Day Off, Christmas Homes Tour, and Being the Family Outcast

Today was my first of two days off from my retail job, peddling the devil’s brew. Instead of staying in bed as long as possible, having all the kitten cuddles the always sleepy Bowser Kitten had to offer and then making a big pot of Christmas Coffee, I got up at 7am to shower and get ready for my ride. It was the annual Christmas Homes Tour out in the county today and every year we hit that tour for mum’s birthday. So myself, mum, my sister, and my cousin piled into my sister’s car and went out in the pouring rain to walk through strangers’ homes, gawk at their decorations, and then buy a bunch of wine.

Every year it’s the same thing: we see a bunch of different random people’s homes; stop into the same church to see the dozens of nativity scenes on display and buy a bunch of baked goods; hit the winery for a free sample and to shop; then to the garden store and novelty shop for a little Christmas shopping. We sit around together, catching up and munching on fresh baked goods made by little old church ladies and drinking fruit punch made from bulk store crystals, and then sip free wine and nibble on tiny cucumber slices and date squares and talk some more. For the most part, it’s quite an enjoyable day.

This year, this day fell right as I came off a 30-day stretch, as I mentioned yesterday. I was exhausted this morning and didn’t want to get out of bed. To top it off, the super cuddly Bowser Kitten mad made a beautifully soft next in the blankets around my knees. I had to squirm and slide out of bed in order to not disturb his nest. Hell, it’s 12 hours later and the bed still hasn’t been fully made!  I smoothed out the blankets around the nest but left it perfectly intact. Bowser Kitten is curled up in it at this very moment, in fact!

After literally dragging myself out of bed as to not disturb an already pissed off Bowser Kitten, I shower, poured some coffee down my throat, slapped on some eyebrows, and got my slip on boots ready to go. By the time our festive team assembled at my parents’ place (to cuddle their cats before we left), the skies had opened up and unleashed a torrent of rain that made it almost impossible to drive through at times. We had to make an emergency stop at a dollar store near our starting point of the tour to get umbrellas (and a few snacks for the car).

Riding around the county, dipping into our little snack bags of cookies, laughing about stupid things we’ve done lately, it was a really enjoyable day. I was really having fun, catching up with everyone, hearing all the gossip from that cousin’s side of the family that I’ve missed out on. We all bonded over our love of Christmas decorating, and the fact that I am the only one in the car who only puts up one Christmas tree every year (but I technically own two, thanks to a former roommate who left one behind).

Maybe it was the lack of sleep lately. Maybe it was the fact that I had to wake up pretty early on my first day off in 30 days. Maybe it was the fact that I had to piss of barely cheerful Bowser Kitten by leaving him home alone on my day off. Whatever it was, that creeping feeling that I don’t belong came faster this year.

Everyone else in the family seems to get along, and like a lot of the same things. They all follow the “there is a timeline your life is supposed to follow so you have things done at a certain point in your life” mentality. That was the first thing that opened the floodgates for the awkwardness today. My cousin was talking about her and her boyfriend, who have been dating almost 3 years now. She was saying that once you hit 30, dating is completely different and should move a lot faster because you have your life totally together. In her words, you have your life together once you’re in your 30s. You own a home or have a really nice apartment, don’t have any student loans left to pay off, are established in your career, and have time for hobbies and “grown-up things”. She’s in a book club, where they read Oprah-approved books and then sit around talking about how much they loved them. She gets up early on Saturday mornings to go to brunch with the girls. She counts calories, and every time she eats something “bad” she has to talk about how her diet is ruined for the day. And everyone over the age of 30 is supposed to do these things.

Now, everyone in that car today knows what my life is like. I’m 35 years old. I’m drowning in credit card and student loan debt I’m slowly chipping away at. I work retail, on my feet in steel-toe shoes all day, and rent a room in a house with a bunch of strangers. I am the exact opposite of everything she just said I’m supposed to be. But she still kept talking to me like my life is exactly like hers. Not just that, but everyone seemed to go along with it like I was supposed to fake another lifestyle for a day just to fit in.

