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madman1366

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About madman1366

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    your friendly neighborhood lunatic
  • Birthday 12/07/1971

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  1. I just got all of the new deluxes for Generations and movie line and they all rock! Exciting and yet kinda scary to think of all the impending wallet damage that's about to be inflicted from now til years end and beyond.
  2. Wow! I overdosed on plastic crack this week. It's been a long time coming too! I got Generations Thrust and Drift for openers on Friday. Later in the day on a hot tip I ran to another TRU and added the new deluxe BB and Ironhide along with first 3 PCC 2 packs. Throw in a Legends Ravage as a little kicker. That's not bad right there. But THEN.... I made a nice order to TRU.com and will have within a few days Leader Starscream, Seaspray, PCC Aerialbots, and Jetblade. Talk about some serious DAMAGE!
  3. Actually you kinda got that wrong. They're decepticons, they're supposed to be deceptive. You wouldn't think a rescue vehicle would be a decepticon actually makes it the perfect choice for an alt mode to take.
  4. Monopolies will always be evil. But what is every bit as evil is big business in general. Take big retail chains for instance. Sure, they provide lots of jobs. That basically feed you just enough to keep you working, but not enough to keep you from being hungry. While the number of jobs in retail may be high, the ability to make an adequate living in just about any economical climate is extremely low. You're only chance of making is having others around to help pick up slack paying bills. Being able to sustain just yourself, never mind a family is pretty much impossible if you hope to have any kind of life. Your only other choice is 2 or more jobs. However, if you're simply living to survive, then what's the point? So people don't and now the country is buried under a mountain of debt that few people will ever get to pay off. Small businesses I don't believe have very good life spans these days. Some small niche businesses manage to make it, but they're the exception and not the rule. You can bet if any particular small business gets really profitable, it will only be a matter of time before the big guys move in and take that away. I wouldn't be so against big businesses if they were able to provide better for their workers. They simply don't. My company could just give away over $150 million in donations last year but couldn't find a few extra pennies in the jar to give to the people earning all that loot. You were lucky if you got a ten cent raise last year. In my book, that should be nothing short of criminal. So much money getting taken in and spewed out, and very few people really knowing where it all goes. It used to be if a wife worked, she wanted to, and chose to have a working career in most cases. Granted my mother worked because we needed it. Most of the kids I grew up with had a mom who didn't work and were always around taking care of things...that's not even really an option for most people now is it? I think that's the problem with big business, AND big government. At some point, it takes so much money to keep the huge machines running that there's simply not enough left to go around. Living ain't getting any cheaper and companies aren't going to be opening up their pocket books for most people anytime soon. Natural disasters are only one problem to worry over. Economic disaster, we haven't really seen yet. We're just getting warmed up!
  5. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy the work when I'm allowed to do the jobs I can be the most productive in. One of the biggest gaffes they have is not using the right people in the right ways. A lot of their problems could easily be solved if they simply opened up their thinking more to some of the things that people have tried time and again to tell them. It's counterproductive for them to have me running pallets for 2 hours. Anyone can run pallets, not everyone can push the freight like I can. Most aren't even close to being close. But again, they use me in the wrong ways. When I try to tell them I can be more productive and how, they make it out like I just have an attitude about not wanting to do what I'm told. So instead of them looking at it as trying to better help the team, which is exactly what it would do, they only see it as a challenge to their authority, and that's it. Sports provides a great example of what it truly means to be a team. You can have the best people or the most average and yet either team can be the better of the two. If you take the best people and force them into a system they're not used to, or very good at then they struggle and the team suffers. On the other hand, if you take the average team and adapt the system to the strengths of that team, then you give your self a better chance of overcoming some of what you lack in other areas and excel. My store keeps trying to pound the same routine into people that can't handle it for very long. At least not at the level they expect them to. We struggle to get things up to par, but then it seems the effort takes a toll and in no time things slide back to where they were. It's an endless cycle nobody can seem to break, because they only stick to the "brand" ways of doing things. Now when I went back to retail, it was with the intent that I would make a real effort to see how far up I could go. On the surface it seemed Target had some reasonable looking opportunities for that, so I signed up. I didn't know how limited the chances would actually be. Oh, at the start it looked liked the road was going to be paved with gold and roses for me. But in no time at all it seemed, they didn't