Tag Archives: work

Dear Todd – Texting Uback w iphone: SWHSE (sorry, we hired someone else)

hoodie for text blog sory 006Out from a dark gray hoodie, a pink-flushed face appears. It’s Todd’s. He’s ready to review his job application with Mr. Deale, the store manager, clad in a vivid red polo.

Reading the top of the first page, Mr. Deale stops and squints his eyes. “You’ve written here that your middle name is … ‘IS‘?”

“Yeah, text for I’m Sorry, ‘cuz, I mean, I don’t have a middle name. Is, is that okay?”

“Is that … okay? I suppose. No need to be sorry.”


“Now, Todd, I see for ‘How long living at your current address,’ you wrote WRT?”

“With Regard To.”

“Then you scribbled the letter Y?”

“Y – you know, for the word, ‘why’.”

“Why what?”

“Why do you need to know how long someone’s been at their current address?”

“Well, it’s just a formality …. Todd, looking down your application, I see it’s all abbreviations.”

“Texts. Figured you go through a lot of applications, sir, and this would speed things up.”

“For ‘Salary desired,’ you wrote IAG, NBD.

“It’s All Good. No Big Deal.”

“And PT.”

“For Part Time. Part time, you know, that I don’t want full time.”

“Using all these texts, it’s highly irregular. For ‘Position applied for,’ you wrote, ‘IT.’ What’s ‘IT’ mean?”

“You mean, you don’t have an IT department?”

“Oh, IT. Of course we …”

“‘Cuz if you sell tech stuff, I’d like a job there.”

“On the line about any crimes, convictions, or sentences you may have had imposed, you wrote IDNDT.”

“I Did Not Do That.”

Todd’s iPhone rings.

“Just a second, sir,” he says, pulling the smooth, blue device out from his pocket.

As Mr. Deale scans the application further, Todd texts back, ‘dude’z clulss. wtf. w2f!!!‘”

“Okay. Done. Sorry. I’m all about technology, sir. You sell iPhones here?”

“I see that for driver’s license number, you wrote BOT 953 IIRC?”

“If I Remember Correctly, I think my number’s 953 BOT.”

“953 BOT is your plate number, Todd. What’s the number on your wallet?”

“Oh, that thing. Worst abbreviation ever. And for what?”

“That’s because it’s not text, Todd.  And for ‘Means of transportation,’ you wrote GF.”

“My girlfriend, Mindy, well, till the old BOT gets fixed. But I’ll be here on time, sir.”

“References are very important, Todd, yet you left that entire section blank, blank except for NA. What’s that?”

“Not Applicable, which I crossed out and switched to WB – will Write Back, which I crossed out and put NA again.”


“Well, mothers aren’t references, are they?”

“As for work experience, under ‘Name of last employer,’ you wrote JTLYK MOM?”

“Yeah, for Just To Let You Know, my last job was for Mom.”

“Your reason for leaving the position was ‘POS‘.”

“Parent Over Shoulder.”

“Then, in parentheses, NC?”

“Not Cool. I mean, you know what I mean, right?”

“And then SLY?”

“But – Still Love You. S’all good. I’m ready to work.”

“How old are you?”


“Well … Todd, after going over your application and body of work experience, I see you’ve done some respectable work, but it’s not exactly Target level employment material, now is it?”

“But, I’m ready to work, sir. I really am.”

“Just curious. Below, you printed your name, but left the signature line blank.”

“Oh. Cursive is dead, sir.”

“Just curious. Do you know how to sign your name?”

LMAO no! Laughing My Ass Off – no! They don’t teach that anymore.”

“Right. Well, it’s been nice to meet you, Todd. We’ll let you know if anything comes up.”


CUL8R. For See You Later. I just made it up.”

“Hey, gonna write that down, sir.”

“Try writing it in cursive some day.”

“Ha! LMAO, sir. LMAO!”

“Right. LOL back at ‘cha, Todd.”

“Cool. You got my number! Text me.”






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Filed under The Daily Thought

As Thrift is Joy, the Store is Home

miniature ceramic houses 004Joyful one minute, sad the next, I drive out of the thrift store parking lot a final time. After all these months, what have I learned working as a sales associate here?

While navigating my ride home, I reminisce.

At the store’s back doors, I go through countless articles people have just donated. Immense amount of junk, I think, even for when it was new! Get a load of this crappy little ceramic house. And what about that – the world’s ugliest candlestick holder? And now a plastic cutting board with a zillion cuts in it. No wonder they got rid of these things. Hey – don’t be so judgmental. Your job is to sort the donations, not roll your eyes. Just chalk it up to a “beauty’s in the eye of the beholder” kind of thing.

But then, many of the donors turn right around, enter the front of the store, and buy more stuff. What am I supposed to think? Stuff, stuff, stuff. Buy, buy, buy. There’s nothing wrong with buying, per se, it’s just that I’ve noticed how much people play such a value on consuming, far more than I realized before I started working here.

