That’s What She Said

As soon as I saw this writing prompt, I knew it was the one I was supposed to use today:

A conversation about you that you weren’t supposed to overhear.

We will start at the very beginning. It was a little bit after 8am on a Monday morning a few weeks back. I had gotten to work a few minutes early and was able to settle into my work station and begin my day strong.

My work area consists of some shelving for media, a table like desk and chair, and a ton of storage area for back stock books (there’s thousands back here that haven’t seen the light of a sales floor in probably years). My work area is in the “warehouse” section of the store, and one of the few places the security camera’s do not reach.

In the past, I had problems with employees using my work area as a break room and a place for them to sneak off to to take phone calls during work hours.

We are currently in the process of opening a second store and currently have the store manager for the new store, we will call her Smulie, and her assistant manager whom we shall call Harmonica.

Back to that quaint Monday morning… I am minding my own business processing stationary when Harmonica comes barreling (okay so it was more like stomping, but I like my dramatics) into my work area on her phone. She ignores me (which is probably for the best) and sits down in one of the chairs I have for my volunteers to use and starts blabbing on her phone to someone.

I want her to leave so I start throwing things away very loudly—she doesn’t budge.

All of the sudden, some frightening words come out of her mouth: “She better watch it or I’ll rip her face off.” WHAT?!

She didn’t stay much longer and continued her conversation in front of the camera in the next room. I was really bothered by her behavior and what she said, so I couldn’t help but make a blanket statement in our store meeting the next morning.

My public service announcement: “My office is not a break room or an area to make your phone calls out of the camera’s view. Please use the proper areas and times for personal business.”

Aside from Harmonica’s hostile tones, she is an assistant manager in training. She needs to adhere to the rules of the store especially in front of the employees. Her behavior was juvenile and in my opinion does not appear to be management material. She speaks and acts as a follower instead of a leader.

I thought I made a wise decision by not being accusatory and attacking. My PSA was very PG and a plea for people to adhere to the rules.

Toward the end of the meeting I heard Harmonica tell one of my assistant managers that it was her. At first I thought that was great. And then she claims that she was on a break (My work area is NOT YOUR BREAK ROOM!). I could deal with this.

What really got to me was later that day Harmonica and Smulie were talking. Harmonica admitted she was back there using her phone to Smulie. Then Smulie turned around and instead of reminding Harmonica of store policy, she said that “You have to watch out for her.” Her being me… what did I do wrong in all of this?

From that day; however, neither of them look at me or talk to me if they don’t have to (which is perfectly acceptable to me, but not great for leadership of our new store).

Last week I was walking to the bathroom and I accidentally tapped (barely) the side of Harmonica’s purse and she practically yelled: “WELL EXCCCUUUUSSSSSEEEE ME!” Ah, children.

The entire situation has been humorous for me. So, Smulie and Harmonica… thanks for a bit of laughter that has lasted for weeks!

~Kay

Description Is Key

I never realized how important description was in writing till I dug in and started to just describe random things. Today’s writing prompt is:

Describe something in the room you are in.

Attached by a nail against a tan backdrop the black edged boarder gives a dimensional appearance. Its ribbed texture stands out when your close, but from far away it blends to a flat surface. The black sketching of buildings resembling row houses in good ol’ London are placed against a brown splotched bottom with a light blue for a sky. A black sketching of Big Ben towers over the houses. A used postage stamp from Great Britain slapped on the side with a post mark strategically located on the bottom.  It’s like a postcard  painting cuffed onto a stretch of canvas.

What is it? (I will post picture later)

-Jay

The Perfect Storm

I have often thought of all of the places that I have been, all the places I have lived, and all the places I still want to go to. I have contemplated the weather, and weather changes. I have thought about nature and what I chose to let surround me. I have thought about all of these things only to realize that I am happily different from a lot of people.

For starters, I’m not a sun person. Where I like the sun the best is on cold crisp Autumn days. The sky would be this beautiful bright blue and the clouds would be few and far between, little wisps, like trails of cotton candy in the sky. The sun would be up and bright, but the weather is cool. I remember days like that when I worked at Whispering Woods Resort back in the early 2000’s. I loved working in the morning (I still do) and being able to enjoy the silence that comes with such days.

