Monday, January 31, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 77

As usual I had clothing to price and put out. Unfortunately, some of the racks started to get crowded (which can repel customers) so in the afternoon, I started narrowing my focus in terms of what clothes I put out. I mostly grabbed ladies' tops, especially ones marked extra large or higher.

It turns out that we've got some bad weather predicted this week. It could turn out that our store ends up being closed on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. (I don't work on the fomer day, but the manager did say she would call me if it closed on the latter day.)

That's been my day today. IF I end up going in on Wednesday as usual, I hope I'm able to get more done.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 76

One of the things that had to be done today was for a certain part of the back room to be cleared so that some racks could be returned there. (We had almost all the racks on one side, but that ended up not working out.) The manager had said that she and the HSP needed to be able to access a couple of cages in one corner of the back room so that they could get a couple of stray cats in there.

It turns out that we will have somewhere new to send whatever clothes and shoes we have to recycle. This particular place is up in Kansas City. Someone will come in and take that stuff off our hands and pay us for it. We just need to keep the area organized.

There was one rack in the middle room that we were using for unpriced clothing, but it had to be cleared so that only "style show" clothing was there. (And my mom came in today to pick out her outfits for that. I took care of getting mine picked out yesterday.) I forgot whether or not a certain group of clothes was for that, so I left a note explaining that. (I might get in a bit of trouble for that though.)

I'm feeling bad that I haven't been super-fast with getting all the clothes priced and put out. After all, anything that's in view is subject to customer interest. (I had to do an urgent pricing on a skirt that someone was interested in. I consulted with the cashier on duty on it. It got sold, but looking back on it, given that said cashier was kind of busy, I should've just gone with my gut on what to price it at.) I have a feeling I'm just going to have to make my best guess something should run for and risk being off the mark. If whatever I mark something at works out, and the garment in question gets sold, great. If the price has to be adjusted at a later time, so be it. I just know that there's a lot of catching up to do, and I've got to step up my game.

That's all I got for today. Maybe Monday, I can get my act together like never before.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 75

One of the things I did today was help the manager pack some things to be taken somewhere else at a later time. After that, I resumed pricing and putting out clothes. I took a risk and priced a couple of them for the bargain room: a couple of "plain" tops and what looked like a faded polo.

After I ran out of stuff in the middle room to price, I looked for clothes in the back room that already had tags on but had been sitting on the racks for quite some time. I found several items that fit this category. Let's just say that whoever will be pricing the clothes next (either me, the manager, or one of the cashiers who is authorized to price) will have a good starting point.

That's been my day today. Tomorrow, I will probably go in so that I can figure out what outfits I wish to model for the style show.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 74

I had actually worked yesterday, but I didn't get around to doing an account when I got home for some reason.

I don't remember right off if I mentioned this in a previous post, but lately, we had been running low on tags for clothes and had resorted to using ones that had been written on. This meant whatever price was on there in the first place had to be crossed out. However, I came up with the idea to bring some white-out from home and use that on tags that had been written on but were taken off of clothing that was being recycled either due to a caught flaw in the garment in question or to second thoughts about it on the manager's end. Supposedly, my white-out idea inspired the manager to (maybe) establish a new policy that when clothing gets sold (or recycled, whichever comes first) that the tag be taken off, whited out, and saved for another use.

Part of my time was spent whiting out used tags and putting them in a box for whoever was tagging the clothes. Later, I priced some clothes and put them out. (Speaking of clothes, I think on Thursday, I will go in to look at what "I" would like to model for the upcoming style show.) I still have a ways to go not only in figuring out which clothes are worth the most but also which ones could be designated for the bargain room. (I was told that plain knit tops should go there, as well as any with an out-of-seaon picture on them. We had a couple of both the last go round. But especially nice stuff should still go on the main racks.) I'm going to see what I can take care of tomorrow.  I may end up going with my gut on some of the items that I suspect could be marked at the bargain level. Otherwise, I'll likely mark it under the assumption that it should go on the main rack. (The judgement calls will probably be easier as I go along.)

That was my day yesterday. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Went Skating Last Night

I don't normally get out on the weekends. However, last night was an exception.

I haven't skated in years, but I went skating last night. Below is a picture of me at the rink. (For the record, I'm the blonde in the blue jeans and red sweater.)

This is not something an opportunity that comes up for me very often. However, the band that my stepdad is the drummer for had a gig there. (My mom will generally go to the gigs unless she's unable to for some reason. Not only does she give him moral support, but she often helps with setting things up. Sometimes I'll be invited to the gigs depending on location. BTW, my mom is the one that took this photo.)

