Monday, August 27, 2007

The Shopgirl Chronicles 1: What I've Learned In Retail

Like a lot of gals my age I've worked at more places than I'd like to think about, most of which have been at different retail stores. Most of the time I have regarded these positions as ways to get things that I want, i.e. extra change and a great discount. But as I was folding minuscule skirts at my current job, a sort of Gap for the under-12 set, I started to think about some of the important lessons that I've learned working retail.

Here they go:

You're Only As Good As Your Last Hit:

Yesterday is history, all anyone cares about is today. Retail is all about numbers and all about performance. While working at a semi-upscale store for professional women I was instructed to "sell" the store credit card to everyone. One particular afternoon the District Manager (the person that supervises all of a city's stores) and the Regional Manager (does the same thing for a larger area) visited our store and I secured a credit card during their visit. I was bombarded with accolades from all of the managers ALL day. I walked into work the next day with a certain spring in my step expecting to get the same treatment...NOT! No one remembers what you did yesterday, nor do they care. Hence the phrase: EVERYDAY I'm Hustlin', as opposed to ONCE A WEEK I'm Hustlin'.

You Get What You Give:

In my tenure in the sales industry, I've learned that "Associates," as professionals in the industry like to refer to sales people, have lots of power. Very few operations require the consent of anyone higher. Price changes, returns and exchanges, discounts and markdowns are virtually all at the discretion of the person at the register. However, rude or annoying customers (or bitchy associates) prohibit most of these from happening for customers. I love helping people (what? I do!) and I hate for people to be unsatisfied since I am so often the disgruntled customer so I always do my best to stretch the rules. In return, I find that when I visit other stores associates are more than willing to offer me promotions and help me when I've forgotten my receipt or something. I think people call it Karma.

Repetition Is the Key to Success:

You know how in science a theory doesn't exist unless it can be proven over and over again? Retail is the very same. You clean and you straighten and re-arrange and make everything look super nice only to have hoards of people come through and ruin your creation. You are then forced to re-do everything. Constantly. All-day. Everyday. Success is the same way. To finish college, get that promotion, build a company, you have to be willing to get up every day and do the same thing over and over again, better than before every single day.

Part-time jobs rock!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Why I Hate Spoken Word/Minority Report

As a black woman this is a traitorous statement. As a graduate of Howard University, former resident of Washington, DC and a writer, this is a blasphemous statement. But I do! All of the shows I have seen (and I've seen WAY more than I want to, I'm always being dragged to one, it seems) have been boring and recycle trite, stale, over-sexed statements that make all the women in room OOOHHH and AHHHHH and Umm, hmmm, girl! Not really my scene. And another reason I hate it, there's always some ridiculous name for the va jay-jay being worked into every single performance. Like honeypot or ocean of chocolate or some other asinine euphemism. The men are always saying things like my beautiful black queen and the women seem to love using warrior, soldier, and African prince a lot when describing men. And PLEASE don't get me started on the smoking. Yea, not at all my idea of interesting, entertaining or enlightening. But, please, prove me wrong. Invite me to a half-decent spoken word event and I'll give you a crisp $100 bill. Well, actually I won't because I don't have one, but I will put a symbolic bill in your had.

BUT, with that said, I love to analyze the lyrics to my favorite music (ridiculous segueway, I know). The closest thing to poetry I'll ever actually enjoy. You also have to know that Jay-z is one of my favorite artists of all time. He made only one good song on his latest album, well, one good song that I liked.

Minority Report is Shawn Carter all the way and at his best exploring some of the issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina and his reaction to the crisis ("Sure I ponied up a mill, but I didn't give my time /So in reality I didn't give a dime"). The MTV video is here.

The song is so powerful, with Ne-Yo singing his remorse and sounds of wind and water in the background. But the lyrics themselves are even better. Read.

People was poor before the hurricane came
But the down pour poured is like when Mary J. sang
Every day it rains, so every day the pain
But ignored them, and showed em the risk was to blame
For life is a chain, cause and effected
Niggas off the chain because they affected
It's a dirty game so whatever is effective
From weed to selling kane, gotta put that in effect
Wouldn't you loot, if you didn't have the loot?
Baby needed food and you stuck on the roof
Helicopter swooped down just to get a scoop
Through his telescopic lens but he didn't scoop you
The next five days, no help ensued
They called you a refugee because you seek refuge
The commander-in-chief just flew by
Did he stop? No, he had a couple seats
Just proved jet blue he's not
Jet flew by the spot
What if he ran out of jet fuel and just dropped
hu,That woulda been something to watch
Helicopters doing fly-bys to take a couple of shots
Couple of portraits then ignored 'em
He'd be just another bush surrounded by a couple orchids
Poor kids just 'cause they were poor kids
Left 'em on they porches same old story in New Orleans
Silly rappers, because we got a couple Porches
MTV stopped by to film our fortresses
We forget the unfortunate
Sure I ponied up a mill, but I didn't give my time
So in reality I didn't give a dime, or a damn
I just put my monies in the hands of the same people that left my people stranded
Nothin' but a bandit
Left them folks abandoned
Damn, that money that we gave was just a band-aid
Can't say we better off than we was before
In synopsis this is my minority report
Can't say we better off than we was before
In synopsis this is my minority report

