Policing

The descent into the asylum of Tween/Teendom has begun. I am sure that it won’t be that bad right? Ha! I remember what I was like. I have heard what the Ex was like. If I escape with only half of the crap we put our mothers through I will count myself lucky. However he was a wonderful baby and young child. Lately I have been getting glimpses of the ogre that is going to be my child.
T loves sleeping in his clothes. This way he is ready for the next day. An ongoing battle I have been a little lacksidaisy in enforcing the changing into pj’s at night. Well enough is enough and given that he soon will have to be showering daily, I decided last night that I was going to hold firm. T had asked to play Scrap Mechanic. I said yes as long as he put his pj’s on first. Which lead to a large amount of whining. And he did not want to. So up I got, I was in my room reading, and I took the mouse for the computer. That earned me a ‘Fine than! I will watch Youtube.’ Went back into the living room and took the controller for the Xbox.
Back and forth we went. He yelling from the living room, me holding firm and repeating ‘get into your jammies and I will give you the mouse and controller back.’ T was bored. I was ruining his life. How could I be so mean to him? And the best one ‘If this is how you are going to be I am just going to go to my dad’s.’
Now T so rarely uses the going to dad line but I decided that I was not going to allow this to become his go to threat. So I told him that I had text the Ex and told him that T would be taking the bus to his place after school today. Well my word but the water works began and he was caterwauling on and on about how could I have done that. I had hurt his feelings. As I stood at the end of his couch looking at him, tears rolling down his cheeks I informed him that I had not actually text his dad. I was hurt as well that he would use this as a threat to me.
All said and done last night I ‘wasted’ all his time. He only had half an hour to watch Youtube. I explained once more that had he done what I requested that no time would have been wasted. T would have been able to play his Scrap Mechanic. He would have been able to watch Youtube. But he chooses to yell and kick up a fuss, throwing things, kicking them around. I remained calm last evening although I sorely wanted to yell back at him. I can admit that. He was driving me absolutely insane.
Fast forward to this morning. I went in at 5: 45, 6 and 6:17 to tell T what time is was and he needed to get up. Finally at 7 with my going in to awaken him again, T got up. And once more I have ruined his day. Which as he is sitting on the couch removing his jammies became a whole lot worse when I discovered that he was wearing his jeans underneath. I looked at him and he gave me a smartass grin that I am all to familiar with. It has crossed my own lips many a time.
I asked him if he was proud of himself? Did he think that he had pulled one over on me? All this meant now was that I would have to stand over him and watch while he changed. He did not care. And the mouth began running again about my wasting all his time.
I told him that he was to get ready for school and tell me what he wanted for breakfast before he could watch Youtube. Oh dear lord but once more I became the world’s worst mom. I was going to be the root cause of his having a miserable day. It was not going to get any better. And he was going to his dad’s after school. I asked him if he would like me text his dad and he said yes. So I did.
While I was writing the text to the Ex, he slammed into the bathroom, knocking my body spray and mousse to the floor. The dryer door opened and was slammed. As I was finishing the text he came out. Hair styled. Shirt on. Same jeans but different socks. He sat on the couch and glared at me. I sent the text and asked if he wanted to read what I had sent. And he did. In essence I explained that T was having a crappy morning and may show up at his place after school because he was so mad at me. And if he did could he please return him to me. I went on to explain what the uproar was about and asked that he back me on this issue.
T was furious. Called me a tattle tale. How could I ruin his life even more? And he was not walking to school today. I could not make him do that.
Now the storm has passed. He is ready for school. We will be walking and have to leave soon.
I created this child. I am completely at fault for having not held firm on the pj’s thing. The getting ready for school and eating thing. But I am now. Much to his dismay. I held firm both last night and this morning. I did not yell or threaten him. I continued repeating my request over and over again. Until he did as I requested. I am hoping that it will click. That if he were to do as I asked when I asked this would be a nonissue. But he is pushing back because he wants to make those decisions. And I gladly would allow him to, but until we get these new ground rules established, I will have to be the PJ/Getting ready for school Police.
10:59 a.m.
While walking T to school he and I discussed what had occurred last night and this morning. I asked him if he had learned anything about what happens when I ask him to do something. He responded with ‘just do it mom’ which I am sure Chichi is thrilled to hear because that is her motto. We talked about how his dad and me are on the same page with parenting. But that I would probablly be more of a hardass than his dad but that was okay because Chichi had been with me. And I turned out alright. He agreed.
We were nearly at the school when T turned to me and said darn it mom we are having a really good conversation and we are almost to the school. I reassured him that we can always have good conversations that it would not end just because we got to the school. He gave me a kiss and ran off. I asked if he wanted me to walk him to his hut. There was a resounding No. I am beginning to think that he is embarrassed by me. 😂😂😂
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It’s time…..

