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Well, I'm a night auditor again. Yay.
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I'm trying to understand something about financial culture.

I don't know why, but I have this strong aversion to haggling and negotiating prices and money. Rob's folks like to haggle. When I first met Rob, he tried to follow in his father's footsteps. Unfortunately, Rob has none of his father's charm, so Rob mostly insulted people when he'd try to haggle with them. Rob's dad will haggle in Sears over missing buttons. He will haggle for better seating in a restaurant. He negotiates tips. Rob's mother is a complaint-haggler. She will find so much wrong with something to work the price down that you wonder why in the Hell she wants whatever it is in the first place. I've quit going shopping (especially car shopping) with these people because I get uncomfortable and then progress to embarrassed & mortified.

I don't have any strong memories of any of my relatives haggling over anything. Even when we went to swap meets, farmers' markets & yard sales, my relatives just paid the price. They never seemed to give the impression that they expected anything for free. They never talked anything down to get a better price, never complained about how far they'd driven or how much inconvenience they'd gone through to get to the market or sale. I remember a couple of times where my dad asked if someone could 'do anything for him'... but he never got angry or escalated the issue if the price was set. Usually it had to do with trucking equipment - engine parts, tires, that kind of thing. I'm sure my relatives did haggle over big-ticket items - cars, boats, houses, that type of thing. I mean, no one wants to pay sticker price on a car, but realtors & vehicle salespeople are prepared to negotiate when it comes to selling their wares.

I've been asking people things like, "have you ever tried to get better prices on your groceries by haggling w/the cashier?" & "Would you haggle with Wal-Mart?" Rob says that in his part of upstate New York, there was a large Hasidic population and being stuck in a line behind one of them was an exercise in patience. They would indeed haggle over groceries - the kind of thing where they'd bring a single stick of button from a pound package & try to work out a deal - "but I only need 1 stick of butter, not a whole box. You can still sell the other sticks - and can I get a lower price than 1/4 the cost of the package because it's been opened?" I think I'd have to smack someone on principle, but the idea of walking up to a register at any typical retail outlet & trying to make a deal with a cashier seems so foreign to me. It would never occur to me to even try it.

At first I thought maybe my relatives just had stiff necks - they were too proud to haggle over anything. Maybe it implied they didn't have the money or something (my mother's family were horse breeders, too - and horse breeders do haggle - I've seen it in action - but in my mother's family it was limited to the horses and horse supplies). I started asking other people only to find more & more that most people don't haggle over every little thing they buy. Some of the people I've asked even say it's embarrassing or makes you look cheap. I've been having trouble dealing with hagglers at work, and I still don't know how best to approach it. I don't really know what people expect me to do when they start asking for lower rates or upgrades - other than to just hand it over on a silver platter. I can understand asking if a place has a senior, military or AAA discount. I can see just breezing it by, "what's the best rate you can give me?" But the people I get at work spend so much time trying to get a lower rate for everything that I want to ask them after the minutes roll by if it's really worth it?

I found that when Rob would get going at some 'open market' style place, it was just best if I walked away. I would go shop in a different area and let him come find me when he was done. After a few years of me leaving him, and a few dozen car purchases, Rob's even stopped haggling. "It's not worth it - they never want to buy for the price I want to sell, and they never want to sell at the price I want to buy", "It's easier to just pay whatever is on the price tag & be done with it". He's also tired of shopping with his dad because he has to haggle via proxy. His dad can barely talk anymore, so Rob does all the interpreting for the sales clerks. He hates it now, hates feeling like a tool.

It's something I'm going to keep working on, try to find a way to beat it...

In other news, I'm being pigeonholed into being a night auditor again.
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I made $300 today.

Holiday pay, I've missed you so.
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I checked in a group of differently abled folks today. It was two care-takers, two differently-abled women & one differently-abled man.

One of the d-a women threw a temper tantrum. She yelled, "Nooooo!!!" at one of the care-takers & spat her dentures out at the woman. Then she threw herself down on the floor & proceeded to host a one-person passive-resistance movement. The other d-a woman kept shaking her finger at the tantrum thrower & kept calling her, "Bad! Bad! Bad!" like she was a dog or something.

