Archive for November, 2009

Black Friday 2009-You heard what from where?

Black Friday. Argh. The retail workers’ nightmare. It sucks, we cry, we go home and those of us who work the morning have not only some battle scars, but some seriously good stories to tell. The Game Geekery is no exception to the rule when it comes to interesting types of people and stuck on stupids creating good blog fodder. If I could have worn my “I’m blogging this” shirt, I would have. Put the entire world on notice!

Friday morning, I opened the store. I haven’t gotten up at an ungodly hour such as this since I stopped working for the ‘bux. I was up early enough and figured I’d go to Old Navy early. Get what I needed and go to work. Yeah..that didn’t work so well, but I DID run into MP! Remember her? My buddy from the ‘bux who moved to Hawaii, then out to CA and now she’s back, and working at Old Navy near home. After a few minute chat, she warned me that the line to check out was running an HOUR AND A HALF. Please note-this was at 4am. I had to be to the game geekery at 5 am. Yeah. Not happening. She also told me that when she got there at an even more ungodly hour than I was there, the line stretched all the way down to the bookstore back window…and there’s a pet store and a cell phone store in between the two! She couldn’t believe it, and people there told her that this is the busiest they’ve seen it in YEARS.

This should have been an omen. Seriously should have been an omen.

So, I headed to work. I knew I’d be early, but I decided that was ok, as my store is next to a WAL MART. I figured instead of waiting outside, I could go into the WalMart.

There were roadblocks, police and people getting pull tags for large items. Yesh! I grabbed a few things, thinking I might be able to cash out and get to work 2 doors down on time…but as time drew closer and people were sending others into the store and loading their carts further, this became almost impossible. So, I put down the stuff and decided if I got a break later in the day, I could run over and grab the two items.

What were those two items?

A Bakugan Baku-Tin, with two bakugans, cards and a two level tray and a two pack of transformers. All things for the small boy. Both were extremely good values and both were only on until 11am.

So, I gave up waiting in line, put the stuff down and went to work. We immediately set to putting out the sale items and getting the store ready for the morning. Here’s where the annoyings of the world and the stuck on stupids of the world collide.

Since Wal Mart opened at 5,and we opened at 6, we were developing a line. BIG TIME line. It was insane. We had people peering in at us like we were in a fishbowl. Glub, glub! We even had one person putting up signs as to how long we had until we opened! WHAT THE HECK!!

The minute we opened, the Stuck on Stupids started to appear…in both phone and person form.
Stuck on stupid the first called the store at around 6:35 am, and was demanding TRADE VALUES. Yes, trade values. We had lines through the store and were going nuts…and this fool wanted trade values. Nope, can’t have them…come in with your stuff. We’ll go from there.

But, yesterday, we had my all time favorite stuck on stupid-the total entitled stuck on stupids.

The first one in this category showed up at 10:57, and was looking for an item that was on special from 6-11 am. When we told this gem that we were sold out of them, that they went really quickly (like 20 minutes!) and we were not expected to get any more in, he quickly became irate. Hardcore irate. He accused us of false advertising and even though the flyer said “while supplies last” we had an obligation to have the item until the posted time.

What? Hello delusional!

The second entitled one went something like this:

We made everyone who was checking out without a trade go to the front registers. It was a crowd control/safety issue. As I was relieving the person at the trade counter for a quick break, I had a woman who I had previously directed to the front counter approach me and say:

“I’m in a rush. Can’t you just check me out here? You’re obviously not busy…”

Umm…No. I can’t check you out here, that’s policy today and I AM busy-I’m finishing off a trade and switching off with someone.

So, when I told her no, I got the entire eye rolling, disgusted sighing thing.

Then after that, I got the next phone call that inspired the title of this entry-

Here it is…
“Umm, hi. I heard that you’re selling Wii systems for $60.00.”

NO. NO NO. I’m dying to know what delusional person put that in her ear.

People-first-it’s a game system. Second, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! In this case, $60.00 wii systems probably had a ton of trades, ect to defer the majority of the cost! YESH!

I’m so glad I don’t have to go in the rest of the weekend.

But I survived another Black Friday in the trenches. I can mark it down on my life achievements!

