Monday Memes 33

Or should this entry be called “Money Memes 33?”

I have recently spent a lot of time examining what I like to call my own personal return on investment – actually more like my return versus investment. In this “unscientific survey,” I have examined the amount of time and energy I invest in EARNING a living versus the amount of time and energy I actually invest IN living.

The early results are in, and the findings are NOT encouraging:

1204-20121002-WORK-WORKYes, it seems as though I WORK WORK WORK and realize little enjoyment in not only MAKING a living but also in spending my earnings – I mean, who gets excited about buying a new set of tires for their car?pay billsYes, sadly I seem to spend the better part of EVERY day just trying to keep up/break even on life. It beats me down sometimes, I mean, this is SO true:

dieI’m not sure what the answer is but I plan on investing considerable time and energy into finding out (the answer). Don’t get me wrong, I lead a fairly nice, fairly comfortable life but, my goodness, how nice it would be to afford the luxury of going out to dinner and not think about how high my credit card balance is on the old AmEx. Hopefully things will be better soon – some questions will get answered at work, some debt will be erased through hard work and good fortune and there are trips planned for the upcoming months (some weekend and some international). Maybe it’s all in one’s point of perspective but man oh man, how can it take days/weeks/months to earn and save money, only to be spent in literally like two minutes?

BTW – Someone messaged me and let me know that I generally post graphics here, not memes in the traditional sense and questioned why I called this column Monday Memes. Listen. Go pound.

Monday Memes 30

There are a number of changes happening currently at my workplace – most good, some not-so-great, but all accompanied by emails that – at some point or another – includes one of these statements:

“Your compliance will be greatly appreciated” or

“I/we trust that it is understood that compliance to (insert whatever change here) is a necessity” or

All employere will be required to comply with this new policy.”

I kinda’ hate that word – compliance – and, as a result, “rule-breaking” has been on my mind a lot lately. And so, given my recent frame of mind, here is today’s “Monday Memes” post for your contemplation and enjoyment. Please read and comply, LOL!

break the rules

BTW – Deliberately is “dileberately” spelled incorrectly in the meme above (think about it).

go left44



So today was a challenging day, overall – my father’s health seems to now be deteriorating rapidly, work was a wee bit, um, discombobulated and even just getting to work sucked (45 minutes this morning for what is normally a nine minute commute). I mean, today of all days, I was suffering from a SEVERE case of ~

WTFBut, I managed to make it thru the day and get home to my beloved spouse, Martin (he makes every day better). So, after chowing down on a delicious meal Martin prepared, we were just relaxing and having coffee when the phone rang. It was a call from my former business partner – it was good to hear his voice and catch up a bit. It was also great to hear the news he had called to share; I won’t tell you all the details other than it is SUPER good news that came at a SUPER good time regarding the ongoing shutdown of the business we formerly shared. It was GREAT news; no, I mean REALLY great news, and I was like (again but in a different way) ~

seriously-wtfSeems that I received another “bitch slap” from The Universe tonight. I always think that, when I get my head in an odd/bad place, or when I stop “hoping and believing,” The Universe reaches down and gives me a bitch slap to set me straight again. I never see them coming (the bitch slaps) but, honestly, I always deserve them. THANK YOU, Universe, for caring enough about me to not only take care of me and my beloved but also taking a hot second to remind me of that fact. I’ll “try and do better,” promise…



Tonight I am in a crappy mood, and the weekend ahead seems hell-bent on perpetuating this state of crappiness. I am physically  tired, I am emotionally drained/disappointed, I have a mountain of undesirable tasks ahead, all “enhanced” by the fact that – on this three-day holiday weekend – my Sweetie and I essentially work opposite for four days running, seeing each other only to grunt “Good morning, I love you” or “Goodnight, I love you more than anything” at the beginning and close of each day. Being an “adult” sucks.

I have to say, this image pretty much illustrates my mood at present – rough, dark and almost pitch black.


