Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Today was my second day of work. It was a day of bumbling around trying to learn the ropes and wishing people would stop assuming that it takes me twice as long as normal to do simple tasks, or even better, give me a longer list of stuff to do so I don't have to hunt them down to get my next set of orders.

See, I'm supposed to be doing registers, but it's so crazy busy in the afternoons while I'm working that they can't finish training me. I started today, but it wasn't very long before I was holding up the line and they had to send me away. I keep forgetting stuff- there's a lot of little steps. I mean, I basically know what to do, but sometimes if I feel rushed I make mistakes. And fixing them takes a while. It's not like I won't learn, I mean, it's just a matter of doing it until I get used to the system. It's just frustrating, right now.

So instead I was sent back to help in the Housewares department, unpacking boxes and restocking shelves, and then going through and making sure all the Christmas stuff was on the proper sale racks (This is good to have done, because one of the problems I had at the register was knowing what counted as "Christmas themed." Now I know, so I won't have to check all the time). Then there was general picking-up-and-returning-to-the-proper-location stuff to do, since shoppers tend to grab something, change their minds, and leave it randomly on a shelf somewhere. The problem was, as I was unpacking the boxes, I'd finish a set of them in no time at all, and then I'd have to go hunt down the woman supervising me and get her to tell me what to do next. I felt like such a little nuisance, but I hate sitting around and doing nothing, especially when I know that's not what I'm supposed to be doing.

But after I had checked the aisles about five times for things that needed straightening, picking up, or returning, I was snagged by the store managers, who were trying to figure out how to move new merchandise out into the toy department. So I was recruited to rearrange the shelves, which were half-empty anyway, and then move toys out. This was at least a department which I am a little more familiar with, since I recognized most of the toys from my last job working at a daycare. So I was basically arranging the toys in displays and bringing them out from the back room all afternoon.

I have one thing to say: I know that everyone says this, but I feel I need to say it anyway. Bratz and MyScene dolls are the worst possible gift for a young girl. Barbie says "I'm a docile female, a stereotype of the fifties generation who badly needs a hamburger and some cute flats," but at least the company tries to give her roles as a doctor or a teacher or an athlete (and not just cheerleading) so concerned parents can try to make the dolls represent what they hope their daughter aspires to be. Bratz and MyScene (Mattel's answer to Bratz) just say "I'm a hip young socialite who wears very little clothing and looks like the sort of girl who would get plastered at a party and wake up in some strange boy's room with no underwear." Alternatively, they say, "That will be a hundred dollars, please."

Honestly. I don't even believe that Barbie is emotionally damaging to girls and I think that Bratz and MyScene is ridiculous. If they're still around if/when I have a daughter, I'm issuing a Christmas-gift warning: stereotypes of women okay, teenage pseudo-whores bad.

That said, I was stocking the Barbies today and I noticed two things. First, Mattel has given Barbie a new movie, in which she is one of twelve sisters who love to dance. Yes. They have made a Barbie version of the Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I am completely affronted by this attack on my childhood memories. That was my favorite story when I was a kid. However, at the same time, I kinda want to watch that movie, despite it being a badly animated movie based on a doll. I just want to see how badly it's butchered. And if they made Ken into the Old Soldier who marries the eldest sister (presumably Barbie) against her will, stealing her from the gorgeous enchanted man whom she was sneaking away to dance with each night. Don't worry. I don't actually think they used that version. In part because the dolls all wear ballet shoes, so I think they dance solo.

Second thing: There was on the shelf a Harley Quinn Barbie doll. Yes, the DC Comics villainess. Apparently there is also Batgirl, Supergirl, Lois Lane, Poison Ivy and the Invisible Woman (complete with clear plastic "invisible" arms). Now, I realize I'm 19 years old and I am supposed to be mature or something. That said- I really, really want a supervillain Barbie doll. Like, passionately. Like, I might actually go buy it if it's still on the shelf tomorrow.And if it isn't, I might just go to Toys R Us or something and find a Harley Quinn or a Poison Ivy Barbie. They look really cool, as you can see in the images, and come on, it's a supervillain Barbie. I'm wondering if I can convince my parents to get me a Barbie doll. They're like $20 each. And having a supervillain Barbie on my desk would like, make my life.

I am officially the world's biggest loser. AND I LIKE IT!

I also have decided that I strongly dislike the fact that the law says I have to take 15-minute breaks once in a while. Because honestly, there's nothing to do on 15-minute breaks. Can't go anywhere- not enough time. Can't shop- not enough money (Just enough to buy a Barbie). I basically sit in the break room, drink a soda, and read the posters on the walls warning you against shoplifters. Whoa, 'bout killed myself with the excitement there.

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