Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Adventures at Smile Central

As you may recall, I have a job at a store I shall hereby refer to as Smile Central. That is not the store's real name, in case you were wondering, and in fact has nothing to do with the store. It is a pseudonym, because I dislike the idea of being fired and sued. Because I'm maybe going to complain about the place a little, and corporate entities don't have much of a sense of humor about these things.

But back to my job. I'm working a temporary security gig, sitting at a back door making sure construction and remodel guys don't steal anything. When the construction and remodel is done, I no longer have a job. Maybe. I have strongly hinted and pledged and vowed and sworn on my name badge that I would appreciate continued employment. At least two people have consulted the store manager on my behalf, and other employees miss me when I'm not here, so I'm doing a decent job.

So I got to work tonight and no one acknowledged my request to open the door (not unusual, actually), and eventually someone wandered back and asked what I was doing here. He told me that the remodel guys aren't using this door anymore, and hauled away their mobile office. As we debated the merits of sitting by a closed door making minimum wage and playing smartphone for four easy hours versus being sent home, someone else showed up and blew my cover.

Send Lyric to stationery.

Does Lyric know how to do this?

How about housewares?


Go see the manager.

I'm going to say I don't have to worry about being dropped and jobless in a week. Nervescitement? Lots of it. I've been waking up my daughter with somewhat noisy nightmares about work for weeks because I knew the remodel was wrapping up. I could about puke right now from the nervescitement.

I ended up talking to the store manager personally. Not a department manager. Not a shift manager. The Big Boss of this particular Smile Central. I was asked what position I wanted, to which I replied that I was open. I mentioned the departments which had expressed interest in me before. I was asked what my Goals are.

That's right. My Goals. In the blink of an eye, about a million thoughts rushed through my head. My goal for the past however many hears now has been stay alive, with a side of get a job so there's one more reason to stay alive. Before that, my goal was to move to a specific urban area where there would be job opportunities appropriate to my bachelor's degree, which so happens to be in a field I love.

So I blinked. I said that I was interested in management, that I've applied for management positions more than once, and that I have a degree in a field without many opportunities in this area. I said that when I'd graduated I hadn't intended to stay in this area, but now I do.

This is true in a way. I cannot legally leave the state and take my daughter because her other parent objects. I will not leave without her, and if I must stay, and I don't have the resources to move to a city (I don't), I may as well stay here.

Big Boss asked what my degree was in (Graphic Design), and I told her. I can't say what the smile she shared with the shift manager was about, but I said that I was thrilled that they knew what Graphic Design was to begin with. Many people don't, or they have a very limited view of what it is. Graphic Design isn't really something you do for glory.

This hasn't turned into me mocking the place. Sorry about that. Too excited and all.

Big Boss asked if I minded working in produce.

Now, that sounds bad, but what I've learned is that they shuffle people from position to position, based on what's needed, and they desperately needed someone in produce. I said that was fine. I was asked if I liked cleaning. Pfft, who likes cleaning? I said I like feeling useful, which is the truth. Approving looks all around. I was given a new schedule and sent out... to straighten shelves in housewares.

By this time I'd run back and forth answering summons to this place or that (as mentioned in paragraphs 4-8), and straightening shelves sounded pretty decent. I've got no clue how long I did that before someone walkie-talkied someone else to call me back to the remodel door. Then they paged me over the store speaker, by which time I was halfway there.

Apparently they'll need me at my door until at least Friday.

Okay, complaining time now. This place is a mess, and I don't know how they manage to keep things on the shelves. The right hand not only doesn't know what the left is doing, but is totally unaware that it should be watching its own fingers, and that there are also arms, feet, eyes, and other such things.

Earlier tonight I got paid a total of approximately fifteen dollars to sit by a closed door, listen to people bicker about what to do with me, and straighten a few aisles' worth of merchandise. I was given a new schedule, then put back onto my old one in the space of a couple hours.

For now, I'm still door security. I have no desk to rest my head heavily on, so facepalm, I say. Facepalm.

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