Normally, d-a folks make me uneasy, but these two old ladies were a fucking riot. I had to fight so hard to not just bust up laughing when that one just spit her dentures out. I was like, "Damn, her aim's good. She's had practice, huh?" The other care-taker was just trying to keep the guy from wandering off - he'd had enough of the shenanigans. The caretakers were embarrassed, but I just told 'em they should see some of the drunks we got sometimes.

It kind of made my day.
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Two weeks back in the hospitality industry and I must say, I do feel more relaxed.

I can multi-task my ass off, but when it comes to long, drawn-out projects I suddenly have ADHD. All I had at the County were long, drawn-out projects. Things like taking screenshots of every single screen in a non-functioning program for corrective action planning. I'm not just talking about the face of every tab, either - no, clicking every link on every screen & taking screenshots of those screens. Entering different criteria and taking shots of those screens. Entering different data & taking shots of the error messages. I worked on it for three months & still hadn't gotten off of the first fucking tab. No wonder I almost had a stroke - I went from a relatively active job to being chained to a desk for a year. I also put on twenty pounds over the past two years.

There are two working states at the front desk - either you have a line of people in front of you and you're assisting them, or you don't. When there is no line, you catch up on housekeeping requests, entering addresses, stocking, that kind of thing... or you stand there & talk to your co-workers. No one is over your shoulder making sure you're doing your job because the guests are your job.

Working Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm with weekends and holidays off may be everyone's 'Dream Schedule'. For people with health issues, though, it means having to take time off work to go see doctors. In the real world (aka America), if you have a chronic health problem and don't qualify for FMLA for one reason or another, eventually that health problem will lead to you having 'An Attendance Problem'. Right now, I've got today and tomorrow off. Called my doctor, made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. Does not affect my job one iota (unless they call me for overtime or something).

Random acts of violence aside, there are also no murder photos or films at the casino.
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Ok, this is the kind of stuff I missed while at the County.

A relatively conservative and old-fashioned co-worker of mine at the Excalibur has planned a potluck on April 20.

I'm glad that I understand enough drug culture to get the joke.

In other news, this is the most hilarious thing I have seen to date:

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First day back at the castle today. Everyone was touching me. People who didn't know me saw me being mauled by the populace & I got to use the phrase, "yeah, I'm kind of a big deal" more than once.

I'm not looking forward to standing for almost 7 hours a day, my right arm is throbbing like a rotting tooth (nerve damage, how I love thee), and I'm feeling like a drained battery, but it's cool to be around people who talk to each other. There are a couple of women who transferred from the Luxor and they appreciated all the outgoing warmth they saw today. Apparently the Luxor's desk staff isn't too friendly with one another. I tried on a new personality today. When we were talking about our various experiences & I heard how shitty the Luxor was, I made it a point to go out of my way to be outgoing & make sure people were introduced to Andrea & Shelly (the new peeps) and that they were both included in the conversations and gossip & what-not. I thought I would feel fake, but I'm just kind of relieved to be away from the County. It's like I'm getting paid well to be on vacation. I know in a year, I'll be hating myself again, but I hate myself no matter where I work.

There have been some changes at the hotel since I left (thankfully). They finished the pool, which is a relief. They've started giving the guests a lot more entertainment value - like beer pong, play-for-pay pool tables, a 'Party Pit'... and Strip Poker (the hotel provides the strippers) - and the Ex & Luxor are acting as sister properties by doing cross-property promotions & discounts. They've gotten automated express check-out kiosks now, they're going to be going paperless with VIP, there's a card-swipe station for breaks, the uniform department is set up like an automat - it was kind of like being in a 1950's newsreel about 'Visions of the Future', or maybe Disney's Tomorrowland. I was appropriately slack-jawed yokeling the whole time.
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Today at approximately 2pm PST, I quit my job at the Excalibur. 7 years, 4 weeks and 2 days of employment, 2 job titles and 1 knee surgery all behind me now.
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Having to fast before a blood test is always uncomfortable. All things considered I did okay at work last night, running on no sleep and no food. I am fucking Night Audit Superwoman. Haven't done it in a few months, went in at 11pm instead of 9 like normal, half asleep, starving, took a lunch break & my two fifteens and still had all the audit work done w/almost an hour to spare. I can do night audit sound asleep & standing on my head.

