Our Big Gig Week 3

Somehow I’ve already reached the end of week three. Not sure how that happened but it happened nonetheless. I feel like commuting up every week has become the norm now and despite getting roped into working an extra shift at my other job and having just one day off again (and getting into bed at 4am on said day off) I feel a lot more relaxed and less tired than last time. I say this now, I’m sure 5am tomorrow morning (9 hours time) I won’t be feeling so groovy! It’s 8pm and I’m still on the train home!

This week I was given the opportunity to improve on the objectives I set out for myself last week which was good; I think I succeeded. I got to do more tweeting and more interactive map work and this time, when creating my tweets, I put in the links and urls first and wrote the content around those, which was definitely a better method and enabled me to produce tweets a lot faster.

The biggest challenge and time-consuming element of the map is definitely the locations. I honestly have no idea what the human race did before Google maps existed – though sometimes it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Only last week I was walking back and forth looking for a shop in Cabot Circus – via Google maps – and it turned out it’s not even there any more. I ended up having to ring them up because I ordered something to collect in store, only to find out they’re in a different bloody location and not only that but they moved 5 years ago. Seriously Google! Sort it out.

Anyway, addresses can be tricky and often locating the exact address of the Our Big Gig events requires a bit of trial and error. Either the address you input into Google isn’t quite right and Google corrects you, which is fine, or the location that Google pinpoints from the address you’ve provided isn’t quite right and needs to be manually altered.

It would help if my geography was better, but it’s terrible.

The best thing about this job is getting to see all the different events that are happening around the country and what people have planned. Our Big Gig in Bedford is having a self-professed mini Glasto including cocktails, ….. . It looks fab! It makes me think that it’s a shame there isn’t something similar happening near me. We have the perfect environment and surroundings for something like that. There is a Big Gig happening in St Ives though. ‘Ansome me lovers! Pasties on tap I’ll bet.

This week I also touched lots of pink plastic. Plastic parcel bags that is! Katharine and I were in the basement (spooky) packing up ‘Big Gig’ banners to send out to event organisers all around the country. There’s something about packing things up that feels very satisfying – it’s like wrapping presents for people but without the ribbons and bows. Though having to pack up 150 of them did mean being less particular than usual about presentation. In fact slap dash comes to mind. I had to ditch my usual perfectionist packing ways for this task. The sheet of address stickers I picked up included many of the events I’d uploaded onto the map which was cool and somehow made me feel emotionally involved. You know.. because I’d been on their Facebook pages and everything.

REFLECTION SECTION: Week Three

The skills I gained:

I CAN survive in a basement
I CAN tweet like a boss (too far?)

I know these blogs are supposed to be work-related, which is why I’ve stuck this at the bottom, but I can’t finish this blog without adding that I had a bubble tea today; IN THE UK! I also educated Katherine and Nick on what bubble tea is because they’d never heard of it before. Woohoo spreading the word! It’s like Crabbies all over again (honestly I should have been a Crabbies rep). Bubble tea is something I was introduced to in Australia and was invented in China (I think) but really caught on in Taiwan. When described to you it sounds horrible, but it’s really delicious. It’s cold and you can get either fruit or milk tea. As soon as I got home I Googled the nearest bubble tea shop (sad I know) and guess what cropped up? A place called CUPP in Bristol Cabot Circus! This is what I love about Bristol; it has just as much to offer as London but without the tube and crazy commuting lifestyle (says me during my 3-hour train commute.)

I also made a friend in the bagel shop today over the road called Ti and met his wife Claire and their son who is super cute! They were soo friendly and lovely and were giving me tips on work opportunities in Bristol. This is why independent cafes and eateries are sometimes so much better than chain stores.

It is great being in Bristol 🙂

42 Things All Noughties Teenagers Will Remember

I forgot about soo many of these! My bubblegum smelly gel pen… a girl’s best friend *wistful sigh*

Hannah Gale

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1. Smirnoff Ice, WKD and Archers. Tiny bottles of sugary alcohol that made you talk to boys, throw up and get told off by your parents. Goody.