November 28, 2009 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Thanksgiving ponderings

Every year at this time, the blogosphere is littered with “what I’m thankful for” posts. Facebook is the same way. For me, It’s a simple thing-what am I thankful for THIS year…because there are things that I”m thankful for every day of the year-Family, friends…the fact that I have this space that people actually read…

But this year…I’m thankful for…

My Turkey Catcher. Isaac told me at his Thanksgiving feast that he was a “Turkey Catcher.” I figure that’s Isaac for Pilgrim. I’m also thankful for his friends in Kindergarten that love him, no matter how quirky he gets. It’s fun to see him grow, learn new things and come out with more Isaac-isms than I ever thought possible.
The Kindergarten at Isaac's school-there's 1 class!

Isaac’s school. As much as some days I complain, kvetch and threaten to pull him to a different placement, I’m glad he’s where he is. They’re finally getting a handle on his personality and things are (albeit slowly) getting better. His consultant teacher works super hard with him and his resource teacher is top notch. Plus, they put up with me. That’s a huge thing to be thankful for.

My jobs. I do like them. Trust me. Where would I get my fix of hilarious answers and insane people than at both of these places? I love my students, even though they drive me to drink most times, and the people I work with at Game Geeks are great.

Sports! I’m so glad that Isaac has finally found a sport that suits him. Despite the fact he looks like a bobblehead in all of that gear…he loves it. He’s excited to go to hockey, and loved the time where he got to stand behind the bench for a Women’s college game.
Watching the refs and women take the ice
Don’t get me wrong-I still have a bone to pick with the one goalie on our local minor league team who put the idea of being a goalie in his head…but I’m thankful he did in a lot of ways…or I wouldn’t be a hockey mom…and loving it.

The small things in life…
Yep. Those. The people who laugh at me, roll their eyes at me and marvel at my insane thoughts, that sometimes work out to be GENIUS! Maybe not very often..but it does happen. The friends who commiserate with my insurance struggles and fights, the one who said some days that she wishes she had half of my moxy when I call these places and fight them and the ones who reassure me that I’m NOT going insane on a daily basis. The cats-the one that isn’t very smart, but loves to drape herself over you for hours on end…the diva who still plays fetch. The frogs-that everyone but the people who live in this house are creeped out over…
The laughs, giggles and smiles that make it all worth it…

So, Happy Thanksgiving. Like Isaac’s class did yesterday-indulge in a Charlie Brown Feast-Popcorn, pretzels, toast and jellybeans-and remember what you’re thankful for!

November 26, 2009 at 9:21 am Leave a comment

As if this is going to drag them back or keep them away…

For a while now, I’ve been a part of an amazing organization to help save a beloved Girl Scout Camp-Camp Little Notch. Unfortunately, the council has decided to sell this amazing place to focus on more technology savvy camps, ect. This has been so big for the council, that it made the local paper.

Normally, I wouldn’t be all sorts of hot and bothered by this making the paper, and I wouldn’t even be blogging this. It would be small potatoes in my insane life. But, here’s where I got annoyed and irritated. The talking head from the Girl Scout Council basically said that girls needed creature comforts to want to come back to camp, and flush toilets were an important part of the equation, as were computers, cabins with electric lights and all of that.

Hearing this lets me know that the organization that I spent a lot of time in has lost their way. At the risk of sounding almost like my parents, who often tell me that they don’t get my generation, I don’t get it. What do girls need to be connected through technology for? They do it every day of their lives!

There are countless studies out there that say that the youth of today are disconnected from the Earth and the outdoors. It’s to the point where Wilderness Kindergartens are becoming highlighted programs-but most people only think it’s the granola crunchy set that likes them.

My wilderness experience was spent up at Camp Little Notch. It was here my passion for being in the water was nurtured. I WANTED to go back so I could kayak, canoe, swim and sail. I went on trips, I swam the entire length of the lake in a bright green swim cap-and earned my space on the ceremonial life preserver-where you can still see my name to this day. I hiked to the old furnace and spent a night there. Creepy as all get out, but SOO ever loving cool.

I didn’t care that I didn’t have lights in my tent. Frankly, it sent me to bed at a decent hour. I didn’t care (much) that I didn’t have flush toilets. I knew the joy of a bradley party-and when Doug went up to be the camp nurse, I indulged myself in washing my hair in one of them again, and Isaac looked at me like I had 20 heads…and helped by stepping on the bar on the bottom that turned it on.