I’m almost used to this by now. I always seem to get this weird combination of “good for you, not letting your age stop you” and “you still have to live up to our expectations of a person your age” from people when I make decisions in my life. And everyone has different expectations for me, but I’m supposed to live up to all of them. I am somehow supposed to live at home until I’m married, plus get a kick-ass apartment full of cool stuff from catalogues, plus cultivate my own style, plus date around and sow my wild oats while also being in a steady and monogamous relationship long enough to lead to an engagement and marriage so I can start having kids by my late-20s or early-30s. I am somehow expected to do all of this at once, in order to live up to a dream that various family members have for themselves, which then gets passed on to me.

This random “failing everyone’s expectations entirely, all at the same time” phenomenon is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interactions with my family. In almost every way, I am very much different from my family. I know, I sound like some angsty teen who wears too much black eyeliner and ironically listens to Marilyn Manson because he’s “hardcore” and “speaks to me”. This is something that I’ve come to embrace over the years, and most of the time it’s something I really enjoy. I’ve always been a little off compared to my cousins, and a little backwards at times. I’m a writer, a confused little lost girl who bounced from job to education to job, with ever-changing goals. I’m financially insecure, in a precarious place in my professional career, and just rediscovering my passion for writing and reading at the age of 35. Usually, I am perfectly fine with the fact that my choices in life have lead me to where I am, and I know that my current and future choices will lead me other places. But being in that car, listening to everyone talk, it just gets to me.

You see, there are a lot of fundamental things about me that are very different from the rest of my family. I come from a big group of Trump-loving folk, who don’t want refugees around stealing their jobs and spreading Sharia law with their ISIS influence. They think that anyone who gets welfare is just cheating the system to get free money for expensive food and trips (except for me, the time I was on it right out of school; I was the exception), and firmly believe that all refugees are being paid thousands of dollars a month by the government while pensioners are being given cheese vouchers and a swift kick in the ass. They want more gun, less diversity, more religion (as long as it’s their religion), and fewer immigrant workers. They believe that trickle-down economics will save the world, and that border walls can’t be built fast enough to save North America from the dreaded Mexicans.

Basically, they believe in the opposite of everything I do. There are tules at family dinners stating that no political conversations are supposed to take place. This basically means that everyone else is allowed to talk politics, except for me. The second I speak up, the conversation is labelled a “fight” and mum gets upset. I’m used to it. I just shut my mouth, keep my head down, and try to tune everything out most of the time. But when you’re stuck in a car with people talking politics, and you know you can’t join in because it will upset people is the weirdest feeling in the world. No matter how nice and polite I am, just the very act of saying something that isn’t in total agreement with them is enough to piss everyone off.

Ok, remember when you were a teen, and you thought the whole world was against you? You would lock yourself in your room, blasting your angsty-driven music of choice (mine was German industrial music and heavy metal; my sister was more of a Hanson-rebel), thinking that there was no one in the world who would understand you. You would slam doors, punch your pillow, scream at family members that they just didn’t understand you and they never would. Do you remember that feeling of being so totally different, so totally alone, that if felt like it would crush you?

Now imagine being 35. You know that you’re not alone in the world because you have people around you that you can relate you. You know that you’re not the bizarre, weird freak you thought you were when you were 15 when some overly-bleach blond douchebag would throw orange slices at your head on the bus after school. You’re a grown-ass adult who has a life and a mind of their own and is able to converse with people of differing views in a civilized manner. But being with your family is suddenly being that 15-year-old again. You’re a freak, a weirdo, a disappointment who has all these weird and strange ideas that they’ll surely grow out of once they finally grow up.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this post today. Sorry folk, my brain has closed down for the day. All I know is I just spent my first day off in a month being questioned about when the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend and I are going to get engaged and married (that’s not something we’re really looking into right now), why am I not pressuring AAB into proposing as my Christmas present, why would I even think about applying to jobs a few hours away (when there’s nothing outside of my own company that I’m both qualified for and interested in), why would I be looking at little 2 bedroom wartime houses in my area (when that’s all AAB and I want at the moment), and when am I going to “grow up and vote Republican” (because apparently other people’s Christmas decorations are entirely a Republican issue that I couldn’t possibly handle). It’s been a mentally draining day, I’m pouring my second glass of wine right now while I blast my “Angry Tunes” playlist on Spotify, and AAB is playing in the kitchen with some fish and asparagus at 8:43pm when I haven’t eaten a real meal all day. I am just done with everything for today. Being grilled like a 15-year old who came home 4 hours after curfew about the tiniest little thing today by a few family members just gets to me.