even bother to say thank you anymore. I reckon it's gotta be awfully hard to allow the people who make you REALLY look good, to advance to a higher position which in effect means losing that person from their own team. I can see where the boss in that case would want to do what they could to throw the monkey wrench into the works to keep from losing a good grunt. Ironically the system they created to supposedly prevent favoritism has, in fact, made more difficult than ever for the people who deserve it to even get any real consideration for promotion. Last thing on the calling off sick. I was watching CNN one day where they had on a report about Americans being the most stressed out workforce among leading nations. They had on, I think it was the top aid of the attorney general who said they're stance is that it Americans on average DON'T use enough sick days. He also went on to say that is immoral and unethical for any company to expect their workers to come into work feeling sick, hurt, or for any reason they don't feel they can contribute 100%. Now he's not saying they should allow people to run wild calling in at will. If you have a good boss then what you do when you're working should do all the talking you need. That should be more than enough to let your boss know what the difference is between someone who needed a day or two vs. a person who simply blows off work a lot. It makes sense that someone working alone trying to keep order in a -30 degree freezer for 3-6 hours a day might tend to need a few more off days than a person who rings up electronics all day. Standards need to have some breathing room for reason and common sense, at this time corporations don't seem to leave room for any of that. At the same time, they need to understand people working in an unnatural lifestyle like graveyard shift need to be allowed a little bit more slack over someone who does half the work in a normal daytime schedule. Do some research about the health problems people who work overnights have a much greater chance of suffering from and realize that sometimes people simply need it more. I don't put any stock in the average life expectancies in this country. While that might have gone way up in the last 100 years, that's probably more due to the fact that medical science has become better at taking people who would be dead in their 60's and 70's and stretching them out through chemistry until their 80's and 90's sucking what's left of what they worked a lifetime for. If you ask me, life for too many people actually ends somewhere in the late 20's or 30's. Not necessarily death, just the end of life. (speaking metaphorically of course)
  6. This is happening in all areas of retail, I suspect. Numbers are down across the nation due to the economy. People are spending less, thus businesses aren't making as much, and hours are getting cut to make up for that loss of profit, which causes people to have less money in their pocket, which makes them buy less...it's a vicious cycle. I wouldn't take it personal. If you're so unhappy, why not look for work elsewhere? I know it's tough finding jobs out there right now though. One thing you're gonna find is as the job market gets tougher, employers are gonna expect more of you, because if they view you as a weak link, they know there are plenty of people out there looking for work who will work harder because they have been having such a hard time finding a job in this crappy economy. My advice is to go above and beyond what is asked and expected because there are plenty of people waiting in line are willing to do that and more just for the sake of having a job right now. That includes not missing any work. Other places in retail I've been to have had policies in place protecting workers from getting hours cut. Usually it's been once a person hits 3 months straight of 40 hour work weeks, the company couldn't cut you unless you took the cut voluntarily. With the location the store happens to be in, really good workers aren't easy to come by. Experience there has also taught me that over time, the quality of the applicants applying tend to drop dramatically. My store is was converted from a Super-K, which I had previously worked at. By the time they hit the last few years, the applicants putting in for jobs were, according to my bosses, laughable. People coming in for temp work just trying to get through the recession, usually leave more than a little to be desired. Besides, I don't think Target particularly likes people only looking for temp positions unless they're hiring seasonal help. The crappy economy is a part of why I'm still there. Benefits are another. I need the health coverage and can't just afford to pull up and start over somewhere else at the moment. If I didn't need to use the benefits, that would be one thing, but I have been and will need to in the future. I know I need to get surgery again sometime, but I just haven't been able to take the time off to get it done. Another reason is because I worked an off the books job for 5 years prior, and had to put in some time to build up some seniority so my resume wouldn't look so empty. After 4 years, I think I've done a decent job of that. I also have no car. I borrow, which means there are limits as to how far I can travel. This place is within an acceptable distance, so I don't run into many transportation problems. I was supposed to get a car, but some pesky problems popped up (hence the surgery) which hasn't left me with any savings left to put into one. Even if I could and did leave tomorrow for a great new job elsewhere, that would solve my problem but what about the hundreds of thousands of other people depending on these jobs who get crapped on? We can't all simply quit and get other jobs. ...though I gotta admit, it would be fun to see us all try! (at the same time!)
