notes from staff meeting:

the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right
the customer is ALWAYS right

a little imagination ...

Having been banned from Big Bro Mulette's X-Box,
Little Mulette was experiencing a rather slow day ...

the hat trick

the funnel

the sword hand

the spy glass

the rocket ship



better than chocolate ...

a fine pair of hands & ....


words mean more at night
like a song
and did you ever notice
the way light means more than it did all day long?

words mean more at night
light means more
like your hair and your face and your smile
and our bed and the shirt that you wore

so i’ll send you my words
from the corners of my room
and though i write them by the light of day
please read them by the light of the moon

and i wish i could leave my bones and my skin
and float over the tired tired sea
so that i could see you again

maybe you would leave too
and we’d blindly pass each other
floating over the ocean blue
just to find the warm bed of our lover

and i’ll send you my words
from the corners of my room
and though i write them by the light of day
please read them by the light of the moon

(gregory alan isakov & ilan isakov)



cut me some slack ...

I remember when my 22 yr. old step-daughter was in pre-school, she would bring home happy notes when she had done something particularly well. On the occasion of her mis-behavior, she would bring home sad notes. Today, I arrived at work to find a sad note taped to my locker. Sigh. That makes me 0 for4 this month: 0 weeks that I have worked in which I did not get 'advised of' or 'talked to' or a note stuck on my locker regarding a failure, on my part, to perform my job to certain standards. Let's face it, the mule is a lone ranger type and working in the midst of a herd feels .... un-natural. I'm not deliberately rebellious. But I figure for $8.75 an hour, I'm not working as a rocket scientist. My natural straying tendencies are showing. I'm trying - HONEST- to fly low, under the radar. Help the customer. Keep my stall clean. Look busy when it's dead slow ....

This week's offense? I'm not clasping necklace chains back together before I re-stock them. My note was signed " The Management." That part made me laugh. I work for an organization that's somewhat top heavy in management. We're not a pyramid - more like a mesa. In other words, it's those who get benefits and then the rest of us, who don't.

There has been MAJOR DRAMA in management during the last two weeks, resulting in rifts and fault lines: i.e. it's YOUR fault .... Now no one wants to have their name on anything - not even a sales ticket. That's how paranoid we've all become.

I'm trying not to roll my eyes over
this. I know, I know - it's a learning curve, and we're not perfect etc. etc. But when the job starts becoming a major stress and irritant in life, I begin questioning the cost/benefit ratio. One manager declared, 'there are snakes among us.' I'm busy tracking the black cloud.

Looks like I need a sturdy pair of boots and an umbrella. Signs read: Raining Snakes Ahead !!




small miracles

I walked through snow yesterday.

Okay, so it melted as soon as it hit the ground; I was woefully under-dressed for the occasion; and I felt a mite tired and jaded by the day. I left the mall driving through slush: rain and sleet. By the time I had reached the grocery store, on the other side of town, slush had become big, fat, fluffy snowflakes. I tilted my head back to let some fall on my face. I like to think I looked winsomely snow-dusted as I entered the grocery store. (And not like the half-crazed, middle-aged mule that I truly am.)

Snow dusted me as I put gas in the car. And the miracles continued as I picked up the latest designer drug Rx. The prescription went through without a hitch: on HIS insurance/reimbursement plan, saving me $647.49 ..... !!!! (Dr. Jab prescribed me enough to last 4 months.)

I owe it all to my new piece of serious bling: the CHARM bracelet. On it hangs a charm that reads, "Expect A Miracle."

oh yeeeeaaaahhh .............


Name that ... WHATTTTT ???

Customer: Oh. I see you are Alice today.
Co-worker: politely, "Yes, I'm Alice."
Customer: You helped me the other day, but you had a different name.
Co-worker: politely, "Yes, I remember you, but I was Alice that day, too."
Customer: Oh. I just thought you all had a bunch of name tags and picked out whichever one you wanted for the day.

Mule: Laughing my hooves off - mwahaaaaaahaaaaaaaa!

from 'Adventures in Retail'; Vol. I, No. 4


breakfast in bed ...

When you're single and find yourself all alone on a rainy Sunday morning, you learn how to improvise. So here's my breakfast in bed. I lept up from my haybed and galloped to the cooking shed to whip up some cafe au lait and TOAST with LOTS OF BUTTER !!! (missing those honeyed clementines promised .....)

Actually, I just wanted to highlight my favorite dragon mugs made for me by mr. GARY RITH - yeah, oh YEAH! It's the perfect coffee drinking mug. Mr. Dragon's head rests on the side of my left hand while my right grabs the handle. Yep. I'm a two-fisted drinker.

There you have it. A swift gallop back and a few poorly done photos with the laptop (I had to hurry cause Oscar the Hound was hiding 'neath the blankies and really really wanted my toast!) and Voila' - a poor single woman's breakfast in bed. Sigh.



queueing up !

