Category Archives: life

Job Searching Annoyances

As I stand looking for better employment since my company is in a state of transition since being purchased by private equity firms. I am discovering how the new leadership is ruining my company.

This leading retailer no longer offers classes on knitting, painting or beading saying that they want to standardize their process and streamline the stores. However, these classes also boost the purchase of related products.

Then, they decide to consolidate 3 part time positions into 1 part time position where things will not likely get done. The receiver, the price change person and the backup bookkeeper are merged into one job. When the receiver should of been kept the way it was and the backup bookkeeper and price change person could of been merged.

Also I have noticed for the last two years that stores are required to have a minimum staffing level even though there is not any payroll to realistically maintain reasonable schedules . New hire is given only 6.5 hours, when those 6.5 hours could be used to fatten up already emaciated scheduling. If there is enough payroll to give reasonable scheduling then new hires should be welcomed with open arms.

Yes, this leading retailer was bought out for a few billion dollars and the private equity firms want to turnaround the company to make a profit, but it seems they are trimming too much fat, despite introducing new reforms to improve efficiency. Customers do demand a reasonable amount of service and they are not getting that at my store. I am stuck at the register, I would love to help the customer unlock the security cabinet or do other tasks. However my sales associates are busy helping other customers. I just hate feeling helpless and tell them they need to wait another 5 or 10 minutes.

My manager also said we should pass out the coupons and let them know about special offers, but during the week a 20% off your entire regular purchase coupon was offered, barely anyone paid attention or took advantage of the offer. For the two days I am working next week, I wonder if it will be futile for the coupons I passed out will be ever used, or just disregarded. I know more sales mean more hours, but show us how the extra sales can translate into more productive payroll hours. Even if we beat last year 4 out of 7 days, it seems more hours do not come into my store. And maybe its the ownership pinching their pennies where they do not want to increase the staffing 15% to make sure we have the staff to help our customers effectively.

I edited the post to somewhat not as directly name the company I work for. Even though websites such as the Consumerist do cover topics like this.

Anyway, I will be discussing about my job searching journey on my blog. Stay tuned.

Leaving Bank of America

I am probably going to make a protest by taking my money away from Bank of America. I recently moved the majority of my purchases to American Express because they offer me a real good interest rate on my purchases, but the problem is after being a customer of their VISA card for over 6 years they still will not lower my interest rate to something reasonable like 12.99 or 13.99 percent.

My sister got screwed by Bank of America twice, by people using her account number to pay for California Department of Motor Vehicles service fees and America Online bills. Bank of America markets total security for your account, but they give you the annoying runaround.

Then my father got a letter to restructure his debts with a loan with a nice interest rate, but they mention the 8.99 percent, but they do not tell him he got 15.99 percent, and he cashed the check and all the stuff and now he is in a heap load of problems. It would of been honest and responsible for the bank to tell him his loan percentage so he could deny or accept the loan.

However Bank of America decided to lower the APR to 12.99 since his Capital One loan is 14.99 percent, but they would not reverse the cash advance fees, sadly you are charged fees twice, once to access the line of credit and second as interest charges each month. Banks are not stupid institutions.

The decision by the bank staff saved him from canceling his checking account relationship, which I thank them for saving him through.
I think I will need to find out a decent VISA or Mastercard provider that will give me an interest rate under 15 percent and offer a rewards program.

Then I will need to perhaps move to Washington Mutual for my checking needs, even though I still have 250 personal checks still waiting to be used.

Moving my checking account will be messy, but at least I perhaps could change credit cards.

Bait and Switch

Since my employer is cutting payroll 33% compared to last year’s scheduled hours I decided to search for a second job.

I was browsing under Hot Jobs for employment opportunities near my home and saw a real good advertisement for Macy’s for seasonal merchandising/freight and I decided to apply for a position.  Since it was advertised as a Monday-Friday job from 6:30-11:00am it was perfect for me. I could work for Macy’s and my current employer.

I was excited for the opportunity to learn about merchandising and putting up freight for the store.

I sent an online application, and got information about the group interview they were going to have. Then I was there to hear that the position I was looking forwards to applying/working and being able to balance with my present job.

But when I entered the conference room in the group interview with over 30 people, they said the job I wanted to apply for would be an On-Call job. Basically your just working for a Macy’s employee discount. 3-4 hours a month, thats very lucid.  More likely it would be 3-4 hours a week due to the Christmas/holiday season, but after the holiday season it would be 3-4 hours a month. LAME

I was expecting 18-22 hours a week, but it seems they were giving the audience the bait and switch in Montclair, California.

