Work Issues

The school board's Spring Break started today.

Which means that my store is filling up with bored kids who decide to use my location as a place to hang out and play video games.

Oh, and also, because they're bored, they try to shoplift a lot more.

Of course, I'm scheduled to open every day I work this week. By myself.

So, today, a trio of teenaged boys come in. Two of them make a beeline for the video games cabinets at the back of the store. The third tries to distract me.

"Um, can I see the Sony discman in the shelf?"

I'm busy watching the other two like a hawk. I don't quite hear him.

"Pardon?" I ask.

"Can I see this Sony discman?"

"Oh. Yeah. Sure." I take him to the discman cabinet, just keeping an eye on the other two at the back. I make sure that the third is not distracting me.

While the third is looking at the walkman, one of the kids starts trying to pick the lock on the Nintendo cabinet.

I decide enough is enough. Time to kick these kids out. Still at the discmen, I yell, at the top of my lungs, "Hey! Would you mind not trying to break into my Nintendo cabinet?"

Realizing that he was caught, he decides to try to bluff me, and starts yelling at me.

"I was just looking at the memory cards."

I snatch the Sony back from the third and lock it back up.

"So why were you trying to pick the lock?"

"With what?" the kid yells.

"You tell me. Out of the store. Now."

The three leave, yelling and trying to knock over displays, because they were so rudely treated when they were only trying to look around and buy things.

"See if we ever come back here again!" the first yells while leaving the store.

I just HAD to laugh at that one...

* * *

Just got the news. I passed my assistant manager testing, and am now getting a $1000 a year raise. Yay me!

That's a goodly $40 or so per paycheck more.

In other store news, Tom is leaving the store next month and going back to Calgary to manage a store there.

If the rumours are true about who's taking over the store, I'll be asking for a transfer mighty quickly.

If it's Stock, a guy who used to manage up here before going down south a year ago, I want a move.

The managers in the district are already grumbling about Stock coming back up.

And I know some guys he's worked with well. And I don't get along with them. Therefore, if he works well with guys I despise, I'm willing to see him as someone I couldn't be in the same store with.

So, if given the choice, I'd lobby for the Southgate posting. Still close to where I am, bigger store, new looking store, not the rundown mess that is the BD location.

And a manager who I can work with. Otherwise, I'd consider either West Ed, KGM, or Ed Centre...


On humour...

When talking to MFJ this morning about her seeing Henry Rollins with Dev:

MFJ: I laughed a lot.

MFJ: Especially at the William Shatner parts.

MFJ: But not the masturbating parts.

At while point, I had a devilish grin, and my fingers started flying on the keyboard. Oh, ho ho! Was I going to have a rejoinder for that...

MFJ: (NOT about William Shatner)

Me, at my desk: "Damn." And hit the delete button.

I commented on how easily she was able to see what I was going to say, and maybe it was time to switch up my style of humour.

I was thinking about it, and, yes, I do have a pretty unique sense of humour. I mean, granted, I tend to share it with a few people, but for some reason, I will find things funny that no one else really does.

For example, a few years back (about 1998), back when I was living in Moose Jaw, my friends and I were watching Top Gun.

My friend Tara-Lynn was pointing out all the younger actors who went on to bigger and better. ("Look! It's Anthony Edwards! He's on ER now!")

After a few of these, I, of course, had to get a shot in. So I'm thinking, "Okay, other '80s actors..."

I point to a section of the screen. "LOOK! It's ALF!"

At which Tara-Lynn asks "Where?"

(Okay, this was funny enough as it was, Tara-Lynn taking my word as gospel and actually believing ALF had a cameo on Top Gun. But then my friend Kaz pipes in...)

"He's over behind that plane. He's saying 'Yo!'"

At which point, I'm crying I'm laughing so hard...

And, of course, my night of infamy during the Carnival of Shrieking Youth a few years ago with Kow, where D! ambushed me as Spider-Man.

It wasn't just the fact that it was just D! with a Spider-Man mask on, but still wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

It wasn't just that Spider-Man had somehow lost his swimmer's build.

