the Strangeness that is my life

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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:33 pm

Today, I attended NEGeek. It's a local contact intended to be embrace all factions of nerdy life under one big umbrella.

It's a comic convention and a video gamer gathering and a cosplay event and a sci fi/fantasy con and a creative arts and artisan show, and a local writer fair.

It started small, the brainchild of 6 buddies wanting an excuse to spend a whole two days playing games and talking comics. Year two it took off and overflowed it's venue. Year four saw a move to a new location and a huge uptick. Last year it moved out to a dying mall and took up a vacant department store. (And there are posts about that in this thread).

This year, the management failed to even contact half the vendors from the year before, printed one flyer that was nice to distributed to most of the game and comic shop and posted a single Facebook announcement.

I dropped in and...

Well, let's just say the best cosplay should have gone to the event for portraying a ghost town.

The staff left the store section at the mall entry devoid of vendors and activities. You literally buy a ticket and walk into an abandoned store and then have to go looking around corners for this convention. The video game aspect was gone as were any panels. The only two events were a Chinese auction and the costume contest. Vendors pres not were about one third what was there last year and they were spread out over the same outer ring of the store instead of condensing things and making it look busy.

And I really should have brought an Infinity Gauntlet because I knew half of them.

By them, I mean half the vendors, half the staff and half the patrons. It was a small turnout but I could have gathered the exact same group using the contacts list in my phone.

As for gaming, the FLGS was there hosting a 4 player Pokemon tournament and selling dice. There were not even enough people there to run a D&D demo they had prepped.

Best costume: hands down, post "snap" Spiderman with crumbling face.

Talking to the vendors I knew, tomorrow will be even worse for the show because half of them were pulling out and bailing with no intention of considering next year so I think this thing has had it's day.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:44 pm

That's incredibly sad, Dave....
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:58 pm

Sad for them. Cool that I know that many locals doing creative be geeky craft art.

2 magicians
1 t shirt artist
1game store owner
2 comic vendors
3 writers
2 chain jewelry makers
3 painters
1 couple building comic book sized satchels
And a crochet specialist.

But all that show needed was 2 people willing to make some phone calls and drive around to drop off some promo ads and they would have been in great shape. They didn't even utilize their own mailing list.

But, from the ashes, the FLGS and FLCS are already talking about a smaller scale new event to fill the gap.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby CaitlinCallahan » Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:50 pm

It's a shame that they didn't take advantage of what seemed like continuing momentum, though it's good to hear that others are already in discussions to "fill the gap". And very cool that you've got that many connections in the local "geeky craft" network. :D

On an unrelated note, our game store is sponsoring D&D 5e demos for the new Ravnica setting on November 9th and 10th. While I've never been a MtG player, so I don't know much about the world, it should be interesting to see how it was adapted to D&D.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:10 pm

That is so long overdue for a crossover. WoTC should have done that the first day they had rights to the D&D materials.

Unrelated: the new employee that the boss found for is last weekend that he felt was perfect for us...

He just quit via text in response to his first notice of being scheduled to work. It appears this college student doesn't "feel" like being obligated to be somewhere every week.

So the Boss' hiring record is still a flawless 0 for lifetime (he inherited me from the previous boss). And I have 3 days to find a replacement in a market where nobody is looking and paying more.

I got a few former staff I can grab for the end of this week but next week...that could be interesting.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:23 pm

We have a new winner in the contest for who Dave is not hiring.

Backstory:
Last night, the Boss' wife decided to panic on our lack of job applications and tossed a notice on Craigslist. (Thank God she texted me in advance because "plan A" was to include my personal phone number. Which might be the worst idea ever)

So this morning, that posting elicited a pair of responses... The first opted out when told applications needed to be made in person and not online.

But our winner today was the person who asked about the chances of being able to work from home. It is listed as a retail clerk job.

This one may be tough to beat.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:51 pm

52 days, 8 hours 9 minutes 32 seconds...

Just sayin'
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:54 pm

Mall Update:

So, the Gelato stand closed up after 6 seasons. (Outlasted my expectations by 5). They have not been open for a month and finally removed the coolers and counters on Monday morning. An hour later, some shopper wanders past to ask: " Is the Gelato booth closed today?".

Bear in mind that everything is gone except a water line poking out of the floor to knee heigth, the drain pipe that is about 5 inches high, and a junction box on the floor. (With a pair of strategically placed Wet Floor signs to keep people from messing with them...mall maintenance, it's a cedy artform I tell you). I can't resist such a good prompt and reply, "Today they are closed, I am not sure about tomorrow.".

Parris, the collage artist with Immortal Nerd is back with a cart to sell his awesome superhero prints. He started a new one yesterday of Stan Lee reading to a bunch of kids based on a Skottie Young drawing. It is so cool watching it develop. I dug through his box of beater comics and insisted he use one of Stan's old Soapbox articles in it somewhere.

We got a new Santa this year and half the mall staff already hate him after 5 days. I gather there has been a series of prima donna demands made. I am hoping for a full blown "drunken santa" meltdown by early December for my own entertainment.

Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee sucks. I said it, you all were thinking it.

Build a Bear offers little scents to add to a bear in the form of a plastic disc similar to a car air freshener. You can get pizza scent but not sage and rosemary for the turkey doll they sell.

I am still understaffed because people under the age of 30 in this area consider it a deal breaker to be expected to work on Black Friday at a retail job.

