Through the Looking Glass, again….

Posted: August 16, 2013 in Art, journal, Women
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“But it’s no use now, to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!”― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Other Moon, 2013, oil on canvas, 61x76cm (24x30)

Other Moon, 2013, oil on canvas, 61×76 cm (24×30)

“It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right, with your hand on your hips, you bring your knees in tight………,” one moment,  time warp to the present if you please……..

I remember the sound of the incoming evening tide as it swished across the low rocks and shifted the basaltic pebbles in the sand, rattling them around the mangrove roots.  How rich the air was with the smell of salt and fresh bread calling you to make the hike down the sandy path to the bakery and obtain a loaf before they were all gone.  Then stopping for a chat at the bar/gathering place to catch up on the news of the day.

There were no interrogations, no condemnations, no judgements; there was just the doing, the anticipation of the next day, the challenges ahead. We were all in the same boat, so to speak, the same island. The world was different then.

I go back to my island days in my mind and listen to the incoming tide whenever I am feeling trapped.

Not meaning to whine and trying to maintain some integrity as an artist and being a cashier are diametrically opposed forces that are pulling me apart.  Two customers in the past 4 months have reported me to management for being “rude”.  The first was dismissed for what it was, the customer having a bad day, the second, well the second is why I am writing this.

There was a truly crazy customer whom I felt was trying to scam me, and after listening to her rant for nearly 10 minutes about what she wanted, how she wanted it, what she wanted to pay and what she was going to do to me if I did not give her way……well, for some ungodly reason I simply said “no”.  She stormed off saying she would report me.  I called my manager and advised her what had just happened, she told me not to worry. The other customers in line just shook their heads.  But upper management considered it a fatal error and I had unwittingly violated a prime directive…”no customer shall be told no.” Paraphrased, of course.

I was called into the small office with 2 managers present and read the riot act.  I was called in again 2 days later and read the riot act again but this time there were 3 managers present, a bit crowed and slightly intimidating.   They were they said, filing a formal written complaint on my behavior. This was my final notice (I asked where was the first notice), because now I had formed a pattern of bad behavior, and should one more customer report me  I would be fired.  Later that afternoon I went back to ask politely why I was called in twice on the same incident and was once again lectured on how bad a person I was, told they had to run a formal investigation on the incident.  I called HR Corporate Counseling in Atlanta the next day.

My record they said is squeaky clean, no reports, no violations, no nothing, but they would investigate the situation and let me know.  I do not expect any results, but it made me feel better.  My days of employment are numbered, at the whim of the next angry customer.

This incident has changed me a bit, I have now learned how not to do the right thing.  So if someone complains about the price, I just take 10 -50 even 70% off and smile. If someone starts yelling, I call a manager, if someone is trying to steal, I turn a blind eye, if someone is using someone else’s credit card I look the other way, if someone is returning obviously stolen items billed on another persons credit card I smile and refund them the money.  If drug users return items without a receipt, I smile and give them cash…not my problem right?   This is the new retail philosophy in the great US of A, employees are highly replaceable, and at my age, have even less value.

After reality set in, I was saddened when I was told by one of the head Cashiers, to “…..just close your eyes, do your job, and pray for forgiveness every night.  It’s not your store, it’s not your money.”

What is even sadder is she is absolutely right.


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