2. Spending an entire week waiting for the next episode of The O.C. Fancying Seth Cohen, wanting to be Summer Roberts, and feeling awkwardly not sad when Marisa died. Oh.

3. Stripy highlights. Big blonde chunky strips through your over-straightened hair that made you look like the fourth member of Atomic Kitten, the somewhat cooler version of Kerry Katona.

4. Denim everything. Denim jackets, the perfect denim mini skirt, denim pedal pushers, denim handbags. Firmly believing Bewitched were on to something.

5. Teaming said denim mini skirt with (faux) UGG boots, dolly shoes or bright pink Converse and feeling like you’d finally nailed looking cool on non-school uniform day. Well done you, high five. All the boys will fancy you now.

6…

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There’s no ‘i’ in ASDA

It’s that time again; time to write another supersonic supermarket parable.

It’s time to finish what I started !

This will be my last ASDA blog post (at least for now) which will document my final two days in The Land of Green. It’s been emotional, it’s been enlightening, it’s been tiring. I would probably postpone this blog til an even later date (I’ve had this draft sat on my wordpress site like a fat kid waiting to be lifted out of a trolley – apt simile – for ages); however by request and because the longer I leave it the less relevance it will have I am endeavouring to finish, at least part 1, now.

So, my penultimate shift at ASDA , how’d it go? Well let’s just say I didn’t wear the cap or hair net.

Saturday wasn’t a great day for me, not because I had horrible customers or because I got told off for not wearing the hat but because I really didn’t want to be there. It was fairly busy, queues of people coming in dribs and drabs, yet it went so slowly. This tends to happen when you’re working and wishing you were at home the entire time. Not only that but I was also incredibly tired, not even physically, but in a drained – I wish I was doing anything but this – kind of tired.

Possibly the worst thing – though don’t quote me on it – about working in retail, particularly in ASDA, is being in the public eye the whole time. I’m generally a smiley, bubbly person and I like helping people, but if you’re having a bad day or you’re tired or feeling a little low ‘being happy to help’ can be the worst thing imaginable. More so because you’re forced to do it for hours on end without a ‘happy face’ break.

That’s why I love the cupboard *

I always say that if I hadn’t got the job on Home & Lesisure (or perhaps bakery) I would have quit ASDA years ago. There’s no way you’d ever get me working on checkouts, though occasionally you’re forced to when you have to queue-bust.

Queue-busting
adjective
1. Supermarket jargon for when employees working in other departments of the store are required to ‘jump’ on the front tills in order to reduce the amount of people queuing to buy their goods. Once allocated a till a queue-buster cannot leave until they are released by a senior member of staff. You can be there for anywhere between 10 minutes to over an hour.

(Really it should be called queue-kill, but I guess that has negative connotations. Employees might try to kill off customers.)

So why would I be ok with working on bakery and what’s so special about the cupboard? Well…

It’s got something to do with the F word. Not the Gorden Ramsey one.

If you work on the shop floor you’re elicited a certain amount of freedom. You can go upstairs and pee when you want, you can do things you’re not meant to do like eat sweets (discreetly), and check your phone (discreetly); the kind of things you can’t do if you’re working on checkouts – because every second of your time on there is logged and you’re constantly in the public eye.

If you work on George or Music and Video and you’re on the tills you’re stood up, you walk around, you’re not monitored constantly and you have the reprieve of the cupboard.

*The cupboard

It’s a tiny room where all the console games are stored and laptops and usb sticks ect. I’ve often wondered why there isn’t a window in the door so managers can catch you when you’re in there dying from a hang over or spending ten minutes having a major moan about your holiday form accidently going missing – however it works in their favour too.

