I Will Soon Be Unemployed

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote this in 2006 for a college course.
[Content Warning: Work related stress, violence, ageism]

Let me be honest with you, this paper is pretty much nothing more than a rant about how much I hate my job, and why.  By the end of the day this will be on my Live Journal, and my friends will have an open discussion, usually resulting in someone trying to justify how their job sucks worse than mine.  But this paper is not about social iconography and what is popular.  This paper is actually about my current job, and my inevitable unemployment, which is just on the horizon.  The cause of my soon to be lack of job can be traced to the disgusting inadequacies of my current job.

I am going to tell you a little bit about my wage.  I was hired at six dollars an hour.  That was great at the time, in my opinion.  I was sixteen, minimum wage was five seventy-five, and I was not bagging groceries.  After a year, I was at around six seventy-five.  Not even a month later, the minimum wage was raised to six fifty.  I had been working there for a year, and the new people were coming in making twenty-five cents less than me.  I wanted compensation, a fifty cent raise, but they would have none of it.  The raise system sucks, too.  After two years I am only making a dollar and seventy-four cents more than I was when I started.  That is pathetic.  I am trying to start my own life, not dependent upon anyone else, and they expect me to do that at less than nine dollars an hour.  I, honestly, am not so sure I could pull it off at nine dollars an hour, considering the cost of living in Jupiter, Florida has gone up.  Come to think of it, the cost of living everywhere is going up considerably.  Also, in my opinion, I am not in paid enough to deal with the customers I have to deal with.  I need a job with higher pay.

The customers are probably the worst part of my job.  Retail customers are by far the worst.  Sometimes it takes all my self control to prevent me from punching one in the face.  They do not care at all about how they treat you.  They shove things in my face, yell at me when something does not work, and they usually walk away leaving me disgruntled, more so than when I showed up to work.  One of the biggest problems is our return policy.  The customer has to have their receipt, and it has to be with in thirty days of the purchase.  That sounds pretty reasonable to me, but no customer agrees with it.  To make it better, they argue about it.  We have it on a big sign hanging above our heads, all of the return policy rules, but they argue it with the cashiers as if they can change the policy.  The fact is, we can not change the policy, and if we go around it and get caught, we get in trouble.  It is not something we will get fired over, but it is something that will hinder our chances of getting a raise when the time comes.  And our pay is already low enough.  Aside from at a cashier, customers are still rude out on the sales floor, just in a different way.  It seems as though they seem to have never graduated kindergarten, which sometimes may be the case.  They never put things back.  They pick it up, look at it, and if they want it, throw it in their cart.  If they do not want it, they just throw it on the rack or sometimes even on the ground.  Sometimes, they will put it in their basket and walk around the store shopping for a little while, then just throw it wherever.  I can not stand when I am cleaning up the home goods section and I find two bras, a pair of shoes, and a skirt, all stashed in a metal tin, which is supposed to be used for out door planting.  The one other thing they do out on the sales floor that I find extremely unintelligent is opening things that are closed.  I don’t understand why, even though there are four signs around them saying “Do Not Open Packages,” they feel a need to open the package.  It is clear plastic, they can see through it.  They know exactly what they are buying, but they have to open the package and touch it or something.  It is a complexity I will never understand.  I need a job with less mess to clean up.

When it comes to management, I am pretty sure I could do better than my current.  They were never out on the floor, or doing the hard work, because they are managers.  They have us to do that sort of thing.  Because of this, they do not understand what really goes on out there.  They get a glimpse, when they come up and walk around, and most of them work register when needed, and a few of them help clean.  But most of the managers do not, they just hide in their office and emerge when provoked, like a bear in a cave.  Certain of us, like my self, are on the floor more than on register.  Those people get projects.  These projects are usually all day sorts of deals, but we are assigned three at a time, and are expected to have all three finished.  During this time, we are also running register when needed, price checks, and anything else we are needed for.  All of that make it increasingly difficult to finish the projects.  Recently, we have gotten a new manager.  The old manager was relocated to a different store.  She had been my boss since I was hired.  She knew everything about me, she respected me, and she knew what I could and could not do what I liked about my job and what I hated.  She treated me above people at my same position because she knew I deserved it.  This new manager comes in, and she does not.  To her, I am the same position as everyone else.  She knows how long I have been there.  She knows I am authorized to handle pretty much anything in the store.  The only set back is my title.  Theoretically, I am a coordinator.  Officially, I am not.  I do all the things coordinators do, but my official title on the payroll is still cashier.  I even have the ability to open a register and steal all of the money in it, if I were so inclined.  That is how much I am trusted, but it is not how I am treated by this new manager.  And to me, that sucks.  I need a job with more understanding management.

