Tax-free weekend is always rough in retail. People all come out at once and then get furious that other people did the same. Who else should they vent their anger on but us employees? It’s our fault that some girls have been in the fitting room for 30 minutes and are holding up the line. It’s our fault we’ve only ever had 3 registers. Every little problem is our fault and we deserve the subsequent abuse.
After 7 hours of the same old story, my voice was hoarse, my feet were throbbing, and I was ready to sit down in the middle of the floor and simply refuse to work anymore when my manager finally sent me home.
I promised myself a Chipotle burrito for making it through today. It’s a little thing that makes me really happy (and bloated), so it was my carrot on a stick to keep me running. I always go to the one right across the street from the mall, and I usually see the same manager working somewhere on the line. He was there tonight, and he recognized me and said hey. We chatted a little about how busy our stores were because of tax-free weekend, and he sent me on down to the salsa and lettuce with a “Good to see you.” I noticed he said something to the cashier when I reached the register, but it didn’t click until the cashier refused my card and said, “My manager got you” when I tried to pay.
I managed to hold back my tears until I got to the car and choked out a “Thanks, man” as I left.
It’s easy to get jaded in retail. No matter how nice you are, people are still capable of incredible cruelty for no good reason. To have someone do something nice for me makes me feel like there really are good people in the world.