Tomorrow is my Christmas decorating day. Hopefully, I’ll be able to lay out the extra stress that comes with the Christmas season for me (since we all go through extra stress this time of year, no matter our beliefs, with holiday festiveness being shoved down our throats) and how I’m planning on cutting a few corners and doing more for me thing year.

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Sometimes People Suck

Well, this has been a doozy of a weekend at the store, Sunshine! We opened two hours late yesterday, in order to observe a time of silence and honor our troops on Remembrance Day. Then today, somehow the world forgot our store hours even though they’ve been the same since April 1st. We’re open 11am until 6pm every damn Sunday and open until 9pm on Saturday. None of that changed this weekend, and people just couldn’t wrap their heads around that. We were getting so many phone calls the last two days that I was put in charge of answering the phone. An hour into my shift yesterday and already I had answered at least half a dozen “are you guys open” calls.  There were a few real gems in there though.

Caller: Hey there, are you guys open today?

Me: Yes, we’re open until 9-o-clock tonight.

Caller: Great. And what time do you close?

Seriously, a call went like that. My poor work BFF was standing next to me, and only heard my side of the conversation. “Yes, we’re open until 9-o-clock. We close at 9-o-clock tonight. Yes, 9pm. No, 9. Nine tonight. Ok, thank you, bye.” Most of the rest of the calls were basically just, “I drove by and saw the open sign was on/people were in the store/ my husband came home with whiskey, does that mean you’re open?”

A lot of the people I work with don’t like taking calls like that. I get the biggest kick out of it, though. I take my phone duties very seriously and was freakin sprinting through the store to get the phone last night. Today, I could answer a call before the first ring was barely done ringing. Stuff like that just gives me a silly little break to my day. Some people think that nothing can bother me if I find calls like that funny.

THey’re wrong. Dead wrong.

[Cue ominous music]

There are so many things that customers do that bother me. Like, I turned to my co-worker today and told her it must be near closing time because I was getting unreasonably angry about things customers were doing and saying. It wasn’t, the customers were just that annoying. In any job you have to deal with annoying people, I keep telling myself. This is no different, except that they stick around for a much shorter period of time than an annoying co-worker in an office would.

Do any of these things bother you two? Are there things customers do that annoy the ever living crap out of you? Here’s a list of just the very basics, the most common, the things that we have to deal with far too often that annoy the sweet candied horse plops out of me.

