Working on it!

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Living off grid, you might ask, what I do for a living? Actually I have the best job in the entire world, IMHO… I am a merchandiser for a large nationwide company, I thoroughly enjoy my job and I still have time to do the other things I want to do. We typically slow down during the holidays though and it makes me wish for more hours during the slow time.

Be careful what you wish for… the company I work for (Driveline), we do merchandising, mainly in Dollar General stores, Walmart, and a plethora of other stores, it’s a great company to work for. I have been with them for 4 years now, and did merchandising for 10 years for another company when I lived in the DFW area of Texas. Let’s just say I enjoy merchandising.

During the holidays, from about Thanksgiving until after the first of the year, our business slows down as the retail stores ramp up for their biggest time of the year. The stores do not want us working and blocking the aisles during their peak time. It’s nice to work in retail and have less work during the holidays, but it makes for tiny paychecks. Thus the wishing for more hours.

Now our reset season has started in earnest, and it’s busier than ever for all of us. So I go from working just a few hours each week to working 12+ hours a day, not counting the drive time getting there and back. For me it’s a minimum of 40 miles to my nearest store, and a good 100 miles to my 2 farthest stores. Mind you, I am NOT complaining, I am very happy to have the work, I do wish they could spread it out a little more, but that’s just the way it is.

So what does a merchandiser do you ask? Well let me tell you, I go in to the stores with a printed list of jobs, mostly having to do with moving products around. Sometimes it’s just a few products, such as the store getting in a new product and getting rid of an old product line. When you walk into one of these stores, you will notice (or maybe not) there is a place for everything, so we remove the old-going away items and place the new items. Sometimes it’s a full reset, which means everything comes off of a particular section, shelves may move, cleaning happens, new tags go up and the product is placed back in their new configuration.

It’s a good job and I love doing it. I enjoy getting to set my own hours, it’s almost like being self employed, in that I have to be able to manage my own time, though with all the extra work right now, I am working a lot, but it’s worth it. Even though this is a large company, it has a small company feel because you are often working on your own, not with other people, in fact for me, I rarely get to see another Driveline employee for most of the year. Another nice perk is besides not working a lot during the holidays is they don’t want us working on the weekend either, that is unheard of in retail!

I would suggest that this might be a good job to have, if you live in a rural area (like I do) chances are they need some one to work the Dollar General store and/or Walmart in your area, if you live in a bigger town, they are most likely looking for people to help with the work that is going on right now. You do need to have reliable transportation and you need to be in fairly decent physical shape, you don’t have to be superhuman though 🙂 We have many older gray haired peeps working for us. Personally I consider the physical parts of the job to be a good thing, it helps keep me healthy, that’s what I keep telling myself as I squat for the umpteenth time or climb up and down a ladder to get product from the top shelf…

If you live in the USA and are interested, go here to check out the company.

Women off grid


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