Walmart Redux Redux

About a week and a half ago, Walmart called me.

Did you ever get the sense in your life that dealing with someone was going to be a futile effort? That was me that day. They hired me once and nearly hired me again, but I got bounced out each time due to answering honestly the daily tests on their app.

Of course, the first thing they tell me is that I was too honest. Then they tell me I shouldn’t have taken the tests – even though I was instructed to do so. I instantly got the sense this was a waste of time and I was being gaslighted.

I guess Walmart, who at least in Pinellas Park is having trouble finding employees, wants employees who aren’t honest. I’ll just leave it at that.

If You’re Going To Let Me Call Plays, At Least Give Me The Right Playbook

I’m beyond frustrated right now – as I had to let go of the new job I was to have at Datalot.

There was a problem with the training process that I was having that wasn’t getting addressed in a timely manner. They gave us a training manual for how to run their computerized system that wasn’t the same as the one the trainer had. To paraphrase, it was like giving a quarterback a playbook that had the pages missing that contained the plays that a team would mostly likely tun. It was 95 percent the same – but not completely the same.

How was I supposed to represent this company not knowing the exact procedures to be deployed? I asked for the correct guide after the training, and I was promised that I would get it. The following morning, it’s still not there – so I ask for it again. With an hour left before training, I finally get the correct manual.

I felt by that point, damage had been done – and I chose to discontinue the training. I had to stand up for myself – nobody else was going to. The trainer E-mailed me and basically said the procedures were guidelines, and I didn’t even respond to it. As a trainee, how do I know that to be true?

So now I need employment, I need it fast, and I need it bad. Thank you, Datalot. Thank you ever so much, he said sarcastically.

Two Hours To Day One

It’s two hours before my first training day at Datalot. My commute is seconds, not hours – feet, not miles. I do all of the work on a home computer I already own.

They only give me the USB headset I am to use. As it turned out, it was the same make and model of a headset I already had!

It’s my hope this all works out, but you never know. I just hope I have the wisdom to do what’s right for me.

Business Picks Up

It’s been a crazy week in my life – but these days, whose life isn’t been or hasn’t been crazy?

Regretfully, I started another GoFundMe in an effort to raise funds for the whatnots life brings. If you want to contribute to it, feel free. I also set up a CashApp account to raise funds – that’s available at $PaulBlom.

As soon as I set that up, I wound up getting a job I can do from home with Datalot helping people with insurance problems of all sorts. I start training on that Tuesday, then I work weekdays for five hours a day from 12p, to 5pm – perfect for what I need at the hourly rate they are offering.

And oh yes, the Rays are in the World Series – as I type this, three wins away from a possible World Series championship. I have no ill will for the Dodgers – another fine squad that’s played astoundingly well the past few seasons. Personally, I think the Rays play with house money now. If they win, they are the best – if they lose, they lose to the best.

I Owe My Soul To The Company Store

The world of COVID-19 is a strange place. Up is down, left is right, you make money not working – well, most of you know the rest.

In the song Tennessee Ernie Ford made famous in 1955, owing one’s soul to the company store is a bad thing. So naturally, in COVID world – it’s a good thing.

I’m still waiting to work my second day at Walmart – nearly two months after my first day. They are so concerned about workers coming down with COVID and being well enough to work that they’re paying me nor to, as I’ve mentioned before on here.

I don’t want to mention how much I’m getting from Walmart – but it is enough to get by on until they call me in to work for them again. When the call comes, I plan to be ready – after all, I owe them my soul for keeping me afloat all of this time.

Must I Be So Blasted Honest?

The Walmart job has still yet to resume for me.

In our wonderful era of COVID, I have to take screenings on a phone app. When I did so Monday night, they asked if I had vomited in the prior ten days. About a week ago on August 20th, I woke up with a bad reaction to something – food from the prior night or maybe something else.

I can go years between vomits, and I’ve probably gone Presidential terms without doing so. But unluckily for me, I upchucked twice that day. I reported it honestly in the app.

Now I may need to see a doctor to prove I don’t have COVID – even though I don’t have COVID. But get a runny nose and vomit six weeks apart, and this is what the hypochondriac world we live in leads us to believe.

There has to be a way where honesty is rewarded and dishonesty isn’t. This Walmart COVID policy seems to do the reverse. If you hide your illnesses, you might get away with doing so until you can’t – therefore, this can’t end well for them.

I Just Want To Make One Right Move

It’s the day before I resume work at Walmart. I’m antsy as all get out, because whatever plays out in my future hinges on how this goes. It also feels like there are elements to all of this beyond my control.

Like so many of us during the ongoing COVID mess, I’m committed to doing this as there are no other realistic options at the moment. It’s only my best bet because it’s the only bet.

I don’t know if my body and soul will hold up doing this, but searching my soul – I feel I must make the effort. My life has been far from ideal – but in the unlikely event something happens to me, at least I was doing something instead of nothing.

Hoping things go well.

A Re-Return To Wally World

I have no idea what happened this week – and if you told me a week ago that I’d be returning to my Walmart for re-employment (my future there was in doubt once I was initially there) in a few days, I would have thought you were crazy. But in this COVID-19 world we live in, the bizarre has become the normal – so why would my life be any different than all of our lives collectively?

But Wednesday I got the call to come back – and I finalized the deal on Friday to come back on the 24th.

It’s the kind of thing in life that makes one wonder if I just hit a patch of dumb luck that was fortunate for me. Maybe there are higher powers looking out for me who try to look out for us all?