The worst thing about working on Music and Video is when we don’t have a game in stock and you have to tell the customer you don’t have  it.. people can get really angry about that, and each time you know it could go either way. They could either be Fonzy style cool about it or they could go crazy – especially if it’s for their kid, and it happens to everyone; managers and colleagues. You spend ages in there hunting around – because you won’t believe how often things are put in the wrong place – and you’d look like a right wally if customers could see you. You’d feel like one too. No customer knows how big or small the M&V cupboard is or what you do when you’re in there (other than have mini raves and throw malteasers down your throat) and that’s the way it should stay.

Another gripe that you have to withstand in ASDA is ASDAfm, but trust me you’d rather have ASDAfm then not have it. First thing in the morning it’s not ASDAfm it’s THE WORST PLAYLIST YOU’LL EVER HEAR. Saturday and every day I worked there over Easter I did 9-5s but when I was there permanently I only ever worked 5-10 or 1-10, so I wasn’t used to the playlist. Normally I’d miss out on the morning melodies, or I should say travesties. I realised, stood there with Anne on George, that they were playing the exact same songs in the same order that they played the morning before. Perhaps this would be bearable if the songs were good, or at least less depressing. Anne then informed me that they play the same playlist every Saturday.

How. Horrid.

When I worked Sunday 9-6 every week I’d come in in the morning to hear the same Billie Holiday song My Man followed by Smooth Operator and similar god awful songs. But what was worse was the playlist at 4…. the shop would shut, the lights would dim, nearly everyone would go home including the managers, and me and a few of the George girls would be left to listen to Radiohead – and normally I love Radiohead – but we’d be left listening to Radiohead and Katherine Jenkins’ operatic version of Bring me to Life (yes the Evanescence song) and loads of slow acoustic versions of songs from Live Lounge performances (only the slow ones) for 2 miserable hours in an almost empty store. You’d be on the hard stone floor moving dusty DVDs around the shelves, putting them down on the floor and then picking them back up again in dim lighting, shivering because the music and video section is next to the fridges… and you would just CRAVE for someone to waltz in with a massive boom box and a disco ball and blast James Brown Get Up Offa That Thing full pelt. That’s the kind of music that keeps you going after a long day.

But it’s like they want you to be miserable.

HA – you’re still here in your horrible, uncomfortable uniform picking things up off the floor and we’re going to make it worse for you by playing you the most depressing tracks imaginable.

I moan for comedic effect – it’s not that bad. However the fact that the shop was closed on Sunday made me very happy.

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down (and scan that barcode) on Friday: Part 2

Today I spent the morning replenishing magazines which made me want to buy loads of magazines.. then I served on the till on the Music and Video desk. It was only a matter of time coming back during the holidays that I’d be accosted by one of the horrible ones.

And today I almost lost it.

I’m no longer used to being subjected to random people cursing at me for the way the shop’s laid out, when we don’t have something in stock or when I can’t do a return on something. People bring their anger issues into the store, are dissatisfied with something inconsequential and let rip on the only people they can: the people dressed in lurid green. You can’t take it personally and normally it really doesn’t bother me because these people mean nothing to you. But today all I could think was FUCK YOU. Excuse my language.

I feel like I don’t have the time or energy to listen to people like that any more. If she had carried on I simply would have refused to serve her.. there’s no good being nice to people like that. This particular lady (I say lady..) yelled at me as though I were her own child. I just look at her appalled before telling her that if she wished to she could make a formal complaint to customer service, though I doubt she did. If she went ballistic at me simply for having to wait ten minutes in a queue to find out something was out of stock I doubt she had the patience to queue at customer service to complain about that or me. She asked me for my name threateningly; that was the only amusing part about that meeting.

Then, after that I was discreetly informed by my Section Leader who had been told to tell me by my manager who had been told to tell me by some high-up-in-the-chain woman visiting the store that I have to wear a hair net and cap because my hair is too unnatural looking (no, it’s not funny). As if I didn’t look lame enough… words fail me. And this despite the fact that no-body, not even the manager of the entire store who has seen me on numerous occasions this week, has said it’s too bright.

