In which the impossible happens, over and over again


This thing– I’ll call it a cabinet, although I don’t think that’s quite what it is– is available for sale at my place of business.  It is made entirely of wood other than the hinges and the hardware on the drawer pulls.  It is sitting on a linoleum floor in front of a wood counter and is nowhere near any electrical outlets.

It is made– I’ll say this again, because it’s important– of wood.

This sentence is 100% true unless I am hallucinating or crazy:  I have, at least a dozen times over the last two days, touched that piece of wood furniture and gotten a static electricity shock from it.  Now, by my understanding of how static electricity works, that is entirely impossible.  I was working with two other people on my side of the store all weekend and unless they were fucking with me (which is not unlikely) neither of them experienced said shocks.  It was only me, and it was happening frequently.

Someone explain to me how this is possible, please, other than “You’re nuts, and that didn’t happen.”  Because, again, as far as I know it’s impossible, and yet it was happening anyway.

Good night, in other words

Eighteen sales today, for just under nine grand, with an absolutely insane four-and-a-half hour period that I’m pretty sure was my busiest single block of time since I’ve been selling furniture.  Then the books didn’t balance and it took another hour after closing to figure out what went wrong and get to go home.

On failing at furniture (but winning as a parent)

17807250_10155240324264066_2185027498056837242_o.jpgThis is what happens when you have a kid who likes books and two parents who really like books but you cheap out on the bookshelf in his room and buy a piece of flatpacked, chipboard junk from Target instead of a proper bookshelf for your kid: one night, as your wife is putting the boy to bed, the fucking thing explodes.

And then you have to go into your job at an Actual Furniture Store on your day off and order your kid a new bookshelf, because hell if I’ll let this nonsense happen again.

He’s five.  I was reading more or less fluently by the time I was his age; he’s a bit behind where I was, but I suspect he can actually read basic sight words better than he lets on.  His school doesn’t start explicit reading instruction until next year, I think, and I’m fine with letting him/them take his/their time.  We (mostly my wife) read to him every single night, and he occasionally gets mad at me when I go to the comic shop if I don’t bring him with me and don’t buy him anything– and it’s not because he wants the toys.  There are tons of kids’ books in the basement from my years of teaching; he’s inherited all of them as soon as he can actually read them.  I’m looking forward to it.  I don’t know that he’ll ever turn into the fan of the written word that I am, and I’m going to try not to push him into it too much.  But it would be nice if he’d get around to learning to read.  🙂

The slump appears to have broken at work.  I did more business yesterday than in the two full weeks before then, and did as much today as I did all last week.  I’m already at an above-average week and the weekend hasn’t hit yet.  Which: good.  I was getting tired of feeling like I suck at my job, especially after a solid week of training that was supposedly going to make me better at it.

I have thoughts about diversity and comic books.  I may share them with you, tomorrow.

New sofa!

…same kid.

Upon the One-Month Anniversary of My Tenure as a Salesman of Fine Furniture: A Reflection

Pictured: George Stephanopoulos, me

Short version: I ain’t dead yet.

As of today, I’ve served four weeks on the sales floor, plus two weeks of pure training, and am personally responsible for the sale of nearly fifty thousand dollars of furniture and furniture-related goods and services to the discerning and tasteful residents of northern Indiana and southern Michigan.

I was hoping it would be over fifty thousand, and missed that mark by a few hundred bucks, mostly because this week was sllllooooow.  I’m aiming for sixty next month; we’ll see what happens.  During that time, I have walked (conservatively, and not joking) a hundred and sixty miles.  It’s probably higher than that.  I’m still getting used to the schedule; three eleven-hour days a week where I’m there from open to close, a half day on Wednesdays, and a short day on Sunday.  I deliberately did not report to OtherJob this week, pleading the need for two consecutive days off, and spent my Friday thusly:

7:45 AM: Arise from slumber.  Rouse boy.
8:30 AM: Deliver boy to day care.
9:15 AM: Return home.  Go back to bed.
3:45 PM: Get out of bed, grab Sonic for lunch, collect boy from day care.
5:00 PM: Get home.  Spend rest of day lazing about.

I regret nothing, people.

I enjoy the work.  I’m even getting to not completely hate Tuesdays, which involve unloading enormous trucks full of heavy furniture and then hours of time on the phone with people who don’t understand that no, we don’t send a truck to your little piss-ant town five days a week, and yes, that means that if Friday’s truck is full you’re going to have to wait until next Friday.  Yes, I know you spent a thousand dollars.  So did everyone else.  We’re doing our damn best over here.

But anyway.  Yeah: I like the work, I like the people I’m working with, I like the idea that this is a skill I need to sharpen and get better at.  I’m not hugely fond of the schedule, mostly because I’m missing out on daddy time, and my body is weary, but that’s getting better.  The gripes are minor, especially compared to anything I went through teaching.  I have to find a way to carve out more writing time, too, but as the exhaustion lessens that’ll get better.  And I beat my training pay this week, by a decent margin.  That’s all sorts of good.

So, yeah.  As mid-life career changes go?  Right now, this could be a hell of a lot worse.