Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Best of What to Do On Your Last Day of Work

Tomorrow is my last day at Lowe's. My last day selling home appliances. My last day working in a "big box" store, something I know very well, having done it for 16 of my 20 years as a working adult.

How to end it? It can't just be another day. At risk of setting myself for seeming like a chicken for not making it an epic last day, I will share with you a few ideas that some of my co-workers came up with. Like lots of big companies nowadays, Lowe's has an internal corporate social network where we share ideas, best practices and within the confines of the 'underground' forums catharticaly release frustrations (AKA bitch and moan) about the company.

Here were some of the best responses to my post on the board as to what goofy things one might do on your last day of work. Of course, some of these only make sense and/or are funny within the context of our job, but some were universally hilarious

  •  call lawn and garden and ask for a "sky hook" to hang potted plants in the air... 
  •  Answer every question with "I'm sorry Dave. I can't do that"
  •  With your vest off during your lunch break, find a new hire and ask what aisle this is on------>:
  • When someone starts looking at a FL washer, ask them, "Whatchya want one of them fo?  It's basically just a dryer that uses water!" 
  •  Call over to hardware and ask if they sell rope by the inch, and ask for 30 or so one-inch lengths, and could they please pre-cut that for me to pick up later?
  •  Beans, hardboiled eggs, broccoli and cheap beer, no explination needed!!!!! 
  • Last day, rent a tuxedo (top hat and tails coat) and act as though you are a wealthy man, forced to work a regular job for a day
  •   Bring in your Ukulele and do a farwell song over the pa system.(editor's note: yeah, they know me.)
  • Look your next customer straight in the eye and say "I am Enigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!!" 
  •  Do as many code3's you can and on every reciept hand write "Thanks for not shopping at Home Depot" 
  •  when explaining the product try to make subtle hints that they might not be good enough for this (reverse phycology) 
  •  Tell a customer you like their hat...when they're not wearing any.
  •  i think you should carry around a little boom box and play your "theme" music everytime you're closing a sale. mine would be Europe- The Final Countdown! 
  • Wear your underware outside your pants & your vest inside out all day.  
  • On everything you write, use your non wrighting hand, lefty, use right hand. 
  • Type everything s l o w l y, with one finger...peck, peck, peck.  
  • Carry a helium ballon around & suck in some air before you speak over the intercom. 
  • Cut open a big samsung or LG fridge box.. or a couple. Line them up and cut out windows. Make you a fortress. Throw mylowes cards at people walking by.  
  • On the last day take your vest, get on a picker and hang the vest from the rafters like they hang the hockey jerseys at the Joe Lewis Arena. 

Okay, you'll just have to wait and see what I will do tomorrow, but I thank my Lowe's co-workers from across the country for their suggestions... 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hiking a Seattle Park for the last time

Two weeks left in this wonderful town of Seattle that has been my home these last five years.  Yeah, I've talked about how my life isn't all it could be, but it is certainly not the fault of my physical location!  I am particularly reminded of this on a day like today, which was the first warm, sunny day of spring.  I got into the 60's!

A perfect day to say goodbye to one the most beautiful places on Earth... Seattle's Discovery Park:

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Now counting the number of work-days I have left at Lowe's in single digits at just eight...  My last day there is the 28th, which I thought would be a good day as it is the end of a pay-period, but I don't leave Seattle until the 9th of April.  I really thought I'd need that 12 day period to tie up loose ends, sell and/or get rid of stuff, pack, clean, etc.  Now, however, as I look forward, I got maybe three days of moving, packing and cleaning to do, and that at a rather leisurely pace, to be ready to leave.  What am I going to do with the rest of that time? 

I don't want to do much if any touring or exploring, as that costs money, money I would much rather save for Thailand. Oh, what to do... what to do...

My apartment is already fairly empty and quite clean, as I had to get it ready to for the landlord to show right after I gave him my 30 days notice earlier this month. Sam the Landlord was all over it.  He rented my soon-to-be-former home on the very first night he showed it.  I was surprised in two ways, first, my miniature dungeon on an apartment is soo small and unappealing, I thought it would be tough to rent out, and second, who commits to renting a place a month in advance?  

After clearing it with Sam, I thought I found a small solution to one of my biggest problems I have left:  getting some value out of the personal possessions I have spent 20 years collecting.  The only times I have sold stuff on Craigslist, I found it kind of tedious and not worth my time for the small amounts I was earning.  So, I posted this note on a wall before I left for work on the day Sam was showing my place (I wasn't there for the showing):

That night, when Sam told me he'd rented my place, he didn't mention anything about the future tenant expressing any interest in my stuff.  I was kinda bummed.  My bed cost me $1000 seven years ago. The TV cost me $600 15 months ago.  As for the furniture and the rest of the crap, yeah, I might get those prices on Craigslist, but oh the hassle involved versus monetary payout ratio was rather grim. 

Tonight, I come home to find this note taped to my front (back) door: 

YES!  The bed would be a real bitch to move, and the TV is mounted on the wall.  Now, I don't have to move either and I'll be getting what equals 10,000 Thai Bhat out of the deal.  10K Thai Bhat buys one roughly 200 bowls of noodles or two months rent for a cheap place.  

Best of all is the back-up plan for Bliss the Kitty.  I'm sure she'll be traumatized enough losing me as her papa; losing the place she's staked out as HER territory these last two years, that would be even harder on her.  I think I'll leave her with this Rita woman (of course, I'll have to meet her first and make sure she's okay), the future tenant of my apartment.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

30 Days to Go

So today marks one month before I leave Seattle.  One month left in this dingy, cramped 500 square foot basement apartment I've lived in for over two years now.  As an example of how isolated I've become here in my current life, in the last two years, I have had a total of ZERO social visits to my dingy, subterranian dwelling. 

It's as if the landlord who subdivided my apartment off of the regular house above my apartment figured "what is the minimum amount of space in which a single person could live and call a home?" That is what my apartment is.  Hence, the $575 per month rent. Really cheap by Seattle standards.  Add in utilities and that 575 per month comes to 700/mo, below average housing cost for a modern American. It's cheap. It keeps me warm. It is a roof over my head only 3 miles from work.  

I've never really liked it because it's so small.  Now, I've thrown away/donated/sold so many of my possessions that suddenly, this place seems spacious!  If it were a hotel room, I'd be happy with the kitchen and laundry facilities provided.  

Here's the point: now that I'm leaving and have gotten ridden of most my "stuff", I see again what I saw as this home's potential in the first place.  I've never LIKED living here.  It was just satisfactory.  What I've learned is that perhaps it wasn't that the place wasn't too small, but instead, I was too big.  

Heading off for Thailand with no more than two suitcases full of stuff requires me to be small again. Given my housing allowance provided for my upcoming teaching gig, I'm not expecting more than a 500 square foot apartment.  As I'll have far less stuff than I have now, for sure it will seem more spacious than my current dungeon. 

On top of the 30 day mark, another significant thing about today was that I got a promising lead for a new home for Bliss, my kitty cat.  I posted this flyer in the breakroom at work yesterday:

Today, a guy from our store came to me, described his place (which would be perfect for Bliss), and said he wasn't sure yet and needed to think about  it.  

I need to get his e-mail addy so I can bombard him with pics of the cute Bliss. 



I thought I was going to retire there. I was the senior staff member. I'd been there longer than anyone. It. Is. Not. Fair.  But on the ...