What did I say in my very first ASDA post? You’re not allowed bright hair.
Well I’ve been proved right.

I mentioned this to my parents in the car on the way home, the quote from my blog and the hair story, so naturally they immediately concluded that this woman had read my blog and enacted revengeI’d like to tell you that’s a joke but genuinely that’s how their minds work. They also said ‘Laura, I think you’re time at ASDA is up.’ My parents know; the day my hair becomes an issue is the day it all falls apart.

Meatloaf once said, I would do anything for love.

I say, I would do anything to gain some extra cash (even wear putrid green) but I won’t do that…

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down (and pick up that Rollback) on Friday: Part 1

It’s Friday, it’s my fourth day at work this week and I’m starting to feel the cracks appearing in my psychological dinner plate.

I went into work at 8am this morning feeling unusually awake and focused, looking forward to finishing an hour earlier at 4 – but as the day progressed and things took a down turn I was dying to get home and once I did I realised I was knackered. The kind of tired where you feel apathetic towards everything yet paradoxically where one little thing could tip you over the edge.

Yesterday morning my family and I spent 45 minutes looking for my swipe card which I need to clock in and out of work (i.e. to enable me to get paid) and to get into the Music and Video cupboard. We searched everywhere to no prevail and I concluded it must have fallen out of my pocket at work. I rang the entertainment desk to check but nobody answered so I tried again, no luck. So I tried George …no-body answered. I realised nobody answered because I wasn’t there to answer it.

After getting into work and asking around it seemed lost forever, until Steph told me hours later that she’d seen it on the pin board upstairs… today Helen told me she was the one who found it in the George changing rooms and reinforced to security that someone ring me to let me know where it was. How hard is it to make a phone call? Incredibly hard, apparently. I ended up coming into work over half an hour late and having to stay on to make the difference.

I was a bit pissed.

After that I had a fairly relaxed day. I spent most of it re-stocking the gardening aisle at work and rumbling

rumbling
adjective

1. moving items on shelves forward to give the appearance that there is more stock and so that the stock that is there is easily accessible to customers. Oh and so that it looks tidy.

2. (for an employee) a repetitive task which involves stretching, reaching, grabbing, dragging and getting your hands dirty pulling often heavy and fiddly objects forward.

Rumbling is a horrible job when you have to do it all the time, however as an occasional task it’s all right as it’s easy and involves absolutely no thought. However for this reason it is incredibly boring unless you’re doing it with somebody or if you have a very active imagination. Normally when I’m rumbling I’m thinking about someone. Or food.

So yesterday I rumbled and put out gnomes and weed killer. I talked to a lovely lady for about ten minutes about anti-cat pellets (turns out the tub she was after was called Scat-a-Cat not ‘GET OFF‘!! We decided ‘get off’ was a much more appropriate name). I also had the pleasure – and this is one of the perks of the job – of being talked at by various small children. No sarcasm intended; I love little kids. The thought of having one myself scares the shit out of me but I love talking to them at work and making funny faces at them. Four little girls appeared out of nowhere at one point and immediately asked me my name, whereupon I asked them if they were able to read my name badge. After I praised one of them for getting it right they each proceeded to tell me all of their own names and then bombarded me with questions.

Then later on a lady with an adorable little girl and boy in her trolley asked me where the coat hangers were. During the incredibly time consuming walk over (due to the fact the shop floor was packed) the girl told me she had a pony magazine in the trolley and a cam-wa. I said ‘WOW!’ and told her that I liked My Little Pony. I really am a BIG KID.  Turns out it was a My Little Pony magazine! There were 6 wings in there, which I was shown and I said that that was almost one to wear for every day of the week!

Turns out we didn’t have the coat hangers the lady wanted and I waved goodbye to the kids who I would much rather have spent the rest of my shift with. They didn’t realise I’d walked off until I got half way down the aisle and I heard their mum say ‘say goodbye’ and the little girl cry ‘Byyyye, MY NAME’S …!!’

