Cafe de Desiree

June 14, 2013

I am Not a Tree

Filed under: angst,life — desi83 @ 5:29 pm

I meet one of my co-workers and the opening manager in the parking lot at 6am. The three of us sleepily drag ourselves into the building with heavy eyes and a lagging pace. “Good morning. Are y’all awake yet?” Anne, the manager, asks with a smile. “Not really, I think I am sick,” Joanne answers. Joanne is an older, tired looking woman. She has the look of a woman who has worked too many long hours and put up with too many lousy men. I coughed, and Anne gave me a stern look. I laughed, “I’m good, just allergies, you know. I’m ready to work!” I said with a big grin. I hate this job, I thought. “What the hell do you mean that I’m not scheduled?” Joanne croaked. Anne looked at the schedule. “Oh, you are not scheduled today, but you were a no-call no-show yesterday,” Anne said mechanically. “What the hell?” Joanne asked. “You’re going to have to be written up for that,” Anne replied. “No one called me yesterday, and you all know that I have always been on time and never miss work,” Joanne explained. “Well, you just have to pay attention to your schedule,” Anne replied without emotion. I walked to the back and began my project. “Oh, before you start working, I need the floor mopped here in the hallway,” Anne directed me. “Joanne has the mop right now,” I replied. “There isn’t another one?” Anne asked. “No,” I answered, wondering how she didn’t know her own store. “Well, go get it from her then,” she replied. I walked into the bathroom and noticed that the trash was over flowing and the toilets were gross. “Ugh, the bathrooms haven’t been cleaned in days,” I complained. “Oh, well go ahead and do those, then,” Anne suggested. Ugh, my stupid mouth. I had four hours to complete a project that really needed eight to be done correctly. Already an hour was stolen from me because Anne liked to use me to show off her power. I finally began my project when I was interrupted by a kind but obnoxious voice. “Hi, ma’am, how are you today?” a nicely dressed lady greeted me. I was okay until you interrupted me, I thought. “Hi, what can I do for you?” I asked. I just knew this would be time consuming. “I would like that patio furniture set right there. Do you have all of the pieces somewhere in the back?” she asked. “I believe this is all that we have out here. We just sold the four chairs that go with it. I have only been here for a week, though,” I feebly replied. “Oh, I’m sorry, hon,” she sympathized still staring at me with anticipation.  I rolled my eyes when I turned away from her to go ask my manager.

The next morning, I was scheduled to work at 4 am. I went to my friends’ house the night prior and told them I couldn’t stay because I had to wake up at 3 am the next morning to do manual labor and mental labor; I was tasked with re-merchandising half of the store. “You have a college degree. Fuck that job,” Kim said bluntly. I shrugged. “You’re right. Fuck that job. I will never be a retail slave again. I have second interview at the VA this week, anyway,” I conceded. I didn’t go to work the next morning. This was difficult morally, because I believe in ethics and hard work. However, I’m being used to do management type work for minimum wage pay because I am highly over qualified; I have a college degree and five years of retail management experience, and I temporarily had to work a part time “cashier” job that turned into something more complicated . Sometimes you have to suffer temporarily, but I just can’t do it anymore.

I don’t want to be Joanne. I don’t want to be in a dead end job when I’m too old to turn it all around. I started working at the VA, and I earned more education credits so that I could return to teaching. If you don’t like your current situation, change it. You are not a tree, so if you don’t like where you are, MOVE.


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