When last we left off I was leaving work just as the storm was hitting. The wind was ripping, dust was flying, and the first flakes of snow were swirling around. I was glad to be leaving and that I had the night off. I went home and went to bed.
I'm not sure when I fell asleep but I woke up around 4 in the afternoon. I was kind of disappointed because there wasn't much snow, I was hoping for a lot more. I later found out that all morning the wind blew and there was an almost whiteout but as the day went along things calmed down and the snow had mostly melted. Oh well, that's what happens when you hibernate in cold weather.
I figured I would go up to the station to get my check and then spend the rest of the day staying warm, I should know by now to never make plans. My brother showed up and was hauling hay to his horses, they were still out in the summer pasture. He wanted me to go along and I said yes. I told him we had to make a stop so I could pick up my check and I even offered to buy him a cup of coffee, it's free for employees so I wasn't really buying it. When we were there I told them that if I didn't show up on Friday I had frozen to death.
As we were heading out we passed the snow plows on their way back to town, that was a good sign. The horses were happy to see us but they would have been happier if we had shown up with the trailer and hauled them to town. It was suppose to be nicer tomorrow plus my brother likes to leave them out until Thanksgiving so he doesn't have to buy hay for a month, with the early summer drought hay is scarce and expensive this year. We dropped the bale, checked to see if the pond was frozen (it wasn't) and headed back to town.
When I got home I had missed my favorite live TV show but it was OK because I could catch the repeat later that night. Plus I was in time for the post show internet chat, yes I am a big fan of the show, I even have a prop from the set. Anyhow just as the web show was starting my computer locked up and the internet light on my modem went out. Usually if I have just lost the signal it will blink red but it was just blanked. I was pissed, I was missing the show and they had a special guest, I waited and waited but finally I knew, no show tonight so I went and did something else. About an hour and a half later the green light came back on but it was way too late.
I finally went to bed around 1 in the morning.
Found money, none but I did get my check.
The sun was shining and I figured I wasn't going to have a chance to do much walking since the weather seems to be turning bad quickly this year so I headed out. I stopped visited a friend and we chatted about the goings on in town. I was surprised to see that I had been there for an hour and I still had to stop by the station, if I don't visit when out walking they think I am mad at them.
I popped in the station to say Hi and got some good news. Remember when my internet connection went down? Turns out it some guy drove over a phone box, which just happened to have the hardware for the DSL's and so the entire town lost their feed, including the station. This wouldn't be a problem but it knocked out the cred card link. All night long they couldn't run cards and had to take cash only, their customers were really pissed. Amy told me later that one guy threw a temper tantrum over not being able to buy sunglasses, at 2 am. The manager called the credit card company and they told her all she had to do was go on line to their web site, she pointed out that their internet connection was down and they couldn't go on line, and then insulted the phone operators intellegence. I guess they got the connection back around 8 the next morning, boy I'm glad I had the night off.
I finally went home and pretty much wasted the rest of the day. Yes, I keep saying I'm going to get to work but.... :)
Found money, there just never seems to be any loose coins on my day off.
What a day, and a night to boot. It was warm and sunny so I went for a walk again. My one friend wasn't at work so I took a longer walk. As I was going by one local motel in the parking lot, in an enclosed but glass sided trailer was The Patriot Bike. The motorcycle was built on the show American Choppers and the National Guard uses it as a promotional tool. Someone told me that they were in town for Veterans day, even though that's a week off. I guess they are going to do something big next week which makes you wonder if the bike is going to be stored in town until the event. It's a mystery.
I stopped by the station and was surprised to see Amy there. Shortly after I started I worked for the manager one day, she had a doctors appointment to have some stitches removed. What the operation was for, I never asked. Anyhow she had a follow up appointment but since this is a small town she had to go to Albuquerque to see a specialist, so she took the day off. Normally this isn't a problem since there are three people on shift on Fridays but, as usual, the hippie didn't show up. He had been warned, ordered to come to work. He had been specifically told to be there on Friday and he didn't listen. So Amy had stayed and was now pulling a double.