Went into work today with my return to work note. I feel that returning to work 4 hours a day 5 times a week is the best for me. It is what is healthiest for both my mental and emotional well being. I also do not want to jump back in with both feet. I am quite content to work in customer service or cashiering. Reassess after I have been back for awhile.
I was scared to go in and talk to my boss. Very scared. At first I sent off a message to a friend who I discuss everything with.  Than I told the girls. Also explaining to them that I had snarled at T this morning. Than I talked to V.  Told her that despite all my bravery that I was scared shitless to talk to him. I was afraid that he was going to want to talk about what happened and I did not want to revisit it. That was a bad place for me. And that I was worried that I might cry.
First V assures me that losing it on T was totally normal. Kids do not listen to us and it is damn frustrating. And she is right. I had to ask him three or four times to get in the bathroom and brush his teeth. As a matter of fact, I grabbed him by his arm and pushed him into the bathroom. This after snarling at him about the shower this morning. He stank. Badly. But he was annoyed that I did not wake him up at 6. He tried to push back. I pounded on the bed that he was going to shower because he stunk. We went back and forth. He ended up showering.
V reminded me that we were the parents. We made the choices and rules. They had to listen and follow them. She said the right thing at the right time. Now instead of using ‘because I said so’ I am going to pull out the choice and rule law. Way to go V. Coming up with a great way to explain to my child and all children why they must listen to their parents.
Than she addressed my fear about crying. Assured me that it was okay. And to remember that our boss is human too.
I felt so good after talking to her. Calm. There were some twinges in my stomach but nothing overwhelming to me.
Now fast forward to arriving at work. I was terrified to walk in there. I sat in the car and said my affirmations. I shot off a few quick messages of and got out of the car. First I had to drop my prescription  off at the pharmacy and than I went to the front and had boss paged. Gave him the note and he read it. We were going upstairs to discuss my return.
I waited outside his office. Flicked through my phone. And than he came up and I followed him in.
I did it though. I was calm. The butterflies in my stomach disappeared. I looked him the eye and maintained eye contact. I had been wanting to come back slowly and had been going to suggest customer service or cashiering shifts. So it was very easy to agree when he made the suggestion. He wants to observe me. I need to regain his trust. The trust of the other supervisors and staff.
I told him that by far, my well being, emotionally and mentally are what is important to me. That I no longer was going to look down the road but will remain in the present. And than he suggested that I may decide that I did not want to remain as the lead supervisor. At first, I think my reaction was knee jerk when I said to him that I could still do it.
This is food for thought. I have learned a lot about myself in the last three months. And like the butterfly breaking free from the cocoon I am spreading my wings in the sunshine. Ready to soar.

Snow Chicken

Went yesterday to the Ex’s to have him replace the two wheel studs that had broken off my tire when he put the snow tire on the rear driver side and my plug to plug the car in. Yes, Saturday, despite years of constant checking, I drove off with my car plugged in. The cord remained plugged into the outlet and the plug ripped free from the car. Ah yes, the shades of red my face was Saturday night when I arrived home from work, was hidden by the darkness.  The ‘Are you f***ing kidding me?’ as I shook my head and ground my teeth in frustration, was pure comedy.

This is also my week with T so I killed two birds with one stone and he came home with me once the Ex was all done with the repairs.  We also discussed a few things with regards to T, and how we were going to go together and help T out with a purchase of a gaming system that he wants. I am the lesser of the idiots when it comes to gaming platforms so I shall be the one doing the research and looking around for the best deal. T wants an Xbox 360 except I have discovered that Xbox has its next generation Xbox One out. There was also a discussion with regards to language.

Remember how T dropped the f bomb on me? Well apparently he has been really vulgar at his dad’s. Yesterday he was asked if he was allowed to swear at my place and obviously his answer was no. So they wanted to know why he thought he could swear while at his dad’s? I am sure that T is going to long for the days when his dad and me did not talk for no sooner was he in the car with his seatbelt on than the question was asked: I understand that you have been swearing a lot what is that all about? I don’t know, as he looks at his lap.

Look I am not an idiot. I know that he swears. I am not so far removed from my own vulgarity and the recalled horror of the one time I dropped the ‘f’ bomb on mom, but there is a place and a time. The place and time right now is not within hearing distance of any adult and only with your friends. As I said, I know it happens, I do not need to hear it too.

We talked all the way home with a few laughs. Found out how far he was in his Call of Duty game. Learned that a new one was coming out and soon all his on-line friends would be playing that and not the one he had. Which lead to a discussion about how he would have to earn money to purchase said game, that they were not free. I do believe that he is beginning to understand that money is not something that grows on trees.

Although it is only the beginning of winter, there is already a snow pile in both the parking lot of the gas station next door and a wee one next to the building. We were going over the rules of snow hills. No sliding down snow hills that are piled up at the street corners. No sliding down hills in parking lots. The one on the side of the building is okay as now no one can park there. (It is our visitor parking)

We are sitting at the red light discussing the rules. I look over and read the sign for a local restaurant: 9 pc Chester Chicken with fries and 2 liter pop $5 off.

‘And T I really do not want you to be run over by a chicken.’

I knew as soon as it came out of my mouth. And I howled. T looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted wings and repeated ‘a chicken mom’?

