Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Retail Hell

What is it that prompts total strangers to come into someone else's place of work and feel okay about trashing the place?  You can always tell someone who's actually worked in retail because they're at least moderately considerate of both the retail employees and the other patrons.  They don't leave stuff on the floor, or toss it carelessly on a shelf where it clearly doesn't belong.

The funniest thing is that some folks excuse this sort of behavior by saying "I'm providing job security."  Wow.  Now there's some mighty unconventional wisdom for you.  Making someone else's life and job more difficult is providing job security.  So is that a good excuse for going out and robbing a bank?  Job security for the FBI and police?

"Gee, Saje, now that you mention it..."

I'll never cease to be astounded how thoughtless people can be.  Retail is not an easy job and yet some folks act as though the employees have nothing better to do than pick up banana peels, apple cores, and empty (and sometimes not-so-empty) cups from various around the store.

Okay--I know what some of you are thinking.  "I thought you were an author."  Well, yeah.  I am.  But I also have a day job... in retail.  I don't advertise that because, well, my employer's brand doesn't need to be tangled up in mine.  Make sense?  And since the corporate dickheads in charge refuse to advertise for me, I sure as hell have no intention of advertising for them.

Only about five percent of the authors I know make enough money to give up their day jobs.  It's a dream of someday, not a reality, for the vast majority of us.  A goal?  Sure.  To be able to give up grinding my soul into dust for people who really don't appreciate it?  Where do I sign up?

So next time you're shopping, take a minute to consider us poor overworked and underpaid retail employees.  If you happen to pick up something you don't actually want, wait to give it to a cashier.  Don't be embarrassed.  We much prefer you do that rather than leave the dish soap in the toy department because it's gotten too heavy.  Really.  I promise.  If you remove something from a peg hook, take that extra ten seconds to put it back.  We'd do it for you.

I bring all this up because after three days off, then one day on, then two more days off, I'm heading back to the salt mines today.  Be nice, people.  There are a lot of reasons this job is aggravating.  Don't make it any worse than it has to be.

And have a lovely day!

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