It wasn't just that D! was giving me an unending barrage of web fluid.

It was that when all was said and done, when I was on the floor crying, D! looms over me and yells "Spider-Man looks out for one man, and one man only. And that's Spider-Man!"

Well, I lost it. The sheer absurdity of a dick Spider-Man made me non-functioning for about five minutes.

When D! came back onstage and started asking what he missed, I dragged myself off stage and was clutching onto a couch in the wings for my dear life, trying to make my ribs stop hurting.

So, yes. There's nothing that makes me laugh harder than absurdist humour. Canton, D!, Dev...we usually go on tangents that can go on for hours, referencing everything and anything.

My best trick is to usually juxtapose two things that have no business being linked. There's something intrinsically funny about surrealism for me, where talking about something that shouldn't be happening really makes me laugh.

While watching Smackdown a few hours ago, D! and I came upon the following scene: (Okay, just bear with me here. Without the benefit of knowing storylines, it comes off as odd.)

Booker T was traded to Smackdown from Raw, and wasn't happy about it. He was calling Smackdown the 'minor league' as far as he was concerned.

So he was off to face Eddie Guerrero, the Smackdown champion, to win the 'minor league' belt.

Backstage, he was confronted by Hardcore Holly, one of the toughest (and therefore, most thoughtless) wrestlers on earth, and not one of my favourites.

Holly: Just so you know, Booker, there's a lot of people here who will be lining up to face you after your title match tonight.

Me (talking to the screen): Yeah. See, Booker? We've got a list.

D!: Uh, Hardcore, you DO know there's two Ls in Holly, right?

Me: And only one O.

At which point, D! and I, both thinking about an illiterate wrestler who refers to himself as Hardcore Hoolie, die laughing.

Which brings us further off on a tangent.

D!: You know, they should have a storyline where Hardcore can't read, and approaches Paul London, saying "Hey! London! Tell you what: You teach me how to read, and I'll teach you how to wrestle."

Me: "But I already KNOW how to wrestle..."

D!: "That's great. We'll start now..."

We were giggling our asses off for the remainder of the evening...

So, yeah. A short synopsis (believe me, I could have elaborated for a looong time...) of what I find funny.


Should my hands be smelling like grapes?

Final set of posts from the Victoria trip.

* * *

On Sunday night, the Jukes family, Kingston's mom's side, went out for dinner at Spinnaker's, billed as Canada's oldest brew pub.

The waitress there was my archetype, that being short, black hair, and intelligent.

At the end of the meal, when I was paying for my share, she gave me a look that made me think, "Damn. If only I was staying for a few more days. And if only I lived a lot closer to Victoria than 13 hours."

Kingston took me on a driving tour in a mostly black city. Pretty nice nonetheless.

* * *

I took a WestJet flight on the way home. While packing, I was about to put my homemade wine in my luggage.

Kingston said, "You know, you should probably put that into your carry on, just so it doesn't get broken."

He also gave me a bottle for Heath.

I wasn't going to get in the trap of them finding nail clippers again, so I took those out of my backpack.

I shoved most of my stuff into my duffle bag to make room for the two bottles of wine.

While driving to the airport, we heard about a bomb threat the night before. Great. That'll make things interesting security-wise.

I get my ticket and start going through security. They ask me to take out all the electronics. This was something that didn't happen at Edmonton. They only took out everything to find the clippers.

So I dig out my Gameboy and my CD player. My camera was in the duffel bag.

My backpack goes through the x-ray.

The security guard asks me, "Do you have wine in the bag?"

"Yes, I do."

"Is it a brand, or is it homemade?"

"It's homemade."

"Oh, you're going to have to go back to the airline and put those under the plane. We don't allow homemade wine as carry on. You don't know that homemade wine's made of, or what it contains."

So I go back through WestJet. And tell the attendant about the wine. Since my luggage has already gone through, we're going to use my backpack. But we'll wrap the wine bottles in plastic bags, and mark FRAGILE on the bag. I promptly take out everything I want to do: Listen to music and read Dev's book. I'll forgo the Gameboy and put it in the backpack.

So I go through security again.

