Oh Man, It’s October – Back to Work on the Outside

After working from home for 17 years, it was time for me to go back into the world outside and get a job.  This was not something I really would have chosen to do.  I like working from home for myself, sometimes even in my pajamas, because I could.  My time was my own and if I had to go to an appointment or be with my husband or kids, I could make my schedule flexible enough to do that.  Unfortunately, the nature of my business changed with the advancement of technology and, while I am old enough to retire and collect Social Security, the longer I wait to do that, the more money I’ll make so I talked it over with my husband and applied for a job at my favorite craft store, Michaels. 
In September I posted this picture as one of my 365 pictures:
I had just had an interview with the assistant manager at one of our local Michaels Crafts Stores.  I got the job and on September 17, I began working.  The first few days were mostly spent on the computer getting oriented to the rules and regulations of working retail.  A little time was spent watching the cashiers but by the third day I was assigned a cash register and left on my own.   

Not totally alone because there is usually more than one cashier and I have a headset on so I can ask questions and everyone is very patient and informative.  Most of the transactions are simple sales but there are returns and occasionally someone will bring an item up that has no price on it and I have to call for a price check.  I try to be as quick and efficient as I can because sometimes the line winds around the store!
Michaels has always been one of my favorite places to shop and they have really good deals.  In addition, I get an employee discount!  I made a promise to myself not to shop until I had earned two paychecks.  I got my second one last week so look out! 
We have soda and snack machines in the break room and I even have my own locker.  I had to keep the combination written on a piece of paper (along with all my other passwords and employee number) because I couldn’t remember everything.  It is getting easier now. 
On the bulletin board in the back of the break room there is a place for encouraging and supportive notes from managers and coworkers.  I got one for helping with a slime event!   
I am used to looking for coupons and I saw one the other day on the floor at Safeway.  I recognized it immediately as one of the coveted “entire purchase” discounts!
My kids told me that working in retail was going to be difficult and that people were going to yell at me.  I have had a few less than pleasant customers but I find that if I start them out with a smile and a friendly greeting, things usually go smoothly.  If I can offer them some kind of discount, that works well to shift the tone too!
I did notice that I am a little tired when I get home and I am having to pay more attention to what day it is and what time it is so I get all my transcription work done before I go to the store to work there.  They have already asked me a couple of times if I could stay longer than I was scheduled and of course I said yes.  Technically I am a seasonal hire and they could let me go in January after the holidays end but I am hoping that I am doing a good enough job that they will want to keep me around for a while.  
How about you?  Ever switched careers?  Worked in retail?  Pay attention to the name tag on the cashier?  Shop at Michaels?  Love to hear about it.  

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About scr4pl80

I'm a 60-ish, married, mom to 3, creative soul looking to make the world a better place one smile at a time.
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25 Responses to Oh Man, It’s October – Back to Work on the Outside

  1. Janet,

    I don’t think I can work in retail especially during the holiday season. It’s crazy enough to go into a store let along work there! I bet working at Michael’s just now is like a nut house. Am I right? If I ever started working again outside the home then I hope I can find a quiet office position like before I took early retirement to raise my family. πŸ™‚ Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Right before Halloween it was nuts. The last couple of days have been a little quieter but I’ve been told to expect the busyness to return as it gets closer to Christmas. We already have been selling Christmas trees at 60% off! I am sure I’ll get the hang of it soon and the paycheck is nice πŸ™‚

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      • Janet,

        60% off Christmas trees now? Talk about marketing. Now, that’s gotta reel in customers! Oh yeah, I say you’ll begin to see an upswing in customers just about anytime. I hate going into craft stores near the holidays to shop because there are generally too many people and it makes me feel claustrophobic. You will get the hang of things and the pay IS nice. Have fun! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hobby Lobby is much closer to our place than Michael’s, but either one is like entering a candy store. Lovely ideas on every shelf. I am retired, and have discovered that I have a personal saga to share and am now an author, as well as an artist. My working years were spent bouncing around from job to job, from mental health work to college fundraising to substitute teaching. It’s good to have finally found myself. Oh, I forgot to mention that I pioneered in Alaska. That’s what the saga is about. My best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I get myself in so much trouble when I go to Michaels–so much to find and bring home! The recognition they give is wonderful! The main important thing is that you LIKE it and it’s fun to go in to work every day. I love hearing how it is to work there. They’re lucky to have you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Thanks Dawn. I have been really good about not spending too much of my paycheck there, but it is nice to be able to get a discount on the things I need to make my cards and other goodies. Don’t forget to ask for your senior discount when you go! It is available every day to those of us over 55!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: 365 Challenge: Day 226 – Studio « This Is My Truth Now

  5. Erika says:

    Glad it’s going well for you! I taught a year before becoming a SAHM and in that time I’ve done freelance work. My youngest will start school in a couple of years, and I’d like to get into medical coding, or something in the healthcare field, since I don’t think I want to go back to teaching!

