As many of you know, I set out last year to prove that I could not only survive, but make a decent life for myself by being who I am and using my natural skills without having to prostitute myself to bullies, thieves, liars, and abusers.....looks like I was wrong.
I apologize for not staying up to date with this section of my blog. I started a third job and my blogging efforts have mostly been devoted to other things (like atheism and penises, though not usually at the same time). Allow me to bring everyone up to speed.
For those that don't know me, I'm a huge animal lover. Through a friend, I met a couple that was runs a small pet boutique that carries clothes, accessories, and high end foods for pets. Customers would bring pets in and let them try things on and I'd get to spoil them with treats for a little bit. The hours were perfect for me and it paid just enough to cover the majority of my living expenses.
I was honestly thrilled. This wasn't like the retail I had worked in the past. The owners were people who've worked hard for a living themselves, were kind hearted, generous, intelligent and were genuine animal lovers. I enjoyed the job. Sure, some customers were a pain, but I never expressed that because it goes with the territory. I loved getting to know them and their pets. It was a great way to get my animal love fix in a few times a week and to make pretty decent money at it too.
I was actually really happy. I thought I had found a niche. A perfect job to fund my life while I pursue my real dreams. Did I intend to work there forever? Probably not, but I figured it would be a long term gig that would really allow me to pefect my art. Enter uppity bitch with an over inflated sense of entitlement.
For those that don't have dogs or just plain haven't noticed, a lot of time dog food comes in rather large, heavy bags, usually starting at about 30lbs. I work out, 30 lbs isn't so heavy, but this is a small shop, so several types of food can be mixed in together and the 30lb bag someone might want might be lodged under five other 30lb bags, making it sometimes difficult to find product info.
Naturally, this particular customer wanted price info for the bag on the bottom. I tried my best to wrestle it out. I apologized that it was taking a while to get it out and that I would look in the computer for the price instead. When I searched for the item in the computer, I couldn't find it. I said, "Oh...hmm...I can't seem to find it. Let me try a few different search terms."
I still couldn't find it, so I went back to wrestling the bag out from under the other four or five heavy bags. I was visibly struggling with it and said, "Sorry it's taking a while, these can be heavy." I finally got her bag out and carried it to the counter for her and rang her up.
Somehow, in her uppity bitch brain, that became, "That's too heavy. I can't get it out. I can't find it in the system. I can't help you." I honestly have NO idea how it could have come across that way. I have NEVER told a customer that I couldn't help them, or if I couldn't, I'd call someone who could.
She called my boss to inform him of her incredibly distorted version of the event. Apparently, I said those things to her twice.....although I actually never said them even once. I have NEVER told a customer I couldn't help them. At the very worst, I've told them, "I don't know, but let me get your info and I'll ask my boss and then I'll call you back. Would that be okay?"
...which, by the way, is something the bosses constantly encouraged me to do if I didn't know how to handle a certain situation. I don't know who it was that taught me this, but somehow in life, I got the impression that people mean things that they tell you over and over.
So, of course, there were situations I sometimes didn't know how to handle, but that's always to be expected with a new employee. I always did my best to find out what to do even if I didn't know and I think as a new employee, I should be given a little extra license to do so. Did I mention that I never had the opportunity to graduate from "new employee?" I was fired even as a new employee. I feel as if I was fired FOR BEING a new employee; for not having a chip implanted into my brain that taught me all vital info about any and every possible situation.
I was hired right before Christmas and my first day "on my own" was December 26. So, I have had slightly over a month to learn the ropes and despite having brought in several new customers, having organized the store so that it doesn't always look like a hurricane took over, and and having bent over backwards for customers EVERY SINGLE DAY, I guess a month is too long a time to go without knowing everything. The owners gave me a modest THREE DAYS of training before completely throwing me to the wolves. At the time, I thought it was adequate because they seemed to trust me, support me and have my back. I was wrong about that too.
I was told on Wednesday that I would be "talked to" on Friday. I knew "talked to" meant "fired," but I kept my hopes up. So, this morning, as soon as I came in, my boss was there, dressed formally, which is rare; not a good sign. So he hast me down and pretty immediately told me that it "wasn't working out." He told me vaguely about the above customer complaint and didn't ask my side of the story at all. He did, however, tell me that he talked to that customer and the customer was no longer angry and would be returning to the store. Shortly after, he contradicted himself by saying, "Losing a customer in a business this small is something that we can't have, no matter what."
I felt that there must have been SEVERAL other issues to make him come to that conclusion and asked if I could please know what they were. He mentioned another customer "issue" that had taken place, but I had told him about it and apologized and tried to resolve it already. In this case, the customer asked me a question I didn't know the answer to, so I asked if I could take her info and call her right back, she became instantly agitated with me, told me, "Everyone else that's ever worked there knows," what she's talking about. She would not let me take her info, find the answer, and call her back. How that is bad service on my part, I don't know. Again, he didn't want to hear my side of it because his mind was made up.
He ended the narrative with one of those socially acceptable lies that people find the necessity to tell, that in my view are just plan cruel, "We did enjoy having you for the short time you were here, for what it's worth."
"Which is nothing," I couldn't help but reply. Admittedly unprofessional though it was, it was highly appropriate for the situation. What harm could be done? No one has to know I worked there. It was such a short time that I won't even pollute my resume with it. Besides, I'm not really worried about getting a reference from people who threw me into a maelstrom with a paddle boat and assured me I'd survive and they'd help, but let me drown immediately.
Two things hurt me most. One is that I DID try my best with that job and I know I made mistakes, but when I did, I admitted it and did my best to resolve them immediately. I DID work very hard there and I brought in new customers, sold people a lot of things because I genuinely wanted to help them (I didn't get bonuses or commission) and make them happy. I DID please most of the customers; at least once a day someone told me, "Thank you. You've been very helpful." I went out of my way to tell people about the business and to promote the business, even without being asked. If it wasn't busy in the store, which is most of the time, there were I would often go outside and catch people walking their dogs, invite them in, tell them about the store, and end up recommending them something that they would purchase or would actually come back a few days later and purchase. What kind of part time retail associate is going to do all of that? A damn rare, damn good one. Seriously, tell me where you will find an employee not only willing to do those things, but that does them regularly without being asked? Yet, all that (and then some) still wasn't good enough.
Two, and more painful, the sociopathic minority of people who are completely self absorbed, who have lost touch with reality, who never think about the struggles of others, who never realize how good their lives are, who thrive off of being petty, tiny, life-ruining motherfuckers have now been given just one more bit of justification in being such. They think they can get away with being assholes because the world bends over backwards to prove to them that they can. I suppose I can't complain because I'm guilty of serving them as well.
I don't honestly know where this leaves me. I want to say, "Hey, it's just one job, it's just a handful of assholes. Most people aren't that unreasonable. Tomorrow is another day and that if this didn't work, something else will. I don't have to sell myself mind, body and soul to the hate-filled handful." The problem is, the hate-filled handful that does see life that way are the ones that are on top of the world. They control everything because they don't have moral compasses and they don't mind squashing people's spirits like ants so long as they serve themselves. That's how they get ahead. No one ever teaches them otherwise because anyone who tries gets vaporized. Tragically, because we all need to eat and they seem to be the ones with all the food, even if is is laced with diazinon, so we're all just too happy to be ants.