Monday, December 30, 2013

Work Dec 30, 2013

There was no full day kickback on Mon Dec 23. The first two hours were boring. The rest of the day was busy. The owner purchased Chinese food.

I learned more history about the company. The store opened for the first time on June 2009 at another location.

I wished my commute was easy on Tue Dec 24. I stopped at one red light on my final leg after the freeway. I was reminded when I worked at Cisco. I commuted on the expressway such that my morning commute I could drive through green lighted intersections between my entrance and my exit. Tue Dec 24 was also the first time I ate breakfast on the road. I purchased bagels at Safeway.

The store closed at 4pm for Christmas Eve. I clocked out at 4:43pm because pricing must be completed.

My attitude working on Thur Dec 26 was be professional. There were people who worked the day after Christmas. I didn't feel good the entire day. I felt bloated and I had gas such that I gained weight. I went to the bathroom multiple times. I didn't eat lunch. I requested my manager to clock out early because I felt worse.

My choice going home early was a good choice. I threw up minutes after I arrived home. I got the stomach flu. It was the first time I got sick since Nov 2012. I called in sick for Fri Dec 27.

I worked on Sat Dec 28 because of Christmas Day. There was chaos and stress throughout the store; for instance, an in-store event for invited guests only. Nobody took their lunch break. I ate my light lunch on my desk catching up what I missed on my sick day.

I went to the second store located in Los Gatos, CA for another invited only event on Sun Dec 29. There was confusion and workers untrained. The untrained workers included me. Everyone did their best. I was supposed to be at the Los Gatos location for 30 minutes. I ended up staying for 1.5 hours. It was good experience to see how the opening event went.

It was another easy commute today as the holiday continues. My feelings were I wanted to be alone; however, I'm not alone. There was something inside me that wants to reset my entire life. I didn't want to reflect my life. I didn't want to think about 2013. I wanted nobody else present. The last time I experienced wanting to be alone was in Dec 2004. Interesting and unusual. Further, these personal feelings have been experienced driving to and from work.

The store is closed on New Year's Day. I asked my manager earlier today. I'm scheduled to work Sat Jan 4, 2014.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why Do I Write Blogs?

The answer is simple. Writing blogs saves me. My written communication is better than my verbal communication. I write my feelings, my thoughts, my opinions, my experiences, my mistakes, and my life observations. I believe I go crazy and insane without expressing myself. Sometimes I feel better sharing myself to the world in writing instead of sharing with people. I'm happy when a small amount of people read my blogs even though they are a few.

Writing blogs keeps my writing skills sharp. Writing is an important skill in life from professional to personal. I don't have a boring life. There is always something to blog. I'm grateful. I don't take an unboring life for granted. I'm neither an author, an English major, nor an editor. I believe I have good writing skills.

My indefinite goals writing blogs are recording the history of my life as I continue getting better, sharing my accomplishments and my failures, being honest, and making sure I live life to the best of my ability. Thank you for reading my blogs. I've been blogging since Aug 2005. I hope I satisfy your time. And I hope I convince the world I'm doing the best I can.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Top Ten Life Ironies

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face --"Ironic" by Alanis Morissette

I remember listening to an Alanis Morissette song going home from college. I purchased her Jagged Little Pill CD the next day. One of my college friends described life as being ironic. He had a point. Life can be and is ironic. Everyone experience irony for better or for worse and for good or for bad. There are opposite moments beyond our control that just happens. It's life.

My current job is a good example. My company is in the wine, beer, and sake business. I never drank any alcoholic beverage in my entire life before being hired. How ironic. I drank my first wine on my second day of work. Here are my top ten ironies:

10. Less than ten ironies. I need to live more life. I thought of nine ironic moments in my life to make the top ten.

9. Curry food. I like to eat Japanese curry. I don't like to eat Indian curry.

8. I can't float. I took swimming classes when I was a kid. I could swim. I couldn't float because my body has a buoyancy flaw. 10% of human beings can't float.

7. One or two events made or broke a calendar year. 2004 was a good year except for Fanime Con and Anime Expo anime conventions. I had a bad time at those conventions. 2007 was a bad year except for getting a job at Cisco and purchasing my first car.