Small children really like to tell you their names.

2012: Fresh start, new blog!

We’re already 10 days into 2012 (scary right?) and I’m writing my first WordPress blog of 2012!

I’ve shamefully, shamefully (twice for reinforcement) neglected my WordPress blog the last couple of months. You’d think that writing/talking about yourself and what you’ve been up to would be simpleess and take hardly any time at all, but this is so not the case! Particularly when you’ve got to upload and configure and compress audio, video and image files constantly in order to make your blog in any way interesting or relevant or aesthetically pleasing.

Putting up a picture of a giraffe simply isn’t good enough.

For the record that took me about 20 minutes to draw and upload (10 minutes was spent choosing what font to use for the word giraffe) but all in all the giraffe image took considerably less amount of time than uploading some audio onto soundcloud and then from soundcloud onto my blog:


OK maybe not… well technically that little box there did take me 20 minutes, but that’s because I tried using Soundcloud first, which frankly, is complete pants. Thanks to Lisa-chicken-Stephens I discovered how to upload using Audioboo. SO MUCH EASIER! Took me 2 minutes. I cannot believe I have actually learnt something really useful today! 😛 haha.

So, if I insert my pre-written cue:

(don’t fret it’s not real news)

There has been an explosion at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea’s match against Arsenal. The police say the incident is being treated as a terrorist attack, however are unable to give more details at this time. So far up to 15 people are believed to be dead and many more injured. Our reporter Laura Feltham is at the scene.

[CLICK PLAY ON AUDIOBOO CLIP NOW!]

__________________________________________________________________________________________

There you have an uploaded and finished (though a bit rubbish really) rap!! Or for you simpletons out there, a radio cue and audio clip with a bit of extra talking ;D

The giraffe is looking less impressive now isn’t it? Unless you happen to think my Paint skills are exemplorary and my radio skills crap, but I’m going to assume you don’t think that … perhaps I should hold a poll. I’m sure there’s some way of doing that on your blog but I wouldn’t begin to know how.

This is probably very confusing to read methinks, but I guess the point I was trying to make is that I can’t just upload pictures of amusing animals to my blog in order to keep it interesting, but that if I could life would be a lot easier and I would blog a lot more often. However then I proved myself wrong.

I think I should change subject.

Today I did a rap (which is what that mock news story & audio up there is for) which I’d completely forgotten how to do, because it requires a certain odering of information. So, more for my own benefit than yours- because if I blog about what a rap comprises of then I can access it on my phone and from a computer when I forget(!) – here is what a rap is:

CUE – this is what the Radio Cornwall/ Radio 1 Newsbeat/ or Pirate FM presenter will read out.

REPORTER intro – this is you telling your listeners where you are and what’s happening around you, whether it’s the London Riots, Charlie’s new chocolate factory or in a field in Berkshire for a Gusiness World Record attempt at the largest ever foam party.

CLIP – this is your interviewee, telling you about whatever it is you’re reporting on, e.g. falling into a river of chocolate and getting stuck up a pipe

REPORTER outro – this is you rapping up the story. You need to end it in a way that sums the story up or leaves it open if it’s news that isn’t ‘over’.

In Augustus Gloop’s case, after your clip of his mother saying ‘I hate that man! Because of him my son suffered horribly, I will never forget today!’ you might rap it up by saying ‘though all the children invited to Charlie’s factory suffered trauma in some form or another, most of them remained unscathed and without purple skin. As to whether Charlie will invite any more children into his factory in the future, it remains to be seen. Laura Feltham, reporting for Cornwall Crunch Radio.

Tada 🙂

Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. Those who persevere, teach themselves!

I think that’ll do for my first blog of ’12. See you next time folks!

