Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Different Strokes for Different Business Folks

Started off the morning with The Backyardigans. "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve" is their second, more holiday-oriented Christmas episode. The Action Elves are Uniqua, Tasha, and Pablo, who jump into action when Santa needs their help finding his missing sack. If they can't get the sack back, Christmas will be ruined! Meanwhile, the Abominable Snow Brothers, Tyrone and Austin, try to figure out exactly what this magical sack is. When the "elves" finally confront the duo, they find they're more confused than mean. They all have to get Santa's bag back...and soon, before take off!

Switched to Christmas music for the next few hours as I did some more household chores I'd been putting off. For one thing, the basket that holds catalogs was overflowing, and not just because of the recent influx of Christmas catalogs. I hadn't cleared that out in at least two or three months! I needed to scrub the bathroom and hall floor badly, too. I usually do that in late September or early October, but I just didn't have the time this year. The bathroom isn't big, and the "hall," a rectangle of linoleum between the entertainment area and my bedroom (with the bathroom leading off of it), is even smaller. They took less time to dry than they did in the spring, too, thanks to the heater being on and the lack of foliage on the trees allowing more sun to come in the windows.

Put on The Year Without a Santa Claus as I made leftovers for lunch. My favorite Rankin Bass special is this hilarious story of how Santa (Mickey Rooney) gets a cold one year and decides to take a vacation. Fearing there will be no Christmas, Mrs. Claus (Shirley Booth) sends two elves and a reindeer down to Earth to drum up some yuletide spirit. What she didn't count on was them ending up in the very warm and not elf-friendly Deep South...or having to deal with the Miser Brothers, who control the weather and refuse to cooperate with one another!

Went to a wintery episode of Sailor Moon as I prepared for work. In "Ice Princess" from the second half of the first season, Serena and the other Soldiers are thrilled to take free skating lessons from a pair of Olympic Gold medal figure skaters. They find themselves on thin ice when Lita falls for the male half, and they both turn out to be pawns of the Negaverse.

I did run into some trouble at work. I grumbled too loudly about people not helping with the baggging and was called in by Sebastian, one of the head managers, about it. While he said he wasn't going to write me up about it as long as I didn't do it again, he did want me to start telling people about the surveys they can take online to tell us about our performance. I hate having to talk to people anyway. I don't mind making speeches on a stage, but not one on one or in small groups. I get too nervous. I was already nervous about him asking me into his office and couldn't manage to get the whole speech selling the surveys out in front of him.

I tried to explain about wanting to stock, but he just told me that that's another step up the ladder, and I hadn't shown I could do it. I told him I prefer to be where things are quiet and I can think. I like it better when it's quiet. He said he likes it better when we're busy, because we're making money.

And that's when I realized why I dislike my job so much. I don't care about the money. I care about helping people and doing what I enjoy and what I'm good at. I want people to be happy. Sebastian didn't say that to be mean. It was his opinion...and he helped me more than he knew. He inadvertently confirmed my own suspicions that I'm not a salesperson, I don't want to sell people things, and I don't belong in retail.

After I got out, I went straight home. I finally ran Despicable Me while I made Broiled Salmon with Mustard Honey Sauce and carrots and leeks for dinner. Gru (Steve Carell) is determined to be the biggest and baddest of all villains. To that end, he's come up with his most elaborate plot yet - shrink the moon and steal it! Trouble is, a younger, geekier villain named Vector (Jason Segal) is stealing his thunder and has the shrink ray he needs. When he sees three orphan girls selling cookies get into Vector's fortress, he adopts them to use them as distractions. What he doesn't consider is the fact that these little girls are sweet kids with minds of their own who just want a dad...and the biggest, baddest villain in all the world might like being a parent.

I can see why the sequel was one of the biggest smashes of this past summer. This was really adorable. The girls were funny, the "minions" (Gru's loyal yellow workers) were funnier, and the animation was really nifty, especially some of the creative weapons and vehicles Vector and Gru came up with. Highly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in animation or science fiction tales, whether they have their own little girls to share the popcorn with or not.

Returned to Sailor Moon after Despicable Me ended. There were three Sailor Moon "movies" (more like hour-long specials) released after the second, third, and fourth season. The one from the third season involves both winter and an unusual romance. Luna, Serena's talking cat, falls for a human scientist who has found a comet he can't identify. Turns out the "comet" is a crystal that will allow an evil ice queen to freeze the Earth...if Sailor Moon and the Soldiers don't stop her first!

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