Tired tired tired everywhere.

I have been so tired in the most recent weeks. Going back to work has taken its toll on me. My wife and kids have felt it as well. Starting school and keeping up with all the different jobs has been exhausting. I barely have time to function.

I came across a meme that help summarize how I have been feeling. I do feel that fibromyalgia could be changed to almost any chronic disease. I would be very presumptuous to think we have the corner on pain.

I am pressing forward. I am doing my best not to let this hold me back.

Any prayers would be most appreciated.

#hugapony

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Special People

I was at the convention, Anime North Texas, when I got asked to do a special job. I was put in Guest Relations. This met I got to pick up voice actors and pro cosplayers from the airport, make sure they made it to panels on time and make sure they were fed.

It was awesome.

I have always been good at customer service and this was no different. I just had to provide the best possible care for them. It is always fun for me to make people happy.

And I think I did.

I got to help pick up Cherami Leigh and her husband from the airport. It was so awesome just being able to talk to her. See how much she loves her job and seeing her “geek out” over other (in her opinion) more famous people was a adorable. She was one of the most kind actresses I have met.

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Then there was Josh Martin and Chris Rager. They both had tables next to each other as they have been friends for awhile. They would play off each other for the people coming by their table. I got to sit near them at a special guest dinner and they were both amazingly funny. Again, just being able to talk to them about their work was so cool. They were very down to earth but they were awesome people.

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(Sorry Chris, I could not get a picture with you!)

I also got to see an old friend from conventions past. Greg Ayres was someone I knew when I started doing conventions. I would do security for his dances. He is still the best DJ I know at conventions. He brought down the house. Seeing him outside his DJ was cool as well as he would talk about his new projects. Seeing him get excited about his own characters and having him giggle over how they came out the way he intended was so spectacular. He is so much fun to be around.

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QuantumDestiny cosplay was super cool. I had to rush to the airport and pick her up. This was her first convention in Texas and she was so cute to watch. Her cosplays were amazing and she showed her skills off impeccably. Her skill at both cosplay and talking about it showed in each of her panels. She was truly one for the fans. (I do not have a picture of her unfortunately).

Then there was Chuck Huber. This guy had more energy than most toddlers. He was out and about. He had a table near my wife’s and we got to watch him in action with his fans. He would go out of his way to make sure that each one was made to feel special. Seeing him gave me so many ideas of how to be if someone looks up to you.

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And then there was one other person. Someone I was not expecting.

Me…

I got to do my first panel, solo. It was called Surviving Fantastic Fandoms. I was not expecting the crowds being a Sunday morning panel. Being that as it may, I had 20 people show up to see me. It was so amazing talking about what I do at conventions and how to “act” as both a attendee and as a staffer.

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I was not expecting to touch people as I did. I had people who were at the panel come up to me afterward and thank me for the panel. It felt so weird. I was not special, in my mind. Then I had someone buy me a Fluttershy hat. I had someone come up and give to me. I did not know how to respond other than thank you.

I was so confused. I am nobody special. I was not famous. I did not do anything. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with a friend later who informed me. He told me that I must have touch someone in a special way for them to do that. He said that act was a sign I was special.

I am still in shock over everything. But, I am coming to grips with the fact that I was not “Getting a big head” (as is my biggest fear of all). I want to let everyone who I interacted with know that you are ALL special to me and that I was beyond touched by how much fun we had. I wanted to say THANK YOU ALL!!

I will hug a pony with joy over the memories!

The last day.

My computer has been out of commission the last week or so. I have finally gotten back up and running and lo and behold, I am back to share my stores with you, dear reader!

It was my last day in retail. That in and of itself was a shock and change. I was busy most of the day handing off keys and getting the new manager set up with what he needed. I ended up saying goodbye to my staff and customers.

This was all made tougher as they decided to move my Assistant Manager to another store as well.