6. Thank you (insert blank) for an A at the following college classes. I never thought what I knew before taking the class significantly helped me get an A. I took piano lessons when I was a child that helped me earned an A in Music 10B. My Math 30 Calculus helped me get an A in Economics 103 Mathematical Methods for Economics. My work experience with Excel and Accounting 86 helped me earned a B in the midterm for Accounting 88. Most of the students failed the midterm.

5. Back to work at Blockbuster Video. I quit my part time job at Blockbuster at the beginning of the Fall Semester 1996. I needed money. I went back to Blockbuster in Nov. I worked for one entire year before quitting permanently in Nov 2007.

4. Cold person guy. I have great tolerance for cold weather and cold temperatures. Natural outdoor air blowing inside is okay. I can't stay under an indoor draft from an air conditioning system. I get sick.

3. Retiring from my favorite hobbies. My favorite hobbies are supposed to make me happy. I realized I'm happier after retiring from most of my favorite hobbies. They included baseball cards, role playing games, anime, and video games.

2. Fiction books and non-fiction books. I read non-fiction books to improve my life. The books included self-help and leadership. Reading fiction books was once in a blue moon. I started reading fiction books regularly in Oct 2008. I have learned more about life reading fiction books than non-fiction. I read about 75% fiction and 25% non-fiction.

1. The classic music. I hated anything music classics for a long time. I slowly became interested in the classics starting with classical music in 1998, classic rock in 2004, and classic jazz in 2008.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Work Dec 21, 2013

Everyone started late on Mon Dec 9. I drove a new route to work avoiding bottleneck traffic on the second highway, fewer signal lights, and more city driving. I was informed a co-worker found a full time job back where she grew up. She was at the company for two weeks.

The commute is different every day. Something different happens such as accidents. An accident on a freeway changes my commute time because other drivers took alternate routes. Signal lights are another example because a string of green lights or red lights makes a difference. The minutes waiting for a red light or the minutes save driving pass an intersection on a green light adds up.

I had a mild stomach ache on Wed Dec 11. I felt better after the morning. I learned from another worker the office was supposed to be an office for the owner with no inventory. There is too much inventory today. The entire day was stressful. The back-end employees felt the stress from the front-end employees.

I worked at the front end for the first time on Thur Dec 12. I answered calls. I need more training learning the POS system and handling various situations from the customers. I was really tired last night. I experienced fatigue. Sometimes the best way to learn is intentionally make mistakes because my manager sometimes teaches me confusingly. I talked to the other manager for five minutes at the break room. We talked about Starbucks, food, stress, and board games.

I worked on Sat Dec 14 because we were shorthanded. I updated prices and audited inventory for the new store opening on Mon Dec 23.

The best commute happened on Mon Dec 16. No traffic accidents throughout the South Bay. I realized I make every effort to avoid fatigue on Thur Dec 12 to the best of my ability going forward. If I have to buy dinner, I buy it. If I need extra sleep, I go to bed early. No more B.S. frustrations. Be proactive to stay focused and stay energized.

The fatigue continued on Tue Dec 17. I had a headache and neck pains. The holiday rush and holiday stress made them worse. The rest of the week was rest, rest, and more rest. I recovered from my headache on Wed Dec 18. The neck pain disappeared on Thur Dec 19.

There was a meeting for all employees who are employed at the second store on Wed Dec 18. I'm employed at the second store even though I work at the first store. I wasted 1.5 hours on a conference call phone. There was nothing worth noting. I felt stiff. I experienced lack of physical activity. I plan to go back to the gym starting Sat Dec 21. I continued resting.

Thur Dec 19 was a calm day except for the last 1.5 hours of my shift. My manager was behind in shipping. I helped him by packing products inside boxes and applying the labels on top of the boxes. My manager said corporate or business purchasing our products tripled in 2013 compared to 2012.

Fri Dec 20 was my one month anniversary. I thought I could drive more freeway and less city because it was a Friday before Christmas. I checked the traffic report before leaving the house. No accidents. I was wrong. There was a backup on the onramp to my second freeway. I said to myself, "What the heck is going on?" The traffic report said an accident just happened. Thank goodness I avoided the onramp. I never drive on the rightmost lane to enter the onramp ever again.