Me & Rob have done a lot over the past year or so to change both of our eating habits - eating less more often, eating at regular times, etc. It does show - I'm hungry more often & it takes less to fill me up. Rob's doing fantastic with monitoring and controlling his blood sugar... Last night was fast night for bloodwork today. Rob came out from having his blood drawn, went outside & smoked a cigarette while he was waiting for me to finish w/mine - and proceeded to faint in the doorway of the lab. I came out from getting my blood drawn & there he was on the ground w/two nurses & some poor Mexican guy hovering over him, dabbing him w/cool towels & an ice pack. The Mexican guy managed to catch him & break his fall a little but Rob still managed to whack his knee on the wrought-iron chair arm before he hit the floor. Today I'm shopping for a medical alert bracelet for him because a couple of people were offering to call 911 & until I came out of the back no one knew exactly what was wrong with him.

Today is a day of sitting around & playing WoW since I am just whupped.
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The Excalibur called me four separate times today begging me for my auditny goodness. I'm still on vacation! Dude! I thought I was going to be able to quit this weekend, but I would have had to pay them back for a day of vacation pay. I can't quit technically til Monday. Which means not til next weekend.

It's double-time pay & I can sit on my arse all night and just come home cranky in the morning. And then go for a blood test tomorrow afternoon. I just have to leave a little early because I turned my uniforms in to the laundry the last time I worked.
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So I went to the Exalibhell today, only 2 actual working days left for the month of March & then I'm free, free, free! We were all sitting in the breakroom & someone asked, "When's Easter, anyway?" Someone said March, someone said, "On a Sunday", someone else ventured forth with "April?". I smacked my fingers to my temples, closed my eyes & intoned, "Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. Since the Spring Equinox is on the 20th or 21st, it's the Sunday following that date." Someone got up & looked at the calendar & pointed at me & said, "Holy shit, she's right!" Everyone in the breakroom proceeded to look at me like I'd grown not just a second head, but a third as well. When I quit, I'm changing my phone number.

This is interesting. Writing Staff of The Wire promises to vote for acquittal in drug cases.

This is one of the few truly useful ideas I've heard in a long time.

It's bad enough that one out of every 100 Americans is incarcerated, but one out of every 15 black men over 18? I wonder what the juvenile arrest rate is for black males? (The rate for juveniles 12 - 17 was 120 per 1000 back in 1994, but I can't do math enough to figure out what that ratio was for black juveniles vs white juveniles). Once again, we're a world leader - a country w/only 5% of the world's population has the highest incarceration rate - even more than CHINA. (Nessie just farted... snake farts, gotta love 'em)

We have a largish spider hiding behind the dresser where Nessie's tank is. We can't exactly make out its exact dimensions because we can only see three legs. I went & discombobulated all the webbing it had created in hopes of drawing it out, but all it did was pull its legs behind the dresser... and now the legs are back out. It had made a very scrubby web, which does not make me feel secure. Scrubby webs usually indicate recluse or black widow. I did rescue a cricket from the laundry room dust bunnies tonight.
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So, as I've been doing my chakra exercise, keep getting this persistent image in my head. I see two slender hands holding a lotus-flower-shaped bowl and tipping it, pouring sparkling water out of it. Last night, there was a swan in the bowl. The lotus bowl never runs out of water, either - it's a never-ending ocean - and the swan floated serenly inside it all the while.

(I tried to remove a sunflower seed from under my space bar, and now I've lost my Alt button... dammit)

Of course, there is a drawback. Rob, feeling safe and comfy in his golden energy cocoon, does not want to leave my bed. I, having the misfortune of being the outer spoon during our pre-sleep naps, end up with a dead arm because instead of laying down with me for an hour or so he is now sticking around for close to 2 hours.

I work from 11am to 7pm today. I'm so freaking tired. I should have quit last night when the angry screaming woman was checking in.
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Someone else brought up changing their profile, so now I'm self-absorbed & curious.

Anyone think anything is missing from my profile, or does it suffer from TMI?


In the real world...