Everyone is pissed off. They want to know why if anyone else had pulled that stunt they would have been given the paperwork and their final check. No good can come from this, especially if the hippie doesn't even get a write up. Worse is that the owner came by to do the safe report and make the bank deposit and is fully aware of what happened. I get the feeling conflict is coming.
Anyhow I hung out for a while and chatted and then went home. Getting up early for several days and having to go to work tonight I figured I had better take a mid day nap. I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that and then got ready for work. I was halfway there when I looked at the dash clock and was shocked, it said 8:45, I had left for work an hour early! So I went back home and waited until 9:45 before heading back.
I didn't want to get to work first because I wasn't sure who's cash drawer I would end up with. The one woman does a lousy job of preparing for the next shift, she leaves no coins or singles and one time left me $120 in $20 bills, I had to start the night off by dropping money from the safe. I have pretty much had enough was was ready to tell her I wouldn't count in her drawer until she prepared it properly. I was trying to avoid the fight by being the third to show up and then I wouldn't have to count in at all. Ever make plans?
I was the first to arrive at work but luckily the woman was still running a register and I got to count in the second drawer, which was correct with a decent bill selection. I got on the register and waited for the rest of the shift to show up. And waited. Amy had promised me that after working a double she didn't need to take the night off and would show up on time, but she didn't. And Diane usually takes Friday off, she works a second job and doesn't sleep enough, but nobody said anything about her not being there when I had visited earlier. The woman from the afternoon shift, the good one not the goofy one who can't count, stuck around to see if someone would come in. By 10:30 she got back on the clock and by 10:45 she counted in the second drawer and started to help me out. She tried to call Amy but her phone wouldn't connect and Diane's just went to voice mail. Nobody else was answering, a typical Friday night, so she was stuck.
Around 11:30 Amy's brother dropped by to see her and was surprised that she wasn't at work. He decided to go see her and in about a half hour they both came back, Amy's alarm clock hadn't gone off, or she had slept through it but either way she had planned on coming to work. The afternoon shift woman was glad to see Amy and was heading home, as soon as she could find her keys. I had told her earlier that she should insist that both Amy and Diane owed her a day off, that way she could make a week out of it but in the end she only worked an extra two hours.
Before she left the Hippie came wandering in. I told him he was in big trouble and he had no idea what I was talking about. I told him the manager had taken the day off and Amy had to cover his shift, plus as a result Amy had overslept and the afternoon shift woman had to stick around. Everything was his fault. He actually claimed he didn't know the manager had taken the day off, total lie, and promised he would make it up, another total lie. He also claimed he had woken up late but thought there was no use coming in then, this was probably the truth but it really pissed off Amy since he could have come in and she could have gone home. He isn't making any friends and just made the matter worse.
Amy was at work and things got back to normal. I had plans to do some cleaning but I was in the middle of stocking, I didn't want to leave the afternoon shift woman on the register by herself all night, I continued what I was doing. By the time I finished it was cleaning and then quitting time.
As for the customers, some guy showed up early in the night and wanted to know if we sold stuff from private vendors. I told him he would have to come in during the day and talk to the owner but he proceeded to give me his sales pitch. It turns out he sells LED flashlights, which he claims are the brightest lights available in a compact form. I finally convinced him that I was in no position to promote his product to the owner so he left his card,which while I am typing this I realize I forgot to give it to the morning shift woman and someone may have just tossed it by now.
Amy had a drive off. Normally a drive off is someone getting gas but not paying for it but since we insist on a deposit or a credit card drive offs have now become people who pay in advance and then drive off without getting any gas. She didn't realize the guy had left until another customer pulled up and wanted to prepay on the same pump. After they left I showed her how to void a sale at the pump, and when she asked what to do with the money I told her "Put it in your pocket and consider it a really big tip". She wound up with an extra $21 at the end of the night.
My next customer couldn't find the Snickers on the candy rack. He said "I can't believe you have all this candy and no Snickers" so I pointed out that they were top central. He felt like quite the fool after that. Then his wife came in and they started arguing over coffee, boy what a fun couple. The best part was when he told her, quite proudly, that he had gotten her a Snickers and she told him off because she wanted a Milky Way. I told her she could switch them out since they were the same price. They had been on the road all day and night and still had another 3 hours to go, boy I'm glad I wasn't in the car with them.