While cashiering, I basically serve two groups of regulars. The first are dealers here in Santa Fe, buying bargains for their own thrift stores or online outlets. The other group, a far larger one, is women over sixty. They love to shop. And shop. And shop. God love ’em – they make the store go round.

Then there are all the other sub-groups of shoppers. One such group is the needy, people who can’t afford to shop anywhere but a thrift store, especially for clothes. Another group consists of the noticeably ill, disabled, or those challenged in some way, perhaps so strapped by health care costs that thrift stores like this are their only opportunity to buy clothes, furniture and whatnot. And another group – I’ve finally deduced – are here for something quite personal: the comfort they receive from the thrift store experience. Maybe they like the people who work here – regular faces and fixtures in their lives. Maybe they’re lonely. Or maybe it’s as simple as understanding a day just doesn’t feel centered without a visit to the thrift store, a little home away from home.

A thrift store, however, is made up of a wide collection of individuals, many who carry an unfortunate situation around with them. I’ve seen customers walk up to the counter and pay with change, the only currency they have. I’ve consoled donors who’ve broken down at the back door, unable to watch me unload from the car a lifetime of personal items that belonged to their just-departed spouse. I’ve picked up furniture from people who’ve just lost their job.

I’ve watched our manager ask shoplifters to leave the store. I’ve caught people ripping price tags off items hoping to get a better price at the checkout stand. I’ve dealt with hagglers who, with every visit to the store, want to wiggle the price down. Are these people con artist types, or just desperate and down on their luck?

Add to these folks the customers who wait by the front door ten minutes before we open, staring at me through the large glass windows, hoping I might open early for them. There’s those who walk in two minutes before closing, then linger ten minutes before heading to the checkout stand. And there’s those who donate large bags of goods, knowing inside that big black sack is also a lot of trash they’re happy to get off their hands.

To my surprise, many customers speak with thick, foreign accents – not just Spanish – making it crucial we take the time to help them understand the money transaction they’re about to make. There’s the time it takes us to finally understand certain customers really aren’t a threat to the store, only that they want to spend most of the day here to shop, relax and intermittently lie on a couch to read while occasionally nibbling on a snack. And there’s always the time we take to listen to customers talk about how much they know about gold, silver and jewelry – but don’t.

But what customers share most in their thrift shop experience is joy. Yes, joy. When people find what they want, they often bring it to the counter like a kid who’s just opened the Cracker Jack box to find the best prize ever inside. I sense many customers see this store as a house of healing, another home for them within our beautiful city, one that can be humbling to live in. And I am humbled by the joyous smiles I see at the counter, especially from those who’ve fallen on hard times.


In hindsight, I realize being part of these little customer joys was the perk to help me and other sales associates get through long days. Every day was long. Perhaps sorting through thousands of donations made us feel tired (imagine opening up your own garage doors to accept all the neighborhood’s yard sale items that didn’t sell over the weekend). Perhaps cashiering all day did it. Or, maybe it was just trying to make every customer a little happier than when they first shuffled in through the doors.

Anything to see joy.

Anything to  have a job.

Anything to live in Santa Fe.


Filed under Blog, The Daily Thought

What I Learned From My First Job


Sweating through a summer on a construction site clean up crew as an impressionable sixteen-year-old, I learned firsthand many tips on how to survive the workplace. I named them “My Big 7:”

1.      Always carry something with you at work. Otherwise, bosses will yell, “Hey, why aren’t you working?” Carrying something suggests you did something important back where you got it and that you’re about to do something important where you’re going. 
      Say you know what’s going on, even if you don’t. Nodding – even casual but confident shrugging – works to fend off future attention and unwarranted consequences. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
      Make noise while you work. It insinuates great effort is being made and implies manliness. Doing this, bosses often don’t even check to see if you’re working, which is the whole point.
     Choose tasks that cover the most physical space. Performing them highlights how much you’ve already done, especially in the morning when first impressions are crucial.
      Always walk fast. You’ll come across as engaged, and walking is easy to do. Bosses naturally prioritize things and will scrutinize other workers who haven’t moved an inch for twenty minutes and will go to hassle them, not you.
      Focus intently on objects. Even if it’s only a spot the painters missed, this makes you seem intelligent and insightful. But make sure bosses don’t actually come over to inspect your useless discovery. They’ll only badger you with comments like, “No. Get away from that. Jesus.”
      Flaunt anything you know you’ve done right. As a result, superiors often assume everything else you’ve worked on has been done right as well. However, be sure that whatever you flaunt was done right, or this tip could backfire on you to no end. 

Now – pretend you’re at your job right now. Isn’t it scary how most of the Big 7 are still applicable today?!

(The Big 7 list is found in Maybe Boomer, Chapter 7, “Responsibility,” that you can read more about in “Excerpts.”)


Filed under Blog, Stories from Maybe Boomer