I pointed over to the sign and he read it and looked at me. I am giggling uncontrollably because I totally know what happened. I was saying the standard ‘I don’t want you to get hit by a car’ at the same time as I was processing the sign about the sale on chicken and those wires crossed.  This is not the first time nor will it be the last time it happens. I am the Queen of wires crossing and the weirdest things coming out of my mouth. I have asked people if they would like milk for their bags? Would they like cereal in boxes? Some days I think it might be better for me to keep my mouth shut, but the comedy is gold I tell you.

The start of our week was awesome. What with the laughing and snow hills and all. Just remember folks to watch out for those deadly snow chickens, you never know when they will appear.

Rules for Customers

I have been working in Customer Service for 28 years. That is a long time to work with the public. I do not even know how I ended up in a career that deals with actually serving and talking to people on a daily basis, for 40+ hours a week.  And it does not even stop there.

I live in a city of approximately 15,000 or so. It still has a small town feel to it, and the grocery store where I work is one of three.  There are multiple times that I have been in doing my own grocery shopping, dressed in street clothes (as opposed to the uniform that graces my body all week long) and will be stopped in the aisles. And asked for help finding items. They all say the same thing ‘Oh I know that you are not working but it would save me time.’

Sure. Alright. I will smile and send you off in the right direction because it is the appropriate thing to do.

But I wonder what makes someone think that it is okay to ask me a question about work when I am clearly not working?

It is one thing when my staff do so, I understand and even applaud them for asking me questions when I am in shopping so we are all working from the same page. But customers? That would be like me expecting the gas attendant to pump my gas solely because he is there and it is his job. This, despite the fact that he is clearly putting gas into his own vehicle and wearing street clothes.

Working the Front End and being the last line of defense before our customers leave the store is not an easy job. We are the last ones that can turn around a bad experience. We are the ones who make sure that you have found everything that you are looking for. If you haven’t, we will do our best to find out if it is in stock and on the shelf. We are always smiling and laughing and even if our day is crap, you will never know.

But there are things, things that all customers do and they must stop. For the sanity of all cashiers please please stop.

Rules all customers need to follow (in no particular order):

  1. Do not ever say to your cashier when an item does not scan: Well if it does not scan it must be free . Than chortle like you are three and just discovered knock knock jokes. Not funny. We hear this statement over and over again. Have you ever looked up and your cashier is staring at you unblinkingly? That is because he or she is trying to summon up enough energy to smile as though it is the first time ever hearing that. Usually you get a grin full of teeth, gritted together so any smartass comments are kept in the vault.
  2. Please make full use of the conveyor belt on the till. Once the person in front of you has moved forward, please to unload your groceries. Believe it or not, but I am the one who is going to be yelled at by the five customers behind you because now they are late for some appointment or other. Also if tap is available on your card, use it. It makes life faster and easier for us all.
  3. When you are asked how your are paying, we actually need to be informed of the card type. I do not want to play guess my card type with you.
  4. I can understand your concern with how your groceries are packed. Bread and eggs should not be squashed. Pizzas should not be turned upside down. I know that cold stuff goes with cold stuff. I have been bagging groceries for 30+ years having done so when I went shopping as a kid with my mom.  (I know that there are going to be those of you who think that I am exaggerating. Here is one example: A gentleman came through my till and I was trying to talk to him. I get to the pizza and he yells at me ‘put that pizza in a bag upright will you!’ My eyes blinked rapidly and out shot: ‘Oh I am sorry sir but the only way I know how to bag pizza is upside down so all the toppings fall off.’ Yes he still shops in the store. And he still comes through my till when I am in one. But now he smiles and talks to me.)
  5. In reference to #4 please also refrain from saying to me ‘oh you do know what you are doing.’ I do believe that you might think that this is a compliment but it is not. As well I have been bagging your groceries for well over five years on a weekly basis.
  6. When using your own bags, please have them out before your order. Do not hand them to me at the end of your order and expect me to repack them from the plastic that I just put everything into.
  7. I know that you are in a hurry. And so are the other 20 people who are patiently waiting in the line ups. We are working as hard as possible to get you through. Please do not now by-pass everyone waiting in the express line up and think that I am going to serve you because you can not manage your time. You will be sent to the back of the line up and made to wait. (Again you think I exaggerate, I wish. I have customers who throw tantrums because they have to wait. And we work very quickly to get through the line ups. I have had more than one customer also thank me for the way that we handle our express lines and the fairness rule. LOL)

I spend a lot of time censoring what comes out of my mouth at work. And despite the above rules I absolutely love my job. The company I work for is wonderful. My boss whom I have written about in regards to my depression is fabulous. He makes me a better manager to my staff. I may be a little biased, but I believe I have the best staff ever. And I am always laughing and smiling.

Honestly, I love my customers too. I have so many regulars. I cannot walk through the store without someone saying hello and wanting a chat. Those are the people who make my job a pleasure to do.

My rules are really for that 1% who labor under the delusion that they are the most important people around.