  7. Not to be a dick, but from a management standpoint, this is a little excessive. You realize that when you call in, or don't show up for work, management has the wonderful job of having to bother other people on their day off to cover your shift for you? Which in turn makes the employees who have to work for you unhappy. Which in turn causes a lack of moral, and other employees thinking they can do the same thing. And you know what happens when all of your employees decide that they're gonna call in 6 times in 4 months because one person got away with it? A TON of missed shifts. I went through this in the store I manage around November of last year. Our graveyard person called in, and the person who worked swing (who had to cover the first 4 hours of the graveyard shift...I covered the other 4) took exception to it, and decided to call in a few days later. I let it go, and pretty soon I had a bunch of missed shifts over a two week period, because they thought they could get away with it. I gave out warning notices, and started cutting hours...and left a note in the communication log that anyone missing shifts would have their hours cut. No one thought it was fair, and everyone bitched up a storm about it, but you can't run a store when everyone is calling in sick...and I learned a valuable lesson...no matter how good the employee is, if they start breaking the rules and missing work, EVERYONE will start doing because they think they can get away with it. Sometimes you have to make an example of someone to get your point across to other employees. Most times it isn't personal, you just did the wrong thing at the wrong time, and the manager had to make a tough decision to keep the store on track. Under normal circumstances I may agree. But being the fact I was working 5 to 6 hours a day a in -30 degree freezer with all kinds of respiratory problems happening there wasn't much I could do about it. I was never supposed to be the only person working it either, I was supposed to have another full time person working there as well and they kept promising me I was going to get help which never came. When I finally moved to flow to get out of it, they replaced me with 5 PEOPLE! I couldn't get them to give me one person, but they had no problem using 5 people to replace me. Same happened with dairy/frozen flow. Most days, if lucky, there were 3 of us doing a load just as big, if not bigger, than the store load they have some 20 people working on. Again, when they moved me out suddenly there is 6 or 7 people there every night. Bottom line, if you burn out your best workers then the company itself is not doing a very good job setting things up for success. You can blame and point fingers all day, but in the end we're only human, not machines. If you treat people like machines too long then they tend to break down. Especially on an overnight shift where just being there every night is an accomplishment. For the record, supposedly Target considers excessive calling in being an average of more than 1 call off in a 30 day period. Even with 4 in 6 months, that's not excessive by Target standards. Workers in the freezer are supposed to be allowed extra rest breaks for every so many hours spent in the freezer. Well at that time I never knew that and they sure as hell didn't tell me until I was on the verge of hypothermia. (almost a year and a half later) Even then, when I came out to warm up, I was endlessly hounded by team leads to go back in and keep backstocking. Nevermind the fact I couldn't feel my arms or legs. I had every right by law to go in the breakroom and sit down for 15 whenever I felt I needed it. I never did. When I came out to warm up, I just took stuff to the floor to push out. I didn't have to, but I did. And that's the way it is, the more you do, the more they expect.
  8. Well see here's where it gets funny. Typically the times to wrap up flow vary between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. depending on truck size. Well, what he was so pissed off about the other night was that the team didn't finish the floor, it was that they didn't finish it until after 5:00, when the time to meet was probably like 8:00. They spend 2 seconds at huddle saying great unload, then spend 20 minutes telling us all about what we should be doing better. Not enough we're over an hour ahead of those times every night, and they're pointless ranting in huddle costs us an additional 10-20+ minutes every night. The only thing wasn't really done all that great was the grocery zone. He also complained because people left when they had to leave and not enough people stay late to help finish. Sorry, I have no sympathy there. If you're cramming more work than even the company thought you could or should by that time then they have no right to complain. They either give us the resources to get done by the time we need to be or they don't, in which case, we simply can't always do every little thing they want done. You simply can't keep stuffing 10 lbs of crap into a 5 lb bag! At Target, you have no choice but to try each and every night. Well, it doesn't take a college degree to be able to see that operating like that is going to leave a lot of things left desired. They'll lean on you until you break if you let them and then they'll sit back and point the finger at YOU when you can't give anymore until they've used up what's left. Then it's on to the next a-hole. Now I know a leader has to be tough at times in order to be effective, but there's no call for busting on people the way they do. It gives people the "never good enough so why try" syndrome. On Sunday from what I hear, the crew was thin to say the least. We simply don't have the people we had going into Christmas.
