Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


Trainer Tales

Note 1. See if I pamper Papa Sauce again when he's got the galloping plague.
Note 2. Claritin is worthless.

And now, I present to you....

Trainer tales!

I started working for Borders right when I turned 18, and worked up to trainer when I was 20, I was stoked. I loved the store, loved my co-workers, and couldn't friggin' WAIT to open stores. And it didn't hurt any that 2 of my favorite co-workers at my store moved into trainer jobs at 2 neighboring stores- (I declare that shit AWESOME) and we got to go to the Trainer conference together. Where I met Stephee from Newark (by way of Bear). She was my roommate at that infamous conference (Steph, I still have the little photocollage cube from then!)and she was cool as shit.

I sorted with Stephee twice, once she was my roomie, and once she was my cohort. In Frederick Maryland, we made a pimp hat for the lone boy on our sort (Bobby G. Fleetwood) and matching Team Ho shirts (with a gemstone theme, I was Aqua, and I know we had a Ruby, Opal, Pearl, Diamond, and Spike and a few others). Somewhere I still have pictures, and I'll scan them for your amusement (see a youthful sauce, on her very first sort!)

Heh. That was back in the good ol' days, when I wasn't even old enough to drink yet, and was petrified I'd get busted at the hotel restaurant for havin' a few lemon drops.

And then there was Allentown. Or wherever the hell that was. Where we made the mistake of having the ritual Manager/Trainer dinner at a BYOB restaurant.

Now... what you need to know is that trainers, on a whole, are a drunken, ornery bunch. We busted our asses for 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week, taking a store from bare shelves to opening day. Drinking was not an option, it was a requirement. Putting a bunch of trainers in a restaurant where you can bring your OWN alcohol? oh, that is such a recipe for disaster. We walked in with 2 cases of liquor (though one may have been Bass, I know for certain one was naught but booze). Lets just say that there there are many photographs of many, many of us drinking directly from said bottles of booze. And I learned that I will never drink Segrams Whiskey straight from the bottle ever, EVER again.

To say nothing of what happened with the store's GM, who got a bit tipsy that night...

And then there was Tom Arnold...
The shit we did to that poor guy, they probably should have made us all star in our own Trainer Sexual Harassment Video. Pete Hilsee, Corporate Trainer God, if you're out there, I'm sorry. sorta. But not really. Because, well... If you were there, we'd have done the same to you. (Perhaps even moreso, because... Rowr.)

And then there were the stores I sorted without Steph... New Orleans, which was awesome, but it was hurricane season. And it was a Fall Sort. I got sick at both my Fall sorts. I was so bad at one point, I couldn't talk. And somewhere there is a picture of me, passed out in a bag of packing peanuts. That was also the sort that I ended up fleeing in the nick of time- After a whole lot of crying, and a lot of trudging back and forth in the new Orleans airport, I managed to get a flight to Dallas on the last plane out before Hurricane Georges hit. The trainers that didn't either drive out, or fly out when they could, were stuck living at the store, sleeping on cardboard boxes for a few days till they could leave.

And Connecticut. Simsbury, Connecticut. My only Music sort. Where I had a SERIOUS crush on one of the guys in my training group. Massive no-no, but damn, he was cute. And he knew his blues. And he was cute. And Artistic. And smart. He left for England to study, and I made him a care package with a sock monkey (no, I don't remember why either, but doesn't everyone need a sock monkey?) and we eventually lost touch with each other. So Jared, if you're out there somewhere, I still have the shirt you designed for the sort. I refuse to get rid of it. (And I bet you're still cute.)

And speaking of Simsbury, Steph trained me for the music sort. My store didn't have music, and I wanted to learn. So the suckers LET me go to Stephee's store for a WEEK, and paid me to learn it. (muwahaha) That's the trip where we went to philly and I got my eyebrow pierced. That didn't go over so well when I called my ma. "Ma, I have a hole in my face" "Ohdeargod, did you wreck your car?" "No, I got my eyebrow pierced" *crickets chirping, continents drifting* "oh. *entire civilizations dying out* nice."

Eventually, I stopped being a trainer. I couldn't hack the stress at my home store- I'd get 6 trainees to teach, and would have to be floor manager at the same time. I was also getting migraines like a motherfucker, and had no idea what they were, so I'd take fistfuls of advil, and chase it with maalox, and decided that maybe that shit wasn't too healthy. I'd go back in a minute, though, if I had the chance today. Training rawked. (I checked, though, and they only have GM spots available semi-locally, and like Steph, I'd rather jab a spork into my left eye over and over till I poked through the back of my head than be a GM- they get all of the bullshit, and not enough thanks.)

Wow. This was a really long ramble, but it was a fun trip down memory lane (at least for me). I'll have to dig out the pictures I have, and scan a few of them. Those who are stalkerish enough can find me on my work website. Stoltzfus wouldn't photoshop me out of the committee photo, the bastard.


Blogger Steph said...

OMFG. the memories of sorting. *sigh* i miss it SO very much. damn we had some great times. oh the things we did. LOLOL. how didn't we get arrested or kicked out of more places? damn. as for tom arnold. we tortured him on that sort. but i swear, i have never, ever more fun playing strip nekked quarters! haaaaaaaa. oh and betsy the gm was convinced he and i were pokin'. nonononooo. that was greg! ha! shame shame. funny how i still keep in touch with many of my old trainer pals. did i tell you jim ramierz will be in town at the end of the month? i'll be sure to send him your love.........

2:57 AM  

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