I am sure I will survive this weekend, and the next several weeks/weekends, too. I know my life will even out (eventually!) and, I will share my life more fully with my Beloved MSW. (Martin? I love you, Baby Boy!) Thanks for listening, and thanks for caring. I appreciate all your kind thoughts, prayers and best wishes as one chapter in my life closes, one chapter continues on (but with a new plot twist!) and one – or more, many more – remain to be written.

Free Admission Everyday

We had another one today; typically we have at least four or five of them a week. They come into the store, are very polite, and the conversation generally goes something like this:

Me: Hello, how are you?

She: Great – I’m just looking, thanks.

(I didn’t ask what she was doing).

After a few minutes,

Me: Are there any questions I can answer for you, or anything in particular I can help you find?

She (again): No thank you, I’m really just looking. Thanks.

(OK, I believe you. You really are JUST looking).

I am not an annoying “hovercraft” (that is what I call salespeople that SMOTHER you as you shop, and are always in your face). I like to offer what I describe as “Silent Assistance” – I am available if needed, and remind shoppers once or twice I am, but I never, ever “push” or “crowd” a shopper.

After a few minutes, she politely approaches and says something like this – this speech varies a little from customer to customer, but pretty much sounds a lot like this:

She: Gosh, your store is so fantastic! It is so (insert “colorful, fun, affordable, cool, chic” – any number of adjectives here). Then there is ALWAYS a line like this:

She: There are LOTS of stores like yours in (insert any major cosmopolitan city here – Toronto, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, DC, Portland, Miami). I wish we had MORE stores like yours here in Cleveland – you are the only one, right?

Me: Yes ma’am, we are an independent retailer, in business since 2007. Thank you for the compliment!

(And then comes the “summation”):

She: Well, your store is GREAT! I hope you do really, really well. I see LOTS of things in here I want. I’ll be back…

Then she turns, says goodbye and leaves without buying one flippin’ thing. Nothing. NADA.

museum-closed-peter-aielloIt is this woman, and other men and women like her, to whom I want to say the following:

Do you know why there are no other stores like ours in Cleveland? Because they couldn’t afford to stay open; they all CLOSED. We are not a museum, with no admission – everything we have is for sale and, while I appreciate your kind words and generous compliments, I’d rather you drop twenty bucks in our store and spare me all the small talk. I cannot pay my electric bill with your compliments, although they are greatly appreciated.

I hate to sound like some hard ass but retail stores, especially small indie stores like ours, need to generate INCOME to survive. I think it is an unfortunate and very prevalent misconception that if you “own your own business,” you are rich.


Please – be it my store or any other independent retailer – share compliments when/if appropriate but, if you really LIKE the store, don’t tell us what you are GONNA’ buy, buy something now. Today. Help us stay in business. We’d appreciate it.

Otherwise, when you “come back,” we may not be there…

Monday Memes 5

Lately I have been thinking a lot about work – what I do, why I do it, how I do it, what “works” about work for me and what doesn’t. I can see change/changes looming ahead – and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I mean, look at Cher, Madonna and X-Tina. They “re-invent” and “re-imagine” themselves all the time. Change is inevitable; change is, in fact, to be expected and welcomed. My beloved and I were watching the Madonna MDNA Tour concert movie last night. In a portion of the dialogue, Madge commented that she was “…lucky to not only still be employed after 30 years, but to also be working at a job she loved.”

I have worked within the A&D community for 28 years, and I have loved every job I have held. Change = Good.

And so, with that thought in mind, I present this week’s “Monday Memes,” each of which speak to me personally about life, work and change. I hope they inspire you as they have inspired me. Enjoy!