The entire morning I priced products. My manager gave me a new wireless mouse. I was almost caught up at the end of the day. There's next week.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Work Dec 8, 2013

Last week was my first Mon to Fri work week and my second five day work week. I worked Sat Nov 30 to make up for Thanksgiving Day on Thur Nov 28. The adjustment to working full time continues. I have been getting between six to seven hours of sleep a night which includes weekends.

There were two traffic accidents. The first was on Fri Nov 29 I forgot to mention. The second was on Mon Dec 2. I was late to work as a result. Some of the employees arrived late because of accidents. It appeared management has an understanding such that other people could cover when the store opens.

Speaking of covering shifts, one of our full time workers was sick. We were short handed on Wed Dec 4 and Thur Dec 5. I received inventory at the receiving area on Fri Dec 6. It was my second time accepting boxes from the distributors and vendors. The full time warehouse clerk gave me suggestions on pushing and turning the dolly.

There was stress inside the building on Wed. I felt it from the other co-workers and management. Everyone was stressed. I was the last person to stress out. I found an error in one product. The error was a couple of employees sold a product without getting it priced from the owner. Holiday stress.

I priced inventory and entered new inventory in the database 95% of the work week. The other 5% was preparing the webpage for the opening of the second store. Researching and finding information were time consuming because there are multiple sources for information and I work on a laptop. The 15.4 inch screen made work much longer. Fortunately, I created templates on Excel and Word to make researching more efficient.

Some of the male employees their wives are the breadwinners in their residence. Interesting. It was the first time I met men who were mostly dependent on their woman.

There were moments I felt lonely. It was a lonely feeling such that months or years later all my friends want to end my friendship and I'm not going to meet new people. Feeling lonely sucks.

My manager commented the store needs more fun. It reminded me of my first job after college. My manager at my first job commented on the office being too quiet. I wish I knew how to promote fun in a workplace. If I knew how, then I have a different profession.

The latest Google Maps app update included entering my home address and my work address. I checked my commute when I eat breakfast. The Google Maps included multiple routes and estimated times.

The second store opening day is scheduled for Fri Dec 20. The permits and licenses are approved. I'm looking forward to work in Los Gatos soon. The commute is shorter.

The lighter side of the work week was new "Employees Only" signs for the back area instead of a piece of white paper with "Employees Only" written in black marker. It looked more professional.

Finally, the U.S. Labor Department released the latest unemployment report. 203,000 jobs were added in Nov and the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3% to 7.0%. The rate is the lowest in five years. The job market is still weak.

Thursday, December 05, 2013


The year was 1996. It was a good year. I was a junior at San Jose State University. I changed majors from Mathematics to Economics in the Fall Semester 1995. On the one hand, the change of major started my rise to the best semesters and best life as a college student. On the other hand, I failed to realize I was learning life lessons outside the textbooks and outside the classrooms. I continued to act like a sixteen year old high school student. The lessons were there. The experiences were there. I failed to learn from them.

The good life was given to me on a silver platter. I took everything for granted. What could I have done? I was naive. I still had the wisdom of a high school student.

Let's take a look at my top moments with feedback. Today's blog is an example to learn from the past to prevent repeating the mistakes for the future.

I started the Spring Semester in a good and bad way. One of my required Economic classes was cancelled last minute. I added Mathematical Methods for Economics to replace the cancelled class on the first day of instruction. I just found the class that worked with my class schedule. The class involved calculus which I learned from my lower division math classes. I earned an easy A.

The three other classes I enrolled were Religion In America, Economic Statistics, and Modern Geometry. My moment in Religion In America was I crammed on the day of the final. The final was during the evening. I woke up early, drove to school, and crammed everything in the library. My final grade was a B+. I called that final "The Miracle Final". The professor who taught Economic Statistics was a good professor. I heard rumors he was a terrible professor. My grade proved otherwise which was an A-.