All in all, it's been the week from outerspace where customers and customer service are concerned. I watched one customer literally run out of the store this week, exclaiming, " Give my refund to the next customer in line !! I don't want it! I don't need it !!" Leaving our assistant manager standing with her mouth open, hands up in the air, saying "Sir, Sir, Sir ........!" And this was the more 'normal' part of our week.

On busy weekends at the store, we post a sign politely requesting customers to form a line and wait for the next available customer service rep to assist them. What is it about Americans and lines ???? or reading signs ???? You Brits are so orderly and polite in your queueing. No squabbling there, Oh No! In Central America, it's the game of "whoever gets to the register first - WINS - elbows, pushing and tripping are encouraged !"

In our store, customers generally fall into three categories: those who read the sign and obey; those who read the sign and disobey; those who disregard the sign altogether.

As it had been "one of those weeks," Today, I was doing my best to 'fly under the radar', take care of customers, and avoid management as much as possible. I had already gotten tangled up in one dog pile this week and came out of it .... smelly. I was feeling rather pleased with myself, as my shift wound down, for accomplishing my objectives.

Until he appeared in front of me.

Yep. The Line Jumper.

Remarkably, they all have a similar MO: rush the counter; begin asking questions centered around the theme of "Can you; Will you; Please ..... ??? helpme ;" and claim ignorance and disbelief when told, "There is a line. You will have to wait." Inevitably, I am asked, "But can you answer one question ...."

Sigh. Go ahead. Laugh at me. But if I answer the customer's question, you can COUNT on the fact that the next customer in line is going to complain; I will get 'talked to and advised of' by one of the store 'supervisors'; and the One Question will reveal itself to be actually 25 complicated questions all bundled together.

So I points my mule hoof to the end of the line and say, "Go. Wait."

"Can I help the next person in line ?" ......

from 'Adventures in Retail,' Vol I. No. 3


the morning after ...



octogenarian humour

Our local mall is quite popular with 'mall walkers' who generally show up before stores open to get their laps in. We have a number of 'regulars' who stop by the store to say hi each day, and one such regular is an octogenarian, a real spry mall walker. I don't often get scheduled for the opening shift, being on the bottom of the peon pile, but here's a typical conversation I have with our 'regular' octogenarian:

Mule: "Hey there."
Octogenarian: What's cookin' good lookin' ?
Mule: Eyebrows frown, "Ummmm ......... dinner ? breakfast ? eggs and bacon?" muttering.
Octogenarian: You're supposed to say, 'Chicken.'
Mule: Polite heh heh laugh, "Oh right. Chicken. Sorry. Forgot ...." more muttering.

next week:

Mule: "Hey, how's it going?"
Octogenarian: What's cookin' good lookin'?
Mule: all excited 'cause I have the RIGHT answer ready, "CHICKEN !!"
Octogenarian: GOOD! You wanna neck ???
Mule: stunned silence. thinking to oneself. this is really creepy. what do I say ????, "Oh. Yeah. Right. Good one. Ha. Ha. " ....... muttering to muleself - "creeper"

I'm currently trying to subvert one of the younger co-workers to greet mr. octogenarian with the appropriate Chicken response. I'll let you know how it works out ........ heheheheheheheh!

from "Adventures in Retail;" Vol. 1, No. 2

EWWWW !!!!

warning: this post contains gross imagery ...... !!

Last night, the mulettes and I were romping in the family room, and the family dawg decided he wanted to get in on the fun. So he jumped up into my middle mulette's lap, and all of a sudden she exclaimed, "EWWWW! What's this on his leg ????" The youngest mulette, lured by the possibility of seeing something gross (which is sub-lingo for way cool in his mind), went over and began touching. Next thing I know, the mulettes are picking and flicking at this large gray, nipple looking growth on the dawg's leg. (Yes. I did write 'nipple').

When mama mule finally took a peek, she exclaimed, 'EEEEEEEEEEKKKKK!" Having grown up on a farm around many dogs, cats and animules, I knew it had to be a TICK !!! A TICK! A real live, extremely engorged, sucking the life blood of Oscar the hound right here in bubbletown, TICK ! I say that because I've lived in bubbletown near on 10 years, and I'VE NEVER SEEN A TICK on anyone or anything. Which only confirms that 1. yes, the economy is in imminent danger of collapsing (HAAAAAAAAAA) and 2. My new digs are located in that gray, in-between, transition world of bubbletown and the rest of the real world. 3. In other words, we are living on the edge - oooooooo!!

