Where Costco puts me in charge of security, and I fail utterly

Hello readers, how are you doing today?  I’m doing quite well today, having finally returned to the deli after a week long absence.

About a week and a half ago I hurt my back at work and I had to switch departments. I know what you’re thinking, working at Costco Wholesale, I must have hurt my back climbing scaffolding to retrieve a 50 pound bag of rice , or while heaving a gigantic sack of flour over my shoulder. You would assume that an ambulance had to be called, and that all of my coworkers watched in concern as I was wheeled out by handsome paramedics.

firemen

Firemen often come to the scene of an accident, even if it’s not a fire. Just in case you’re wondering.

That is not how it happened at all. What happened is that I got on all fours to reach under a table for some trash, and I felt pain in my hips. That’s it. There was no dramatic cracking noise; I didn’t roll around on the floor in pain. I got back up, rubbed my back, and then went home.

That was when the pain started. That night as I went to bed I felt so bad that I knew there was no way I could heave 50 pound boxes of chicken around the next day. I called in sick, and went in to report my injury. Filling out the incident report really makes you realize how stupid your injury sounds.

“How did the injury occur?”

Was cleaning up trash.

“What specific activity was taking place when this injury occurred?”

Was reaching for something.

There are a lot of very official sounding questions. This is fine if you do something exciting like set yourself on fire, or drop a sofa on your foot, then you have real answers to put on the sheet. Then they need to know really specific details. I don’t know how I hurt my back. I wasn’t doing anything weird, all I know is that it hurt enough for me to go report it.

After I reported my injury Costco sent me to Texas Med Clinic. Nothing exciting happened there except that I sat across from a man who was dressed up as a woman. That is, I’m pretty sure it was a man. I kept glancing over at him to figure it out, until finally he was just staring at me like this.

ru paul

And he was thinking, “I am fierce and beautiful, you hater.”  And I was like, “No no! You go girl, I’m not a hater!”

I even smiled at him, uh her, and all I got back was a stone cold stare. I will never be invited to be a guest judge on Ru Paul’s Drag Race. After that I saw the doctor and found out that I would have to work in a less physically demanding department for a week.

Member Service. Physically, it’s the easiest job at Costco. During the day all you have to do is stand at the front door and check member cards as people walk in the door. All you have to do at the back door is check receipts for mistakes. Then at night if you are the designated person, you go sit in your car for 3 hours after the store closes as “Parking lot security”. This is where you drive around the parking lot with a walkie talkie, in case anything suspicious happens. It’s very serious business.

You’ll notice how I put parking lot security in quotations. That’s because I (and every other employee at costo) am clearly not a qualified security guard. I can’t confront anyone who is doing anything suspicious; all I can do is call my boss over the radio. I have no weapons, unless you count the car I’m driving.

the tank

A tank, to be sure.

The job was described to me like this, “OMG Tara, parking lot security is so boring and easy.” “All you do is sit in your car and drive around. I study for my finals.” “I read a book.” “I watch youtube videos.” Being prepped in this way, I wasn’t too nervous. I brought snacks, I brought my ipod to listen to. But I also made up my mind to try to be alert and watchful because I’ve been binge watching true crime TV on Netflix lately.  I knew if I wasn’t careful it could be ME being profiled on one of those murder shows as the innocent victim, portrayed by a (slimmer and more attractive) actress. The opening line would be, “An easy job turns deadly. Parking lot murder, tonight at 11.”

me and megan3

I hope that this is the photo CNN uses for their profile.

I was so diligent that I even went over how to use the walkie talkie before they sent me outside. My supervisor snorted, but Tara leaves no stone unturned. I went out before the store closed. For almost an hour nothing happened. I watched the parking lot slowly empty, and I started to let my eyes wander. This was my fatal mistake. Right as the last members were leaving the parking lot a lady had her purse stolen. It happened right in front of me, and all I heard was squealing tires, and a baby start screaming. I was like, OMG! There’s been a murder! There was a getaway car that I didn’t even see, someone kidnapped someone, omg omg omg! I failed! I failed!

I drove over of course, where the woman was already being assisted by other members. She had left her purse in her basket while she was putting her kids in the car. Someone grabbed it and sped off. I saw no part of it. After I confirmed with her that her purse had been stolen, I radioed the manager. Had I been a professional security guard, I might have said, “Manager to the door please. There’s been an incident.” Instead I was like, “Um…can a manager come out here please, A LADY JUST GOT HER PURSE STOLEN!”