So many times I'm, covering my eyes
Peeking through my fingers
Tryin' to hide my, frustration at the way that we treat
(Seems like we don't even care)
Turn on the TV, seein' the pain
Sayin' such a shame
Then tryin' to go on with my life
Of that, I too, am guilty
(Seems like we don't even care)
So we send a lil' money, tell 'em it's alright
To be able to sleep at night
You will pay that price
While some of these folks' lost their whole life
(Seems like we don't even care)
Now it wasn't on the nightly news no more
Suddenly it didn't matter to you no more
In the end almost nothing changed
What the hell, what was that for?
(Seems like we don't even care)

Peace Out, My Beautiful Black Brothers and Sisters :)

Old Men I'd Like To...

Ok, I was reading this blog yesterday and the author, whom I believe is in her early 20's, said that Harry Belafonte could get it. LOL! It got me to thinking about Old Men I wouldn't mind tapping, for lack of a better word. My sister likes to use the word "distinguished" to describe men in the over 50 set that could easily get it from any number of 20-somethings, however I prefer O-Milf: Old Men I'd Like to F***.

My Top Picks:

An obvious choice I know. But regardless of how often women of all ages swoon over this man he is quite beautiful. Smooth chocolate skin, that processed curl that only an old-y can pull off, those big white teeth. Mmm, mmm, mmm. He's sexy, and not just because of his movie star looks. He seems to be extremely devoted to his family, a humanitarian, educated, informed about the world around him. The complete package and a total O-Milf.

Who knew 58 was the age of total hotness? I have been crushing on Mr. Gere for years now (and I know I wasn't the only 5 year old plotting to marry him while watching "Pretty Woman"). The focal point of his hotness is, of course, those bedroom eyes. I've always hated that term but no other phrase better describes his slanted, crinkled, completely-focused-on- you eyes. Ladies and gents the almost 40 year age difference is NOTHING!

I know I might get flack for this one. I honestly don't think Hef does the F part of O-Milfs anymore, no matter what he claims. He is very sexy though. Clever, witty, successful, polite, he has that old-school charm that is completely lost on our generation. Plus the palatial mansion with a full staff on call 24 hours a day does not hurt is sex appeal ;)

Now you know mine, who are your favorite over-50 hotties?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Slackin' on My Pimpin'

Here's what EVERYONE should know about me: I'm a Libra. Sure we're charismatic, fair, loving and artistic but we can also tend to be quite lethargic. Some people would even say lazy, hence where the "Lazy Libra" nickname derives. With that said, I have to admit that it is, at times, almost impossible to do anything that is remotely productive. But, faithful readers of this blog already know this.

However, when I put my mind to it, I can do anything...please cue the UNCF theme music. So, yes, I have been slacking on my blog pimpin'. Content to read the brilliant posts of some of my brilliant friends, I have been known to neglect my little space of internet. Whew. There's my confession. I feel 15 pounds lighter (what? you didn't know guilt was dense?).

In honor of this change I have re-christened this blog to 1016. Hot, right? I had been growing weary of the Bad Girls title for some time, not because it was bad or anything, I just wanted to find a name that was more mature. You know, get my grown woman on and all that. 1016 is simple and indicative, like that Usher album 9701. But BG's don't worry, the content, I assure you, will stay the same ;)


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Needles Are Fun!

I've been getting acupuncture, the centuries old Chinese medical treatment that involves (inhale deeply) long needles puncturing your skin. Devotees have sworn by the treatment's ability to solve everything from infertility (see Sex and the City Season 6) to an addiction to smoking.

I went to help with weight loss and I have to admit that it is slightly effective. But, I've learned that there is NO cure-all. Losing weight takes determination to change and dedication to an effective plan, above all. But I'm all about study guides and I think that all of that needling is just that. I've lost 4 pounds to date. I WILL lose more.

How does it work? The first time I went I reclined on a typical doctor's office bed and bared my tummy. Three ultra-long needles were stuck into my stomach before I even realized the process had started. The doctor turned off the light, flicked on what must have been the official Mah Jong soundtrack and left me alone for almost an hour. It wasn't painful, but it was a little uncomfortable, especially when I yawned and flexed my ab muscles. Ouch!

The most painful part came when he grabbed all three needles at once and took them out. Double Ouch! Then, if that wasn't enough, he stuck 5 tiny needles inside of my ear for me to "massage" when I got a craving. Umm, massage? Doc, whose humongo crack rocks are you smoking? It hurts to even sleep on these, let alone massage!

But, as they say, Weight loss is pain, oh wait, is that not right? Whatever. You know what I mean.

Til Next Time,