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Monday, December 06, 2010

Holiday spirit?

Working retail at Christmas is usually a pretty lucrative gig. In fact, I generally make more money in the last quarter of the year than I do the rest of the year combined. (The store does that too.) However, things are not the same when you're at a store that sells more baby gear than toys. I don't think many people know that you can get many of the toys, for the same price (well, unless the misfits in toyland forget to take down last week's sale signs) with shorter lines. If they did, I think our lines would be longer. And we'd get more hours at our store.

So, the purple people can volunteer to pick up shifts in Toyland at Christmas time for extra money. Well, that is, unless the manager of Toyland tells the top Purple Person that he has it "under control" for the holidays. Which is bullshit, if any of you have ever been in a busy toy store at Christmas. There's nothing "under control" about it.

Something about the whole thing wasn't sitting well with me. And frankly, I feel really bad about working only two or three shifts a week when the other stores are drowning and need extra help. The money doesn't hurt either. And, besides, I miss the kids and all the toys.

Did you hear me? I MISS THE KIDS. I like the new moms and expectant mothers, but I love the kids. In fact, every time I thought about quitting at Toyland, a little kid would come in the store for the first time and the look on his face was so priceless that I would decide to tough it out a little longer. Every time I tried to quit, which always had more to do with grown-ups who can't play well with others, a little kid reminded me that I wasn't at my job for a paycheck. I was at my job because nothing in the world makes you feel better than knowing on Christmas day little Timmy was going to have the perfect present under the tree because you helped his mom or grandma find the right toy. If you don't believe me, ask Shelby about the Rose Petal Cottage that Santa Claus brought her last year. Ask my cousin's son Little Dylan about his railroad worker outfit that he wears to ride on the train every year.

Perfect gifts, every time. Smiling, laughing, happy children are my specialty. For the most part, parents and kids alike loved to come to the store and see me. Yeah, there are new moms who appreciate the help I give them on their baby registry or thank me for recommending the car-safety class, but it's not like it was in Toyland.

I miss it a lot, even the crazy insanity of Christmastime. Even though I bitch and moan about the customers who threaten to punch you because you didn't stop a shoplifter or steal out of the Toys for Tots bin, the co-workers who get stressed out, and the long hours, it's fun. It's worth it.

And this year I don't get to do it, because some of my former co-workers have decided to tell the new manager, whom I do not know, that I do not like children and shouldn't be allowed to work at the store. Yes, these folks would prefer some random Christmas worker with a grumpy disposition, a short till and a questionable work ethic to moi.

I'm confused. I'm sad. And I'm a little pissed off. Because I have never, ever demonstrated anything but my love for children there. I was never anything but a good co-worker. I guess that it's easier to say I don't like kids than to blame me for some other offense that could be verified (like poor attendance or short tills).

I don't care if they don't want to work with me. Just say I'm a lazy bitch. You'd be wrong, but you could say it. Say I don't get enough extended warranties or credit cards (although looking at BRU statistics, once again, you'd be wrong). But please don't say I don't like kids.

I love kids. You don't know how often I cry because at almost-35 I am realizing that I'm never going to be the person sitting on the other side of the baby registry desk. Since I bought my own home, I have seriously been thinking of becoming a foster parent, and it will probably happen as soon as I get my finances and free time situated. I don't hate kids. Sometimes babies make me a little nervous because I haven't ever taken care of one for an extended period of time, but I know I could do it if there were anyway I could have one.

Unfortunately, there isn't. And honestly, I probably stay at this job because I get to be around little kids a few times a week.

I just think of some of the things I've done for customers. I played with a single mom's kids one time while she purchased a few Christmas gifts and snuck them out to the car. I drove to three different stores to track down a birthday gift for a little autistic boy who came into our store. I used to sit at the Thomas the Train table and the service desk and color with a little boy whose mom was serving in Iraq. I cried a few months ago when a dad left with a little girl in a car seat that I knew wouldn't protect her in a car accident.

Yeah, I'm a real bitch. A total asshole. I surely wouldn't want me around my kids, if I had them.

Whatever. Perhaps the shittiest part of all of this is that not only have I alienated my former co-workers to the point that they hate me, but they also feel compelled to lie about me. How the hell did I manage that?

Well, Merry Effing Christmas to me, I guess. At least I can sit at home and bake cookies while those losers work their asses off. Oh, and I can also rest assured that they will get theirs in the end.

Too bad none of that pays the bills. But I'll manage.

1 comment(s):

It really seems as if you got a rotten deal and it is hard to understand why. My first guess would be jealousy. Perhaps you became too popular with customers. Were you working on a commission basis? Is there more that one toy store where you live? Perhaps you can get on some place else next year. But, for your own sake and the sake of anyone around you, try to forget all bitterness. It may not be easy, but it will be beneficial to you healthwise and otherwise. God bless you and Merry Christmas!

By Blogger GladysMP, at 12/09/2010 3:39 PM  

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