Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What Are You Afraid Of

I used to be afraid at night. Afraid of the dark. Afraid that just beyond the point my eyesight allowed me to see that there was something lurking. Afraid that the darkness itself would somehow surround me and swallow me up...as if darkness were anything more than simply the absence of light.

I used to be afraid of tomorrow. Afraid that who I was would continually dictate who I am and that who I would be might be someone who I didn't like very much at all...as if there was no such thing as being made new.

I used to be afraid of opinions. Afraid that though words would not break my bones, they certainly would shatter my dreams...as if I started doing this for the approval of many rather than the glory of One.

I used to be afraid of failure. Afraid of losing. Afraid of falling. Afraid of being wrong, creating busts, and looking absolutely stupid because who am I to think that I could ever actually make a difference? As if those setbacks were anything more than stepping stones on the path to success.

I used to be afraid.  Used to.

But then I did a little research.  And by that, I mean I re-searched, and I re-searched, and I re-searched, over and over again, and through all of my re-searching, I kept coming up with the same exact question: What room does fear have?

What room does fear have when I cling to trust? What room does fear have when I lean on hope? What room does fear have when I search for something more, when I discover what's good, and when I stand in awe? When I run with perseverance, when I walk by faith, and when I rest in comfort. What room does fear have when I sing with praise, when I take hold of inspiration, explore the possibilities, and step into freedom? What room does fear have when I discover strength, embrace courage, remember peace, declare truth, choose joy, experience life, and conquer death? What room does fear have when I find perfection in the one place I never thought to look? In weakness, when I'm saved by the most unlikely of heroes. By grace, when I'm invited into a relationship more loving and intimate than I could ever imagine as a child of God. 

I'll ask you again: what room does fear have when I step out of the darkness, and I bask in the light? When I let the past be the past and the future has no limit. When they can talk all they want but their opinion doesn't matter! And when failure is nothing more and nothing less than the road by which I walk my path to success.

I'll ask you one last time: what room does fear have when in His Word, He tells me three hundred and sixty-five times (*depending on the translation) DO. NOT. BE. AFRAID. As if I needed to hear that every single day. And as if that's how many times I needed to hear it before I finally believed it.

What room does fear have when I make room for LOVE?

What are you afraid of?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

13 Things No One Understands About Working In Retail

1. Being rude to me won’t get you anywhere

I understand it’s frustrating when I can’t give you the discount you want or when we don’t have something in stock. But guess what? I make an hourly wage, I don’t make the decisions you’re upset about, I just have to enforce them with a smile on my face. It might feel good to release your frustration and be rude to me, but it’s not going to change anything, it’s just going to make you that guy.

2. The customer is NOT always right

I love customer service, I really do or I would not have lasted this long in retail. However there is a line between giving good customer service and letting someone get away with anything just because they are a (potential) customer. In my experience the people who say “the customer is always right” are cheap assholes who aren’t worth the turnover of letting them abuse the staff. Being a “customer” doesn’t supercede the golden rule. Would you speak to your younger brother or sister this way? If not, you have some soul-searching to do.

3. Working a retail job when all your friends work 9-5 is literally The Worst

No, sorry I can’t come over and watch TV on a week night, that’s when I work because everyone wants to run their errands when they are done with their 9-5 job so that’s when I get scheduled. This is even more true around any holiday when most people have extra time off and I have extra time on. I’m not being anti-social or trying to be difficult with making plans because it’s super fun, I have a work schedule just like you do and I’m probably not any more in control of it than you are.

4. Most of us don’t hate our jobs

Sometimes people make a face when I tell them what I am doing for work, as if they think its something I should be embarrassed about. No, it’s not my dream job or even really in the field I want to be in but in this economy not everyone is so lucky as to even be able to “pay their dues” in the right industry as soon as they start working. I have nothing to be embarrassed about, I’m employed, I can pay my bills, everything else is a luxury that I hope to get to in time.

5. Don’t ever try to rat us out to a coworker, we probably like each other more than we like you

Occasionally customers will try to game the system by complaining to me about one of my coworkers. I will appear to be on their side, of course, but it doesn’t change anything — either I can do what they want or I can’t. In either case, I’m smirking to myself because I’ve likely already been filled in on this particular customer (we gossip when it’s slow). I don’t understand why people always think I’m going to be eager to throw my friends under the bus for a stranger. You’re not winning points with me, that’s not how this works.

6. I’m not flirting with you

It’s really hard to be nice and smiley and helpful with men who come in alone and also try to convey, “I am doing my job well” and not “I am flirting with you.” It especially sucks when you work at a small store like I do and the same guys will come in over and over because they think they have something going on with me or one of my coworkers. I wish there were a better way to say “I’m just being nice” without hurting someone’s feelings and risking bad customer feedback.

7. I don’t set the prices

I don’t understand what customers hope to accomplish by complaining about the price to me. I don’t set them and I can’t change them, that much seems obvious (unless maybe, you were in a mom & pop store or a flea market or something). The only thing complaining about the prices is going to do is make your check-out experience awkward.