On the road again… with more education.

I decided that I needed more job skills so I am taking a certificate program at Riverside Community College. In two weeks I get to see if I can handle learning about accounting and other business related courses. Yes, I earned a BA in Political Science. However there are not many jobs for a entry level position in Political Science unless you want to get another full on degree.

I just would like to earn a realistic wage so I could discharge my student loans and get off to a good future.

Retail is insanity.

I have been in the retail industry for the last five years. As an employee I know how life is when you have to maintain your store from opening to closing each day. I deeply get annoyed when people mess up my store. No matter what store I shop in, I try to put back unwanted merchandise or take it to the register so they could put it away. I believe that we should have the decency to be respectful no matter if you are the customer or the employee of a retail store operation. If you have unwanted merchandise do not dump it around the corner near my register just give it to me.

I understand you may have two rowdy young children who like to move around my store and like to dump random junk in your shopping cart. The customer who got offended at my statement of her littering the store may be right that I was using the wrong vocabulary at her. However I should of phrased my request a bit better. I should of stated to the customer “Could you please place your unwanted goods to me so I could place them neatly”.

A clean store is a happy store. Despite the lack of employees at key times throughout the day. My store does quite better than some of the bigger branches of my company because we are clean. Customer service is a team effort between the employees and the customers of our businesses.

Mass Transit an Arduous Option

This was another column I submitted to the Highlander, but it did not make the cut.

Our campus is growing each year. Parking is one obvious factor that gets worse as the years go by. New buildings have taken away parking spaces close to campus where transportation hub number one becomes the de facto choice for parking. Not all of us utilize the mass transit system that helps to get motorists off the street. The loss of individual freedom in where you want to go is one reason why many individuals still keep on using their automobiles. We come to campus from many different places, but for those who do not live close to UC Riverside commuting with mass transit is not pretty. People who I have come across mention one word when one has to travel a long trip which is the Metrolink commuter rail system. Metrolink has done wonders for the people who wish to avoid the 91 freeway when commuting to Los Angeles or Orange County, but there is a strong bias for those suburbanites who could not afford living in those counties. Looking at the San Bernardino line which goes from San Bernardino to Los Angeles and the Riverside line which goes from Riverside to Los Angeles the trips are not evenly balanced throughout the day. This leads to some to consider the bus system, which also has it’s benefits and it’s flaws.

Mass transit has its benefits. You can unwind by reading your assignments for class and get them done by the time you get home. Environmentalists will also like the fact that Riverside Transit Agency uses Clean Natural Gas fuel. The bus stop is located near Lothian Hall or Banockburn placed near the campus compared to the majority who has to use the transportation hubs. Parking services will gladly sell students, staff and faculty the necessary passes from Metrolink and the Riverside Transit Agency. The problem with fixed route service is if you are not taking a direct connection to the destination you need to go to you may end up waiting for the difference between the other bus. You are able to attend over 75 percent of the classes on campus without the need for a car, but for some you may have to take your car to class or beg for the kindness of strangers for a ride back.
The way home is also a problem because the bus operators are not likely to make their destinations during the approximate time. Traffic congestion at night has made bus service intolerable for many. Route 16 from Moreno Valley going to Downtown Riverside on Iowa and University around 5:10pm has been consistently late ever since October 2001. Route 100, a freeway express route to San Bernardino operated by Omnitrans fluctuates like the lottery due to it’s use of the freeway. The 91 freeway makes up a significant portion of the route and during rush hour I have cringed when I have missed my connection due to bottle neck traffic.
The late bus unfortunately causes missed connections to the routes needed to finish the journey. Los Angeles County has a superior transportation operation that makes life easier without a car a better option. Unlike San Bernardino and Riverside County most of the routes in Los Angeles County have a better frequency interval that makes getting to your destination painless along with 24 hour service for a half dozen routes. Unfortunately Southern California is not New York City, a car is strongly recommended. If these inconveniences can be fixed for the rail and bus system then the university population would reconsider using their vehicles to lighten the loan on the roads. First, Metrolink needs to partner with neighboring mass transit agencies to consider bus routes to supplement service during off peak hours. Second, the Riverside Transit Agency should consider signal manipulation technology as demonstrated with the Los Angeles MTA in their Metro Rapid may be necessary for RTA’s high demand routes. If the agencies can do the above then mass transportation will become a positive option for all.