Saturday, June 28, 2008

Heating up

So it's supposed to be hot today, 98 degrees (that's 37 to those of you who don't live in the US and never have). Though I have two pools at my disposal here in my little corner of paradise, I probably won't go lay out today. Reason one is that I haven't shaved my legs and reason two is it is probably going to be WAY too hot to lay there and occasionally dip. And there will be roughly 9 million people there as well.

My apartment doesn't really take hot days well. I'm getting ready to close the windows in the living room to keep what is cool in here and leave what is hot out there. We have very little humidity, but when you get in to the high 90s it kind of doesn't matter.

What is mildly amusing is that this is all they are talking about on the morning news, but I'm getting used to that.

The kittens aren't used to heat as it hasn't been hot since they were born. I throw ice cubes in their water for fun now and again, and I expect they will drop off to sleep the day away as soon as I leave for the supermarket and points beyond, so their activity will be minimal, but still. All that fur. Has to be hot.

So that's really it. After my horrifyingly stress-related hair situation this week (did I mention that?), I am newly shorn and properly reddened, and I feel rejuvenated enough to face the Beaverton area drivers and the fun that is the Fred Meyer. I may even venture forth to do a little shopping, who knows.

Now you know my day ahead. Let this be inspiration for you all to go out and do something way more exciting.

I do what I can to help.

Edit: I just checked and it turns out, I didn't tell you about the hair situation! So here it is.

I schedule my hair appointments out for the year. Every five weeks, like a little security blanket. My salon, and especially my colorist Taunja, is always hopping - pretty popular place. So all last week I was in Uptown, the branch with two people, covering for the assistant in there (which kind of explains my lack of ranting and raving here all week). I have made it clear to most of my coworkers that the Uptown branch is a branch that needs a break, literally, simply because if one person leaves for, say, a client lunch or to give a class or to go market clients, the other person is pretty much denied the simple creature comforts of getting lunch, having a cigarette (that's me) or going to the bathroom. They are used to it, but I try to let others know how difficult and frustrating it can be.

All that being said, my hair appointment was for Thursday at 3:45. I am no fan of doing it during work hours, especially now that I am a float, but you get in when you can get in, period. Sometimes my boss will call in some help from the downtown main offices, just a body that can cover phones and such, so that at least there is one escrow person in the branch, and that was the plan for Thursday - because the branch manager had a scheduled doctor's appointment for - you guessed it - Thursday afternoon. Crap.

I discovered this fact on Monday, and my salon, which by the way is ONE MILE from this branch, is closed on Mondays. I felt the panic creeping up, but discussed it with the manager and she sort of indicated that we might both try to figure out a way around this issue. Tuesday I phoned the salon and got some girl who I do not know, who basically said, "Yeah, Taunja doesn't work Wednesdays and she's booked the entire Thursday and Friday. Oh and she goes on vacation next week." Oh. My. HELL.

I'm screwed. I tell Whitney this, and she seems unaffected. She also doesn't make a move to call her doctor to see about rescheduling her appointment. I mean, I know the doctor is more important than hair, but me having to go SEVEN WEEKS between cut and color is not an option. It just isn't. And I do this not just for myself, but for EVERYone, since the good Lord knows what a catastrophe my hair out of control is.

So I am a jarbled, jumbled wreck of a girl at this point, and then realize that my CUT is at 5pm, it's the color that is earlier. If I can get Taunja to squeeze me in ANY OTHER HOUR OF THE DAY but Thursday afternoon, I can swing it. I call back the salon and get the machine, and leave a whining, pitiful message on the machine (along the lines of "somebody help me". It's not pretty and I am not proud of it). So I drive home, and at this point, panic has given way to anger. No other branch has to put up with this crap. This is so not okay. You can't do normal things in this branch that other people can, and no other branch gets that. It's ridiculous. I call a friend and bitch about it. The underlying issue is missing the appointment, but what fuels it is the WHY. Unacceptable.

I call Barbie, who has been going to this salon since 1986, for advice. She tells me to call back and ask for Valerie, the receptionist, and appeal to her abilities. She schools me on the best way to approach Valerie. Suck up. I can do that.

I spoke with Valerie on Wednesday morning, and she saved the day. She got me in at 6pm on Friday, (and actually it ended up being 5:15 on Friday) and basically saved my life. My sanity at the very least. I raved up and down about the rock star that she is and she told me I made her day. I made HER day? Au contraire mon frere. Or soeur.

So here's the point of all this: I was ridiculously stressed out over this not being able to make an appointment that has been scheduled out for a long long time because there is no one else in that branch and God help us all if suddenly a tooth abcesses on the same day as a client presentation. As it was, I barely managed to get my eyebrows waxed at the salon THREE DOORS DOWN from the branch on Wednesday afternoon, a process that takes 15 minutes, because of coverage. How is this okay? How can you NOT go get a sandwich or go to the bathroom or take the mail out if one of the two people in that branch has another commitment? It's frustrating to me and I don't even work there all the time. I can't imagine what it is like for them. So not only was this a stressful hair near-disaster, it is also a lesson in staffing. I implore someone to move over to that branch just for the sanity of the two people in there. Somebody for the love of God let them go out and get some lunch once in a while!

All right then. As you were.


At 1:10 PM, June 28, 2008, Blogger Theresa in Mèrida said...

You should just do the Mexico thing and close the door and go....okay, never mind. But really, what you describe is (or was when I lived there) illegal in CA, the law,as I remember it, is that you cannot go longer than 5 hours without a ten minute break and if you work more than 6 hours you get a ten minute break plus a half hour lunch. As I said it's been years and that's California plus the laws are different for salaried and hourly. You should really look it up.

At 7:12 AM, June 29, 2008, Blogger JJ said...

I think it's the same or similar here, Theresa. Lord knows they wouldn't have made the laws LESS employee-friendly since you moved. But the thing is that in THEORY, sure, we can go take a break or leave the building for an hour lunch or whatever, because there is another body there and it is the law. In REALITY, we can't (or don't, I guess) because it leaves the remaining person stuck with a constantly ringing phone and constant walk in traffic. It's a nightmare handling it alone. Even though it CAN be done, we know that if we do it to the other girl, she's going to do it to us, so we just don't.

At 6:17 PM, June 30, 2008, Blogger Theresa in Mèrida said...

JJ, that sucks, and after they got rid of mandatory overtime in California I pretty much lost faith in the labor laws. I think that it was re-instated, but I am old and don't remember stuff like that since it has nothing to do with my current life. I would not however,be surprised if the unions have renewed role in America, but I digress.
It's piss poor management when employees are made to feel responsible for the company not taking care of their employees. It builds resentment in the employees and that leads to all sorts of other problems. One thing that loss prevention always used to look for when I was in retail was people not taking their breaks and other sacrifices. The rational was those people would start to feel like the company owed them something and when they didn't get whatever it was they thought was owed them, they would take it....
I know that if you don't do it everyone does, then you get branded a trouble maker. I understand the subtle or not so subtle pressure when you are the only person insisting on taking their breaks.
You are in a crummy position.


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