And pass through this time. I ask the girl who was helping me through, "Is this all because of last night?" (I'm not going to say the word 'bomb threat' in an airport, thank you...)

"Sort of." She explains to me that someone actually called the airport director's home phone line from a cell phone and pranked him about this so-called bomb.

Also, she says, eariler in the day, someone came through with something that's a BIG no-no, security-wise. I didn't ask what it was, but the police had to be called about it.

So I go on the plane. After hitting the proper altitude, I turn on my discman. It doesn't turn on. I turn on my discman. It says, "Screw you. I'm not working today. Should have charged my battery, jackass."

I read my book. With out music. I hit Kelowna. Beautiful, sunny day. 16 degrees out. And I get onto the adjoining flight.

On this flight, I try turning on my walkman again, this time without the random on. I get two and a half songs out of it.

When I arrive at Edmonton, it's 4 below, and overcast. Grey.

I'm waiting for my luggage to come through. I get a call from WestJet baggage for a Kyle Ee-ago.

Yup. A bottle of wine broke in my backpack. I immediately thought, "Gah! My Gameboy!" You know, electronics won't work well when put in wine. Dev asked me "You didn't think 'Gah! My backpack?"

No. I know that I can wash a backpack. Dry clean some ties. Throw out some papers. Electronics? I spent enough money on them the first time, thank you...

So I was in the baggage office, cleaning out my backpack and all that was in it with paper towels.

Thinking "Razz'n frazz'n WestJet. Don't they see the fragile stickers on this? Or the fact that it's encased in plastic?"

But I signed a waiver in Victoria, so they're exempt.

Otherwise, I got home fine. And just smelling a lot like a wino.


Kingston's Wedding

So, the wedding went well, other than me not really knowing anyone. Good thing I didn't bring anyone, other than Kingston's immediate family and a cousin that I taught computing to during my teaching stint.

Yup, I cleaned up pretty well, looking all nice in a fitted tux. Pics will be available later, as I didn't get any with my Canon. I'll just have to wait for Kingston to post some.

The wedding had only a few small mishaps, mostly involving waiting for the bridal party due to then needing to sew the maid of honour into her dress. (Well, sew her bra to the dress just so it wouldn't show...)

Jay and I, the two groomsmen (Chris as the best man) were pulling double duty as ushers before the service.

Kingston was pretty nervous about the whole thing, but he got used to it pretty quickly. After saying "I do," I guess.

For pictures, we went to Royal Roads University, one of the most beautiful castle/schools I've seen.

Although, all the time I was looking at the castle, I kept on thinking I wanted to stage my own assault on Xavier's Mansion (Royal Roads was used as the exterior for X2, as well as Smallville...)

The Japanese and Italian Gardens were beautiful places for pictures, with peacocks just walking around with not a care in the world...

The recieving line, which I've never participated in before, was fun. Especially since I knew few people.

One conversation:

GUEST: You're Chris, right?

ME: No, I'm Kyle.

GUEST: Oh. I guess it's because you two look alike.

ME: Oh. (silence)

I told Chris about this and he laughed, since he was right beside me in the line. In a Navy uniform. And with short hair. And without glasses.

But, whatever...

I had a fun time at the reception, almost taking out a roast by myself. Would I like the salmon? Is it beef? No? Then screw that noise!

('Screw that noise' has become my favourite expression here, since I don't know who to watch my language around. So, best to be the PG Jago...)

Kingston and I were able to perform the Kingston dance. That's right. I've got pictures of me with the originata...

And then, since Kingston read my post about not being physically able to NOT dance to "Hey Ya" by Outkast, he requested that song for me.

Well, the gift opening is getting ready to start, so I'm-a going to go upstairs now. I'll be making a post tomorrow, after my flight back over the mountains.

This has been one weekend of kick-ass, though. I'm really glad I came...


Jago's Mini Cultural Tour of Victoria

As any of you who've been on a choir tour with Dev and I in the past three years, we love privately owned businesses.

Especially those that have really, really bad names.

So punny that they make you groan, or ones that make absolutely no sense.

Here in Victoria, I've found two that've caught my eye.