  1. Very stinky people. Our store is next door to a gym. For some reason, customers feel the need to have a very intense workout, sweat out days worth of booze, garlic, hot sauce, and cigars (from the smell of it), and then come directly to our store in all their stinky, sweaty glory. Then they get offended if we spray FeBreez after they leave.
  2. My hand is right there in front of you, waiting for you to drop your change and/or bills into. Instead, you throw your money down on the counter. Bonus points if it’s a wet day, you had your bag or umbrella up there first, and you throw the money down in a puddle that makes it impossible for me to pick it up off the metal counter unless I slide everything over to me, and dump your damn puddle water all over my pants.
  3. Most people will at least tell the person they’re talking to, “I need to pay, hold on just a second” and pay me. Most people. Unless it truly is an emergency, why do you need to keep yammering away into your phone? I don’t care if Crystal bought the same couch as you. Why do I need to hear about what a bitch she is for copying your style, which you just copied from an Ikea catalog anyway? Bonus points if you’re on your phone and then get mad at me for not asking for your points card, even though I did ask. You just didn’t hear me over your whole couch conundrum on the phone.
  4. I need to push a different button on my register for debit and for credit card payments. That’s why I ask what kind of card you’re paying with. No, tapping it 37 times on the machine won’t magically make it read it. And no, saying “it’s a tap/ chip/ Scotiabank/ card” doesn’t clear anything up for me. If I ask you “debit or credit”, just pick one.
  5. And that whole payment thing happens AFTER I ring up your items.  You can’t pay for things until I ring them up. Throwing bottles on a counter, saying “credit”, and then tapping your card on the machine before I even get the chance to ring in a single bottle isn’t going to do anything.
  6. Cashback is a service we offer to people who are paying debit. We add an amount on to your total, and then give you that amount in cash after your card is approved. Why do you go through the process of putting your card in the machine, entering your PIN, taking your receipt, and start to walk away before you ask for cash back?
  7. And yes, you have to buy something in order to get cash back. You can’t just insert your card, push buttons, and get money without buying something. You’re thinking of an ATM, which we have a bunch of in the plaza. We’re a retail establishment. We’re in the business of selling stuff. You have to buy something to get cashback.
  8. Again, this is a retail establishment, not a bank. If you pay for a $7 purchase with a $100 bill, there is a good chance that I’ll have to give you some smaller bills for your change. It’s not like I keep a wad of $50 and $20 bills hidden away just in case you come in and want to flash your big bills at me. If you want a bill broken, go to a bank.
  9. Same goes for other businesses wanting to buy $5 bills and change off of us. There are three banks within walking distance of my store, 2 of them in the damn plaza. Go see them! We need our change for breaking the $100 bills for $7 purchases!
  10. Again, we’re not a bank. Yes, our cashback limit is $500 if we have it in our till. That doesn’t mean you can specify how you want your money. No, I can’t give you $500 in fifties and hundreds. There is a damn good chance your cashback will be entirely in $20 bills, possibly with $10 bills in there. There is even the chance I’ll be down to giving you $5 bills if that’s all I have. Don’t try to give me back my bills and demand a $100 bill. If I didn’t give it to you, then I don’t have it!
  11. I had a woman today tell me no less than 9 times that she needed two of her wines in one bag, and three in another bag. She was going somewhere and wanted to drop the three wines off at home, and bring the other two with her. She told me this 9 times to make sure I knew to put the two wines she put at one end of the counter in one bag, and the three wines all the way at the other end of the counter in another bag. She spoke very slowly the last few times she told me this. I know I looked tired and sick (because I am), but I can follow simple instructions.
  12. And yes, just because I’m a cashier doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. I can ring through purchases, make change, do math, hell I can even read the damn labels! You’re the one who can’t figure out the self check out, Brenda, so don’t talk down to me when we’re on opposite sides of the counter.
  13. We have clearance tags that say SAVE $X.xx on them, right next to the the price. You could be saving $10.00 on a bottle of scotch, but it still costs $75.00. Or you could be saving $1.75 on a bottle of wine, but it still costs $9.00. If you misread the tag and think you’re getting the wine for $1.75, why are you getting mad at me for it? It says very clearly what you’re saving and what you’re paying. Just because you read it wrong doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. And just because you said “Wow, $1.75!” out loud when an employee was in your line of vision doesn’t mean that they heard you, or that they knew what product you were talking about. We have some really cheap things in our store too. For all we know, you could be talking about a cheap clearance beer or a wine stopper, if we even hear you in the first place, Brenda. Stop trying to make you not wearing your reading glasses in public our fault.
  14. We all have nametags. Don’t refer to us as “the redheaded bitch” or “the ditzy one” or “that fat guy”. Either read the tag or point us out. No need to insult us to another employee to try and make yourself look good.
  15. We know all the liquor laws when it comes to denying someone a sale. If someone ahead of you in line is getting denied, don’t stick up for them. We could lose our jobs AND get a huge fine and possibly even face jail time if we serve someone we shouldn’t. We’re trying to do our jobs here, and the shit we deal with when it comes to denying service is enough to warrant an entire post of its own.
  16. “It didn’t scan, I guess that means it’s free!” No, it isn’t. If you leave without paying for it, you’re stealing it.
  17. “Gee, I was worried. I just printed that $20 bill before I left the house, didn’t know if you’d take it!” You’re not funny. Do you know how many times I hear that? And how many fake bills we actually have to deny? And how much trouble we can get in if we do take a fake bill? Just don’t, man.
  18. We have to fake a chuckle at some pretty damn awful jokes sometimes. When we can’t even muster a fake giggle, then whatever you said is just plain wrong. That’s right, your racist jokes just make us uncomfortable. Same with the sexist comments, whether they’re about us or anyone else.
  19. We get paid to be friendly. 99.9999% of the time, we’re not flirting with you. I have only seriously ever flirted with one customer, and he is now my Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend. That’s one out of the tens of thousands of people who came through my line that year. One. If I smile, it’s because I have to. If I touch your hand, it’s because I was giving you back your change or your ID, not because I was hoping you’d take my hand brushing up against yours for a tenth of a second as some sort of flirtatious action meant to make you want me. No, I don’t want your number and no, I don’t wanna give you mine, and no I don’t wanna meet you nowhere and no, I don’t want none of your time. Honey, I’m looking like class and you’re looking like trash trying hit on some poor cashier.
  20. Those goes triple if you’re like 50 and trying to flirt with my 20-year-old co-workers. I will call you out on that shit man. I’m very protective of my little kittens, and you’re just making them uncomfortable.
  21. Just because our hands grazed while I was giving you back your change, don’t wait outside the store until my shift ends. That is beyond creepy. Like, we will call the cops on you and I’ll have multiple escorts home to make sure you’re not following me.
  22. Same goes for if you threaten to kick my ass, or track me down, or mess me up because I wouldn’t serve you.
  23. There are cameras and mirrors EVERYWHERE. If I look you dead in the eye and say “do you want to pay for the bottle you shoved in your pants”, that means that a) I saw you shove a bottle in your pants, b) you are on camera shoving a bottle in your pants, and c) I just approached you near the door to make sure I could get you to look directly into a hidden camera so the cops have a good, clean image of your face. And we document EVERYTHING, dude.
  24. I have to ID people who look 25 or younger. If you’re very obviously in your 60s, don’t ask me why I didn’t ID you. Don’t try to guilt me into IDing you. Don’t tell me I’m making you feel old, or tell me 37 times that it’s weird that I didn’t ID you. You obviously look older than 25. Get over it, GreyBeard.

