Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Day in the Life: April 2014

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the Sky

Hello, friends. This post is fourth in the series hosted by Manda at Break the Sky, showcasing a day in a blogger's life. Yes I am obscenely late in posting it but here it is anyway.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

// 6:52 a.m.

In which I awake with a start, having turned off both alarms in my sleep, and rush out of bed because I NEED TO LEAVE FOR WORK IN EXACTLY 18 MINUTES. It's my second day of working a temp job at the annual super-ultra-mega enormous outlet sale of a popular women's handbags and luggage brand that rhymes with Shmera Shmradley, maybe you've heard of them? They were founded and are still headquartered (is that a word?) in my hometown and they only do this massive sale once a year. They rent out the biggest arena in town and for a whole week, tens of thousands (not exaggerating) of women flock to the city to buy last year's extra stock/slightly imperfect product at a deep discount. With my employment situation being in the "take whatever I can get" category, I applied to work the sale.

I get ready in record time and microwave some oatmeal while I hop around the kitchen trying to shove my swollen feet into some shoes. While pulling out of the neighborhood, I stop to admire the peach and blue morning sky.

// 7:25 a.m.

In which I arrive at the Coliseum and take a picture of where I parked my car for reference when I leave.  I am the worst at remembering where I parked, especially in an enormous lot.

See that's funny because Magellan was like, "exsqueeze me while I circumnavigate the globe in a ship without a GPS" and I'm all, "Siri, can you direct me to my mailbox?"
// 7:30 a.m.

In which I make the long trek around the perimeter of the arena, past the box cutting corner where I worked yesterday to the sorting area. The walls are lined with stacks of product, waiting to be unboxed and put out on the floor.

// 7:35 a.m.

In which I meet my team leader Ya Min, a lovely Burmese woman who has worked the sale for eight straight years.  She tells me her name means "King of Wednesday afternoon" because that's how Burmese people roll when it comes to names.  I am immediately in awe of her. She explains that it's our job to collect and sort through all the merchandise that has been picked up off the tables and later discarded in some other place.  Then we are to take it in shopping carts back out to the floor to be displayed once more.  It is tiring and rather futile but it makes the time pass quickly.
Before the doors open and everything is organized for the last time ever.

// 10:45 a.m.

In which there is a break in between customers and we are allowed to take 15 minutes to do our own shopping if we so choose.  I've always been rather ambivalent towards VB and their penchant for quilted paisley, but I can't deny how handy their duffle bags are for weekend trips.  With the discount of the sale and the 15% employee discount, I decide it is finally worth my money to purchase one. I found a bright and punchy spring pattern and grabbed a matching cell phone wristlet because I got caught up in the moment, don't judge me.

// 11:00 a.m.

In which my fellow sorters and I are herded to the break room for lunch.  Each meal is catered by a different restaurant, a rather nice perk to working here, but I never know in advance what it will be.  Today it is grinders and pizza from Mancino's, which is extremely unfortunate as everything is drenched in melted cheese, a food that I can no longer digest. I grab a veggie sandwich, hoping to salvage some of it from the cheese but to no avail. I mournfully eat a bag of potato chips and stare longingly at the smart lady who brought what appears to be a full Sunday roast, complete with mashed potatoes.

// 11:30 a.m.

In which we return to work and the never-ending process of sorting.

Waiting for a giant cart to be unloaded. Empty spots at the tables means roast dinner lady and her friends are late, probably laughing with abandon as they eat mashed potatoes.

// 1:30 p.m.

In which another unexpected 15-minute break is granted to us.  Cranky and starving, I head outside to sit in the grass and eat the emergency fruit snacks I had in my pocket. I kick my shoes off and my feet actually emit red cartoon lines of pain, the below photo is real and true and not digitally altered.

Ok yes I did draw those in afterwards but if my feet could talk they would have been screaming.

// 3:00 p.m.

In which I peek around the black curtain that separates the worker bees from the sales floor and assess the crowd before making my last run to deliver merchandise.  As soon as I walk through the curtain, I am surrounded by people pawing through my cart and asking me endless questions about this pattern, that handbag, and so on.  It takes a half hour to walk the couple hundred feet to the table and back.  I am sweating profusely from the exertion of moving the cart and the heat of so many bodies in the room.  Even though I know my day is almost over, I can't quell the rising anxiety in my chest from feeling trapped in this giant room with all these people, just pushing and pushing with no regard to personal space.  I focus on my breathing until I can reach the edge of the room and get behind the black curtain. When I do, I am glad I was able to avoid a full blown panic attack but know I don't have the patience or the mental energy to fend off another one.

(This photo actually taken shortly after the doors opened in the morning. Quadruple the amount of people for a closer approximation of how tightly packed it was.)

// 4:00 p.m.

In which I return home and throw my shoes with no small amount of force into the closet. Wearing my TOMS was the worst decision I made all day.  My feet swell up and I almost cry they hurt so bad. Yes, I am fully aware of how much of a spoiled brat I sound like but the struggle was real, y'all.

// 5:00 p.m.

In which I drag myself into the shower and then spend the rest of the evening lying on my bed eating way too many Trader Joe's gourmet jelly beans and falling into a Wikipedia wormhole. Did you know that there is a park in Florida where mermaids do daily underwater performances? Me neither, but you'd best believe if I ever make it to Tampa to visit Lindsey, I will be checking it out.

// 9:00 p.m.

In which I give in to the fatigue and fall fast asleep. I know tomorrow will be more of the same insanity but cartoon dollar signs in my dreams will motivate me to get up and do it all over again.

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