Saturday, October 04, 2003

I was one cranky girl tonight.

Perhaps it was the cloud of doom that blew in the cold weather today, or the pervasive stupidity of the corporate people at Barnes and Noble whose "on a whim" changes to the store affect my job. Perhaps it's because no one speaks up to these people, because they see a great divide between corporate and the store. And corporate is at fault as well, not listening to the suggestions from people who are on the front lines and yes, do know better.

The latest brain fart to come from the corporate side is to remove the stanchions from our line at the registers and replace them with merchandise tables. I was told that when this person was told that the people wouldn't line up correctly, that we were assured, "oh yes they will."

Well, no they fucking didn't. Sure, come in on a whim and change stuff because you think it's a good idea. Ignore the obvious stuff that needs changing, but please, fuck with our line. Then, bluster out in a gust of bags and hair, and as you drive back to your office, pat yourself on the back for your ingenuity and knowledge that were it not for you, the store just wouldn't survive. And certainly, don't listen to anyone's suggestions who works there on a daily basis, because we certainly have never witnessed our common-sense-challenged customers having enough trouble with our line as it is, butting in front of each other because they assume that the four people who are standing still behind the "please wait here" sign, holding merchandise and looking bored are just doing it because they are participating in a piece of performance art called, "Retail Hell."

Then, defend this move even though one in every three customers are certain to bitch and moan at whomever is unlucky enough to be on register, saying that we should "make it clearer," or "put a sign" because they are too much of an imbecile to figure out that just like in kindergarten, it's "single file, children." And that just like the teacher would, little Jimmy or little Jane, we'll send your fat ass to the back of the line no matter how you well contorted it to get through the two tables of merchandise to stand behind the person we're ringing up. No "cutsies," you troll-mannered, infantile, overgrown half-wit.

To put the intelligence of most of our clientele in perspective, these are people that come up to me and ask if they can pay with cash.

God, I miss the Calabassas store so much at times.

Actually, there are positive and negative things happening for me at the store. One, I've kind of relaxed about the place and just go in every day to do my job, then leave. The time goes by super fast, and I have plenty of breathing space afterward. Despite my entries here, I really don't take work home with me. This makes me both happy and nervous. Happy, because I've noticed that my artistic skills have a really strong voice now. Instead of being wilted and starved, they are robust and becoming more comfortable inside my skin every day. Not to mention, more confident.

The negative, is that there are a lot of weird politics happening there that I'd rather stay out of. However, because of the scale of them, it's made a weird working environment, and one can't help being affected by it. The store, once again on direction from those cerebral corporate types, is also cracking down on employee freedoms that are just common respect, and that makes for a more constricting work environment. In fact, some of the things that they've instituted are downright insulting. Yet, other egregious problems are ignored. In short, some people, male people, get away with murder while those of us who work hard are nitpicked, asked things like, "did you get that drink on the clock?" And where there aren't problems, they are stirred up and created, making trouble for mostly female people. I'm being vague, because I have to and because of the pending article from the Sun. Anyway, it's been hard to watch, and depressing that stuff like this still goes on. I also feel helpless to make a difference.

Also, some real goons have been hired recently. You know who you are.

Number two negative, is that I don't want to get too comfortable there, or shuck any other options because of the freedoms that working a non-corporate job has allowed me. I've developed a corporate-phobia, and the thought of working in a constrained environment like an office depresses me to no end. The people here are dull, dry, and depressing enough, and the thought of working with "office people" from this area is frightening. Even working at a cool job. It becomes very easy to disappear in places like that. And once you have disappeared on the outside, "the nothing" feeds on your insides, eating away all that carefully cultured, ripe artistic growth with a rapacious vigor.

Number three negative, is that some cool people are leaving the store. And along with their absence, that leaves openings for more goons.

So, I'm stuck between these positives and negatives. I just got another raise to $9.00 an hour, which isn't bad for a retail job. However, I miss having money. Not enough to sacrifice what I've worked to gain in its absence, but I miss it. I miss shopping regularly on Rodeo Drive and hobnobbing with the locals there. I miss the cute boys I hung out with at the coffee shop.

Somewhere, there has to be a happy medium.

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