  9. I work electronics now, that is after running all the pallets from the truck out to the floor. Some days it can be close finishing on time and sometimes I run a little over. This douchebag has gotten on my case from day 1 because supposedly the little computer fantasy time says I should always be done in 2 hours! Let's see...regular freight, repacks, putting on 1000 different security devices, movies, music, books, pulling the batches, pushing the batches, and doing all the backstock plus anything the daytime might leave. 2-3 hours? yeah, right! On my last review I got an "ineffective" rating or some crap like that. Everyone else they put over there takes at least 2 hours longer to do the same thing I do, and they don't have to walk their butts around the store dragging pallets for 2 hours with a bustedass back. I figure that's a good 6-10 miles walking dragging thousands of pounds around. ...Who needs buns of steel?!? Not me. The one night I had 12 cases of M&M and 10 cases of books, who knows how much boxed freight and repacks, and he gave me crap for not being done within 3 hours. I rather politely explained to him that those times, at least for that section, are horse crap. He took it in a rather skeptical way of course. The books alone on that night could have taken the better part of 2 hours if they were mostly push and not for a new set. On this night, they were almost ALL push. That's between 4-600 locations by my estimates. LOTS and LOTS of kids books! Some days are worse. He's since backed off. I think someone informed him that electronics was quite a bit more complicated than he realized, or perhaps his views haven't changed but he's keeping his mouth shut. Either way, he's a tool. Nobody wants him there and the sooner he's gone the better. Of course I don't underestimate their ability to replace him with worse, but at this point I'm willing to take my chances.
  10. Funny I noticed these figures, about a 3 3/4 scale last night that would probably fit in real nice with G.I. Joe figs. Nothing fancy, a military figure with a basic weapon and looked to be just as good quality. I would think pretty cool if you collect those figs. $1.99 each. If I bought G.I. Joe figs, I'd probably be all over them. They also had some larger sets but I didn't get to look much at those or their price. Transformers has seen a lot of unofficial figs and add on sets. I've gotten a few things so far and they're fantastic! If a company did these on a larger scale for a cheaper price then I would go crazy on them.
  11. Well I guess it's appropriate, after all, cattle get branded every day. That's all we are to them, just cattle. Last night takes the cake. I've been doing retail for over 22 years, and I've NEVER seen or heard of a boss acting like this to an entire crew. After break we have our huddle. Well, apparently things didn't go so well Sunday night, I don't know I wasn't there. Neither were half the people who were there last night. So huddle starts and the ETL goes frickin berserk screaming at the entire crew over how unacceptable the previous night was and giving us the whole "don't like, there's the door!" Screaming rather angrily the entire time. The crew has had it with this assmonkey already. Supposedly a bunch of the crew is planning a group visit to HR this morning and I've thought about skipping that and making my call directly to corporate. This guy is getting way out of hand. It's not bad enough the guy costs us good people on a weekly basis, but he's losing it...bad. The old store STL was his good buddy and he got fired. The new boss I guess doesn't like all the complaints she's been hearing about him and I think he's on thin ice. Last night, he finally might have hung himself. ...Oh yeah, I was wrong about the guy who got written up for missing his first day of work in 2 years....It was actually his first in 5 years! What's better, is he informed them in advance that he wouldn't be able to make that night and followed all the proper procedures for calling in. Oh yeah, WJ, about those no call, no shows. I've never not shown up to work without calling in, but I'll bet there are no call, no shows on my record. You see, if you talk to person A and they needed to tell person B you called and didn't...then they mark you down as no call, no show. Even though that should be an automatic write up, they often don't do it so when a later times comes, someone looks at your file and goes, oh look this person has all these no call, no shows. Well, it's funny how that always seems to be news to people when it gets used against them when they didn't even know they were on their record. One time they made a mistake on my schedule and had me on 6 days. At that time our team didn't work weekends so obviously the boss just said don't come in on Saturday. So I didn't and the ETL that night marked me as no call, no show...so I was told, but nobody ever officially said so to me. Even though this guy was told that I wasn't there because I was scheduled 6 days that week and our crew didn't even work that night and all he did was shrug and said "oh well, still counts." I was actually PRAYING they would have tried to use that on me. As far as I know they didn't, but it's those things I don't know about that scare me the most.