Clopening is the dreaded close-open shift, meaning you close the store down one day and come in to open it the next. This sucks during the regular season but during the holidays this can mean only getting a few hours of sleep before you’re expected to be bright eyed and bushy tailed all day long, again. If you ever hear one of your friends talk about how they have clopening shifts, buy them a beer, please.

9. We don’t hate people

People who work in retail love to complain about customers because SOME customers are just really, really awful people. But we know from firsthand experience that this is a small (but very loud, very annoying) minority. Most people are happy to get good customer service, find what they are looking for, and be on their way. But for the bad customers, we also know that who you are in a store is who you are in life. If you are rude to salespeople, you are a bad person. Period.

10. “In back” is not a real place

I work at a skincare store and customers must think we have a magical meadow in our teeny tiny backroom where we grow new products for them because they are always assuming we have what they need “in back.” Let me tell you the truth: our backroom is about half as big as a (small) studio apartment. It has a bathroom for staff members, a computer to send our numbers in to corporate, and enough storage for about 3 boxes worth of supplies. We keep everything out on the floor.

11. Nothing makes me angrier than an unsupervised child

I love kids, I really do, but almost every single day there’s an accident with an unsupervised child wandering around the mall. Their parent is a step or two ahead of them playing on their phone or looking around at the stores and the kid is just walking on its own, head staring at the ceiling. Then, someone comes up behind them and doesn’t see the kid (because of how small they are) and plows it down. Kids are not good at walking in busy areas. If you are walking with a kid in a busy area PLEASE for the love of god, hold their hand or something. I’ve honestly just started calling mall security and reporting them as lost kids when the parents are too distracted to notice their kid is about to get smashed.

12. You really do pick up good skills in retail

I’m naturally on the shy side, but after a year of talking to strangers all day, every day I feel like I could make good conversation with a park bench. I’m much more confident now, if only because of how well-practiced I am.

13. There are perks to “underemployment”

Unlike all my friends who are 9-5ing, I haven’t gained weight since I left school. I’m on my feet all day, not sitting at a desk. My skin also looks amazing, thanks to my employee discount. And as annoying as it is to work evenings and weekends, doing my errands during the day is super relaxing because the grocery store, the post office, the gym — everywhere I go is almost empty. Plus, it helps that the less than stellar aspects of retail are what bonds my coworkers and I all together. There’s not an office job in the world that lets people drink and be real with each other the way we get to be when we’re all together.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lovin' Life

So, I finally came to check out my blog. I haven't been on here in 616 days. Oops!  Well, this was saved as a draft and I am just going to go ahead and post it. So keep in mind, this post was due to be posted back in June of 2014.   Enjoy the read. Lol

Well, 50 days have past since my last post. There's been a few things that have happened since then, but I am only gonna cover one thing. Lol

So I have been working at Sams Club now for about 5 months. I have been nominated for "Associate of the Month" for both May And June. I didn't get it for May. But That's ok. I have a feeling why I was nominated. We were collecting donations for The Children's Miracle Network here in Dallas, Tx. My club collected a little over $4,000. I, personally, collected around $1,500. That is about 1/3 of the total collected. I feel I did well. I received a letter and a certificate from the Children' Medical Center thanking me for my hard work.  Pics of both will be posted at the end of this blog. 

As for the month of June, I feel I was nominated for my kindness, work ethic and friendliness. I am very honored and happy to say that I was named "Associate of the Month" for June. I will be getting an additional $50 added to my paycheck as well as a closer parking spot and my picture on the wall with past winners. I will post pics at the end of this blog. 

Like I said in my last blog, I feel that God is working on me and helping me become a better person. I am Blessed to have God in My Life. Most of all, I am NOT ashamed or scared to say that either.  I pray that He continues to Guide and Comfort me as my life goes on.

Well, I am gonna close this blog out with a few pics bragging about my new Honor. God Bless!  

-Adam K Buchanan

Until next time, Be Blessed and Smile. Brighten Someone's Day!

A New Hobby/Passion

Well, long time no see.  Lol. Yea!  My bad. I just realized it has been since June 4, 2014 since I posted my last blog.  Yup. Over 616 days. Shame on me. Haha

Anyway, I have found a new passion/hobby. It is Photography. I have used an iPhone 3, iPhone 5 and now an iPhone 6. I have also aquired a new camera. It is a Nikon d3100. I have had this camera since July 4, 2015. Thanks to my sister's boyfriend, he is selling it to me. He had only used it once since he purchased it. He had owned it for 3 years, (I believe). I have had it since July 4th and have used it many a times. I know for a fact I have taken over 2,000 pics so far and plan on taking more.

So, now that I have a new toy (I still consider it new to me, lol), I will try and blog more on here and add photos that I have taken. Wish me Luck as I get wound up In stuff, I forget. Haha

Well, until next time, Have A Blessed Day!