Thursday, May 01, 2008


"Cranky" is what my mom used to call me when I needed but refused to take a nap. All day long I have been overwhelmed by weariness, by a simple need to lay my head down and close my eyes and check out of this world for a couple of hours; yet I have been forced to, you know, work and earn a paycheck and, worst of all, interact with my fellow human beings. If it were a different time of month I might suspect PMS (though that's not something I'm prone to), but it appears to be just honest-to-goodness, I-need-a-nap crankiness.

Yesterday was the end of my employer's fiscal year, which means that last night was our annual inventory. The bookstore in which I work is big enough that we have to hire an outside inventory company to come in to do most of the work. While I am sure that some people who work for these inventory firms are hardworking, go-getting types, my experience over the last twenty-plus years is that the vast majority of them either 1) are idiots or 2) don't give a shit. I suspect that most of these folks are a combination of #1 and #2. They took the job because it doesn't conflict with their school schedule or the babysitter's availability, they're tired and cranky themselves, and they walk into my workplace, thinking, "Oh, a bookstore. Lots of simple rectangles to count," then see the 80,000+ books plus all the tchochkes scattered around on every flat surface of the store and revise that thought to, "Damn. Get me outta here."

Which means I have my work cut out for me the day after inventory. As visual merchandising manager, I'm in charge of making the store look good, and that's a great deal of work after a team of more than fifty uncaring individuals has swept through the place, dismantling my displays, turning books upside down or backwards, leaving merchandise piled on the floor in one spot while dumping a slew of display stands in another. I started my cleanup shortly after seven this morning, and employees were still tidying when I left at nearly four. This year was not the messiest state in which I'd seen the store, but it was far worse than it has been the past four or five years. I was expecting, shall we say, an increased work load today, but the volume of effort required by not only me but also everyone else on the sales floor left a sour taste in my mouth.

Then, at lunchtime, I went up to the breakroom to eat my paltry lunch: half a pita stuffed with lettuce and tuna salad, and a carton of yogurt. I had put them in the butter container on the door of the fridge when I got to work this morning. At 1:20, they weren't there. I couldn't find the yogurt at all, so I have to assume someone ate it, but I finally found my poor sandwich shoved under the crisper on the bottom shelf. I could see before I touched it that the pita had ripped in two; when I pulled it out, it was heavy and soggy. Water (or some other clear liquid) dripped from the plastic wrap, and I could see that the pita bread was waterlogged. WTF??? I have no idea what befell my poor sandwich -- perhaps a run in with a tipsy water bottle. By that point, all the leftover pizza and pasta salad from the night before had been eaten by co-workers who went to lunch earlier than I did, so I couldn't even make do with that stuff and had to go buy a salad -- a truly terrible, tasteless salad -- from Famima. And there weren't any peanut butter M&Ms left in the vending machine so I was unable to medicate myself. I was beyond relieved when the clock hit 3:30 and I could go home.

I am taking five days off starting a week from today. Right now I have no plans and don't intend to make much in the way of plans. I want to rest, to finally shake this cold, to read and watch old movies on TCM and maybe crochet a bit, and to work in my garden. I want to sleep. Most of all, I want to shake this crankiness and get back to being my old, only sorta-cranky self.

1 comment:

kb said...

I'd be more than cranky if I found my lunch in the state you found yours in. Enjoy your time off and feel better. Save some of that crankiness, though, as it makes you the person I've enjoyed for so many years!