No, I Don’t Care About Your Corporate Visit

Not any more than you care about my safety anyway.

One of the benefits of having a low traffic blog. I’m positive no one at work knows this blog exists, let alone reads it. Even if they do, I don’t hold a weapon to anyone’s head and force them to read it.

No, I don’t care about your corporate visit. You don’t pay me enough to care.

Your corporate sucks. When have they done anything to make life easier for the employees? Don’t answer that.

Actually, do answer that. I’ll wait.

Why is a part-time person scheduled for 30 hours to begin with? Isn’t there a reason it’s called part-time? Forgive me, but last I remember, full-time was a big dud for me. Supposedly, I was too awful to remain in that position part-time either. I can’t have been that terrible if I’m still thrown on the floor for your corporate visits.

“We need you.” No, you don’t. If one employee leaving thirty minutes early makes that much of a difference in preparation for your silly visit, you’re already doomed. When are you not in need? As much as I hate call outs, I don’t blame them one bit. I’d call out too if I didn’t need the money.

You pay me to stand behind a counter, ring people, and take money. And if my knowledge is correct, new cashiers make the same wage I do now, whereas I started out lower. I guess that’s one good thing to come out of my failed promotion. Had I never asked, my wage would’ve never gone up. How fair. I hope I don’t need to add a sarcasm tag to that.

“Look at all the people you’ve served over the years.” So, what? Anyone with a pulse and lack of mobility problems can be a cashier. Why is this called “serving”? This is not an all-important job. This is not the military. It’s supporting people’s spending habits. Nothing more.

You always need help. You never have enough. Why, I don’t know and at this point, I’m too exasperated to care about finding out.

I remember when I accepted every call-in, when I routinely gave up my plans to work extra, when I once had 43 hours in a week from being called in, when I worked every day of a week and more. And I will never do it again. Partially due to losing nearly $100 to taxes (F*** the government! And no, I’m not benefiting, considering I had to go into debt to get higher education), and partially because it took me way too long to figure that in the end, being that kind of employee means nothing. All I get in return is the loss of my sanity, time, and desire to stay alive. Working fewer hours, I still get that, so I may as well keep one of the three that I can.

“Don’t you ever want to be in a manager’s position?” So, I can stress out even more, physically age faster, and panic over corporate visits? So, I can tell employees time and again how much I have to go through and make them question why I took the job if it’s so miserable (I’ve never met a manager who seemed happy with their position). So I can assert how much more tired I am, how much more I have to deal with, how much worse my day is going? So I can lecture them on all the hell a manager deals with and how they don’t make it easier because they have their own problems?

Not even in my nightmares.

No, I don’t care about your corporate visit. You can’t justify any reason I should. I’m tired, I’m drained, and I have long run out of patience.

You’re on your own. Like me, and everyone else.

I Repeat: Never Try New Things

Previous post

After I failed at a full-time position a year ago, I was permitted to remain on the floor part-time. Now, I can’t even do that.

I learned recently my position was reverted to cashier entirely because I was terrible on the floor, even part-time. It’s worth mentioning I wasn’t told this until I questioned why my position was reverted back without my knowledge. While I’m more upset about being lied to for more than a year, and that they had no intention of telling me, the fact I’m incapable of nothing beyond the easiest job in retail is not helping my self-worth.

Yeah, yeah, work’s not supposed to be fun in the first place. I get that. But does it have to crush my soul too? I already I can’t do anything besides retail since retail is all I know. Now, I know I can’t do retail either. I’m going to be that person whose only work experience is decades spent as a cashier. And I know there are people who willingly do that, but I do not share the same goal.

My boss did ask if I want my position to be changed again, but warned me I won’t get as many hours (What hours?? Their payroll is in the toilet!). I declined. What’s the point of holding a position I’m considered awful in? But I’m not enthusiastic about literally being stuck in one spot for 8+ hours either. Not that I was ever in a rush to clock in, but let’s just say being contained in a small space for several hours lowers the priority.

I’m really wondering why there are even interviews for cashier positions. Yank a warm body off the street and throw them on the register. I imagine that would save every workplace ever a lot of time. The only requirements are the ability to read English and move your fingertips in whichever way you want them. Not kidding. Why the heck my boss over-exaggerates the so-called “importance” of this job is beyond me. I ought to just ask my boyfriend if I can let his niece do it. She gets excited about everything. She’ll learn in a day and no one will know the difference.

