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Monday, February 23, 2015


Good day to you all!

So, work was work this week. I did nothing but cash register work for the most of it, although I did get one day of being everyone's fifteen. Have I talked about that yet? I basically work a few hours at one spot, then I spend the rest of my shift covering everyone else's fifteen minute breaks. This means I can over at the music section, at customer service, upstairs, and at the mall cash register all in an hour, and while this may sound tiring, I like it. I'm not stuck in one place for a long time and I get to change what I do, which always stops work from getting tedious. So that was fun, as was pulling a last minute miracle in selling two memberships during the last hour of my night shift on Saturday!

My internship is back on track. My boss emailed us all and while she didn't say why the picture upload wasn't working last week, she figured it out and we could upload pictures this week. The missing editor who took a week off came back, so it was back to the normal amount of work. Not only that, I figured out something about one of my writers. You see, we put tags on articles so readers can find similar pieces one they're done reading, and one writer wasn't posting enough tags. I was getting annoyed, but I've found out that she's having issues attaching tags to her articles. And it made me wonder: how much of what's wrong with an article is possibly the website's fault? Either way, I think I need talk out issues with the writers email to email instead of automatically assuming they're not reading my notes or something.

Onto my book! I've realized that there's one character I haven't talked about yet, and that's our dear ruffian Thayer Hooliban! But first, some quick background: Renatola (the city-country everyone lives in), strives to be perfect, but also realizes that creating utopia is hard. As such, crime and poverty aren't so much as eliminated as simply put somewhere else. 'Somewhere else' is called the Underground, basically a city under the city where the law doesn't apply. There's all sorts of bad stuff there, and those who live there (called ungudies) do so by choice or by the fact they were born there. A handful go up top, but a lot of above people come down to have all the drugs and sex and whatever else they want without getting into trouble. There are times, however, when the 'activities' of the Underground come to Renatola, and when that happens, police raid are sent down below to arrest criminals and close down the biggest and most offending businesses, basically thinning the Underground out so it leaves up top alone. But of course, people are resilient, so eventually said businesses open back up, though ungudies usually do their best not to give the police a reason to visit.

And I'll tell you about Thayer next week. Onto the Weekly (Dis)Likes!

Like 1: I GOT IN!!! I got a phone call from UMKC saying that my application's been accepted! There's supposed to be some stuff coming in the mail, but if things turn out well, I'll be an attending grad student this fall. YAY!!!!!!!!

Like 2: I have recently discovered the wonder story that is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and it's wonderful! It started when I was surfing through Netflix and came across the movie from 2011, which I watched, and it was so good I found a second movie (from 1996) and watched that as well. It's such an excellent story, with mystery, romance, and a hint of Gothic undertones, not to mention the titular character is a badass in how she stays true to herself and keeps her integrity when nearly everyone her has none. I got myself the book, which I plan to read one of these days, and it's a book/movie that I recommend all you readers to watch as well.

Like 3: Shopping! I received $100 dollars worth of gift cards to J.Crew, so I did a little retail therapy on one of my days off. They had some nice stuff on sale, and in the end I bought some skinny leg, gray slacks and a white blouse with a pattern of black keys. Wore them together to work, and got a lot of compliments on it!

Dislike 1: At the same time, I got notice from KU saying my application has been declined. BOO! I'm not going to say it didn't sting a little, because it did, but it's okay since UMKC said yes. As far as I'm concerned, it's KU's loss. :P

Dislike 2: I had a bit of a scare with the cops this week. I was driving home from work on Metcalf when a cop started driving behind with his lights on, and I started internally panicking, wondering, "Oh my God, what did you do?" because I didn't know if I'd done something wrong or what. So with a deep breath, I pulled over to the side and got ready to apologize for my driving error. THANKFULLY, the cops drove right by me, speeding off to somewhere else they were needed, so I guess I didn't run a red light or anything. Which is good, but the situation was still scary overall.

And quote!

"The power to question is the basis of all human progress." -Indira Gandhi
See ya later,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day!

Hi, everyone. For those first time readers, welcome! For those returning, thanks for being such loyal readers!

Work was fine this week in the sense I only had a three day work week. I think the last time I had one of those was back when I first started working at Barnes & Noble last year, so it was kind of weird yet relaxing at the same time; I made sure to put that extra day off to good use! Otherwise, I did a good job selling memberships again. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I can't help but feel there's a chance I might be at the top of the sales percentage list for this week, which would be good. What wasn't good was the two screaming kids I had standing in the check-out line when I was on the register one day. Usually I like kids, and would like to have some myself in the future, but when you have sensitive ears like mine, crying kids SUCK. I mean, if I hear one bawling, I go in the opposite direction as fast as I can, but I couldn't because I was on the main register, and basically had to flinch my way through two moms trying to purchase stuff and keep their brats under control. The second kid wasn't as bad as the first, given the husband was and took the kid away when it was Mom's turn to check out, but the first was in his mom's arms while she was buying stuff, and that wasn't fun at all for either of us. Should they have apologized for that, though? I wasn't offended that they didn't, but I'm asking as someone who wants to know what to do in any situation since I don't like not knowing what to do if something goes wrong. Do any moms reading know the answer?