There were some people who skated backwards, but because of what little skating experience I have, I opted not to risk it. There were times when I did fall, but I had a good time overall. Maybe I'll get to do this again someday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 73

I don't remember if I had mentioned this before, but we started running out of tags to the point that whoever had been tagging had to resort to using tags that had been written on and scratching out what was on them. Unfortunately (and through no fault of their own), it didn't look very professional. So, what I did today was I brought some white-out from home and used it on the "recycled" tags. (The manager saw me do this and thought that was quite clever.)

As usual I had clothes to price. A couple of days ago, I started looking up brands of clothes to see what they were worth (or at least what kind of stores I'd find them in) for something to keep in mind when I price stuff. (Some brands I heard of, even if only by name. Some brands I never heard of, and neither did the manager.) I think I almost ran out of stuff to price, but then one of the people who's usually in the back room brought out some stuff that had already been tagged. Unfortunately, some of the clothes turned out to have stains, holes, etc. and therefore had to be recycled.

There were a couple of times throughout the day when donations came in, including clothes, as usual. We also had three vanity tops (like you'd see in a bathroom) come in (something we don't normally get, but out of  principle, we don't generally turn anything away). I'm not sure what they are going to run for.

That's been my day. I'll probably do more "brand" research this weekend in hopes that as of next week, I can get stuff priced more efficiently.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 72

Much of my day was spent pricing what I could of the clothes. I did have to do a couple of the runs on the register though, as there were times when the manager was busy with something, and there was nobody else on duty who was authorized to operate the register.

The clothes aren't getting out as fast as they normally do as I'm pretty much the one pricing them as of late, which takes a lot of thought. It's easy to be consistent when you have several comparable things to work with and of similar brands but not-so-easy when you've got items from brands you haven't even heard of and/or the style is one you've never seen. (And because we are a thrift store, our stock consists of what people are willing to donate and is thus unpredictable.) I generally keep the brands of clothing in mind as well as what kind of shape it's in when I price it.  I may have to look up some brands though to find out whether they are more "mall" brands or Wal-Mart brands so that I can price stuff of said brands accordingly. (I had a professor in college who said that sometimes you have to do homework in order to do your homework.) Once I have a better idea of brands, I can be more efficient. (If I didn't have things to do off duty, such as laundry or my job search, I'd probably plan on going in every single day to get more of the clothes priced and put out.)

That's been my day. I hope I get more done on Friday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 71

Today, I mostly priced and put out clothes. I'm hoping that prices I've been writing in aren't too off the mark. I try to look for something comparable that has already been put up for sale to get an idea. Sometimes, I have no luck with that, so I just use my best guess based on general guidelines I've been given. (For instance, stuff that is of a high end brand is usually worth more than something of a not-so-high name brand.)  If it turns out that I'm wrong, well, at least I tried.

 We have a room of "bargain clothes" but since I don't know all the rules for what belongs in the bargain room and I'm guessing that whatever is in there, there has to be no question that it belongs there, I generally price stuff under the assumption that it belongs on one of the main racks.

Someone else has taken over tagging and hanging up clothing, which was what I used to do. We probably won't get caught up by the end of the month, but hopefully, it'll be less crowded in the back room for a whle before spring hits and we get more of an ambush of donations again.

That's been my day. Hope Wednesday is productive as well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 70

As of today, I have become authorized to price clothing. Awhile back, the manager wanted to be the only  one doing it, but then she had a lot of outside stuff to take care of it, so she delegated some of this to someone else. However, the situation has become such that said person didn't have time to do it either. So, me it was. I was only able to get so much of it done though, as I had to check stuff that was already up for sale to see what it ran for so that I could at least attempt to be consistent. (Supposedly, there's going to be someone joining the staff who has some idea of what stuff is worth that'll be able to help with some of the pricing as well. Also, I think the manager had said something about possibly writing down a set of guidelines to go by when pricing stuff.)

From time to time, there were hangers to take to the back, as well as bags of donated clothes. Someone from the recycling center also came to help clear out bags of rejected clothes, as well as boxes that had been broken down.

That's been my day. Maybe I'll get more pricing done on Monday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Change Of Plans Today

Today, I was supposed to meet up with someone at the college campus to discuss something. Well, I happened to catch up with them in Facebook's chat room, and it turned out that they had an illness in the family. So, we ended up rescheduling.

