Sunday, February 28, 2010
So we get there at 8am as we just had to walk across the parking lot as we boondocked there for the night. Only one other person from our team showes up so now we are running with only 3 people. The movement on the cosmetic wall was pretty straightforward but the beginning depended on the Revlon/Almay rep being there on time as she had to move her stuff as she was losing 3 ft of space. Of course, here it was 8:15am and she still wasn't there. So I call my DM and the L'Oreal rep and I start moving her stuff off the wall into carts. She gets there about 8:20am and is pissed off that we touched her stuff....argghh...we COULD NOT do anything until she started the ball rolling.
So we start our part of the set which was Physician's Formula. Now I know I do things fast and Bill hadn't done many cosmetic sets, but the other guy is as slow a molasses. We run into an issue with PF and the wall standard, which is where it connects together...we can't get the final row of PF before the standard so we have to move it over. Well, the gap looks funny and that means we will lose space farther down the line. So on the phone I go again. DM says she'll get right back to me. We can't do anything further until this issue is cleared up and she doesn't call me for almost an hour! THEN the decision is we have to flip the brands and PF will no longer go in that spot! So Mr. Slow-As-Molasses starts moving the PF slowwwwly to the next 2 ft section. In the meantime I am pulling my hair out as we are getting so behind.
At 5pm we only had part of the Cover Girl done, probably half of the work. The Albertson's department manager comes over and asks what time we will be in tomorrow. I say we can't come in as we had not planned on it. She goes and gets the store manager who is is a total ass. He is pissy at me and I sure as hell wasn't getting paid enough. So I call my DM and explain what is going on. She calls around and gets the team from a Phoenix store to drive down and she'll put them up in a hotel and they will take over and finish on Wednesday. Whoa! We DRIVE 3 hours in the motor home and use $60 in gas and you don't offer us anything? But she said we need to come in the morning to work on the project -- of course nothing about the fact that we were 1 person short and 9 ft more of product! I tell her that we have work in Phoenix on Wednesday and the most we POSSIBLY could do would be the morning. So we stay until about 7pm and then call it quits.
Tuesday morning we decided NOT to go in as we talked about it and decided we had been set up, running short handed and more product to set in only one day. My DM gets on the phone around noon and is totally pissed off --- wait a minute! We weren't even SUPPOSED to be here anymore to work on Tuesday. So she locks me out of the website and I can't report our hours. I call corporate headquarters on Thursday and let them know in no uncertain terms that we expect to get fully paid for Monday. They have me leave a message with the HR/payroll person who has not bothered to call me back. I will be on the phone with them bright and early Monday morning. If they think they are going to get away with this and not pay us they don't know who they are messing with. That is a huge problem with the economy today -- people have to take anything and everything the "boss" dishes out if they want to keep their jobs. I was upset about this all week and then we decided that we are going to look at it as bonus money. I really should not be doing that kind of work as I hurt horribly Tuesday and Wednesday. Plus I was only good enough to get work from that company that no one else wanted. There were sets all over Phoenix and she did not bother to use us but it was ok to send us all the way to Yuma.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Right now it is raining here in Chandler which is nice as today I really needed to do next to nothing and try to destress somewhat. It has been so hectic lately that I don't know if I'm coming or going. We are going to be working spring training for the Oakland A's it appears. We went in last week and had our alcohol servers training...4 hours not paid which I am not too pleased about but it was mandatory. Serving alcohol here is about the same as in Wisconsin but the Aramark manager that ran the training also runs an ampitheatre in New Mexico. In that state if you do not do practically everything under the sun to find out if someone you are serving is a minor, you will be handcuffed immediately, spend 18 months in prison and pay $15,000 in fines. I would NOT be serving alcohol in New Mexico. We will be working some sort of a deep fried potato booth. Bill is going to be a grill cook and I am a gofer...kind of like real life. They called the other day wanting to know is chef coat size....this will DEFINITELY be different. But Aramark is a good company to get in with as they run venues all over the country and like the manager stated "You can travel with the company".