So that’s just the short list. You know there’s so much more to retail like that can get on your nerves. Luckily I’m not in a store that has stacks of clothing that can be destroyed in seconds, or those big bins of big rubber balls that internet folk kept diving into for ‘the lulz’. Are kids still saying for the lulz these days? Are lulz on fleek? I don’t know anymore. Kids these days, am I right?

So what kinds of customers really grate your goat cheese? Is there something you hear 37 times a day that just makes you want to rip off your ears and shove them in a blender? Or makes you want to shove parts of other people in a blender? Leave a comment, or you can send me your retail horror stories at TheFailedGrownUp@gmail.com . I’m sure I’ll have another one (or 97) of these posts in the future. Let me know what you’re dealing with that I don’t have to at my little piece of retail heaven.

Millennials Are Killing………..

Millennials Are Killing Pt 1

I’m not sure if I’m sick of these headlines and articles yet, or if I’m thriving off them. It seems like at least once a week, some older relative or former co-worker posts an article on Facebook about Millennials killing something followed by the usual rant.

This Generation is so spoiled! Thinking the world owes them everything on a silver platter, sitting around on their Facebooks and Twitters and burying their faces in their phones! Back in my day we woke up every day and ate our cereal, put on a suit to go to work, used bar soap to wash ourselves, golfed on the weekend, and wore whatever retailers told us to! These spoiled kids are killing [insert industry here]! Stupid younger generation with their 3 jobs and unpaid internships and beanie hats and avocados! If they just stopped buying avocado toast all the time, they’d be able to buy a house and live like we REAL grown-ups do!!!

Of course, if an entire generation DID stop buying avocado toast, then Millennials would probably get blamed for killing the avocado industry.