The mall has a store space reserved for a company wanting to run a "mystery escape room". Aside from the fact that this particular space was remodeled 4 years ago by the mall to be "the jewel attraction" storefront, it has failed to draw any lease holder for longer than 6 months. (And with an external entrance AND over 100 feet of corner window display, someone should have wanted it). The mall manager was very excited to announce it because "This mall NEEDS a Mystery Room". Lady Bravada gets credit for the knockout on this one. She looked him square in the eye and replied, "Admit it, this mall has a lot of mystery rooms". (Many of which I have had keys to over the years)

Next week, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, You got any money left Sunday, and I gave up dinner and sleep to put up with this Thursday.

I promise to update if I survive.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:46 pm

38 days, 8 hours, 13 minutes, 11 seconds...

Just sayin'
I don't mind growing old... but I hate growing up.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:22 am

Dept. Of "Please be autocorrect":

Mark, do not drink anything while reading this.

The boss sent me a text last night... About a potential employee.

It starts by getting MY name wrong. I am certainly not Dan.

Then it informs me he is sending a friend of his to call me. The message tells me he is "a good guy. Annoying long time. I want you to hate him too.".

Then it ends by informing me his wife will be calling for him.

I really, really hope"annoying" and "hate" were supposed to be "I've known" and "hire". But with the boss, you can never be certain.

But if past experience teaches me anything, odds are good this guy never contacts me and I will just be annoyed and hate him too.
I don't mind growing old... but I hate growing up.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:09 pm

Survived.
Traffic was good but not great. The brand new staffers we're a little overwhelmed but handled it. I had to have a little talk with one about not spending 20 minutes chatting with a customer about her pets while there are others looking for products. The employee just was afraid of being rude if she walked off.

They were also shocked by the number of sales we had. I didn't tell them things were not that hectic compared to years past nor did I mention they underperformed since my sales more than covered it.

I did get 1 hour and 43 minutes of sleep between shifts. And the boss was late to relieve me because he got himself pulled over for driving 78 in a 60mph zone.

I guess I was lucky they didn't haul him in. That would have made for a long day.

He still doesn't understand that when we sell out of an item on sale, we need to remove the sale sign for that item before putting a different item on the shelf. Saturday morning left me fixing about 20 instances of that. (Our company really is terrible about excessive sale signs. We would be better off with a universal discount).

Speaking of the sale, people will buy really terrible games if they are $5. Most of my business this weekend was cheap knock off versions of cards against humanity, flimsy off brand Trouble copies and Christmas charades sets. My inner voice spent the whole shift screaming, "NO! That game is crap, spend the extra 5 bucks on a game that is playable!".

The boss got cheap and called all the staff off for Sunday. Told me they would handle it themselves. I have informed the staff to make sure their phones are "off" or "in a dead zone" all day. Tomorrow I will ask around and see which former employee they tried to sucker into helping out for $5 cash an hour (because a legal wage never occurs to them).

And for the record, I have enjoyed my day off by putting up snow fences at home and the golf course, applying winter turf fungicides to the course, dismantling tyeowing equipment and winterizing stuff on the course.

I need a day off from my day off.
I don't mind growing old... but I hate growing up.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:19 pm

salamanca wrote:...dismantling tyeowing equipment and winterizing stuff on the course.

I'm going to guess this is a typo, BUT just in case, I am super curious to know if this is something specific to golfing.

Oh and on a personal note, glad you're still alive :D
smafdi wrote:STOP BEING SO DARN POPULAR GUYZ SRSLY I NEEDZ MEH GAMEZ TIHS YAER!!!

kenderleech wrote:If the cows were not meant to be ridden, why would they be so close to the chase scenes?
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:32 am

This phone speaks it's own language at times. That should have read "mowing". No idea what it was assuming.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:39 pm

Today I got to mark down an Avengers Infinity War calendar to "half off".

Sometimes, it's the little things that amuse me.
I don't mind growing old... but I hate growing up.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby Lady Grace » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:34 pm

Did you snap your fingers when you did it?
"You're still mad at me about that whole 'gun-pointing' thing, aren't you?" -- Fortunato Valeri

And here's where I try to be a writer...
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:16 pm

Snap my fingers?

Oh, yeah....

They sent me something terrible today, a kids game called "Flushin' Frenzy". Most disgusting thing I have ever seen. Sent it right to storage.
I don't mind growing old... but I hate growing up.
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Re: the Strangeness that is my life

Postby salamanca » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:32 am

So, probably time for an update.

Let's start with bad boss decisions.
The boss and his wife keep crying about the bottom line this year. Here is the catch, I track all sales during the time I am present. Right now, my personal sales numbers are up and the barely trained staff of misfits I have are underperforming (but only at about 25% of what the boss is worried about). So who can be to blame for not making sales? (Hint, it's the boss and his wife). But he has a solution! We will save money by not staffing any employees on the weekend and let the boss and his wife work 13 hour shifts with nobody present to cover a meal, restroom or storeroom break. That's right, we are going to balance things by putting our two worst sales people on the floor for the two busiest days of the week with no help.

Bad ideas are contagious here. The home office sent out 100 copies of the "Fortnite" calendar this week. (Nothing is selling at that speed let alone a video game calendar) AND...they are charging $18 for it which is 3 bucks above the average calendar. (But in line with the NFL which always bilks a couple extra bucks for their "brand". Going to have a good old time chucking those in the recycler in a month. (If you were wondering, 100 calendars weigh about 60 pounds)

Bad boss that isn't mine: the guy that owns the new bounce house can't figure out why he has no business in the mornings. Apparently, he forgot kids go to school. They also installed a rock climb wall but that has yet to be opened for use despite being in place for two weeks.

And while I cannot get any games people have asked for, if you want a copy of "Upwords", I can help you out, they sent me another 15 to keep company with the dozen I already had.

Well, it is 30 min to open and the senior mall walkers are already hassling me with questions so time to sign off.
I don't mind growing old... but I hate growing up.
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