We are still up in the area as far as summer employment goes as we have not heard from the Census yet. I'm going to give them until the first week in March and then call and jog their memory. It would help if they hired us in Pickerel as then we can get some decisions made as to what is going to go on with both the Oshkosh house and the Pickerel house. As of right now my brother is 2 months late on the Oshkosh payments which will not continue as far as I'm concerned. We now had to try loan modification on the house there too as we can't cover both mortgages. If he is still behind when we get back in April then as far as I am concerned he is out....Bill is not quite on board with that yet but this is ridiculous! He will also be losing the vehicle and the cell phone as they come from us too so he better lower his standards and find some sort of employment, no matter what it is. If we can do $4 gas shops and hawk beer and fried potatoes at a ball park, he can sure as hell get a job flipping burgers or bartending. I have had it. Twenty five years of helping both of them out and this is what I get. There will be no more help from me - EVER.
We just found out that three people from Amazon that filed for unemployment in Kansas are having their unemployment contested by Express. What a bunch of bull. Now we have to worry about that one too. Bill should be ok though as we have copies of the contract stating the last day was December 23.
Tomorrow we are heading down to Yuma as we have a cosmetic reset in one of the Albertson's stores on Monday. Cosmetic pegging is not a favorite but it is an all day or possibly two day project which helps the bottom line. Hopefully Albertson's will be ok with us boondocking overnight in their parking lot as we need to start at 8am. Yuma has a ban against boondocking that they can use if needed as they get so many winter visitors. Unlike here in Phoenix where we have been boondocking at the casino here now for almost two weeks straight. We had checked on rates for parks in the area during spring training and most wanted over $400 plus electric...crazy!
The only thing I can say about life right now is thank god that it is warm and I at least have some energy. If I was dealing with all of this stress and mess and it was 10 below I don't think I'd be able to do it....it has got to get better for everyone, right?
Sunday, February 14, 2010
which is a retail value of $25.99.
Here are the steps -
Create a new Snapfish account
Click ‘your account’ then ‘redeem’ next to the dog leash offer
Search for ‘leash’ then build your custom dog leash
Begin the checkout process and use code PRESDAY to knock off the shipping charge.
It definitely works as I just did it to send Dozey's best friend Clyde a new leash -- now to get his mom and dad to use it!
http://www.excedrin.com/offer.shtml Free Excedrin...take the quiz and chose anything but Excedrin...they will send you a coupon good for up to $5.99 on any Excedrin product.
Coupons and rebate on World's Best Cat Litter available at Petco and Petsmart
print $10 in coupons
rebate for free World’s Best cat litter
Free burger and fries for signing up for the new Denny’s rewards program. You must sign up no earlier than Monday, February 1, 2010. The first 500,000 people to sign up get a coupon worth a free burger and fires at Denny’s. Pick up your meal from March 1, 2010 through March 7, 2010.
http://customsites.yahoo.com/financiallyfit/finance/article-108816-4123-3-how-to-save-100-in-an-hour?ywaad=ad0035 The article here basically says that couponing is back "in vogue" but for me it always was vogue...It says here that spending an hour clipping and organizing coupons can net you as much as $100 per hour....TAX FREE! I don't know about you but we don't have that many $100 per hour jobs knocking on our door. Of course, organization of your coupon stash is paramount...you can't use it if you can't find it! I have tried various organization systems in the past but now that we are in the RV with space as a premium I use an accordion type folder with handles that I found....get this....at Goodwill! It almost looks like a briefcase or purse but has multiple files inside which I have broken down into category. I dig out coupons ahead of time when I know certain things are on sale from flyers and put them in a smaller organizer in my purse which is broken down by store but I also carry the big files into the store with me. It helps alot with clearance items that you can match a coupon to. I am so anal I keep an Excel file with our savings from each shopping trip where we use coupons - which is practically all of them. Last years totals look like this --
Total before coupons $5102.80
Total after coupons $1783.88
Total saved $3293.20
Not a bad return on my time and effort! And this was all stuff that either we used or it was so inexpensive after coupons and rebates and what have you that we gave it to friends and family or donated it. Which brings me to my second topic today.....