Long story short, I was happy in being disconnected for weeks on end. It didn’t bother me, because I was meeting people that I never imagined I’d meet and I was with friends. I had a counselor from Australia. I had one from England. It was cool. I came home RAVING about my experience. Mom didn’t get it. She didn’t understand what I loved about being on that mountain, but she indulged me, and sent me (and subsequently my sister) back.

The summer I was staff there, I worked with a plethora of international staff-a cornerstone of CLN. I got to have calm, political discussions with people from the Czech Republic. I got to learn all about Scottish food. We laughed and shared the copies of the Green Mile that were sent to me,because I couldn’t wait to read it. Again-we were disconnected but connected.

And we loved it. It’s what drew us back.

It wasn’t the electricity, it wasn’t the lack of flush toilets-it was the programming, the friends, the fun. The safety to try new things and fail…and have your friends there to pick you back up and encourage you to try again. Even if you were scared…your friends were right there to support you-and it was ok.

Full disclosure here-I hate heights. I’m petrified of them. Yet I love roller coasters and rock climbing-go figure..

But there was a time that I had to climb a very, very high log to get to the top of a creek walk (the one that resulted in some serious scarring on my knee…but that’s another story…and a funny one at that…) and I had a minor panic attack. I had friends all over talking me through. I made it up to the top…almost hyperventilating, but did it. And had my buddies to thank for it.

Can a girl get that type of experience sitting in front of a computer? I beg to disagree.

Again-GSNENY-it’s not the creature comforts that keep girls engaged and coming back-as if a flush toilet will drag them back of keep them away. It won’t. It’s the QUALITY of the experience.

Why did I always go back to CLN? Why did Doug go up and work and lament that he couldn’t go last summer? Because we were in love. Love with the land, program and the family we had while we were up there. A family that came together in the summer…and stayed forever.

November 24, 2009 at 8:21 am 2 comments

I’m not a soccer mom…I’m a hockey mom.

I can get behind that.

Isaac now has 2 learn to skate classes behind him. The first class, he wasn’t so sure of himself…kind of freaked out on the ice. But hey-I kind of expected that. First time in full gear, first time on ice. What did I expect? Nothing less.

So, Friday night, Isaac was all excited as usual to go to hockey. We geared him up at home so that we wouldn’t have to fight for space in the bathroom at the rink.

This is what lessons look like…

have stick with pirate tape and a good buddy...will play hockey!

my small #3 learning the ropes

Leaning on a bucket, learning how to skate

skating on his own-going after the pink ball-he's the one with the black helmet!

It was actually hilarious once they pulled the balls out on the ice how quickly the kids got their butts in gear and realized that they didn’t need the buckets to stand straight up and move! I think next week, we’re going with NO buckets and a a few more stand and move games. They played Head, shoulders, knees and toes with the kids a few times and had them looking to the right and left as well.

I think we found a sport he loves. I can’t blame him here…really can’t.

November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm Leave a comment

Midnight launches and the Stuck on Stupids of the world

This week has been insanely busy. I got roped into working the midnight launch of the latest and greatest war video game, Call of Duty-Modern Warfare 2. Yeah. I know, I know. I always say that I’m never going to do it again. I said it after Madden, and now I’m saying it again. Will I get roped into another one? Most likely…but it won’t be for an extra special long time after this one.

I worked the morning-9-3 and then went back to the store at 8:20-ish to get set up for the sneak preview of the game. Now the issue with this is that the sneak preview had to be done in an hour, and on top of that, we had to ID everyone to play the game, since this is an M rated game. Oy.  That set off a huge wave of stuck on stupids in themselves.

 

First off, if you KNOW you’re 18, and you KNOW you’re going to get ID’d for the game, BRING YOUR ID. Don’t try and use a library card from your high school and tell me what grade you’re in and that you failed twice so you’re technically old enough to prove that I can sell you the game.  Then, don’t argue with me when I tell you (and my manager tells you) that you cannot use your BFF’s ID to get the game. Nope, sorry. No dice. You WILL leave without your copy of the game. I won’t risk my job over you. Sorry. Not happening.