It's still pretty cold where I lived, so I cancelled the stuff that I was going to go out and do today and stayed home instead. I generally try to keep my Tuesdays and Thursdays productive (though I don't always succeed), but at the same time today, I needed to be careful about noise as my mom's been sick since yesterday afternoon and has probably been sleeping off and on throughout the day.

After I put away the dishes in the dishwasher, I finished reading my copy of The Outlaw's Bride by Liz Ireland. Sometime after that, I worked on some online surveys/cleaning my inbox. However, my eyes could only the computer screen for so long, so I read the prologue of The Seance by Heather Graham.

I just now finsihed eating some meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I think tonight I'll mostly do stuff on Facebook and maybe watch TV or read. Or I might do more surveys.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 69

I was mostly up front this time. I did a couple of runs on the register when there was no one else available to do it. I broke down some boxes, put some shoes out on the sales floor, and took some stuff to the back room. (Speaking of shoes, one of the pairs I put out was a pair of pink crocs. According to the size label on the bottoms of them, they could pass for men's or women's, put I don't know how many guys would buy pink crocs, so I put them with the womens' shoes. I hope I did the right thing.)

Another thing I did, per the manager's request, was take out the Christmas cards, and switch them for the "other" cards such as birthday, anniversary, etc. It took me a while to do this as I wanted the display to be cohesive, as in cards of one theme together, maybe ones with similar pictures together, etc. I'm not sure I did it right, but I'm sure I'll be told if I didn't.

I normally walk home when I got off duty. But when I was eating lunch, my stepdad called me and told me that he was coming to get me after four (which was when we both got off today) since it was pretty cold out still.  So, after my shift was up, I waited inside until he came and got me.

That's been my day. I don't know what'll happen Friday.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 68

Today, one of the biggest priorities, if not THE biggest priority was to get the Christmas stuff taken down to make room for Valentine's Day stuff. After that, I mainly tried to straighten out the main sales floor and bargain room per the manager's request.

Today was our first snow for the winter. I walked through it. It was no big deal. I was concerned that one of my colleagues wouldn't be able to make it because of the whether. (Like me, said colleague doesn't drive.) But she was able to make it. She did, however, have to leave earlier than she normally did due to another commitment.

We did have people bring in donations despite the weather. One gentleman had mulitple boxes of different things. Another person had brought in a few bags worth of things. In one of said bags was dog toys. (Said toys have been put on reserve for the HSP to take to the Humane Society the next time she's in the store.)

At some point, I bought a small bubble of bubbles that I had found in the donation pile either last week or the week before. I'll probably hold onto it for the next time my sister's dog is at my house. Then, I could blow some bubbles for him to chase around.

As it turns out, we are open until six once again. I don't know if I will stay put that long or if I will do my usual 10-4 and leave it at that. I ended up leaving a little after four today since it was snowing, and there was that chance of the weather getting worse.

That's all I got for now. Who knows what Wednesday will bring?

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 67

I don't think I brought this up, but there are few people on the staff, including myself, whose shifts generally begin the minute the store opens and who thus tend to show up a few minutes before then. As the manager is only able to make it in a minute or two before time to open (if she's lucky), she told us earlier this week, in no uncertain terms, that she'd just as soon we showed up five minutes late. (She said this on Monday. There was one other person around besides me. We thought she was joking at first, but she wasn't.)

Today, I tried leaving the house later, and doing things like picking up litter as I go and putting it in the first trash can I could find in order to lengthen how long it took me to get there. I even tried taking a short detour. Nonetheless, I ended up showing up earlier than the manager would've wanted.

I ended up not going to last night's "work night", but supposedly some other people did. There was somewhat of a dent made as a result, but there was still some stuff to go through.  Two other people and I were able to get much of the pile that had been around for quite some time cleared up.

One of the first things I did today was put out some clothing that had already been priced. After that, I put some clothing that the manager had opted not to keep around anymore in a bag for recycling. There were also clothes to get on hangers as usual. I have, however, held off on tagging for the time being per the manager's request so that she can go through it better.

The big pile of clothes that we had in one area of the back room has pretty much been cleared up. (Some of it has been moved to the counter for now, though). There were some non-clothing items in there too, which I moved closer to the door between the back room and the kitchen. I have a feeling that one of the priorities next week will be to get more of said items to the front and put up for sale.