So. Out come the tweezers, the alcohol and YIPEEEE - the wooden matches. "What are you going to do with those," asks the middle mulette. Burn the TICK! Yeah! Do I hear any amens out there ????? "Why ??????" she asks, worried that I'm going to burn the dawg as well. And so I ponder for a moment and say, "Because it's what we always did down on the farm. Pull the tick and then burn it." This not so little sucker was so engorged, he didn't need much tugging to release but mama mule had a hard time keeping him gripped in her tweezers. I blame age and the new meds for the weak, shaky hands. right. So I spend about 5 matches burning mr. TICK over the sink before he disappears. Yep. He disappeared. Not sure where he ended up. You see I kept losing my grip on the darn thing ....

I'm hoping he went down the garbage disposal. I ran it a few times, just in case and for good luck. Then I promptly dug out the Sentinel to feed Oscar. Ummm........errrrrrrr........ apparently I've been a little slack on keeping him up to date on HIS MEDS !

If I had to label this post, I'd use words like 'pyromania' 'gross' and 'critters.'



bruce ! a bit of nostalgia (plus lyrics)

I remember loving this album when it first came out. I played it over and over and over and .... you get the picture. With all that play time, I realized that the lyrics of the album weren't written by a happily married man ( at the time to some beautiful actress), but a man who has fallen in love with someone else ......... watching MTV clued me in: the red headed back up singer. Yep. Months later, my suspicions were confirmed by the tabloids. Chalk one up for rdg. Ha. As far as I know Bruce and his lady are still together .... but I've long given up MTV and tabloid reading ...... riiiigghhtt. Enjoy the ride.

Fat man sitting on a little stool
Takes the money from my hand while his eyes take a walk all over you
Hands me the ticket smiles and whispers good luck
Cuddle up angel cuddle up my little dove
Well ride down baby into this tunnel of love

I can feel the soft silk of your blouse
And them soft thrills in our little fun house
Then the lights go out and it's just the three of us
You me and all that stuff we're so scared of
Gotta ride down baby into this tunnel of love

There's a crazy mirror showing us both in 5-d
Im laughing at you you're laughing at me
There's a room of shadows that gets so dark brother
Its easy for two people to lose each other in this tunnel of love

It ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love



savin' for a rainy day ...

Customer: Well, things are looking bad these days. Really bad.
Our economy and all ....
Mule: Sympathetic snort.
Customer: Every day something worse happens. It's all over the news.
Mule: Raises eyebrows to encourage customer's musings.
Customer: I tell you what: I've gone around the house
and gathered up all my silver and gold.
Mule: Eyebrows raise more, "Really?"
Customer: Yes! I'm preparing for the day when our economy collapses,
and I'll have to use my gold to buy a loaf of bread...... You better get prepared too.
It's going to happen !

Mule: WHAT ???????????????????????

from: "Adventures in Retail," Vol. I, No. 1


coming home ........ again

well ....
if there's anything you can count on these days, it's the fact that the red dirt muley girl WILL drop off the face of the internet ........ AND bounce back in again.

word jumble of the day: disorder refractive depression bipolar major (hint: it's VERY hard to treat)

sooooo...... new drugs. new digs (check out the cute little pottery cabinet in the corner and a piggy by my best beloved, snuggling under the lamp light ..... !) new gig - working at the mall. more 'bout that later.

first home cooked (as home cooked as the mule gets) meal: spaghetti ..... ummm, errrrrr, uhh - we moved in before thanksgiving.

yep. it took me a while to find my cookin' pans.

oh. and one more blogsworthy mule moment ..........

3.8 years
$50,000+ in legal fees
i took him to the cleaners .... he came out crying

i trotted out smilin' ;)

ps. favorite blog find of the day: "In My Craft or Sullen Art" by Dylan Thomas. Go visit Soubry's blog HERE.

oh. and there's a gary rith pottery piggery hiding behind that coffee pot. HONEST!


wait for me

Feel I'm on the verge of some great truth
Where I'm finally in my place
But I'm fumbling still for proof
And it's cluttering my space
Casting shadows on my face
I know I have a strength to move ahead
I can hardly leave my room
So I'll sit perfectly still
And I'll listen for a tune
When the mind is on the moon

And if I stumble
And if I stall
And if I slip now
And if I should fall
And if I can't be all that I could be
Will you, will you wait for me

Cause everywhere I seem to be
I am only passing through
I dream these days about the sea
Always wake up feeling blue
Wishing I could dream of you

So if I stumble
And if I fall
And if I slip now
And loose it all
And if I can't be all that I could be
Will you, will you wait for me

And wait for me
And wait for me
And wait for me
Won't you wait for me
And wait for me

Please wait for me

thank you for waiting ...
your love is the most perfect of gifts.


how sweet it is !!

to my best beloved

I needed the shelter of someone's arms and there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs and there you were
With sweet love and devotion
Deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you baby
I just want to stop and thank you baby

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you


ps. will you be my valentine?