Saturday, February 6, 2016


My 'special assignment' is almost complete. For the last two months or so I've been driving to all the Lowe's in the city and outlying areas. What do I do there? In short, we clean. Officially it's been called the downstocking initiative. We bring merchandise off the top shelves and fill the nooks and crannies. Twenty-odd people including myself descend on a store to do what's called zone, front, and left justify. That is retail speak for fill the shelves, present the merchandise at the front of the shelf, and neatly organize and label stuff. There is also a lot of dusting. 
I've been gifted with a fairly robust immune system. Some family will dispute that, however I've noticed that I suffer less from colds and allergies. The dust in these stores challenges that notion. Lately I've come to think of it not in the terms of allergens, but of tolerance levels. After cleaning all those stores, I've almost reached my limit. Fortunately there is only one more store to go. We also do it very early in the morning. 6 AM finds me at work getting a morning briefing and because the store is on the far side of town or in another town all together, most of the time I'm on the road anywhere between 30 minutes to an  hour.
Side note: Texans measure distance in time. In full disclosure, the store of the week can be anywhere between 20 and 40 miles away. At five AM there isn't that much traffic and some routes I manage to catch a lot of green lights.
People don't appreciate how abrasive dust is. Even with constant washing and skin  lotion, my hands feel like rough grade sand paper, and we all know how that can kill your love life. 
So this is starting to come off as a bit of whining, having a few hours sleep, having to get up before the crack of dawn and drive to places you only have heard about in passing. I'm at the point where I wonder what I did before my travelling adventures.

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