Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let's Do the Numbers

So the company stock is down to around $4 after being down almost 17% in October. Just found out that 95% of the employees in high-end apparel have already taken cuts in their base pay and gone down to a four-day workweek. So what's next? Will there be lay-offs before the holidays? There is a noticeable lack of customer traffic today, and only the employee voices are echoing in the vast space above cosmetics. There is the smell of burnt nerves.

Speaking of, SoCal is on fire again. Everywhere. Lots of people have lost their homes a week and a half before Thanksgiving. LA County is in a state of emergency. And here I am, selling lipstick. Or trying to.

I was reminded today of an evening almost a year ago, when I went to see a revival of "Funny Girl" with my friend CN. They actually had an intermission and as I went to the bathroom I felt like everyone was looking at me. And they were. I thought it was because I looked fabulous, but in fact it was because I had mistaken my lip balm for a BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK and smeared it all over my lip area. I looked like a clown/Baby Jane/cannibal. Thanks for bringing back that little nugget of awesome, CN.

Featured Product I Want To Sell/Buy: La Prarie's The Art of the Bath! Four small candles, Unscented bath gel, unscented bath oil, and 8 different natural oils you can add and combine to make your perfect scent. Flavors include eucalyptus, oriental spices, grapefruit, lavender, and cassis. It also comes with a little mixing bowl! Adorable! All this for just $500.

I have an arch nemesis at work, who we'll call Krazy. It's a little difficult to write about, here on the register as she is everywhere all at once, all the time. Today's instance of absolute Krazy: she approached a customer at Bobbi Brown, who was looking for an eyeshadow. When she noticed a couple girls handling the jar of La Creme at Cle de Peau she ditched the Bobbi customer and went to help the other girls because she knew it would be a bigger sale. Krazy has no concept of what makes good customer service. The best part is she couldn't answer any specific questions about La Creme. She just kept repeating "It's the best." What an asshole.

On a happier note: I have a hot date with EG and her husband at The Formosa Cafe tonight. Hopefully my date won't be too tired to have fun.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Am Surrounded by Freaks

Well things are a little scary right now. Sales are down. Executives are starting to panic. And shit rolls down hill. So everyone is feeling the financial frustration, but the commissioned associates are really losing it. My friend EG claims our co-worker TP is on diet pills due to evidence of mood swings but I truly believe we're all going a little nuts with sales down like 30%. We don't need chemicals to be this effing bitchy. Like this shark tank needed to be starved. This place was full of bitter jaded old hags BEFORE we started losing money! Step on someone's toes in this environment and prepare to get CUT!

What I wish I had today/sold today: Jo Malone Candle Trousseau. Holy Shit! Ten fantastic candles, a wick clipper, a snuffer-outer, all in a huge leather covered box. It practically sings Jingle Bells to you in the style of Bing Crosby. It's a dream and it smells like heaven. It's $595 dollars and everyone should have one. Seriously. Call me and order-I could use the money.

EG, of diet-pill-rumor fame, was kind enough to make little bookmarks for my novel last night while we were standing around doing nothing, yet while I wasn't watching. She's like a ninja. So now Iris Johansen's "Quicksand" is filled with these little slips of paper saying things like "Stop reading this crap..." and "ewww this book is baaad..." etc. Thanks, EG. You are an ass-face.

Speaking of "Quicksand"- Of course it's terrible but it's particularly infuriating because I think there are like three books in the series before this one. I hate it when I do that. Now I'm stuck reading it and generally pissed off that I ruined the ending of the other two by skipping ahead. That's two more trash novels that are dead to me. What a jip.

Counter Craziness: F was wandering around Beverly Hills at lunch yesterday, a man approached her, took her to Herve Leger, and bought her two dresses totaling $2200. She has a date with him and his black Amex on Sat. I hope it works out, but mostly I hope the level of drama stays at this cinematic level. He's only 16 years older than her. Stay tuned....

Hey guess what? It's the middle of effing November and it was 98 degrees today. I am sick of this shit. I'm not asking for snow, I'm asking for some mid-50's action. I have coats and boots I would like to wear. I don't want to sweat if I use more than a sheet on the bed. Pull it together, Mother Nature.