Things had dropped off so I was trying to reorganize the candy and gum storage area, it's always a mess because people just grab stuff, open boxes that don't need to be opened, and then just toss stuff back in. Amy had put the radio on the Oldies station and The Hustle came on. I was singing but in my own version, "Do the Haskell, the Eddy Haskell" (the guy from Leave it To Beaver). Imagine my surprise when I looked up and a customer was standing there, looking at me like I was an escaped mental patient. He prepaid for his gas and didn't come back in but just left when he was done. Note to self, sing more crazy songs so the customers don't hang around.
One of the positive sides of doing the candy was that I found a roll of Life Savers that didn't have a label. They can't be sold since we don't know what kind they are and customers don't want them, so I wrote them off on the toss list and put them in my pocket. I made a joke, "They are a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in foil paper" but Amy didn't get it. That woman really needs a class in pop culture. Anyhow I got a free roll of Life Savers thanks to a manufacturing flaw. Score!
Surprise surprise the morning shift woman showed up on time. Normally Amy and I discuss who is going to stick around and wait for the hippie, who is always late on weekends but since she had worked a double, and probably only got about 4 hours of sleep in the past two days she said she wanted to leave first and I agreed that was a good plan. Plus she was really really mad and I didn't want to have to testify in court after she killed the guy. It was about 10 minutes after she left that the hippie showed up, he was almost on time! (it's really going to snow tonight). I had to wonder if he had been hiding in the bushes outside the station until Amy left but I was ready to go home so I didn't ask.
Found money, 11 cents and a 1944 penny.
Happy End Of Daylight Savings Night.
Everybody must have been out celebrating the time change, or Guy Fawkes day because we were extra slooooow. I figure everybody wanted to take advantage of the extra hour of sleep and went to bed early. Anyhow time moved at a snails pace all night long.
Since it was so slow I decided to clean the sunglasses display. People who aren't even planning on buying a pair try them on, just for a laugh. The result is lots of fingerprints so I took each pair, well over a hundred, off the rack and wiped them down. I also dusted out the cheep ski goggles, they aren't exactly a big seller during the summer. Come Thanksgiving weekend we are going to get a block of ski holiday tourists and that's when they sell, so I figured we might as well be prepared.
After that I dusted the shot glasses and souvenir cups. When I first started I found that they were full of dust and dead bugs and I've made sure that hasn't happened again. This time I also washed down the rack so it's clean and shiny too. The I put everything back in a real order, the last time they got a shipment of shot glasses they just threw them on the rack however they happened to fall but now they are lined up according to the image, size and material. We have a couple that are ceramic but they aren't actually shot glasses but toothpick holders. When I was all done I looked at the clock and it wasn't even midnight yet! Sheesh.
At midnight the register computer reset it's time for the end of Daylight Savings. It was two hours early but that's OK. Then at 2 am it reset itself again. So for the rest of the night the register was an hour off, set more to Pacific time than Mountain but I didn't care. The good thing was the time clock has to be manually set so I was going to get paid for the extra hour tonight.
It was around 5 am when a bus rolled on the lot, I wasn't happy. Amy said, "I hope a lot of people get off" so I told her I should put the "Other Register" sign up and let her wait on the potential crowd. She was saying that at least we would be busy and I pointed out that they make a mess, do horrible things in the restroom and buy less than a dollars worth of stuff and only have 20 dollar bills, thus taking all your coins and small bills just before the shift change. She said she didn't care.
Sure enough a dozen people got off the bus. The first guy dropped a full cup of coffee on the freshly mopped floor. Thankfully they all spent exact change but I ended up dropping a hundred dollars worth of fives in the safe and when Amy went to check the restroom after they left she nearly gagged, someone had stunk the place up and then some. She got the air freshener to spray around and then had to go outside for some fresh air before she puked, I guess it was that bad but I didn't go back to check it out. And I know what you are thinking but no, it was the Ladies room. I told her it was all her fault, after all "be careful what you wish for..."
