April 06, 2013

Holding Out for Something Better

I wanted to stay longer.

I wanted to hold on as long as I could.

But when I left the store crying after my shift one week ago today, I knew I'd had enough.

I wouldn't make it til May, when I'm due for my annual exam and could finally use my health insurance.

I wouldn't make it until the new store manager ran his first staff meeting.

I wasn't sure I'd make it through the next week's shifts.

But when I called and told our interim manager, who was visiting from another store and training our new hire, that I was going to resign, she didn't ask why. She didn't ask me to stay.

I can't say that I'm surprised. She couldn't hide her disdain for me. A true New Yorker, she wears her emotions on her face, in her rolling eyes and cocked brow and curled lip. She smiles at the customers, but I think she hates them, too.

I've never before worked at a job with such lack of encouragement, complete absence of positive reinforcement. There is no help when help is asked for. And yet, everything you do is wrong.

Taking a retail job was the right thing for me to do in November, when I had nothing else going on. I took a second job as a first job, and when I got back on track with my freelance marketing career in January, I probably should have dropped the shop right away. But I had my reasons for staying. I loved that store. I could still use the extra money. And - as evidenced by my professional track record of taking maternity fills and other temporary assignments - I generally choose to work rather than not work.

But I can't make a commitment to a job that can't make a commitment to me. Some places just work you to the bone, squeeze as much as they can out of you in the short-term, rather than fostering long-term professional development. This is the same type of place that gets a customer to spend thousands of dollars in one visit, regardless of whether that customer comes back and returns it all, or ever comes back to shop there again.

Sometimes, you've got to break up with the guy that only takes from you, and tells you you're not pretty enough. If you stay with that guy, how are you ever going to find the one who's going to appreciate you for what you are, take care of you, and help you become a better person?

Maybe I've let LA influence me too much, but I'm going to hold out for something better.

I never wanted to say this to my coworkers, but I cannot escape it: I've got more going on than being a shopgirl. I don't have to take this shit. It doesn't have to be so hard.

Related Post:
The Best I'll Ever Have?

To Like Avoiding Regret on Facebook, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Retail is always a good stand by but it can be brutal. My partner took a second job at the WeHo Target during the holiday season. They actually loved him working there and were sad to see him go when he finally left a month ago. Its too bad they didn't pay him more or he would have stayed, but Target won't promote you in the ranks unless you have a college degree. They do offer their employees benefits. The other place I notice retail employees are always happy is at Trader Joe's.