First of all, there was Amos and Andes, an importer of foreign made goods. That gave me a chuckle.

Then came the one that horrified me to no end.

Worse than She-Mann's Hair Care.

Okay: What comes to mind when I say the word "maternity?"

Now, whatever that word is, I'm sure brings a lot better connotations than (get ready for it):

Clownin' Around Maternity

No, seriously. What the hell was the owner thinking?

Pregnant women, in my experience, have enough trouble with self-esteem. Why must you make your store sound like it's frequented by fat, scary clowns?

What kind of complex are you trying to give women here???

I dunno, Dev. Mentality-wise, it's a lot worse than Ready, Set, Baby! or Flowers by Murray. (Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, respectively)

* * *

Went to a bar, Legends, after I got off the plane last night. Well, after I came to the house and dropped off my stuff and posted.

This was where the bachelor and bachelorette parties were supposed to meet up at 10 pm.

I got there, and couldn't find anyone I knew. Granted, I last saw Kingston four years ago, met his fiancee once at that same occasion, and had no clue about anyone else in the wedding party.

So I'd be stalking the bar, looking around for Kingston. After three attempts, I thought, "Wait a minute. There's, like, no one my age here, it's full of young nineteen-year-olds in their most scantily-clad finest. And I'm looking around the bar, wearing a rainjacket and baseball cap. I look like a stalker. Or one of those creepy old guys. (Of which this bar had two that I saw...)"

So I ordered a drink, and started asking staff if they knew of a bachelor party that had hit this nightclub yet.

A half hour later, Kingston's mom comes in the door. Who I immediately recognize and rush to.

Man, I love BC's non-smoking policy when it comes to nightclubs. At least I didn't have to worry about the smell of my clothes when I came back.

Kingston never made it to Legends. Apparently, he was pretty screwed up at 10 pm, and Chris, his best man, took him home.

So I get to the house with Jen, Kingston's fiancee, at about 12:30. Where we found Kingston passed out on the couch.

We decided to make sure he was all right before going to bed. 45 minutes later, he awoke, looking for the bathroom. Jen and her father were trying to drag Kingston.

He was pretty belligerent, shouting at them. Once I called out to him, he brightened up, as only really drunk people do.

"Kyle! My oldest friend is here!"

"Yup. Need some help from the bathroom?"

So I was soaxing him to drink a load of water and eat some soda crackers before he passed out for the night. And made sure to give him a bucket. And hold his hair back.

Because that's what love is all about. Holding someone's hair back when they vomit.

Today, when Kingston woke up, he found out I was there by a note with my handwriting on it on the coffee table. Apparently, his heart stuck in his throat when he saw that. Because he had no recollection of that late in the night.

Tomorrow: wedding. Looking forward to it...


From the Gateway to the North to the Jewel of the Isle

Had my flight down to Victoria this evening. Yup. I'm here in Canada's Largest Retirement Home.

So I get to the airport no problems from my place. I've got my ticket confirmations, and everything I'll need in my bags: Change of clothes for 4 days. Black socks for the tux. Gameboy. Discman. Digital Camera. Book to read from Dev.

When I'm talking to the Air Canada rep, she of course asks me if I've got any sharp objects in my carry on bag and my suitcase.

"No," I reply.

Have I had my bags the entire time?


And I don't have any nail files, clippers, etc?


I go through the metal detector. Just peachy. But my bag's been flagged for some reason.

So the security guard and I cleaned out my entire main pouch.

Gameboy, camera, headphones, discman, letters from my mailbox I forgot to clean out, tie after tie after tie after tie. Pens at the bottom of my bag.

"Um, what are we looking for?" I ask him.

"Nail clippers."

"Are you sure? I'm pretty sure I don't have any."

Then we check the front pouch. More mail. And nail clippers. That have been there since about, oh, at least eight months prior. Maybe when I moved out of the House.

Call me sheepish.

* * *

I tell you, there's nothing quite like seeing the city of Calgary at night during takeoff.

At a few hundred feet, all you see is neighbourhoods lit up from within, due to the streetlights. A soft light making all the crescents look like an artery, or a circuit board.