As you can see, I will soon be unemployed.  The cause of my impending unemployment is the fact that my current job sucks.  But I am completely comfortable with that.  I have come to realize and accept that my job sucks.  I need a new job.

The Definition Of Customer Service

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote this in 2006 for a college course.

[Content Warning: Work related stress, ableist slurs, ableism (sorry, I was young and naive), ageism,]

My job is psychological guerrilla warfare.  That is right; I work as a Customer Service Coordinator at a discount retail store.  Customer service is not assistance and other resources that a company provides to the people who buy or use its products or services.  It is not at all a service that a company provides to individuals.  Customer service is the death of all that is logical.  Customer service is the death of intelligence.  Customer service is the death of pride.  Most of all, customer service is the death of my faith in the future of humanity.  All of this can be summed up into one thing, the policy that states that the customer is always right.  Customer Service is succumbing to the customers.

There is a certain policy that many companies enforce.  This policy is aptly titled: “The Customer Is Always Right,” and is pretty much self explanatory.  This policy is to my logic what Brutus was to Julius Caesar.  While the customer is always right, the customer is often wrong.  Since the customer is always right while being wrong, I am stuck with the conundrum of whether or not what I know is right or wrong.  If the customer says what I know is wrong, then it is wrong, and I must relearn what is right according to the customer, because the customer is always right.  If another customer says that is wrong, then I am back where I started, because the customer is always right.  For example, I make a Statement Z.  Customer A makes a Statement A, which is contrary to Statement Z.  Statement Z is now wrong, and Statement A is right, because the customer is always right.  Customer B makes a Statement B, and Statement B is that Statement Z is correct, so Statement Z is now correct, because the customer is always right.  Statements A and B are the control, while Statement Z is the variable, meaning Statements A and B are always right, while Statement Z can be right or wrong.  Statement B equals Statement Z, while Statement A equals the opposite of Statement Z and B.  Et tu, Brutus?

Let us suppose before I went to work today I took an IQ test.  On that IQ test I scored a ninety seven, which is generally average.  Then, the situation that was previously discussed occurs.  In less than five minutes I have become completely devoid of logic, and it only took two people to accomplish such a task.  Not to mention, these individuals are people I have never met in my life.  They have completely destroyed my ability to identify with any reasonable logic known to man.  A very good portion of the IQ test is logic related, and at least twenty five percent is specifically focused on logic.  In general, the IQ test is roughly thirty three percent logic.  If I received an average score on the IQ test before I had lost my ability to reason logic, now that my logic is gone, I will lose thirty three percent of the score I received if I were to take the IQ test again.  Naturally, I take the IQ test again after that.  I score about a sixty three.  That score is extremely low according to IQ Test standards.  In just five minutes I have become mentally retarded, thanks to a company policy I wish I were not required to enforce.

In the first five minutes of my shift, I have gone from average intelligence to mentally retarded.  I am working a six hour shift.  On average, these situations happen twice an hour on the off season.  Lucky for me, my logic has already been destroyed and I can not lose anymore intelligence, even if this happened every five minutes for my entire six hour shift.  While I am not losing intelligence anymore, I have lost one other thing.  That one other thing is my pride.  I lost my pride back when my logic was obliterated; even before that.  As soon as I began to enforce the “The Customer Is Always Right” policy, Customer A had stolen my pride from me.  It did not happen that second, but that millisecond.  When I succumb to the whims of a customer, I am giving them my pride, because I can not stand up for my self when the tell me I am wrong, because the customer is always right, and if the customer is right and I am wrong, I have no pride.  Good bye pride, good bye logic.  Sometimes, before I go to sleep and I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I wonder what would happen if a customer told me I still had my pride.

Customer Service is readily handing over your logic, your intelligence, and your pride to the customer, and allowing them to stomp it into the ground.  Customer Service is succumbing to the customers and their opinions on what is right and wrong.