There were also a couple of really loud guys at the time of the bus tourists. They were towing a show car to Houston so they asked directions to Amarillo. We told them to get on the highway and pointed which way was east. They did the usual three question, "are you sure?' and then I watched them pull off the lot, heading in the right direction. Then they pulled back on the lot and asked Amy again if they were going the right way, she was outside not puking right then. She told them for the fourth time that they were heading the right way and they left. Seriously, we are not sending people in the wrong direction and yet they just don't believe us.
You would think that with Daylight Savings Time coming to an end that the morning crew would get their extra hour of sleep and be on time for once. Yeah I didn't have any faith in them either. The Hippie is normally an hour late on Sunday, and he was again today. When I finally punched out the time clock said 8 am. This wasn't an accidental oversleep, this was intentional. The company lets him get away with it so he takes advantage of them. Quite frankly it's insulting to them but it's also their problem, I can use the overtime. The morning shift woman had called at 10 pm to say she was going to be late and it's pretty much the same thing. The funny part is they both whine about not being able to pay their bills, here's an idea, Come To Work On Time and do a Full 40 Hour Week!
I got home after sunrise for the first time in over a month. As I was trying to go to sleep the neighbor started unloading something, something heavy, multiple somethings heavy. Thump! Quiet. Thump! This went on till probably around 9 am. I finally fell asleep and when I woke up the sun was just going down. For the first day of Standard Time I missed the light completely. Hopefully I get to go home on time tomorrow.
Found money, 20 cents and a 1944 penny
Holy Crap it's Rasputin. OK, so maybe he wasn't the reincarnation of the Mad Monk that was instrumental in bringing down Czarist Russia but he sure looked the part. My first customer of the night was some monk looking guy with a long grey beard, black clothes and a huge wooden cross around his neck. And it isn't even Halloween.
One of the things I always do is check the restrooms several times during the night and it's a good thing too. I went into the Mens room and someone had shut off the light. This wouldn't be such a bad thing but it also shuts off the fan and that place got stinky fast. People would have complained.
Two people came in and started gathering stuff. By the time they were done they had bought over $50 worth of junk food. This still amazes me, I hate spending $5 on stuff.
I figured out that when people ask directions I could say anything the first two times and it just wouldn't matter. Some guy drove through the lot and kept going, the returned and came in to ask how to get to Amarillo. I told him to get on the road and head east. He asked "this way" and pointed south. I told him no and pointed East. Again he asked "You mean this way" and again pointed south. No, I said, you want to go east and again pointed out exactly which way he had to go. I don't know if he headed east or went south, and I really didn't care. Honestly, why does it take three times to give someone an answer, are they testing me or what?
It turned out to be such a slow night that Amy cleaned another set of shelves. they are set up with peg boards for hanging stuff so there is a gap between the two sides. For some reason I looked down between them, the shelves are only about 4 and a half feet high and there was some stuff inside, small bags of sunflower seeds and chips. We began pulling them out and by the time we got done there was a pile. We checked the expiration dates and one dated back to 2004! The space between the shelves hadn't been cleaned in 7 years. Sheesh, yes I say that a lot. Amy wrote them all down on the spoil sheet, the paperwork for stuff that is outdated, and then we left it on the counter. The manager was shocked when she walked in and saw what we had cleaned up. I think we made good points on that one.
Finally a long slow night ended and I heade home. As I was pulling off the lot I saw the hippie drifiting in. It seems the only time he shows up on time is Monday. I had to wonder what the manager was going to say when she found out about Friday but then again I didn't want to know.
Found money $2.66
It was another slow night and Diane was on shift which meant she was giong to spend the night cleaning and I was going to be stuck behind the register with nothing to do. Every customer felt obligated to tell me it was cold outside, yes there was a storm coming and it was cold, I didn't have to be informed. People also came in to ask what the travel conditions were like and but because travellers love to tell you what the roads are like I was able to give semi accurate answers. It seemed it was snowing all around us but we were in the eye of a snowstorm, the only clear spot for at least 50 miles. The funny part was all the truck drivers were stocking up on supplies, mostly chips, bottled water and twinkies just in case they got trapped in a blizzard.
