Jars of hate

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A funny comment a co-worker said about the yearly donation jar charity event prompted me to write this. Our store has such high turn over I want to always remember the amazing cast of characters I have/have had the honor of working with,

Submitted: June 21, 2016

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Submitted: June 21, 2016

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The donation jars lined up by the time clock; each bearing the name of a department manager, who ever had the most money would get pied the face. This was the 3rd year of this annual tradition.

"They're like little jars of hate" observed receiving dock manager aka Outlander since his realm resided at the outlands of the store. And he got me hooked on the tv show of the same name. He was a tall wiry thin man in his 50's. He used to live in Hollywood, he once worked for nickelodeon, and more than a few major movie studios before 'retiring to work' in receiving.

Backroom manager aka Santa laughed but also made sure to check his jar; only a few coins. The large muscular Hispanic man, with a wide face could only be described as jolly, had not been around long enough to be worthy of hate.

It's a pie to the face not a bullet to the head. But the past winners were not who most would consider good company.

"If inferno was still here she'd need a 5 gallon jug." Santa smirked.

Inferno was last year's winner. A queen bitch in her early 30's with hair the color of fire. Her mentality was 'the world revolves around my needs.' She would take people from other departments , make people work though their lunch breaks (a sin that could result in termination- for the employee, not herself,) and when she got transferred to overnights, 25 people quit, all sighting 'management related stress and anxiety.'

She once told Outlander "what you do here doesn’t matter."So one day he put everything he does; all the vendor check in, all the outgoing products, all the damaged, all the donations, and created a massive wall that blocked the main entrance to the back room (he left the receiving dock clear for vendors and me- janitorgirl.)

Inferno left 3 weeks ago, she works for google- May god have mercy on those poor souls.

The first winner was Barbie; my demon. Tall beautiful African American woman with long wavy hair; she looked like a Miss USA contestant. She was a front end manager; responsible for cashiers, janitors and janitors who get stuck with cashiering shifts because there are 'not enough hours to go around.'

She would stand behind me, then question why I was not up selling the in store credit card to every customer. My response-"After they say no, the first time, I don't want them upset at me."

She would then go on the typical rant listing down the reasons why the in store credit card is such a value the customer and by not convincing them to the fullest of my abilities I am doing them a grave disservice.

Then when our survey scores started to dip she had the lovely idea of "ask every customer if their shopping experience was satisfactory. If they say no, ask them to elaborate.- be their sounding board, so they will be less likely to leave negative feedback."

"So you want me to coax customers in to yelling at me?" I already cried at least once a shift. I told the manager in charge of scheduling; I'm Janitorgirl even if it means I only get to work 2 days a week-I do not want to be on register as long as Barbie is in charge.

Barbie transferred a year ago. I still hate going on register but now I'm willing to do so without the threat of lecture for not offering a credit card on people who had already been in line for 20 minutes.

That brings me to the current leader board-

In first place; Grocery manager aka Commander a man in his early 30's with black hair, pale skin  and dark, racially ambiguous eyes; Italian, German and Japanese.

I call him commander because his team runs like a well oiled machine; great when all the pieces were present. But for whatever reason his Lieutenants kept deserting. But it wasn’t his fault, a local law was passed, no deliveries in residential neighborhoods before 7 am.

So the massive truck; the truck that fueled the whole department- had to be emptied by a skeleton crew first thing in the morning. It was a predestined clusterfuck every-other-day.

First to leave was D the flamboyant filipino, he transferred to whatever department did random projects at ungodly early hours so at least he could leave before noon.

Next was JD, the hippie from Oregon he left with no other job prospects. Some even said he would have to drop out of college if he left, but he left anyway.

Commander was nothing but kind to me and my team. When I cleaned the dairy cooler after he ran a pallet in to a wall, or when he wanted me to deep clean every drip tray, he would smile, he would be genuinely grateful. I would be disappointed in myself if I ran out of time or in any way failed him.

When the store manager asked him to clean the produce room he asked only for what chemical to use; he would do it himself.

I wasn’t part of his squadron; I was an innocent civilian whose name was being called over and over "Janitorgirl- get carts, Janitorgirl clear trash from the cafe, Janitorgirl someone took a shit on the floor of the women's restroom, and we need you to carry a TV to a customer's car."

My only beef with him was the one time he volunteered me to go on register so his squadron wouldn't have to.

