Sunday, January 11, 2015

Adventures of the First Lady: Putting Things Together

Now I have a "bikeshop butt"
The first few days at the shop were pretty low-key and overall helped me get my feet wet with my new surroundings. I'm still finding myself feeling a bit lost with my area, tho. It's like when you go to your regular cash register at work and find that the person on the shift prior moved everything around all willy-nilly. It's still getting the lay of the land, so to speak.

My first few register transactions made me feel a bit sheepish. Really. I was so fast and accurate and now I'm having to learn a new POS system which is probably like running nails on a chalkboard to some. Not my most shining moment nor did it make me feel very proficient. I did, however, without any help figure out how to change a customer's phone number. Now, it'll be a challenge to see if I can remember all the steps and figure it out again.

And the register doesn't pop out unless you print a receipt! And there isn't a spindle for the credit card receipts. My hair momentarily goes white as I try to calm myself and just say "You got this."


One of the big projects of my day on Wednesday was to help assemble some single-speed Electra cruiser bikes for a campground (who would be renting them.) No better place than to start with basic assembly I suppose. You don't have to get involved with brakes yet, but you start diving nose-deep into beginner mechanics- to which I am NOT a quick learner. Frankly, I have a hard time coming up with the hope and determination that I will be able to get basics down.

Such as:
How to tighten/loosen bolts when you are facing them head-on rather than to the side which easily indicates "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey"
Apparently, that is above me. My brain doesn't want to gently wrap around the knowledge like a soft blanket that you can snuggle into. No. It's bitch-slapping the hell out of it.
What tools to use and their assorted sizes. I grew up on a farm but apparently only got down the basics of a hammer, screwdriver, and needlenose pliers. Oh. I know what nails are, too. Learning how to use a combination wrench gave me a lot of stress. I'm sure it still will for awhile- until I figure out all the angles and such.
Holding tools properly to get maximum leverage.
Leverage in general.
Using multiple tools at once.
Not feeling confident with knowing if a bearing is too tight. Because I oh, only felt axles move like, 3 times in one day.

I also learned that I feel pathetically inadequate with my strength. Which of course, will come in time.
Nothing is more frustrating that having to come to terms that you simply do not have enough muscle power to tighten things down properly (yet).

Also, hand and finger strength isn't amazing. For a multitude of reasons- one of which repetitive motion stress can and does affect grip strength. It's not amazing. Holding the spokes of a wheel really tried my patience several times.

And how many times did I forget to put the chain back on? And pump tires?
I'm a woman who learns best with repetition and doing things in a methodical process. I remember things in a patterned way- start from the same side, and work my way around, start from the same side on the rear...process, process, process. However, it's still so new that it's throwing me for a loop.

I lost my combination wrench Wednesday. It was under a box. I mean, seriously.

Positives?
Well, there are many.
One, Travis and I haven't gotten at each other's throats yet. (HA!) Thus far we are learning to be instructor/student and doing fairly well. There are times where Travis shows me something and then realizes he could show me a way that works better for my height, etc. It's us literally learning together. Thus far, I feel we are making a good team.
Two, I am growing comfortable in my environment, slowly sure-but am getting there.
Three, I'm learning mechanical skills- perhaps only basics. We're unsure yet as to how far I'll go in that realm of the business- but it's a start.
Four, I'll get a lot stronger in my body- it comes with time...but it'll happen.
Five, I'm challenged on so many levels right now. It's exhausting but it's also fun. I have my moments where I just feel so overwhelmed and confused, but I'm coming back for more.
I pretty much built this all by myself!

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