As the night went along fewer and fewer people came in until the place was dead, then the snow hit. At first it was just a few visible flakes, then a bit of glitter and then it really started. Between 3 and 4 am it was a virtual white out. We had more snow within the hour than we had all last winter, the place was buried and quick. Oddly enough the trucks kept showing up, although we were getting buried the mountain pass was still open and people were saying the first 30 miles of Colorado were clear. Storms are freaky things.
It was about the middle of the storm when the police rolled onto the lot. They sat outside for a few minutes and then took off, then the homeless guy walked in. I guess he was hanging out at the interstate ramp and so they hauled him over to the station. He got a cup of coffee and stuck around until he warmed up, I had no problem with that. He then asked if there was an all night diner so I told him about Denny's. He took off and I didn't see him again, I hope he went there and got something to eat, but I never heard anything about any frozen people so I guess he's still alive.
Some guy showed up just as the storm was ending. He told us he had flipped a truck in a snowstorm and was paranoid about driving over the mountain. We told him to stick around until sunrise and wait for the roads to clear a bit but he had to get where he was going. As he started to pull out he lost control and spun across the lot. Yeah, he should have stayed off the roads. I never heard anything about a big crash so maybe he made it too.
The highway patrol rolled in around 5 and shut the road down. It seems the highway had heavy fog and ice so they closed it until things cleared off, no need for a serious accident. A car tried to drive right on by and were brought back by an officer with flashing lights. Some people are idiots. There were complaints but since the traffic was light there didn't seem to be a lot of problems. Plus I was about to go home so I wouldn't have to deal with angry tourists who wanted to rush down the highway and kill themselves.
The manger showed up and since there was no traffic we got through shift change quickly. The hippie hadn't shown up but she said she could handle it on her own. I went out to the parking lot and warmed up my truck. As I was brushing the snow off I noticed something sticking out of the snow. I looked at it and it was a red piece of plastic, part of a taillight....CRAP! Sometime during the night someone had clipped my truck! They scraped up the bumper and busted out the taillight. I was pissed but what could I do, whoever hit it had done so around 3 or 4 and I had no way of knowing who did it. Plus the police weren't going to do anything and my deductable would be higher than the replacement cost of the lens. I decided to just go home and see if I could find a new one.
I guess I was a little more pissed than I thought because I overshot the turn on the way home and had to go round the block. I got home and grouched and complained but I was tired and it was cold so I went to bed. I would worry about it later.
Found money $10.00, a 1940 penny, a 1941 and 1947 nickle
OK, so I got over someone breaking out my taillight. I figured it had to be a truck driver and had caught it with the edge of their trailer. They probably had hit the spot where there is a big hole and didn't even realize they hit my truck. Plus there were any number of trucks through the station at that time and what was I going to do? Search each one? Plus when I got to work I looked around and realized not all the bits were from my truck, the driver had damaged a light on their trailer and were going to have a heck of a time explaining to their compay why there was a missing lens and ugly green paint on the trailer.
Diane had taken the night off so Amy came in to work for her. it was a very very slow night. During the day there had been a power outage and it had knocked one of the pumps off line. All night long the register kept pinging the pump to see if it was there yet, it makes a kind of sonic sound so I got to listen to it all night long. The computer also lost several of the bar codes off the products and wouldn't let the manager re-enter them so it was questionalbe what would scan and what wouldn't. Thankfully it was another slow night so I didn't have to guess prices.
Early in the night Amy went in the cooler and commented that it seemed warm in there. I figured it was a cold night and it was just a relative thing. A short while later I went in there and I should have listened to her, it was off and getting warm. I went in the back and sure enough the breaker switch had flipped, it probably happened during the power outage and nobody had checked. It's a good thing we did because if it had gotten to room tempature all the dated stuff would have spoiled and had to have been tossed.
As the night went along there were no customers. This time of year people wait to travel until Thanksgiving so it's extra slow. We hung out, we wiped a few things, I took the cappuccino machine apart and washed it. At one point I was so bored I was singing "Just What I Needed" by the Cars but in a Nixon voice. Thank goodness this time nobody walked in on me. The night finally ended and I could go home. It's going to be slow for the next two weeks and I am going to have to get inventive about things to do at night but thanks to the snow we should have the ski crowd until at least January. Oh well, at least I still have job for now.
Found money 13 cents. Even on slow days people are careless with their change.