Wednesday, September 26, 2007

P & M

There is nothing more "fun" then working for several months on a project and just before you turn it in to the people you are doing the project for, the motherboard on your computer decided to commit the computer version of Hari Kari. For reasons unknown, the Gateway formerly known as AARGGH blew its motherboard.

After I decided not to slit my wrists, I called a friend who took my computer to a shop. They are the ones that determined that ARRGGH would no longer be contributing to my internet addiction. However they were able to at least recover some of my memory, mostly documents and saved files, which was better then I had hoped. I can reinstall software, recovering months of work would have been much more time consuming. In fact I'm reloading software as I type this blog.

It will take me a bit to get used to the new keyboard, and have already determined that HP gives you a crappy mouse. I have already plugged my old laser mouse back in. The jury is still out on this keyboard, as the keys are different. That is causing my to hit backspace more then usual right now. Of course the backspace key is the one I usually wear the print off of first anyway.

One thing that i will be investing in in the near future, once my bank account recovers from the $600 drain I put on it today, is a flash drive. IF I had backed up that project on a removable source, I would have not had to wait to turn it in. Yet another lesson learned.

One last thing? The reason for the title of my blog. I have tended to give my computers names that fit in with the fact that they can frustrate me to no end. My first, an HP was GRRR, He lasted 7 years. AARGGH, the now defunct Gateway, lasted a mere year and a half. The New HP is to be dubbed Piss and Moan, or P & G for short.

Now you know.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Is It Really Worth It?

I have decided to answer that question when it comes to my job. I have been working at a corporate owned salon for almost 21 months. During that time, I have managed to build up a halfway decent clientèle. I am not completely booked, but considering that I had moved to the area three weeks before I got this job, I'm not doing bad. I didn't know anyone in this area before we moved here, and I know it takes a few years to build clientèle up. I have gotten a raise, and have raised my service prices slightly as well. I seem to be well liked by my clients and the people that I work with. The location is also convenient for me, being at the local mall, making my daily commute about 15 minutes.

Here is the downside. Our mall has been in a down-cline for a couple of years. I don't know exactly why, but not as many people are visiting our mall these days. That means less foot traffic coming by our door, and that means less potential customers. Corporate management doesn't seem to care about that, and has done nothing in my tenure to help boost sales in the marketing front. They seem to expect us to do it all. That leads to problem number two.

We can't seem to keep staff or store management longer then about 4 months. Our turnover rate is extreme. In fact, besides myself, there is only one staff member who has been here longer then 4 months. She was hired before me. The main reason staff leaves is that they come to work to make money, and we just don't have enough clientèle for them all. Upper management keeps hiring people who stay a few months and then leave. The customers have noticed and commented on the turn-over. During the time I've been here, we've gone through three managers as well. Again corporate doesn't seem to care. In fact, I've had staff members pressured to drop out of college, or give up that second job and concentrate more on the one here. They have that second job, because they are trying to earn a living, yet they like doing hair, but the income isn't enough to pay their expenses. They are going to college, because they are 18 and want to complete or further their education. I am old enough to be all of these girls' mother, I understand their viewpoint. Upper management doesn't seem to. Which brings about problem number 3.

I am in a position of interim manager. That means I do the normal day to day job duties a salon manager does, but I am not considered one. All problems that occur in the salon stop at my door. I am only slightly compensated for the increased stress and responsibility, if at all. It is not within my power to do outside marketing to bring in new business. They give us all these post-cards to send out, but in my experience the rate of return on those cards is about 1%. AND that is only for customers, who have visited us already. Nothing at all is being done to bring new clients, other then, in my case straight referrals.

I have little or no say-so in hiring or firing of staff either, as I have been over-ruled on that more then once. I am given all this responsibility, yet apparently I'm not qualified to do the job. Here's the rub. I've been doing it for 8 and half months, or in-between the tenures of the salon managers that come, stay on an average of four months then leave.

