It’s time to slip on the old ball and chain and have one of my readers yank me around by the neck as I respond to another of their suggestions in my Friday Prompt the Squirrel series. Hey, it’s not like I don’t secretly love the abuse. If you haven’t claimed your spot in line to boss me around yet, just go ahead and do it already! Come on… how often do you actually get a chance to tell a squirrel what to do?
One of the reasons I decided to choose the order I answer these prompts in is because it allowed me to get the easier ones out of the way and leave the ones I had no idea what to do with for later when I would hopefully have a burst of inspiration and/or energy. This week’s entry will be one of those prompts I’ve been staring at for over two months without a clue as to how I would
weasel my way out of address it. It’s the only prompt I’ve gotten yet from a non-blogger… another longtime message board friend Cindy, who we also knew as “Hello Filly.” And yes, her chosen screenname came from exactly where you think it did…
Here is what the pink Filly had to offer me:
I think something along the lines of “fearless Fridays” where you step out of your comfort zone and try something new. It could be something like a new food (I’m thinking back to your millionaire trip and food. I enjoyed reading that part) or a new experience, Then your loyal readers get to read about what you thought about that experience. ha
ha indeed. Oh geez, what did I get myself into?
That the word “fearless” was used comes from the belief that most people don’t try new things because they are too scared to do them. Now that might apply to trying really risky things like skydiving, swimming with sharks, or traveling to Afghanistan… but for the everyday, ordinary “new things” out there I have yet to try, it’s more a case of apathy to me. I have no urge to embrace my inner YOLO. Why try new foods when my taste buds are quite happy to get the same old sensations day in and day out? Why break the bank and put myself through the airport security gauntlet just to see all those baseball stadiums that are too far for me to drive to?
I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to lose my virginity to that I could reasonably pull off for this post. Well, what about my past? Maybe I could just tell a story. Unfortunately, most of the exciting new experiences I can recall were either ones that were largely out of my control, or stuff that most people are expected to eventually do anyway… like go to college, get a job, move out of the nest,
meet and date new people. Most people who only know me online will swear there’s got to be an exciting and fabulous life behind the squirrel that keeps them so entertained… but in reality, most of you would be bored to tears with my real world.
But I’m not going to just blow this prompt off entirely, so what follows is a hopefully fun and exciting tale about a time when I was temporarily pushed out of my comfort zone…
When I first started working as an overnight stocker at Mecca in 1998, I wound up walking right into the Pets department. That was my area for a year and a half… and the only reason I gave it up was because the constant slinging of dog food and cat litter bags finally wore my 24 year old back out. For the next year and a half, until I finally landed in Paper Goods and Chemicals in 2001, I was used wherever I was needed and got the grand tour of the store. I learned more about my job in those 18 months of floating than I did in the entire rest of my Mecca tenure. It also meant I occasionally wound up in typically unfun areas like good old HBA…
HBA is retailspeak for Health and Beauty Aids. It’s the department where the soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and all of that other personal hygiene stuff can be found in. Back in 2000, it was also home to these items…
In March of 2000, the simultaneous circumstances of me having to go on doctor-ordered light duty for my back and our regular HBA stocker going on
LOA leave of absence, put me over in the area where no man has ever wanted to go before on a nightly basis. Because the boxes are lighter and the area is sexistly more associated with women, the department has long been the domain of our female stockers. Along with having to throw your man card in the trash compacter, HBA was just a real pain in the ass area to stock. All those little skinny bottles of shampoo and hair spray… big, hairy man hands just wound up knocking them down like dominoes. I was very much not looking forward to this new assignment.
I figured I’d do my four weeks of light duty filling Aqua Net and Massengill and get back to bigger and better things that don’t smell like flowers or involve humectant. But when my easy lifting restriction expired a month later, the lady who normally did the department still hadn’t come off of leave. In fact, she never did come back to Mecca at all. Since I was now the “experienced” HBA stocker, I continued to get put over there without the possibility of parole.
But a funny thing happened… the longer I got stuck over there as the every night stocker, and the more knowledge I gained about the products, as well as the freight flow and the sales trends of each item, the more it became just like Pets had been to me. HBA was fast becoming my area…. my home…. my domain. By the time I’d been over there for six weeks, I so happily content with my new department that I was crushed when they gave me a new transfer from day shift to train over there. I was moved on from HBA by lunch break that night, and never spent another shift with the douche aisle and the pad wall as my assigned area.
Funny how even the department I most dreaded having to ever work in was one I eventually had to be dragged out of kicking and screaming. But in the end, it was all good. Though I went back to being the super-floater/special project person, it set me up to inherit Household Chemicals, and eventually the Paper department as well a year later… and after 14 years of toiling there, that truly is where I belong.
And so that’s the best I can do with trying something new. Thanks to Miss Filly for giving me the opportunity to adhere to my very tired routine of trying to BS my way through an important writing assignment. I’ll try to better next Friday…. until then, I’m going to stick a cork in it.