Or, at least, until I saw Vancouver at night from above.

Oh. My. God.

As docile as Calgary looked, Vancouver looked vibrant, alive. Almost neon moving lights, just making for sort of a river or waterfall of light.

It'll be intersting for the return trip, through Kelowna, at morning. Probably not half as beautiful, but the valley and mountains might make up for it, barring any cloud cover.

Also, I love the sight of flying between two layers of clouds, with a blue hue where we are flying.

Just amazing.

* * *

I was reading the book that Dev lent me on the plane. About forty pages in, I find a bookmark from when it was last read, I guess.

And what a bookmark it was, too.

A movie stub to Batman and Robin from Summer 1997.

Two things popped into my mind:

1. "Wow, that's a long time. That's seven years ago."

2. "Dev paid to see Batman and Robin in the theatres? I still haven't seen that movie."

* * *

Wow. Three posts in two days. Scary. Getting back to the whole updating thing quite quickly.

Remind me to tell you about Axler's and my conversation before my flight left. He had some interesting points about my writing style...

My obsession with Sarah...

This past week, I was travelling with the choir to Fort McMurray for a winter mini-tour, to get prepared for the bigger tour happening in April.

One the bus ride home, someone put in There's Something About Mary, a comedy I like enough. After watching it the frist time, the laughs don't come as easily, I guess.

Adise from a smoking Cameron Diaz, I realize that there was a bit part played by Sarah Silverman.

Now I am a huge fan of Sarah Silverman. Hell, you could say I long for her. She fits the Jago archetype: shorter than me, raven black hair, and a sense of humour that complements mine well. (She's sarcastic. So am I. NOTHING could go wrong in our conversations. NOTHING!)

I realize that this is probably the first movie I saw her in. I might have remembered her from some 1993-era Saturday Night Live shows, but I was fading out of the show by that point.

I dunno. There's just something about Sarah in Mary. I think I was really struck during the end credits, where you have the cast goofing off to "Fill Me Up, Buttercup". There's a segment where you have Sarah seriously looking into the camera, seeming so sincere about what she was singing, while kind of deadpan too.

I was struck. Completely.

Flash forward a few years. I get into Mr. Show, probably my favourite comedy show ever at this point.

Hey, guess who's a recurring actor? My beloved Sarah.

The Fox sitcom Greg the Bunny? Sarah's there too.

When I went to see School of Rock with Dev and Marauder, Sarah was on screen, playing the part of Jack Black's roommate's girlfriend.

Marauder turns to Dev.

"So this girl here, that's who Jago's completely in love with?"

Dev: "Yup."

Marauder: "So, does she always play bitchy characters?"

Dev: (thinks a bit) "Pretty much."

So, yes. I'm in love with this girl. Really, can you blame me?

DAMN YOU, JIMMY KIMMELL!!! Get your hands off of the woman I'm totally smitten (smote? schmuck?) over.


Limping to the Left Coast

Hey! I'm back! And you can't even HEAR my computer now. Wow. A new fan really makes a difference, I guess.

It's a good thing I got the extended warranty. Otherwise I would have had to pay $225 for a new fan and $75 for labour charges. Yipes.

So I haven't had a computer for three weeks. In that time, I've watched a load of movies and played a load of video games. Just because I was cut off from the online world and my hard drive, which has a lot of crap I didn't think I'd miss that much.

GAH! 400 new messages! All within the past three weeks! I hate all of you responsible for these messages.

Deleted, for the most part. Such a chore...

Okay, so here's the news for the past two weeks.

* * *

Today, for some reason, my ankle started to act up. I went gimpy. Almost to the point where I was considering not going into work, because of the pain.

Luckily, I did go to work. Tom called in sick, and so I closed by myself. And my computer was back in from repair.

In any case, I'm not sure why my ankle is acting up. I don't think I slept on it wrong.

Maybe it was the bathroom session of Metroid Fusion. My foot was in a weird position for that...

* * *

Flying to Victoria for the wedding tomorrow evening.