My staff was exceptionally kind to me. I was given several gifts (all ponies!!) and I was touched beyond words. Seeing the kindness that was given to me by someone, anyone else is always a shock for me. I honestly had trouble accepting it. I couldn’t say anything to them of course as I would never want to offend or upset anyone. Its just the thought of someone giving me something that I didn’t earn ( or felt I earned).

I was just being myself.

The day grew rougher as it seemed every person I had gotten to know as a regular at my store came. I call to mind two instances that broke me.

The first was a husband and wife who were not on the young side (or as they put it, “We are as old as dirt and then some!”). They were some of the few that did not make it in but I felt I needed to call them. The wife had been going through chemo for months and is still one of the most spunky, strong, and enduring person I have had the privilege knowing. Her husband was the Ying to her Yang. They would walk in the door and I would say the same thing each time.

“Here comes trouble.”

And there never was. They brightened every day I saw them and I will always remember them.

And then came the final customer of the day, and my career there.

To provide background on this transaction I will explain. I had a mom and daughter who would come in to shop with me. They had been shopping with me since the time I had moved to be a store manager. The daughter had a few mental disabilities but it didn’t stop her from being nice to everyone. The mom worked hard to make sure they had everything. I knew what games they played and what they would want before they stepped out of the car.

When I had first met them, the daughter was upset because she had seen quite a few people come through the store already. I took the time to explain who I was and let her know that I would be taking care of her and her mom. She got to know me and my family and never forgot to ask how my girls were doing.

Now some people saw her as a burden or a bother in the store (none of whom lasted long at my store). I made sure to take a bit of extra time with them so they were completely happy when they left my store.

Now back to the last day.

I was about to call this pair of favorites as I could not leave without saying goodbye. I was in my back room explaining to the new manger who they were and the special requirements they might need. I happened to look out of the corner of my eye to my security camera and saw them enter. I took a deep breath and asked the manager to follow me as I wanted to hand them off to him as it would help the transition.

The daughter saw me and lit up (as always) cheerfully calling out my name. I greeted her warmly and answered her questions about how I was doing and how my girls were doing. I said they were well but they were busy. She asked why and I told her that it was because it was my last day and I was having to move for family reasons.

She broke down crying in the middle of my store.

The other manager had to step away in an effort not to cry as well. She asked me why, and I explained it to her as best I could. She gave me a big hug, still crying. I told her she would be OK and that I was leaving a few people she knew. She told me that it wasn’t the same. I said that I knew but that she was going to be OK. She took me to her mom, still tears in her eyes and told her. Her mom was in shock. Slowly the daughter explained it to her and the mom understood. I took that moment to introduce them to the new store manager. He did a great job introducing himself and making a personal effort to let them know he was there for him. The daughter, then was drying her tears, comment on some of the pins on his lanyard. This was a sign for me that she was now thatching herself to him.

My heart almost broke in all this. I even for a moment questioned myself leaving, still knowing I had too. I rang them out for my last transaction. I then went to back room to collect myself.

This for me was why I did customer service. This is part of who I am. I have tried to show kindness and love to everyone.

And it hurts sometimes. If done right.

And that is OK.

I soon handed over my keys, clocked out, and said the last goodbyes to who was left. I will never forget my time in retail. I honestly believe that everyone should work a holiday in it to understand just how to treat other people. Life lessons that carry over to everything else.

Here’s to my staff and customers. I will never forget you.

Hug a pony my friends.

I want to thank Shop girl at http://shopgirlanonymous.com/ for all that you have done. It has been amazing working in retail at the same time as you. Sharing stories was always a favorite for me. If you hadn’t yet check out an amazing blog that I plan on still reading.

And the wind blows.

The East wind has come. Change is here now and I get to share it with all of you. I know I have not had a chance to update in over a week, and I apologize. I plan on a few blogs to get you all up to date.

I have left my job.

I will also share were I have worked for the past 5 years. I was a training store manager for Gamestop. Now that I am gone I have decided to share that with you (so I can be honest and truthful of my feelings.

