Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Been A While...

It's been a while since I posted, and the fact that I haven't had Internet access is a large part of that. But I am back now, so look out.

The store I work at in San Francisco has been a blast. I really have been enjoying the people I work with and the customers that come in. The guys are really into the brand we represent, and love talking about it. They are all incredibly passionate about what they represent and willing to share that knowledge and joy. It's one of the best places I have ever worked. And the owners are fantastic.

One of the odd things about this store is that I really haven't had any of the odd customers asking the weird questions I normally get. Which isn't to say I don't get the odd stupid statement ("where are the cars?" is a popular one, but I can't say more without revealing the store, which I am not allowed to do!).

We do have some fun customers. I have been meeting and talking to people from all over the United States and the world in general. We have, regularly, people calling from all over the US to buy things, which is a lot of fun for me. I have also talked to customers who have called from Paris, France and Hong Kong.

The local customers are a lot of fun, too. Some of the regulars are just great people who love the brand. And they really do enjoy coming in and talking with us while they shop.

Now, working in San Francisco has its fun moments, too. For example, back in December, we had Santa-con, aka Drunk Santa Fest. A bunch of people dress up as Santa and/or his elves and basically do the ultimate pub crawl in the city. Where else can you see Santa in a thong? Or even better, Mrs Claus in a thong? Of course, I would love to be the tourist parent explaining to their child why there won't be a Christmas when they see Santa being busted by SFPD, and toted away in a paddy wagon...

We have also been front and center for a Hotel Strike protest march in the city, which was fun... C'mon people, at least you have jobs! Other fun things include the various protests against the major banks in the City (such as Wells Fargo and BofA). You also have the various political protests (it is San Francisco, after all) and basic left wing fun in the city.

Basically, I have spent the last month or so learning the product and history in my store, just having fun and getting into the swing of things after my long summer off. I was there a week and the previous manager left, so instead of being an assistant, I am now acting manager (a spot I hope to take over permanently) for the time being. And as I get my feet under me, I am starting to make changes, hopefully for the better. I know the guys are responding to it, and good things are starting to happen.

Looking back, I am bitter on how I was treated at my job in SoCal, and even more so on how I left. But I know it was a good thing for me. This is the most fun I have had at work in years. BossLady has even commented that she likes it when she can see me having fun at work.

Domestically, BossLady and I are finally settling into our own place. We aren't far from her family, which has pros and cons, but we will take it. I was finally able to live up to my promise to her to get a new kitten for her graduation. So now we have two tortoishell cats with very different personalities. Which, of course, means I sleep on the floor since they have taken over my spot on the bed at night.

It's also been fun reconnecting with friends here in the Bay Area that I haven't seen in a few years.

So as more things happen, I will post more. I just hope I get some good fodder for my stories...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Smoke Two Joints...

November has been an interesting month.

I got the job in my home town that I was stressed about.  Turned out not to be a good fit, so I left.

I was lucky in that the other opportunity was still on the table that I wanted.  I started there today, and if anything, the opportunity has increased.   Nothing has been promised that I would call set in stone, but the language tells me it won't be long for a major promotion.   Good things really do come to those who wait, I guess.

So I am back working in San Francisco, a city I love and find endlessly entertaining.  I mean, where else in the world would you see three people walking down the street smoking joints and just have the police wave at them?

The job is going to be great.  I really enjoy the new crew, and the opportunity to grow is beyond belief.   I don't want to go into too much detail because of all the proprietary information, and I certainly do not want to offend my new crew, but I will post stories as they happen.  Working in San Francisco, you can count on several in the not so distant future.

This will be a bit of a busy time for BossLady and me, as we are moving to our own place after staying with family for the last 4 months.  I probably won't post again until mid to late December.   But I WILL be back.  

Of course, this year I am having to do something I never do.  Shop for Xmas.  It's big in her family.  I never did much beyond getting Mom a card and maybe something for BossLady.  Otherwise, to me, it was just a forced day off.  Blech.   Now it's shop for her, her parents, her grandmother, and sixteen dozen other people I've never met.   

Fun and games.

Thanksgiving was interesting, spending it with several people I have never met, but am apparently related to now.   And even more fun, some of them work retail as well, and know the store I am going to.

This is going to be interesting to say the least.

Anyhow, I will be back.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


BossLady and I have had a bit of a go lately.  

We have been staying with family in the Bay Area since the move and while I found work.   Family is great and we could not have made it without their help, but it's time to move on.

Back when BossLady took her photo gig, we drove up and went apartment hunting with little luck.  It's very frustrating when they all want money NOW and we were just getting ideas.   So we backed off and decided to wait till I landed something.

Today we signed our papers for our new place.

We are both excited to have our own place again.   We appreciate all the family has done, but we need to have "our" space back.  We miss it.

The only problem... We have to wait a month till we actually move in.

This could be a good thing, as I have to get going on the new job and the dust will settle a bit for us.  And we can start planning our move without feeling rushed.

BossLady is happy, too.  She will be in her hometown.  I will be close to mine, though I have lived in this city before.   And she will be close to her family, which is something she has not had in 5 years.  And best of all in her mind, I have to get her a new kitten, which we decided we will rescue from the local shelter.