I hate the Excalibur. I wish health insurance wasn't so fucking important atm.
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Rob got me Hot Fuzz for my birfday! Squeee!!! Love me some Simon & Nick!

Someone from work found my blog. I'm severely annoyed. These people cannot seem to accept that I have two separate compartments in my life: Work and Not Work. This blog is Not Work. It is where I bitch about work, the people I work with, the company I work for, and the people who are paying me to work there, directly and indirectly. It is where I talk about things I want to do other than work. It is about places I'd rather work. It's about my sex life (yeah, not exactly private, I'm a shareful person, but not with my current coworkers), it's about my depression, it's about my ovaries and all the hopes, dreams and wishes that have been crushed on the rocks of life like snails dropped by swallows. This is where I get very drunk and type, two activities that should never be combined. Never mind naked pictures of me - this is pretty much my naked soul.

This guy also found my long-since-deleted myspace profile, which was once again in the Not Work compartment, but instead became full of all the people I work with. So much for my attempts to lure transvestites and transexuals into my bed.

Work Work

Dec. 30th, 2007 05:44 pm
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Tonight will be a really long one. Not only am I covering audit, but when I come home in the morning, I'll be a year older ;P
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Ok, so I've been trying to put some Buddhism into my every day work. It's part of why I went back to the front desk (yah, yah, laugh all ya want). I felt I had isolated myself to the point where I couldn't actually practice being Buddhist. Being Buddhist when you're alone is easy. Try doing it in a crowd of people who all want something from you that you cannot give them.

In some ways, it has been helping me just be nicer. Lovingkindness, all one word. I am an exceptional liar - I can tell people to have a safe journey, or happy holidays or a peaceful flight and sound like I really mean it. In some ways, I do honestly mean it, and sometimes I even feel like I mean it. Sometimes people give me these really surprised looks and return my greeting - with feeling, as my band instructors would say.

I came to the determination last night that my Buddhist practice only lasts about 7 hours. I worked a 12 last night - actually volunteered for a 12. My body doesn't hurt that bad, but I am ashamed at my behavior. I purposefully, intentionally and with malice aforethought launched into a screaming match with some poor Japanese tourist who wanted to be on a higher floor. I was just so tired. Tired of not having any rooms, tired of people whining, tired of people who were blaming me for their crappy flights, long drives, crying babies, global warming, etc & so forth. And I reacted instead of acted. Bad, bad n00b-Buddhist.

Eh, more bad Karma. All I can do is be.
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So I commissioned an art piece from the fantabulous Moonvoice. I is excited ::happynekkidpagandancing:: I also managed to stiff someone at work $100 so I am currently on suspension pending investigation. I gave out a buttload of change last night, and usually when it comes to non-posted cash, I am an ace at finding it. I could not find it, so the only thing I can assume is someone gave me two $100 bills that were stuck together. Oops. I go in for my 'due process' interview on Monday. Ah well, I didn't want to work a swing shift on a Friday night anyway. I read a chapter in my CompTIA book & took the quiz, and started work on my business proposal, so I can't say this day has been unproductive.


Two Words.
'Nuff Said.

1. Where is your cell phone?
My desk.

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend?
In Reno.

3. Your hair?
Still wet

4. Work?
Not tonight!

5. Your father?
Long buried.

6. Your favorite thing?
Coloring books

7. Your dream last night?
Not remembered.

8. Your favorite drink?
Iced tea

9. Your dream car?
Monte Carlo

10. The room you’re in?
Brightly lit

11. Your pet?
Two snakes

12. Your fears?
Crocodiles, mostly

13. What do you want to be in 10 years?
Richer, wiser

14. Where did you hang out last night?
At work

15. What you’re not good at?
Most things

16. Eyebrow rings on the opposite sex?
Screams trendy

17. One of your wish list items?
More RAM

18. Where you grew up?
West coast

19. The last thing you did?
Typed >

20. What are you wearing?
Blue, white

21. Your life?
School, work

22. Your mood?
Waiting anxiously

23. Your car?
Rob's car

24. Your work?
It sucks

30. Your summer?
Long, hot

31. Your relationship status?
Married, dead

32. Your favorite color?
Malachite green

33. When is the last time you laughed?
Hour ago

34. School?
Four classes

Weird Urge

Nov. 11th, 2007 11:50 am
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I have a weird urge to make papier mache masks. A fox, a coyote, a bear... something else, who knows. Not being a talented or dextrous person, they would probably come out horrible, but I think when this semester ends, I will be on my kitchen floor making a mess. I can see the fox mask in my head, with red, black & white feathers instead of painted.

