May. 3rd, 2011 10:04 pm
pikestaff: (Applejack - Thinky)
So at work today I managed to talk this guy up from a $1300 yard tractor into a $1600 yard tractor, by mentioning the following upgrades:

Made by Husqvarna instead of MTD
8 inch turn radius and cast iron front axle
Fully pressurized lubrication (rather than splash lube) in the engine
Hydrostatic transmission (as opposed to the belt kind)

Anyways, after he left, I just found myself endlessly amused at the fact that I understand all of this and use said knowledge to sell farm and garden machinery as my job.

That is all!

(Implying I don't come home covered in mechanics' grease half of the time, like Kaylee from Firefly)
(Implying I have a problem with being a redneck grease monkey at work)
(Implying I didn't go find an Applejack icon just for this post)
(Implying I don't now have like... ten My Little Pony icons)


Apr. 29th, 2011 12:26 am
pikestaff: (Pinkie Pie - GREAT SCOTT!)
Suddenly, from out of nowhere...


I'm thinking these next two paychecks are going to be rather sizable... at least compared to my recent ones.

I may be thoroughly broke and the first 27 years of my life may have been a big ball of fail but I refuse to give up hope on the future!
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
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I don't know because I have been gaming since before I can remember. I must have enjoyed it, because I've been gaming ever since.


I'm feeling good. I have a plan for motivating myself into saving money. I had a good sales day at work and I'm learning more and more about our products every day, so I'm feeling less and less helpless about selling things. I have (a little) more in my bank account than I thought I did. It's actually NOT RAINING. Dinner is in thirty minutes and looks insanely good. My boyfriend is amazing.

I'm going to write and then I'm going to play X-Com until I can't keep my eyes open anymore~

P.S. My face when one of my customers today lavished compliments upon my watch and then it turned into a ten minute long conversation about vintage timepieces:

You know...

Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:24 pm
pikestaff: (Default)
Other than the omnipresent money issues and work cutting my hours YET AGAIN...

...I'm pretty happy these days :3

Also I'm trying to talk myself into taking the plunge and e-publishing. I had myself pretty much convinced at work today and I decided that it was SO GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT WEEK but I think I've since chickened out already.
pikestaff: (Profferlink - Thinking)
Every day, e-publishing (through Amazon or what-have-you) is looking more and more appealing to me. There are a couple reasons for this.

One is money-- I'm not even gonna beat around the bush with that one. Work is cutting my hours more and more each week (21 hours? Really?) and being sick also struck a blow to my latest paycheck. Meanwhile I'm trying to keep up with my bills and help my family pay for Internet and the like. At this point, any extra cash infusion is welcome, even if it's just a couple hundred bucks (I'm not expecting any sort of overnight riches from an e-book, particularly from an untested author).

Another reason is (presumably) greater control of my intellectual property and what I do with it.

The biggest reason, though, is simply that the more time goes on, the more I think that we're standing on the cusp of a major change in the publishing world. I'm nearly convinced that e-books are about to catch on in a major way. Not that I think they're going to kill traditional books-- much like blogs didn't kill traditional news sites-- but owning my ebook reader has made me appreciate how genuinely convenient such a device is and I really think that this is the future; that this is going to catch on.

I'd be a big derpface not to catch the wave early, right?

My only fear is that I might be completely wrong and then I'll end up blowing everything. I'm such a wuss.


Feb. 24th, 2011 10:45 pm
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
>Drive the 40-min drive to work
>"Oh didn't you get our message? We're closing the store early due to the snow*! You didn't actually have to come in!"
>Turn around and drive back
>My face**

Sooo nothing much else is up with me! I'm finally getting over this nasty illness, so that's a plus. I'm still totally uninspired to write. That's a minus. CIVILI-FREAKING-ZATION IV and being able to collect all my historical boyfriends! That's a plus. Suddenly I randomly suck at it! That's a minus.

I'm having issues adjusting to being single. And yes, I know that was so a couple of months ago. But the two of us were together FOR SO LOOOONG that it still feels so weird. Not gonna lie, there's a part of me that enjoys being single, but then I'll get all lonely and bawww and I turn into an emotional wreck. It gets worse when I remember that I'm 27 and have screwed up most of my 20's.

...other than those occasional moments of panic, I'm doing okay, I guess.


* They got about six inches in the town where I work. Apparently in Washington State if you get six inches of snow you SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING.

** I will greentext on my LJ and no one can stop me~

A Thought

Feb. 22nd, 2011 10:28 am
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
One of the things I really liked about working at PetSmart was that I took on the role of an expert as part of my job description. With few exceptions, people came in not knowing a THING about fish or reptiles or whatever, and I'd get them all set up and attempt to teach as I went along. I was good at it and I enjoyed being an expert.

At my new job, working in the hardware/home improvement business, I find myself in the awkward opposite position of my customers coming in and, generally, knowing more than I do. These are people who have been doing their job for decades and they come in and ask me questions that I don't even begin to know how to answer. It's been tough to adjust to.

But yesterday some guy came in and had no idea what he was talking about and I was able to play the expert again and for those fleeting three minutes it felt really good. Even if we were just talking about freaking socket wrenches.