No, I’m not being sarcastic. This is very much how I feel about the “job” of a cashier. Yes, I know some people enjoy it, but I don’t, and I very much resent being “good” at it. I’m good at a job that can easily be replicated by someone a third of my age. And this job is supposed to matter in retail? I have an easier time believing there really is a tooth fairy.

If a small child has the capability to take your job, and the only reason they can’t is due to child labor laws, it’s useless. And while I’m not looking for my self-worth in a store, of all places, I can admit my job is useless within its industry. As much as I appreciate attempts not to hurt my feelings, lying (about my job performance) and over-blowing a job’s value is worse. Just tell me immediately so I can get over it.

I’m a cashier. I’m a dime a dozen. And there is nothing valuable about that, in or out of retail.

Though, Princess Luna is beautiful, even when she’s sad. Cheer up, Luna. Your job is more valuable than mine.

The Point of No Return – Part 2

Previous related post.

I took the final for my second-to-last class yesterday. I struggled a lot with this class and didn’t do well, but in the end, I did pass. Shockingly, I could’ve failed the final and still passed, though I’m glad I didn’t. Today is the start of the last of my school’s program. What then?

According to the program, internship follows the end of classes. To say I’m anxious would be an understatement.

Yes, I’m happy school is almost over, especially considering all of the trouble I had to go through to reach the end. I’m still disappointed I couldn’t stay with the first class and graduate on December 4th of last year, but I suppose it doesn’t matter now. At the same time, the only work experience I have is in retail and I truly fear I can’t do anything else.

Retail is difficult in that it’s tedious, repetitive, and draining, the latter especially if you’re an introvert. However, the jobs themselves – at least, my positions – are relatively easy. As a cashier, I stand in one spot, push buttons on a computer, scan barcodes, take money, and put the stuff in bags. The end. As a floor associate, the job description is less “fancy” than that: clean the floor and racks, and put merchandise back. You could teach a child how to do these jobs. Yet, even retail can prove to have its challenge because when I had full-time position for a few months, I ultimately failed because the workload crushed me like a 1,000-pound weight. And I wouldn’t try to get into the hell above that. I’ve yet to meet a manager who likes their job (“Don’t do it! It’s a trap!”), including my own. Two of my managers felt the need to lecture me about all the insanity and stress managers puts up with, and I get the point! Of course, that brings into question why they chose it. One of those two implied he doesn’t think lower employees/associates have the right to feel stressed because of what managers deal with. That’s another reason to stay away from management. I prefer not to look down on people. But I digress.

What I’m trying to say is if I can’t keep with a retail job unless it’s part-time, how on Earth could I do anything else? I’ve heard of people getting very close to graduation, only to quit weeks or days before, and I think I’m beginning to understand why. Taking classes on the subject is not the same as doing the real job. Even interviews are different. As far as I can tell, I ultimately got hired at the stores I worked at because I faked being cute, cheerful, and my awkwardness didn’t scare anyone off. That doesn’t work in interviews for what I’m studying, and having trouble talking will likely mean I bomb over a dozen interviews, if I get any at all. And yes, I do practice. Again, practice and the real thing aren’t the same.

Of course, all of this anxiety is irrelevant if I fail this final class, so maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. I should pass before I talk anymore.

Forty Percent Off Your Life

I had a rather harrowing experience this past Friday, which was Black Friday, to be specific.

Black Friday is always hellish when it comes to retail. Since I was working in a mall, I expected much more traffic. It was a bit more stressful than at my previous job, where there were never Black Friday sales to begin with, but I was managing to deal with it.

What I did not expect was to almost lose my life that night.

There was a shooting at the mall in a store on the lower level. A huge crowd suddenly stampeded into our store in a panic, and all of my co-workers ran toward the back. I don’t recall if I heard gunshots or not. I assume the immense fear and anxiety is to blame for the unclear memory. But I will never forget hiding in our backroom, scared for my life, wondering if we’ll get out, wondering if we’ll get home.