Luckily, yesterday was also a huge earthquake drill. EG and I participated by buying flashlights and discussing meeting places with our husbands should the big one strike at work. Just FYI: We're all meeting at Target and then we can feast on all my old Nutri-System food that requires no refrigeration. You scoff now, but when you're hungry and the power hasn't been restored in 3 weeks, don't come crying to me. Just kidding! Leave me a note in the courtyard near Formosa Cafe if you get desperate and I may have some instant Sloppy Joe for you. On that note...see you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Whine?

I have been at work for two hours (now several more:no change) and have sold nothing.

I called AT&T AGAIN about the fact that there is still something on my credit report from 2004 even though I have been working to find out what the hell it is since June. And "We don't know, we can't find any delinquent bill," is not a good enough response unless you plan to call Experian and tell them to take it off and call the collection agency and tell them to stop calling me 47857 times a day. Someone needs to take responsibility and it won't be me. I need a good (read: free) lawyer.

Also, on the phone tip: Why in the world can I not speak on my cellular telephone without the person I'm talking to asking if there is construction in the background? I need a new phone. That is my next phone call. If they can hear me.

Parabens. They are in soooooo many products and if I had my way I would tell any clients who asked about them to bite me. BUT when doctors excise tumors in breast cancer patients they find a whole mess of them. I guess our body really can't process these chemicals. They basically keep the product from rotting and add a sexy slickness to the texture. So as a favor to you, my dear readers, here are some products in my bay that are paraben-free:

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Crème
Laura Mercier Flawless cleansing line
Laura Mercier Mineral Face Powder/shadow/blushes
Shiseido Benefiance NutriPerfect Day Cream
Shiseido Bio-Performance Intensive Skin Corrective Program
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream
Bobbi Brown Eye Make-Up Removers (both)
Bobbi Brown Overnight Cream
Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Balm
Bobbi Brown Eye Balm
Cle de Peau: all moisturizers except La Crème
La Mer: Crème, Gel, Lotion, Lifting Face Serum, Concentrate, Eye Concentrate

I am sure that there are more (I only looked at skincare, really), even in my little area here, but these are the ones I found. Honestly, this is twice what I thought I would find. And most of them contain fragrance. Which I despise, but it won't kill you at least.

One of my dearest gays is visiting this week and I need to take him somewhere fab for dinner. Village Idiot? Delancy? Cafe des Artistes? I must decide. Hopefully somewhere near a bar where SH, my favorite drug dealer, and MkBB, my favorite edgy librarian can meet up with us.

For those of you on Library Card Watch: no, I still haven't gotten one.

I think I'm going to buy a book at Rite-Aid momentarily. It will be trashy. And a waste of trees. And I will love it. And when I do finally get that library card, I will donate it to the cause. I promise.

Question: If co-worker/outside work friend, EG is practically a doctor because she read the You: The Owners Manual, why was she so offended when I said I was practically Mexican because I had two meals in a row from Mexican restaurants?

Also: My awesome therapist had a book on her counter entitled "Housekeeping Spanish: How to communicate with your Spanish-speaking Housekeeper." I swear to God. She did. I wanted to borrow but I was too shy to ask. Especially after I had told her all about my Liza Minelli dream.

Thanks for the warm welcome to the blogosphere.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let's Try this Again

Ok. Putting up my first post was quite a bit more challenging than I thought it would be. Turns out I can't successfully email myself from my work email address. So the whole thought of me typing away while standing at the computer/ register and using my time to some usefulness was caput for a few days. But now, I think I have figured out a way to be at work and blog at the same time. Everyone can heave a sigh of relief. All two of you who read this.

So my original post should have been dated Thursday. And SOOOO much has happened since. I finished the new Michael Connelly, bringing back our favorite Lincoln Lawyer. It was great with a fabulous twist at the end. So that was Saturday. I also saw The Happening (worst movie, possibly ever), Speed Racer (so very delightful!), and Made of Honor (THE HORROR THE HORROR, but I do have a thing for Michelle Monahan). So that's what calling in sick for two days gets me, entertainment-wise.

New and exciting make-up thingy to talk about! I am a huge fan of Frederic Fekkai's hair care. The two things I am obsessed with are the Ironless Straightening Balm (it really cuts down on hair-dryer time) and Set and Spray (which make my vintage curls last all day). My friend, the rep for Fekkai, needs to hand these items over PRONTO. I also just got the new Ageless Hair Mask. Will try this weekend.