All in all I think the amount of stuff to deal with has gone down for now. The donations (some of which we got today) haven't been coming in as frequently as they had been when the weather was warmer, I don't think. Depending on what else is going on, I may take time to pick out what I'll be modeling for the next fashion show.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Not A Productive Day, I'm Afraid

I got off to a late start this morning. I haven't done anything in connection to the job search. I wasn't able to get into my inbox to respond to survey offers as soon as I had hoped. And when I did, I only got a couple of surveys done. About the most I accomplished today was take some recycling to the school campus and catch up on the dishes.

I need to be more careful about late starts because otherwise, I'm not in the right frame of mind to get much done. Maybe as of tomorrow, when I go to turn off my alarm, I'll turn on the light as well. Maybe then, I'll be less tempted to go back to bed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 66

As usual, the day was spent primarily tagging and hanging up clothes. Once again, though, those of us in the back room had to resort to draping several items over the racks. And today, there were four of us in the back room. We have so much clothing right now, that if someone were to swipe a couple of pieces, God would literally be the only one to notice. Despite our best efforts we still have quite a ways to go.

The recycling people hadn't shown up yesterday from my understanding, but they did show up today. It was a relief to have all of the boxes and rejected clothing out. There was a lot to send to recycling, but as the guy that had shown up to pick it up had said, at least he has job security.

Tomorrow night is supposedly the "work night" there for anyone that wishes to help out (staff member or not) to do so in order to help get caught up on things. I don't know if I'm going to go or not as it's during dinner hours, and I don't normally work on Thursdays. I might if it turns out that there is not a lot of turnout for it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Day Today And A New Plan

Today, I did laundry and took surveys online. (My stepdad's off on Thursday, and there's no telling whether or not he will want to do any laundry on Thursday.)

I've come up with a new plan for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Given that I'm at the Doggie Bag from 10-4 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I will use this same time block (or as much of it as possible) for Tuesdays and Thursdays for job search stuff (such as obtaining/filling out/submitting applications) or otherwise trying to get income going.

One such potential means of getting income will be to take surveys online. There are multiple sites I signed up for awhile back, but I'd fall behind on the surveys. I've decided that during whatever day (or any part thereof) I spent at home all day, would be spent doing surveys starting at 10 (or as close to that as possible) and ending no earlier than 4.

Another thing I may do is get back into oDesk, which I signed up for awhile back and look for writing or proofreading gigs there. I signed up for that awhile back. I had to abandon it shortly after signing up when it turned out that my sister would need a sitter for her kid in the summer (which would be a job in and of itself).

Either this week or next week I'll be checking out the temp agency ManPower to see if they know of any openings. (Actually, I may have to hold off on that one as I have someone I will be meeting up with in town, probably sometime this month, and I'd hate for there to be any kind of scheduling conflicts going with any jobs I take.)

Whatever it is I end up doing, I have resolved for this to be the year that I finally get some income going.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 65

Today, I was part tagging and hanging up clothes (By the latter, I mean more along the lines of getting clothes on hangers. There's hardly any room on the racks in the back, so I've resorted to draping stuff over the racks.) and part taking up stuff to the front for the cashier on duty to price.  Throughout the day, we had donations come in.

One of my colleagues and I have tried to get a certain part of the back room cleared up. Said colleague happened to find a typewriter of all things in the pile today. Whether or not it gets sold remains to be seen

Sometime, in the afternoon, the probably only person who had seniority over me when I was working there that didn't leave, showed up to drop a few things off. She said she hadn't been able to come in lately due to illness.

That's been my day today. With any luck, we'll get caught up in February or March...maybe.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Doggie Bag Days Season 2: Day 64

I don't normally work on Saturdays anymore, but there was nobody else that was able to come in to run the register. I was there from noon to four today. Someone else came in, but they're not authorized to run the register, so they were in and out of the back room. The manager was in long enough to unlock the store, but she couldn't stay for very long because she had another commitment. (The only other time I have ever worked on New Year's Day was when I held a part-time job at a retail store in a mall in Santa Fe.)

As it turns out, our Christmas stuff is 1/2 off, our clothes are buy one get one free, and our purses have been marked down to fifty cents. I managed to sell some clothes and two purses but no Christmas stuff.

The colleauge that was in today was also the person that had bought a dining room table that we had up for sale. She took that home today, but she had take it home and then come back. Closer to the end of the day, she bought two tablecloths.

The manager returned shortly before time to close the store. After we had closed up, she offered me a ride home, which I accepted.

There you have it, my first day at the Doggie Bag of the New Year. I hope your New Year's has been a good one.