We hid for around twenty to thirty minutes. Some of my braver co-workers peeked outside the door every so often. The store’s shutters were down, so no one could enter. Eventually, police came and led us to one of the mall’s emergency exits, which was luckily right across from our store. We all ran. I got as far away from the mall as I could and call a relative to pick me up.

Minus the one person who was shot, no one in the mall was hurt and the mall was shut down for the night. The victim wasn’t critically injured, so he/she will hopefully have a speedy recovery.

It goes without saying I was shaken up, as were a lot of my co-workers, especially those of us who hadn’t worked in in the mall prior to this holiday season. One of my co-workers who’d been there for a few years tried to comfort me by saying that mall has a shooting every year (a few minutes of Google searching proved her correct). I have no idea how that’s supposed to be comforting. The mall was up and running the next day like normal, but most of the mall’s workers did not come in the next day. Neither did I. Some people can handle, but some can’t, and I don’t believe violence, and the risk of losing your life, should be part of a retail job, of all things. We didn’t sign up for that. Personally, if I’d known that mall has a shooting annually, I would never have applied. I’ve done active shooter drills at school, and I was still in no way prepared for that.

The bigger question to me, however, is why any sale is worth violence, let alone the loss of someone’s life. I’ve read about Black Friday violence. I know about the crazy crowds that trample each other, that fight to get what’s on sale before it runs with no regard for who they hurt. I know it’s been going on for decades now, but that only makes it worse. The USA is supposed to be the greatest country, correct? How are we the greatest when all it takes to reduce us to the behavior of savage animals is a discount for things we most likely don’t need? Why are workers expected to deal with the resulting violence, that could potentially spell the end of someone’s life in some cases, such as mine recently? Why is this just accepted by us?

I do not care how preachy I sound when I say this: No sale is worth someone’s well-being! No sale is worth their life!

It’s no wonder to me now why retail has such a high turnover rate. Note that outside of pharmacies and grocery stores, retail is not exactly an essential service. Yes, we need clothes, but we can by without spending $25 on a shirt. Seriously. I’ve bought very pretty and long-lasting clothes for cheaper. That’s not to say I don’t think people should be able to indulge themselves, but you won’t die without them. For the fact it’s not an essential and it’s, for the most part, an easy one to learn, I do understand why it pays so little (I’m not of the opinion minimum wage workers don’t deserve a livable wage because no one deserves to go hungry, but that’s another topic that’s been beaten to death), but if risking your well-being and possibly your life is going to be part of the job, it needs to start paying a lot more. And no, “time and a half” doesn’t cover it, and not stores give that anyway.

Though I may not have a choice, if I can help it, I will not work at the mall again. Yes, a shooting can happen anywhere, but that mall’s an annual target and all it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If that were to happen to me, everyone would cry I shouldn’t have been there (in fact, my boss at my other did put the blame for the shooting on me for that very reason). I don’t think I’m paranoid for wanting to avoid it, knowing its history of previous shootings. Just because businesses are willing to trade lives for sales doesn’t mean I am.

Off my soapbox I go.

Something Old, Something New

Something red, something… silver!

I started a new job yesterday. I won’t work with them again until after next week because I must finish this upcoming week at my old job. It’s still a clothing store, but smaller and much more expensive! My old job turned me into a shopaholic, but I will not shop at my new store! Too pricy! The first day went well, though. Everyone’s super nice, nothing too hard, and I got all the on-boarding done. So many manuals! I am still employed with my old job, but as an on-call employee. I confess part of that is, despite all my complaints, being my first job makes me somewhat attached to them. That, and how I like so many of my co-workers. Having a heart sucks!

One of my bosses told me this recently: “Don’t burn a bridge.”

Putting aside the hope that bridge has two sides, I have to wonder how often bridges have been burned to say that. I certainly didn’t want to leave on bad terms, but I know a lot of people just stop showing up or quit that very day. I (unintentionally) gave them only a week’s notice instead of two, partly because I had no idea how transitioning to on-call works, but they didn’t hold it against me. I’ve learned anything can happen, so for all I know, I could go back to them as part-time someday (if they let me), so I very much don’t want to that bridge to become ashes.

I think the biggest change, however, is I’m paid bi-weekly instead of weekly now. That’s undoubtedly going to take some getting used to!