I had a lot of work with my internship this week. For some reason one of the other editors had to take this week off (I hope everything's okay), so her work was split between me and the third editor (there are three of us). That's not too big an issue, considering the extra articles weren't any longer than the ones I edit on a daily basis, but I was stuck looking over that one writer I've talked about before who drove me nuts with her lack of skill. I cleaned it up as best as I could, but I'll be happy when the other editor returns. And at least I don't have to write work reviews this week; the boss is rewriting the review sheet we fill out for each writer, so we just have to answer some basic questions instead. What is a problem is that the editing site we use won't allow us to upload the photos we need for our articles because there's 'not enough space to upload'. I sent an email to the boss telling her this, but I haven't gotten a reply yet. I hope she talks soon, because I don't want to get in trouble for something I can't fix.

Writing is writing. I'm moving along with the fighting scene. Moa's coming pretty close to ending the enemy cyborg, but what's to happen afterwords? I'm debating whether she blacks out again or stay awake and runs away with them, given how many times before she's blacked out. I don't want here to appear weak and let the black out thing get too old since I do NEED to use it one last time. But we're getting towards a very important part of the plot, with the introduction of a character that's been in the shadows until now, but is the complete and total reason why Moa is what she is now. I can't wait to get to it!

Like 1: Valentine's Day care package! I got a box of goodies from my mom in the mail! There was homemade heart-shaped cookies, Peeps marshmallow hearts, Girl Scout samoas, a fuzzy red heart plushie, and a candy heart toy from McDonald's (it's a joke since she knows I hate fast food). Thanks Mom!

Like 2: Valentine's Day. Or, in my case, Single Awareness Day! Yeah, I didn't have a significant other to spend the day with, but I did have the day off, and there's just something about holiday days, whether you celebrate them or not, that just makes your day better. So I spent my V Day editing, relaxing, watch Youtube videos, snacking on the treats from my mom's care package, and basically pampering myself. Aaaahhhhh ...

Like 3: Three day work week. See above.

Like 4: A unexpected gift from one of Grandma's friends. Grandpa and Grandma went out to dinner with their friends the Kilkennys, and while they were getting ready to go, Mrs. Kilkenny gave me a little piece of needlepoint that my grandmother had given her.

What's cool about this is that Grandma had originally made it for my great-grandma, who I remember as being a really nice lady who had a house full of the most interesting stuff. I didn't see this coming, but I said thanks a whole lot, and it's going to stay with me for a long time. I think when I get my own place, I'll hang it in the bathroom, which I'll paint green and gold and give a nice plant theme to. Would that be good? Either way, thanks Mrs. Kilkenny!

Dislike 1: Screaming kids. See above.

Dislike 2: Picture problems. See above.

And quote!

"You are remembered for the rules you break." -Douglas MacArthur

Good day to you all,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Here's Me With the News

Good evening everybody. This is the lovely Colleen Boyd reporting live from the comfy confines of her bed!

So what was work like this week? It was work. I had a night shift, was stuck at Mallcatraz (what we call the mall entrance cash register because you're basically isolated back there) twice, and I had a second floor shift as well. I can happily say that this week's working on the second floor was not as stressful as last week, given that I wasn't overwhelmed by customers asking me if I could help find this or that, although I was placed on both the front and mall registers occasionally because other employees called out or were late. I was even told by my manager that a customer told him about the fantastic service I provided, so that really made my day. True, I didn't get any memberships this week, but you maybe get like ten customers per mall shift, and how many out of of ten will buy a membership? Not good odds, I'll tell you!

My internship's going fine, although all my writers are driving me a bit nuts. We have these Word documents where we basically write about what needed to be fixed in each article and what improvements can be made for next week, which isn't bad, but it's starting to feel like they don't read all the comments I write down, because sometimes they change things to go along with my suggestions but sometimes they don't. Not enough tags for one article? Still not enough next week. Needs more contractions (don't, isn't, we'll, etc.)? That's not happening either. I'd like to think myself as tolerant, so it's going to take some more of this before I write to my boss about it, but I do hope they take all my advice seriously, because I'm really just trying to help.