Yesterday, my District Manager let a girl go. Now it was a good decision, as this poor thing, fresh out of beauty school this past June, was obviously not working out. Her skills were woefully lacking, despite much time spent with her to help her along. She left, and three hours later another girl came in and quit. We'd hired a new girl, and another one had quit earlier in the week. Now I'm having to scramble to fill in the holes in the schedule left by latest exit. Can I get a hold of my DM? Of course not. It's Friday afternoon, she's no longer available. I won't get to talk to her again till Monday, when I will be at work, on my day off, covering a shift.

So back to my original question. Is it really worth it? I have come to the conclusion that it isn't. I really don't want to stop doing hair. I love what I do, I just have decided that I need to go elsewhere. If I can't find a job in this field then, I will go back to the corporate world. However, I have the benefit of being picky. I have been approached by another salon, and I will be talking to them, as well as sending out all those resumes. Sigh, I really do hate searching for a job, but I don't want to be the "it girl" and get nothing out of it, other then "experience", and stress.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Must I balance that checkbook?

Here's the thing. I suck massively at math. I transpose numbers, add them up incorrectly, subtract them as incorrectly, and multiply like a 3 year old. I don't know why I have such a hard time with numbers but I do.

My dilemma is that I am married to "Mr. Perfect Math". This man can fill up a cart with groceries and guess within 5 dollars what the total is going to be. This is the man understands distances, measurements and basic metrics. This is also the man that wants the checkbook balanced to..the penny. This is completely at odds with my philosophy with money. Mine is. Well its within five dollars or less, good enough for me.

Why can't my darling, take the same approach he uses for guessing the amount of a grocery order and apply it to my inability to add a column of numbers, or even write down the stupid number in that column correctly? Most of our disagreements are about that checkbook balance.

SO, I went on strike. I agreed with myself that I would not add a single entre for a month. I liked it so much, I extended that strike. The husband figure is not at all pleased, but he cannot understand that I simply don't care. I don't want to have a disagreement over something he can easily handle single-handedly, and I'm perfectly content to let him take care of that. If I need to see something, I can just log onto the bank's website, notice that, yes, there's money in the account, and go on. Besides we keep at least 500 extra in the account at all times anyway. Even if we do go over a bit, we've got a built in over-draft protection.

I guess I'll take a peek at the balance, and see what the bank website says. Then write down what the hubby's balance is in my register, and call it a day.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The boss...gahh!

This week our district manager has been at our salon. (I work for a hair salon chain) As I am acting manager, pending a fifth replacement, I have been having to deal with her presence, and the ruffled feathers produced in her wake. Of course it doesn't help that my staff consists of mere infants, the youngest, nearly 18, the oldest 21. Oh wait there is the part-timer who's health keeps her mostly away, but I'm not really counting her, as her presence lately has been mostly nil.

The DM isn't a bad person, or evil, despite the opinions of some, she is just doing her job. I do think that she is a little too into her job, but that is how she is apparently hardwired, poor woman.

What sucks for me is knowing that, yet again, I'm in a position of much responsibility, little authority, as being an interim manager, only allows you limited power. Interestingly enough, the infants mostly consider me the boss and wonder why I'm not just given the position. Good question, I don't know, other then the fact that after awhile, I literally begin my mental meltdown from the stress that infantile staff can promote. The fact that I'm on term #5 of this state of work existence is apparently irrelevant.

Now comes the fun part. Next week, my DM's boss is visiting the salon for the week too. I will have both women to deal with. Why is the regional manger coming here? Are we bigger screw-ups then I imagined? Do I need to polish up my resume? Or am I having another panic attack and should just not fret over this? I don't know, but I will certainly find out on Tuesday when I return after a two day work break.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

yes this is a blog

I have joined the rest of quasi-literate humanity and have started blogging. Hey, if Paris Hilton can blog, then so can I. Hopefully what I have to say is less prone for people to point and laugh at the monitor as they read what I write. UNLESS, I say something witty. Then I hope that they tell all their friends, their friends read my blog, one of the friends has a friend who is a well known book publisher, who also reads my words, contacts me and signs me up for a multi-million dollar book deal.

Ok, I see that my fantasy life has lost none of its richness. If no one but myself ever reads a single word of what I write, I can at least find another creative way to express myself.