I'll be taking some pictures and posting them in my personal webspace, if you want to see a spiffed-up Jago. Since the tux was fitted for me, it should be quite comfy. Can't say much for the shoes I'm to wear, though.

Jo, I'm not sure if we'd be able to meet up, considering there's a sea in between us. I'll make sure to call, mind you...

* * *

Had the choir Spring Concert two weeks ago. It was a decent enough concert, if a lot longer than normal due to all the speeches.

I whispered to Grank during a speech, "Make sure I never participate in a 60th Anniversary concert again."

Had some pics taken of me with some friends attending the concert. Man, some of my friends just can't have bad pics taken of them. It's nice to have photogenic friends, but the goof standing next to them doesn't photograph quite as well. That's why I'm usually behind the camera, I guess...

Sure was nice to see some faces I haven't in a while. And I was able to give girlone her belated Christmas gift, finally.

* * *

D! moved back into his shiny new place, along with a new dishwasher, some boldly painted walls, and the like.

I was impressed, let me tell you. It's quite the makeover...

I was pretty happy to have my place back to myself. Just my clutter, instead of two guys sharing a place why to small to hold the both of them...

* * *

Watched "Lost in Translation" and "American Splendor" this week.

Both great, great movies. I was in awe. At the end of "Lost in Translation," I was pretty choked up, let me tell you.

* * *

Had a guy call into the store today. Before I tell you THIS conversation, let me tell you the background.

As merchandise gets old, prices drop. Especially when you're talking computers. There's a reason why computer manufacturers make new computer models every three months.

So, when computers become out of date, they become cheaper and cheaper. But there are usually very few of them remaining, so it becomes really hard to locate said computer.

Like, for example, this guy. The Compaq 4000 model. $200 for the tower. Granted, it was one of the worst computers we carried. (Celeron chips are, for the most part, crap. So it would always be freezing up in demo modes.)

Back in November, it was, I dunno, $400? $500? Still a pretty good deal. Such a good deal that my manager had to send one out for repair. When it came back, he bought it himself. In November.

Somehow, our computer said we had one. So we were getting calls from all around Canada. It got to the point where I would hear, "I'm Joe. From Radioshack in London, Ontario. I'm looking for -"

"251-1401. Yeah. We don't have it. Sorry."

Tom found out it was because the repair tag wasn't closed. So he closed it and put it back into inventory. For some reason, for a while it said we had two. So, double the amount of phone calls.

Hence, today's phone conversation with a customer. It's pretty much like all the rest of them, but with a twist I loved at the end.

"Hi, I'm on your website, and it says that your store has some cheap computers in stock."

"Ah, yes. The Compaq 4000," I say. "Sorry, that's an error in our inventory."

"Is it really $200?"

"If you can find one in Canada? Sure. But you won't be able to. only two stores are listing it. One is in Toronto. The other is us. But we don't have that computer in stock."

"Oh. What other computers do you have in that price range?"

"For $200? Nothing."

"So what's the best deal right now?"

"The cheapest computer we have is $650. It's a good Gateway computer for that price."

"Does that include the monitor?" he asks.

"Lord, no. That's just the tower."

"So, what, your company is false advertising?"

"No," I say. And he hangs up. And I think, false advertising? Where the hell does he get that idea? When people call me up, I don't say "Oh, yes, we've got that computer."

If they come in for it, I'm not baiting and switching them, saying, "Well, we don't have THAT computer. So pay me $600 more for a computer."

I tell them point blank that it's a stock error. We don't have that computer in stock. We haven't since November. And then I tell them point blank that they won't be able to find that computer anywhere, that it's a lost cause.

Hell, check out the link. It says in bold, MONITOR SOLD SEPARATELY.

So how is that in theleast false advertising?

I got steamed about that one, let me tell you...

* * *

That's about all I can think of. I might post from the West Coast. In any case, enough of this once every two weeks. It'll be a lot better now that my computer's all healthy again.


No, I'm not dead. But sometimes it feels that way...

Okay, now the reason I haven't been updating as much as I usually do is because my computer's in the shop. Finally had enough of the "shutting off" tendencies it was giving me.