The best life lesson I failed to learn happened in my Modern Geometry class. The class was the first time I experienced a person after high school who disliked me. The person was the professor. He had a conflict against me. The professor didn't hate me. He wasn't out to get me. It was a relationship where there was no connection. It was minimal respect, at best, between a professor and a student. Nothing more. Nothing special. The lesson I should had learned was some people can't get along with others. There were people who don't like me for whatever reason.

For instance, all students gave a 15 minute presentation. My presentation was one of the best. I knew my material and I communicated well. My presentation grade was a C. There were some students who did worse than me. They earned higher grades. My final grade was a C+.

The semester was my final semester as a math tutor. All of the tutors moved furniture around the old Mathematics & Computer Science office which was the new location for math tutoring. The department office moved upstairs. The pay was a little bit above minimal wage. It was easy money because very few students asked for help.

My summer was very active. I started working at Blockbuster Video. It was my first retail job. I got the job because the store manager went to my high school. Working in retail was a great experience for better and for worse. I learned a lot about human relations I didn't learn in school from a customer and from a coworker points of view. I also learned there are many types of people observing all the customers. Some customers were friendly. Some customers were understanding. Some customers were rude. Some customers were irrational. And there were a few with short tempers. I always thought I never experience weird, crazy, and moronic people. I was wrong. I encountered many different types of people.

My Blockbuster Video store was pro-employee. If an employee had a problem, then management fixed it quickly. On the contrary, I heard stories from my friends today their management didn't care in their retail jobs. My friends were surprised when I tell them my positive retail stories. My retail experience was rare. Employees were treated terrible and management didn't care in most retail stores.

Furthermore, all Blockbuster Video stores were managed differently. One might think all the stores were the same such as New Releases at the back of the store and food in front of the cashier. Every store I substituted when shorthanded was managed differently; for example, closing procedures, cash drops, and priorities when helping customers.

I was introduced to new hobbies during the summer. I became a Japanese anime fan. I was hooked on Sailor Moon. I woke up hearing Sailor Moon on TV in the afternoon because I had a closing shift the night before. And I started rollerblading. I purchased a pair of rollerblades, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads at Big 5. I wore my bike helmet.

Japanese anime and rollerblading were my new hobbies and interests throughout the 1990s. (Gym was the third hobby that happened in 1999.) Board games, reading fiction books, hiking, ballroom dancing, and much more new interests and hobbies started happening in the late 2000s. I failed to learn that living a good life involved seeking new adventures and experiencing new experiences. Japanese anime and rollerblading were two great examples.

I quit my Blockbuster Video summer job to focus on my Fall Semester. Best semester ever. My classes were Macroeconomic Analysis, Writing Workshop for Economists, Human Sexuality, and Environmental Economic & Policy. All four classes were taken continuously on Tues and Thurs. There were no breaks. I had a natural four day weekend. Thanksgiving holiday was the best since I had no school on Wed before Thanksgiving and the following Mon.

I called the professor who taught Macroeconomic Analysis "The Marine". He was a person with a strong upper body, buzz cut haircut, and a firm voice. Open book and open note exams graded on a curve. My Writing Workshop for Economists professor taught me how to write. All my English professors failed to teach me. Human Sexuality class was kickback easy. We finished early for some classes. I used the free time to play the shooting video game Area 51 with an art major in the Student Union arcade. It was a miracle I stayed awake during Environmental Economic & Policy class. I earned a B+ on Macroeconomic Analysis and an A- on the other three classes.

I should have introduced myself with the art major. We could have been friends. Another lesson I failed to learn. Always meet new people and make new friends.

I went back to Blockbuster Video after Halloween because I needed income. The store manager agreed to my requested part-time schedule since I was a full time student. Blockbuster was more fun during the Christmas holiday compared to the summer. One reason was I met new coworkers who were more sociable. We were on the same level working in retail providing customer service to every type of behavior from friendly to rude. We watched each other's back well. Another reason was great movies to rent from the summer blockbusters including Independence Day, Mission: Impossible, Twister, and The Rock.

