Above is a picture of me lying in a bed at a store called "Stupid Prices." I am sure the shoppers looking at me kept their fingers crossed hoping that I didn't come with the bed. That location in the store was where we placed our "hot" sales merchandise. Wow, can you imagine being a kid and your parents bring home a new pirates bed for you to sleep in? Does life get any better than this for all of the little Billy's of this world?
Stupid Prices was a sales outlet for (mostly) Costco merchandise that had been returned to Costco, for whatever reason, by a Costco customer. There was merchandise provided by other retailers too, but mostly it was Costco merchandise and sing-along-junk. Anything you could find at a Costco store could be found in this outlet too at an incredible reduced price. Whatever sale price Stupid Prices received for this item, Costco would be passed on a percent of that sale. It was here that made me believe that Samsung TVs were the most reliable ones on the market because those TVs very seldom ended up on our sales floor.
I had never heard of this store until my brother Jack called me while I lived in Columbia, Missouri, back in June of 2007, after retiring from the crazy grocery business a year earlier. I had moved there with my wife (at the time) when she was accepted by the University of Missouri to attend their PHD program through a transfer from the University of Pacific, which is located in Stockton, CA. I wasn't doing anything in Missouri other than trying to maneuver my life around retirement and regularly running on the Katy Trail while my wife Kathy went to school studying to get her PHD in writing/communications.
Unfortunately for her, there were some obstacles in her way that made it uncomfortable for her to continue at the University of Missouri, so she humbly went back to the UOP in Stockton to finish up her dissertation and get her degree. When she went back to CA, that left me alone to take care of our two furry friends (cats) and the home we had just purchased a year earlier.
So there I was daily pondering the question "Why was I living in the State of Missouri?" I had to believe everybody else living in Missouri were also pondering that same question. I really couldn't understand why anybody would want to live in this state other than the Skinheads, whom I would occasionally see taking to the streets, in Columbia, to do a little hard-thumping Midwest protesting over paranoia/delusional stuff which provided the local news media controversial content for its 5-oclock-news. While that statement is an exaggeration, I did see one demostration by the "Skinheads" while living there that really took me by surprise. However, overall, I did meet some very nice people while living in Missouri for one year.
I will share a story about the one and only City of Columbia job I applied for while living there in which I didn't get. It was an office clerical position that I saw listed on the City's website. Note: Earlier in my life, I had been registered with the State of Idaho as a clerk typist. I had taken the State tests, passed them and was put on a hiring list. I never got one call for a job offer at the time and to this day I have blamed the rejection on my ugly legs. I kind of rationalized it that during the '70s most clerk typists were female and so I concluded that nobody wanted to hire an unattractive guy, with stockingless ugly and hairy legs with no noticeable breasts, to do their clerical work...and so I kind of understood. Click here to see my ugly hairy legs.
So here in Columbia, in a new era of equality, the playing field is now level for unattractive guys with stockingless, ugly hairy legs with no noticeable breasts and this group of people are now being ushered into office buildings all over the world to do the typing. Not knowing what to expect in the exam that came with applying for this job, I am soon confronted with a test that includes typing, math, grammar, punctuation, spelling, volcabuary and reasoning. I wished the test would have included doing oil changes on my car and cleaning bathrooms sinks because these two skills of mine could have significantly raised my total score. Click here to see my test results.
In high school I could pound out a speed of 65+ words a minute on a Royal and /or Underwood manual typewriter. I could actually type faster on a manual typewriter than an electric typewriter and I had great accuracy. I gave my best to the City of Columbia while typing 57 wpm. However, because I made a couple of typing mistakes it took my overall score down to 55 wpm, thus ending up with a 97% accuracy. They noted a 97% accuracy but when doing the math it was really only 96.49%. I believe the female employee administering the exam was rooting for me to get the job and so she bumped my accuracy rating up to 97%. LOL. I really bombed out on the spelling and grammar part of the exam because I spent way too much time on each question and there was no way for me to add to the total minutes allotted for each test...I am also efficient with giving excuses.
Note: I hadn't taken a test like this in nearly 30+ years. After a total test grading score of 82.5, I was informed that I would now be interviewed for this job position with those individuals who do the hiring for the City.
This is where it gets good: I show up for the interview and meet with a few City officials who sit me down to ask me questions. After answering a few of their questions, it suddenly dawned on me that their only concern with hiring me was whether or not I was capable of keeping a secret. In other words, could I keep from blabbing my mouth about city issues and could they trust me to be loyal to the city...so this is what I got out of their questioning. I then honestly told them about my website about my dad @ raleysexposed...com and that they were welcomed to visit my site to determine for themselves if I would be a blabbermouth, whether or not I could keep a secret and could I be loyal to the City...if that was their big concern.
They thanked me for showing up for the interview, told me that there was one other candidate to be interviewed for the job and they would contact me if I were to be hired for the position. I never heard back from them. I assumed they visited my website, gasped for air while quietly telling each other "We almost hired that guy. He could have destroyed our entire City." However, while looking back at the time period in my life, there may been some Russian interference going on with the hiring process in me not getting the job.
However, the City of Columba did impress me because it clearly appeared to me they didn't care about my stockingless ugly hairy legs or my lack of noticeable breasts and I walked away from that City building feeling pretty confident that there was actually hope for humanity. However, I really didn't want any job at this time and I was glad that they didn't hire me. Plus I still hadn't gotten over the two typing errors I made on their exam which, I must say, kept me from having a good night's sleep for nearly a month.
Now back to Stupid Prices...Then one morning I received a call from my bother Jack whom I hadn't talk to in a while, so it was a nice surprise to hear his voice at the other end of the phone.
After shooting the breeze, he told me he had just been hired to be a store manager for an up-and-coming firm called Stupid Prices, located in Granite Bay, CA. Although the street address is really located in Roseville. At the time, Stupid Prices stores had locations in the State of Washington and in California. Jack then stated to me that he had talked to the General Manager (Kevin) about hiring me to be his assistant manager. In fact, he told me that he was emphatic with Kevin about me being his assistant manager.
Well, realizing my dire situation there in Missouri, I told Jack that Kathy had left Columbia to finish up her education at the UOP in Stockton. and that reality left me all alone living in a house purchased a year earlier and I would indeed have to sell it to come back to CA and work for him as his assistant manager. After Jack realized I had taken his bait, he immediately told me that he would inform Kevin I would accept the position and I should wait to receive a call from Kevin in the near future to receive additional information and confirm the details.
A day or so later, I get a call from Kevin, the general manager for Stupid Prices, California division. Now try to understand, I am 2000 miles away from where he is calling. He is giving me a job interview over the phone. In less than 10 minutes he has hired me to be his assistant manager at the store Jack will be the manager, in Granite Bay, CA. I guess you can say my last full-time job was obtained over the phone 2000 miles away from the interviewer...a man who knew nothing about me and didn't know anything about my animated website called raleysexposed.