Sales are still slow. Half of my sales were knocked out with returns on Sunday.

Acting theory for the week: My lesson this week was all about expectations. When I read a scene that I will perform I get this image in my head, like a movie almost of what I want the scene to look like. That image can sometimes be detrimental to finding the scene organically. In my Shining City scene I really wanted to have an emotional response at certain moments, and those expectations made me force the scene. My emotional responses are inconsistent at best, but I can assure you they won't happen at all if I demand they happen at a certain time or look a certain way. So yes, do the homework, but don't let my expectations shape the scene, listen and let the scene create the response. In the end, letting go of the image I see is the only way to get to it.

I really like expensive wine. And I really don't want to know anything about it. I like my server to choose for me. It's the service I'm after when it comes to booze. Lou's on Vine is a spectacular little wine bar that I had completely forgotten about until HB, scene-partner extraordinaire, took me again last night. Great service and two faboo whites whose names I don't know.

Wish me luck. I am trying to read Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver again. That'll last. Maybe tomorrow I'll finally get a library card and check out some books.

Blogging Boredom

It's 2008 and we just voted Barack Obama into office in an historic, and frankly, exciting election. As a fan of disasters on CNN and MSNBC, this presidential race beat the hell out of almost all the hurricanes. But we are also mixed up in the worst financial crisis ever. The DOW has fallen another 450 points today and talk about DRAMA. I can't get enough.

But the bottom line is this. I work at high-end retail establishment, on flat commission, in cosmetics. Oh, yeah, in Beverly Hills. And I'm not making any money anymore. So this economic crisis is bad. The industry of retail cosmetics is supposedly the last department to feel the crunch, because everyone needs a lipstick or to feel better when they can't buy the $4500 purse. But the bad economy was dropped off at the valet stand and entered cosmetics at the end of August. Will anything ever be the same?

Let me explain the pay structure here. I get 9% of everything I sell. I have a number of hourly make-up artists/skincare specialists who are paid by the hour and assigned to a particular vendor. I work for just the retailer, which means I can sell anything. And basically I depend on those artists to hand me sales and they depend on me to hand them clients. It's never that simple, but in a perfect world the thirteen artists and the four sales associates (me being one), work together.

Well, I'm bored.

We have no customers and we stand around and talk about the same things over and over. I thought I would log some of these thoughts during this slow, painful, hungry time. Theoretically it will shed some light on the future of our economy and my plight in the dead center of middle class. More likely I will talk about eye shadow. And my attempts to loose weight, find a different job, and my retarded acting career.

Today's thoughts:

Michael Crichton died. I am way more upset than I should be about this.

Why didn't anybody invite me to the No on Prop 8 protest last night? Where are my gays when we have work to do? Oh that's right, MY gays are drinking wine in NYC or Sweden, being fabulous. Oh well, who wanted to do that much walking anyway?

African Violet eye shadow from Laura Mercier is really beautiful. I never used to wear purple eye shadow, thinking it decidedly Lancôme, but had a change of heart sometime last year. I have green eyes and my friend I.C. says I am required by law to exhaust all plum options. And not to wear my favorite greens. And I listened. He cares a lot about eye shadow.

There is a girl at work who is convinced that Obama is going to get assassinated because there won't be enough security for him. Listen, if YOU are concerned, I am sure the Secret Service might be aware of the fact that he's black-ish and some people are going to feel assassinate-y.

There is nothing sweeter than a clean house. Nothing except a housekeeper to clean it for you. Thank you for making my mind feel clearer, Maria. And sorry I thought you were saying pencil instead of Pine-Sol. I am an asshole.

Why does everything I like cost $75 dollars? Therapy, getting my roots done, a good dinner.....all $75 dollars. All the drugs for my cat? $75.

Which brings me to Emma, my fifteen year old cat. I found out today that she will be on pills TWICE A DAY for the rest of her life. I thought we could whittle it down to once a day, but I guess the torture will continue. They have to be force fed, which involves two people, because she insists on eating around them if you put them in food. Jerk-face Emma. But hey, thanks for not dying last week. It makes me feel like you care.

I am really hungry for lunch. I think I'm going to get sushi even though it costs money. I am reading Nelson Demille's The Gate House, and I'm highly disappointed, but I can't stop. So sushi and DeMille.