I miss being the expert.
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
I went to PetSmart the other day to pick up some guinea pig food because I'm a guinea pig food snob and they don't have the kind I like at the local pet store. Being there made me miss my old job a lot, but truthfully I'm not sure if I miss it because I miss my coworkers (who were all basically my friends), or because I miss the job/working with the animals, or if maybe I just miss feeling competent at a job. I really did know my department inside and out by the end there, and I was proud of it. I'm still learning the ins and outs of Sears, which is surprisingly complicated and labyrinthine as heck. Let's just say you can tell it's been around since 1886 or whenever. The place has all sorts of weird ins and outs.


IN OTHER NEWS, I've set this goal for myself where I spend at least thirty minutes each day doing something creative, which usually means writing/editing or drawing. I've done pretty well with this goal so far, and frequently it stretches beyond thirty minutes for maximum creativeness. Weirdly, though, I don't feel as productive about this as I figured I would. Mostly I feel unsatisfied that my own art/writing isn't turning out the way I want it to. Guess I'm just impatient!


Jan. 20th, 2011 10:08 am
pikestaff: (Han Shot First)
So work makes you do these "training" lessons and quizzes on the company computers. Most people knock it all out when they're hired, but since I was only recently made a real employee rather than seasonal, they've tossed it all at me now so I'm spending lots of time each day sitting down at the computer trying to do all of it.

Anyways, most of the training is pretty bleh... genuinely interesting "about the tools" segments are interspersed with boring crap about credit applications or store policies, and these are all supplemented by rather mundane little multiple-choice quizzes that say things like "Congratulations" and "Good job" and the like when you get a question correct, or "Please try again" when you get one wrong.


Yesterday I was doing one of the quizzes and out of nowhere the quiz started snarking at me. Actual examples:

(Upon correctly choosing that a certain type of screwdriver had a magnetic tip): "That's correct. You could say it has a magnetic personality. Heehee. See what I did there?"

(Upon getting some other random question right): "Congratulations! You are now a part of the Right Answer Club. Note: This club does not actually exist."

(Upon getting another question right): "That's correct, but that club still doesn't exist. Sorry."

(Getting some other question right): "Nice guess!"

(Getting a question wrong): "Better guess again. Come on, you have a 25% chance of getting it right."

And so forth. Some of the multiple-choice options were just as hilarious. Anyways, it made me laugh. I have no idea who wrote that quiz but man, props to them for making something boring and mandatory considerably more entertaining.
pikestaff: (PikaRaichu)
Decided to post an actual update rather than a typical QQ/Bawww post. So here we go:

Work/Money Update: It's looking like I'm going to end the month (barely) in the black, as opposed to in the red. Granted, that's not counting new medical bills and the like, but this is much better than having no reliable income (aka October). My main concern at this point is that work has really nerfed the heck out of my hours now that the holidays are over. The last couple of weeks had me pegged at ~32 hour weeks, this week I've got 20. Only time will tell how that plays out...

Book Update: I'm in the middle of doing some last minute tweaking to "Windshifter" which you may recall I had declared "finished" a couple of months back. Specifically I'm making Windshifter himself a few years younger and then adjusting the ages of other characters accordingly. I've also been throwing in other minor edits as they strike me, but nothing big.

I'm still in e-mail discussion with that furry publisher, though it's sort of starting to turn into a game of tag more than anything. The last I heard they want to get the nod from one more partner (the publishing house is run by a few people) before they ask to read my manuscript. They're being very friendly about it all, and supposedly they get a lot of submissions and between that and the holidays I'm willing to give them the time they need. That said, I'm also prepping myself to start a mass-query-letter-fling to big league agents should this publisher not work out, (or should they end up taking too much longer...)

The Other Book Update: I made myself do some (very) minor edits to "Cricket Song" (aka this year's book) and sent it to my mom and sisters as a Christmas present. Am eager to get some alpha feedback on that before I jump into real editing. (This book will not need nearly as much structural editing as "Windshifter" did, thanks to having a decent outline beforehand.)

WoW Update: I'm playing more WoW than I probably should be, haha. Cataclysm turned out to be a lot more fun than I was expecting. I'm not even spending much time in the high-level zones yet, just dinking around on like a dozen alts and soaking up all the new quests. <3

Hokays, time for work!


Dec. 22nd, 2010 11:42 pm
pikestaff: (Kain is Scared)
Today is my birthday! I mostly got food. Which is worth it. More food = less food I have to buy!

...uneventful day otherwise. Made some reeeally idiotic mistakes at work that made me feel kind of dumb all day. And had to deal with a lot of Grumpy McGrumperton customers in general.

At least it's getting me a paycheck until I can get something better. That, combined with recent art commissions + some surprise PayPal donations mean I may actually break even this month, which is thoroughly relieving!
pikestaff: (Jedi Pooh)
I had never heard the phrase "Broke as a joke" before but then I moved here and I've heard it about ten times in the last month. Maybe it's a Northwestern Washington thing. ANYWAYS...