 

Secondly, if you know there’s a midnight launch, don’t call before hand  and ask me to release the game early to you. Same thing as above- as much as I kvetch about my geek job, I do enjoy it. I won’t break a street date for you. Sorry. Activision will fine us 5,000 per copy that breaks street date and some other nasty things will happen. Don’t argue with me. It won’t get you anywhere. Sorry.

After the midnight launch, there were 4 of us, including me, who were there until 2 am and then asked to open the store the next morning…a full 2 hours early. ICK! So, we did so, and the 4 of us never, ever moved off of the registers all day. With that, came the full force stuck on stupids. They came in a few varieties…

Variety  1-the Stuck on Stupid who doesn’t listen…

me “thank you for calling game geeks, where we have call of duty modern warfare 2 in stock. This is Laura, how can I help you?”

Stuck on Stupid: “Do you have the new call of Duty in stock?”

See-stuck on stupid.

Variety 2-The unintentionally stuck on stupid.

stuck on stupid-” Hi. I need that new game that just came out.”

me: “Call of duty? Sure. What system?”

Stuck on Stupid pulls out a list and says “I was given this list and orders to pick it up…”

me: “Ok…”

I look at the list and find out that the system in question is a Wii. This game was not made for Wii. I gently explain that this game is only for PS3 and Xbox360. This is where a simple mistake equals stuck on stupid…

The Stuck on stupid begins to ARGUE WITH ME, saying that their grandchild or whoever says that this game is for Wii and it MUST BE.

Oy. No. it does not come for Wii. Argh.

 

Variety 3-I ordered the wrong platform, and I want you to jack up your inventory to make my darling 12 year old happy stuck on stupid.

So, I pick up the phone and this really snotty woman says:

“Is there one manager over all of the stores or is your store different.”

huh? What?

So, I get her to explain herself.

She launches into this huge tirade about how she went to pick up the Prestige edition of the game (with night vision goggles) at another location and she recieved the wrong game platform copy. She was completely outraged by the fact that the manager wouldn’t break into another box and swap the xbox game for a ps3 game, and was demanding to speak to MY manager about it.
ummm..Ok…

I explained to her that we could totally not swap games in the boxes as that represented an inventory control issue, and would deprive a customer of their rightly reserved xbox copy of the prestige edition. I went so far as to even look in our computer to see if we could do anything for her at our store, under fearless (if not tired) leader’s orders. We didn’t have any extras…so I referred her to the district manager. She then kept going on and on and on about how upset her son was going to be when he got home from 7th grade…and didn’t have his game to play nor his night vision goggles.

 

Umm…really? Maybe three things should be happening-

1. Your 12 year old shouldn’t be entitled to a 150.00 copy of a game.

2. Your 12 year old shouldn’t be playing a gory, you can play as a terrorist game instead of doing his homework and sleeping.

3. Your 12 year old should learn that dissappointment is a part of life and get used to it. Things happen that are beyond your control and you have to suck up and deal.

 

And the final variety of stuck on stupid-The stuck on stupid that wants to save a few bucks…reality be damned.

Guy comes into the store and says the following:

“I was told to get this Modern Warfare 2 game, and I know it’s the newest one out, but do you have any used copies?”

It was all I could do NOT to laugh at him. We tried as gently as we could to explain that this game dropped at midnight. No, there would be no used copies for at least 2-3 weeks.

 

then he says this:
“are you sure? Would any of your other stores have it used?”

 

Oh, my lord.

Please. Someone save me from the stuck on stupids!

November 15, 2009 at 9:40 pm 1 comment

The bestest answers ever-2009-2010, first edition

So, the prevention coordinator came into my room for a bit (and she’s still going..) to talk about stuff she talks about, like cyberbullying and online safety. I gave a test to see if they were retaining anything…and here’s the best of the worst answers…spelling mistakes intact.

1. What is the main reason people try to get private information out of students? Correct answer: To get to their parents for financial information for their own gain

  • bad answer 1: (a 6th grader)- They want to be friends to the end with you.
  • bad answer 2: (another 6th grader) So they can find where you live and kidnap you.
  • bad answer 3: (a 5th grader) They want to meet you and stalk you.