I am a sucker for the rain. I see rain, and I am instantly happy. I get excited for rain clouds. I don’t want any of the natural disasters that come with it, of course (flood, tornado, hurricane, etc), but the sound of rain falling, how all of the earth (at least that part that is getting rained on) is being washed clean and nourished. I am often reminded that I need to have my own rainy days to nourish myself and become new.

I have mentioned before that the fall is my favorite season for the above reason and the colors. I love watching the leaves change. I love change, and transitions, I feel the most alive during these times.

One thing that I love, that I know my husband is not very fond of is snow. I love the moments before the snow starts falling. My world grows silent and I can just stand there and look up into the sky and simply watch for the first flake to fall. I wouldn’t even call it falling really. It is more like it floats down from the heavens to the awaiting earth.

My perfect day would consist of all of these things happening while the temperature does not rise about 74 degrees.

Tell me about your perfect day, or perfect storm.

~Kay

Words from a Stranger

The most intriguing and/or unexpected conversation you’ve had with a complete stranger.

I was at the mall today, eating my very delicious cup of Aunt Annie’s Pretzel Nuggets when a grey, toupee wearing man said something.

“Are you in High School?” He asked. I had no idea he was talking to me. I continued to eat my pretzels and not think anything of it. “Are you in High School?” He asked again, this time standing right at my table and looking me straight in the eye.

“No.” I replied… a little worried about why he was asking me such a thing. I know I look young, but I’m pretty sure I don’t look like I’m still in High School. He began to list off the grades in high school while I replied with ‘nope’ and ‘uh uh’. “I just graduated from College sir.”

He looked shocked.

“May I sit here with you.” He motioned to the chair situated on the other side of the table. I don’t like turning down a conversation and I had some time before my hair appointment so I said he could.

Although I do not remember every detail of the conversation, it started out with what I received my degree in.

“I like to write as well. In fact, while I was in the army during WWII I wrote a poem to my mother on Mother’s day. I still remember it.” He exclaimed, his arms crossed on the table.

I smiled. We discussed how writing releases a lot of emotions and that everyone should write, even if they aren’t great at it. It’s a good way to clear one’s mind. The conversation moved from writing to being a disabled vet in no time. He was 100% disabled vet but clearly was not completely disabled. He was walking and from what one of the mall employees said, he frequents the mall every day, walks back and forth a couple times, and talks to random girls. I told him that my husband is a disabled vet as well, but not getting a 100%. He then began to tell me that he could get my husband a lot more disability.

He proceeded to hand me his business card. As he opened his wallet I saw the familiar green and white ID that military personnel carry around. The white card with black lettering seemed too simple for a business card. It read:

“DOC” Will
Doctor of Pulmonary
Army Veteran

(Insert Phone Number)

I politely accepted and told them I will tell my husband about him. We talked of other things however I do not remember them at this instant. No matter, I really enjoyed having someone be friendly here. It was a nice change.

Never forget that you can learn some of the best things from a stranger!

Use Your Sniffer

Growing up, I always wanted to know what it would like to be an animal. I loved most animals and especially was fond of my dog Kirby. Yes, she was named after the vacuum cleaner and did an amazing job putting her nose to the ground and covering every inch of underneath our dining room table growing up.

It was with Kirby that I tried my first dog biscuit. It much be an acquired taste, one that I could never get accustomed to. I was happy that she enjoyed them. I probably fed her too many of them. Who wouldn’t want snacks all of the time!

I loved how happy she seemed all of the time. Her mouth always hung open with her tongue hanging out the side, her tail wagged so hard that her entire back half shook.

One thing that really made me jealous was that she was allowed to play in the creek that was a short walk from our house. Kirby splashed around care free, chomping at the water as if it was attacking her back as she created the splashes herself.

Even as an adult, what I wouldn’t give to be able to just take a nap whenever I was tired, and to just be happy all of the time. I think the only thing I didn’t envy, was her desire to eat slugs. Her mouth would get so sticky and gross. She would still smile at you even when she was caught red handed. I was young enough back then that it was my mother (I love you, mom!) that had the pleasure of cleaning Kirby up after the incidents. I wonder how different I would feel about things if it were my responsibility.