Basically, this younger generation, the Millenials, doesn’t like things and stuff. They’re turning their back on the tried and true pastimes and goals of the Baby Boomers, and are just ruining life as we know it for everyone. They’re sitting there in a Mr. Burns-esque pose, bent over their avocado toast, laughing maniacally as the world just falls to shit around them.

And people seriously seem to fucking believe this.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Millennials is one freaking huge generation of people born in more than a 20-year span (anywhere from 1980 to 2004, depending on who you ask). We (yes, technically I fall somewhere in that massive span) were raised riding bikes and shooting at pixelated ducks while that annoying little doggy bastard laughed every time we missed.  We came in when the streetlights came on, or else our parents were blowing up our pagers, and later our massively huge cell phones. We spent our days at the mall and our nights in mIRC chats ASL-ing the night away. We were raised outside and in front of a screen at the same time.

Millennials Will Kill

Somehow, by learning how to fix a bike chain AND program the clock on a VCR, we’ve become Enemy #1 in the eyes of the older generations.  And it’s total bullshit.

Basically, from what article after article says, Millennials aren’t spending money on the same things their parents did. Between the housing market, low-wage jobs, increased tuition rates coupled with a demand for high education for entry-level positions, and stagnant minimum wage in the face of increasing inflation, Millennials have to be so much more careful with how and where they spend their money than generations before them. You hear and see story after story of people working 2 or 3 jobs, drowning in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, having to have multiple roommates well into their 30s just to keep a roof over their head without moving back in with their parents. We simply just don’t have the disposable income generations before us had. We can’t afford vacations or new cars or houses. Many of us are trying to find a way to afford to eat every day or afford to make their loan payments AND pay rent.

So, instead of industries adapting to the current market finding a way to appeal to the Millennials they are losing, we get article after article claiming that it’s the Millennials fault that these industries are starting to lose ground. We are somehow killing industries that refuse to adapt to survive. It’s not “survival of the fittest” in the business world anymore; it’s “we want your business, you spoiled whiney fucks, why won’t you just give it to us”.

What exactly have we been accused of killing so far?

  • golf
  • napkins
  • movie theaters
  • class
  • vacations
  • bar soap
  • relationships
  • Home Depot
  • Sears
  • cereal
  • the NFL
  • the 9-5 workday
  • suits
  • style
  • beer
  • diamonds
  • Applebee’s
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Oklahoma
  • romance
  • stiletto shoes
  • America
  • patriotism

And that’s just the short list! Don’t believe me? Go use the Googles, as my mother would say. You’ll come up with pages and pages of articles, and articles of lists of articles (looking at you Buzzfeed). Somehow we’re killing sit-down restaurants by not wanting to dine in, while killing fast food restaurants by not wanting take-out, and also killing multiple food industries by not cooking at home. In short, we’re not eating and it’s killing everyone but us.

I think the thing on this list that really pushes my rant-basket off the cliff is Sears. We have a Sears here at our local mall, and I haven’t bought anything from there in more than 5 years. The last thing I got there was a dress for a fraternity formal back in University. I’ve gone in there, looked around at things, but there was never anything there for me.

Now, that place was THE SHIT in the 80’s! On our family outings to the mall, we’d spend half the day just in Sears. We actually have childhood stories from all of our time in Sears. Once when I was still in diapers, I decided I had to make the biggest poop any small child had ever made, so I squatted down in the middle of an aisle and filled my diaper. Another time my mum had to get me Christmas presents from Sears, so my grandparents took me off into the mall so I wouldn’t see them. When mum came looking for us where we were supposed to meet, she somehow missed me in the window of a maternity store trying to tear the clothes off a mannequin. Like, we were there a lot. Everyone was.

Sears used to be where you could buy your appliances, your suit and tie, toys for the kids, and maybe pick up some new perfume or have lunch at their tiny restaurant. But with more and more Millennials not being able to afford homes, we don’t have the need for appliances. With more people going into trades and service positions, we don’t need suits for our jobs. With more and more of us putting off having kids, there’s no need to shop for toys. There’s also more competition around. Why go to the Sears makeup counter when I can stop at Sephora? Why go to Sears when there are 7 other stores in our mall to buy a damn tie. And we don’t even have an overly big mall here!

