Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday

Black Friday started very early.  Shortcake needed to be at Macy's at 6am, which means she was up at 4:30am.  Because commutes. (Fascinating article on how "because" became a preposition.)  So Shortcake was up bright and early, and she arrived and got right to work, getting ice for Santa's water, and putting together the schedule for the day.  There was a lovely note from Jeanne (her fellow strawboss) on the mirror: "Good morning, Shortcake!" Santa started the season by reciting "Twas The Night Before Christmas" for the elves, which was charming, as always.

Of course, because it was the first day of the season, it did not go as smoothly as Shortcake would have liked.  She had major belt issues.  She was wearing a men's belt which was too big (that's you get for buying a belt without really trying it on first), so there was a lot of extra on the side.  So Shortcake tried to use the radio to hold the belt tail down.  But that meant the radio was on her left hip, which means she was getting stabbed by the antenna.  And the headset cord was getting in her way.  So Shortcake moved the radio to her right hip, but then the belt tail kept catching on things, and her headset felt weird.  This whole situation was frustrating because Shortcake wears a headset every day.  Every single day.  She is very experienced at wearing headsets and never had this problem before.  So.  She took matters into her own hands and put her belt on backwards.  This way the belt tail went to the right, so the radio on her right hip could hold the tail in place, and she didn't get stabbed by the radio antenna.  One crisis managed.  More to come.

Shortcake messed up three times in the first three hours.  There's this new thing in the photo software that helps Macy's track how long visits are, how many photos taken per session, etc, and the strawbosses are integral to getting correct data.  Shortcake may have forgotten to do this very important thing until 8:40am.  So at 8:40 she went around and fixed it.  And then at 9:30am she realized she was still getting it wrong.  She went around and fixed it again.  And had to tell her boss, Krampus she failed, and the first three hours of data were corrupt.  And useless.  And then Shortcake hung her head in shame.

AND THEN.  She mixed something else up, and she had to fix that.  AND THEN the register line exploded because there weren't enough register elves, so the line was back into the village, and Shortcake wasn't able to give Santa his break when he was supposed to get it.  Black Friday was not her best day.

BUT she did put together information for special events, and put all the events on the calendar.  And she had a dance party to Cee Lo Green's cover of "All I Want For Christmas Is You."  (It does not appear to be available on YouTube, so Shortcake cannot link to it.  Thwarted by technology!  Again!)

 Shortcake at the strawboss desk on Black Friday.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving!  Shortcake started the day very early in the morning.  She had volunteered to help out with the parade.  At 5am.  It was 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  And she was outside.  Which is why she looked like this:
What you can't see, is that underneath her jeans she is wearing her elf socks.  Because she forgot her long underwear at the North Pole.  Rookie mistake, Shortcake.  Rookie mistake.

After Shortcake spent three hours standing outside in the cold pointing people in the right direction and occasionally doing the hokey pokey (and witnessing a New York sunrise, which is a rare occasion since Shortcake tries NOT to be awake before the sun), she went home.  She did not watch the parade.  She slept. 

After a refreshing nap, Shortcake prepared to go to her friend's house for her very first Thanksgivukkah.  Hanukkah was so early this year that it landed on Thanksgiving.  This will not happen again for 70,000 years or something, and it is very doubtful that Shortcake will be alive to see it.  Or that there will still be Thanksgiving in 70,000 years.  Hanukkah will probably still be around.  Judaism is a very persistent religion.  The point is that while Shortcake has celebrated many an American Thanksgiving, she has never celebrated Hanukkah or watched while the candles were lit on the menorah.  She was very excited to broaden her cultural horizons.
That's Shortcake and her friend Shiraz on the second night of Hanukkah.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday before Thanksgiving

Santa was at Macy's this morning.  We had 67 elves for four hours.  We had a tad too many elves, and not enough people to occupy them, so there was a lot of singing and dancing, particularly on escalators.  All three strawbosses were in today, so Cider took care of Santa while Shortcake did some paperwork, and Jeanne worked on an Advent calendar. 

We've decided Cider is the President of the Strawbosses, Shortcake is the Secretary, and Jeanne is the Treasurer.


Shortcake had training this weekend. She was asked to help train the new elves, and she sat in on Santa training.

Elf training is mostly about getting the new elves familiar and comfortable with their positions. Crowd control, maze, village, etc. Shortcake could only be with one group. She showed them how to photo (which she hasn't done in 3 years, but it all came back), and walked them through the entire worst-case scenario line. Through women's petites (not women's coats - what, what), through parade hallways, past the switch into HR 1,  around the back HR offices, back into Parade hallway, down stroller alley, into the train and maze and finally into the village. It is quite the line. We have about 3 1/2 hours worth of line right now.
Santa training isn't about training Santa. It's more about reminding Santa of how it works at Macy's versus the North Pole, and then he tells stories from previous years. Shortcake and Cider and Jeanne (yay Team Strawboss!) are there mostly to listen and support. Santa told a story from last year about how this family came from Toronto, all the way to NYC, to see him with their tiny baby. The baby was 8 months old, but was born with its heart outside its chest, and had had nine surgeries. The family was just so excited the baby would get to stay with them.

The joy and magic Santa brings people during the holiday season is wondrous to behold. It is an honor for Shortcake to work for him.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Elf Training

It's nearing that time... You know, the time when we start to train the new elves just down from the North Pole.  Shortcake is helping to train them this year, and she started working today on the training program today.  Interesting factoid - most of the elves are female this year.  We have fourteen males, including Fa La La, Teddy Bear, Jangles and Snowball.  She also saw the changes at Santaland.  So many exciting things!

There's a big development that, hopefully, will help the line move faster.  It will make Shortcake's job more complicated, but it's a good thing.  There's a new software system for taking photos.  Express Pass will always be open, AND you can make reservations 48 hours in advance.  There will be trashcans in HR!  There will be a digital sign saying how long the wait will be - and the wait will go down the floor to china and petites instead of into women's coats.  It's all good stuff.  Shortcake is excited to get the season started.