The place is in a nice location, close to BART and a golf course as well as tennis courts and a lake.

Ah... the joys of moving...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Today I start the new job.

I got the one I wanted, which is awesome.

Even better, it's in my home town.

Today is paperwork, and then we are going full bore to get the place open and just rockin'.

Stories should follow soon about the customers and just what it's like to open something from the ground up.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

... pation is Killing Me!

Had the interview.

Talked with who interviewed me before.   That was good.

Talked to his "boss".   I have no read on him, so not sure how it went.

I was told I would hear by tomorrow.

Wife has me out at the driving range hitting golf balls then going apartment hunting all day to keep my mind off of things.

I don't feel good about this.


Waiting has never been my strong suit.

I have my final interview for a job that I really want today (in less than an hour, actually) and I am going nuts. I'd bite all my fingernails off, if I had any left. Heck, I'd gnaw 'em off the cat if that were possible... But I also feel that this is just a formality, and that all will go well. Which is why I am excited and anticipating this interview. I want to work again so bad I can almost taste it.

A habit of mine when I am working (or just excited for something) is to be early. Very early. As in I-got-here-last-week early. People laugh at me and tease me about it, and I even make fun of myself for it.

But I have never been late to work. Ever.

Of course, this means when I go to things like a football game or baseball game, I tend to show up before the players. Which can be fun, if you are into people watching. And depending on where you live, you can get quite a show.

BossLady and I have been fortunate in that we have lived in places where we encounter a lot of different people. In Los Angeles/Orange County, all you had to do was drive to the beach or take a walk in a tourist trap area, and voila! Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, just hop on BART. Hell, just walk in San Francisco.

BossLady and I would go to Disneyland when we were in Southern California and comment (quietly) to ourselves about people. Sometimes, we were crude, mean spirited and just outright inhumane with what we said (though we never spoke it above a whisper in each other's ear... we truly are not mean... we just make each other laugh this way and we do judge each individual on their own merits). Other times, we would make up fantasy lives for these people, or even make like we are some fashion critic couple touring the place.

Face it, LA is prime people watching turf.

People are a large part of why I love working retail. You meet all kinds of people, good and bad. Some are funny, others sick. But they are the reason the world goes 'round.

So here's hoping things go great in the next hour....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Remember Me?

Hi, Remember Me?
Been a while since I posted, and a lot has happened.

First, I lost my job in Southern California. Yeah, I know, get in line with about 13% of the country. So most of my time has been spent pounding pavement and scouring the job boards to find a new spot. And by this Friday (more likely Thursday), that problem will be solved.

Heck, I have had two separate phone interviews while typing this today!

Only took me six months to deal with.

Back in February, I committed a form of pseudo-suicide. I bought Snowboard gear for BossLady and myself and took her to Big Bear Resort in Southern California to learn how to snowboard (suicide because I know me... If I can get hurt doing something, bank on it happening. And it did. Concussion, and messed up rotator cuff in my left shoulder, and the world's UGLIEST bruise on my ass). By default, I learned, too.

The lessons at Bear Mountain were great, and we met and became friends with a really great guy, JC. Originally we did a group lesson that he taught, then arranged for a private lesson later in the day. Best money we ever spent. JC made us learn in the best way. He told us what we got right and how to improve where we were not doing so hot without making us feel stupid. We left that first day feeling incredible, but driving in the blizzard down the mountain with a concussion was a blast.

A few weeks later, we went back and just rode. We found JC, and got another day of lessons. Now, no one is going to confuse us with Shaun White, but we did improve. And with JC there, we were laughing the entire day.

BossLady and I made a third trip just before the end of the season, and while we didn't do the lesson, we did manage to see JC and his significant other (and she is a very fun person, too!). BossLady and I had fun, and then invited JC and C to our wedding (which they managed to make to the reception!).

Now we can't wait for it to snow in Tahoe at Squaw Valley. Or Mammoth. But we do plan on going to SoCal to board at Bear Mountain as well. It wouldn't be winter without JC.

BossLady took a job in Northern California, so we packed up from our Irvine home and headed back to our roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. Made the job search fun, but that's okay. Once we got back to the Bay, we realized how much we missed it. I miss SoCal, but this is home.

I also had to deal with the loss of a very important person in my life. My grandmother, who put me through college and made a lot of the things possible for me that I did growing up, passed away in August at the age of 98. She is a legend among my family, and no one who ever met her has failed to be amazed by her. She was incredibly active in her life right up to the last two years when she started losing her hearing and sight. It's been three months since she passed, but I still visit the family house she helped build (literally) and expect to see her in her favorite chair talking to her friends on the phone or playing with the cat. She will always be missed.

I also did something insanely stupid but really overdue. I got married to the BossLady. We got married back in May with a few close friends (and we wanted to invite others, but they vanished on us... SLICK... that means you) and family around on a cliff overlooking Laguna Beach. I don't remember too much about the location other than the MOST beautiful woman in the world showing up in white and strangers walking by and stopping to wish us the best. Incredible.

Best move I have ever made.

Anyhow, I hope to get back to posting more often again, and not just about retail. The fun never ends, and I hope to share it with people again.