~Kay

PS. Dog food does not in any way shape or form taste like cocoa puffs. :)

Read This Prompt

What a character wearing something red is thinking:

I should’ve never bought this dress! It looks ghastly on me. What was I thinking? How can I ever step foot in public with this on?  The silky feeling on my skin is nice, along with the way it moves with me, but the color!  UGH! It’s like a dried up rose and against my peachy skin I look as if I just stepped off the pale train! Maybe if I had more color to my skin it wouldn’t look so bad. Maybe I’ll go to the tanning booth later today. I didn’t spend 300 for nothing! No matter! I will wear this to the ball, even if I do look like death bathed in blood!

Your favorite moment in film:

This is challenging because there are a lot of films that have some very unforgettable and favorite moments. Let’s start off with Avengers. This is probably a favorite for a lot of people, but I love it when Hulk grabs Loki by the foot and starts throwing him back and forth. Hulk then ends it by saying “Puny god!” I remember the entire theater busting into laughter at that. Then there is Pearl Harbor. My favorite part is when they finally tell the guys what their mission is and then they start painting things on the bombs. It’s quite an uplifting scene. It makes you feel strong. Harry Potter: probably when Neville cuts of the snakes head or when Harry meets up with Snape at the dock as he is dieing. That part made me cry. I’ll give you one more scene that I like a lot and it is from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. They are in the Mines of Moria trying to escape, when the stairs become separated. Then Gimili announces “Nobody tosses a dwarf!”. He then jumps and Legolas catches him by his beard. There are other movies that have many favorite moments, but if I was to name them all, we would be here all day!

The menu for your last meal:

Well my last meal was a BLTCPO sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese, Pickle and Onion), but I think they mean what I would want as my last meal before God takes me home. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever thought about it. Here is probably how it would look:

Beverage: Coke with Cherry Syrup and Hot Earl Grey Tea
Appetizer: Cesar Salad from Texas Roadhouse and Crab Puffs
Main Meal: Spaghetti with my homemade sauce and Garlic Bread
Desert: Tiramisu and Creme Brulee

There you have it folks! My last meal.

-Jay

Collecting (and Reading) Books

Describe something you wanted badly and, once you got it, never (or hardly) used.

This is something that my husband already knows (and he can probably list off a bunch more that fit the above writing prompt… but we’ll save that for another time), but I am still secretly hoping that he does not read this post.

I think the biggest thing for me has to be books. I love books. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, but I think what excites me almost as much as reading, is buying books. I love getting great deals on books too. That is one benefit (and curse) to my job. Our most expensive book is typically $2.49 and can be as low as $.79! What a steal…

Well, this problem of mine I believe started in September of 2010, when the Christian book store I was working at in Michigan closed. They had incredible sales, and I couldn’t help but to load up on books when they were that cheap. It is now four years later and I have probably read four of the books that I got during the closing of the store.

Since then I have been gifted books, been loaned books, and have bought books. My last count was about 60 books that I owned that I had not read. I have a frightful feeling that number is closer to 100 now.

My new years goal this year was to read 25 books. It was 50 books the year before that and I don’t think I got past 15. I know for a lot of people reading 15 books a year is a crazy amount. To me, I was sad I didn’t come close. That’s the main reason why I dropped it down to 25 books. It is an achievable goal for me. I went into the new year strong. I had read 7 books in the first 3 months. I was right on track, and then I stopped reading and started collecting again.

I’m not sure going cold turkey is the right idea for me; however, I need to get on a regime that I get one book for every 3 books I read. Slowly ease my way into actually catching up. Who knows what will happen. I am trying though.

Last night I finished this fantastic book called “The Sherlockian” by Graham Moore. If I had 3 evenings free I could have read it in that time, but it took me the better part of two months. I wonder why that is and why it happens. The story was good, I suppose I just wasn’t in the mood to read.

I started my very first Sir Arthur Conan Doyle book this morning titled “A Study in Scarlet” and I am enjoying it so far. Doyle’s writing is easier to follow than I had first anticipated. I do have a friend bringing in a copy of “The Fault in Our Stars” for me to read, so I will put Doyle’s book on hold while I read the borrowed one. The only reason I am even considering reading a borrowed book is because I want to see the movie that comes out in less than a month!

I am excited that I have started another season of reading. I sure do hope it keeps up.

~Kay