After that I was on edge the whole rest of the night, even though nothing happened. Nothing happened the other three nights I was lot security either. The managers don’t even seem to take it that seriously. They are supposed to page me every time an employee exits the building after dark but when my radio died early in the evening one night, they seemed very unconcerned with getting me a new one. If I had gotten shot in the parking lot the CNN headline would have been, “Tonight, a Costco security employee is shot in the parking lot after her managers refuse to supply her with proper equipment. Who’s to blame? CNN finds out.”

cnn blame

Finding out who to blame is CNN’s favorite job.

Knowing that I accomplished absolutely nothing as a security guard, I returned to the front door, where I checked member cards. It was here that the most traumatizing event of the entire week happened to me.

While I was welcoming people to Costco, a bug flew up my nose. I can’t even-it was so upsetting that I don’t know if I can talk about it. When it happened I immediately started snorting and wildly clawing at my face. This one member walked past looking at me like I was a freak.  I think it would have been better if I had swallowed it honestly. I don’t think it flew back out. I think it got stuck up there. So I either swallowed it, or it’s living trapped in my sinuses right now.

Yes, I just said that this event was more traumatizing than an innocent woman having all of her credit cards and personal identification stolen. She is probably still dealing with this problem. But if the bug is dead inside my nose slowly ruining my sinuses, well, then so am I.

I am a horrible person. Also, not very good at security either.  

That’s all for today readers, what jobs have you been horrible at?

-Tara

Tara Tuesdays! Where I accidentally “perpendicular park”

Good afternoon readers! I almost typed Good Morning, because I just woke up, but then I remember that it is afternoon and most people get up at a normal hour. I had so many plans to be productive today, I was going to go to a gym class at 10am, and then I rolled over and it was 11:45. I need to go to bed earlier, but my work scheduled changed after Christmas, and I’m always closing, so I stay up late. Before I head off to work though, I thought I would share with you a tale that illustrates just one of the times that my coworkers have mocked and teased me relentlessly.

Sigh. I have a story to tell you about my driving I guess.

notyellow

My driving is excellent. I do important things while driving, like when I get out my phone to take pictures of this taxi telling LIES. YOU’RE NOT YELLOW!!!

“Perpendicular parking” is not the phrase that I used. Before anyone starts judging me, I just want to remind everyone that I have never been in a car accident. (Knock on wood, I just paid off my car) And yet people continue to accuse me of being a bad driver. It really is a huge injustice that gets thrust upon me. I went to driving school, I passed! In college I was the only one with a car, so I drove my friends everywhere, and yet everyone was always complaining about my driving. This is so unfair; I’m no different from the rest of you. Everyone scrapes the front of parking spaces sometimes! Everyone has to slam on their breaks once in a while! Everyone drives over a curb in my neighborhood and gets a flat tire that one time!

flat-tire

The curb was jutting out at me, there was construction going on, it was an awkward turn, the list of reasons why that flat tire was not my fault goes on and on.

 The parade of people mocking my driving continued this weekend when I went to my coworker Jason’s football viewing party. I got off of work right as the game was starting, and I drove across the street to the gas station to get some party goods. It just so happened that my supervisor Nuffie was there doing the exact same thing. After we bought our alcohol and snacks I asked him if he knew where Jason’s house was, and he said I could follow him.

I did so, and he proceeded to get lost. He had to do a turnaround in one neighborhood, so when he did almost the exact same thing in the next neighborhood we went into, I kind of thought he might be lost again. Then suddenly I realized that he was just parking. So I panicked and swerved in front of him and also parked…per say. I was not prepared for parking! He caught me off guard.  Anyways, I still did not know which house on the street the party was at so I jumped out of the car really fast so that he wouldn’t rush off without me. He wasn’t rushing off without me, instead this happened:

Nuffie: “Hold on for a second, I’m gonna take a picture of your parking.”

Tara: “What!? No, don’t do that!”

Nuffie: “Yeah, I’m doing it…”

Tara, running back to car: “No no no! That was just kidding, I’m fixing it. Do over. DO OVER!”

(After pulling forward a considerable distance and getting as close to the curb as possible)

Nuffie: “So you know you’re parked like, two blocks away now right?”

Tara: “Did you get the picture? You’re going to show it to all the guys at work aren’t you?”

Nuffie: “Tara, I’m probably going to print it at work and hang it around the department.”

Afterwards at the party he told everyone that I had, “Perpendicular parked” as opposed to parallel parked. He was exaggerating. I am an excellent driver…

That’s all for today! Have a TARA-ific Tuesday!

Oh I love my name-puns. I’ll never get tired of them.

-Tara

Where I am still recovering from the Costco employee party

Hello everyone!