Other events that happened include my first Animerica anime magazine purchase; I attended Slug-A-Thon, my first gaming convention; visited Japantown in San Jose for the first time; and purchased Ranma 1/2 VHS tapes on clearance at a closing comic book store. These events were more examples of experiencing new experiences which was a lesson I failed to learn.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Work Dec 2, 2013

I have two concerns outside work. The first is lack of exercise. I have been going to the gym fewer days since I started working. I'm still adjusting to working full time. I fear I lose my physical fitness. My health has been improving for the past two months.

My second concern is lack of eating healthy. I bring healthy and complete lunch meals from home. I fear there is less time and effort to continue preparing healthy lunches and dinners at home. I have less free time to proactively grocery shop.

I forgot to mention I experienced my first accident during my commute on Fri Nov 22. I was 15 minutes late. I started listening to the news radio and checking Google Maps to view the traffic map. I have backup routes to avoid traffic jams.

I started to create templates to update the products on the company's webpage. I continue learning pricing inventory and entering new products into the database. Researching new products for information takes time. I even signed off on a receiving shipment. And I started to update the webpage for our new store.

I have a better understanding of the database each day helping me become more efficient and processing inventory faster. My work habits and strengths from my past jobs are coming back to me. I'm looking forward to be a better worker than my past jobs.

I started to know some of my co-workers. One worker works one day a week and comes to the store one day a month. She worked between March 2012 and August 2013. She found a full time job as an administrative assistant at a restaurant start-up. She came back on Oct 2013 for her Mon work schedule because her full time job is Tue to Sat. Another worker worked for 1.5 years. He told me the company has been on a hiring frenzy because of the new store opening up. He has seen waves of people being hired and people quitting. It's typical retail.

The other workers I know have been on the job from a few days to two months. One person who works the front and back of the store used to be in the restaurant business. He was tired coming home at 2am in the mornings. No more restaurants he said. Another worker with similar job responsibilities as me has an education background similar to our business. And I met a part-time worker married with two kids.

I had to work in the tasting room on my first Mon workday Nov 25. There was no room in the back end of the store. It was terrible because I had a TV size table tray as my work area. Work productivity was slow and inefficient because I had little room to move my mouse. The distractions and noise from the customers were not a problem.

There was a moment the owner gave an assignment later in the day. I was nervous and I sweated. She talked fast I didn't have time writing her instructions down. I must write because I have poor short-term memory. It was like I was her personal secretary.

Thanksgiving was on Thur Nov 28. The store closed. I worked Sat Nov 30 to make up for Thanksgiving Day. I didn't complain. I'm professional. I work in the retail business. I work five days a week.

Inventory must be moved around because of customers wanting products not in the front, fulfilling online orders, and completing phone orders. The workers who get products from the back commonly say "the inventory we need is always on the bottom of the pile".

I brought a mouse from home, hand lotion, and my USB cable to charge my smart phone to improve my working environment. I also listen to music from my smart phone.

I have a better understanding exhausted parents coming home from work. Parenting is tough. Parenting is another job. I have a better understanding their children wants immediate attention from their working parents. It's hard because they must act and put on a smile to keep their children happy. I have a better understanding working dads and moms need time to settle in and let off steam coming home to become parents. We're humans.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Black Friday 2013

My Black Friday was simple. My list included Breaking Bad, a new pair of shoes, $3 DVD movies, and either a Family Guy or The Simpsons DVD box set. I added a wireless mouse and a BD-ROM drive for my gaming PC. The simple Black Friday helped me browse the ads since I avoided stores that didn't sell items on my list.

My purchases were Breaking Bad Seasons 3-5 on DVD, Charlie Brown Holiday Hits CD soundtrack, Dragon Shields Transparent Counters in red color, and an air filter for my car at Amazon. I also purchased The Simpsons Season 10 at Target. And I purchased a new pair of shoes at Spot Skate Shop. I want to thank my dad for purchasing motor oil and a red CFL light bulb during his Black Friday shopping.

There were no $3 DVD movies this year because Amazon's price sorting didn't work. It was frustrating. There were cheap movies on my movie wish list. Browsing Amazon's Black Friday DVD movies took too much time. That's okay. I need to watch all of Breaking Bad.

My BD-ROM drive waits for next year. There were no computer hardware, no clothes, and no foods.