  12. Anyone watching Olympic hockey? GO TEAM USA!!! @usa@
  13. I kinda think they feel that the more executive chumps there are, the more opportunity (Targets favorite word) to point fingers and say it's that persons fault! Meanwhile cancer is allowed to spread throughout the corporate ranks until the whole stinking thing comes crashing down. I saw K-Mart nearly super size themselves right out of existence. I don't know when, but I feel it's going to be inevitable with Target. They've simply lost all sense of reason in just about every way I know. Just to clarify, I don't believe retail workers need to make a fortune doing what they do. I happen to believe any person who works full time jobs, no matter what, deserve to at least make it with a salary above the poverty line. It's sad that in the so-called richest nation in the world, and the land of opportunity that so many people have to live with this. What's considered a rather lowly job like working in retail, has many misconceptions about it the main one being that it's an easy job that anyone can get. The fact that anyone can get it may be true, but that doesn't mean for one second that it's easy or that anyone can do it. You'll have to work just as hard, even harder, than many high paying professions do and a lot of times people aren't prepared for that. We can't exactly afford to keep placing the lower standards on people with these jobs because as it always needs to be said, someone HAS to do them! Best take care of those people, otherwise quit demanding that service be so much better. Blame the companies, you get what they pay for!
  14. Well for breakfast I find a good toasted omelet sandwich usually does the trick. Quick, easy, and good. Just prepare your eggs in the way you like for an omelet, don't fold it over when cooking it, leave it flat like one big pancake. Make 2 pieces of toast, butter them, then simply lay a piece of toast over the omelet and use a knife or the edge of the spatula to cut the omelet to fit the toast, place a piece of cheese on top of the omelet for a final touch. Then put it on the toast, you can also take the cut out bits and put them on top before topping with the other piece of toast (and anything else you might like) and you have a tasty breakfast sandwich. Not like anyone needs that drawn out for them. However, it's a very good way of getting yourself a good breakfast without having to go through a drive through or do a full sit down to eat. You can make it and go, so if time is short, it's probably actually faster than hitting a drive through. For lunch, when all else fails, I just head over to the grocery store and get a big fat deli made pizza puff for $1.50. Can't go wrong there!
  15. Actually I helped train 2 POG team leads and I even spent some time helping to train 2 new ETL's who trained in our store and knew even less than the half ##$%$#ed cart guy who works at our store. What's even more funny about this is that I'm not even considered one of the "team trainers" and that's yet another joke. I'm sure there is still the "well you must have done something" people reading through, thinking we're just a couple of people who have/had work and attitude problems with the job or something. Well, not quite true. Just for the record, I work in a Super Target that in the 4+ years I've been there has seen about at least a 90% turnover in the people working there. Lead and ETL positions included in that. I've seen no worse than 2 STLs quit or get fired, more ETL's than I can count that quit (only 2 left in the store from when I started), and I work in a store that holds the regional corporate offices and THEY STILL don't have a clue. I can see all those college degrees are really paying off for them! Now I don't want to make it out like college degrees have no value. They do. But in the retail world, they don't have anything on working experience. I'd take a guy who came up through the ranks from the very bottom before some douchebag who drank his way through a few years of college and has a degree in needlepoint or something and walks in and gets 50g's a year. I think it's a bad sign when any company like this puts limits on advancement for those without college degrees. It's basically a "pay to play" system that's spreading through every workplace in the country. Fields like this, colleges really have no training program for, so what good does it do? We know if you don't go to college and get a degree that you'll make so much less money over a lifetime. OK, fine. But now if you don't get one, not only will you not make as much, but now it seems like you'll never be able to get a good enough job to pay the bills and have the ability to live a somewhat comfortable lifestyle. Which of course is a big reason why jobs like this are constantly at the top of the most stressed out professions lists. When you take away, or limit a persons right to achieve something better, then where is there reason to hope? More importantly, where is the incentive to want to do better? That's the danger here. If companies want to keep people under foot instead of picking out and putting some polish on those diamonds in the rough, then they all deserve to suffer whatever horrible fates that they pin themselves to. It wouldn't surprise me if tomorrow, it came out that the Target corporation has cooked their books and pulled some shady crap in order to impress investors that makes Enron look like a fart in a windstorm. Because Target, works a lot like the government. When faced with problems they can't seem to solve, they throw more money at it and hope it goes away. Of course, the money is never spent in the right ways ultimately leaving the problem worse than before and a lot more expensive to keep trying to fix. That's because these college douchebags are only really good at one thing...outdumbing themselves! And we, the lowly grunts, are the ones left paying the price. Again, again, and again!
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