And when it comes to clothes, there’s just nothing at Sears for me, or for anyone I know around my age for that matter. It’s almost like they stopped keeping up with current fashion somewhere around 1994. Every year I check the clothing section for their Christmas catalog just to see what they’re trying to pawn off as today’s newest trends. It always looked like a fashion spread for an article on how to dress like you’re 17 when you’re really 53, to be honest. They base their clothes on the old-time motto of “spend a bit more on something durable, it will last forever”, whereas today we’re more likely to shop thinking “I have $23 in the bank and need pants and grocery, I’m fucking screwed”.

This all leads to the biggest downfall for Sears, in my mind though. We all shop online. You go to the mall, and 99% of the stores ask for your email address when you check out. You get coupons in your email, browse the store’s website, buy crap on clearance that’s sold out at your location but available in the warehouse still. For people working multiple jobs, hopping on line and ordering your clothes for delivery is just easier a lot of the time. And most stores are all over this, pushing their website on you with more aggression than feral dog loose in a butcher’s shop. Sears never quite hit that level. I mean, they send out fucking catalogs! You can order over the phone or fill out a form to order through the mail!  They kept marketing to people the same way they marketed back when I was a kid. Instead of trying to grab the younger markets, reaching out to them, begging them to come spend money on their crap like any self-respecting business would do, they stayed with the tried-and-true method their aging consumer base was used to. Instead of reaching out to Millennials with online campaigns, social media, a Kardashian or two, or anything else a younger person may take consumer influence from, they stuck with what their now 60+ crowd was used to.

Did Millennials shop at Sears en masse? Nope. But was it the fault of the Millennials not needing their products or brick and mortar stores, or of Sears for not marketing to them? Sears got lazy. They had how many years as the Big Dog, the main store in small-town malls across North America. They turned into one of those chef’s you would see on Gordon Ramsay shows who won an award in 1984 for Best Pasta in Pasadena and decided they were the best chef EVER; they would never change a dish or menu no matter how bad their business or food was, and they scream at Ramsay for even hinting that their food is less than amazing. Sears was that asshole chef, serving 1984’s pasta to the 2017 gluten-free crowd. And this is the Millennials’ fault?

Millennials Are Killing Pt 3

Pretty much every dying industry that Millennials have been blamed for killing is just a victim of a changing economic landscape that can’t find a way to adapt. It doesn’t matter who the target market is; if something is failing, you can bet that Millennials are being blamed for it somehow. It’s not being framed as “the markets are changing: here’s the ones that can’t keep up with Millennials” though. Instead, it’s made to seem like Millennials are actively attacking industries, trying to bring about the demise of random things like napkins and beer. These articles make it seem like there is this giant Millennial conspiracy. We meet the first Thursday of every month to talk about our progress and decide what industry will be the next to crumble.

Did any of these journalists think that maybe, just maybe, things like vacations and diamonds and houses are things most Millennials just can’t afford to buy right now? Or that breakfast cereal isn’t as popular because we don’t have time to sit down to eat breakfast before running off to our first job? Maybe we’re not spending money buying beer from major brewers like Budweiser because we’re supporting more local entrepreneurs and buy craft beers from small local breweries. To save money, maybe we use towels and dish rags instead of one-use napkins. We don’t have time for golf, our jobs don’t require suits, and as renters our landlords are required to do the major repairs on our apartments and homes that would necessitate a trip to Home Hardware.

This generation is trying to do more with less: less money, less free time, fewer jobs available that pay a living wage. All the while, they’re getting shit on by people for not spending money how their parents’ generation did. Instead of industries changing to fit the market, they’re shitting all over the market for changing. Sears was just the poster child for an entire economic structure built around everyone wanting and liking what the crazy 80-year-old woman in the apartment upstairs who lives with her cat Harold wants and likes. Instead of seeing what it is Millennials want and need and either changing to fit that, or finding an unfulfilled need and creating something for that, these industries are sitting in the corner crying, “Stupid Millennials, you’re supposed to like what WE tell you to like!”

