So, I stood by the door the entire day, not allowed to move away from the immediate vicinity. Always worried that I’m not allowed to effectively handle the duties of my job because someone in charge wants me to simply be a deterrent for any theft. I understand that the purpose of security in my company is to make sure that people don’t steal, and I want nothing more than to be an excellent security officer. But, the utter lack of respect is wanting. I am literally told to stand by the door or to go to a certain department when I’m told to.
I try to take initiative to watch video surveillance both live as well as what has been pre-recorded on the cameras. I attempt to follow people who give me an impression that they are up to no good. I watch the body language of people when they look around all suspicious to see if someone is watching or if there are cameras. I smell people who wreak of drugs or alcohol. There are crazies who yell every so often. All I’m allowed to do is deter, deter, deter…
I AM NOTHING MORE THAN A MAN IN A UNIFORM PAID TO LOOK TOUGH, POTENTIALLY PUTTING HIMSELF IN HARM’S WAY. I look like a police officer wearing handcuffs and a badge… I even carry a high-intensity flashlight! I do not have any weapons, nor am I interested in carrying them unless it were in the interest of doing my daily job. I wear shiny, black shoes.
On my dinner break, I drove to a Starbucks drive-thru. I waited and waited and waited… The cars in front of me never moved. It was pouring outside. I shut my car off and continued to wait. My dinner was nearing it’s end. So, I started my vehicle and backed up out of the concrete curb that guides the vehicles to the ordering area… I got out of the Starbucks and headed for the highway. Off to the auto shop I would go! My catalytic converter has been giving me trouble for nearly five years. I cannot afford a new one working at these poverty-wage jobs whether they’re in retail, call centers, hospitality, offices, etc. So, I pulled into the lot, and they were closed. About to turn around and go back to work without any sustenance, I realized that I could not make a left turn due to the sign… So, I headed to a further Starbucks. I went inside this time, and the line was not too bad. So, I finally got my hot venti half-caff raspberry soy latte. Of course, my drinks do not have any animal products in them since I’m vegan. I also ordered a blueberry as well as an apple “That’s It” bar, which are also vegan. I drove back a few minutes late from my dinner break, eventually to sip the drink sparingly since I cannot really be seen drinking a beverage on the sales floor.
Today, I was literally standing still for my entire shift. I barely budged except when it was time for breaks. One of them was even taken from me when I had to address a situation for one of the managers. While I helped her, I was dismissed from that duty by another manager who indicated that I should be standing at the doors. Too many cooks in the kitchen! So, I missed my break… Meanwhile, I still had to take the break, which I looked forward to. I also needed to walk the floors and do a security check for the end of the night to make sure no one was hiding in the building. After the store was closed, there were still people lined up to pay at the registers… So, I stayed in order to show my presence. After locking all of the doors except for the one we would leave open for the final customers, I voluntarily got the shopping carts that the cart guy didn’t stick around to gather. It was raining outside. I wonder if they are even thinking of ever promoting me, knowing that I have heavy retail management experience as well as a million more years working in retail. I had put down my Starbucks coffee near the photo department before going out for the shopping carts… The human resources manager, who was working late, actually asked if I needed help with the carts… However, I was already done with them. I’m not sure if it was a sincere gesture to assist or not, but I’m not judging. Anyway, I had waited all day and night for my damn coffee! When I went back to the photo area, I realized that someone threw out my coffee! I figured maybe I had misplaced it, so I looked around the area. I finally found my hot venti half-caff raspberry soy latte upside down in the janitor’s garbage pail, which is used by the shopping cart guys since that is also their job. Is that the payment I get for being a good employee? I can’t even pay my bills working there. I make less than ten dollars an hour, get a ten percent employee discount, and there are no other benefits. I like the people, and I’m very capable of doing any job in the place. I have multiple college degrees, have run offices, been an assistant store manager, had my own little business ventures, etc. I take my job positions very seriously, but it has gotten to the point where I’m starting to sing and make lots of friends on the job. It’s as if my heart is pouring out in desperation for someone to notice me, whether it is by any one of the millions of cuties that walk in as customers, or any one of those who work there as employees. My latest rap verse was thought up while I stood by the door this evening:
“Steph is on the reg [short for register]
Christina’s on the floor
Kevin’s pushing shopping carts
And, Paul is at the door”
I’m not shy. I have just always kept my work life separate from my private life. But, now, I’m not so sure that I want it to be that way. I would like to sing, dance, and date all of the cuties there that I can…
One day, maybe the management will notice me. It’s not that I dislike my job in any way. I just refuse to give in to economic slavery to sell my soul for paid hours on the job. When I’m there, I don’t really have much responsibility as I am totally underutilized. They don’t realize that I’m capable of running the whole store as long as they train me. I do things by the book all of the time, and they cannot teach a person to have character. The only thing that I’ve ever done wrong on the job was to be late, and at least I’m predictable and consistent. That is not such a bad thing. I’m not comparing it to those who steal, have no respect, etc. I’m simply stating that being late is almost a part of my culture. I’m used to working at companies that have employee events, retirement plans both pensions as well as 401ks), paid vacations, paid college funding, adoption assistance, health, dental, vision, legal assistance, mental health assistance, cell phone plan discounts, gym memberships on site as well as offsite discounts, a company cafeteria, meditation classes, a sleep room, higher wages for working full-time hours as well as pay based on the time of evening/night that an employee works, and a host of other benefits.
The company at which I currently work does not have a corporate culture it seems.
So, I’m late, sing, dance, date, and can’t wait for my coffee! I talk about veganism to anyone and everyone, taking the opportunity to spread love and kindness to my fellow human beings.
It’s just that…
Someone threw out my DAMN coffee!
It wasn’t a very vegan thing to do.