This was not an easy decision to come to as I dif not have a job lined up. I have never tried to leave a job without another lined up. The reason for this is that my wife and I have decided that I should be a stay at home dad.

Scary huh? ( I am terrified personally)

She has been working as a sales consultant for Jamberry nails. I will probably throw a plug in here for her sometime. I am standing behind her and I am trying my best to ensure that she succeeded. It is hard for me to give up my job as the primary bread winner. I have to say that because its true. It has nothing to do with her being the “wife” but my jealousy as someone who kept the money coming in. Part of this blog is to help me admit when I am wrong or what I am thinking.

And so you get to join me on this new journey.

I will be posting over the next few days about my last days in retail and my move to be closer to family. I want to thank you all for your support and your patience in my lateness of posting.

Still hugging my ponies in a new place.

Oh the joys of retail.

You know how it goes. You work retail, you help a bunch of customers, make a few people smile, stock some shelves, answer the phone.

And the someone threatens to get you fired.

So it went like this today. I was have your typical retail day. Some good customers, some rude ones, and all the ones in between.

Then I had a young man come in want to buy something that has an age requirement. I asked him if he was og age and he said no. I asked if his parent or legal guardian was here and he said no. He said he had his mother’s ID and that she said it was ok to sell him whatever he wanted.

Dont they all.

When I refused he then asked if he could put his mother on FaceTime and give permission that way and, while being a new one I hadn’t been asked, I said no. He then called his mother and told her the situation. He then said that she wanted to talk to me.

Oh joy of joys.

I answered the phone and was immediately greeted with curse words and bitching (cause that helps everything). I explained that this was something I could not override only to be told that I was being a jerk and just didn’t want to sell her son the item (and not make money evidently). She explained that she was a peace officer who had a disability and couldn’t come up there and that I should just sell her son what he wanted. I refused.

She then asked to speak to my boss, who isnt at the store, and i told her I would ask for her sake but it probably wouldn’t change anything. I called, my boss agreed with me, he reaffirmed that I would lose my job if I did do it and I picked back up the other phone.

Once again I explained that I could not do it and that I would lose my job only to be interrupted with how horrible of a person I was and that I would be fired over this injustice and she wanted my name, my boss’s name, his boss’s name and the number for my corporate offices. I, in her mind I guess, was the worst person in the world.

I gave her all the information she asked for and even managed to suggest that she go online to order the item so it could be shipped to her house but that was not good enough.

Some people just can’t be pleased.

Sigh, hug a pony friends. My head hurts. 

The eve of vacation

Twas the day before vacation

And all through the store

People were crazy

There was nothing to bore

The phone was a’ringing

People screaming aloud

Wanting their toys

All boastful and proud!

When along came a customer

Who raised such a clatter

I had ran across the store

to see what was the matter

“Why didn’t you hold it?”

He said with a cry

“I told you you idiot

I hope you just die!”

The item in question

was no where to be found

The man snorted and yelled

and stomped on the ground

He left with a huff

and left me a mess

I looked at the clock

and saw with distress

I was late for a meeting

with my boss and his too

and the big boss above

what was I to do

I raced and I sped

 My pedal to floor

I needed to help

My neighboring store

I arrived just in time

And the visit went well

Both my peers

Did really swell!

I then rushed across town

An manager await

An interview for his guy

Who was waiting his fate

In my speed did I find

A horror did appear

The belt on my van

Was no longer here!

The shreds of the belt

I could see on the road

What more could happen

What terrors abode

Through toil and tear

And the help of a friend

My van did repair

Would this day just end!?

Then did I go

To the first good news this day

The cards made for business

And look what they say!!!

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And this story does close

This horrific day ends

I am doing much better

HUG A PONY MY FRIENDS!!!

PS I will see you all at AKON!!!!!

A road too traveled

As you all have known i have been working a lot here lately. It has been very difficult for me here these last few weeks with work and with my personal life and with everything else going on and I hit rock bottom the other day.