The other day the store manager called me in to his office to "talk" to me. I knew it was about how my seasonal position was almost over so I braced myself for any sort of news.

The first thing he said was that Christmas was over and that they wouldn't need me in my department anymore after that, because they were full.

But then, before I could respond to that, he said, "But, everyone really likes you, you already know how to work a register, and you seem to be good with computers and that sort of thing, so we were wondering if you wanted to continue working with us and move to the pricing team."

(The pricing team, for those of you lucky enough to have avoided working retail, consists of the people who come in, take down old ad signs and put up new ones, interact with little scanners and things... that sort of deal.)

I told him I would "think about it".

My two biggest concerns are a.) that it is so far away and I'm dumping a TON of mileage and gas money into my poor car, and b.) the hours, which from what I understand consist of either showing up really early or staying until really late, because you typically want to change signage when the customer population is at its most thin. Which means weird hours.

Also it's still just a part time job. And I wouldn't be making commission anymore (though that may end up being a stealth raise since our commission over in tools is like... 1% or something ridiculously minuscule anyway).

But at the same time I went on a job-hunt rampage the other day, hoping beyond hope to find something closer and full-time, but there is still NOTHING so I think I don't have much of a choice than to accept and stick around until something finally opens up over here. Or I move away, or something.

I do need to seriously look into public transportation, though. There is a free bus that goes from here to Mount Vernon on the hour, every day, and then there is another bus that goes from Mount Vernon to the mall. That would save me a ton on gas and general automobile wear-n'-tear. It would also probably eat up a couple of hours from my day, since the buses go slow and make stops, but as I am fond of saying lately... beggars can't be choosers.

ALL I WANT FOR BIRTHDAY/CHRISTMAS IS: $3500 so I can finish paying off my car. No more monthly car payment + cheaper insurance = OMG, ACTUALLY BREAKING EVEN EACH MONTH, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER *dreams*
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
Orientation at work went well. Three hours of filling out paperwork and getting toured around the store. I found out that apparently this mall is a "high theft area" and as such it is highly recommended that you not keep a single thing in your car. Welcome to Not-Montana, I guess.

I'm back on Monday for actual on-the-job training, so I'm pretty excited about that. I was introduced to a lot of store associates and everyone seems really nice.

I keep taking massive detours when I go in and out of the store so I can walk by the watch repair shop. It's kind of ridiculous, actually. I can only imagine what they're thinking in there.

- "Hey uh, what's up with that girl who keeps going back and forth and slows down and drools while pretending to remain nonchalant every time she does so?"
- "No idea, but let's lock everything up super tight tonight, just in case." *click click*

Pike, the Poor Obsessed Soul.
pikestaff: (Jedi Pooh)
I'm feeling antsy with my new job because they haven't called me back yet (they said they have to get a background check done first... which is apparently taking FOREVER).

I'm also feeling antsy with my NaNoWriMo. By any account, I'm doing pretty well. It's November 11th and I'm sitting at 22k words, which is almost the halfway point, and I know exactly what should happen from here on out, plot-wise, unlike last year where I made it all up on the fly.

But it's all going SO FAST. Seriously. 22k words and the major turning point of the novel... you know, the top of the plot hill (assuming my plot is a roller coaster ride) is just around the corner. I was hoping for this thing to be, I dunno, like 80k words or something. At this rate I'll be lucky to hit 60k.

On the plus side, though, I was looking back through previous drafts of Windshifter and my first draft was 60k. By the end of the revision process I'd bulked it up to 70k. So maybe there's hope for my new book as well. (And the suggested "Young Adult" wordcount as written here makes me feel better too.)

Speaking of Windshifter I want to write a sequel for it now. Actually, I lied. I want to write a prequel. ...actually, I lied again. I want to write a compilation of short stories that highlight interesting parts of my characters' pasts. Crap. So much to write, so little time.

Edit: Apparently looking at blog posts and worrying about things like word counts and revisions and genres makes me a real writer now. Or something. I dunno, it still feels weird.

Edit Edit: Got a phone call, totally going to work tomorrow! PAYCHECK INC!
pikestaff: (Proud Charmander)

It's part-time. And seasonal (for now). But it's money. (And even part-time it sounds like loads more than I made at PetSmart)

It's Sears! At the mall in Burlington. So it's a drive, but at least it's a pretty drive.

I met my new department manager (I'll be in Tools/Hardware/Home & Garden/etc.) who is very nice, and then I had an interview with the Big Scary Store Manager, who actually isn't really all that big and scary. He was also very nice, and gave me an on-the-spot quiz where he asked me about customer service, stuck a stapler in my face and said "sell me the stapler", etc. I think I went way overboard. Hey, 7 years of sales experience here, of course I'm going to go overboard.

Then he said "Well, you passed this test with flying colors. You're one of the few people who answered all the questions correctly, so you're going to be working for me."

I'm waiting for them to call me back, I'll either be starting this Friday, or next week.


Ironically today is the day I got my Unemployment Insurance stuff in the mail, which I apparently qualified for. Gotta call them tomorrow and be all "JUST KIDDING LOL"

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