2. Name three things you should never do when messaging or sending email. Correct answer: Common sense things-no all caps, send it to the right place, no flaming, ect.

  • Bad answer 1 (6th grader) go and see if they got it.
  • bad answer 2 (6th grader) have a positive attitude

3. why is it easier to cyberbully someone instead of doing it face to face? What makes it harder for the person being cyberbullied to defend themselves online? Correct answer: Cyberbullying isn’t a face to face method. It’s easier to say mean things on line because you don’t have to deal with the face to face reaction. It makes it harder because you not only take the person’s safety away, the person being bullied doesn’t know who did it, or who started it. It’s hard to take action away from school.

  • bad answer: (6th grade) They mite kill you or call the po po

4. List 3 things that would make a password hard for someone to hack.

correct answer: a combination of numbers, letters and symbols.

  • bad answer 1: (6th grader) omegle, facebook, aim and myspace.
  • bad answer 2: (6th grader) put ur name, numbers and something else.
  • bad answer 3: (5th grader) your pet’s name.

5. list 5 rules for good messaging and emailing.

Correct answer: common sense things…

  • bad answer : talk, read listen and press send.

6. What is spam, and why is it harmful?

Correct answer: non useful mail that is sent to your computer by companies trying to obtain private information. it’s harmful because it can contain viruses or items that can compromise your security.

  • bad answer 1- I have no idea what spam is.
  • bad answer 2- a food that comes in a can.
  • bad answer 3-Spam is a website that can get people hurt. It is harmful because people can get really hurt.

7. Name three things you should never do when messaging or sending email. Correct answer: common sense things…

  • bad answer 1- see if they got it.
  • bad answer 2 tell them they looked hot in their clothes.

8. why should you never click on a pop up?

correct answer: It could contain a virus or a way to compromise your personal and private information

  • bad answer 1-A dirty old man could be behind it.
  • bad answer 2-a kidnapper sent it to you.

 

and thus concludes this edition of the Bestest answers ever! My thanks go to the awesome prevention coordinator, who I adore,  for making this entertainment possible!

November 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm Leave a comment

Now that’s motivation!

Last night was the first night of Learn to Skate for Hockey. The fact that Isaac is taking hockey lessons is something that is a sure source for irritation among specific members of Isaac’s educational team. When I emailed the physical therapist (PT) to ask if he had to wear the AFOs with the skates, I got a full on lecture about how teaching him to play hockey maybe wasn’t the right choice of sport. She went on and on and on about how he may have trouble negotiating a stick, puck and otherwise and maybe putting him in a regular learn to skate program would be more beneficial.

 

Yeah. RIGHT. Put the kid on skates with no gear and only give a half hour lesson with a half hour of free skate that would be beyond frustrating for a very beginner. Yeah. No.

That was motivation number one-being told he couldn’t do it.

So, we headed off to the rink last (friday) night and geared the kid up. I swear. Doing the whole gear thing reminded me of this:

Yes, extended deep sea diving.

 

Because first, over the long underwear style Speed Racer pajamas, we had the chest/shoulder protection, the elbow pads, the shin/knee pads, the hockey undies, the socks, pants, gloves, jersey  and skates…and then the helmet with full face cage…

 

The one thing Isaac wanted most in the world was his stick. We put the pirate tape on it and this became motivator number 2.

 

Since my child has no clue on how to skate, he started out on buckets. Using them for support and pushing the buckets across the ice. There were tears, there were falls, and one fall was a massive bell ringer-thank GOD for helmets!

 

There was even a conversation about how he couldn’t play hockey without a stick…and I told him that he had to be off a bucket before he could hold onto his stick.

 

And there was one sweet, wonderful big kid. He got Isaac up and moving and even got him a puck…and his stick.

 

Motivator number 3 anyone?

 

By the end of the night, my darling shrimp had stick in hand, was standing up and moving without a bucket…and whacking at a puck.

So, mix all 3 motivators in and it’s kind of obvious-we’ve got a hockey player on our hands.

 

And for me…well, it’s motivation to get knitting on some warm stuff. That ice rink is FREEZING. It’s also motivation to make sure that I’ve got fresh batteries in my camera. Mine DIED LAST NIGHT! Stupid stinkin batteries.

November 7, 2009 at 9:27 am 1 comment

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