This past weekend I managed to work myself to the point that I just literally shut down and did not want to speak or talk to or deal with anybody else. I was so tired I had to try to find ways to get my body to move and I was hurting so bad that I had my wife work on my back and she found a muscle not that one from the top of my spine to the base of my tailbone. She worked on it for about 2 hours before it just became too sore to even work on. I’ve been dealt with the soreness all the way through the rest of the weekend.

I had the opportunity to help some friends out with some plumbing issues and I was very lucky to have such close friends try and take care of me. I managed to worry them to the point that they didn’t even want me to help but I managed to go ahead and help them out and take care of their needs. They then sat me down, fed me and my family and just helped me relax and try to find ways to make me feel better. I am truly thankful to have such gracious friends.

I also found out that our apartment complex is trying to kick us out of our apartment about 4 months before our lease is up.  Between this and my pain and stress has caused my wife to have an extremely difficult time taking care of everything.

The whole icing on the cake has been my daughters who have really just been very very difficult to work with. With me being stressed out and not being able to take some extra time to deal with them has released cause them stress and just made our whole lives difficult. I love my daughters very very much but they always seem to find that one last nerve to dance on to just drive me up a wall.

I will say that I am doing better now I appreciate everyone has helped me out and I hope to have more positive news later this week as I have a few things going on in the background. I do have one really cool announcement to announce here soon that I’m hopefully going to be able to get everybody excited about.

Hug a pony my friends.

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Our 1 on 1 podcast!

So, I managed something really cool this past week. I have decided to venture further into this realm of blogging and taking a few awesome steps in a big way. The first one was me taking the initiative and doing something professional in this. I had thought of a few things that would throw me in the mix but it really came down to my wife and a great opportunity that fell into my lap.

My wife is part of a networking group that helps small business. She is part of a direct sales company and was reaching out to expand her business. One of the gentleman in the group, Scott, runs an online podcast about people’s stories, businesses, and more. My wife suggested that I speak to him to further my career.

We talked about it and I agreed to do this and I did not know what to speak about to promote myself professionally. I do have lots of skills and talents and I wasn’t sure which to speak upon. My dear wife then suggested that Ispeak on my blog.

Me?

Talk about my blog?

In a professional format?

Oh my.

So I met with Scott and he was fantastic. He had an awesome setup and his demeanor was bar none.

And so without further ado, me.

In D flat minor.

Daniel Permenter, My Stuffed Little Therapy

Workday

I took this weekend off because of a few personal things (some of which I will get to talk about) but all in all I had a great weekend. First time in a while.

One of the cooler things about my job is that I am a training store manager. This means I get to let my store and go help other people. I also get recognized for going to special events and meetings. I got chosen to go to the Diversity Leadership meeting, formerly our Women’s leadership meeting (don’t know WHY they would send my pony loving self to this meeting…..oh wait).

Still it was a good meeting with good information that I get to take back to peers and all that.

Personally, I was excited for another reason as well.

So one of the first activities the group (about 40-50 people) did was your introduction and something special about yourself. I, personally, knew exactly what I wanted to say. #Ponies4life

But I wasn’t alone.

It got halfway around the room and a wonderful young lady stood and said her introduction and told everyone “I can quote anything from MLP!”

I froze.

My group (who know me so well) all turn and point to me with cheer on their faces and wide smiles as they know how much of a fan I am. I just sat there with a big grin on my face.

When it came to my turn, I was a bit nervous. While I have been outspoken about my Bronyism with my peers and coworkers, this was a meeting at my corporate offices. Could I brave the waters that I would be treading? I was of two minds about saying something when they first asked what made us special.

But a certain fellow manager spoke out and had given me courage.

I proudly stood up and let everyone know that I had an online blog (with a wonderful readership [Thank you!!]) and that I too was a huge fan and supporter of all things Pony.

I want to say thank you to this fellow PonyGal who gave me the strength to ensure that I would stand up. You keep rocking it. It fills me with joy to know you are out there.

Hug a pony my friends.