Saturday February 13 through Friday February 19 is Random Acts of Kindness Week.
http://www.actsofkindness.org/ The website is a wealth of information with ideas and testimonials including the health benefits of kindness. In the rush to survive this recession and keep it all together unfortunately helping others is one thing that might have fallen to the wayside -- I know it has to some extent for us. So we (although Bill doesn't know this yet but he knows me!) are going to keep track every day this week of what kindness acts we tried to do for others and hopefully it will boomerang back and make us feel better about the world. Corny? Possibly....but I know firsthand that giving to others rebounds back in many different ways.
Our first RAOK was to Nick and Michelle. We have so many grocery shops right now that we can't fit everything in the MonsterMobile. So Bill called Nick and he met us at one of the stores in Scottsdale and we loaded him up with some groceries. Plus he gets all my cereal and mac n cheese - not al willingly though - as I can no longer eat the gluten. I will miss my Wheat Chex! Remember -- an RAOK does not have to cost money! Letting someone cut in line ahead of you who only has two items costs nothing but it all helps in the greater scheme of things....spread good karma and it will come back to you.
Monday, February 8, 2010
----only to walk a bit farther on to see THIS sign!
So we walk through the gates to México which is very easy...no showing a passport, ID or anything...of course we knew we were over the other side when we saw the army dudes with their M16s slung over their shoulders...I tried to get pictures of them but they didn't fall for it.
Entering downtown Algodones was like entering a crush of elderly shoppers at any Kohls on Wednesday. Except for the street vendors, beggars and shoe shiners, some of whom spoke pretty good English, most everyone was noticeably from Gringolandia.
Bill will just keep walking down the street and turn a deaf ear(which he is very good at!)when one of the people who are paid to bring patients in to the various dentists talks to him, but I have a hard time doing that. My bonus is that I get to practice my Spanish and once they realize I speak it, I don't get hustled so much.
Algodones, of course, is a relatively poor city that without the medical tourism would most likely dry up and disappear. It has the razor wire border fence running through it as well as 24/7 observation by the US Border Patrol to discourage anyone wanting a better life on the northern side.
Despite all that there was a steady stream of vehicles crossing the border both ways during our visit.
The Mexicans are a bit pickier on searching the vehicles than the are the foot traffic. We watched one guy who fit the perfect drug smuggling demographic - young, male and probably single - get searched twice on the Mexican side and twice on the US side. To me it is not worth it as of course, with my environmental email terrorist designation, I would no doubt have my vehicle torn apart as the TSA has probably told them I'm not to be trusted! Again touching upon the stupidity of government regulations - if you are walking across the border you can only bring back 1 liter of alcohol per person. BUT if you are driving you can bring back 3 liters per person! Hello? WHO makes these rules?
After getting estimates on our teeth, with Bill getting an estimate for 6 root canals and 6 crowns for $1400, we had lunch at a sidewalk café and decided to head back across the border as we had left the monsters in the RV and it was getting rather warm.We learned our lesson the hard way...next time we will be entering really, really early and leaving before noon or entering early afternoon and leaving around 6pm when all the older folks have gone back home. At least there was a covered walkway and .25 restrooms during our hour wait!
Going through customs was rather anti-climactic as it went really fast. The TSA must not have updated my file with them...the agent asked if I had bought anything in México and I said a T shirt and some chocolate...ok bye, have a nice day. Of course Bill was bringing in a GALLON of vanilla...boy did that cause some curiosity in the waiting line. But he came through fine also. We've had more questions asked at the California Agriculture stops and the Border Patrol inside the country than we did getting back in. It's just a good thing I noticed my passport had expired or we might have been there waiting quite a bit longer.
I forgot to include the photo of the new game day wear that Bill absolutely refused to get...I don't know why...I think he would look quite attractive wearing it with a cheesehead cowboy hat and drinking a beer.