It would have been ok if he at least asked me first.

But he made it up to me the time he was given the manager keys and got the trash compactor open; just for me,’ just this once’.

 

As time went by new Lieutenants stepped up; Model (the ultimate cool kid, beautiful, kind, always willing to help anyone who needed help, loved to talk about movies) and Punk (soft spoken college student covered in piercings). Punk transferred to the cafe then vanished.

He was replaced by K, he lasted a month before getting a better job.

Model vanished for 2 weeks returning with a shaved face and crew cut; he got in to the police academy but promised everyone he was not leaving for at least another year.

That left tattoo tomboy; a pretty college student (her water bottle bore the name of the nearby prestigious university) she had long brown hair and various extremely visible tattoos on her arms and back and chest. I asked her "Why do you think Commander is winning the hate jar competition?"

"That was all me. I don't hate him, but I would love to see him taken down a peg." she shrugged, her voice vaguely Texan; southern crossed with hipster.

"I guess that makes you my rival." I stated, as 2nd place was a certain frontend manager I dubbed-Hungergames.

I call her Hungergames because she mastered the art of the side braid and the word 'hunger' highlighed how she was a fat ass. I don’t hate fat people, but much like commander's eyes, the first thing you would notice about Hungergames was the ratio of lower body to upper body; she was a pear in every sense of the word. (But she could also kick my ass so I hope she never reads this.)

She started in grocery, never even trying to be a lieutenant. She transferred straight to cashier manager; the most stressful position in the entire store. In my 3 years I have experienced 15 front end/cashier managers of varying degrees of ass-hat.

But she was the only one to make me cry. 'Hero', my 20 year old teammate had a bad back, he asked her for help; to get me off register to get carts because he was in chronic pain. She said "No Janitorgirl is listed as a cashier-maybe in a few hours."

BS- he would be off in a few hours.

Hero has since moved one to a better place; Costco the land of better pay and pizza.

Recently I asked, "I have 20 things to do and 30 minutes to do it all; can you get 'warrior' off the check lanes to help me?"

Warrior was a Filipino man in his 50's who was super fast and unnaturally strong. But also great at getting people to sign up for the in store credit card, so she liked to keep him on register.

Her answer was the same, "maybe in a few hours." She absentmindedly recited as she left to focus on more important tasks.

Did you not understand the question? Or do you just not care.

"Well maybe you the store can live with all the carts in the parking lot until I get back from lunch." is what I should have said.

I sulked away.

I came back to see Security guards doing carts, under the orders of Security manager Pixi. The 5' tall Asian girl was truly awesome, a day 1 retail solider like me (hired before the store's opening) except she had the determination to strive for more.

Pixi started as a shelf stocker, skipping down the aisles with a long ponytail. She then moved to electronics, the only female, her hair was shoulder length, pulled back in a shorter pony tail as she struggled to field calls and questions from guests, while also being asked to keep an eye on the nearby departments of Toys and Baby goods.

Then she found her place; security. The first time I saw her in full uniform had a question mark over my head; what would she be able to do as a security guard. The answer-she managed, she observed. She knew the layout of the store better then anyone, so when they needed to set a trap, she was the one giving the orders.

The day she assumed the title of security manager she cut off all her hair; a Pixi cut- cute yet tough.

"Thanks," I said as I saw her pass by.

"No problem, we 'day one' girls have to stick together." her voice was that of pure confidence.

 

In 3rd place were the roommates, two collage girl’s originally from Hawaii, who ran human resources. They spent their days trying to get new hires and fielding customer complaints. They shared one jar (the first time in the history of the competition), so most believed their position of 3rd place was simply testing the system.

Beyond that everyone else had a few coins, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters; the top 3 would be the only reason the donation jar war was even remotely successful.

"This is such bullshit," Commander picked up his jar at the end of his shift, he wasn’t mad but he wasn’t happy.

 "Look at this one," he picked up Pixi's, "literally only pennies."

"That’s because everybody likes Pixi." the words fell out of my mouth. Now everyone was laughing, Commander, the roommates, Outlander, all the people waiting to clock out.

"What’s that supposed to mean." he smiled.

"Nothing, I’m so sorry-I swear I dumped the contents of my wallet in to Hungergame's jar!" I pointed out. And I would continue to do so.


© Copyright 2017 dourdan. All rights reserved.

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