As we’ve discussed, it is now a new year, and the first major thing I did this year was attend the Costco Holiday Party. We have to have it in January because we’re too busy at work to do it in December. The party is pretty fancy. Almost everybody dresses up, there’s a dinner, and then they give out prizes. Good prizes, like a Kitchen-aid mixer, stereos, Keurig coffee machines, and flat screen TV’s.

me in red

There’s no joke here, working for Costco truly has its perks…one of which is gettin’ to see me looking FOXY.

I’m always a little apprehensive about workplace parties.  I don’t want to get too out of control at these parties, but I still want to have a good time. You have to be careful, how you behave at these parties can affect how your coworkers treat you at work.

round-table-business-meeting

None of us can pay attention to him now that we know he has nipple rings under his shirt.

The party was at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and spa this year, which is just as fancy as it sounds. The drive there was scary though. The Resort is off the highway, down a long dark road. I guess this is supposed to give the resort a luxurious, “secluded” feel, so that you forget that it’s actually just two miles away from a Whataburger and a Valero gas station.

whataburger

Elegance.

And now I have a confession to make. I forgot about the “not getting too out of control at the workplace party” rule that I mentioned earlier…

drunk woman

No no no! It wasn’t that bad…but almost.

I’m embarrassed.  And the thing is, I don’t even drink very often! For two reasons, One: I have to drive myself home in almost every situation. I do not drink and drive, and I’m single, so there’s no boyfriend that I can shove the DD job onto. Two: I hang out with my Church buddies a lot, and I’m pretty sure that almost all of them have made the decision to abstain from alcohol entirely.  And since I’m a good friend, and I would never ever pressure them into drinking with me, I end up abstaining too.

bible study

 Bible drinking games! One shot for every time someone talks about Jesus!

Last week I got my dad to drive me to the Costco party, where there was an abundance of alcohol (very EXPENSIVE alcohol. Seriously, I’ll be sorry when I’m paying the credit card bill), and an abundance of people willing to drink it with me. So I probably over did it a little bit. By the end of the evening I was high fiving everyone and telling my supervisor Nuffie how much I liked him…as a supervisor. That’s the only positive thing about all this. When I get drunk, I just get nicer and more complimentary, but not in a “come on to you” way.

costco drinking

WHOOOOOOOOOO COSTCO!!!!! By the way, I just want you to know that the example you set as a superior executive is exemplary.

Then in the middle of the evening Nuffie told me that our coworker Martee’s grandson was “digging me”. He got this information from Martee herself, and everyone from deli immediately started encouraging me to approach him. Since I had already had four cocktails by the time I received this information, I was up for anything. Once Jason (another deli coworker) found out that there was a guy at the party who was interested in me, he made it his personal prerogative to set me up. Normally I’m pretty shy, but by the time Jason was steering me over to this guy I was on Cocktail number 5, and I was feeling much friendlier. I kid you not; Jason introduced me to Martee’s grandson with these words:

“Hey you’re Martee’s grandson? Nice to meet you. I’m Jason, and this is TARASAURUS-REX!!! RAWWWWWWR!!!”

new years

Since I was drunk at the time, I was probably making an expression just like this. So we know already I was making killer first impressions.

It’s worth pointing out that Jason had enjoyed his fair share of alcohol by this point too. This is why you should never drink too much alcohol, because I’m embarrassed to say that I do not remember the guy’s name, exactly what we talked about, or entirely what he looked like. I mean…I know he was tall… and he was wearing a hat.

ryan gosling

Yes. It was probably definitely this guy.

We talked about football, I remember that much. I remember that I adamantly defended the Cowboys, because even drunk there are some lines I never cross and values that I never forsake.

redskins

Never, not even if someone points a gun to my head.  It felt wrong just saving this to my computer.

After a brief, and hazily remembered conversation with that guy, I had a few more cocktails.  Then I danced an embarrassing jig on the dance floor, and finally I took photos with Martee and her grandson. This is probably the weirdest thing I remember happening. I mean, what are they going to do with those photos if I never see him again? I can picture the two of them in the future, reminiscing over those pictures, “Oh and here we are at that one Costco party…with this random intoxicated girl”. After taking random pictures with strangers, my dad finally picked me up exactly at midnight. It was like Cinderella, but less classy.

me drunk

True confessions time, there have been other parties that I left  missing one shoe, but for more embarrassing reasons than those of a fairy tale princess.

The next time I went to work my coworker Josh greeted me thusly: “Heeeeeyyyyyy. I heard you got pretty drunk at the holiday party! I heard you met the love of your life too!”

Well if he’s the love of my life that’s going to be an embarrassing story to tell my grandchildren. “The first time I met your grandfather, oh I’ll never forget it. Well, actually I kind of forgot it. Immediately after it happened.”

Have a good day readers! I promise to behave myself better in the future.

-Tara