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    • scr4pl80 says:

      Coding is one of those jobs that can also be done from home like my medical transcription. I never got into that because the rules change so much and you have to be very particular about which codes to use so the docs get paid the most they can. I liked transcription better because the words don’t change and most of it is routine so I can make a lot of “short cuts” for myself in the word programs. My sister was a teacher and she always wanted me to go into that field but she worked in a Catholic school and I used to tease her that I made more money from my 6 month medical assistant training than she did in her four years at college. Thanks for the visit, Erika.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erika says:

        I thought about that, but not sure how’d that’d go being hard of hearing. Working from home would def be best since it’d be so quiet (when the littlest starts school anyway). Haha yeah there is no money in teaching! At one of my writing jobs I made more in 7 months working 30 hours per week. Crazy. Freelance writing is too inconsistent to rely on for full time work, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. joey says:

    I’m so glad you found something that suits you!
    I’ve taken freelance and odd jobs for bout half of our marriage (18 years), worked a few short-term full-time jobs but mostly part-time for extra monies. I consider my choice in this matter a great privilege and am so glad the kids had so much of me. Didn’t work one iota while The Mister was serving. In this last year, I was working happily, until I wasn’t. I had that same kind of job before and would like it again. I totally relate to your field changing, because doing the same job 17 years later is almost an entirely different job! (Still glad I quit, stayed over a year even when I knew it wouldn’t work out about a week in. Loved the job, not the .. well, you can guess.)
    I worked retail a lot, a lot, but the problem there is weekends — I haven’t found retailers that don’t expect you to work weekends. On my own, I don’t mind working weekends but at this time in my life — No. I’d like to find something weekdays, 9-4 or 5, so I can still manage the kids and their stuff after school.
    I often think the job I have doesn’t matter at all, but what matters is the people and the atmosphere. Working is really good at relieving my anxiety. I like the consistency. I hope I find something soon πŸ™‚

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    • scr4pl80 says:

      It has been an interesting month. Most of the people I am working with are kids and I could easily be their mother. I am trying not to act that way though. There are a couple of us who are “older” and they are a bit jaded since they’ve been doing it a while. As soon as I get there and clock in I put my headset on and wish everyone a “Good Morning (afternoon)” and head up to the cash registers. Some people answer me. Maybe they think I’m weird because no one else does that but it puts me in the right frame of mind to start. I am not minding working the weekends and have already agreed to work longer hours a couple of times as the money certainly is helpful. I expect time off will be harder to get as the holidays approach but they have been pretty good about giving me the days off I needed for prior commitments and honoring my availability of only working in the afternoons so I can do my typing in the morning. I, too, feel privileged for being able to run my own business for so long. Hope you find a perfect fit soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • joey says:

        Thanks!
        I agree that greeting co-workers in a positive way sets the tone for your day. I’ve never understood people who carry around their grumpy — and worse, spread it to customers!
        I hope your holidays are accommodated πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never worked retail, but there are a few stores I wouldn’t mind working at (for the discounts, of course) if I ever decide to do a little work in retirement. I’ve never seen one of those “entire purchase” coupons from Michael’s… I’ll keep my eye out. I’m glad that you are still enjoying your job!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean says:

    I’m glad that your job is working out. You’ve found your niche. πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love hearing about your job. great pics! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love Michaels. I bet it’s fun seeing all the clever creativity stuff going over your registers. That might be a good AtoZ topic–creative items you can purchase at Michaels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Great idea, Jacqui! I have seen a lot of interesting things go by, you are right. And when I talk to the customers about what they are going to make, I get some really good stories. Thanks.

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  11. When I took a break from my corporate job and moved twice, I did floral design work in a retail setting. I found it to be hard and demanding work. I was on my feet all day (it was a very busy shop) and exhausted around the holidays when we worked 7 days a week. I went back to the corporate work mostly for the money (had to support myself at the time) but found it wasn’t near as physically demanding. Emotionally is another story! I enjoyed both jobs and there were people in their 70s at the retail store. I admired their stamina.

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