth wash. My fussy boyfriend will only have the purple Listerine. It’s nearly £4 for a standard bottle, crazy if you ask me! I normally get it on offer when it is £2 – £2.50. Today we had completely ran out and it wasn’t on offer, I winced and flinched as I put the full price purple liquid into my trolley!

Another thing I don’t believe in spending loads on is presents. I don’t expect to receive them and I certainly do not send them. Yeh, there are some exceptions if it is a special birthday or a joint present or whatever. What I mean is these couples who think they need spend over £100 on each other – absolutely ridiculous! If we did that, £200 down the drain, i’d be like, lets put it towards a holiday! I don’t need to receive expensive gifts to know I am loved. Last christmas, me and boyfriend bought some DVDs that were new out between us so we had something to do together. The best presents are when it is something thoughtful, like a book by my favourite author (I must admit this is a rick because I have that many books and I will probably already own it), favourite chocolates and most of all I love photo related gifts. A framed photo or an album. I have a photo canvas of me and my boyfriend on our first holiday. I must admit it was probably pricey too but the thing is – he could have spent a £100 more on some gadgety computer thing and I wouldn’t have like dit as much. Last Christmas, I made lots of photo calendars online for presents… great, personal gift. So yeh, we don;t have to spend a fortune to buy a really nice, thoughtful, personal gift.

I’m trying not to shop at the minute. I mean clothes shop mainly. After our hols and now my car payments are coming out, I need to cutback… before all the christmas shopping starts – sigh! Can’t believe how quickly this year has gone!

So save the pennies guys and they make up the pounds for the big things. But nobody can deny you a treat every now and then… even if it is expensive mouth wash!

See you tomorrow… after my first day back at work!

XSXS

Car-ry on Shopping!

Well today people you are now looking at (or reading or viewing at?) a Toyota Yaris owner, wahooo! I have my new car! I’m having much fun with the auto-locking system as it has this device that unlocks the door just as you walk towards the car. Seems this is not a great invention for the paranoid because what I keep doing is clicking lock on the button device thingy and then walk back to the car to test the door handles that it’s locked and then because I’ve walked close to it again, it opens! Haha. The car is a tease… give me some extra exercise I guess!

So this morning I was told the car should be ready for me at lunchtime and I’ve been dying to go clothes shopping because I have a student discount card that runs out in a few days and I wanted to make sure I used it. (I did a high level teaching assistant course, which school paid for and the Uni gave me one… hehe) I’m not sure if this is the best reason to go shopping, or the right way round to do it but I was determined to find holiday clothes whilst I had a 10% discount!! And I did, I got a few bits… some cropped trousers and a new vest top… and a dress (which I really didn’t need but it was only a tenner…..so pretty!) The ironic thing was that since all the bloody autumn stuff is now in  the shops, all the summer stuff has been reduced so they don’t give student discount on sale items, sod’s law! I got a discount on some though…. and in BHS I got something extra for my money. Broken glass and a burnt finger. Always happens to me! I was trying on the top that I just mentioned and as it was just above my head, glass shattered all around me. I am extremely clumsy so I assumed I had broken something as I writhed around inside the top. But I couldn’t see where it came from. I went to pick a piece up and ouch! I burnt my finger. I then realised it must have come from the light since there were no cookers or fires in the little cubicle funnily enough. I assumed I had knocked some fancy light fitting until I remembered I was in BHS….. they only had spotlight things in the ceiling so I had no real explanation for how it smashed. Maybe it was some sort of destiny warning me not to buy the top?? Well sod it, I bought it anyway!

I didn’t try to get compensation or sue [like some would]… I simply reported it to them as I walked out the changing room. Instead of getting reduced clothing for the given ‘accident’, I actually got overcharged! Haha. It was a mistake and I was perfectly reasonable about it, as I used to work in retail (remember Woolworths? I used to work for them and noooo they didn’t go under because I kept overcharging people!) and I know that sometimes the till takes over and does things that can cause mistakes… probably because I’m hopeless at maths and relied on it too much…..but by the by, I was all OK with this and it all got sorted. So do not be put off going to BHS. Burnt fingers and money robbing aside, they were very professional and apologetic about it all!

Since, by this point, I was shopped out and still had an hour to kill until my car was ready, I decided to nip for a cuppa. Costa Coffee is usually packed and in my opinion a little expensive but it has a good view for me to ‘people watch’ and I love their blueberry muffins. So it won over Munchbox, the cheap and cheerful cafe I usually visit with my Gran. I got there and it was empty!! I thought ‘Great, I can sit where I want and it will be nice and quiet if they phone about my car!’ I promptly ordered my cup of tea and blueberry muffin. As I ordered, two more people came in for various lattes, chinos etc (it’s all coffee right?!) and were told the coffee machines were down and so they went away!! I couldn’t believe it as I sat there and watched customer after customer leave the shop because there was no coffee! This isn’t France! We are supposed to be a tea drinking nation! As a true tea gal, I really didn’t understand why people weren’t even accepting tea as a second option……. I guess Munchbox snapped up the extra coffee custom!

In the end, after my new clothes, poorly burnt finger and a belly full of tea and muffin; I got my new car……. and off into to the afternoon sun (and patches of rain) I drove! Wish it was as easy as that….. I had to return to the garage a bit later because the engine was all dirty and my Dad had me convinced that if that was dirty then what else hadn’t they done? Why was the screen wash slightly empty? (I realised later this was because I got ‘button crazy’ on the way home and kept spraying lots of screen wash!) And why hadn’t they changed my tyre when the MOT said it needed it? So after all that was sorted and I stood up for myself like my Dad said to…………. I then drove home in the early evening sun/rain!  The End.

I realise this has not been the best advert for Toyota or indeed BHS… but joking and little mishaps aside, I still recommend both! So there’s my opinion, for what it’s worth!

See you tomorrow………

XSXS