Employee Suckers

December 12, 2004 at 3:56 am (Work)

I tried to quit Bed, Bath, and Beyond a little bit ago. I had it all planned out, you see: my grand scheme to finally rid myself of retail work. It all started when the store manager came up to me and told me he had bad news and good news. The bad news: I couldn’t have the day after Thanksgiving off. After all, it would be Black Friday *ominous music*. They need every body they can get to control and pacify the mad, wild, screaming mobs of people who would descend upon the store. Well, see, that just wasn’t going to work for me. ‘Cause I had decided this year for the first time to accompany my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law to join that mad, wild, screaming mob of people. (What possessed me?) Not only that, but seeing as we would be 6 hours away on Thanksgiving, there was just no way we’d be getting back in time so I could work the day after. The good news, you ask? I could have all the days leading up to Thanksgiving that I requested off. Well, that was irrelavent. So my little mind wheels started turning furiously. This was it! The excuse I was looking for! I had longed to find another job and finally quit, but had never quite been sure if I should. After all, what if I hated the other job as much as this one? What good would that do? But here, like a door of opportunity, was the charge I needed to make the decision. If I couldn’t have Black Friday off, I’d just have to quit, and take it off for myself. Which is more important, after all, family, or work? (Besides, I really really wanted this excuse.)

So then rose the matter of securing another means of money-making, as I don’t quite have the luxury of just quitting with no backup plan in place. So I checked the job board at college, hoping there would just be something – and lo and behold, three, count ’em three people needed someone to clean their houses, 3 or 4 hours a week! I about jumped for joy. I had always said I should try that. So I called the three people, and all of them wanted me ASAP! I explain I can’t start until after Thanksgiving, and they were all okay with that! So there we go – a job – not quite as many hours, but we’d manage. So, resolutly, I typed of my letter of resignation and left it on Patty’s desk. Oh the joy! The liberation! The satisfaction of seeing “Patty” written in bold letters across the front of that letter I had waited so long to write! My soul lifted, my step bounced. Soon, I would exchange the infuriating world of retail for cleaning nice old ladies houses.

Then, a few days later, I got called into the office. Ugh, I thought, now they want to know why I’m quitting. Or I’m in trouble. This was the part I was not looking foward to. So I sit down, and almost immediatly, she starts begging! “Why do you want to quit?” “Well…” “Is it because of Black Friday?” “Well…that might have something to do with it…but really I just don’t like my job…that was kinda the last straw…I just don’t like retail…and yes I need Black Friday off…family…blah blah blah…found some other jobs…allow me to work during the day…hate working nights and Saturdays…hate schedule changing every week…blah blah blah…” Oh, it was sickening. “No, please don’t leave!” “You’re a prize employee!” “You…*list of wonderful things about me*” “We’ll put you anywhere you want! Not happy in front end? We’ll put you on the floor!” It went on, and on. And then, finally, she offered to give me Black Friday off and any other time I needed off the holiday season for Christmas. I just stared. What could I say? She had taken away my straw! I was astounded, bewildered, and almost angry. It wasn’t fair! She had crushed my soaring hopes into bitter shards…my excuse was gone! What could I do? She offered to work around whatever schedule I wanted, and suddenly it occured to me that I had the upper hand. They were begging me to stay! They needed me more than I needed them! Ah, what a nice feeling.

I responded with some hard negotiations. No Saturdays. No evenings. Cut hours back because of other jobs I got. She said she didn’t know if she could do the Saturdays. Everyone has to work at least one weekend day, and I already had Sundays off. I just stared at her. These were my terms. She said she’d talk to the store manager. I said I’d think about it. And so I did. I thought hard. A few extra hours would really help, after all. I only would be getting 10 cleaning houses, which was, in all honestly, a lot less than I needed. I could work two days a week at BB&B. This could be helpful. I could try something new, and still hang on to a security in case it didn’t work out. I wouldn’t be working as much there, and if she agreed to my terms…

I told her I’d do it on my terms. She talked to the store manager. They said they’d give me every other Saturday off. I thought about it. No evenings, I said, not on Saturday. She hesitated. I waited. The store manager told her to do whatever she could do to keep me there. She agreed. Only one evening a week, I said, no more than two days, no more than 10 hours, and only every other Saturday. I was a hard negotiator, she said. Good, I thought. But in the end, she agreed.

I went away, not sure whether to be happy or dismayed. My grand scheme had failed. They wouldn’t let me quit! My suspicion that the upcoming holiday season had something to do with it, but somehow, I got sucked back into working there. I don’t even know how it happened. I tried so hard to quit! I was so resolute. I had made my mind up! But I certainly didn’t expect that response. And the money issue was every looming over me. And so here I am, still at BB&B, though my hours are cut and I’m now trying this housecleaning thing.

I’m going to attempt to quit again when I graduate in May. I need to find a full-time job somewhere, and I certainly don’t want it at BB&B. But next time, it’s final. I will not get sucked back in again to the black hole of retail! I will prevail. I will. Really.

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