Writing is picking up! Not in the sense of hearing anything from Leticia or Rich-the-editor, but I got a lot done in getting back to my usual schedule. Right now I'm writing from Shawney's point of view, and he's just taken a bad blow from an evil cyborg sent to bring Moa back to Dr. Bentwood. He's bleeding and can't talk, but he can hear and see what's going on around him, and what he's hearing isn't good; Moa's gone on a wild rampage and, while's she's kicking major butt, Thayer's house is in danger of collapsing and the cops could show up at any moment! Can Moa beat her evil 'sister'? Will Shawney live? Will all of them manage to escape in time? I know; do you? (Keep reading this blog if you don't!) ^_^

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Ritz crackers. Buttery, salty cracker goodness. Yum.

Like 2: Getting back on track with my writing. See above.

Like 3: Getting a 'hi' note from my friend Lauren, who says she's been thinking about me and says we should meet up. I'd love to!

Dislike 1: Being interrupted when I'm talking about the membership. This is a new something to add to the "Stupid Things Customers Do" list. I mean, I'm not saying you have to BUY it, but can you at least let me finish asking if you'd like to buy one before you say no, not in the middle of my sale attempt. No one likes being interrupted, people!

Dislike 2: The fact I'm sleeping too much. I've completely screwed up my sleeping schedule, and now it feels like I'm sleeping half the day away. It's affecting all the stuff I usually like to do, so I need to straighten this out NOW.

And quote!

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men." -Herman Melville

Signing off,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Perfect Day

Hello! For those who haven't been sucked into the Superbowl and are reading this instead, thank you very much!

Work this week was a mixed bag in the sense one day was perfect, one was stressful, and the rest were average. What happened on the good day (which was a cash register day) was that I got three new registrations for memberships AND I got complimented to my face about providing such good customer service! That's never happened before, so even if I hadn't gotten a single membership that day, the compliment would've made it. On the other hand, on Saturday I was on second floor customer service, and though I like being up there, it had its moments; I had to make an order for some old lady who didn't know what she wanted (as in she didn't tell me anything other than she wanted a connect-the-dot book that I couldn't find in our systems) and right after that I got swamped by three customers asking for three totally different things and one of the newbie workers there asks me to help her find a book. I do not deal well with stress at all, so this situation completely stunk (though my manager gave me a pep talk afterwords, so Saturday wasn't complete bust). And I'm probably making this sound worse than it is; all in all, this was a good work week.

One last thing about work was that we got some new cash register policies. For those who work there, you really got to focus on the membership: we now have to put a flyer in each customer's bag and highlight the amount the person would've saved on their receipt if they don't have one. I'm not complaining (since that's how I got three memberships this week), but we also have to keep score sheets now. For every time we get a membership, a renewal, an email, etc., we tally on a slip of paper that we stick in a box at the end of the shift. That's not too bad either, though I did get nervous when I first learned about it (it's like, you don't get enough marks, you're in trouble), but my coworker Kari said not to worry because no one's been fired for not selling enough memberships (all we can do is try, after all).

Compared to work, my internship was simple. Got my articles, edited them, added pictures, and sent them back. There was one annoyance, though, and it was an article on the national costumes in the Miss Universe contest. It wasn't even really an article (more like a paragraph with a bunch of pictures), but she still had four misspelled words, and they were easy to spell words, like 'although'. Combined with some other errors, and it felt like she rushed writing that article. And maybe she did; maybe life got in the way and she had something else to worry about. I'm not one to judge, but I did make a note of it in my notes to slow down. Let's see if it helps.

Writing is back to normal as well. I've made a little headway in getting back on track with 'MOA-27', but after last week's excitement, haven't heard from Leticia. It's only been a week, though, so let's give it some time.

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: The little girl who entertained herself by reorganizing the mini stuffed animal display at work. When I was on second floor duty, I saw a little girl basically organizing the toys into groups based on what they were. There's a Lego play table right next to this display for kids t play at while their parents look over books, but cleaning was more interesting to her. Thanks for the help, kid!

Like 2: Seeing my old high school English teacher. When I was behind the cash register, up came Mrs. Kolich. It was a surprise to see her, but a good one nevertheless. She told me how things at St. James are going (great, for the most part), and how her daughters, who I was/is friends with, are doing (they're doing good as well). It was good talking to you, Mrs. Kolich!

Like 3: Going grocery shopping all by myself. Ran out of food, so I ran by Walmart to pick up some stuff. There's something incredibly satisfying about doing this kind of shopping, and I got all kinds of good food.

Like 4: New books! What's not to like about new books!?

Dislike 1: The cold weather has returned with a vengeance! Why, Mother Nature, why!?

Dislike 2: Getting stressed out at work. See above.

And quote!

"Winners never quit, and quitters never win." -Vince Lombardi
See ya,