Granted, it went from "Okay, I'll just be shutting off after you let me be inactive for about half an hour. Oh, and don't bother trying to turn me back on. The only way I'll do it is if you unplug me." to "Ha! Watching some Aqua Teen Hunger Force, are we? What happens if I SHUT DOWN! Like that, bitch? Oooh. Is that an email you're writing? CAN'T HAVE THAT NOW, CAN WE???? Oooops! Power off!"

Needless to say, I sent it out for repairs...

So, since D!'s currently my roommate, we've been using his computer.

Problem is, I'm not about to start using his computer as my main base, bookmarking all my haunts and setting up my email service to POP it down to the hard drive.

And it's a grinding slow computer. Supposedly faster speed than mine, but, man, that Celeron processor draaags it dowwwn...

So, in a nutshell, not frequenting the Internet as much as I usually do.

As such, I gotta lotta updating to do...

(HOLY CRAP! I've only done two posts throughout February? Is this what happens when I get a roommate? Yipes!)

* * *

Let's start with work.

Tyler, the employee who was fired last post, was stealing from us.

That $200 missing from the till? His doing. It took a while to really pinpoint it, but Tyler was responsible for a lot of product going missing from the back room.

I found out that Tyler was on probation. For armed robbery.

Recently, Ian from RS Loss Prevention called to tell us that Tyler was back in jail.

Only a few days ago did I discover why:

His grilfriend, Justina (the co-worker I really couldn't stand) came into the store and was talking to Tom, her face all bruised.

Tyler decided to beat the shit out of her.

Now, I'm no big fan of Justina, but no one deserves that. That shit is SO wrong.

Exit Tyler.

Now, today, I narrowed down that Cody's been skimming from the till. Nothing as huge as $200, but every so often when he closes with me, $10 or $15 is short in Daily Reports.

Today, I counted the till before Cody came in. One cent off.

This evening? Ten dollars and one cent off.

Either the kid is lousy with giving change, or he's skimming.

So we replaced one thief with another. Joy.

What really bums me out about this is that I could tolerate Tyler and like Cody.

And for some reason, I would tend to give them the benefit of doubt. Are my people instincts just not right for retail management? Will I have to distrust every staff member who comes into the store, just because of some bad experiences?

This is what's eating me. I tend to trust people. It's a good thing. But if I lay my trust in people who are stealing again and again, and keep on losing out because of it, will I become jaded towards friends? Not able to trust anybody?

Customers, I rarely trust these days. One woman sent an email to the company call centre about the "worst customer service she's ever recieved" when she sent her computer in for repair.

I, of course, was the main person dealing with it.

When this woman brought her computer in to be fixed, I told her it would take two to three weeks, since it's sent to Calgary. But, since she had the extended warranty, it might be sooner.

Because it's a computer, I send it to Calgary the next day. Because I think, "Man, it should be sent down ASAP, because she'll want to use that computer fairly soon."

Two weeks pass. She starts calling, because apparently, I told her it'd be back in no less than two weeks. So where is the computer?

I check my repair log. All it tells me is when I sent it out. The techs don't fill in when it got there, what's being done. All I know is I sent it out on January 20.

"Well, the repair depot's closed, since it's past 5 pm. I'll tell you what: I'll call them up when I get in first thing tomorrow."

I do so. The tech assigned to that computer didn't show up for work that day. The secretary doesn't know what the deal is.

I get some details a few days later. The CD burned is pooched, and they're waiting for a new one from HP.

So I tell the woman that.

Even so, she keeps on calling asking where it is. Mostly on evenings or weekends, when the repair depot is closed!

Finally, after exactly one month, it comes into the store.

When I call her up telling her the computer's in, she asks me what sort of compensation she'll get.

Inside my brain: Compensation? For a computer gone a week later than expected? What do you want? Tell you what: I'll give you a brand new spankin' computer! just because I'm responsible for repairs! Do you want me to give you a back rub too? Will this help you out? JACKASS!

What I actually tell her: "Well, I'm not in any position to give you any compensation. That would be something either my manager or district manager would have to work out with you. Once it leaves my store, my hands are tied, other than calling the repair centre up and asking them to hurry up."

