Life of A Pricing Specialist


Everything I have ever aspired to be has begun with the letter A.
Early on I wanted to be An Astronaut.
Then An Artist.
And then A Teacher.
The astronaut gig never came to fruition.
When Danny dumped me that day on the square dance floor for what's her face with the giant knockers, we'd already forgotten the plans we'd made back in first grade, when life was simple, to take a trip to the moon and do summersaults and cartwheels in the air.
That's all right.
I am no fan of Tang.
There is also a lot of math involved.
Which is stupid.
But fortunately for my case, irrelevant.
Because it wouldn't have worked out anyway. What with the thirteen boys we were going to adopt, because neither of us liked girls. We would never have been able to afford childcare for all those kids if we were to go out for dinner and a movie, on Pluto.

Who doesn't want to be an artist?
You get to wear a smock and swirl paint around on a canvas all day.
There was nothing we did in art class that wasn't fun.
Except perhaps that papier Mache project.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the smell of the paste we'd concocted, even though I couldn't wait to wash that shit off my hands. And damn those soggy strips of newspaper that would not stop sliding off the ass of whatever that was we were making. The creature ended up drying in a not very flattering state. No amount of paint could fix him.
Not even the bucket of bright pink.
Of course, like all the girls in my day, I wanted to be, A Teacher.
Until I realized that I hated school.
And simultaneously understood that I have more than a minor fear of public speaking.
I don't even like to answer a phone.
In spite of my fears, I began college on the premise of becoming An Art Teacher.
It's a good thing I dropped that plan the semester before I had to take that speech class.
Because now I'd have to teach and pack a gun at the same time.
And even though I was a bit of a sharpshooter back in Montana, and a hell of a better aim than my sweet Sven, because the only thing he can seem to hit is a window, which is a very large target. And he wasn't even aiming for it. I could shoot cans right off fence posts with my steady hands and eagle eye.
But that gun had a long nose and a scope on the end of it.
Because it was a rifle.
And I don't like big purses.
I up and quit college.
I guess there was someone looking out for me.
It's funny how life works out for the best.
I've been on a career path ever since I did everything in my power to divert the class that would have had me stand in front of it.
Like, get married and move to Montana.
Curiously, every one of my careers have begun with the letter A.
I was A Waitress.
That went well, other than the shish-ka-bob disaster.
I was A Maid and A Baker.
But the maid and bakery story is a novel in itself.
Then I was A Cashier.
I would like to take this opportunity to point out to all of you well-meaning and honest people out there, to just keep that extra twenty, if the owner of the store, the man wearing the starched white shirt and black tie, with the ruddy complexion, is already slamming groceries into bags for said cashier, during a mad rush after the ten o'clock mass.
Shortly after that Sunday came my big break.
I got a phone call.
And just like that, I, me, Millie Noe, was A Gutterer.
I was the person who put the guts into the head rails of mini blinds. This was a fine job. The only issue I ever had was that night that I walked into that rack of sharp and freshly cut head rails with my face and knocked a bunch of them off the shelf and ended up in the nurse's station.
And a note about it went into my file.
And then there was that one they stuck in there about me being AWOL.
But I must have done something right, because thirty-five years later I am still there.
I'm no longer a Gutterer.
I gave that up and became A Packer.
This went well.
Except for that night that I packed my own set pf headphones in a carton of mini blinds that were heading to California. Well, I chased that cart all the way down to shipping. And no, I did not make standard that night. But I hardly ever did.
I switched to the day shift where I started as, A Line worker.
It was okay. It slowed time down. Time actually stood still. It seemed as though I might live forever. Right there, staring at that line of decorator rods going by. And then I stapled my middle finger in the automatic, industrial, cardboard stapler and got myself another note in my file, a trip to the doctor and a three-day vacation.
It seemed like it was time for a change.
So, I transformed myself into A Machine Operator in the roller shade department.
Bertha was my favorite machine ever. And she never sucked me up and almost killed me the way, The Slitter had, when I made the transition to A Floater in the vertical department and got that other note, about not paying attention and goofing off.
A Floater is much like being a substitute teacher, except you don't teach anything to anybody.
You fill in for every position available. So, I was able to spread my little mishaps around evenly and less noticeably.
It was a great fit.
But then I got stars in my eyes.
Once you see the stars you can't make them go away.
So, Millie Noe became A Customer Service Representative and used the office entrance.
I seriously don't think it was my fault that they moved the customer service department to Pennsylvania three years later.
But, when they did, I dug my claws in and became, A Payroll Assistant.
As far as I know everybody got paid that year and I never disclosed any top-secret information or used it for extortion.
But it wasn't for me.
I moved on up the ladder where the big bucks were.
I strapped on some high heel shoes and put on a new hat and turned into A Credit Specialist.
And then.
Out of the blue it came to me.
And I answered the call.
And then, just like that, I was, A Pricing Specialist.
That was ten plus a lot of years ago.
And you know what?
There are so many numbers in a pricing department.
And charts.
You wouldn't believe how many charts they have.
And formulas.
And directions.
And directions with formulas.
There are lots of opportunities for a gal like me to screw things up.
And my boss told me the other day that I have met my quota of mistakes.
And then I told her that I would probably be making some more.
And then she told me that I wasn't really selling myself.
And then I told her.
And then she told me.

Image 42

It seems as though it's time to move along.
This time I think I want to be, A Writer.
"What Sven?"
Excuse me. My husband is yelling something from the kitchen.
"Yeah. I know I need to bring home a check. I was just sayin'. Jeeeeeez."
If you are looking for a writer.
Give me a call.

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