In my nearly 49 years of life (my birthday is two weeks from tomorrow), I’ve always been a bit confused as to where luck begins and ends. I’ve had a good streak of luck the last year, between the GoFundMe money being raised for me by my high school classmates – the COVID money the government gave me, and now trying to find a pulse on the job front.

They have me working in the automotive section, besieged by closures due to the ongoing COVID threat. It’s a physical job – and the age of me doing a physical job may be nearing it’s end as I have slowed down in the legs.

Maybe I do need those higher powers in my life after all.

The Trouble With 24/7

Maybe Albert Einstein is right, and I need to realize it – doing the same thing twice and expecting different results is insanity.

So here’s the skinny of my 24/7 redux of the past month: I don’t recommend going there. I nearly passed on orientation day, to be honest with you – because I was told the day of orientation and the day I picked up the computer equipment would be seperate days. With no notice, they reduced my notice to only a few hours where I had to pick up the equipment – so reluctantly, off I went.

I trained for eight weekdays – and I began to notice similarities between training in 2015 and training in the here and now. They tell you it’s a doable job, while reminding you of how impossible it all sounds simultaneously. They want you to be accurate – but they also want seemingly impossible speed out of you. They tell you what to write down after they already mentioned what to write down, so you’re constantly asking for what it was that was just said.

They also don’t allow you to simulate the conditions of the calls with any degree of realism, kind of like how a telemarketing organization would do. I doubt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would take a larger than normal young man and ask him to play offensive tackle the next day – and you wouldn’t send men into space without simulating the conditions that would happen, or could happen.

What I got out of 24/7 is that it’s no skin off their nose for you to fail – they want you to go elsewhere, because they still make money by you not ever making it to the optimal pay rate. Or, maybe you thought this was your dream job and you signed up for the healthcare they offer? Well, I didn’t. You’d think I’d learn this the first time out, and I didn’t. Oh, well.

Hello Square One, I’ve Missed You!

Well, I’m out of work again. I’ll get into what happened at 24/7 and how that story ended up (Hint: it went much the way it did in 2015) when I get my final pay from them.

July (and early August) was a reminder to me of how some things changed in the work place, and how some things are worse than ever before.

First, let’s visit the Walmart job again. I’m no longer that because I caught a runny nose the morning after my first day there. They wanted me isolated, which I did – while getting the other job at 24/7 In Touch that I could do from home. They (Walmart) threw me the idea of getting paid for the time I had to miss, provided I stayed there – in the form of a one-time benefit. Without giving me the idea of what that benefit payment would be, I passed on it.

Walmart didn’t want me to better myself by going somewhere else – but if I’m getting runny noses and constantly missing work due to only that, I am of no use to them anyway.

Relatives think I may have Asperger syndrome. I suppose it is possible. I’ll get into what happened at 24/7 next week or the week after that – but I’m beginning to see our world a bit differently.

And Then A Game Of Fizzbin Broke Out

Another week came and when with the job – the training was supposed to have been completed by now, but that has had the need to be extended. About half of the training class left, but I am still there.

I’m encountering the same difficulties I did in 2015 when I physically worked at the 24/7 In Touch job at their physical call center,, even though I don’t have to leave home to do the job. Training is very rigorous, and there’s a lot to remember – and it can even bog down those who are more computer literate, like I envision myself as being.

The job reminds me of the “Fizzbin” game Captain Kirk makes up in an episode of Star Trek. As was the case five years ago, I’m wondering what happens if I can’t grasp the complexities of the job. Five years ago, there were other avenues and venues to explore, and anyone could explore them.

Here in 2020 with COVID still hanging in there, there are too many unknowns. Five years ago, I had the choice not to play out the hand. Now, I pretty much have to – not knowing what will be around in a few months, and what won’t be.

Back In A Couple Of Saddles

As I was mentioning yesterday (and I will be blogging on a reduced schedule here – basically my days off from work), I had the fortune of not one but two opportunities open up for me in late June. The post COVID-19 world has been this giant reset button for me, and a bizarro world for everyone else. Before it, I may have been close to unhirable – but with everyone losing business and employees, I have somehow worked my way up without trying.

Walmart was the first to offer me work – and I can now reveal (having turned in my badge and vest) that I’m no longer there. I don’t think it is a company secret that they are very cautious about employees getting sick – so they asked us to self screen ourselves using cell phone apps. Hours before my second day of work, I did such a screening – and reported honestly that I had a runny nose.

They asked me to stay and home and quarantine for 10 days – which I did, only going out to go to the store for groceries. In my county of Pinellas County of Florida – wearing masks inside businesses is a mandate, though Walmart has their own mandate now.As for the runny nose, it was not a harbinger of COVID for me – I took some Tylenol I had on me, and it went away in a few days.

Needless to say, if I’m going to miss work every time I catch a cold – I’m going to need another occupation. Being new at Walmart likely means the lost time won’t turn into any compensation for me. I had the very good fortune of having 24/7 In Touch, a Canadian company with a call center off of US 19 in Clearwater also inquire about hiring me. In fact, seeing signs the Walmart job may gp sour on me my first day there – I called them on my lunch break.

Having worked for them previously almost five years ago, 24/7 has had to change their strategies with COVID being around as well – their call center is now virtual, meaning I work from home for them. I felt that this was the better move – less wear and tear on me physically, and no time or money wasted on commuting.

At the desk where I type out these blog entries now sits two computers – both Dells: my home personal computer and a work computer. Tomorrow, I start my second week of training thru Zoom (which I had never used before) for one of their many clients.

Money will be tight for me in the next couple of weeks – the consequences of my honesty with Walmart.. (Why should it pay to be dishonest about being sick there?) But I think I’ve gotten into a position where I can clearly see light at the end of my tunnel – and that looks like a good thing.