Say What

Today was an odd, mixed bag of news and moments…

I learned that the father of a very close friend had passed away. Design clients – a young couple – shared with me that they were expecting their first child. I learned that someone I idolize, a legend in the home furnishings industry, recently sold her her entire business empire – her name included! – for $95 million dollars. My little store did about $12 in sales. I had a visit from an old co-worker. I had a visit from a former design client. I had a salad for lunch AND a salad for dinner. All these unrelated happenings, all these nothing-in-common moments occurred on the same day. I guess maybe every day is a little like that (I hope maybe not the $12-in-sales-thing!) but it was an interesting roller coaster of a day today: sadness, joy, awe, disappointment, remembrance, surprise and routine. For whatever reason, this image just got stuck in my brain tonight…

Magic 8 BallI hope tomorrow is equally full and exciting – maybe with the hope that the news and events all be weighted to “the good side” – no more deaths, and maybe, just maybe, sales at my business will inch closer to that $95 million dollar mark. And I’ll eat some bread…

Work is Torture

I am working alone in the store today. It is a clear, crisp Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining and we are SLOW AS HELL. To be honest, not even Google Maps is calling today to update our listing. No one has called to “speak with the person in charge of our credit card processing.” Today, I’d even welcome some wrong number calls. I am bored. BORED.

falling asleepI know – I’m ridiculous. I bitch when we’re busy. I bitch when we’re slow. (I guess I just like to bitch!) But to be honest, the last few weeks have been BEYOND slow. I mean, we could have watched a glass of water evaporate and been totally enthralled. I’m not sure exactly what is happening in the world, retail-wise, but this extended period of inactivity blows…

employee-dozing-at-deskIt is definitely hard to remain “engaged” at work when there isn’t anyone/anything to “engage with.” THANK GOD our design business is doing OK (better than OK, actually). That part of our business is slowly and steadily growing. But retail, retail, retail – you are a fickle creature at best. Why do you treat me this way? Is it too much to ask that someone come in and at least buy a few greeting cards?

I’m off to make ANOTHER cup of coffee, only this time? Instead of drinking it, I think I will just pour it over my head…

Money – Making It/Spending it

See the guy in the image below? I have no idea what that problem is he’s solving on the blackboard but, when I sit down with my “bill pile,” my checkbook, a calculator and a delicious cool beverage, a scenario similar to that shown on the blackboard unfolds – lots of numbers that make no sense to me…

math-equations-blackboardAgain, I have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what the problem on this board is “asking you to solve for,” but here is MY unsolvable math problem:

“Why does it take so long to make money, yet take only seconds to spend it?”

Or, put another way, why does it take me literally three minutes to send out the money it takes me weeks – sometimes months – to earn? And a question to pony onto that one is, why do utility companies continue to raise prices on services (electric, cable, gas, etc.) when every economic model I ever studied suggests that as any producer becomes more lean and efficient, there should follow a natural and customary reduction in the costs of goods or services provided? I simply cannot understand it all…

Of course I also can’t understand how a people can still afford to eat out at restaurants “pricier” than Friday’s, or how anyone can afford to shop at Sak’s when it’s “Not Off 5th” or when jeans at Old Navy started costing $45.00 a pair.

Sigh. I guess maybe I am just “feeling the squeeze” today but, really, is anyone else getting pinched or is it just me? Don’t get me wrong, we have a comfortable life. But really, just ONCE at the end of the month I’d like to look in my checkbook and be able to say, “Holy crap, where did that extra $200.00 come from?” We always have enough; one month, I’d like to have just a little more…

I used to keep my nose to the grind stone; now I am leaning in with my whole face, neck and shoulder.

After 12 Hours? No Energy…

I know I shouldn’t complain about being busy at work but today I could have really, REALLY used one of these:

12 Hour energy(NOT a product endorsement – image used for illustrative purposes only)

I left for work today at 9:20 AM; I arrived home FROM work tonight at 9:08 PM (OK, OK – so technically NOT a full twelve hours but it feels like it). All in all, it was a pretty good day but, I swear, I answered like 50 phone calls today. My head is a hollow, empty void – I have no more “answers” at this point; sorry. I promise I will produce a more “worthy” post tomorrow. Till then, have a great night and THANKS for your understanding…