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I'm a writer. I love everything about it, the nuts and bolts and the free hand creativity. I especially love to talk about it. I am also an online marketer, SEM & Social Media my specialties. I'd love to discuss with you your online marketing needs!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pee in a Cup & Other Training Adventures

A few days ago, I peed into a cup. This is not typical behavior for me. I much rather prefer the expanse of a proper bowl.

For those of you who haven't been following, I finally landed a job. Two jobs actually. And one of them required that I pee into a cup to assure them that I was not a crackhead or some other sort of crazed drug demon. I'll not go any further into details. Suffice it to say that I passed this exam with flying colors. Despite knowing that I do not do drugs, I did feel an odd sense of accomplishment. Less than two days later I got the phone call from the store to come in to complete the hiring process. Go me! More paperwork.

Meanwhile, I'd already started training at the first store that had hired me. For some reason, they didn't require any bathroom related activities from me. Instead, I had to sit in front of a computer for hours in order to go through their automated training process. At least there was a morning orientation, the highs and lows of retail work presented by a man with a great sense of humor. He had been in retail for about three years. He had a wealth of knowledge to impart and I listened closely. I even participated.

I surprised myself by the participation, but it is true that I'm going into this new retail job (career?) on full attack mode. I want to know how to perform my new responsibilities to the best of my ability. I want to learn, grow, and understand. Mainly, I just want to succeed. So, I answered questions when I thought I knew the answer. And I asked questions when I wanted something clarified. It was an enjoyable session. The other new hires were a varied assortment of individuals who helped to make the experience a valuable one.

But then! Oh the pain of the computer session that followed. Wearing headphones to listen to cookie cutter marketing types describe the various functions I needed to know was a fair bit of torture. It wasn't humorous, witty, or entertaining in the slightest. It was, in fact, so dry that it made me crave a sweet sip of refreshing water. Yes, water, and none was available.

The nightmare continued as we moved onto cash register training. It was an impressive system of computer examples and explanations tied into training cash registers for hands on learning. Need I say at this point that I've never used a cash register in my life? Yes, this really is my first entry into the world of retail. Before my defunct career in online market, the jobs I had consisted of things like summer camp counselor and making sandwiches at my college's requisite Rathskeller. Maybe my parents spoiled me a wee bit, but that's not what this is about.

Of course, I understand that I need to learn the ins and outs of this department store's cash registers. Of course, I know how vital to my job it is. But oh how I wanted to cry when the fake credit cards didn't ring right or the fake check didn't go through the machine the right way. I suppose I didn't need a drink of water anymore as I could, by now, just lick the sweat from my brow.

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but it really wasn't easy. It did make me feel better that the girl at the station next to me was having an equal amount of difficulty. The expression "misery loves company" became a cliché for a reason. Finally, I reached the end of the lesson, answered the test questions and miraculously passed. I was told to come back the following day for more training. What?!? Oh dear.

It turns out that the following day was a store sale day so no one was available to conduct the training. We were sent home. I'm now waiting to be called for my first hours while being in the middle of three days of similar, but much more in-depth, computer training at retail job number two. My head is spinning and we haven't even gotten to register training on this job.

While all this is going on and my head is about to explode trying to figure out how to juggle these two part time jobs, I got a phone call about an application I submitted at a potential job that is located around the corner (literally) from my home. I have an interview on Monday morning.

The plot continues to thicken!


  1. That first store sounds way too much like the department store that begins with M that helps fund the Thanksgiving parade in NYC. If so, I can completely sympathize. I went through that last year as an on call seasonal helper. Should have been HELL-per for how rough it was, and I only managed 10 hours a week for three weeks with them.

    Drug testing has become such a mainstream part of the hiring process it's annoying. "Go pee in a cup." "Why?" "We have to make sure you don't do drugs." I don't, and it's not a big deal for me. But really, folks, can we get a little privacy here?

    Good luck with your interview on Monday.

  2. I wonder if folks in the retail world know that those training sessions are likely to make employees consider becoming drug-crazed demons?

    Thanks for sharing your retail woes. Good luck with interview #3!