Lil’ miss Liz x
Or to quote James ‘Lil’ Lozzaaar’ *in the worst Cornish accent ever*

BLOGGERIFIC

So, this week has felt a bit uneventful to be honest- even though it really hasn’t been. I guess in terms of the monumental and ridiculous amount of things we’ve achieved and learned in the past two weeks, this week has seemed pretty tame! The things that really stick out in my mind aren’t really very blog-worthy (or maybe appropriate is the better word..); like the fact this morning Sam, Caroline, Parky and I spent hours wondering around looking for a house- where there was supposed to be a party happening- that we never actually found. And when I say hours… I mean hours. I have definitely never walked that far in heels ever.

In other news I dyed my hair and got it cut, made 17 cupcakes in one sitting and blew my nose about ten million times.

However I did also go to my first Radiowave meeting- which was very exciting. I’ve got so many ideas for my one hour show ! And next week we’re going to be shown how to use the desk in the studio, which is ironic because my entire course this term is based around radio and working in the studio!!

I also had to interview someone again this week for editing Monday. This time the interview had to be conducted in the workplace, with a news worthy angle. By some stroke of luck my attention span (which has surprised and impressed me since starting this course- normally I find it hard to concentrate on anything for longer than a couple of minutes) actually worked in my favour. I remembered us missing a local story in our daily news bulletin that featured in Radio Cornwall’s 10 o clock news about Falmouth and the high street, so naturally- as I live on the high street- I decided to my interview with an independent business owner and tie it in with the Save the High Street campaign. I initially wanted to do it at Falmouth Booksellers as I discovered the Booksellers Association have recently published a survey about the decline in book shops, however they said no… I also emailed a restaurant owner beforehand who had posted a comment on the Save the High Street Facebook page; however they never got back to me.

I ended up getting an interview with the owner of March Hare clothes shop, which was good- though there was a lesson to be learned during that interview…. despite my error I did at least practice and succeed in the art of how best to interview someone! The doodle pictured below demonstrates the correct technique (it is a very technical and detailed drawing so don’t worry if you can’t interpret it- it took me approximately 2 hours to draw).

As ever (I say as ever, this is only my second week in) I will bullet point the interesting and random occurrences of this week! First off:

►Verbs created from the word blog: blogtastic, bloggerific, blogify, blog-off


►Best meal of the week:
Harry (my housemates) spag bol. OMG. Delish!


►Unusual occurrences:
walking around for more than 3 hours in the middle of the night in Falmouth with no idea of where I was going.


►Things learnt in and outside the classroom:

that going to a Beer Festival at 6 in the evening, sober, is like walking into a brothel for women.
that Falmouth has shops that sell vinyl!!
that when an interviewee asks you to go through your questions before commencing recording but then starts fully answering the first question before you’ve officially started the interview, that you need to politely interrupt them and ask if they’d mind if you started recording, and not be a pansy like I was! Otherwise you lose all the good material +__+
that emailing businesses doesn’t get you very far and contacting people by phone is much faster and more logical.


►Best buys:
1 teddy bear hat, 1 cameo necklace and 2 bags from New Look that were not only reduced by 30% (for the bags) and 50% (for the necklace) but that I also got student discount on! AMAZING. Not to mention the 20% student discount I got on my hat. I ♥ you Peacocks!


►Incredible realisations:

that I have not bought one chocolate bar since arriving in Falmouth! But that I have made 17 chocolate orange cupcakes, one tray of chocolate brownie, one walnut and coffee cake and 5 cupcakes.
that 2 months ago my life was in no way interesting or eventful enough to write a blog (though I don’t want to flatter myself) and that if I had written a blog it would have been entirely about how rubbish working at ASDA is.. yet now I’m constantly out doing new things, learning new things and meeting new people; life changes so quickly it’s scary, yet equally incredible.

►Music most listened to:
The Hours
everything on my ‘How to Disappear Completely’ playlist, a collection of the most melancholy and sombre tunes! My music choices have been a bit depressing this week.

New music discovered:
Bonobo
Explosions in the Sky