Her email talks about how "Kyle and Tom seemed vague about what was happening to my computer, and were uncertain to when it was coming back."

Damn straight. When you call at times I can't call the repair depot to figure out what's up, I can't do much. When the repair depot doesn't write things down and is off in their own little world, I can do squat. When they're waiting for a new CD drive from California, I twiddle my thumbs. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and wait for the sitcom trumpet blare. "Oh, that silly Jago! Wuw Waaaaaah!"

I sent it down the day after it arrived. I kept calling the depot harassing them about it. I kept her informed as to what was happening with it, to the best of my abilities. She CANNOT say that I was giving her bad customer service.

(NOTE: I pretty much wrote up a different version of this for my DSM Mitch at work today. Took me a half hour to properly write, while not making it sound like the woman was a jackass. Then some dimwit customer decided to cloes down the window in search of some games when my back was turned. Grrrr...)

In other work-related news, I was in charge of the store when Tom was on vacation. I stayed much overtime when Mitch came in and said "I want this to go there, these to go up, this to move, etc." I worked about 10 hours overtime that's expected of me. Gotta love being salaried instead of the wage slave...

Gotta leave this job.

* * *

OKAY! New subject!

Birthday was pretty anticlimactic. Went to see Kill Bill with Marauder, Barber and D! Loved it.

My parents' gift to me is money to buy Backlash tickets.

Otherwise, pretty low key. Nothing big happened. Getting a present from Dev in the next week or so. Have to decided what I'm getting him for his brithday next week.

* * *

Choir concert's taking up a lot of my time. Went to Camrose last week for our pre-concert concert. Went pretty well. No major screwups. 'J'entends Le Moulin,' this year's most difficult song rhythm-wise went better than expected.

I almost killed Barber, and, by extension, us, on the ride home.

Dev was telling us about the new band he heard of, Franz Ferdinand, and how there are now more than one band out there named after assassinations. (For those of you keeping score, the Dead Kennedys, after JFK, and Franz Ferdinand, after the assassination that started World War One.)

Barber piped up from the driver's seat, "And there's also Rainbow Butt Monkeys! (Note: The band that's now known as Finger Eleven)"

While Dev and Canton groan in the back, I add, "Actually, Barber's right. The name comes from the little-known assassination of a Nigerian dictator, Rainbo Butmunki (or, as I pronounced it, "Rainbow Bootmoonki.")

Barber starts choking on the sip of coffee he was taking. While we're driving 90 kph on a rural highway.

It turned out fine, but never get your driver laughing while sipping a road beverage...

* * *

My friend Doug's moved to the Left Coast. Most of my diaryland buddies have already made thier voices herad on this one, so there's not much I can add.

Did I know him as well as most of the others? No. But I knew him well enough to have fond memories of him, such as the time he, Dev and I attempted the Space Ghost drinking game.

Doug, you will be missed. And we've got to have more geekout gatherings...

* * *

Booked my ticket for Kingston's wedding in a few short weeks. Flying down to Victoria for a few days.

I pissed off my mom, who was planning to help me by using Air Miles to cut costs. Unfortunately, due to crazy-ass working and getting home long after she goes to bed (I get off evening shifts at work at 11 pm her time), I didn't get a hold of her in time.

That wsan't the part that pissed her off, however. I made her mad when she FINALLY got a hold of me because I had some friends over playing Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (Mini rant: LOVE that game so much... I knew I bought the Game Boy and Gamecube link cable for a good reason...), and I wasn't paying attention.

I should have called her back after she yelled at me and hung up, but I didn't want to abandon my friends by going into the bedroom and getting yelled at over the phone for over a half hour.

So the tickets cost twice as much as they would have with Mom's help, but that's entirely my fault.

Brade, tell Mom I'm sorry.

* * *

That's about everything I can think of at the moment. I'm not sure if I'll really have a chance for post for a while, depending on when my computer comes back from repair.

D! moves out back into his own place this weekend. It was fun living with him again, but I sure will love the extra space back.

Hopefully, I will be back on the horse in under a week.