I got a little statue of Santisima Muerte. I need to get her some rose water & myrrh oil. I know that there's this cult surrounding her - the media says it's all the drug dealers & pimps & prostitutes who appeal to her, but she speaks to me like the Guedde. She's happy on my altar, there with a new lucky bamboo plant & Baphomet & Durgha.

Ugh, I am working all swing shifts this week. I hate swing shifts. I've got a noon to 8pm & those are the absolute worst. An entire day at work... I come in & the early morning people leave. Then the regular day people leave - and I'm still there. Then the afternoon people leave - and I'm still there. Then the regular swing shift people come in - and I'm still there. Blargh!

Drood

Nov. 7th, 2007 01:34 am
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Ok, so this is probably the fifth or sixth druid I've started. I get to about lvl 30 & delete them. Major loss of interest factor, because getting from 1 - 30 is hard w/a Druid... and I just can't see getting one to lvl 60. But... I want to fly for free.

So once again, I create a drood. Once again, I get her to lvl 10. I teleport to Moonglade & run around in circles trying to find a bear spirit. I fall in the lake a couple of times because I can't remember where the bear is, and I finally break down & visit thottbot. Get the coords, swim back to the one place you can climb up from the lake... cross a river & scramble up & down hills because I can't get to the bear from where I'm at, or at least I don't know how to get to the bear from where I'm at. I talk to the bear. The bear sends me back to the quest giver guy - I just jump in the frikkin lake & start swimming, because he's right where you can climb up. He sends me to Thunder Bluff. The Thunder Bluff droods, dispensers of wisdom that they are, tell me to go find and defeat this bizarre creature somewhere else. I go there, sprinkle magic dust on a glowing rock & hallucinate up a cross between an owl and a bear... with antlers. Magic dust - it's some great shit, man. Anyway, I kill the thing & talk to its ghost - and get sent back to Thunder Bluff. Of course. Why the bear spirit in Moonglade can't just give me some magic dust & send me to kill mutant-owl-bear I have no idea. So I go back to Thunder Bluff, and now I get to look at this for about 10 levels:

Objects May Be Larger Than They Appear

Yay. 10 levels of bear ass fillin' up my screen.

Ah well. I'm tired tonight. Got to give someone at work a "Samhain 101" lecture. Fun, fun, fun. She's very full of questions, which is okay. It's better than Brad razzing me about chickens. Well, okay, maybe not as much fun, but at least it's less Bradish. I got a thing about chickens.

Fires

Oct. 23rd, 2007 07:29 pm
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Well, over 500,000 people have been evacuated from southern California due to the wildfires. A good number of them fled here to Vegas, and we've got a hotel full of people who smelled like smoke before they spent time in the casino. People literally drove through flames to get here because they were cut off from L.A. & there really isn't anything between us & San Diego except agriculture. Baker & Victorville are probably full, as well as Stateline. It's hard, telling someone they owe money for a room when they've lost their house and don't even know what, if anything, will be left when they go back. I feel like the lowest sort of human, that which profits from other's misfortune. Generally, I don't care about other people one way or the other, and while I lack compassion, I understand that I'm helping a billion-dollar corporation make money off people who have already lost everything important to them. It makes me feel ugly. Somewhere in some posh office, a CEO is undoubtedly rubbing their hands together excitedly... "Ah, first the fires and then the bullriders! We're making a mint this week!" I have shut off a lot of my more telepathic & empathic abilities over the years, but I still hear horses screaming.

Tomorrow is my Metro background interview. I figure even if I don't pass (as any of my potential character witnesses can attest to, I am not of sound moral character and I've got a horrible memory) I'm still one step closer to a Metro job than I've ever been. I've just had kind of an emotionally draining day.

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