Millennials Are Kill Request

I don’t know where this rant is going, Sunshine. I’m just really getting sick of people shitting on an entire generation that is just trying to live. We’re not hurting anyone by not golfing, or not taking vacations, or not drinking Coors Light. If anything, we’re just hurting ourselves by being overworked, underpaid, and lacking basics like affordable health care that would enable us to better care for ourselves. I don’t see why we’re are constantly being shit on just because we’re not the cookie cutter image of the generations that preceded us. Why are the generations that raised us, that made us the way we are, that engineered our economy and housing market and educational system, why are they turning on us?

A Brief Rant…….. on the generation gap

so-glad-i-grew-up-multi-pictures

Ok, I know every generation does this at some point. They look down on the younger generation, pick apart what they’re doing, and point out everything wrong with them. Every generation is lazy, entitled, and looking for a free ride compared to the generation before them, apparently.

But the amount of hate being thrown at kids today is just boggling my mind!

Now, one thing I want to point out is that I am in that weird group that was once Generation Y, but then got erased and kinda absorbed into the millennials. I was a kid when the NES and Sega Genesis game out. I can remember playing Duck Hunt for hours, with the gun up against the screen. I can remember having to put almost a dozen AA batteries into my Sega GameGear to get a few hours of play time out of it. I was around when the internet first started to get big. I played in mIRC chats, downloaded things on Napster and LimeWire, and played Trogdor before it was that weird song no one knew but everyone played on GuitarHero.  I was around when all these things started.

And I fully embrace the way they are heading.

You see, we use these things called “advances” in our lives to, well, advance things. Thanks to medical advancements, we have vaccines to protect from getting polio and rubella. Thanks to advances in automation, we can produce goods at a higher rate. And thanks to technological advancements, we have things like Smartphones.

Now, not every advancement is all sunshine and unicorn poops. I mean, the Atom Bomb was an advancement in nuclear science. But just because one generation has something a part generation didn’t, doesn’t make it bad.

Now, back to that meme above. Yes, I’ve seen kids in groups on their phones (lately it’s been to catch Pokemon together). But back when I was a kid, we used to sit around the NES and take turns being Mario, or a friend’s dad’s laptop to play Wolfenstein. How is this any different?

An older generation goes ahead and CREATES a product, and then shames the younger generation for USING it. “Oh, look at these stupid, lazy kids, sitting around playing on the phones my generation created for them and pushed on them.”  I mean, you ever try finding a flip phone or a Nokia Razor these days? It’s damn near impossible! These are the only phones out there, and with parents spending more time out of the home due to work, and fewer people having landlines due to cell phones, giving your kid a phone is somewhat practical at times.

Also, who the hell decided that the millennials are lazy?

Every generation works its buns off to give their children what they didn’t have, and to make their lives easier. Somehow, in the process of doing that for us, things like the collapse of the housing market and the bailouts of the banks and auto industry happened. Both the cost of and demand for higher education skyrocketed, and jobs became few and far between for most. (I’ll rant another day about job searches and degrees and such).

Right now, most of the millennials I know are the hardest working people I know. Just in a very small group of people I met through work there are the girl with 3 jobs doing almost 80 hours some weeks, the girl with the schooling and internship and job and daughter, the girl who worked 2-3 jobs at a time while in college, and a few handfuls of people who worked jobs in bars at night after working all day. True, none of these people are in the careers they wanted, but they are working their asses off just to survive.

participation-trophy

Here’s another one that really get’s me going: the participation trophy.

Now, I know that not everyone needs a trophy for everything. The thing is, it’s not the kids who are giving out the trophies. Again, that older generation invented the Participation Trophy, and then complained when the younger generation got it! Parents were the ones who decided that every kid needed a damn trophy, and then they complain when every kids gets a damn trophy. WTF?????

I know, I know, every generation gripes about the younger generations. I just don’t know when I’ve seen this much hate for a generation before! The older generation creates things, and the younger generation gets shamed for using them.

I don’t know Sunshine. I just had to rant about that today, get it out of my head to make room for more positive thoughts… and caffeine.